Merry Christmas - Christmas Tree with Lights

As the wrapping paper is ripped and the ribbons are tugged off the gifts today, I want to stop and take one minute to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year. I hope you find yourself surrounded by friends, family and loved ones this season.

I want to thank you for being readers, followers, or browsers of Pretty Handy Girl. You have made my year fabulous, and I hope 2018 is even better with more tutorials and inspiration for all.

Holiday Home Tour 2016 | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m so happy to see you again this year! This is my annual holiday home tour and each year I can’t wait to invite you in to see the decorations. (These are my home tours from 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015.) This year I tried to keep it simple, but I did take two days to make a really fun vintage sign. I hope you’ll come on in and see it (and the rest of my holiday decorating efforts.)

Before I start decorating, I like to choose a theme. This year I wanted to create a nature or woodland inspired theme. I pulled the storage bins out of the attic and assessed what I had to work with. Then, I made a list of some items I could use to fill out the room. Next stop was my local At Home store. This home tour has been sponsored by At Home. This year I’ve been thrilled to be an At Home brand ambassador. (You can see a photo tour of the At Home store in this post.

At Home Store Tour | Pretty Handy Girl

Or come take a tour of my patio decorated for a garden party using several At Home finds (feel free to stay a while if you need to shake off that winter chill by looking at summer photos.)

Outdoor Garden Patio Party Decorating Ideas | Pretty Handy Girl

Finally, you won’t want to miss this drab to fab screen porch makeover that I accomplished with help from At Home.

Installing the Most Beautiful Ceiling Fan | Haiku Copper Luxe Ceiling Fan | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you warmed up yet? Well come on inside and get cozy. I made you some hot chocolate and salted caramel chocolate chip cookies for the tour.

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Did you notice the little silver twig tree? That was an At Home find, I couldn’t resist it. The little white lights make the tree glow at night. I also picked up some faux poinsettias from At Home and popped them in my 3 Step Little Red Wagon Planter.

Holiday Home Tour 2016 | Pretty Handy Girl

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May I take your jacket? You can kick off your shoes if you want to get more comfortable. The shoe storage bench and coat rack were early DIY projects. This mudroom spot is my sanity saver because it holds our daily assortment of coats, backpacks, shoes and socks!

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These topiaries from At Home have seen a lot of use. I bought the unlit versions to save money and added my own lights for the holidays. But, honestly the lit versions are only $10 more, so splurge if you buy some for your home.

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I decorated the shelf with some reindeer and two DIY cone trees (hot glue and moss or leaves). I also used some wall decal stars from my friend Leen the Graphics Queen (affiliate link.)

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The “Post” box keeps all our epi-pens close at hand but not in sight. Anyone else have a collection of epi-pens? 😉

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Come on in the living room and sit down. I just finished decorating the tree.

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I brightened the tree with lots of feather boas and red ornaments. Plus, I added several of the kids’ ornaments they made in preschool. Those ornaments may not be pretty, but they are precious to us.

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Want to make your own decorative bird house topper? It’s a fun little project that will satisfy your doodling desires.

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I have to share with you these beautiful pillows I bought at At Home!

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They look a lot like some higher end store pillows, but for much less. I especially like the faux fur pillows. They might stay on the couch year round.

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Speaking of pillows, I had to buy Bandit a cozy bed from At Home. They have the best prices and selection I’ve ever seen for dog bedding. Good dog, Bandit. It’s about time you fell asleep. This dog is non-stop energy most of the time.

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The other find I couldn’t resist at At Home was this pretty shell tray. They have an amazing assortment of trays in all colors, shapes and sizes.

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I love using this easy to make shutter screen to display our Christmas cards each year.

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This year I added a strand of lights and the vintage sled.

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Did you spot my new vintage inspired sign?

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I made it this week using all scraps from my workshop. Here’s the tutorial to make your own Vintage Rustic Sleigh Ride Sign!

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I know I’ve probably overstated this, but At Home has everything for your home decorating! For instance, birch logs can be purchased in the wedding section of At Home. (I’m not sure why they are in that section, but they are.) They were 6 feet tall, but I cut each log into three for display by the fireplace.

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I bought the white lantern from At Home to round out my collection. You may not realize it, but that little black lantern was actually transformed from a $5 dated light fixture.

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A note about that metallic dot pillow—yup, you guessed it—another At Home favorite find!

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Let’s head into the kitchen.

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Every year, I like to make a little something I think the kids will enjoy. This year, I created a little snow scene in a cloche.

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The cloche is actually the globe from a hanging light. I ditched the light and used the globe to make a fun little snow globe scene.

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I used more wall decal stars from my friend Leen the Graphics Queen (affiliate link) to decorate the windows. These little stars add a festive feel in minutes.

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On the other side of the kitchen is a desk aka our family command center. The raised desk was a DIY project I built using more ReStore cast offs. And the hutch was built using an old table top. . . seriously!

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The little galvanized village scene was created using a variety of At Home accessories. The lighted pine cones came in a set of three and have a timer switch so they’ll shut off at night. That’s one less thing I have to turn off before bed.

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I usually let my boys decorate a small tree. This year they added blue lights to this little faux ivy tree. I actually like the soft blue glow at night. My boys. . . they love to go against the grain. 😉

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Thank you so much for coming over. I enjoyed your company.

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Stop by sometime next week. I’ll be sharing my frugal holiday tablescape with you.

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for At Home. I was compensated for my time writing this post. At Home also provided me with a gift card to purchase items to use in this post. All ideas and words are my own. I was not told what to write.

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Check out Pretty Handy Girl's Holiday Home Tour for holiday home decor ideas and inspiration! | Holiday decor for the home #prettyhandygirl #holidayhome #holidaydecor

CVS Same Day Photo Cards

Are you pulling out your hair trying to get everything done before Christmas? No? Well, I hate you! Just kidding. I’ve been frantic this past week. Unfortunately, I wasn’t planning ahead and the holiday cards were pushed to the end of my to do list. It sat down there at the bottom with some of the last minute presents for the mailman and service providers we appreciate. I thought about going to a big box store to knock out all these last minute gifts. But frankly, when I walk in the entire magical holiday spirit is sucked out of my body and I’m left feeling like a Hippopotamus squashed my Christmas spirit. You know what I’m talking about, right?! Other people who are frantic and stressed. Cashiers who need a break. And drivers fighting you for that last parking space.

What I really wanted were last minute beautiful photo cards without braving the elements crowds! ‘Cause you and I know, Baby, It’s Cold Outside (in more ways than one.)

That’s why I was thrilled this year when CVS contacted me and asked if I wanted to get my holiday cards the same day from my local CVS store. Wait, what?! I had no idea you could skip the crowds and get photo cards from the local friendly CVS store. There had to be a catch. I figured the card options would be — you know — a bit like bad fruitcake.

I quickly let me fingers fly over to CVS.com/Photo to see the measly options.

CVS Same Day Photo Cards

What to my wandering eyes did appear? Jaw dropping designs from top names like Hallmark and Aperion!

CVS Same Day Photo Cards

Wow, oh wow, beautiful last minute holiday photo cards!

At this point I thought I was dreaming and half expected to see Visions of Sugarplums. I pinched myself and surged forward to create our photo cards.

CVS Same Day Photo Cards

The CVS.com/Photo website is set up for last minute people like me (who don’t have time to figure out a new program or read instructions! Ain’t nobody got time for that!)

Simple, easy prompts:

  • Pick your design
  • Upload your picture
  • Add text
  • Review and buy!

You know this was quicker and faster than most of my tutorials! Hallelujah and thank your lucky Christmas stars!

The hardest part was choosing the design to use. I mocked up at least half a dozen.

CVS Same Day Photo Cards CVS Same Day Photo Cards

Thankfully, my Instagram friends helped me pick a favorite (what would I do without y’all! xxxooo)

CVS Same Day Photo Cards

CVS.com/Photo lets you upload pictures from three different convenient places!

CVS Same Day Photo Cards
Can I get a big Joy to the World for choices?

CVS Same Day Photo Cards

After a few minutes picking our photos and uploading them, I had a winning card design:

CVS Same Day Photo Cards

Raise your hand if you have children who tend to look like the Grinch stole their Christmas in most of your family photos! Thankfully, my matching Santa hat fell off at just the right moment and we all started laughing. Poor Buddy had no idea what hit him.

With one more click I had sent my order to our local CVS store. You know what’s sweeter than a 54′ Convertible, Light Blue? I didn’t have to enter my credit card information online. Payment isn’t due until you pick up your cards.

Can we take a quick second to appreciate this sight? A parking lot with plenty of spaces. And stocked aisles for last minute stocking stuffers, gifts and gift bags.

CVS Same Day Photo Cards

I dashed into the store and grabbed a few gift bags and candies. Then headed to the checkout to pick up my photos and pay for them. In full disclosure, I waited in a line… of two people! Yup, no long lines, no scowls, and no fighting for the last hot item. I purchased my photos and other things. Then I Sprang to My Navy Blue Sleigh Minivan and dashed back home.

CVS Same Day Photo Cards

Now about those last minute gifts…

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Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy for the Holiday How To campaign. I am being sponsored by CVS/pharmacy for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers. As always, I am particular about the brands I partner with. I will always disclose to you if you are reading a sponsored post.

Holiday Home Tour - Kitchen | Pretty Handy Girl

One of my favorite rooms to decorate is our kitchen. There is something about the combination of aqua with green that makes me happy. Welcome to the next room on my Holiday Home Tour, the kitchen!

Holiday Home Tour - Kitchen | Pretty Handy Girl

Updating the window seat with aqua and snowflake pillows is the first thing I do when Thanksgiving is over.

I love adding a little bling to the chandelier during the holiday season. Last year I hung a beaded garland from the chandelier, this year it’s white buds and gold painted eucalyptus leaves.

Holiday Home Tour - Kitchen | Pretty Handy Girl

The open shelves get a new vignette. It’s such an easy swap that gives us something new to look at throughout the season. Read more

PHG_Christmas_Home_Tour

Welcome, welcome! I see you made it here from Songbird’s beautiful home. If you are coming here first, be sure to check out Marianne’s home:

songbird-house-tour

I can not tell you how excited I am to have you in for the tour. Last Christmas we were living in a demolition zone. So, it feels wonderful to have our kitchen complete and be able to focus on decorating for the holidays.

Pretty Handy Girl's Christmas Home Tour

I’m also enjoying low fuss decorating. Like this fake wreath that looks fabulous when you tuck some live greenery inside (thanks for the idea Colleen.)

Pretty Handy Girl's Christmas Home Tour

Pretty Handy Girl's Christmas Home Tour

Another lazy decorating trick is to wrap garlands around the chandelier. Read more

Thank you to everyone who left me such wonderful comments on my rustic Christmas décor! I may not have been able to reply to all of you, but I DID read each and every comment! And thank you to the rest of you who took time out of your day to look at my post.

As promised, I am sharing with you the tutorial for creating the shutter screens that I display my Christmas cards on.

I am completely obsessed with decorating my home using shutters (only I use them on the inside instead of the outside!) I have one hanging in our half bathroom and two more in our upstairs hallway dressing up a dormer window. Luckily I still had two pairs laying around.

I began by attaching three hinges to hold a pair of shutters together.

I mixed two colors of red acrylic paint together (cadmium red medium & Lucas madder red) to get the perfect Christmasy red.

A perfect Christmas red is neither too orange nor too cranberry. It is very similar to Coca-Cola red.

Factoid: Did you know that Coca-cola red is so special that the company does not share the formula for the color?

Using a 2″ Purdy paint brush, I dabbed the brush into the paint and then wiped it off on the plate. Then dry brushed the paint onto the shutters, letting the bristles skip over the slats.

I kept dry brushing the shutter until I had enough paint for it to appear red, and yet some of the dark green color still peeked through.

Here is a close up of the green paint showing through:

Then I set each screen up in the corners of our living room and used clothespins to attach the cards.

The red shutters really bring in the holiday spirit!

I’m curious, how do you display your cards each year?

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displaying christmas cards on shutters