Old & New ~ A Vintage Holiday Inspiration


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Can you believe that Christmas is only ten days away! Time is flying by and I am trying to hold on to this feeling as much as I can! I have always loved Christmas— and yes, I am that EXTRA person (as youngings say these days). To me, Christmas is about the birth of Baby Jesus, the most important even in humanity so why not celebrate it BIG!

Decorating for Christmas has always been a “Martha Stewart” affair for me keeping it sophisticated and usually in metallic tones— gold, silver, rose gold, etc. But for some reason, this year, I needed red. I think it is because I associate RED with HAPPY. And I think we can all agree with need more happy in the world. Not only that but my husband is of Norwegian descent and I really wanted a tree with a Nordic flavor. And with that in mind, I set out for the past few months to scout for ornaments that had that vibe. I also wanted to do a little vignette in our front porch, which is oddly shaped. but I made it work. For this décor I wanted a few elements:

  • Plaid

  • Rustic

  • Vintage

  • LOTS of red

And I think I accomplished everything I wanted. Since fall I had been looking for a few elements for my porch vignette that included Skotch plaid and wood elements especially wooden skis and a sled. I visited a few vintage stored in my areas and they were scouting for me. They even found me a pair of original 1950s Sears ice skates I did not know I needed! And they go perfectly! I love those ladies! And the finish look is truly everything I wanted! I added some natural greenery and

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Indoors. our house is still going through a identity crisis since we got married three years ago. It is definitely not my style, but we agreed not to do anything to it because we will be building a new house next year, Lord willing. But we make it work. Which is why most of the indoor decorations are in the foyer which is where we place our Christmas tree.

When I was single, I always had a natural tree but a few years ago I wanted a flocked tree, and here we are :) As mentioned, red and Nordic was my initial inspiration, but with a twist of plaid, and I LOVE the final result.

The past two years we had a second tree with all the stuff my husband and the kids collected over the years, but after last year we decided not to put it up because the stepkids did not want to help. And last year after we put it up, nobody even turned it on but me. Thankfully, they loved this one. :)

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Every Norwegian home must have a “nisse” or Norwegian gnome, and so we do! We also love the angel chimes, that are so traditional in Nordic homes. I just love listening to the sweet chimes.

One of the funniest thing about Christmas that my husband has discovered about me, is that I like my wrapping paper with a the same theme as the tree (I know— somebody stop me! lol). He is still learning about my nuances. lol.

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But I think, this year what I am most excited about, is our Nativity. You see, three years ago I lost everything, including all the Christmas ornaments and decorations I amassed while I was stationed in Germany. It breaks my heart to think about it. But with our marriage we have started creating our own traditions and what will be heirloom ornaments some day. And we started this year with our family Nativity set from Willow Tree. We decided to with this one as we will be able to keep adding every year to it. And I really love how it has become the center of our Christmas this year. It truly is the perfect way to wrap up my little Christmas tour.

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~ last minutes holiday gifts for the gardener in your life ~


If you are like me, there was a little bit of procrastination finalizing your holiday gifts… again. Every year I try to get better, and while I have improved, I am still a procrastinator. :) And part of the problem is the old adage— what to get those in your life who are “special”. Yes, I consider us, garden lovers, geeks, nerds— whatever you want to call us, a special breed. And I can see how buying something for a garden lover, who probably has everything they need, can be tricky. Here is the simple guide— most gardeners have their favorite garden shoes, favorite tools, favorite coffee mug that goes with them to the garden every morning, etc. So stay clear of those (althoug I would love it too if I got those). Instead think outside the box a bit. What other fun stuff can you give the gardenerr in your life? Here are some ideas.


Winter Flowering Bulbs

You are probably thinking “why would awant flowers?” and my answer is “why not?”. There is not a flower that a gerdener would turn down. None. Even if it is one of those spray painted flowers from Lowe’s or Home Depot, we would accept them while silently cursing those who commited the cardinal sin of spray painting a plant. We grow flowers when the weather permits, and come winter, unless you have a nursery, flowers will have to wait until Spring. So believe me when I tell you, nothing makes us happier than growing flowers in the winter. These Amaryllis with their dramatic ruffles petals are spectacular and you can still order in time for Christmas delivery! From Gardener’s Supply Company.


Gardening/Garden Theme Books and paper goods

I love, love, love books especially gardening books and books that have a garden theme. And the following are some of my favorites, starting with my crush— Monty Don. The British gardener has made a name for himself as a gardening extraordinaire, although he calls himself an amateur. He became known to those on this side of Atlantic through a show, Gardener’s World, and we (meaning I) fell in love with his ease in front of the camera and charming personality as he goes around the world talking about gardening. His book The Complete Gardener has helped me a lot about not being intimidated in the garden, since I am self-taught.

I am reading Down to Earth now, and so far I love it. And unlike The Complete Gardener, which is about creating a self-sustaining organic garden, Down to Earth is more persona, (I feel) and in his own words "I have written many gardening books but this is the distillation of 50 years of gardening experience. It has all the tips and essential pieces of knowledge that enable you to make your garden grow well, and it also shares my view that gardening is the secret to living well too." The Complete Gardener / Down to Earth (Monty Don).

The other book I recommend is Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein from Floret. More than a veggies gardener, I am a flower gardener. It is what fulfills me. And I have learned tremendously from Erin’s knowledge about cut flower gardens. And since I love the book, I also love the new 2019 calendar, featuring the spectacular photography we are so used to with Floret Flowers. Floret Book and Calendar.

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carry it in style ~ gardening caddies and baskets

Do not laugh, but I love a great basket to carry my pickings from the garden, Yes, I could just use a bucket but why? Life is too short to just carry the beautiful bounty from the garden in just a bucket. For me gardening is an experience— from planting to harvesting. There are carrying container options as there are tastes. Garden hods work fantastic for veggies, especially because the wire basket allows dirt to escape the basket. I have been know to give veggies a quick wash with the hose while still in the hod. Garden Hods (Gardener’s Supply Company).

Herb lover? Perfect, then this herbs drying rack is perfect for you! And you cannot beat the price! It is beautiful and utilitarian. The perfect gift for the garden foodie in your life, especially if they live in cold climates where preserving herbs through drying, for the winter months is sometimes mandatory. Herb Drying Rack (Williams Sonoma).

For those of us with a love for all things French, a French basket is the They are big, roomy and comfortable to carry around the garden. I use one of these to carry my gardening supplies— pruners, markers, twine, a few tools, and I also use it to carry my flowers or more delicate herbs. It just really works for me. French weekend basket (Vivi et Margot).

For the flower obsessed (insert my photo) there is this genius flower caddy. And I tell you, I need this in my life because I grow a lot of long stem flowers, like peonies and dahlias. This would make life so much easier. Flower caddy (Gardener’s Supply Company).

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back from the garden

After a hard day in the garden, especially those days when you truly get down and dirty, there is nothing like pampering yourself and in my few years gardening, there are two brands that I trust: Kiehl’s and Crabtree & Evelyn. And every year, they come our with wonderful holiday gifts. From Kiehl’s I HIGHLY recommend any of the Crème de Corps products, especially the body lotion. It truly is AMAZING. But really, any of their products are amazing, and the gardener in your life will thank you!

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Crabtree & Evelyn has the most amazing line focused on gardeners and the toll it can take on the skin— from cracked hands, to sun parched skin from being in the sun. Their hand therapy, which are the two first products from the brand I used, are also wonderful.

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Happy Shopping!


Joining I may be found on one of these link-ups: In a Vase on Monday, Mosaic Monday, Home Sweet Home, Friday Bliss, Home and Garden Thursday, End of Month View(31st of the Month), Blooming Friday, Pink Saturday, Nature Notes, Dishing It & Digging It.