Holiday Décor

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So I had a post two years ago about my holiday décor in my old apartment and I have moved since then so I have new things, mostly the same décor but in different spots. 

            This is not going to be a long post, it’s going to be some words but more photos than anything else. I am not including everything in my place because I have a lot of little bits and bobs all over, mostly stuffed animals, candles, and random small pieces of décor that I am not going to bore you with here. There are also a few things that I don’t have out that I had out in my old place but space is kind of limited in this place. 

            So I know it’s before Thanksgiving, I have been decorated for over a week now and I don’t regret it one little bit, I needed some happy in my apartment and putting up my Christmas decorations and my tree (which I will not be lighting until the day after Thanksgiving) made me really happy when I needed some joy. Is everything in the world fixed after slapping some lights and ornaments on a tree and putting on Christmas music? No but if I can get my own corner of happy I’m going to do it.

            My tree is the same, mostly all Hallmark but with a few new ornaments this year than in years past, I wrote a post on some of my favorites you can check that out if you want to. Here, unlike my old place, my tree is almost right inside the door instead of across the living room from it. I don’t know which I like better. 

            Also in my living room with my workout DVD’s and on my TV stand are some cute little mice that my grandmother had for a long time before I inherited them and some polar bears that I found in a box (honestly completely forgot I owned them). 

            Also in the box was my grandmother’s nativity set that my aunt painted, I knew that it was in the box but I didn’t know there were other things in the box with it. I made room or it this year because it’s been in a box for a few years now and I wanted it out this year. It took some time for me to get everything on top of the bookcase but I got it! 

            A few more things, these are in my bedroom, I made the large piece in the back a few years ago and the snow globes in like 2017, I think? I don’t actually remember, it was before I left Indiana so it’s been at least since Christmas 2017. I love the Grinch it’s one of my favorite Christmas movies, and yes I do mean any and all of the iterations of The Grinch.

            Next up is my dining room table, I do a different thing every year and this year I put up my rose gold reindeer and red chargers, I just like having something festive on my table this time of year. 

            I have a small tree with even smaller ornaments on the work table in the kitchen which is cute. 

            A Santa holding up another snow globe, my dad made the Santa, I made the snow globe. 

            Some penguins next to my mixer where the pumpkin was in my Halloween Décor post.

            The top of my comic book bookcase that has a penguin, a small candle, and a snowman candle holder. The rest of the stuff up there is up year round so nothing fancy.

            On my entry table this year is the stuff that was on my dining room table last year, I think that they will go back on the dining room table next year but I really don’t know yet because I just want to get through 2020 before I even start thinking about 2021. 

            In my office I have my small Christmas tree which I have had for three or four years now and I love so much. It doesn’t have a theme but if it did it would be plush things but also make it fashion because it’s just a cute tree. 

            I also have my third snow globe in my office next to a Boyd bear that I have had since I was a kid, this snow globe needs to be fixed because the deer and the tree have dislodged themselves from the floral foam so I think I just need to cut my losses and replace the foam. 

            Also a bonus: I made this arrangement for my mom and I absolutely love it, it’s at her house and I love arranging flowers but I haven’t done it in a few years.

            So that’s a lot of my bigger or more involved décor in the apartment and I am happy that I am decorated already. 

            I said this post wouldn’t be too long and I am trying to keep true to my word on that so I think that’s going to be it for this post, I hope if you celebrate American Thanksgiving that you all have a good, happy, and safe Thanksgiving even if we all have to celebrate it a little different this year. 

            I hope everyone has a good rest of the week and I will see y’all on Sunday with another post! 

            -MJ 

A Christmas Décor DIY

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            This is probably the easiest Christmas DIY I have ever done and I have done a couple now. A while back I was looking in the dollar section at Target, you know at the front when you walk in with all the cute cheap things well it sucked me in and I found two things that gave me an idea, a chalkboard sled and a vinyl cut decal that said ‘dashing through the snow’ and it gave me a cute little idea. 

            I thought this was going to take me five minutes tops but I had to pull out all the little pieces in the cursive so it took me a little longer than expected but I did it! 

            So what do you need for a project like this, it doesn’t have to be exactly the same but for a cute little DIY that is something like this you are gonna need some things. 

            Materials:  

            A backdrop (you can use wood, a piece of glass or whatever that you want to put words on)

            Vinyl die cut words (you can usually buy individual letters at most craft stores or if you have a circuit like go crazy!)

            A quote you like (I bought one that was already done)

            A paint pen (I used a Sharpie paint pen)

            Some paint (because I couldn’t find another paint pen or if you don’t want to use a paint pen you can use this.)

            The actual DIY: 

1.  Okay with this one, first of course gather your materials, this one is a little different than my Halloween ones because it was a lot of premade materials. 

2. I had to pick apart all of the die cut letters which I thought would take me like seconds, it took like ten minutes so if you can I would get individual letters but that would also present challenges. The reason I found this so challenging was the cursive lettering and the little pieces you don’t need were really hard to get out because I didn’t want to rip the letters.

3. I drew a straight line in pencil on my sled where I wanted the letters to go and with the words that worked out great, the letter’s not so much but it looks okay.

4. Put on some snowflakes, I did mine in gold because that was the pen I had at the time and I did add the white and silver snowflakes later (I seriously had it up in my house for a few weeks and it wasn’t actually finished.

5. Display, I have mine sitting in my office but you could hang it on a wall (depending on what it is and your quote) or display it however you want, it’s your craft. 

            Guys, let’s be honest with ourselves I am not great at writing DIY posts, I was better at making small DIY videos but I don’t feel like doing that at the moment, but sometimes it’s just the simple things that can help you get inspiration for a DIY. The Target dollar section is really good at that around holiday times. 

            This post isn’t long and to be honest I have been sitting on this one for a while half-finished because I have been focusing on other things, like decorating my apartment, helping my parents decorate their house, and work so this has kind of been taking a back burner; a lot of DIY and craft ideas are at the moment and that is alright.

            So it’s a cute little craft when it’s finished, that I can say because I have been staring at mine for a few weeks now and it’s not hard to do just to have a simple DIY somewhere in your holiday décor. 

            I hope everyone has a great start to the week, we are off this week from school because it’s Thanksgiving Break so I plan on writing several posts but I will see y’all on Wednesday with my actual updating Holiday Décor post, fingers crossed. 

            Hope everyone has a great start to the week!

            -MJ 

Some of My Favorite Christmas Ornaments

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Alright it’s almost Thanksgiving and I am already decorated for Christmas, don’t even think about judging me… it’s been a year y’all and I just wanted to feel some happy from having my living space full of holiday cheer. I am not listening to Christmas music until at least late next week at the earliest and I am not going to light up my tree before Thanksgiving, I’m just getting all of it done so I don’t have to do it.

            Seriously I decorated my tree on Friday night while watching Star Wars Episode 4 and 5 because that was what I felt like doing on a Friday night, I live such a glamorous life because let’s be real that would have been pretty much my plans anyway even if we weren’t social distancing and quarantining, just mask up, wash your hands, and distance when possible. 

            But back to the reason for this post, some of my favorite ornaments. I will say this a lot of my ornaments that I had on my tree when I was a kid are packed up in my parents basement I only have a small number of my overall ornaments but most of them are from Hallmark because I am one of those people. 

This is the whole mess that goes on my regular Christmas tree, just so y’all have an idea of what I am working with.

            I have a lot of Marvel and Disney ornaments and if I did a post about all of them this would take you all of December to read and me most of November to write so I just picked a few ornaments and maybe next year I will do another post with a few more because most of the ornaments I am talking about aren’t available (Hallmark at least) anymore, I mean you could probably find them on the internet but they are not available in the stores. 

            So let’s get to it: 

            This ornament I made when I was still in Indiana with the first grade class that I worked with when I was getting my masters, they were making these cute little yarn stars and the teacher told me that I should make one, I still have it on my tree and it is displayed proudly because it reminds me of those kids who I later student taught when they were in third grade. 

            I got this one at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan. If you like Christmas it’s like the largest in the world and it’s like heaven. I’ve been there three times in my life and now I am many more miles away from it than I was in Indiana but if you like Christmas give their website a check. I have several ornaments from them, like you can spend several hundred dollars there without blinking. This is just a tiny penguin and it was made in Russia, it’s like a nesting doll but it’s all by itself and I love it so much.

            This balloon dog I got at Crystal Bridges which is an art museum in the city I live in now and they have a heart that was designed by the same artist, Jeff Koons and I still want a little balloon dog for my apartment but the one on the tree will have to do. I feel like every kid gets a balloon dog at some point during childhood and they are just fun. This is just a reminder of that fun as well as being a take on an artistic piece.

            These two came as a set also from Bronner’s and I just loved the idea of two marshmallows on my tree who are having very different days and some days I am the marshmallow on the left and some I am the one on the right but I always have them hanging together because they are just perfect and adorable. 

            Chip and Dale and this cartoon, I had a VHS tape as a kid that was a bunch of Disney cartoons, it was called A Walt Disney Christmas, this short was called Goofy’s Christmas Tree and I loved it as a little kid so when I saw that Hallmark was coming out with this ornament I had it on my wish list because I needed it on my tree. It’s just one of those cartoons that has stuck with me since I was little and I have seen it just a few times over the years but I still love it. 

            This Tangled themed mouse hat is from Disneyland, my best friend got it for me last Christmas or the Christmas before and I don’t really remember but Tangled is my one of my favorite Disney films. I get the Tangled Hallmark ornament every year that they have one so that’s fun. 

            Last is just my office Christmas tree, it’s just really aesthetically pleasing and it makes me happy every time I look over at it while I am working on anything at my desk. It’s not themed but it is pretty neutral for the most part. I don’t want to say too much about it because I am doing a new holiday décor post because I moved last year but I do really like the look of this tree if I do say so myself. 

            Alright, I think that’s enough. I just wanted to give y’all a taste of my ornaments and you can all see from the cover photo for this one that I have a lot that I didn’t talk about and that’s okay, my Eeyore collection, my Marvel ornaments, and several other series that I have on my tree. I know it’s early but I’m done decorating and my apartment just feels more festive and I want to feel festive this year.

            I will see y’all later in the week with a new post, I hope everyone has a good start to the week and be safe out there.

            -MJ 

November Favorites

Okay, so I was wrong; this was supposed to go up yesterday but after work on Monday I came home and felt really ill so I didn’t get a chance to write the post. I spent most of yesterday (Tuesday) in bed because I felt really poorly, I don’t know if it was because I got a little dehydrated on Monday, I had a weird eating day, I was getting a little sick, or I was just overly tired that made me feel really run down. So here I am on my couch watching The Muppets Christmas Carol and writing out this post which I am hoping to be rather short. 

In November I feel like I didn’t have a lot of physical favorites my favorites were more getting my apartment back. My mom and the puppies finally moved out at the very end of October after living with me since the last week in May because my parents new house was finally finished. So getting my apartment back under my control was really nice. 

I feel like most of November was working on getting my place back to being my place but guess who got their office back? I know if it wasn’t me it would be rather sad. It was me, I got my office back and now I have been in a more creative mood because I have that separation back within my apartment. They tell you not to work where you sleep and I had to do that when I lived at my parent’s house and then for several months while they finished off the house. (It took quite a bit longer than originally expected, sub-contractors are so fun to deal with! I’m kidding, but you can’t read sarcasm through the internet.) I was really happy to get my office back but I didn’t have a desk until probably the week before Thanksgiving so I have been able to get back on track with writing novels and blog posts while also working on my Bullet Journal and everything else I do in my office. I got a new across the hall neighbor who talks loudly on his phone and a new upstairs neighbor who tromps around just as loudly as the woman who used to live above me, but this is not a blog post to complain because I feel as if I have been doing that more frequently recently and I don’t like what kind of person that makes me. Here is what my desk currently looks like, it is just a lot of organized chaos at the moment, lots of notebooks, Christmas cards I have send out, stuff for other blog posts, and my computers. Ignore my garbage can and the mess under my table, it is just how life works. 

            Next favorite, so I have been using Micellar cleansing clothes for almost the entire year when it comes to taking off my makeup but I recently purchased a bottle of cleansing water from Garnier and you soak cotton pads and then take your makeup off that way. Now I don’t know if it’s better for the environment but it seems more economical to buy a bottle of cleansing water and cotton pads rather than the wipes. I am a huge fan of it because it does a really good job taking off makeup even the stubborn eye makeup that normally is what gets me every time. 

            I got my office back but I also got the rest of my place back and I have been able to get it back in order so it makes my life a little less chaotic and I have been loving getting everything back where I want it.

            Okay, so I have a confession to make. I am one of those people who starts decorating for Christmas early in November so my apartment was fully decorated well over a week before Thanksgiving. Now I did not light my tree until after Thanksgiving so it wasn’t too bad. All the pictures of that are up at the top, I grew up in a house that had many many Christmas trees so I have four in my apartment, one is not pictured but it is really small and next to my bed.

            Last favorite, I got a new piece of artwork at Hobby Lobby and it is my entire life, it says Messy Bun and getting stuff done and that has been my life motto long before I had ever heard the phrase. When it got around time for finals in university my hair was up in a bun and I had a look on my face that said leave me alone so that has translated into my adult life as well. Graphic artwork with catchy phrases are some of my favorites even if they are mass produced. (Ignore my hand in the picture, I am still figuring out how to photograph reflective surfaces!)

            So did any of you have any favorites in November? 

            See y’all on Saturday!

            -MJ