Friday, October 15, 2021

Traditional and Easy Christmas Decor

Traditional and Easy Christmas Decor

Traditional and Easy Christmas Decor

LLBean tree skirt

Today we are talking Christmas decor today. This week feels like it has been Santa's workshop over here with all of this holiday content that I have been churning out. Then, I walk outside to the 70-degree weather and love it and am quickly reminded it's October again, ha!! 

Anyway, there is a literal artificial Christmas tree shortage (among what seems like a shortage of everything else) and so I wanted to get this up as quickly as possible since I have already seen messages coming in about this!! 

I wanted to talk about some of the holiday decor I do in our home. I really don't do a lot- just enough to be festive and add warmth and nostalgia. I don't like that overly cluttered feel that can happen with Christmas decor so I try to reel myself in even when I see cute things out and about. I also don't like to spend a fortune on this kind of thing and keep it to a minimum because storing all of it is a real pain!

There is really not much I will need to purchase this year in terms of decor. I think I am going to get a nativity this year. It is one Christmas item that we do not have and I would love to have one. I love this blue and white one, but I feel like this one looks much more like the one my parents have and what we grew up with. My mom actually made her nativity in her 20's in a ceramic class! 

Artificial Christmas Tree + Tree Skirt + Angel Tree Topper (pictured at the top of this post)
This will be our third Christmas with this tree and I love it. Full tree review, here, so I won't go into too much detail but it's truly a beautiful tree for being fake. I really like red and green and tartan and very traditional Christmas vibes. We don't do theme trees or anything like that. I like to get ornaments as I travel over the years so there is meaning and memory attached to them! We always grew up with an angel on top of our tree so I tried to find a pretty one for ours!

So this is meant to be a bow for a newborn, but as soon as I saw it, it was exactly what I was looking for. I bought ribbon from Hobby Lobby last year which was fine for wreath ribbons. I really wanted something more substantial and higher quality for our front door, though. This is totally it! It's not really meant for the outdoors as it is just fabric so you have to have a covered front door. We have a roof over our front door so it's pretty protected from the elements which is nice. 

There are several plaids/colors to choose from and I got the taffeta plaid. We have a black door so I thought the red would pop nicely and it has a bit of black running through it. You can pick different monogram styles and thread color. I did font 20 and the thread is cream! 

I really feel like there is a lot you could do with sashes like this. Tie them on chairs, planters, etc. 

Plaid Ribbon via Hobby Lobby

This was SO easy and so inexpensive to do. I really feel like it's simple and elegant without doing anything over the top or 'too much'. We have a black door (not my choice) so I always have to work with that. The wreaths are so great, especially if you need a bunch for windows because they are inexpensive and hold up well. You can see the original post, here

This is one of my very favorites for the holidays. SO easy and so cute. The glow from the lights in the evening is truly the coziest. I also love these little ornaments that have a vintage vibe and I feel like the non-traditional Christmas colors blend in better with my decor on this wall! 

This is a beautiful strand of preserved boxwood. It's not super bushy but it's really nice. I've used it a bunch of different ways in our house but like it best here! 

These will sell out very soon. They are always so popular! I snagged a set last year and they are SO cute. Fun to tie on a gift, too, for the fellow blue and white lover!

I couldn't find a photo of mine but I have this advent calendar from the 90's! My mom kept it and now I put it out purely for nostalgic purposes. I can't believe they still make it! I put it on the back of the powder room door so it's not really seen for the most part, but I just couldn't resist- I love tradition when it comes to holidays! My sister had this one! I think this would be a cute gift if you have children! 

More holiday decor content:

Thursday, October 14, 2021


I hope you are all having a great week! It has gone by so quickly for me as I have had lots on my plate lately! On Monday I went to work on a campaign I am SO excited to share with you all starting in mid-November. It was seriously one of my most fun brand collaborations to date! This evening, we are off to a Kiya Tomlin fashion show which will be fun, too! 

We watched my parent's dog this weekend and are watching him again this weekend. Buddy and Henry get along so well! We have a good friend's wedding here in Pittsburgh on Saturday to attend which will be lots of fun! In my free time on the weekend, I honestly plan to work. It's the 'busy' season (and earlier than ever) so I'm putting my nose to the grindstone to make it all happen! 

We got a new rug for our bedroom this week and I am so excited about it! I cannot wait to share, it's gorgeous! Let me say, though, putting a rug down after all of the furniture is in the room is not idea. It was a big process, hah!! I also ordered a new kitchen runner. They get so dirty being in the kitchen that the one we have is getting icky. I eventually will powerwash them in the summertime, but for now, a new runner will be fun and give the kitchen a different look! I will share when that arrives, too! 

I also just have to say how seasonally confused I am!! It has been warm and sunny here (definitely not complaining) and it's usually colder right around now here in Pittsburgh. I think it's supposed to cool down next week. On top of that putting together all of this holiday content and see all of the holiday marketing out right now is exciting but also confusing, ha!!! 

 This Stacie Flinner x Marta Scarampi cape is everything and then some. Stacie is the absolute sweetest and so generously sent me one of her designs and it's so incredible elegant. I will be wearing this all fall and winter! And how about this cream stunner? Wow!

Eating: With the holiday season almost upon us, I'm always reminded of how fortunate I am. The Pittsburgh Food Bank can always use donations, but especially now as food prices have risen and the holidays are coming! We don't want any of our neighbors going hungry. Donate now! I just did.

Sale: Amazon is doing 3-for-the-price-of-2 books! You have to choose from this selection, but it's a big selection and a great way to get some holiday gifts! Beautiful and More Beautiful are both by Mark Sikes and are stunning coffee table books! I have a post about coffee table books, here

Sale II: My favorite lipstick (in the color rosewater) that I wore on my wedding day is currently 20% off. It makes a really great stocking stuffer! 

 Seinfeld is on Netflix and it's the perfect thing to put on in the background as I work! Love that show so much! 

Loving: I am absolutely in love with this new-to-me brand, Hive Porcelain. Oh my goodness their things are BEAUTIFUL! This is a carved monogram on a big mug-tone on tone. I feel like this was made exactly for me, ha!!! Ok and then a moment for this coaster that would be the CUTEST engagement gift to use as a ring dish. And this ornament as a wedding gift. LOVE! 

Loving II: I'm already thinking ahead to New Year's and look how cute this pack of tinsel headbands is!!!! 
Wanting: So much holiday decor and gifts coming out I can barely keep track of it all!!! 

Pittsburgh: Monterey Bay has a cute bar area with arguably the best view in all of the city. We went the other evening for drinks and it was great but we had seen a sign that said that they do live music on Friday evenings! We are going to have to go back for that!

Quoting: 'Hate is a disease which may destroy your enemy, but will also destroy you in the process.' - Eddie Jau // See more of my favorites, here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Gift Guide 2021: For Him

Gift Guide 2021: For Him

Another gift guide and today's is for the guys! I separated it into two separate guides as I did one for clothing and then one with everything else as I know some men do not love clothing! For my men's gift guides, I am sharing what I know based on the men in my life so lots of golf, cocktails, sports, etc. 

A few items of note... 

Cocktail Smoker// I got my dad this as a gift and he loves it! It's small and portable enough that you can bring it to things like tailgates! 

Weber Grill// My husband is truly obsessed with this grill. We eat grilled food several times every week. He even grills in the snow he loves it so much. I benefit from it so much as everything he makes on the grill is just delicious! 

Down Throw Blanket// This is *the* green blanket. I got my husband his own last year and he loves it. He is someone who runs warm so he's not a huge blanket person but absolutely loves this one. 

Leather Travel Bar// My parents gave my husband something like this one year for a holiday or birthday and it was a huge hit. We take it everywhere with us so we can mix up cocktails in a hotel or airbnb or for a tailgate! 

Garment Bag// I have one and my husband is dying for his own. It's so high quality and can be personalized in so many different ways! 

Sneakers + Suede Loafers// Two pairs of high-quality shoes my husband has and absolutely loves. 

Prada Cologne// Smells incredible. This is one my husband has worn for years. 

Massage Gun// I got my husband this for his birthday and he uses it weekly. My mom also got my dad one! I don't personally like a massage gun, but I feel like a lot of people do. For men or women- if you workout a lot or have stiff muscles, this could be really helpful. 

Tula Day and Night Cream// This is my husband's favorite skincare item. Use code SYDNEY for 15% off your purchase. 

Nintendo Switch// We bought one during the holiday season last year and honestly, I probably play it more than my husband. It's SO fun. It's like the modern version of N64. Mario Kart is my favorite game to play. But this is really fun for us to do on weekday evenings when it's too cold to do much else and can be fun when you have friends over to play this!
Gift Guide 2021: For Him

A few items of note... 

Regent Fit Shirts// These are my husband's favorite fit when it comes to sports shirts and dress shirts. It's a classic fit vs. the really slim-cut things you see everywhere these days but not a baggy fit by any means, it still looks very tailored (if that even makes sense).

Golf Shirts// My husband gave his best man a Nantucket golf shirt from this brand. I feel like this is a popular brand within the golf world. 

Mitchell and Ness NFL Gear// I find this brand to be of higher quality and offer more classic designs. My husband loves Steelers gear (and so does the enire city of Pittsburgh, myself included) but I find a lot of it to be incredibly cheap/tacky looking. This is a great brand for nicer items! 

Chino Shorts// These are the Amazon shorts I have raved about in the past. They are so inexpensive and my husband loves them. If you lay them next to a pair of J.Crew chinos you almost cannot tell the difference. 

Long Sleeve Tee// I've shared these before but we both buy these long sleeve 100% cotton tees. They are great for lounging around and are nice quality, especially for the price. Also so soft! There are tons of colors to choose from, too.

And finally, I did a big blog post this summer with gift ideas to give your groom on your wedding day. A lot of the items were more luxurious and experiential so I would definitely check that out, too, if you need to get some more ideas for guys for the holidays! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Gift Guide 2021: Under $100

Gift Guide 2021: Under $100
Shop the Guide:
I have to say, this was a harder gift guide to make. This is my $50ish-$100 gift guide. I know most items have increased in price lately so that has really knocked a lot of my favorite items out of the $100 category and then I have a ton of under $50 ideas, but this $50-$100 price range feels a bit awkward this year! But I do feel like the items I did find and include are really great options!! I've also started working on my men's gift guide and it's REALLY good!! So stay tuned, that is next and I also have mall business and Etsy gift guides coming too... and more but those are the ones already in the works and will be released soon!

Some items of note... 
Workout Mat// I have this workout mat and it's truly the nicest. It's a small business and every single purchase equals funds to yoga therapy programs for pediatric cancer patients as well as every mat purchased equals another mat donated to a pediatric cancer patient. Really great company and mission and product. 

Peel Pads// These are pricey but they truly make my skin SO nice. I wish I could use them every single day! 

Slippers// I LOVE these slippers. They got so worn and gross after wearing them a ton and I figured I needed to throw them out. I decided why not throw them in the wash. It says not to but I wasn't worried about ruining them because I figured they were trashed anyway so I had nothing to lose. I washed them and they completely came back to life... like new!! I just tossed them in the washing machine and then let them air dry in the sun. It took a full 24 hours for them to dry but I really could not believe it. 

Monogram Wood Board// This wood board is from my collaboration with WREN! You can use code SYDNEY20 for 20% off your purchase! 

Foundation Stick// Best foundation EVER. It is SO natural looking and just makes my skin look amazing. Could not live without this product, it's a must-have for me. Pricey, but worth it in my opinion. 

Down Throw// These throws continue to be on sale!! 

Crystal Wine Coaster// Cute to either pair with a nice bottle of wine OR use as a jewelry or entryway catchall for things like keys!  

Cashmere Tee// The new cashemre is amazing and these tees are classic wardrobe staples. 

Jewelry Box// I bought this for myself this summer and it's so beautiful. I loved the clear top so I could see what all I have! I have the color stone and I feel like this is a really good price for such a nice product. 

Concealer// This is another makeup must-have for me. It's truly incredible the way it covers up dark circles but looks so natural at the same time.

2021 Gift Guides:

Past 2020 Gift Guides:

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