Christmas Trees, Themed or Traditional?

I love the look of my eclectic Christmas tree with a mish-mash of ornaments that have either been handed down, gifted or collected from vacations and places we have lived.  Without getting super sentimental, it’s a reflection of our family and the experiences we have had together and I think it’s just perfect!  Does it all coordinate and match? Nope. Not a bit.  Does it look gorgeous enough to grace the pages of a magazine? Unfortunately no, and even as a person that loves beautiful coordinated things, I still think it’s just the perfect tree.  To me, it’s a traditional look because that’s what I grew up with.  Alternatively, when we spend our holiday at our vacation property in the Outer Banks our Christmas tree is a bit more coordinated and themed, naturally, with a beachy look.  The ornaments, store-bought, homemade and found are all in turquoises and sandy champagne colors.   I like both the unique and the coordinated Christmas trees.  Which kind of tree graces your home?  Here are some of the most gorgeous trees from traditional red and green to themed  to totally unique varieties.

Collected and Multicolored Trees


Traditional Red Themed



Silver and Gold



Coastal Theme



Blue Trees



Pink Trees


Totally Unique


Highbrow, Low Budget: Holiday Edition

Keeping up with the latest holiday design trends can be expensive, especially if you like a fresh look every few years.  Here we show you two very similar options for upgrading your holiday decor, with some staple items like a good tree and wreath as well as a few decorative accents.  The highbrow version can be yours for the yowza price of $3,525 while the low budget version can deck your halls for just $942!  And the looks are strikingly similar and both on trend for this holiday.


The highbrow version features a Frontgate faux tree with lights, and truth be told they DO make a really nice faux tree, but in reality you could buy a REAL tree of the same size for 30 years before you reach the cost of this tree.   This wreath is gorgeous with apples and varied greenery and rusty jingle bells and adds to the traditional yet natural vibe of this collection.  The most ridiculous item on this list is the large 29″ nutcracker from Crate and Barrel.  It’s price was originally $1200 but if you like a sale and still want to throw away money at the same time you can have it for $940- yikes!  Faux fur, plaid, and velvet keep you totally on trend for this holiday in the pillow, stocking and tree skirt.  Finally, I think this candleholder may be real antlers, ew,  but it is quite a statement piece, and at $575 it had better be!



Frontgate Fraser Artificial Pre-lit Christmas Tree 9ft  $1500

Charlestown Decorated Wreath    $200

Natural King Nutcracker   $960 (yikes…that’s the clearance price!)

Tartan Wool Pillow Cover with Fringe, Red  $100

Cuddle Up’ Faux Fur Christmas Stocking   $40

Quilted Velvet Tree Skirt, Chili Pepper $150

Antler Candle Centerpiece  $575

Low Budget

Certainly, there are a few high end tree brands, but in reality, once you get it decorated with all your ornaments, will it really look all that different from one that you spent a fraction of the price on?  This tree, from Home Depot, is also a very full, 9 ft Fraser Fir, still isn’t “cheap”, but looks realistic and is almost a third of the cost of the highbrow version.  This low budget wreath adorned with faux apples and pine cones  has a beautiful natural look.  The over 2 ft tall nutcracker is much more affordable than the highbrow version and looks just as great.  I think I may even pick up this plaid pillow with excellent frayed edge detail, it’ll be a great sofa accent all winter long.  The big shocker of this group is the antler candleholder, which is totally fake, (whew, I feel so much better about that), and is $553 cheaper than the dead deer version!  Truthfully, it IS smaller, but at that price you could buy three of them to create the same scale and still not even be close to the highbrow price.




9 ft. Feel-Real Jersey Fraser Fir Artificial Christmas Tree with 1500 Clear Lights    $600

Winter Berry Scented Wreath  $90

Father Christmas Santa Claus 3′ Nutcracker   $144

Hamilton Plaid Pillow Cover  $36

Grey and White Faux Fur Stocking  $20

Quilted Velvet Christmas Tree Skirt in Burgundy  $30

Gold Antler Taper Candle Holder Centerpiece  $22

What will you do with all of these holiday savings?  Maybe make a donation or buy a gift for a child in need this season.  Happy Holidays!


What to Wear Wednesday: Holiday Parties

It’s that time of the year….yup…the dreaded holiday party time!  Do most people like corporate or other mandatory-fun parties?  I’ve never been a huge fan, but I can imagine that these gatherings may appeal to some social butterfly types (ahem, I think my husband falls in that category).  Whether or not you enjoy these holiday get-togethers you can’t go naked (whoa, awkward) so I’ve compiled a few ensembles fitting for those dressier holiday shindigs.   Each outfit below has a different feel and the main component is available for rent at Rent The Runway so you don’t have to spend a fortune to look super chic!














Nicole Miller Blue Branches Jacquard Sheath  Rent $75, Retail $485

BMC Womens Alloy Metal Abstract Stone Cut Hardcase Fashion Clutch Chain Handbag  $27

T&J Emerald Greed Tassle Earrings $22

Click Your Heels Gold Pointed Pumps  $34














Sachin and Babi Rue Jumpsuit    $70 rental, $595 retail

Hoop Sterling Silver Earrings Made with Swarovski Elements $63

Red & Black Clutch   $190

Swarovski Black Crystal and Crystaldust Open Cuff Bracelet  $69

Steven Viienna  $89















Elizabeth and James  Freedom Sheath  $40 Rental, $495 Retail

Gold-Tone Pave Leopard Stud Earrings  $14

Kate Spade Cedar Street iphone Wristlet   $118

Lux Accessories Aztec Pave Textured Mesh Glitter Multi Bangle Glam Set   $10

Michael Kors Marta Pump  $166

And not to alienate any generation from looking fabulous here’s a great getup for the …ahem … more mature ladies.  Think you can’t do a leather skirt if you’re over 50?  Oh you SO can, especially one in a knee-length, A-line with perforated cut-outs.














Paper Crown Burgundy Venice Top $30 Rental, $170 Retail

TART Collections Black Faux Leather Skirt  $30 Rental, $148 Retail

Estelle Drop Earrings  $25

Wine Red Velvet Clutch  $31

Nanette Lepore Sabrina  $99



Christmas Town, USA – Picturesque Places for Visiting and Decorating Inspiration

Welcome back from Thanksgiving! Did everyone rush home to get their holiday decorations up? I didn’t. Maybe over the course of this week it’ll happen. I like pulling holiday inspiration from all over when decking my halls for the holidays. So many different towns across the USA have their own iconic feel and decorate for the holidays in their own special way. Here are a few that make for a fun holiday vacation destination or lend us some picturesque decorating style inspiration.

1. Williamsburg, VA. If you’ve never been to Williamsburg, VA during the holidays, you should go. It can definitely get a little touristy, but classic colonial Christmas quaintness abounds. Copy-cat an iconic Williamsburg wreath, which is refined and yet inexpensive to make. Gather a pre-made evergreen wreath and wire on apples, pineapples, oranges, pheasant feathers or other natural elements.














2. Asheville, NC. Asheville is a classy place year-round and during the holidays they up their game. The famous Biltmore Estate is decorated to the nines and lends a ton of opulent decorating ideas.












3. Nantucket, MA. The annual Nantucket Christmas Stroll is coming this weekend (you can bet it’s too late to find yourself a rental or hotel).  I’d prefer to miss the hub-bub of the stroll and opt for a quieter snowy winter weekend, but no doubt Nantucket does coastal Christmas perfectly.














4. Charleston, SC. Think that sunshine, palm trees and Santa don’t mix?  Think again.  Mixing the charm of the old South with the nostalgia of the holidays results in whimsical and creative ideas for either coastal or traditional decorating.  To get the Charleston Christmas look, work in magnolia garlands, Spanish moss, and glittered seashells.














5. Santa Fe, NM. “Santa” is in the name for crying out loud, so you know they must do Christmas right!  You won’t find cheesy inflatable Santa’s but instead a combination of adobe, southwest architecture, simple luminarias, chili peppers on wreaths and maybe even a cactus with lights!













6. Leavenworth, WA. After living in Germany for a few years I’m a sucker for old-fashioned Bavarian towns and Christmas markets in the streets.  That same feeling is available right here in the U.S. of A.  With the Cascade Mountains in the background, Leavenworth is reminiscent of a perfect little Alpine town.














7. Cape May, NJ. Known for its Victorian architecture, Cape May offers an alternative Coastal Christmas.  As if Victorian wasn’t decorative enough these Jersey residents add more lights, more greenery and more bows to their charming gingerbread houses.















Where will you visit for holiday decorating inspiration?