It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

After suffering holiday decor envy for the past several weeks, we finally got our home into the spirit.

Last year I got my first real tree, a 7+ foot beauty that occupied much of our tiny, furniture-less living room. While I thought that tree was magnificent, this year with a new sofa and coffee table residing in the same room, we opted for a slightly smaller tree.

We chose warm white LED lights (in the clear, classic style; they look green in the photo for some reason…) last year as the cools ones read too blue for our tastes, though with our new cool-toned colour scheme they probably would have grown on us.

 

During the summer I picked up one of the tall square zinc planters from Crate and Barrel. These planters come with a removable metal insert that can hold a 3 gallon pot (I’m guessing), so I bought one with the plan of updating it each season. In the summer I put a large boston fern in it, this autumn a potted mum. For the holiday season I removed the insert and layered boughs of cedar, fir and pine with birch poles, twigs and decorative berries, to create a lovely seasonal planter like the ones I’ve been admiring around town.

 

 

How has your holiday decorating been coming along? Are you a minimalist or do you like to go all out*?

And just for fun, Frankie got a new holiday outfit (this poor dog puts up with way too much)… Be sure to catch this little guy’s television debut on the Marilyn Denis Show tomorrow (Dec 12)!

 

*I highly recommend an evening drive down Greenwood Ave, south from O’Connor, where the folks *really* go all out for Christmas! They literally brighten my commute home. :)

 

For the love of ornaments

Last year I went crazy buying ornaments since we were starting anew, so this year I vowed to only buy a few each year going forward to keep my penchant for pretty ornaments satisfied for many more years without having to give up the old to make room for the new.

This year I picked up these adorable little guys as they reminded me of the tiny sparrows that hop around my yard each morning.

 

New roof

I’ve been noticing a lot of people getting their roofs redone before winter hits and it reminded me that I never shared any pictures of our roof update.

When we bought our house, the front portion of the roof was covered with icky red three-tab shingles that were showing signs of wear. So, this spring we decided to give the house a little face-lift with some new shingles.

As per usual, I hemmed and hawed over colour choices for weeks.  The roofing company was kind enough to drop off many large-scale format samples for me to lean against our brick, porch, etc. and look at in various lighting conditions AND to send me photos of houses they had done in the colours I had narrowed it down to (bless their souls for their patience). We finally settled on “Colonial Slate” (Certainteed Landmark). While I’d like to eventually repaint or completely replace the siding on the front of our house, I thought this gray shingle with a hint of red flecking complemented the brick and existing siding (which appears white in the “after” picture but is actually a cream/pale yellow) on our house.

Once that decision was made, the roofers went to work removing at least two layers of asphalt shingles AND a layer of cedar shakes. Yes folks, not only three layers of shingles, but one of them was wood! (note the height differential between our roof and the neighbour’s on the porch dormer). After that, the whole area was reshingled.

I still have to paint that little bit of flashing under the upstairs window to match the trim, but I’m otherwise very pleased with how the roof looks now. Big improvement, don’t you think?

 

Before

After