Thursday, December 15

Make the Season Bright: Holiday Blog Hop 2011

Welcome to our holiday blog hop!

So you say you want a tour of the Stevenson household while our halls are decked?

Come on in, yinz.

Please stop and notice the Christmas mat, white poinsettas, and adorable mini-evergreens I picked up at the happiest place on earth, Target.

And don't forget about the strands of white lights we're strung around our front porch railing...

What's that you say? No, we don't have a window on one end of our porch -- I wasn't joking before when I said the houses in Mt. Washington are approximately one foot apart. Good thing we like those neighbors.

Anyway -- come inside, come inside.

Yes, little candles are always flickering softly around these parts. It's magical in here, I tell you. Did you hear the jingle bells when you closed the front door? No? Then let me passive-aggressively point them out to you.

Oh, look who's joined us!

See? Magic.

Come into our living room... yes, there she is in all her glory. Our slender tragically fake tree. Laden with ornaments made and gifted. Pre-strung with tiny white lights. I love her.

No, she doesn't have a name. That would be silly, and we are very serious people. (I'm leaning toward Pippa, since Kyle has turned that name down flat for a baby -- at least I'll have my tree!)

Lean in closer, and drink in the lights and trimmings in all their glory.

Of course that photo is blurry on purpose. I am experimenting with aperture settings on my camera, okay? I like to think it's artistic.

Now crouch down and take a look at our gifts and -- surprise -- more poinsettas! These ones are the real deal, baby.

No, we don't have a tree skirt. Tree skirts are not practical when you have a hairy golden retriever. And I am nothing if not practical.

Now stand on your tiptoes -- I'm really feeling quite bossy -- and take in the beauty of our sparkly, glittery gold star tree topper.

That star hung out in our basement last Christmas and all spring/summer/fall, because Kyle had his doubts that it would actually stay on top of the tree. Once out of the basement and thoroughly vacuumed (because I had my doubts that it wasn't harboring gigantic killer spiders), I proceeded to wrestle it so firmly atop our now mangled treetop that it may never come off.

Here, step over (literally one step, this isn't a big room) and take a look at our mantle.

My stocking is the one with two snowmen, Kyle's stocking is the green one with the candy canes, and Bailey has the Christmas tree. No particular reason, we just chose those a few nights ago (Bailey picked first).

There are more poinsettas here too, but I think you get the idea.

Christmas cards!!!

Okay, just a few, but we're getting there. And a mostly bare china cabinet -- I haven't put the china and crystal back in since we had our dinner party on Saturday. Oops.

Let me draw your attention elsewhere, to the centerpiece on our dining room table that I am far too excited about. The extent of my crafting involves sticking a crystal candleholder inside a green summer wreath, filling in the bare spots with sparkly gold ribbon, and calling it a day. Rather fetching though, I think.

Another aperture experiment...

Here, let me lead you out to the kitchen now...

Oh dear. I think Bailey is really getting a bit tired of all this blogging business.

But look! A candy cane doorknob... thing?

It used to say Love, Joy, and Hope -- but Joy fell off shortly before the dinner party, and Gorilla Glue didn't work to stick her back on. What can you do?

Alright, she's spent.

We have had the best time getting ready this year -- sticking on the Muppet Christmas Carol or It's a Wonderful Life, grabbing a beer or glass of wine, lighting lots of candles, and getting to work a few times each week. 

I like to combine fancy and rustic touches for Christmas decorations -- crystal and gold sparkles with red plaid and woolen stockings, that sort of thing. And I adore white lights, although I hold a soft spot for colored ones as well. I'm sure our taste will change over the years, but for now, this Christmas is very much us.

Be sure to visit the other fabulous blogs participating in Make the Season Bright: Holiday Blog Hop 2011:


  1. Carrie your place is breathtaking! I love all these pictures!

  2. What a fab house! Thanks for inviting me "in" ;) I think Bailey and Luna have the exact same attitude toward our Blog Hop. Luna was FURIOUS I put all her toys away a few nights ago when I started taking pictures. SO furious, in fact, she purposely choked herself on the edge of her toy bin in protest.

    I am jealous you have a front porch to decorate! And I just love Pippa in all her slender glory.

    Also, you should know that I tried to use "yinz" in a sentence last week. It didn't work. Maybe I'm pronouncing it wrong? Regardless, I just wanted you to know how much you've impacted my life :)

    Merry Christmas, from our house to yours!

  3. You're a fantastic tour guide! Your home looks so warm and cheery in these photos.

  4. Emily -- thanks! You and Neil are welcome over anytime for a glass of wine and a game of Yahtzee :)

    Abby -- awwwww, thank you! And yes, crazy dog ladies unite! I felt super bad for ignoring my girl for half an hour. YINZ is a very tricky word that must be given due consideration -- and I never actually use it out loud :) Google "Pittsburghese." Merry Christmas to Hampsaps House too!!!

    Rachel -- thanks, I did my best (very nerve-wracking!) I LOVE your house as well, but I'll tell you all about that on your blog!