Tag Archives: Christmas


29 Dec

Forewarning: this has little arts & crafts-related information, just words!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and looking forward to a New Year!

Just for a quick update, Christmas dinner was a success! My first-ham-ever cooked perfectly and my sweet potato casserole was a hit with the brothers (they’re the pickiest) and Hubby even told me that this was his favorite batch (he actually claims to hate sweet potatoes). ¬†This is the recipe I used:

Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

In addition, I got enough clothes for Christmas to stop me from complaining for a few weeks ūüėČ

Have you all heard about iCards? ¬†Allan got it for me – you buy the gift card online, recipient gets the e-mail and confirms/adds information and you can even redistribute the money you’ve been given… for example, let’s say he got you $50, but you can redistribute to say you want a $25 gift card for Banana Republic and another $25 for H&M (they’ve got a OODLES of stores). ¬†Then they physically mail you the 2 separate gift cards to use! New idea for me, but kinda nice for the faraway people or for those you really don’t know what to get for gifts (or the sister you forget to get a gift for ahead of time… *cough*Allan*cough*… JUST KIDDING!)

Enough about clothes!!! I think this Christmas was one of the best in the Choi household because I was finally able to contribute to my mom’s amazing cooking (my part less wonderful, of course, but working on it) and we surprised my brothers/mom/dad with multiple gifts instead of our standard, “here’s exactly what you asked for but wrapped in a box to at least make it feel like a gift.” ¬†I hope they enjoyed it anyways and hopefully with increasing incomes (cross fingers for graduation in August!) this year, I can do more for them in 2012!

Anyhow, I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Christmas as well (although it wasn’t snow-filled like last year and we had t-shirt weather instead — no global warming, my butt) and counting down the days for 2012! ¬†Next post will contain an official and permanent list of New Year Resolutions – I really need something permanent to keep me motivated!

By the way, sitting down and chatting with friends has an amazing way of making you vent and then relax, wouldn’t you agree?¬†¬†I really appreciate the ones who talk to me for long periods of time even though we haven’t talked in a couple months…. You know who you are, love! ¬†Thanks for understanding my absence while in school-mode!¬†

Christmas Wreath

9 Dec

I wish I could say “Wreaths,” but I’ve only managed to make one so far… BUT it was a cheap one and I love it! ¬†So, in addition to the request by Barbara P, I wanted to MAKE some – and loaded up my Pinterest board with ideas!

I should’ve taken pictures of all the supplies beforehand, but I got too excited! ¬†I found everything except for the small ornaments at the Dollar Tree. ¬†So the wicker “template” and 4 garlands = $5! Oh, and the little ornaments were from Michael’s and came out to $1.71 with their after-Thanksgiving whole-store discount. ¬†I know! Incredibly exciting! Please get a hold of yourself.

While you work on your deep breathing, let’s continue! So, I basically found an opening to push a few of the ends of the garland through. ¬†I used 2 at a time – one completely silver and one with silver and gold mixed. ¬†I know it’s not everyone (cough*NinaP*cough) favorite choice, but I love to mix silver and gold. ¬†Plus it went with my entire color scheme. ¬†And since it’s our first married Christmas, I decided to keep it traditional and make things silver, gold and red!

As you could probably imagine, I just wrapped and wrapped, occasionally reinforcing with some thin wire I had laying around in my craft box (you can see it in the corner of the picture below).  Thank goodness for the fluffiness of the garland Рhides things well!

And done! How impressed would you be if I left it as this?! Simplicity at it’s best, right? KIDDING!

The little ornaments also had some wire on the top, making it easy to find places along the wreath. ¬†All in all, I think the entire project took about 40 minutes – mostly because it was mixed in with some TV gawking. ¬†But here’s the finished product!

Nothing to write home about, but I’m very happy with it! ¬†Especially given how much I spent on it…

And yes, once I hung this bad boy, I realized how dusty our door was and wiped down the entire thing.  Hello, my name is Nina, and I have a problem.

On the other side, I just made the ribbon look decent and added some velcro to the door:

I was so happy with my Dollar Tree garland that I went bought a couple more… and made a matching tree!

I think it’s about 8 inches tall? Just hot glue and garland – I tried epoxy glue (I have E-6000 at home), but I recommend staying away from that b/c it literally ate through the styrofoam. Oops. ¬†And yes, I am trying to figure out ¬†what I want to mini-decorate it with….

Here’s what our TV stand looked like for a few days – until I could find a solution to hang the wreath:

The adorable house was a gift from last year and I already owned the red vase and mirror – it normally sits on a tray on our coffee table), so everything on here totaled less than $15.

So, my next plan is to make something like this (this link has a lot of tips too):

and/or like this (I actually want to make everything found at this link):

Just gotta wait patiently to buy some dirt cheap ornaments………

Thoughts? Suggestions? Let me know if YOU made any Christmas decorations (ahem, Wendy L)!

Now that finals are over, you can expect me to post more frequently through the holidays!!! Yay!

Pre- Pre-Christmas Thoughts

7 Nov

Anyone else feel like Christmas items come out earlier and earlier every year? ¬†The Christmas stuff was out before Halloween stuff at Lowe’s this year! In SEPTEMBER! ¬†It’s nutso!

HOWEVER… despite my valiant efforts to ignore the winter goodness until at least November, I’d been forced to give in. ¬†Stores – 1. NinaE – 0. ¬†The culprit? ¬†Crate and Barrel. ¬†aka “CB” for all the cool kids. ¬†You know, the ones with the pumped up kicks

Way off track as usual. ¬†It’s terrible that I learned how to embed videos from YouTube, because now I can’t stop! ¬†I don’t know why, but I’m in love with that song. ¬†My brothers hate it and hate me for it. ¬†Not real hate, just sibling hate. (Sibling hate doesn’t run as deep as regular hate)

SO…. what do I do about CB’s powers forcing me to look at Christmas items before November (this happened about a week ago, in October)? ¬†As any therapist would recommend, I decided to get it out into the open. ¬†I brought the look book home and casually thought to myself, “It won’t hurt to look through this stuff! ¬†I’m sure half of it will be ridiculously priced anyway!” ¬†Uh….. WRONG! ¬†SO SO SO SO SO SO WRONG. ¬†Stores – 2. NinaE – 0. ¬†As Hubby would say, “0 for 2. ¬†3 strikes and you’re out, Nina.” ¬†Not sure how that would apply to this particular scenario, but thought I’d throw that in for him.

I flipped through the 70-something page book and flagged nearly every other page….. apparently their ridiculous prices didn’t even stop me. Since the damage has been done, I figured I would at least show you what all was making my heart pound like this guy:










Still with me? Okay! Here we go! You can click on the description and it’ll take you back to the original place I found it…¬†

First of all…. I LOVED these holders for my completely non-existent fireplace mantle. ¬†But I could make do! Really, I could!

Silver Star Stocking Hook

Silver Reindeer Hook

Especially with the extra goodies on the mantle:

And then these candlestick holders in their GORGEOUS, DEEP shade of red…

Large and Small Red Jilly Candleholders

Coffee mugs for all the seasons!  This Merry Mug is so happy! I love the polka dots!

And these beautiful vases with white manzanita-like branches added… Imagine ornaments hanging on them… mmmmmmm

Large Lux Vase

Kinda like this:

Or with these¬†faux berry branches¬†instead…

And honestly, who WOULDN’T love to have a mantle that looked like this:

My goodness… look at all that eye candy!!!!!! I literally had to pull myself away from the little candleholders after checking out in the store because I wanted to buy multiples of them all!

My favorites? ¬†The large and small hurricane vases with ornaments added, the pixie candleholder, the large and small piper candleholders, and the small vassa candleholder. ¬†Oh wait, that’s pretty much everything.

Finally, can’t forget about this beauty…

Metallic Ball Candle

And then… ornaments!

I think Hubby and I are going to start a new tradition and try to make our own ornaments every year… and something like this would be simple and darling ¬†(but no way, jose, am I paying $23.95 for this set of 3… come on, CB!)

Be on the lookout for me on Pinterest!

So, with the Christmas stuff covered, I also have to add that I love this couch:

Cameron Sofa… a mere $1600. HA!

Mmmmk… I think I can feel myself drifting back to reality — unfortunately! ¬†What about you guys… Is anyone else dreaming of a white (but insert any color choice here)¬†Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa yet? ¬†Or are you just trying to get past the what-am-I-going-to-make-for-the-Thanksgiving-potluck? ¬†Which reminds me… I have a sweet potato casserole I want try out. ¬†Can’t wait for Mama E’s cooking!

Don’t forget to subscribe! If you already have and aren’t getting your emails, you may have to try again. ¬†Hubby had to try about 4 times before it finally went through – not sure why, but sorry for the inconvenience!

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