Decking the Halls Part Two: Christmas Tree!

Decking the Halls Part Two: Christmas Tree!

Hello everyone!  I am pleased to announce that my Christmas tree is FINALLY UP!! YAY!


I wanted to put it up the day after Thanksgiving, but when I pulled down the tree box it was empty.  I forgot that I had thrown it away to get a better one.  The first tree we had was pretty small.  This is probably the biggest tree I’ve ever had, it’s 7 feet tall and takes up a big chunk of my small living room.


When we first put it up, I was really worried about Baby Elizabeth trying to pull it down or constantly messing with it.  I almost got a baby gate to wrap around it to keep her off of it. I’m glad I didn’t, cause she is completely uninterested it.  Before we put the ornaments on, she touched it, and I don’t think she liked how bristly it was.  So it’s all the other decorations I have to chase after her for.  I think once she realizes that the candy canes on the tree are actually candy she might be more interested.


This year I’ve even decided to make a few ornaments myself.  So far I’ve only made one, but I’m going to try to make a few more for my bookshelves.

Yes, I’m watching Hairspray. I’ve been wanting to see it ever since I saw the commercial for NBC’s live musical.

My favorite thing to do when the house is all decked out for Christmas is to sit in the living room with the main lights out and the twinkly lights on.  It brings a peace that’s a little hard to explain.  It’s cosy and safe.  I could just sit in the lights with a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate forever.

How are your Christmas decorations coming along?  Let me know in the comments.

Welcome December: Birthday Month

Welcome December: Birthday Month

Hello everyone and happy December!  This year has flown by.  I can’t believe it’s already time to bust out the Christmas tree and gear up for New Years!

I’m always excited for December and the holiday season, but it is definitely the busiest month for the Cantrell house, not just because of Christmas, but because of all the birthdays.


When I say “all of the birthdays,” I mean all of the birthdays.  Every person in our little family’s birthday is in December (except the fur babies).  When Cody and I got married, we celebrated our birthdays by taking a trip together.  We figured that was the best since they were so close to Christmas and to each other, mine is the 26th and his is the 30th.  Our first and only (so far) trip was to Dallas.  We had a blast!  We went to a murder mystery dinner, Medieval times, and the zoo.  Our second year together, we didn’t do anything special since we had our new born baby girl.  Her birthday is the 21st.

l6ylvm-fjxc-sofiya-levchenko So not only are all of our birthdays in the same month, but they are within a few days of each other and surround a huge holiday!

This year we decided to celebrate Elizabeth’s birthday early, so that all the family could attend before they started their Christmas travels.  We’re having her party on the 10th, which is actually my mom’s birthday.

I sometimes wonder if, when we have our next child, they will feel left out if their birthday isn’t so close to ours.

Even though we are extremely busy with the celebrations in December, it is still one of my favorite months, and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love the togetherness that December brings.

This December is going to be a fun one for us.  First, we are celebrating Elizabeth’s first birthday.  I cannot believe she is already one.  Her first year went be so fast.  I’m extremely grateful that I’ve been able to stay at home with her and not miss a single moment.


51ahxwkyyho-viktor-forgacsCody and I still haven’t decided what we’re going to do for our birthdays.  We’ve thrown around the idea of taking a day trip to Little Rock, but haven’t set any concrete plans just yet.  Do you guys have any suggestions?

I’m also excited for Christmas with Elizabeth this year.  Even though it isn’t technically her first Christmas, this is the first year we have decorated and are opening presents.  I can’t wait to see if she will actually try and open anything, or if she’ll be too preoccupied with the wrapping paper.  We’re also getting to start our first traditions this year.  We’re going to do Christmas Eve presents of pajamas and a Christmas movie.

What are your plans for December this year?  Leave it in the comments, and let me know!


Christmas Wreath Tutorial

Christmas Wreath Tutorial

Hello everyone!  I am super excited to share this tutorial with you!


I am a big fan of making wreaths.  You can see my spring wreath tutorial here.  That wreath has held up very well, and I get compliments on it all the time!  So I thought I’d make another for Christmas.

It’s almost always cheaper to make the wreath yourself, so I figured I’d give it a go.  I got everything except the base from the dollar tree and spent less than $20!


Green Floral foam wreath (Hobby Lobby) – $4.99

8 packs of ornaments (Dollar Tree) – $8

2 garlands in two colors (Dollar Tree) – $2

Snowflake ornaments (Dollar Tree) – $1

Total = $16!!

Step 1: 


First thing you’ll want to do is hot glue ornaments on the outside of the ring.  I did mine in stripes, but you can do it in random patterns with as many colors as you want.  When gluing the ornaments down, have the ends hiding towards the back of the wreath.  (My wreath has a few cracks in it cause the dear husband was throwing it in the air and trying to get it to land on his shoulders around his head.  He missed, and it broke apart.  I was able to hot glue it back together.)

Step 2:

Add garland around the wreath.  I added this to help fill in the gaps that you’ll see between the ornaments.  If you don’t want to add the garland, you don’t have to.  To add the garland, you stick it between the ornaments and hot glue it to the back of your wreath.  If using two colors, thread the garland between every other ornament.  Once you reach the end, hot glue it down to the back of the wreath.  They were both 9 feet long according to the package.  The silver one was just long enough, but the red one was a little too long.  So I cut off the excess and used it where I saw a major hole when I was finished.  (My husband really liked the garland only wreath.  If you’re looking for something simple and elegant, you can just wrap a green foam wreath with the garland.)

Step 3:


Add another layer of ornaments.  I recommend placing them before you start gluing them down to get a feel for how it will look.  When you glue them down, try to place the hanging end in-between the first layer of ornaments.

Step 4:


Add a third layer of ornaments.  I also recommend placing them before you start to glue them down because you will use less of them on this third layer than the other two.  If you would like, you can do another layer on the inside, but I stopped here so it would be easier to hang on the door.

Here is the finished three layer ornament wreath.


Optional Step:

Feel free to add any other ornaments or decorations to this such as a monogram, snowflakes, or even twinkly lights.  I added a pack of snowflakes that I had left over from last year’s decor.


And that’s it!  It only took about an hour to make and was ridiculously simple.  And for that price you really can’t beat it!

If any of you guys try this, let me know how yours turn out.


Thanksgiving Weekend Wrap Up

Thanksgiving Weekend Wrap Up


I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving weekend!  Ours was great!  I live really close to both my parents and my in-laws, so we always have two feasts.

Thursday.  My side of the family in the early afternoon, around 12 to 1, and my in-laws in the late evening, around 5 or 6.  This year, my Grandma decided that she didn’t want to go all out for Thanksgiving dinner since they always cook way too much and have to do it again only a month later.  So, we had a fish fry.  When I first found out that’s what we were doing, I was a little upset.  My grandma makes the absolute best dressing (or stuffing).  I’m sure that’s what everyone thinks, but it’s true.  Her’s is the best.  Also, my mother and I are not big fans of fried fish.  Baked, I’m there, but fried not so much.  Especially catfish.  Surprisingly it wasn’t bad.  I actually enjoyed it.  I brought along a corn casserole, and it was a huge hit.  Then I went over to my in-laws for the traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Definitely glad I got some turkey!  I think baby Elizabeth’s favorite part was the deviled eggs.  She devoured two of them!!

Friday I decided not to go Black Friday shopping since and was super excited to decorate forimg_4664 Christmas.  I composed my Christmas playlists (which can be found here) and pulled down my Christmas tree box, but when I opened the tree box it was empty!  I had totally forgot that I had thrown it away two years ago, so we could get a better tree this year.  The old one was super dinky.  So decorating has been put off until Tuesday, when we can go out and get a tree.  I think I’ve got the one I want picked out at Target.  It’s 7 and 1/2 feet tall, which will be the tallest tree we’ve ever had.  Our last one was only 5 1/2 feet.


Saturday was a ton of fun!  My husband and I spent the day “unplugged” and had an awesome day.  I think we’ll do this more often.  It was nice not being distracted by the outside world and being able to focus on each other and our relationship.  We are big fans of board games so we played Battleship and Uno.  We were going to play Yahtzee, but I’ve misplaced the dice.  That night we wrapped up the day with one of his favorite meals, Cheeseburger Goulash.  I also started weening the baby from nursing on Saturday.  I’m thinking I’ll write a post about that whenever I’m finished.

In case you missed them, I’m going to start adding the weeks blog posts to my weekend wrap ups.  This weeks posts:

Decking the Halls: My Christmas Playlist

One to Rule Them All: A Three Dark Crowns Review

Yummy Tummy Tuna Casserole: Quick Meals #2

This week looks like it’s going to be a relatively busy one.  We’ve got to get our puppy fixed, decorations for the baby’s first birthday party next weekend, and all the Christmas stuff up.  We also have a Secret Sister party with my church.

How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you do anything out of the ordinary like a fish fry?  Leave it in the comments and let me know!

Decking the Halls: My Christmas Playlist

Decking the Halls: My Christmas Playlist

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely holiday yesterday!  Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday, but now that it is over, it is time to decorate for Christmas! I’m super excited to get all my decorations up this year since we didn’t decorate last year.  Considering I was 36 weeks pregnant, it just didn’t seem worth it.  While I’m decorating this weekend, I wanted to share with you all what Christmas music I have been listening to.

For the longest time I didn’t enjoy Christmas music since I worked retail for a few years.  They start the Christmas music the first of November all the way through the end of December.  It drove me nuts, but that was several years ago, so I’m back on the Christmas music train!  I’ve got two playlists for you here.  The first is what I listen to when I’m in a peppy mood (cause I usually sing along), and the second is an instrumental playlist that I usually listen to when we are busy , or if we are just hanging out.  I’ll add the link to the spotify playlist for you to check it out.

Christmas Mix:

Mary Did You Know by Pentatonix

That’s Christmas to Me by Pentatonic

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Michael Bubble

The Christmas Song by Kim Walker-Smith

Frosty the Snowman by The Jackson 5

Opera of the Bells by Destiny’s Child

O Holy Night by Lauren Daigle

All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by Nsync

Jesus, What A Wonderful Child by Mariah Carey

White Christmas by Lauren Daigle

O Come Emmanuel by Kim Walker-Smith

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Michael Bubble

Do You Hear What I Hear by Carrie Underwood

My Only Wish (This Year) by Brittany Spears


O Christmas Tree by Michelle McLaughlin

O Come Emmanuel by Michelle McLaughlin

The First Noel by Easy Listening Music

Christmas Medley by Jon Schmidt

We Three Kings by David Lanz

Where are You Christmas by The Piano Guys

Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi Trio

Christmas Time is Here by Vince Guaraldi Trio

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Kenny G

My Favorite Things by Kenny G

The Little Drummer Boy by Beegie Adair

Frosty the Snowman by Beegie Adair

O Come All ye Faithful by Christmas Music Experts

We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Christmas Music Experts

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Chemayne

Are there any Christmas songs that you all love to listen to?  Leave it in the comments, and let me know!