Weekend Wrap Up: Holiday Decorating and Buffalo Check Style Finds

Happy Monday all, and welcome to the holiday weekend wrap up.  It was a busy one!  This weekend I finished decorating, baked my favorite gingerbread as well as soft sugar cookies (that taste as good as they look) and wrapped gifts.  I am focusing today’s post on holiday decorating and Buffalo check style finds but promise to share my recipes and gift wrap ideas in the coming days.

It’s a Buffalo Check Christmas

Buffalo check wired ribbon
Buffalo check wired ribbon trims my pine garland on the deck

As I shared before in my wreath tutorial (making your supermarket wreath look good:) I love this year’s trend of buffalo check.  I am craving a homey, warm Christmas atmosphere inside and out.  The cheerful red combined with the black check fits the bill.  Never one to be reticent I will admit right now that I may have gone overboard.  Is it bad to buy a matching buffalo check scarf for your dog?  GG and I had some fun (and there were plenty of treats for her patience!).  I found both the dress and scarf at Old Navy which is always a good source of affordable fashion and usually right on trend.  I bought a sweater too.

Buffalo Check Ribbon

I love using ribbon to decorate, and I used the buffalo check ribbon to trim my garland on the deck and found an adorable basket with…you guessed it buffalo check.  I picked up some bright red pillows too.  This little scene is what I see from our kitchen sink so I try to always have something cute to look at for every season.  As I mentioned in my how to make your supermarket wreath beautiful – I also used the buffalo check ribbon and trimmed the wreath with berries and pine cones.

Me and GG sporting our buffalo check style

Deep Red Berries in a White Pitcher

It is the small things in life right?  And, sometimes the best decorating is simple and inexpensive.  I found these artificial stems at Michaels and put them in this white pitcher. The pitcher was a wedding gift and from the Museum of Modern Art in New York (I like this one from Target too)  I love the deep red of the berries next to the white pitcher. I keep moving it around the house as it adds such a nice pop of color.  I could see these berries in vintage jars as well.

Faux red berries for holiday decorating
Faux red berries in a white pitcher add a nice touch for holiday decorating

Holiday Tablescape

We had a nice family dinner Saturday night.  I adore the white village theme that Pottery Barn showcased this year.  I found these mini ornaments with a similar look at Christmas Tree Shop (see below).  Paired with a pine cone, some red candles and with my jacquard Santa and his sleigh Williams Sonoma tablecloth, it made such a cozy and festive table. 

Ornaments are a fun way to add some festive touches to your holiday table and are often inexpensive and easier to store than an entire village.

Pottery Barn Christmas village theme
Christmas village theme tablescape

Holiday Mantle Decorating Tutorial

Lastly, I love using natural products to decorate.  First, I like to support our local farms and nurseries.  Second, I do not have to store anything – I just add to our compost when the holiday is over.  If you are in the Fairfield County area, Town and Country nursery has a lovely Christmas shop.  I purchased fresh magnolia and boxwood bunches.  I prefer these greens as they do not leak sap!  One year it took me forever to remove the sap from the mantle after using pine branches.  Here is how I decorated our mantle (see below for pictures):

  1. Lay down the magnolia branches.  Step back to see what it looks like and adjust the leaves accordingly.  Also, trim any errant stems.
  2. Layer on the boxwood using the same technique of stepping back.
  3. I love candles and use our existing candles to flank either end.  chasing some faux lighted candles.
  4. Add touches.  You can be creative here.  I used some vintage looking ornaments from Magnolia home mixed in with some pinecones and silver ornaments sprinkled throughout.
  5. You could add some lights too with a strand of white battery operated lights.
Decorating your mantle with fresh greens for the holidays
Decorating your mantle with fresh greens for the holidays
Decorating your mantle with fresh greens for the holidays

Well I hope you enjoyed this post on holiday decorating and Buffalo check style finds. Please check back in for some recipes and more and I would love to hear about your holiday decorating and planning.

Save Money Online Shopping

TGIF. It was a short, jam packed week around here. While Monday was so nice to have as a holiday, I found I paid for all it week at work cramming five days of work into four! I had intentions to blog more…but am catching up Friday afternoon with my first style post. For this first post I thought I would share my fashion philosophy and give you three quick ways to save money online shopping.

Some background about me + fashion

I have always loved clothes, fashion and shopping. Growing up my friends and I followed fashion religiously. My mom and sisters loved to shop and we were always on the hunt for a great bargain.

If you have read anything about me, you know that I have spent a great deal of time in Paris, France. I lived there as an exchange student, college student, and I married a Parisian. I soaked in that French woman style, and it never left me. Visiting the capital of fashion gave me a great appreciation for high quality clothing and accessories. I can’t wait to share more about French style in coming posts!

In my twenties I also worked for a New York City based bank in the retail and fashion sector. So many of my clients were name brand fashion companies. I worked in the fashion district right on Broadway (Broadway is more than a theater district btw!). I was spoiled with designer sample sales.

Pandemic online shopping

So all of this has made me a fashion junky and quite a bargain hunter! Fast forward to now. I love online shopping and especially during the pandemic. I was already an avid fan but not having to go out has made life easier and safer. I am so thankful for our UPS and postal workers! So let’s get to the good stuff – there are some easy ways to save money online shopping.

How to save money online shopping

Ok, there are a number of apps, sites and even blogs dedicated to saving money online shopping. Some of these are just too time consuming. One that is not is Rakuten (which was formerly Ebates).

For Rakuten, you simply go to the Rakuten site before you start shopping. Today they are even offering $10 back when you sign up. Plug the retailer into their search bar to see if there is a percentage of your shopping trip back. In my case, I use their browser add-on so Rakuten will pop up and tell me if there is cash back.

Or let’s say I head over to Ann Taylor a pop up appears and I simply click the button. Rakuten will give me 2% back today on my shopping trip.

So 2% may not seem like much, but it adds up for a family shopping! My teen girls also love fashion so they use it too. My last check was $60…I don’t know about you, but an extra $60 for spending 2 seconds hitting a button for my shopping trips is well worth it!

Rakuten also covers more than just fashion – travel, beauty products, electronics and even some business services. Most major retailers participate (e.g., Kohls, Amazon, Macys, Ann Taylor, Loft, J Crew etc.)

Rakuten sends out a check every quarter. My checks have ranged from $9 to $100.

Save money online shopping with Honey automatic promo codes

So teen daughter told me about Honey. Honey is another browser extension that is super easy. Let’s say you are shopping at Macy’s and you know you saw some promotion codes somewhere. Honey automatically reviews your purchase and applies the coupons for you. I also installed the browser extension.

Per the Honey website, the average yearly savings for a member is $126 – again not bad for something that takes very little time and actually saves you time and effort.

Save money online by checking blogs

There are numerous blogs out there dedicated 100% to saving money! A few you may be interested in:

For Fashion:

Living in Yellow, A Thoughtful Place and Honey We Are Home all regularly list top sales and exclusive promo codes. I also really like their style so it is fun to follow them.

For general savings with a lot of online deals I like two in particular:

The Krazy Coupon Lady

Making Sense of Cents

There are many more and I promise to share. Oh, and I am starting a series on Mondays called (you guessed it) Money Mondays. Tune in this coming Monday for the launch post. As I mentioned above, I started my career in finance and can’t wait to share money saving tips as well as resources to help you invest and reach your goals.

Have a great weekend!