Happy Happy Nester

Christmas Tree Decorating

We are getting pretty close to Christmas and are you ready? Writing these posts have helped me organize my tasks tremendously. So far, I have our holiday cards made and the packages for our treats designed. So, this week is all about getting our tree decorated. Since, Thanksgiving was this week and most of you will get your tree up, I thought it would be perfect timing for this post.

~ A Note about the Nester ~

One thing that is true about our family is that we are a pretty silly bunch. Therefore, it would make sense that our dog (an Old English Sheepdog) was silly too! One Christmas she had the cone of shame around her neck and she would try and get around our tree in a tight corner. Well, she ended up taking the whole tree with her and rotating it many times during the day!

Six Tips for Decorating Your Tree

Tip 1: Filler or Picks

You can find a ton of little sprigs of faux pine branches, flowers, etc. When I was a child, my mother used these to decorate packages. Nowadays, there are so many choices in the craft stores and people are using them on their trees to fill in the area between the branches.

You're thinking why do I have a photo of my daughter with a white feather boa? Well, this holiday I seriously wanted a white flocked tree. Flocking wasn't white enough and I was intent on somehow adding tons of white to the tree. My mind kept thinking about feather boas, it would add the soft white that I was after. Marci and I headed to the craft store and found that the feather boas were a better deal than buying little bunch of feathers for 99 cents. The long boas were like $8! My tree that is around 7 feet tall took about 4 pieces. Here is an Amazon Link: Feather Boa

Here is a close up photo to give you an idea how the feathers add softness, fullness, and white! I LOVE IT! Here is the link to buy it: Pottery Barn Banner

Tip 2: Theme

I didn't go over the top with a theme, but I've seen some trees at stores that have a garden look that has watering cans, bird houses, and many more things. I just happen to have some cute bird's nest, and acorns to echo the natural subject. This year's tree will be about the outdoors and birds. I also thought it would be fun to tie in the feather boa with the bird motif!

Aren't these guys the cutest? I found them at Target. Here is the link: Target

Tip 3: Ornaments

I decided to keep the ornaments in a few colors. I love solid colored round ornaments that aren't too expensive, especially silver and white that are somewhat shiny. It is nice to have these ornaments that are your main look and then bring in the unique ones that will stand out among them. This year our main tree will be silver, green, white and gold. I will keep the room decor in these colors too so that they all coordinate together.

Tip 4: Banners or Ribbons

Organic banners, ribbons, and bows appear to be pretty popular these days on holiday trees. I have a Pottery Barn banner that I adore. It is beautiful and also kind of wraps the tree like a gift and just completes the tree nicely.

Tip 5: Tree Skirt or Container

You can place your tree in most anything. I've seen buckets, baskets, and wooden crates. For many years, I just used a cream fleece blanket that I just wrapped around the base of the tree, like Charlie Brown did in the little holiday cartoon. Last year, I finally bought an official cream colored tree skirt but, I kind of miss the little cute blanket.

Photo Source: Tater Tots and Jello

Photo Source: Tater Tots and Jello

Tip 6: Lights

You can use whatever lights you prefer. I kind of like the white twinkle lights since they don't take away from the rest of the tree. But, it is really up to you. The old fashion colorful lights have a feel of a nostalgic tree. The little white twinkly lights give off a soft and romantic feel.

Photo Source: Mormormartas

There are many options for decorating your tree. Have fun with it and let your creativity go wild. It is a great project to express your style and interest. What will your subject be? We would enjoy hearing your ideas and comments.


Gift Wrap Ideas for Treats

Gift Wrap Ideas

I hope that gift wrap ideas for treats for friends and neighbors are something you want to tackle for this week. Thank you for joining us on this series. The holidays always get so busy and I wish we had more time to prepare and enjoy it, so this year, I have decided to schedule out all the tasks so that I'm not running around at the last minute. One morning while lying in bed, my brain was busy thinking about all the things I needed to accomplish for the month of December and panic started to set in at 5:00 am. Then the thought of a list popped up and also sharing it with you, our readers. Having a day every week is a great idea to definitely make sure I get things done.

~ A Note About the Nester ~

This time of the year while I'm making yummy treats for our neighbors, I usually gain about five pounds. So, I'm currently eating salads for dinners!

This week's challenge is to think about how you'll package and wrap up your homemade treats for the holidays. I want to give you a few ideas that include store bought, crafty, and recycled ones.

Yes, you can recycle containers for this project. I ended up buying some jars and then realized the Starbucks coffee jars were perfect! 

This is a ceramic tree that I glued (E6000 glue) to the top of the Starbucks lid and then chalk painted it white. While the paint was wet I sprinkled iridescent clear glitter on it. Next, I filled the jar full of fun and tasty Hershey kisses and tada it is ready. 

You can buy the ice cream containers here: containers   and then place a cute sticker from the Paper Source along with ribbon and you now have an easy but cute gift full of treats. I'm planning on making the delicious two ingredient fudge for my treats this year. Here is the super easy recipe: fudge

Also, if you have some of the food tins sitting around, just paint or spray paint some black chalkboard paint on it and you have a fun treat container.

I'm slowly getting ready for the holidays and as you can see there are only six weeks left until Christmas! So, get your busy bee hats on and get your gift wrap out and make some of these cute containers full of treats!


Guest Room for the Holidays

Living in Northern California has it perks! We have mountains, lakes, city life, restaurants, beaches, vineyards, walking trails, theaters... well you get the point. It's a beautifully diverse place to live, not to mention the weather here is really nice most of the year.  Since we moved here we've had many visitors and we always get to explore something new. It's awesome! We've evolved from guests crashing on a sofa sleeper to having a beautiful guest room.  I want my guest room to be cozy, comfortable, functional, and fun. Not like a hotel, but like a bed and breakfast, I guess.

Since one of my boys has graduated and moved away to college I have more room for company. Whether we go adventuring around Northern California or just sip wine on my back patio I want my guest to feel truly at home. 

Note about the Nester

My husband and I went on a trip to the West Indies about 15 years ago. Everyone in our travel group got a beautiful room with a view, big queen bed, stacks of books to take the beach, and a nice closet. We got a room in the basement with two twin beds. We tried moving the beds together, but they were bolted to the floor, so we cozied up and shared a twin bed for a week.

Here are my essential must-haves for a lovely guest room:


I have tons of pillows in my guest room. I have a bunch on the bed and stacks in the closet. I am a pillow person, so I know how important that is for me to get a good sleep. If my guest is not a pillow person and they only need one pillow, then I have plenty of options for them to choose from.

more pillows... all shapes and sizes...


My guest bed is layered with a hypoallergenic mattress cover, cotton organic sheets, and a quilt. I have many people in my family with allergies and I want to make sure their sleep is as comfortable as can be. I also have extra quilts, a duvet in the closet and a throw on the bed for extra warmth.

Photo Credit: West Elm


I know what it's like to travel and discover you've left your charger at home, or worse, at the airport. I have an extra phone charger and a picture frame with our WiFi name and password.  This makes it easy for the guest to check their emails or update social media on their laptop or devices.

Phone Cord and Kindle Cord


I leave a tray on the bed or nightstand so they can keep their watch, phone, or pocket items somewhere organized.  I really love this one from Pottery Barn. I might pick it up before my guests arrive.

Large Woven Square Tray, photo credit: Pottery Barn


I like to buy VOSS water bottles and leave a coffee mug or glass in the room. I love the sturdy glass bottle and my guest can take it home with them.  My guests don't have to go rummaging for a drink in the middle of the night either, they have water right in their room. In the morning, they can bring their coffee mug down for a cup of joe or hot tea.  Don't you love this little "nest" mug we bought from Homegoods?

Nest Mug and Voss Water, my favorites


I leave a stack of current novels and magazines for my guests to read if they want to. I especially love sharing my Sunset magazine since it highlights the west coast. The latest book I'm adding to my guest room is Eating Up the West Coast, by Brigit Binns, published by Sunset Magazine. You can read a great review of it here.

Photo credit: Thee Getaway Gal


I pack a small basket with some basic necessities for traveling; shampoo, toothbrush, hand lotion, pain reliever and antacid. Most people bring these items on their travels, but sometimes they forget. This way we save ourselves a trip to the store and have more time for adventures and trying new food. Two of my favorite things. 


Janine and I added some holiday decor to the guest room. We have been studying Melissa Michaels book The Inspired Room.  Melissa talks about shopping in your home and we have really put this practice to use in the last month.  We shopped in Janine's home and mine and came up with a few small holiday items to give the room a cheery holiday feel. 

There are two things I don't put in a guest room anymore: a clock and a television. I feel like these are two items that take you out of the moment. Plus we all have a clock on our phone and most people have a device to watch Netflix or videos that you've downloaded. 

Well, thank you for stopping by and visiting my guest room. 

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