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I realize I haven’t really shared pictures of our apartment since we finished decorating and everything. I hope to do that really soon, but for now, since Christmas is less than a week away(!), I’ll share some photos of our first place dressed up for the holidays. A small space paired with a desire not to completely drain our budget (plus a strong dislike for clutter) meant I had to make our apartment Christmas-y with just a few festive touches.


We got a tree first, of course! No big trip to the mountains to cut it down ourselves like my family did growing up (we just got it at Lowe’s), but it’s real and much bigger than the baby trees I was thinking about getting!

Jamie and Lindsay, two sweet friends here, took me with them on a trip to a local craft and decor store, Pat Catan’s. There were lots of great deals going on, and that’s where I did some initial shopping before we had our tree. I totally guessed on how many lights to get and everything else. Somehow they ended up being just enough! (Until the bottom row burned out last week, haha.)


I have so many unique ornaments – one from my Nanna from every Christmas since I was born – but they are all at my parents’ house 😦 In the crazy chaos of moving our stuff up here in several shifts leading up to the wedding, they were never packed. I was so sad when I realized I wouldn’t have them here for our first tree. I didn’t want to buy a lot of ornaments when I know I’ll have mine back next year, so we did the minimum to cover the tree with pretty, but inexpensive ornaments. I filled in the holes with smaller pinecones that aren’t actually ornaments by twisting hooks around their bases.




{pinecone, gold, and red/gold ornament balls: Target}
{smaller pinecones: Pat Catan’s}
{tree skirt: Hobby Lobby}

Honestly, first we picked out a weird angel tree topper – it had furry feathers, and somehow Jon okayed it! After a couple days of looking at it I decided it had to go, returned it, and made this bow topper with craft ribbon instead.


I dressed our table up with these gold chargers, and then added these patterned napkins + silver napkin rings, which were both wedding presents we had not yet used.



These mason jars were wedding favors from our friends’ wedding back in April. I took out the neon-colored straws they came with and stuck a piece of our tree in each, after spray-painting them gold 🙂


{placemat: Tropical Palm Natural at Crate & Barrel}
{charger: Threshold Round Woodgrain in gold at Target}
{napkins: Smoke Dahlia at Anthro; shown above in light grey, tomato & green}
{napkin rings: Crate & Barrel, no longer available}

Just for fun, I put my reindeer antler headband on display 🙂


My garland on the mantle didn’t turn out quite the way I was hoping, having been inspired by a picture in the Better Homes & Gardens December issue. Mostly because I really should’ve gotten magnolia garden to achieve the same look, I think, which is hard to find during the Christmas season.


The project was really just to spray paint the garland gold. The color doesn’t stand out very well against a yellow wall and shiny gold trim, which is unfortunately on our fireplace. Oh well, maybe next year! I do love the gold berry vines I intertwined with the garland.

Having had a Fall wreath on the door all Fall and loving it every time I came home, I knew I’d have to do a Christmas one. I love how it makes me feel so welcome to come into my own home! Haha, and guests, too.



I got the plain wreath from Pat Catan’s for only $3.50! I twisted in the red berry bunches and pinecones with ornament hooks.

I think the wrapped gifts under are tree might bring me the most joy of all, though.

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How cute are these gift tags?! The art director over at Southern Weddings created them and provided free, printable versions here a few weeks ago!! So easy and free! Of course I immediately downloaded and printed them 🙂

This is definitely the yummiest added touch, though. Regular M&Ms on the left for Jon, and mint M&Ms on the right for me. You can see who has NOT been practicing self-control!
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{sugar & creamer: Fleur De Lys at Anthro}

We’re wishing we could have all our friends and family over this season for a meal in our first place, but this little glimpse will have to do. We can’t wait to go home on Friday to visit Asheville, Charlotte & Raleigh!! Merry Christmas, y’all!