Weekend Reading

By Kate Riley December 1, 2018

I’m off to get my Christmas tree today and start decking my halls. I used to go all out with the Christmas decorating and host a big Christmas party, but these days I simply decorate my mantel, the tree, and hang some garland on the staircase. It’s simple and just festive enough, and less work to take down in January. :)

The social events of the season have begun. Tomorrow a friend of mine is hosting a wreath making party, and next week I’m hosting an ornament exchange. On top of that there are holiday open houses and parties to attend, it’s my favorite part of the season, catching up with old friends amid twinkle lights and evergreen wreaths.

Favorite links:


This Ontario home has gorgeous tones and textures and an amazing view.

Nicely done for under $900: this kitchen makeover.

What a fun and unique idea: these giant Christmas wreaths.

Five fizzy holiday cocktails for your soiree.

Background fireplace videos for your TV and devices.

Isn’t this a cool DIY wall treatment?

Also loving the wall treatment in this Sydney hotel.

I bought this jacket and it’s so cozy I can’t stop wearing it.

This saddens me.

What you should know about Alexa and Echo voice recording.

Aw, this is the sweetest story. Love the photos!




Natural Looking Faux Greenery

By Kate Riley November 28, 2018

Am I the only person in the world who hasn’t started decorating for Christmas? It feels like it. The only thing I’ve done is hang a plain evergreen wreath on my front door. That’s it. I suppose I should get busy.

Yesterday I was out and about looking at some holiday decor, specifically greenery. The lighted fir garland I use for my stairs is looking sad, it’s over 10 years old. Last year I layered it with real cedar garland and eucalyptus and I admit it looked amazing, until 10 days later when the gorgeous evergreens had dried to a crisp. They still looked pretty for the photos though. :)

It’s that age old debate, do you decorate with faux or the real thing? Or both? I’ve always used both, although as the years go by I’m leaning more toward collecting really nice faux pieces since they last longer and can be reused. I still prefer the look of the real thing and scent is what makes the season special, but I’m limiting my use of it more and more.

My sister went full faux with her Christmas tree, and she loves it, but I haven’t done that yet. I still get a real evergreen tree because my teens love the outing where they pick it out, but at some point I’ll invest in a really nice faux tree someday. I reason the Christmas smell can always be captured with a nice wreath and some fresh garland strung up here and there.

Favorite fauxs in my collection include a boxwood wreath (seen here) and some birch trees (seen here, purchased here). I rounded up more realistic faux versions for your consideration.

larch tree / flocked pine wreath

olive leaves wreath / crimson berries

eucalyptus garland / frosted pine stem

birch stakes / holly stem

pine with white berry garland / magnolia wreath