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A Letter to Yourself in 2018

A Letter to Yourself in 2018


Rather than making a list of New Year's resolutions you likely won't keep or deciding on a Word of the Year to focus on, try writing a letter to yourself to open next year at this time describing where you are and where you picture yourself being after 12 months.


I'm honestly not sure how I feel about New Year's resolutions.  While I enjoy thinking about changes to make each year (or season), there is something about naming them a "resolution" that seems to doom my success right from the start.  Up until the last few years, at the end of December I would think through the mountain of things that needed to be different in the year that was fast approaching.  Then I realized I was making the same resolutions again and again....without ever actually working on them.  Nothing ever changed.
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Looking Back at the Posts from 2017

Looking Back at the Posts from 2017


Best of 2017 at anderson + grant | The most popular recipes, DIY projects, decorating ideas, homekeeping tips, and more from the year.


I can hardly believe that the presents are unwrapped, Christmas dinner is over, and we are just days away from the start of 2018.  Hopefully you had plenty of time to spend time with friends and family, watch a few (or many) Hallmark movies, and indulge in all the fantastic tastes and flavors of the holiday.


While I'm still kicking back and enjoying things today, I also wanted to take a look back over some favorite posts from 2017.  I know many of you have become new subscribers this year and may have missed some things.  And those of you who are my loyal followers may enjoy being reminded of posts that you learned something from or were inspired by.  Putting this together has actually been eye opening and really makes me confident in the direction I'm going to take us all in during 2018.
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Easy 5 Minute Christmas Vignette and More Inspiration for Your Holiday Home

Easy 5 Minute Christmas Vignette and More Inspiration for Your Holiday Home


Create a beautiful Christmas vignette in less than 5 minutes with a charger plate, candles, and garland.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com



With all the home tours that pop up at Christmas time filled with room after room of beautiful decorating, it is easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to making your own home special.  I think we sometimes forget that the holiday is not really about how pretty your home is or the cookies you bake, the gifts you buy, or how everyone else is celebrating.  But those things are what often become what we stress about.


This year, I've really tried to focus on enjoying and keeping things simple rather than focusing on what doesn't really matter much in the end.
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Holiday Housewalk 2017 with Balsam Hill

Holiday Housewalk 2017 with Balsam Hill


A holiday home decorated in a vintage inspired Christmas theme with snow and pops of red.  |  Balsam Hill Holiday Housewalk 2017  www.andersonandgrant.com

This post is written in collaboration with Balsam Hill.  All opinions and ideas are my own.



Christmas is a magical time of the year with a feeling and atmosphere that isn't replicated during any other season.  You hear soft carols playing in the background of local stores.  Homes smell of time tested family recipes baking in the oven.  Friends, family, and strangers have a generous giving spirit towards those they know and even the ones that they don't.

There is definitely a reason why the Christmas holiday is the one people enjoy most and try to stretch out the longest.
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A Rustic Christmas Mantel and Tree

A Rustic Christmas Mantel and Tree


Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

This post has been sponsored by Boscov's Department Store.  All opinions are my own.



Did you spend this past few days getting out your Christmas decorations?  Or maybe you were taking advantage of the Black Friday sales and did a little retail therapy?  However you spent this weekend, I hope you enjoyed the final days of your Thanksgiving holiday.  It is so hard to believe that the Christmas season and the hope and magic it brings is finally here.


Today I'm sharing a little bit of holiday decorating inspiration with you.  My mantel and Christmas tree have been decorated simply using items that I use year after year as well as a few new purchases.  It is always exciting to get a few new things to add to your holiday displays.  Even if you switch up where and how you place what you already have, adding in a couple things you've fallen in love with at the store keeps everything looking fresh.



Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com



There are so many places to shop for Christmas decor, whether online, at the mall, or in specialty shops.  One place that may not immediately cross your mind is a department store.  The same place where you can shop for clothes, appliances, and bedding typically have a lovely selection of holiday decorations.


One of my favorite department stores to shop at year round is Boscov's.  (It is the same store where I found the beautiful faux shrubs to display on my porch this summer.)  And at Christmastime, they have everything you need to style your home, regardless of your style.  From trees and ornaments to garlands, figurines, and stocking.  And at a much more affordable price than many retailers.  If you are not close to one of their northern East Coast locations, their products are also available online.



Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com

Please know that some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This allows me to make a small commission if you purchase something, but your price will stay the same.  I only will share products I believe in and all opinions are my own.  You can view my disclosure policy here.  Thank you so much for helping to support this blog! 



Since I wanted to keep a rustic, woodsy vibe to my decor here, I went looking for a few treasures that would coordinate with what I already had and could also be used again next year in different settings.  I try to buy things that are traditional and classic so they don't go out of style.



Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com


Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com



I fell in love with this small Santa dressed in neutral colors.  Just look at his sweet little face!  Since he is not very tall, I propped him up on some vintage books to make him fit into this display.



Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com



Every Santa needs a reindeer and this one has the softest fur and prettiest eyes.  He is standing on my mantel just waiting for instructions from Santa about Christmas deliveries!



Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com



Next to Santa is a centerpiece of snowy greenery with metal candle holders at different heights.  Having the candles at different levels is pleasing to the eye and causes you to look all through a display.


I'm a fan of lighting candles, but prefer to use realistic faux versions in my displays for safety.  I use them year round in my home.  They are a necessary decor staple for decorating your home in my opinion!



Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com



And these deer stockings with fur trim finish out my rustic looking mantel for the year.  I was tempted to get a few of these last Christmas from a pricey gift shop and was happy to seem them available at Boscov's.



Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com



Next to the mantel is my Christmas tree.  I've never had a real tree, but like everything else in life, I want the faux version to look as real as possible!  This Norwegian Spruce has upswept branches that stick out just like an actual tree cut from the forest, minus the mess of taking care of it.  (Boscov's has many realistic versions available online although this one is no longer available.)


I've decorated the tree simply with some old red and white ornaments, silver glass glitter pinecone ornaments, and a vintage inspired glass and tinsel garland.  And lots and lots of lights.


To make everything coordinate, I added a few red glass ornaments to the mantel top as well.


Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com



The star at the top of the tree is designed by Kurt Adler and really reminded me of something you'd find in the Pottery Barn catalog.   My ceilings are too low for the topper to fit, so I wired it just down from the top branch.  I actually think the greenery popping out behind the star makes it more noticeable.



Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com



And my "tree skirt" is actually a really soft throw made by London Fog.  It reminded me of a blanket of snow under the tree.  I can't wait to curl up on the couch this winter under this warm throw while I sip some hot chocolate and watch the snow fall!



Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com


Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com


Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com


I hope today's post has inspired you to come up with a theme for your decor this year and find ways to mix new and old items into your display.  I'd love to hear how you've started decorating your home!




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Christmas decorating tips and inspiration featuring a rustic mantel and decorated tree.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com






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