Two Story Cottage

Southern Christmas Inspiration

Dear Friends,

Well, it isn’t the holiday season until I’ve been to the Southern Christmas show.  Just before Thanksgiving, we had our annual girls’ outing to the biggest Christmas extravaganza around. We shopped until we dropped and by the time we left I was feeling geared up for the holiday. This was Lacey’s second year going and she was beyond excited.  She loves holidays more than anyone I know and spending time with her Aunt and Mimi is a bonus.


I took pictures of the decorator rooms and thought you’d enjoy a look.  It is amazing what these designers can do with a tiny cubicle of a space.  Kitchens, family rooms, fireplaces…check it out.








I’ve gotten most of my Christmas decor up but we won’t get our tree until this weekend.  Mr. C will probably put our lights out front as well.  Since we travel for Thanksgiving we can’t get it all done at once, but we should be set after this weekend.  I’d like time to enjoy it all, you know?  Next week, I’ll give you a holiday tour.

I hope you are enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas!



Southern Christmas Show: Wreaths & Trees

Dear Friends,

We haven’t gotten our tree yet.  Our plan was to get it over the weekend but there was a major weather fail.  Pouring rain and cold temperatures are deal breakers for this Mom.  The experience would not have been enjoyable.  Not to mention, we couldn’t have decorated a wet tree anyway.  Electrocution is not on the Christmas list. We hope to get it one night this week.

Our tree is never fancy.  We will decorate with a hodge podge of ornaments as usual.  One day, I’d like to do my own themed tree but is hasn’t happened yet.  I always enjoy touring the designer trees and handmade wreaths at the Southern Christmas Show.   The creativity is amazing!

beware of the shaky iPhone photography









I like the felt wreath and the rustic tree.  The patriotic theme is fun too!  Ours will be covered in a mix of glittered construction paper, glued macaroni,  and my favorite mercury glass ornaments.  It will definitely be a melting pot tree.

Hopefully, they will have trees left at the lot to decorate!


More Designer Christmas Spaces

Dear Friends,

Can I get three cheers for Friday?  This week has been a long one and packed to the brim.  I suppose that is the definition of December although I am still working at keeping things simple here.   Speaking of easy,  I have a sweet little mini chair wreath project for  you- just hop over to The Handmade Home.  Check it out – it takes effortless to a another level.


In the meantime, I promised I’d post the remaining designer rooms from The Southern Christmas Show and I haven’t forgotten!  Enjoy the holiday overload.  And forgive the dark iPhone pictures.

Ruth McKinney- McKinney Design

 xmas_show_room purple_xmas_tree

 Meredith Beregovski- Georgia Street Design

rustic_christmas rustic_antler_xmas hunter_xmas

Patrick Hawkins & Team – Decorating Den

traditional_christmas modern_xmas

Sue Gorman Interior Design

glam_xmas sports_xmas

Anne Stowe- Great Design 4 U





I like window shopping Christmas decor!  You can admire and appreciate the efforts of others. It evokes the holiday feeling and brings the warm fuzzies.   I’m fickle because some years I want the full treatment and others I’m happier with less.   Such is life, I guess!

Happy Friday, friends,


Rustic Holiday

Dear Friends,

One of my favorite parts of the Southern Christmas Show is touring the rooms decorated by designers.  Not full rooms, but prop rooms that give the decorator full creative control.  You see fireplaces built, light fixtures added, and sometimes even windows or doors.  It reminds me of a movie set.

I have a post planned detailing all of the designer rooms but I thought I’d devote a whole one to my very favorite this year.  A french country retreat with a wonderful combination of materials stole my heart and has me wishing for a cabin to decorate.

Keep in mind, these photos are taken with an iPhone in the semi-dark with crowds to negotiate.


by Samantha Campbell Mason from







I love the combination of rustic materials with the fur.  It keeps the room stylish and adds a cozy factor.   The table setting is perfectly vintage and the light is just right.  The tree would be easy to decorate but it definitely makes a statement.

I doubt our house will look anything like this but maybe one day I’ll have a cabin by the lake.  A girl can dream, right?

Happy Thanksgiving!


Christmas Show Goodies

Dear Friends,

It is the week of Thanksgiving and I have a little bit of Christmas spirit bubbling under the surface.  Truth be told, I always get bitten by the “bug” right after going to the Southern Christmas show with my Mom & sister.   After spending 6+ hours touring holiday decor, shopping, and eating I’d be a scrooge not to submit.

I’m getting excited about all of the trimmings and food.  Oh, the food.  I’m over the food poisoning to the point where I can daydream about my meals again.  All is right with the world.

I did go in to the day with my “simple Christmas” mantra but I had to bite my lip , squeeze my purse and hold fast.  All those decorations will snuff the less is more theory right out if you aren’t careful.

I was careful.  Sort of.


This is what I bought.  Well, except for the edible items.

I’d hate to make you jealous on a Monday morning.


The ornament makes me sigh- in a good way.


I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with those but I could not pass up the vintage feel.


Those plates were a steal at just a couple bucks.  I got two.

I did okay, right?  I love what I got and I didn’t get spendy.  Each item was less than $5 and I have cash leftover to spend as I please.  Best of all, I bonded with the girls.


We also finished up (started?) our shoebox this weekend for Operation Christmas Child.  I love sharing this tradition with the kids.  Collection week is still going if you have the itch to make one.  We like to track ours and find out where it goes.  We mostly bought new stuff but each child donated a little toy at the last minute.  It is nice to focus on something besides the Christmas List!

Christmas talk aside, I’m greatly looking forward to Thanksgiving this week.  Hooray for Turkey Day!





Southern Christmas Show Pinspiration {part II}

Dear Friends,
    I have a few more phone pics from the Southern Christmas Show to share.  For those of you that don’t know, this is an annual event in Charlotte, NC that involves shopping, decorating, crafty-fun, and food.  Need I say more?  My Mom, sister, and I had 4+ hours of Christmas overload which always gets me excited about the holidays.

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” Designer Room by Anne Stowe of Great Design 4 U
Love those Holiday blues!
“Indeed!…Unless A Child” from Indeed! LLC
 {love this one}
“Snowbound” by Barbara Green of Sensibly Chic Designs For Life
A fun twist on your typical wreath
Fun tree topper.
From the Enchanted Village:

Cottage overload.  Wish they were real!
 A laundry room in a detergent box.  Creative for sure.
 My favorite!  A miniature fabric shop.
I wish I could take a “real” camera and do the show justice.  But with the hundreds of people constantly moving, a side snapshot here and there is the best I can hope for.
Are you done decorating for Christmas?  I am getting there.  Most things are 80% done but finishing touches are needed.

Southern Christmas Show: Holiday Designer Rooms {Part 1}

Dear Friends,
   Every year my mother, sister, and I go to the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte.   This has become one of those concrete traditions that defies scheduling conflicts and out-of-town husbands.  It is bigger than that.  In fact, I was not able to attend Nester & Angela’s sale due to this must-do event.

Christmas is HERE when we hit the Expo Center.  It has arrived.  Right after the pancake breakfast and  all-important Caribou stop.  Three buildings of crafts, food, shopping, and decor.

I took a zillion camera phone photos but I thought I’d start with a look at a few “rooms” done by local designers.   The photography is lame but it was the best I could do with a cell phone and the crowd.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow by Anne Maier of Anne Maier Designs

Snowbound by Barbara Green of Sensibly Chic Designs for Life

Comfort & Joy by C Galloway Designs

I love that all of the spaces are so different.  All of my Christmas stuff is still in the garage; I guess I’d better get moving.   Our whole neighborhood is decked out in lights and we still have a pumpkin on the  front porch.

Christmas MishMash

Dear Friends,
      Being that it is Christmas Eve and all, I thought it was time to wind up the Christmas posts.  I have an assortment of things left that I was planning on blogging about at some point so here they are in a hodgepodge of all things merry.

 Designer Christmas Rooms (from the Southern Christmas Show)

Fun Wreaths (Southern Christmas Show)

Gifts 2011
At the handful of holiday parties and dinners we attended I had fun dressing up bottles of wine.
Lacey’s teachers love Starbucks and she was adamant about gifting them with coffee.
We chipped in toward a class gift card so a Starbucks plastic cup filled with Vias was a fun “extra”treat.
We chose Iced Caramel because they are Caramel Frappucino fans. 
The initial ornaments came from Target.
 We filled metal buckets with candy & an ornament as gifts to special people we needed to thank.
The clock is ticking… but I’m feeling pretty ready!  Sure, we will be busy tonight but I don’t think it will be a 2 am kind of Christmas.  I’m feeling thankful this year for our good health and our first Christmas as a family in our new house.

Christmas Trees

Dear Friends,
   Have you put up your Christmas tree yet? Ours is not decorated but the lights are on.  I know a lot of bloggers are joining tree parties but I’m not sure our tree will be worthy to show-off.  We have a mish-mash of ornaments and accessories that don’t coordinate.  The sentimental tree makes us happy but someday I’d also like a little fun decorator tree for the foyer.

 I saw a lot of fancy-pants trees this year while at the Southern Christmas Show.  They run the gamut from elegant to outrageous; fun for everyone.

Good luck trimming your tree!  Ours is on the screened porch so I hope it will be warm this weekend.  Between our dog and toddler I figured better safe than sorry.  Maybe next year we will bring it in!  At least we can see it from the family room.

Southern Christmas Show Part I (Mantels & Doors)

Dear Friends,
    It’s that time of year again!  The Southern Christmas show is here.  My own personal permission slip to start the holiday season.  I don’t decorate until after Thanksgiving but I enjoy holiday prep and thinking about the next couple of months. Or month. Ahem.  The show certainly gets me in the spirit.

For those that don’t know, the Southern Christmas show is a HUGE craft show held annually in Charlotte with vendors from all over the country.  Christmas decor, handmade items, and lots of other stuff for sale; wear comfortable shoes and allow a whole day for browsing.  Oh, and go with your mom & sister for the best time.  🙂

Showcasing the “Cool Christmas” theme with a vintage “house”

 Doors & Mantels

I’ll cover wreaths and Christmas trees in a separate post.  I wish I could take better pictures but the crowd is pretty thick so you have to snap & go.  Not to be confused with the bend & snap (name that movie) :).

My favorite mantel was the last one.  I love the vintage feel!

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