To know me is to know my love for George Michael. I was gutted when hearing about his passing. He was my first crush (i know, i know...), my first style icon (that single cross earring may not have stayed with me but the aviators and the leather jacket def have) and a musician who made me dance, think, sing and smile.
RIP George Michael. This Christmas and every Christmas, I give you my heart.
In my opinion, the wrapping on the present is just as important as the gift itself, and certainly not something that should be an afterthought. I love choosing my wrapping papers each Christmas season, and coordinating different ribbons and tags to go with them.
When the opportunity to try out a new company that allows you to curate wrapping paper designs from Pinterest boards (and other social channels - but I think it works best with Pinterest), I jumped at the chance to give it a whirl.
Pinpaper Press is BRAND SPANKIN' NEW and you must try it out! I also invite you to check out the Pinterest boards that I created for the purpose of being made into Pinpaper Press wrapping sheets, so all you need to do is link through to my Pinterest page and choose the specific board, rather than taking the time to create personalized boards (especially since the countdown to Christmas is officially on and poppin').
Here are some the boards I made (linked below):
So how does it work?
A few other must haves for perfect wrapping (that doesn't require being an expert)!
What would a Christmas decorations posting series be without a Christmas tree? You may have noticed that this Royal Tenenbaum was mostly omitted from my last holiday decor post. However, that's because there was just too much to share in the world of Christmas ornaments! It deserved it's own post.
Oh the emotional roller coaster of decorating a Christmas tree as a singleton... It all started with ordering a tree from Five Star Christmas Trees. It's a long story but basically that company is a giant fail and did not deliver the tree or provide any information on where it was or when it would be here… Not to mention the fact that my friend who I referred to this company based on past reviews received a tree that was lackluster to say the least, and not what she paid for. Depending on how things go with them I might break the rules of this blog and actually tell you about the whole negative experience, but I'm going to give them a bit more time to make this actually right.
As of now, I am out $100+ and have no tree to show for it.
Anywway, once it was established that the tree I needed was not coming and after I had waited over a week past when I expected it and needed to take pictures to share with all of my lovely blog readers… I went to go buy a tree on my own. Fortunately, there is a great place located in Heather Farms in Walnut Creek called Toby's. Toby (the company was named for him when he was just a little kid) can be found on-site helping people out with other members of his family and a whole crew of helpful people, wearing Oregon Ducks gear! Toby told me that he hails from West Linn and I was so happy to be supporting an Oregon business. I picked up a great 7 foot tree for $79, that was naturally grown in the Williamette Valley. After a rough football season I was happy to feel some joy coming from the home of my beloved Ducks!
I also was able to get some incredible premade garland that came in either 15 foot or 75 foot bundles that are beautifully done, easy to handle and hang and went back to get more after my first round, because I loved it so much. Also found at Toby's: an array of wreaths and poinsettias that are in excellent condition.
The crew at Tobeys was so helpful in getting the tree cut and set up to go home as well as putting it in my car for me. The emotional roller coaster of this all comes from the fact that nothing makes you feel more single than knowing that you have to carry a 7 foot tree up to your house… Thank God I have an incredible family living next to me who was kind enough to send their son and dad to help me bring the tree upstairs and put it in my stand. I don't know what I would do without great neighbors!
On the flipside, nothing makes me feel more accomplished than doing something on my own, and I was back on cloud nine after getting the lights and ornaments up on my tree. I LOVE how it turned out! So, what did I put on this tree? Let's find out!
I know that some people like to save the best for last, but I'm going to start this post with the star of my Christmas tree this year: my PAWfect paintings pet portrait ornament!
Jackie from PAWfect makes the cutest pieces, and I am so in love with my ornament of little Alfie! Here is some more about her shop:
"Ever since I was a little girl, I LOVED painting dogs. If they asked me in Elementary School to draw something that made me happy, it was always my Golden Retriever, Ginger, EVERY. SINLGE. TIME.
I decided to change my path in life, and do something I have always loved. I want to create artwork that makes everyone else happy, too!
My shop is very easy, all the listings you see are just examples, so choose your favorite! When you choose your favorite, it gives me an idea of the style you'd like to see for your custom painting! After you've done so, I'll be in touch with you every step of the way. I'll help you choose a photo, I'll ask a few questions, send you updates along the way, and in just a short few short weeks, I'll be able to ship your very own painting of your beautiful pet!
I understand that sometimes you have a certain idea in mind, just contact me! We can talk about your ideas, and how you want it to look, I LOVE a challenge!"
Here's the picture I sent to PAWfect for my ornament to be created - I love those ears in the air and thought it would be the perfect look to capture!
Click here to get your PAWfect painting by Jackie! She does amazing portraits - not just on ornaments!
Now let's take a look at some of the other ornaments I am particularly in love with at the moment!
An Etsy ornament made from a can of LaCroix Sparkling Water.
A Kate Spade tree ornament from this year's collection.
Two of the Pendleton Woolen Mills National Park Collection Ornaments
an adorable weiner dog ornament from a shop for all of the weiner dog lovers out there, Red Barn Australia! More to come from them in the new year, here on dbsobsessed!
Let me start this post by telling you that this is going to be a bit different from the typical dbsobsessed post. Because Christmas decor is just about my favorite thing in the world (she typed while sitting by the fireplace, blasting Christmas music), there are many incredible artists and makers that I have been working with in order to provide you with a bit of an online 'holiday bazaar', complete with MAJOR DISCOUNTS! So, read on and find out all about the look I went for when decorating this year, as well as how to nab those deals!
I need to introduce you to these FAB finds ASAP, so more info will come over the next week in terms of details on how I love to use these pieces to make my space special, but for now... BUY!
This year I knew that I wanted to go with a new look for Christmas, given the new look I have gone with for my living room. I went from a warm and cozy space that began to feel cluttered instead of cozy, to my version of Scandinavian.
Let's call it 'Warm Scandinavian Chic', shall we?
The changes I made to the living room were to get rid of a large and leaning Crate and Barrel wall storage system and to paint from a beige color to a warm white (the famed Swiss Coffee). Additionally, I moved a large longhorn sculpture (from Restoration Hardware) onto the big living room wall from another room and eliminated most of the wall decor that was previously in the living room. The final big change was to put the TV above the fireplace and get a mantle (FINALLY --- more on that below)!
In putting together this look for the holidays I wanted to focus on unique pieces from different makers. I didn't want something that I would see in everyone else's house. Yes, I love a Target decoration every now and then, and you will find some here, but I didn't want everything to be so cookie-cutter.
Favorite Makers + Exclusive Savings Offers!
Hands down, the best thing I did for my apartment decor, holiday or otherwise, was add this floating shelf 'mantle' from Rollins Rustic Designs. Having a fireplace is such a perk in an apartment, but not having a mantle REALLY takes away from the whole situation. This shelf was easy to install, available in a number of colors to make sure it was perfect for the look I was going for, and fully customizable in terms of size!
I will be able to easily take it down when I move and patch the holes, without screwing with my apartment deposit. After having hung the tv above my fireplace, the addition of this mantle really made all the difference!
For the holidays, I added this incredible sign (Merry Christmas... can you guess the language?), some real and fake candles, gorgeous greenery from Toby's Trees at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek, and ornaments and stockings hung from some simple hooks. I LOVE the end result and can't get enough of sitting in front of this space!
Wooden Wonders from KeenaAlyceDesigns are 20% off with code 'DBSOBSESSED' now through the end of 2016!
These signs have 100% MADE the look for my desired theme. Keena's designs, both custom and otherwise, are such a festive and gorgeous addition to any holiday setup that is not looking to be too over-the-top in terms of color. I can't get enough of the 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' chalkboard look. It is great for hanging or placing on a dresser or bookcase, as I have here. It is so classically rustic and lends itself to being themed however you would like to have your holiday decor look. Another win for the apartment dweller! No matter what look I am going for in the coming years, this sign is going to work!
How about this natural looking wood sign?! This is SUCH A BEAUTY! As I mentioned, I wanted to go for 'Warm Scandinavian Chic'. I guessed I better make sure to add something Scandinavian, beyond the sparse white walls! With this in mind, I asked Keena to create a sign for my mantle, with the words 'Gladelig Jul', Danish for Merry Christmas.
OH WAIT I DIDN'T DOUBLE CHECK AND SENT HER SOME WEIRD AMERICANIZED VERSION OF THE SPELLING.
So, it should have been 'Glaedelig Jul', but I actually don't care at all and love it anyway! The writing is gorg, the size and color are perfect and lend themselves to the same diverse options for theme as does the other sign.
Keena is a joy to work with and is VERY communicative and willing to work to collaborate with you on custom orders, to make sure she is doing just what you want, and that you love the finished product. Let me reiterate about the spelling mishap: this was ALL on me, and I confirmed and reconfirmed the spelling with her. #DERP
I currently have Keena working on a sign that will be used for ongoing blog photoshoots, branding the images in an organic way. Stay tuned for more on that front. I can't wait to see how it turns out and to share it with you!
Below you will find some of the other signs available in theKeenaAlyceDesigns shop!
Use code 'ElemenOPillows2016' for 10% off any order at ElemenoPillows in 2016. No minimum purchase required.
When making purchases for decorating an apartment, whether for a holiday or any other time of year, there is one thing I always have to remind myself of: where the hell are you going to keep it when you don't have it out?!
I used to be a BIG fan of having different throw pillows for a variety of seasons, but I not only hated the actual pillow quality, I also had so many seasonal pillows stuffed into the tiny closet space I had in previous apartments! That was until I came acrossElemenOPillows on Etsy! I literally ONLY use these on my 24x24 throw pillows and change them out based on the season, or any other whim I may have. As you can see, I am currently mixing it up with red to go with the green sofa, for a perfect Christmas look!
And don't worry... Alfie FULLY approves.
Here are some other great holiday options from ElemenOPillows. Make sure to use code 'ElemenOPillows2016' for 10% off any order made in 2016!
Fellow Dachshund lovers - use code ‘DBSOBSESSED’ in the PeaceMealArt shop for 15% off any orders made now through the end of 2016!
Anytime someone uses the following to describe the work they do, I know I am dealing with a winner: "The common theme in many of my creations is the regal Dachshund. I’m owned by a Doxie and find their image brings a smile and laugh to almost everyone. They are ambassadors of absurd joy and that’s the essence of what I try to put out to the world in my creations."
So. Much. Yes.
It's no secret that I too am owned by a dachshund, so these cards and garland were a MUST have for my holiday season to be complete. If you know a doxie lover, or are one yourself, visit PeaceMealArt and take advantage of the great offer on some very special pieces.
That's all for today, but stay tuned for some great tips and tricks for holiday decor, along with a few more surprise features! Hint: there may or may not be CUSTOM PAINTED PET PORTRAIT ORNAMENTS COMING. Ok, they are for sure coming. I can't keep a secret.
I love giving gifts more than your average person. So, holiday shopping is always a time of joy and insane spending for me. I love the feeling of giving someone the PERFECT gift! Now, with all of that giving in mind, you might think that you are about to read about something I bought for someone else for Christmas, right? Well, it is a story of finding the perfect gift for someone, but that someone, in this case, is ME!
How amazing is it when you pop into a small shop or online store that is totally in-keeping with your style?! I mean, on one hand it is terrifying, because you literally NEED all of the things, but on the other hand it is thrilling! Well, I recently had this feeling when I discovered sbynumart // sallie bynum anzelmo art + decor.
Honestly, it is borderline weird how much this shop speaks to what I love... gold, white, oysters, animal hides, wine, antlers, tassels, wreaths... IT'S ALL THERE.
So, buckle up, because we are about to embark upon a visual journey through the
gilded and gorgeous pieces from sallie bynum anzelmo.
Use code 'DBSOBSESSED' now through 12.22.16 for 20% off your entire purchase in the sbanzelmo etsy shop
Let's start with the glassware. Hand painted with golden oysters, in a number of colors. These are so unique and beautiful. I don't know about you but I am OBSESSED with raw oysters, so I live for these glasses. Personally, I have been using them for cocktails, and think they are perfect for use as a cocktail glass!
Worried about whether or not you have what it takes to maintain hand painted glasses? Read on:
Glassware Care: "We recommend gentle hand washing to clean your S.Bynum glassware. Although the paint and processes used to create your glassware may result in a “dishwasher safe” product, the harsh chemicals and high temperatures of various dishwashers may damage the paint. “Dishwasher safe” is not guaranteed. Also, do not let your glass “soak” in water."
The glassware in this line is handcrafted with a specialty glass paint that is manufactured to be top rack dishwasher safe but Sallie does state that she prefers customers hand wash. Her work is carried in many boutiques across the gulf states, east coast, and even Indiana. I am so glad I came across these gems, even though I am out here in California!
Before we go on with the pieces I love most, let's get to know more about Sallie!
From spending time on her family’s farm, to enjoying life along the Louisiana gulf coast, Sallie Bynum Anzelmo has a passion for painting and designing pieces inspired by the colors, textures, and natural elements that surround her life in the South. After teaching art for nearly ten years, she now focuses on her growing business,
Sallie Bynum Anzelmo Art & Design.
Sallie currently resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with her husband, Charles, and bluetick coonhound, Mamie Blue and British Lab, Gunner. Working with oils, acrylics, graphite, and multiple texture mediums she creates a variety of compositions depicting the environments that have been her inspiration since childhood. Her one of a kind décor items, signature gold oyster shells, and paintings can be found in various locations throughout the Gulf States and East Coast.
Use code 'DBSOBSESSED' now through 12.22.16 for 20% off your entire purchase in the sbanzelmo etsy shop
What I am currently loving most about this entire line is that it works so well for Christmas decor! Something that would clearly also work for any summer look, these gold accented oyster shell trinket dishes are such a crisp yet rich addition to holiday decorations.
The same is true of this divine oyster shell ornament, which is anything but Christmas-specific! This would be great hanging from a ceiling fan pull at a beach house, hanging in a garden or as part of a seriously decadent chandelier!
It's officially starting... the #dbsobsessed holiday decor series! So many fun makers, ideas and DISCOUNTS are coming your way. Get excited! Let's get started with the entry, as it's the first thing people will see when coming to your place!
Just because you live in an apartment, you don't have to forego the outdoor holiday decorations that make the season bright! At least, not if you have neighbors who love Christmas just as much as you do!
Here is what I did this year, to bring Christmas spirit to my entry! Luckily, there are killer discount codes for the Dovetails and Sash store (based in Concord, CA!), as well as the After Infinity Shop, so you too can get a fabulous wooden sign for the season...
With the blessing of my across the way neighbors, I decided to put up some of this gorgeous garland on the bannister of our building, with some battery operated fairy lights. I LOVE the look. It is classic, clean and so lush. I took some twine and tied and garland up, around the lights I had wrapped around. SUPER easy, because I purchased the pre-made garland from ourlocal Walnut Creek Tree lot, Toby's.
My neighbor's adorable Boston Terrier, Buster, stopped by to supervise. He assured me that he approved.
I mean, do I even have to say anything about this doormat? I didn't think so, but I will anyway. It is EVERYTHING. This (and every other) mat from AfterInfinity are SO clutch for making an otherwise drab apartment entrance, super chic.
How fun is this? I took pieces of various types of Christmas trees, and popped the branches into my existing succulents at the front door. They look FAB. So lush and different. The real belle of this ball is the Countdown to Christmas sign from the lovely Becky at Dovetails and Sash, a fab shop on Etsy!
I opted for writing 'too many' so as to avoid the need for any upkeep, but if you have little ones, it could be really fun to actually count down! Becky has a ton of great signs available on her shop page, and she is a pleasure to work with. I very highly recommend checking it out for yourself, or as an option for Christmas shopping!
Finally, a simple Target sign on a command hook, and voila! The outside is complete. Stay tuned as we venture indoors in the days to come...
When a candle is good, it's good. So this particular post doesn't require much blathering on from me, lucky you!
Get to Little Batch Candle Co.'s online shop as soon as possible to take advantage of this exclusive coupon code!
20% off till the end of the year, using code 'DBS20DEAL'
My favorite scents: Don Juan (more on that sexy betch, below), Fall Foliage +Cashmere.
I'm particularly love the Don Juan candle. Not only is the name everything magical, but this candle smells like sexy man candy without the hassle of a towel being left on the bathroom floor. #JustKiddingI'mNotThatJaded but for real, this thing spells positively delicious.
It's a great scent for any time of year, but I do think it is an excellent holiday scent for those who aren't in love with the sometimes sickeningly sweet scents that are so often associated with the season.
My other favorite is definitely cashmere! This is a beautiful scent that adds a little bit of musk to a scent that reminds me of some of the Voluspa candles I love so much. Grab the glass jar candle with a wooden wick and you or the person you are buying it for is in for a real treat!
Be the cool person at the next holiday party you go to. Don't bring another bottle of wine that you're not even sure the host or hostess will like, bring a candle that they can enjoy after the party is over. Those poor people are having you over, feeding you food and booze and letting you make a mess of their home. Have some decency and help make the play smell good after you leave, for God's sake, people!
And if nobody likes you, or you don't like anyone, just #TreatYourself to a little bit of scentsual indulgence. See what I did there?
And as always, what would a dbsobsessed post to be without a little bit of information on the dedicated maker behind these handmade candles?! It would be nothing. It would not exist. Obviously… So, here goes! Get to know the man (yes, MAN) behind these killer candles!
"While I have always loved candles, I certainly never thought in a million years that I'd be making my own. However, I found myself wandering the internet one day, and spending money that I didn't have. It was when I had an online cart full of almost $70 (3 candles) worth of a popular candle brand, that I wondered how much it would cost to make my own. That night, I bought a small kit, and quickly fell in love with candle making. What started out as a fun way to save money soon turned into a passionate pastime. From there, I researched, tested, and repeated to create LITTLE BATCH Candle Co. I'm proud to say that we offer only 100% natural soy wax candles. No paraffin here. This means that one 8 oz LITTLE BATCH lasts about 3 times longer than those 3 wicked competitors I had in my online shopping cart. We also specialize in custom orders, and love to work one on one with the customer to create the product they envision. Whether you're ordering for the first, or the tenth time, my goal is to provide a product that you'll love and want to share with those around you."
Owner of LITTLE BATCH Candle Co
You guessed it! Another amazing maker you simply need to know about as you continue down that magical path they call holiday shopping season…
McDonald Mixed Media is a company created by Shannon McDonald, and dedicated to selling the eclectically vibrant pieces made by the company's namesake, Shannon McDonald! I don't know about you, but I find that I can always use another pretty little dish to keep various small pieces of jewelry, coins, keys, etc. in.
When taking off a pair of earrings, needing a spot to place the change out of your pocket, when doing laundry or anything else, it's much too easy to lose things if you're not putting them somewhere for safekeeping. So, I've always figured that it makes sense to have lots of pretty little dishes around!
Shannon's trinket dishes are perfect for just about anyone, because they come in a variety of designs, shapes and sizes to fit different aesthetics and uses. CHRISTMAS GIFTS, ANYONE?!
This evil eye dish along with this Great Gatsby and inspired piece are my two current favorites from McDonald Mixed Media.
Anyone who has been to my home has noticed that I have little evil eyes here and there. No I am not Turkish, but I love the idea of keeping in mind that there is a protective eye watching over us.
I could not be more in love with the ceramic creations of Stepanka Ceramics. Everything in the line is gorg, handmade and classically chic with an updated edge.
Example: the ceramic crinkle mugs with gold polka dots, that I am lucky enough to call my own. Check out these stunners. They are perfect as additions to your every day collection of plateware, but especially beautiful for a White Christmas!
Need a gift for someone who has great taste AND has it all? You just found it.
I love when we get to know more about the makers behind the items we love, so get to know Stepanka!
Stepanka is an NYC-based ceramic artist whose relationships with nature and with those around her inspires all of her pieces.
Always trusting her intuition, Stepanka knew from an early age that she had to follow any dream she had. This motivated her to move from her small town in the Czech Republic to Prague as a teenager, and then to New York City five years later. Her new life in America prompted her to pursue something she has always loved - ceramics. She enrolled in classes at a local Y, and soon began creating pieces for neighborhood art fairs. By trusting her intuition for her art and for her life, she was moved to make her passion her livelihood.
Energized and inspired by the world and people around her, Stepanka’s work echoes her determination, generosity, and curiosity. Her ceramic pieces reflect the calm and tranquility she observes, and the dynamism and transformation she has experienced. With clean forms, classic colors and playful designs, Stepanka’s work embraces the milieu between functional and sculptural.
Having access to one of a only a few gas kilns in NYC, Stepanka relishes in the unpredictability and excitement that firing her porcelain pieces in this kiln can bring. Her earnest dedication and patience to her ceramic art is seen in all of her pieces. She creates to bring joy to those around her; she creates to give back to the world.
drew bailey scott
My raison d'etre: Seeking and experiencing that which improves my life in all areas. The purpose of this blog: to share those incredible discoveries with others, hopefully making their lives even better!