Ultimate Christmas Tree Decorating Guide

Decorating a Christmas Tree is one of the highlights of the Christmas holiday season. When thinking about your tree, thoughts like… what kind of tree? what style of tree? how tall? what theme? what colors? what color lights? what tree topper? garland or no garland? how many ornaments? All of these questions are answered using this Ultimate Christmas Decorating Guide.

What kind of tree?

Christmas trees are magical and can be real or artificial. Some makers of artificial trees even make trees that have close characteristics of real trees like the smell and feel, such as Tree Classics and Balsam Hill. There are many kinds of trees: Fir (Balsam, Fraser, Canaan, Douglas, Grand, Noble, Concolor), Pine (White, Scotch, Virginia), Spruce (Blue, Norway, White), Cypress (Arizona, Leyland), and Cedar (Red). Regardless of which tree you choose this year real or artificial, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Here are some advantages for both trees to help you make your decision.

Real Tree

  • Authentic
  • Traditional
  • Fresh Smell
  • Environmentally friendly and recyclable
  • Another tree is planted for each one harvested to ensure a steady supply year after year

Artificial Tree

  • Durability
  • Fire-retardant (MOST)
  • Allergy Free
  • Less Maintenance
  • More Cost-Effective (Last an average of 7-9 years)

What style of tree?

There are at least six styles of tree: Full, Narrow, Slim (Pencil), Flatback (Corner), Sparce, and Upside down. The decision of which style you choose is solely preference. Here are pictures of each style:


What size tree?

Your Christmas tree should be perfect for your holiday interior. Start by finding the perfect location in your home for your tree. Ensure that you select an area which provides adequate space and a focal point for your holiday home. If necessary you may need to move or change your furniture around, fear not!!! Also, ensure that the location that you select is SAFE from heating vents, exhausts, or not within 8′ feet of a fire. Never place your tree near a source of heat. Avoid places where the tree will be exposed to harsh elements or could possibly fall on someone and cause injury or death.

Once you have found the location for your tree, measure your space from floor to ceiling, and side to side. Allow at least 6 inches to one foot of free space from the ceiling to the top of the tree topper. Most tree sizes start at 4′ and go to approximately 30′.

Balsam Hill, suggests surveying the space for your tree using specific guidelines. This link will guide you on how to survey and measure the correct space for your Christmas Tree.

What Christmas theme?

The theme of your Christmas tree should be one that inspires you. It should reflect your idea of the perfect Christmas or just simply your vision for the holiday season. The Gingerbread House, Candy Cane Lane, Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman, Patriotic, O Christmas Tree, 12 Days of Christmas, Christmas Village, Twas the Night Before Christmas, Letters to Santa, Jingle Bells, and Classic Christmas… just to name a few, are great Christmas tree themes. Here are pictures of trees using some of these Christmas themes.

What colors on the tree?

Red, green, white, blue, yellow, purple, orange, black, pink, brown, silver, gold. There is no method to combining colors for your tree. When decorating your Christmas tree even white is a color. Trees, tree toppers, ornaments, lights, and garland ALL come in a variety of colors.

Personalize your tree by selecting your tree accessories in one or more color combinations of your own. For color inspiration, Canva.com offers 100 color combinations. Don’t be afraid to add prints, such as stripes, plaids, and gingham; and bling it with sparkle using glittery picks and tinsel. Lastly, don’t forget your favorite ornaments and the new ornaments you just can’t pass up. Here are some trees featuring color.

What color of lights on the tree?

Most Christmas lights are incandescent or LED. Incandescent lights have been the conventional lights, but are being taken over by LED lights because of the comparisons of the quality of the LED lights over the incandescent lights. LED lights are more expensive upfront but lasts 5X the lifetime of incandescent lights. The LED lights are energy savings and save through power usage about 10X the usage of incandescent lights. LED lights can be stranded together in about 20 – 30 light sets verses the incandescent lights which can only be stranded together about 3 – 5 light sets. LED lights generate less heat than the incandescent lights.

Christmas lights come in a variety of color choices: clear, multi, solid color, fairy lights or micro LEDs, or light show lights. When selecting lights, remember that all white lights are not created equal. White lights have a range of whites from warm, soft, cool, and bright.

LED Lights
Micro / Fairy Lights


  • When deciding on which lights to use and where to use them, please read the factory instructions on the package.
  • For a brighter level of lighting, bring lights closer together or twist strings together.
  • Also remember, white wire strands are more appropriate for lighter color objects and green wire strands are more appropriate for darker color objects.
  • Lastly, ensure the total power wattage does not exceed the socket you used in the circuit.
  • For instructions on how to correctly hang lights on a Christmas tree, go to the Certified Lighting website.

What tree topper?

Your theme should spark an ideal of what tree topper you will use to adorn your tree. If your theme is Patriot, maybe a group flags at the top, for a traditional theme maybe a star. If your tree celebrates the Birth of Jesus Christ, maybe an angel. If your theme is Frosty the Snowman you can feature a Top Hat. Other tree topper ideas are Santa, Stockings, Glittered Stems or Sprays, Candy Cane Spray, and Large Bows.

Garland or no garland?

Garland is the necklace jewelry of Christmas. It comes in different forms and materials but they are all strings of objects. Some ideas of beautiful garlands are ribbon, beads, floral, pompoms, pearls, burlap, faux snow, stringed words, and stringed ornaments. Garland should be placed on your tree after the lights, tree topper, and before the ornaments.

Image result for Christmas tree ribbon garland

How many ornaments?

Christmas ornaments come in many different sizes and shapes. The standard ornaments are round and come in sizes from 2″ to 6″ (or more) in diameter. The look of round ornaments are matte, shiny, glittery, ornate, and some even have images on them. Other ornaments take the look of many different creations, materials, and designs.

The number of ornaments that should be on a tree are dependent upon the look one is trying to achieve, the size of the tree, and should focus on visual satisfaction. Christmas Lights Etc suggests the number of ornaments is ultimately based on personal preference. The included chart is a suggested guideline from Christmas Lights Etc:

How Many Ornaments

Christmas Lights Etc

This Ultimate Christmas Tree Decorating Guide will guide you on your quest to decorating your Christmas Tree. Don’t forget there are really NO RULES for decorating your tree. Use the Modern Livable style, which is how you want what you want and you will not go wrong. Don’t forget your theme, tree topper, garland, and ornaments. If you have any questions about decorating your tree please Contact Us.

StephanieK, The DIY Exchange

60 Unique & Beautiful Advent Calendars for Christmas 2019

The advent is rooted from a Latin word meaning coming and arrival. Advent is the season observed by Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus and the return of Jesus at the Second Coming.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, where everything and everybody is merry and bright. It is the season celebrating the Birthday of Jesus. There are many signs of Christmas, one being the advent.

The advent calendar is used to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. The advent calendar adds to the excitement of counting the days to Christmas. There are many unique advent calendars and calendar ideas for counting the days until Christmas. I have scoured the shopping network looking for unique ideas and here is what I’ve found.

2. Nostalgic Cubby Advent Calendar
12. Magnetic Board Advent Calendar
17. Mickey Mouse and Friends Plush Advent Calendar
19. Personalized Wooden Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
54. A Christmas Advent Story

My Kitchen Christmas Village

Although Christmas only comes once a year, it is my most favorite time of the year, especially for decorating. Trees, lights, garland, ribbon, are all very festive, but there is one decorated display that I love to create each year…

Yes, it’s the Christmas Village!!! I love the resin villages, wood villages, box villages, and as you can see the galvanized villages.

In 2017, I began purchasing galvanized villages from Michael’s Arts and Crafts. The village houses were displayed in the candle section at Michael’s for tea lights. The price range was from $4.99 – $29.99. I purchased the galvanized villages and painted galvanized villages in red, white, black, and gold. I decided that I would create a village using just the galvanized buildings and battery-operated tea lights. I thought “what can I use to make my village come to life besides the resin and plaster village accessories.”

I search several craft stores, looked at a lot of magazines, and Pinterest. I decided that I would use the Tiny Treasures collection by Ashland from Michael’s to create the ambiance I was looking for.

The Christmas Village here was displayed in my kitchen and includes other Christmas decor that helped link the wall decor in my kitchen to create a beautiful Table Decor Christmas Display.

I would love to know what you think…

Thanksgiving Centerpiece

This metal pumpkin trio was found at JoAnn Fabrics. I filled it with fall favorites. The first level is filled with a Thanksgiving spray.

The second level is filled with artificial pumpkins, gourds,apples and other artificial fruit.

The third level is filled with greenery in pulling leaves a various colors.

The top of the pumpkin trio is gently decorated with a leaf bow in black plaid. Black plaid is really popular this season but I wanted to use it sparingly.

Create your own centerpiece using this metal trio pumpkin cage.

The DIY Exchange .



Visit the website http://www.lovekikou.com.  This website is filled with hard to find, timeless fashion for a girl’s night out.  Fashion for curvy girls of all shapes (athletic, apple, pear, rectangle, inverted triangle, and hourglass) and sizes.  There is an accessory shop to add flair to your outfit.  Shop by the piece or assemble outfits… don’t forget the shoes!

Love the website…

Weekly Inspiration

Motivation is a key to success.  We must motivate ourselves and strive to motivate others.   Take the time to look in the mirror and encourage yourself to reach your goals daily.  On your daily journey motivate those that you come in contact with.  Life’s journey is filled with unexpected turns, stay motivate through all of the turns and you will still reach your destination.

StephanieK – NGS

Baked Crab Legs

I made baked crab legs and I will never cook them any other way 


2 lbs of crab legs

1 stick of butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon

Your choice of seasonings (I used garlic salt, old bay, onion herbs, & lemon pepper)

Directions:  Preheat the oven to 350.  In a stoneware serving dish spread the olive oil at the bottom of the stoneware.  After washing the crab legs spread them in the dish.  Cut butter in 1 tsp and spread evenly, top with lemon slices, and season.  Cover dish with aluminum foil.  Bake for 35-45 minutes.  Leave sauce for dipping…

You will love these crab legs!!!


Do not reflect on 2015… Move on

There is nothing in life that is not yours for the asking. Have faith in your every step and prove your value, worth, and place in life.

Your dreams are yours…
Be careful who you share your dreams with. Many who come to steal, kill, and destroy. These are called your enemies…
Don’t let them rob you of your joy. Joy is a special gift and it belongs to you.

Enjoy your 2016 and live life to the fullest!!!


Christmas Storage

Found at Lowes.com

5 Quick Storage Tips for Christmas Décor

1: As you take down decorations and pack them away, donate the ones you don’t use anymore.

2: Store artificial trees upright, if possible, to avoid having to disassemble or undecorate them.

3: When you buy ornaments, save the original packaging for storage.

4: Store small decorations in clearly labeled rubber or plastic totes.

5: Save time next season by noting which decorations you used where — better yet, take pictures.

I love Fridays!

I love Fridays!  Every Friday morning I think about what I am going to do for the weekend… Not realizing that I have about sixty hours until its time to start the week again.  I have 16 hours to sleep and 44 hours to spend personal time, time with my family, visit friends, grocery shop, clean my house, fix and repair house, rest, attend church services, volunteer in my community, prepare for next week, and breathe.  My how time flies…

Stephanie K

Twenty Stylish Fall Season Booties

Thalia Sodi Ohlivia Side Lace Ups Booties from Macy’s $99.50

Thalia’s Sodi Women’s Honra Platform Booties from Macy’s $89.50

Jessica Simpson Cainn Foldover Bootie from Macy’s $129.00

Madden Girl Domain Lace-Up Wedge Booties from Macy‘s $59.00

Tommy Hilfiger Zakry Chukka Booties from Macy’s $99.00

Michael Michael Kors Saylor Booties from Macy’s $195.00

Tommy Hilfiger Minny Combat Boots from Macy’s $129.00

Kenneth Cole Reaction Frida World Fringe Booties

Kenneth Cole Reaction Frida World Fringe Bootie from Macy’s $119.00

Michael Kors Kim Lace-up Bootie from Macy’s $195.00

Franco Sarto Amerosa Wedge Booties from Macy’s $139.00

Biala 'Gia' Bootie (Women)

Biala Gia Bootie from Nordstrom’s 129.95

Vince Camuto 'Keyna' Bootie (Women)

Vince Camuto Kenya Bootie from Nordstrom’s $158.95

Jeffrey Campbell 'Hanger' Bootie (Women)

Jeffrey Campbell Stormy Rain Boot from Nordstrom’s $164.95

Franco Sarto 'Linden' Leather Bootie (Women) (Nordstrom Exclusive)

Franco Sarto Linden Leather Bootie from Nordstrom’s $149.95

SOREL '1964 Premium Canvas' Waterproof Wedge Bootie (Women)

Sorel 1964 Premium Canvas Waterproof Wedge Bootie from Nordstrom’s $219.95

Sam Edelman 'Belinda' Fringed Suede Pointy Toe Boot (Women)

Sam Edelman Belinda Fringed Suede Pointy Toe Boot from Nordstrom’s $174.95

Main Product Image

Lucky Brand Jakobie Peep-Toe Wedge Booties from Dillards $139.99

COACH Urban Hiker Boot

Coach Urban Hiker Boot from Belk $375.00

Antelope Tall Cuff Boot

Antelope Tall Cuff Boot from Belk $265.00

Dr. Scholl's Harlow Wedge Bootie

Dr. Scholl’s Harlow Wedge Bootie from Belk $95.00

Shrimp Veggie Mix with Garlic & Olive Oil Vermicelli




Make the pasta according to the directions on the back of the Pasta Roni box.  It will take approximately 20 minutes.  While the pasta is cooking prepare the shrimp and vegetables for cooking.


Place enough olive oil in your deep skillet to cover the bottom of the skillet.  Do not turn on the stove yet.

DSCF1246 DSCF1251

You will need:

1 bag of Fresh Express spinach

1 pkg of grape tomatoes (You will not use the entire bag)

1 pound of shrimp (Approximately 8 person) or more

Wash the shrimp, tomatoes, and spinach before cooking.


Turn the stove on medium heat and wait until the skillet is hot.  Then put the spinach, tomatoes, and shrimp in the skillet and stir fry.


The end result is Delicious Shrimp Veggie Mix with Garlic & Olive Oil Vermicelli.



Fall is the season when the weather becomes cooler and plant life becomes dormant. Fall is the season of the year when leaves change colors and fall and fruits ripen.  It is during this season that the colors of fashion change to various shades of red, yellow, purple, black, orange, pink, magenta, blue and brown. Some of the hottest handbags of the season are featured in these colors.

Steve Madden BTEAGAN Convertible Backpack

Steve Madden BTEAGEN Convertible Backpack – Belk – $108.00


Coach Studded Calf Leather Circle HOBO – Belk – $495.00

kate spade new york 'cameron street - stripe margot' satchel

Kate Spade New York Cameron Street Striped Margot Satchel – Nordstrom – 358.00

Skagen 'Anja' Wool Tote

Skagen Anja Wool Tote – Nordstrom – $225.00

Dooney & Bourke Saffiano Zip Zip Satchel

Dooney & Bourke Saffiano Zip Zip Satchel – Macy’s – $228.00

Lauren Ralph Lauren Adlington Dome Satchel

Lauren Ralph Lauren Adlington Dome Satchel – Macy’s – $368.00

Elizabeth and James - Cynnie Sling Woven Cotton Convertible Backpack

Elizabeth and James Cynnie Sling Woven Cotton Convertible Backpack – SaksFifthAvenue – $545.00

product image

Coach Edie Shoulder Bag in Leather – Dillards – $375.00

product image

Vince Camuto Tina Tote – Dillards – $248.00

Korry Dome Satchel

Korry Dome Satchel – Hudson’s Bay – $140.00

Calvin Klein Monogram Tote Bag

Calvin Klein Monogram Tote – Bon Ton – $158.00

Furla Dolce Vita Tote

Furla Dolce Vita Tote – Von Maur – $628.00

Campomaggi Camo Shopper Tote - - Barneys.com

Campomaggi Camo Shopper Tote – Barney’s – $485.00

MARC BY MARC JACOBS Shoulder Bag - Luna Bucket_2

Marc by Marc Jacobs Shoulder Bag Luna Bucket – Bloomingdale’s – $398.00

Sam Edelman Payton Suede Fringe Tote _2

Sam Edelman Payton Suede Fringe Tote – Bloomingdale’s – $248.00

The 2 Most Important Leadership Actions I Practice

Dean Deguara

Image courtesy of basketman @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net Image courtesy of basketman @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

No matter what level of leadership you currently find yourself at, there are important actions that every leader should be consistently practicing as they continue to enhance their leadership skills. Here are the 2 most important leadership actions I continually practice as a growing leader.

1. I Keep LearningAs a leader if you stop learning you stop growing. The wonderful thing about leadership is that you never know it all. No matter how many of John Maxwell’s books you’ve read, leadership conferences you’ve attended, years of leadership experience you possess there is alway more room to grow as a leader. Leaders that stop learning lose the burning desire that is required to lead boldly, bring innovative change and continue to carry and cast fresh vision to those they lead.

Proverbs 9:9 – Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser…

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Quote of the Day

Blessed are they who have the gift of making friends, for it is one of God’s best gifts.  It involves many things, but above all, the power of going out of one’s self, and appreciating whatever is noble and loving in another.  – Thomas Hughes

yellow rose

5 Beautiful Neutral Master Bedrooms

Chalet Interiors

Modern Craftsman Guest Room by Pulp Design Studios

Regina Sturrock Design Classicism With a Twist

Delaware Place by Michael Abrams Limited

Ibis Golf & Country Club Bedroom with night sky ceiling

Red, White, and Blue Trifle

Texas Craft House


I wanted to share my favorite dessert for the summer and of course Memorial Day and Fourth of July! It’s become my signature dessert 🙂 I found the idea on Pinterest and the recipe is from skinnytaste.com. It’s so delicious and no one is the wiser that it’s fat free! I’m really growing fond of trifle bowl desserts because it is so easy to layer in the ingredients and go!

{Texas Craft House} Red, White, and Blue Trifle

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Canvas dopp kits and a little hand stitching

you and mie

I’m over on the Miss Matatabi blog today sharing these two dopp kits I made!   I used these lovely canvas fabrics and the Zippered Dopp Kit tutorial from The Purl Bee and I’m loving how they came out.

Dopp Kits in Canvas by you & mie

I added a bit of decorative hand stitching to one to make a personalized gift for my honey!  Check out all the details on Miss Matatabi!

Dopp Kits in Canvas by you & mie

(I’m still going strong wearing handmades for Me Made May, but definitely running out of new things to wear.  I’m trying to remedy that with a couple new Scout Tees – how about you?)

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Mississippi Moments

For a friend

The Amateur Librarian

It always feels like summer has truly begun after Memorial Day… and I love summer!

My birthday usually falls right around the three-day weekend, and it’s also the time when graduations, weddings, and outdoor festivals start to pile up. Today also kicks off the “summer hours” at my office – we all come in 30 minutes early throughout the week, and then we have Friday afternoons off.  Like I said… I love summer!

We spent the first weekend of summer in MS for Memorial Day to celebrate hubby’s sister’s graduation… here are a few moments I’m grateful for:

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

The Amateur Librarian // Mississippi Moments

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4 incredible dressing rooms found in Casa Decor 2015



Who has never dreamed about having a luxury dressing room? A huge space to put your favorite clothes and shoes, or those that we would like to have. In Casa Décor 2015 w found some examples that are absolutely beautiful, do you want to take a look?
Any fashion victim would find a paradise in a …

Original and full post in becoration

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DIY All Purpose Cleaner

Losing Screws

So a few of my friends were asking for my cleaning recipes. Here is the first of many – I use this mixture on counters, walls, table tops, kitchen sink & so on!

All Purpose Cleaner

Just mix the ingredients right in your spray bottle. I don’t really worry about leaching so I use plastic. Folks say glass is always best to avoid leaching, and it’s much better for the environment, but plastic really will do. Especially if you go through cleaning products fast, like me, and you already have the bottles.

In the graphic I didn’t specify oils for this one, since I use different oils each time. This last batch I used 5 drops Eucalyptus and 15 drops Peppermint. Smells very, well, ‘yum’. For the antibacterial and disinfecting sprays I use specific oils. Next week I will put up those Disinfecting and Antibacterial Sprays. Happy Cleaning!


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