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awfully big adventure Posts

currently: november 2016

Well, as Ned Ryerson would say…November was a doozy! Feels like we packed a lot into these past thirty days — an emotional election, the demise of the Longhorns, GILMORE GIRLS, oh and Thanksgiving. Honestly though, if you haven’t finished the Gilmore Girls revival yet then I kindly ask that you step away from this blog post and go fire it up. I am delusional, but not delusional enough to believe that I’m more important than Gilmore Girls.

No one is.

Anyway. On to the post:


Making: Christmas cookies, and learning that it was a mistake to make them this early. They’re just sitting there. In my freezer. Begging to be dunked in a cup of coffee.
Cooking: I tried a bunch of new stuff this month and really enjoyed it all. Chicken tikka masala, tomato risotto with pan fried Barramundi, balsamic chicken with roasted veggies, and for balance: sticky buns. I also made these stuffed mushrooms for a Thanksgiving app — subbed turkey sausage for pork and they were still a hit.
Reading: I listened to A Man Called Ove this month through my library membership (::pushes glasses up nose::) and it was really, really sweet. 
: To stop loading up a catapult with my money and flinging it at the internet, but these deals yall. Good news is that I’m mostly done with my Christmas shopping AND I pulled the trigger on a chair for the study!! I hope it works out! (OH MY GOD the chair just showed up in a huge box as I’m writing this and I feel like the dad from A Christmas Story. “Frah-gee-lay! Must be Italian!!” Except it’s from West Elm but you get it.) 
Enjoying: The glow of the Christmas tree as I sit here writing. It’s still undecorated because Matt’s been working some crazy hours, but I’m looking forward to dressing it up this weekend. I’m sure Matt is counting down the minutes.
Listening: Going full holiday: this playlist, the Nutcracker all the way through, Kelly Clarkson singing O Holy Night somewhere around fourteen times in a row, you know…the usual.
Needing: For everyone to understand how excited I am that Leif (our fiddle leaf fig) has sprouted FIVE new leaves in the last month. I’m so proud of that lil guy.
Smelling: It’s our first truly cold night — supposed to get down to 42 degrees. I’ve got the windows open with the cool air blowing in, and I’m smelling someone’s fireplace. Heavenly. 
Wearing: Some things I nabbed during recent sales for the upcoming season: these sweatpants, these leggings, this basic sweater, these sparkly earrings, and I finally got a new pair of Warby Parkers (ended up with these and I love them!) To clarify: not wearing all of these things at once right now as I write this. Just the sweatpants and the sweater. 🙂
Loving: (See the next one.)
Watching: How…how do I not make this whole part about Gilmore Girls? Other people have written about it more thoughtfully than I will, so I’ll point you to some of my favorite pieces. This, this, and this about sum it up. I loved it so much. Should have known I’d cry the whole time. Other notable things: The Crown was amazing, Westworld is blowing our minds, and if you want to ease into Christmas movies with one of my terribly guilty pleasures, I’ll point you towards Just Friends which is now on Netflix.
Bookmarking: For when I want to make sticky buns the hard way, my favorite gift guide, and Young House Love bought a beach house, yall!!

luke's paper coffee cup


no flocking way: an easy and cheap way to flock an artificial tree

Time it took to flock this tree: 20 minutes. Time it took me to title this post due to the plethora of “flocking” puns: twelve hours. I wasn’t planning on posting this week, but I got so excited that this flocking “technique” (quotes because you’ll see that it’s so easy, it can hardly be called a technique) worked that I wanted to post before you guys decorate your trees!

easy way to flock a tree

(Finn is way more excited about Christmas than he looks. The reality is we were losing a football game that we should have been winning as I was taking these pictures, which meant we were stressed, which meant Finn was stressed. It’s tough to be a Longhorn fan this year, even if you’re a dog.)

Some backstory: last year, we got a white tree that I love. It’s pretty petite and I realized that it would look really great in our study this year. I grew up with a traditional green tree — sometimes real, sometimes artificial, and always lovingly decorated with an eclectic mix of ornaments. I thought it’d be nice to get a slightly larger green tree this year to feed my nostalgic Christmastime craving. 

I didn’t want to spend much. I’ll say it’s because we’re in a rental and I didn’t want to invest in our “forever” tree, but it could also be that I’m cheap. Or a mix of the two. Either way, I started out on a hunt for a pre-lit artificial tree that was 6′ tall, well-reviewed, and inexpensive. I ended up finding the perfect one at Target, and it’s now on sale for $20 less than I paid because the Christmas Shopping Gods like to punish me for planning in advance. (Find it here.) I’m really happy with the tree and definitely recommend it if you’re in the market.

how to flock an artificial tree

Howevuh. Sometimes I can’t leave well enough alone and decided I wanted to try to flock the tree. I read up on some flocking tutorials and was like LOL ain’t nobody got time for that. I thought I’d give the ole “can of fake snow” a try on one side of the tree, thinking if it looked awful I could just put that side in the corner. But it DIDN’T look awful and it was so flocking easy. 

Note: This is really more of a dusting of snow than the thick, layered look of a “real” flocked tree. For that look, you should probably do it the hard way. But if you want a quick way to add some interest to your very standard artificial tree, this is for you. 

What You’ll Need

  • Artificial tree (This may work on real trees? Not sure since I haven’t tested it.)
  • Can of snow spray (I used this one.)
  • Drop cloth
  • Finger strength

snow flocking spray

How To Flock an Artificial Tree with Snow Spray

  1. Make sure the tree is unplugged. (Idk, seems smart.)
  2. Put the tree outside or on a drop cloth inside to protect the surfaces you don’t want to get sprayed with snow.
  3. If your tree is dusty, wipe off dust with a dry cloth. 
  4. Shake can of snow spray vigorously. 
  5. Spray the tree, directing the nozzle downwards on the tree branches as if it were real snow falling on the tree. 
  6. For a natural look, only spray the outside branches (that would actually be dusted with snow if it were snowing outside.)
  7. Repeat as necessary for your desired level of snow appearance. I did two coats, which looks like a light dusting of snow. This only took about 1/3 of the can. 
  8. With a warm, damp towel, gently wipe the snow from the bulbs. Probably not totally necessary, I just wanted the bulbs to stand out more. 
  9. Let dry for at least 4 hours. I left mine overnight just to be safe.
  10. Enjoy your semi-permanent dusting of snow. I don’t think this will last year after year, but would be easy to replicate each year with 20 minutes and a can of fake snow.

cheap and easy way to flock an artificial tree

Woo! Basically like we live in a quaint Colorado mountain town that just got its first snowfall of the season and not the tropical climate of Austin, Texas that we actually live in. I’m so excited to get the tree trimmed and all of our decorations up, but promised myself (and Matt) that we wouldn’t decorate until after Thanksgiving.



Love how the white snow helps the tree pop off the black wall, too. Thoughts? Anyone else into flocked trees this year? If you don’t feel like going the DIY route, Chris Loves Julia posted a great roundup of pre-flocked trees that you can find here. Also, can I get a slow clap for how much restraint I showed on the “flocking” puns? I only count two. 



thanksgiving faves

I know. It’s a Thanksgiving post and these pictures are of a Christmas wreath, but I promise I’m going somewhere with this. Don’t get your lil’ turkey feathers all ruffled.

I still can’t share a study reveal because I still haven’t made a decision on a chair. I guess I’m dealing with Project Paralysis, a term I learned from John and Sherry’s Young House Love podcast that you can find here. So until then, with a week to go until Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share some of my Thanksgiving faves. SEE? We are focusing on Thanksgiving. (And keeping a watchful eye on Christmas.)

target wondershop diy peace wreath


I haven’t actually had to make Thanksgiving dinner yet, but I’m in this awkward nearly-thirty-year-old-at-the-kids-table stage, so bringing a few appetizers helps me feel like a contributing human. 

  • Cranberry salsa– I’ve probably blogged about this before. Got this recipe years ago from a friend and have made it every year since. It’s the best way I know to involve cranberries in a non-disgusting/non-can related way. Plus, ya know, Texas. p.s. I use half the recommended sugar because I like it to be more tangy. And the recipe makes a ton of salsa. Throw it in some mason jars and boom, hostess gifts. 
  • Baked brie– I talk about brie so much that my friends got me this brie baker last year as a joke. Well JOKE’S ON THEM cause it’s the best thing ever.


  • Butcher paper tablecloth– My best friend and I used butcher paper as a tablecloth for our first Friendsgiving I think like, five..maybe…six…million years ago? Time flies when you’re getting old AF. Still love the simplicity of this look.
  • Greenery & fairy lights– Fresh greenery (like so) with fairy lights (found here). Pretty centerpiece that can easily translate to holiday decor.

target diy wreath


  • Bonfire Nights candle– I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I love this candle
  • Persimmon & Clove candle– This is a new favorite I discovered this weekend. Sooo lovely and not too Christmas-y. Find it here.


  • Bluegrass covers– I can feel my brother’s and sister’s eyes rolling back in their head. Let’s just say they aren’t as appreciative of bluegrass as I am. But this mix is filled with upbeat bluegrass covers and if nothing else, will distract the table from going too far into a political discussion. 
  • Autumn acoustic– A less hillbilly version of the above playlist. Just gorgeous acoustic music

target peace wreath DIY


  • Turkey Trot– Every year my family gets up and heads to downtown Dallas for the Turkey Trot, which is such a fun way to start the day. I love it for the architecture we get to see walking through downtown and Deep Ellum, and I’m told the running part is also fun for some people. 
  • Crafts– Aaand here we are. Full circle. I discovered this DIY wreath at Target this week and fell in love with the idea. They supply every little thing you need to make the wreath, and you put it all together. It was a really fun craft and took about an hour of my time. (Although I was pretty sad when I got to the VERY end and realized the “A” for the “peace” sign was deformed, so I improvised and made a different one.) Anyway. It would be such a fun craft whether you’ve got actual children or thirty year olds at your kids’ table. 
  • Gilmore Girls– for when you’re tired from trotting, full from turkey, and all crafted-out: Stars Hollow returns. This was a bad way to wrap up this post because I actually don’t even have words for how excited I am. Turns out words are kind of essential to blogging. 

What are your Thanksgiving favorites??