Christmas at the Paraoan Residence

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Woohoo, we are officially in the Christmas season! I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving surrounded with family and friends. Sean & I spent our Thanksgiving at my aunt & uncle’s house. We enjoyed the typical Thanksgiving meal fare – turkey, ham, green bean casserole, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. We also had pancit and lumpia (I mean really, what’s a Filipino get-together without those dishes?!). Sean and I have been on the keto diet for the past few weeks, but we decided to let loose yesterday and be in carb heaven. I lost count how many pieces of lumpia I ate, haha!

We started our Black Friday shopping adventure this morning at 8:30 am. We didn’t do too much damage. I got makeup from Ulta and Sephora, clothes from Old Navy, Wallflowers from Bath & Body Works, and a new pan from JCPenney. I did order a bunch of stuff online – our Christmas cards from TinyPrints.com, gifts from ShopDisney, and gifts from Kate Spade. I can’t wait to see what kind of deals Cyber Monday will bring. And remember, Small Business Saturday is tomorrow!

Anyways, moving on… I wanted to share how I’ve decorated our home for my favorite holiday!

Let’s start with the front of our house, shall we? I saw a cool “letter to Santa” sign on Pinterest a few weeks ago. I thought it would be fun to make similar to use as a prop for our Christmas card photoshoot. I “Disney-fied” it to make it more “us.” I hot glued a ribbon to the back of it and hung it outside. That’s about as far as I got for our outside. I think next year we’ll go “all out!”

Is anyone else obsessed with Bullseye’s Playground (formally known as One Spot) at Target like I am?! 80% of my new Christmas decor came from there. I went to Target nearly everyday just to raid through Bullseye’s Playground. I was going nuts looking for the red sleigh! My good friend and fellow blogger, Kathy, gave me the heads up that it was finally in our local store. I don’t know why, but I’ve been really into sleighs lately!

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I put our Disney Christmas village on our entryway table. I actually found 2 of the buildings randomly at Value Village a few years ago! I remember feeling like I found gold when they caught my eye there. The other 2 came from Sears and Lowes. We added Tsums Tsums and laid down lights for an added effect. I’d like to add more to our collection, but we’re out of room on the table! Haha.

And on to the living room! It’s my favorite space. I made the “I use antlers in all of my decorating” (in reference to Gaston from Beauty & the Beast) and the “Merry everything and a happy always” signs. The Mickey & Minnie Alaska Adventures painting is by Noah. All the other signs came from Bullseye’s Playground. I was initially concerned about how small they were, but they fit nicely in this space.

I put our singing Disney train that I got from Hallmark last year on our coffee table.

I absolutely adore our tree! Sean and I are very specific when it comes to lights. We only wanted “cool white” lights and it was a pain in the butt to find a pre-lit tree that fit our wants. So we bought an unlit tree and strung it with tons of lights. Our tree is so bright! I LOVE IT. This year I bought a complete set of new ornaments from Michaels. We were using the same ornaments since 2011 and I felt like it was time for a change. I chose pink, pearl, and gray ornaments since it’s my favorite color combination. I bought all the ornaments and trimmed the tree before I went on a Bullseye’s Playground shopping craze… It didn’t even occur to me that it wasn’t all going to match (since the mantel is reds and greens). Oh well! =)

I put a mini tree on the landing of our stairway.

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Elsewhere around the house: We changed our placemats to the paper Disney Christmas themed ones I got from ShopDisney.com last year. Sean put a mini tree on the table as decor and it looks really cute. I’ll have to take a picture and update this post with it once I do.

Sean’s sister is staying with us next month when she comes and visits from college. I need to decorate the guestroom! 🙂

With Love

Decorating for Fall

Decorating for Fall

Sean and I got to celebrate Halloween in our home for the first time! Last year we were in Las Vegas for our anniversary, so my parents came over to pass out candy while we were gone. We were so excited to pass out candy this year since it was our first time doing it together. The condo we lived in was a secured access apartment style building, so we never had any trick or treaters. There wasn’t snow on the ground and it wasn’t incredibly cold, so it was cool to be able to see their costumes. When you live in Alaska, sometimes you don’t know what kids wear as costumes since they’re bundled up to beat the cold. Haha!

We put away our Halloween decorations a few days ago. I know you may not like what you’re about to read, but I am one of those people that decorates for Christmas before Thanksgiving. *GASPS* I usually start decorating mid-November. What can I say? I LOVE Christmas, I am Catholic, and I am Filipino (About 80% of Filipinos in Philippines are Catholic and actually start celebrating as early as September). Haha. I decided to attempt to decorate for Fall before I start decorating for Christmas. I don’t really have any fall type decorations and I didn’t want to spend money on new decor. Fall comes and goes in the blink of an eye here in Anchorage, Alaska which is also why I never really bothered in the past.

I left some of my Halloween pumpkins on the front porch. All I did was hot glue flowers onto the pumpkins. I got all of my supplies from Michaels.

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The other place I decorated was the mantel. Fun fact – I am obsessed with banners! I made these with my Cricut. I also used it to make the “Grateful hearts gather here” sign. I felt that the gray and brown colors were earthy. I like orange, but there’s nothing orange in the living room. The fireplace is one of my favorite areas in our home. We didn’t have one at our condo and it was one of my wish list items when we were shopping for a house. I always longed to get cozy around the fireplace with hot cocoa or coffee in hand.

  • Cogsworth, $80, ShopDisney.com
  • Beauty & the Beast art, $14.99, Box Lunch
  • Lumiere, $55, ShopDisney.com 
  • Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Alaska Adventure by Noah, $650, ShopDisney.com
  • Vintage Mickey & Minnie Mouse by Jim Shore, $40, available on Amazon
  • “Grateful hearts gather here” sign made by me
  • Banners made by me

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I know it’s not a lot… Basically all I have are the pumpkins, my sign, and the banners. Haha. This is as “Fall-like” as it’s going to get this year. Maybe next year I’ll do more!

With Love

“Welcome to the Haunted Mansion”

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“When hinges creak in door-less chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls. Whenever candle lights flicker where the air is deathly still. That is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight!” – HAUNTED MANSION

We moved into our new house last year in September. As much as I wanted to decorate for Halloween last year, the spooktacular holiday came and went in the blink of an eye. We were understandably busy getting settled in to our new abode. I made sure that we weren’t going to miss enjoying the season again this year. >:) 

I actually started decorating mid-September. Fall starts early here in Alaska, so it just felt seasonally right to me. I like to joke that my decorating schedule follows Disneyland and Disney World’s schedules. I wanted a fresh new beginning so I gave away most of my previous Halloween decor. I decided on a Haunted Mansion-esque theme, which calls for lots of black and purple.

I always aim to decorate without breaking the bank. I put in some DIY effort to create signs and banners. I was able to find a lot of cute items that fit the theme from Target’s Bullseye’s Playground (bka the dollar spot). My focus for decorating was the entrance and the living room. Maybe next year I’ll expand to other areas like the dining room or the kitchen (I can’t wait to do after season clearance raids!). Overall I just wanted my design to be simple, easy, inexpensive, and fun.


Entrance

Front Door 1

Front Door

  1. Banner made by me
  2. Hello decal made by AllThingsCuteDecals
  3. Welcome to the Haunted Mansion sign made by me
  4. Doormat from Fred Meyer, $10
  5. Tombstones from Fred Meyer, $12
  6. Lantern from Fred Meyer, $6

Coffee Table

Coffee Table 1

Coffee Table

  1. Black and purple candles from Target (Bullseye’s Playground), $3 each
  2. Room for one more Haunted Mansion sign from Character Outlet in Orlando
  3. Mini glitter pumpkins from Target (Bullseye’s Playground), $3 for the set of 4
  4. Table runner from Target (Bullseye’s Playground)
    Not Halloween related, but figured I’d add the details…
  5. Pillows and covers from IKEA, $5.99 pillows & $7 covers
  6. Faux orchid from Costco, $25
  7. Lamp from Fred Meyer

Fireplace

Fireplace 1

Fireplace

  1. Welcome Foolish Mortals sign made by me (and available on HappyDisneyThoughts!)
  2. Haunted Mansion sign made by me (also available on HappyDisneyThoughts)
  3. Purple and black banner made by me
  4. Small pumpkins from Target (Bullseye’s Playground), $3 each
  5. I’m Here for the Boos sign from Michaels, $5
  6. Happy Halloween sign from Target (Bullseye’s Playground), $3
  7. Mickey & Minnie pumpkin from Walgreens
  8. Crow animatronic from Target
  9. Mickey & Minnie decal by me (also available on HappyDisneyThoughts)
  10. Haunted house from Hallmark
  11. Spooky sign from Fred Meyer

I am very happy with how it all came together! I made a few projects, used items that I already had, and I spent $54 on new items. That’s a little more than I thought I would spend… but on the upside it’s a theme I foresee myself doing for years to come since it’s one of my favorite attractions!
With Love