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New Living Room


We recently moved to a tiny town. It is the smallest town either of us have ever lived in. There is no traffic light or fast food but the scenery is pretty nice.

The house we are living in (with a garage and a shed) has less than half the square feet of the home and garage we left. In order to keep this small space orderly and neat, everything needs an assigned spot. Organization is a must.

Before we moved I had two moving sales. Once we arrived at the new house, we unloaded everything, and anything that would not fit in the house went to the garage. Then I had a garage sale and donated most everything that did not sell. At the old house I had a bedroom that I used as a storage room (filled mostly with seasonal decor). One side of the garage is now used like that room.


Something that has been fun is seeing old items in a new space. The rug and record player from the dining room, the wingback chairs and side table from the master bedroom, and the ottoman, lamp, and decor from the den are now being used in the living room. I am using the trunk that was in the guest room as a coffee table for the time being. My mom gave me a couple of cow hide rugs so I layered this one in the living room.

Other than a new coffee table and new curtains, this area of the house is pretty much done. I like the mix of patterns and styles with the wood burning stove and cabin style ceiling and walls. I am still waiting for my new dining table. If we purchase the home, I will have a few light fixtures to replace, a few projects, some pictures to hang, and some exterior painting to do.


How To Decorate Your Mailbox For Christmas

As I previously mentioned, I wanted to decorate my mailbox this year. I found some inspiration on Pinterest but I did not know if I would be able to get magnolia leaves. On Friday I went to Lowe’s and purchased some cedar garland and managed to get a few Christmas tree trimmings.

It was rainy and gloomy but if I was going to get this decorating done the week before Christmas, it was now or never.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas


I spent a lot of the following Saturday working on the mailbox and what I ended up with was a monstrosity. The lime green color of the cedar, the silver picks, the red ornaments, and the big red bow shouted “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.” It looked like I had stolen the Grinch’s hair to decorate the mailbox.

But, thankfully, I ran into my neighbor who has a magnolia tree in their backyard and they cut some limbs for me. The next day I started over completely.

How-To Make A Magnolia Arrangement


It was raining all day and my mailbox needs pressure washing so ignore it and the dreary lighting .

Step 1

If you have a brick mailbox, you can do what I (Matt) did, drill a hole in the grout and you can always fill it back in later. Matt had a roll of wire mesh (hardware cloth fencing) in the garage. He cut a piece for me and marked the middle with a sharpie.

He also gave me access to his vast zip-tie collection.

Step 2

I started by zip-tying the Christmas tree limbs on each side.

I let the mesh shape itself around the mailbox.

Step 3

Because I needed to be able to thread the zip ties and fishing line through the mesh, I removed the screw and moved the arrangement to the garage on top of a wooden box.

I had already separated the pieces of garland and cut the magnolia stems off of the limbs. I started layering the cedar pieces over the Christmas tree limbs. I used different size zip-ties by threading them through the mesh.

Step 4

I decided where I wanted my pinecones to go so I wrapped the bottoms with fishing line and the threaded it through the mesh, allowing some give so that the pinecones could sit on top of the magnolia stems.

Step 5

Once I had my base, I started installing the magnolia stems.

I wish I had paid more attention during this step. I should have noticed that the front of the arrangement was showing the brown side of the leaves.

Step 6

I added some red ornaments with skinny zip-ties and then took the arrangement outside to check on how it was looking. I also added some silver glittered ting ting. I made sure to confirm where the arrangement would sit in relation to the screw hole.

Step 7

I brought the arrangement back to the garage. The next step was the bow. This year I purchased the worst outdoor, red velvet ribbon ever made. It does not have wire so making it do anything is impossible. My bows made with this ribbon are horrible but it was slim pickings this year.

I used a zip-tie to secure the bow by threading it through the mesh. However, I did not tighten it completely because I still needed to put the screw back through the mesh.

I brought the arrangement back to the mailbox, installed the screw, and tightened the zip-tie securing the bow.

Cedar and Magnolia Leaves For Christmas

My original plan was to visit a Christmas tree farm or store selling trees to get limbs and I hoped to find someone with a magnolia tree that did not mind cutting a few limbs. I finally went to Lowe’s and purchased cedar garland and got a few straggly Christmas tree limbs. I worked on a floral arrangement for the mailbox using the cedar garland and the tree limbs for hours. What I ended up with was not what I had envisioned.

Thankfully, I ran into my neighbor who has a magnolia tree in their backyard and they cut some limbs for me. I tore up everything and started over.


I added magnolia leaves to the front door garland and wreath. If I had more leaves, I would redo the wreath completely but it’s a week before Christmas, so it’s just fine.

Please ignore my mailbox. It needs to be pressure washed.

I prefer the mailbox arrangement from the side. I should have paid more attention to what side of the leaves were facing forward as I zip-tied each stem. Again, it is a week before Christmas, it’s fine.


Since I had two magnolia stems and some cedar leftover, I placed some cedar around the den.

I placed the magnolia stems and some cedar on the foyer table.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with my decorations this year. Merry Christmas!