I Still Believe in the Magic of Christmas

Do you still believe in the magic of Christmas? If you’re like me, you’ll want to turn your beach house into a Winter Wonderland with affordable decor from Oriental Trading. Just so you know, I did receive free and festive decor to facilitate this post, but all opinions and photos are completely my own.

believe in the magic of christmas

Do you remember when Christmas was magical? You woke up on Christmas morning when you were ten (or younger if some jack wad ruined it for you before then) and all in the world was right? There was a Muppet Drum Set (the EXACT ONE you wanted…the ONE you asked Santa for) sitting under your tree, just waiting for you to make beautiful music (and drive your family insane). You’d asked Santa, he listened, and you were happier in that moment than you had ever been in your whole life, and possibly happier than you’d ever be again. THAT is magic; that is the magic of Christmas.

Let me let you in on a little secret: I still believe in the magic of Christmas. The exact minute I realize it’s time to buy the Thanksgiving meal is the exact moment that I start busting out the tree, the lights, the mistletoe, the…well, everything magical. To be honest, I really haven’t had a Christmas as magical as the one that I had when I was ten since then. Not because I didn’t get the exact gift I wanted, not because I wasn’t with the people I loved, but because nothing will ever compare to the magic that I felt that year; at that exact moment. But I still try to capture the magic…do you?

still believe in the magic of christmas

For all of these reasons, I completely, totally, and ridiculously deck the halls for Christmas each year. It looks like a winter wonderland (snowflakes on the ceiling and all) in my southeast Texas home because Christmas is magical and I want my children to always feel the magic of Christmas (long past their 10th birthday so shut your piehole if you want to be the jack wad that ruins it for them before then). But decking the halls, like all of them, can get quite expensive if you don’t know where to turn. It totally doesn’t have to be though. Making the magic come alive for Christmas is as easy as building up your decor over the years, stopping by your local dollar store, or (my favorite option because I don’t have to leave the house or get out of my jammies) shopping online with Oriental Trading Company.

believe in the magic of christmas

Just little touches around the house, everywhere, can bring the magic alive for you and the kids. How adorable is this paper towel holder, for real?

believe in the magic of christmas

Walkways through the house are great for lighting. To me, and apparently to my kids, lighting just makes the mood in the house feel more magical throughout the season.

still believe in christmas

A naughty and nice coffee station is a festive way to perk you up in the morning. (See what I did there? Perk. Coffee. I crack me up.)

believe in christmas

Of course, no Texas Christmas would be complete without a cowboy boot candy cane count down.

still believe in christmas

Turning a beach house into a winter wonderland does have its challenges though. But as long as you get your elf to play along, you can make your beachy decor work during the season of magic. Thankfully, Mikey the Elf is a really good sport!

believe in christmas

I love turning countertops into fun and festive spaces the kids can enjoy. Bubby, in particular, thinks this Snowman Candy Dish that I got from Oriental Trading Company is the BEST. THING. EVER! OK, maybe it’s the peppermints that he’s truly fond of, but I’m more partial to the dish.

believe in christmas

Our tiki bar even got a makeover for the season. Isn’t it magical?

believe in christmas

We all know that the tree is probably the MOST important decoration you can adorn during the Christmas season so decorating it to fit your seasonal theme, as well as your typical decor, is key for bringing this all together. Since I’m partial to snowmen during the holiday season, and beachy and sparkly things adorn my home for the rest of the year, it’s no surprise that we decorate our tree with a combination of both. Flip flops, glitter, and snowman candy cane ornaments for the win!

Do you still believe in the magic of Christmas? If so, how do you transform your home into a winter wonderland? If you find the whole process too time consuming or expensive, you might be looking in the wrong places. This year, and every year, turn to Oriental Trading Company for all of your holiday needs. Fun, festive, and affordable holiday decor you’ll display for years to come. Look, we all have to grow up, but we don’t have to grow old and stop believing in magic. Embrace the season, enjoy, and just believe in the magic of Christmas again! I believe; do you?

Beach House to Haunted House for Halloween

Learn how to transform your beach house into a haunted house for Halloween with affordable decor from Oriental Trading. Just so you know, I did receive free and freaky decor to facilitate this post, but all opinions and photos are completely my own.

beach house to haunted house

Beach House to Haunted House on a Budget

Halloween is my second favorite holiday, coming in as a very close second to Christmas of course. Since Bubby is basically a Halloween baby, we like to “do it up” around here and we tend to start early. Our house is full of beach decor in hues of blue and green so it’s kind of tricky to give it that scary feel that we want for the month of October. But with the help of affordable Halloween Decor from Oriental Trading, we can easily transform our beach house into a Haunted House for Halloween!

beach house to haunted house

Reapers, and skeletons, and spiders…oh my! With just a few simple touches, you don’t have to makeover your house for Halloween, just creep it up a bit!

beach house to haunted house

Solo Man is by far Bubby’s favorite Halloween decoration so he typically goes up first. The frightful banter and glowing eyes from this guy spooks passers by every evening and it’s way funnier than it should be to me!

beach house to haunted house

No haunted house would be complete without a reaper!

beach house to haunted house

This year’s new addition for our outside decor, Greta, is ready to greet all of the trick or treaters as they walk up this year.

beach house to haunted house

Making the inside of our home a little scary is always more of a struggle. I mean, there’s nothing scary about seashells, light blues and greens, and anchors, right? But with a little imagination, it’s pretty simple to change things up. Hang webs from windows and add a few spiders.

beach house to haunted house

Hang motion-activated (scary as hell) slashing bats from walkways.

beach house to haunted house

Cover antique desktops with bloody clothes and skeletons, and things start to take shape quickly!

beach house to haunted house

Placing signs and potion bottles on your tiki bar gives it a festive flair.

beach house to haunted house

And my absolute favorite, the screaming, shaking skeleton in his cage, hangs just outside my kitchen so that every time I drop, chop, or pop something, he starts chattering and cracks me up!

beach house to haunted house

Our backyard graveyard (in the jungle) is a great place for entertaining all of our ghoulish friends. Really, when it all comes down to it, it’s so simple and affordable to turn your beach house into a haunted house with the help of Oriental Trading, a few dollar store items, and after-Halloween sale items from your favorite big box store.

What do you do to boo during the month of October?

We’re Going to Surf with Santa and Visit SpongeBob at ICE LAND!

Thanks to Schlitterbahn, Moody Gardens, and US Family Guide, we’ll be surfing with Santa at Schlitterbahn and visiting SpongeBob at Moody Gardens ICE LAND this weekend. As always, all opinions are entirely my own. #BahnHoliday #MGIceLand

Schlitterbahn Galveston, Moody Gardens Galveston, ICE LAND, winter events in Galveston

Do you remember over the summer when we had the Bubby dubbed, “best day ever” at Schlitterbahn Galveston? Well, guess what? Dudes, we’re going back for some holiday fun. That’s right, a water park in the wintertime, because our island is cool like that. Santa is inviting kids to a very different kind of holiday party – Holiday Splash at Schlitterbahn Galveston Island. During the park’s Holiday Splash, which takes place weekends and select dates from November 28, 2014 through January 4, 2015, Santa is giving surf lessons to kids on the Boogie Bahn (I’m pocket sized, I’m going to try to slip in the line too). Kids can also make holiday ornaments, swim in an artificial snow storm, and enjoy a sprinkle of holiday cheer.

Schlitterbahn Galveston Holiday Splash, winter activities in Galveston, Christmas in Galveston

Wait. What? That’s not enough to entice you to want to come join us? Don’t worry, there’s more! When you’re done playing in the “snow” and surfing with Santa, you’ll want to grab your parka and head over to Moody Garden’s ICE LAND Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants!

Moody Garden ICE LAND, winter activities in Galveston

Now through January 4, 2015, you can visit this Winter Wonderland (since we really don’t see snow here in southeast Texas) and your kids will be thrilled. I know mine are going to be! A skilled team of 31 internationally-acclaimed professional ice carvers from Harbin, China dove into 900 tons of ice (wow, that’s a lot of ice) and transformed them into majestic marvels featuring holiday scenes with the beloved Bikini Bottom inhabitants from Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. Chilled and held at a temperature of 9 degrees (oh my frigid bones…but they provide you with parkas, so it’s OK), you can witness these works of art as Galveston makes its holiday transformation into a Winter Wonder Island.

We loved Schlitterbahn Galveston this summer and we can’t wait to go back and visit Moody Gardens this weekend to enjoy some holiday cheer. Plus, Santa and SpongeBob in one place is pretty much pure heaven on earth for my little ones (and me). If you’re visiting Galveston anytime soon, this is one spot you won’t want to pass up. If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by. We’d love to see you! I’ll be back next week to share our weekend of fun.

In the meantime, you might want to follow along on Facebook and Twitter to find out all of the other cool stuff that Schlitterbahn Galveston and Moody Gardens have to offer all year long. I love living on this island and I hope you’ll come join us this weekend!