Tuesday, January 15, 2008

In Between

This title could apply in a couple of areas in my life right now - in between having two children and three, in between getting near to a full night of sleep and many short-on-sleep nights coming up, etc... you get the idea.

However, what I'm thinking specifically about is this: when you put Christmas decorations away and it isn't Spring yet ~ what kind of things do you decorate with? I'm not talking a full house decorating here, but a centerpiece for the table or a small something on the mantle. I'd love to hear your ideas!

Our dining room table is currently housing more clutter than I'd like it to - but, it has no centerpiece and somehow that is less motivating for me to keep it clear.

What does January say to you? Words that come to my mind are clean, fresh, new and rest. Hmmm, how can I incorporate those into something for our table? I'll be thinking on this today and looking forward to your comments!

34 comments:

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

A lot of times come January I want nothing out. If I feel the urge to have something out I will do something of a snow theme. For me new snow says clean, fresh and new. I might display a few snowpeople or hang some handmade snowflakes in my kitchen window.

Edi said...

Once all our Christmas stuff is put away - I have no desire to re-decorate. I want things to look simple and spartan.

Simple and spartan is kind of my decorating "style" (if I have one!) anyway...right now I have on a table runner and switche between a low, long wooden bowl (with fruit/vegetables in it or whatever other interesting things I can find to put in it) and a long wooden candle holder.

The two things switch places based on whether the table is empty (wooden bowl) or in use (wooden candle holder).

BTW - I didn't realize that you could freeze steamed broccoli...sounds like a great idea to try - thanks!

Mary Ann said...

Every year, I think I'll keep the snow themed Christmas decorations out through January, but every year, I am so ready to get it all packed up and get back a clean and organized and a little sparser look. This year, I did keep out the snowman salt and pepper shakers that look nice(and give a little seasonal flair) and are useful as well as a little snowman on my porch with pine cones. As far as a table centerpiece, right now I have a big flat basket filled with fruit(mostly citrus this time of year). It looks great and encourages us to eat more of it. I replenish it every week when grocery shopping. It is decorative and practical all at the same time. Over Christmas, I had a whole pineapple in the middle before cutting into it, and got so many compliments on the loveliness of the real fruit. I also like to get new candles and use them this time of year. It gives the house a fresh and clean feel.

Angela - Life w/ One Busy Boy said...

January - winter, snowman; late jan/Feb - Valentines; March/April - Easter, Spring

Susan P. said...

I love the look and smell of a simple bowl of oranges (good for you, too;o) and I also like to buy the large bunch of carnations that you can get at WalMart for just a few dollars ~ they last forever and bring in some color that is lacking in January!

Katy said...

I like the country prim look...so i always have something that works as a centerpiece or a grouping for on my table :) Sometimes, a simple candle is nice in the middle of the table as well :) good luck!

Growing in Grace (Nicole) said...

Once I put my Christmas stuff away I get out my snowman stuff. Nothing with green and red though, so if it's a christmas snowman it's put away. January says blue and white to me. I have a large vase that I've filled with pine cones, fake snow, and blue lights in my living room that I love the look of.

Tami said...

This is when I begin to put up some pink, white, red. I get a bit of the winter blues and look forward to the coming spring. A vase with pink, white and red carnations or pink tulips. A little bit of "valentine's" decorations.

Rebecca said...

After Christmas I throw on a nice white tablecloth and put something red in the center. A red floral or a grouping of red glass for Valentine's Day. OR sometimes, I will buy myself a bouquet of flowers. This is not holidayish at all. Simple. Colorful. Alive. A NICE change.

FOr St. Patties, I decorate the table with green. Once spring comes, it is robin's egg blue with nests about.

Sheila said...

After Christmas, i leave up some of my "non-Christmas" snowman just so my house doesn't feel so empty after all the Christmas decorations are down. I also have a candle with snowflakes on it sitting in the center of my table which goes with my snowflake place matts that i got on clearance after Christmas last year. I am enjoying all the yummy freezer recipes that you are making. I have a bunch more if you are interested in anymore i would be willing to email you some of my freezer recipes, i didn't get a chance to ever post any of them when you were first looking for them. jsbrown96@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Monica, I love to put out seasonal decorations all year around. In PA, the winters especially can get very gloomy. At Christmas time I just decotate with "Christmasy" items. I'll just share what I do all year around.

Jan.-Feb.-Snowmen, Snowflakes
Feb.-Valentines and hearts
March-April-Easter, eggs, spring
flowers
June-Aug-Sunflowers
July-4th of July, stars and red,
white, and blue
Sept.-Nov.-Fall leaves, pumpkins
Nov.-Pilgrims
Dec.-Christmas

Ruth, PA

Anonymous said...

I was going to say a snow theme, too ~ but I see others have suggested that as well as other good ideas! Love, Mom

Tara said...

I was struggling with the sparseness of our home decor afer Christmas as well. My plan was to buy a boquet of flowers for our table, but my daughter spied the balloon boquets at the store and squealed in delight! "Why not" I thought...these three balloons have been such a delight to have, I think I will do this every year!
It is also a temporary enough option that it nicely bridges the gap between new years and Valentines.
Good luck

Frances said...

In honor of the liturgical season of Lent (which is coming really early this year - Ash Wednesday is February 6th!) I would consider a simple arrangement that includes purple cloth, a bowl of sand, rocks, a candle, and a cross. Little symbols of a time of self-emptying in preparation for Easter ("I must decrease, He must increase"). Your "clean heart" theme goes right along with this, although having a baby is just too joyful (and demanding!) an event to practice strict asceticism.

Anonymous said...

I know the feeling of what you are asking, but this year I kept the snowy themed items out. We are having a snow princess birthday party for Lilly's 3rd b-day Feb. 2 so I kept out some pastel-ish snowmen that match the napkins and plates. Otherwise for my mantel I took an old window and cut scrapbook paper that I like and fit it into the back of the windowpanes and put a few candles up there also. You could use your mason jars and fill them with rock salt and votives to line your mantel.
I also get the Valentine's bug and hang a glittery red LOVE banner up and put my V-day kitchen towels out. You could also adapt the rock salt mason jar idea and use red votives or tie some red and white gingham ribbon around the jar. Wal-Mart has some cute fabric for $2 a yard and you could make a runner for your table.
Hope that helps!!
Enjoy your day and rest. Maybe that little boy will come Feb. 1st!
Elise

Jeanne said...

January is the month of minimalism for me. After a month of decorations everywhere, I fall back in love with simple, clean lines. The lack of a holiday decor helps me deep clean and feel de-cluttered (but err, nevermind the basement full of decor boxes).

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I am "in-between" apartment and house right now, so I know just how you feel. I don't have anything up at the moment. However, you got me thinking, and here's what I thought:

* Winter birds and red flowers
* Old books, especially children's readers
* Anything to brighten up this cold month!

melissa said...

I love decorating for January & February! I don't have much, but I do have a few snowmens that I put out on our windowsills. I also have a blue/white/snowflake table cloth and placemats that I use, as well as snowflake napkins. For February, I add a few red/pink items for V-day!

Paige said...

I am really enjoying the clean table and counters and mantle. However I am planning to get some nice Valentine themed decorations. Big Lots is a good source for those on the cheap. Also going to run by dollar tree and see what I can come up with. I'll post on my blog anything new. As for NOW< I have an keep year round, a garland of roses on my vintage ladder that stays in my room. The ladder was given to me by my grandmother, and has the paint spatters of the many houses and rooms she and my grandfather shared. Something about that screams romance to me, and I love it in our bedroom.

It's a Mom Thing said...

A bowl of green apples would look really nice and fresh. Something simple.

Stacey said...

Go with the color of snow: WHITE!! I use gorgeous white hydrangeas or peonies for my January centerpiece - it is fresh and lovely and reminds me of winter without the Christmas....

it is also simple and streamlined which is nice after the clutter of Christmas decorations.

Leaving snowmen is great, too.

Ruth said...

I like the white theme for January. I have some white snowflakes I crocheted and I like to hang those around. I also like a solid color tablecloth with a lace doily in the middle and then just a simple centerpiece. Going with the white, I like a white bowl. Maybe some snow berries. Just something simple.
Ruth

Lyn said...

Monica,
I had the same problem with my dining table too (it became a hot spot of clutter) so what has helped me is to put out cloth placemats/cloth napkins and in the middle is simply a napkin holder, S&P shakers & 2 taper candles with holders. It's simple but nice and keeps me from cluttering up the table anymore.

Anonymous said...

I love to change the decorations in my home for each season and have always struggled with how to handle January until I saw this on http://mabelshouse.blogspot.com/ on January 9th. The picture of a bare branch with all those colorful birds is just what I want. I'm going to be looking for little birds to purchase for the next few months and have them ready for next year. I've begun to put out red items in anticipation or Feb. now.

jen said...

I kind of jump ahead like all of the stores do...I'm on to Valentine's Day already--mostly because Feb. is such a short month and I want to enjoy all of the red and pink for awhile.

Feb. is a fun-packed month with lots of holidays, though. Before I had kids, I taught school, and we celebrated Groundhog Day, President's Day, National Dental Health Month and Valentine's Day.

Now with my own kids, I use some of my old classroom decorations for these fun holidays. I guess it might look strange to have 3-cornered hats made of construction paper as a center piece for your dining room table, but when you have kids, people understand and don't seem to mind. :)

Real World Martha said...

I am a big bliever in simple things like items natural to your area, pick a color that you can focus on, flowers or plants, fruit that are in season etc. Items like this bring freshness but also easy and usually inexpensive.
Blessings
Debbie aka The Real World Martha(S)
http://realworldmartha.wordpress.com

Just Jenny said...

Just wanted to comment on how inspiring everyone is in this post. I loved reading everyone's ideas. My favorite was from Ruth, PA she has a great monthly out line. I have been missing all the coziness that the extra holiday decor brought to our home. Now I am thinking about hanging some snow flakes my girls made, digging the snowmen back out, adding some blue fabric runners to the table. Just to spice things up.

REAL ME said...

I take all my stuff my Christms Decor down the first week. I might put some simple candle centerpices out. Then I do a lot of my deep cleaning (most people do this in the spring). I would rather be outside in the spring. Anyway, so by the 2nd week of Jan. I go ahead and pull out some simple Rustic and Primitive Decor for Valentines out. We keep that up unitl CLose to the last week of Feb. But it is kind of minimal compared to the other holidays I decorate for.

The Stepford Wife said...

Right about this time of year, I take down the Christmas/snow/winter stuff, because I've had enough of it all. Winters are long and hard here, and I don't want the house to be a reminder of that. I want it to be warm and inviting and lush. I transition right into Valentines.

My color theme is red, pink, white, and purple, and I rely on lots of candles, clear glass, flowers, and candy to carry the theme through. I also pull out all of the momentos I've aquired through our (my husband and I) life together. I cycle in lots of pictures of us as a couple, honeymoon pictures. Pull out various scrapbooks and photo journals, bring out momentos from our wedding... The centerpieces that were on the table, the floral arraingments that we had out and about, yadda yadda yadda. Those are nice because they match the decor, highlight the romance for my husband and I, bring back great memories, but don't look overly Valentine's or seasonally dated.

My table centerpiece is a crystal serving bowl with red, white, clear, and pinkish marbles, candy hearts, and tea lights. Around the bottom of the bowl is white sparkly ribbon, and small jars that used to be the smallest sized Yankee Jar candles, filled with candy hearts and/or Valentine's M&Ms. Last year I had silk rose petals in and around the setup too, but I don't know if I'm going to do that again.

Silk flowers, candles in the same theme with spicy and/or fruity smells (or chocolate smells), and pictures are on my other surfaces around the house, along with books with a romantic feel ("Gone with the Wind," "Wurthering Heights," Jane Austin books, etc). I also have a lot of red fake fruit out... A bowl of plastic (swear they were real) cherries, a bowl of wooden strawberries, a basket of red, red apples sprinked with cranberries, my wax berry box...

Basically, I have the cozy, warm, anti-winter theme all through the house.

Anonymous said...

Monica,
I thought of another idea. I was looking at Homespun Living's craft shop and in her Vintage category she has tartlet pans. If you have a white platter you could cluster some of the tartlet tins with a votive and use the mason jar with rock salt idea on the platter also. I may just use that idea myself.
Elise

Jennifer said...

I am new to your blog, but I'm finding it to be delightful.

I love your words, "Clean, fresh, new, rest." I might even write that on our kitchen blackboard...

I'm in the same boat as you. In between. I have a friend who does up Valentine's very nicely, but her house is done in beautiful pinks and greens (she has 4 boys, what can you say? she has to get some girlie in there somewhere...!). Sometimes I think about it... but then it's too much trouble right after Christmas, somehow.

I'm ready for some clean and fresh, myself.

Hope said...

What a great question. Most years I have not even noticed the emptiness after packing up Christmas. This year it has been different. The Lord has been convicting me to make my home more like heaven (I think I read that somewhere ....) and I think part of that is to make my home pleasing to my family member's eyes. And yet I am so worn out from Christmas. Next year as I take out Christmas and maybe buy a few new things I am going to plan what happens in January and actually make a special 'winter' box. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

Angela said...

I want paper snowflakes on the windows and simple cheery snowy decor. (Snowmen/snowflakes/children ice skating...)

Anonymous said...

I save snowmen, snowflakes, and light blue for January. We don't use these things during the Christmas season at all- they're in my "winter- after Christmas" box, along with winter childrens' books that aren't specifically Christmas themed. We hang crocheted snowflakes from the ceiling fan, tape homemade paper ones to the windows, etc.