I'm usually all about fall colors and pumpkins galore, but now that we have a house, I'm loving the chance to fill it with so many fun, cozy and special Christmas decorations. But I don't think you need to spend a whole lot to make things festive — you just need to get creative.
Here are some of the budget-friendly things I've come up with (and don't miss the fudge recipe at the very bottom!):
I've been a little obsessed with vintage glass ornaments this Christmas. Not only are they so pretty to decorate with, but they're also easy to find at most antique stores (and are just a few dollars a piece/set). The display on the left is the centerpiece for my dining room table, and the one below sits on my fireplace mantel.
And more! You can throw them in just about any vase, votive or bowl.
I love my little winter wonderland display. This set of trees was only $2 at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and since I didn't have any fake snow, I just used cotton balls.
There's definitely a little bit of a vintage camera theme around my house. I found this old holiday-themed Polaroid advertisement at an antique store in Harrisonburg for a few dollars.
I made this mitten garland and candy cane candle last weekend at blogger/crafter/espresso caterer Suzie Schmitt's monthly "Crafternoon" in Blacksburg. You can find a tutorial for the garland and so many more cute ideas on her blog, The Green Cupboard.
I love displaying all the Christmas cards we get — and this is such an easy way to do it. I used twine and tiny gold clothespins that were hiding in our junk drawer.
Home sweet home. Hope you got an idea or two to use at your own house!
5-minute Peppermint Candy Cane Fudge
I love recipes that have a very small chance of messing up. My husband and I made this last Saturday morning, and it's amazing! All you need are five ingredients and a microwave.
Combine milk, chocolate and butter in a bowl and microwave for about a minute. Stir to combine and heat another 15 seconds if needed.
Add extract and stir until smooth. Scoop onto a parchment-lined baking dish. Spread with a spatula to about 1-inch thickness. Top with crushed candy canes. Chill until ready to serve. Slice into 1-inch squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
It might sound weird (as a portrait photographer and all), but I'm saying it anyway: The fewer photos I have of you looking at the camera, the better.
Not that I don't take those kinds of photos (I do, promise), but unposed, in-between moments have always been my favorites. They're more real and more intimate. Plus, it's my job to photograph your connection with each other, not with me.
So when I met with Megan a few days before her family session and she told me she wasn't looking for a lot of posed shots, I was one happy photographer.
And this was perfect, because their family was so fun to hang out with! Two-year-old Camden kept me on my feet as we explored the neighboring orchard and ran up and down the hill, and 6-month-old Madison was all smiles — despite the cold. She was such a trooper! (Also, if you need holiday fashion inspiration, just copy her look.)
About their location:
We shot at Megan's parents' house in Troutville, Va. Surrounded by gorgeous mountain views, a wide-open backyard and an apple orchard, it was an amazing spot for their cozy family session. Not to mention, the house provided a nice little getaway from the cold.
Welcome to the blog! I'm Laura, a Charlottesville-area photographer specializing in authentic, natural-light photography and heirloom print art. Hope you'll explore my little online home and reach out if you have any questions!