Help Me Decorate Our First Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

I’m not going to stand here and say that E and I have a better Christmas tree than everyone else in Los Angeles. Because even though that’s absolutely true, it wouldn’t be in the spirit of the holidays, or whatever.

Last night, we decided it was time to get a tree. We have a new apartment now, so it’s time to fill it with new things. And sure, I’m sure some of you will wail, “But Erin, you don’t have practical things, like a proper dining room table or a couch that fits more than two people!” But to those people I say, “We’ll be damned if we don’t have something to make our house smell like the forest!”

I had spotted a place earlier in the week that looked acceptable. There were trees. There were lights. It was perfect. We took my Prius over to what we soon discovered was a former mechanics garage, or more officially, “Delancey Street Christmas Trees.”

Christmas Trees in Los Feliz

There were a few gentleman in zip-up hoodies waiting outside for us. Fellas that easily could have been the former mechanics from the garage. One of them was missing a bottom tooth.

No bother, we walked around the rows of fir trees. Or pines. Look, I don’t know the names of different firs, I won’t lie to you, but they did, and they told us all about the different kinds we might find on our shopping trip.

“There’s the [I can’t remember the name of it] fir, and it has sort of silvery leaves,” one mechanic-elf said.

Those ones were beautiful, by the way, but we were looking for something a little more traditional. A little more green. A little less expensive.

Which is when we happened to meet our newest house guest. She stood proud and full, closer to the back and out of the glaring spotlight. Yet, it was as if a halo of some invisible light shone around her.

“I like this one,” I said. “She’s nice,” E replied.

Before we knew it, we’d paid the elves a handful of cash, and they went to work on tying her to the roof of our car.

Tree tied to the roof

(Side note: How dashing is E here?!)

We tipped the elves, got in our car, and gingerly tottered down Los Feliz Boulevard and back to our apartment. Getting it into the elevator was also relatively easy, thanks to E, mainly, because lord knows that tree was just as tall as me and I cannot do heavy lifting.

She now sits in our dining room with two decorations proudly on her: a big red bow, and a reindeer ornament that E bought me for our 6-month anniversary last year. (Though, my former landlord once told me it was a “nice donkey.”)

We’ll be getting her some new accessories this weekend, but if anyone has any suggestions for easy and inexpensive options for the tree, please do share!

Important Apartment Question: What To Do With High Ceilings?

The ceilings in my current apartment are so low, that E can almost touch the top when he reaches his arms up. If he jumped, he’d easily reach it, and might even hit his head.

This won’t be the case, however, when we move into our new apartment. The ceilings are 10-11 feet tall, which is a lot more space than I’m used to dealing with. In some spots, there are already little accents to help break up all that blank wall monotony, (i.e. a fireplace in one corner of the room with a large mirror above it), but mostly it’s just this glaring blank canvas that we need to figure out how to fill.

Because I’ve never had this “problem” of excess space, I had to do some digging, and here’s what I keep coming across when it comes to high ceilings:

  • Art, especially when stacked, can help to make a room feel warm. It also draws the eye up, enhancing all of that ceiling space, rather than having it feel like it’s missing something. I’m definitely interested in a wall dedicated to art, and I love the idea of not having the same frames or shapes.

Mustard Living Room

  • Similarly, an accent wall can function as it’s own little piece of built-in art. A bright color adds a pop to the room, and does the heavy lifting of adding personality. Even in my current apartment with the small ceilings, I have an accent wall. It’s a cerulean blue, and I’m terrified of having to try and paint over it when we move out. Pray for me.

Accent Wall

  • A statement piece, like, say, a faux mounted head, can be a cool way to break up a doorframe. I feel weird saying that a mounted head can add something to the room, but I’m kind of all about it. Expect to see some faux heads in my living room, y’all.

Deer Head

  • To create balance in a room with high ceilings, a statement light fixture can do the trick. I’m really loving the way it pulls this bedroom together, but I do wonder what it would look like in a living room, or dining room area… (READ: Tell me what you think!)

High Ceiling Decorating

  • If you’re going to put up drapes, to make any room look taller, you want to hang the actual rod as close to the ceiling as you can, and have the drapes fall down to the floor completely. Much like vertical stripes, it makes everything look long and lean.

b0c108e64fcc90cd4d82621880647d9eI’m still on the hunt for more tips for high ceiling rooms, so if you’ve got any, do share!

Moving On Up To The East Side (Of Los Angeles)

Full disclosure: As I type this, my hands are shaking because of all of the stress of moving. If there are typos, or, say, a rambling paragraph about how I might light my hair on fire, please forgive me.

That being said, right now I am in the midst of moving from West Hollywood to Los Feliz. The difference is about 20 minutes, and a significantly closer proximity to hipsters. It’s slightly terrifying, and also extremely exciting.

I’ve been in my current apartment for four years, which is the longest I’ve ever lived in any apartment. (And the longest I’ve ever lived in any city.) Before that, I would hop around to a new apartment every year, or sometimes faster than that. In New York, I lived in three apartments over the course of a year, and not by choice. One was a sublet, the next went co-op, and the third was the final nail in my New York City coffin.

E and I weren’t expecting to move quite this quickly, we had always been thinking that we’d find a new place after the holidays and in the new year. But my friend Tom texted, and told me that a spot in his building had just opened up, so things changed very quickly.

BarCartandBoxesJust to give some background: Tom’s apartment is perfect. He lives in a two bedroom, two bath place with his boyfriend, Hadi, and it’s enormous; a huge living area, hardwood floors, a washer and dryer in the unit (I MEAN, WHAT???), and even a side area with a full bar. I’ve always said, quite literally, that “I want Tom and Hadi’s apartment.” So, to hear that a carbon copy had opened up in their building was the kick I needed to hop on the moving train.

Plus, and I’m sure other people can attest to this, moving into a brand new space with your significant other is really a big deal. Right now, E is living in my apartment. It’s ours, but it’s also really mine. My name is on the lease, it’s mostly all of my furniture, and I’d really like to share a place with him, where his furniture and things can be on the wall too. Because right now, there’s just no damn room for it.

So this month, we’ll be packing and shlepping our things from WeHo to Los Feliz. I’ve already become overwhelmed with all of the little details, (movers, rent, security deposits, new furniture, a housewarming party, a new commute, etc.), and E has been very good about calming me down. But I used to think moving was fun, and now that I’m older and a have a lot more stuff, it’s clear that the actual process of moving is complicated. And time consuming. And exhausting. And sweet sassy molassey, what is all this change about?!

I’m hopeful that after we move all of our physical stuff, the rest will just be exciting and new. But if anyone has any moving tips that could help us (seriously, ANYTHING), please let me know!