How to Display Your Family Photos Elegantly

Photographs capture special moments in time. For families, they can serve as reminders of an important milestone during special events and holidays. While most of us typically just place photos in albums or tables, these precious images can also be used as unique and uplifting décor accents. By creating a sophisticated display using photographs, you can fill your space with both warmth and nostalgia. Courtesy of Tree Classics, here are a couple of décor inspirations you can immediately use for your home.

 

An empty white wall is always a great canvas for a photograph display. Encase your photographs in minimalist frames and arrange them in the order you prefer. You can display them chronologically or even at random. The important thing to remember is the entire display should be symmetrical. This creates a clean and refined look that’s simply pleasant to look at.

 

The wall beside a staircase is also an ideal space for your photographs. These spots are mostly left vacant, so putting framed pictures in that area can add a special classiness to your home. Add a couple of pictures near the steps and family members will feel like they’re taking a journey while they tread up and down the stairs.

 

The area near the stairs is also a great location for your photographs, since it provides the same effect of the previous decorating concept. For this section, try to mix it up a bit. Different positions create an interesting but still delightful effect. Adding a few mirrors can provide a nice contrast, creating a theme that’s charming to look at while still being heartwarming.

 

The dining room is another wonderful location, since this is where the family gathers and spends time together especially during holidays. Having them surrounded by their most cherished memories is nothing short of perfect. Pick out a frame that complements well with your table and dining room table. If you have wood and hardwood floors, get a frame with a dark border to create an interesting contrast.

 

If you have no space in your home or if you prefer something fancy and jolly, you can always wait for the holidays and just hang those lovely photos on your Christmas trees. Placing photos of past Christmases in small frames and tying them to your branches can create a look that’s both dazzling and uplifting.

Create a sophisticated and charming home filled with memories using your family photographs! Stay tuned to Tree Classics’ for more décor inspirations for your precious home.

How Does Tree Classics’ Real Feel Technology Set Our Products Apart?

During Christmas time, family members leave their professional lives in the city and travel to their hometowns to celebrate everyone’s favorite holiday with loved ones. One of the things they look forward to when they get to their childhood home is the Christmas tree, the star and centerpiece of the Yuletide season. Wouldn’t it be great if they could come home to a tree that looks and feels just like the real thing? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could see something that would remind them of the warmth of Christmases past and cherished family traditions? It definitely would make the journey home even more special. With Tree Classics’s Real FeelTM Technology, you can have the perfect artificial Christmas tree to highlight these timeless Christmas reunions.  Fraser 1

What is Tree Classics’ Real Feel Technology?

Beautiful realism in Tree Classics’ Christmas tree branches.

Real FeelTM Technology is Tree Classics’ innovative solution to give our artificial Christmas trees with superb realism. In this process, our experts gather actual branch cuttings of trees and use them as models for their wide array of products. We also construct the foliage using high quality PE needles. When taken together, this creates the branches and tips on our Christmas trees and wreaths that capture the shape, color and lushness of trees found in evergreen forests.

The realism of our Christmas trees elevates homes to new stylish heights and evokes the serene and much cherished ambiance that’s associated with the holiday season. What’s particularly marvelous with Tree Classics’s Real FeelTM Christmas trees is that you get all the beauty and heartfelt atmosphere of a real tree, without the hassles involved, such as sap, needle shedding and constant disposal.

What are some of Tree Classics’ Real FeelTM Trees?  .

 Our Ontario Spruce Christmas Tree is made using our Real Feel Technology.

One delightful product that has our Real FeelTM Technology is the Ontario Spruce Christmas Tree. Inspired by the white spruce commonly seen in Southern Ontario, this tree has one of the finest PE needles in the market, producing a level of realism that’s simply breathtaking. Looking at the needles, you’ll notice the similarity in color and texture much like its inspiration.

Our Monticello Regency Fir has branches that resemble its inspiration.

Another product that captures the spirit of the real tree is our Monticello Regency Fir Christmas Tree. With its teardrop shape and abundance of PE needles, this tree looks like the healthiest of fir trees in the middle of a dense forest. Its bountiful appearance will both charm family members and impress guests.

Fill your home with the unmatched beauty and classic appeal of Christmas using Tree Classics Real FeelTM technology. View our wide selection of products to find the perfect tree for your home and holiday celebrations.

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Patio with Unique Outdoor Lawn Ornaments

Autumn is a time for reflection and looking back at life’s wonderful moments. With its splash of earth tones and cool weather, the season provides décor inspiration for preparing your patio with that old outdoorsy charm. Tree Classics presents outdoor decorating ideas you’ll love.

Outdoor Fabric Canopy

Fabric canopy over outdoor table setupInvite family and friends over for a good old-fashioned al fresco dinner. With a wooden table and some outdoor chairs, you can create the perfect table setting crowned by a country-inspired fabric canopy. You can also use outdoor lawn chairs for a more relaxed atmosphere. Sunup or sundown, you can create wonderful memories and inspire heartwarming conversations with this outdoor setup

Old Chair Swing

A swing made from an old chairEncourage family and friends to play outside by repainting an old chair and hanging it on a sturdy tree to be used as a swing. Aside from a place to relax and play, this old chair swing gives your home a friendly, welcoming appearance. You can also use it as your own quiet place where you can reflect, read a good book, or drink some tea.

Outdoor Spheres

Outdoor chicken wire spheresFor a quick and easy patio or garden makeover, mold chicken wire into spheres and use them to decorate your outdoor space. Use spray paint to give them a colorful or monochromatic look. You can even add some lights inside the spheres if they’ll be used near a power socket. Beautifully practical, they can be reused each year with a quick respray and reshaping of the chicken wire.

Potted Trees and Topiaries

Tree Classics Potted Natural Cut Fraser Fir TreeFor many, the fall is also the season of the harvest. Foliage fall décor is ideal during autumn because it denotes abundance and prosperity. Use them on your patio as homage to the harvest season and embellish them with dried flowers and pumpkin ornaments for a fall-inspired look.

The Classic Wreath

Tree Classics Classic Cranberry WreathA traditional décor piece, the wreath has been used to decorate front doors and mantels for years. A variety of types, colors, and shapes make it a versatile piece, allowing it to be used throughout the year. This fall, decorate your front patio with a wreath that carries the colors of the season. Bright reds and earthy tones make for a picture-perfect fall décor piece.

With a tad of resourcefulness and a little bit of effort, you can make your patio an autumn haven for you and your family. The ideas shared above show how you can make your outdoor patio more beautiful and enjoyable during the fall. Combine them with some of your original ideas and enjoy the great outdoors before the holiday rush comes.

How to Decorate All Year Round with Artificial Wreaths and Garlands

Artificial wreaths and garlands are timeless decorating staples for any home. They’re easy to use, elegant even without any additional accents, and complement various styles. Most people assume that these wonderful items can only be used as Christmas decorations, but what they don’t know is that they can be displayed year round. Learn how to use these smart and stylish ornamental pieces with this decorating guide from the Tree Classics blog.

A bare wall with a Christmas wreath.

 

Artificial Wreath Decorating Ideas

One idea is to place a wreath against a bare white wall. The foliage is often stunning enough on its own. It’s a great idea to take advantage of the natural contrast. Let the verdure and its vibrant green color bring an animated spirit to your space. If you want a little more character, add an earth-toned bow or even a colorful ornament.

A wreath paired with candles and potted plants.

You can also combine your wreath with other foliage products. Pairing your wreath with a green swag and simple tabletop trees can create a display that’s brimming with life. You can also include a candle or even a plant in a different hue. This design idea is particularly recommended for stuffy rooms that need a fresh atmosphere.

Countryside Christmas Wreath

Of course, there are also several Christmas wreaths out there that can be used for other seasons. Tree Classics’ Countryside Christmas Artificial Wreath features orange pine cones, berries, acorns, and twig balls that can easily go well with an autumn theme. This quaint and beautiful wreath can complement pumpkins, gourds, autumn leaves, and various fall candles. Place this on your mantel, or hang it on your door for a hint of rustic elegance.

Artificial Garland Decorating Ideas

A mantel with a nature inspired garland theme.

Garlands can be used for various times of the year. Consider creating a display inspired by nature in your mantel. Pairing a simple but beautiful garland, such as our Classic Fraser Fir, with a couple more plants of different varieties, adorned with silver decor, animal figurines and a captivating oil painting, can create a showcase that calls to mind the beauty of the outdoors.

A staircase decorated with beautiful artificial garlands.

Garlands with ribbons can also be used to highlight your staircase. This quick addition will turn your steps into a magnificent showpiece.

An autumn-inspired garland theme.

You can also hang your garland on the mantel and embellish it with real oranges and lemons. Simple yet sophisticated, this design ideas uses color with a zest. Even without an elaborate theme and various accents, you’ll be guaranteed a display that matches the ecstatic hues found outdoors.

Eager to decorate with foliage no matter the season? Use these beloved holiday items during the whole year and enjoy a gorgeous and lively display for the entire family. Visit Tree Classics for more design inspiration for your home.

5 Fun Ideas for Christmas in July Invitations

July is one of the best months to throw a party in the outdoors. With bright clear skies and the cool climate about, this month offers you a chance to have fun in the summer sunshine with friends and family. This is also the perfect season to celebrate Christmas. You read that right: now is the best time to celebrate Christmas in July! And once you’re set on celebrating Christmas midyear, get the word out about your wonderful summer shindig with five fun ideas for your Christmas in July invitations.

1. Open with ‘Sea’s Suns Greetings’

Seashells

Make your Christmas in July party invitations more exciting by switching up the classic Christmas card saying “Season’s Greetings” with the clever “Sea’s Suns Greetings” instead. This is super fun if you’re having a beach or pool party. You can even try dressing up your card with a few seashells or a sprinkling of sand.

2. Require Presents for a ‘Bad Santa’ Gift Exchange

Man Carrying Gifts

Want some good-humored fun? Ask guests to bring a summer-inspired white elephant gift for a traditional “Bad Santa” gift exchange. Let them pick out an item that would entertain the recipient in a light-hearted way. With a little bit of creativity, you can save up on expensive gifts while having lots of laughs with your guests.

3. Send out Santa Hats for Guests to Wear

A Santa Hat on a Christmas Tree

Instead of handing out the usual party invitation, try sending Santa hats to guests. Ask them to decorate their hats beforehand and wear them to the party. The guest with the best decorated Santa hat wins an awesome door prize.

4. Deliver a Box of Christmas Goodies

Chocolate Cupcakes

Satisfy cravings for sweets with a sampling of Christmas treats as the invitation to your dessert buffet. Don’t forget to add a gift tag indicating the date, time, and venue of the party. You can also ask guests to bring their family’s own favorite Christmas dessert. This way everyone will leave with jolly tummies.

5. Have Guests Wear Ugly Hawaiian Shirts 

Instead of asking guests to wear ugly Christmas sweaters (it’s too hot for that!) ask them to wear an ugly (or pretty) luau shirt. The best, er, worst dressed party goers get a prize!

With a little effort, you can have lots of laughs coming up with fun Christmas in July party invitations. What’s your unique way of inviting guests to your summer parties? Tell us!

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[1] Image by Jennifer Ellison / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
[2] Image by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
[3] Image by zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
[4] Image by Serge Bertasius Photography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
[5] Image by Supertrooper / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tree Classics’ Favorite Recipes: Delicious Winter Soups

With the winter season now in full swing, what better way to fight off the cold than savoring a nice hearty bowl of home-cooked soup? Filling and nutritious, a good soup dish can easily warm you up during long chilly nights and can also perk you up when you feel a little bit under the weather.

For this edition of Tree Classics’ Favorite Recipes, we give you five healthy and mouth-watering soup recipes. Simple and easy-to-prepare, these delectable dishes are sure to keep you warm and cozy for the cold winter days ahead.

Simple Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons 

For a quick and easy dish, try this simple tomato soup and grilled cheese crouton recipe from All Day I Dream About Food. A bowl of this delicious soup can provide you with your daily dose of lycopene that can help prevent cancer in the body. The tomatoes also contain niacin, folate, and vitamin B6 that reduce the risk of heart ailments.

The grilled cheese croutons, on the other hand, are made from gluten-free ingredients so you don’t have to worry about the harmful effects of this protein on your health.

Cauliflower Hazelnut Soup with Fried Sage

Want to incorporate more fresh produce in your diet? This cauliflower hazelnut soup with fried sage from What’s Cooking Good Looking gives you a scrumptious and nutritious choice for your meals. A generous serving of cauliflower provides you with vitamin C and manganese, two well-known antioxidants that help cleanse the body. This vegetable is also a great source of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the risk of inflammation-mediated diseases, such as arthritis, obesity, and diabetes mellitus. The hazelnut and fried sage help add a burst of flavor to every spoonful of this soup.

Easy Minestrone Soup

Bring back memories of the old country with this easy-to-cook minestrone soup from Lemons and Anchovies. Made from a potful of pantry and refrigerator staples, such as beans, tomatoes, cabbages, and cheeses, this Italian recipe is an excellent filling meal on its own. Whip up a nice batch for those spontaneous sleepovers during snowstorm shut-ins.

French Onion Soup

Titillate your taste buds with this delectable French onion soup from The Curvy Carrot. This version of the French country dish substitutes meat stock for vegetable stock, making it a little longer to prepare but tastier and healthier. Pair it with a slice of crusty baguette for a fine meal during long rainy days.   

Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup

Put a spin on the famous cure for colds with iVillage’s Chinese chicken noodle soup. This Asian-inspired recipe combines satisfying taste of chicken broth with the refreshing flavor of ginger. And while experts are still not sure whether or not there is truth to the myth, a healthy serving of this chicken soup can help ease bronchitis, coughs, and flu thanks to the watercress leaves.

This season, fight off the cold by enjoying a nice warm bowl of these healthy and delicious winter soups.

7 Delicious Winter Salads to Try at Home

One of the best things to have as a healthful pick-me-up on a gloomy winter day is a fresh salad. These colorful and light dishes are a wonderful way to brighten up your lunches. Best of all, unlike other types of food, salads won’t bog you down and make you feel sluggish especially during the cold season. Here are seven delicious recipes you can enjoy at home to help you feel energized!

Holiday Salad with Cranberry, Apple, and Orange Vinaigrette

This holiday salad features a delicious and zesty cranberry, apple and orange vinaigrette Photo from Oh She Glows

Combine the pleasing zests of autumn and winter in a single dish with this holiday salad from Oh She Glows. This appetizing recipe features luscious cranberries, crunchy walnuts, and crisp apple and pear slices. The wonderful array of complementary ingredients is made tangier by an amazing dressing stewed to perfection using fresh fruits.

Orange Pomegranate Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Kids will absolutely love this sweet and fruity orange and pomegranate salad

This wonderful recipe from Brooklyn Supper features crunchy greens and a colorful selection of citrus fruits. A wonderful mixture of sweet, sour, and bitter, this healthful dish is guaranteed to delight – either as lunch or supper – when you’re watching the calories. This is especially perfect with a chilled bottle of white wine.

Roasted Carrot and Leek Cranberry Quinoa Salad

This salad from Peachy Palate features a yummy array of bright and tasty vegetables Photo from Peachy Palate

A favorite among those who like their salads to be on the sweet side, this recipe from Peachy Palate features carrots and leeks tossed in a huge dollop of maple syrup. It is then topped with pecans and cranberries. Kids will certainly have a change of heart when it comes to vegetables after trying this amazing and irresistible dish.

Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad

Enjoy a savory dish with this sweet potato and spinach salad Photo from Ang Sarap

This sweet potato and spinach salad from Ang Sarap is another treat for those with a sweet tooth. What’s particularly wonderful about this dish is how the spinach and hard-boiled eggs contrast beautifully with the soft sweet potato, creating a full profile of flavors and textures. This is especially great with grilled and smoky food choices.

Winter Green Salad with Walnuts, Apples, and Parmesan Anchovy Dressing

This mouthwatering salad from Serious Eats features parmesan cheese, giving it a classic Italian touch. The dish also comes with an anchovy dressing that instantly reminds foodies of the sweet-salty flavors of the sea.

Winter Pumpkin Millet Salad

Bring countryside flavors to your dining table with this winter pumpkin millet salad from Green Kitchen Stories. This dish includes butternut squash, sliced avocados, grapes, and romanesco broccoli, a delicious mixture that will win anyone over. It also features raw millet, a grainy seed that gives the recipe an irresistible earthy taste.

White Bean Salad with Blood Orange Dressing

This white bean salad features a lovely blood orange dressing Photo from Jilly Inspired

A lovely treat courtesy of Jilly Inspired, this recipe features crunchy white beans, zesty tomatoes, and delectable artichoke hearts. The true star of this dish, however, is the luscious blood orange dressing and bitter parsley leaves.

Enjoy light and delicious flavors that provide a healthful pick-me-up this winter season with these astounding salad recommendations from Tree Classics.

Photo Credits

Photo by Renee S. Suen via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

How to Clean and Store an Artificial Christmas Tree

One of the best things about owning an artificial Christmas tree is the fact that you can use it again for years. But in order for it to remain as beautiful and lush as when you first bought it, you have to take proper care of it especially when you’re about to store it. Here is an easy-to-follow guide on how to clean and store your artificial Christmas tree once your yuletide celebrations have come to an end.

1. Remove all your Christmas ornaments first. Make sure that they are: categorized according to type; wrapped in tissue paper; stored in an airtight plastic container. Place these in a cool and dry location, away from sunlight and heat sources. You can learn creative ideas for storing Christmas decorations from our practical guide.

make sure you disconnect all your Christmas lights

2. Next, take down all of the lights and separate all connections. Untangle the lines and store them in a safe location. Tree Classics has also created an easy step-by-step guide on how to store Christmas lights.

3. While the tree is still standing upright, get your vacuum, plug it in, and place it on medium speed. Gently sweep the branches and trunks. You may need to mildly move some of the branches to get to the deeper parts. Be careful when you do so.

4. Make a mixture of warm water and soap. Dip a clean towel in the soap solution. Softly wipe the branches. WARNING: Do not dab prelit trees with a wet cloth. Use a dry and clean rag instead.

straighten our your branches after you vacuum them

5. Now is the perfect time to start disassembling your tree. Unfluff the branches and make sure that all of the branches are facing one direction. Flatten the foliage using your hands. Separate the sections afterwards.

Store your tree in Tree Classics' Extra Large Tree Dolly

6. Once everything has been taken down, store your tree in its original box. These boxes are sturdy enough to protect your tree from any bumps while it is in storage. You can also purchase our Extra Large Tree Dolly, which can store artificial Christmas trees that are up to 9 feet tall. It is made of durable red polyester fabric, promising years of protection for your holiday centerpiece.

7. Store your tree in a dry and cool location far from direct sunlight and vents. The most ideal location is the closet.

Follow this easy and helpful guide from the Tree Classics blog to keep your tree beautiful for years to come!

Photo Credits

Photo by MaryScheirer via flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

How to Store Christmas Lights

The Christmas season is over. It’s time to put those festive lights in storage. Learn how to store Christmas lights with this easy and informative step-by-step guide from the Tree Classics blog to make sure their bulbs, plugs, and strings won’t get damaged.

remove your lights once the holiday is over

1. Unplug Your Christmas Lights

If you have several strings connected to each other, make sure to separate them. Then, carefully remove your lights from your tree and lay them on a smooth surface. Make sure to do this in an area without any foot traffic. It’s also a good idea to do an inventory. Get your mobile phone, tablet, or good ol’ notebook and pen, and start listing down the number and type of Christmas lights you have. This list may come in handy during the next Christmas season.

2. Untangle Your Christmas Lights

untangle your Christmas lights before packing them

Often, in the process of installing and removing lights, some of the strands can get tangled. Straighten out the lines and make sure everything is in order. Afterwards, plug the strands one by one and check if they’re all working. If some of them are damaged, replace the bulbs or fuses. If they can’t be fixed or replaced piece by piece, consider purchasing a new set of lights.

3. Choose a Storage Option that’s Best for You

There are various storage options you can choose from. Here are a number of the best ones:

  • Cardboard Light Holder – This technique makes use of old cardboards. Just cut some large piece into a rectangle around 12 x 6 inches. Afterwards, cut a notch on one side. Insert the string through the slit and wrap the lights around the cardboard. Once you’ve reached the end of the line, make another notch. Attach the end of the cord in that second hole. Cover the piece entirely in bubble wrap and seal it inside a plastic container or a large box. This will keep your lights secure during the off-season.
  • Zip-Loc Holder – Wrap your string of lights around your palm. Once the string runs out, plug the male end of the cord into the female end. Slip the lights out of your hands and place it inside a Ziploc bag. Keep the bag upright in a spacious corner or inside a plastic container. This will ensure that the bulbs and strings are protected.

use hangers to store your Christmas lights

  • Hanger Holder – This nifty trick makes use of a normal clothes hanger. It’s fairly simple. All one has to do is to wrap the lights from one end to the other and lock the male and female cord at the hooks found at the two ends of the hanger. Afterwards, you can hang it inside your closet where they will be safe until next Christmas.

4. Place Your Christmas Lights in a Safe Location

Place your lights in a cool but dry location far from sunlight or any sources of heat, such as vents. Keep them at the top of your closets or cabinets. Make sure they can’t be reached by children or pets and that they won’t fall.

With this handy and helpful guide from Tree Classics, homeowners everywhere can rest assured that all of their Christmas lights are safe during the off-season.

Photo Credits

Photo by Thompson Wood via Flickr. CC BY-ND 2.0.

Photo by Matt Northam via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Photo by juliebee86 via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

How to Plan a Classy New Year’s Party

There’s no better way to say farewell to the year that was and celebrate the arrival of a new one than with the company of family and friends. On December 31, pay tribute to endings and welcome new beginnings by having a marvelous and classy New Year’s Eve party. Here’s a quick guide on how to throw a memorable year-end celebration:

Send Out Invitations

a New Year's party with family and friends

Send out invitations to friends, family, and neighbors at least three days before the celebration. Give them the location and time that the cocktail party begins (at 10pm preferably). Invite them to come in their most posh and dapper outfits. After all, it’s only right to welcome the New Year in style.

Choose the Perfect Location

The foyer and living room are the perfect venues for this kind of party. If you live in the warmer states, you can also have it in the garden or in your terrace so people can watch fireworks displays. Don’t forget to place cocktail tables and decorate your space with light strings to make the area more captivating. Set up a mini-bar and stock it with wine, champagne, and other hard liquor. Fancy cocktails, like martinis, tequila sunrises, Napa sours, and mimosas are also ideal for this occasion. For some New Year cocktail inspirations, check out Mix that Drink and Saveur.

Serve Delicious Party Snacks

a delicious serving of nachos

Most of your guests have probably had dinner around this time, but it’s still important to serve some yummy food choices in case anyone gets hungry. This is especially needed if you plan to have a party until the wee hours of the morning.

Traditional party food works! Try these fried mozzarella cheese sticks from Copykat, breadcrumb stuffed mushroom from Laura in the Kitchen, or these delicious Baltimore crab cakes from Epicurious. Serve loaded nachos from The Pioneer Woman or these delicious Pigs in a Blanket from Just a Pinch.  Put out bowls of chips, salted pretzels, and various dips so that everyone has something to munch on while waiting for midnight.

Keep the Cocktails Flowing and Turn Up the Music

Make sure that everyone has a drink and is having a good time. Talk to all your friends and introduce people to each other. Play some celebratory music to provide an exciting atmosphere for the occasion. You can also create your very own party playlist before the festivities begin.

Welcome the New Year Together

a beautiful fireworks display

Two minutes before midnight, call everyone’s attention and announce that you are only moments away from the New Year. Start a countdown 20 seconds before the clock hits twelve. Welcome the New Year together and party until the morning.

Have a blast this New Year’s Eve with this party planning guide from Tree Classics.

Photo credits

Photo by Angsbacka via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Photo by snapperwolf via flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Photo by SeanMacEntee via flickr. CC BY 2.0.