It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Dear Santa

It’s amazing on how fast time does fly, as I fondly remember earlier this year planning our garden, watching things sprout, and finally harvesting what we grew – now it’s all gone, and we’re onto another season.

Garden Then and Now

We usually decorate our bushes in front of the house with lights and also hang those nice lights on the gutters too, but this year, we wanted to add something else.

Christmas Trees Using Tomato Cages

Since our garden is put away for the season, we have 10 tomato cages in the garage doing nothing, so we decided to put them to work.  We pulled them out, and flipped them upside down (large circle on bottom / metal points sticking straight up) and bent the metal points inward a bit.  Then we had some lights leftover in the garage and we just wrapped the tomato cages with lights!  It was easy to do, as we just tied the end of the string to the top of the tomato cage, and just turned the tomato cage in a circular motion as the lights wrapped around the cage.  Our light strings were long, so we have lots of lights on one cage.  We wrapped a few more tomato cages with clear and colored lights, then attached them all together.  Then, we lined them up along our front sidewalk and used some of our little U-shaped metal stakes to hold the tomato cages into the ground.

Tomato Cages2

Now, how simple is that?  If you would head into the stores to purchase those spiral lighted trees, it would cost you around $20, but our new holiday decorations cost us nothing to do, as we already had all of the material on hand.  So for all of you gardeners out there looking for some decorating tips, go pull out your tomato cages and add some lights to them!


I pulled out our Christmas music CD’s and usually play them in the mornings, and both Nikita and Bella think that I am crazy when I dance around the kitchen singing along to the Christmas music playing.  I am surprised that they both don’t start howling from the off-key notes I am sure hitting, but it’s the holidays and that’s what you do – you sing!


We finally got the chance to sit down and take our annual family Christmas photo the other night with Nikita and Bella and what seemed like a simple task, always turns into an adventure when your dogs won’t cooperate.  After about 15 tries, we finally got a photo where our eyes weren’t closed, or a dog was running out of the picture frame.  Phew!   Now, I just have to complete the task of finishing our Christmas cards!


Everyone always wants to have a beautiful photo of their Christmas tree every year, so make sure you turn off all of your lights in the house and your flash on your camera and let the tree illuminate the room.  Also, try adding a filter to your camera to take some interesting shaped photos.  If you don’t have a filter for your camera, just cut a round circle out of black card stock paper and cut a heart, a keyhole, or another shape in the center of your circle, then tape to the front of your camera lens.  You will get different looks by how close you move in on your subject, so take a few photos to see what looks best for you.  Here is an idea of what you will see with a heart filter – pretty cool, eh?


Bella got her first taste of snow last week and it was funny on how she reacted.  When she first stepped out onto the snowy grass, she lifted her paws as to say “what the heck is this?”, but then she lowered her head to the ground and started eating it, and eating it, and eating it.  Now, every time I take her outside, she loses focus on her “duties”, rathers walks around and eats the snow.  It is funny to watch.  As for Nikita, she just loves the snow!  She runs and jumps in the huge piles I make, and she digs and digs until she reaches the grass.  Now, I can’t wait to see how much fun we will have this winter with both dogs running and playing…and, that also means more “Snow Doggies” in the yard.  (remember how we made snow doggies in the yard last year instead of snowmen?)  Well, we’ll do more of that this year too!  Isn’t Bella getting BIG?

Bellas First Snow Experience

Bella in Snow

Bella By Back Door


Bella just turned five months old yesterday and has already started to lose a few baby teeth.  Both her and Nikita are getting along well and love to play together.  Bella has done a wonderful job with her new boundaries and loves running all around the house playing.  When it gets around the time that Daddy is to arrive home, I tell Nikita and Bella to “watch for Daddy”, and they both run to the front window so fast that they almost knock each other over to get to the window first – – then, when they see Daddy pulling into the driveway – – they go nuts!  Daddy gets such a warm welcome from them both and he knows instantly that he is loved.  After the dogs warm welcome and the hubabaloo of who gets to see Daddy first, then Mommy gets her turn to welcome him home.  lol

Gift Tags

I saved the best for last, and wanted to share some Christmas Gift Tags with you!  If you know me, I love making things myself instead of having to purchase them, so I created some cute gift tags that you can printout.  Click GIFT TAGS FROM NIKITALAND to download your tags, print them out on card stock paper, cut them out and make sure you cut out the top of the tag too, then use your hole punch at the top.  Tie a little string or bakers twine on the tag and your all set!  Enjoy!   (P.S. – The PDF takes a little bit to open as the file must be BIG, so be patient after you click on the link and it will open!)

9 thoughts on “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

  1. I found this post and was laughing when you mentioned you were dancing around and you were surprised the dogs didn’t start howling! Well, our little Yorkie DOES howl when the music volume goes up or we dance. He throws his head back like a wolf and lets it out!!!! Of course, Nikita and Bella are well more behaved than our little munchkin.

    • Bella never heard music before, so it was all new to her. She is experiencing so many new things since she is still a puppy, and it makes me laugh when she cocks her head at certain things. She likes watching tv too, and barks at the screen when she hears other dogs on the tv, or if she hears a weird noise on a commercial. Dogs are funny that way and that is one of the reasons why we love them so much!

      • I understand that, but I am one of the lucky ones to be able to stay at home with the dogs and take care of the house, and yard! It is just killing me that we have snow on the ground, as I dearly love cutting the grass and keeping the landscaping so beautiful during the summer! Our neighbor even has me cut her lawn since she works and does not have the time to take care of her yard.

    • Aw, thank you for your wonderful comments! Nikita is two years old and Bella is five months old. We adopted both of them from the APL and rescued them. Nikita is a Shepherd/Akita mix and we are not sure what Bella is, but her brindle coloring & tiger stripes are really adorable. We have two of the best dogs ever! 🙂

  2. Holy Valerie, you have been like a little elf making your house just perfectly pretty for the Holidays. I’m so far behind since there’s been construction here 😦 The Christmas card photo turned out really cute with your hubby and pups and lights. I bet you sing like a lark, doesn’t everyone? 😉 Thanks for offering the tags, I opened the PDF and they don’t all show up? I’ll check back again though, they’re really cute. Have a great weekend.

    • With regards to the PDF, just leave the document open on your screen for a few minutes and it will open. For some reason it takes a little bit to open, must be a huge file, but it does open. Sing like a lark? I don’t think so! Maybe more like a laughing hyena! LOL As for our Christmas card photo, now that was hilarious to try to do with all the photo’s we had to take, then I asked one of my blog buddies (Leanne) to help lighten the photo for me so I could print it because it was too dark. I have been busy decorating around the house and love it! Roy is my boyfriend (not my hubby), but he’s the best! We have a nice little family with our dogs. 🙂

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