DIY Minimal Wooden Christmas Tree

We recently saw a really cool Christmas tree alternative from someone we follow on Instagram and we instantly knew we had to make one for ourselves. This exact same thing happened last year with our cactus Christmas tree! We find so much inspiration from creators on Instagram. (You can find out account here!) We figured this DIY would be a great one to share with all of you!

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Our wooden Christmas tree is a little rustic, a little modern, minimal, perfect for people who can't have real trees, really simple to make, and something a different. We figured the best way to show you how we made ours would be to actually show you on video, so you will find that below!

To make this DIY you will need:
(The provided links are affiliate links.)
- 3- 8'x2"x4" pieces of wood
- Pencil
- Scissors

This tree is going to be really easy to store after Christmas as you can just remove the two bottom legs and you'll have a very flat tree. No more squishing the tree back into a box that's way too small! Well, unless you have multiple trees like us.

And if you are looking for the simple decorations we used in this DIY, you can find the copper light strands here (they are battery operate so your tree can go anywhere!) and you can find some similar garland here.

If you are looking for more Christmas inspiration, stick around because on December 1 we are starting our first ever Vlogmas series over on our YouTube channel! If you've never heard of Vlogmas before, basically it's a series of videos that run from Dec 1- Dec 24. So the goal is to post a new video every single day! We've got our work cut out for us, but we hope you will join us to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year!

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A Guide To Fall Creek Falls State Park: 7 Things To Do

Fall Creek Falls State Park is, by far, my favorite state park we've ever visited. Maybe it was the colors of the leaves and the time of year... but it was phenomenal. It is sort of like a tiny national park with it's lookouts and drivable loops. Why had I not heard of it's awesome-ness before? I've seen photos of the waterfall but in all honesty, that was my least favorite part of the park.

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Now I'm not gonna lie, our time at Fall Creek Falls State Park was cold. The days were lovely, but the nights were almost unbearable for us tent campers. If you go to the park this time of year (beginning of November) you'd probably be more comfortable in a cabin or camper than a tent. And trust me, this is the time of year you want to be there. Now let's talk about some things you should do while you are there!

1. Drive around at sunrise. The first thing you should do is wake up early. If you are camping in a tent, you may be like us and be freezing so much that you have to move to your car in the wee hours of the morning and by default you'll be awake before the sun rises! But if that is not the case for you, set your alarm. You won't want to miss the gorgeous views and the stunning sunlight shining through the fog. There's a scenic loop you can drive and there are plenty of places to pull look over. But even just driving the roads in the park (it's pretty big) we found the most gorgeous views, like this road above.

2. Stop at Millikan's Overlook. In the early morning you'll probably only see a person or two out. Fall colored leaves, sunrise, and fog- it's all there for you in the first part of the day. This is probably the coolest view in the park. It makes you feel very small.

3. Look out for wildlife. We saw plenty of deer (and raccoons) while staying at the park, and I know that seeing deer is very common, but it's still exciting every time I do.

4. Hike one of the many trails. The amount of trails here are endless. You mostly just have to figure out what length of hike you'd like to do and go from there. We only hiked the Woodland Trail from Fall Creek Falls to the nature center. This hike is short, but you get to see a lot! Unfortunately the nature center was closed for remodeling when we were there so the trail stopped there. Normally you can add on another trail from if you wanted a longer hike.

**It was not anywhere near Christmas time when we were on this trip, but Whitt only has one sweater and it was stinkin' cold, so he had to wear it.

This is the view over Cane Creek.

5. Walk the suspension bridge over Cane creek. We came across this on our hike from Fall Creek Falls itself, but you can also park really close to the bridge and hike down to it in about 5 minutes. The bridge is right by the nature center, so just find your way to that and you'll find the bridge!

This bridge is really swingy/bouncy. Which our dogs HATED. And honestly, if I hadn't been on one of these just a week before, I would've also not loved it. I guess you could say I got my "bridge legs" while we were in the Blue Ridge Mountains. But walking across was still a little unsettling. Especially since this water ends in a waterfall right near the bridge. But the view is breathtaking, so it's okay.

6. Check out Fall Creek Falls. I'm assuming this is the whole reason you want to go to the park! And while it is pretty cool, it surprisingly wasn't my favorite part of the park. I still loved it though! We actually ended up being at the waterfall when the sun was rising and also when it was setting. In the morning we saw two people during our whole gallivant. In the late afternoon is was really crowded. Also, for the dog owners out there, the trails around here are full with other people and their dogs. It made for an interesting hike since we too had our dogs. Let's just say there was a lot of barking happening, pretty often. This was fine with us, but something to keep in mind if you or your dog isn't a fan of other dogs.

7. Watch the sunset over Fall Creek Lake. This lake is small an not anything to write home about, except when the sun is setting. It was covered in fog in the morning so you couldn't even see what was going on. But go ahead and stop here in the evening.

If you've been to Fall Creek Falls State Park or are planning to go, we'd love to hear what you favorite parts were in the comments!

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Ellijay, GA Travel Guide: A Weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains

We had the privilege of being invited to stay in this Airbnb in Ellijay, Ga. this past weekend. Before the invitation we had never even heard of Ellijay. We did a little research on the area and didn't find a ton of information, so honestly I was a little unsure about going. We ultimately decided to go because you can't ever go wrong staying in the mountains for a nice getaway. Little did I know that the town + area was going to be such a treasure. And when all was said and done, I really wish we had at least another day there.

We were there in prime fall season so the leaves were changing and it was gorgeous. We would also like to return during the summer so we can partake in all the water activities like kayaking + whitewater rafting. Next time we need to stay at least 3 full day so we have more time to walk around Ellijay + Blue Ridge and to do more shopping and hiking.

I grew up in the Nashville area and we always went to the Gatlinburg area, and so do most people around here. But I'm going to be really honest with you, if you live in the south and your go-to mountain escape is Gatlinburg, you're missing out. I know a lot of people love Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains are beautiful, but it's overcrowded and a little cheesy for my taste. Definitely give the Blue Ridge Mountains a try instead.

The little towns around the mountains are like Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls reference if you didn't know :) ). They are adorable and have character and I just don't think you get that in Smoky Mountains area. So if you are looking for a mountain getaway look no further than the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Where to Eat:

Cantaberry Restaurant, Ellijay + Blue Ridge- We ate a late lunch here and it was so delicious. They have gluten free bread which is always such a gift. Savannah had chicken + wild rice soup that she cannot stop talking about. She actually tried to recreate it at home. I had a shiitake mushroom soup that was gluten free and I liked it a lot more than I expected. We both got the turkey club sandwich and gobbled it right up.

Rum Cake Lady, Blue Ridge + Copperhill-  This is an authentic cuban restaurant that had gluten free options. They even have gluten free rum cake and it was so good. Even my mom + Savannah liked it as much as I did. It was really moist which is rare for gluten free cakes. We all had a Cuban sandwich and I had mine with gluten free bread. The bread was really good and different than most gluten free breads. We all throughly enjoyed our sandwiches. None of us could eat all of ours though so we had the rest of our sandwiches later.

Mercier Orchards, Blue Ridge- We ate breakfast here on our last morning, and I really wish we had more time to spend here. When you eat here, they give you apple cider donut holes. Yummy! They weren't gluten free but Savannah enjoyed them :) They have a winery and make hard apple cider. They actually just have a lot to see + do but unfortunately we had a train to catch.

Kaffee Haus, Blue Ridge- So we technically didn't eat here, but I did have a delicious latte. I had to put it on the list because we all need good coffee shop recommendations.

Where to Shop:

There were a ton of antique shops in the area that we didn't even go into. I could spend hours in an antique shop and we simply didn't have the time. I definitely need to go back so I can leisurely stroll through the many antique shops they have.

The Loving Bull- Savannah + I both bought a few things here and then immediately put them on. We are wearing them in the picture above. They had some cute Ellijay tees that I was tempted to buy. A lot of souvenir tees are tacky or cheesy but they had a really good selection!

Artful Ellijay- This is a lovely home decor place. We love to go into stores like this even if we aren't in the market to buy anything. It's a great way to stay inspired. This is definitely worth a visit.

Mountain Treasures, Ellijay- This store had a little bit of everything. Clothing, gifts, antiques, and best of all the do wine tastings and sell wine. My mom bought a bottle of red wine that we all really loved. What's better than sipping on wine while you are shopping?

Posh + The Weekender, Ellijay- This is a hair salon + boutique. They have higher end items like Johnny Was and a shoe brand I cannot remember. It's nicely curated, just expect to pay a little more for items.

Juliana's Boutique, Ellijay + Blue Ridge - They had a ton of cute fleece pullovers that I was tempted to buy but we had literally just bought some for this trip. We did pick up 2 pairs of cute sunglasses.

Painted Pony, Copperhill - I got a mid length tan coat that I have already worn several times. They have a lot of Native American inspired jewelry here.

What to do:

Hike- There are endless hiking options in the area. We hiked a part of the Appalachian Trail where it meets up with the Benton Mackaye trail at Three Forks. We also hiked to a swinging bridge, and we had quite the adventure getting there. My mom was with us on this trip and I had to take over driving because she was having a mini nervous breakdown. And I don't think my driving made it any better. Hahaha!

The scenery is beautiful and the terrain is challenging but it wasn't something you needed to be in shape for. We ran into a guy who was 4 miles away from finishing the Appalachian Trail which is a 2,181 mile journey. I wish we had time to visit Springer Mountain which is either the start or the finish of the AT depending on which route is taken.

Here are some photos from our hike:

Side note, we all have the same hiking boots. My mom decided to buy the ones we had after she took a little tumble on our last hike together. All that to say, we love them! They are waterproof, tough, support your ankles well, and we like the way they look too. You can get some for yourself here. We HIGHLY recommend having the right hiking boot when you are hiking/adventuring around these parts. Some places it's not necessary, but here it is!

Visit an Apple Orchard- As mentioned earlier, we ate at Mercier Orchard, and the day before we visited the BJ Reece orchard. We hoped to pick our own apples but we were too late in the season for that. We did pick up approximately 100 apples thought. I think I got a little over zealous because I've really been into making apple things- apple sauce, apple butter, and apple cider. I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach. We've been churning out apple things but still have a lot left. They have a several activities that would be great for children. They also have a store with jams + jellies and a zillion flavors of fried pies and donuts.

Visit a Winery- I put this on here because there so many wineries. We sadly did not get to visit one, but you should go if you have time.

Take a scenic train ride- We took a train from Blue Ridge to Copperhill, Tn. It's an hour train ride there and then you have 2 hours in Copperhill. There are several restaurants and shops that you can walk to. The train ride gives you the beautiful mountain scenery and a view of the Toccoa River. Full disclosure: the tickets were around $50, so if you are on a tight budget, I would skip this. We enjoyed the train ride, but honestly I felt like I got to experience the views just by hiking and walking around. It was nice and peaceful to be able to just sit, ride, and to be immersed in the fall leaves.

Where to stay:

Magnolia House- This was the whole reason we came and we absolutely loved this house! Kim was the perfect host and we are so happy she reached out to us. The house is immaculate and if you love the Chip + Jo decor style, this place is for you. The hardwood floors are drool worthy. The house is located 5 minutes from downtown Ellijay. There is also a fire pit outback which we were happy to use. Kim left us farm fresh eggs and fresh fruit which was such a nice touch. I am sad to say that we never had a chance to take our own pictures of this beautiful space. The picture here is from the listing. Also, check out this link to get $40 off your first Airbnb stay.

So the next time you are thinking of visiting the mountains, think about the ole Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia. And if you get the chance to go when the leaves are changing- do it!