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When Astleigh wrote to me about sharing her home on Southern Newlywed, she mentioned that one of the things she was most looking forward to about marriage was making a home — “curating a space and filling it with love and happiness.” I really resonated with that, as I’m sure many of you do, too! What a privilege to get to set the tone for our families, and to create a place of welcome and comfort for the ones we love most.

Though Astleigh and I first chatted back in August, we agreed to wait for a Christmas tour. It’s her favorite season, and one she does up right in her Virginia home. I know you’ll enjoy her cozy style, as well as these sweet photos from Rachel Wells!

P.S. Recognize this lovely lady and her beau? They were the models for our latest issue’s Greenbrier Getaway editorial!

The couple: Astleigh and Pete Hill, both 26
Years married: 3 years and 2 months
Where you live: A small town in the mountains of southwest Virginia
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. We are college sweethearts who settled into married life in our college town a year after our respective graduations. Both small-town raised, we love calling the mountains home. Pete is a graduate student in mechanical engineering while working full-time as a research associate. I’m a writer and designer turned stay-at-home-mama who authors a lifestyle blog and recently became a small business owner. Last December, we welcomed our daughter, Greer. Together, we love working on our new home, spending time with our people, traveling when we can, and partnering in parenthood, our greatest adventure yet.

Tell us a little bit about where you live. We bought our first home, a ranch built in 1958, at the end of August this year. The home has only had three owners (we’re the third). It has great bones and so much potential, which is what immediately drew us to it. After two years of looking for a home, this one took the cake! Owning a home has truly been a dream come true for both of us. Having rented the first several years of marriage, we knew how badly we wanted to own a home that we could make our own. As lovers of DIY projects and woodworking, we couldn’t wait to leave our mark on our new space, and from the moment we closed we’ve been hard at work transforming our ranch house! From the paint colors and refinished floors, to the newly placed and painted shiplap in the foyer, each detail we’re adding is a little bit of us.

Tell us about the process of moving in together. Moving in together was really easy for us. When it came to blending our styles and decorating, Pete let me take the lead. I always try to be conscious of the fact that he’s a man living in our house, too! Even though he’s not the one doing the decorating, he still very much feels a part of it. And since it’s our home, that’s really important to me, and I know he appreciates it.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? Just how comfortable you become with your husband! I never imagined being able to let down all of my guards and bare my heart and deepest feelings with someone. Then I got married, and that all changed!

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? Decorating my home makes me incredibly happy! I try to balance the splurges with the savings, and I’ve learned from trial and error over the years. Accent pieces are items I try to save on because my style is always evolving and I’m rotating pieces in and out all the time. Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Target are my go-to places for finding accent pieces on a budget. I’ve found that bigger design pieces like picture frames, curtains, lamps, and quality furniture are worth the splurge when you’ve saved up for it. Big pieces that are more permanent deserve a little more investment and you’ll be happier with them in the long run.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding? Our first dance — it was the first time we really let it settle over us that we were husband and wife. Leading up to our wedding day, we would practice dancing (more like swirling around the room for fun) to our first song, “At Last.” Finally getting to swirl around the dance floor as a married couple was really special!

What is your favorite part of being married? Coming home to my person. Marriage creates a whole new level of closeness and understanding without making you feel vulnerable. Pete gets me and knows my strengths and weaknesses, my quirks, and my favorites. There is so much comfort and joy in being able to share the ups and downs of life with my best friend.
Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? The family room, because that’s where we do us. It’s the place in our home that we spend the most time together. The fireplace and built-ins give the space a cozy feel, adding to the charm of the house, and the large windows let in such beautiful, natural light.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? Our Crate & Barrel dishes, glasses, and utensils are used daily. When deciding on them, we went with classic off-white pieces for the dishes, a sleek shape for the glasses, and simple silver utensils that we knew we would love for a long while and would give the versatility of mixing and matching with other more bold/patterned serving pieces.
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? I would have definitely include more serving dishes (trays and platters) and accent pieces (vases, baskets, and the like) for our home. I have a passion for sharing my home and hosting, and you can never have too many serving pieces. Truly, there’s nothing quite like having your people in your home to share the cozy, the love, and some scrumptious home-cooked food!

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? One tip is to set aside a specific time in the evening for one-on-one connection (even if it’s just 20 minutes, and even on the busiest days) to make sure you’re stopping in the midst of all the things for what really matters — each other.
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? We have always loved going on coffee dates with one another in the middle of the day. Before Greer arrived it was a favorite way to slip away with one another. These days, she tags along, and we make it a family date.

Who cooks dinner? It’s pretty much split right down the middle. We both love being in the kitchen together, so while one of us is working on the main part of the meal, the other is working on the sides. It gives us time to chat about our day and connect.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? We try to mix up our weeknight meals, and we keep them simple. The weekend is where we really love to get creative, but Sunday might be my favorite: we try to fix a hearty crock-pot meal that can simmer throughout the day, filling the house with a great aroma, while we enjoy each other and relax before jumping back into the week.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? One way we love each other well is by knowing each other’s love languages. For instance, Pete will occasionally surprise me with fresh flowers, a favorite treat of mine.

Tell us about your baby girl! Our sweet Greer girl joined our family almost a year ago. She has been everything and more than we ever imagined. She is an answer to prayer and a daily reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness and sovereignty. Our hope is for a big family with littles running all around, making our home all the sweeter and all the messier :)

Is there anything else about your home or family life that you think our readers would be interested in? We love celebrating the holidays, decking the halls, carrying out family traditions, and creating new ones. From the twinkle lights and scent of fresh pine to the Christmas carols and hope of fresh snow, this time of year is our absolute favorite.

Thank you so much for sharing your hearts and home with us, Astleigh and Pete!

A little reminder: we’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – not just folks who write blogs (though we love them, too!), but also your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email! I’ve had so many wonderful emails lately, so keep ’em coming! :)

emily Written with love by Emily

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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The best kinds of homes are the ones that feel welcoming and comfortable as soon as you walk through the doors, no matter if you’re kin or just an acquaintance of the people who live there. Our history with Christina and Blair goes way back (they modeled in our V6 cover shoot and shared words of wisdom in V7, and Christina is a Blue Ribbon Vendor!), but I’m certain that anyone and everyone will want to pull up a chair at their dining room table or sit down for a slice of pecan pie in their cozy living room. Everything about their Houston home exudes warmth, hospitality, and intentionality, and we’re so thrilled that they gave us a tour, especially now that their house is decked for the holidays!

Thank you so much to Jen Dillender, another beloved Blue Ribbon Vendor, for these lovely photos!

The couple: Christina Leigh Frederick, 28, and Blair Michael Frederick, 30
Years married: 2 years and 3 months
Where you live: Houston, TX is where we call home, but I also spend time in Tulsa, OK where I maintain an office for Christina Leigh Events

Tell us a little bit about yourselves. I love glitter and bows and am the owner of Christina Leigh Events. Blair is an antique hunter who finds new life in fans and guitars, and is a business development manager for GE Oil and Gas. We have two “little girls,” Remi (a petite golden doodle) and Landry (a standard golden doodle), also known as the CLE mascots. We love taking our girls out each weekend and spending time with our families.
Tell us your love story in one sentence. Blair would say when he met me in my sorority house in 2006, he knew I was the one (even though he and I both had significant others at the time), but a span of four years eventually led to dinner with friends, and then daily conversations led to marriage.
Tell us a little bit about where you live. Blair purchased our home in 2011, so I was able to assist with decorating from the beginning. We love that our little area of town is growing and that we have a Whole Foods within walking distance. We also have a new taco and pizza place across the street that have become weekly staples in our not-so diets.

What is your approach to decorating your home for the holidays? Each tree/room in our home gets a different theme. We don’t use “traditional” Christmas red and green when it comes to colors–we use decor that complements each space. The 15’ tree in the living room (I squealed when Blair brought it home for me last year!) is gold and brown. There are deer ornaments for Blair, cross ornaments for Jesus, and big bows for me. The tree in my office is decorated with white ornaments from my great-grandmother (a series of nine hand-sculpted ornaments from a French artist) and my Grammy (gold angels and white wedgwood ornaments). I have added a sweet SW shop ornament to the family heirloom tree as well! Our tree in the game room is decorated with mini football helmets from our alma mater, The University of Tulsa, and football ornaments. The tree in the kitchen matches our drapes and has silver and gold decorations to tie it in with our dinner table. This year, Blair brought home a baby tree for our bedroom, and I love the simplistic white and the smell it adds to our special place. Blair would say my approach is glitter. I wouldn’t argue that. :)
What is a favorite holiday tradition your family has created post-wedding? Before our first Christmas together, I had no clue what “did you find the pickle yet” meant. Blair comes from German heritage and it has been a lot of fun to learn about the prized pickle ornament that is always hidden in his parents’ Christmas tree. We added a pickle to our 15’ tree in our living room, but Blair is not allowed to hide it above 6’. Blair’s family also goes to church, eats appetizers, and opens all presents on Christmas Eve. While I was a little confused at first, this has given us Christmas morning to ourselves to create our own traditions. Waffles, the parade, and hanging out with our doodles is the perfect way for us to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? Blair and I never registered for china. I love to add different napkins and chargers to our great white collection from Pottery Barn to create a formal feel for each dinner we host, but now that we are settling into our style, we have decided to begin collecting MacKenzie-Childs parchment check dishes to act as our china.
Who cooks dinner? We both do. I handle the kitchen and Blair mans the grill. We love fresh grilled chicken and steak with salads and veggies. When I feel brave enough to attempt a baked meal, he washes the lettuce and helps prep the sides.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? Since my mom and her mom were such great cooks, I love calling my mom for recipes. My Grammy and I were also both in the Junior League, and her old Tulsa cookbooks full of her notes, as well as my Houston cookbooks, are the perfect places to find great dishes to try and goodies to bake!

Tell us about the process of moving in together. Do you have any tips for blending your two styles? Since Blair worked in international business before we got married, he still called his childhood house his home, as I did with my mom, so neither of us had a ton of things to move in together. For us, building our home was a ground-up task from the beginning. Even though I did move the cowhide rug from the living room into our game room, balancing his cowboy boots with my pearls has made for a fun pairing. I look at the decor in our home much like I looked at designing our wedding–each thing we add has a purpose or meaning, and is fairly neutral so things can change with seasons and holidays.

What most makes your house feel like home? When Blair lived here before we got married, it was really empty, so when we got married, I loved adding things that were “home” to each of us. For me, our magnolia leaf garland in the kitchen reminds me of my Grammy’s huge magnolia tree that I grew up under. Our Mr. and Mrs. chair ties from our wedding now hang above our bed to remind us of that special day. It’s the small things that make a big difference in reminding us of our roots and our marriage.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding? Blair may have been most excited about the food: steak sliders, chicken, and full ears of grilled corn. When it was time for our grand exit, he made sure our to-go food was in tow. I was so hungry when we arrived at our hotel that I sat down on the bed in my dress and immediately grabbed the bag of food, only to find 10 ears of corn. With no butter or salt, Blair opted to phone in some delivery pizza for our 2 A.M. dinner. Eating on the bed, fully dressed in our wedding attire, was the perfect moment to recap the day.

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? What are some of your favorite sources for home things? We definitely splurge on good quality furniture. The first piece of furniture we purchased was our dining room table, follow by our dresser that is large enough for both of us. We save with the little things, like throw pillows in different colors for different seasons and small things for our entry table. HomeGoods, Pottery Barn sales, and a few local stores are favorite sources for accent items.

Is there anything else you think our readers would love to know? Blair often works from home, so for our first anniversary I took the traditional gift of paper and the modern gift of a clock, and turned it into an office. It’s a place just for him that is rich with wood, his elk antlers, and his guitar collection. I did get away with adding a small tree for Christmas, too (no glitter or bows on this one though)!
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Blair has the heart of a servant. He is always at my events to help with setup or strike, and to make sure I eat. I serve Blair by making our bed every day. He is often up before me and I could go a full day without making the bed, but I know it’s important to him to have a tidy room.

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? Since my office is in our home, I have to be really intentional about turning off the light and walking away from my computer and phone at quitting time each day. When Blair gets home, that’s my cue to take time for us. We spend weeknights just the two of us and add in time for extended family on the weekends.
This year, our family is most excited about… some exciting new business ventures we have been working on together–we can’t wait to share soon! Two minds are better than one, and when the other mind is your other half, it makes it twice as great!

What is your favorite part of being married? Being that our dating and engagement was long distance, marriage meant living under one roof. It’s so fun to wake up next to my best friend and spend weekends together instead of on FaceTime.
How do you navigate the holidays with your extended families? With my family in Oklahoma, we make one holiday trip per year to Tulsa, this year being Thanksgiving. With Blair’s family down the road from us, we’ll be celebrating Christmas Eve with them, and eating Christmas lunch with them as well. Family is such a big part of who we are and we adore being around loved ones during such a special time of year!

We’re so grateful to Christina and Blair for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with them:

Christina Leigh Events
Christina on Instagram

P.S. We’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Fifth Day of Christmas » Christina Leigh Events reply

    […] When the SW ladies contacted me to ask if we would love to do a holiday home tour my heart did a happy dance! You see, I love Christmas (all five of our trees) and every single thing it represents! You can see our HOME TOUR HERE! […]

  2. avatar Rhiannon reply

    So beautiful! Christina has such great taste that it’s no surprise her home is so truly lovely :)

  3. avatar Liz | Ellie And Addie reply

    This might be my favorite home tour you’ve done! Everything is beautiful!

  4. avatar Lindsey reply

    Christina is such an incredibly kind, thoughtful and genuinely sweet person. Her home and marriage are equally beautiful, so I was so happy to see this feature and learn more about their Christmas traditions!

  5. avatar Natalie reply

    I absolutely love Christina and Blair’s beautiful home! Sweetest couple, and the home exudes that love and warmth. PS. Those dogs are precious!

  6. avatar Amy reply

    Just had to write to tell you that all of the pictures look so pretty. best part for me, is the bride and groom smiling, those are true smiles – best of love and luck to them all. from amy

  7. avatar Barbara reply

    Where did they get those beautiful Mr. and Mrs. chair ties?

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Barbara! They are from BHLDN, and you can find them here: :)

    • avatar Christina reply

      Hi Barbara! Lisa is correct, they are from BHLDN. We had them at our wedding, you can see an image from our wedding at, then we had them framed at Hobby Lobby to match our bedroom suite!

  8. avatar Alexandra Bee Blog reply

    Their pups are too cute! Christina’s office space is so cute and I absolutely love how they framed the “Mr” and “Mrs” chair decor from their wedding!

    • avatar Christina reply

      Thank you so much, Alexandra! Our chair ties are most definitely a favorite that I get to see every day, and the #CLmascots still pose for the camera occasionally on Instagram. :)

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

Reply to: