Sunday, December 9, 2012

DIY Christmas Decor-Part 2

Happy end of the weekend!  Hope you had a great one.  With my illness the last couple weeks I  am waaaay behind with shopping, decorating, and just enjoying it all. Thank goodness I am now my normal (?) self.  Now I need to slow down and soak in all of the glory and peace and love of the season.

I wanted to share some fun little projects I've been working on to spruce up the dining room.  On my last post, I shared my snowflake and red ornament window.  This is the same room, but there are some other projects that I wanted to highlight.  I haven't filled the tin pails with anything yet (I am trying hard not to buy much, and can't decide what to put in there, maybe lots of candy canes?).....

Isn't the chalkboard cute?  I have a set of three of them and they are fun to write little messages on!  There's more of that wrapping paper from the Target Dollar section..  I also plan to add some peppermints in the small mason jars you see at the top.  The whole room is done is simple silver, red, and lots of pinecones that I already had from previous seasons.  Unpacking my Christmas stuff was like Pine-cone-polooza.    I really tried to use what I had and be creative with fun little touches here and there. This is the dining room table, not done yet.  My kiddos sprayed simple wooden stars just like they did the snowflakes and we also glittered the pinecones.  I had extra silver bells, so I tossed them in there, too.  I had our red tray out on our porch I shared with you this past summer.

I have lots of these bead garlands that used to be on our tree and used them in this glass hurricane and also this wooden bowl.

More pincones.  Told you I had a lot. :)  I tucked glittered stars in random places.

Two of my favorite {very little} touches are the pine cone I painted white to make it look snowy then stuck in a tiny silver pail I had.....

and using a red pom-pom to add some fun to Rudolph, my silver reindeer.  He makes me smile every time I see him.

This room is bright, simple, and fun.  What little touches have you added to your rooms to make them festive?

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

DIY Christmas Decor-Part 1

Geez, I had totally meant to be able to get right back on the wagon and post all-week-long but life got in the way.  Or, should I say, more headaches and being 2 weeks behind on my schoolwork got in the way.  Ick.  I have fun things to show you but have not even had a chance to take pictures, let alone post about them!  I leave in the morning for work before it is light and when I come home, I hit the ground running to be a full-time mommy, wife, and domestic goddess. HA!

I was able to take a few pics the other day on a little project my hubby and I did.  You may remember my easy-sprayed-glittered snowflakes that the kids helped me with a while back?  I used those,  red ornaments in 2 sizes and types that I had on hand already, and some red and white baker's twine I  bought at Target last month.  I hung the snowflakes and red balls across the curtain rod that is on our front window in our dining room and voila! fun and festive look for very little cost and effort!  {tip on using baker's twine:  mine kept order to stop it from fraying at the ends, dab a little white or craft glue at the end and it will harden clear and not fray!  woo hoo!}  Isn't it cute?  I love how it turned out!

Could you guess that the "table runner" on this table is wrapping paper from Target's dollar section? Score!

Sharing with:
Centsational Girl
Hi, Sugarplum!

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Tree 2012 {And I'm Back...}

Hello, hello!!!  I did not skip town...I have had the craziest, most un-fun 3 weeks.  I had my first migraine ever along with complete facial numbness on the right side of my face.  Scary, right?  This crazy thing is just now finally going away.   3 weeks with a numb face, horrible headaches and dizziness is about enough to make someone nuts!  I've had lots and lots of doctor appointments, medications, tests administered,  and time on the couch.  I missed several days of school (never an easy thing for an elementary teacher!) and many fun times with my family!  Thanksgiving was mostly spent on the couch.  Thank goodness the doctors don't think anything is seriously wrong.   I have developed total empathy for people that struggle with illness much of the time or cannot function normally for extended periods.

Let's get to the tree!  Throughout this time, I had been able to do very little around the house to doll it up for the holidays.  Hubby and the kids put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving and we got some of the other festive stuff out.  Luckily before my illness I had started making some little DIY projects.  I was able to work on some of those this weekend now that I am feeling somewhat normal and I can't wait to share them with you later this week.

When my family went to put up the tree this year many of the white lights were out.  In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter?  I had a lot of thinkin' about life to do on that couch, I tell ya.  ;)  We had plenty of colored lights on hand so we decided we'd go against our regular tradition of white lights.  Color us happy, we think it looks great.

Most of the ornaments on our tree have special meaning.  Each year since my husband and I have been together I have bought a matching ornament for each of our 4 kids.  (Riley wasn't born yet, but when she was, we went from 3 to 4 matching ones to get) I write their name of the back of the ornament and the year.  So now we have 25+ ornaments on our tree from this tradition, which I love.  We also have silver stars that we got a few years ago that say "HOPE", "PEACE", AND "LOVE" and silver reindeer in different poses.  My hubby and I picked these out together.

A new addition this year is a collection of hand-painted ornaments that my hubby's mother painted years ago.  She did an amazing job and they are a cute addition to our tree.  Since she is gone now, they are especially meaningful.   We all agreed that this is our favorite tree yet.   Downstairs in our finished basement we have a smaller kids tree that has Disney and kid ornaments and handmade treasures that the kids have made through the years.

Make sure to stop back this week to check what I've done in other areas of our house.  I am giddy about how some of my easy-DIY projects turned out and I hope to inspire you!
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Puttin' on the Glitz: Using Glitter Paint

While at the beloved JoAnn's today, I picked up some unfinished wooden snowflake ornaments and a bag of unfinished wooden stars ($3.99 for a bag 20 of small-ish assorted sizes).

The snowflake ornaments were $1.29 each but on sale for $0.77 each.  They came with a little red ribbon to hang them, which I took off because I am not going to use them as ornaments.

I bought a small can of silver spray paint for $3.99.

We gave these babies a coat or two of this paint, and let them dry.  Then we used glitter craft paint
in silver by none other than Martha.  I've used this paint before in another color and it has a translucent look to it that I love.  I let my two sweet youngest get in on the action and go over the snowflakes with this paint.

It's an amazing 67 degrees outside today in Ohio, so they could do this on the deck!  Didn't they do a great job?

We also sprayed the bag of wooden stars, let them dry and went over them with Martha's paint like we did the snowflakes.

I have plans for both the stars and the snowflakes and I can't wait to share how I incorporate them into our holiday decor!

I loved this glitter look so much, I had the kids then use the glitter paint to paint the edges of some cinnamon pine cones that I had.  It made them look like snow.  These pictures are before the paint dried, so it looks a little gloppy (is that a word?), but pretty none the less.

I love that we were able to create these easy, inexpensive projects that will be beautiful during the holidays.  Best of all, my kids were able to help create them.  Think of all of the ways you could use these!  As ornaments, hanging on mirrors or windows (which is what I am going to do with a lot of them, hint, hint...), adorning the outside of a gift you give.....the possibilities are endless.

What are you going to go glitter-ize now???

Sharing this project with:
Six Sisters Stuff
Tutus and Teaparties
Delightful Order
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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Organized Coupon Binder

Hello, hello!  I'm making my first appearance after recovering from posting for 31+ days straight.  I thought knew I needed a few days off to re-gain some steam.  My Blogger account has also not been letting me add pictures, so that extended my posting "vacation".  Now it's working and I'm back and ready to roar!

First and foremost, it feels almost silly posting about coupon binders when so many on the East Coast are suffering and more and more stories of survival and tragedy are surfacing.    I join all of America in sending out blessings, prayers, hope, and sympathies.  I feel incredibly blessed to have our home safe and dry and to be able to live life as normal.


Speaking of normal, for a while now I've wanted and needed to do a better job of using grocery coupons.  I would ashamedly answer "no" when a cashier would ask if I had any coupons.   It's not that we don't like to save money.  It's that our grocery shopping was not planned out well enough and we did not prepare at all in way of coupons, deals, and what stores had on sale.  I know, shame.  I guess our excuse is that we are so busy and that preparing takes time and isn't-so-fun.  BUT the money that can be saved by planning ahead is enormous.  I decided that taking the small amount of time it takes to plan better is worth it!  (Don't worry, I won't be on Extreme Couponing or diving into dumpsters to get coupon pages!)

I created a Coupon Binder for our home.  I bought an inexpensive binder, baseball card sleeves for small coupons (found at Target), and actual coupon sleeves to hold larger coupons (found at Staples).

I used file folders I already had, cut them in half at the fold, and used them as section dividers.  They work fine.  I printed out labels of categories that I wanted and affixed them to the "dividers".

For department store coupons, like Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Target, or Kohl's, I used plastic pouches that I also already had.  These particular ones are from Office Max and are the [InPlace] brand.  They already have the 3 holes to go on the rings of any binder and a snap closure.  I had a couple different styles of these and I labeled them by store or type of coupon.  I also used one for restaurant and pizza coupons.

To say I am glad I have finally organized my coupons is an understatement.  Now that I have a system, I feel that hubby and I will be much better when we make a grocery list to look at ads and compare what coupons we have.  We also can plan our meals more wisely based on what items we have coupons for and that are also on sale.

Being organized is half the battle in running a smart, happy, more effective household.  No more coupons lying all around the counter or left at home.  Now I know exactly where to put them!  I plan on keeping this binder  (when we are not adding more to it or making our grocery list) in the side door pocket in my van.  That way if we make a spontaneous or unplanned trip to a store, I have my coupons with me!

What system do you use to store all of your coupons?   Any tricks you want to share?

Sharing this Project with:
Not Just a Housewife:  Show Me What Ya Got
Tutus and Teaparties
Delightful Order

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 31: So, Is Your Nest Less Stressed?

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

On the last post of the series, I wanted to recap the month and review all of the ways that we can be less stressed.

As usual, I got all ambitious thinking I could do tons of projects this month, start amazing routines that will keep my house stress-free, get ready for the holidays......

I did get lots done and wrote posts that inspired me and hopefully, you, too, to have less stressed  nests.

I realized as I was writing many of these posts that I already know how to be less stressed.  I posted about taking care of myself, not letting small stuff get to me, and how stress can be a blessing.

On the project front, I organized our white cupboards in the basement,  including creating a delightful space for all of my crafting-n-creating gear:

organizing my gift wrap supplies:

the kids school pictures, awards, and special papers:

and transforming our old computer armoire into game and movie storage.

I also listed and talked about how creating routines in your house can really help reduce stress, rushing, and make you and your family feel more calm.  Things like developing evening routines, making little to-do lists,  prioritizing tasks, and combining errands are all tasks I'm working on becoming more a part of my daily life.

With the holidays coming up crazy-soon, I shared ways you can start thinking about the holidays.  I truly had intended to be able to do more posts on this topic, but time got away from me.....instead, November will be more dedicated to some posts about this topic.  

Thanks for joining in my 31 Days Series!  I am proud of myself and all of the other bloggers who made it to the finish line!  Woo Hoo!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 30: Seeing the Finish Line

Just joining in?  Read the entire series {HERE}.

In writing all of these posts, I've really tried to write to first help myself.  Selfish, yes, but I think we are all striving to help ourselves feel better and less stressed because then we can impact, help, and love the people around us more.   Like most of us, I struggle daily with little stresses and those evil little thoughts that enter my mind.   After tomorrow I will literally go back and read what I have written and see what I have put into play in my life and what I still need to work on.  What have you started or stopped doing that has helped you have a Less Stressed Nest?  What have you organized or created that made you smile and feel proud?

I always have tried to make my crazy nest a calm, happy place.  Is it easy?  No.  But I love my hubby and kiddos to the ends of their toes.  They are what I do everything for and the reason why I strive to make our home a place of love, happiness, and peace.

Tomorrow will be my last post on this 31 Day adventure!  I can't believe it.  I hope you'll tune in to read it.  Several of the last posts have not linked to all of the other posts in the series--I am working on that, so if you've missed any of the posts, you can catch up.  I can't wait to finish all of the projects I shared and started and have in my head in the coming weeks.

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