Monday, December 8, 2014

5 minute Christmas Card Holder

Ok, this was SO easy. It actually took less that 5 minutes probably. The longest part was waiting for the hot glue gun to heat up.

You'll need:

Wide burlap ribbon/ strip of fabric (whatever length you want)
Two small pieces of the same ribbon or fabric (for making the bow)
Small piece of twine or ribbon for hanging
Glue gun


Make a bow by scrunching the middle of a small piece of the burlap ribbon. Use another small piece to wrap around the piece you just scrunched. Place a dab of hot glue on the back to keep in place.

Use another few dabs of hot glue to secure the bow to the top of the long piece you have cut. Then attach some twine or ribbon to the top for hanging.

Finally, clip on your Christmas cards as they come in the mail! Super easy, right? :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Laundry Room Reveal!

Another room is complete! This room was originally part of the kitchen, but since it's next to our back porch I thought it was the  perfect place for a laundry room. Now that we're in the country the majority of our time is spent outside so having a room where we can toss muddy clothes, shoes, etc was a must. 

First a look at the hallway in the back of the house.  The room with the curtain is the laundry room. I had seen this idea on Pinterest and thought it was brilliant. A door would have taken up a lot of room whether it swung into the laundry room or into the hall. A tension rod and curtain in the doorway was the perfect solution for this space.

The coat rack you see I made from a piece of pallet wood and small hooks I picked up for $1.00 something at Lowe's.

Now onto the laundry room....(sorry the lighting in these pictures isn't the best)

I found these metal and burlap baskets at TJ Maxx awhile back! Love.

My favorite part of the room, this drying rack! Made from part of an old baby crib, we used some ceiling hooks and chain to hang it from the ceiling.

And a vintage lace table runner used for a window valance.

Thanks for coming to look at another room in our home! Have a great Tuesday evening and a great Thanksgiving on Thursday!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

DIY Advent Calendar

A couple of weeks ago I posted about some fun family activities that keep Christ in Christmas! One of the activities was an advent calendar that included a story each night from the Jesus Storybook Bible. We don't have kids yet, but I thought this was still a great idea for D and I to do together each night in December until Christmas.

First, I dug out some brown paper lunch sacks from the pantry (or you can by some for $1.00 at your local dollar store). I cut them so they weren't so tall and used white acrylic paint and stencils to number them.

 Next, I made some little cards from card stock I had. I used green for the story we will read every night and red for the activities. I didn't do activities for each night, only 2 or 3 per week. Some activities I included were: watch a Christmas movie, drive around looking at Christmas lights, bake Christmas cookies, make s'mores in the fireplace, play board games and make homemade hot cocoa, etc.

After putting all the cards in their bag I strung twine on each ladder rung and used mini clothes pins to hang the bags. 


 Last year I spotted this chalkboard Christmas countdown in the dollar section at Target.  I'm so glad I grabbed it because it's the perfect addition to our advent calendar!

I love how it turned out and I'm so excited for December 1st so we can start this new tradition together!

Does your family do an advent calendar? What kinds of activities do you like to do each day?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Activities that keep Christ in Christmas

As we approach the Christmas season it can often be difficult to remember the reason for the season. For me it's so easy to get caught up in watching Christmas movies, searching for the perfect gift or eating fresh baked cookies for breakfast that it's hard to remember to keep Christ the focus. This year and especially once we have kids, I want to make a real effort to include Christ in Christmas. I want my family to know what the day and celebrating is all about, the birth of Jesus our Savior.

Luke 2:11 - For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

1. Set out a nativity! (Check out this Little People nativity set perfect for when you have littles in the house because they can play with it too!) I have a couple nativity scenes I put out each year. I always place one under our tree to remember that Jesus is the best gift we could ever receive! 
*Photo via Pinterest*

2. Eat cake! Along with your Christmas cookies, how about baking a birthday cake for Jesus! Whether it's a coffee cake you eat for breakfast Christmas morning or a cake for dessert later in the day, sing "Happy Birthday" and celebrate Jesus birth!
*Photo via Pinterst* 

3. Wandering Wise Men! I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it was so cute! Instead of Elf on the Shelf, have the wise men wander your house searching for Jesus.  Each day the wise men can be found resting, facing some kind of obstacle, get something to eat, etc until they find Jesus in the manger Christmas morning. 

 4. Three Christmas gifts! One of the most exciting parts of Christmas is giving and receiving gifts. It's easy though to get so caught up in getting gifts or often overspending when buying gifts, that we forget the real meaning of Christmas. How about buying only three gifts for each member of the family? It's a great way to bring up Jesus and the wise men on Christmas morning since three gifts are how many Jesus received when he was born.
*Photo via Pinterest*

5. Christmas lights and the nativity!  Print out a coloring page of the Christmas nativity. Have your children color it and you write a little note at the top that says "Thanks for keeping Christ in Christmas" or "Thanks for remembering the reason for the season".  As your family drives around looking at Christmas lights, stop at the houses that have a nativity in the yard and leave the coloring page in their mailbox.

6.  Scripture Advent! Starting December 1st until Christmas, celebrate advent by reading a story out of the Jesus Storybook Bible each day. I love this storybook bible because the illustrations are gorgeous, the stories are beautifully written and every story points to Christ!

7.  Nativity Story Box! Read the Nativity story and as each character or prop is introduced, pull it out of the box. After reading and discussing, children can play with the toys and reenact the story on their own.

8. Christmas Eve Service! This is something I remember doing every year growing up. Each Christmas Eve before heading to our family's Christmas dinner we would head to church for a candlelight service. It was a great reminder of why we were celebrating before getting caught up in the food, gifts, etc of the rest of that evening and especially on Christmas day.
 *Photo via Pinterest*

9. Gift of Giving! Set some money or time aside for others this year. As a kid and even now, I love shopping for Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes every year! It's a great way to spread the love of Jesus and helps remind us that it's not all about us.

10. Symbols of Christmas! Find a small Christmas tree and ornaments that go along with this version of what each Christmas symbol means. This would be fun to do before you put out your Christmas decorations in your home. Once you've gone over each symbol and decorated the tree, let the kids use it as a decoration in their room.


What are some traditions or activities your family likes to do to remember Jesus during the Christmas season?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

World Travel Date Night: Germany

The past couple of months we have been slacking on our monthly date nights I had planned, but we did get this month's together and it was a lot of fun!
What better time to visit Germany than October?! We celebrated Oktoberfest with some yummy fondue!

Dinner: Cheese Fondue with pretzel sticks, summer sausage, tortilla chips and french bread. (Could also do kielbasa, apple slices, soft pretzels, etc)

We used a beer cheese fondue recipe, but it turned out tasting too much like flour. Next time we'll have to try another recipe! We made it on the stove and then transferred it to a mini crock pot to keep it warm.

Dessert: Chocolate Fondue with pretzel sticks, marshmallows and bananas. (Could also do strawberries, cookies, etc)

We melted chocolate chips using our tea light fondue kit I picked up at a yard sale. If you don't have one, you can heat up the chocolate on the stove or in the microwave.

Drinks: German Beer or Root Beer

After eating we played Aggravation! It's one of our favorite board games and I love this vintage board and marbles that belonged to my grandparents. 

For more Travel the World Date Nights, check the "Date Ideas" page at the top of the blog.

Be sure to stay tuned for next month's date to Egypt!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

10 Tips for Decorating on a Budget

I have loved showing you all before and afters of our new home! Although I still have a few rooms left that need some finishing touches, we have gotten so many compliments on what we've done so far. Ya'll are so sweet! I am by no means an interior designer, but I do love decorating. So, today I thought I would share some decorating tips with you. The great thing about decorating is it doesn't have to cost a lot to make a big impact!

1. Shop your house! I do this all the time. If I need a decorating change (which is quite often), I shop other rooms in my house instead of going out to buy something new. These wood crates were used as shelves in our kitchen, but now they work great stacked as an end table in the living room.

2. Think outside the box. Use items that are intended for one thing, to serve another purpose. For example using painter drop cloths for our guest bath shower curtain or living room window curtains. They had the natural look I wanted plus are durable and pretty inexpensive!

3. Be willing to do it yourself. Pinterest is where I get most of my ideas. There are some great tutorials for how to make decor on your own without having to spend a lot of money buying it already made. These mason jar pendent lights were super easy to do and cost under $20 compared to the $50 or more I've seen on Etsy.

4. Decorate with everyday items. A great tip for saving money on decor is to decorate with items you use a lot. We use dry ingredients several times a week when cooking, so I displayed them in mason jars on the kitchen counter. It makes cooking easier because they are right there plus it adds a more country feel to the kitchen.

5. Know where to shop. Although places like Target have some adorable things it can also get pretty pricey. I like to frequent thrift stores, yard sales and online sale sites such as Craigslist or swap pages on facebook. These bar stools were on a swap page in great shape, just needed some new fabric to match our decor.

6. Make it over. Whether it's new fabric, new knobs on a dresser, spray paint, etc. see how it could be upcycled instead of throwing it out and buying something new. We had a brown shelf we found on the side of the road. With a little white paint it now fits perfectly in our living room.

7. See what it could be. Originally this was an old rusty trunk I picked up at a yard sale for $2.00! We painted it, added some legs and a pad for the top. Now it serves as a great coffee table!

8. Heirlooms and hand me downs. Not only are they free, but many items we have received also have special meaning because they have been in our families for a long time. Getting to see or use something everyday like this buffet that originally belonged to Derrick's great grandparents is so special. It's fun to think about what kinds of gatherings they may have used it for.

9. Make your own pillows. It's amazing how much a pillow costs at the store, anywhere from $20.00 and up! And of course you need several pillows, some for each season right? So...make your own envelope pillow cases to go over your existing pillows. Here is a no sew version too!

10. Use natural elements. Using items from your own yard is a great way to cut cost. Fill a bowl with pine cones or a vase with flowering branches. This past spring I planted a cutting garden and loved having fresh flowers all summer long.

Do you have any more tips? Feel free to leave a comment on how you like to decorate on a budget!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Living Room Reveal!

Here's another before and after, the living room! 

This old door came off the well house in our back yard. We decided we're going to tear down the building, but obviously I had to keep the door. It's perfectly chippy and weathered!

Drop cloth window curtains! I got the drop cloths at Lowe's and curtain clips from Bed Bath & Beyond. The clips are great because you don't have to sew a sleeve or loops on the curtains to hang them from the rods.

 I found these wood crates at a yard sale for $1.00 each and stacked them to make an end table.

Remember this trunk we made into a coffee table awhile back?

My mom passed down this antique chifferobe that belonged to my grandparents. I love having it in our home now to hold all of my craft supplies next to my sewing table.

I found a picture of my grandparents on their wedding day and had to put it on top of their chifferobe. How cute are they? 

Thanks so much for coming to look at another finished room in our home!