AWOL, but still alive…

A brief hiatus, and now: a return. 

I apologize for my lack of posts lately. I intended to take the week of Thanksgiving off, but I did not intend to take three weeks off. Several things led to my taking three weeks off of blogging- some of them were planned, and some of them were not. 

Without revealing too many details, my family has been struggling lately. Some of the struggle is due to missing my dad and grandfather and trying to navigate through grief and the holiday season. Many of you can likely relate to this. In addition, we are dealing with something else in our home. We covet your prayers, and perhaps I’ll talk about this at a later date, but for now I need to keep quiet for my family’s sake. 

In the midst of all of those things, I was also diagnosed with bronchitis and pneumonia. Needless to say, I simply haven’t had the energy to blog. I apologize for my abrupt absence. I will be resuming my four-times-a-week posting schedule this week. 

My sweet girls and I. 

And it feels good to be back. 

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Happy Thanksgiving

We will be back online Monday, November 26. Have a wonderful, safe and relaxing holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!!

How to DIY Christmas ornaments from pinecones!

How to DIY Christmas ornaments from pinecones! Sometimes you just need a cute, easy craft that doesn’t cost you a dime. That’s exactly what I needed this week, and it turned out super cute. I picked up these pinecones from our neighbor’s yard but I already had the glue gun, ribbon and twine in my craft cabinet. I cut the ribbon at the length I wanted and tied them into simple little bows. I then tied the twine around the knot on the bows and hot glued the bow knots to the base of the pine cones. I told you this was easy!! And I made six of them in different sizes. And then I hung them on our tree. Next year, I may create a woodland tree with these pine cones and wood slice ornaments. Arent they pretty? What awesome and free crafts have you done lately?

An Organized Holiday:Christmas planning binder

An Organized Holiday:Christmas planning binder

christmasplanningbinder

Have you ever made lists for Christmas? Making lists is something most of us already do without even really thinking about it. But did you know you can create a binder to help you organize and simplify your Christmas season?

I keep a binder with a December calendar, shopping lists, recipes, grocery lists, address lists, and holiday to-do lists. I also include any pictures or magazine features I want to utilize. I use tab dividers to keep the binder organized and easier to use.

tabbed dividers
$4 at Staples

I used this cute, green polka dot binder to store my Christmas printables and goodies.

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$25 on Zazzle.com

I decided I’d share my handy printables with you all today. Below you will find recipe cards, holiday planning checklists, contact lists, and more. All are available to you for free, but you may not use them for commercial use.

Christmas checklist - Copy

Christmas checklist- BLANK

christmas party planning

Blank Christmas party planning template

Christmas Party Planner Sheet

Christmas party planner

Travel checklist

Traveling checklist

Christmas contacts - Copy

Christmas contacts

recipe card

recipe card

I hope your holiday season is off to a great start! Check back Friday and Saturday for some wonderful Christmas-related goodies!

 

Things you can do to prepare for Christmas RIGHT NOW!!

Things you can do to prepare for Christmas RIGHT NOW!!

Christmas is now a little over a month away and while some of us think nothing of starting our Christmas decorating and planning, others feel as though we’ve just set out our fall decor.

For those of us who want to enjoy Christmas with less stress, here are a few ways to plan ahead for a more enjoyable Christmas season.

1. Inventory your Christmas decorations

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Take out all your Christmas decorations and sort them in three piles: use/keep, broken, and donate. If you’re like me, you buy a few things each year, and your Christmas decor can get out of hand. Go through your things and purge them before you decorate, so you won’t have to worry about it later.

2. Decide whom you’re shopping for and map out your Christmas budget

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Of course, the easiest way to manage Christmas gift shopping is to start early and plan a budget and stick to it. I like to write out a list with the name of each person I’m shopping for and a gift idea and suggested price. I don’t always stick with the gift idea, but I do usually stay within budget.

3. Plan tablescapes and menus ahead of time

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It may sound crazy to plan ahead how you’re going to set your table, but planning your table decor and securing all needed items ahead of time will make things much easier. Planning out menu items will also help you to stick to your budget and your shopping list as well.

4. Take your Christmas card photo and order cards now

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Take your photo now so you can get the Christmas cards ordered in plenty of time. Once your cards are ordered, you can address them a few at a time before dropping them in the mail, or for a little extra money, pay someone else to address them. It will be much less stressful!

What do you do to ensure a less stressful holiday season?

Farmhouse Friday: Christmas decor at Target!

Farmhouse Friday: Christmas decor at Target!

I took the month of October off from blogging, as I was experiencing some difficulties. I felt I just needed to step back and pause for a bit. Now that things have calmed down a bit, I decided to dive back into our regular schedule.

Have you all been to Target lately? Between the Magnolia Hearth and Hand line and the Dollar Spot, I could get into some big trouble.

These cute little house lanterns are only $3 and they’d be adorable on my mantle.

These wooden stockings come with stickers for a unique, design your own advent calendar for $3. You can buy the stocking or the wooden tree. I want to buy these and just decorate with them, and not even use them as advent calendar.

This wooden star garland for $2 is simple and pretty!

And these “believe” plates are perfect for hostess gifts or cookie exchanges.

And these hat and glove ornaments for $1 are adorable!!

Everyone go hit up your nearest Target Dollar Spot right now!!

And have a wonderful weekend.

Dollar Store Crafts: Place Mat Pillows

Dollar Store Crafts: Place Mat Pillows

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I have wanted some pretty seasonal pillows, but I don’t always love the price. I was at Dollar Tree when I spotted these pretty placemats.

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They were thin, as far as placemats go, but they were really pretty. Since they were at the Dollar Tree, I went ahead and bought four of them, with the intent of making two pillows from them.

I then took them home and pinned them together where I wanted to sew them. I then turned them inside out and sewed the edges together.

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And after I sewed the edges, I simply turned them right-side out and stuffed them with quilt batting.

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I then sewed the open end together.

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I absolutely love how these turned out! I am now looking for some napkins or tea towels that coordinate with these placemats so I can make some pillows from them!

What Dollar Store Upcycle have you completed lately?