Thursday, January 22, 2015

Saving Money Series - Decorating Our Homes


Good morning to you! I am continuing with my Saving Money Series today. In case you missed the first installment, find it here

Today I want to talk about decorating, the inexpensive way. We are so bombarded with Pinterest perfection and incredible, professional magazine layouts that we may think we may never be able to attain that kind of beauty or decorating prowess in our own homes. I want to show you how I decorate, on a very small budget (which, at times, has even been non-existent). With a little creativity, there are ways I can make my home a lovely, welcoming haven, without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars. I realize that it can take a few years to collect some decorative items, but most of us can probably shop our cupboards or pantries or yards and come up with some neat displays or arrangements to make our homes more beautiful, inviting and peaceful. 

And just a quick side note, I discovered the world of freecycle.org a couple of years ago, which can be a great resource for adding things to your home or decorating collection. People often give away perfectly wonderful possessions that they are tired of, don't have room for, or have simply replaced with something bigger and better. I am often amazed at the offerings in my local freecycle groups. Another great resource, is of course, the yard sale - both the old school kind in your own neighbourhood, as well as the new Facebook yard sale options for your town or city (check out the coffee table I once got free of charge!). (Use both of these online resources at your own discretion and with care and caution. Follow all rules of safety as specified in each group.)

As a homeschool mom, one of the things I've had to come to terms with is that since we are mostly at home, my house is not going to look like a two-page spread out of Better Homes and Gardens or Kinfolk. I have, though, been able to carve out a few spaces that can be the exceptions to the rule and lovely displays of beauty amidst the messes.

We use our dining room not only for family meals, but also for school, of course. Puzzles are also worked there, painting is done there, and much more, so it is a heavy traffic area. I try to have the kids put away their school books after use and keep it picked up as much as possible. The sideboard functions as a cupboard for much of our school paraphernalia, which is such a lifesaver. I like the top of the sideboard to be an appealing focal point in the room and not covered in clutter. 

During Christmas it looked like this, simple yet festive:



The poinsettias were very inexpensive (from Aldi). I pulled the candy jar out of the pantry and filled it with Brach's Christmas Nougats, Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses and candy canes. The little red and white dish came from Target, on sale. The wooden sleigh was a gift, as were the Santa and the cloth manger set. So the main expense on this display was the candy.

I enjoyed moving the pieces around, and eventually, the rest of the surface was covered with the Christmas cards we received in the mail. 

For January and the rest of winter, I wanted to do something fresh and simple, but I didn't want to spend any money on it at all. I shopped around the house to see what I could come up with, and this was the result . . .



Lately, every time I have walked out my back door, I have thought how pretty the dead hydrangea blooms looked, so I cut some and put them in a vase I already had on my shelf. The old globe belongs to Ava and was free from a homeschool mom who was having to quickly sell her house and move. The small blue vases came from a lady who made colloidal silver, and I've had them for ages. The photo was a gift from my very talented photographer uncle. The vase with the greenery in it was a wedding gift. The greenery itself is from my back yard.

I've rearranged everything a couple of times and like this arrangement the best so far . . . 







Another tip for creating a beautiful space in our homes is to purchase a simple  and inexpensive bouquet of flowers (or pick them from your garden, if you have them). I adore flowers and believe they can brighten up any area, no matter what the season. I bought this bunch of Alstroemeria (also known as Peruvian lily) for $5. I love this variety of flower because it lasts and lasts, so my $5 goes a long way. They are still sitting on the coffee table in my living room, almost three weeks later!



How do you like to decorate your home inexpensively? I'd love to hear your ideas and experiences, especially the money-saving ones!

Don't forget, the Ultimate DIY Bundle is on sale now for a limited time. Click the banner for details.

Blessings and love. xo

Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Ultimate DIY Bundle is on sale NOW!


Good morning!
I want to tell you about an AMAZING offer from the wonderful team over at Ultimate Bundles. Every quarter they put together a collection of eBooks and eCourses on a particular theme, and this time they’ve focused on DIY and crafting!
The Ultimate DIY Bundle is your instant go-to library for a whole range of carefully curated eBooks and eCourses from the web’s foremost DIY and crafting experts. Topics include: 
Home decor
Furniture painting
Photography
Chalk pastels
Handmade gifts
Homemade skincare products
Cake decorating
Photography and photo-editing
Paint colors and interior design
… and a whole lot more (76 eBooks and eCourses in total) – to help you be inspired or get started with your next DIY or crafting project!
Everything is yours to keep forever, and you can read it all on any device of your choice.
There’s no need to worry about information overload: The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with a complete guide to getting started, so that you can know exactly which resource to use for your specific crafting or DIY project. 
The contents of the Ultimate DIY Bundle are worth over $1,200 in total. But all you need to pay is just $34.95! That’s a HUGE discount of 97%!
And that’s not all! A selection of superb crafting companies have agreed to provide a special bonus to everyone who buys – and the bonuses are worth more than the entire cost of The Ultimate DIY Bundle!
Bonuses include a FREE Craftsy Class from Craftsy.com, a couple of $15 gift certificates to HopeInkShop.com and Fawnsberg.com and more.
Click here to see EVERYTHING that’s included in The Ultimate DIY Bundle (there’s a lot!):
Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for the next 6 days – until 11:59pm EST on Monday, January 26. 
Blessings and love. xo

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle. 

What I Wore


Hello, darlings! Welcome to another week of What I Wore with fabulous finds from groopdealz.com, as well as two of my own photos, one of a sweater I received for Christmas that is my favourite, and the other of my wonderful, cozy blanket scarf! I may have to pull it out today for this snow storm we're expecting!

Floral Trim Dress - 5 Colours



Cheetah Long Sleeve Top - 3 Colours



Rhinestone Hair Ties - Set of 3 




Lace Sleeve Sweater - 4 Colours



Pencil Skirt - 13 Options



Lightweight Dolman Cardigan - 4 Colours




Check out the giveaway going on now!

Here are my photos . . .




Sweater - Old Navy
Necklace - Christmas gift (thanks, Mom!)


Blanket scarf - Brina Box (via groopdealz.com)

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Sweet Haute

Blessings and love. xo

Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through my links, there is no additional cost to you, and I make a small commission. Many thanks!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekly Menu Plan {19 January}



Good morning to you! How was your weekend? We had a nice one. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but I did get a chance to get a little more extra cleaning and organizing accomplished. Yay! I am really trying to get things in order. I have been hearing this from the Father for, well, awhile now. I'm slow, but I'm determined to be obedient.

Last night I read these tweets from Dr. Tayo:


Disorder is costly - put your house in order. 

Jesus was a man of order; 
everything that He did was deliberate, intentional and in order.

Jesus was so organised that when He rose from the dead, 
he took time to fold the grave clothes before leaving the tomb.

That last one made me laugh! But it's true, isn't it?! I love these quotes and they really spoke to me. Isn't it great when what you've already been hearing from the Father is confirmed from an unexpected source? It's like an extra push to keep going.

Here's our menu plan for this week:

Monday - Crockpot BBQ Brisket on buns, potato salad

Tuesday - Our Favourite Grilled Chicken, sautéed spinach, buttered pasta

Wednesday - Beef Tips, mashed potatoes, salad (Ben's night to cook)

Thursday - Soup night (TBD by Emma)

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - TBD by Austin (Austin decided to join the menu rotation last week, so we added him to Saturdays. He made an amazing Seafood Gumbo last Saturday. Quite impressive for his first-ever meal!)

Sunday - Snack-y Supper

I wanted to share one of my favourite quotes from Dr. King in honour of his birthday and this day set aside to celebrate his life and legacy.



Have a wonderful week! 

Linking up with Menu Plan Monday.

Blessings and love. xo

Friday, January 16, 2015

4 Steps to Rediscover Your Inner Creative Genius


Hi again! 
Yesterday I told you about a brand new mini-course that you can take FOR FREE, today! The course is called 4 Steps to Rediscover Your Inner Creative Genius, and it will help you overcome your inner obstacles to getting more involved in crafting and DIY. 
Worried you don’t have the time for furniture painting? Can’t believe you’ve got the right skills for photography? Petrified of embarrassing your friends with amateurish attempts at handmade gifts? Check out this course!
4 Steps to Rediscover Your Inner Creative Genius is very short and easy to complete – it takes just a week, and is delivered entirely over email with accompanying worksheets. 
If you haven’t already signed up, click here and get started on part 1! If you’ve already started, let me know how it’s going! 
Blessings and love. xo
Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate links. Many thanks for your support!