Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Stop on The Nester's Tour of Homes

Welcome everybody! I'm so glad you're here to visit! About 95% of what you'll see in my house was purchased at yard sales, Goodwill, or the flea market, but if I did buy something at a "real" store, I'll be sure to let you know which one!

I am excited to sit down later this afternoon and drink a cup of coffee and check out everyone's links! I love using my 25 cent snowman mug (it's the little things in life, right?!) - if you enjoy coffee, check out my friend Kathy's fabulous Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe (made in the crockpot)!

While we're in the kitchen, here's the counter by the stove. I love the way those fat peppermint sticks (from the Dollar Tree!) look in my glass jar. Credit for this idea goes to Melissa from 320 Sycamore.

By the toaster, I mixed some jewel-toned ornaments (40 cents from Goodwill on Black Friday!) with one of my long pearl necklaces.

On top of the stove:

Hopping upstairs to the bathroom:

Moving on to the dining room, we have my yarn trees with a 25 cent tree that came with its own mini ornaments and lights!

I love this little tree and will let Luke have it in his room in a few years.

I've had this garland for years and still like it.

I know there are much cuter ways to display Christmas cards, but my mom always taped them to our kitchen door frame growing up and I've always done the same (just on our living room entry instead).

Above the bookcase, I wrapped the yard-sale tree with burlap. The two deer are one of my favorite yard sale finds ever.

Side table (bright ornaments are from Wal-Mart):

Other side table:

I found this pillow for $1.20 at Goodwill on Black Friday (don't worry, I washed it!).

I used to waitress at Cracker Barrel and I was able to purchase my Willow Tree set for only $13! It is one of my most favorite things and I like the juxtaposition of the sparkly ornaments with the rustic feel of burlap.

(Champagne ornaments - 12 for $1 at Dollar Tree)

This will be our last year of having a real tree for a while - I'm kinda sad about that but know it's for the best to avoid ingested needles and spilled water since next year Luke will be walking!

(Ribbon is $4.99 at Target this year.)

The ornaments are a mix of new and very old - a lot of them are very sentimental, either from old students of mine or places Chris and I have been or ornaments from Chris's childhood.

Two of my favorites are residing in clearance ornaments from Target - the very first two pictures of our baby, taken on December 2nd and December 11th last year.

They'll always hold a very special place in my heart.

That's the majority of my Christmas decorating!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a fabulous Christmas!

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

Burlap and Yarn Trees

Well, we drove all the way to church today and then found out that Chris had to go plowing. so we got there and left before the service even started. I'm not gonna lie, I cried in the car - some people were getting baptized today and I really wanted to see it! Plus, I was already dressed and Luke looked super cute in a new Christmas sweater and I just did not want to sit at home by myself!

But here I am anyways! I have my favorite Pandora station on and Luke is sitting in his Johnny-jump-up so I figured I'd write this post up quickly.
Since burlap is so "hot" this year (I've seen that written so many times that it makes me laugh now!) I purchased a yard of it at JoAnn's over Thanksgiving break. I had really wanted to do this craft that I saw on Under The Table and Dreaming, but unfortunately my local Dollar Tree was out of the plain silver trees. I tried painting my colored tree anyway and I just knew it was going to be a total flop so I just stopped. However, after it dried, the paint had firmed the tree really well so I decided that I would use it as the base for my burlap tree that I had seen on Tatertots and Jello. Plus, it was only $1 compared to the $5-$7 foam trees at Michael's!

I just cut strips of burlap and hot-glued them to the base.

Then I took the template that Jen from Tatertots and Jello had made and used it to make three more trees out of posterboard. I tried to make my own shapes but got tilting trees, because apparently I am too stupid to realize that to make a cone you want 1/4 of a circle shape. I appreciate that she put that template online for people like me! Duh!

(These pictures came out so dark because I had to use the flash - the front porch made it too dark otherwise.)

and then made another burlap tree using this ADORABLE idea from Red Writing (this one was the hardest to do but definitely my favorite!).

I love how cozy all my trees look, and I especially like the way my burlap ones complement my Willow Tree nativity. It is addicting to make these! I am so grateful for these creative ladies for sharing their fab ideas. Go visit all of them!

Cost breakdown:
Tree - $1
Posterboard - $.50
Burlap - $2.99 (tons left)
Yarn - $2.99 (also have tons left)

Not bad in my book!

I will be linking this to Kimba's DIY Day on Tuesday, but be sure to come back tomorrow to see my Christmas decorations for the Nester's Tour of Homes! See you then!

Also linked to Blue Eyed Blessings for the "Holly Bloggy Christmas Bash" and The Shabby Nest for Frugal Friday Holiday Edition.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Craft for Less than $1

I have been busy doing lots of really easy, simple, "Christmasy" crafts lately. For some reason I've been in the crafting mood - maybe because I'm not lesson planning anymore so all my creativity has to be channeled elsewhere. (If you're a teacher, you'll recognize that as total saracasm!)

So, I found this wooden word at Michael's on clearance for 29 cents:

I took this print from my Sunday paper,

traced the letters on it, modpodged it, added red and green ribbons from my scrap pile and a little twine, and voila:

I was going for the vintagey look here - although my house is not "country" style in the slightest, I have to say I do like this! Although I may decide I hate it next year (that has happened with a lot of the decorations I've pulled out of the box this season - I must have had a big mental style makeover over the last twelve months! haha)

At first I was going to spray paint it white then mod podge it with gold glitter - that would definitely be a easy project with kids! And probably would have looked a lot better on my tree, come to think of it...

For 30 cents, maybe I'll just go buy another one!

Check out The Inspired Room for more holiday ideas and Finding Fabulous for other frugal home decor!
Check out Blue Eyed Blessings for other holiday crafts!
See The Shabby Nest for other frugal holiday ideas today!

I will do my best to post about my other crafts soon!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Yogurt Recipe - It's Not What You Think!

If you're visiting from Life as Mom, I'm so glad you're here! I linked up an old post to share in my first URS - I'm excited about this new weekly party!

Hey everybody! Did you all have a fun Thanksgiving?! We spent 5 days in CT with my family and it was nice to just have a change of pace. I did get to Goodwill but accidentally left all of my finds in the back of my parents' Tahoe so I'll have to show you what I found in a month or so.

I don't know about you guys, but I always eat well over Thanksgiving if you know what I mean! This year, since I am still on Weight Watchers, I really did try to eat moderately (I gave myself a little hiatus for the holiday). I am only up 1.5 pounds - and if you know the way my mom cooks, you'd know why I'm excited! (One year, no lie, I gained 5 pounds over Thanksgiving weekend. I'm pretty sure that's because I ate pie for three meals a day, though. lol).

Anyway, I'm back on track with Weight Watchers now that we're home and I wanted to share with you a really, really easy and healthy snack. If you're like me and ready to eat healthy again, you'll definitely want to try this! All of the credit goes to my friend Lindsay for finding this recipe, but she doesn't have a blog, so I can't link to her. When I first heard her talk about this, I thought she had curdled her own milk and stuff and I got a little grossed out - that's not at all the case!

Ultimate "Strawberry" Yogurt

3/4 C strawberries (just to warn you, strawberries make this watery; raspberries are my favorite with this)
2/3 C plain non-fat yogurt
1 T honey

Put berries in blender to chop into smaller pieces. Add yogurt and honey and blend lightly until well mixed. 1/3 C = about 1 pt on Weight Watchers

Guys, I am telling you, this is swoon-worthy! My husband HATES yogurt but absolutely loves it this way. I have made it a personal goal to never buy store-made yogurt again, because they're usually chock-full of chemicals. Plus, once you've had yogurt this way, you'll never go back! I might also add that it's a gorgeous color, too - how often do you get to eat something that is naturally this pink?

Cancer-fighting berries? Gooood.
Probiotic-rich yogurt? Gooood.
All-natural clover honey? Gooood.

(Bonus for you if you know what tv show I'm quoting. ;)


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