Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Thanksgiving Table Décor {Better Late than Never, Right?!}

First, let me say thank you so much for all of the offers of prayer and support (and some helpful resources, as well!) in regard to my son’s issues that I talked about in my last post.  We have still not heard any word on the referral, but his doctor did warn me that it could take up to a month, especially with the holidays.  I am trying to stay patient.  :)

My son did, however, touch pizza dough last night as I was rolling it out!  I know that sounds absolutely crazy but for us it is HUGE and I wanted to write it down here so I would remember.  He was very hesitant and only touched it with one finger at first, but he eventually touched it with more fingers at the same time.  And he was actually smiling!  He didn’t want to touch it for long, but I’ll take what I can get! :)

Anyway, – big subject change here!  lol - onto the Thanksgiving tablescape.  You might remember that I mentioned we hosted Thanksgiving this year.  I absolutely LOVE this holiday and was so excited to host it for my family.  Thankfully, it was a really small gathering (we missed my sister and brother-in-law SO much!), so that took a lot of pressure off of me, mentally.  The turkey didn’t dry out and nobody keeled over from food poisoning!  Success!!! :)

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I wanted to go for peaceful and rustic….not too cluttered.  I hope it doesn’t sound snotty to say that I was really happy with how the look of the table turned out! (The reason you don’t see any chairs on the one side is because we have a bench there – it came with the table.)

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I found that cylinder at Goodwill and filled it with white beans and an orange candle – both of which I already had.  The branches are from the backyard, the mini pods are from Michael’s (you can see them in this post, as well), and the walnuts are part of the centerpiece from my cousin’s wedding last year. 


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I have my mom to thank for the napkins; they are from Hobby Lobby and she got them when she went to visit my sister in Nashville this fall.  We are going to visit my sister in April and I swear I want to bring a completely empty suitcase so I can fill it up with all the stuff from the stores we don’t have up here, like Hobby Lobby and World Market!


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I took some oak-tag and used a punch I found at a yard sale a few years ago to make the place tags.  Then I used some stamps that I found at the Dollar Spot in Target years ago and used brown ink to make everyone’s name.  I wrote “2011” on the back and had everyone write one thing they were thankful for.  “Luke” was a popular answer.  :)  I plan on adding these to our “Thankful Tree” next year! (Oh and for Luke’s I wrote “milk” for him.  haha)


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This picture (above) is a little blurry, but it shows the chargers.  I really wanted something other than the typical shiny gold or red ones you find in a lot of stores.  These were pretty brown with embossed acorns and leaves all over them.  They were from the Better Homes and Gardens line at Wal-Mart.  It cost me $20 for 8 of them (on clearance!), and normally I would have flinched at that price, but I love Thanksgiving and hope to host for many years to come.  I think we will certainly get our money’s worth out of them!


A view from the other direction…

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And a last one from above. 

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I already had all my white dishes…I picked up the largest serving platter at Goodwill just a few days before Thanksgiving to finish out what I needed and it was great for holding the turkey!  That’s the great thing about white plates….you can use them over and over and over!

Tomorrow is DECEMBER FIRST, people!!! I’m kinda understanding what people in the South must feel like at Christmas right now.  It is (relatively) warm and sunny here and not a drop of snow to be found.  It doesn’t feel like December at all! I am only a fan of snow before January 1st…after that, I’m totally over it!  haha

One last thing: Elf on a Shelf is on sale for $29.95 this week at Target, with a $5 gift card back upon purchase.  This is the best retail price I have ever seen for this! (I haven’t looked on ebay or anything like that.) I bought it yesterday and Luke keeps staring at it because it is sitting on our window pane!  lol Chris and I were getting a big kick out of watching him last night.  I think tomorrow he will start making his daily appearances around the house….. ;)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Beginning.

On November 17, 2008, I stood in my bathroom and almost passed out when a second pink line actually appeared on the pregnancy test. 

On November 17, 2011, I sat in a room at a pediatrician’s office and bawled my eyes out to my son’s doctor. 

It’s crazy what can happen in three years’ time.  None of us really have any idea what is around the bend of life at any given moment, do we? 

I haven’t been around much lately on my blog because my heart has felt so heavy and my thoughts have felt so clouded and I just haven’t felt like me…at all.  For about ten days, I felt like I was walking around with a dark cloud of heaviness over my head.  Everything felt black…and foggy…..and sad.  I thought for sure I was getting a stomach ulcer, I had no appetite, I felt like I couldn’t think straight, and the tears just kept on coming.

I’ve shared a little bit on here before about my son’s food struggles since we moved to Connecticut about 15 months ago.  What we thought at first was maybe super-picky eating, maybe stubborn-ness, maybe do-we-just-need-to-be-tougher-parents? has slowly and surely proven itself to be much, much more than any of that. 

Our boy has come to the point where we can’t help him on our own anymore.  We’ve done everything we can do.  Saying that sentence out loud at the doctor last Thursday was what really got the tears to flow. 

Simply put – and it’s anything but simple to live out day by day – our son has some moderate to severe sensory issues.  These issues really come to  a head with food, because Luke has to eat three times a day and the issues come frequently to the surface there.  But it also goes way beyond food.  It’s crazy to look back at the baby journal I kept for him and realize that all the little things we thought were “quirks” of his add up to a big picture of a sensory disorder.  Things like…..inability to breastfeed, freaking out when a sticker or band-aid touched his hand, intense fear of grass on bare feet…the list goes on and on and on. 

Add to this innate “sensitivity” (maybe genetic, even?) a major life change during a crucial point in his development, and you basically have a recipe for some serious issues. 

My sweet boy frequently gags on food, frequently spits out things he can’t process with his tongue and can’t swallow, and occasionally will vomit it all up.  He screams in fear when a new food even gets on his plate, never mind trying to put that scary thing in his mouth.  His tolerance for new foods and textures is getting smaller, not larger.  Where most kids at almost two and a half are slowly eating a wider and wider range of foods and textures, my son is  losing foods all the time that were once previously enjoyed.  My son now eats 17 foods (TOTAL), plus milk, water, and juice.  We recently lost two more of his favorite foods. 

Chris and I have been researching and reading like crazy people.  I can’t explain it but about two weeks ago something finally “clicked” that this all was really not.normal. 

I don’t have the brain power/mental strength to fully explain all that’s really going on with my sweet boy right now.  Over time I will be documenting his story here so that others can hopefully find help and information in my posts.  There is a serious lack of information for parents going through this….and by “this” I mean any number of things that he could be diagnosed with: food neophobia, sensory food aversion, pediatric feeding disorder, and sensory integration dysfunction are four of the possibilities. 

His pediatrician, after two visits, agrees with me that there is some serious stuff going on here.  Luke, thank God, has been referred to the pediatric feeding team at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.  There is a group there comprised of a occupational therapist, a speech therapist, a dietician, and a behavioral psychologist that all work together as team to help each child.  I truly believe those people can help my son.  Now we wait for the referral to be processed….and wait to see if insurance will cover the evaluation and subsequently weekly therapy sessions. 

Last November, I cried and cried because we were living with my parents and there did not seem to be a house in our near future. 

This November, I have that long-prayed for house, but I’ve been crying and crying because I just wish my son would eat yogurt…..or spaghetti…..or pizza…or eggs…or applesauce….or really just something – anything!!!! – new or old that he used to love.

What a difference a year makes.


So what am I left with? 

Life will always throw curve balls.  Life will almost always present sadness in some form.  And there will almost always be the death of certain dreams and hopes and expectations. 

I can choose to bawl my eyes out over the fact that there is not ONE Thanksgiving food that my son will allow himself to eat on Thursday. 

I can choose to let myself become overwhelmed with despair at the nutrients my son is most likely lacking in and the long, long, long road of therapy ahead of us that may not even by covered by insurance and also (potentially) may not even end up working for him. 

I can choose to be overcome with jealousy when I hear parents talking about the great foods their kid eats or see a toddler happily scarfing down normal food at a restaurant. 

I can choose to be overwhelmed with sadness and fear at the thought of Luke’s future – how will he go to birthday parties when he won’t touch pizza or hotdogs or french fries?  How would he go to summer camp? What if we keep losing foods?  What if he continues to eat less and less?  Will he always be tiny, even as an adult, because of the nutrients he’s not getting now as a toddler?  What if, what if, what if, what if.…….


A normally-developing toddler, for whatever reason, is simply not the path that God has chosen for our family – at least not at this present time.

I wish more than anything in the world right now that it was, but it’s just not.

SO.  What can I possibly do?


I CAN CHOOSE to “fix my eyes on Jesus” – as my wonderful husband reminds me so often to do. 

I CAN CHOOSE to put my faith in my amazing, all-powerful God and not my faith in Aetna Insurance and the pediatric feeding team at Connecticut Children’s.

I CAN CHOOSE to count my blessings – a house that meets our needs so well, a beautiful, happy boy that brings so much joy to us and to others, a beyond-amazing husband that provides me with so much laughter and incredible spiritual advice, the hope of heaven and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

I CAN CHOOSE to be thankful for the health that my boy does have – we have several friends whose kiddos will be struggling with health issues for the rest of their lives, and it is definitely possible that with therapy Luke can be “normal” (I use that word loosely) someday. 

I CAN CHOOSE to make the best of the situation….and realize that my blog can hopefully be a platform to help other mommies and daddies out there who feel like they are going crazy and at their wits end over what to do when their sweet kiddo just doesn’t eat like all the other kids do. 

I CAN CHOOSE to look beyond tomorrow….and when those dark thoughts enter my mind and make my stomach churn…thoughts that this will never change and Luke will keep getting worse and that he’ll never have all the nutrients he needs….I CAN CHOOSE to renew my mind and replace the bad thoughts with good ones.

It’s definitely not easy, but I am not stuck in despair.


This week of Thanksgiving – my favorite of all holidays in the year –


Because without them, I am nothing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Money Saving Mom’s Book and NEW Freezer Cooking Book

It’s been a crazy week here (more on that another time!) but I wanted to pop on because Crystal Paine, aka Money Saving Mom, is offering a free freezer-cooking e-book and I just couldn’t resist taking her up on it! 

All she is asking in return for the free e-book is that you blog, tweet, FB, or pin about her new book (to be released in January), The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.


You guys, I had an opportunity to read a draft copy of this book, and it is FABULOUS.  I will have a full-review coming soon, and an opportunity for one of you to win a copy, but let me encourage you to think about pre-ordering it, as well!  ALL proceeds – did you hear that?! – ALL PROCEEDS from the book go to Compassion International.  Love it. 

Anyway, hop on over to her book’s Amazon page to learn more info and to pre-order, if you’d like.  And remember, if you’d like to help promote her amazing book in some way, you’ll get a free 45-page e-book in return!  Not a bad deal. ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why You Should Sign up for Recyclebank

Have you heard of Recyclebank yet?  It’s a new (to me) site where you enter points and then redeem the points for dozens and dozens of different items.  You can earn the points a variety of ways – sometimes there will be short movies or quizzes you can do on the site, or you can enter codes from products you buy. 

The reason I am LOVING it is that the points are high-value, and the rewards are low value.  I’ve been entering my points at Pampers ever since Luke was born, and a big package of diapers might only get you 60 points….and a magazine subscription can need upwards of 1200 points.   (Not knocking the Gifts to Grow program…I’ve gotten a lot of Starbucks gift cards that way!  I’m just saying that it takes a lot longer.)

But on Recyclebank?  So many of the rewards are super low in point requirements.  For instance, just this week I got a magazine subscription to Better Homes and Gardens (115 points), and with just a few more points I can earn one for Martha Stewart Living (230 points)!  Magazines are such a splurge for me – I love to read and I love getting something happy in the mail, don’t you?  I currently get 4 magazines in the mail that I didn’t have to pay for, thanks to deal sites, and now I’ll be getting two more!  Hooray!

I’ve tried different survey sites before, and I can’t stand when you take 10 minutes to do a survey, only to find out you’re “not qualified” for the “real” one.  Ahhhh!! Drives me bonkers.  Recyclebank is easy.  There’s no qualification or long, lengthy surveys.  The videos might be 2-3 minutes long, at most, and several give you 25 points.  A survey is likely to be one question long, and give you 5 points or more. 

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The way I’ve been getting lots of points is by redeeming the 50-point codes on the inside of my Kashi organic cereal boxes.  (So are you doing the math?  That’s less than 3 boxes of cereal to get a free year-long subscription – and that’s if I ONLY entered cereal box codes and did nothing else.) 

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Seriously guys, it’s so easy!  Give it a try! :)  I’d love it if you could would sign up via my my personal referral link.  I get 10 points for every person that signs up under me.  Then you can share it with your friends and start getting points yourself! 


Now go get those free magazines! :)


P.S. Do you subscribe to Money Saving Mom?  She often lists on her site when new videos are available to watch on Recyclebank so you don’t have to constantly check the site. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Deals at CVS & Big Y {Week of 11/6/11}–for Thanksgiving and Operation Christmas Child boxes!

Hey guys!  Just wanted to pop on here and share a few deals I found this week that might interest some of you.  With Thanksgiving coming up (and at my house this year!!), plus, the deadline for Operation Christmas Child boxes arriving soon, I am on above-average deal alert over here! 

{I realize that Big Y won’t apply to some of you, but I wanted to post it here for the sake of my fellow New England girls.}

- Ivory 3-packs of soap (plain or aloe) are 99 cents this week at Big Y, as are 2-packs of Irish Springs at CVS.  These are great to put in your shoeboxes!  Just be sure to place inside a plastic sandwich baggie (per box instructions).  It’s also a kind gesture to include a fluffy washcloth, since it would be really sad if the child receiving your soap didn’t have a washcloth to go with it!

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- You know from my Fridge and Freezer Vlog that I usually buy the Francesco Rinaldi “To Be” brand of spaghetti sauce.  It is on sale this week, 2/$3 at Big Y.  There was a 35 cents off coupon in this Sunday’s paper, plus you can print out two additional 35 cent coupons by following this link, courtesy of For the Mommas.  The coupons will all double, making the sauce only 80 cents a jar  - an AWESOME stock-up price! 

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- Canned veggies this week are 2/$1 at CVS, and Ocean Spray cranberry sauce is $1!  This is great for making things like green bean casserole at Thanksgiving (yes, clean eating goes out the window when you’re hosting traditional Thanksgiving for your family! lol)

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- Also at CVS this week is a GREAT deal on Hallmark cards: Buy any 3 cards (excluding boxed sets), get $3 Extra Care Bucks back.  The great thing?  This deal works on 99 cent cards!  So you can spend $2.97 on cards and then get $3 back to spend in-store!  I have lots of nieces and nephews, plus plenty of other relatives to buy birthday cards for…I always stock up on cards throughout the year!

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-  And if you are still in the diaper stage like we are, you can roll those $3 ECB from the cards into a good deal on diapers this week, as well.  Boxes of Pampers diapers are $19.99 and are giving back $4 ECB.  There was also a $2/1 box of Pampers diapers coupon in last week’s paper, if you still have that.  So combine your $3 ECB from the card deal, plus your $2 coupon, and you’re spending $14.99 for a box of diapers, plus you have $4 left to spend in the store!  (Also, CVS has a promotion now where if you buy 6 packages of diapers, the 7th is free – and the boxes count as TWO packages.  That free coupon really helped me out a few weeks ago when we didn’t have any more money in our grocery budget and we were out of diapers!  Good timing, CVS. :)

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-  Oh, and lastly I wanted to share that the “One Pie” brand of pumpkin is on sale for 2/$3 at Big Y.  (Libby’s is supposed to be on sale at CVS for the same price but my store didn’t have any pumpkin in stock at all).  This is a great price on pumpkin – I’m stocking up so that we can enjoy pumpkin waffles and pancakes all year. 

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Anyone else found some awesome deals for upcoming events?  I’m all ears!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Miscellany Monday {14}

Happy Monday, guys!  I haven’t joined Carissa’s party in a while so I figured I would today….


{1} Did you know that if you add 3 pumps of Toffee Nut flavoring and cream to your tall Starbucks coffee, you can almost convince yourself that it’s Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, for a lot cheaper? (It’s like the poor man’s version – no salt or whipped cream or milk! haha) This is what I tell myself, because I’m too poor to afford the Salted Caramel on a regular basis.  (For that matter, I’m too poor to afford regular Starbucks on a consistent basis – maybe once or twice a month, at most! ha!)  But it is really good…try it and let me know what you think!

{2} This time change is thing for the birds!  I have been up for 30 minutes (current time: 6:54 am), and my son is jumping, giggling, and talking to the books in his bed.  Normal people aren’t even awake yet.  Awesome.

{3} I already mentioned this on FB, but I didn’t mention it here yet – I’m hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year!  This is the first year ever that we’re not having it at my parents’ house.  My sister can’t come up from Nashville for both holidays, so we have to wait to Christmas to see her.  This is also the first year that my whole family has not been together for this holiday and my sister and I always watch at least part of the Macy’s parade together.  When I think about her not being here, I seriously start to tear up a little. 

I kinda figured that since everything was going to be so different anyway, we might as well switch it up and have it here.  I am a little nervous about cooking the turkey, but everyone who’s done it before on FB told me it wasn’t as bad as they thought!  I’m going to buy it tomorrow, actually, because one store has it for 58 cents a pound which sounds great to me but then again what the heck do I know?!  lol

{4} At the risk of ruining all my credibility after my 31 Days series (ha!), I’m going to give you a recipe that isn’t remotely clean, not in the slightest.  It basically flaunts its uncleaness openly.  lol 

I needed a dessert to take to our pastor’s house for dinner, and I knew that he loves chocolate and peanut butter desserts.  I did some digging on the internet and found these puppies:



HOLY GUACAMOLE.  They are awesome.  Chewy, salty, crunchy, smooth, chocolatey, peanut-buttery, YES.  So if you need a unique dessert for something, I highly recommend them.  I was also praying that they would work on my 145-pounds-fully-dressed-on-a-good-day husband, but so far they haven’t worked….I may just have to make them again. :)

{5} We started choir practice at church yesterday in preparation for the Christmas concert.  Can I just tell you how much I have missed singing in four-part harmony?  It’s been over 5 years….it did my soul good.  We are doing a Celtic Christmas arrangement and it is so pretty.  Love this time of year! 

{6} Speaking of church, we’re going to our pastor’s house for dinner tonight (it had to be postponed last time).  Isn’t is so awesome when you don’t have to cook dinner?  I mean seriously, someone could serve me a PB&J and I would be elated just because I wasn’t the person that had to crack open the bread and start spreading.  Food just always tastes better when you didn’t have to make it yourself, doesn’t it?!  :)


Have an awesome week, everyone!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Friday, November 4, 2011

Simple Tips for Inexpensive Fall Decorating {Part 2 of 2}

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s.  You’ll see in the pictures below that some of the items I’ve had even before we got married 5 years ago!  I tend to be very traditional in my home choices – so I am able to use some items year after year without it looking too outdated.  (For that matter, the same goes for my wardrobe.  I am a traditional girl through-and-through!  Call it the oldest child/schoolteacher in me!  lol  Remember how yesterday I talked about discontent with finances?  God has taught me a lot about that in regard to clothes, too.  I just try to make the best of what I can afford, clothes-wise.  Sometimes envy and discontent rear their ugly heads and I have a little pity party in my head, but I am making big progress, by God’s grace!)

Anyway, on to the house! :)

Below each photo, I’ll let you know where I got each of the items. If I purchased it within the past several months, I’ll mark it with an asterisk (*).


Dining Room:

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I simply switched over the “Fall” Subway art from October to the “Give Thanks” page now that it’s November.



Frame: $1.00, thrift store* 
Printables (via Pinterest): $1 each to get printed on cardstock at Staples*
Faux mini vegetables: Michaels, years ago
Faux wine corks: Target clearance, $6.99* (I bought them to do
another project but I’m using a few here as well)
Votives: from my sister’s wedding; free. :)


Living Room:


This is one of my favorite “fall spots” in my house. It’s so peaceful to me.  The photo you see was given to me as a gift from my uncle (including the frame!) who is a professional photographer.  I had yet to hang it up since we moved, and when I was decorating the house for fall, I realized that it would be perfect on top of our bookshelf!  So yes, I am super lucky in that respect! But you could also get a photo of your family (or of your kids playing in the leaves!), get it enlarged, then place it in a Goodwill frame. 

Picture: gift (free)
Vase filler: gift for my birthday last year (free)
Acorn “branches”: Goodwill 3 years ago (used to be a candle wreath; I simply unwound it so I could use it more as a filler)



Pumpkin: Cracker Barrel 4-5 years ago



Pear: 10 cents, yard sale*
Pumpkin: Goodwill, 3 years ago
Leaf plate: Target clearance, 2 years ago, $1.24 (see this post)
White candle: Big Lots, years ago 
Lantern: $.50, Goodwill (see this post)
Mendelssohn bust: $5, Goodwill
Orange candle: given to me (free)*
Decorative filler: $4.99, Michael’s*
Cigar box: $.99, Goodwill
Glass cylinder: $.99, Goodwill*
Faux walnuts: vase filler from my cousin’s wedding; free


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Yellow runner: $5 at Wal-Mart when I was in COLLEGE! :)
Leaf plate: Wal-Mart, also from college
Orange candle: gift (free)*
Berry garland around the mirror: $4 (see below for how I made it)*
Candle wreath: $3 (see post here)

Side note: Can I just tell you how much I ADORE this sideboard/dresser/hutch in my living room? My aunt’s friend was moving across the country, and she let my mom and I come shop her house for the things she couldn’t take with her. She originally had this piece in her dining room and she sold it to me for THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS. Isn’t that insane?! I keep extra serving dishes, tablecloths, and candles in the drawers. I am totally in love with it. It’s SO well made (the company is Drexel) and I know from what she said that it’s several generations old. I am so thankful that I was able to afford it! I can’t get over the beauty of the wood and the timeless design.  I hope to have this for many, many years – maybe it can be an heirloom piece for one of my kids in the future.




I made this berry garland by simply twisting berry picks from the floral section at Michael’s into one long strand and then tucking it behind the mirror.

Berry picks: $1 each on sale ($4 total)*


Kitchen island:


Green bowl: $.50 at a yard sale, 2 or 3 years ago
Candle: $2.99?, Ikea* (I just removed the label)
Mini pods/filler: $4.99, Michaels (came from same box as above)*
Pumpkin candy dish: yard sale, years ago




“Mulled Cider” hand soap: $1, Christmas Tree Shop*
Ceramic pumpkin: Goodwill or yard sale – had it for years
Orange towel: $.50 at flea market {definitely not a real hand towel, but again, who cares?  It’s okay to break “the rules” in your own house. :) }

Hope you enjoyed the fall tour! :)


Oh, and guys?  This is what the floor of my living room looked like the day I took the photos. 


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Just keepin’ it real!! And I only have ONE kiddo!!!! So help me when I have more! lol


Linked to:

Show and Share Day @ Just a Girl

DIY Fall Festival @ The DIY Showoff

Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Simple Tips for Inexpensive Fall Decorating {Part 1 of 2}

I don’t know about you guys, but I really, really struggle with jealousy when I read certain blogs.  Posts where everything in the pictures is from West Elm or Restoration Hardware or other higher-end stores…things that most likely will never, ever, ever be attainable for me, and yet aren’t even a second thought for these people.  They don’t have a budget and are able to buy everything their heart desires.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “Well, my house would look fabulous, too, if I could buy everything I wanted from a catalog.”  I’ve actually had to stop following some blogs because I was becoming so discontent with my own finances.  It was definitely becoming a spiritual struggle for me. 

I’ll still always wish for nicer things, but God is really working in my heart to help me make the most of my financial situation.  (Proverbs 30:8-9 has really helped me in this regard….you should check it out!) It’s such a  fine line to have a budget yet also want to make your home a nice place to be in, isn’t it?  I absolutely love decorating and tweaking my home – it’s a huge hobby of mine.  I joke with Chris that I’d rather dress my house than myself!  lol

Anyway, over the next two posts, I thought I’d show you my fall decorations this year, and hopefully inspire you to realize that you don’t have to be a millionaire to have a cozy home  - just a little creativity, and a willingness to wait for fun finds and shop around.  (I’m also doing this because I like to take pictures of how I decorated from year to year, so that I can remember what my house looked like when the season rolls around again next time.)


Here are my top hints for seasonal decorating on a budget (and specifically for fall):

- Keep an eye out for fall décor throughout the year, and keep a box or two in your attic or garage for this purpose.  So when you find a faux pumpkin at Goodwill in March, or some orange candles at a yard sale in July, you have a place to keep it until September.

- Keep an open mind about what “works” for a given season.  You’re going to see tomorrow that some of my decorations are not specifically for the fall, but they work in the overall scheme.  Think browns, creams, yellows, oranges, and reds for fall, specifically. 

- Along those same lines, I helps me a little bit to think about the overall “feeling” of a season.  For instance, I like breezy and beachy for summer, warm and cozy for fall, happy and cheerful for Christmas (although I like a rustic feel for Christmas, too, sometimes), and light and fresh for springtime.  If you find something that associates in your brain with the way you feel about a certain season, I say, work in it somehow!  It’s YOUR house, remember. :)

- When you see something you like but can’t afford, just try to replicate it in a cheaper way.  Of course it’s not always going to come out the way you saw it in the store, but oftentimes the effect can still be achieved.  For instance, I see faux berry garlands for close to $20 sometimes at Michaels, but I made my own this year for only $4 by waiting for berry sprigs to go on sale and then twisting them together. 

- Embrace Pinterest!  There are so many free printables that you can use to spruce up your holiday decorating, not to mention a plethora of awesome ideas.  You can follow my “Autumn Love” or “Christmas” boards if you’d like to see what has gotten my attention as far as the holidays are concerned. 


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Tomorrow I’ll be back with more fall photos of my house.  See you then!

{I’d love to know if you have any decorating tips, as well.  I’m always open to learning more or picking up new tricks for decorating inexpensively!}