Along with our teens at the onset of our quarantine created a very long list of things we could do no matter if we were stuck at home or not. We’ve been checking them off each day and it has been so fun. You can find our list here.
As I was searching ideas I pulled up our “kiddos” board on Pinterest. This is 10 years worth of this mama, a lover of arts, crafts and learning pinning, pinning and pinning.
With so many friends with younger kiddos I wanted to share some favorites from the collection. Almost all our ideas for our Covid-Quarantine family learning fun can be found on our board but we are creating a list of those links for you here too to make it easy peasy.
We spent the greater part of last summer interviewing cyclists and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. Why? Well, after countless individuals approached us saying they missed steak nights and looked forward to a ride on the RRVT or the backroads to Adel to enjoy an inexpensive evening out with some fun and entertainment to boot, we gave it careful consideration, rallied some of the best collaborators and STEAK NIGHT was resurrected.
I love Thanksgiving and look forward to creating an unforgettable experience for our guests. These entertaining tricks will help make your Friendsgiving insanely fun and easy to create. If you missed the article in the Living Magazines here you go! Plus photos for some inspiration!!!
I have a confession. I have an aversion to using traditional colors when decorating for fall, but changing the color scheme each year can get pricey. So I include DIY projects that are quick using what I have on hand in my design plan. This month I’ll share 3 easy projects to infuse fall into your home for just a few dollars.
This year I chose a color palette of navy, pink, gray, ivory and hints of caramel. I dug out last years painted pumpkins I bought at the dollar store, picked up a $3.98 can of pink spray paint and transformed dozens of pumpkins to work into my plan.
I pulled the stems out before painting and when the pumpkins were dry I tucked a piece of jute underneath the stem and continued to hot glue it around the stem.
Styrofoam pumpkins Spray Paint
Jute & glue gun (optional)
As school gets back into full swing this month I find myself at least attempting to get my ducks in a row. I was perusing our Clean and Organize Pinterest board for inspiration and stumbled upon many tips we’ve tried and tested that I thought I’d share them with you. They work!
Mid-Century Modern architecture speckled post-war suburbia throughout much of the 1950s and 60s and beyond, Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, credited as the driving force behind the movement, designed homes flat roofs, expansive windows, and multi-functional aspects built into the interiors.
You can see Wright’s work across Iowa, including the Paul J. and Ida Trier house built in 1958 in the heart of Johnston. The Usonian style home, coined by Wright as a simple, stylish, small house designed for the middle class is a perfect example of clean lines, functionality and creative uses for every usable space.
Freddie Mercury may have the best definition of the Boho design style we will explore this month. The word bohemian originated in France in the early nineteenth century and defined the lifestyle of Gypsies. Writers, artists, and musicians often made up this group. Rebelling against social norms, they embraced living a more easy come, easy go, vagabond lifestyle for their art.
I have to admit I was a skeptic when I heard all the hype about Keto diets. How could you possibly lose weight eating all that FAT? But sure-o-nuf it works. One of my favorite resources is I Eat Keto. This guy is Keto-King in my opinion. Honestly, this site and Suzanne Ryan's book Simply Keto were my go-to for research on the why and how of Keto. The bonus is there is page after page of tasty and easy recipes in both places.
I’ve tried various diet plans to no avail but living a Keto lifestyle works for our family and me. I am not a lover of counting macros in detail, but I do keep track of my net carbs per day and try NEVER to go over them. This one is non-negotiable, and while I seem to comfortably stay within my calorie range, the challenge to date is reaching my daily goal for fats.
It’s a work in progress. Here is a little peek into my journey.
In mid-January I received some samples of this “happy coffee” I kept hearing my friends talking about on Facebook. My husband, Dave claims I’m a sucker for trying anything, and he is probably right. I’ve never struggled with my weight, and in fact, have been underweight most of my life. What can I say? I fell in love and was in my 40’s, life was good, the food and travel exciting but the LB’s I packed on—-well not so much. So, I thought, “why not.” I liked the samples, ordered up 30 days worth of D.O.S.E (coffee and a supplement you take once a day) and officially started in February. In less than four weeks I had lost 10 lbs. The real changes, however, happened long before the 10 pounds came off. After a few days, I had WAY more energy, I was more focused and kicking ass and getting things done. I felt better than I had in 2 years.
At that point, I decided to cut out carbs and sugar. Okay, so that ya know that wasn’t a challenge so don’t give me too much credit. You see, after taking D.O.S.E. for 30 days, I had not ONE carb craving! I’m here to tell you, from this pasta-loving Italian that is amazing in and of itself. I’ve never liked sweets/sugar, so that was easy peasy to eliminate from my diet. I did invest in some zero carb protein powder so I could experiment with smoothie recipes.
Linsey at Little Pine Low carb for smoothies has some of my favorites.
In anticipation of dropping the carbs, I ordered up a few snacks that I thought would help satisfy my love of chips and all things salty and spicy. I’ve listed my favorites throughout the blog so that you can check them out. My first purchase was the Quest Chips that come in Cheddar and Sour cream, Sour Cream and Onion (my two favs) and Barbecue. The closest to a potato chip that I have found. They don’t “dip” well, but that is a small inconvenience.
After seeing my results, Dave, a Doctor, and skeptic who thinks simple exercise and cutting calories is enough to drop weight decided he would give it a whirl. Again, he noticed a considerable change in his mental wellness. We both have a smidge of ADD, mine is self-diagnosed but if you met me you would agree, and we were stunned at how mentally focused and ready to take on the challenges of the day we both were. The other bonus is we both found ourselves less anxious or reactive to things that once would have sent our blood pressure through the roof. We have six businesses so you can about imagine what that might look like. YIKES!
It is now the beginning of April, and I am down over 15 lbs, and 16.5 inches, Dave is down ten lbs., and we are going strong. We’ve added working out to our daily routine which I used to HATE! And we are enjoying the journey together.
Here is what is even more telling and why the Elevate Coffee combined with the Keto Diet works for us. In March I had a physical. I was on blood pressure and cholesterol meds. My numbers came back not just average but outstanding, and my good cholesterol is off the charts. Bye, bye meds!
If you read my blog, you know this isn’t a typical post. But it’s important! I can’t stress enough how life changing this was for the two of us. So much so that I can’t stop telling everyone about it.
Below are a few more of my own go-to snack links that help keep me in Ketosis. Oh and BTW, I just found a company that sells Keto friendly wine--I can't wait to try it. I'll be posting more about that deliciousness soon.
If you want to learn more and get some excellent resources on Keto or Elevate follow our Pinterest board, EAT CLEAN here. And as always, you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our ELEVATE page here. Cheers!
NOTE: I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about the areas of interest we are passionate about on our website like design, renovations, family, weddings, events and more.
Last month we talked about identifying your design style. We promised to focus on popular styles over the coming months to help refine the look you aspire to achieve.
If you answered the style quiz and found you are drawn to warm, calming, neutral colors Prefer clean lines mixed with cozy elements. If you find happiness and comfort by blending the old with the new, while combining practical function, then the modern farmhouse style might be right for you.
We are a busy family on the go juggling two households, in two states, with four kids. We believe in shopping local whenever we can and we do. But sometimes we just need help! And we know we aren't alone.
So this year Dave and I committed to simplify. In just about as many ways as you can dream of we are doing it. If you haven't read our blog on getting ORGANIZED, check it out. It's a real glimpse into what I'm talking about, and how I personally kicked off the year...from Chaos to Calm! We all need it. Right?
Late last year we cancelled cable and are THRILLED with our Amazon Fire Sticks . Not only did it save us LITERALLY over $400 a month between our homes but collectively as a fam we watch way less TV, spend more time together and are more selective in our choices. In fact, we've even noticed we have eliminated having the TV on simply for background noise.
It was after we made the switch to our Fire Sticks that we realized we weren't really capitalizing on all the benefits of the many Amazon accounts we have. So we took a look and researched some savings and resources we were totally missing out on. It was so life changing we wanted to share just a few ways specifically via Amazon that we have saved countless hours and many a dollar.
It is no secret, we, well specifically me reads A LOT. Like A LOT, A LOT. I love real books, the smell the feel and all that jazz but I also love variety. Romance, Biographies, How to's, self help, true crime, best sellers--you name it. But I can't really haul several titles back and forth on trips without taking up space I'm not willing to compromise for my clothes. So we put Amazon to work and signed up for Kindle Unlimited.
To me it's like thrift store shopping for a surprise find. Seriously, there are over a million ebooks and audio books that we can add on any of our devices for FREE. Amazon is now offering this promotion you should totally check out. You get one month free!. And if that isn't enough it's giftable too! What a cool gift for your favorite bookworm!
We also travel and spend a lot of windshield time driving back and forth between our homes and we love Audible! We can listen anywhere whether it is down time between cheer competitions, soccer, basketball and softball tournaments. No matter where we are, in the car, on a plane, in a boat and even in a moat...:) We can share across devices so the kids and Dave can all access one audible account. If you want to try it. You get 2 free books when you sign up here. And if you have Kindle Unlimited many are audio books you can listen to on Audible. SCORE!
Amazon Prime Pantry is Dave's go to. And I'm talking for everything. From cat and dog food to toilet paper and trash bags. Need I say more. There is no convenient stop on his way home to Harmony Retreat. While he purchases all his groceries at the little grocery in town, the big items and brands they don't stock he shops for on Amazon. It saves time and is delivered right to our door. Now, the real reason Dave loves it...well when Koda is down to the last of his kibbles (and that dog likes to eat), Dave can order on the go and have it before all 100lbs of sweet chocolate lab love misses his next meal. #winning
Amazon Prime is something we have had for quite awhile and is really popular. Because of our businesses and demographics we need to be able to get things fast and to the right home or business so this is just the bees knees.
The biggest benefits is Free two day shipping, and there is also no minimum order. But if you didn't know you let me share. You can get movies, tv shows, and music on prime. And yet another bonus for the book worms you can borrow books through prime. Honestly, with my Amazon account I have not paid for an ebook in over 6 months. Hard copies...well that's another story.
And speaking of business. We are huge advocates of Amazon Business. And so are these sweet smiling faces at our City View office. Think of it as a way to make procurement easier. Anyone who makes purchases for work at any of our businesses can have an account. It offers convenient delivery options, multiple payment options, and a competitive marketplace with business-only pricing and quantity discounts. And the best thing is they don't have to wait for me to order....and I get a little time back.
Now here is one that hasn't actually saved our family money or time in a couple years but it is truly TOO COOl not to share.
Dave and I own an event venue in Iowa, Harmony Hall on Riverside. We see a lot of couples come through our doors and we love sharing this little tidbit. Amazon has an amazing Wedding Registry.
In fact, we used it when we got married in 2017 in Tortola. This, was also kick ass-- we received up to 20% off on most products, it was freaky fast, and again, FREE shipping. And the bomb.com is that it's universal. Which means using a universal "button" you can add items from other sites that you love to your Amazon registry simply by clicking a button. Now that is cool.
Having a baby? The same holds true when you use their baby registry Who knew?
While these are just some of our favorite Amazon resources the ones that have really SAVED our family in more ways than just a few bucks, there are many more out there for all lifestyles. Just go to AMAZON's SITE DIRECTORY and find what it is you are looking for. Happy shopping and happy savings! Here's to you and a 2019 without chaos and filled with CALM....OOOMMMMM!
NOTE: I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about the areas of interest we are passionate about on our website like design, renovations, family, weddings, events and more.
I don't know about you but I'm loving these paint colors for sooo many reasons. First, I've just about had it with below zero temps so I'm focusing my attention on visualization. Visualizing spring romance, calming colors, flowers, green grass, and warmer temps. If you are from the midwest you can feel my pain.
After creating this palette, I started perusing Pinterest for some cool pins using these colors. Wow! Look what I found. A little inspiration to brighten up our day and get ready for a spring restyle. BTW, if you don't follow Restoration Harmony on Pinterest, hop on over right HERE and follow our boards-- it's inspiration overload that we love. You can never have too much!
In total self disclosure I was a crazy lady on a mission yesterday! Well that is probably true of many days, but yesterday I was particularly crazed. If you happened to read my previous blogs like this one on hosting guests, you have probably already surmised I'm a little over the top when it comes to organizing. I realized long ago that my consistently inconsistent tendencies were cause to compensate, thus adapting OCD behaviors.
It's true, all those personality assessments I've done over the years prove it. I've learned to accept and LOVE that I have gained a talent for and a love of the saying "A place for everything and everything in it's place."
It's why Dave and I have made it our goal to create the biggest, bad ass pantries and closets in every one of our home renovations so homeowners can organize til their little hearts desire.
There....I'm glad I got that out on the table! Now.....back to the story.
Do you have a room that is your albatross and you don’t know where to start to make it feel like home? One of the things stymieing homeowners is getting hung up on defining the style they want. Whether it is industrial, farmhouse, mid-century modern, bohemian, shabby chic, or traditional design styles that inspire you, it’s easy to achieve the look while still keeping core pieces that fit into many categories of design.
Photo via Build Force
There is nothing more meaningful than a show stopping wedding favor to have guests ooo'ing and ahhh'ing about your day. And we are especially fond of really cool gifts for groomsmen and your bridal party too. So, we've rallied some of our favorite recommendations together. If you are lacking in the idea department check out these cool finds.
Want something personalized? We are partial to these adorable OLIVE YOU favors by Emilia. But if that isn't your thing, check out her Etsy shop. She can do just about anything. And who doesn't like something personalized?
I found these awesome chalkboards online and decided I needed to create something fun for Christmas. I loved the idea of combining a wreath and some handwriting but dang pre-made wreaths are expensive. I had some garland lying around from another project and thought why not? As it turned out I got 3 wreaths out of one garland and a little extra left over for something else....I'm not sure what yet. Here is what you will need to create the entire project.
“You flip houses? I want to do that. How do I get started?” We are asked this many times over. The question is usually followed by a knowing smile between Dave and I. Our response begins with the word “flip". The definition of flip, meaning to turn over, upturn, or capsize is the most inaccurate definition of why we do what we do. People don’t buys sticks and bricks, they buy a feeling and we carefully choose houses that we can restore (not flip) into someone’s forever home. One they feel connected to. If you are considering investing in a real estate renovation, consider these 10 tips.
It's the time of year when I start combing through my “must read” list getting ready to curl up next to the fire with a great novel. As an avid reader and author I’m a bit addicted to books. I must credit my Grandma, Mo who bought me my first series of Little House on the Prairie books, and all the babysitting gigs allowing me to fund the purchase of the entire series of Sweet Valley High books. Mostly, the credit goes to my high school English teacher, Ms. Reidler for helping encourage my love for reading. She made me work hard to find the meaning behind the words. That was a priceless gift.
Its Back to School Time… Every year as summer comes to a close I hear rumblings from parents, myself included, uttering comments such as, “I think it is time for school to start” accompanied by the “you know what I’m talking about” look.
Shortly thereafter the Schrads’ find ourselves in this vortex of things to do. School physicals, shopping, meet the teacher, and the list goes on. Just when we think we have checked off everything on our list, WHOMP! Head slap! Something sneaks up that we completely forgot. Sound familiar?
I found myself wondering why it feels like this EVERY year. Perhaps we are in denial that summer flew by once again at warp speed and we are desperately trying to capture one more day of fun? Quite possibly it is the fear of losing the freedom to spend our days as a family on our terms? Filling our calendars with only activities, vacations and parties we plan…well, for the most part. And then it dawned on me!
On a recent summer morning before the kids had stirred my girl friend and I spent 2 glorious hours on the deck casually drinking coffee without it getting cold or left in the microwave while we tended to one of the “Mommy, Mama, Moooommm” requests. Just she and I catching up. We laughed, we cried, and shared all that has been happening in our lives. TWO hours before jumping into mom and work mode.
And that was my “Aha” moment. As parents we need to carve out time for ourselves! And, I know I need to practice what I preach. I have awesome intentions but when my internal clock goes off at 0500, I’m compelled to catapult out of bed and start checking off my mental checklist. Because quite frankly its quiet and “I am woman.. hear me roar” at that time in the morning. Inevitably, just when I feel accomplished and have time for that first cup of coffee, my kids are up and ready for my undivided attention. And I give that to them. But wouldn’t I be a better mom, more focused and attentive if I just took 20 minutes to enjoy the morning air and my cup of coffee lost in my own thoughts, not lists? Absolutely! And I’m positive that as school gets underway I’ll be more calm, relaxed and ready to solve those last minute morning emergencies more efficiently. I’m giving myself 20 minutes.
Into our second cup of coffee we launched into the excitement and fears our kids have about starting school. Between us we have 7 kids, so the range of emotions and feelings were abundant. We shared stories of planning for the school year. Clothes shopping with two teen girls (God really does give us patience and understanding when needed), a very comical backpack debacle and finally, we as parents trying to gain a semblance of organization as we start the new year and our own fears about our kids next new beginning.
I discovered we all have some version of anxiety. How we cope with it is unique to each of us. But the truth is, we all have it. As the old saying goes if you are afraid of the dark, turn on the light. Maybe, taking 20 minutes for ourselves before the day gets underway is the adult version of that.
We would love to hear about your experiences. Shoot us a comment, an email or even a text! Make today a great one.
…And we are in full sweet corn mode. Sweet corn is an almost nightly summer treat at our house. We love trying sweet corn from around the state and decided WE WANT MORE and we want it all year long.
Canning wasn’t in the cards so we opted for a simpler approach at preserving those golden kernels and enlisted the pro I know, my mother in law, Donita. Freezing corn has been a long time family affair. An entire day with all hands on deck was spent “putting up” corn for their family of 8 each summer. Her simple recipe is a great way to reserve those yummy kernels to be used in any recipe you wish throughout the year. And as you can see, Dave is a pro. In full disclosure this day in the kitchen was all about my husband. I served as his sous chef and official gopher.
Airbnb has taught us a LOT. Explore some fantastic tips on how to save time and stress less when hosting your next guests.
“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me”. Ahhh! The words of Lee Greenwood get me every time. The 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays at Restoration Harmony and decorating for the holiday gives us the chance to show our patriotism and how much we LOVE AMERICA and all of those heroes who have fought for our country and each of us. It is also time for us to gather with family, host a grill out, eat, drink and enjoy fireworks and all things SUMMER…think watermelon, corn on the cob and a big ol burger! YUM! If you are planning a 4th of July bash I’m SERIOUSLY going to make it easy for you with these simple DIY décor ideas, and red, white and blue themed apps and drinks. Enjoy!
Okay so how adorable are these? Our girls LOVE to dip chocolate strawberries, add a touch of sugar sprinkles and voila! You look like a pro and your guests will gobble them up.
You don’t have to be a professional to restyle your home. Jump start your summer refresh without breaking the bank with these helpful hints.
As spring turns to summer we get the itch to refresh our homes. And, we know you get all itchy too, as requests for us to redesign and restyle your homes increase in May and June. It goes something like this.
Shop your home. It’s free! Pilfer from other rooms in your home. If you have a lot of energy, completely empty the room, leaving only foundational pieces. Then slowly gather furnishings and décor that work with your master plan. Repurpose with what you already have. That serving tray taking up space in your pantry, placed atop your coffee table with a few vases filled with greenery, is a great example.
Set a budget and shop for pieces that will create a layered look. Varied textures and textiles create warmth and help ground a room. Don’t be afraid to mix metals, woods, plants, and fabrics. Hanging macramé planters, along with wall art and pillows seems to be popping up everywhere. Who knew they would make a comeback? Add galvanized photo frames, a favorite heirloom coffee table, cream accent lamps and accessories next to a well-used leather sofa tricks the eye into focusing on the contrasting hues instead of that sofa you used to loathe. Image by Birch Lane
Lighten your bedding. Buy a duvet cover in a light color to replace your current comforter. Add pops of color with throw pillows for a crisp look.
Speaking of pillows, don’t ditch your old throw pillows. Search for vibrant pillow covers instead.
Add an accent wall. Contrasting hues draw the eye to a focal point. Accents walls distract from imperfections and highlight your home’s best features. Paint is always an easy solution. But what about shiplap and barn wood on the wall? Both are hot trends right now. LVT (luxury vinyl tile) found in most box stores, comes in thousands of styles, is inexpensive and relatively easy to install, even on a wall! Check out this example from Wayfair.
Consider updating cabinet hardware & outdated fixtures in your kitchen and bathrooms.
As you embark on your summer edits, consider the words of Salvador Dali: “Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it”. Instead, have fun and resist overthinking. Shop yard sales, thrift shops, auctions, and local retailers for fun and unique finds. The hunt for that perfect finds can be just as enjoyable as the end results.
Need some more inspiration? Check out some of our work.
A Dream Design Challenge
In every home we do, we fall in love with certain aspects of our renovations. Our entire family agreed this beauty was one we could all just snuggle into and be perfectly happy. All four kiddos even claimed their own room! It was a design dream come true. We hope you stop back and check out our Devonshire story on one of our next blogs.
Go ahead, take a peek at one of our most fav home designs. And stay tuned for some great blog posts featuring before photos of this and other renovations on our sister website Restoration Harmony or click here to see what we have been up to.
I love designing nursery’s. Maybe it’s because my kids are all ALMOST teens? Maybe I just love the warmth in creating a space that is home to many first memories for parents and those chubby cheeked babies.
Hands down this nursery was my FAVORITE! I wanted to share the low down on this room because it’s easy to go crazy designing a nursery. It’s an exciting time and you want everything perfect for your new bundle of joy. But honestly, you don’t have to spend a lot to make something special for you and your bambino.
The previous owners of our last renovation, excited to move to their new home with fresh new furnishings left many pieces behind. Of course, when asked if that was ok, I said “ABSOLUTELY”, having no plan on what to do with any of it but not passing up an opportunity to try.
I wanted a fresh new look but was struggling on committing to a theme. Until I started digging through a bunch of prints left behind in storage I stumbled across these gems. I have to admit, they were destined for Goodwill until I took a second look and realized the 3 lovelies in the prints were all babies! And my theme was set in motion.
Some spray paint and a little CERAMCOAT paint I had on hand is all it took to really bring out the beauty in these prints. The images just pop now!
The crib was also left behind and the best part, it’s light and easy to move—great for future staging projects!
I set out to find some fun accessories without breaking the bank. The crib skirt by LIZ & ROO was a little more than I wanted to spend but I resolved its neutrality and future use to justify the $99 tag.
The rug, OH how I wish you could touch it…this WAYFAIR find is sooo dreamy! After I discovered the end tables, trunk and lamp all FREE left in the house and perfect for the Out of Africa theme I knew I had to have the rug!
Y’all know I love me some HOBBY LOBBY and again they didn’t disappoint. I found the rest of the wall art on clearance with an additional 50% off. My total cost, $20…SCORE!
The biggest project but not an expensive one I had yet to tackle. I had this vision of mosquito netting…a necessity in the African Outback…and started getting creative.
My daughter Demi and I decided a hula hoop would make the perfect frame. I wrapped it in white duct tape I had at home, grabbed 4 sheers for next to nothing at WALMART, added some gray ribbon I had, clipped the hula hoop, threaded the panels, and duct taped it back together. I finished it off with some tulle attached to the hula hoop and a silver ring to hang it. The coolest part…it took me only an hour to complete! Total cost if you were to purchase all materials about $40.00.
To complete the room my mom painted the rocker left at the house. (Side note, my mom paints almost all our pieces with oil based paint, it lasts and doesn’t chip!) I found a burlap canvas I had in my art sanctuary and added the saying to it. The rhino I had from a previous room I did and that cute little smooshie stuffed elephant I scored on Amazon. If you like the paint color it’s Sherwin Williams Steamed Milk. I use it in a lot of nursery’s very neutral and warm.
I know…I got lucky with a lot of free finds but I’m telling you once you decide on a theme start searching you will stumble on deals and be so excited. Ask friends, if you want something specific. I’m a huge fan of using Facebook to find what you want either from friends or on marketplace.
Are you doing a “safari” room? We would love to see your photos! Please share them with us here or on our Facebook Page @restorationharmony14 Have fun and happy designing!
If you are like me you have tote after tote of holiday decorations. I’ve hauled at least 10 totes through 6 moves and I needed to take control and liquidated. I still have all those sentimental ornaments EVERY one of my kiddos ornaments carefully stored and labeled, but I have resolved that I DON’T need to display all those gems-that is just exhausting! Instead, the kids pick out their favorites while we listen to Christmas music and reminisce about where they got them, who gave them to them and their memories of Christmas’ past. Here are a few tips on how I stay organized and repurpose my decorations for a fresh, new look each year.
Organize and Save Time and Money
I have a little obsession about designing my tree’s each year. It’s kinda like Christmas for me to open each tote and start planning. I organize my decorations by color. The first tip is FREE. Simply by taking the time to pack up your décor by color allows you to start planning your tree and where you might want or need to supplement for next year…or what to shop for during after Christmas sales. Hobby Lobby and Target are two of my favorites and I often grab deals at 75% off! I simply check out what colors I may need more of or want to add before I shop and then put them in each tote by color theme when I get home. My own little Christmas gift to myself for the coming year.
This year, I had not only the two trees in our city home to decorate but we also have one at our acreage, an office tree and I decided to stage our latest flip house for Christmas too. By the way, the house sold in 10 days and I am confident the timing and cozy holiday decor helped in selling it so quickly. There is just something so powerful in the spirit of Christmas.
Avoid the VOID!
Take a look at these trees. For our flip house I pulled in the turquoise, red and silver from each of my totes. There isn’t anything worse than a bare tree and I’ve found that feather boas remedy the empty tree dilemma. They are super inexpensive, easy to find and you don’t need many. Oriental Trading and Hobby Lobby have a great selection. In tree 2, I used burlap rolls of ribbon I had leftover from our wedding reception. It can’t get any easier than tucking large ribbon throughout the tree. Easy Peasy!
Another favorite filler are poinsettia’s. They come in fabulous colors. I found Walmart has a clip on version in so many colors and I scooped up dozens last year on clearance. However, if you need them now and fast try the Hobby Lobby floral department where they sell large stems with 8-10 poinsettia’s per stem. I buy them during the 50% off sale and use my wire cutters to cut each one from the stem and tuck them in throughout the tree. VOILA! problemo solved.
Transform your current décor into holiday features.
I love apothecary pieces and have them throughout our homes. Think beyond Christmas specific pieces and incorporate what you already have. It saves money and storage space. I used stems I purchased this year, with what I had to create this display that coordinates with our tree. You can also “Wrap” your throw pillows? Simply take ribbon and tie a bow just like you would a package. It adds instant holiday cheer. I did add a few new pillows from Hobby Lobby and Target this year because… well.. I just haven’t found a pillow I don’t like, and they are sooo inexpensive and add so much to a room. Consider Wayfair throw pillow covers to save even more money and space.
Wrap it UP!
I have to admit, before I plan my theme for the season I check out what I have for wrapping paper. Seriously, this is the primary driver for creating my theme. Because I carefully add colors to my “totes” I always have something that will work. I find wrapping to match the tree just extends the theme, looks awesome and those pretty packages become decor all on their own.
It may seem as though I have a warehouse of holiday totes somewhere hidden away, but by organizing and planning from year to year I still have the same 10 totes I’ve always used, and pilfer from them for almost every holiday throughout the year.
Happy Decorating and Happy Holidays!
Angela and Dave Schrad
DIY to décor, get inspired by their ideas, resources and projects.
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