Farmhouse Style Patriotic Summer Front Porch

 

 

Patriotic Summer Front Porch

This is the first house that I have owned with a true front porch. I love to style it for the different seasons. The navy blue rockers give the house a down home country feel and look great paired with Americana decor. Our family looks forward to Memorial Day and July 4th celebrations every summer and I would like my home to reflect that.

First new pillows were purchased for the rocking chairs at Tuesday Morning. Their selection of outdoor pillows were all too brightly colored or too expensive for my small budget. Instead I purchased these adorable American flag pillows for $15 each. I loved the brass star button details!

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I wanted them to hold up to the elements so I purchased Scotchguard Heavy Duty Water Shield from Amazon. It is supposed to protect outdoor furniture and fabrics. This is the first time I have used this product and so far so good. We had a bad rainstorm last night and the pillows repelled the water well.

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Following the directions I coated both sides of each pillow letting them dry fully before flipping them over. I wore gloves so I did not get it on my skin and used plastic bags to protect the grass.

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This cute little chalk painted table remains on our porch year round and I change up the decor seasonally. It was a flea market find from NJ and I painted it with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Provence. By shopping the house I was able to save some money! The sign was left over from last summer, the flags were a Hobby Lobby clearance find and everything else I already owned.

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Besides the pillows the only other thing I purchased was flowers. Costco had the lavender topiary for $20! I had to drive to two stores to find it but it was worth the hunt.

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The fern was from Lowe’s and just screamed Southern front porch to me! My husband was not thrilled when he saw it as we have a whole woods full of ferns in our backyard… I could have dug some up for free. Oops!

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On the front door I hung up my patriotic heart I found at Christmas Tree Shops last summer. I love that store for seasonal goodies.

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I am in love with the way our front porch turned out and I can’t wait to spend time on it all summer sittin’ and sippin’.

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Boys Farmhouse Bedroom Makeover $100 Room Challenge Week 5

100march

It’s week 5 of the $100 Room Challenge, the big reveal!!! Are you ready to see my boy’s new bedroom makeover? If you are not familiar with the challenge it was created by Erin of Lemons, Lavender and Laundry  You have $100 budget and one month to make over a space in your home. At the end of this post please visit the other challengers to see their final reveals! It has been so much fun following along every week with the progress photos.

If you are new to my blog you can find the before photos and previous week’s progress in these links.

Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four

For this challenge I took on my boy’s shared bedroom. I had several goals I was hoping to accomplish during this makeover.

  1. Add seating
  2. Change out the bedding for something easier to manage. Bunk beds are hard for kids to make themselves!
  3. Update the artwork
  4. Book storage
  5. Add character with a wood feature wall

Most of them were able to be completed exactly as planned. Number 5 was the exception. Unfortunately I am terrible at measuring and did not have enough leftover wood to complete that project. Instead of a wood feature wall I decided to do a chalkboard for the boys! I had leftover paint from the chalkboard wall in my kitchen so it was no additional expense. My husband cut 4 boards into 3 foot long pieces. Then I used the rest of the leftover red chalk paint from the bookcase project to paint them. I took our sweet little ducklings outside for a little time in the sun while I was painting. They are so curious and watched everything that I was doing!

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Now that the frame boards are finished drying it’s time to move inside. First I got out the level and traced out the size I wanted the chalkboard to be. I decided 3×3 would be perfect for that spot. Next using a foam brush I painted the outline of the chalkboard. Once that was done I used a paint roller to complete the chalkboard. After everything was nice and dry My husband framed it out for me using the nail gun and painted boards.

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We hung a sign that I had made a few months ago for my hallway but never put up. Timber Trace Farmstead is the name my son chose when registering our Silver Fox Rabbits with the ARBA. We are no longer breeding rabbits and the parents have been sold but the name remains for our little farm. The boys are so excited to have a chalkboard in their bedroom and it will get so much use.

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Now for the room reveal! The before picture is pretty bad. What a mess!

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And the after! Ahhh, much better. Let’s hope they can keep their bedroom this clean on a regular basis!

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A fun little gallery wall is so much cuter! Originally I planned to use the vintage locker basket in my oldest son’s bedroom. I want to do an industrial modern makeover for him but he prefers his bedroom the way it is now. The basket looks great in here turned on it’s side as a shelf instead. It holds the boy’s trophies and a set of antlers.

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Nice neat bedding! No more sloppy blankets!

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We also decided to rearrange the furniture to change things up a bit. The boys will not be so crowded when they are taking clothes out of their dresser.

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This week I managed to only work with what I already owned. As a result I did not end up spending anything! The final numbers:

Budget $100

Money spent:

Knob $2.39

Bedding ($ 40×2) $80

Artwork license plate $2.52

8×10 prints (2) $7.98

American Flag pillows ($2.49×2) $4.98

Total spent: $97.87

Under budget by: $2.13!!!!

JERSEYGIRLINTHESOUTH.COM


 

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Boys Farmhouse Bedroom Makeover $100 Room Challenge Week 4

100march

It’s week 4 of the $100 Room Challenge. If you are not familiar with the challenge it was started by Erin of Lemons, Lavender and Laundry. You have one month and $100 budget to transform a space in your home. My plans and progress so far can be found on these links.

Week One Week Two Week Three

The plan was to cross off #5 on my list by adding some character with a wood accent wall this week. We completed our master bedroom makeover a few months back. My husband used wood planks to cover our dated textured ceiling. He overbought and neglected to return several packages of wooden planks. Sadly this is typical for us. Instead of letting it just sit around and collect dust I decided it needed to be used. The boys love my bedroom and said they needed a “cool wall” of their own.

This how my ceiling turned out. More on that makeover can be found here.

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Unfortunately the wall treatment did not happen this week. Once we got out all of the extra wood we realized it wasn’t going to be enough for the wall treatment we had planned. My husband suggested a trip to Lowe’s to buy one more package of wood. The cost is $15 per package.  Since I had $7 left in my $100 budget I was ok with going over by $8. It was still going to be an expensive makeover. Well that didn’t quite pan out. Lowe’s no longer sells that wood! Now we have to come up with a new game plan.

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I was trying to brainstorm ideas for the wall treatment so I told my husband we will complete it tomorrow. Then life happened. We had two kids come down with strep this week and I also have a bad cold. My plans got postponed to this upcoming weekend therefore no “in progress” pictures this week.

Since I still had $7 left and money burns a hole in my pocket I decided to buy these flag pillow covers on Amazon.

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There were two more items I found to add to the room that were free! I won the wooden buck head in an Instagram giveaway from Jars of Clay Co. Katie has so many cute farmhouse decor items in her shop. Take a peek! The antlers were another freebie from Cottage By The Bay Finds. I had purchased a vintage locker basket to use in my upcoming older son’s bedroom makeover. When I told her of my plans she sent me the antlers as a fun bonus. Wasn’t that sweet of her? They match the younger boy’s bedroom theme more so I am using them in here.

Here are my totals for the makeover so far!

Budget $100

Money spent so far:

Knob $2.39

Bedding ($40×2) $80

Artwork license plate $2.52

8×10 prints (2) $7.98

Pillow covers (2)  $4.98

Total spent: $97.87

Budget left to spend: $2.13

Boy's farmhouse bedroom makeover

Boy’s farmhouse bedroom makeover

Stay tuned for the final reveal next week!!! Visit my fellow bloggers in the challenge to see what creative ideas they had this week!

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Boys Farmhouse Bedroom Makeover $100 Room Challenge Week 3

100march

It’s week 3 of the $100 room challenge already. March is flying by! This week I was able to cross off goals 1 through 3 of my farmhouse style bedroom makeover. Yes I know it’s not in order since I completed goal 4 last week but that’s how we roll around here. If you are not familiar with the $100 Room Challenge before, it was created by Erin of Lemons, Lavender and Laundry. You choose a room to makeover in one month on a $100 budget. My progress and before pictures can be found here Week One Week Two

Now for this week’s details:

  1. Add seating. We had this fun blue camouflage/video game inspired print beanbag chair hanging around in my older son’s room and it sometimes lives in the playroom. The colors matched the boy’s bedroom and the price was right (free from shopping the house) so it was a perfect fit.

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2. New bedding. Where has Zipit bedding been all of my parenting life? It is so much easier for the kids to make their own beds now. Making their bed used to be so difficult and it always looked sloppy even when I helped. Now all they have to do is zip it up like a sleeping bag. So awesome!! Even better is that I found them on Wayfair on sale for $40. The retail price is $60! They can be found here. As of this posting the price went up $4 but it’s still an awesome deal!

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3. Update the artwork. This American flag framed art used to hang in my family room. Recently I replaced it with a mirror and planned to use it as a Fourth of July decoration instead. I think it goes along with the farmhouse theme so I let the boys have it. My youngest spotted this rather tacky John Deere license plate in Tractor Supply for $2.52 in the clearance aisle. Being the country boy that he is he HAD to have it so it went into the cart. After all it is their bedroom and I want them to love it.

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Originally these frames contained pictures from a country themed calendar. They were nice but kind of blah. I wanted something more colorful for the boy’s bedroom.

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Recently I took my youngest down to an antique tractor museum about an hour away from us. He was in love! I got some great shots and thought they would be really cute in their bedroom. They would also remind us of the fun outing we had. Reusing the IKEA frames is also saving me some money!

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Budget $100

Money spent so far:

Knob $2.39

Bedding ($40×2) $80

Artwork license plate $2.52

8×10 prints at Walgreens (2) $7.98

Budget left to spend: $7.11

Boy's Farmhouse Bedroom makeover week 3

Boy’s Farmhouse Bedroom makeover week 3

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Boys Farmhouse Bedroom Makeover: $100 Room Challenge Week 2

 

It’s week 2 of the $100 room challenge by Lemons, Lavender and Laundry. Last week I introduced you to my boy’s bedroom. This week I am having fun with a little chalk paint. I have some big makeover plans for a more functional bedroom. The post can be found here.

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I was able to cross off item #4 (book storage) this week. We had this bookcase in my older son’s closet that is from the same furniture set as the dresser. There are some scratches and dings which is not surprising since I purchased the furniture set in 2008 for my older and middle son when they briefly shared a bedroom at our last house. Sharing a room did not last long so I lost my crafting room to separate them. It was worth the sacrifice not to listen to the fighting! This is why the middle and youngest share now (we only have 3 bedrooms upstairs) instead of them despite the 5 year age difference.

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I had leftover chalk paint from my red dresser makeover that was completed a few months ago. The chalk paint I used is Americana Decor in Romance. Soft varnish was used as a protective coating. My blue dresser in the foyer was painted using the same steps. That post can be found here.

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The knob is the same one that was used on the dresser. Hobby Lobby has the best selection of knobs! I purchased it using a 40% off coupon bringing it down to $2.39.

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First I cleaned the bookcase well. Second I started painting with chalk paint. I love that there is no sanding or other prep work involved. Projects can be completed so much faster! I like to pour out some paint onto a paper plate or bowl instead of dipping in the jar.

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I quickly paint and then go back and drag the foam brush the full length of the surface in one smooth line. That will remove any brush strokes. Sometimes I like the look of brush strokes and will use a real paint brush. My preference is foam brushes. Foam leaves a nice finish and since they are so cheap I don’t feel guilty throwing them away. Perfect for lazy people like myself.

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Normally I would do two coats of chalk paint but since I wanted a little wood grain to show through like the dresser I only did one coat. This bookcase did not receive any distressing but a little sandpaper or a sanding block could be used to rough up the edges if that is the look you are going for. When I started painting it was nice and bright out but a rain storm rolled in and it got dark quickly! The overhead lights had to go on making it harder for me to see! I like to paint in natural light so I get a better end result.

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Once the paint was fully dry I went over it with a coat of Americana Decor Soft Varnish. The varnish protects the chalk paint from chipping off. This product is clear and does not change the color of the chalk paint. Other waxes can be used if you wanted an antiqued look.

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Budget $100

Money spent so far: Knob $2.39

Budget left to spend: $97.61

Stay tuned to see what I accomplish next week! The final results will be posted at the end of the month. This challenge has been so much fun!

Farmhouse style boys bedroom makeover

Farmhouse style boys bedroom makeover


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My Farmhouse Decor from IKEA

Farmhouse Decor

For years I never visited IKEA. I used to think they only carried modern style items and that is just not my taste. Plus it’s an almost 2 hour drive and if you’ve ever visited Northern Virginia you know you need to time your visit perfectly. That is if you don’t you will sit in the worst traffic you could imagine for hours. Not a good time. I have now been converted to an IKEA lover. Our house has many other products that I will share with you another day. That is if my oldest ever cleans his bedroom!

I started to notice white slip covered couches showing up in my favorite blogs and decorating publications. Instantly I was in love. The Pottery Barn version is a little over my budget while having younger children. Enter the EKTORP couch! It is budget friendly and so easy to take care of as long as you don’t mind doing extra laundry. Laundry is my nemesis but I still manage. Our children are banned from eating anywhere but the kitchen and dining room so that does help. My husband is the messiest one but as he likes to point out he paid for them so…

Ektorp couch

My plaid pillow covers are also from IKEA but no longer sold. I have the 20×20 FJADRAR duck feather inserts in them. For spring I am swapping out the plaid cushion covers for all white.

 

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My OSTED sisal rug can take a beating. Comfortable is not a word I would use to describe it but it is hardcore and sturdy. You will not be lounging on the floor unless you have a blanket or pillows down under you. Fibers will scratch the heck out of you. In my old house we used it in our dining room but since downsizing it was too big. The price can not be beat for such a large rug.

 

OSTED rug

In the corner of my family room I have the JENNYLUND chair. I decided to again go with white even though they have so many pretty cover choices. Staying neutral is my best bet as I like to change things up frequently.

The GURLI cushion cover is another IKEA find and a steal at only $4! I am regretting not buying more!  Monogramming would be cute on this cover too!

Jennylund chair

There is another JENNYLUND chair in my master bedroom. You can see more photos of the whole room here

Farmhouse style master bedroom makeover

Jennylund chair

One of my favorite finds is the FEJKA artificial potted plants. They are now only $4!!! Not only are they inexpensive but they look real too! That’s perfect for me since I do not have live plants in the house with my allergies.

I have them “planted” in the ORADD plant pot which is a steal at .79! You can’t make it that cheap. That’s an inside joke between my best friend and I.

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IKEA has many other farmhouse decor items like white pitchers, bedding and even a farmhouse sink. What farmhouse decor have you found there?

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How to: My best Christmas gift shopping tips to save you time and money

 

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It’s 10 days before Christmas and I will be completely done shopping tomorrow once I pick up some more gift cards for my parents. Everything I bought so far is also wrapped, sorted by recipient and ready to go for the big day. I am not trying to brag or say I am supermom (I’m far from it!) but it is worth it to me to be done early and not to have to fight the crowds. I also do not have to stress that I have so much left to do when my kids are on Winter Break. Friends always ask me to reveal my secrets so I am sharing them with you too! These tips are what works best for me and my family. Everyone is different but I hope you will learn something new!

-Open a note on your phone (I use the Notes app that came already installed on my iPhone) and make a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for plus your budget. During the year put any ideas you may have for that person and what you have already purchased. This way you are not going over your budget or forgetting someone either! Otherwise you will end up like my mom and find gifts in July you forgot you bought for Christmas. She’s going to kill me for writing that. Sorry mom! This is a great tip for birthdays as well! They also make apps like Santa’s Bag that help to track your budget and purchases.

-Start early! Do you want to know when I bought my first Christmas present this year? January! When I find something on sale I buy it and store it. Be picky and buy something your loved one actually will want and use. Avoid buying junk just because it is a good deal.

-Buy holiday decorations and gift wrapping on clearance the week after Christmas. I wait until Target gets to 50% off and buy what I really really want. Anything else I like but don’t “need” I wait until at least 70% off. This is the time to stock up on items like wrapping paper and gift bags. Last year I found tons of gift wrap supplies for 90% off at Target. Guess who will not have to be buying any again for years? This girl! I was also able to donate 16 rolls of wrapping paper to our local mom’s group for their holiday toy drive.

-Shop the Target toy clearance sales in late January and late July. Years ago I did the bulk of my kid’s holiday shopping during this sale. The days of the sale are no longer the same as they used to be and the markdowns seem to take longer to get to 70% off. This sale is still worth stalking Target over. Also visit multiple stores if they have more than one in your area. Different stores will have different inventory. The discounts also vary. You may find a toy at 30% off at your regular store but the one across town has the same item marked at 70% off. This is also a great time to stock up on Toys For Tots gifts.

-Whenever you have extra time at any store browse by the clearance racks or sections. You never know what you will find.

Stockings

 

-Amazon Prime. If you do not already have it, sign up for a free trial. It is life changing!!! When a package takes longer than 2 days to arrive from another site I get annoyed. I have become totally spoiled. I also check Amazon prices before buying anything at the store. It is not always the lowest price but most of the time it will be the same or lower. Plus it involves me not having to leave my house. That’s important now that I live a hefty drive from stores and I have a 4 year old that is a beast to take shopping.

-Use free price tracking websites like Camel Camel Camel. This site tells you the lowest price an item you are interested in has sold for on Amazon and when. I check there to find out if an item is likely to go lower in price based on past trends.  http://camelcamelcamel.com

-Use websites like RetailMeNot or google for coupons before making online purchases. Many of my friends like Ebates to earn cashback. I am so guilty of forgetting to use this program!

-Try to only buy from stores that offer free shipping. Nothing is worse than paying shipping costs higher than the item that you have purchased. I have become so spoiled by Amazon Prime that it literally pains me to pay shipping.

-Make your own gifts. My sister bought a Cricut Explore Air and has been working like crazy to make personalized gifts. You do not need a fancy machine to make your own though. Are you good at baking? Cookies and cakes are always appreciated. Are you crafty? Pinterest is filled with ideas.

Check out my gift giving board here: https://www.pinterest.com/jerseygirlinthe/gift-giving

-Give the gift of your time. What hobbies or talents do you have that can be shared? What can you do to help someone out? I am sure your nieces and nephews would love for you to babysit them or your relatives would appreciate having you paint a room for them. My inlaws gifted that to us the Christmas we moved to our last house (closing was Dec 15th) and it really helped out. We did not have the time to paint ourselves and as I have mentioned before I am not the best painter.

-Use Social Media to find deals. Small shops often post discount codes on their Instagram feeds. Facebook is an awesome resource too. Many pages have already found fabulous deals for you. Because of the changes on Facebook it is best to go directly to their pages as all of their posts will not show up on your news feed. My favorite bargain pages are:

Passionate Penny Pincher https://www.facebook.com/PassionatePennyPincher/

Thrify Momma Ramblings https://www.facebook.com/thriftymommaramblings/

Hip2Save https://www.facebook.com/hip2save/

How Does She https://www.facebook.com/HowDoesShe/?fref=ts

-My biggest tip? Try not to stress!!! Slow down, take it day by day and enjoy the holidays.

Do you have any shopping tips to share?

Tree

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Christmas Home Tour 2016

Farmhouse style Christmas home tour

Farmhouse style Christmas home tour

How did it get to be December 7th already? I swear it was just Halloween last week! Everyone is full of excitement in this house for Santa to arrive. Christmas morning is my favorite day of the year. Watching the kids open their gifts makes my heart happy. I do a lot of my Christmas shopping ahead of time so I am not feeling pressured or unprepared right before the big day. Mainly it’s because I can not stand the crowds in the stores. I will even skip my weekly (who am I kidding twice a week) Target shopping trip to escape the madness! Instead we get to spend our time driving around looking at Christmas lights, watching holiday movies and enjoying treats. I am always looking for new ideas and traditions. What do you do in your household?

Most years the house is fully decked out by the weekend after Thanksgiving. For some reason this year I am behind. I decided to concentrate on my dining room and family room mainly this year so I will be giving you a tour of those two rooms. My plan for next year is Christmas in every room!

I purchased this refillable Advent calendar last year from Target. The boys have been looking forward to opening it every morning. My oldest went ahead and peeked (I’m on to you kid and I know you’ve been hunting for gifts too!!) so he knows what is coming up but the two younger ones are still surprised. I love it! I wanted to hang it from my old chippy window. While daydreaming I imagined it crashing to the ground as one of the numbers was being opened. Quickly I changed my mind. I think it looks cute (and safer) sitting on the buffet. Instead I hung this card garland I found at Target from the window.

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See my adorable flocked tree? They are a hit on Instagram. You can find them at Walmart for the super low price of $12!!! I could not believe it! Word has gotten out and they are hard to find. They have gorgeous flocked wreaths too. Now run to Walmart before they are all gone!!

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This adorable Merry sign is from the Target bargain area, which is also another hot spot this season. I plan to paint it red but I have been too lazy to do it yet. My little red ceramic truck on the buffet was purchased there too. It was hard to resist the urge to buy all the things.

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On my front door is a cute little snowman I found at Christmas Tree Shops last year for $8. If you have one of their locations near you check it out! It is not only Christmas decor. Yes there is a lot of junk but you will also find some treasures and cheap K cups.  Mr. Happy Holidays is now sitting in the corner next to the door. My suction cup will not stop falling off and I was sick of putting it back up.

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I kept the dresser top simple and just put a faux wreath over my antique grain scoop. I filled it with leftover Christmas balls from the tree.

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Do you like my faux fur and knit stockings? They are another Christmas Tree Shops find for $8 each. I had some Pottery Barn Kids stockings in my online shopping cart but I didn’t pull the trigger. On a shopping trip I decided to check CTS and I am glad that I did. I got the instant gratification of not waiting for them to be delivered. Plus I saved myself a lot of money!

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Snow globes always scream Christmas joy to me. Bonus points because it lights up! The sign is another Target bargain spot find as is my blanket scarf being used as a throw. The pillow cover is from Amazon. They take a very long time to ship but for the price they are worth it. Did you know Rae Dunn makes adorable Christmas mugs too?

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On the opposite corner of the family room is our big buck Harold sporting a magnolia wreath from Hobby Lobby. And the truck pillow? You guessed it. Target again.

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On the end table next to my couch I have displayed a cloche with bottle brush trees and an awesome free printable from The Turquoise Home blog. You can download your own at http://theturquoisehome.com/o-holy-night-free-printable/

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Moving on to the other side of the family room. My nativity set is usually displayed in my dining room but I wanted to try something new this year. I am loving how the colors pop against the green dresser. This set belonged to my grandmother and when I moved out on my own in college my parents handed it down to me. I treasure it and look forward to setting it up each year.

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Last but certainly not least is my Christmas tree.  My shatterproof ball ornaments are one of my best bargain finds ever! Do you want to hear the story? Good. I was sifting through the wasteland that is the 90% off Christmas clearance at Target. It’s mostly broken pieces, wrapping paper and gift bags. I am there all.the.time and the employees recognize me. Sad, I know. One of the stockers came up to me and said we forgot to put these boxes of ornaments out and just found them in the back. They are ringing up $2 each for a huge container. Do you want to buy them? Ummm YES PLEASE! I did leave some for another person because I am not greedy. Only spending $10 I was able to get a whole tree full of ornaments and still had extras to spare! Talk about a major bargain high!

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The boys put the ornaments on and for once I left them that way. As a result there may be two on the same branch or colors that are way too close together but that is how they wanted it. Soon enough I will be doing the tree alone to my liking and missing my boys decorating it with me. It can look a little haphazard for now.

From our family to yours we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

 

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DIY project: Upcycled wall art

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Normally I am the donater/thrower outer type but something told me to hold on to this piece. I love a good DIY project. I knew I could transform it into something new even though it took me 6 months to figure out what it would become… This framed W came with two other picture frames that were used in my gallery wall upstairs. The grand total for all 3 pieces was $4! They were on clearance from Kirklands during one of their green tag sales. If you have never been to their green tag sale they mark things down to 75% off the original cost. I always check the clearance section when I stop in. I have found several great pieces over the years for a fraction of the original cost. (For my NJ friends Kirlands is not related to Costco. It’s a separate company. Check out their website!)

Anyway, since our last name starts with an S  the W wasn’t going to work for us. I was going to find a W last named family to give it to but since I’m a fan of burlap and liked the wood look frame I changed my mind. I am glad that I did! In addition to being cute and easy to do this was a quick project to complete. This entire DIY project took me a grand total of 5 minutes which is important for those of us with little ones. It took me longer to write this post!

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The W was easily removed using a flat head screwdriver. Luckily it did not tear the burlap underneath. It did pull it out in a few spots so I tucked it back under using the tip of the screwdriver. No big deal. I could have recovered it using holiday themed scrapbook paper if I was not able to salvage the burlap.

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This cute rustic Christmas tree ornament was on sale at JoAnn’s for $5. Here is the link if you want to purchase one. http://www.joann.com/makers-holiday-wood-tree-ornament/15039118.html#pmax=10&prefn1=collection&prefn2=type&pmin=5&prefv1=Natural&prefv2=Ornaments&start=1

Using scissors I just snipped off the hanger part. A little hot glue secured it to the frame and it’s done! Normally I dread using my glue gun. This is the first hot glue project in a long time that I completed without missing any fingerprints!

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I think it turned out great and I’m very pleased. This year I changed over to a more rustic Christmas decor in the family room. The ornament goes perfectly with that style. You could use any kind or style of ornament in this project as long as you have a flat spot to attach it to the frame. Anything round or heavy would be extremely difficult to attach with hot glue. Stronger adhesives like E-6000 would probably work.

The next time you are out shopping look for inexpensive or ugly wall art to upcycle. Places like Goodwill and yard sales have plenty that need to be rescued and given a makeover!

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I will be posting a tour of our house decorated for Christmas soon! Be on the lookout!

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DIY Chalkboard Tray from an old frame

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I love re-purposing old items into something new and functional. I used to have this wall art from Hobby Lobby hanging in my old house. It had a plaster fleur di lis cemented to the middle of the wooden frame. Unfortunately it did not survive the move and came unglued. I decided to throw away the fleur di lis as it was not really my style anymore and kept the wooden frame knowing I would eventually figure out what to do with it.

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Inspiration finally struck the other day. I love trays. I own several already but they are all very large and bulky. This one is the perfect size and weight for the kids to carry. I also made it into a chalkboard so I can write a little message if I choose to.

Here is how you can make your own:

One large frame or lightweight piece of wood

Chalkboard paint and foam brush

Painter’s tape

Handles and screws

Sandpaper

I only needed to purchase the handles and screws. Everything else I already had on hand. The total out of pocket cost for me was $8 and I still have a bunch of screws left for other projects.

 

First I took my sanding block and smoothed down the board. I also sanded off the old glue until it was flat with the rest of the wood. It left a stain on the wood where the glue used to be but that’s ok. The chalkboard paint covered it.

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Next I taped off the bottom part of the frame with painter’s tape. If you are a neat painter (which I am not…) you can skip this part. If you are using a piece of wood instead of a frame you can tape off a square or rectangle to paint. The rest of the instructions will be the same.

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Then I painted the bottom using my chalkboard paint. It took two coats for this project. This picture was taken after the first coat. For this project I had a sample size pot of chalkboard paint. It was just enough paint in the little jar. I bought it at the Target Dollar Spot a few years ago and had in my craft stash. I always use a disposable foam brush and disposable bowl for small painting projects. The foam brushes are inexpensive and do not leave brush marks when dry. It’s also a plus for lazy people like myself as there is no cleanup involved.

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After that I put the handles on. I decided where I wanted to place the first one and used my ruler to make sure I had the same exact placement on the other side. I normally try to eyeball things but there was no margin for error on this project. If I messed up it would not be an easy fix.  I found these handles at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. Bargain tip: Never buy knobs and pulls for full price unless you need them right away. Every few weeks they go on sale for half price. Hobby Lobby has a huge selection and I always find what I am looking for there. If they do not have the quantity that you need in stock an employee can order more for you. They will honor the sale price and call you when your order arrives at the store. I had to do that for my son’s dresser that I chalk painted. Unfortunately these handles did not come with hardware so I had to buy screws at Lowe’s to use with them.

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Repeat the same thing on the other side and you are done! Wait for the paint to dry and it’s ready to be used.

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This tray is the perfect size to sit on the bench in my family room. It will be a great coaster for when we have parties or to bring snacks into the family room for the grownups. I’m a mean mom and only my husband and I are allowed to eat in this room unless we have company. White couches + kids with food=giant mess.

My kids told me that they will be delivering me breakfast in bed using my tray on Mother’s Day.  They are very excited to use it.

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