Quick Fall Updates

It’s in the air & I couldn’t be more thrilled. Fall.
Mmm… oranges & reds, pumpkins, wool socks, scarves and snuggling.

Yep. It’s pretty awesome.

So, I didn’t feel it was fair for only the outdoors to celebrate Fall. The indoors needed some excitement too. Hence a few seasonal house swaps… free ones too! ūüôā

The table needed a new centerpiece. I had a leftover canvas in my laundry room, some Halloween ribbon I purchased several years ago & a printable pumpkin monogram pattern from here that I pinned on Pinterest. After I printed this one, I decided I liked the look of the single “S” better than N, H, S. So I eliminated the first name initials.

image

I just used some tape to tape the monogram paper to my canvas (so I can remove it later and reuse my canvas.) After taping the paper down, I used my low-temp glue gun to cover up the taped edges with my festive ribbon. I am rather fond of my free update!

image

Then the chalkboard got some seasonal love. Last night I was getting rather frustrated with my lack of freehand artistic abilities. I had fiddled with the chalkboard but couldn’t land on anything I liked. So I went to bed…and woke up to this.

image

What a sweet man I have, right? He even swagged the leaves all on his own. I think I am “falling” for him all over again… Ok, too corny? ūüôā

The front door got some attention:

image

And my favorite spot in the house- my new dresser-turned-console got some sprucing. I love the warm coziness of it all!

image

It isn’t much, but my goal this year was to spend no money, but still feel like Fall had arrived. And I feel successful.

How are you prepping your houses for Fall? Any good freebie ideas I can steal from you? ūüôā

“Oh My Jesus, Sleep Tight”

This Christmas, I discovered a song. I am not sure how long it’s been around… but it’s new to me! It is called “Joseph’s Lullaby” and is by Mercy Me:

“Go to sleep my Son
This manger for your bed
You have a long road before You
Rest Your little head

Can You feel the weight of Your glory?
Do You understand the price?
Or does the Father guard Your heart for now
So You can sleep tonight?

Go to sleep my Son
Go and chase Your dreams
This world can wait for one more moment
Go and sleep in peace

I believe the glory of Heaven
Is lying in my arms tonight
Lord, I ask that He for just this moment
Simply be my child

Go to sleep my Son
Baby, close Your eyes
Soon enough You’ll save the day
But for now, dear Child of mine
Oh my Jesus, Sleep tight”

 

I cannot even fathom the inner struggle that Mary & Joseph experienced at Christ’s birth. Mary, who had just labored in a dirty animal stall to birth this baby…Joseph, who had walked mile upon mile carefully watching for the safety of his wife who was pregnant with a¬†child who he knew was not his own & had no doubt held¬†Mary’s hand throughout the whole birth, willing¬†her strength.

Yet ultimately, this child was not their own.

This child had a greater purpose…¬†That must have been scary. I mean, you have to know that if God¬†Himself is the Father of your child that something big is in this baby’s future. But then again, holding that little baby, snuggling¬†him up against your breast, whispering to him, kissing his sweet baby¬†cheeks… It might have been¬†easy to¬†forget that he was anyone’s but your own.

But He came for all of us. That baby grew up, and to the aching despair of his mother’s heart, he fulfilled his destiny. He died on the cross so that one day we might accept His salvation and live with Him forever.

THAT is the message of Christmas. The all-knowing Babe, lying in a manger, came. He lived, He died and He rose again.

Merry Christmas Eve! 

One Less Stressed Out Girl…

Pardon the corny Bieber-esque title… I couldn’t resist!

I have read so many posts on facebook recently about people who are “stressed out” by gift-wrapping. Not shopping, not choosing what to buy, not wondering how to afford the item, but WRAPPING it! What? I LOVE to gift wrap.

I didn’t always though. When we first got married, I had saved all the gift wrap that we had received and it was all stuffed into a giant plastic bin in random order, no rhyme or reason. It was messy and crunched up looking… It was not inspirational to say the least!

About a year ago, I had reached my limit. (pathetic that it took me 3 years, huh?) Anyway, I created a system that has worked so well for me this past year. It makes me excited when I have an occasion to wrap for, because I know that I have what I’ll need, and I know where to find it!

So, I thought maybe it might help some of you!?

I bought 5 light green clear storage bins. (It was admittedly a bit of an investment in the beginning- probably close to $30 for all 5, but SO worth it now!)

  

Here are my 5 bin categories:

1. Tissue Paper & Bows/Ribbons (separated by color)

2. Birthday/Any Occasion Bags (like just plain color bags)

3. Shower Bags (wedding, lingerie, baby – you know, ’cause one thing leads to another…)

4. Christmas Gift Bags/Small Christmas Boxes

5. Gift Boxes (broken down)

I threw the picture above in there for scale, so you could see that the bin for gift wrap boxes is twice the depth of the others… or maybe I put it in there just to show off my handsome helper. I’ll let you decide.

Anyway, I hope this helps. It’s¬†a system that has GREATLY helped me! The only thing left on my “wishlist” is one of those tall bins made for holding rolls of wrapping paper. I am hoping to snag one in clearance after Christmas this year. Right now, my wrapping paper just stands up next to the bins. But it works!

Merry “Very Organized” 2 Days ‘Til Christmas!

 

Stocking Makeover Part 2

The stockings are finished! I have wanted to monogram those suckers for as long as we have owned them, but haven’t known exactly what I wanted to do to monogram them.

I did a lot of googling of different methods for monogramming felt effectively. There were a lot of handstitched methods, some that were made by applying gros grain ribbon, and some that were just painted- either free-hand or stenciled. So, I went with the last, and, what I thought would be, the easiest method- the paint.

-I already had charcoal colored craft paint in my craft supplies.

-I had previously bought stencil paper for another project, but didn’t end up using it, so I had that for this project.

Supplies:

  1. Paint
  2. Stippling brush (borrowed from a friend)
  3. Stencil Paper
  4. Stockings
  5. Printed letters from computer
  6. X-acto Knife

I started by printing off the desired sized letters for our stockings. Then I traced over them onto the stencil paper. Using the X-acto knife, I cut out my letter stencils. Then I simply stippled the paint over the stencil and onto the stockings.

Super simple & total cost? Zero dollars!

If you did not have the supplies I listed, this project would cost you around $5 total… My stencil paper was $2.99 from Wal-Mart,¬† & my paint was $0.97 from Hobby Lobby. You can get inexpensive paint brushes at Wal-Mart & Hobby Lobby easily for¬†$1. The X-acto Knife is not an absolutely necessity- a straight razor, box cutter, or paring knife would work easily on stencil paper.

I am LOVING the final product & the fact that these will be used for many years to come! And I am LOVING being able to cross this project completely off of my holiday list.

Voila!

  

 

Stocking Makeover, Part 1

Our Christmas theme this year is “Handmade Holidays.”¬† Nathan and I are attempting to make most, if not all, of our gifts with our own two, er…four hands! Some are turning out to be a little more difficult than I anticipated, some are more simple than I originally thought they’d be.

I decided to go with the handmade theme for two reasons:

¬†¬†¬†¬† 1. I am totally into the DIY blogs,¬†Pinterest¬†Challenges, etc., and¬†I love that¬†it’s totally¬†“back in style” these days to try and MAKE things that you may have ordinarily just purchased, or to take a vintage/used piece and revamp it into something new and special.

     2. We are on a TIGHT budget, and homemade fits the bill!

So,¬†in keeping with the theme, I thought I’d share my first¬†mini¬†holiday makeover with you. This one is not a gift, but¬†something for our Lije.

Nathan grew up in a family that goes ALL OUT for stocking stuffers, so it was only natural that they had HUGE stockings. Well, when we got married, we found the biggest stockings we could & hung those puppies up!

Then came¬†Lije. Last year, we used a UNC stocking that we had, but didn’t really like the look of 2 huge red stockings hanging up with a light blue Tar Heel stocking in the middle. So, we started looking for a stocking for E this year that would match ours, but¬†just be a small version for now.

I thought this would be¬†easy since we have the most generic stockings ever! Plain red felt with a white felt top. Nothin’ fancy! But seriously, I couldn’t find them¬†anywhere in town!

So, I bought this one for only 97 cents at Wal-Mart today.

Stocking Before

It was pretty close to our others, but had the little scalloped edges & red/green/gold piping around the bottom that wasn’t really our style, or very boyish for that matter.

 
-So, I ripped the seams on the piping & removed that first, which left the stocking in two pieces- the red foot part & the top white part.
 -Then I carefully cut off the scalloped edge.
-Next I used some “stitch witch” and my iron to attach the two parts back together, with the red foot part tucked inside the white.
-Once the two parts were attached with the stitch witchery, I just hand stitched the two parts together down the edge for reinforcement.
 
It’s not too dramatic, and it’s not exactly completely home-made, but it was one small¬†step against spending too much for something¬†I could¬†just do on my own with a little creativity!
 
E’s Stocking After

Family Stockings: