Christmas decorations around our home

Hello friends! Today I wanted to share some of the Christmas decorations we’ve put up around our home. If you’re anything like me, you love taking a peek at all the festive decorations around your neighborhood and in blogland. It always puts me in the holiday mood.

This year, I kept things pretty simple. In other words, I didn’t fret over every small detail, mostly because I’m so busy with the flip house. And I let the kids help – a lot! I have to admit, it felt pretty good to let myself off the hook and not try to get everything perfect. I should let myself off the hook more often. 😉

Living-room-Christmas-decorations

In the living room, we switched to an artificial tree with flocking.

Woodland-tree

Are you a faux-tree or real-tree family? We’ve tried both. I left it up to my husband this year, and he said to go ahead and put up the fake tree. Less mess, I guess. 😉

Christmas-mantel

I like to go with more of a natural, woodland feel in the living room. I fell in love with these faux-fur stockings last year and snatched them up at Target.

Wooden-reindeer

I fill my little woodland reindeer with white Poinsettias every year. The only challenge is remembering to water them. 😉

Nativity-set

This tiny nativity set is my most favorite decoration of all. I picked it up while on a mission trip to Guatemala. It is one of the few material objects in my home that I feel truly sentimental about. It is a constant reminder of the true reason for the season.

Christmas-village

We usually set up our Christmas village on the TV stand. It is so hard for our little guy to keep his hands off this. 🙂 This year, our daughter set it up. Didn’t she do a great job?

Christmas-at-America's-Landmark-Homes

I’m really enjoying this coffee table Christmas book, “Christmas at America’s Landmark Houses.” I got a complimentary copy to review. I would absolutely LOVE to get the chance to visit many of these homes in person at Christmastime. They are absolutely stunning! Also, check out the cute wool throw blanket I picked up at the thrift store the other day. Score!

The dining room is where I go full-on red and green.

Dining-room-Christmas-tree

I think the holidays are a great time to bring out sentimental family pieces, don’t you?

Christmas-dinner-tablescape

Our dining room table features china and glasses handed down from Matt’s Grandma Delger.

Bowl-of-nuts

I like to keep my dining room decorations very traditional. I even like to add whole nuts, which seem to be a hit with guests. I displayed them in a basket we got from Matt’s Aunt Cherie, who passed away earlier this year.

I’m also looking for a very special place to display a doilie from Matt’s Grandma Penning, who went to be with the Lord recently. It’s been a rough year for our family. These very special ladies knew the Lord, so we know we’ll be reunited again one day.

Above-cabinet-decorations

The space above my kitchen cabinets is a great place to display Christmas decorations.

Bathroom-decorations

And I always like to put a few Christmas touches in our downstairs bathroom, for guests to enjoy.

Have you finished decorating for the holidays yet? What is your favorite sentimental decoration?

Follow this flip: Bathroom demo plus 2 tools I can’t live without

I have officially crossed over into “weirdo” territory. I am probably the most excited person you’ll meet who’s actually happy about tearing a room apart.

The bathroom demolition at the white house is officially done, which means I can now start the process of putting that room back together. The vision in my head of this tiny bathroom is gorgeous, people. The road to get there? Not so pretty. 😉 I’ve filled up four contractor trash bags full of debris from this room.

Let’s go way back to the before:

Bathroom-before- Bathroom-before-1 Bathroom-before2

Bathroom before sink

First, I chipped off all that strange, dirty, plastic-y tile. #shudder

Bathroom-demo-1Then I demolished everything but the tub (toilet will go soon). Thank goodness, my dad was able to help me detach the shower and sink plumbing.

This is where we are as of this afternoon:

Bathroom-demo-2 Bathroom-demo

I’m hoping by the end of next week, the insulation, wiring, plumbing and maybe even drywall will be installed. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I wanted to share two tiny tools that have become absolutely vital to me on a daily basis.

Fav-tools

On the left is a pair of vice grips.* On the right is the Purdy® painter’s tool. I can’t even list all the situations I’ve encountered where these tools have come in handy. There are too many to count! Trust me when I say you need both of these in your toolbox.

What is your favorite tool in your toolbox?

*Affiliate links are provided in this post for your convenience.

DIY hand soap and jar dispenser (plus Ball® giveaway)

It’s almost that time of year when our family gets together for an annual tomato canning extravaganza. It’s also the time when I fall in love, all over again, with my ever-growing collection of canning jars.

Since I have so many, I’ve explored different ways to use my Ball® jars beyond stuffing them with food. I’ve crafted a holiday vignette, displayed flowers, caught lightning bugs, and served drinks in them.

But I’m most proud of my latest canning jar creation – a DIY hand soap dispenser.

Essential-oils-hand-soap

To make your own soap dispenser and the homemade hand soap for it, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 Ball canning jar (pint-sized or smaller)
  • 1 canning lid and band (I’m loving the new Design Series lids.*)
  • 1 dispenser pump (I reused one from an empty bottle.)

Homemade essential oil foaming hand soap recipe:

  • 2-3 Tablespoons liquid castile soap
  • 5 or so drops of essential oil (I like the Young Living™ Thieves blend. The oil is optional, though.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin or Vitamin E oil (also optional)
  • Filtered water

Homemade-soap-ingredients

Step 1: Use a 5/8-inch power drill bit to cut a hole in the center of the canning jar lid (or use whatever bit matches the size of your soap pump).

Drilling-jar-lid

Step 2: Insert soap pump into hole. To seal and secure it to the jar lid, I used hot glue.

Homemade-soap-dispenser-lid

(For the record, glue gun burns are the worst! They make me feel like saying words no church-going woman should ever say. Can I get an “Amen?”)

Step 3: Add homemade soap mixture and filtered water to jar.

Step 4: Secure top to jar. Shake vigorously to activate foam. Done!

Essential-oils-hand-soap-dispenser

To make my dispenser pretty, I added a chalkboard label from Walmart and wrote on it with a silver permanent marker. Tip: Use a smaller, narrow label. I had trouble getting mine to stick because it had to wrap around the jar.

Do you enjoy using your canning jars for more than food storage? Ball also has some cute jar accessories to help us multi-purpose our jars even more.

Ball-brand-drink-glass-accessories

Ball Regular Mouth Sip and Straw Lids on drink mugs

For all my fellow canning and jar enthusiasts: On Aug. 1, Jarden Home Brands will host this year’s fifth annual Can-It-Forward Day, broadcast live online at FreshPreserving.com from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. The webcast will have an integrated chat function where consumers can submit home-canning questions to be answered in real time. New this year, there will also be an exciting celebrity mason jar auction unveiled during the webcast.

(AUG. 1 UPDATE: The link to the webcast is here.) 

So be sure to tune in to that. I’ll be sharing a link to the broadcast here, so you can also check this post on Aug. 1 to watch.

Until then, enter below to win a coupon for a free case of jars. This year’s limited time, vintage-style jars are gorgeous!

Ball-vintage-jars

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Affiliate links are provided in this post for your convenience.