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?

BIG NEWS + a giveaway from Duluth Trading Company

Hello! I am super excited to share some big news with you today. It’s a project that has been in the works for awhile.

Drumroll please …

Follow-This-Flip-with-Susan

I just purchased my first investment property! It’s a small cottage I’ve dubbed “The White House.” I’ll be fixing it up from top to bottom, then selling it to one lucky family who will hopefully find it to be the cottage of their dreams. 🙂

Of course I’ll be chronicling the whole DIY journey here on the blog in a series I’m calling “Follow this Flip.” I hope you’ll tag along with me through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Flipping a house has been a huge dream of mine for many years. After searching high and low for the right property, submitting multiple offers on places I did not get, I finally scored this one.

I purchased my little “diamond in the rough” for $44,000 and am hoping to sell it for around $100,000 when I’m all done. I closed on the house last Friday and have already made some progress on the exterior, which I’ll be sharing with you later this week.

In the meantime, check out the DIY-friendly clothing and gear I’m wearing in the pic above. It’s all from my favorite clothing retailer, Duluth Trading Company.

Wanna test these duds out for yourself? The amazing folks at Duluth are giving away $50 gift cards to two lucky Living Rich on Less readersEnter to win one below.

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Thrifty DIY desk and hutch + HomeRight giveaway

Working from home has been a blessing in so many ways. But it also comes with its share of challenges. One I’ve run into is finding a work space that fits my needs and is clearly defined (i.e. the kids and mister aren’t taking it over).

Up until yesterday, my tiny work space looked like this (on a really good day). 😉

Office-gallery-wall-

I needed a bit more room to spread out all my stuff! Fortunately, the latest challenge from HomeRight® gave me the creative kick in the pants I needed to brainstorm a solution for more office furniture. As a HomeRight ambassador, I get the privilege of using their amazing tools every month to clean, organize and renovate my home. Yay!

October’s challenge was to use these ClosetMaid® Espresso Laminate Storage Cubes from Lowe’s and transform them using the HomeRight Finish Max sprayer* and other materials from Lowe’s.

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Yes, my beloved Finish Max sprayer is now available at select Lowe’s! (Plus you can enter to win one at the end of this post.)

HomeRight-and-Lowe's

My goal was to paint the storage cubes to match my current desk (black), then attach them to the top of an old desk I purchased a few years ago at an auction for $15 (below). Of course, that meant I would also have to sand and paint the auction desk black, too.

Desk-before

After giving the desk and cubes a light sanding, I primed them both using my favorite black spray primer.

Priming-piece

I will mention that, for superior durability on the cubes, I would recommend using this Bullseye 1-2-3 primer.

After priming, I used a brad nailer to attach molding along the “top” side of the cubes. I primed the molding afterward. (You could attach the molding first, then prime everything at once, if you weren’t in a rush and forgetful, like me.) 😉

Adding-trim

Next, I loaded my HomeRight Finish Max sprayer with Valspar® Chalky Finish Paint in Boot Black, thinning the paint to the proper consistency for optimum performance in the sprayer.

Valspar-chalky-finish-paintHomeRight-Finish-Max

When it comes to getting a flawless paint finish on furniture, I have not found any other tool that does a more impressive job than the HomeRight Finish Max.

Black-desk-HomeRight-Finish-Max

After the paint dried, I sprayed on a coat of polyurethane to seal everything.

Poly-finish-Finish-Max

Then I added my new “hutch” to the top of the desk. Done!

Black-desk-and-hutch Black-desk-with-hutch-2

Black-desk-with-hutch-3

Black-desk-and-hutch-vert

What do you think of my new, thrifty office space? I hope you’ll consider voting for it as your favorite! Click here or on the graphic below to vote.

Bookcase-Logo

HomeRight-Lowes-graphic

Of course, DON’T FORGET TO ENTER BELOW TO WIN YOUR OWN HOMERIGHT FINISH MAX SPRAYER!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Affiliate links provided in this post for your convenience.

Disclosure: I’m thrilled to be a brand ambassador for HomeRight and, as always, all thoughts, opinions and projects are 100 percent my own.