DIY KNOCK OFF LIGHT FIXTURE

I am so excited to team up with several of my blogging buddies for a DIY Knock Off Challenge! My sweet friend, Terrie from Decorating and More with Tip heads us up! The rules were that we had to find a higher end piece and share how we could make our own and on a budget!

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CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

The rules were as follows: We needed to find a piece we loved and be willing to create a similar piece plus make it budget friendly! Challenge accepted! 

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HOME DEPOT LIGHT FIXTURE

Home Depot had this beautiful light fixture, the Windsor 5 Light Antique White Chandelier; however, we did not want to spend $160 on a light fixture that would be outside , hanging in the weather. This light fixture was our inspiration for what we sorta-kinda had invisioned in our minds. 

OUTDOOR “LIGHTING” FOR OUR NEW SPACE

My husband had a fabulous idea to hang a light fixture from this old live oak tree that sits over our new outdoor dining space! Thrift shopping we had to go! And ya don’t have to pull my hand to go! We decided to use one of our Saturday morning’s to go thrifting for this light fixture, instead of working on our pole barn. Heck, we even NEEDED a break from working on our pole barn!  

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THRIFTING WE GO

The first couple of places we went thrifting, we couldn’t find the exact light fixture that we had envisioned in our heads… on the third thrift store, we found a light fixture that we thought might work but it was a little to small for the space.

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We decided to stop at one last thrift shop and we hit the jackpot! We found this light fixture and although I would love it to be a bit larger, we thought it would work for now! At $19, it was definitely a great buy!

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HOME DEPOT & TARGET FOR SUPPLIES

Next, we headed to Home Depot for supplies! I used Rustoleum White Spray Paint in a Hammered finish.  This is my favorite brand of spray paint, evenly coats, no drips when used correctly and under $6!

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TARGET SUPPLIES

I grabbed a 12 count tapered candlesticks from Target for $3.00!

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LET’S GET TO WORK

Head on over to my instagram and you can watch my reel of how I diy’ed our thrifted light fixture! First, I removed the glass globes. Next, I applied two coats of spray paint on all sides, leaving a couple hours drying time, in between.

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Super easy! I just love how it turned out! The hammered finish gives it a rustic farmhouse feel to our outdoor space! 

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I spent $28 total on our diy light fixture! I hope that y’all have found some budget friendly inspiration here and that you will hop on over to the other ladies! I know you will love their DIY Knock Off’s, as well! Head on over to my friend Cindy’s blog at Cloches and Lavender for her DIY!  

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❤️~Shae

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Decorate and More with Tip | Sweet Southern Grace

Cloches and Lavender | Purple Hues and Me

B4 and Afters | Patina and Paint

Blue Sky at Home

The Best Things to Buy in March

I am enjoying writing this series each month about the best things to buy each month throughout the year. March is one of my favorite months because it is the month of the start of warmer weather and spring! I also enjoy March because its part of my quartly spring clean! I should probably word that as my quartarly deep clean.

Cleaning Supplies

March has some incredible deals on household cleaning supplies and cleaning products this month! My go-to cleaner is Thieves from Young Living. I also like to make my own glass cleaner with rubbing alcohol, Berkey water and a few drops of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. I also will use Whole Foods brand cleaning products and supplies. Norwex is a great option for cleaning supplies and you only need water! They tend to have deals usually the whole year! I use Katie for all my Norwex! She is extremely knowledgeable!

Foods

Frozen Items

Did you know that March is national frozen foods month? You can find frozen veggies and fruits on sale at Sprouts and Whole Foods. Sprouts has great deals on their frozen fruits and veggies in March! I like to help stock up our freezer a little bit during this time, since usually our gardens are in transition from winter to spring. You can also find sales on other frozen food items like pizza! 

Chips and Dip

March 14th is National Chip Day so there will be sales on chips and dip throughout the month of March. Seriously if you are a chip and dip fanatic, it is the best time to buy chips and dips! 

Corned Beef

With March 17th being St. Patrick’s Day, there will be sales on corned beef. So, for all of you corned beef lovers out there, grab a couple to stock up in your freezer when you get that craving for corned beef. 

Fresh Veggies

I have found lots of fresh veggies on sale in March and some that can even be cut, bagged and frozen too! I have found avocados for $0.50 cents and we will peel, cut and add them to a freezer bag. We can then defrost them later and make guacamole. I have also found deals on fresh spinach, sweet potatoes and yellow potatoes, leeks (which we love to make Sweet Potatoe “Nachos”), lemons (fresh lemonade), limes, beets and more! I have also noticed cabbage on sale because of St. Patrick’s Day. 

Winter Clothing

Winter clothing is usually at a huge discount by March. I always try to buy one year ahead for my ones that are little. It’s a fantastic time to stock up for next winter. Check out all of your favorite stores for discounts!  Winter clothing is usually 75% off but I have found it for as much as 90% too! 

I hope you have been ejoying my series on what to buy each month! I sure am enjoying sharing what I have learned over the years with you!

Love, Shae

Spring Upcycle DIY

Today I am teaming up with a multitude of fabulous bloggers to share a Spring Upcycle DIY! My friend Terrie from Decorating and More with Tip , heads up our group and the rules were as follows: The Spring Upcycle DIY must be something spring related and we need to upcycle something we already had on hand at home!

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Challenge Accepted

Challenge accepted? Well, may be.  I actually failed. Twice to be exact. I think I have a good excuse though and I did rise above it! We have literally everything we own in storage! I have very little to work with so I had to be super creative!

Wood Sign

I first decided I would have my husband cut me a piece of aged wood that we found on our new property. I planned to paint a garden sign for our new garden but it has been raining here for the past couple of days and the wood was still wet. Since the wood stayed damp, I could not paint on the wood. Next, I decided to do a vinyl design on a sign that I had in my camper, which is our current home, as we build our forever home!

0FB065DE-276F-4E91-BB96-CD6B74B288AFI decided I could use the back of this sign for a different sign. The first vinyl design did not work out due to the size and file of the vinyl design. I realized this AFTER designing the entire design.

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Easter Wood Sign with Silhouette

Next, I decided to go a more simpler route and just do vinyl wording for Easter. 

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I decided on “He is Risen” for the saying for my sign. I went to my Silhoutte program and grabbed a font from my Silhouette library and manipulated it a bit, to size.

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I measured the wood and decided to go with 17×4.5 for the size of the vinyl letters, since my wood sign is 19×5. After printing the vinyl words, “He is Risen”, I removed the negative vinyl, which we call weeding, in the vinyl world. I also cut out each word and placed it on the wood for placement before I added the vinyl to my wood sign.

A little bit of history of the  wood: The wood  iteself is actually wormed antique wood from a barn and it is over 100 yeaars old! It is a pretty cool piece of history! We have made many things from this wood like framed mirrors, shelves and more! 

I added transfer contact paper, made sure the vinyl adhered, then carefully peeled the vinyl from the contact paper.

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Next, I placed the word “Risen” on the sign first, noting that I wanted the “n” to be about a half inch from the very end of the wood sign. I measured about a half inch from the first and last letter 

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After adding the word “Risen”, I added the word “He”. I added “is” last and made sure it measured equal on spacing at about an inch from the words “He” and “Risen”. 

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Final Thoughts

Overall, a simple and quick project that cost me $0 since I had everything I needed on hand! I have stories on my Instagram account that you can see a bit more details! I hope you will take the time to check out what my friend’s have come up with for their Spring Upcycle! 

Love~Shae

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DECORATE AND MORE WITH TIP | Blessings by me | JUNK TO GEMS | CLOCHES AND LAVENDER

 

PATINA AND PAINT | PALLET AND PANTRY | B4 & AFTERS | PURPLE HUES AND ME

 

SWEET SOUTHERN GRACE

How We Stay Organized in Our Pop Up Camper

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Pop Up Camping can be a lot fun and a great way to create memories with your family. Pop up camping is one of my favorite things to do with my family, as it allots a way to travel, with our family of six, for significantly cheaper than even renting from VRBO or a hotel. Our family invested in a 1996 Coleman Pop Up Camper for $500 from Facebook Marketplace, two years ago, this month! You can see how we renovated our pop up here.

Here is a before of our Pop Up Camper on the day we brought her home!

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Staying Organized

Staying organized in your PUC is key to functionality in a small space being able to enjoy yourself while on vacation! We have several trips under our belt now and sometimes it’s trial and error to see what works best for your family. 

Below is  picture of our four daughters in St. Augustine! Stunning beach! 

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Organizing Our Clothing

When we went on our first few trips in our pop up, we had six people traveling in our camper. (We have since had one daughter get married, so we now have five.) When we first began began traveling, we used two seperate sections of our bench seating for clothing storage for myself, husband and two oldest daughters. It works, as we travel only in the warmer months, not taking a lot of bulking clothing or shoes. 

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T-shirt’s, shorts, swimsuits and flip flops! Now that we are minus one, we use that one storage compartment to store  a convection oven. Folding compactly does matter in the amount of space you have in the area you are storing clothes and that you keep that space neat, while on vacation.

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For our youngest two girls, we use the cabinet by the entry, as their clothing storage. We can even slide their add their flip flops, sandals and a pair of tennis shoes in their cabinet on the bottom far left! We have  good week’s worth of clothing on each child’s shelf! Now, who would have ever thought that we could cram so much clothing in our pop up camper?! Pretty awesome!

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How We Organize Our Food 

We keep the bulk of our food, along with paper items like plates, in our middle bench seating. I use metal and woven farmhouse baskets to help keep things confined to their spaces. I try to keep like items together like paper plates, plastic cutlery and cups.

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I have a couple seperate baskets for things like cans, noodles, sauces, juice,  rice, extra condiments and coffee. The other basket has dried goods like sugars, flours teas and mostly baking items. 

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In our “kitchen” cabinets, the first set of cabinets, we keep more food items. I have a plastic  storage basket from Target and a metal farmhouse basket in the cabinet on the left. Those baskets hold spices, oils and measuring cups. 

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On the right hand side of the cabinets, I keep more oils, Thieves cleaner, rubbing alcohol (for cleaning), peroxide (for getting out stains on clothing), plastic storage bags, foil, dog treats and scrubber pads for washing dishes. 

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After we had camped a few times, we realized pretty quickly that we would need some type of overhead storage for more regularly used food items and that they would be easy to access like cereal bars, bread, coffee, apple sauce pouches and vitamins.

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I bought a small coffee pot for our camper, beside it I store salt, pepper and sugar for coffee. Again, these are items that we use on a regular basis.

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Target had the best plastic storage bins and all for under $3.00. I use them in our home and all througout our pop up camper!

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I placed two more metal farmhouse baskets on the bottom shelf. The first one holds forks, spoons, bowls, cups and plates. It also holds our yeti’s that we drink coffee from each morning. The second metal basket holds fruits and veggies. 

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Organizing Our Small Appliances

Bench seating storage is amazing! We literally have almost any appliance you can think of on this side of our bench seating storage! To the far left, I keep three, 6 quart rubbermaid containters. In these containers, I keep first aide, vitamins and allergy meds. I made the labels with my Silhouette.  I also have my waffl maker, blender and apple sauce pouches. 

In the middle of the bench storage, I keep my Ninja Foodie, accessories, my recipe box and a couple mason jars.

The far right storage area has my Ninja Foodie with a couple mason jars and a tupperware container. See how much it holds?!

How We Organize Pots, Pans and Cooking Utensils

In our “kitchen” cabinets, on the bottom of the cabinets, I keep a pots and pans set, along with a mixing bowl, cheese grater and a few cooking utensils.  Nothing fancy here!

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We even have a convection oven in one of our bench seat storage area’s and it has been so nice because it’s like a mini oven. We bake cookies, homemade breads, toast things, warm things like left overs, ect. 

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A Space to Organize Bath Towels, Washcloths and Kitchen Towels Along with Bath Products

When we bought our PUC, it was in very poor condition. In fact, it was almost complete gut job.

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Since it was missing one of the cabinets on the right hand side of our entryway, we decided not to rebuild and grab a metal, collapsible dog kennel, since we knew our family pet(s) would be traveling with us. On top of the dog kennel, we added a piece of plywood and set a three drawer rubbermaid storage on top of it. In the top storage drawer, we keep bath towels, wash cloths, kitchen flour sack towels and Norwex cloths in the top drawer. We also have a collapsible laundry basket for dirty clothes and towels. 

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The middle drawer houses bath towels! In the top two drawers, we store twelve bathtowels and two dozen washcloths plus a dozen flour sack kitchen towels and several Norwex cloths.

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The bottom drawer contains bath products. I even used some of the Target plastic containers to help organize the drawer space to help it be as effecient as it can be with space! 

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We also keep a metal farmhouse basket on top of the three drawer basket. In this basket, I keep more bath products. I also have a woven basket that I keep tissue rolls in. I like to keep a couple plants, well more than a couple, in the camper, as it helps purify the air and give a more homey feel in our camper.

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To the left of the three drawer storage, I keep a medium sized woven basket on the bed that holds our hair dryer, flat iron, curling iron and a few hair scruncie’s. I even have a mini heater stored in the woven basket! Sometimes other things can get thrown into here! 

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When we were renovating our camper, I wanted to paint chalk paint on half of the inside of the door, so I could use it as a menu board. It is another way to help me stay organized with food and groceries, when we are traveling. I usually use a chalk pen but you can also use a regular piece of chalk too!

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And that is about it folks! Staying organized is key in such a small space.  I don’t think we would be able to function in here without organization! If yall have any questions, please reach out! 

Love~Shae

Below is a picture of my husband and I on St. George Island! One of our most fav places on earth!!

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FOUR OF THE BEST THINGS TO BUY IN FEBRUARY

FOUR OF THE BEST THINGS TO BUY IN FEBRUARY

February is a short month but it’s packed with holidays and stores will do their best to get you in! Not all sales are created equal, so let’s shop smart!

FOUR OF THE BEST THINGS TO BUY IN FEBRUARY 

JEWELRY

February is a great month to buy jewelry as jewelers will have fabulous deals for Valentine’s Day! Right after the holiday, prices go back to normal until Mother’s Day.

SMARTPHONES

Typically smart phones from the previous year model go on sale this month. You can usually find them for a good price in February or have you ever tried a refurbished smartphone? They are at least 50-70% cheaper than a brand new phone.

MATTRESSES 

Long weekends like Presidents Day weekend is typically prime for buying larger tickets items like mattresses. You can usually find them for around 25% with incentives like free shipping as well.

VALENTINE CLEARANCE 

Don’t forget to shop Valentine’s clearance items. I have bought kids Valentine’s for school to put away for the following year. I have also found Valentine cards for my husband and daughters. I will also look for small Valentine stuffed animals or Valentine themed clothing. These items are usually between 70-90% off, depending on the store. So let’s not forget about Valentine’s Day decor too!

FINAL THOUGHTS

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you have enjoyed reading about Four of the Best Things to Buy in February!

❤️~Shae

REFRESH YOUR SPACE FOR LESS WITH KIRKLANDS

[This post contains sponsored links. The items featured and linked, in this post is provided by Kirklands; all opinions and reviews are my own.]

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I love a good decor challenge, so when Kirkland’s challenged me to refresh a space in my home for under $100, I knew a challenge would be in our camper! Who says a camper can’t be stylish too?! I love being able to share budget friendly ways to refresh a space on a budget!

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It is cold and dreary out but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a cozy space set up in your home, that can make an impact!

I started off with the Wood Plank Tray. I love how rustic yet sophisticated this tray can be plus you can dress this tray up or down! Serve breaksfast to your significant other in the morning or use as a serving platter when entertaining guests.

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I added these Cream Simple Things Mugs that my husband and I love! Perfect for just about any decor! We both enjoy having our coffee in these each morning! I could not pass up this adorable Word Block Sign that says, “DREAM, PLAN, DO.” I think the words stuck out to me because of where God has called myself and my husband right now. You can follow along with us on Instagram!

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Last but certainly not least is this Black and White Scattered Jute Rug!! I love it!! Jute rugs are my favorite right now and this one called my name! Again this is neutral, so it would look amazing in almost any decor. Add it to your kitchen or an entryway. You could even add it to a half bath.

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Refreshing a space in your home can be budget friendly! My hope is that I have inspired you to refresh a space in your home and be able to maintain your budget, as well! If I can be of any help, please let me know!

Love~Shae

40 Things I have learned in 40 years

I just turned 40.

Not everyone gets to see their 40th birthday. I am thankful I got to spend it with my husband, daughters and my parents.

My peeps made me feel very special for my 40th birthday. My oldest daughter made me a gift basket with all of my fav things: soft socks, sweater with a matching shirt, Burt’s Bees, my fav brand of chocolate and my fav drink. My husband made my favorite meal and searched hell and high water to find me the Tres Leches cake that I wanted. He also bought me a purse that I have wanted for years. My youngest two littles made little birthday decorations and handmade cards. My mom and dad bought me the matching wallet to go with my purse that my hubs bought for my birthday. I received many birthday texts and emails, wishing me a happy birthday from other family and friends.

As a person who is normally planning birthday parties, it felt pretty good to be the object of so much love and thoughtfulness.

40 Things I have learned in my 40 years of life:

1) Your relationship with Jesus is the most imporant. Cultivate it. Don’t let days go by without making time for Him.

2) God’s timing is not always our timing. Also, God’s plans aren’t always our plans either.

3) Do not let the sun go down on your anger. If you need to work out something with someone, TALK. TO. THEM. Have you prayed more about the problem, more than you have talked about the problem with others? 

4) Be willing to be vulnerable.

5) Life isn’t fair but God is good. 

6) Learn something new as often as you can.

7) It does not matter what other people think. 

8) Give grace and second chances.

9) Always be on time. 

10) Write it down and make reminders on your phone, so you don’t forget the important stuff!

11) Dogs and kids are good for your soul.

12) Take pictures and videos. 

13) Change can be hard, try to embrace it.

14) Everybody has a story and a struggle. 

15) Having children has taught me how to appreciate my parents.

16) Speaking of parents, I believe that most parents do the best they can do, yet sometimes make mistakes.

17) Kids don’t come with rule books. 

18) When renovating your home, add extra money to your budget. Unexpected things always come up.

19) Practice grattitude, no matter where you are in your life.

20) Put down your phone. Take a social media break.

21) Talk to children like they matter!

22) Your body will feel so much better if you exercise during the week. 

23) Speaking of your body, what you eat is important. Organic veggies, fruits and grass fed meats. I always have people tell me that I never look my age. It’s because of what I put inside my body. Think about it: If you drink cokes all during the week, along with a fast food or unhealthy diet, think about how your skin will look. Think of food as nourishment that is healing our bodies. 

24) Drink water everyday.

25) Live as chemial free as possible. Think about everything you use in your home from cleaning products to food to shampoo. Research the name of each chemical listed under the ingredients from one bottle in your home. Look up what those particular chemicals can do to your body.

26) Travel as often as you can! We enjoy giving our children travel experience, not buying stuff that they won’t play with or use in 6 months.

27) Donate, sell or give away items you are no longer using. 

28) Help people as often as you can. From donating your time to a food pantry to buying the person’s groceries at the check out line whose card was declined. Just help others, as often as you can.

29) Meal plan. I have meal planned since day one of our marriage. It saves so much time and money!

30) Take time to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Run a 5k, get a massage, treat yourself to a coffee. Just do something for you.

31) Do not be in debt. Pay off your home. Pay off that car payment. Do not carry credit card debt.

32) Buy out of season for clothing. You can save so much money! I have bought jackets, shoes and clothing for our family when we need items, out of season and save up to 90%.

33) Don’t buy bottled water. Buy a water filtration system for about $300. You will save money and it’s healthier drinking water. Plus, no littering our planet with plastics and your not exposed to the plastic by drinking the water from a plastic bottle.

34) Learn how to fix things yourself. From that leaky toilet to a screen door that won’t shut. You can save so much money by doing things yourself.

35) Have at least 6 months of savings for emergency only.

36) Grow a garden. Try to be as sustainable as possible. Herbs, veggies, fruit trees and shrubs. 

37) Have a budget and stick to it.

38) Practice boundries when needed.

39) Own your own story. It can be hard, but it is better than running from it, your whole life!

40) Have courage. Even when it is hard.

THE BEST THINGS TO BUY IN JANUARY

[This post contains sponsored links. The items linked, in in this post is by The Home Depot, Boutique Rugs and Beddy’s. All opinions and reviews are my own. If you click a link, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you.]

Happy New Year!! I’ve decided to start off the New Year, on the blog, with sharing the best things to buy each month, throughout this year. In today’s post, I will be sharing the best things to buy in January. Twenty something years ago, being newly weds at 17 and 20 years old, I learned very quickly how expensive things were! I had to figure out how to buy things and when the best time would be to buy them. I began watching sales flyers and by window shopping at different stores, knowing when they had sales on certain items.

CHRISTMAS DECOR AND GIFT WRAP

January is the best time to replace christmas gift wrap, tissue paper, bags, cards and bows! All the stores will have sales and some are even at 90% off! Hobby Lobby even includes their scotch gift wrapping tape as their 75-90% off christmas gift wrapping supplies. I always buy these items this time of year and I save so much money! Kohl’s is a great place for shopping for gift wrap, along with ornaments and toys.

TOYS

Wal-Mart will have great clearance on their toys from Christmas that did not sell. A lot of those are up to 90% off. I can check many items off list for my daughters, nieces and nephews  for this next Christmas and birthday’s, by shopping in January. Target also has amazing clearance toys in January too! Kohl’s is also a great place to find heavily discounted toys that are usually 60-90% off. 

LINENS

Januaury is the “White Sale” for linens. Of course, you can find linens of all colors too. Replacing sheets? This is the month to do it! I like to buy a 1200 thread count or higher and I can usually find these for well under $50. That is usually a savings of over one hundred dollars! Check stores like Target, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Belk and JCPenny.  You can find deals on things like towels, bath mats, duvet covers and bedspreads. Last year, I found a fabulous quality towel at Sam’s Club. I got several towels and washcoths for a family of six for under $100.

My absolute favorite bedding for little ones is from Beddy’s. If you use SSG20, you can grab 20% off items that are already on sale! Right now, they even have free shipping! Plus they have a payment program with no interest!!! I think I may just scoop up new bedding now for our new home!!!

GYM MEMBERSHIPS, EXERCISE EQUIPMENT AND SCALES

With New Year’s resolutions being made, alot of people want to loose weight. Stores will take advantage of that fact by offering great deals on health and fitness items during January. You can find great prices on things like weight sets, treadmills and bathroom scales. Gyms and Fitness Clubs usully offer wonderful incentives during the month of January.

FURNITURE

While July does have a slight edge, January is still a good time to buy furniture. Many manufactures will begin releasing new designs in February, which means that stores need to clear out their inventories. Believe it o not, Home Depot has furniture and it is on sale for 35% off by using this  link.

VACATIONS AND CRUISES

While it is cold outside, alot of people dream about going somewhere warmer. January is a great time to find deals on vacations! From cruises to vacation pacakages, check them out! My favorite place to look for vacations is through VRBO. We enjoy being able to stay in a home and cook our meals, so this works best for us!

WINTER CLOTHING

Wait until Janurary to find that winter coat you have been eyeing or one your children needs! You can find great deals on gloves, hats and jackets. Last year, I bought two NorthFace jackets for my youngest two for under $60! Lots of children’s clothing sites are heavily discounted up to 75% off! Our favorite brand of shoes for our youngest daughter is Livie and Luca. I just bought her a pair of shoes for next year for $38 and the regular price is $79. You can even find wonderful pieces that are new or gently used on Poshmark. Department stores like Kohl’s and Belk are fabulous for deals! 

Always buy off season for clothing, as many times it can be between 75-90% off. I buy boutique clothing for my littles, so I always try to shop their end of season clearance sales for their nicer clothing. 

FLOORING, CARPETING and RUGS

Janurary is a great time to buy new flooring! Great deals and discounts! You can get very nice area rugs for up to 80% off! A lot of them have payment plans with no interest too! My favorite rug shop is Boutique Rugs. They have the best sales plus I have a coupon code I can offer you! Use GRACE55 at check out for 55% off!

TVS and VIDEO GAMES 

Have you been wanting that smart tv? Now is the best time to grab one!

Since a lot of new video games are released at the end of the year, if you wait until Janurary, they will be discounted. 

CARS

If you have been thinking of getting a new car, January is a great time to buy! This is he month that dealerships begin offering more incentives from the previous year models!

ORNAMENTS

I have collected ornaments since my husband and I’s first Christmas together. It all started with my mom, collecting a Hallmark ornament for me, each year, at Christmas. I believe that is where my love of ornaments came from! I have continued this tradition with my own children as well. We probably have hundreds of ornaments on the Christmas trees in our homes. 

I learned very quickly that most Hallmark ornaments will go on sale for 50% on the day after Christmas. If you can wait, you can save so much money. If you want a Hallmark ornament that is a popular one for the year, then I would go ahead and buy it. Most of the time, we can get the ones we have had our eyes on, on the day after Christmas and for 50% off! 

This year, one of our adult daughter’s got married and I bought them a Hallmark ornament that says, “Our First Christmas Together.” We are looking forward to hanging our new ornaments on the tree, next year!

JANUARY DEALS ROUND UP

Glad you stopped by to read about The Best Things to Buy in January. Come back next month to read about The Best Things to Buy in February!

Love~Shae

PRAYING WHEN YOUR SOUL IS BATTLED AND WEARY

The last few weeks, actually the last few months, have been HARD. Situational pain spoke loud to my heart and my soul for days. The mind knows what the heart needs to remember albeit there is a battle waged. The two aren’t in cohesiveness together. That makes us tremble to the enemy. When we are at war internally, it will be harder to fight the external battles of daily life.


Ignoring this place of tension will continue to wreak havoc. One incident builds upon another and eventually everything will blow up. It will even leave us in a worse place. We have a choice to ignore this tension or we can let this tension drive us into action to seek our Lord. Believe me, I understand that the temptation to give in to the despair is like a cheerleader’s megaphone, for the way that our souls need to readjust hope. Will we turn to God for help or will we turn to our own self focused expectations? Our hearts willing, we say yes to God. We want God to help us and to feel near Him.

I do not know what your battles are today. May be you have experienced a loss like a job loss, the loss of a relationship or may be you are grieving a death. Sometimes, accepting the need to grieve the reality of hard present truths while being able to keep hope alive for redemption the way our Father desires. Have you tried and you are feeling worn down by the enemy?

Fight back. Do not let the enemy win. Fight as fiercly against the enemy who takes our souls and will make them at war. The enemy will take and try to turn husband and wives against each other. The enemy will try and turn families against each other. The battle is not against others. The true battle is against the enemy of God and of us because God is with us. I need prayer during these times and may be you need prayer during these times too.

Even if you are to tired to lift your eyes today or any other day, I have hope that you will choose prayer too. Cry out to God. He is listening.

Dear Jesus,

Some days it hurts so much. My soul is so weary and tired. I feel as if I am not sure how to take another step. I do not know what to do. The pain in my heart is engulfing and I need you. When I turn away, please remind me that you are right here. Please send my guardian angel to comfort me. I know you have not left me.

Lord, please remind me that my pain is only temporary, although in the moment it feels like forever. When my heart is weary, at times, I feel like I have done all I can do. I feel trapped and lost because sometimes, I can not see a way out or a way forward; so in these moments, thank you for your grace and love. Please show me what I need to see. Show me what I need to change in my own heart. Please help me to be a better mother, wife, friend, sister and daughter. Reveal more of you.

When I feel like I am unsure of how or what to pray for, Lord, you know my heart. My tears are my words. Help me turn to you so that I can hear you, oh Lord! You tell me you are a place of refuge. Lord, I want to stay there and feel safe. I need courage so that I can fight another battleground you lead me to. Help me find rest and peace today; although my heart is hurting, you give me strength to endure until I can see clearly again.

I need you Lord. I stand in victory because in the end, you have already won. May I never forget that you are at work, even when we can not see it yet. Help me to remember that I have what I need to stand against the enemies lies.

I ask these things in your name,

Amen

HOW TO CREATE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

What are boundaries?

Boundaries are needed in every relationship. A boundary is a imaginary line that seperates me from you. Boundaries seperate your physical space, needs, feelings and responsibilities from others. Your boundaries tell people how they can treat you. Boundaries say what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. If you do not set boundaries with people, they may take advantage of you because you have not set limits about how you expect to be treated. 

A boundary illustration 

Think of a boundary like a property line. In the last home we owned, right after we moved in, I had noticed the neighbor cutting our grass on our property line. Like 15 foot over the property line. I thought it was odd, but did not say anything the first couple of times it happened. After the third time, we asked him to stop. He said he had always cut our grass on that side. We kindly let him know that we would be cutting our own grass. The previous homeowner never cut the grass, so the neighbor always cut that side. I would like to think that, with us being the new homeowners, he would give us the opportunity to see if we wanted to cut our own grass. He did not, so we needed to establish a boundary with him.  Point being is that if you do not speak up and say that a boundary is being crossed, it gives the impression that your ok with it. 

When a boundary is crossed, you need to give feedback saying if it is ok or not. The boundary is worthless if you don’t enforce it by giving feedback and consequences. Now, some people will accept the boundary and some will continue to challenge it and even escalate it. The specific consequences depend on the relationship and the history of the relationship, as well. 

Do you know how to create healthy boundaries?

Does creating boundaries make you feel guilty? Have you wanted to create boundaries in relationships but just do not know how or are you afraid of feeling guilty for creating boundaries?

Toxic relationships are really common. Heavy cultural conditioning makes it painful to speak about those types of relationships. A lot of times, the person sharing their experience is often being judged or viewed as crazy or wrong because its a family member or parent. People may think you are overly imagining things or that it couldn’t possibly be that bad. You may even feel pressure to maintain the relationship on the other person’s terms and afriad to set boundaries. The truth is that the pressured feeling, from not wanting to create a boundary, comes from a desire to receive the love you wanted, but never received. Without boundaries, people will walk all over you.

Why do we need boundaries?

Boundaries create a entity that allows you to make your own decisions and have your own feelings. It also allows you to know and ask for what you want without the need to please other people.

Boundaries are a form of self care and healthy boundaries mean that you value your own feelings/needs. Boundaries also mean that you are not responsible for how others feel or behave. Boundaries can also allow you to let go of worrying and create a sense of peace with placing accountability with that particular person. Boundaries mean that saying no to things that are not your priority. 

Boundaries will create a realistic expectation to your friends, your spouse, boss or family member to know what is expected. Clearly communicating boundaries will let people know how they are expected to behave. When expectations are not communicated and met, resentment and anger flourish. 

Boundaries create a safety by providing  physical and emotional safety by keeping what feels hurtful or uncomfortable. 

What prevents us from setting boundaries?

Fear keeps us from setting boundaries. What are you scared of? Are you afraid of dissapointing someone by creating a boundary? What will happen if you do not set a boundary? ASK yourself those questions to see why your stuck. If you grew up in a family without boundaries, you probably did not have anyone to teach you about boundaries or anyone to model healthy boundaries. Setting boundaries is definitely a skill that is learned. Some people do not want to create boundries because they do not want to dissapoint others or they will just avoid conflict at all costs. 

Bottom line of boundaries

The truth is that setting boundaries can disrupt relationships.. You will probably even get some resistance but sometimes it is not as bad as you have imagined. Boundary setting takes time and becomes easier with practice. It will also take time for others to adjust to your boundaries. 

Love~Shae