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

THE BILTMORE AT CHRISTMAS

THE BILTMORE AT CHRISTMAS

We all dream of that perfect holiday season. The one filled with family togetherness, Christmas trees with lights, homemade hot cocoa and Christmas movies. Often times, the reality of the Christmas holidays can bring on endless busyness. I believe that in order to fully appreciate the holidays, taking a family Christmas vacation can really help set our sights, in perspective of a truly beautiful family holiday. This helps us to step away from the day-to-day and set it in another light.

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Christmas at the Biltmore

The weekend after my fourthieth birthday, we packed the car and had our eyes set for the stunning Asheville, North Carolina, the backdrop of George Vanderbilt’s famous estate.

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This is the Biltmore’s 125 year of welcoming guests into the estate. The Biltmore begins decorating in November with more than 60 Christmas trees, 13,000 ornaments, thousands of lights, beautiful poinsettias and ribbons all adorn the majestic estate.

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On the front lawn of the Biltmore House, a breathtaking, 55-foot-tall Norway spruce with 45,000 plus lights and is lit for the candlelight evenings.

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In the Banquet Hall of the Biltmore House, a 35-foot Fraser fir Christmas tree is brought in by 50 helpers! It is even replaced mid holiday season to ensure a fresh tree. The replacement tree arrives to the house by 4 AM and decorated by the time the first guests arrive by 9 AM. The tree is decorated with 500 ornament, 500 lights and 500 packages, as George Vanderbilt decorated the tree.

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History of Christmas at the Biltmore

George Vanderbilt and his wife, Edith along with their daughter, Cornelia, spent many Christmases together in the Biltmore House, creating many traditions that continue today. George Vanderbilt’s descendant s, the Cecil family, now the estate’s owners and caretakers, host the annual employee holiday party, just like the Vanderbilt’s did. The Vanderbilt’s also made sure that each employee’s child had a Christmas gift and the Cecil family continues this tradition today. Records even show that Edith Vanderbilt kept notes on what gift each child received every year to avoid repeating gift in the years to follow. The lists still exist, as well as receipts from FAO Schwartz detailing some of the toys and games she purchased. 

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The Biltmore at Christmas

Throughout the house and other buildings on the estate, you will find 55 plus decorated Christmas trees, each created by Biltmore designers, all with different themes each year.

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Every detail of the estate is covered in Christmas cheer and almost every room in the home has it’s own Christmas tree.

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Not only is the home absolutely stunning with Christmas decor, the exquisite details of the estate will wow just about anyone!

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From the medieval tapestries, some dating back to the 1500’s, the detailed wood prints, exquisite paintings, 70-foot ceilings to the 10,000 rare volume priceless library!

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Estate Shops: Carriage House Shop

After touring the Biltmore House, we walked over to the Carriage House to find our keepsake ornament of the trip. We found many beautiful ornaments such as handpainted glass, wood and porcelain.  We also picked up a book about the Biltmore and I have enjoyed reading the history of the Vanderbilts.

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Estate Shops: Toymaker’s

My youngest daughter was jumping at the chance to head to the Toymaker’s toy shop! She chose a stuffed Cedric dog, which was the family dog of the Vanderbilts! I also picked up a couple pencils and a pen as souvineers.

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Estate Shops: Confectionery

Why not induldge yourself with an array of treats at the Confectionery candy shop!

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Our family chose several chocolate treats and they were worth waiting in line! From cookies to truffles, our family enjoyed grabbing a few of these before heading home!

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TIPS FOR VISITING THE BILTMORE

I did not wear tennis shoes but I would definitely recommend it! Purchase your tickets before you go! Purchase an audio for your visit. Allow time to get park and ride the bus to the estate.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

The Biltmore is a stunning place! We loved Asheville and will definitely be back! We may even make it a yearly tradition!  

Love, Shae 

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15 MEN’S STOCKING STUFFERS UNDER $25

 

Men can sometimes be difficult to buy for! Ok, ok, women can be too! My husband and I don’t buy each other gifts at Christmas. We like to do stockings stuffers for each other, instead. Our stockings are huge, so filling our stockings takes work to find fun, unique or luxurious  items!

What kinds of gifts can you give to your husband in his stocking? So glad you asked! Just keep reading as I share a few unique stocking stuffers for yo’ man!

I told my husband that I had several items in his stocking this year that would be luxury items. My man has always enjoyed the finer things in life! I love this time of year because I enjoy the hunt of finding things for him that I know he will love!  Continue reading “15 MEN’S STOCKING STUFFERS UNDER $25”

GRIEF DURING THE HOLIDAYS

HOW TO DEAL WITH GRIEF DURING THE HOLIDAYS

The sadness of grief around the holidays seem to begin surfacing right around Thanksgiving. Christmas decorations, family holiday traditions and festive Christmas music that are meant to bring joy, serve as painful reminders of loss. For most people experiencing loss, the holiday season, seemingly can be the most painful time of all.

OUR FAMILY

For our family, we have had so many changes recently, from selling our home, to moving hundreds of miles away, new jobs, clearing our property for building our pole barn and home and a sudden loss. These are major life changes!

I actually thought that by us building our pole barn and home, that it would be a great distraction from the holidays. I thought that by running a 5k with our family on Thanksgiving Day, would also be a great distraction. I thought that by not being in our home during Christmas time and not pulling out all the family memories of ornaments, made by the kids when they were little or stockings with their names on them, would all be great distractions of not having our loved one here. I was wrong. Retreating into our own little family shell, is probably just a subconscious coping mechanism to help numb the grief; but then the grief comes in waves, where it will hit you out of no where, right in the middle of a store, while Christmas shopping. You then take yourself to the restroom, cry for a minute and dry your tears. That is what is so hard about grief-that life just has a way of moving, always constantly moving and never stopping to allow yourself to catch your breath or grab some sense of normalcy. You actually have a new normal.

Our whole family broke down last night and had one big pity party, crying, hugs and all. My oldest daughter told me that she sometimes cried on her way home from work.  She said she cried because she thought that her sister would be riding to and from work with her and that may be they would even be working together. You see, on the eve of a milestone birthday for myself, one that I was really looking forward to, we all cried for a daughter and a sister that was not present, yet greatly missed.

Isn’t it so tempting to pretend that the holidays aren’t here, while entrenched by your grief? I mean, I know we can’t because the holidays are all around us. Every store we walk in, every drive we take, down on every street, lined with Christmas lights and decor. At times, I wish I could be a fictional character, such as the Grinch. At least in the Grinch, the story has a happy ending.

I have always loved Christmas. It was my favorite time of year. Heck, I’d be decking the halls on October first and listening to Christmas music. I always looked forward to the Christmas traditions that my husband and I created over the years for our family.  From all of us decorating our family Christmas tree to the youngest daughter placing the angel on our tree to our homemade hot cocoa, to riding around looking at Christmas lights to the Alabama Theater for a Christmas movie or picking out gifts for a child in need to Briarwood’s Live Nativity to reading The Christmas Story on Christmas Eve or baking and decorating Christmas cookies for Santa or our girls dancing in the Nutcracker Ballet to driving around looking at Christmas lights or making homemade ornaments. All of our traditions are my favorite. (There are many more!)

STRATEGIES FOR COPING DURING THE HOLIDAYS

GRIEF IS PART OF HEALING

Understand that grief is part of healing. Time does not heal the pain associated with a loss; it is actually what you do during that time that matters-to understand that grief is apart of the process of healing. Try to give yourself time to experience the pain, rather than constantly trying to escape it, by allowing yourself time to experience grief. This can actualy help you feel better in the long term.

Eventually the holidays will get easier, but only if you allow yourself to experience the grief of going through them without your loved ones. The “first” holidays without your loved ones will be the hardest.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL

There are so many things that we can’t control about the holidays like I described above. Like walking into every single store with Christmas decor and Christmas music or even hearing of other people talking about holiday plans. We definitely can not prevent those things from happening but think about you can do to lessen your heartache. It is ok to not decorate for the holidays. Instead of shopping in stores, try shopping online instead. What about sponsoring a family in need this Christmas? Giving to others instead of ourselves. We have always let our children pick out items for a child around their age, that was in need, at Christmas time. I think it is good for children to understand that not everyone is like them. Teaching them to give to others is important. Also, remembering that it is ok for others to celebrate the holidays and be happy.

SETTING HEALTHY BOUNDRIES

Remembering that you don’t have to force yourself to go to every holiday event or do every holiday tradition. If attending a family gathering is going to bring on to many painful memories this year, just be willing to say no. You and your family’s well being is more important that pleasing other people.

FOCUSING ON PLANNING AHEAD

Think about this: a lot of times, the anticipation over how hard something is going to be is actually worse that the event or events itself. For example, Thanksgiving dinner will only last a couple hours, but you could easily spend weeks dreading it. By creating a simple plan of how you and your family can get through the holidays will avoid extending the anguish.

One other thing to plan is an escape plan. Have a secret word that only you and your immediate family knows. When someone says your secret word, it means they are ready to leave the holiday gathering. Just knowing that you or a member of your immediately family can leave at any time can help you enjoy the holiday gathering much more than if you felt stuck.

ALLOWING YOURSELF TO FEEL ALL THE FEELS

The holidays can bring on many emotions on a wide range! You can feel joy, sadness, guilt and they can all be within a few moments of each other. By allowing yourself to feel all of those emotions without judging yourself, will help to cope during this holiday season.

FINDING WAYS TO HONOR YOUR MEMORIES

Be creative by finding a special way to remember the person you have lost. That could be lighting the person’s favorite scented candle on Christmas Day or making a Christmas ornament each year. This is something that can be tangible and serve as a beautiful reminder that the love for this person never dies.

CREATING NEW TRADITIONS

Get creative! Start new family traditions this year. Do something out of the ordinary! For us, our first new tradition was running a 5k on Thanksgiving Day! We actually had a blast and are already planning to do another one this year!

GIVE TO OTHERS

In the middle of your grief, during the holidays, do something kind for another person. Serve meals for Christmas Day to the homeless, donate or give to a family in need this holiday season or volunteer at a local retirement community.

ASKING FOR HELP

Don’t be afraid to talk with a trusted family member or friend when your struggling with the holidays. Reminding loved ones that your having a tough time may be enough, but you may need to reach out for more support via local support groups or even contacting a professional counselor to help you deal with your grief in a healthy manner.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If your finding yourself here because you are dealing with grief this holiday season, know that I understand the pain you are going through. I know it does not make it any better but knowing that someone understands what you are going through is helful during your grief. If I can pray for you or help you in any way, please feel free to reach out!

Love~Shae

DIY CLEAR CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS

DIY CLEAR CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS

CHALLENGE DEETS

Today I am teaming up with several of my blogging friends to share how we each put our own spin on a clear ornament. My friend Terrie from Decorating and More with Tip is our host and always has creative challenges for our group!

I know you will love to see the DIY ornament from  my friend Tara!

FAMILY TRADITIONS

I have always enjoyed making Christmas ornaments. I started this tradition with our family, for my husband and I’s first Christmas together. He actually was recovering from major abdominal surgery and I wanted to have something fun for us to do, while he was at home. I have continued this tradition, every year in our family. I have made all types of ornaments from salt dough ornaments to hand painted ornaments!

LETS MAKE ORNAMENTS

Come follow along with me, as I show you, just how easy and budget friendly it can be to make your own ornaments! Plus it is so much fun and it will be memories that you can add on your Christmas tree, year after year!

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SUPPLIES NEEDED:

*Clear ornament(s)

*Fabric

*Ribbon

*Flocked Garland

*Mini Pine Cones

*Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

*Jute Twine

I grabbed this six count of clear ornaments in the Dollar Section of Target for $3! I wanted some smaller ornaments to put on our mini Christmas tree for our camper. Since our camper is decorated in a rustic, boho type decor, I decided to go with black checkered fabric and burlap ribbon to cover my ornaments, that I purchased from Hobby Lobby.

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I also picked up small pine cones and some flocked greenery with red berries.

HOW TO MAKE THE ORNAMENTS

These ornaments are really simple to make. Plus, they make great gifts too!

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I tied my jute twine around the ornament top base to my desired length, for the ribbon hanger.

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Next, I cut my fabric a few inches wider than the diameter of my ornament, then began lightly adding hot glue to the ornament and wrapping the fabric around the ornament.

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I could not find any burlap ribbon at my Hobby Lobby, so I purchased an eighth of a yard of burlap to cut my own “ribbon”.

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I cut my ribbon in one inch strips.

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Next, I tied my burlap ribbon around the ornament then added a few strands of jute twine by tieing them into the burlap ribbon.

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For the greenery, pine cones and berries, I just cut from the greenery and pine cones bunches that I purchased from Hobby Lobby. Add a little dab of hot glue and your good to go! You can also adjust your burlap ribbon to look neater by adding dabs of hot glue to the back of the ribbon, attaching it to the ornament. How simple are these ornaments!

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FINAL THOUGHTS

I hope y’all have enjoyed reading about my DIY Clear Ornamants! I love that these will be a memory on my Christmas tree, year after year! I hope you will check out the other ladies to see what they have come up with for their clear ornaments!

I know you will love to see how this ornament by Jodi turned out!

Love~Shae

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Decorate and More with Tip|Purple Hues and Me|Cloches and Lavender|Pallet and Pantry

Patina and Paint|Paula’s Handmade Space|Stilettos and Shiplap|Sweet Southern Grace

The House House|B4 and Afters

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CHRISTMAS GIFT WRAPPING IDEAS WITH OLD TIME POTTERY

CHRISTMAS GIFT WRAPPING IDEAS WITH OLD TIME POTTERY

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

Old Time Pottery is one of my favorite places to shop for Christmas gift wrapping! Come follow along with me, as I share ideas for gift wrapping those holiday gifts!

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CHRISTMAS WRAPPING WITH OLD TIME POTTERY

I was so excited when Old Time Pottery asked me to team up with them, this holiday season! Christmas is my favorite time of year, as I love everything about the Christmas season! I am sure a lot of you have been thinking about what to buy family or friends for Christmas. What about a homemade treat? Nothing says “I love you” like a homemade treat and it speaks straight to the heart!

After spending an afternoon in your kitchen, be sure to give your sweet gift the presentation it deserves. I have gathered some of my favorite, easy to assemble, food packaging ideas for ya’ll! This was all purchased for under $100!

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DECORATIVE BOXES

For mine and my husband’s siblings this year, I decided it would be fun to do one family gift for each sibling and their families. I thought it would be fun to do a box of Christmas Eve goodies for them to enjoy together. Old Time Pottery has so many different sized, decorative Christmas boxes that you can use to wrap goodies in! I decided to go with a red truck theme this year and when I saw these boxes, I knew they would be perfect for our sibling‘s family gifts this year!

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MASON JAR WITH VINTAGE RED TRUCK LID

In the box, I placed homemade hot cocoa mix in a mason jar from Old Time Pottery. The lid even had a vintage red truck on it! Add a cute tag with handwritten or printed directions for the hot cocoa. 

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OUR FAMILY’S HOT COCOA RECIPE

My husband has been making this hot cocoa recipe since our oldest two daughter’s were babies. We have had many years to perfect this creamy, chocolatey goodness! 

Hot Cocoa Recipe:

3/4 C Sugar 1

1/4 C Cocoa

4 and 1/3 C Milk

1/2 TSP Vanilla (optional)

Directions:

Mix cocoa and sugar into a saucepan. Stir in milk over medium heat until all sugar and cocoa is dissolved and cocoa is heated. Do not allow this to boil, as it will burn to the bottom of the pan. Add vanilla.

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FOOD GOODIES FOR THE DECORATIVE BOX

I also added homemade hot chocolate bombs, along with homemade oreo truffles and chocolate covered spoons to stir in their hot cocoa.

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The hot cocoa also needed Christmas themed mugs to drink from when drinking the hot cocoa. I wanted to add a mug for each of our nieces and nephews; depending on age, I added the Santa, snowman or polar bear mugs to the decorative boxes. 

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PACKAGING FOR THE DECORATIVE BOX

To fill the box, I added white crinkle cut shredded paper. It also helps to cushion the mugs and Vintage Red Car topped mason jars. I always make sure to fill the crinkle cut paper well, making sure to fill nicely around all the edges of the box.

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VINTAGE RED TRUCK TINS

I also found the cutest tins with vintage red trucks on them! In these tins, I added mini cupcake holders that held the oreo truffles. The Vintage Red Truck Tins with the truffles will be for our parents, along with our aunts and uncles. You could make something simple for these like boxed brownies and cut them into small squares, then add to the tins. You could also make Christmas candy or divinity for the tins as well.

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VINTAGE RED TRUCK CERAMIC LOAF PANS

I buy these little loaf pans, every year from Old Time Pottery! I love to make my cream cheese banana nut bread and give out to extended family, dance teachers, neighbors and colleagues. I wrap them in cellophane and tie with a curling ribbon! EASY PEASY and everyone loves it! I am so happy to have found these that have the red vintage truck on them!

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OLD TIME POTTERY

You can find so many things at Old Time Pottery from wrapping paper to decorative boxes or the ceramic loaf pans! Old Time Pottery has so many options for this Christmas season! Plus, their prices are budget friendly and I am sure that you can find something to fit your budget this holiday season! If you have any questions or want a recipe, please don’t hesitate to reach out! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

Love~Shae


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