Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

'Tis (Officially) the Season

Thanksgiving is done, Black Friday is over (thankfully!), and there is snow on the ground.

It is officially the holiday season!

This year, like so many other families, we're doing a (mostly) Handmade Holiday- not only because it's a much more frugal way to celebrate, but also because now, more than ever (since Regan is getting bigger), we want to be mindful and intentional in raising our child(ren) to be grateful, giving, humble, un-materialistic, and not to feel "entitled".

We want the excitement of the season to come from the fun we have making & doing things for others, as well as from getting to spend time being with and celebrating with our family and friends, not from making pages-long wish lists of gifts for themselves, and not from expecting to receive a BUNCH of presents!

We want our kids to expect to get a few special, quality handmade gifts from us and for anything beyond that, especially from extended family or friends, to be just a nice "bonus".  Less is more.

So, the mad flurry of activity and work (because I, of course, couldn't possibly get an early start on these things!) to get gifts made is in full swing!

So, too, is the decorating of the house for the winter season.  This year the budget with which to do this is basically non-existent, so I'm doing my best to use what we already have and to borrow "extras" from family or friends (thank goodness for sister-in-laws who got married this year and for mother-in-laws who have hung onto the decorations!).

It's causing me to get creative, which- although sometimes frustrating and more labor-intensive- I maintain is good for my brain!

So far, I've come up with this (pardon the horrible cell phone pics- I'm pressed for time with gift-preparing!):

A combo of what we already had- glass hurricane, unscented pillar candle, river rocks & twig rounds, Christmas ribbon, and a placemat.

Same story here, only with a few pinecones added as well.

Red wreath from years past.

And Cinnamon Ornaments (currently drying), which I hope to hang with twine or ribbon by three's in each window.  
(I had completely forgotten about these since making them in elementary school.  And, they're so easy too- just mix plain applesauce and ground cinnamon until you have a stiff enough dough to roll out and cut cookie cutter shapes out of.  Let them air dry until they're nice and hard, then hang 'em up!  Pretty, and they make the house smell so good.)

I'm also hoping to borrow a bunch of greenery (or go to a nearby farm and cut my own) and white Christmas lights from my lovely mother-in-law to get creative with- possibly by hanging a garland and light "border" around my living and dining room, and trying my hand at re-creating these ideas: 

 Lights strung in and around pretty glass bottles (or candles).

 Lights strung around windows.

 Twine accent trees.

 Framed seasonal art made from scrapbooking papers.

Vases, jars, and "cloches" filled with pretties.

 Glittery string ornaments on glittery-
 or painted- branches.

 Candles decorated with glitter or...
 greenery- and placed in arrangements.

And simple, understated, indoor wreaths.

I'm also thinking about making some snowflakes from white tissue paper to decorate our windows with.
I've seen some really pretty gingerbread houses too- which would be cheap since I have all the ingredients to make them- but the really classy looking ones would be really time-consuming (at least for me!) to make, so that's one I'm definitely skipping this year.

I still need to figure out a wreath for the back door and get the table runner out and actually on the table, but I'm beginning to feel like our home is starting to become a little more season-ready!
Now, back to the gift-making.  I'm fairly certain I've, yet again, bitten off a little more than I can chew- and that I'm most likely not going to learn not to be quite so overly ambitious in setting my handmade gift goals in the future!  Oh well.  :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010



Wonderful people who may read this blog from time to time- I (once again) need your help!

I HATE, hate, hate to admit it, but I am T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E. at organization.  

It's like a gene I was born without.

And yet, I CRAVE it.

Desperately, passionately, CRAVE it!

My biggest problem, what "trips me up" the most, are all the "little" decisions involved in organizing.

You know, like- okay, the bedding is all washed, folded, and sorted by bed size.  Now where do I put it?  This house has no- literally- NO storage space.

There are no linen closets.

There are no "extra" cupboards.

There is nothing but a single shelf and hanging rod in each closet.

And, the closets are tiny.

Compounding this problem is that I need to use things we already have- we are on a TIGHT budget, and there's no extra moolah for nice organizational systems.

Bedding is just one example, out of so very many.

Anyway, my point is that, lately, my house is looking a lot more like this:

than this:
SO, help me out!

What's your best organizing advice?  

Got pictures?  I wanna see them!
It's nice to look at beautiful "show" homes, but this is the real world- I'd love real examples of how you've done something.

I'm still plugging away over here.

Trying to pare down, throw away, donate, sell, box up and store in the basement.

But, there are days- more often than not lately- that it just feels hopeless.


So, give me some hope!


Monday, November 8, 2010

My Inspiration for the Week (Appreciating the Home Life- 11/8/10)...

I've been fighting a war lately.
And, at first, I was winning a lot of small battles.

Then I started to get tired, and began looking around me and noticed all of the other battles (some looking pretty big 'n bad!) waiting in the wings, yet to be fought.

And I began to feel defeated before I had even really begun.

I struggle with PERFECTIONISIM.  
To the point of allowing myself to believe the old nonsense of "If you can't do it right, don't do it at all!"  
(Other than brain surgery, where does this really apply in life, right?!)

So, this week I'm working- HARD!- on remembering this:
It doesn't have to be done perfectly- it just has to be done.

Don't wait to do it until you have the "time" to do it "right"- 
just do it!

(~Inspired by FLY Lady)

I'm hoping I'll see my thinking begin to change, and that it will start to show in our home.

I'll be back- one of these days- with a progress report (and, eventually, Regan's birthday and birth story post- sigh, what a bad mother!!!)!