Category Archives: Uncategorized

Home Christmas Decorations You Can Use for Winter Decorations

From the day after Thanksgiving to New Years Day we adorn our homes with Christmas decor. Many of us truly love decorating for Christmas but wish it would last more than one month. How can you use Christmas decorations for your Winter Home Decorations?

  • Color
  • Themed
  • Groupings

Winter Color Schemes

  • Blue and white
  • White and Silver
  • Blue and Gold
  • Blue and Green
  • Pink and Green
  • Blue and Pink
  • Cinnamon and Ivory
  • Cinnamon, Ivory, and Gold
  • Blue, White, and Silver
  • Gray and White
  • Teal and Pink
  • Blue and Gray
  • Teal and Gold

Winter Themes

  1. Snow
  • Baby It’s Cold Outside
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Frozen
  • Sledding “Sleigh Bells”

2. Winter Home

  • Winter Village
  • Red Barn / Red Truck
  • Noel
  • Blue & White Jack Frost
  • JOY
  • Joy to the World
  • Gingerbread House (candy lane)
  • Deck the Halls

3. Winter Nature

  • WinterGreens
  • Starry Sky/ Night
  • Frosted Trees
  • Adorned Garlands
  • Snowflakes “Let it Snow”
  • Ice
  • Winter Blues

4. Winter Figures

  • Deer / Moose
  • Penguins
  • Winter Birds (thespruce.com)
  • Frosty the Snowman
Winter Birdswww.thespruce.com

5. Winter-Themed

  • Peppermint Lane (red & white)
  • The Nutcracker
  • Arctic Explorers (furry)
  • Polar Express (trains)
  • Winter Glamour
  • Winter Blessings

Top 10 Planners for 2020

These are my top ten choices for the 2020 planners. My favorite is number 10. There are many planners, but the one that you use should be suitable for your lifestyle. There are many cases when you may want more that one planner. These planners can be purchased at Michaels, Walmart, Target, Joann, Amazon and their parent company websites.

1. Daily/Monthly Planner

2. Vision Planner

3. The Happy Planner

4. Blue Sky The Parent Planner

5. The Happy Planner – Budget Edition

6. The Happy Planner – Wellness Edition

7. The Happy Planner – Fitness Edition

8. Erin Condren Life Planner

9. Leather Planner

10. Blue Sky The Habit Tracker


This planner/ tracker can be found at your local Walmart for $12.84. Good Luck finding it!!!

Enjoy

StephanieK

Ultimate Christmas Tree Decorating Guide

Decorating a Christmas Tree is one of the highlights of the Christmas holiday season. When thinking about your tree, thoughts like… what kind of tree? what style of tree? how tall? what theme? what colors? what color lights? what tree topper? garland or no garland? how many ornaments? All of these questions are answered using this Ultimate Christmas Decorating Guide.

What kind of tree?

Christmas trees are magical and can be real or artificial. Some makers of artificial trees even make trees that have close characteristics of real trees like the smell and feel, such as Tree Classics and Balsam Hill. There are many kinds of trees: Fir (Balsam, Fraser, Canaan, Douglas, Grand, Noble, Concolor), Pine (White, Scotch, Virginia), Spruce (Blue, Norway, White), Cypress (Arizona, Leyland), and Cedar (Red). Regardless of which tree you choose this year real or artificial, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Here are some advantages for both trees to help you make your decision.

Real Tree

  • Authentic
  • Traditional
  • Fresh Smell
  • Environmentally friendly and recyclable
  • Another tree is planted for each one harvested to ensure a steady supply year after year

Artificial Tree

  • Durability
  • Fire-retardant (MOST)
  • Allergy Free
  • Less Maintenance
  • More Cost-Effective (Last an average of 7-9 years)

What style of tree?

There are at least six styles of tree: Full, Narrow, Slim (Pencil), Flatback (Corner), Sparce, and Upside down. The decision of which style you choose is solely preference. Here are pictures of each style:

FULL STYLE
NARROW STYLE
SLIM/PENCIL STYLE
FLATBACK/CORNER STYLE
SPARCE STYLE
UPSIDE DOWN STYLE

What size tree?

Your Christmas tree should be perfect for your holiday interior. Start by finding the perfect location in your home for your tree. Ensure that you select an area which provides adequate space and a focal point for your holiday home. If necessary you may need to move or change your furniture around, fear not!!! Also, ensure that the location that you select is SAFE from heating vents, exhausts, or not within 8′ feet of a fire. Never place your tree near a source of heat. Avoid places where the tree will be exposed to harsh elements or could possibly fall on someone and cause injury or death.

Once you have found the location for your tree, measure your space from floor to ceiling, and side to side. Allow at least 6 inches to one foot of free space from the ceiling to the top of the tree topper. Most tree sizes start at 4′ and go to approximately 30′.

Balsam Hill, suggests surveying the space for your tree using specific guidelines. This link will guide you on how to survey and measure the correct space for your Christmas Tree.

What Christmas theme?

The theme of your Christmas tree should be one that inspires you. It should reflect your idea of the perfect Christmas or just simply your vision for the holiday season. The Gingerbread House, Candy Cane Lane, Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman, Patriotic, O Christmas Tree, 12 Days of Christmas, Christmas Village, Twas the Night Before Christmas, Letters to Santa, Jingle Bells, and Classic Christmas… just to name a few, are great Christmas tree themes. Here are pictures of trees using some of these Christmas themes.

What colors on the tree?

Red, green, white, blue, yellow, purple, orange, black, pink, brown, silver, gold. There is no method to combining colors for your tree. When decorating your Christmas tree even white is a color. Trees, tree toppers, ornaments, lights, and garland ALL come in a variety of colors.

Personalize your tree by selecting your tree accessories in one or more color combinations of your own. For color inspiration, Canva.com offers 100 color combinations. Don’t be afraid to add prints, such as stripes, plaids, and gingham; and bling it with sparkle using glittery picks and tinsel. Lastly, don’t forget your favorite ornaments and the new ornaments you just can’t pass up. Here are some trees featuring color.

What color of lights on the tree?

Most Christmas lights are incandescent or LED. Incandescent lights have been the conventional lights, but are being taken over by LED lights because of the comparisons of the quality of the LED lights over the incandescent lights. LED lights are more expensive upfront but lasts 5X the lifetime of incandescent lights. The LED lights are energy savings and save through power usage about 10X the usage of incandescent lights. LED lights can be stranded together in about 20 – 30 light sets verses the incandescent lights which can only be stranded together about 3 – 5 light sets. LED lights generate less heat than the incandescent lights.

Christmas lights come in a variety of color choices: clear, multi, solid color, fairy lights or micro LEDs, or light show lights. When selecting lights, remember that all white lights are not created equal. White lights have a range of whites from warm, soft, cool, and bright.

LED Lights
Micro / Fairy Lights

TIPS

  • When deciding on which lights to use and where to use them, please read the factory instructions on the package.
  • For a brighter level of lighting, bring lights closer together or twist strings together.
  • Also remember, white wire strands are more appropriate for lighter color objects and green wire strands are more appropriate for darker color objects.
  • Lastly, ensure the total power wattage does not exceed the socket you used in the circuit.
  • For instructions on how to correctly hang lights on a Christmas tree, go to the Certified Lighting website.

What tree topper?

Your theme should spark an ideal of what tree topper you will use to adorn your tree. If your theme is Patriot, maybe a group flags at the top, for a traditional theme maybe a star. If your tree celebrates the Birth of Jesus Christ, maybe an angel. If your theme is Frosty the Snowman you can feature a Top Hat. Other tree topper ideas are Santa, Stockings, Glittered Stems or Sprays, Candy Cane Spray, and Large Bows.

Garland or no garland?

Garland is the necklace jewelry of Christmas. It comes in different forms and materials but they are all strings of objects. Some ideas of beautiful garlands are ribbon, beads, floral, pompoms, pearls, burlap, faux snow, stringed words, and stringed ornaments. Garland should be placed on your tree after the lights, tree topper, and before the ornaments.

Image result for Christmas tree ribbon garland

How many ornaments?

Christmas ornaments come in many different sizes and shapes. The standard ornaments are round and come in sizes from 2″ to 6″ (or more) in diameter. The look of round ornaments are matte, shiny, glittery, ornate, and some even have images on them. Other ornaments take the look of many different creations, materials, and designs.

The number of ornaments that should be on a tree are dependent upon the look one is trying to achieve, the size of the tree, and should focus on visual satisfaction. Christmas Lights Etc suggests the number of ornaments is ultimately based on personal preference. The included chart is a suggested guideline from Christmas Lights Etc:

How Many Ornaments

Christmas Lights Etc

This Ultimate Christmas Tree Decorating Guide will guide you on your quest to decorating your Christmas Tree. Don’t forget there are really NO RULES for decorating your tree. Use the Modern Livable style, which is how you want what you want and you will not go wrong. Don’t forget your theme, tree topper, garland, and ornaments. If you have any questions about decorating your tree please Contact Us.

StephanieK, The DIY Exchange

60 Unique & Beautiful Advent Calendars for Christmas 2019

The advent is rooted from a Latin word meaning coming and arrival. Advent is the season observed by Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus and the return of Jesus at the Second Coming.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, where everything and everybody is merry and bright. It is the season celebrating the Birthday of Jesus. There are many signs of Christmas, one being the advent.

The advent calendar is used to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. The advent calendar adds to the excitement of counting the days to Christmas. There are many unique advent calendars and calendar ideas for counting the days until Christmas. I have scoured the shopping network looking for unique ideas and here is what I’ve found.

2. Nostalgic Cubby Advent Calendar
12. Magnetic Board Advent Calendar
17. Mickey Mouse and Friends Plush Advent Calendar
19. Personalized Wooden Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
54. A Christmas Advent Story

My Kitchen Christmas Village

Although Christmas only comes once a year, it is my most favorite time of the year, especially for decorating. Trees, lights, garland, ribbon, are all very festive, but there is one decorated display that I love to create each year…

Yes, it’s the Christmas Village!!! I love the resin villages, wood villages, box villages, and as you can see the galvanized villages.

In 2017, I began purchasing galvanized villages from Michael’s Arts and Crafts. The village houses were displayed in the candle section at Michael’s for tea lights. The price range was from $4.99 – $29.99. I purchased the galvanized villages and painted galvanized villages in red, white, black, and gold. I decided that I would create a village using just the galvanized buildings and battery-operated tea lights. I thought “what can I use to make my village come to life besides the resin and plaster village accessories.”

I search several craft stores, looked at a lot of magazines, and Pinterest. I decided that I would use the Tiny Treasures collection by Ashland from Michael’s to create the ambiance I was looking for.

The Christmas Village here was displayed in my kitchen and includes other Christmas decor that helped link the wall decor in my kitchen to create a beautiful Table Decor Christmas Display.

I would love to know what you think…

Thanksgiving Centerpiece

This metal pumpkin trio was found at JoAnn Fabrics. I filled it with fall favorites. The first level is filled with a Thanksgiving spray.

The second level is filled with artificial pumpkins, gourds,apples and other artificial fruit.

The third level is filled with greenery in pulling leaves a various colors.

The top of the pumpkin trio is gently decorated with a leaf bow in black plaid. Black plaid is really popular this season but I wanted to use it sparingly.

Create your own centerpiece using this metal trio pumpkin cage.

The DIY Exchange .

CHECK THIS WEBSITE OUT!!!

IMG_4693

Visit the website http://www.lovekikou.com.  This website is filled with hard to find, timeless fashion for a girl’s night out.  Fashion for curvy girls of all shapes (athletic, apple, pear, rectangle, inverted triangle, and hourglass) and sizes.  There is an accessory shop to add flair to your outfit.  Shop by the piece or assemble outfits… don’t forget the shoes!

Love the website…

Weekly Inspiration

Motivation is a key to success.  We must motivate ourselves and strive to motivate others.   Take the time to look in the mirror and encourage yourself to reach your goals daily.  On your daily journey motivate those that you come in contact with.  Life’s journey is filled with unexpected turns, stay motivate through all of the turns and you will still reach your destination.

StephanieK – NGS

Baked Crab Legs

I made baked crab legs and I will never cook them any other way 

 
Recipe

2 lbs of crab legs

1 stick of butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon

Your choice of seasonings (I used garlic salt, old bay, onion herbs, & lemon pepper)

Directions:  Preheat the oven to 350.  In a stoneware serving dish spread the olive oil at the bottom of the stoneware.  After washing the crab legs spread them in the dish.  Cut butter in 1 tsp and spread evenly, top with lemon slices, and season.  Cover dish with aluminum foil.  Bake for 35-45 minutes.  Leave sauce for dipping…

You will love these crab legs!!!

2016

Do not reflect on 2015… Move on

There is nothing in life that is not yours for the asking. Have faith in your every step and prove your value, worth, and place in life.

Your dreams are yours…
Be careful who you share your dreams with. Many who come to steal, kill, and destroy. These are called your enemies…
Don’t let them rob you of your joy. Joy is a special gift and it belongs to you.

Enjoy your 2016 and live life to the fullest!!!

StephanieK

Christmas Storage

Found at Lowes.com

5 Quick Storage Tips for Christmas Décor

1: As you take down decorations and pack them away, donate the ones you don’t use anymore.

2: Store artificial trees upright, if possible, to avoid having to disassemble or undecorate them.

3: When you buy ornaments, save the original packaging for storage.

4: Store small decorations in clearly labeled rubber or plastic totes.

5: Save time next season by noting which decorations you used where — better yet, take pictures.

I love Fridays!

I love Fridays!  Every Friday morning I think about what I am going to do for the weekend… Not realizing that I have about sixty hours until its time to start the week again.  I have 16 hours to sleep and 44 hours to spend personal time, time with my family, visit friends, grocery shop, clean my house, fix and repair house, rest, attend church services, volunteer in my community, prepare for next week, and breathe.  My how time flies…

Stephanie K