DIY Holiday Mantel

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Welcome to our Christmas Festival Blog Hop!  I love joining these talented bloggers in hosting some holiday ideas to inspire you this season.  If you are joining me from Elizabeth Joan Designs Blog – I am so glad you are here!  Make sure to check out Red Brick on the Lake Blog as your next stop on the tour.  And a big thank you to our host Kendra from Joy In Our Home Blog for making this all possible. Now lets get to it!

Just in case you need to pin this post for later reference, just click on the red tab on this photo in left hand corner.  This post contains affiliate links to the products I recommend. 

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This year I added an entirely new look to this living room fireplace space (you can see the whole process here), so for the holidays I wanted to decorate my new mantel with a fresh and simple look.  I added a few inexpensive touches that you can do as well.

Step One: Lighted Garland

I snagged a 9 foot long lighted garland from Home Depot for $30.  I knew this would add a good base for me to start.

Step Two: Fresh Garland

Next I picked up a 25 foot fresh garland from Costco for $16.  I used it in many places in my home.  Here I used about 8 feet of it.  You can soak these overnight to give it a longer lasting shelf life as well as mist it with water occasionally.

I placed this garland in front of the artificial one, and added some tall nails to hold it into place.  If you do not want to make holes in your mantel I suggest you use 3M Command Strip Hooks.

Step Three – Add LED Lights

I used a 33 foot long LED light from StringBright.com to add extra depth and brightness to the greenery.  These lights are perfect because they last 720 hours, have a remote control with different settings, use batteries and are easy to maneuver.   You can pick some here! You can use the code CITYGIRL20 for 20% off the lights there.

Step Four – Adding Pinecones, Air Refreshers, and Trees

I then added some fun cinnamon branch air fresheners and pinecones just placed randomly throughout.

I snuck in a few trees that I had already to add height, and I was finished!

This only took a few minutes, was not very expensive, and really added a fun touch to my mantel area.

Here are some close up photos of the mantel:

Enjoy the rest of the tour and check out all of these amazing bloggers!

Christmas DIYs on Monday

Joy In Our Home | 2 Bees In A Pod | My Creative Days

County Road 407 | Chatfield Court

Christmas Front Porches on Tuesday

The Tattered Pew | The Crowned Goat | Little Brags

Follow The Yellow Brick Home | The Painted Hinge

Christmas Recipes on Wednesday

Crisp Collective | Love In My Oven | Countryside Cravings

Walking On Sunshine Recipes | Beyond The Butter

Christmas Mantles on Thursday 

anderson + grant | White Arrows Home | Elizabeth Joan Designs

  City Girl Meets Country Boy | Red Brick On The Lake

Christmas Tablescapes on Friday

The Inspired Hive | Curly Crafty Mom | Making It In The Mountains

Rain and Pine | Timeless Creations

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What’s the best season to DIY?

Best Season to Tackle Home Renovation Projects

Today I am welcoming my guest blogger, Jesse Hughes, as she teaches us some of the best seasons to tackle home improvement projects. I know will you learn so much from her and enjoy this special post!

What’s the Best Time of the Year to Tackle Major Home Improvement?

There is one thing that is certain; major home improvements usually mean major mess and disruption in your home. That can be a good enough reason to get the contractors in and take a vacation!

But, it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think. The trick is to plan the major house improvements at the best time of the year; this will ensure you have the least amount of disruption.

In fact, the best time of year to tackle any major home improvement project is the spring.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to replace your windows or have glass balustrades fitted; you should consider booking the work in for the spring.

There are several good reasons why this is the case:

Popularity

The biggest projects, such as window replacement or heating issues are often undertaken in the fall. This is because people are thinking about the cooler weather coming in and are keen to get things sorted before it becomes a problem.

However, if you plan ahead and book a contractor for the spring you’ll be beating the rush and are likely to get a cheaper rate as this is the quietest time of the year for many contractors.

Early summer often offers the same benefits as people are in holiday mode and not thinking about the next big project.

Warmth

It doesn’t matter what major project you undertake, there will be workmen coming and going and this means the doors and possibly windows will be opened and closed countless number of times throughout the day.

The result is a loss of the heat you need in the winter or the coolness in the summer. This can be frustrating when you’re trying to stay at the right temperature. It can also increase your energy bills to allow for the issues.

However, if you pick the spring you’re likely to find it easier to adapt without using extra energy.

The Weather

Some major home improvement projects will leave your house exposed to the elements. If you’re looking to have your roof replaced or renew the façade on your walls then you’ll find that spring is the most forgiving time to do this.

You are less likely to suffer weather related damage in the spring but you are also less likely to find your workmen have not turned up again; thanks to the heat.

While the weather is not an element in every home improvement project it is a factor in many.

Cost

The spring is traditionally the tile hen householders get their homes ready for the summer. If you’re already thinking about the winter you’ll be able to purchase items and services at a fraction of the price they are available for in the winter. This can be a considerable saving and makes it worthwhile to get the improvements done early.

Of course getting them completed in the spring will also help to ensure that you have peace of mind throughout the summer and avoid the panic feeling in the fall.

Thank you for joined me and my guest host Jesse as we learn more about tackling projects in our home!

Happy Building!

Love,

Kelly

DIY Christmas Cards (made on your phone!)

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This is a sponsored post by Snapfish and contains affiliate links.  I only endorse companies that I use myself and support.  I know you will love Snapfish too! Make sure to use the code SANTA40 for 40% off site wide.

Who else loves Christmas cards?!  I am the first to admit they are one of the things I look forward to most during the holidays.  Going to the mailbox is like receiving a new present every day (moving 8 times has kept us meeting so many people that we love to stay in contact with!). Needless to say we send out alot of holiday cards.

I have been sending cards since our oldest son was a baby and I have always done them myself.  They are so easy and I want to show you how!  So I am partnering with Snapfish to bring you this easy tutorial – DIY Christmas Cards (made on your phone!).

Sometimes we feel like we don’t have time to make them in such a busy season, but once you see how easy this is – straight from your phone – you can make them while you wait in the carpool lane mommas!

Watch my 60 second video tutorial and then follow along to make yours too!

Here is what you will need:

  • Your Phone
  • Your Photos
  • Your Credit Card or Debit Card

That is it!  Make sure the photo or photos you would like to use are already uploaded to your phone.  Lets get started!

Step One – Make a Snapfish Account

You will head to www.snapfish.com and sign up for an account.  It is free and super simple.  Here is the link if you need it!

Step Two – Upload Photos

You will head into your account and this page will pop up.  You will click on UPLOAD PHOTOS and add the ones from your device that you would like in your Snapfish account.

Step Three – Pick Your Card

There are so many choices to pick from (literally hundreds), so this will be the longest part of the process – figuring out which cute one you want to use!

  • Click on the top left corner first:

  • Click on filters:

  • Click on occasions:

  • Click on the style you want and then push APPLY FILTERS:

This is a short clip of me scrolling through the options:

Step Four – Add Your Photos

Once you have decided on your style you are ready to make your card!

  • Click on the card that you want and it will pull up a new screen:

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  • Choose your size, and thickness of paper, once finished click on CREATE NOW:

You will then be prompted to GET PHOTOS.  I like to already know which ones I will be using and have them in a separate file.  I also like multiple photos on my cards, but one family photo is just fine!

  • Click MY PHONE

  • Click PHOTO LIBRARY

  • Once added, click DONE:

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Step Five – Make Your Card

This is the fun part!  You can add captions, change fonts, and change photos here.

  • Click on your photo to add, delete or edit:

  • Click on caption to change your wording:

Once you are happy with your card and preview it, you are ready to order!  Make sure you have looked for any coupons on their main page – they always have amazing specials.

  • Click ADD TO CART

  • Decide your shipping options and push CHECKOUT (or use PayPal):

You did it!  Your cards are all ordered and will come soon.  Now you get to start working on your address list.  Now that is a whole different dilemma, I wish you good luck!

I know you will love your Snapfish Christmas Cards, maybe even send me one eh? (wink, wink)

Happy Holidays!

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Designing a Haven

Sometimes home decor can become overwhelming and intimidating.  If you haven’t had a background in the design field you might feel like you don’t have a place in the decorating world.  This is how I felt!  I knew I could build something, but to make it look super cute really gave me the scary feels.

Recently I finished reading the book “Designing a Life: From House to Haven.”  I was so grateful for the inspiration that was shared because it gave me confidence that I CAN DECORATE!  We are all capable and possess creativity that allows us to decorate our space.  We just need a few tips to get us started.

That is why today I am sharing Sarah Symonds from Grace In My Space blog.  She is the author of this amazing book and an inspirational decorator and believer.  Her home is simple, uplifting, and a haven for her family.  That is what she teaches all of her readers to shoot for.

The read is a quick one and she gives you step by step ways to create and define your space.  Then you can hop onto her blog and see so many ideas of what she has done to uplift her own home.

Something else I love about Sarah is that she is so personable.  She has created this tribe where you feel comfortable and at ease, like a dear friend at lunch.  I wish sometimes I lived closer so we actually could do lunch!

Her family is very important to her and she is her faith.  I appreciate how well she is able to intertwine family, faith and home so well on her blog.  From rooms to recipes to her Monday Musings, I always leave feeling inspired.

I hope you enjoy getting to know this amazing designer and influencer.  She will teach you and support you along the way of your own design journey.  I hope you snag her inexpensive book on Amazon, I know it will help you as your begin to decorate!

Happy Friday,

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Stunning Lanterns for DIY Shutters

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The number one question I get when I share my mantel is “Where did you get those lanterns?!”.  So finally today I am sharing my favorite lanterns with you! I hang them from my DIY Shutters that you can see here. These are such an easy build that anyone can do.

The ones I found are at Kirklands here So I searched all over Walmart and Wayfair to find some of the cutest lanterns for the best prices. Affiliate links are included, so just click on the title to take you to their website!

Continue reading “Stunning Lanterns for DIY Shutters”

DIY Board & Batten Wall

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I love the look of a board and batten wall.  When I turned 40 my hubby asked what I wanted for my birthday.  “For you to teach me how to make a board and batten wall!”  Super random I know, but it made me feel like a grown up to use a nail gun – so that’s exactly what we did.    This was my first big project with an air compressor and a nail gun – both intimidated me.  But it was so much fun! Here it is:

With his help it turned out awesome and I couldn’t believe how easy it was.  It added so much depth to this tiny hall and brightened the room.  I loved it!

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Now, 1 1/2 years later I am finally writing a tutorial on how you can do it too.  First off, watch my 60 second DIY Tutorial on it, and then follow along – I know you will love it!

Continue reading “DIY Board & Batten Wall”

“No Drill Needed” Wall Vase

Ever want to hang a wall vase but didn’t want to add holes into your wall?  I am collaborating with Old Barn Milk Paint to bring you a super easy DIY that requires NO DRILLING – yah!  This one is so easy, and then you add the One Step Stain by Old Barn Milk Paint and you are done in NO TIME! Continue reading ““No Drill Needed” Wall Vase”