deck the halls on a budget! 

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year. Even thought I don’t want to talk about it ’til after turkey day, I truly can’t wait to BREAK OUT all of my red and green. From the tree to the candles, I’ll show you OVER 10 ways to hack your Christmas decorating for easy, cheap festivity! Really, when you have flowers, mason jars, garland and ribbon–the possibilities are endless. (Until a kid comes along to destroy something-duh.)

Jazz up your flower vase or old wine jug this season. Let’s start with wrapping paper! I’m sure you have some leftover from last year (like me)–but if not, grab a roll that’ll match your other décor and some scissors. This year, I’m using old wine jugs I have to hold my centerpiece flowers. This is SO easy. I cut enough wrapping paper to wrap around the bottle and cover the label. I scalloped the edges and added one piece of tape (hidden) to secure it. 

Are you kidding me? So cute. Also–get your flowers at Trader Joe’s! I did 6 vases full of greenery and red/white flowers for only $18!
Do you have pretty pillows that are just NOT as festive as you’d like? PROBLEM SOLVED PEEPS. The trick is RIBBON! 
Hi, I’m precious, nice to meet you.

Tie a bow of holiday ribbon around your decorative pillow for a simple, easy way to kick it up for the holidays. Don’t worry, your kids will notice the bow and try chewing/ripping it off! (Sigh). GET YOUR RIBBON ON SALE! I grabbed all of my ribbon at Michael’s for 70% off a week ago!! Totally worth it to download the Michael’s and Joann app, because between their 50% off a regular item coupons, and weekly ads– you save a ton. So this way, when you buy a REDONCULOUS amount of red and green sparkly items you don’t get in trouble. Ha.

Easy and adorable. Plop a small decorative tree into a mason jar and top with a ribbon bow. Done! If you put them on a window sill, the natural light goes right through the glass jar, and at night move them over to a table or counter top!

Use what you already have to jazz up a window. Everyone has mason jars–right?? (And if you listened to me and downloaded the apps-you’ll have the trees and ribbon too, super cheap–off a coupon) My trees are a few years old, but I’ve seen them on their shelves this year again! You can do SO much with ribbon. Besides top off your wrapped boxes, of course. 

The mason jar strikes again! Use what you have, and add ribbon! We had mason jars and pillars-add a ribbon bow and a votive to instantly bring the look into the season! 

Check end of season sales. I bought this GORGEOUS velvet paisley holiday pillow last year at Homegoods marked from $39.99 to $18! I brought it out to add a pop of red to my living room this year. 

Use LED lights ONLY outside to save some dough on the good old DECEMBER electric bill. I bought these colored LED’s after Christmas last year and the white LED’s at Home Depot on Black Friday this year! Both were $15-18 a box and were purchased $2.50-5.88 a box. Thumbs upppppp. I’m not a huge colored light fan, but mixed with the white- I’m lovin’ it. See those pumpkins of the step? They’re getting spray painted white and turned into a snowman. Wait for it. 
$3 believe banner at target is adorable hanging right over where Santa shows up! Even the grinch has an extra 3 bucks. Cheaper to buy this one, than to make it! Right at the front of the store with the other $1, and $5 treasures. 

Sending Christmas Cards? GROUPON! We have done Staples these last 3 years. This year, we paid $24 for 75 cards! Huge savings, and they come out great. Loads of design choices, too. Outside the fact that the website was glitchy last night, we’ll be sending ours soon! 

Ollie’s silly festive shirt was $3 at old navy! They had loads of their holiday looking clothing on sale for 50% off. Penels shirt was $5!

Switch out the items on an accent wall. I threw some lights and ribbon on this artificial tree we’ve had, stuck it in a basket and it looks great plopped on my hope chest. Replaced a turkey picture, with a snowman picture, and added some berry twigs to my wreath. (Berry twigs were $0.59 at Michael’s, too!) Filled the basket with the kids Christmas books, and we’re good! 
Check TJ MAXX for matching sibling JAMMIES! Got these there for $7.99 and 9.99 regular price, and they are almost EXACTLY one of this years “Hanna” styles!
Make your antique crates shine this season!
No corner left behind. I needed something for this area of the dining room, so I added a string of lights to the inside of my vintage crates. Now they glow. Friggan cuteness. Simple and elegant! 

Take your own pictures of your kids for the Christmas card. They’ll come out perfect and everyone will be looking and smiling. 🙄

god bless you.
Drunk in love.

Have toddlers who are nosing around the gifts under the tree? Fake them! Put giftbags out with white tissue under the tree and put the real gifts for people in the back, so if they open one of the pretend gifts–or pull the tissue out, it’s no biggy! 

These are last years bag, and lacking tissue because I just bought it last night!
If you have extra ornaments throw them into a few wide cylinder VaseS to add some color around the room! 

More hacks?! If you had your tree cut down this year, or ever tagged one-have them chop a little more off of the bottom when you pick it up and now you’ve got REAL material for homemade wreaths and garlands!  

Layer your tablecloths! Red under, lace over!

Christmas Cards by the dozens? Buy an old shutter at a yard sale or consignment shop and flip it upside down, hang it and stick all of your cards in the slits! (No picture yet because I’m still on the hunt for a shutter!) 

This mirror swag is brought to you buy 60% off garland at Jo-Ann’s AND 60% of Berry twigs! Instant elegance!

Use a festive coffee mug to hold your window plants!! Easy stuff guys! Let me know what ideas you like best! 🎄🎅🏼👍🏼

More flowers! TRADER JOE’s BABY!

red, white & rude

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American horror story: Toddlers

We are FOURTH OF JULY ready! How about you?  We’re making cucumber/vidalia/beet salad and a patriotic sangria to share this year, as we’ll be attending the ANNUAL Bristol 4th of July festivities with our red, white, and BOOZE in tow.  Please excuse my two year old daughter, as she does not know flag etiquette.  If you count dragging the mini flags across the cement and whacking flowers with them as “what to do”–then we’re golden, otherwise–she’s the least “american girl” that I know. Also, she prefers to sing “happy birthday” while waiving them, instead of “america the beautiful”…ya follow me?–she doesn’t get it!  photo-34

*Stars n’ Stripes Sangria*
1 jug of Carlo Rossi Rhine (white)
1 bottle of welch’s white grape juice
1/2 (the pint bottle) of peach schnapps
1 bottle of polar strawberry/watermelon seltzer for fizz (use any flavor you like!)
1 cup of lime juice (fresh squeezed or bottle)
Lots of fruit! I picked red apples, blueberries and strawberries because HELLO– they’re red, white and blue! Duh. 
Throw some limes in too, for color. If you cut the apples laying horizontal, you get a really cool star shape where the seeds were (instead of slicing from stem to end– slice across instead!)  Put your sangria in a Ball brand mason jar–filled with ice (and some of that sinfully soaked fruit), and you have adorable arm candy for the holiday!

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fryin’ up some tasty flowers with my american chopsticks
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Auntie Addie got her nails did by MOI as payment for watching my kiddies! Am I a cheap-o? Nahhhh…Auntie loves the torture!

Fireworks tonight and the parade tomorrow…how much better can ya get?…well…there’s always that beach chair…alone…on an island somewhere…anywho–we have gone to the Bristol Fourth of July parade every year since I can remember! It is definitely much more fun being a kid at a parade, but if mama can put sangria in her sippy cup–everyone’s happy. Also feed me snacks, I like snacks with my drinks. 

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she sat for 10 minutes straight with this sucker in front of her!
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special treat at the Bristol 4th of July Concert series!

I’m bustin’ out the radio flyer wagon this year to haul the kiddies around. Well really, Ollie will be in the baby bjorn attached to me like velcro–per usual, and Penel will be strapped into the wagon with all our cooler/diaper bag swag, until some very daring individual decides to unleash her amongst the tens of thousand parade-goers. We should probably avoid the red, white and blue with her–and stick to neon green…you know.. like the asphalt workers wear so they don’t lose each other on the job.

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happy baby. gangster baby. happy-gangster baby.

My aunt lives right on the parade route which makes pee/poop runs a breeze–especially when your toddler enjoys pooping in her pull-ups these days. YESSSS, I knowwww…we totally went backwards with the potty skills. DON’T JUDGE ME– I was very pregnant and very lazy. I’ll be nursing in private, too… versus out on the sidewalk with the saxophones of the 78th high school band passing by. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good band–but they don’t need any distractions (my chest) while trying to remember the tune to “your a grand ole flag”. For crying out loud, they’re already trying to walk, play the darn instrument, AND catch water from the squirty bottle being shot into their mouth by the “water person” who’s NOT in head-to-toe polyester. Phew. Poor things… all…that…fabric… thank goodness for them, it looks like we are getting 70-ish weather. I’m sure those outfits smell lovely from sweat by the end of the conga line– so 70-ish sounds hot enough.

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These beautiful bottom feeding aphrodesiacs came from The Boathouse in Tiverton, RI. They were literally caught right there in front of the restaurant. Everyone should eat there at least once this summer. I always get the scallops. LOCAL–and delish!
It’s all fun and games until you’re caught trying to consume a t-shirt at Target.

…stay tuned for my next post ALL ABOUT APPAREL!