I am sooo excited to share this printable habit tracker with you.  People who know me well know that I love the beginning of a new year…and the start of a new month…and I even love Mondays. I love new beginnings and fresh starts. I like a clean ...

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Habit Tracking {And A FREE Printable Habit Tracker}

I am sooo excited to share this printable habit tracker with you.  People who know me well know that I love the beginning of a new year…and the start of a new month…and I even love Mondays. I love new beginnings and fresh starts. I like a clean slate and a chance to set new goals and accomplish them. As I look back at the goals I’ve set over the last few years, I’ve been quite shocked at how many I accomplished. I was also just as shocked at the ones I didn’t. You see, some of the goals I accomplished were far more difficult than some of the ones I didn’t. And when I evaluated why it came down to 1 thing…habits!
Free Printable Habit Tracker

There are lots of definitions for the word habit, but this one is my favorite…

Habit – an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.

When we create great habits and stick with them over a long period of time, they become nearly or completely involuntary.  One of my favorite books of all time is The Power of Habit.  It does such a great job of explaining the science of habits in a way people can understand.  It is a fascinating book.

While it has been repeated frequently that it takes 21 days to form a habit, that is unfortunately, untrue.  Sorry to burst your bubble.  A study by Phillipa Lally shows that it takes 66 days (3 times longer than what is often cited) to form a new habit while for some people it can take even longer.  Her results showed anywhere from 18 days to 254 days.  Crazy huh?!?

So…what’s the point of all this habit talk? When I sat down to write out my goals for this year, I also made a list of habits I would need to form to make those goals become a reality.

Habit Tracking

And then I created a habit tracker, so I could track each of my habits.  When you set a new habit, it is so important to track your progress! Sometimes, just knowing that I’ll have to leave a box unchecked or break a chain of good days is enough to make me follow through with my habit. I think you’ll be surprised at what happens when you write down the habit you wish to create and then begin making progress toward this habit.

Check out this FREE Habit Tracker!

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Habit Tracker Printable

 

The post Habit Tracking {And A FREE Printable Habit Tracker} appeared first on Fun Happy Home.

       

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever {Resources To Help You Have Your Best Year}

resources to make this your best year

For the last few years, I have put together a list of resources to make this the best year of your life.  While some of the resources I shared last year made the list again this year, I also have discovered some new ones that can help to make this an incredible year for you!

If any of your resolutions or goals have to do with the creation of new habits, I found this book to be absolutely fascinating.  It’s all about why we do what we do in life and business.

Time Management Resources

Day Designer by Whitney English – After searching high and low for a planner that worked for me, a friend introduced me to Day Designer and it is now my FAVORITE planner!!!  It’s perfect for helping me to reach my goals! You can order them to go from August through July or January through December! :)  I have the Black Stripe Flagship Edition and it’s awesome!!!

Free Printable Planner Page – If you’re not sure how much more productive you could be with a planner, this page is for you!  You can even download them and print them off with the Motivated Moms Planner to make your very own planner!

Tell Your Time: How To Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free is an ebook outlining a straightforward, step-by-step approach to controlling your schedule and making sure the important things don’t fall through the cracks. It’s short and to the point.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life – This isn’t a time management resource as much as it is a life management resource.  This was extremely helpful for me in setting my priorities which definitely helped with time management!  I can’t say enough good things about this book!

ListPlanIt! – With ListPlanIt you’ll have unlimited access to lists of all kinds! So that planning your day, your next meal, vacation or birthday party is a breeze.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – This book will help you better manage your time and your possessions.

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time – This is a quick and easy read with lots of practical advice on getting more done in less time!

The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands – If you have a packed and crazy schedule, you need to read this book!

Mom’s Family Calendar (Wall Calendar)  – This is a wall calendar that allows you to place all your family’s schedules on one calendar.

Time Management Mamas: Making Use of the Margins to Pursue Your Passions – This book is a great book for moms with young kids who are trying to build a business (or blog) on the side.

Make Over Your Mornings – If you find yourself rushing around in the morning like a crazy person trying to get everyone out the door without losing your mind (or your temper), you need this course! It’s a 14 day course that will revolutionize your morning!

Make Over Your Evenings – Not only will this course help make your evenings run more smoothly, but it will also make your mornings less stressful! It’s a 14 day course as well and I’m a huge fan!

Blog Success Planner – I’m including this planner in the Time Management section and the Blogging section because some of you may not even be aware of how much time having a blog planner can save you!  This is the blog planner that I use!

Money Saving Resources

365 Day Savings Challenge Printable – Save $667.95 this year starting with just 1 penny!

52 Week Money Challenge Printable – Save $1378 this year! Start by putting $1 in the bank!

52 Week Reverse Money Saving Challenge Printable – Save $1378 this year! Start by putting $52 in the bank!

Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover – This was instrumental in helping our family get out of debt!

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University – This really helped us get our finances in order!

The Money Saving Mom’s Budget – This is a great book with lots of practical tips for getting your finances in order.

Grocery University – Are you tired of spending too much on groceries? This audio course is the easy way to learn to save money with coupons!

Slaying the Debt Dragon: How One Family Conquered Their Money Monster and Found an Inspired Happily Ever After – This awesome book is my friend Cherie’s story of how she and her family paid off debt!  It’s practical, funny, and inspiring…just like Cherie is!

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! – I really wish I would have read this book 15 years ago!

Couponing for the Rest of Us: The Not So Extreme Guide to Saving More – My super funny friend Kasey has written a great guide to couponing.  This is a book for people who want to save money, but don’t have crazy amounts of time to devote to it.

Healthy Eating Resources (Meal Planning Resources, Cooking Resources, and Recipe Resources}

 

Costco Meal Plans

Sam’s Club Meal Plans

Freezer Cooking Guide

Once a Month Cooking Family Favorites

From Your Freezer to Your Family: Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes for Every Season

100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love

It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways

Easy Homemade: Homemade Pantry Staples for the Busy Modern Family 

Work Resources {Resources for Making Money, Finding a New Job, Creating a New Job, or Being Better at Your Current Job}

Off Balance: Getting Behind the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction – This book is full of practical solutions to help us accomplish what we need to do and what we want to do.

Money Making Mom: How Every Woman Can Earn More and Make a Difference – You can count on Crystal Paine for practical advice on how to make money from home.  She has put together a great guide for women who are wanting to earn more and make a difference in their family and around the world!

Quitter – If you’re thinking of making a career change, Jon Acuff is my suggested author.  He has plenty of experience making job changes and his writing is quite funny!

Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters

EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches – I’m a huge Dave Ramsey fan and this book doesn’t disappoint.  There is so much great wisdom in this book!

The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness – This book has practical application for every area of your life!  I’m so thankful my friend Jenni shared it with me.  It has been extremely helpful in my life!

The 4 Hour Workweek

Marriage Resources

Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage DVDs – This is one of the best marriage series we even went through.  Mark Gungor is absolutely hilarious!!!

Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage Book

Love and Respect DVDs

Love and Respect Book

Parenting Resources

Raising Uncommon Kids: 12 Biblical Traits You Need to Raise Selfless Kids – This is a must read!  My friend Sami is full of great practical tips for raising kids who are generous, compassionate, patient and more!

Grace Based Parenting

Shepherding Your Child’s Heart

Instructing a Child’s Heart

Raising Kids for True Greatness

Parenting the Wholehearted Child

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

Smart Kids, Smart Money: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money

Praying Circles Around Your Children

Spiritual Growth Resources

Bible in 90 DaysThis has been one of the best things I’ve ever done!  I’ve now read through the Bible in 90 Days multiple times, in multiple versions and formats.  It’s helped me make connections I’ve never made before and has given me a better understanding of the Bible.

Bible Study Fellowship – When I asked my friends for recommendations, this was the most recommended resource!  Everyone who had gone through BSF had great things to say about it.

The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears – This is what I’m currently listening to from Audible.  I’m excited to get further into this book!

The Dig for Kids: Luke Vol. 1 –  Looking for a family devotional that will keep your kids engaged while they dig into God’s Word?  This is one that kids will love while learning timeless truths!

Printable Scripture Cards for Moms – These cards are beautiful and are perfect for tucking in your wallet, taping to your dashboard, or putting on the fridge.  I have found that when I have scripture constantly in front of me, I have an easier time keeping my focus and as an added benefit, I often memorize the verses that I have put up around me!

Blogging Resources

Blog Success Planner – If you’re not using a blog planner, you need to!  It will save you sooo much time and headache! This is the blog planner that I use!

Elite Blog Academy – I am so excited about this course and have just started to work my way through it!

Inspired Bloggers University – Inspired Bloggers University is great for bloggers no matter where you are in your journey.  She offers classes for everyone from beginners to experts!

31 Days to Build a Better Blog – This features daily assignments and is great for growing your blog!

ProBloggers Guide to Your First Week of Blogging – If you’re a new blogger, this is a must read!  I really wish this had been around when I started blogging.  It could have saved me so much time, money, and stress!  Plus, I would have started out with a plan!

How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul – This book is a must read for any blogger who is looking to monetize their site.

ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income – Another great read for monetizing your blog!

Professional Blogging for Dummies

From Idea to Ebook: An Online Course to Make It Happen – If you have something you’d like to share, this is the course to help you make it happen!

Natural Health Resources

Young Living Essential Oils – These have literally been a game changer for our family!  We’ve replaced most of the over-the-counter drugs in our house and now use oils instead!  When our kids have a tummy ache, a bump, a bite, a cut or most any other malady, they come to us asking for an oil!  It’s awesome to know that we’re improving their health naturally!  If you’re thinking about using oils, I’d love to talk to you!

Plexus  – I have been using Plexus Ease (formerly called Fast Relief) and it has been instrumental in me getting off of all my prescription pain pills.

Keto OS – Keto OS shifts your body into nutritional ketosis…naturally!  The results is less inflammation! I started taking it for the inflammation benefits and was excited that I was losing weight too!!!  I can feel the difference when I don’t take my Keto OS!

Household Management Resources  {Cleaning & Decluttering Resources}

Get Rid of Chemicals in Your Home! Clean Naturally with Norwex! – Over the past few years, our family has made the decision to get the chemicals out of our home.  We’ve switched to Norwex and it’s saved us money and it doesn’t take nearly as long to keep things clean.  Plus, with the cool Norwex products, my kids actually like to clean!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana White – If you’re super messy, this book is for you!

31 Days to a Clutter Free Life: One Month to Clear Your Home, Mind & Schedule by Ruth Soukup – I like that this book breaks it down with small daily tasks.  My husband and I are going to go through this book during the month of January!

Motivated Moms Printable Checklists – This has revolutionized my life.  It gives you a list of daily household tasks to complete and you can choose to include daily Scripture reading if you like.

Motivated Moms iPhone/iPad App – This is the NEW Apple app version of the popular e-book that thousands use each year to manage their homes and contains the same tasks as the printable version.

Motivated Moms Android App – This is the NEW Android app version of the popular e-book that thousands use each year to manage their homes and contains the same tasks as the printable version.

Life Your Way Printables Home Management NotebookI loved the Home Management Notebook that I decided to get the Complete Printables Download pack!  It’s full of awesomeness and it costs less than what you’d pay for 2 coffees at Starbucks!

Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement

Resources to Help You Look Your Best 

LuLaRoe – I fell in love with LuLaRoe when I tried my first dress on…and after 6 months, I’m still completely in love with LuLaRoe! LuLaRoe makes stylish comfortable clothing for women and they fit all shapes and sizes.  They making clothing in sizes XXS to 3XL.  I’d love for you to join my LuLaRoe VIP group!

Beauty by God: Inside Out Secrets for Every Woman

Super Young Skin – Give us a year…we’ll take off ten!

Resources to Help You Lose Weight and Get in Shape

Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food – This book was quite convicting!  It made me really look at why I eat!

Keto OS – Keto OS shifts your body into nutritional ketosis…naturally!  The results is less inflammation and weight loss! I started taking it for the inflammation benefits and was excited that I was losing weight too!!!  I can feel the difference when I don’t take my Keto OS!

Trim Healthy Mama – This book is full of great tips for a balanced way of eating!  The book is huge and full of recipes that are great for families.

T-Tapp – I love T-Tapp!  It’s a low impact workout that doesn’t bother my lupus and it’s done wonders for my back over the years!

P90X3

21 Day Fix – The infomercial for this plays frequently at 5:30 am while I’m at the gym and I really want to try it!

Insanity – This is seriously one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done, but I started seeing results within days of starting.  Unfortunately, I never got to finish thanks to a bout of debilitating vertigo that lasted over 6 months and caused me to gain 100 pounds!

PiYo – This is another program I’d love to try!  It’s low impact and I think it would be perfect for helping me shape up without aggravating my lupus!

Apple Watch – An Apple watch does so much more than  track my health goals, but I love that I can utilize so many healthy apps on my watch!

Fitbit Flex or Fitbit Charge:  I had the Fitbit Flex and loved it and then I  upgraded to the Fitbit Charge because of the extra features.  I ended up with an Apple Watch because I can do so many things on it, but if you’re just looking for a fitness tracker, the Fitbit Flex or Fitbit Charge are both awesome!

I’d love to hear what your goals are for the New Year!  Leave me a comment!

The post Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever {Resources To Help You Have Your Best Year} appeared first on Fun Happy Home.

       

Finding Hope in A Season of Spending {Updated}

Christmas is my favorite time of year.  But there have been some hard Christmases for our family!  If you need help with finances, this is for you!   Here is a little piece of our story!  This was originally written in December 2009, but every year when I think back to Christmas 2008 and the hopelessness we felt at our financial situation, I want to share it again to encourage those of you who feel that same hopeless feeling! 

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…or so they say. Although Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of the One who brought Hope, when you’re struggling with your finances,  Christmas can seem like the most hopeless time of the year. As a parent, you feel compelled to not only give great gifts to your children, but also to their teachers, your co-workers, and numerous other people.

Last year at this time, I was buying Christmas presents and praying like crazy that we wouldn’t max out all of our credit cards. Things were extremely tight, yet I felt like buying cheap gifts for my friends and family or sharing with them that I couldn’t afford to buy Christmas presents {GASP!} would be an admission of my failure as an adult. So I continued on, buying gifts we couldn’t afford, buying extra groceries we couldn’t afford, and pretending that all was well in our world! Our finances were a disaster!

By the time Christmas came and went, we had no money in our checking account.

On New Years Eve day, my husband Fred headed out to run some errands. He came home with a book (purchased on a credit card) that would rock our world and change our finances. He purchased The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey. He started reading it as soon as he got home and then handed it to me and asked me to read the first 4 chapters. Not only did I read the first four chapters, but I finished the entire book in one setting. And I began to feel the stirring of something I hadn’t felt in a long time…HOPE.

Hope that we might not be in debt forever.

Hope that we might get our acts together.

Hope that at some point our finances would be in good enough shape that we could adopt again.

When we sat down to figure out where we were financially, I felt extremely torn. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know how bad it really was. I knew that our monthly spending exceeded our income, but I wasn’t sure what the big picture was. It was REALLY ugly. The reality is that the amount of our debt surpassed a full year of income for my husband and I combined…and that wasn’t including our house. There were lots of things that contributed to that amount of debt…our adoption, the house we live in (that ended up needing $30,000 in improvements to make it livable instead of the $10,000 we planned on), and some poor choices in spending (eating out more than we needed to and trying to keep up with the Joneses).

This year, we have worked and planned and saved and been more creative than we have ever been. Was this an easy year for us? No. Our house flooded and we lost over $30,000 in belongings (our insurance for our basement was only $10,000). We had some health issues that came with some major bills. We had some dental issues that came with some more crazy bills. And on top of that, we got a letter from the IRS that due to some incorrect paperwork, we owed a TON of money! If any of this would have happened during the previous year, I’m not sure what we would have done. I just know that it most likely would not have had a happy ending.

Are we where we want to be financially? Not yet, but we now know we WILL be able to get there. Here are a few differences between last year and this year.

  • The feeling of hopelessness is gone.
  • This year’s Christmas shopping has been stress-free (partially because I purchased things throughout the year when I found them at rock bottom prices).
  • We don’t need to use credit cards anymore because we are living within our means.
  • I don’t dread opening the mail box because I know that we will be able to pay our bills.
  • I am able to stretch my dollars further than I would have thought possible.

If you are feeling the burden of finances this Christmas, I’d like to encourage you that there is hope for you too. Jesus came to bind up the broken-hearted and to proclaim liberty to the captives. I felt broken-hearted and imprisoned by our debt and finances, yet that is not God’s desire for us.

On a practical level, there are quite a few things you can do.

  1. Write down (or track online) everything you spend for one month. It will make you think twice about buying frivolous purchases and it will enable you to see areas where you can improve on your spending.
  2. Use coupons. Don’t go crazy, just try to reduce your spending by 10%.
  3. Come up with a plan. I am quite partial to The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.
  4. Stick with your plan (see number 4)! Facing your finances is tough, but it’s so worth it!
  5. Find someone who will encourage and support you. If you’re married, you and your spouse can hold each other accountable. If you’re single, find a friend you can confide in.

I hope you will begin the journey to get your finances in order. If you need encouragement or some suggestions, please feel free to email me. I’d love to help in any way and I’d be honored to pray for you.

The post Finding Hope in A Season of Spending {Updated} appeared first on Fun Happy Home.

       

Treasure Toons Animated Lyric Scripture Songs Review

treasure-toons-animated-lyric-scripture-songs

This post and giveaway are sponsored by Oodles World and the FrontGate Christian Blogger Network. The opinions about how it will serve our home well are my own. 

I have 4 children, ages 4 to 10 and I was excited to try the Treasure Toons DVD. My kids are familiar with scripture songs as we incorporate scripture into their daily lives in as many fun ways as possible. But what made Treasure Toons really fun for them was the animation. The dancing kids and animals made my kids want to dance around as well.  “Wonderfully Made” was one that even I was dancing along to.

For my visual learners, it was an added bonus to see the words on the screen and the fun characters involved in the music.  As a mother, I love the content of the songs. Psalm 139 is the focus of more than one song and it’s also a passage I have read to my kids many times. These verses reinforce the truth that they are wonderfully made and that God loves them and thinks of them often.  “When I Awake” comes from Psalm 139 and has the most adorable Hawaiian beat and theme to the video.

Each of my children had different favorites and the songs were quite catchy.  I found myself more than once singing the Treasure Toons when the CD wasn’t on. What mom doesn’t need to remind herself that she is fearfully and wonderfully made? These DVDs or CDs are a great way to bring more of the life-giving truths of God’s word into our homes or cars.  I look forward to sharing this CD with other moms in our preschool and children’s ministry at church. 

Need a break from the hectic holidays?

Enter to win the Mommy Sanity Saver Sweepstakes – a $100 VISA GIFT CARD for you and a treasure trove of fun for your little one. Visit Treasure Toons on Facebook or Instagram to enter. Promotion runs 12/1/16 – 12/15/16.

  • Grand Prize: There will be two (2) grand prizes available to be won, consisting of $100 Visa Gift Card, Treasure Toons DVD, Wonderfully Made CD and frog plush toy. TOTAL ARV of grand prizes is: $240. One winner to be selected from each Facebook and Instagram promotion.
  • First Prize(s): There will be 10 first prize(s) available to be won, each consisting of TreasureToons (ARV: $13 each). TOTAL ARV of first prize(s): $130. 5 winners to be selected from each Facebook and Instagram promotion.
  • Second Prize(s): There will be 20 second prize(s) available to be won, each consisting of Wonderfully Made CD (ARV: $12 each). TOTAL ARV of second prize(s): $240. 10 winners to be selected from each Facebook and Instagram promotion.

Visit www.treasuretoons.com/sweepstakes for more information.

{Thanks Laura Smith for reviewing Treasure Toons.  Laura is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom and children’s ministry leader at Christ Community Church in Weare, NH.}

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Simplified Christmas Decorating

Decorating for the holidays can be a daunting task. Many of us have a hodge-podge of Christmas decor…some new, some old, and a whole-lotta random!  So how do we make sense of grandma’s hand-me-down decorations or how do we focus our Hobby Lobby shopping trips so that we don’t spend hundreds (or even thousands)? Check out these DIY Christmas decorating ideas!

1. Choose a theme and/or color palette

If you took last week’s style quiz, that should be your starting point.  Your Christmas decor should be a natural extensive of your overall decor. If your style is in any way country or rustic, you may want to consider a natural themed Christmas using mostly pinecones, berries and things found in nature (or made to look that way).  If your style is modern or minimalistic, consider silver, blue or white as a color palette.  For many of our homes, the traditional red and green color palette is most practical, but depending on your decor you may want to make it more formal or casual.  Your theme and/or color palette should match your home and personality!

I choose a rustic theme for my entry with red and white as my colors

2. Take inventory of your decorations

Let’s be honest, most of us have NO IDEA what is in most of those Christmas boxes in the garage.  Some haven’t been opened in a decade.  Time to take EVERYTHING out and decide if it can be used somewhere, if it is theme/color palette appropriate, and if it is still in working order (mainly true for lights or battery operated items).  There are some items you may need to rework or repurpose. For example, my mother-in-law had about 10 outdoor wreaths that she had created with garland and wire frames over a decade ago.  She passed them on to me, but I only needed the largest one. I unwound the rest of them and used the garland on my front porch and entry.

Repurposed Garland and large wreath

I also rarely throw away ribbon, silk flowers or berries/beads.  Ribbon can easily transform any project, and flowers and beads can all be painted a different color if needed (yes I have painted silk flowers and they turned out great).  Fabric is another, often overlooked, Christmas decoration.  I cut small strips of existing gingham fabric and tied it to my tabletop tree for a charming rustic look .  I ran out of ribbon and funds, and this was my solution…I actually like it better this way!

My simple family tree with handmade decorations and gingham fabric

3.  Shop Creatively

This year I knew I needed to add to my Christmas decor, but I also knew that there was very little extra money in my envelopes (we use the envelope system from Dave Ramsey…YAY) .  So this fall, I started keeping my eye out for decorations at garage sales and rummage sales.  I hit the jackpot at a church rummage sale.  It was the last hour and EVERYTHING was half off.  I purchased 2 boxes of decorations, a huge spool of linen ribbon, 3 small lit trees, AND an entry table for $14 total!!!  Those Christmas decorations ended up being used to decorate my large outdoor wreath, my foyer Christmas tree, my foyer garland, my kitchen chandelier, my dining room and my keeping room mantel.  What a deal! Also look in your yard for free decorations.  Pinecones, berries, sprigs of pine, and magnolia leaves are great natural decorations.

Garage sale ribbon, rafia and flowersRummage sale garland and berries and existing fabric for chain coverRummage Sale buffet table and small lit treesMantel with rummage sale garland and free pinecones

The only things I purchased new this year were lights, red berries (for 1/2 off at Hobby Lobby) a new rug and red ribbons for the front porch ($12 total at Walmart).

4.  Steal ideas

When it comes to actually putting up your decorations, many of you may not know how to create the look you want from scratch. So why reinvent the wheel?  Some of my favorite Christmas looks have come about because I copied something someone else created.  If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then HGTV.com should feel very flattered.  My entire foyer is copied from a picture I found on their website.  I also took and copied pictures of trees from last years Festival of Trees in Knoxville.  Inspiration is everywhere, so don’t be afraid to cut-out, print or take a picture of something that inspires you.  Chances are, you can recreate it yourself for the look you want.

Best of luck in Christmas decorating…and keep in mind, decorating for Christmas should be fun and add to your Christmas spirit.  It’s not about doing it bigger or better (like the Kranks), it’s simply about creating a warm and inviting place for your family to visit, share love and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas: the birth of our Redeemer!  He is the original Master Decorator…creating beauty from our ashes and shame!

Many blessings to you and yours this Christmas.  And as you decorate, please link up below (or if you’re a non-blogger, send us your pictures).  Who knows who you may inspire?

{DIY Christmas Decorating Ideas is a guest post from my sister Laura Smith which was originally published in November 2010, but since many of you weren’t around back then, I figured I’d republish it for you!}

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