Christmas Decorating on a Budget

Christmas Decorating on a Budget

I always enjoy decorating for the holidays, especially this year with my daughter Sofia who is starting to get into Christmas and the arrival of our baby girl number two soon!

The first step to any decorating is deciding on your theme and color palette.  Keeping my daughter in mind I used a whimsical theme this year with red, blue, gold, green and pops of white as my color palette.

Instead of buying all new Christmas decor, I used ornaments, vases, containers, and candles I already had in my home that fit my theme and color palette.  I then purchased additional items from Hobby Lobby such as the red ribbon garland on the Christmas tree, faux garland over the mantle, the wooden Believe sign, nutcracker, Santa Claus, Santa’s Elf helper, snow man, and stocking holders. All these items were on sale for 50% off the original price.

I used previously purchased stockings from Pottery Barn Kids, which has great deals this time of year, that represent each member of our family, including our dog Bailey!  However, if you’re looking to cut down on costs, craft stores have a good selection of stockings. You can stencil the name or first initial of your family member instead of monogramming.  Personal Creations, an online store, also offers decorative stockings at a low price.

To get his look I spent less than $100 and so can you!

Christmas TreeChristmas TreeMantleMantleChristmas Decor

Fall Entertaining

There’s something about Fall when the kids go back to school, the air becomes crisp and football, apple and pumpkin picking are family past times. Using the flavors and the colors of the season it’s easy to decorate your front porch and tablescape with seasonal squash, apples, flowers, eggplant and a little glam with glitter!   Host a fall dinner party, pumpkin carving or decorating party with stickers and glitter, or a Halloween party. Fall entertaining and decor isn’t just for the September and October months, but can be carried over for Thanksgiving entertaining as well.  Be creative in your design by using other vegetables for a punch of color like I did on this tablescape above with artichokes.  You can cut a hole in the top of the artichoke or a small pumpkin and place a votive candle in the middle, which will make your setting perfect for an evening event.  For decorating tips and ideas please check out last years post on Fall Entertaining.

July 4th Entertaining

Independence Day is full of family fun with parades, fireworks, and of course flavorful food!  Seafood is always a good go to such as crab or shrimp boil, lobster rolls, or mango glazed shrimp.  Looking for more 4th of July inspiration?  Check out theses creative and fun ideas below.  

Rocket Dogs Recipe by Family Fun Magazine

Flag centerpieces from It’s A Muegge Life

A Casual & Chic 4th of July Celebration by Celebrations

Watermelon Stars by Cutest Food

Hanging Confetti Firework Poppers by Juneberry Lane

35 Fun 4th of July Recipes by Six Sisters’ Stuff

Celebrating Our Independence: July 4th Entertaining

Since I was a child, I have loved celebrating July 4th with the parades, the food, and fireworks!  I continue to enjoy this festive holiday with entertaining my friends and family.  The colors are so bold and playful and you can use them as accents in flower arrangements, as shown in the above picture, liens, food, serving dishes, and decorations such as lanterns and candles.

For the younger crowd you can prepare turkey and regular sliders, turkey or chicken sausages, and tater tots. (see previous posts for recipes).  For the more sophisticated pallet hot and spicy grilled shrimp on top of a bed of arugula is a favorite.  (see below for recipe).  Use sides that have vibrant colors such as watermelon, raspberry and blueberry fruit salad, mozzarella and tomato salad with basil and olive oil, and corn and red pepper medley.  A fun dessert for both kids and adults is cookie ice cream sandwiches, such as chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies sandwiched with vanilla or coffee ice cream!







Hot & Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Ingredients: Makes 6

  • 18 jumbo shrimp peeled or a bag of 60-75 pre-cooked and peeled shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce

Oil and prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium.  Toss shrimp with olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Turn shrimp once and cook for 7 to 8 minutes of until cooked through.  Stir together butter, hot sauce and parsley in a large bowl.  Add shrimp and toss until coated.  Serve over a bed of arugula.