Decorating for Christmas on a Newlywed Budget

Christmas Decor on a Newlywed Budget

It’s a joy-filled, sunny day in our neck of the woods. Christmas is only ten days away and my little heart can hardly stand it! 🙂 This is our second Christmas as a married couple and it has been enjoyable in every way — what a blessed, love-filled month it has been!

One of the difficulties many new brides (and single folk too!) experience is decorating for Christmas on a budget. We fret, stress and grumble remembering how lovely our childhood Christmas’ were; we want our homes to be as cozy and festive as the one’s left behind. Can any one relate? Or am I alone in this? 😉

Thankfully, creating a beautiful, cozy holiday home does not need to break the newlywed’s budget. Join me as I show you eleven of my favorite affordable decorating ideas for Christmas. (This is an excellent excuse for me to browse Pinterest … cue the hot coffee, chocolate and Pinterest marathon!) 😉

DIY Advent Countdown

Isn’t this Advent calendar delightful? Start with toilet paper rolls, ribbon, tape and paper and end with something you can hide treats in. I love it! (link here)

Handmade Ornaments

Cinnamon ornaments smell yummy and add a rustic charm; I’ll be making some of these this week! (link + recipe here!)

Isn’t this little nest so sweet? Our tree is very reflective of our home and personalities; I have a few birds nest tucked away and several berries springing out of branches; this little nest would be a perfect addition! (link here)

Delightful Decorations

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Stop by Lowes and ask if you could have the pine branches left from the tree cuttings. Branches are a delicious (free!) way of bringing the natural elements of the winter season  inside. (link here)

Wrap a few miscellaneous boxes in scrapbook paper or pages of books you no longer use (if you have the heart to rip up a book!) 😉 I think these little, hanging gifts would be enchanting above a kitchen sink. (link here)

Use your library to add a unique, quirky “tree” in your home! I loved this idea and made three “trees” in the school’s library using various green books — I just love how bookish and Christmas-y it looks! (link here)

Smells for St. Nicolas

There are so many affordable, natural ways to make your home smell delicious for the holidays. Toss some apple or orange peels, cinnamon sticks and sprinkle various spices to get a yummy November smell or add pine and evergreen for a fresh Christmas smell. (link + recipe here)

Chalkboard Creations

I love Callie’s Christmas décor and her chalkboard is no exception! (link here)

Isn’t this chalkboard by Dear Lillie a delight? Add personal charm to your Christmas home by lettering a unique phrase or bit of Scripture you love. (link here)

Wreath Wishes

Again, Callie’s Christmas coziness inspires me! I love her wreath above the dining table and even the branch in the pitcher. So adorable!! (link here)

Finally, this set of wintery wreaths delight my Christmas-loving heart and have me wishing for inches of snow and never ending coats and mittens. (link here)

The wonderful thing about each of these pictures is that the sort of coziness oozing from them is available to even the tightest budget. If you crave a welcoming, wintry haven but are on a tight budget rejoice! You have the perfect excuse to use your hands and make something beautiful with them.

How do you decorate on a budget? Have you ever known a holiday where finances were tight but your inspiration abounding? Share with us, dear, and let’s grow together in grace and beauty!

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

p.s. Here’s some of my own Christmas inspirations!

Our Christmas tree is very earth toned — it simply delights my heart! Glittery pinecones, bird nests, white berries and fruits of the Spirit written on log slices make it truly unique to us! <3

Of course the quirky, uneven string of lights add to the mood of sweet fun in our home. And leftover Thanksgiving pumpkins sit happily beneath the limbs; I couldn’t bare throwing them out! 😉 Naturally, Braveheart would be an excellent companion to such a wintery day.

Kitchen Table diy with One Step Paint + Alotta Love

Around these parts we believe in celebrating moments of upcycling, diy victories and decorating successes.

So, when our neighbors told me know they had a spare table they’d love to pass our way I couldn’t help but say yes. Because, #tbh, I absolutely love all things that have to do with decorating our little abode.

Thus, the story of our tiny, yellow, adorable table begins.

Yellow Table DIY

Except that it didn’t begin that way at all.

It began with a small can of Amy Howard’s One Step Paint, the cheapest paintbrush Ace Hardware had and many handfuls of excited expectations (aka me).

Step one required washing the table down and applying black chalk paint around the edges (for eventual distressing purposes).

Step two involved applying the first coat of paint — which I now love! This stuff sticks to almost anything including my little laminate table. (Without the need for primer or sanding!) 🙂

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Step three is a continuation of step two …

… finally, one afternoon and three coats later I had the most adorable, little table settling into its new home. I distressed the edges to give it that shabby look I love. While this little guy is just a “for now” I can’t help but be attached to him. 🙂

Every time I walk into my kitchen I can’t help but smile a little; the yellow is just perfect and the chalky finish delights. And, to be honest, it’s just fun to have somewhere to place dinner plates.

What have you been crafting lately? Any diy success stories you’d love to share?

Because I love celebrating the little things!

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

p.s: tune into Friday morning’s live Periscope moment at 10:30 CST (@FrannieAnneDuncan) to see the lovely goodies I’d love to send you way! I’ll be there with a full mug of coffee! 😉

Goodbye Summer

Summertime is far behind us. My window roses are napping, fall candles are burning and the mornings are becoming bright and frosty.

Needless to say I’m in heaven.

But these pictures just make my heart smile. I took these during a late summertime downtown walk. Soon I’ll have many dried petals a friend is graciously sending me and I’ll blend several of the petals with my homegrown lavender. The joys of summertime will create a yummy blend of potpourri for the winter-ish weather.

Goodbye Summer — I’ll miss you even though I’ll be cherishing the coat-wearing, scarf tying, coffee-drinking theme of winter.

Chicken Chalupa Conquered // One Meal at a Time Series

One Meal at a Time // Authentic Virtue Series

Hello and welcome to my exciting (frightening?) adventure diving into the realm of loving my family one meal at a time. I’ve confessed that I am a boring reliable cook who has been asked by her Darling Man to shake things up a bit. For inspiration, encouragement and of course drama, I’ve begun a series documenting my straying from our traditional meal plan into a world of new recipes, new effort and new menus.

Read more

Learning to Love the Kitchen: Menu Planning

I think each beautiful Keeper of the Home has her favorite (and least favorite) tasks. I’m certain the Proverbs 31 woman occasionally thought, “Boy, this buying of land and rising up to feed my maidens early can be exhausting. Do we have any goat milk cream for my hot herbal tea? Make it strong, it’s a Jonah-of-a-Day.” 😉

Regardless of our preferences, good women who love their Lord and love their families press on and choose to take delight in serving and beautifying their home. We conquer Mt. Laundry, scrub away grimy dishes and change dirty diapers. The most unpleasant tasks take on new meaning as we work and the labor of our hands is a home filled with love, tough hands and happy faces.

For me, I struggle loving my kitchen and the work that happens in it’s walls. Cooking has been my least favorite. Effort is the key ingredient for our meals and all to often the Darling Man eats the same meals week after week. So … There’s very little effort happening in our diner.

We’ve been married for 18 months and it was only last month when he mentioned that he would like me to introduce variety to our palate. At first I was tempted to defend myself and accuse the sweet guy of ungratefulness but I felt a check in my spirit which said something like, “Easy, Frannie. This is a simple request and one you can meet sweetly. Cook something different.” (So thankful for God’s good, guiding Spirit.)

Thus, the Monthly Menu is born. Out of an effort to cook new, tasty meals and keep myself accountable and inspired I shall share my monthly meal plan. Since we grocery shop week by week I’ll be updating the menu throughout the month and plan to document the success stories and write weepy posts on recipe flops. After all, this is a blog documenting the adventures of a house-keeping, husband-loving wife. Occasional food selfies should fit in here somewhere. 😉

Menu Planning with Authentic Virtue

How do you keep inspired in the kitchen? What’s your favorite and least favorite aspect of keeping your home? Do you have any fall-ish recipes to share with me?

With love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie