Black Friday with Livy Love

Since today is Black Friday, I wanted to let you know of a great print shop called Livy Love Designs that is offering 50% off ALL orders!  Diana is the owner of the shop and she is letting you use the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY50 at checkout to take half off.  These prints would make great Christmas presents! This sale is going on until Monday, November 26th until Midnight PST.  You can customize any print with colors from her provided color chart to match the colors of your room or for a gift.  To go to the sale, click here and enter BLACKFRIDAY50 at checkout to receive your discount. 
Please note that all orders during this sale will be shipped no later than December 3rd to ensure delivery by Christmas.  If you are wanting it sooner please contact Diana via Etsy Conversations.

NaBloPoMo November 2012

MJ & Andi’s Bedroom Tour

The girls’ room has been an acting storage unit for us since we moved in.  When you have two toddlers wandering around, things need to be kept safe & far away from sticky fingers.  So, we were using it as a standing room for just about everything that didn’t yet have a place.

Since the girl’s & boy’s will be with their other parents this year for Thanksgiving, we decided to have a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with them here at our place before they all head off to their respective parents’ homes for the holiday.  That meant we had a room full of crap we needed to empty & a space to create for the girls to enjoy.

Good thing I’m craft-alicious.  The room is by no means done.  We found their bedroom set at a garage sale & it needs to be painted.  I vote pink, J wants white.  We will have to see.  The bed is my old bed from the apartment & will have to do until we can get them twin beds.  I need to find some more fun things to hang above their bed.  Etc, etc, etc.  But for now, we did a pretty awesome job.  Tootage of my own horn over here.

Clearly, it needs more work, but we did what we could with what we had on hand plus a little creativity.  The only thing we purchased new in this room was the bedspread.  And I got that on the cheap at Big Lots.  I used a vintage sheet for their curtain & on their bed that I thrifted last year for $0.50 each.  The letters on the wall were a gift from J’s Ma to the girls.  And the additional frames I had on hand from the apartment.  Same with the bunting.  I bought five packages of those bad boys last year from Target on clearance for $0.75 each knowing I’d be able to use them eventually.
The decal we found a few months back on clearance for $3.50 at Home Goods.  And I had to dig through a ton to find that one.  It pays to hunt & sift through clearance sections.  Same goes for the chalkboard bubbles.  Found those bad boys on clearance for $2.50 at Kirkland’s.  J’s Abuelita gave us a set of two chairs she didn’t have use for.  I’m thinking of painting them, too.  If I don’t get to do the dresser & nightstands pink, I’ll definitely paint these pink.  The girls made the handprint artwork for J awhile ago & I thought it would be cute hanging on their wall.
You can see how badly the dresser needs a nice sanding & coat of paint in this photo.  It’s definitely going to be a project.  The doll was mine when I was little.  The candle is a temporary fix until I get my Scentsy warmer in for their room (I sell Scentsy! Holler at your consultant!).
The middle frame os one of those that open with magnets & have a folder behind to store & swap out artwork.  The girls are really into coloring & drawing, so I thought this would be great for them above their bed.  I really want to do a huge collage of fun items above their bed, so I’m definitely always on the hunt for free & cheap things I can use.  The vintage sheet I adore.  I also used these printables from here & here.
There is my famous paper chain in Thanksgiving colors.  I created a little gallery on the awkward wall parallel to the window.  I just painted some clothespins pink, used some double sided 3M foam tape & cut it to size & then hung the clothespins on the wall.  I printed some fun Thanksgiving coloring pages for them as an activity.  I also utilized Pinterest again for free printables.  You can find the coloring pages here.  You Matter printable here & Gobble ‘Til You Wobble printable here.  I think this gallery wall is my favorite part of the room.  I can swap pictures out easily as the girls color them & I can change out printables per the holiday.
I strongly believe that you can make kids’ rooms fun & an extension of them with little to no budget.  Just think outside of the box.  Think of materials you have on hand that can be repurposed.  Make things yourself.  It can work.  If I can make it work, anyone can.
NaBloPoMo November 2012

Thanksgiving Decor on a Budget

It took me longer than usual to take down my Halloween decorations this year.  Partly because I’m knocked up & slow & partly because I was hoping the Dollar Tree would come out with more stuff after Halloween.  Luckily, I have an awesome family who loves to pass things down to me.  I had stuff in boxes from my Ma & my MIL to put up & thanks to Pinterest, I had lovely little printables to print & frame for free.

I’m all about decorating on a budget.  Remember Halloween?  Total to decorate my buffet AND mantle was less than $15.00.  My best advice is to handmake your decorations, utilize your local dollar store & garage sales & take hand me downs from family.  Take anything & everything.  There is always a way to repurpose stuff.  And my biggest secret?  Buying on clearance after the holiday.  You get awesome stuff for a fraction of the price.  Everything at Target is usually marked down 50% the day after a holiday.  And goes down quickly everyday after that.  My best stores for these finds are Target & Big Lots.

One of my favorite ways to decorate is paper chains.  You can swap colors out for any season, it’s an easy project for the kids & it’s a sneaky way to teach colors.  I cut up the strips of paper & sorted them into piles & then told Collin what color I needed so he could hand them to me.  I always make a chain for the living areas & another to hang in the kids’ rooms.  I think it’s fun to bring the holidays into their domains; especially when they’ve helped create said decoration.

My mantle cost was $3.  Total.  I spent $3, people.  You have no excuse to not be able to decorate for the holidays if you want to.  I swapped out the photo on the frame for a printable from eighteen25.  The fall leaf candle & pinecone candle were from my Mom when she cleaned out her candle closet.  Yeah, she has a candle closet.  The little pumpkins & scarecrow were given to us from my MIL.  The $3 was spent on the, “Give Thanks,” banner which I could have handmade, but I have another banner planned for the kids to make & hang elsewhere.
Total cost for our buffet area?  $0!!!  Collin & I made the paper chain with construction paper that we already had on hand.  I used a free printable from Craftily Ever After for the center frame.  The, “Autumn Greetings,” hanging & little metal turkey were given to us from my MIL.  The pumpkin bowl I already had on hand. 
If I didn’t already have the wooden hanging, I would have just hung up some kind of fun turkey artwork by the boys.  Use your kids’ creative juices & decorate with their art.  My boys love seeing their stuff on the walls & I think it’s extra special that way.
NaBloPoMo November 2012

Uppercase Living GIVEAWAY

Ya’ll.  I am super stoked about this giveaway.  Chalkboard.  Need I say more?  We are all chalkboard obsessed these days.  Don’t even front me, sister.  You know you’ve pinned some chalkboard stuff to your Pinterest boards.

My Aunt Donna is an Uppercase Living consultant.  UL sells those awesome vinyl wall expressions that everyone is in love with these days & that are EVERYWHERE on Pinterest.  They are super rad because whether you rent or own, you can use them to decorate your home.  They peel right off when it’s time to move & your land lord can’t be all, “You owe me money for painting this super cool thing on your wall.”  You can even, “wallpaper,” your walls with their patterns.

UL has literally thousands of expressions for your walls including chalkboard, whiteboard & even life size cutouts (kind of like the other company that’s the opposite of skinny heads).  ANDPLUSALSO they have this DesignSuite where you can create your own stuff.  They have fonts, clipart & tons of stuff to play with so you can create a completely customized expression for your home.  Even headboards.  Yeah.  headboards.  Like for your actual bed.

Their fall catalog is online here if you’re a catalogue gal like myself.  If you want to order something, you can do it right online via Aunt Donna here & just click “associate with open house.”  There is only one open right now & that’s especially for Our Holly Days readers!  But only until November 25th because we want you guys to get your stuff in time for Christmas!  So make sure you order by then!

The ideas for these expressions are literally endless & this is seriously all over Pinterest.  I love the gallery wall idea like the one above.  And since you can customize, it can be a silly quote that’s personal to your family!
Right now, UL is having a killer special for the holidays.  If you buy two expressions, you get one for free.  So, buy two Christmas gifts for family/friends & then pick out something for yourself for free!!!  They are also doing this fun Mystery Gifts special where you add the Mystery Gift to your cart for only $13.95 & you get one of these five awesome projects (NO LIMIT):

Okay, okay.  I’m done with my schpeel.  I’m sure you want to know about the giveaway now.  UL has a ton of different chalkboard & whiteboard expressions you can get really creative with.  One of my favorites is this food labeling idea.  I’m an organization freak, so I love this:
That’s a whiteboard decal on the inside of the cabinet & chalkboard expressions on all the food!  My OCD is singing right now, you guys.  Singing.  Angels & harps everywhere.
Aunt Donna & I decided to give away one of UL’s popular chalkboard expressions.  I know exactly what I’d do with it, too.  I’d stick this bad boy right on my fridge for reminders or my grocery list.
That’s a $30 value that we are GIVING away to Our Holly Days readers!  And an awesome expression at that!!!
To enter, you must go to UL’s online catalogue & tell me what expression you’d most love for your home (don’t forget to leave your email address in your comment).  You must do this or your other entries will not be valid.  This is mandatory to enter the contest.
For additional entries (email address must be in each comment):
  • Go to Aunt Donna’s Facebook page & friend her; then leave another comment here telling me you’ve done so.
  • Tweet about this giveaway; then leave another comment here telling me you’ve done so.
  • Post on FB about this giveaway; then leave another comment here telling me you’ve done so.
  • Pin this blog entry on your Pinterest; then leave another comment telling me you’ve done so.
If you order from her, you gain FIVE additional entries.  Plus you’ll have a rad expression for your wall at home or as a gift for someone on your Christmas list.
All entries & any orders must be completed by November 25th, 11:59PM PST.  I will announce the winner here on the blog on November 27th.
Aunt Donna is available to help with any orders or questions you have via her cell phone/text: 805-890-8539 or via her email
I was not compensated for this giveaway/promotion.  I just really love this company & wanted to help my Aunt Donna!!!
NaBloPoMo November 2012

FREE Octopus Printable

I recently Instagrammed this photo of some art I made for the boys’ bathroom.  I am really proud of it even though it was super simple to do.  I just played with some octopus clip art in Photoshop.  Added colors, contrast, etc until I got what I liked.

I’ve decided to offer it to you guys as a free printable since many of you seemed interested in it!  My bathroom was inspired by this awesome Thomas Paul shower curtain.  The shower curtain is crazy expensive, though.  I would never drop $120 on a shower curtain.  Instead I bought a shower curtain at Target that sort of mimicked an octopus’ tentacles.  You can see photos in this post. Then, I accented my walls with these self-created octopus prints! Viola!

This will print well in any size up to 8 x 10.  Anything bigger ends up too grainy.  Just click the image for the actual size & save it to your computer. I hope you enjoy it!