Well, I figured since I have been so busy with our new website, a challenge starting Jan 1st, Instant Pot recipe testing and Christmas decorating, I might as well share one of my labours of love that is ready to share. We have Alex’s sister with family visiting from Atlanta, GA for 8 days, so this year I went full on with preparations. Pinterest-y kinda, which took so much of my time kinda, but who is counting?! Or money, I don’t think I want to count.
However, I have to say that decorating our home didn’t cost that much
minus the new tree compared to all the Lego I had to buy. You will see how I utilized mother nature and $ store. This Christmas is hands down the Christmas of many firsts for me, therefore it was so time consuming and entertaining (just wait until you get to “the mistletoe” part).
So, welcome on our Christmas Home Tour 2017!🎄
Doormat: I picked it up in Marshalls for $12 and I wish I had picked up 2 more, for kitchen and garage door. It’s white but it stays clean because a) In PNW, it rains all winter. b) Everyone is terrified to step on it.👌
Planters: I turned my summer flowers planters from Home Depot into Christmas urns by snipping a few branches from our cedars, tying them into a bouquet with wire and inserting fresh cranberry “kebabs” for a pop of colour. Total cost = $0.30 for cranberries. Score!
Wreath: I picked up this wreath at Marshalls for $17 and a hanger at Real Canadian Superstore for $14. I love the simplicity, non-traditional colours and monogamy of this setting. I was sceptical about silver wreath of a heart shape with a bow tie but I absolutely love it! And I’m completely in love with my black deer head!!!
Mistletoe: After hearing so much about mistletoe on Christmas radio and admiring its look, I became 99% sure it is the tree I spotted past summer in the creek during my evening walks. Sure thing, this morning there I was, climbing down with my clippers.
After it was all said and done, someone pointed out that it is a holly and not a mistletoe. Well, you can smile because I laugh looking at it. But looks pretty, right?! Ooops, a year of many firsts💏
$400 later at our beloved Costco and we have this 9 ft beauty! This Christmas tree will last us at least 15 years, just like our old tree did, that we picked up on Craigslist for $100 as newlyweds. I’m definitely missing white linen curtains but as we all know finding what you like takes time.
I love that this tree is no see through, its tips are realistically looking and so sturdy, when you hang a decoration they don’t even bend. Costco does have the best stuff 99% of times.
Decorations: Every year I grab a few new tree decorations. What I learnt is that I like to do that beginning of the season vs. buying “leftovers” after the holidays, even at super-duper price. Things I like do sell out fast, and things I don’t like end up in a donation box.
Presents: Hobby Lobby has the best wrapping stuff.
Vaporizer: Since our tree doesn’t smell, I have been running two vaporizers with the holiday smell non-stop.
Dinnerware: I’m keeping things simple. I picked up extra Ikea plates we use for every day and use them for all occasions. A white napkin and a branch of boxwood from backyard completes the plate.
Glassware: I finally got rid of 12 mismatched wine glasses collected over the years, bought 12 same ones and if one breaks, so be it. In a house full of men, breaking things is hot topic, trust me. I use these glasses both for white and red wine.
Tablecloth: I have Christmas tablecloth tucked away, so stay tuned for “after” pictures.
Centerpiece: But can we please pause and talk about the star of the table – Mason jar centerpiece. That’s when Pinterest took over. All there is to it: 9 jars, epsom salt, fresh cranberries, backyard cedar branches and $ store candles.
I’m in love!❤️💚❤️💚
Google claims cranberries will stay fresh for quite a while. I spray all of my greens with water daily, so far they are holding up. If not, I have got lots more cedars to snip.
I just can’t get over how simple, gorgeous and cheap this centerpiece is!!!
Hot Chocolate Bar
This is the first year I really threw out my real food principles when it comes to kids’ Christmas treats. I’m gonna let them have fun, especially with 3 cousins coming. The only healthy thing you see here is my homemade hot chocolate mix.
Jars, container and chalkboard are from a $ store. Unbelievable what you can find there nowadays.
Healthy Homemade Hot Chocolate:
1 cup cacao powder
1 cup cane sugar
In a cup, add 3 teaspoons of hot cocoa mix, add boiling water half way, and stir. Fill the rest with milk, stir, add toppings and enjoy! What is great about this hot chocolate is that it comes out cooler right away, awesome for kids.
Kitchen Island Centerpiece: I have utilized my old cake stand, placed more jars filled with more epsom salt, cranberries and LED $ store candles. Alex made me a wreath to go around from our backyard’s boxwood. Again, cost is ridiculous.
I have one of those things that nobody wants – a corner fireplace. Ugh. To decorate a corner fireplace is a struggle any time of the year. I hate it but I’ve got one, so…
I used a sign, cone trees and balls I have had for years. To freshen things up, I bought 3 glass jars from a $ store and filled up with more epsom salt and cranberries. $10 LED lights help to keep things festive.
On the left side of fireplace, I filled up Santa’s sac (Homesense $17) with crumpled newspaper and topped with empty wrapped boxes.
Isn’t it pretty at night?!
You got it right – all you need is a box of canning jars, a jug of epsom salt, a few bags of cranberries, and a backyard full of greenery. Kidding but really seems like I did that a lot this year. I sure have a list of things I would like to update next year. Good things cost money and take time to collect. I am planning to take more pictures as we begin our festivities and posting them as we celebrate, whenever I can. There will be one more post before the Holidays – our Get Back On Track 30 Day Challenge.
We would like to wish you and your family Happy Holidays! Reflect on the past year, let go of what doesn’t matter, make good plans for next year. Spent time with who matters to you and enjoy simple things like a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of wine.
Thank you so much for spending another year with us and cooking my food!!! Many exciting things are coming to iFOODreal next year. We are already kicking it off right with way more user friendly website than ever before. I think Alex “killed it” and “it killed” Alex back. 😜
Merry Christmas!🎄 🎄 🎄
Olena and Family
P.S. And then❄️Let It Snow❄️Let It Snow❄️Let It Snow❄️.