Don’t Forget the Marshmallows!

This is how it began…It’s ALLLLLLLL in the details for me…look at these napkin rings!
The walls are a bit bare, but now that the house was painted, let the wall coverings begin! By the way, this table cloth isn’t for this table lol because I don’t like to cover the wood of my table. That’s why it’s so short, but I think I like the way table cloths look. Our ballot box…And the winner was….Melissa!!!The ornaments for the swap…
We had live music…thanks, Stephanie! And Caleb, once again, was the only male allowed at this shindig lol. I love the swap part of the party, but I really love and appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into the hostess ornaments I received. 

This past weekend, I hosted the second annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party. I promise you I don’t try to monopolize the events, but what happens all the time is that my home gets volunteered to have functions and then I just keep hosting them. I don’t mind either because I always have so much fun and everyone is so courteous.

This year’s party was so fun, and I believe they’ll only get better over time. I have something extremely fun for next year’s Christmas party, but I can’t reveal that information yet 🙂 You can go HERE to read all about to plan and throw the best holiday party, and you’ll a lot of the accessories I used during the party.

I asked everyone to bring an ornament as a hostess gift and one for the swap. I really loved my ornament from the swap, but I LOVEEEEEE the ornaments I receive as the host because they are more personal. This year, I even received two with my name and the party information on them. They were all so cute!

We had such a great time. There was plenty of food, dessert, a hot cocoa bar, Christmas music, live music, and laughs. We had a ballot box so everyone could vote.

A topic that came up was where we all shop, or would shop for home decor. I naturally buy almost everything from Pier 1, but a lot of items come from Home Goods, Marshall’s, and Ross. The consensus was that Pier 1 is either too expensive, overpriced, or only a place to get inspiration. I had to disagree lol. I buy a lot from there on sale or clearance. I use coupons and Pier 1 Rewards when I can, and to be honest, Home Goods has some items that are similar to Pier 1. The main reason why I shop there is because their items have the best look, but the quality of their merchandise cannot be beat.

For instance, when I was looking for pillows for the fall season, I went to multiple stores. Every single store I visited had pillows that were more expensive than Pier 1. Every. Single. Store. The pillows I found on Pier 1’s website were $14.98, and they were just gorgeous. They had an owl on them with gold and silver sequins. It was a beautiful pillow.

If you’ve even ever seen my beaded runner, you’d understand what I mean about the quality difference. The runner is so thick and well-made. I have a “thing” about quality over quantity and getting what you’re paying for. I prefer to have one really well-made item than to have ten that are poorly-made. In addition to this, we save so much on Milt making and building items around the house and updating it himself that I get to buy the accessories I love and know will ‘pop.’ Again, it’s all in the details.

So, ladies, are you getting stressed out about all the things that need to be done during this crazy holiday season? Do you have company coming to visit? Or, are you traveling to visit family? Do you find yourself wanting to spruce up the home but don’t know where to start? Do you feel overwhelmed in trying to decorate but don’t know what to do or whether or not you can afford it? Using parts of the conversation we had, I came up with several sure fire ways to help you decorate your home for the holidays in a pinch. These are practical tips and can help you save quite a bit of time and money for the coming years.

  1. Buy Christmas (and other holiday) decorations after the holiday season. Most decorations will be marked down 50 – 75% or more after Christmas. Think about what you want and buy them for the next season. I do this for all holidays too. My number one store for home goods is Pier 1, and I love waiting until after the seasons to get great deals.
  2. Make some items. Visit Pinterest and YouTube for any DIY projects you want to do. Get the kids involved and make it a fun, learning experience.
  3. Use what you have. I remember one year I really wanted a wreath with our initial. Instead of buying a new wreath, we updated the one we had. A few items from JoAnn Fabric (using a coupon, of course) can put you well on your way to updating a few items.
  4. Stick to pillows. A cheap, easy, and quick way to immediately update an area is to swap out decorative pillows. Something even easier is to use the same pillow insert and just buy different pillow cases. This is even a way to have less to store in between the holidays. Pillow cases are easier to store than pillows.
  5. Buy quality items. I believe that you get what you pay for. Buy items that will last, not flimsy pieces that will fall apart.
  6. Use candles as a quick way to add color. I opt for LED candles because they give light, and they last forever. If I’m not burning them, I’ll always have them.
  7. Hang dish towels. This is a quick and easy way to add holiday cheer to the kitchen.
  8. Buy mini wreaths and hang them on your windows and mirrors. This is an easy and cheap way to add color and cheer. These can be found at a dollar store
  9. Use timeless decor. Buy neutral pieces that don’t follow a theme. If you buy all themed items, it will be that much harder and more expensive to change everything in years to come.
  10. Work on one area per year. This tip is for those of us who don’t have much money to spend on decorations, or don’t want to spend too much at one time.
  11. Add a doormat at the front door. These can be as low as $8 depending on where you go. Use coupons at places such as Bed Bath & Beyond. Also try Marshall’s, Ross, and Sam’s Club.
  12. Use colored napkins, napkin rings, chargers, and table cloths inspired by the season. These can be inexpensive and can add lots of color to your table scape.

Do you have any tips? I’d love to hear about them.


Also, don’t forget to see the exclusive deal I have for you HERE! You do NOT want to miss it!

Aaaaanddd….this was me after everyone left. I was so tired and in so much pain. I had been up since 7:15 just being anxious about the event. I went to bed late the night before, and I was on my feet all day Saturday. Even so, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

P.S. I had a ton of questions about my sweater. I bought it at Marshall’s for $19.99, and it came with the little head band. My socks are from last year, and they are also from Marshall’s.

Oh, and the marshmallows? I completely forgot them for the hot cocoa bar. I didn’t remember them until I was on the phone with a friend  yesterday. Sigh. Better luck next year.

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