I have inherited my mom’s passion for Christmas themes, and every year has to be different. One year the tree may be covered in gingerbread; the next it could be snowflakes or vintage ornaments. I’m an expert at generating fresh ideas, but stretching my budget to incorporate an entirely new look takes a bit more creativity. I can’t afford a professional decorator, and that would take all the fun out of it anyway. Here are my favorite tips for decorating for Christmas and still having enough money left to buy gifts.
Who hasn't swooned over all the lovely, do-it-yourself projects that we see being posted, pinned and shared every day? Unfortunately, not everyone can be a Martha Stewart. In fact, some of us are downright craft-challenged. I love crafting, but once the instructions call for anything more complicated than a glue stick, I need to tap out. Here are a few simple, inexpensive and fun projects that anyone can do.
The annual fin frenzy is about to begin. For 27 years the Discovery Channel has been going to great depths to uncover the world of sharks. Shark Week has become a cultural phenomenon and one that deserves a party. And ...
Prime wedding season is in full swing and chances are there is an invite or two up on your fridge. Gone are the days when you knew just what to expect from a wedding. Today's brides are putting their personal touches on absolutely every aspect of their special day. Why have a three-tier cake when you could have cupcakes, doughnuts or even no cake at all? Why do a traditional slow dance for your first dance as husband and wife when you could do a choreographed, flash mob routine? And, why use expensive flowers for your table centerpieces when you could come up with a creative, cost-effective option instead?
The resemblance between prison cell blocks and college dorm rooms is quite shocking: cinder block walls, gray color schemes and institutional style bed frames. For those heading off to college the thought of trading your nice, comfy bedroom for such a stark living space may seem a little scary. Thankfully you can transform your new home with a couple hundred bucks and plenty of creativity.
Stores like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters have lots of fun and fashionable ideas for hip, modern decor. The problem is, these looks are often out of reach for budget shoppers. Take the Collected Memories Mirror from Anthropologie, pictured right. At $698, not even the most awesome coupon ever is going to get that down to a price you want to pay.
The bad thing about sending your kids to a school where uniforms are worn is that when an item needs replacement, it's not as easy as going around the corner to Target. My younger son's school requires charcoal gray paints, and they can only come from one store. That store is in Philadelphia--it's not in my area code, let alone my zip code. So if we need to replace some uniform parts in a hurry, we have to have an hour and a half to spare.
Listening to my eight-year-old's conversations with his friends is always good for a laugh. One recent day there were five children under 10 years old sprawled out on my family-room floor, making designs with Perler beads. (It's a great activity ...