Weekend Inspiration: No. 42

Weekend Inspiration: No. 42

We’re in the home stretch toward the holidays, and I’m feeling it. But not necessarily in the best way. I’m actually feeling a tiny bit panicky this morning as I race to the finish line of the year with a miles-long to-do list staring me in the face. This realization is making me really disappointed in myself because it’s the best time of the year, after all, and I’m missing it—all the joy, the excitement, that anticipation!

Stress is no joke, and I’m definitely not laughing right now, so I’m going to do my best this weekend to cut myself some slack. I think I might even take a hard look at my to-do list and cross some things off that might have been especially ambitious and unnecessary.

I wanted to bring this topic up today just in case you’re feeling the holiday rush in a not-so-great way, too. Give yourself permission to lay low and try not to overdo. In the meantime, I’m listing a bunch of stress-relieving links below to help us all settle down and let stress go these next two days off.

Weekend Inspiration: No. 42

1. I’m whipping up a batch of this holiday de-stressing orange clove scrub as soon as I shut my computer down tonight.

2. I don’t think this works for everyone, but a small glass of good wine always soothes my racing mind. I’m thinking about trying this recipe for mulled wine over the weekend to see if it does the trick.

3. If you’re still decorating for the holidays and it’s bringing you lots of anxiety, head back to this past DGD post. It has lots of tips for simplifying the process.

4. I love these printable to-do lists. They’re simple, well designed, and I think they’ll help me pare down my “Things To Do” to a more manageable list.

5. Have you tried CBD oil yet? This post is packed with helpful info about how specific herbs relieve stress. I’m also really curious about her recipe for a Relaxation Tincture (there’s a how-to video!).

6. This list of 5 Cozy Wellness Tips To Get You Through The Holiday Season on Glitter Guide really spoke to me. I’m going to try every single one of their suggestions this winter.

7. Instead of a seventh link, I want to give us both a tiny challenge for the day: let’s go on a walk! I really hate walking for exercise, but I think some fresh air and movement will do me good this weekend, and maybe it would for you, too. So, let’s both plan to get outside today or tomorrow or even the next day to try to kick some of our collective stress away.

Weekend Inspiration: No. 42

Visit the DGD shop to see the updated collection!

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her

If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably already done with your holiday shopping for the year. John and I had most of our gifts purchased, wrapped, and under the tree by Black Friday, but I’m still ordering a few odds and ends to fill up stockings. Just in case you’re looking for a few ideas, I thought I’d round up a collection of gifts perfect for the women in your lives—after all, those are the types of goodies I know best seeing as I’m a gift-loving gal myself.

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her

1. Paddywax Mesa Collection Scented Soy Wax Candle: I know candles have kind of a bad rap, but they’re so universally loved! I like that this one is soy-based.

2. Befettly Moon Pendant Necklace: Dainty gold jewelry is so on-trend right now. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who wouldn’t appreciate this pendant necklace.

3. Food52 Genius Recipes: This pretty cookbook is one they’ll want to leave out on the counter.

4. Travel Neck Pillow: This one won’t get to you in time for Christmas anymore, but you could always print a picture of it and stick it in her stocking as a stand-in until the real gift arrives.

5. Teo Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser: I own this diffuser myself and couldn’t recommend it more.

6. Beats EP On-Ear Headphones: Everybody could use a pair of good headphones! (Note: looks like the white ones are already sold out, but the black version should get to you by Christmas)

7. Envelope Travel Clutch with ID Card Holder: There’s room in this wallet for credit cards, money, and even a cell phone. I also think she’ll love the tone-on-tone leather finish.

8. Sheepskin Lined Cable Knit Throw: Whenever I’m stumped for what to get someone, I almost always default to a really luxurious, extra soft throw blanket, like this one.

9. Fluf Zipper Lunch Bag: This is, quite possibly, the coolest lunchbox I’ve ever seen. That grid pattern is so fresh and modern.

10. 3-Inch Ceramic Pot: Bonus points if you fill this pretty ceramic pot with a live plant before handing it over on Christmas morning!

11. Kate Aspen Under the Stars Glass Coaster Set: I love that you have to get just a little closer to these star-covered coasters to see what the delicate pattern actually is.

12. Davines Volu Hair Mist: A hair mist that adds instant volume to thin hair? Please excuse me while I go add it to my own Christmas wish list.

Oh, and you might have noticed the new design on today’s graphic. I’ve been feeling the itch to upgrade a few things visually around these parts, so just a heads up in case you notice things looking a little different on the blog in the next month or two.

A new website design might just be in the near future, too, although I’m undecided on that. It’s so much work (and stress) redoing my website since I’ve only ever done it myself. So, with that said, fellow bloggers, let me know in the comments if you would recommend any particular web designers, and if you’re a designer who might be interested in teaming up, please do shoot me a message!

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts For Her

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

This statement is nothing new to you if you’ve been a blog follower for a while now, but the lighting in our kitchen is really, really bad. Even with the overhead pendant on full blast, John and I feel like we’re squinting to see what we’re doing while cooking in the space. So, under-cabinet lighting has been on my to-do list for practically the entire time we’ve lived in this house.

As of this past fall, enough was finally enough, and I decided to splurge on a set of battery-operated lights for under the kitchen cabinets. Today, I wanted to talk you through the quick install process, and also share my thoughts on the lights themselves now that we’ve used them for a couple of months.

Oh, and just so you know, this post isn’t sponsored—I paid for the lights myself, and just thought you might like to know a little more about the exact ones we bought because (spoiler) they’re awesome!

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

Here’s a link to the set of six wireless puck lights I ordered off of Amazon. After reading the reviews, I decided to also order a few sets of rechargeable batteries. The puck lights themselves actually came with regular batteries, so I didn’t have to open the rechargeable ones right away, but I’m glad to know that, when the cheap batteries die, I’ve got a backup set that we can reuse over and over again.

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

As for installation, all you have to do is remove the lights from their packaging, pull out the temporary plastic tabs to activate the batteries, and then decide where you want each light to go under your cabinets. Since you really can’t see the lights when you’re moving around in the kitchen, you don’t need to be super meticulous about measuring things out—unless you want to, of course. The lights are tucked far enough under our own cabinets to be inconspicuous, so I just eye-balled their placement every few feet around the L-shape of our kitchen.

You can actually tap these particular puck lights to turn each one on individually, but the set also comes with a remote so you can turn them all on at once, dim them, and even set them on a timer, which I think is pretty handy. The only thing you need to keep in mind because of the remote is that you need to install the lights with the sensor facing outward so the remote can trigger them accurately.

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

(Note: Please ignore the patchy yellowish drywall you see exposed between the backsplash and cabinets…We still need to paint it or add trim to cover it up.)

To install, I first held the assembled light up where I wanted it under the cabinet, making sure the sensor was facing forward. Then, I carefully lowered the light (with it still oriented the correct way), gently twisted the halves apart to access the screw holes on the top section, and then realigned it under the cabinet. After that, I made marks through the holes onto the cabinet with a marker, drilled through the marks, and screwed the top portion of the light to the cabinet. Finally, I twisted the bottom part of the light onto the top that I had just screwed in place.

As you can see a few photos up, I also drew on a quick arrow to help me remember which way the top portion needed to be aligned under the cabinet. This made sure the tabs that you twist the halves over are all facing the right way to get the sensor aligned properly. I promise this will make a whole lot more sense if you decide to purchase and install these exact lights, so don’t worry if it sounds confusing right now!

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

I went back and forth over whether to pay an electrician to come out and install wired lights, but am actually really glad I decided to go with battery-operated. Yes, they’ll eventually dim and die and we’ll need to stay on top of recharging batteries, but the lights cost less than $35, so the whole project came in way under budget.

Another reason I’m happy we went with wireless lights? They are an absolute GODSEND when the power goes out! That doesn’t happen too often around here, but it went out for 24 hours last month after an ice storm, and we were able to light up the entire kitchen without power thanks to our little set of puck lights. We also were able to twist a couple of them off the cabinets and keep them in the bathrooms so we had light in those rooms during the power outage, too.

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

Have you installed under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen? If so, did you go with battery-operated lights, plug-in options, or fully wired versions? Let me know in the comments below. And, again, if you want to copy our set-up, these are the puck lights we bought, and these are the rechargeable batteries that we have on standby.

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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12 Face Masks To Inspire Self-Care

12 Face Masks To Inspire Self-Care

Only two-ish weeks until Christmas, which means we’re also that many weeks away from some much-deserved time off! At least I hope that’s the case for all of you.

As an entrepreneur I don’t get perks like paid time off or health benefits, so this time of year is the one time I really allow myself to indulge. I take two full weeks off between Christmas and New Years, and that time has come to mean a lot of things for me. I use it to catch up on home projects, plan a few extra special things for the blog (I’m considering a site redesign this year!), and I also try my best to prioritize self-care in the form of uninterrupted down time.

This fall-to-winter transition has felt especially dry, a fact proven by the state of my skin. So, I’m currently on the hunt for a new face mask or two to add to my collection as I gear up for time off. At-home facials are one of my very favorite ways to relax, and these 12 are at the top of my wishlist right now.

12 Face Masks To Inspire Self-Care

1. YOUTHMUD Tinglexfoliate Treatment

2. Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask

3. Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask

4. Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask with Echinacea GreenEnvy

5. Lifting and Firming Mask

6. Hello, Calm Relaxing & Hydrating Face Mask with Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil

7. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

8. Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask

9. Overtime Mask

10. Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask

11. Rose Face Mask

12. Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer

Have you ever done an at-home face mask, or do you prefer going to see a professional? I’ve gotten a pro facial once in my life, and it really was pretty magical. I remember it being a little overwhelming in the moment (all that steam, the plethora of scents), but I might just have to treat myself to one in the new year. Until then, though, I’m going to invest in one of these options above to tide me over during the holidays. Let me know if you’ve got a favorite that I didn’t list in today’s post. Oh, and don’t forget that any one of these masks makes a great Christmas gift, too…Just saying!

12 Face Masks To Inspire Self-Care

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Ready to see the next new collection to hit the DGD Pottery shop?! The latest set of seven handmade pieces just went live here, and today I’m talking you quickly through each one so you can get a sense of my intention for the collection.

As with nearly everything I’ve created so far this year, my focus has been playing around with different organic shapes and working within earth-toned colors that feel really natural. Some are more minimalist than others within this group, and some look especially handmade, but each one is perfectly suited to lots of handling and daily love wherever they end up.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

There are three cups in Collection No.3—a dark brown mug, one tall tumbler with a carved branch design, and a bright bluish green handle-less cup that can be used for drinking just about anything, whether that’s coffee, tea, water, or juice.

I’ve been anxious to settle on one consistent mug style, and even though I feel like I have a long way to go before I get there, I’m most drawn personally to the chocolate brown mug in this latest shop update. The ultra even sides and handle speak to me and my love for symmetry, and the dark glaze is so rich looking in person.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

That branchy tumbler was actually meant to be a quick exercise in seeing just how quickly and how high I could form a cylinder, but I ended up liking the tall form so much that I kept it. This style is now my absolute favorite for drinking tea out of, and I think you guys are going to love the other versions that I’ll be adding to the shop in the new year.

The minty fresh no-handle cup is done in another of my go-to glaze colors, and although it wasn’t exactly intentional, one of my favorite parts is the pool of thick glaze around the bottom. I double dipped the piece to try to get an ombre look, but ended up with that candy-like glaze effect along the bottom edge, which you can see better in the photo just below. I can’t wait to recreate that look on a few new pieces after the holidays.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

This collection is the very first to include anything hand-built, and I really couldn’t be more excited about that. I just started dabbling in these types of free-form pieces, but have a feeling it’ll be something I start to focus on in 2019. I didn’t think I’d like the slightly uneven edges that come from working with clay on a table rather than on a wheel, but it speaks to me! The dark blue raised plate that you see (upside down) below is perfect for serving treats on a buffet, or for holding odds and ends on a coffee table.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Now for the vases. There are three new ones in today’s shop update: a skinny-necked spotted one with a scallop design at the bottom, a simplified angular white vase, and a low dashed ikebana vase, which I demonstrate how to use below.

Just fill the vase with water, snip off your flower stem (it works best to use tall, thick flowers like orchids), and push the cut end of the stem onto the pin that comes included inside the vase. It makes such a cool statement, doesn’t it? I’m going to have a really hard time letting that one go, but I hope one of you will be inspired by my version of this type of Japanese floral designing.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Hop through here (or click that image below) to learn more about the collection on Etsy and to grab your favorites before they’re gone. I also have a handful of Christmas ornaments left in case you’re still holiday shopping. The cut-off for guaranteed delivery before Christmas is next Thursday, December 20, so don’t wait! As always, thanks so much for your support of the shop and my pottery—your messages, comments, and orders mean the world to me.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

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Weekend Inspiration: No. 41

Weekend Inspiration: No. 41

Now that I’m finally feeling better after getting taken down for the count by a nasty cold, I’m craving tons of Christmasy activities. I think I’m going to try to convince John to go on a holiday excursion with me out of town tomorrow or the next day so we can finish up last-minute gift shopping, eat indulgent food, and maybe splurge on a thing or two for ourselves. What are you getting up to this weekend? Keep scrolling for a list of links to inspire you in case you need ideas.

Weekend Inspiration: No. 41

1. I’ve been really thoughtful lately about how I want to change things up in the new year, and one thing I’d love to focus on is shopping more sustainably. Here’s a great roundup of fair trade brands to consider if you’re interested in doing the same.

2. Speaking of, I just got these ethically made leather mules from Nisolo in the mail, and love them. Gorgeous design, and you can tell that they’re really well made.

3. I’m headed out to the post office this morning to ship off another batch of Christmas ornament orders from the DGD Pottery shop! Grab your favorites here before I’m forced to cut off shipments in about a week’s time ahead of the holiday.

4. Oh, and I just discovered this ceramics Etsy shop—I want everything!

5. In case you missed the news about my latest interview and updated home tour feature, click back here to find out more.

6. Did you hear about Everlane’s cashmere tour? It kicks off in Washington, DC, this weekend. More event info this way if you’ll be in the area, and for those of you like me who live too far away, here’s a gorgeous option to grab from afar.

7. I’ve been listening to Christmas music on this smart speaker in our house non-stop this week. What’s your favorite holiday tune? Mine is “Merry Christmas Darling” by the Carpenters.

Weekend Inspiration: No. 41

Visit the DGD shop to see the updated collection!*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

I know, I know…How many times can one blogger share their full home tour in one year?! Chances are good that the thought is running through your head if you’ve been following along for any length of time this year since I’ve already opened the digital doors to our space with a feature here, but this time things are a little different.

Of course, each time I do an interview about our home I do my best to share exclusive insight and tidbits that I’ve never opened up about before, but the extra special thing about this particular new home tour is that it was shot entirely by yours truly!

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Who published our latest home tour? None other than Hunker! As you may know, I contribute regular DIY tutorials to the website, and my editor was sweet enough to recently invite me to team up with them for a full home tour feature. I couldn’t say yes fast enough, and even though I was also quick to offer up recommendations for photographers in our area (there are so many great ones!) to shoot the tour, Hunker asked specifically if I would photograph the space myself.

An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

I was honestly a little hesitant to agree because I still don’t feel like my photography is on par with that of all the incredibly talented professional interior photographers that I follow, but Hunker’s confidence in me eventually won me over. I was so flattered by their encouragement, and now that the tour is live, I’m maybe even a little proud to say I shot it myself!

My passion for interior photography isn’t something I ever anticipated developing when I started blogging almost eight years ago, but now it’s one of my very favorite pieces of the multi-layered puzzle. This opportunity with Hunker was a great way to stretch my photography muscles even further than usual.

An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

BIG thanks to the team at Hunker for their support, and I hope you enjoy the tour and interview. Click here to see the slideshow and read the oh-so-sweet words written by my interviewer Laura Lambert. And in case you’re curious to hear more about the updates you might be able to spot since our last home tour went live, don’t you worry—I’ve got lots of home update stories to share later this month and in the new year (think: new antique art, refreshed room layouts, a few electrical updates, and more). Stay tuned!

An Updated Home Tour And New Interview!

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Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Ever since making the spontaneous move to a brand-new-to-us town with no friends or family to speak of nearby, John and I have had the unexpected opportunity to make new holiday traditions of our own. We’ve discovered the best neighborhoods to drive through when we want to look at Christmas lights after dark, we’ve searched for (and found!) the best place to get a cup of classic hot chocolate while running Christmasy errands, and, this year, we finally decided to go on the hunt for the perfect local place to get a live Christmas tree.

This is the first year ever that we’ve gotten a real tree for Christmas as a couple, and we decided to wait until my sister was visiting from out of town for Thanksgiving so she could get in on the fun, too. The ultimate destination? Francisco Farms, a scenic 25-minute drive away in Staunton, Virginia.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

This was right around the time that I started to feel pretty sick with my cold, but I decided to suck it up so that I could experience the adventure in person. So, the three of us bundled up (although, spoiler, we really should have bundled up much more) and piled into John’s pickup truck to make the trek to the farm. It was a gorgeous drive through the countryside in an area that we hadn’t been before, and you better believe we blasted Christmas music the entire way there and back.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

My mom was the one to find Francisco Farms for us while we were researching places to go ahead of time, and I’m so glad she stumbled upon it because we couldn’t have picked a better spot. The farm is really casual and down-to-earth (cash/check only, no big bouncy house, or live music), but that’s much more our style anyway—and you can’t really beat the views. Rows upon rows of festive evergreen trees, neatly kept but still surrounded by tall grass and brambles. I wished more than once that I had skipped the loafers I was wearing, and that I had worn boots like my sister, but it was so much fun that I was able to ignore my chilly ankles. For the most part, anyway.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

We saw lots of great contenders amongst the white pines, but ultimately decided on a fat tree just a tiny bit taller than us, with plenty of strong branches perfect for holding all of the decorations we planned to pile onto it. We were able to borrow a much-loved tree saw from the folks who ran the farm, and John had the tree cut and on the ground within just a minute or two.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Since it was bitterly cold and I was struggling through the sniffles as it was, we didn’t end up staying quite as long as I wanted to. We probably were there no more than 30 minutes, but I still couldn’t imagine a better first visit to this farm. Now that we know the ropes, I think next year will be even better! We’ll definitely wear bigger coats and winter hats, plan to spend more time wandering for fun between the rows of trees, and maybe we’ll even bring the dog so he has a chance to see (and smell) the sights, too.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

Hop back here, in case you missed it, to see our live Christmas tree in all its slightly uneven, fluffy, festive glory. It smells so good, the effect worlds away better than the faux tree we used to put up in that spot in our family room. I’m so glad we decided to start a new tradition, and can’t wait to go back and support Francisco Farms in 2019. Do you get a live tree for the holidays? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

Our Day At The Christmas Tree Farm

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Retro-Inspired Christmas Ornaments

Retro-Inspired Christmas Ornaments

In years past, I’ve been really strict about the ornaments we put on our Christmas trees. I had this idea in my head that the tree needed to be color coordinated from top to trunk, and while I really do like that look, this year I’m feeling a little more casual and free. As you may have seen yesterday in the reveal of our 2018 holiday decorations, our two Christmas trees are currently playing host to a whole range of ornaments—from white cut-out snowflakes and stuffed owls, to handmade clay ornaments that have my own unique stamp on them (literally!).

One of my favorite ornament themes this Christmas is retro. I love anything that looks like it came straight out of the 1950s or ’60s, especially mini bottlebrush trees or reflector style ornaments. One thing I’m glad for in these modernized versions? That they’re shatterproof! I love having authentic mid-century ornaments (like those passed down from family), but I always have to be so careful with these types of glass baubles. I love that I can be a little more relaxed around many of the 12 reproduction retro ornaments that I rounded up below.

Retro-Inspired Christmas Ornaments

1. Rudolf’s Misfit Friend Ornament

2. Retro Beaded Snowflake

3. Miniature Retro Ornaments

4. Silver Retro Reflector Christmas Finials

5. Retro Bottlebrush Tree

6. Northlight Green and White Retro Style Bus with Christmas Tree

7. Round ‘Holly Jolly’ Christmas Ornament

8. Vintage Television Ornament

9. Retro Reflector Christmas Ornament (this one already sold out, but click that link to shop the list of similar options—this one, in particular, caught my eye!)

10. Retro Cloche With Car

11. Songbird 5-Piece Christmas Ornament Set

12. 2018 Tree Ornament

What types of ornaments are you leaning toward this year? Or do you stick to one set bunch year after year? I don’t know why I tend to pick a new favorite every single year. It’s not a terribly economical way of doing things since I almost always buy new ornaments each time a new holiday season rolls around. But I’m not going to be too hard on myself for the habit. Christmas seems like the perfect time to be a little overindulgent, so I’m giving myself a free pass to spoil myself in this tiny little way. Use the comments section below to tell me what’s on your Christmas tree this year!

Retro-Inspired Christmas Ornaments

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

First, I want to thank you guys for your patience with me last week while I was sick. I’m finally starting to feel like myself, and am longing to get back into the blogging groove with longer, meatier posts once again. I thought I’d kick things off with a big roundup of all my favorite Christmas decorating hacks.

This topic was actually one that was requested by name over on the DGD Instagram feed, and it really got me thinking: do I have any valuable perspective to share? I kept the thought in the back of my mind as I worked to decorate our home for the season, and it turns out that I really do have quite a bit to say. With 32 years of holidays under my belt, it turns out that I’ve managed to collect a handful of habits that, I think, make the process of decorating a festive home much less stressful. Scroll on to hear how I do it!

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

Box Things Up By Room

Instead of keeping one or two giant boxes of holiday decorations in storage, consider boxing items in smaller containers by section or vignette. What I mean by this is, for those of you who tend to put out your Christmas (or whatever holiday it may be!) décor in the same places each year, box those pieces up together and label the container with that specific spot.

For example, I always set out our hand-me-down nativity set, ceramic Christmas tree, and sleigh in the living room, so all three pieces are carefully wrapped and boxed together with the label “Living Room” on it. The garland I hang in the same room also goes in that box, as does the stack of collectible Christmas books I keep on the living room coffee table. By boxing things according to the room or piece of furniture they traditionally go on each year, I’m able to avoid having to schlep unnecessary boxes upstairs, and I don’t have quite as much digging to do once I finally have those boxes out of storage.

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

Make “Like For Like” Swaps

I know I’ve said this over and over here on the blog, but I’m actually not a huge fan of holiday decorating. I spend so much time and effort decorating for every other day of the year, I hate the idea of undoing all that hard work for seasonal items. That said, I’m Christmas’s number one fan, so I tend to grit my teeth a little bit and go through the motions in order to live amongst all that happy Christmas cheer for the month of December.

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to simplify the process is to make “Like For Like” swaps with my styling. In other words, if I generally keep a ceramic bowl out on the dining room console to hold things like linen napkins or pretty serving spoons, I’ll temporarily switch those out for a similarly sized Christmas-themed bowl filled with ornaments. That way I’m not having to start from scratch with my styling and tabletop arranging, but I still get the holiday vibes across.

A few other swaps I make every year: our stack of everyday coffee table books gets changed over to Christmas books, the hanging art in the dining room is swapped out for a faux evergreen wreath, and a tabletop Christmas tree takes the place of the tall tapered vase in our family room.

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

Reuse Storage Containers

One inevitability of Christmas decorating is that you do end up displacing a lot of your everyday items. In years past, I’ve always struggled with finding places to temporarily put all of our non-seasonal accents while we had our Christmas décor out, but this year I finally figured out the solution.

As I took down our everyday décor to make room for holiday items, I wrapped those everyday pieces up and put them right into the box that the Christmas pieces had just come from. That way, I’m not putting empty boxes away, and I don’t have to worry about finding spots for our year-round décor in storage.

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

Box It Up Whole

A few year ago, I started a new tradition of hanging a garland over the doorway to our kitchen. It’s a faux garland, so we can reuse it every year, and it’s now where we display all of the holiday cards that came in the mail from friends and family. I use wooden clothespins to clip up the cards as they arrive in our mailbox, and I also filled the rest of the garland in with shatterproof ornaments.

I almost hesitated to admit this, but instead of bagging up the clothespins and removing each ornament from the garland after the holidays were over last year, I gently took the whole thing down off the wall and put it into the box whole—clothespins and ornaments still attached! Being able to lift that pre-decorated garland out of the box to hang on the nails (that we discreetly keep in the doorway year-round) saved me so much time this year. Yes, it’s a little tacky, but the time it saves me is worth it.

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

Time It Just Right

I think we can all agree that there’s a right and a wrong time to decorate for the holidays. The right time is when you’re feeling energetic and motivated, when you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, and maybe even when you happen to have an extra set of hands nearby to help with those hard-to-reach areas or heavy items.

On the other hand, the wrong time to decorate for the holidays is when you’re hours away from hosting a Christmas party, you’re wiped out from a full day of work, or when you’re feeling a little stressed by other things going on in your life. Even if it means you don’t get around to it until mid-December, commit to choosing your moment extra wisely this year. As cheesy as it might sound, a good attitude could be the difference between a really chaotic Christmas decorating day and a simplified, enjoyable one.

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

I know that a lot of these tips might already be key parts of your seasonal routine, and seem like common knowledge, but I still thought it was worth talking through just in case one of you hadn’t thought to try these methods before. And, of course, I’m sure there’s still so much more that I could be doing to simplify our holiday decorating routine, so if you have ideas of your own, please tell us about them in the comments below!

How To Simplify Christmas Decorating

P.S. There’s still plenty of time to grab a handmade ornament for Christmas from the DGD Pottery shop! See what’s left of the collection here.
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