Free Glamorous Valentine's Day Printables

Whether or not you're in a committed relationship, you'll fall in love with these fancy gold foil style Valentine's Day printables!




One of my most viewed posts from 2015, I thought it would be fun to do a little "move it up" and share these awesome FREE printables again!  I just love their whimsical and glamorous style, and no matter what you're color scheme, they'll fit right in just about anywhere!  Print them as a 5x7 and set in a frame, print all four and display as a set, or print them smaller and use as Valentine cards or gift tags!

Click on the image or over here on the original post to download.

Love ya!  Mmmmm-wah!

40 Bags in 40 Days

40 Bags in 40 Days has helped thousands of people jump start their plan to declutter their houses, lighten their load, and create a more peaceful, functional home for themselves and their families.



What is 40 Bags in 40 Days?


It is a forty day period when you declutter one area per day, and commit to getting rid of at least one bag of stuff each time.

This year we officially begin March 1st!

I participated in this online event a few years ago, and I'll be honest, I didn't officially make it through the entire forty days.  I missed a few days and got behind, but I did continue to declutter until I had tossed or donated forty bags of stuff!  And I'll tell you what...it was AWESOME!

The feeling of unburdening our home from unnecessary things was as if a literal weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  I felt lighter.  My home felt lighter.  I felt accomplished and less overwhelmed by a large home with five members who had way too much.  By the end of my 40 Bags in 40 Days journey, I felt renewed and ready to tackle the big stuff (like our garage)!

It was empowering.

Having too much stuff will be a lifelong trial for me.  I've always been sentimental about my possessions, attaching memories to clothing, papers, childhood toys, and the like.  I've also always been frugal and prone to saving things "for a rainy day".  The combo has amounted to incredulous amounts of clothing for both myself and my children, more piles and boxes of school papers and magazines than I care to count, completely unorganized decor and holiday items, and frankly, a house that just isn't functional.

It's too much.  Too much wasted time trying to organize chaos, too much wasted money from buying more than I need, too much space taken up by things that we don't use, and too much stress from constantly feeling overwhelmed, trying to clean, organize, store, and maintain IT. ALL.

So, here we are again, and I'm ready for another kick in the pants!

There are a few areas of my home that I will be focusing this time around:


1. Master bedroom (drop zone for randomness and things that don't have a home)

2. Master closet (too much clothing, needs better organization)

3. Kids' clothing (need to donate extra, and store and clearly organize items for future use)

4. Make-up (I have more than I use, and still have boxes of personal care items unpacked from when we moved...three years ago!)

5. Basement (tons of boxes yet to be unpacked and sorted)

6. Large items to sell (big ticket items around the house need to be sold online or get donated)

I think the biggest impact will be to rid ourselves of all the excess clothing and sell big ticket items like rugs and furniture that we no longer like or need.

Simplifying our daily routines and creating a home that feels like "us" will be a big part of our family goals for 2017.  I was already making plans and had begun working through our decluttering process when I came across #40bagsin40days again on Instagram.  What better way to simplify my life and get through all these crazy piles than with the support of thousands of other people just like you and I who need a swift kick and lots of smiley face and thumbs up emojiis?

Whaddya say?  Are you with me?  *thumbs up, cheesy grin*

Quick & Easy DIY Holiday Card Display

Wanna know a secret?
I'm ALL about the instant gratification craft projects!

It's not because I have a short attention span...

SQUIRREL!

...or don't have patience.  I actually love sweating over details and taking my time to get something just right.

But let's be honest, ain't nobody got time for hours and hours of baking and crafting and decorating and snow shoveling and carpooling and diaper wiping...

...I think I got off track.

The point is, if you're a busy gal like me, you've gotta get crackin' on your creative time as quickly and painlessly as possible, or it's nevah gettin' done!

DIY HOLIDAY CARD DISPLAY

It doesn't get any easier than this (unless you just prop your cards open on your piano like I did last year...ahem).

Step 1: Find a simple garland or wide satin ribbon

Step 2: Randomly clip wooden clothespins to your garland or ribbon

Step 3: Hang in conspicuous place so all your family and friends can see how creative you are

Step 4: Wait for the holiday cards to start rolling in!

My mom was visiting from California last month, and we were perusing Jo Ann's Fabrics (like you do) when I spotted some awesome looking Christmas greenery.  There was this Charlie Brown looking garland that looked a little barren for a big fancy mantel, but it was the perfect strand for a card display!  Totally had the idea right there in the store.  It was a beautiful moment, folks.

You may also remember the garland from our DIY Candy Advent Calendar post.  So easy, so cute, such a great way to use up all that leftover Halloween candy - ha!

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Q: Where do you display your holiday cards?  Do you come up with brilliant, totally original, ideas only to find that a bah-zillion other people (like your neighbor and mother-in-law and dentist) have already been doing it basically since birth?  No new ideas, they say.  Bah!  New to me!  Am I right?  Go forth in your personal originality, I say!

DIY Candy Advent Calendar



Wanna know what kids love?

Candy.

Wanna know how to be super popular with the kids?

Give them candy.

What do you have a TON of right now (because we just had a holiday that includes bats, skeletons, and pumpkins)?

Candy.

Seriously.  The secret to life just might be chocolate covered nougat.

This cute gal on Instagram gave me a great idea on how to use up all that extra Halloween candy without sending my kids into an immediate sugar coma (Anyone else still hiding plastic pumpkins of sweets in their pantry?  Closet?  Glove box?).  Plus, it's a super awesome tradition (Hello! A piece of candy every day leading up to yet another day when you get more sweets and presents! Heck yes!).

DIY CANDY ADVENT CALENDAR

What you need:

1. Plastic wrap
2. Small candies (I'm looking at you, Halloween.)
3. Curling or narrow craft ribbon
4. Scissors




Step 1: Gather the supplies (i.e. candy hoard) and call for your kids to stop watching their tablets and come help create this fun holiday treat (notice my eight year old's completely enthralled state of being after being told to stop playing on her iPad - don't worry, she cheered right up after realizing she was about to create a 24-day candy coma party)!

Step 2: Decide how many days you'd like to countdown and select enough candies for each day.

We created two "24 days till Christmas" garlands because my two oldest kids would be participating and I thought it would be fun if they could both participate each day.




Step 3: Roll out a long sheet of plastic wrap (do not tear off roll) on a table or floor and start adding candies.  Line them up near the long edge of the plastic wrap and allow about 5 inches of wrap per candy.  You want to have room to tie off in between the candies with ribbon.

We assembled our 24 days countdown garland on a table by making two four foot garlands and tying them together.  You could also make a long garland by stretching a longer sheet of plastic wrap on the floor.




Step 4: With all candies placed on plastic wrap, carefully tear off the sheet.  It may be easiest to use scissors so as not to disturb your beautifully lined up treats.

Step 5: Systematically eat all the candies.

Just kidding.  Don't eat the candy yet!




Step 6: Fold the long edge of the plastic wrap over the row of candies.  Then carefully roll the line of treats up lengthwise until they are fully wrapped in the plastic.  You have created a long candy garland!

Remember to let the kids help with this part too!  We spaced ourselves along the candy line up and all rolled at the same time.  Much easier than trying to roll that whole thing by myself, and my three year old  was especially enthusiastic about rolling it all up!




Step 7: Use small pieces of curling ribbon or craft ribbon (we used about 6 inch strands) to tie in between each candy on the roll.




Step 8: Display your Christmas advent calendar!  We decided to tie a longer piece of ribbon to one end of the garland to hang on the wall.




Now as you count down using your DIY advent calendar, simply use scissors to cut off a piece of candy each day.  The ribbons you tied between each candy will hold the next day's treat until you're ready to cut off another piece.  Just remember to cut below the ribbon of tomorrow's candy so it stays in tact!







Now you have a truly sweet way to count down the days until Christmas!