2016 Christmas Home Tour

This year has been one of the most amazing years filled with so may blessings.  It should be so easy for me to type this blog post but honestly, it is super difficult.  Not because I don’t have a lot to write about but because I have been the busiest and exhausted I have been in a long while! We closed on our new house in April of this year and since then I have been chauffeuring kids to and from school and their extracurricular activities, working on my new t-shirt line, selling milk paint, continuing with my furniture refurbishing business and  decorating our new home.  Not to mention all the upkeep and unsuspected maintenance we have had pop up in the last few months of home ownership.  (If I had to count how many sprinkler heads I have had to replace, I wouldn’t have enough fingers.)  Imagining my crazy, busy year I think you can see how its been super hard for me to keep up with my blog, YouTube channel, and DIY projects.  I have to say that the holidays were a blessing in disguise.  If it weren’t for holiday guests I may have never found the energy to get my decorations up and get the house clean!

In November, my husband told me he wanted to host his office Christmas party at our house and I was more than a little worried.  I can be a little obsessive about entertaining (okay…a lot obsessive) and I just didn’t feel like my house was up to entertaining a big group of people.  For one, we moved from base housing which was a little over 1600 sq. ft. to a 2900 sq.ft. home.  I had to find a way to decorate a bigger home, and accomplish it in a months time with very little money.  I was worried because I didn’t just need Christmas décor, but I was in need of furniture too!  I had no sofa in our living room, I started but never finished painting our living room, I had no coffee table in our family room and our kitchen table was missing chairs. Instead of just giving up I decided to hop on Pinterest and peruse my favorite home décor magazines to give me some inspiration and direction.   Once I decided what styles I liked and decided what items matched my instinctual home décor taste I took my very light wallet and hit all the local thrift stores on an almost daily basis. I found lots of Christmas and non Christmas décor embellishments but on one trip I found a very simple duck cloth loveseat and a great Queen Victoria lounge chair for a steal of a deal plus it was Veterans Discount Day!!  I steam cleaned  and dusted both pieces and you would have never guessed that I got them second hand. How’s that for breaking the ice on this home décor mission!

During this time my husband and I worked a little every week in our not so spare time to finish painting our spacious living room.  It is quite a feat with 10 ft. ceilings.  Especially since I am severely afraid of heights and climbing ladders get my knees knocking like you wouldn’t believe.  I painted our living room a soft and calming grey blue tone.  I like to stick to blues and greys because of their Zen like properties.  The paint we used was Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Eggshell Enamel in the color Planetary Grey.

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TIP:  When you are talking about paint that covers great and has great stain blocking properties you get what you pay for.  In my opinion, don’t skimp on cheap paint. I have been a Behr girl for years and recommend it to anyone that asks.

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Here you can kinda see the old color to the right which was a vanilla”ish” beige alongside the new color.  I cropped out the nightmare of a mess I had going on the living room floor.

While shopping for décor at one of my favorite thrifts, I found a great clipper ship print.  It looked so great on my blue grey walls that I decided to do a collage of ships with prints and paintings I found while junking.  So far I have four pictures.  You can see some of them in this picture as well as some of my Christmas décor.

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You can also see the Queen Victoria Lounge Chair in this picture.  Not bad for a thrift store find!  The Christmas décor you see here consist of junking finds, and last years bargain shopping.

TIP:  Visit the local craft and home décor stores the days after the holidays.  Most stores are practically giving away their seasonal merchandise.  Just pack it away, along with this years decorations and next December it will feel like Christmas came early!

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One of the best things about moving into a bigger house is unpacking things that did not fit in your last little base house.  This stained glass European China Cabinet was one of those.  I had this piece crated and stored for three years and I was so ecstatic to finally unbox it.  Some things just never go out of style and hand carved antique furniture is one of them!

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Wondering about that second hand sofa??? Well here it is dolled up with some cute pillows I picked up at Walmart.  Speaking of second hand scores!  See the 9ft tree on the right?  Guess how much I got that for at Goodwill???  Did you guess $14.99?  Well if you did, then you are correct!  I spent weeks pricing trees and I nearly gave the hubby a heart attack when I took him tree browsing.  Most artificial trees range from $170-$300 brand new.  You better believe I pulled the tag on this bad boy and paid my $14.99 before they realized just how little they were charging me.  It just goes to show that if you are patient and keep your eyes peeled for good deals, you can get lucky.

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Finding a good centerpiece is always tricky, but nothing beats taking something unexpected like a vintage sled and some old, cloth feed sacks and using them to dress up your table.  Add some galvanized metal, cinnamon candles, festive foliage and you are good to go!

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TIP: Buy your favorite scented candles, remove the manufacturer sticker and decorate it with some fancy Christmas ribbon and some greenery.  I love Better Homes and Gardens Scented Candles from Walmart and the Ribbon and greenery are from Michaels!  If you don’t already have the Michaels app on your smart phone, download it after reading this blog!  They have weekly sale items and COUPONS!!!!

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Because I wanted to be a good hostess I made sure to have champagne flutes and wine glasses on hand.  I found these at Goodwill for .69 cents each and they are not the thin cheap glass.  These glasses are heavy and makes it look like I spent department store prices.  A little soapy hot water and they are as good as new and ready to fill with Christmas spirit.

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TIP:  Save money on holiday foliage by visiting your local pop up Christmas tree tents.  The workers will sometimes give you the clippings for free.  Take a box, fill it up, and enjoy the pine scent and holiday cheer for days.  Use them to trim out centerpieces, fill mason jars or if you are super crafty, make wreaths.  Here I took an old wood bowl and mason jars I trimmed with plaid and twine and filled them with my free clippings.

I spent a lot of time in my living room decorating but I also tried to show the same amount of attention to detail to my family room.  With food and laughter on the menu I wanted to give people a comfortable place to mingle, nibble and unwind.  I had to find a coffee table that was big enough to fill space but matched my style and budget.  I again hit the thrift stores and found two coffee tables.  One didn’t work with my décor so it was refurbished and put up for sale. The second one was big enough but it had a glass top.  As a mom of three crazy boys I knew that would be a major no-no!  I decided to paint it with Sweet Pickins Milk Paint in Haberdash then I sealed it with our Clear Beeswax.  I replaced the glass with reclaimed wood slats which I cut to fit, sanded, then stained.  I have to say I am thrilled at how this project turned out!

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And here is how my coffee table looks with the rest of the space.

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TIP: Use food for décor!  Use a plate of cookies, a bowl of apples, or even tasty canapés on a fancy server. You have them on hand already, so why not serve up some delicious ornamentation.

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Last but not least my latest purchase!  I bought this dining room table from a friend and fellow junker for a great deal!  I plan on reupholstering the seats and giving it a makeover but I’m gonna have to save this for after the holidays! I still have to wrap presents and spend time with the family so I think it can wait.

I hope you enjoyed my Christmas home tour for 2016.  Hopefully I will be able to pick up my blogging pace in the new year.  If you liked this blog, my tips and my photographs, please make sure to share on Facebook and pin my pictures!

Until next time Merry Christmas to you and yours and Good Tidings for the New Year!

XOXO,

April, My Three C’s

 

 

 

My Three C’s 2015 Christmas Living Room Decor

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This will be my third Christmas spent in my tiny home on Military Base Housing.  I know some of you reading this blog know my struggle. You may be just like me, living in base or post housing or possibly a apartment dweller, or dorm room student.   The rooms are small, tiny and can sometimes feel more like a hospital room or a staged apartment than a home.  The last year has been rather stifling to me because we have far outgrown this space.  In fact, we have never been very comfortable in this small space, but we have made due.  I have my three boys, my husband, myself and my Chihuahua, Kiwi that reside here and some days its like we are walking on top of each other just to go to the bathroom.  Hopefully that changes for us soon, but I also have to remember to be humble.  Not everyone has a warm bed in a clean and safe home and it is selfish of me to not remember that I am one of the lucky ones.  Truthfully this is the first year that I really went all out and dug out the Rubbermaid containers full of collected Holly Jolly and Fa La La and Decked my Halls with the joy of the season.  Doing so was actually therapeutic for me.  I was in a funk because when you love home décor, crafting and collecting antiques, and you don’t own the space you live in, it gets hard to not feel creatively stunted by lack of ownership freedom. I decided I was going to reflect the things that make me happy in by decorating vision and use items I already had to make this season feel as homey and as organic as I could.

I wanted to make sure my home didn’t feel staged so I kept with the natural and eclectic style I love. I am completely obsessed with the quality and craftsmanship of antique furniture and try my best to avoid any mass produced pieces in my home.  I’m not a spring chicken so I have had a few decades to build my collection of antique furniture and I love nothing more than to use those pieces for everyday function and style.  I also love the great outdoors so I am always using natural and weathered elements such as,  antlers, animal effigies, pine cones, rustic woods and rusty metals. Here is a look at my whole Living Room all decked out and through this post, I will break down where my items came from as well as why I chose them.

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My Small Living Room in Daylight.

To see the Christmas Living Room Video Tour, Please click on the link.

 

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My Christmas Décor in the Evening.

 

Last year I went to Big Lots and found they carry a new collection called the Woodlands Collection.  I fell in love with the animal figures made of twigs, pine cones and various shrubbery.  I bought several owls, and deer as well as ornaments that reflected that nature inspired theme.

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My Christmas Tree trimmed with Owls and Ornaments from the Big Lots Woodlands Collection.

I normally buy a real Christmas Tree but this year I wanted to remain frugal and used a artificial tree I already had.  My Christmas Tree contains globes made of corks, and shaved wood, twine and burlap ornaments and glittery deer busts.  I inserted sprigs of snow covered branches and red winter berries to incorporate some more color to the artificial tree.  Pine Cone and Acorn Ornaments also add woodsy aspects and give it a more realistic appearance.

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“Oh Christmas Tree”!

Since last year I struggled with “just the right” tree skirt.  Nothing looked natural enough to me so this year I bought a Faux Fur Throw from Big Lots and used it and a big galvanized flea market bucket to camouflage the artificial tree base.  It is soft and creamy and gives the illusion of fluffy snow.  I sprinkled some pine cones I collected on the blanket and some glittery acorns to replicate the ground of a wintery forest floor.  The mailbox you see is an actual antique British mailbox I brought back with me from my travels.  Last year, I used it to magically deliver letters to Santa all the way to the North Pole.  My little ones loved it so it is now a family tradition!

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The Stocking Are Hung by the Faux Mantel with Care.

To see how the Christmas Stocking Hanger was made, follow the link to my DIY Video.

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DIY Christmas Stocking Hanger

 

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Faux Mantel and Faux Tin Bucket Fire

Florida is not known for frigid temperatures that require a fireplace and a roaring fire, but what cozy winter wonderland would be complete without a mantel complete with a faux fire.  I have had the idea of creating my faux mantel for quite some time but only erected it this fall.  I am so thankful that I did!  I love the way it ties my Christmas décor together and gives the illusion of a grand hearth despite my limited square footage.

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Faux Fire in a Tin Bucket complete with Fire Wood and Pine Cones. Use Twinkly Christmas Lights to Replicate a Crackling Fire.

 

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Tin Bucket Fire

 

To see how I camouflage the Christmas Light Extension Cord please click the link to see my Video Quick Tip on YouTube.

One of the trying architectural elements of my base house is the windows!  All base houses in my community come with white vertical blinds which are very hard to decorate around.  My home also has three windows that sit above the initial windows for added sunlight.  While the sunshine is beautiful, it takes some imagination to find a way to complement the look.  Rather than invest time and money on drapes for this area, I decided to work with the design.

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Window Dressing in the Evening

 

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Daytime View of the Windows

 

Why fight it!  This is a rental, and not my forever home.  What I did to tie in the blinds and windows was to trim them with garland, pinecones tiny trees and a very Texas in Florida Star Marquee I found at Big Lots.

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Bubble Gum Machine Snow Globe

To see how I used this vintage Bubble Gum Machine as a Snow Globe, see my DIY Video by clicking on the link.

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I hope you enjoyed my Christmas Living Room Tour and I hope that I gave some of you folks with small living spaces some inspiration to embrace your tiny dwellings and make a grand statement using items you already have and some thrifty finds. Merry Christmas to you and yours and I hope to see you all in the New Year!

With Love,

April of My Three C’s

 

Halloween Decor-Cheap and Easy

The best part about the holidays is decorating my home for my family. Halloween is not an exception. I just love to see the looks on my children’s faces when they see how I transformed our small base home into a spooky haunt. I do all of my decorating on a budget and try to reuse and recycle as much as I can. I know a lot of us are hurting financially and spending a fortune on decorations just doesn’t fit everyone’s budget. Here are a few tricks I used to get my home a creep-a-fied without using the kid’s college funds. 😉

My biggest splurges would have to be the fall plants I bought to decorate my home. I wanted something fun and versatile and that could possibly survive my limited gardening skills. I bought some mums at Home Depot that were on sale for $2.77 and used them to spruce up the skimpy flower beds and around our palm trees. I also bought two hanging plants that were a bit more expensive but would not only last the season. They are heat resistant, and sturdy so I can continue to enjoy them all year long. That is, if I can keep them alive. These are called Goldfish. See the fun orange flower shaped like a little fish? Too funny!

I didn’t have the money to go out and buy fancy hanging baskets and I decided to look around my home for things I could use to give the illusion of a fancy basket. I took Jute rope, old burlap scraps, and some black ribbon I had in my craft room and fashioned a rather nifty cover for the existing basket. I just tied a square of burlap with the jute and then embellished with the ribbon. If you are less prone to burning yourself with the glue gun, you could glue the burlap on the existing basket for more support. (Those of you that follow me on Facebook, know what I’m referring to.)

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Next I wanted to decorate around the big window on my porch to give it texture, and interest without having to buy expensive Halloween garlands or such. What I decided to do was take old white fabric I purchased at a thrift store and rip it into strips and make a rag curtain. (You could also use thrift store or old white bed sheets.) Using the same jute rope, I cut a piece the length of the window and also added about an inch and a half for good measure. Next I took the ripped pieces of fabric and knotted them to the rope. My ripped fabric pieces measured between a foot and a half, and up to two feet. You want them to be uneven, as it adds to the disheveled, mess of haunted house décor. After that it was all a matter of stapling them to the windows edge. I added a few cut out bats and some orange lights and now I have an eerie little vantage point to spy on unsuspecting trick or treaters. BAWHAHAHAHAHA!

The best part of Halloween décor is the fun monsters and ghouls you can decorate with. Unfortunately, props can run in the hundreds and like you, I don’t have that kind of cash. Creativity is key when trying to be frugal and spirited at the same time. I would start at a thrift store and look for old creepy masks or even paper Mache a scary mask and attach it to a homemade scarecrow. Use old clothes and stuff with newspaper and prop up your spooky guy in a chair. I already had an old British mailbox I use as an outdoor decoration so what I did was string white Christmas lights to the mailbox and tie a foam mannequin head to the top of it. Then secured a wood dowel length wise to the mailbox and draped two layers of old white fabric to the mailbox. I did change two of the white lights to red and secured them with tape so to give the illusion of glowing red eyes. We are now haunted and ready for the 31st!

All my other decorations were reused items from previous years or thrift store finds. I also bought some pumpkins which we will carve closer to Halloween. I think our small base house yard looks great and hopefully inspire others to have fun this Halloween. Here are some daytime pictures…..


And here is the 3C Asylum at night……

P.S. I didn’t take any good pictures of my upstairs windows. I had an extra black, plastic tablecloth from a birthday party and taped it to the window edges. I then cut out slits for eyes and inserted red lights, securing with tape as I went along. The result is haunting! Glowing red eyes stalking you as you walk by…….

If you use any of my ideas, please share them with me on facebook http://www.facebook.com/mythreecs or by email at 3cmomamb@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you! Happy Halloween!!!!

Decorating my Base Home-Breakfast Nook & Coffee Bar

If you are a parent you are probably all in the same boat as me. Back to school shopping and prepping is under way! For me in My Three C’s land it also means clearing out summer fodder that is cluttering the house. I originally planned on showcasing a few of my downstairs rooms, but with being a chauffeur, savings and loans and personal shopper to C #1 and #2, I have had to put rearranging and buying/making fun new décor on hold. That is until they are back with the class on Wednesday. 😀 So to give you a taste at what I’ve been up to and to share a few more pictures that are not on Facebook, let me give you a look at my newly rearranged and quaint Breakfast Nook and Coffee Bar.

Nook Before

Here is the before of my nook. This is actually a picture of the last time my nook was “under construction”. Please forgive the mess. Before I had two pub tables housed in this space but I wanted something more functional. I transplanted the pub tables into the living room. (I promise to share pictures when I’m done with the living room.)

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Here is the after. I moved my antique Barley Twist Table and Chairs into the space and incorporated a garage sale Duncan Phyfe Style Desk into a Coffee Bar.

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Here is a close up of the Barley Twists on the table and chairs. I bought this while we were stationed in England. I reupholstered the cushions a few years ago and am still loving the pattern.

In order to save money, I used things I already had laying around the house and repurposed them in this area. I love hydrangeas at the moment so you can find a few bunches here and there in my home.

Another way I saved money was to repurpose an older burlap table runner I wasn’t using anymore and cutting it into four equal pieces. BOOM! New place mats! You may also be surprised that the china was a recent Goodwill find. I think the old blue and white castle landscape china really compliment the theme of the room.

Here is a view of the coffee bar. Fully functional and ready for coffee in the morning or afternoon tea! The Tea Service is also from England and is not the Silver Plated variety you find here in the US. This baby (along with the matching buffet server) is the real deal and one of my most treasured finds. The Ceramic Tea set was purchased in Papa Hungary as well as the little lady figurines.

I love that everything is in such close proximity and with a little movement of my serving ware, I can go from coffee bar to Hors d’oeuvre station and Wine Bar for easy entertaining.

I would love to here what you think of my redo. Don’t forget to subscribe and visit me on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/mythreecs

BEFORE YOU GO!!!!

Dining Room

I would like to share some before pictures of my dining room table. I bought this in England as well. It is not an antique but it is handmade. I am getting tired of the all dark wood palate and want to paint something for myself for a change. I have very little My Three C originals in my home because they all go on to be with other families. I think I deserve it. lol!

The top was treated with wax and has seen far to much wear for my taste. I know some would love me to leave this “as is”, but I cant live with the water rings ANY LONGER! Stay tuned for the after on this project.

Until Next Time, I wish you all the very best! Happy Monday!
-April
My Three C’s

Baby Ronan’s Nursery

I had the great pleasure of refurbishing nursery furniture for some clients of mine. Boy oh Boy did it turn out wonderful! Here are a few pictures of the nursery completed and decorated. All we need now is a baby! Thank you Osuna Family for your business, friendship and allowing me to showcase your nursery to the world! Your FAMOUS! Or at least immortalized on the internet. lol 😉

Crib, Dresser, Changing Table and Name Sign Refurbished by My Three C’s. Distressed and Antiqued in Country White. Nursery Photography done by me, as well!