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Post of Christmas Past: no excuses edition

You know what warm saltwater breezes, toasty sunshine and sandy feet do to me? They render me completely useless, a lifeless blob incapable of any motion beyond swaying in a hammock and digesting all the food with no signs of filling.

That’s the closest I can get to a valid reason why it’s taken me so long to post the chandelier tutorial after the before-and-after reveal for the safe house. We flew off to Costa Rica just hours before the first wintry cold-front hit Atlanta, and spent three once-in-a-lifetime weeks living in a villa on the beach.
I’m sorry, but I’m also totally not, know what I mean?

Anyway: it hit me like a mack truck that while we were lazing away, Christmas season hit. Full-on, enjoy-every-second, slips-away-too-quickly Advent season!


Haul out the greenery! Cover every surface in impossible-to-remove glitter! Pop in the Christmas tunes! IT’S HEEEE-ERE!

Can you tell I love this season? Do you love it?!!

I thought today we could dust off last year’s budget-friendly Christmas ideas in case you weren’t around for these. Let the holidays commence! *Pulls the trigger of official starting pistol*

*Glitter flies everywhere.*

Simple, budget-friendly Christmas Decorations:

This is one of my favorite projects from last year! Whip up your own free little wreaths in five minutes with materials you probably already have on hand.
You ll never guess what this wreath is made of! Make your own from materials you probably have on hand. So simple and beautiful!

These glittery snowballs are SO fun and simple to make. Hang them inside on branches from your yard or on pop ’em on your Christmas tree. (Store them like ornaments and they’ll last for years!)

Make a kissing ball to hang in your entry, or display it on a pretty plate for a simple centerpiece!
Tutorial: How to make a mossy Christmas Kissing Ball

Every year this monogram wreath gets made over in new ways. I love how versatile it is: good for indoors or out.
Make your own letter wreath for the holidays! Works indoors or out!

Looking for the EASIEST possible way to make your home feel festive for the holidays? This post has you covered:
How to create an easy, beautiful Christmas vignette, easy Christmas decorating

This may look like an involved project, but it’s actually straightforward and quick. Make it with split-log firewood!
This is such an easy, inexpensive project! I love the working bulb on top. Such a sweet little decoration!

Stuck with cheap, thin fake garland? Spiff it up with this simple trick – and learn where to score FREE fresh greenery!
Awesome tips! No more cheapo thin garland!!

Use spare glass jars, greens from your yard and tiny ornaments to make a little wintry village!
Apothecary village - fill glass jars with little Christmasy scenes!

Make your own gilded garland! Swag it on a mantel or staircase for a little added drama!

Deck the Walls with DIY Holiday Art!

One of my favorite little holiday traditions is to make a new little art piece every year. I haven’t started one yet for this year but the wheels they are a-turnin’. Click on the photo to see how to make these pieces. You can totally do this!
"O Come Let us Adore Him" Christmas canvas art - DIY!

"Oh Holy Night:" DIY Christmas Canvas Art

DIY Christmas art! Gold leaf on canvas

Inspiration for your Christmas Mantel:

You’ll want to stop by and read this post! Click on any of these photos for more details about any of these mantels.

Christmas mantel: brass deer with greenery and a DIY golden magnolia garland!

Little Christmassy Tips to Enjoy the season:

If you have little ones…
How to decorate a christmas tree when you have a baby

If you plan on entertaining, have more fun and less stress this year:
Christmas Party Ideas - Tips for low-stress holiday entertaining!

My absolute favorite tradition that leads to an album you’ll TREASURE your entire life:
Family Keepsake Ornament Album: Great family tradition idea!

Check out this holiday home tour for even more inspiration!
Decorate your coffee table for Christmas with candles and greenery on a tray!

Have you started your holiday decorating yet? Do you go all-out? Can we make this year’s Christmas season last two more months? Okay, three. Four. I can be flexible.

Check out these creative, budget-friendly Christmas ideas! So much great inspiration!

PS: Advent season begins tomorrow! Check out this post for easy, beautiful advent ideas!

Let's connect


  1. 3 weeks!? Wow, you lucky dog. You must tell us how you were able to score that!

  2. Costa Rica?!?! Girl. We talk about possibly moving there all the time [and we’ve never even been]. But just seeing it through blogs, vlogs, and instagram we are total CR addicts. Tell me everything!

    And also….


  3. 3 weeks!!! so jealous! 🙂 we went for 10 days when we went and i cried when we left- best vacation EVER. i want to hear all about it! wish i’d told you to go to karola’s- the best restaurant ever. it’s in the manuel antonio area- i had the best drink i’ve ever had and the best chips and salsa, amazing fish- 10 years later and it still has me drooling at the thought.

  4. We’ve been to Costa Rica (Tamarindo/Nicoya Peninsula) pre-kids and want to go back with the kids! Where did you go? How did you find your villa? Details please!

  5. Costa Rica looks amazing!! I couldn’t think of a more deserving family!! So glad you sacrificed for so long and now you can have a guilt free vacation because you are debt free (and awesome)!! Yeah for Christmas and all your inexpensive decor hacks from years past!

  6. Three weeks? How lovely! More incentive to pay off mortgages early! So glad you enjoyed.

  7. You inspire me.

  8. You are going to share more details on 3 weeks in paradise?!? ….. I’m begging ya 😉

  9. Great roundup of posts. I think my fave is the little wintery village you made with the glass jars. Although I’m in Australia so I think I’d have to somehow convert it into a summery village!!

  10. Wow what a blessing to get to stay for 3 weeks!! I bet it was awesome!

  11. Love your ideas, especially glittery snowballs and kissing ball <3!!

  12. Firstly, I would like to say that I’m so glad I’ve found your blog! I’ve been admiring your laundry room reveal on Pinterest for forever. Also, after reading some of your posts I’m pretty sure you’re my spirit animal. I loved reading about your family becoming debt free, and I would like to learn more about it! We’ve been implementing Dave Ramsey’s envelope system since my husband and I got married (8 years), but only more recently have we become dedicated to getting out of debt and saving for our future. My husband and I both grew up very poor, and for the first part of our marriage we spent any extra money we had on what I call “fun items” because we just never had anything growing up. We’ve finally realized that no amount of material possessions are worth the stress that comes along with financial irresponsibility. Another hurdle I’ve had to overcome is to resist buying the best of the best for our kids. I think as parents we naturally want them to have it all, and I’m learning that teaching them thriftiness is far more valuable that all the nice clothes and toys in the world! We’re also getting ready to buy a home, so all your tips are so helpful. Thank you and looking forward to more posts!

  13. Ummm 3 weeks in paradise? Amazing! I took a month long break from blogging- not on purpose. Love your stuff!

  14. Hello! Just wanted to wish you and your family a Happy New Year! You haven’t posted in a while so I hope all is well. Sure hope your family hasn’t caught that bug that’s around every where!

  15. Hello-
    I hope your family had a great holiday season and that all is well. I’ve noticed you haven’t posted in awhile and I’m praying that everything is okay!

  16. Missing seeing new posts and hope everything is okay! Happy New Year!

  17. Just wanted to let you know that I miss reading your posts and hope that everything is OK!

  18. Hi! Praying for you and yours. Your absence is palpable! Hopefully you will catch us all up soon.

  19. Hi Kelly!
    I miss reading your posts, too and hope that everything is ok!
    (I don´t often comment and ask strangers about their privat life, but where are you? I do worry! Is it weid? Does it scare you? 😀 )
    Best wishes

  20. Sandra Guilbault says:

    Another reader-stranger that is worried about you, here. Warm wishes!

  21. Yes, another stranger that is also worried. Praying all is well!

  22. I’ve been stalking VATW as usual and am officially worried. Hoping & praying all is well. Miss you.

  23. Add me to the list of strangers worried. Praying everything is ok. Miss you!


  1. […] You know what warm saltwater breezes, toasty sunshine and sandy feet do to me? They render me completely useless, a lifeless blob incapable of any motion beyond swaying in a hammock and digesting all the food with no signs of filling. That’s the closest I can get to a valid reason why it’s taken me […]The post Post of Christmas Past: no excuses edition appeared first on * View Along the Way *.  […]

  2. […] post Post of Christmas Past: no excuses edition appeared first on * View Along the Way […]

  3. […] post Post of Christmas Past: no excuses edition appeared first on * View Along the Way […]

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