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Spring Home Tour

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Spring is here, and it is beautiful! We've had the windows open to air our the house. I love fresh air in a house. The fresh air and sounds of birds singing are some of my favorite things about spring.

Spring Tour Entry Table The Prudent Homemaker

Iris, tulips, and daffodils are blooming in my white garden. I'm sharing several pictures of my gardens this week over on Instagram. As a few more flowers open in the garden, I'll be taking more photos to share here as well.

I've cut some iris from the garden to put on my entry table. The table was a gift from my parents (an unsold item when they retired and sold their business). The vase I found last spring for $5 at a garage sale, and the mirror I also found last spring at a garage sale for $20.

Iris in Entry The Prudent Homemaker

I recently went through my kitchen cabinets and drawers and whittled down the items to things we are actually using and put anything we weren't using in a garage sale. I also got rid of the two knife blocks on our kitchen counters; one I sold at the garage sale and the other was donated to the thrift shop. I realized our most used knives were not the ones in the knife blocks except for the steak knives, and I had purchased these steak knives a year and a half ago (mine didn't come in a wood block, which was fine with me). We had only been using them for special occasions, but I had been wanting to use them every day, so now they're in the silverware drawer and the knife blocks are gone. 

All of the organizing of items that mostly weren't seen in the drawers and cabinets left me itching to decorate the counters a bit for spring.

Spring Home Tour Pies The Prudent Homemaker

I brought in Meyer lemons from the garden into the kitchen. I made two lemon meringue pies with some of my lemons. Pretty soon I'll be zesting and juicing the rest of the lemons so that we can use the zest and juice throughout the year. The trees are covered with both lemons and flower buds, so I expect that we'll need to make lots of lemonade all summer to use up our juice before the new crop of lemons starts to ripen in late November.

The scale is one that belonged to my grandfather; he used to weigh his tomatoes with it. The blue and white jar, the glass container and the framed picture are all garage sale finds from the last couple of years. The pie plates and the vintage cookbook were from my grandmother; she shopped at garage sales too and was always finding kitchen items that way.

Spring Home Tour Desk The Prudent Homemaker

I brought in this orchid from the bathroom to go next to my desk. It's one my parents bought and gave to me last year when it was done flowering. I actually had never seen the flowers on it, so when it opened up a few weeks ago, I was surprised! I keep unflowering orchids in my bathroom, where they get humidity, diffused light, and cooler temperatures in the winter, which helps them to reflower.

I recently changed around the things on my desk when I replaced my computer. It's a bit more crowded in some ways, but that is inspiring me to keep it cleaner! My new computer is smaller (and faster than the old one was before it died!)  Since I moved things around, I can put an orchid and/or some fresh fruit on the counter now where I used to have some of my desk items.

Spring Home Tour Daffodils on Table 1 The Prudent Homemaker

We had a colder spring than usual, which delayed my daffodils by a few weeks, so they've been opening slowly. This is the second time I've cut daffodils for the table. I have a second type in the garden that is just now starting to open up, which means we'll enjoy flowers over a longer time. I bought these bulbs a decade ago and they come back every spring. In a warm climate, you need to choose smaller-flowered daffodils that don't need as many chilling hours. I make sure mine are marked to zone 8 or preferably 9, which is our zone. I purchase bulbs in bulk to get the lowest price on a large number of flowers.

Spring Home Tour Daffodils on Table 2 The Prudent Homemaker

The table runner and flowers stay on the table all the time, and I really like the way they look between meals. They smell wonderful, too, and everytime I walk by they are a breath of springtime.

 

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Christmas Home Tour

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Welcome to our home!

Christmas 2017 Entry The Prudent Homemaker

In the urns by the front door, I added some free Christmas tree trimmings and free pinecones. Many places that sell Christmas trees will give free Christmas tree trimmings if you ask.

I hung some wreaths I bought several years ago.

This year, I added the two lanterns by the door. The black one I bought used for $5 earlier this year (it turned out to have a broken hinge, but it still works fine). The red lantern has faux candles inside that don't light up and a crack in the bottom; my mom found it for free at someone's trash last year after Christmas and picked it up for me.

 

Christmas Entry Table and Living Room The Prudent Homemaker

We were gifted this poinsettia a couple of nights ago by some friends who came caroling at our door. I took out the roses and basil from this arrangement (which were done) and put the poinsettia in the middle instead with the dusty miller from our garden and the free Christmas tree trimmings.

Christmas Entry Table and Mirror The Prudent Homemaker

The wreath was a $2 garage sale find in October. I used a ribbon that used to be the drawstring to a pair of flannel pajama pants. The pajamas wore out years ago but I kept the ribbon. The urn was an $8 garage sale find in October.

Christmas 2017 Piano The Prudent Homemaker

 I bought our Nativity set 16 years ago with my husband at Walmart for our second Christmas together.

I hung the star music garland that I made for another Christmas. I used a vintage fur collar from my grandmother on the bust, and I added pinecones to the urns.

The Christmas book is one from which my daughters are currently playing. We sing Christmas carols every night as a family starting the first of December, and sometimes one of my daughters will play for us when we sing. I have been enjoying hearing them practice their Christmas music all month.

Christmas 2017 Living Room The Prudent Homemaker

A woman who works with my husband gifted him the beautiful live wreath that is hanging in the large window. I have two small wreaths in the end windows,  but I wanted another in the middle window. One day I hope to purchase a large faux wreath for this space.

Our tree is a beautiful faux one that we bought 11 years ago from Lowe's. It was the display model and they couldn't find the box. They charged us only $80! (This style of tree retails for $300 to $400).  We have it in a tree stand that is bolted to a little table (the table was free and my husband cut the legs down to make it a bit shorter). Having the tree on the table gives the illusion of a taller tree, and it keeps our toddler from reaching too much of the tree. He can reach the bottom two branches, so we don't have any ornaments on those branches this year. We have eight children, so this arrangement has worked well for us for years to keep the tree and ornaments save from toddlers.

The ribbon and ornaments on the tree are ones we have had for many years.

I made the tree skirt this year from some drop cloth that I had on hand. 

Christmas Gifts Under the Tree The Prudent Homemaker

 I have been wanting reusable boxes for years. I had a few velvet covered ones that were gifted to us years ago. I added the brown ones and the two white and gold ones that are on the table last year (I found them at Target in the gift wrapping section). This year I was very excited to see that Target was offering more reusable boxes in the Christmas section, and they were very similar to the boxes I bought last year. I bought several. I can use these every year for Christmas, as well as for birthdays, without needing to use wrapping paper. Since I hand make gifts and purchase many gifts at garage sales, I don't usually have boxes for my gifts. This will make wrapping so much easier for me every year. 

Christmas Gifts The Prudent Homemaker

I purchased a few spools of ribbon to tie the boxes closed. I also have lots of ribbon that I've saved from gifts we've received in years past that I use to close boxes.

I bought the gold and burgundy faux berries this year from a local Facebook garage sale page for $3 for 12 of them.

I bought some large and regular sized jingle bells this year as well to add to the top of the boxes. They still don't disguise the sound of Legos in the boxes, but they are a fun addition that I can reuse every year.

Christmas 2017 Table Runner 2 The Prudent Homemaker

The small wreaths I have in the windows at the end of the room are faux ones I bought for $2.99 each (on sale at Michael's) several years ago.

The pinecones were gathered from the side of the road.

The faux greens on the table are ones I bought years ago. This is my first year using them on the table; I usually place them on the piano.

The lanterns are ones I bought early in our marriage. The candles I've had for years, as I like the look of them during the day, but we don't use them at night.

The silver-plated bowls and urns are ones I've picked up for $5 and under each at garage sales over the last couple of years.

Christmas 2017 Table Runner The Prudent Homemakerjpg

 I purchased the clementines on sale for $1 a pound, which is a good price here.

Christmas 2017 Table Runner 3 The Prudent Homemakerjpg

The Meyer lemons are from my garden. The beautiful silver reindeer were a surprise gift from a reader who inherited them and didn't have a place for them. She didn't know it, but I had been looking at faux mercury glass deer very similar to these last Christmas. I was so excited to find these in a box from her as they are even better than what I had looked at!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

 

Merry Christmas!

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