Christmas Thrifts

Enjoy this Better After flashback, Christmas-style! <<<<<<<<<<<<
So maybe you don’t have tons of money to spend on Christmas. No big whoop. I for one love the idea of a thrifty Christmas, where you challenge yourself and your loved ones to makeover thrifted finds. Save the earth, save money and make a meaningful creative gift, who loses there? No one, that’s who. Except maybe Walmart.
I bet my family could get on board with this, how about yours? My sister and sister-in-law are creative masterminds, but my brothers on the other hand … I might get a used potholder or an empty box of bandaids or something. Hmmm, I might have to think this idea through a little better.
Here are some thrifty redos for some Christmas giving inspiration!
From NataLee at Designed to the Nines, a battered toy box gets a classy golf-themed redo. Seriously looks amazing.
old toy box makeover
golf themed chest makeover |
From Lindy at Cottage Hill, a 99 cent box gets made over into a handpainted treasure. WANT! Check out her blog for easy step-by-step instructions on how to achieve this look.
plain wooden box
bird painted box makeover |
And finally from Cassie at Hi Sugarplum, these dollar store vases get a high dollar look with simple burlap, jute string, plus easy to find religious candles. I actually just bought a couple of those myself for $1, wrapped them in silver paper and had an instant classy candle on my hands!
plain candles
easy candleholder makeover |


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Holiday Party Throwin’

Looking for a holiday party idea that is perfect for the whole family and doesn’t require an ugly sweater? I’m so glad you asked.

I’ve teamed up with the party-throwing pros at Evite to share some party planning ideas with you today that are sure to please even the scroogiest party guest. How many times can I say party in one sentence? A lot, apparently.


This gingerbread house decorating party is just the cutest idea.

evite gingerbread house party with m&ms


We have something similar in my family, only instead of a party it’s more of a gingerbread house decorating deathmatch. And I always win. ALWAYS. No one can touch me. Um, I will totally be nice though if you invite me to your party.

gingerbread house decorating party evite

I love Evite for many reasons: it’s super easy to create a customized invitation, they automatically email reminder emails to your guests, and it’s simple to keep track of who has responded.  I used Evite for my last major event, which was, in case you can’t remember, THE MOST AWESOME THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME.


But back to the gingerbread house party. Evite suggests having your guests provide their own gingerbread house while you provide the decorations, then eating them when you’re done!

(I suggest hot gluing the houses together and NOT eating them, because hot glue works a thousand times better than icing, and then also you can save them until New Year’s and blow them up with fireworks. JUST AN IDEA.)

evite gingerbread decorating party


These customized M&M’s add a special touch, and will undoubtedly leave your friends talking about how awesome you are, especially when you send them home with little bags of their own.

gingerbread decorating party favor

Evite has made it ridiculously easy to recreate these gingerbread house favors with a template that you simply print and cut.

gingerbread house decorating party supplies

Wondering where to order customized M&M’s in conveniently pre-packaged bags? Wonder no more.  You can find them right here at My M&M’s.

Lots of great ideas and inspiration over there, check it out!

evite and M&Ms gingerbread house

That is so gosh darn cute, I would probably never blow it up.


But the party don’t stop there. Here’s another fun way to use your customized M&M’s at holiday time.

m&m holiday treat wreath

A candy wreath! Such a festive way to share a treat.

You can check out all the detailed instructions for making a candy wreath on Evite, but here’s the gist.

making a holiday treat wreathPaint one of these wreath-form guys.

holiday treat wreath suppliesAdd a pretty bow.

m&m holiday treat tins

Attach magnets to the wreath form, then stick these candy tin sets right to the magnets.



Tuck some sprigs of holly in between the tins and send your guests packing with a smile!


More info here:

DIY Holiday Candy Wreath

Gingerbread House-Decorating Party

DIY Gingerbread-House Party Favors

M&M’s favor packs

M&M’s personalized candy tin sets

My M&M’s
>>>>This post is in partnership with Evite and M&M’s. All words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Better After!

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12 Days of Christmas Wrap-Up!

Bringing you a little recap of the 12 Days of Christmas blog tour today! If you missed my loose interpretation of 9 Ladies Dancing, (aka Four Stockings Hanging), check that out right heaah. (Yes, I DID just type that in a southern accent, thank you for noticing).

Here are just a few of my favorites, be sure to hop on through and visit everyone on the tour. There’s pictures of Ryan Gosling. (Not that anyone needs an excuse to share pictures of Ryan Gosling, but it actually does make sense. Can you guess what day it was for? Ryan GOSLING? Haha! I’ve said too much).



Gorgeous gold and silver flocked tree via Refresh Restyle



Two Turtle Doves wreath via Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


DIY doves via Virginia Sweet Pea


coffee filter angel wings

Coffee filter angel wings via Curb Alert!

{Partridge in a Pear Tree}:  Simply Fresh Vintage        Petticoat Junktion        Snazzy Little Things

{Two Turtle Doves}: Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer         Fresh Idea Studio

{Three French Hens}: Country Design Style         DIO Home Improvements         mommy is coocoo

{Four Calling Birds}: Artsy Chicks Rule         Virginia Sweet Pea

{Five Golden Rings}: House on the Way        DIY 180        Restoration Redoux

{Six Geese-a-Laying}: Postcards from the Ridge        Farm Fresh Vintage Finds

{Seven Swans a Swimming}: Curb Alert!        Cupcakes and Crinoline

{Eight Maids a Milking}: Our Southern Home

{Nine Ladies Dancing}: Better After        Rhapsody in Rooms

{Ten Lords a Leaping}: The Endearing Home

{Eleven Pipers Piping}: Refresh Restyle        Lilacs and Longhorns        Imparting Grace

{Twelve Drummers Drumming}: What Meegan Makes        Mrs. Hines Class


PS: If your name is Kathryn, and your email address begins with the letters LAU, please check your inbox, you have won the $100 giveaway to Linens & Boxwoods!


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Linen & Boxwoods giveaway!

Ahhh, Black Friday.  Have you been camping out in your tent in front of Best Buy all week?  I sincerely hope not! Christmas shopping need not be so brutal.  How about $100 to spend in the comfort of your own home and jammies?  That sounds so much better, right?

Today I get to give $100 to one lucky Better After reader to spend at the brand new online retailer Linen & Boxwoods!

Linens & Boxwoods is a family owned business that began as a modest flower shop in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1950. Today they have evolved into an online store brimming with all kinds of beautiful things perfect for gift-giving or prepping your home for the holidays.

You don’t even have to put on shoes or go outside!  Hooray! So hop back in bed, pull that blanket up tight and let’s talk about how you could spend $100:


Christmas goodies for the house?

linens and boxwoods stockings runner wreathBurlap Stockings    Chalkboard Table Runner   Boxwood Wreath in Pot

Accessories for your favorite galpal (or yourself!)

linen and boxwoods earrings tote trayChelsea Initial Tote    Glass and Filigree Footed Tray   Diamond Shaped Earrings


Cozy home accents?

linen and boxwoods throw pillow votive wreath  Cotton Wreath    Navy Embroidery Throw Pillow    Knit Throw in Navy    Capiz Shell Votive Holder

Essentials for entertaining with style?

linen and boxwoods tumbler artichokes napkin platterFez Cut Glass Tumbler    La Dolce Rectangular Serving Tray      PomPom Napkins      Artichoke Salt & Pepper Set

Those are just some of my favorites. It’s up to you!

Entering is easy.  Simply leave a comment on this post! That’s it!

linen and boxwoods

Good luck, I hope you win!

Random winner will be announced next Friday, Dec. 5th.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

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