cancer, breast cancer, breast cancer survival, pink fortitude, coconut head, breast cancer awareness products, pink ribbon products, breast cancer blog, home and family blog, self esteem, inspiration for cancer survivors, holly bertone blog, holly bertone book

Nov 21

The Under $50 Guide for Unique Holiday Gifts



I can’t believe it’s time already to start shopping for holiday gifts!  Where did the year go?  If you are like me, the kid presents are easy because they are very specific and ask for everything.  But there’s always that someone on your list who is impossible to shop for.   While this guide doesn’t cover everyone on your list, I picked out 35 great gifts, all under $50.00 (at press time), for those who are the most difficult to buy for.

 

Gift Guide for Christmas and Holidays by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com #etsy

 

 

Etsy Shops

 

I love supporting Etsy shop owners who are the traditional mom and pop shops.  First off the bat, I am showcasing some of my friends’ shops and would love for you to check out what they have to offer. Hubby and I are very proud to support our local and/or indy businesses when we can.  Unless you are a tried and true Etsy shopper, it’s easy to forget about this great resource for homemade and vintage gifts.  The owners of these shops are all in the Coconut Head’s circle of love so you know you are in good company.

 Loading InLinkz ...

 

More Unique Gifts

If you purchase any of the items below from my affiliate partners, I will receive a small commission. [Editor’s note – I heart capitalism and Mamma has to pay the bills too!]

 

Stocking Stuffers

 

 

Stocking Stuffers

 

Styling Tool Holder from The Container Store

Philips Sonicare Toothbrush from Target

Life Hammer from The Container Store

Electronics Cleaning Brush from The Container Store

Handbag Hanger from The Container Store

Gifts for Him

 

 

Gifts for Him

 

Toilet Paper Holder from ModCloth

Tweed Kindle Case from One Kings Lane

Rock and Escarole Serving Set from ModCloth

Shoe Polishing Kit from ModCloth

Porsche by Design – Seducing Speed from One Kings Lane

Time Traveler Clock from ModCloth

Backgammon Set from One Kings Lane

 

Gifts for the Baker

 

 

Gifts for the Baker

 

Dessert Class from Craftsy

Pink Chocolate Apron from Flirty Aprons

Anchor 3 Piece Measuring Cup Set from Chefs Catalog

Maple Rolling Pins from Chefs Catalog

Cake Pop Starter Kit from Craftsy

2-in-1 Pastry Blender with Pie Crimper from Chefs Catalog

 

Gifts for the Pet Parent

 

 

Gift for the Pet Lover

 

Pet Scoops from The Container Store

Dog Food Storage Container from The Container Store

Doggie Pick Up Pouch from the Container Store

Feline Book Ends from Mod Cloth

Winston Tote from Mod Cloth

Phone Stand from Mod Cloth

 

Stressed about breaking the budget this holiday season?  Be sure to check out How to Budget for the Holidays.

 

Love, hugs, and making my list and checking it twice.

 

Holly

 

The FTC wants me to tell you this:
This post and blog contain affiliate links and ads which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.  I believe in capitalism and the American Dream.  Full disclosure Policy Click HERE.
 
Linking to these fun and fabulous parties:
Monday – Monday FundayMonday Bloom, Inspiration Monday, In and Out of the Kitchen – Feeding BigMet Monday – Between Naps on the Porch, Project Inspire{d}, Frugal Crafty Home, Make it Pretty Monday, TDC Before and After, Inspire Me Monday, Munching Mondays, Create-Link-Inspire, Made By You,  
 

Tuesday – Inspire Me Tuesday, Power of Paint, Return to Loveliness, Share it Link Party, Maria Elenas Decor, Turn it Up Tuesday, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Treasure Box Tuesday, Ducks N a Row, Show Me What You Got, Style Elixir, Upcycled Treasures, Beauty Buzz, Tickle My Tastebuds, The Scoop,                    

 

Wednesday – Centerpiece Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesday, Cuisine KathleenBefore and After Wednesday, Bloom Designs, Empty Your Archive, Creative Muster, Project Parade, Inspired2, Whimsy Wednesday,           
 
Thursday – Organized 31Between Naps on the PorchFrom My Front Porch to Yours, All Things With PurposeA Delightsome LifeBe.YOU.tiful, Pin it Thursday,         
 
Friday – Dedicated House, The Life of the PartyKitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Link Party Palooza,  Pin Junkie, Craft Frenzy FridayBest of the Weekend, Party Junk, Inspire Me, Pin Me Link Party,Fridays Unfolded, Junkin Joe, Weekend Re-Treat, Anything Goes, Oh My Heartsie Girl, Creative Collection, Friday Favorites, DIY Inspired, Foodie Friday,                   
   
Weekend – Be Different Act NormalNifty ThriftyGet Your DIY OnSpotlight Saturday, Sunday Best Linky Party, Happiness is Homemade, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Super Saturday, G’Day Saturday, Saturday Night Fever, Best Projects and Recipes, Show Me Saturday,          
 

Permanent link to this article: http://coconutheadsurvivalguide.com/holiday-gifts/

Nov 20

My New Hero – A Boy Named Kiel



It’s a parent’s biggest nightmare – when your child is diagnosed with cancer.  Kiel is six years-old and is the son of a friend of a very good friend of mine.  As we are entering the season of giving, I want to share several opportunities for you to open your heart to this family.

 

Support Kiel - Childhood Cancer by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

The following information was taken from Kiel’s Giving Page:

“Kiel’s cancer is known as Rhabdomyosarcoma. This is a soft tissue cancer that arises in the muscle and it accounts for approximately 4% of all childhood cancers. It is the Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma which accounts for only 20% of all the tumor cancers in this group. It is a very aggressive form and can redevelop even after being treated.

Kiel will need to undergo at least 40 weeks of Chemotherapy and at least 3 weeks of Radiation therapy. He will also have to go in and have surgery to remove the tumor which will be a very difficult procedure. He is a very brave boy and has been very strong throughout this whole process so far.”

 

2592780_1416080431.6876

 

***

I can tell you from personal experience how expensive cancer treatment is.  Even with good insurance, the cost for treatment is astronomical.  There are two ways you can help to support this family offset the burden of Kiel’s cancer treatment.  Their world has been turned upside down, and the stress of paying for the care of their child should not be something they have to worry about.

 

Scentsy Giving

 

My friend Samantha has graciously offered her Scentsy shop to help Kiel’s family.  From now until November 30th, any purchase you make on her Scentsy shop (be sure to be on Kiel’s party page), 100% of the commission will be donated to Kiel’s family. Head over to her website and choose to shop “Kiel’s Warriors Fundraiser”.

 

Kiel’s Personal Giving Page

 

At any time, you can donate directly HERE to help offset medical bills for Kiel’s cancer treatment.  If you don’t have the money or don’t wish to donate, please consider sharing this page on Facebook and/or Twitter.

 

Love, hugs, and praying for my little warrior brother.

 

Holly

The FTC wants me to tell you this:
This post and blog contain affiliate links and ads which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.  I believe in capitalism and the American Dream.  Full disclosure Policy Click HERE.
 
Linking to these fun and fabulous parties:
Monday – Monday FundayMonday Bloom, Inspiration Monday, In and Out of the Kitchen – Feeding BigMet Monday – Between Naps on the Porch, Project Inspire{d}, Frugal Crafty Home, Make it Pretty Monday, TDC Before and After, Inspire Me Monday, Munching Mondays, Create-Link-Inspire, Made By You,  
 

Tuesday – Inspire Me Tuesday, Power of Paint, Return to Loveliness, Share it Link Party, Maria Elenas Decor, Turn it Up Tuesday, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Treasure Box Tuesday, Ducks N a Row, Show Me What You Got, Style Elixir, Upcycled Treasures, Beauty Buzz, Tickle My Tastebuds, The Scoop,                    

 

Wednesday – Centerpiece Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesday, Cuisine KathleenBefore and After Wednesday, Bloom Designs, Empty Your Archive, Creative Muster, Project Parade, Inspired2, Whimsy Wednesday,           
 
Thursday – Organized 31Between Naps on the PorchFrom My Front Porch to Yours, All Things With PurposeA Delightsome LifeBe.YOU.tiful, Pin it Thursday,         
 
Friday – Dedicated House, The Life of the PartyKitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Link Party Palooza,  Pin Junkie, Craft Frenzy FridayBest of the Weekend, Party Junk, Inspire Me, Pin Me Link Party,Fridays Unfolded, Junkin Joe, Weekend Re-Treat, Anything Goes, Oh My Heartsie Girl, Creative Collection, Friday Favorites, DIY Inspired, Foodie Friday,                   
   
Weekend – Be Different Act NormalNifty ThriftyGet Your DIY OnSpotlight Saturday, Sunday Best Linky Party, Happiness is Homemade, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Super Saturday, G’Day Saturday, Saturday Night Fever, Best Projects and Recipes, Show Me Saturday,          
 

Permanent link to this article: http://coconutheadsurvivalguide.com/kiel/

Nov 19

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide of Guides



This isn’t just the ultimate Thanksgiving guide, it is the ultimate Thanksgiving guide of guides.  I have collected five of the best guides from the most trusted sources for everything you need for your Thanksgiving dinner… all in one place.  If you are hosting, no need to worry, the answer to whatever question you have is somewhere in here!

 

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner Guide of Guides by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

None of the content is mine, I simply curated it all for you.  These folks spent a lot of time putting their information together, please be sure to click on the link to go to their site and pin from there.

 

How much to serve by Whole Foods

 

 

 

Make the Perfect Amount of Food This Thanksgiving by Spark People

 

 

 

First Thanksgiving Menu Tips and Tricks by Betty Crocker

 

 

17 Life Saving Thanksgiving Hacks by Buzz Feed

 

 

How to Thaw, Brine, and Cook Your Turkey by The Savory

 

 

 

So there you have it my dear friends.  No more stressing about Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s time to dance!

 

Brady_Bunch_Thanksgiving_Dancing_1970

 

 Connect and Share

What about you?  What do you worry most about when hosting Thanksgiving dinner?

 

Love, hugs, keep calm, and gobble til you wobble!

 

Holly

The FTC wants me to tell you this:

This post and blog contain affiliate links and ads which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.  I believe in capitalism and the American Dream.  Full disclosure Policy Click HERE.
 
Linking to these fun and fabulous parties:
Monday – Monday FundayMonday Bloom, Inspiration Monday, In and Out of the Kitchen – Feeding BigMet Monday – Between Naps on the Porch, Project Inspire{d}, Frugal Crafty Home, Make it Pretty Monday, TDC Before and After, Inspire Me Monday, Munching Mondays, Create-Link-Inspire, Made By You,  
 

Tuesday – Inspire Me Tuesday, Power of Paint, Return to Loveliness, Share it Link Party, Maria Elenas Decor, Turn it Up Tuesday, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Treasure Box Tuesday, Ducks N a Row, Show Me What You Got, Style Elixir, Upcycled Treasures, Beauty Buzz, Tickle My Tastebuds, The Scoop,                    

 

Wednesday – Centerpiece Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesday, Cuisine KathleenBefore and After Wednesday, Bloom Designs, Empty Your Archive, Creative Muster, Project Parade, Inspired2, Whimsy Wednesday,           
 
Thursday – Organized 31Between Naps on the PorchFrom My Front Porch to Yours, All Things With PurposeA Delightsome LifeBe.YOU.tiful, Pin it Thursday,         
 
Friday – Dedicated House, The Life of the PartyKitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Link Party Palooza,  Pin Junkie, Craft Frenzy FridayBest of the Weekend, Party Junk, Inspire Me, Pin Me Link Party,Fridays Unfolded, Junkin Joe, Weekend Re-Treat, Anything Goes, Oh My Heartsie Girl, Creative Collection, Friday Favorites, DIY Inspired, Foodie Friday,                   
   
Weekend – Be Different Act NormalNifty ThriftyGet Your DIY OnSpotlight Saturday, Sunday Best Linky Party, Happiness is Homemade, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Super Saturday, G’Day Saturday, Saturday Night Fever, Best Projects and Recipes, Show Me Saturday,          

 

Permanent link to this article: http://coconutheadsurvivalguide.com/thanksgiving-guide/

Nov 18

Rustic Outdoor Thanksgiving Tablescape


As a special treat for you today, we are going a little rustic to enjoy an outdoor Thanksgiving tablescape.

 

Rustic Outdoor Thanksgiving Table by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

This tablescape stays in the tradition of a simple Thanksgiving tablescape.  I mixed rustic elements with crystal and my go-to white place settings.

 

Rustic Outdoor Thanksgiving Table by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Rattan chargers from Target form the base of the place setting.  I did a simple fold for the silver.

 

Rustic Outdoor Thanksgiving Table by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

What I love most about this Tablescape are the leaves.  How wonderful would it be if your Thanksgiving Day was warm enough to enjoy your dinner outside with the leaves changing?

 

Rustic Outdoor Thanksgiving Table by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

For the centerpiece, I used a simple fall inspired garland wrapped around two lanterns and a pumpkin candle holder.

 

Rustic Outdoor Thanksgiving Table by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Instead of using a tablecloth, the bare table adds to the rustic vibe.  So do the leaves that kept falling onto the table while I was taking pictures.  I went with it – they add to the ambiance, don’t you think?

 

Rustic Outdoor Thanksgiving Table by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

I have to share a little behind the scenes story with you.  I created this tablescape in the morning, hoping to catch the sun at the right time.  But because of the time of year and the deck facing East, I missed my window of opportunity.  So then I thought, how wonderful would this be to capture the table at dusk with the lights on the pergola?  The day was cool to begin with, and at dusk, the temperature really dropped.  It was in the 40’s and I was wearing Hubby’s warm winter coat to take the pictures and then clear the table and bring everything inside.  Dedicated?  Crazy?  All of the above?

 

Rustic Outdoor Thanksgiving Table by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

I think this will be the last outdoor tablescape until the weather warms up!

 

More Thanksgiving Tables

 

Simple and Elegant Thanksgiving Table

 

Simple and Elegant Thanksgiving Tablescape by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Design Elements for Your Thanksgiving Table

 

Design Elements to Create Your Thanksgiving Table by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com #tablescape

 

How to Set a Formal Table

 

How to Set a Formal Table by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

 

Love, hugs, and lights, action, turkey!

 

Holly

 

The FTC wants me to tell you this:
This post and blog contain affiliate links and ads which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.  I believe in capitalism and the American Dream.  Full disclosure Policy Click HERE.
 
Linking to these fun and fabulous parties:
Monday – Monday FundayMonday BloomInspiration MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen – Feeding BigMet Monday – Between Naps on the PorchProject Inspire{d}Frugal Crafty HomeMake it Pretty MondayTDC Before and After, Inspire Me MondayMunching MondaysCreate-Link-InspireMelt in Your Mouth MondayMade By You,  
 

Tuesday – Inspire Me TuesdayPower of PaintReturn to LovelinessShare it Link PartyMaria Elenas DecorTurn it Up TuesdayHit Me With Your Best ShotTreasure Box TuesdayDucks N a RowShow Me What You GotStyle ElixirUpcycled TreasuresBeauty BuzzTickle My TastebudsThe Scoop,                    

 

Wednesday – Centerpiece WednesdayWow Us WednesdayCuisine KathleenBefore and After WednesdayBloom DesignsEmpty Your ArchiveCreative MusterProject ParadeInspired2Whimsy Wednesday,           
 
Thursday – Organized 31Between Naps on the PorchFrom My Front Porch to YoursAll Things With PurposeA Delightsome LifeBe.YOU.tifulPin it Thursday,         
 
Friday – Dedicated HouseThe Life of the PartyKitchen Fun with My 3 SonsLink Party Palooza,  Pin JunkieCraft Frenzy FridayBest of the WeekendParty Junk, Inspire MePin Me Link Party,Fridays UnfoldedJunkin JoeWeekend Re-TreatAnything GoesOh My Heartsie GirlCreative CollectionFriday FavoritesDIY InspiredFoodie Friday,                   
   
Weekend – Be Different Act NormalNifty ThriftyUSS CraftyGet Your DIY OnSpotlight SaturdaySunday Best Linky PartyHappiness is HomemadeSnickerdoodle SundaySuper SaturdayG’Day SaturdaySaturday Night FeverBest Projects and RecipesShow Me Saturday,         

Permanent link to this article: http://coconutheadsurvivalguide.com/outdoor-thanksgiving/

Nov 17

Dining Room Makeover Sneak Peek



Since the dining room seems to be the room of choice for Thanksgiving, I thought I would share a sneak peek into our mini remodel.    I don’t know if it is because I grew up in a home with a beautiful dining room and it was always the hub for our family gatherings, but I love a formal dining room.  It seems that lately, homes are being built with an “open concept” design, and are getting away from the traditional dining room.  Maybe it’s because most families only use this room once or twice a year?  Regardless, I was hooked on our home when I saw this room.   I will share the entire renovation in an upcoming post (TBD), but until then, here is a little sneak peek of what is in store.

 

Dining Room Decor by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Many years and several owners before us, the dining room did not exist.  You can see the brick wall in the picture below – that was the original exterior of the home.  The dining room was built around the fireplace, and is now a double-sided fireplace, which makes it so warm and cozy, especially for winter time entertaining.  Off in the corner, you can see the built-in bar nook.  That is part of the renovation I will share in an upcoming post (be sure to subscribe and follow me so you don’t miss it!).  The dining room table was my parents, and was perfect timing for us to take over the family heirloom when they moved into a retirement community and had to downsize.

 

Dining Room Decor by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

The drapes are from Restoration Hardware.  I’m all about saving or splurging where it makes sense.  These drapes were a splurge and well worth the money.  They are heavy and have a beautiful color, and pool perfectly onto the floor.  The sheers underneath… that is another story. There used to be radiator heating on the wall, so the sheers (pre-update) had to be higher than they were supposed to be.  It’s one of those things now that is annoying, but not worth having to replace immediately.  I’m bringing high water back in style, eh?  The rug is from Pottery Barn.  It has such a classic pattern, and it’s the perfect color to hide spills.

 

Dining Room Decor by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Here is a close up of the chimney and fireplace.
Dining Room Decor by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

I love this chandelier.  It was here when we purchased the home, and I have no intention of ever replacing it.  It’s a little rustic, a little glam, and fits in with our style perfectly.

 

Dining Room Decor by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

The corner hutch has a fun story.  I found it next to a dumpster many years ago, and used it since.  It was originally a light pine color, and I gave it several coats of paint – Behr’s Sweet Molasses.   It now holds one of the sets of China inherited from my Grandmother.  Remember what I said about splurging and saving?  Touche.

 

Dining Room Decor by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

The dining room used to be beige on beige.  I have a few closet obsessions in life, and Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy is one of them.  Is it possible to hug paint on a wall?  I paired Hale Navy with Alexandria Beige and these historic colors give this room just the right amount of personality.  The pictures don’t do it justice, it’s one of those colors that you have to see in person.

 

Dining Room Decor by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Here is one last view of the dining room.  Be sure to subscribe and follow me so you don’t miss the before and after “reveal” and other awesome posts!

 

Dining Room Decor by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

 Connect and Share

What about you?  Do you have a formal dining room or is it a part of open concept?  What do you think I should do with the sheers – keep or replace?

 

Love, hugs, and bringing back the forgotten room.

 

Holly

 

The FTC wants me to tell you this:
This post and blog contain affiliate links and ads which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.  I believe in capitalism and the American Dream.  Full disclosure Policy Click HERE.
 
Linking to these fun and fabulous parties:
Monday – Monday FundayMonday Bloom, Inspiration Monday, In and Out of the Kitchen – Feeding BigMet Monday – Between Naps on the Porch, Project Inspire{d}, Frugal Crafty Home, Make it Pretty Monday, TDC Before and After, Inspire Me Monday, Munching Mondays, Create-Link-Inspire, Made By You,  
 

Tuesday – Inspire Me Tuesday, Power of Paint, Return to Loveliness, Share it Link Party, Maria Elenas Decor, Turn it Up Tuesday, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Treasure Box Tuesday, Ducks N a Row, Show Me What You Got, Style Elixir, Upcycled Treasures, Beauty Buzz, Tickle My Tastebuds, The Scoop,                    

 

Wednesday – Centerpiece Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesday, Cuisine KathleenBefore and After Wednesday, Bloom Designs, Empty Your Archive, Creative Muster, Project Parade, Inspired2, Whimsy Wednesday,           
 
Thursday – Organized 31Between Naps on the PorchFrom My Front Porch to Yours, All Things With PurposeA Delightsome LifeBe.YOU.tiful, Pin it Thursday,         
 
Friday – Dedicated House, The Life of the PartyKitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Link Party Palooza,  Pin Junkie, Craft Frenzy FridayBest of the Weekend, Party Junk, Inspire Me, Pin Me Link Party,Fridays Unfolded, Junkin Joe, Weekend Re-Treat, Anything Goes, Oh My Heartsie Girl, Creative Collection, Friday Favorites, DIY Inspired, Foodie Friday,                   
   
Weekend – Be Different Act NormalNifty ThriftyGet Your DIY OnSpotlight Saturday, Sunday Best Linky Party, Happiness is Homemade, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Super Saturday, G’Day Saturday, Saturday Night Fever, Best Projects and Recipes, Show Me Saturday,          

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://coconutheadsurvivalguide.com/dining-room/

Nov 14

Occupy Thanksgiving – Why My Sweet Potatoes are Boycotting



My sweet potatoes have decided to boycott marshmallows this Thanksgiving.  It’s like Occupy Thanksgiving in this house!

 

Sweet Potato Recipe without Marshmallows by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C and full of yummy healthy nutrition.  Why, oh why do we need to put marshmallows on top of them?  It’s like putting gummy bears on top of your salad.

 

Sweet Potato Recipe without Marshmallows by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

This sweet potato recipe is one of those that doesn’t sound quite right when you read it, but it works.  Somehow by the mystery of the universe, the flavors all come together in one big happy symphony.  It’s like bacon wrapped dates.  (or bacon wrapped anything….. mmmmmm… bacon….. oh I’m sorry, where was I?)  Trust me.  It works.  You don’t need marshmallows to make sweet potatoes taste good.

 

Sweet Potato Recipe without Marshmallows by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Click on the recipe to open a new window for a printable version.

 

Sweet Potato Recipe without Marshmallows by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

 Connect and Share

What about you?  Marshmallows or no marshmallows on your sweet potatoes?

Love, hugs, and enjoying the orangey goodness.

 

Holly

 

The FTC wants me to tell you this:
This post and blog contain affiliate links and ads which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.  I believe in capitalism and the American Dream.  Full disclosure Policy Click HERE.
 
Linking to these fun and fabulous parties:
Monday – Monday FundayMonday BloomInspiration MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen – Feeding BigMet Monday – Between Naps on the PorchProject Inspire{d}Frugal Crafty HomeMake it Pretty MondayTDC Before and After, Inspire Me MondayMunching MondaysCreate-Link-InspireMade By You,  
 

Tuesday – Inspire Me TuesdayPower of PaintReturn to LovelinessShare it Link PartyMaria Elenas DecorTurn it Up TuesdayHit Me With Your Best ShotTreasure Box TuesdayDucks N a RowShow Me What You GotStyle ElixirUpcycled TreasuresBeauty BuzzTickle My TastebudsThe Scoop,                    

 

Wednesday – Centerpiece WednesdayWow Us WednesdayCuisine KathleenBefore and After WednesdayBloom DesignsEmpty Your ArchiveCreative MusterProject ParadeInspired2Whimsy Wednesday,           
 
Thursday – Organized 31Between Naps on the PorchFrom My Front Porch to YoursAll Things With PurposeA Delightsome LifeBe.YOU.tifulPin it Thursday,         
 
Friday – Dedicated HouseThe Life of the PartyKitchen Fun with My 3 SonsLink Party Palooza,  Pin JunkieCraft Frenzy FridayBest of the WeekendParty Junk, Inspire MePin Me Link Party,Fridays UnfoldedJunkin JoeWeekend Re-TreatAnything GoesOh My Heartsie GirlCreative CollectionFriday FavoritesDIY InspiredFoodie Friday,                   
   
Weekend – Be Different Act NormalNifty ThriftyGet Your DIY OnSpotlight SaturdaySunday Best Linky PartyHappiness is HomemadeSnickerdoodle SundaySuper SaturdayG’Day SaturdaySaturday Night FeverBest Projects and RecipesShow Me Saturday,          
 

Permanent link to this article: http://coconutheadsurvivalguide.com/sweet-potatoes/

Nov 13

How to Budget for the Holidays

 

First of all, I am not a financial or trained professional anything.  I’m just a suburban wife and stepmother who is trying to provide for her family and share what I’ve learned.  Whatever advice you take or not take is entirely on you.

 

How to Budget for the Holidays by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

***Editor’s Note*** – This article was published in 2013, and due to its popularity, was updated for this holiday season.

 

How many of you are stressed about all of the extra money going out of your house this time of year?  How many of you cringe in regret come January?

 

 

Let me tell you a secret.  If you are waiting until now to plan your finances for the holidays, you have waited 300 days too long.  But we’ll get to that later.  Let’s start, shall we?

 

1.  What is your number?  How much can you safely spend over the next few months?   Write your number down.  We’ll work from there.

 

2.  Make a list of all of the expenses you foresee coming up between today and January 1st.  I’m not talking just presents.  What about all of the extra food, decorations, travel, events, school activities, charity, tips, etc.

 

Here’s a sample list:

  • Presents for your own children
  • Presents for spouse
  • Presents for other relatives’s children
  • Presents for other relatives
  • Presents for neighbors/friends
  • Presents for children’s teacher
  • Extra food for cookie exchange
  • Extra food for company
  • Decorations
  • Wrapping paper
  • Tree
  • Tips for hairdresser, nails, etc
  • Cards
  • Stamps
  • Boy scout food drive
  • Homeless shelter food drive
  • Travel expenses – planes, trains, and automobiles
  • Unknowns – always plan a little extra for the unknowns.  They are guaranteed to come up.

 

3.  Now, go back through your list and write down how much you think everything will cost.  Don’t worry about the number you wrote down first.  Think realistically about every single item.

 

4.  Add everything up.  How much is the difference between what you can afford and what the holidays are going to cost you?  I am guessing there is a decent sized gap.

 

5.  Go back through your list and think how you can realistically cut back.  Here are some examples:

  • Presents for children only.  Talk to your spouse and other close relatives if exchanging presents will harm you financially.  All you have to say is, “let’s just get for the kids this year.”  Trust me, everyone is in the same boat and will love you just the same.
  • I love lots of presents under the tree – but who says they have to be either presents or expensive?  Hubby and I pick out a few little “house presents” that we need to purchase anyway, wrap them, and put them under the tree.  Empty wrapped boxes will work too.
  • Inventory your wrapping paper and cards and decorations, etc from last year before going out and purchasing new.  If you are buying fewer presents, you should need less paper.  What about cards and stamps?  If you want to cut back, send a nice email newsletter to some or all of the folks in your list.
  • Instead of giving money to charity as they always ask this time of year, donate gently used coats the kids have grown out of.  Or make a commitment to support this charity throughout the year.
  • There are guidelines that tell you how much to tip those special people during the holidays.  Give a little extra based on what you can afford.  And if you have to cut here, send them a nice personal note telling them how much their service means to you.
  • Think about something homemade you can give your neighbors and friends as a little something.  What is your thing?  Do you bake?  Crochet?  I guarantee you there will be a million homemade somethings you can find on Pinterest.

 

6.  If you do go over budget, write that number down, come up with a plan on how much you can pay off each month, and make a commitment to ensure it’s paid off quickly.

 

7.  When should you plan your finances for the holiday season?  Every single day between December 26th and the start of the next holiday season.  Too late for this year, but you can make changes for next year.  Here are some examples:

  • Put away a set amount of money each month in an earmarked Christmas/holiday savings account or envelope.
  • Hit the 50%-75% off sales after Christmas.
  • Yard sale and thrift store shop all year long for decorations, wrapping paper, etc.
  • Think and prepare ahead.  For example, we always have the boy scout food drive every year at this time.  I purchased my food on sale with coupons in August and paid 50 cents for an entire paper sized grocery bag full of food to donate.  If I would have waited until the last minute it would have cost me full price.

I hope this helps you plan and be creative with your finances, and take some of the financial stress out of the holiday season.  Again, I’m not a trained or professional financial planner.  Whatever advice you take or don’t take is entirely on you.  :-)

For more on holiday planning, check out How to Plan for the Holidays and Keep Your Sanity.

 

How to Plan for the Holidays and Keep Your Sanity by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Connect and Share

How do you get through the extra financial burden during the holidays?  I would love for you to share your ideas in the comments section!

 

Love, hugs, and not worrying about January.

 

Holly

 
The FTC wants me to tell you this:
This post and blog contain affiliate links and ads which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.  I believe in capitalism and the American Dream.  Full disclosure Policy Click HERE.
 
Linking to these fun and fabulous parties:
Monday – Monday FundayMonday BloomInspiration MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen – Feeding BigMet Monday – Between Naps on the PorchProject Inspire{d}Frugal Crafty HomeMake it Pretty MondayTDC Before and After, Inspire Me MondayMunching MondaysCreate-Link-InspireMelt in Your Mouth MondayMade By You,  
 

Tuesday – Inspire Me TuesdayPower of PaintReturn to LovelinessShare it Link PartyMaria Elenas DecorTurn it Up TuesdayHit Me With Your Best ShotTreasure Box TuesdayDucks N a RowShow Me What You GotStyle ElixirUpcycled TreasuresBeauty BuzzTickle My TastebudsThe Scoop,                    

 

Wednesday – Centerpiece WednesdayWow Us WednesdayCuisine KathleenBefore and After WednesdayBloom DesignsEmpty Your ArchiveCreative MusterProject ParadeInspired2Whimsy Wednesday,           
 
Thursday – Organized 31Between Naps on the PorchFrom My Front Porch to YoursAll Things With PurposeA Delightsome LifeBe.YOU.tifulPin it Thursday,         
 
Friday – Dedicated HouseThe Life of the PartyKitchen Fun with My 3 SonsLink Party Palooza,  Pin JunkieCraft Frenzy FridayBest of the WeekendParty Junk, Inspire MePin Me Link Party,Fridays UnfoldedJunkin JoeWeekend Re-TreatAnything GoesOh My Heartsie GirlCreative CollectionFriday FavoritesDIY InspiredFoodie Friday,                   
   
Weekend – Be Different Act NormalNifty ThriftyUSS CraftyGet Your DIY OnSpotlight SaturdaySunday Best Linky PartyHappiness is HomemadeSnickerdoodle SundaySuper SaturdayG’Day SaturdaySaturday Night FeverBest Projects and RecipesShow Me Saturday,         

Permanent link to this article: http://coconutheadsurvivalguide.com/how-to-budget-for-the-holidays/

Nov 12

Cranberry Sauce – The Debate Ends Here


The debate over the cranberry sauce – canned or homemade – always trumps all other Thanksgiving Day arguments.  Kids fighting over who gets to sit at the adult table… brothers fighting over who is going to win the football game… politics… religion… it all pales in comparison to the most epic Thanksgiving debate of all time.

 

Cranberry Sauce Recipe by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

I mean seriously people…. you want to serve THIS?

 

 

Cranberries are little red super foods.  They are high in Vitamin C and fiber and have a crazy amount of antioxidants in them.  What’s not to love?

They are a little tart (ok a lot tart) but be careful of how much sugar you add to sweeten them up.  I don’t use a lot of sugar in this recipe, and swap for sweetness by adding apple cider instead.

 

Cranberry Sauce Recipe by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Click on the recipe card to open a new window for a printable version.

 

Cranberry Sauce Recipe by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Connect and Share

I’m almost afraid to ask.  What about you?  Canned or homemade?

 

Love, hugs, and good things come in small red packages.

 

Holly

 

The FTC wants me to tell you this:
This post and blog contain affiliate links and ads which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.  I believe in capitalism and the American Dream.  Full disclosure Policy Click HERE.
 
Linking to these fun and fabulous parties:
Monday – Monday FundayMonday BloomInspiration MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen – Feeding BigMet Monday – Between Naps on the PorchProject Inspire{d}Frugal Crafty HomeMake it Pretty MondayTDC Before and After, Inspire Me MondayMunching MondaysCreate-Link-InspireMade By You,  
 

Tuesday – Inspire Me TuesdayPower of PaintReturn to LovelinessShare it Link PartyMaria Elenas DecorTurn it Up TuesdayHit Me With Your Best ShotTreasure Box TuesdayDucks N a RowShow Me What You GotStyle ElixirUpcycled TreasuresBeauty BuzzTickle My TastebudsThe Scoop,                    

 

Wednesday – Centerpiece WednesdayWow Us WednesdayCuisine KathleenBefore and After WednesdayBloom DesignsEmpty Your ArchiveCreative MusterProject ParadeInspired2Whimsy Wednesday,           
 
Thursday – Organized 31Between Naps on the PorchFrom My Front Porch to YoursAll Things With PurposeA Delightsome LifeBe.YOU.tifulPin it Thursday,         
 
Friday – Dedicated HouseThe Life of the PartyKitchen Fun with My 3 SonsLink Party Palooza,  Pin JunkieCraft Frenzy FridayBest of the WeekendParty Junk, Inspire MePin Me Link Party,Fridays UnfoldedJunkin JoeWeekend Re-TreatAnything GoesOh My Heartsie GirlCreative CollectionFriday FavoritesDIY InspiredFoodie Friday,                   
   
Weekend – Be Different Act NormalNifty ThriftyGet Your DIY OnSpotlight SaturdaySunday Best Linky PartyHappiness is HomemadeSnickerdoodle SundaySuper SaturdayG’Day SaturdaySaturday Night FeverBest Projects and RecipesShow Me Saturday,          
 

Permanent link to this article: http://coconutheadsurvivalguide.com/cranberry-sauce/

Nov 11

A Simple and Elegant Thanksgiving Table


Today I am going to share a simple, yet elegant tablescape that is perfect for Thanksgiving.  If you are a member of the Tablescape Cult Club, setting a formal table comes easy.  But if this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving, or if you are not used to setting a formal table, fear not.  I will keep it simple and share some practical ideas that you can recreate with items you already have.

 

 

Simple and Elegant Thanksgiving Tablescape by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

I created this simple and elegant Thanksgiving tablescape with the normal person and the normal family in mind.  I literally thought through each and every detail because I wanted to share a table that anyone can recreate and duplicate.

 

Thanksgiving Tablescape by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Pay attention to the picture below.  Look at the silver.  I wanted to solve the problem of not having enough matching silver.  Pair your good silver with your every day silverware.  Mismatch intentionally, with you and your spouse at the table ends, and give your guests in the middle the good silver.  Also, stagger your silver to give the place setting some more visual interest.

 

Thanksgiving Tablescape by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

For this tablescape, I opted to not use a tablecloth.  What if you don’t own a tablecloth, or don’t have one big enough for your formal dining table?  I wanted to create a table using placemats and napkins as the only linens.

 

Thanksgiving Tablescape by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

I love having a fireplace in the dining room.  It gives cool weather dinners a special amount of warmth and coziness.   You can also see here that I mismatched the wine glasses.  Again, trying to replicate common problems (set of 4) with an easy solution.

 

Thanksgiving Tablescape by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Finally, the centerpiece.  It’s Thanksgiving.  It’s about family and conversation and eating.  I kept the centerpiece simple with a series of candles down the center of the table.  This way, your guests can maintain visual contact with each other while talking, and it leaves space for the food.  Simple.  Elegant.  Practical.  Is this something you can recreate?

 

Thanksgiving Tablescape by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

More Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Table

 

Design Elements for Your Thanksgiving Table

 

Design Elements to Create Your Thanksgiving Table by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com #tablescape

 

 

How to Set a Formal Table

 

How to Set a Formal Table by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

 

Connect and Share

What about you?  How do you set your Thanksgiving table?  Is it decorated to the hills or kept simple?  Do you get nervous when you have to set a formal table?

 

Love, hugs, and tis the gift to be simple.

 

Holly

 

The FTC wants me to tell you this:
This post and blog contain affiliate links and ads which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.  I believe in capitalism and the American Dream.  Full disclosure Policy Click HERE.
 
Linking to these fun and fabulous parties:
Monday – Monday FundayMonday BloomInspiration MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen – Feeding BigMet Monday – Between Naps on the PorchProject Inspire{d}Frugal Crafty HomeMake it Pretty MondayTDC Before and After, Inspire Me MondayMunching MondaysCreate-Link-Inspire
 

Tuesday – Inspire Me TuesdayPower of PaintReturn to LovelinessShare it Link PartyMaria Elenas DecorTurn it Up TuesdayHit Me With Your Best ShotTreasure Box TuesdayDucks N a RowShow Me What You GotStyle ElixirUpcycled TreasuresBeauty BuzzTickle My TastebudsThe Scoop,                    

 

Wednesday – Centerpiece WednesdayWow Us WednesdayCuisine KathleenBefore and After WednesdayBloom DesignsEmpty Your ArchiveCreative MusterProject ParadeInspired2,           
 
Thursday – Organized 31Between Naps on the PorchFrom My Front Porch to YoursAll Things With PurposeA Delightsome LifeBe.YOU.tifulPin it Thursday,         
 
Friday – Dedicated HouseThe Life of the PartyKitchen Fun with My 3 SonsLink Party Palooza,  Pin JunkieCraft Frenzy FridayBest of the WeekendParty Junk, Inspire MePin Me Link Party,Fridays UnfoldedJunkin JoeWeekend Re-TreatAnything GoesOh My Heartsie GirlCreative CollectionFriday FavoritesDIY Inspired,                  
   
Weekend – Be Different Act NormalNifty ThriftyUSS CraftyGet Your DIY OnSpotlight SaturdaySunday Best Linky PartyHappiness is HomemadeSnickerdoodle SundaySuper SaturdayG’Day SaturdaySaturday Night FeverBest Projects and RecipesShow Me Saturday,         

Permanent link to this article: http://coconutheadsurvivalguide.com/simple/

Nov 10

Cozy Cable Knit – Beyond the Sweater


The temperatures are dropping and it’s the perfect time of year to snuggle up with all things cable knit.  Cable knit has progressed far beyond the sweater, into accessories, blankets, and clever craft projects.  Here are 35 ideas including and beyond the sweater to keep you warm this winter.

 

Cozy Cable Knit - 35 Ideas to Keep You Warm This  Winter Including and Beyond the Sweater by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 

Grab a cup of hot cocoa and a blanket; this post is one big warm cozy hug from me to you.

 

drinking coffee

Cable Knit Coffee Cozies

Cable knit cozies add warmth and comfort to your morning coffee or tea.  The possibilities are endless.

 

Cable Knit Cozies

Coffee Cozy from Organized 31

Coffee Cozy from Simply Notable

Coffee Cozy from Ravelry

Pencil Cozy from DaWanda

Wine Bottle Cozy from All Free Knitting

 

Cable Knit Crafts

Beanies are soooo in this year!  So are bootie socks, leggings and pillows.

 

Cable Knit Crafts

Beanie from RinRan

Beanie from Daily Holiday Blog

Beanie from Ravelry

Leggings from All About You

Pillow from Create Craft Love

 

I must take a moment to ask you…. ok so I know that Pinterest is the most perfect procrastination tool in the world.  You don’t want to do _____ and then you spend an hour on Pinterest, right?  Have you ever used Pinterest to procrastinate Pinning?  On Friday night, when I went on to find some great pins for this post, I got distracted by Elf on the Shelf.  I created a new board, and in 30 minutes, had 25 Elf on the Shelf pins added.  Am I the only person out there who is either completely distracted or completely addicted?  Anyone?  Solidarity?  Bueller?

 

I digress…

 

Not really… because guess what else I found on Pinterest…

 Babies in Cable Knit

Does it get any cuter than babies in cable knit?  I mean really?  Awwwww………

 

Babies in Cable Knit

Cable Knit Sweaters

And because I am a little fashionista at heart, I had to still share the ole standby… the cable knit sweater.  Whether it’s paired with a skinny jean or worn super slouchy, the cable knit sweater is winter perfection.

 

Cable Knit Sweaters

 

My Favorites

These are my favorite cable knit items.  My mother knitted the blanket.  The cashmere sweater is a hand-me-down from my MIL.  The leggings are from Jane and the socks are from Target.

 

Cable Knit 1

 

 

Shop the Look – For the Home

 

Cable Knit for the Home

Vase from One Kings Lane

Pillow from Kohls

Throw from Lands End

Throw from One Kings Lane

Sherpa Throw from Target

 

Shop the Look – For You

 

Cable Knit for You

Legwarmers from Kohls

Isotoner Gloves from Kohls

Infinity Scarf from ModCloth

Ear Warmer from Target

 

KIY – Knit It Yourself

Online Knitting Class

Connect and Share

What about you?  What is your favorite cable knit item?  Do you know how to knit?

 

Love, hugs, and pearl two.

 

Holly

 

The FTC wants me to tell you this:
This post and blog contain affiliate links and ads which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.  I believe in capitalism and the American Dream.  Full disclosure Policy Click HERE.
 
Linking to these fun and fabulous parties:
Monday – Monday FundayMonday BloomInspiration MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen – Feeding BigMet Monday – Between Naps on the PorchProject Inspire{d}Frugal Crafty HomeMake it Pretty MondayTDC Before and After, Inspire Me MondayMunching MondaysCreate-Link-Inspire
 

Tuesday – Inspire Me TuesdayPower of PaintReturn to LovelinessShare it Link PartyMaria Elenas DecorTurn it Up TuesdayHit Me With Your Best ShotTreasure Box TuesdayDucks N a RowShow Me What You GotStyle ElixirUpcycled TreasuresBeauty BuzzTickle My TastebudsThe Scoop,                    

 

Wednesday – Centerpiece WednesdayWow Us WednesdayCuisine KathleenBefore and After WednesdayBloom DesignsEmpty Your ArchiveCreative MusterProject ParadeInspired2,           
 
Thursday – Organized 31Between Naps on the PorchFrom My Front Porch to YoursAll Things With PurposeA Delightsome LifeBe.YOU.tifulPin it Thursday,         
 
Friday – Dedicated HouseThe Life of the PartyKitchen Fun with My 3 SonsLink Party Palooza,  Pin JunkieCraft Frenzy FridayBest of the WeekendParty Junk, Inspire MePin Me Link Party,Fridays UnfoldedJunkin JoeWeekend Re-TreatAnything GoesOh My Heartsie GirlCreative CollectionFriday FavoritesDIY Inspired,                  
   
Weekend – Be Different Act NormalNifty ThriftyUSS CraftyGet Your DIY OnSpotlight SaturdaySunday Best Linky PartyHappiness is HomemadeSnickerdoodle SundaySuper SaturdayG’Day SaturdaySaturday Night FeverBest Projects and RecipesShow Me Saturday,         

Permanent link to this article: http://coconutheadsurvivalguide.com/cable-knit/

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