My least favorite winter break activity is always putting up Christmas decorations. The house looks so sad and bare when I finish. So this year, to help bring some sunshine and warmth into my January house we are adding more light with candles, more cozy spaces with blankets and yummy smells and making it easy go outside.

I confess that I do not have a green thumb, especially with house plants.  I’ve had more success when I schedule time to water (we water on Wednesday around here). But if the plant needs more or less than a once-a-week water, it will have a short life. I just keep changing them out, especially with the grocery and Trader Joe plants and cut flowers. Some plants actually clean the air, but it pleases me also to add some fresh color to an otherwise dreary January scene.

Once reason I love Christmas décor, is that it’s not just the eyes that are stimulated. Your sense of smell is also heightened with the tree and wreaths made of tree clippings, and all the cooking smells.  We kept some of the greenery, which I give a spray of water (on Wednesdays, of course!).  I also try to bake bread or cookies once or twice a week.


If not baking, I also use my essential oils to warm up the spaces. My daughter decided to mix a little Christmas Spirit with Gentle Baby a few weeks ago and dubbed it Gentle Christmas. We love the soft floral essential oils of Gentle Baby mixed with the sweet, spicy blend of orange, cinnamon, and spruce essential oils in Christmas Spirit.


To help get through these cold months, we also go outside every moment we can. Sunny days might be few and far between, but we make it a priority to get our vitamin D from sunshine. Keeping our hats, gloves, and scarves in a basket by the door makes it easier to be outside and play with our friends and run around with our dog.

How do you create light and warmth in your home without the Christmas decor? (Or do you leave it up? I was tempted to leave the tree with only lights but changed my mind…)


5 Good Fabric Sources

  1. Craft Stores like JoAnn’s, AC Moore, and Hobby Lobby. They have 40% off coupons on their email newsletters pretty regularly, so they are especially good to use on a larger or more expensive piece of fabric.
  2. Home Stores that sell department store seconds like Tuesday Morning, TJMaxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods. Look for sheets, table cloths, duvet covers and some shower curtains. Department stores like Macy’s and Belk might have good January “white sales” also. Think outside the box; a friend of mine made the most beautiful curtains with table cloths held by ring clips (no sewing!).
  3. Online craft stores like Ebay and Fabric.com are good also, but as with anything you buy online- read the description carefully and know your fabric fiber content. I haven’t been lucky enough to find coupons for these sites, but have run across some good upholstery fabric remnants and deals on notions.
  4. Etsy.com has good vintage and embroidered fabric. Know your fabric content and expect to pay a little more than normal thrift shops because the seller has done the digging for you. I’ve also run across some half finished quilt tops that are really beautiful. Etsy can be a rabbit hole for me, where I spend hours adding and emptying my cart, picking favorite shops and finding inspiration.
  5. Thrift stores and antique shops. You will have to dig for the good stuff, and then wash really carefully. I’m on the lookout for white men’s sweaters to repurpose as cozy pillow covers for my bonus room.