WHEN CHRISTMAS EVE LOOKS LIKE MOZARELLA STICKS & THE WALGREENS PARKING LOT

some christmases are perfect.

they’re perfectly sprinkled with tinsel and giggles, your present-wrapping game looks like something out of a magazine, everyone somehow gets along, your dinner turns out better than you expected, the house magically stays clean…

some christmases… aren’t.

sometimes Christmas eve looks like your pregnant self having contractions and pain all day, a half-dead tree because you cut it down before thanksgiving, pajamas you forgot to put in the wash, a present or two still unwrapped, and meat for your favorite traditional Christmas eve dinner left out of the fridge leaving you to scavenge at Walgreens because it’s the only place still open at 8pm.

sometimes Christmas eve dinner is mozarella sticks and doritos instead of beef stew.

sometimes it’s giggling on the sofa in sweatpants because your husband’s adrenaline is still so high from putting on the Christmas eve service.

sometimes it’s all the things you didn’t see coming.

if that’s you, you’re in good company.
WE are in good company.

because Jesus was everything we didn’t see coming.

God with us.

God for us.

not forgotten.

not unseen.

not unloved.

the dare to hope.

the un-hoped-for goodness.

so often all the good things are all the things we never saw coming.
all the things wrapped in messiness.
all the things we have to travel through wondering in order to receive.

embrace the messy, okay? ❤

5 HEALTHY WAYS TO COPE WITH HOLIDAY STRESS

I love Christmas (big surprise, huh?).
I love this time of year.

I love the first snow, the giant scarves, the holiday drinks from Starbucks, the music spattered with the sound of jingling bells, and the homey crackling of a good fire.
I love finding the perfect gift, decking out my home, spending lots of quality time with my husband, and embracing all my favorite traditions.

but, this holiday season is also crazy-insane-super-intensely-stressful. am I right?!

between the awful colds & coughs getting passed around, trying to coordinate holiday plans with family, trying to stay within budget for all those gifts, fighting through the crazy traffic, dealing with the less-than-friendly/understanding family and friends you haven’t seen since last year’s chaos-fest, and who-knows-what-else, it can get to be a little much.

and in my experience, the dashing of dreams always happens when the real life thing doesn’t quite match up to the dazzling picture I had in my head.

if you’re anything like me, you and I gotta find a way to cope.

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5 HEALTHY WAYS TO DEAL WITH THE HOLIDAY STRESS Continue reading “5 HEALTHY WAYS TO COPE WITH HOLIDAY STRESS”

FREE PRINTABLE // CHRISTMAS GIFT TAGS

GUYS!!
(sorry to startle you)

it’s been a while since I gave you all a freebie, and in the spirit of Christmas being less than two weeks away (okay, but really, how did that even happen?!) I thought this would be the perfect time to share these ultra-adorable printable Christmas gift tags.

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I might be biased, but I can’t handle the cuteness, y’all. real talk: I totally giggled the whole time I was making them! 🙂

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from the most sentimental ELF movie reference, to a sarcastic remark for that one person you always struggle to buy for, to a simple “merry Christmas!”, I think you’ll find that there’s a little something fun in these tags to label everyone’s gift!

this one is totally going on my husband’s gift:
Continue reading “FREE PRINTABLE // CHRISTMAS GIFT TAGS”

MY HUSBAND’S STOCKING STUFFERS CHRISTMAS 2016

it’s about that time again! 🙂

for the past two years I’ve been sharing with you all what I’m putting in my man’s Christmas stocking, and so far, each year you’ve loved it (and kept it a secret- thanks for that! 😉 ). it’s become a bit of a yearly tradition here on the blog, and it’s one I really look forward to!

if you’re interested in what I’ve put in his stocking in the past…
here is 2014’s stocking list
here is 2015’s stocking list

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MY HUSBAND’S STOCKING STUFFERS 2016 Continue reading “MY HUSBAND’S STOCKING STUFFERS CHRISTMAS 2016”

THE ROAD TO BETHLEHEM IS ALWAYS BITTER… BUT CHRISTMAS IS ALWAYS READY WHEN YOU NEED IT

with Christmas just around the corner (yup, just 26 days…!) and all of the merry hustle and bustle that we love to get swept up in, it can be hard to wrap our heads around the distinct and glaring contrast of the peace that the holiday represents with the unrest and injustice going on in our world today.

I’ve noticed that everyone seems to be in a hurry to get Christmas HAPPENING this year. people seem to be putting up their trees and decorations early, more facebook statuses than usual have been posted with an open longing for the season to begin, and it seems that Christmas music was blaring a couple weeks sooner than it typically is.

I don’t think this is chance- I think there’s a very communal and vocal desperation for the beauty of Christmas this year that hasn’t been quite so loud in recent ones. I think our hearts recognize the reverence and sacredness of Christmas, and this year we’re starved for it. we’re stuffed full of shock and sadness and the ugly unapproachable-ness of our current reality, and we’re just so ready for a little peace and hope and rescuing.

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I think this is where we need to be.  Continue reading “THE ROAD TO BETHLEHEM IS ALWAYS BITTER… BUT CHRISTMAS IS ALWAYS READY WHEN YOU NEED IT”

HOLIDAY HOME TOUR 2016

The home tour is here!!

I have been waiting for this for weeks, and I’m just so excited to welcome you in to our first stop… our very own Avrick apartment, little 104 ❤

to see the other home tours, click here:
monday: Meg’s Colorful Vintage Home
tuesday: Rachel’s Frosty Floral Home
friday: Simone’s Tree-Filled Wonderland Home

hi there friend… step inside.

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I love our little entryway… recognize the little DIY? 😉  Continue reading “HOLIDAY HOME TOUR 2016”

CALLING ALL BLOGGERS // LINK UP LOVE

hey bloggers!

do you like link-ups? (the answer is no- you LOVE them.) because I’m hosting a super fun one to bridge November & December in a bind of awesomeness! 😉

one of my all-time favorite things to come across online all year round (but especially during this Christmas season!) is home tours. I love getting to see how other bloggers have chosen to make their house a home, and it always feels so special and intimate to get “invited over” to their house for a few short minutes as I scroll through the beautiful images and read their personal thoughts on the touches they’ve added throughout the nooks and crannies of their spaces.
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here at Untidy Grace, I’m ALL. ABOUT. INVITATION. I’m all about belonging and welcoming in. and with that the way it is around here, it just seems right that I’d have you blogger besties all over to my little cozy apartment for Christmastime 😉 would you like to join us?

we’re throwing a Christmas Home Tour party, and you can be a part of it! I already have four fabulous ladies who are excited to open up their Christmas-clad homes to invite in our wonderful internet followers for the holiday season. (and I might even make extra coffee 😉 )

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you can check out the participating gals & their blogs here:

moriah // untidy grace creative co.
meg // it’s meg dean
rachel // rachel rossi design
simone // the adventures of everygirl
kristie // life with kristie

if you’re all like “YES! ME! I WANT TO DO THIS!” then send me an email!
untidygrace@gmail.com

hope to see you soon 🙂

CHRISTMAS WITH UNTIDY GRACE & LIFE LATELY

hey friends!

I thought I’d write a little update for all of you who follow along here at the blog so you’ll have the inside scoop into what’s going on this season with me & my little fam, and so you can get excited about some of the great things to come in preparation for Christmas with Untidy Grace! 🙂

LIFE LATELY
1.) the slow transition from fall into winter has blown by in this life season of pure chaos for us. with an emergency room trip for me at the beginning of last month, and then an ER visit & hospital stay (complete with surgery!) for J that bled over into this month, it’s felt like one crisis after another. we’ve definitely been kept on our toes. thankfully, we’ve been loved on by my sweet Holy Yoga family and by dear friends- both here in WA and all the way from the east coast in MD! still, the healing process, mixed with entering my third trimester of pregnancy, with anxiety and exhaustion sprinkled on top has not been fun. (did I put that mildly enough? 😉 ) Continue reading “CHRISTMAS WITH UNTIDY GRACE & LIFE LATELY”

DIY CHRISTMAS DECOR // EMBROIDERY HOOP WALL HANGING

I’m so excited to be able to feature this year’s first Christmas DIY! 🙂 I love Christmas, and I love simple do-it-yourself projects, so I had a blast throwing this super-easy wall decor together for the upcoming holiday season! I think you will too.

the best part about this little project is just how easy it is. literally all you have to do is cut and tie fabric. so. stinkin’. simple. seriously guys, I just made this in about 10 minutes (preggo brain and all), and I cannot stress enough that you cannot mess this up.

also, I’m pretty sure the total spent on this was about $5 or $5.50. so it’s also budget-friendly, like the rest of my Christmas decor ideas!

here’s what you need:
~an embroidery hoop (I think mine was 10″)
~3+ types of ribbon in colors/patterns of your choice (I liked the variety in texture between lace and twine and ribbon!)
~scissors
~Christmas music playing in the background
~a cup of hot coffee/tea/cocoa 😉

that’s it!

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you might already have spare ribbon at home, and that would bring your cost down further. I purchased the embroidery hoop for just $1.60 at Hobby Lobby, and grabbed the ribbon from various places.

how to make the wall hoop:
1.) choose your statement ribbon, and decide how long you would like it to hang.
I picked the widest, thickest ribbon for this. I also started long with the ribbon, and got shorter as I went up the sides. so decide if that’s something you want to do, or if you want it all hanging the same length. Continue reading “DIY CHRISTMAS DECOR // EMBROIDERY HOOP WALL HANGING”

3 BEST PLACES FOR CHEAP CHRISTMAS DECOR (AND WHAT I SPENT ON MINE)// THREE ON THURSDAY

if you’re on a budget like we are (young and married with a baby on the way, y’all!), you might be stressing about how to make your space feel cozy and Christmasy in the coming weeks. I totally get that. seriously.

as someone who loves Christmas… no, really LOVES Christmas… feeling that holiday cheer and nostalgia is a huge part of the season for me. plus, decorating is just so much fun, am I right?! for me at least, the decorating process itself is part of the magic and some of the most memories made and traditions kept! 😉

so when my pockets aren’t all too deep (and I’m attempting to decorate almost four times the square footage as what I had before), here’s where I go for the best Christmas decor that doesn’t look or feel cheap… even though it is! (but we’ll just keep that between you and me, okay? good. 🙂 )

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1.) TARGET DOLLAR SECTION & END-OF-AISLE CLEARANCE
seriously. so much good stuff here! this year, I spent $7 in the Target dollar section and walked away with a sweet plaid bunting set, chalk for Christmas signs, some black and white twine for an advent calendar DIY I have in mind, and a small pillow. you seriously cannot beat that. as for the end of aisle clearance sections, I snatched up a pair of green marble candle holders to grace our dining table for $2 each (marked down from around $10!!). in case you’re counting, that brings my target total to $11Continue reading “3 BEST PLACES FOR CHEAP CHRISTMAS DECOR (AND WHAT I SPENT ON MINE)// THREE ON THURSDAY”