Happy Friday! I know that we haven’t even made it to Thanksgiving yet but I am eagerly anticipating Christmas. I don’t know if it’s because it’s our first holiday in our new house or what, but I’m already decorating and trolling the internet for great gift ideas. 

I don’t need a holiday to shop, the hubs will confirm that, but I do enjoy it more this time of year. It’s always fun looking for that perfect gift for that special person on my list. 

Holiday gift ideas that include home decor, technology and a bit of fashion, plus a few Christmas shopping tips.

I’ve done most of my shopping online for years and it seems like retailers make it easier every holiday season with great sales, flexible return policies and offers of free shipping, something I always look for when I shop online. 

Let’s take a look at some things that caught my eye while “shopping”. I’ve also shared a few items from my own wish list as well as some favorites. 

*Items with a * are affiliate links (please see my Privacy Policy for more info).

A few pretties for the house. Love all of these but two of my favorites are the Bay Leaf Wreath and soy candles. I actually just bought the wreath a few weeks ago and soy candles are always lit in our house during the holidays. 

Holiday gift ideas that include home decor, technology and a little bit of fashion, plus a few Christmas shopping tips. 1.*Trinket Dish 2. Holiday Soy Candle 3. *Personalized Cutting Board 4. *Bay Leaf Wreath

I’m a sucker for these farm animal kitchen towels. In our house they’re used solely for decoration. No dirty hands allowed on my cute towels. 

Holiday gift ideas that include home decor, technology and a little bit of fashion, and a few Christmas shopping tips.

1. Farmhouse Kitchen Towel 2. *Hook Pillow 3. *Silver Frames 4. *Faux Fur Throw

Ok, I know I’ve strayed away from home decor, and some of these may be on my own wish list, but the journal is pretty and they would all make great gifts. ūüėČ Is it strange to have a journal mixed in with today’s technological gadgets? I enjoy technology but I also still love to write…lists, notes, thoughts… 

Holiday gift ideas that include home decor, technology and a little bit of fashion, and a few Christmas shopping tips.

1. Airpods 2. *Journal 3. *IPad Mini

I really love home decor but fashion is something that I enjoy too. Who wouldn’t love to get a soft wrap or pretty leather gloves as a gift? Actually, the cardigan is a real favorite of mine. I’ve been buying them for years and have a few (ok, a lot) hanging in my closet. 

Holiday gift ideas that include home decor, technology and a little bit of fashion, and a few Christmas shopping tips.

1. *Wrap  2. *Cardigan 3. Cashmere Scarf  4. *Leather Gloves

There’s one shopping tip I’d like to share. I think I mention Ebates every year around this time but, if you love to save money, it’s worth a few minutes to sign up. Like I said, I do almost all my shopping online and I always use Ebates with retailers that participate. If you add the Ebates Extension on your browser (I use Chrome) and go to a website that participates, a little window will popup at the top of the site and tell you how much you can save with a purchase. I’ve used it for 8 years and have saved a few thousand dollars (I told you I shop online a lot ūüėČ ). If you’ve never signed up and want to, you can click on this link and I’ll get a small referral bonus. If you just want to visit on your own, that’s ok too. Just make sure you sign up, and if you’re already signed up, make sure you remember to use it. It’s totally worth it. 

Just a few ideas and favorites to get you started on your holiday shopping. After all, there’s only 37 shopping days left until Christmas. Have you started yet or do you wait until after Thanksgiving?

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I have to tell you that I had only visited IKEA once or twice when my girls were going to college in Boston, and they were always quick trips to pick up supplies for their dorms, but once we moved to Illinois and I was able to really look around, I found out that IKEA was so much more than a college dorm superstore.

10 favorite IKEA finds

Now, 4 1/2 years later, I have a pretty good handle on the different departments and the items I’ll go back for.¬†I don’t visit our local store as often as I did when we first moved here, it’s usually too crowded, but when I do I always come out with something I love. So what’s the best things¬†at IKEA? I’m sure everyone has their favorites but these are my top 10 favorite finds.

Pillow Covers – $4 and up

10 favorite IKEA finds from frames to pillow covers to food storage. | chatfieldcourt.comActually, I recently took¬†a trip there trying to find¬†pillow covers for my winter decor and, once again IKEA¬†didn’t disappoint. They always have a great selection and the prices can’t be beat. For someone like me, who changes pillow covers with the wind, it’s a no-brainer.

Tea Lights – $3.49 for 100

10 favorite IKEA

IKEA

I burn candles and tea lights all the time, especially in the winter, so finding these has been a real money saver, a pack of 100 is only $3.49.

Ribba Frames – $4.99 and up

10 favorite IKEA finds

IKEA

10 favorite IKEA finds

I love a simple black frame and the Ribba is just that. I¬†have them sprinkled all around my house hanging with¬†more expensive frames and you can’t tell which is which.

Utility Cart Р$29.99

10 favorite IKEA finds

IKEA

Ok, I don’t have one of these, but I look at it every time I go and imagine all the goodies I could put in it. We have a small house and I really don’t have anywhere to put it so this one will have to live in my dreams…for now.

Storage Jars – $4.49 (2 qt.)

10 favorite IKEA finds

IKEA

Actually, my daughter turned me on to these, she uses them for all of her kitchen storage. I bought several to help organize our stash of nuts in the kitchen (ummm, we’re nuts for nuts ūüėČ ). They have several different sizes, a tight seal and the prices are awesome.

Rast Dresser – $34.99

10 favorite IKEA finds

IKEA

I bought one of these a few months ago to use in the bedroom, once I give it a makeover of course. I love that it’s made of solid wood, it’s inexpensive and it’s a blank slate. You could do so much with it (or leave it as is).

I’ve since completed my Rast hack. You can check out what I did to it and how I’m using it,¬†here.¬†

Kitchen Sink – $185.99

10 favorite IKEA finds

IKEA

10 favorite IKEA finds

I literally looked everywhere¬†for a kitchen sink that fit our small¬†space and didn’t break the bank and IKEA had exactly what I wanted. I love it!

Throw – $29.99

10 favorite IKEA finds

I love my throw from IKEA and it’s gets a lot of use in our house. Not only is it 100% cotton but it has some weight to it and washes well.

Pendant Lamp Р$59.99

10 favorite IKEA finds

IKEA

This is something else I’ve admired but not gotten. When we were looking¬†at¬†lighting for our kitchen, IKEA¬†was the first place we looked. I loved this pendant but, sadly, it’s too big for our¬†space. It’s a great looking light, though.

Great kitchen inspiration РFREE

Before we started our kitchen reno we would brave the crowds and browse around all of the beautiful kitchen spaces looking for inspiration and ideas. It really helps to look at different spaces to get an idea of what you like and don’t like and this was just the place. If you’re thinking about a kitchen reno, or just want something to do on a Sunday afternoon, I highly recommend a trip to IKEA’s kitchen area.

What are you favorite finds at IKEA? Are any of my favorites yours?

I have not been compensated for this post. I just wanted to share some awesome finds with you.

Another favorite¬†place that’s¬†filled with awesomeness¬†is HomeGoods, and I’ve shared some tips for shopping there.

 

Tips and tricks for shopping at HomeGoods. www.chatfieldcourt.com

Tips for Shopping at HomeGoods

Tips for Buying a Bathroom Vanity Online

You can also find me at Between Naps on the Porch, Worthing Court, Savvy Southern Style, French Country Cottage

 

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This post contains an affiliate link.

I have to confess that I’m not much of a shopper. Actually I’m, what I like to call, a quick peruser. If I have to go to a store for something, I’ll walk in and quickly head right to my intended target. Sure I do a quick perusal of my surroundings as I’m headed to my destination, but I rarely slow down to stop and look. If I’m looking for more than one¬†thing, I usually make a list and¬†have a good idea of how to get in and get out quickly with what I need.

Take Target, for instance. Whether I’m going for a birthday card or some makeup, I¬†always head right to home decor and the Smith &¬†Hawken aisle first and do a quick check. That’s what I did last week when I found the cutest rustic natural pumpkins. They actually only had 2 on a shelf that was pretty bare, so¬†I quickly scooped them up and headed to my next target (no pun intended).

Rustic Natural Pumpkins from Target | www.chatfieldcourt.comAren’t they the cutest? If you read my post about¬†adding fall to an old window last Friday, then you may have seen these beauties, but I wanted to share where I got them with you.

Every year, when I decorate for fall, I usually like to use things from nature and make a few easy-to-do decorations, but these were too cute to pass up (and sometimes it’s nice to take the easy way out and buy ready-made).

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Just a bit of a disclaimer about this post…it is rather long but it has some tips if you are going to WDW. Also, I mention names of places but I have no affiliation with any company. I am sharing this post as my own personal experience with¬†my own personal opinions.¬†

We got back from our trip to Orlando and Walt Disney World a week ago Sunday but I’m finally getting back into a routine. It seems like it’s taking¬†longer and longer to get back on track after we’ve been away. Maybe it’s because we don’t travel as much as we used to?

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com

Well, we’re home¬†from our 5 day excursion so¬†I thought I’d share some of the highlights and a few tips with you. We used to live in Florida, from 2004-2011, and we visited Disney alot often when the kids were growing up. It’s one of my favorite places to go¬†and it’s been too long since we’ve visited…5 years to be exact and yes, we still enjoy it even though we¬†no longer have kids at home.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.comWhenever we travel we try to spend as little as possible and this trip was no exception. Our airline tickets were insanely cheap,¬†we¬†got a great deal on a rental car and I rented a nice condo on Homeaway.com¬†about 8 miles from WDW. I love staying onsite¬†at a Disney resort but the prices were outrageous this time and we are in the room only to sleep so, for us, it wasn’t¬†worth the expense. Make no mistake though, WDW is an expensive place to visit so¬†we try to spend our money wisely by cutting corners when we can, like staying in¬†a condo 8 miles from WDW, so that we can visit a park and eat dinner at a great restaurant.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com

When I made all of our travel and sleeping reservations, I also researched and booked our dinner reservations, bought park passes and booked fast passes for the parks we were going to visit. WDW offers magic bands, that you register on Disney.com, that are used as your¬†room key, for park admission and all of your reservations for anything Disney, including fast passes.¬†Since we didn’t stay onsite I had to buy our magic bands but I’m so glad that I did, and we can use them again the next time we visit.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.comI also downloaded the Disney app on my Iphone which listed my itinerary, including my fast pass times and our dinner reservations. I could also check wait times for rides and the times for fireworks and parades. We used the app tons, even to find the nearest restroom.

The first night there was hubs birthday and we tried a new place, Narcoosee’s. It’s on the lagoon at the Grand Floridian where you can see the castle at Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary. It was¬†pricey but oh.my.goodness it was delicious, our best meal, and after dinner we stood on their deck and watched Wishes, the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks, complete with music. All in all, a great experience.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com

The next day we went to EPCOT. What a great day we had with absolutely beautiful weather and no big crowds. After taking a few pics at Spaceship Earth, we headed back to France where we ate lunch at Chefs De France. I’ve read glowing reviews on this place and it didn’t disappoint.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com

I didn’t think it was¬†as good as our dinner the night before but hubs loved his meal. After a fun and easy day of walking around all the countries and going on a few rides, you gotta go in Spaceship Earth, we strolled over to England for our dinner reservations at the Rose & Crown Pub. Since we had a big lunch, fish and chips was the perfect meal for us. We ended up eating there at the right time because we were escorted to their VIP section, right on the lagoon, to watch the awesome fireworks show.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com

Our second day, Friday, was a more relaxed day spent driving around to a few resorts we always visit, riding the monorail and visiting Downtown Disney.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com I read about Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian so we stopped in there for an afternoon cocktail. It was a fun and unique bar but the drink prices were a little steep. After our Grotto experience we headed to¬†dinner at the Beach Club’s Cape May Cafe…love the steamed clams and crab!

On Saturday we spent the day at Hollywood Studios. It was a Star Wars weekend, unbeknownst to us, so we spent the day fighting crowds in the rain and humidity. We had a great time but I wouldn’t go on a special weekend like that again. Our dinner reservations for this night were at Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.comInstead of driving our rental there, we took the resort bus from the park to the lodge. This was our first time at this restaurant and we ended up having a great meal with awesome service and a curious dining companion. We sat right next to the window looking out on the savannah and this guy (or gal) stood there watching us for a good 30 minutes.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.comAll the food we had was delicious but they are known for their bread service…fresh made naan with dipping sauces. OMG…so good.

Our Trip to Walt Disney World | chatfieldcourt.com

After dinner, and one last look at the animals, we hopped on a bus for Hollywood Studios to see Fantasmic! We haven’t seen this show in many years so we really enjoyed it.¬†Back in the parking lot in our car, we were treated to some more awesome fireworks that were part of¬†the Star Wars festivities.¬†A perfect ending to a great day and a fun vacation.

On Sunday we headed home to Chicago and the chilly weather, it was 45 when we landed. Ugh…maybe the weather’s the reason¬†I had a hard time getting back on schedule.

If you’re still with me, congrats you made it to the end. Thanks so much for sticking with me through this long post. If you have any questions about Disney or Orlando, please leave a comment. I read and answer every one. ūüôā Hope you have a great week!

You can find me at …Between Naps on the Porch | A Stroll Thru Life | Savvy Southern Style | Sand and Sisal | The Shabby Nest | Cozy Little House | French Country Cottage | Over 50 Feeling 40 | Dixie Delights 

 

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Paint Brush Love and Daffodils | Chatfield CourtJust a quick post to share a great find with you. You may, or may not, know that I’ve painted a lot since we moved into our house 9 months ago. I have my favorite brushes for cutting in, but I’ve been having some trouble lately and making a mess, which means extra work. Most of the trouble comes from the fact that I have very shaky hands, or an essential tremor, which makes it difficult to paint a straight line. It doesn’t stop me from painting but I have had to rework my routine a bit. I used to be able to cut in without using painter’s tape but lately I have been using it to keep my lines straight and neat. I have some good paint brushes, top names with higher price tags, so I figured there was nothing I could do but use tape every time I cut in.

After reading about the paint brush that Sherry at Young House Love likes to use to cut in, I thought I would get one and try it. Oh Em Gee…can I just say that I love this paint brush! I was giddy the whole time I was painting. No tape and no mess. I cut it in perfectly, just like old times, even with shaky hands. What is this miracle worker you ask? It is the¬†Premium XL Tight Spots 2‚Ä≥ Angle Short Handle Brush with comfort grip. I got mine at Sherwin Williams for about $5.50, not sure if you can get it anywhere else. Love, love, love…so easy to use, so smooth. I am going to buy another one, just in case, the next time I go near SW. ūüėČ *no affiliate links Paint Brush Love and Daffodils by Chatfield CourtLast weekend I went to Trader Joe’s to get some flowers and I saw these daffodil stems. Maybe I live in a bubble, but I’ve never seen them sold the way they had them, just stems with flower buds. They were only $1.50 for 9 stems so I thought I would get them to see what happens. ¬†I cut off the bottom of the stems and put them in water. It was fun to watch them come out of their bud cover and bloom every day. So pretty and so worth $1.50. Paint Brush Love and Daffodils by Chatfield CourtAny great finds to share? Have you used the Premium XL paint brush? Have you bought daffodil buds before?

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