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How to Create a Home You Love — even if you don’t have money and don’t know how to decorate!

Other than my podcast interviews with Jesse, this week’s episode of The Crystal Paine Show was my very first interview to do in-person — with Myquillyn Smith (aka The Nester) sitting right across the table from me as we recorded (Ryan, my podcast producer and Myquillyn’s husband are in the background of the above photo).

I loved getting to chat with her face-to-face and be inspired by her heart for creating a cozy and inviting home that serves your family well — even if you are on a tight budget and don’t know how to decorate!

(You know what else was so fun about having Myquillyn and her husband, Chad, come to our house for the interview? They brought their tiny home with them!)

Myquillyn and I talk about the importance of making your home into a place that fits the way you’re called to use it, and she offers practical advice for women who may feel intimidated or insecure about decorating or who want to decorate but don’t have any extra money to do so.

If you’ve ever wanted your home to be a cozy, welcoming place, but aren’t sure where to start, you don’t want to miss this episode!

(And while I’m not much of a decorator at all — as I talk about on this episode! — I surprised myself by truly being inspired by her book. Listen in as I share more on that!)

I also give you some last-minute tips for simplifying December, tell you one of our favorite Christmas traditions when our kids were younger, and share some of our favorite Christmas read-alouds for younger kids.

And I close out the show by sharing some encouragement from my heart to moms of littles. If you currently have babies, toddlers, or younger kids and maybe feel a little overwhelmed by this season of life, I hope that my words will inspire you and help you feel less alone!

In This Episode:

[01:34] – Our Christmas Bucket List is what’s saving my life this week! This simple practice makes our Decembers so much simpler, calmer, and fun-filled.

[06:54] – Instead of just one book, this week I tell you about some of our family’s favorite Christmas picture books.

[07:50] – Today’s guest is Myquillyn Smith — a woman who is well known on the internet for encouraging people to love their homes and that “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”.

[10:16] – I asked Myquillyn to share advice for women who have insecurities or fears when it comes to decorating their homes (because this is 100% me — I was even insecure about having Myquillyn come to my home and had to talk myself out of that before she got there!)

[15:17] – One of the things I often hear from women is that they wish they could redecorate or change some things in their home but they are on a really tight budget. We talk about this and Myquillyn shares some of her best tips for loving your home and making it cozy and welcoming — on a tight budget.

[17:45] – We talk about what it’s like to be an introvert and how to step out and do scary things in spite of our fears. Myquillin addresses my question on how she has managed to invite 1000 people to her home for a festival and go on book tour. She shares how it’s been for her and why she chose to do this, even though she knew it would be a lot.

[21:58] – Myquillyn shares three books she’s planning to read soon — two of which have been on my radar screen and that I promptly ordered after she talked about them!

[23:04] – And we talk about none other than baths. Yes, for real! You’ll have to tune in to find out why! 🙂

[24:45] – Many listeners have written in to ask about my advice for a first-time mom. I share some of my best advice and encouragement — that I wish I would have learned early on!

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player we’ll include in the show notes of each episode. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

Sponsor Spotlight

Today’s episode is sponsored by Twigby — a company dedicated to providing fantastic phone service at great prices. As I mentioned in the podcast, if you are looking for a great deal on a phone for your teen (or yourself!), I’d highly recommend checking out what Twigby has to offer.

Unlike traditional cell phone companies, they give you the ability to create your own custom, prepaid plan — without a contract or an unnecessary activation fee.

You don’t have to mess with going to a store and picking out a phone plan. You just go to their site, pick your phone plan and either switch your current phone over or get a new phone, and they get it all set up for you.

My favorite part about their service (in addition to their great prices!) is that they offer plan flexibility with the ability to change plans or phones at any time for free. You’re not locked into an expensive contract that has activation and termination fees.

They also offer Free Overage Protection, so you can rest easy in knowing that you will never be charged for overages without your go-ahead! You have complete control.

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission — at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

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  • Lindsey S. says:

    Baths are awesome! I’ve heard a long bath burns as many calories as a 30 minute walk too. I’m in the middle of The Cozy Minimalist Home and am hosting a book club meeting on it in Feb. with several friends. I love it! Great podcast today!

  • Michelle says:

    Here is the Christmas book list I have been adding to for several years and share with friends. These focus more on Christian elements and not on Santa. I have divided them out by general subject matter.

    Christmas themed books about sacrificial giving:
    1. Christmas day in the morning / Buck, Pearl S., (Christmas themed, not about Jesus but about a child’s sacrificial gift of doing dad’s chores for him. Very sweet. )
    2. An orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco (about sacrificial giving)
    3. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry and illustrated by Lynch, P. J. (about sacrificial giving)
    4. Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco
    5. Silver packages an Appalachian Christmas story by cynthia rylant
    6. The Christmas miracle of Jonathan Toomey / Wojciechowski, Susan. (Christmas themed, not about Jesus, but about a man who carves a nativity for a small boy)
    7. The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale about the … David Rubel
    Books about historical Christmas celebrations
    8. Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (picture book) ISBN 9780064434874
    9. Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon
    10. An early American Christmas by Tomie dePaola
    11. The Gingerbread Doll by Susan Tews
    12. Apple Tree Christmas

    Books about traditional Christmas Carols and legends
    13. The little drummer boy illustrated by Kristina Rodanas
    14. Jingle Bells by Susan Jeffers (cute but has Santa pictured)
    15. Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett
    16. The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale by Angela Elwell Hunt
    17. The legend of the candy cane / Walburg, Lori.
    18. The Gift of the Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall
    19. Christmas Cobwebs (the legend about tinsel, has references to German Kris Kringle)
    20. Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie DePaola (Mexican legend with Catholic references)

    Books about the Nativity story (many have fictionalized elements)
    22. The Christmas story by Kay Chorao (KJV)
    23. The Third Gift by Linda Sue Park (awesome, about Myrrh cultivation)
    24. Jacob’s gift / Lucado, Max.
    25. Who is coming to our house? / Slate, Joseph.
    26. The Christmas baby / Bauer, Marion Dane.
    27. The crippled lamb / Lucado, Max.
    28. The stable where Jesus was born / Greene, Rhonda Gowler.
    29. The donkey’s Christmas song. Tafuri, Nancy.
    30. Christmas is Here by KJV and Lauren Castillo
    31. B is for Bethlehem : Wilner, Isabel.
    32. Room for a little one : Waddell, Martin.
    33. What can I give him? / Gliori, Debi.
    34. Who was born this special day? / Bunting, Eve,
    35. One starry night / Thompson, Lauren,
    36. There Was No Snow On Christmas Eve by Pam Munoz Ryan
    37. Listen to the Silent Night by Dandi Daley Mackall
    38. The Nativity Mary Remembers by Laurie Knowlton

    How Other Countries Celebrate Christmas:
    39. The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie DePaola (Mexican reenactment/parade of Mary and Joseph finding a stable and giving birth, has Catholic elements)

    Various other Christmas themed books, many featuring animals as main characters
    40. The gingerbread man by him aylesworth
    41. Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
    42. Millie in the snow by Steffensmeier, Alexander (cow delivers mail and presents)
    43. Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson
    44. Mr Willowby’s Christmas Tree (not Christian, but still cute about sharing a tree)
    45. A letter for bear by Lucas, David (bear delivers Christmas cards)
    46. Little Owl and the Star by Mary Murphy
    47. Cranberry Christmas by Wende Devlin
    48. The Tailor Of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter
    49. The Christmas Cat by Efner Tudor Holmes *brief reference to Santa easily edited out
    50. The Tailor Of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter
    51. Can You See What I See?: The Night Before Christmas: Picture Puzzles to Search and Solve (has some Santa and reindeer items to find, but not a huge theme running through the book)
    52. Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect (longer, but cute about trees sharing with animals)
    53. The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Anderson
    54. Christmas Cobwebs by Odds Bodkin (fiction about a family who lost home and German antique ornaments due to a house fire and spiders decorate their tree)
    55. Great joy DiCamillo, Kate. (child invites a homeless man to a Christmas pageant roughly 100 years ago)

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