How to Create a Nutcracker Themed Christmas Dinner

I am so excited to share with you my Christmas Nutcracker Dinner that I created on our back porch for The Home Depot’s Holiday Style Challenge. We live in Southern California and entertaining outside is something we love to do all year long. With our large fireplace and heaters in the ceiling of the porch, we dine outdoors — even in December!

This year I created a Nutcracker themed dining room with the items I found online on The Home Depot’s website. I love the gorgeous tree, the beautiful table items, and the Nutcracker accents.

How to Create a Nutcracker Themed Christmas Dinner

I made a very special wooden centerpiece that holds lots of candles and I can’t wait for you to see how I made this. This evening will truly be an amazing dinner for our family.

The Nutcracker Themed Tree

How to Create a Nutcracker Themed Christmas Dinner

The Home Depot sent me this amazing Christmas tree. It was so easy to assemble and took me less than half an hour. The tree came in three parts and everything was pre-wired. I love that it comes with a remote control and a timer.

How to Create a Nutcracker Themed Christmas Dinner

I decorated the tree with three types of ornaments. They are the Home Accents Holiday 80 mm Shatterproof Ornaments

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4 Toilet Parts You Should Regularly Replace

Toilets — like anything else — leak, wear out and break down. Replacing them is costly and usually unnecessary when just a little maintenance can do the trick. Here the top four toilet parts you should replace when problems arise.

Wax seals are no fun to replace. You need patience, a putty knife and plenty of time. (©Steven Love, Adobe Stock)

1. Wax Seal

One thing separates your toilet from the sewer: an airtight, watertight wax or non-wax seal. This seal, which surrounds the toilet’s exit hole, does more than sit between the fixture’s base and flange. It’s a safety feature, and that’s why it’s one of the most important toilet parts you could replace.

The seal prevents water from leaking as it leaves the toilet and enters the drainpipe. This prevents the kind of water damage that leads to mold and mildew, at best, and rotting that, at worst, could compromise the home’s structure.  

In addition, the seal prevents harmful sewer gases from entering your living space. Hydrogen sulfide, for instance, leaves foul odors, similar to rotten eggs, but that’s the least of your worries. It’s also corrosive, flammable and poisonous.


Closeup of a white porcelain toil with a Fluidmaster Better Than Wax rubber seal on the floor
Fluidmaster’s Better Than Wax toilet seal is an
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Living Room Refresh Just in Time For The Fall Season

The living room is one of the most important parts of the home, as it is used for lounging and entertaining. Maria Valero from Maca’s Diary gave her living room a much needed refresh using products from The Home Depot. See how she transformed her space just in time for the fall season, and how you can do the same.

We spend a lot of time in the living room in my home, so I knew it was the perfect place to update for the season. I started the project by thinking about what I love most about any room, including plants, color and comfortable furniture. I created a mood board to give me inspiration as I started my living room makeover.

Living Room Refresh For The Fall

Living Room Refresh For The Fall

Prepping The Space

I began my project by preparing my wall before painting. I used a putty knife to cover the holes and crevices in the wall using DAP white painter’s putty.After the putty dried, I sanded the area to give it a smoother finish. I also removed the covers from the sockets and cleaned the walls to get ready to paint.

Designing The Accent Wall

I love how creative you can be with an accent wall.

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Holiday Greenery on Display in our Entryway

I absolutely love the holidays – who doesn’t! So when The Home Depot asked me to be a part of their Holiday Style Challenge this year, I was ecstatic! My theme for this challenge is holiday greenery, which is perfect because trees, wreaths and garlands are exactly what our entryway needed.

We moved into our home last Spring, so we’ve only had one Christmas so far in this house. Last year, my focus was mainly on decorating our living room, so this year our front porch and foyer are being shown some love.

Planning and Shopping

When I sat down to plan where and how I’d decorate, I knew two things. One, I wanted to add some holiday cheer to the exterior of our home and two, I wanted to create an inviting scene that stayed true to my love of neutrals in our entryway. I easily achieved both goals thanks to the wide selection of quality, affordable products on The Home Depot’s website. To say the least, they have everything you need to decorate your home for the holidays! Also, as a mom of two with a newborn during a pandemic, the fact that I was able to have

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Balancing Traditional and Neutral Holiday Decor

Without a doubt, Christmas is my favorite holiday! It’s a time filled with love, joy and bonding. Growing up in a large family, I remember our home coming alive for Christmas. There was music, laughter and good conversations — all happening over a feast! Between the family traditions and quality time spent together, I’ve collected so many fond memories that will last a lifetime!

When it comes to home decor, I’m a neutral lover at heart. So naturally, I gravitate more towards neutral Christmas decor as well. This year has been a first for us in many ways. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first year we didn’t have a family vacation. It’s also the first year we’re decorating our courtyard for the holiday, and including more traditional Christmas colors and decor.

Balancing Traditional and Neutral Holiday Decor

With my girls missing out on so many activities this year, it felt more important to make Christmas extra special and extra festive for them! When The Home Depot invited us to participate in their Holiday Style Challenge, I saw this as an awesome opportunity to have some styling fun with my girls.

Pops Of Color For The Kids

Balancing Traditional and Neutral Holiday Decor

Bright pops of color are my girls’

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Celebrating the Holidays with Santa’s Workshop Craft Space

The Holidays and winter are my absolute favorite time of the year. We love spending time as a family creating arts and crafts of every kind. I was elated when The Home Depot invited me to create a Santa’s Workshop themed space for the Holiday Style Challenge. We have been spending a ton of time at home lately and this gave me an opportunity to transform a space and create a fun environment to make memories for the season.

Ordering and Shopping

The Home Depot has everything you need to decorate your home for the holiday season and this year I chose to shop online. Their mobile app is amazingly easy to use. I used the shopping list feature to plan my project, which made adding items to my cart when it was time to order such a breeze. The mobile pick up option was the perfect solution with my busy schedule. It was also great to have decor shipped to my home in no time.

My style is typically neutral, and I love a minimalist theme but the Santa’s Workshop theme definitely had me thinking in color.

Decorating The Space

Celebrating the Holidays with Santa’s Workshop Craft Space

I started out with decorating the space right outside

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