Friday, October 27, 2023

Five on Friday - The Best Affordable Artificial Christmas Tree, Entryway Trees, and the Item You Need for Your Garbage Disposal

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Happy Friday, y’all!  Can you even believe it’s the last Friday of October?!  I cannot believe that I’ll be decorating for Christmas in a mere five days.  That is just mind-blowing to me.  We have very little on deck for the weekend, and y’all, I. am. stoked.  I’m so ready to do nothing!! 

Tonight, we’re hosting poker night at our house, and then tomorrow – N-O-T-H-I-N-G.  I plan to stay in my pajamas/workout clothes all day, help the kids with their haunted gingerbread houses, carve a pumpkin, watch a whole lot of football, and get caught up on some tasks that have been needing to be done for quite some time… like cleaning off the back porch.  I’m so excited to be able to stay home for a whole entire day, y’all!

And now I’m praying that I didn’t just jinx us because that seems to happen every single time I mention not having anywhere to be.  Haha.

Anyway, here are some favorites from our week!

O N E – Artificial Christmas Tree

For pretty much my whole life, I have sworn that I would never have an artificial Christmas tree for our main tree because a) I love the scent of a live tree, b) I love hunting for the perfect real tree each year, c) nothing compares to the look of a live tree. 

However, for the last few years, I’ve been experiencing increased allergy issues during the weeks that it’s in our home, I’ve grown SO TIRED of putting on lights and taking them down year after year, and I’ve also gotten really tired of cleaning up the massive mess that a real tree makes after you take it down.  Ours is always dead as a doornail by the time we take it down, and I’m also worried that having a real one could be a fire hazard.

With that said, Brian and I have been discussing getting an artificial tree for two or three years, and last year, we swore it would be the year that we did.

Spoiler alert, we did NOT. 


Brian and I finally started shopping, and we have found the one!  Here are my requirements…


-       It must have the branch tips that look realistic

-       It must be as full as possible… I do not want to see the trunk

-       It must have at least 1,200 lights

-       It must have standard-sized lights and not the microdot lights

-       It must have warm white lights

-       It must be 7.5 – 8 feet tall

-       It must be 60-65 inches in diameter at the base to fit in our space


Ideally, I’d love to buy this one from Balsam Hill, but there is no way we could pay that kind of money for an artificial tree.  So instead, I scoured Amazon, and then B and I took a quick trip to Home Depot and Lowe’s last week, and y’all, we have finally found it. 

This tree from Home Depot is beautiful in person.  It has the crazy realistic branch tips that look so good you can hardly tell they’re artificial, and it has 6,052 of them so it is SO FULL giving it an even more realistic look.  To give you an idea, most of the other trees we have looked at only have 2,000-4,000 branch tips, so this one has triple the amount of some of them.

This one also has the standard-sized lights… most of the other options we liked at Home Depot have the “microdot” lights, and they are just too tiny for my liking.  There are 1,200 of the standard-sized lights, which also meets my requirement… the more lights the better!  I typically put 1,200 – 1,500 lights on our real trees each year, so I didn’t want one that had anything less than 1,200. 

The lights are really awesome, too, because not only is there a white light setting, there is also a color setting, and it comes with a remote control so you can change the colors of the lights, dim the lights, fade the lights, and put the lights on a timer.  If I’m being honest, we’ll probably only use the traditional solid-on white light setting, but it’s fun to have those other options.  Oh, and it also has a foot pedal for easy on and off.

In addition to all of that, this tree has “quick connect” technology, so all you have to do is connect each section, plug it in, and then it’s ready to decorate.  All of the branches spring into their ideal shape because it has “memory wire,” so there’s no fluffing required.  Each branch just bounces into shape as you put it in the stand.  Can you even believe that?!  That’s the worst part about an artificial tree… aaaallll the fluffing.  And you don’t even have to do that with this tree. 

The one we’re purchasing is 7.5 feet tall and 64 inches in diameter at the base, so it should fit perfectly in the space in our living room where we usually have our tree.  I do wish it was about 1/2 foot taller, but 7.5 and 9 seem to be the standard sizes for artificial trees, and our ceilings are 9-feet, so the 9-foot tree would probably be too tall.  

Basically, this tree has everything I want without the crazy expensive price tag, and as long as it holds up for four years, we will make our money back since we typically spent $125-$150 per year on a tree that we have to throw out at the end of the season.

I’m really excited about not having to string lights on the tree this year, I’m really excited about not having to clean up after a real tree this year, and I’m reeeeaaaalllly excited that I can put it up whenever I want this year… we don’t have to wait until after Thanksgiving!!!!

If you’re on the hunt for artificial trees, I cannot recommend this one enough!  We’ve seen it in person, and it is beautiful.  And if you’re looking for options that aren’t quite as expensive, this one on Amazon has excellent reviews, and if you don’t mind the microdot lights, this option from Home Depot is a little more affordable, along with this option as well.


T W O – Entryway Trees

I purchased these entryway trees last year and they are beautiful on our front porch!  I shared them on Amazon Prime Day as they were included in the sale, and y’all sold them out!  Well, I’m happy to report that they’re currently back in stock (for now), so if you wanted to get a hold of some and couldn’t, now is the time!  The best part is that they are still on sale for 55% off!


T H R E E – Plink Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Brian and I have been using these Plink Garbage Disposal Cleaners for probably 15 years, and it just occurred to me recently that I don’t think I’ve ever shared them on the blog!  These little things clean, remove sink build-up, unclog, and deodorize garbage disposals.  Simply pop one in your disposal, run the water, turn on the disposal, and voila!  Works like magic to get rid of nasty odors!  They have a great, clean scent, and they don’t have any phosphates or bleach in them.  They’re also nontoxic and biodegradable, and they’re safe for all disposals, plumbing, and septic systems.  We have always had these on hand for the last 15 years, and we use them all the time!


F O U R – Old Photographs

My parents have been sorting through old family things and they recently sent me these two photographs.  The first one is my great-grandmother (who passed away when I was ten) and my great-grandfather (who passed away before I was ever born) on my dad’s side of the family.  They were my dad’s father’s parents.  My dad told me that they were likely about his age in these pictures which is mind-blowing because my dad looks so young now compared to them in this picture.

And the second photograph is from my momma’s side of the family – this is my great-great-grandmother with my great-grandmother and her brother as children.  The lady is my Mama Cass’s grandmother, and the little girl is my Mama Cass’s mother. 

I have no clue what year this photo was taken, but Mama Cass was born in 1929, and since her mother is tiny in this picture, I would imagine it was likely taken in the late 1800’s or the very early 1900’s. 

I absolutely love old photographs like these… we have a whole area in our living room dedicated to old family photos like these.

In addition to this, my brother has been hard at work tracing our family’s genealogy on my dad’s side of the family (so my maiden name), and apparently he has traced our family lineage back 1,000 years in England.  Can you even believe that?!  At some point, supposedly, we were nobility. 

I told Brian I think that might mean that he needs to start bowing to me.  Hahahaha.


F I V E – Thank You

I mentioned here on the blog and in my Instagram stories that Jacob’s teacher was just diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer that has spread to her liver.  She will be taking a leave of absence from school to fight this battle, and she’s hoping to get into MD Anderson in Texas as they are the leading facility in the U.S. for this cancer. 

Since she has a big battle ahead of her, the seventh-grade parents wanted to do something special for her, so I am going to collect money and put together a care package for her.  I have been very blessed, and I have never had to go through cancer nor care for a loved one with cancer, so I wasn’t really sure what to put in her care package, and I want to make sure that we get things for her that will be useful.

I polled my Instagram family last week, and there were so many great suggestions, and I thought I’d share those here with you in case you didn’t watch my stories.  If you have anything to add to these suggestions, please let me know in the comments. 

Friday Funnies


On the Blog This Week

 Halloween Home Tour 2023

Our Week – The One with a Fall Carnival, a Phillip Phillips Concert, a Lego Convention, Two Birthday Parties, and Another Flat Tire

Target Fall Fashion Finds for 30% Off

Happy Friday, y’all!

*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites.


  1. … to which I replied, “A Viking bows to no one!” (I’m of Norwegian descent).

  2. Love Brian's reply...ha, ha! It is so true that people looked so much older in previous generations. Your new tree will be gorgeous. We love our artificial tree! I'm planning to put all the Christmas decor up the week before Thanksgiving, and then we will decorate the tree when the kids come home.

  3. Love your new tree! I was so happy we went with an artificial tree years ago! But now I add a real tree on the back deck so I can have the best of both worlds :)

  4. I am so sorry about Jacob‘s teacher. I am excited to see your tree from Home Depot as well. That’s so funny we both got them. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  5. We have a 7ft Artificial Christmas Tree and I love it! Artificial are so much less hassle than real one's.

    1. I'm so happy to hear this! I've been debating it for yearssss and I'm just so worried I'm going to have buyers remorse! I'm loving hearing all of these positive comments from readers!

  6. Ohh! I have allergies and asthma, so we have never had a real tree. I have always wondered what it'd be like, esp when the kids were younger, but we have just stuck to fake trees. We just had to get a new one last year and we got it from Home Depot and I just love it! It does have glitter on the branches, so that is a little bit of a mess to clean up after I assemble it, but it does not come off once the tree is set up (whew!)... AND, I'm hoping it won't be as messy the second year than it was straight out of the box. You will love it! I will continue to pray for the dear teacher with cancer, that is so hard and I am glad you are all supporting her through this difficult time.


  7. We switched to artificial trees 20 years ago and I just love it! No matter how long I leave it up it still looks great and requires no work the whole season long (I was awful at remembering to water our real trees!). Those old photos are fabulous. My grandfather traced his genealogy back to the Mayflower and beyond and I wish I had cared more at the time to have listened to his stories (I was probably in middle or high school at the time).

    1. I'm so glad to hear this! Ours arrives today and I'm praying I love it as much as I think I will! That is so cool about your family lineage. And yes, I totally get that. Most of the time as teens we don't appreciate stuff like that as much as we should!

  8. I think I'd want a real tree but I bet it makes a mess! The old picture is cool to see.


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