Stress-Free DIY Holiday Cooking & Decorating

Hay House Radio Episode Recap

  • Episode Name: “Stress-Free DIY Holiday Cooking & Decorating”
  • Live Broadcast: December 12th, 2017 at 3:00 pm Pacific Time
Episode Replays: Tuesdays at 9:00 pm Pacific Time / 12:00 am Eastern Time, Saturdays at 2:00 pm Pacific Time / 5:00 pm Eastern Time, Sundays at 4:00 pm Pacific Time / 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Episode Summary Re-cap

If you think you’re enlightened, spend a week with family

You know that great saying by Ram Dass: If you think you’re enlightened, spend a week with family”? Well, Heather has invited her cousin, DIY home decorating and baking expert Renee Romeo, to reveal 3 critical success factors when it comes to staying stress free over the holidays: 1. How to navigate family stress, 2. Stress-free, easy holiday decorating tips, and 3. Healthy baking tips and recipes. This is going to be a lot fun, so bring your questions and join us for some great holiday stress-busters!

Heather invited her cousin, DIY home decorating and baking expert Renee Romeo, to reveal 3 critical success factors to stay stress free over the holidaysSpecial Guest: Renee Romeo

Renee Romeo owns a heavy-duty tile saw and isn’t afraid to use it! And it’s not unusual for her to shovel topsoil out of the back of her pick-up truck and host a fancy dinner party in the same day.

Now that you know this, you can see why it’s no surprise that she was once introduced as the person who does EVERYTHING. That’s what happens when you’re a Do It Yourself (DIY) Expert with a background ranging from baking to upholstery to construction projects!

Over the years, Renee developed a unique DIY skill set driven by her love of decorating and design. She believes that with the right tips and techniques, you can achieve successful, professional results with every project – both big and small – and that’s why she began creating step-by-step DIY video tutorials.

Renee’s primary focus is to support you in enjoying the journey of your project, so you can get great results without the fear – whether it’s decorating a cake or installing kitchen cabinets.

If you ask Renee when she got interested in DIY projects, she’d tell you it was at 3 years old, following her father around as he built their home. Or her first solo project painting her bedroom at the age of 11. That was about the age she also got her first sewing machine and taught herself to sew. By the time she was in high school, she was skilled enough to sew her own prom dress!

At 19, she was found in the local tile store taking tiling classes and has been tiling floors for people ever since. Eventually, a desire to reupholster one chair turned to all the furniture in the house and Renee was off and running. Wallpaper, drywall, decks, brick patios, knocking down walls, installing hardwood floors…you name it, she was doing it with great passion.

Professionally, after graduating design school and as owner of Romeo Design, LLC, Renee worked on many exciting residential and commercial projects throughout Southeast Michigan.

She credits her success from research, education, determination and a pure love of all things DIY.

Renee likes to emphasize that DIY projects are not about talent. It’s about being willing to learn how to do a project and putting your passionate interest into it. She is committed to shortcutting your learning time with her step by step instructions, encouragement and videos. She created her website,, as a DIY Playbook that solves all of your decorating and design problems. It is there that she can help you embrace your space change it into something you love.

Website | Facebook | Instagram

Nine Easy Tips Reduce Holiday Stress

Studies show that stress and depression – often referred to as the holiday blues — skyrocket during the holidays. Why? Well, take colder climates and less sunlight and add in a dizzying array of parties, cleaning, entertaining, overeating, overspending budgets, rushed deadlines… and time with those “certain family members” and you have your answer!

And speaking of family members, you know that great saying by Ram Dass: “If you think you’re enlightened, spend a week with family?”

I’ve asked my cousin, DIY home decorating and baking expert Renee Romeo, to join me in revealing our 9 top tips to reduce holiday stress, family stress and cooking stress this holiday season!

#1 – Shortcut Your Projects With Easy Step-by-Step Videos!

Renee has made many great step-by-step videos to support us in home decorating, cake decorating and more. Here are some super-helpful videos for holiday decorating:

#2 – Take the Stress Out of Nutrition

  • Take a healthy dish to a party so you have something you know you’ll love to eat.
  • Carry a dessert in your purse! There are so many great options at your health food store if you don’t have time to make your own. Read the labels and look for treats that are gluten free, dairy-free, and have unrefined sweeteners, like dates, honey, maple syrup, stevia, or fruit.
  • Keep it simple with on-the-go nourishing foods, like hot smoothies.

#3 – Embrace Imperfection

Most holiday stress comes from expecting everything to be perfect. We seem to think that it’s only successful if our holidays look like a Norman Rockwell painting. However, the truth is, imperfection can be fun and charming, when you embrace it! One busy Christmas, Renee decided a tree and lights were all she was going to do – this from a DIY expert! Whether you use wrinkly linen napkins made beautiful with wonderful napkin rings and a sprig of rosemary, skip decorating your house, or leave off half of what you’d expected to do, what really matters is that you feel balanced and present to be with people! How can you embrace imperfection and have fun with it? You never know how you could delight your guests when you accept and enjoy imperfection.

#4 – Plan Ahead

Making a plan for your decorating and cooking/baking projects is key to busting stress. Often, you can accomplish certain tasks ahead of time, so that they don’t pile up at the last minute. Put the tasks right on your calendar with a scheduled time, so that you know you’ll have time to get them done. If planning is not your forte, you likely have a friend for whom it is! Invite your friend over to help you create a plan for the season. This step helps with #5 too!

#5 – Enlist Help

Ask your friends and family to make healthy dishes to bring, so you aren’t responsible for all the cooking. Or cook together in the kitchen. While it sometimes seems easier to do everything yourself, your guests love to help! Have your recipes out, so people who offer can join in on the cooking. Or get out your bowls, cutting boards, spoons and knives so your helpers can find things easily. Renee suggests giving everyone their own space, so they aren’t bumping into each other in the kitchen.

# 6 – Do Half of What You Think You “Should”

Take half the things off your list. If this freaks you out, see #3! Remember that simpler is often better. If all else fails, just use lights. Fairy lights, candles…lights can make a big impact and are instantly festive. Or consider a small, already decorated and lighted tree.

#7 – Say No

If you’ve been saying yes when you really want to say no, you are likely taking on way more than you have time for. During the holidays, things are already busy enough. If you are dealing with a health issue too, it adds to a pressure-cooker of stress. Remind yourself that it’s okay and healthy to set boundaries. Practice taking 24 hours before agreeing to do anything, so you can look at your calendar and do some soul-searching about what you truly want. Then practice saying no. It’s absolutely acceptable to say something like, “I’m already booked.” You don’t need to have a lot of reasons!

#8 – Remember Self-Care

If you are not getting enough rest or sleep, your body is not able to be in parasympathetic nervous system mode, which is where you rest, digest and heal. We need more rest as we move from the fall to winter season because nature is signaling our bodies to go to bed earlier. Our ancestors heeded this call before electricity. They spent time indoors by the fire, reading, telling stories and going to bed early. That kind of schedule allowed for deep healing of the kidneys and adrenals, our organs for willpower and energy. Taking time to rest and get still also allows you to get in touch with your intuition! Schedule your self-care and treat that appointment like a paying client. Wind down starting at 6 pm or 8 pm, turning off technology and doing quiet, restful activities before going to bed early. Notice how much more fun you are to be around (for yourself and others!) when you give yourself these gifts.

#9 – Give Each Other Space

If you have family members visiting, consider taking time and space for yourself to get away and be in your own energy. You might even give everyone in the family their own space to step away and take time to breath and decompress. Another great tip from Renee, whose parents live with her, is to exercise non-judgment. Your family members may do things differently than you, so as long as everyone respects each other’s choices, it can make spending time together much easier. If you need more time and space, go for a walk or take a drive to decompress.

Here Are Some More Recipe Links

Gingerbread with Orange Coconut Butter Icing

Indigenous Recipe: Traditional Chokecherries Pudding

6 Helpful Tips for Following a Low Histamine Diet During the Holidays

Vegan No-Egg Nog

Best Pumpkin Pie Ever

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Heather DaneTune in Next Week

Tune in next week to Loving Yourself to Great Health, when I share more tips on creating a happier and healthier life.


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As a coach, writer and recovered former executive, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle when over-scheduled. In my journey to radiant health, I created a whole health system of eating, exercise, renewal and recharging -- a roadmap toward health & vitality. I empower clients to create their own whole health systems, in their own unique ways. I have seen amazing results in working with my clients!