For the past several years we have hosted my husbands family Christmas party at our home. We always try to make it festive and memorable for everyone.
We have a recipe for a memorable party…Begin with a theme that everyone can get into. Add a menu filled with crowd favorites. Offer a variety of drinks that appeal to all ages. Toss in a theme inspired photo booth with props for capturing the moments. Finally, gifts, gifts and gifts.
This year our theme is a vintage Christmas. Because of the range of ages in our family we have encouraged everyone to interpret vintage for themselves…they can wear something vintage, bring a vintage inspired dish or gift.
To start things off right, I went in search of a vintage aluminum Christmas tree with a color wheel just like the one I remember from my Grandmothers house when I was growing up.
Its important to make sure the tree reflects the theme of the party. It’s the first thing people see when they come in to the house. It’s where they drop off their presents. And its where we gather for the family gift exchange. It will be shining star in the background of many family pictures.
As it is with all of my Christmas decorating the tree is still a work in progress. Maybe tomorrow I will find the perfect vintage topper.
On this first day after Christmas my thoughts are focused on the new year and what I can accomplish personally and professionally. The list includes getting fit, getting organized, read more books, traveling, entertaining and expanding my fledgling vintage resale business.
My list isn’t anything unusual. It looks a lot like my list from last year. However, I am looking for inspiration from wherever I can find it.
Although everything on my list can and will happen simultaneously throughout the new year…something has to kick things off and set the stage for the coming year.
First things first…I will start with jumping on the fitness band wagon…I am not unfit but since the holidays rolled around I’ve been fittin’ way too many treats in to my diet. Also, let me just put this out there… I can always find something else to do instead of working out. However, there is a Caribbean vacation booked for later in the year and there is nothing like the thought of wearing a bathing suit in public to scare a girl into putting in some time on the treadmill. I won’t bore you with the details of my eating habits or exercise routine…there are enough posts about that on the internet without me adding to it. But if you are looking for someone to motivate you or an online bootcamp or an online fitness group check out On The Geaux Fitness…
The second thing on my list is to get organized…clearing out all of the clutter in my life. Let me be honest…I lack organizational skills. I am easily distracted when a task takes too long or requires thinking outside of the box. I have separation anxiety when it comes to letting go of all of my good stuff. Therefore, I am looking for help in that area and I think I may have found a declutter challenge that will keep me focused. But in the meantime I will start working on this list I found...60 things to toss out in 60 days!
Check out this great read at the Happy Turtle Blog…
Third on my list is to read more…I love to read! I am one of those people who have the ability to disappear into a book. I think it’s my super power. Pinterest is a great place to gather reading recommendations. Two years ago my reading list was made up of books that were being made into movies. Last year my list was filled with books whose story lines were based in the Mediterranean…This year is still up in the air…but this looks like a good place to start.
Here are a few of my previous reads…the only one in the stack that I haven’t read is “The Dovekeepers” by Alice Hoffman. Maybe I’ll start that one tonight.
Also, my sister has published her first book…check out Guarded the first book in The Enforcer Series…
I’ll cover the last two on my list in due time…entertaining and my fledgling business. It’s quite possible that they may go hand in hand. Only time will tell…
So, what are your plans for the New Year?
Well folks thats wrap. All of the tine we spent planning, purchasing, prepping, decorating, wrapping, cooking and anticipating Christmas Day….
And just like that…its over! Christmas 2016 and all of its merriment comes down to a little blurred vision.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
If you are anything like me you know something about hand me downs…hand me down clothes, shoes and cars. Maybe you have been the recipient of hand me down furniture.
For some reason the phrase “hand ne down” carries the stigma of being less than…
However, when I think of ” hand me downs” I think of the flowes in my garden that my Dad handed down to me. I think of family recipes, especially the recipes I make for the holidays.
Tonight while I was making one of those hand me down holiday recipes my husband took a close up picture of me scooping the candy onto the wax paper. And that’s when I knew I had received the ultimate hand me down…My Mother’s hands.
My hands look just like my mom’s. They are small but not too small. They are strong but not as strong as they use to be. They are showing signs of aging but they can still take care of the people they love.
As it is with all things in life…your perception of life’s hand me downs will determine your over all outlook on life.
Embrace the hand me downs in your life.
Welcome Fall! I have missed you my dearest friend. It’s not so much as I wake up everyday thinking how much I miss you, as it is the moment you return I remember there was something missing.
It’s Fall, y’all….
Yesterday, I could feel you were on your way. There was something distinct in the air…it was the slightest hint of falling leaves, freshly stacked hay bales, warm pumpkin bread smeared with soft cream cheese, the smokey remnants of a wood fire and a lift of my spirits.
This morning, the air is again filled with summer sounds and the coolness of yesterday has been replaced by the heat and humidity that has weighed me down for what always feels like an eternity by the end of the summer.
However, as I sit here this morning looking out into the lush landscape that the warm and wet summer has produced I can see you circling through the trees calling the bravest of the leaves to come and join you in the first dance of Fall.
My mom has been called names all of her life…
A daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, chef, baker, seamstress, artist, friend…
But her legacy is not so much in who she is as it is in who she has inspired. Her legacy is here…
All of who she is, is spread out among her girls. Each of us shares one or more of the names she has been known as in her life. We are each one our mother made over into a new version meant to carry on her legacy and hopefully leave a legacy of our own. Thank you mom for inspiring each of us to be the best daughters, sisters, wives, aunts, grandmothers, chef’s, bakers, seamstresses, artists and friends we can be.
Happy Mothers Day !
Filed under 2016, family, Life
If there is one life lesson I have learned…it would be “speed of the leader, speed of the team“. I learned this from a wise man who leads by example, living his life striving for excellence. He is a quiet leader, practicing what he preaches. But, not all leaders live or act in a way that makes a positive impact on their team…Sometimes a team is made up of more than one type of leader.
I have worked for individuals who found fault at every turn. There was never room at the table for an exchange of ideas. There was never room in the conversation for constructive criticism. And there was absolutely never room for encouragement. Their leadership style is dictatorial.
I have worked with individuals who looked for opportunities to share wisdom and encourage team members. They were open to new ideas. They offered constructive criticism looking at each situation from all points of view. They always offered encouragement. Their leadership style was that of a teacher.
Who do you think I learned more from, the person I worked for or the person I worked with… I learned from both. The critical leader bullied his team into producing results. The encouraging leader recognized team weaknesses and took the time to teach new skills which produced results. Both leaders achieved results…both made an impact on my life.
I am still learning…I recently left a job where I hired and raised up a team of leaders. I was the same type of leader with each of the individuals on my team. Most of my team members became leaders who lead with compassion, enthusiasm and encouragement. The members of their teams produced incredible results week in and week out. Their team members are thriving and productive. Speed of the leader…speed of the team.
However, not all of them responded in kind to my leadership style. One in particular turned out to be the polar opposite of me; always critical, accusatory and rarely encouraging. This leader is struggling to maintain an effective team. Speed of the leader…speed of the team.
I do not take credit or responsibility for the type of leaders the people I hired have become..We are all products of our environment….we are each responsible for the choices we make and what we do with those decisions. We become who we choose to become…
I choose to be a leader who leads with enthusiasm, compassion and encouragement. I will help my team achieve their goals and dreams. In turn I will achieve my dreams and goals. I will be able to look people in the eye knowing I have done my very best for everyone involved. I will be able to lay my head down on my pillow at night without a single regret.
Speed of the leader…