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.
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.
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
2015…was a year filled with new opportunities. A new camper, new career, new travel destinations and new friends.
New opportunities are usually the result of a change in your current circumstances. The biggest change of 2015 was my career change.
For the past 9 years I was the Director of the Welcome Ministry at a mega church. I organized the cafe, bookstore, greeter and usher ministry teams. There were over 500 volunteers at 3 campuses. I worked with the lead Pastor on special projects designed to help people experience God’s Word in a way that is relevant to their life. I also, had the absolute plesaure of assisting with the annual womens event. I helped with the selection of the speaker, decorations, food and the swag bags that each attendee received. I was also the book and gift buyer for the church bookstore. I wore many different hats and I wore them well… I loved my job!
Ministry work is incredibly rewarding. You are a part of something so much bigger than yourself. You “get to” walk with people thru all of lifes events…babies, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, divorce, illness and death. You “get to” love your neighbor…you “get to” be the hands and feet of Jesus.
But working in ministry has a couple of “have to’s”. You “have to” work weekends. And you “have to” be away from your family on Easter weekend and Christmas Eve. You “have to” agree to avoid certain socially acceptable situations.
Overall the positive far out weigh the negative. But, for me the tide turned. I began to feel like I was missing out on too many family get togethers, either because I was working or too tired after work to enjoy spending time with family and friends. Thats when I knew it was time to make a change.
The career change has been a challenge. For no other reason than the pace is much slower. The upside to the change…I now work with my husband and son running our very succesful small business. I have weekends and holidays off, time freedom to plan and attend parties. And I can now blog about whatever tickles my interest.
2015…was a year filled with opportunities, changes and challenges. All in all it was a very good year!!! But all good things… Farewell 2015!
What was the biggest change in your 2015?
Previously I mentioned a list of projects I am planning to tackle in an effort to eliminate some of the clutter in my life. Today I tackled my out of control linen closet. It had gotten so bad that I was avoiding putting anything away that belonged in there.
Even though almost no one sees it…I try to keep my linen closet organized. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and control over the little things in my life. This however is a far cry from organized, this is CHAOS.
My Aunt would be so disappointed if she saw this…
When I was growing up I had an Aunt that took great pride in her linen closet. All of her linens were perfectly folded and organized by color. I think she may have even starched and ironed them…it was and is to this day the prettiest linen closet I have ever seen. It’s something that I have always tried to do but I have never even come close to having the perfectly appointed linen closet.
One of the simple pleasures of life is the smell of cotton sheets dried on a clothes line, I think they smell like spring time. As much as I love that smell, I don’t particularly like the way the sheets feel when they are air dried. But I won’t be hanging my sheets out to dry on an old fashioned clothes line anytime soon. I’ll just have to get that fresh linen scent from my detergent and fabric softener.
Ahhh, that’s so much better…
Another of life’s simple pleasures is opening up a well organized linen closet, selecting the perfect set of linens and making up the bed, layering it with blankets, a down comforter and cool clean fresh smelling sheets. Finally the moment comes at the end of the day when you get to experience the feel of slipping into bed between freshly laundered sheets. It is one of the most luxurious feelings a person can experience for free.
Finally, while organizing the linen closet I was able to scratch two things off of my clutter free project list; organizing the linen closet resulted in a bag full of sheet sets and blankets that will find a new home.
What did you do on this drizzly Saturday afternoon? I finished all of the laundry, cleaned out the kitchen junk drawer and I made a list of organizational projects I want to tackle in January…
Well they really aren’t organizational projects as much as it’s reducing the clutter that has taken over every closet in our house.
It is so easy for clutter to creep into our daily lives. We get busy and we put things in places that are convenient but are not necessarily the right place.
It’s like the kitchen pantry…I have a small pantry by design, each shelf is dedicated to like items. There is one shelf for can goods and savory items, one shelf for items used for baking, one shelf for spices, one for breads and chips and one for pasta, cereal and crackers. However, it seems as though the center shelf is the catch all for every item that gets returned to the pantry. It takes a whole afternoon to reorganize the shelves, checking all of the expiration dates and putting everything back where it belongs.
Of course everyone is thinking the same thing…strike while the iron is hot…the Holidays are behind us, the weather outside is less than inviting so what else is there to do with our time, besides watching college football and putting off taking down the Christmas decorations.Time to think about reducing the clutter around the house.
After reading a few Facebook and Blog posts about organization projects I was sucked in and decided to join the declutter craze...
Last week I purged my closet and dresser. I reorganized my vanity in the bathroom where I keep my jewelry and I straightened up my desk. Earlier today I attacked the junk drawer in the kitchen and my husband organized the drawer where we keep the bills and important papers.
Next up on the list…
1. Purge Linen Closet; I will only keep two sets of sheets for each bed.
2. Purge extra closet of craft items I haven’t used in more than a year.
3. Purge kitchen of plastic storage containers that do not have a lid or vice versa, lid no container…out of here!
4. Purge kitchen of duplicates; potato mashers, wooden spoons, cheese graters, whisks, measuring cups etc…
5. Donate extra blankets to a shelter.
6. Donate old towels to the animal shelter.
7. Take old books to used book store
8. Toss out old make up and hair products.
9. Reorganize the sideboard
10. Make-over the media room
Posting them here for accountability…I hope to post before and after pics as I go.
Our place all lit up for the Christmas Eve festivities
Our Texas inspired photo booth…
from our family to yours…Merry Christmas Y’all!
I have one recipe that is my all time go to dessert recipe…The ingredients always seem to be available in my pantry. When ever I make it and take it to a party, I am asked for the recipe…and yes I can rattle it off with no problem. The recipe is a family hand me down…but if you look it up on the internet you will find dozens of variations on the original. It is known by a variety of names; peanut butter clusters, trash, white trash and crack.
2 cups Honey Nut Cheerios
1 cup Chunky Peanut Butter
1 cup Mini Marshmallows
1 pkg Almond Bark
Combine Cheerios and mini marshmallows in a large bowl. Coarsely chop white bark, place in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1-1 1/2 minutes stirring once. Stir in chunky peanut butter until mixture is smooth. Pour over dry mixture and stir until cereal is completely coated. Working quickly, use two teaspoons…scoop a rounded teaspoon of mixture, use second spoon to help drop the sticky mixture onto wax paper. Allow clusters to dry before storing in an airtight container.
Do you have a go to dessert recipe? Have you written a post on your blog about this dessert? Share your link in the comments section and join our virtual no bake dessert party!