Category Archives: Christmas 2012

Putting Away Christmas….

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Maybe you are like me and you need a little help putting away your Christmas decorations…Every year I tell myself, “Self…this is the year we are going to organize the Christmas decorations as we put them away”…I also have had grand visions of actually putting the containers away in a manner that allows me to easily access the things I need first, then second…you get the idea.  Year after year I have grand plans but no real plan in place.

If you are in need of a plan of attack visit Putting Away Christmas” over at Just Organized, they have a plan and it looks like a good one.  I also want to give credit where credit is due…I actually saw this link on the Happy Housewife blog…Check her out for some great posts on simple living, Organizing in 365 and diy…I wish you JOY while putting away Christmas!

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!!

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Santa Humor….

Smile…and be thankful this isn’t a x-ray of your spine….Hoping your days are merry and bright!!!

Santas' exray

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GR8 Quotes via Pinterest

Great quotes…via Pinterest

merry and bright

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A Man on a Secret Mission…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had no idea that for years my husband has been a man on a secret mission. That is I didn’t know until he let the cat out of the bag.  As my husband and I were talking about Christmas gifts and shopping lists it was revealed that for years he has been a man on a mission,a secret mission to make sure one of the first gifts under the tree was for me.

At some point in our many Christmas’ together I off-handedly mentioned that in all the gifts that were under the tree my name wasn’t on a single present.  I do not remember the exact conversation but I am sure I was joking…However, the Hubs heard it and interpreted it to mean something that he took as a  personal challenge.  So, for years he has made sure to be the first one to place gifts under the tree.

I want you to know that no sooner had this little bit of information been revealed I became a woman on a mission…I wanted to join in the fun!

In my defense..I am not a last-minute shopper, or a gift wrap slacker…It’s just that I like to have the majority of my gifts purchased before settling in to do my wrapping.  Therefore, I rarely have my gifts wrapped and under the tree first.  That is until…this year…This year I became a woman on a mission…a mission to place the first gift under the tree!  Even if there is only ONE gift under the tree…I bought it, wrapped it and ran to put it under the tree as the Hubs came through the door…I did it, I put the first gift under the tree.  Guess who its for…no not me…its for the Hubs!

It looks like a new tradition has been born…Not only is there a man on a mission but now there is a woman on a mission. So let the fun and  games begin!

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Pinterest Pick of the Week!

Pinterest Pick of the Week is a such a beautiful and original idea!  As soon as I saw this pin on Pinterest I fell in love…

The Fishbowl Snowman!

Pinterest is a bit of a mystery…I think it’s like 6 degrees of separation…Six degrees of separation is the idea that everyone is approximately six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps.

On Pinterest I followed someone who had  followed someone who had  followed someone who pinned a pin from Sassy Trash Antiques…it then  showed up on my wall and I pinned it! And the rest is Pinterest history.

Then I followed the link to the original blog Sassytrash Antiques and Designs and read about Martha the creator of the fishbowl snowman.  I then jumped over to check out Sassytrash’s Pinterest page and found a kindred spirit.

They say that copying someone is a form of flattery…Well, I will be flattering Martha when I make my very own fishbowl snowman!  I hope if Sassytrash visits my blog she will leave me more info on Martha and how I can follow her on Pinterest...

fishbowl snowman

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Stress Free Holiday Entertaining Tips…

Stress Stinks and it has no place in holiday entertaining...

As I flipped though the pages of the December issue of Better Homes and Garden I found several tips that would help avoid the potential for stress…

Here are the tips I found helpful

Plan ahead…start planning your menu and create detailed shopping list as soon as possible.

Utilize shortcuts…If you don’t have time to bake you can pick up some cupcakes or cookies from the bakery.

Ask for help…Ask your guest to bring a side dish or a dessert.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper public radio host of the Splendid Table shares how to roll out the welcome mat with a minimum of stress and trepidation.

  • Focus your efforts! People the first and last thing they engage with.  So focus on a warm welcome and memorable final bite.
  • Rein in the menu!  Plan on making only 4 dishes yourself.  If at all possible make most of them ahead.
  • Turn the light down!  Bright lights never feel festive. Use candlelight at eye level or below to draw your guests in and make your room feel intimate.
  • Encourage mingling!  Cluster chairs around the table…never push the chairs against the wall.
  • Clean where it counts!  Focus on the guest bathroom, lay out fresh towels.
  • Don’t forget the fun!  Having a good time at your own party is the most important thing.  It’s also the best way to make sure your guests are enjoying themselves.

Jorj Morgan, cooking, lifestyle and entertaining author offers this tip for making your holiday entertaining stress free…”A week before your party, lay out vases, dishes and serving platters. If you don’t have everything you need, you still have time to visit thrift stores for fill-in.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match china and glassware.  It’s about patterns that flow not dishes that match.”

Eddie Ross, lifestyle expert, blogger and former caterer has a few tips of his own.  His foolproof plan for a holiday party is long on festive details and short on stress.  Here are a couple of ideas I really loved; put coconut flakes on a cake plate and your store-bought cookies will look festive and inviting.  He also suggests taking store-bought shortbread cookies and sandwich them together with jam or dip store-bought meringues into melted chocolate. Another tip I love and use often is the cheese board. I love Eddie’s combination; A Gruyère, a camembert and a blue cheese served alongside fruit such as pears and grapes and to finish it off add a preserve or chutney and crackers or bread.  Delicious!

Thank you Better Homes and Gardens…for the great advice for stress free holiday entertaining!

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Vintage Christmas…My Obsession!

What goes around comes around and if you wait long enough what was once old will be new again…Once again I have been inspired by Pinterest! These are my newest obsessions…Vintage Christmas!

Santa Mugs

How about a few vintage Santa’s under glass…

bottle brush trees

A miniature forest of vintage bottle brush trees

vintage scale

A vintage scale with a wire basket filled with vintage Christmas ornaments….

green glass

And finally, vintage green milk glass and Santa mugs.

If you like these beauties…you can find more pins like them by visiting Kimberly Hart on Pinterest!

Merry Christmas from our vintage home to yours…

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This Holiday Season, You’ve Got a Minute to Win It…

christmas-minute-to-win-it-party-supplies-2This Holiday Season you will probably attend or host a holiday party…If you are the hostess I hope you will make your party the mostess by incorporating some fun and easy Minute to Win it games into your party planning…

How many parties have you attended over the years that after a little small talk and a few appetizers the party begins to languish and you are left looking for an opportunity for an early exit?  Don’t be that party…

There are so many cute and easy ways to entertain your guests.  My inspiration comes from the popular game show…Minute To Win It!  Ask  a couple of friends to be the game host/hostess.  Explain the rules of the games and the time schedule ahead of time. This will free you up to mingle with your guests, snap photos and check on the buffet table.

Wrap up a few gifts for the winners, place them in a basket and let the game winners choose their gift.  Include gift cards, homemade sweets, movie passes…

Here are few games we are considering playing at our Christmas Parties this year…

How many marshmallows can you toss through the Christmas wreath into a bucket…In a minute?  Grab up a bucket from the local home store or even a small trash can will do.  Lay the bucket on its side, attach a wreath to the opening and place the bucket on the edge of a table or bar.  Mark a spot on the floor where the contestant will stand. Place a dozen marshmallows in a bowl, set the timer for one minute…Ready. Set, Toss!

Can you stack plastic cups with one hand…In a minute?  Place a stack of Solo cups on a table.  Using one hand, the contestant has one minute to stack the cups in a pyramid shape in one minute…Ready, Set, Stack!

How many ornaments can you and a your partner hang on a string without using your hands…In a minute?  Hang a string between two columns or a door way, place 12 ornaments with ornament hooks on a table.  The two contestants have one minute to move the ornaments from the table to the string without using their hands…I would recommend using plastic ornaments for this game or you will be sweeping up glass for days…The team who hangs the most ornaments on the string in one minute is the winner…On your mark, Get Set, Go!

Can you get the cookie from your forehead into your mouth without using your hands…In a minute?  This is one of those games that will have the crowd roaring with laughter…You have one minute to move a cookie from your forehead into your mouth by using only your facial muscles…get your camera ready…I promise there will be priceless photo ops with this one.  Get set. move that cookie, move that cookie…

Can you open a present while wearing ski gloves before doubles are rolled…In a minute?  Wrap a gift, the smaller the present the harder it will be to open while wearing bulky ski gloves…. You can wrap an empty box or wrap a gag gift or even a gift worth keeping…you can make this the grand prize game.  The champion of the minute to win it gameathon is the team who opens the gift the fastest under one minute.

There are a number of ways you can play the games; you can play as individuals which would take all evening if you had more than a handful of guests.  I think teams are the way to go…I think guys vs girls or family vs family.  I would however, recommend to never ever have couples compete against one another…this may lead to a heated discussion or two…speaking from experience…best to keep it friendly and having more members on a team gives you a variety of talents to choose from.

Check out this web site for a few additional ideas for your Christmas Minute to Win It party.

Here’s hoping your holiday party is filled with laughter and great memories!

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Making Spirits Bright…

Do you love entertaining?  I do!  I love all of the planning that goes into a party.  I really enjoy making out the guest list, planning the menu, decorating the house, choosing the music, deciding on the entertainment and shopping for my outfit.

Every party consists of three key ingredients;  Fabulous Food, Toe Tapping Tunes and Exciting Entertainment.  People will talk about your party for weeks if you serve them good food, give them an opportunity to engage in enjoyable conversations and laugh until their face hurts.

One other key ingredient to a great party is arranging conversation areas for your guests.  We try to make sure there are plenty of sitting areas for our guests; the game room usually has a movie rolling or a game on.  The sitting area in the kitchen usually draws the talkative crowd, the living room is the comfy spot where our friends snuggle up in front of the fireplace and then there is the back yard where our more gregarious friends always seem to gather…it must be the refreshing country air and the starry sky that gets them every time.

We are hosting three very different parties this Christmas Season.  So I have been scanning Pinterest for ideas that will work for all of our gatherings.

This year the menu theme will be Spanish Style Tapas…delicious little bites.

Spotify and Pandora are helping me with my party play lists…

As for the entertainment…There will be plenty of opportunities for “pee in your pants” laughter as people get their photo booth face on and join in the reindeer games.

The photo booth will be located on the back porch. The Hubs has come up with his own idea for hanging the sliding backdrops…there are silly props; lighted reindeer ears, crazy eye glasses, Santa hats, mustaches on a stick, boas and tiaras.  There are assorted hats; cowboy and fedoras, musical instruments, oversized picture frames and giant letters…anything and everything we can think of that would add texture to the photos.

The fun doesn’t stop there…In years past we have played board games, Texas hold em, Who Am I? and Dirty Santa.  This year’s Reindeer Games will be…”Minute 2 Win It:” games!!!  If you have seen the show hosted by Guy Fieri then you know what I am talking about.  If not here a quick over view…All games must be completed in one minute in order to advance to the next round…The games range from stacking 3 golf balls one on top of the other, to moving a Christmas ornament across the floor to a designated spot by fanning it with a gift box.  There is Face the Cookie, where you place a cookie on the contestants forehead and they have one minute to move it into their mouth by only using facial movements…Or This Blows…one balloon and 12 solo cups, the contestant has one minute to blow up the balloon and expel the air from the balloon to blow the cups off of the table.  There are dozens of Minute 2 Win It games to choose from on the website.

Now you know all you need to know for Making Spirits Bright…Food, Tunes and Reindeer Games!

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