(Just one more reason I love Portland.)
Whether you're out shopping the giant day-after-Christmas sales, or back at work like me, I hope your holiday week is continuing to be fabulous.
(Just one more reason I love Portland.)
Whether you're out shopping the giant day-after-Christmas sales, or back at work like me, I hope your holiday week is continuing to be fabulous.
Even our bedrom got some Chritsmas little touches this year. Little details like stockings hung on the footboard of the bed...
and a sprig of evergreen tied with a red satin ribbon on the headboard...
Keeping my main pieces neutral, in whites, creams and tans allows for lots of looks, by simply changing a few items. For the Christmas season, I traded out the white duvet for a red and white ticking one with matching shams. I then found some euro shams with red detail stitching and a felted red and white snowflake pillow for a holiday pop of color.
I think this colorway will be great through winter, Valentine's Day and all the way through until spring hits.
A tree with white twinkle lights rounded out the holly-jolly-and-a-little-romantic look, and adds a warm glow to the room. Little unexpected touches make it all so special.
Once New YEar's arrives, I will remove the all-out Christmas items and change them to something more geared towards winter and then Valentine's themed, but for now, I am just really enjoying the magic of the holiday season.
Join the club.
Not only am I still wrapping, (Who are we kidding here? I haven't started.) but I haven't yet addressed our Christmas cards. (The "holiday season" teachnically runs through January first, right?)
When I had the idea for the grand baby Christmas shoot, I hadn't thought about Christmas cards. In fact, truth be told, I haven't mailed out Christmas cards in a decade.
Oh, I've wanted to. I've bought cards, thought about making cards...and then run out of time.
Or whatever it takes to get-er-done.
The pictures were all just so adorable that I got the idea to use one of the mischevious boys and the sweetie-pie little princess shots as our card this year.
Yeah, that was prety much it. It was an idea.
Finally, last week I rallied myself into a card designing frenzy of sorts and decided to make them.
After three rounds of printing, I finally got the inside of the cards printed on the correct side of the paper (aaaurgh!) and right side up...voila'!
This year's Christmas miracle will be friends and family receiving a real honest-to-gosh Christmas card from me.
We're still decking the halls around here, a little bit more each night, and each day I look forward to enjoying the warm glow that candlelight casts in all the rooms when I arrive home from work.
One of the rooms I am most excited about is our new dining room.(Do you remember it before?) It was the family room, but we have reinvented it, and now the first room you see upon entering the house showcases our fabulous craigslist honey pine dining set, and trust me, it looks like it has always been a dining room.
The original dining room of the house is actually very, very small, and will now be re-invented into either a music room for my Rock n' Roll Buddy (my vote) or a home office space.(Currently my home office area shares the guest room, which is a little tight, but seems to be working.)
We will be installing a beyond beautiful thrifted old crystal and brass chandelier very soon, (and you know I will share pictures!) but for now, the glow of christmas lights on the tree, coupled with candle light and the floor lamp in the cormer create a very inviting look.
My usually all white stoneware collection has touches of reds and evergreens, and bits of shiny silver...
The tablescape carries my latest favorite color-way of grey, red, black and white in a winter and Christmas-y theme, showcasing my glittery snowmen and a couple of my Santa hats from the grand babes photo shoot.
I continued this color theme through out the house, and I will keep the colors this way through winter, only putting away the actual Christmas items...tomorrow, the living room, followed by the oh-so-Christmas-y bedroom!
There is nothing cozier than a meal by candle light. It adds a warmth to any table setting, whether it's breakfast, or supper. Some tea lights set in rock salt in old canning jars creates a casual and wintery mini-centerpiece.
I'm going with a red, white grey and black color way for Christmas this year, and I am using a couple of super inexpensive scarves as runners.(One on the breakfast bar, and one on the dining table)
...Giant plastic snowflakes (two for a buck at the dollar store last year) make fabulous chargers, and eensy-weensy mittens with an evergreen sprig add the perfect finishing touch.
Pretty, and warm, and welcoming, don't you think?It makes any meal feel special.
I am feeling extra-blessed these days, with six precious grand babes,and a happy, healthy family. Life is full, and good, and I am feeling oh-so content, treasuring the little things, like hot cocoa, and sleeping late on Saturday mornings.
I have a challenging grown up girl job that I look forward to go to each work day, and since I spend a lot of time there, that is a silver lining in my life as well.
You know, there is a saying that I have shared here before, on one of my weekly words to live by Sundays that comes to my mind:
I would have to agree, although I will admit when I first ever read the first part...something to do...I never really thought of the "do" as being my grown up girl job. I think I always pictured that part as in doing things around the house,like crafts or decorating, or doing things for those I love.
When I was thinking about all of this last night, I realized it is (or can be) about your grown up girl job. And I then stumbled upon an article that proved this, right here.
To further that point, I was reading my most favorite work inspiring blogs, and I came across this recent post.
It's not rocket science.
It's about living.
Living every day of our lives.
Doing work we enjoy is part of the big picture of the life we should be living..
It really is as simple as that.
We gathered up the babes for a fun little photo shoot right before Thanksgiving when we had everyone together.
Number six was just two weeks old, and had gone home with his Mama and Daddy before we remembered to do the photo shoot, so he's got his own series of pictures...
Let me just say that attempting to photograph five little guys (er...four little guys and one little Princess) under the age of four in a semi-posed setting is rather like herding kittens....
And, I knew exactly how I was going to do this.
I immediately called my incredibly talented card-designer gal-pal and asked her to create some fabulous note cards for me to send out correspondence to clients.
She ordered some rubber stamps from a grouping that I had liked on her previous cards. They are all stamps of girls doing things, without showing a face.(You see, we work with offices all over the nation and so we do not necessary meet face to face, at least not too often, so I really liked that idea.)
As I said, she ordered the stamps I liked. Then, she got busy crafting and designing, using oodles and toodles of various shades and patterns of purple paper, since our logo is purple. Finally, she added our company logo to the cards. When she got them finished, she sent them by post.
They arrived last Saturday.
Be still my heart.
She out-did herself. So cute. So professional, and polished. So....perfect for what I needed.Now, when I finish a job for one of our members, I will write a note to them inside one of these sweet little cards, and pop it in the mail, post suite.
I heart these little works of art, masquerading as stationery, and I know my clients will be tickled purple when they find one in their mail box.
I am embarrassed to tell you exactly how long I owned this tool before I ever tried using it.
Wait. Let em back up.
Maybe eight years or more ago.
I first saw this tool at a Pampered Chef party. I was wow'd, (wowed? wowwed?) but I couldn't bring myself to buy it because, even though I am a baker at heart, pies rather intimidate me for some reason. Well, that and the fact that I was suffering from sticker shock. This little baby is about fifty bucks, if you get the little wooden stand to go along with it. (which pretty much is a must, I think.)
Fast forward a few years, to about three years ago. My Pampered Chef friend was making her last order and I said, in a total weak moment of bakers insanity, "Order me one, please."
It arrived shortly thereafter. The mere thought of assembling the little wooden base seemed overwhelmingly too mechanical for me. Completely intimidated, it sat there in it's little Papmpered Chef box.
Mmm hmm, just like that.
Years passed (um, as I stated before...three years) and then, this past spring, while out yard saling with a friend, there on an old bookshelf in someones driveway, sat the identical Pampered Chef tool.
It mattered not that I already owned this too-cool-for-school-tool, I grabbed it. For three dollars, I had to. (That and that fact that it was ready to use...fully assembled!)
So, I gave one of my girls the new-in-the-box Pampered Chef Apple Corer Peeler (While I can agonize over dropping fifty bucks on myself, I have no problem giving a fifty dollar item to family or friends.) and I kept the thrifted one.
And, it sat there.
My Rock n" Roll Buddy called me one day last week at work and said he had just bought ten pounds of honey crisp apples and could I make a pie from scratch for Thanksgiving?
Well, certainly I could. (After all, I had that handy-dandy-ready-to-use tool.)
That brings me finally to the point of this post.(Hmmm, I got a little wordy I am now noticing. Oh well. You like that about me, right?)
Last Tuesday evening we got our the gadget and I realized I still did not know how to operate it. Luckily, Ralph is the King of YouTube, and so he immediately suggested we look there(He swears you can teach yourself anything on YouTube, and I do believe he is right.)
Oh yeah, baby.
After watching a thirty second video of a fifth grader demonstrating the corer-peeler, we were in business. Within five minutes Ralph had cored, peeled and sliced all the apples for the pie, thankyouverymuch.
He was having so much fun with it that I had to stop him, lest we have ten punds of skinless, cored apples on our hands.
The pie came out perfectly, by the way. Sweet, and juicy, and yummy.
I think 2013 just might be my year to take on mastering pie making.
I have the sadest of news to share. The unthinkable has happened.
(photo via Pinterest) Anyone that ever met Bob in the Vintage Industry will tell you he had a giant heart, a generous spirit, an incredible talent, and sported an unforgetable smile. Always ready and more than happy to help anyone, he was a class act.
He was all about his family. His grown kids, those precious grandsons, his folks. Our friendship bond grew closer when he found himself going through the whole suddenly single experience. We shared countless emails as I encouraged Bob to always, always remember who is driving the bus.
I consider myself priveledged to be on the list of people he called friends. While I know God had a plan for Bob, and he has moved on from this life, to a new and better one, my head cannot grasp why he was taken from us so soon.
And I am really enjoying it.
As I am learning the various aspects of my new job, I have divised some strategies for keeping various data straight, and in order. That brings me to today's post.
I bought a pile of composition books back in late August, when it was back-to-school sales were in force, and I got them for fifty-seven cents a book at WalMart. (Still cheap, they are normally about a dollar each.) Anyway, I decided to use some of my composition books for work, to use for note keeping...
...and tracking my activities with certain members.
In no time at all I had three personalized journals for my desk at work, and they look like me. (does that make sense?)
After creating these, it occurred to me these sweet little journals would make fabulous gifts as well, and for mere pennies.
I like that part too.
And I'm sharing it with you, 'cause I thought you'd like it too.
(It's so fun, with all of the grand babes these days!)
I wanted to follow up and share what I ended up doing with the fabulous (and super cheap) CHristmas ornaments I got at my local WalMart.
As you can see in my top photo, I used the two ornaments together with asimple satin ribbon as place markers for all of the guests.
I used white pumpkins (Some faux ones from year's past, and some real) as my centerpiece, along with candles.
Oh, how I adore candle light.
Glasses: LIBBY Water Glasses (My daughter has them and so do I- each slightly different) from WalMart- sold in 4 packs
glitter letter- Christmas section of WalMart with ornaments $1 each
Faux Mercury Glass Leaf Ornaments- WalMart Christmas Section $1.97 each
White pumpkins- some real, from the grocery, some fake, from Michhaels Craft Store AFTER Thanksgiving 75% off
Glass Candlesticks- from various thrift stores, usually a $1....trust me, they ALWAYS have these kinds of ]candle sticks.
Faux Mercury Glass Candle sticks- my daughter's- she got them most likely at WalMart or the Craft Store.
The look and feel I was going for was kind of a rustic-vintage-elegance, and I think I came pretty close, don't you?
What about you? Do you have atraditional table setting for Thanksgivng each year. or do you do a different look each time? Do you use place mats, chargers or tableclothes, or do you prefer to showcase the bare wood of your table? I'd love to hear what all you do!
You know, some of them already know me, but I wanted to give them my own little five minute elevator speech about my career background, and I especially wanted to make sure they knew just how thrilled I am to have the opportunity to to work with their respective teams.
I decided that a nice touch would be to start my introduction with little treats; spice cupcakes with maple frosting and starbucks frappacinos, specifically.
Needless to say, the treats were the perfect ice breaker, and the teams were even more awesome than I was anticipating!
I think I am gonna love this job.
I absolutely go to crazy-town when I cruise the holiday aisles. Last week I spotted the same glittery alphabet letters I bought last year, and promptly scarfed some up to use as place cards for my Thanksgiving table scape. (Only a buck each!!)
I also discovered the most fabulous mercury-glass-wanna-be leaf ornaments, and I had to have them. (at $1.97 each, these were actually in my budget, and they simply scream Pottery Barn, don'tcha think?) Just you wait till you see how these are going to be used on the same Thanksgiving table scape. The trick is to not only think Christmas when looking at ornaments. I found items that will make wonderful New Year's Eve decorations, and plenty of charming Valentine's hearts, all for no more than two dollars each.
Think a little further outside the box next time you pass by the holiday decorations in your nearest big box or dollar store, and I think you'll be thrilled with what you find.
A new baby is the beginning of all things- wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities. Eda J. Le Shan
We have two new baby boys to love on here in my family, both born within the span of 8 weeks. Jonah (above) and Keaton (Below)
Needless to say, I am completely head over heels...
And, as if things couldn't get any better than this, I will be in total Gramma heaven next week, when the two out-of-town grandbabes arrive for a visit with the cousins, and we have all six of them together!
Now, speaking of babies....A friend at works daughter emailed me this weekend.(did you follow that? I work with a gal...who has a daughter...and that daughter contacted me...) about a friend of hers (Still with me?) named Katlin.
Feeling extra blessed in the baby department around here, I could not help but feel more than a little compelled to share her story here, and hopefully spread the word of the good work they are doing.
Kaitlin founded a very cool non profit called "Haiti Babi" after making several visits to Haiti. She learned that many children were living in orphanages not because they didn’t have parents, but because their parents simply could not afford to care for them. Katlin knew that something could be done to keep families together. (To read more about Haiti Babi’s story click here).
Haiti Babi’s mission is to give mom’s jobs. The non-profit “trains, equips, and inspires Haitian mothers to knit high-quality artisan baby goods in order to earn an income, and care for their families”. Moms in the U.S. have the opportunity to purchase these products in support of the Haitian mothers. “Moms helping moms.”
I know. Way cool concept, huh?
They just launched a fabulous online event to build awareness and excitement for Haiti Babi and I just had to share it with you all!
Beginning on November 2nd Haiti Babi began releasing one download per day, for a total of 8 FREE downloads. These stylish party products were designed by the talented Julia Warren and are perfect for any shower. You can not only throw a cute baby shower, you can also help contribute to social change! Downloads will be available on Haiti Babi's blog.
Check them out!
I went with super affordable black plastic frames on black and white family photos in several sizes. (God Bless Walgreens! Cheap and speedy photo prints you cna order online and pick up in an hour!)
I added some photo boxes for storage, and my vintage typewriter, and used an old clipp-y holder I found at Camas Antiques to hold more black and white pictures. (I am pretty sure the metal holder was originally a potato chip bag holder from a mini mart!)
Here is the back end of my cubical workspace...
Then, I added just a hint of Halloween to it. I added my signature book page "BOO" Banner, and a few cobwebs..
...and some glittery spiders...
....and a little crow.
...Oh, and Mr. Bones here completed the look.
One of my gal-pals at work said it looked very "Poe-esque" and I took that as a compliment. (Considering I am really not a more-is-more person when it comes to Halloween decorating.)
I don't know if I shared this before, but the folks where I work are really a lot of fun. They are creative types, with think-outside-the-box mentalities, and they are competative. This all makes for a positive and challenging, feel-good atmosphere to work in. (And play in.)
We had a cubical decorating contest, a costume contest, and trick-or-treating from cubical to cubical near the end of the day for all of the employees kids. (And Grand-kids!)
I loved watching my little men comparing their stash with another little guy....
...and watching them scurry with their Daddy to get more treats from the Good Witch across the hall.
So much fun.
Next fun-at-work event? Getting ready for the Christmas Cubical Decorating contest, of course.
Six lil' faces to smooch.
It doesn't get any better than that.
Except knowing that we will have all six of them together for a weekend very, very soon.
Arriving more than a week late, Jonah Matthew certainly made a grand entrance when he decided to finally make his appearance, weighing in at 9.9 pounds!
Thanking God and feeling oh-so-thankful, and grateful, and blissfully happy tonight, knowing that he and his Mama are both doing fine.
We are truly blessed.
(Yes, I'm behind on my 31 Days theme, but I am working on getting caught up.) Living a charmed life on a shoestring isn't only about making your home a haven. It stands to reason that since many of us spend the bulk of our time at a full time job, it should be a warm and cozy place; a second home of sorts.
I always add little seasonal touches to my work area, and it makes me happy to see how the warm effect it generates with other people that pop by my place.
I am not a huge Halloween person, but I do love me some litte crows here and there and a skeleton or two.Oh, and a glittery spider is the perfect touch on a pile of Autumn leaves on an old book, I think.
Freshly washed crisp cotton percale in the summer time, and soft flannel sheets on the bed (...Especially following a nice hot bath!) on a cold Autumn night are pure heaven on earth, for sure.
And pillows.Oh, the pillows.
The simple fact is that if you've got the right sheets, pillows, and blankets combo, you never want to leave your bed.
It's that charming.
It isn't what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart.
Adding just a few touches for the season adds charm to your home, and makes everything feel fresh once again.
I decorate my front porch with a few scattered traditional orange pumpkins, and then add a few white ones (some faux, and some real) inside to add a soft look of Autumn. Remember, you can add instant glam to any pumpkin by using a bit of spray glue and some shimmery glitter.