Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas tree tour for Nonya... And, a quick before and After!

Earlier, I received this comment from a reader:
I LOVE the mixers! They've just been added to my wish list. What are the other ornaments
in your entryway...the tall red and white ones? They almost look like mushrooms. 

So here's a little tour of my Christmas tree...
And, as you can see Nonya, they are mushrooms!
 My earliest memory of Christmas is seeing little red and white
mushrooms dangling from my Oma's Christmas tree in Germany...
That, and the fact that Oma always had real candles on her tree, which I was
reminded were heiƟ and would burn my fingers. Because Janet's little fingers
were always all over the tree! And, this is the reason that ever since I've had
my own Christmas tree, mushrooms have been part of the decorations. I
have much more than you see, many over 25 years old; however, in 2008,
Martha did these beautiful mushrooms for Macy's and I bought them all!
They are very heavy and the stems are covered in millions of tiny glass
beads. The smaller mushrooms you see - The one next to the small pine
cone, (also Martha's) are 100% covered in tiny glass beads. I haven't
seen these mushrooms back at Macy's or anywhere since, so I'm really
glad I splurged on them when I had the good fortune of finding them!
I've been collecting glass ornaments from Germany a few years now, and most of
them are inspired by the animals that inhabit our property. There are koi, ducks,
deer, raccoons, birds of every color, squirrels, chipmunks and butterflies...
Nonya also mentioned in her comment that she loves
the stand mixer ornaments I found at Target last week...
I love them too! And, you'll get a kick out of this... Remember how I
promised I wouldn't add any more ornaments to the trees in the house?
Remember, there's a trio of trees in the solarium and one in the den too!
Well... I was checking e-mails, minding my own business, when suddenly
an e-mail popped up from Sur la Table! Which totally reminded me of
the foodie ornaments I picked up there after Christmas last year. Ooops!
Looks like I'm going to Pottery Barn
tomorrow for more ornament hangers!
I wasn't sure about placing the main tree in the foyer... I mean, I always wanted it
here because it's where we used to place our tree in our home in California... But I
always felt the ceiling in this house was too low. Well, I was wrong. It's perfect!
And, according to this catalog I received in the mail today, the
entry is still being recommended as the perfect spot for your tree!
Looks like I've always been a little ahead of the decorating trends... Huh?
Before I say good night, I received an e-mail today asking if I have
any photos of the living room before my recent re-do. And, I do!
And, until I looked at these photos together, I had no idea how close the new carpet
I picked out is to the old carpet that was in the room before... I like it because it's
white and warms the room. But I think I still might prefer hardwoods. Stay tuned!
So do tell... What about the decorations on your
tree today reminds you of past happy Christmases?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bringing in a little Christmas...

 Although Bing almost had me convinced that this was the best
way to spend the first Sunday of Advent together... I decided the
best way to cheer myself up was to bring in a little Christmas!
I began in the kitchen with Martha's tinsel tree. Now, last year...
I made a promise not to add any new ornaments to any of the trees
we put up in the house, and I meant it when I made that promise too!
But there was just one problem...
These cute little stand mixers from Target
were a must have, and so obviously...
The only thing missing from my baking-inspired kitchen Christmas tree!
After the kitchen, I moved into the living room where I filled
my new hurricanes with some of the old ornaments I kept from
our very first Christmas together. They're now vintage... Like us!
I picked up this Santos angel object at the Pottery Barn outlet
the other night during our road-trip adventure to Gaffney!
I really like her, and she stays... Even if
someone else I know called her creepy!
After I sprinkled Christmas around the living room, it was time to put up our
main tree in the foyer since there no longer is a spot for it in the living room
after my little re-do project. It's different and it'll take some getting used to...
Especially since I had to edit so many ornaments off the bottom portion of the
tree. Why? Because hanging them there for Bing to knock off isn't an option!
Don't let this sweet, snoozie exterior fool you! Bing has already
claimed the tree as his new hiding place, and he's shown us
that climbing it doesn't seem to be an issue for him either!
Which is something I plan to remind him of
the next time he needs help down from the bed!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Interesting Glass Finds

Today was our first day home alone again after two
fantastic weeks of having the Ranger here with us...
Neither of us felt like staying in so we took a drive and soon ended up in Greensboro
at Shoppes on Patterson. As I walked through the door, this interesting crystal
bowl immediately caught my eye. It's signed Schlam '03 and the engraving around
the square base states that it was presented to Gloria Glatt, in recognition of her
philanthropic leadership by the Albert Einstein School of Medicine at Yeshiva
University in New York at a gala on October 30, 2003. The staff at Shoppes on
Patterson told me they've been calling it, the brain bowl because of the design!
The frosted cut design around the bowl does kinda look like brains!
But don't worry, I won't be calling it the brain-bowl!
I'm not sure yet how I'll use or display it. Although I do think
it's stunning being lit from below using one of my light bases!
However, as pretty as a little light makes it, I think
my new bowl would be even better if it was filled...
With chocolate!
That's better!
Huh, Bing?
Bing's been supervising in this spot...
While the Christmas tree has been going up in the foyer. There's no longer any
room for the tree in the living room, which means it'll be interesting to see
how long my ornaments last now that there's no way to keep Bing away from it!
Before I go, I better show you another interesting piece of glass I found
yesterday at Antique Marketplace. I noticed it Wednesday when I
picked up the console and the hurricanes, but I forgot to grab it!
Fortunately, it was still there. What is
it? It's a vintage, 5,000ml lab beaker!
Kinda funky. Kinda odd... But kinda cool too!
It was filled with an old matchbook collection... But I tossed
that out because I see it filled with long, floppy tulips very soon!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Road Trip with my Boys!

The only place I wanted to be at 11:59PM Thanksgiving evening was with my
boys... And, at the Pottery Barn outlet two hours and seventeen minutes away!
My boys delivered in a Big way! Instead of letting me make the trip alone,
both of them said they were up for the trip and wanted to go. Honestly, it
brought tears to my eyes... Of course, I was thrilled to have them along, but
it also confirmed that a little bit of the shopper in me also lives in them!
As soon as the doors flew open at midnight, I made a careful but deliberate dash for
the clearance racks at the back of the store. Once there, I was rewarded with this
fantastic find of monogrammed Schott Wiesel wine glasses. Most of the items on
clearance are linens removed from bedding displays and/or returns. It's where I
always get beautiful PB duvets at a fraction of their original price. And tonight, I
was thankful for whomever decided to return these beautiful, "B" wine glasses!
Because at $1.97 each, they were the steal of the day! I checked off everyone on
my office gift list, and picked up plenty of to-me-from-me gifts too! My total
haul was over $367; however, after the coupon Pottery Barn sent me, and
the rewards certificate that's been burning a hole in my pocket, plus
the extra 10% off for just showing up, I paid $72. Now that's a deal!
After my confession, (here) I decided that I would NOT be visiting the
Yankee Candle outlet... However, in my defense, they made it impossible for
me to resist because it was cold outside and they were open a full hour before
the Pottery Barn outlet! Nevertheless, despite the huge discounts there, I spent
just $153, and everything I picked out will be given away. Let the healing begin...
The ride with my boys, (all three of them!) was a blast and the deals I found
made our trip south worthwhile. But goofing around at the Waffle House in
the wee-hours of the morning with my boys made the experience priceless!
So what about you... What was your big score of the night?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

From our Home to Yours...

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is the Last thing..

You want to see standing over your koi pond from the kitchen window!
I know it's Thanksgiving and Herons have to eat too...
But we're not running a Sushi bar here... So Shooooo!

Country Crock Give-Away

When the nice people at Country Crock asked me to share their products with
you, the first thing I thought about was their delicious, like-scratch-made
side dishes. Because since getting hooked on Clean a year and a half ago, I've
leaned on Country Crock sides a lot to help keep Army Dad fed while I stick
to my CLEAN plan. Add a little Shedd's Spread and sour cream to Country
Crock's mashed potatoes and you'll swear you spent an hour peeling spuds!
We've been a Country Crock family for a long, long time. The boys were raised
on Shedd's Spread... On pancakes, English muffins, and spread over vegetables;
Shedd's Spread was my Go-to instead of butter. When you rely on something for
as long as Shedd's Spread has been in my kitchen, you tend to take it for granted.
I have completely overlooked the fact that while my old stand-by spread is still as
consistent and tasty as it's been since those talking hands commercials began airing
in the 80's, Country Crock has continued to innovate and improve their products
so that today there are seven different kinds of Shedd's Spread, plus sticks, and
a squeezable option! Country Crock also has a fantastic website with a recipe
section that puts other recipe websites to shame! Now, it's been a long time since
I've had to coax trick my boys into eating their veggies, but it looks like Shedd's
Spread is still working hard to help moms get their kids to eat their vegetables!
It's Thanksgiving morning and I used Shedd's Spread to make my mac and cheese
creamier! And, there isn't a serving dish that will go into my oven without a little
Shedd's rub-down first. Why use a chemical non-stick spray when greasing your
dish with Shedd's Spread will add a buttery-rich taste to non-stick convenience?
The people at Country Crock sent me the kid-friendly kitchen tools you see below as
well as a kids-size apron and a cute holiday placemat, and they'd like to send them
to you too! All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know which Shedd's
Spread variety you'd like to try next! I'm using the Shedd's Spread coupon they
sent me to try the Honey Spread because it's chili and cornbread season!
There are several other ways for you to win the Country Crock gift pack too...
All you have to do is leave your comment, and then let me know if you:
Enter here to win amazing Thanksgiving-inspired
prize packs, including $100 in groceries!

Remember to let me know what you do and I'll be sure to add
extra entries to your comment. Winner will be announced Monday!

Contest is Closed - Winner is Christine!
Please send me your address via e-mail
and I'll pass it on to Country Crock!

Now for the fine print: *FTC-required disclosure: Country Crock provided me with a cents-off coupon, kid-friendly apple wedger and potato masher and a kid-size apron and Pottery Barn kids turkey placemat, which I gave to my boss who has the most adorable little boy and one sweet little girl! Except for these Country Crock swag items, I was not paid for this review and all of the opinions expressed in this post about Shedd's Spread/Country Crock products are my own.