Happy 2017!

Happy New Year, everyone!  The Man and I are so excited and 
ready for whatever ''2017" has to offer!

I know I'm a bit late and we are already into "2017" a week, but it's still new, right?  Do you have little rituals for the new year?  I have several....you probably would have guessed that if you've been following my blog for awhile.  One of my "must-do's" is setting up new calendar pages...I like printing out blank monthly pages that I stick on our fridge.  I also update my laptop, iPad, and iPhone calendars, because you need lots of reminders as you get older...lol!  I also love setting up my new planner-journal.  The one I've been using for a couple of years now, is the MAMBI Create 365.  I adore the whole idea of combining what I need to do each day, with quotes, photos and journaling.  The format allows you to be as creative as you wish or not at all.  

 There are lots of options for the MAMBI (aka: Me and My Big Ideas) planner, and they are readily available at your favorite craft store.

There are tons of cute stickers to help keep you motivated, but you can always find them on sale or just use a coupon.

I love that I can add photos of my very favorite people....you can see I had some 
serious fun during December!

I usually like to refresh my blog and think about what I want to blog about and how often.  Honestly, I get so much more accomplished when I blog less, but then I miss it and all of you too much...lol!

As much as I love our home decorated from Fall through Christmas, I do truly enjoy clean and simple  after the holidays have passed.

Last, but not least, on my list of rituals is deciding on my "One Word"!  My "word" does not fall into the category of a "resolution," which I do not do.  My "word" is something I want to reflect on throughout the year.  Sometimes the word comes to me right away, but other times not so quickly.  It took me several days to decide on my word for 2017.  Words that I've used before, like authentic/thoughtful/strong, kept popping into my head, but I just knew there was a new word for me.  Finally it came to me....Contentment!  The more I thought about it, the more positive I felt that this was my word.


noun  con·tent·ment  \kən-ˈtent-mənt\

Definition of contentment for English Language Learners

  • : the state of being happy and satisfied : the state of being content
    It sounds very simplistic and should be easy, right? NOT!!! I think finding contentment is something we all struggle with. As much as I love to blog, I'm quite sure there is a lot of blog-induced envy in our little "Blogville." Envy is the robber of contentment, in my opinion.  I worry that there are those who feel lacking because they don't have a big, beautiful house, take wonderful trips or wear the latest fashions.  There is a big difference between "copy-catting" a great decorating idea and comparing yourself to someone you think has it all.  Everyone has something they are dealing with, even those who outwardly appear to not have a care in the world.  I try to find contentment in the everyday....folding warm bath linens right out of the dryer, setting a simple table for two with cloth napkins and placemats, cooking up a favorite recipe or trying something new....it always brings me contentment.  Don't get me wrong, I do not believe you have to exist where you are stuck.  Striving to improve isn't wrong as long as you are doing it for the right reasons.  I'm eager to see what "2017" will bring, but I will try to find contentment along the way.  I truly wish the same for all of you!

    Love and hugs,


Merry Christmas!

 The Joys of the Season
Christmas 2016

We hope this year has been a good one, bringing more happy days than sad ones.  

At this time of year, amid the chaos and sometimes grandiosity of the season, it’s easy to find ourselves reflecting more on missed opportunities rather than simply enjoying “right now.”  

Maybe it’s beyond our capability to recognize simple happiness when we see it....missing those authentic times in the hope of finding something better.  Maybe we just need to make more of an effort to keep our eyes and hearts open. 

Our Christmas wish for all of you, are days filled with more 
mindful moments and joyous pleasures.

Warm hugs to all,
Carol and Rick

And a special "Merry Christmas" wish from the Grands!


Christmas Snippets, Pt.3 & 4

Where 'o where has December gone....in the blink of an eye, it is whizzing past, so I decided it was now or never going to be the time to share the rest of our Christmas house.  I had planned to break this into Pt. 3 & Pt. 4, but now it will be two-parts "photo-overload!"  Feel free to stop by the "hot chocolate/coffee station" for a cuppa and then help yourself to some sweet treats, as you will definitely need sustenance to get you through all of the photos!  All set?  Let's get started! 

The kitchen and breakfast room are taking center-stage first.

I still love this snowman-snowball wreath that I made a couple of years ago.

It's always fun to put this little wooden tree together each year and remember the lovely shop where we found it in Switzerland.

This is a "coloring" page that I found on the internet, but I cannot remember the sweet person who made this lovely drawing.  I apologize, but just know that I had a great time coloring it!

Why is it that a "hot chocolate station" is just so much fun to put together?

Be honest....doesn't this adorable little set just make you giggle?  I found it at HomeGoods a couple of weeks ago, but it's not just for Christmas....this will be hanging in my kitchen forEVER!

A cute bow on the "everyday and ordinary" elevates them to "decorations!"

This guy (my favorite Nutcracker of all) pitched in and helped a couple of days ago when 
Ms. Betty Crocker decided to pop in and whip up a few goodies....of course, a couple of naps were thrown in for good measure!

Plenty of goodies for some of our very sweet neighbors, and....

Enough for Santa & Mrs. Claus to munch on!

Banana bread, Christmas cookies, Lemonies & Toffee....can we all say "YUMMY!"

A bit of "holly jolly" in my craftroom!

Isn't she the cutest?

Guest Bath

On to the outside!

It's kind of difficult to see, but there is a wreath on each of the garage door lights.  I love how they look at night.

Yes, "Tis the Season to be Jolly," and to survive this deluge of photos!  If you are still with me and haven't nodded off, thank you so much for stopping by.  It brings me such joy to share our home with all of you, but I truly wish it could be in-person.  Thoughts of you and yours this holiday season, are on my mind and in my heart, and I wish you the merriest and happiest Christmas of all!

Warm hugs,

 I often party with these lovely bloggers:

 Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home

Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday

Suzy at Worthing Court for The Scoop

Jemma at  At Home With Jemma for Thoughts of Home on Thursday
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home

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