12/24/17

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!



This is the photo that I included in our Christmas cards this year, and

This is the message I wrote for the inside of each card and lovingly pass it on to all of you:

Merry Christmas

Another year, almost gone, and many of us are left scratching our 
heads and asking, “Where has the time gone?”  I know for some, 
maybe the year has not passed quickly enough.  These past twelve months have been filled with so many challenges....natural disasters 
of catastrophic magnitude and human meanness beyond our comprehension.  Yet, as we are left reeling in disbelief, we carry on 
and move forward.  Human beings are resilient that way.

Whatever your feelings are for 2017, we can hope that the new year will be filled with authentic gratitude and humbleness for the many blessings that will surely come.

Love to all,
Rick and Carol



12/19/17

Coffee/Tea & My Happy Place

I hope you are all finished with shopping, wrapping & decorating, so you can "live in the moment" of the season.  I've been doing just that, and thought I'd share a few last glimpses of Christmas merriment around our home.  For me, I've saved the best for last.  Let's take a look, shall we?

Whoever came up with the idea of creating a "station" for favorite beverages, truly deserves a blue ribbon!  I have so much fun creating our beverage bar, but I don't limit it to Christmas.  We are coffee and tea drinkers (mainly me) all year long, but it is so fun to add some special things this time of year.


I will switch out a few things, but this tray of goodies will remain here for another 
couple of months.



Coffee, tea, cocoa and a sweet munchie, anyone?


                       
The recipe for Crockpot Salty Sweet Candies can be found HERE.  They are so delicious!  I made them for our neighbors.  

This is where you can find me about ninety percent of the time....my "Happy Place!"


I did more decorating in here than I have in the past, and I love it!


I even found the perfect spot for one of my 4' trees.  Not for sure yet, but I may keep the in here for a few more months and decorate it for Valentines' Day & Easter.  Shh....The Man doesn't know it yet, but this tree may become a permanent decor item in here and get decorated for all the seasons!


Some thoughtful words to reflect on every day!






I've so enjoyed the company of this sweet little "Shopper Snow-Woman."



Love my little cork tree!



The Man gave me this folding ruler, and I quickly shaped it into a star.





My sweet angel watches over me all the time.


 I made these wood block ornaments a few years ago....my kiddos when they were little.    


The rest of the little block ornies landed here in the laundry room.


My kiddos and the kidlets make me smile while I fluff and fold!

It's a very good thing my HAPPY PLACE is just a few steps away from the kitchen, because I've been rattling those pots and pans quite a bit lately!


Our neighborhood (about 10 families) has started having monthly Block Parties as a way of creating much more of an extended family community.  This was part of the spread this past Sunday evening.


I made THIS Christmas Tree Spinach Dip Breadsticks....I know this isn't a good angle, but I was lucky to get this pic!  This did not last long....so good!


I also made THESE Slow Cooker Baked Beans but substituted a pound of ground beef for most of the bacon...I chopped up about 6 slices of cooked bacon & added for extra flavor.  This is a very good recipe and makes a lot!


So I've hung up my aprons now....at least for a few days!  How about you?  Are you in relaxing-mode and just enjoying these last few days before Christmas?  I hope so!

Merry Christmas & Warm Hugs.
Carol


I hope to be joining some of these lovely ladies this week:

Kristi at Making it in the Mountains for The Creative Gallery
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
Carol at The Red Painted Cottage for Share Your Style Party
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home






12/9/17

Baby It's Cold Outside...Kidding!

I think cold and snow are the hot topics of conversation on many blogs right now, and I just wanted to play along!  We have had temps in the 30's in the wee hours of the morning, but our daytime temps have been in the upper 60's and 70's.  This is what we "Zonies" call sweater and scarf weather!  Well, you know, it's a dry cold as opposed to our dry heat!  Okay, enough frivolity.  It's time to share a few more Christmas decor pics around our home.

Today we will look for merriment in the kitchen and family room.


I decided to use a quilted runner I made a few years ago, instead of a tray on the island.  I'm so glad our island is big enough to have this display in the middle, giving us ample room 
for other things if needed.  

The Santa and teapot are some of my oldest Christmas possessions, and I get so excited to bring them out every year!

I'm loving this little scene inside this huge lantern.

These apothecary jars are pretty much always on top of the fridge, but what's inside each one gets changed with the seasons.

Another favorite vignette.




Love this little tree that we bought in Switzerland on our River Cruise a couple of years ago.


The stockings are hung by the chimney with care.

This is a completely new Christmas mantel idea this year, using my small collection of snow-people!

Hmmm...maybe I should have given these stockings a quick press with the iron!


I used mostly red & silver decorations on this tree.  Isn't this pillow cute?  It's from Amazon.


I like to buy a nutcracker for The Man each year, but I only buy one if it's something special.  Haven't found one this year....yet.

I love my gallery wall of vacation photos, and like to give it a bit of holiday cheer by adding some ornaments....I did this exact thing last year.

Well, that's it for this time.  I do have a few more things I want to share another time.  I hope everyone is enjoying this "Happiest Time of the Year," but I know that cannot be.  My heart aches for those whose lives have been turned upside down because of the ongoing fires in California, those who have yet to recover from the aftermath of several hurricanes, victims and their loved ones who have suffered the tragedies of mass shootings, and the list could go on and on.  All of these tragedies made me stop and wonder if I should hold back from sharing something as frivolous as how I've decorated my kitchen or my snow-people mantel.  Then I decided my post just might make someone smile, and if that does happen, that would make me happy.  I join the many who are praying for all those whose lives are not how they want them to be right now.  You are tenderly tucked into our hearts as we pray for each one of you.

Warm hugs to all,
Carol

I hope to be joining some of these lovely ladies this week:

Kristi at Making it in the Mountains for The Creative Gallery
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
Carol at The Red Painted Cottage for Share Your Style Party
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home




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