Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last hours of 2011

I thought I would save my end of the year musings for
next week
I thought instead I would give you a recap of what went on during this
whirlwind few weeks of Holidays
and lots of work!
took my first long road trip in a while
to visit my bestie - Esta in Asheville, N.C.
(still another post to come)
Completed my largest stocking stuffer gifting yet...
50 children and 40 adults...
(also another post)

Made lots of Christmas goodies...
Lots of Christmas run around with the family...
Fun with new games...
although I have to admit,
the new Operation is not as thrilling as the old.
Did you have one of the ones that shook so much it rolled aorund on the table
and made the most obnoxious buzzing sound ever?
It used to scare us to death yet we loved playing it.
Set up Grandpa's childhood Lionel set and gave it a good run!
This is definitely going to become a tradition between my dad and my son.
We set it up a lot when I was a kid
but for my son I think it is a definite must now!

Engagement surprise!
baby Keeper just turned 4!
This whole month has just flown!
There were so many other moments I wish I had captured
but I didn't want to tote the camera everywhere
and I have to admit I forgot my IPod for phots most of the time...
Oh well,
it was a good time
but too fast!
How was your December?
Any reflections or resolutions you have decided on yet?
Hope you all have a great New Years Eve!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Now can I relax?

So something weird happened this year.
I was so committed to
this year being non-rushed and relaxing.
Somehow it felt the opposite,
even though I stuck to my guns on the non-retail run around.
since I became my own boss
I am learning that I have to take work when it comes
because you might not have any for a while...
The flood gates opened with work 3 weeks before Christmas and is still going strong.
The lesson is -
I either need to be prepared early
let things go in order to not stress and drive myself crazy.
when the tree wasn't up and it was 3 days before
I simply said
either you guys do it or it doesn't go up.
(I was working 10-12 hour days)
When I came home this is what I found...

(used my I-Camera)
A tree with all the decorations at the height of my toddler!
Not to mention several on one branch.
I remember it used to drive my mom crazy when we
tended to put the ornaments all in one general area
(of course having artistry in your genes you want everything proportioned correctly)
But I went with this and decided it was funny
and left it!
I think that whole
"Life gives you lemons make lemonade of it"
phrase applied for this Christmas.
I had been asked to optionally make a casserole but to please make deviled eggs for Christmas dinner.
The parent of a 3 year old is discovering Christmas and Santa's visit take a whole new set of skills.
So after one day and two half days of finishing 
the stocking stuffers for the shelter,
working 3 almost 12 hour days,one day of mad clean up,
last minute grocery shopping, a messed up order of gifts that did not get printed,
a lost RedBox rental and 3 hours worth of back and forth driving to visit
relatives Christmas Eve.
I decided that optional casserole was out the window,
I let my husband make our Deviled eggs as I finished
our Christmas Day gifts for my family and another 2 hours of round trip driving.
He added Taco seasoning because he is always trying to "improve"
I would have thrown a fit before
but rolled my eyes and said
You have to explain that one at dinner to everyone else"....
and after dinner he actually asked why no one tried them?
( there were half dozen regular one too thank goodness)
It was a great laugh for everyone!
But they may stop asking us to cook I'm guessing...
This will definitely be a memorable Christmas for many reasons...
especially for another wonderful reason.
My little sister....

got engaged!
My son has a new Wii buddy....
Congratulations Erin.
Peace to you all.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Vintage Christmas fun....

Feeling like sharing a little
Instagram fun from our Christmas decorations around the house...
Our family had one of these when I was a kid...
I was giddy to find an unopened bag which contained three
on a recent trip.
Made in the 60's.
Brings back a lot of memories as it sits in my home now.

A new addition to my Putz collection
none of my other homes have this printed on design
and I am in LOVE with this style now.
This one has an original price sticker on the bottom for .29 cents!
Then a week later I found this...
An adorable pink one of the exact same styling!
I think I have a new addiction...
This cutie snowman is a candy holder.
I'm not sure if he would have had a broom of some sort or probably
a candy cane in his hand.
Hope you all are having a great time readying for the holiday!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


While I was out last weekend
finishing up a few last additions to the stocking stuffers gifting.
I got an unexpected surprise....
I decided to buy two boxes of crayons to split up
and put a few in each gift bag
(there were 50 bags)
I picked up a box off the shelf
and felt something on the back
I turned it over and this is what was there
It was odd how it caught me off guard.
I looked around and no one was near me.
Then I had this thought,
this person was paying it forward and I was purchasing this
to donate to the shelter.
What a great thing!
Just  think how that one random act could have such a domino like
effect in such a good way.
I really should not have been spending the extra money
but I just had to add a few things to make the bags complete.
And then this.
It put such a smile on my face
and the cashier I showed it to.
I hope you experience the spirit of giving this season.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Where does it go?

Most days lately I wonder where it goes.
A few months ago a friend encouraged "keeping it real"
and at that moment I felt like it was aimed at
what it is like to really bear your soul.
To let people see your flaws and your feats.
Keeping it real right now
feels like even though I said I wasn't going to let Christmas
turn into a crazy busy month
 it has.
Have you ever felt this way?
I'm not talking running to the mall and battling
crowds or going out after the perfect gifts.
I have totally managed to accomplish that goal
of no major retail this year!
I have been overloaded with
WORK (10 hour days - 4 days a week)
Trying to get too much done at home
and not relax
I have just finished my Stocking Stuffer donations
I have to admit I was
a bit disappointed to not have too much help this year
but then I thought
"Hey this is your idea! Your thing! So if you can't handle it, don't whine!"
I have learned it will be better to have a cutoff date in an earlier month
and to start the prepping before December...
Life lessons...
I will be keeping it real in that I admitting that yet again my house looks like
an episode of Hoarders...
we FINALLY finished emptying out the large storage space
into a smaller one.
Whatever was left wandered home until I can convince my
significant " Whose name we do not speak" right now
to get rid of it!
I actually stood and cried over it last week in my back yard.
I want to live my life and accomplish my goals and all this
STUFF is keeping us from doing it.
When you spend every free minute working on a task like that
and then a week is gone and you feel like
you did not get to relax one bit as you fall asleep
sitting up...
you wake up the next day saying
"Where did my week go?"
I am pledging to keep chipping away at getting organized
and to not let the THINGS
in life keep me from living a life.
I will continue to search to find balance in all of this
over the next few days of Christmas.
Thanks for being here and listening to my reality right now.

I find we learn from our mistakes and we don't always get everything we want for
a reason.
Sometimes the worst of experiences provide the
most wisdom for us later in

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Getting ready....

Hope you are enjoying your weekend.
Thought I would share some of my
favorite Winter and Christmas themed music
to help get you in the mood....


Friday, December 16, 2011

Ten Thousand Villages fun.....

While I was in Asheville, N.C.
we made a stop at

My bestest of friend took her ladies group
from her church there for an outing
since they have been discussing Fair Trade
and what that means for those that it benefits....
Even if you don't have one in your area
you should definitely visit the link above
and find out what they are about
of course there is online shopping
but they have  wonderful  displays in their stores
and the place even SMELLS lovely
and not in one of those perfumy ways...

Love the writing on the wall....
They had a wonderful natural feel to all the Christmas items
and they still managed to mix earthy tones and brights very well...

I am on such a budget...
I thought these cuffs were so awesome!
Pieces of needlework from all kinds of things like the trims from Mexican Wedding
dresses etc....
I took this photo because I thought the display was so neat.
A few minutes later one of our ladies had one and was
ooohing over how cute it was...
It is actually a push toy!
His little legs move so fast on that little bicycle!
They are pieces of Aluminum wire wrapped in many different types of silk ribbon .
Very resourceful and the adorable factor made it worth the mere $8
I did get this one for Baby Keeper for Christmas...

Happy Family in a "Bunny Bag"
I love all the nativity themed items they have
because the are so unique
I purchased one years ago for
the same bestest buddy that was inside of a real egg shell that
could be hung on the tree!
I really likes these two
because they also remind me of my honeymoon...
When we were in Mexico we bought a free standing nativity that
was handmade on an island we visited...
I have not put it out for display yet
but will definitely share it when it gets unpacked.
Hope you are all having a good time getting ready for the
Remember this time is not about stress and running around
it is about giving and loving.
Happy Friday!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Button Swap...

I've been away for a few days
because I went on a little road trip to Asheville/ Canton N.C.
this week....
Story for another post!
I wanted to finally share what I created for the
Christmas Button Swap over at
I exchanged with three other ladies
and after much inhaling of glue
a glitter sneeze incident
and a lot of tweaking with tweezers
this is what I created for them...

I used the spools you get with ribbon for the base
and hand glittered all the buttons
to give them a Christmasy sparkle...
I also decided to sparkle up the reindeer
and chose a color theme for each decoration...
I wanted to make them a bit Kitschy cute.....
I had a lot of fun creating these and hope they made
it to their destinations in one piece...
I found some great colorful tags on Etsy
that I just had to order after I started this
because the colors fit so well with my theme
so then I created these to accompany them.....
I have so enjoyed all the swaps I have done so far
with this group!
Special thanks to Laurie for encouraging
me to start and for being such a wonderful

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Black Friday Thrifting....(a week late)

We spent Thanksgiving
with my husbands family
out of state
They live in a pretty small town
and when we go
I like to stop in to their local Goodwill
and a small antique store that
is located in a former Civil War era hospital...
I found some amazing goodies at the antique store
but the best buys were at the GW!
I went on Black Friday while everyone else was fighting over
towels at Wal-Mart!
I love going to thrifties in other cities
because sometimes the types of things you find seem to vary
from state to state...
I found this set of Santa salt and pepper shakers for .49 cents
they aren't perfect but they are tiny and cute!
Will set well on the kitchen shelf for Christmas...
The paper streamers are old Hallmark...probably from the 80's
.49 cents each!
This nice little hand stitched napkin was ?
oops. I don't think I even looked....
I think I paid .25 cents
The green tablecloth was $1.99
kind of 60's-70's but I like the green
will fit in well with vintage but otherwise I think could look pretty tacky out of the right setting..
does that make any sense?
I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it to make into something else
or if I want to sell it ...
We shall see...
This turquoise honey pot was .49 cents
I have a green and a pink one already
The linen dinner napkins and towel were $1.99
they are definitely older and maybe hand stitched...
they are very well made.
My grandmother had one of these Orange juice jugs
I found a heavier one earlier in the year
this one is a lot lighter
no marking
$.99 cents
The sugar and creamer were $2.98 for the set
This glass Christmas tree was $1.99!
They had 10 or 12 in all different sizes!
I put the dish with it because I almost got rid of it a few months ago
but it had not made it to the donation box..
so glad I didn't!

These 70's candle rings were .89 cents for 3
and the armless guy was a freebie!
I'm thinking of using him in an art project!
(I know my sister is laughing at that)
Lastly this paint by numbers was .49 cents
I don't collect these but I know a lot of people do
this is the first one I have seen that was decent
I'll definitely be selling this to someone who collects...
Not bad for a Black Friday haul huh?
NO shoving people or long lines...
and I didn't have to get up before the chickens....
How is that for some Thanksgiving love?
What did you find?
Head on over to
to see what everyone else has found!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Update on Stocking Stuffer donations....

I just wanted to give an update
on the Stocking Stuffer donations.
I was graciously given all the adult and most of the
children's dental supplies this week
he is truly an amazing,kind,generous soul
who has been on a life changing journey of his own
not to mention he IS the best dentist ever...
(I'm not just saying that because I used to work for him either)

I almost was not sure if this was going to work well this year
because my funds have been greatly limited due to my job change.

Thank You so much from the bottom of
my heart to Dr.Oglesby.

I have purchased all the candy we need.
All of the children's small items have been purchased
with the exception of the final toothbrushes and toothpaste which I hope to have donated.
 Most of the women's items have been purchased
some more than others.
I have had some nice larger toiletry items donated
like perfume and even a few purses.
Those lucky ladies will get a purse with goodies!

I am very lacking in the mens department.
We have a few toiletry items like nice colognes, etc.
but not much else.
Last year we gave new socks or gloves
playing cards,etc.
Anything we could think of for a young man or adult.
But even if all we get for them this year are the journals and some candy
that will still be good...
During Thanksgiving
instead of going out for the early Black Friday deals
my family worked on Christmas projects..
decorations, etc.
and I started working on the children's journals...
It was so relaxing and a lot of fun.
We listened to music, ate leftover dessert, laughed a lot!
I think we may have found a new tradition.
If you are interested in helping there is definitely still time!
I can use any help you can offer!
Especially with the Journals
that I wrote about
Thank You so much.
I will continue to keep you posted....
Happy Friday!

Help spread the wonder of Christmas ....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Goodies are coming!

I have a few Christmas goodies that just
arrived in the mail
sooo cute!
I thought today however  I would share
some of our fun
decorations from the last few years.
I tried to make them kid friendly 
so that if my son decided to handle them there would be no big loss!
The Putz Village was out of reach on purpose!
This was taken with my point and shoot
sorry it isn't as nice as usual.
I have been collecting Putz houses since I was in college
so 13 something years...
Ughh. Doesn't seem like that long.
I have all kinds and I don't discriminate!

My home is almost 100 years old,
so yes there are cracks in the wall here and there
I call it character...
This year the village will be moving to the dining room I think
I promise to take much better photos!

Again, horrible point and shoot
that won't rotate
for my sons first Christmas we used all soft knitted
It was so cute!
Last year he was so focused on decorating this tinsel tree
I decided to let him have it as his own this year in his room
We are going to decorate it this weekend...
We used this skinny tree for lack of space and time
last year
All the ornaments are plastic
This is probably the best it looked
because little Keeper loved taking the ornaments off when we
weren't looking and then putting them all back on the bottom
It was pretty funny for a while
A year later i am still finding the tops of those ornaments all over
because every time he took one off the hook piece would pull the eye off!
By Christmas there were only a few that could be hung because they
still had the eye!
No remorse though because they were not my "special" pieces
I would highly recommend if you have toddlers
as children or grandchildren to keep your precious ornaments
out of reach.
They know no what they do!
If you have that perfect kid who does absolutely everything you say
then good for you!
You are like 1% of the population if you are telling the TRUTH!
This was Gingerbread Saturday Night!

We had so much fun
I let go of my need for perfection and we lathered on
(and ate)
 so much tacky sprinkles,candy,and icing it got to be
quite Hee-larious!
You can't even see my nice piping work on the front
because my son wanted those trees right there!
I gave up and my sister and I had great laughs during the whole thing!
I highly recommend an activity like this with little ones
because they really can't mess up
and they really feel like they are doing something big!
This was from a kit but they are so easy to make with simple graham crackers
and icing,candy you can buy on your own.
No baking involved!
The end of that night will be forever known as the
Great Village meltdown...
pictures of my son throwing an absolute tantrum when it was all over because
he wanted to demolish it or something
will be reserved for blackmail in his later years!
 I caught him with my camera just as he decided to throw his hands down
face bright red and demand he get his way!
 Hope you are getting into the holiday spirit....
Can't wait to share pics of my Vintage Christmas finds
and our new village scene next week!
Happy Wednesday!