decorating with dodi

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Friday, November 29, 2013

It's Official...

...Thanksgiving is over - even in our house! Seems like we have had the tastes and smells of this holiday around for quite some time - just ask the scales for proof!

Not the best picture but I didn't want to disturb everyone while they were eating but I wanted proof that once again the whole gang was seated around one table - this time 21 people.

It was a beautiful day outside but got a bit chilly for us Floridians when the shade started to creep in.

My brother and sister-in-law and their dog, Pre, who served as our hosts today.

Daughter #2 with her family and her mother-in-law.

Let's just say this guy got lots of attention today. His name is Chumley and he was visiting from Maine.

So I guess it is time to once again say good-bye to these guys and bring on the red and green. With Thanksgiving coming so late this year, I really feel like I am behind! I pretty much have today totally committed. It is usually the day that we go to find our tree so I guess that will be tomorrow. Then, I have until Tuesday morning to do some Christmas decorating. We will be out of town from then until Thursday night. I really haven't bought the first gift - don't even have any ideas. But, in the words of my husband, "just enjoy each day". And so I will - and just like in years past, it will all get done! Can't wait to share the fun. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

One Down... to go!

I think I have posted that we would be doing two Thanksgiving get-togethers this year. The first was here in town at daughter #3 and son-in-law's home on Monday. Jennie and Elton did a wonderful job hosting us and even though it was a few days early, it felt like Thanksgiving to us because it was the day we could all be together!

I love that we did a few organized activities - like bocce ball and Thanksgiving Mad-Libs - but mostly the kids just played as they wanted in the incredibly beautiful weather!

Anyone know how I can freeze time and keep these four from getting any older?

 Jennie had an apple bar with all sorts of yummy toppings like Nutella and caramel - and Hudson had to do some quality control testing as usual.

No words for this one - just glad he wasn't coming home with me that night!

There were 16 of us there and Jennie managed to get us all at one table. She used white tablecloths overlayed with burlap for a rustic feel. Because the table was narrow, she kept decorative items small and it was much appreciated because we could actually see who was sitting across the table from us! She mixed and matched the place settings and it was lovely.

The apple bar is all set up and waiting for hungry customers.

As a table favor, Elton sliced up a log of hickory wood brought from his family's ranch in Arkansas and Jen carved the date into them and added twine so we could use them as ornaments. The plan had been to carve names as well but she had a really hard time carving into these things. It just now hit me that that could be because of the type of wood - I think that hickory is a really hard wood. We all love them just the way they are.

It was a beautiful day and we have just enough left overs to last until we do it all again at my brother's on Thursday!

Thought I would leave you with this parting image. We usually use our Thanksgiving celebration as the day to take the picture for our Christmas card. I don't really care if the kids dress up or are in play clothes, if hair and make-up are perfect, etc. I do kind of hope that they will not clash with the usual red and green props which I have come to realize will usually help to keep the kids concentrated and in one place - USUALLY. As they say, "you have to kiss a lot of frogs before....".  In my case, you have to take a lot of pictures before....That being said, we really don't have one picture where we all look like movie stars but then I'm not sure we could ever get that pic so we do have a winner - just not this one although I bet it would put a smile on the faces of lots of parents and grand parents who have ever tried that for one "perfect shot".

Holiday fun gearing up. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

No Over Thinking for a Change!

When we were at my daughter's house for Hudson's birthday dinner on Thursday evening, my son-in-law asked me what our plans were for Saturday, I told him I didn't have any plans written in granite. He told me he may be thinking of using some sky box seat tickets that they had and wondered if we could keep the kids. Of course, I said yes. But, still nothing in granite as they hadn't totally made up their minds.

Friday proved to be a busy day although by the end of it, I was not one step further ahead than I was when it began. That sad tale involves a day with the cable guy and that is all I will say on that subject.

In any case, I still had things to do on Saturday morning when the phone rang Friday evening and it was said son-in-law telling me they had decided to go to the game so they would be bringing the kids by after Harrison's football game the next morning.

I was so tired, I really didn't process as I normally would and got up and headed off to errands on Saturday morning so I would be home in time. And that is when it hit me! The kids would be with us for the day and I hadn't planned any Thanksgiving activities. That is when I fell back on so many years in the kindergarten classroom. Grabbed a few extra goodies while at the grocery store and was home and ready by the time the gang arrived!

Since we will be doing our first Thanksgiving meal at their house on Monday, I thought it would be fun if the kids made a table favor for everyone...and an edible favor always creates more interest with the boys. I have made many variations of the cookie turkey over the years, but this one proves to be the least frustrating and doesn't involve covering some part in hot, melted chocolate or holding cookies at angles that cookies don't want to be held at until the "glue" sets only to still have them fall apart.

A Golden Oreo, Mini-Nutter Butter, candy corn (the hardest part of the project. This stuff is hard to find after Halloween), mini-chocolate chips and a can of icing. The kids can totally do this on their own after showing them one time!

Aren't they cute? We made sure to make lots of extras because I knew there would be lots of quality control taste testing going on throughout the day - and there was!

And then it was time for lunch and the "themed" Nana in me panicked a bit. I hadn't even thought of what I was going to do. Out came the Pampered Chef sandwich press because the kids requested peanut butter and jelly - is there anything else?? Ever??? I was coming up blank when I knew I would be giving them some carrots and celery to dip in ranch dressing when I "saw the light". Why didn't I think of that sooner, LOL? The perfect turkey feathers were right in front of me. And so, Mr. Turkey sandwich was born. We had some other stuff to eat as well, but, alas, it didn't fit the theme so I waited until the "photo shoot" was over - go ahead, call me holiday obsessed - I can take it!

Anyhow, as I look at the plate, I realize it may not have been my most shining moment like Halloween or even Valentine's Day or St. Pat's might be, but the kids loved it and thought I was great! And, after all, does anything else really matter?

We went on to enjoy a gorgeous autumn day with some of us riding scooters and others watching then off to play several games. Before I knew it, it was time for dinner and by then, quite frankly, my holiday obsession had worn off and we feasted on Goldfish mac & cheese, steamed broccoli, fruit and bread and butter - before sampling yet again our fabulous creations!

After that, we settled in in the family room to watch Elf. I had never seen it and felt the "pressure" to do so from the rest of the family. So glad I finally succumbed. I loved it - as did the kids cause there were lots of that kid "potty" humor that got lots of belly laughs - especially from the boys!

A fun day was had by all. Today daughter #1 and family arrive for the start of our Thanksgiving celebration with the whole family feast coming tomorrow. Can't wait. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 22, 2013

"All I Want for Christmas"...

....well, sort of. My youngest daughter has just opened her own interior design business and after seeing this beauty in this room, I have decided I am ready for some updates around here and, since I don't seem capable of making any of these decisions by myself, I have decided to ask her for a design consultation for Christmas. She knows my style and seems to know how to get there better than I these days!

We have had a super busy week and getting ready for more of the same. Yesterday was Hudson's 6th birthday so I met my daughter at his school for lunch with him and his brother. Then last night, we were at their house for a special birthday dinner - his choice was breakfast for dinner - and then a butter cake with butter cream icing - and from scratch to boot. And, in my opinion, it is the only way to make a cake - NO comparison with box cakes. Then, he had fun opening his presents and making plans for his sleepover tonight. I would say he is "officially" celebrated!

We are getting ready for a week of family and fun yet I spent most of today with the Cox Cable guy and things still aren't worked out - plus, my new printer is no longer printing or copying -  so I feel as if I have gone backwards instead of forward. But just about when I was ready to lose it, I looked out my back door and realized that my garden was once again giving me an unexpected gift.

This is always the time of year that I am so busy, I hardly step out into the yard. And yet, it continues to give to me when I least expect it. Perhaps it is trying to remind me to take time to smell the roses - so to speak!

Busy weekend ahead with many photo ops. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 18, 2013

More Lives Than a Cat!

I think I have posted before about how I get so used to seeing something that I no longer really "see" it! I had another one of those moments today.

I had been faithfully going through my blog list and new "pins" when I saw a lot of unique fireplace bins popping up. Guess it is that time of year. Now that it is autumn, we have begun to use our fireplace again and I never like just having the logs piled up on the hearth. It looks messy and there is always a pile of loose bark and sand when we are through. I had noticed that Target had a bin featured in their sale this week and was considering going to look at it when I remembered my old friend. And boy do I wish I had remembered it a long time ago as the elements have not been kind to it.

I am talking about my old copper boiler pot. I bought this many years ago at an antique shop and have used it in many ways - one of them being a log holder - DUH! In any case, one day a few years ago I moved it outside. It held plants for awhile and most recently has served as a beverage cooler for outdoor parties. It has been sitting under one of our outdoor tables and getting sprinkled and rained on for years. It was time to check it out.

I washed it up a bit a let it dry and then brought it in the house.

I must admit that this isn't my favorite look for the hearth. This pot takes up a lot of room. It would look better on the other side of the hearth but that made it a bit too tight for my grand children to have easy access to their Legos and other toys - and everyone knows grand children MUST have easy access to their Legos. And so, I have settled with it on this side. I am sure it will look better when we have real firewood in there as well but until it gets a good bit cooler, we use the fire mostly for ambiance and not the heat that a real fire throws off.

No matter what, this looks better than just having these things piled on the hearth. I am going to have to do a bit of repair and since one tool I have not learned how to use is a blow torch, I think I will try some "liquid weld" on the seams of the pot that have come loose from the rust that held it together finally chipping off. I am sad that I have forgotten it for so long but I think it may still have a few "lives left" in it. How about filling it with greenery for the holiday - or perhaps filling it with pretty wrapped packages? Lots of options - stay tuned.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Shedding a Little Light

or at least hoping to very soon!!!

O.K. So how did we go from this.... this???

My daughter says the room looks so much larger without the chandelier. I agree. Not sure if it is simply because your line of sight isn't broken or because it is so dark in here at certain times of the day that you can't even see the walls!

In any case, the afternoon of our Halloween party - when almost everyone had gone, the chandelier decided to stop working. I am pretty sure I am somehow to blame - either because I shorted out the ground wire with Mr. Bones or because I spun the thing around too much changing bulbs and dusting it (see, I knew no good ever came from too much cleaning! ).

Whichever it was - or even something over which I had no control - it is broken. My SIL tried to rewire it for me but it couldn't be done easily so I opted for a new fixture. I am very impatient and not one to do a lot of comparison shopping. Nor did I want to shop online - I like to see and touch what I am buying. So, I headed to Lowes and when I didn't find anything there, I was off to Home Depot. I actually found several at Home Depot that I liked but this one spoke the loudest...

Now I am just waiting on same SIL to come over and hang it for me.

BTW, did you notice the popcorn still on the ceiling under where the ceiling medallion fits? I had almost forgotten that horrible stuff used to be in here. My daughter and I spent 2 full days scrapping off that stuff and then I spent another 2 days doing the same thing in our kitchen. I finally decided to start scrapping our bedroom but had forgotten that I had painted that ceiling so the paint stops the popcorn from dissolving with a spray of water and makes it nearly impossible to remove - at least for me. I still want to tackle the living room but this is a super, super messy project. The two rooms that I have done successfully have wood floors but the furniture is wood as well so keeping it fairly dry wasn't too difficult. The living room not only has wood floors but all of the upholstered furniture. I know it could be done, but with even more effort than it usually takes and, so far, I just don't have the inclination. Besides, after 41 years in this house (yikes), I am starting to get attached to the glitter mixed into the popcorn in the LR.

Hopefully it won't be long until I can post this finished project. Can't you just see it? Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Finishing Up

So we got another out-of-town day trip yesterday. We were heading up to Gainesville to have lunch with daughter #2 but her work schedule got changed at the last moment, so we had to postpone that but since we were already on "go mode", we continued on. Besides, I had great Chicos, Yankee Candle and Coldwater Creek coupons burning holes in my pocket. Plus, we added in a trip to the Fresh Market to load up on all sorts of seasonal favorites and then stopped at BJs where we always enjoy a long, leisurely lunch and a glass (or two ) of wine. Today was even better as a whole bottle of wine was 50% off, so I drank my limit and got to bring the "leftovers" home - and, the bottle ended up being less than the normal 2 glasses - win, win!

I got lots of new clothes in preparation for the next two months. I love to get those things taken care of now so I can just enjoy the process. We have two different Thanksgivings to attend, several parties, and the Nutcracker already on the calendar not to mention all of our regular activities like church and eating out that make dressing a little more festive this time of the year all the more fun! Plans are started, lists are being shared and the calendar is getting full so I guess there is no stopping the celebrating now!

I also spent a good bit of time on my Pinterest boards the other day pulling both decorating and crafting ideas for Christmas, so let's finish up the house tour so I can take you along as the preparations begin.

I can't believe this sign is still going strong. It was painted for me by a student's mother so many, many years ago. I love it and think of her each time I hang it.

Not much Thanksgiving in the sunroom-mostly just still autumn stuff. I went around snapping some random pictures of pilgrims and turkeys I have added to the mix. I am surprised at how many forms, sizes and functions they take. Just popping a turkey or pilgrim into the autumn stuff would make for really easy decorating if I just didn't take all of the autumn down for Halloween. One year I tried just adding some witches and jack-o-lanterns to the autumn of September to lighten my load, bit it just didn't do it for me. Gotta have my full-on Halloween even if it does mean lots of extra decorating!

I get so nostalgic every year I put out these candles. I have had them for about 48 years and I got them because my mom had had a pair that she put out every year while I was growing up. They were just kind of a staple at Thanksgiving time - seemed like everyone had them in their homes back then. They came from Woolworths and were probably about 25 cents each. They still say Thanksgiving to me!

The turkeys here are salt and pepper shakers that I have had "forever" and then I made pilgrims back in the day when I was obsessed with ceramics! My eyes were sure a lot better then they are now because they even have thin little eyelashes on those faces. These days I'd be hard pressed to even see the faces!

I love this pressed glass replica of an old green glass turkey that I found at Williams Sonoma. I have 2 small orange turkeys as well.

We had a nice surprise last night. My youngest daughter was on her way to St. Pete to visit her sister as she was coming through Ocala on her way from Atlanta. She and two clients had been at the furniture mart in Atlanta picking up some pieces to finish their homes. My daughter just recently started her own interior design company and she is having so much fun hooking up with various vendors of furniture, decor items, lighting and fabrics. She has always had a good eye for design and has loved decorating her own home and offering advice to family and friends. Guess that is what she will still be doing except now she will get paid. She loves it so much it won't seem like work to her.

Anyhow, she found a vendor who make replicas of antique pieces and also just unique objects for desk and table display. She saw this large spool with antique scissors and said it reminded her of me and my love of sewing and crafts. I didn't have to go far to find the perfect place as I had made these velvet pumpkins and a spool of thread and scissors had definitely been involved. I love gifts for "no reason" except that someone was thinking of me! Thanks Jen!!

So that is the house for Thanksgiving. We will be doing an immediate family dinner at Jen's house on the 25th and then an extended family feast at my brother's house on the "real" day. Looking forward to both. Then we will be on to Christmas decorating and gift making. Heading to Tampa for a few days as well, so I will keep you up-to-date. Stay tuned.