decorating with dodi

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Sunday, December 29, 2013


As I have said so many times before, we know how to milk a holiday in this house! We started our Christmas fun on Dec. 23 and just ended it yesterday - although our decorations will be up for a bit longer just because I love them!

The day before Christmas eve, Hudson came over to spend some time with me. He decided that he would like to make Christmas ornaments for everyone, so, being the dinosaur that I am and having crafts supplies left over from forever, we dug around and came up with just the right number of wooden snowflakes. He decided on the paint and glitter colors all on his own and came up with a different design for each one he did! He was so proud of himself when he presented these to each family on Christmas day! Then, he "helped" me start some of my Christmas cooking and gift wrapping. It was fun to have a little helper once again.

We headed to Gainesville Christmas eve where we continued many traditions like throwing out reindeer food, putting out milk and cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer, playing games, tucking in our elves, etc. And then, the girls started a new tradition this year. They made each of us a gingerbread cookie "self portrait" and made us guess who was whom (?). Wonder why everyone knew exactly which one was supposed to be me?!

The girls opened up family, stocking and Santa gifts the next morning. And then after breakfast and the traditional "paper burst", we all headed down to our house.

We had a wonderful, family-filled day and then were surprised to find that almost everyone was staying a few more days.

On Thursday, we headed to Jennie's for a brunch and gab fest kind of day. My brother and sister-in-law joined us after their trip to N.C..

Then, on Friday we had a lazy day and movies.

Saturday found everyone heading home so we decided to go down to Mt. Dora and have lunch in one of our favorite places, the Windsor Rose Tea Room. Then, we always enjoy walking around the town. We love this place any time of year, but it is especially magical at Christmas time. Full of so many cute little shops all decorated for the season and all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday.

I am going to use the next few days to catch up on so many little things I have let slide and then will be thinking of the new year. I am not one for resolutions, but I am hoping that 2014 will be the year that I can actually tackle some of the organizing and de-cluttering and re-decorating that I have only seemed able to do in my mind of late. So many ideas, so little time. Maybe this year will be the charm!! Stay tuned for the ride!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's Tradition!

This past weekend we shared one of our favorite traditions -taking our grand daughters to the Nutcracker. Every year it gets a little trickier as their schedules get more and more demanding, but like our family Halloween party, it is something we try hard to "make work". And this year, we had all 5 gran daughters for the first time. Presley is now 4 and has been taking dance herself for over a year, so we knew she was ready. And, the magic of the Nutcracker is just where to begin.

Last year we took her to the Nutcracker Tea Party where she got a taste of the story and actually met the characters. The other day she was telling me the whole story and I was so impressed that she could have gotten all of that from something that happened a year ago. When I questioned her, she reminded me that she has the Barbie Nutcracker on DVD. Guess those things really are more educational than I realized - and also that the kids really pick up and retain what they see - making it even more important to monitor what they are watching - but, I digress.

So off we went...

After the Nutcracker, we always head downtown to have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. We always wait for a booth at the window and then we have appetizers, entrees and desserts - assuring that it will be dark and all of the lights on the square will be on by the time we are done. Presley would not stop eating bread long enough for a smile, so this picture is what it is!

Can you tell by that look on hubby's face that he loves nothing more than when one of the girls snuggles up to him!?

A quick hug from Rudolph and we are off on our traditional carriage ride!

One of our favorite things to do. The ride takes us through the streets of downtown and the lights are special but the sounds of laughter and the families out and about are even more special!

After the carriage ride, we have different options but this year, there was a great band playing in the gazebo so the girls wanted to dance. It is truly magical to see them ALL get out there and dance their hearts out - the innocence of youth. And, before you know it, there is a bunch of kids out there all dancing together and having the times of there lives - it truly is magical!

After the dancing, we walked a block away to the beautiful tree where we met Santa and Mrs. Claus. Presley got to talk to them a bit and then we were headed home to get into our cozy PJs and snuggle up to watch Home Alone. There was still more to do downtown like a Christmas concert and ice skating but that will be for another time. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Be My Guest!

So "re-entry" was a bit harder than I anticipated! I am having trouble getting back into routine, I have been out running errands and we have been eating out almost every night. We are using the excuse that we need to go to all of our favorite restaurants to eat so we can buy the gift cards and receive the bonus gift card that they are all offering. Of course we know that we can go and buy the cards without having to stay and eat but I think we have convinced ourselves that there are no calories in good food this time of the year so....

In any case, our 5 grand daughters will all be here for the weekend to "do" our traditional Nutcracker weekend and I am not ready! I just started wrapping and cleaning is taking a way back seat! And, that would be fine except that I am planning on doing almost all of the cooking for our Christmas dinner on Monday so we can head off on Christmas eve and return on Christmas afternoon with the whole gang and ready to roll! But, I really am not stressing because somehow or other, this seems to happen every year and somehow or other, I get it done every year. If I have a chance to have an experience with our children or grand children or hubby, I am going to choose that over chores any day. And I have had lots of those experiences this year so I am happy!

In any case, I have guest bath pictures to share today so let's get going.

I just picked up this Christmas shower curtain at Kohls. I have never really thought about one before even though I have a Halloween shower curtain that I love. But, I happened to be walking by when I saw this and it was on sale for something like 70% off and then I had another 30% coupon so they "almost paid me to buy it". It would not be my first choice but I couldn't pass up that price!

I bought the holly hooks at the same time.

There are still a few little areas I haven't shared yet this year - mostly because they are never clutter free enough to photograph. I am hoping that by Christmas eve morning, I will get that chance but you never know around here. Stay tuned to see.