Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year Everyone!!

I would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year! This has been some year!! 2009 had certainly brought John and I some challenges but we have over come them. Here are some major things that happened during 2009 in our lives:

1. We moved.
2. We found out we are going to be Grandparents.

I am looking forward to 2010 and I just feel it will be a wonderful year for our family! I hope it is for you and yours too!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My first time at IKEA

Last night after work I met Jenny at IKEA here in Charlotte. I have never been to an IKEA store and I was pretty impressed with some of the things they had. I got a great buy on a queen-size duvet cover for the master bedroom and it was only $14.99. It was originally $29.99, which is a great price before the sale. I picked up 2 containers to store pasta, a rattle for the impending grandbaby in August, a candle and 4 rolls of wrapping paper. I could have bought some more things but that was as far as the $$ would go that visit! Jenny and I ate our dinner there too. I had the swedish meatball dinner, which was really yummy! I love the Lingonberry sauce they serve with it too! I didn't realized you could buy Swedish food there too! What an awful lot of things under one roof! I will definitely be going back when I need some more things. It was also a great way to spend time with Jenny!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Some Christmas Pictures

This is John and I by our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.

Megan and Ken by our fireplace on Christmas Eve. My son-in-law didn't feel well so he doesn't look his best.

This is Jenny and Kevin on Christmas morning right after they told us we are going to be grandparents in August!

We always have orange danish Christmas morning and Megan continued the tradition this year at her house!

Megan and Ken's Christmas tree.

This is a portion of the beautiful gift my son-in-law, Kevin made for Jenny. The butterflies are made of maps. The maps are places of meaning to Jenny. Examples: Where she was born, where she has lived, where they were married, where they live, London and Paris because she had traveled there. It was an amazing gift! Kevin did an excellent job!

This angel has been in our family for about 20 yrs. I bought her from a decorative painting artist that lived in the next county over from where we lived. She did a beautiful job. She is hung up every year.

I have 2 Trish Romance prints that John has given me for Christmas years ago. This one is called "Star of Wonder". I love her paintings! She lives in Niagra on the Lake. I just thought I would show you it. I also was trying out my new camera that John gave me!!

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! I know our family did! We have had a tough year but Christmas seemed to wash away all the "bad" part of 2009 and we are looking forward to a wonderful 2010!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I've got wonderful news!!

Yesterday we had a wonderful Christmas with Megan, Ken, Jenny and Kevin. The very first gift was from Jenny and Kevin. They gave us a box and the tag said it was for John and I Love, Kevin and Jenny. We opened it up and there were baby dishes (sippy cup, little baby spoon, bib) and the note inside said you will need this when you babysit! They are expecting in August!! We were so excited and happy! Jenny had experienced a miscarriage early this year and so this news was just wonderful for our family!! We love you Jenny and Kevin!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I hope all my blog friends have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! This has been a long year and I'm looking forward to having a really great 2010!

Love y'all!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Christmas Meme

I don't usually do Meme's but I thought it might be fun to do one for Christmas! I got this one for Karen's blog, which is Thanks Karen!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Definitely hot chocolate. I detest Egg Nog!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Every gift is wrapped, but if it is too large I put it in a gift bag instead of wrapping it.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? We always use the little white lights for decorating and the tree.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yes, I always put up a mistletoe kissing ball.

5. When do you put your decorations up? The village goes up the weekend after Thanksgiving, the rest throughout December.

6. What is your favorite Christmas dish? I love Cream Cheese Cookies. It is a recipe my Mom used all the time when I was growing up!

7. Favorite Christmas memory as a child? I remember waking up and creeping downstairs with my younger sisters in tow and opening all our presents up before my parents got down to watch us! It probably isn't a fav of my Mom's but it is mine! We had so much fun!! I think I was 9, my sister Sue would have been 6 and Sandy would have been 3!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Unfortunately, a neighbors daughter that lived 2 houses down from us told me when I was in kindergarten :(! She was really mean about it too-she showed me where my Mom had hidden the presents.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We open 1 gift after Church around midnight or 12:30. That has been a tradition in my family as long as I can remember.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? We have ornaments on the tree that were my grandparents and John's parents. We also have ornaments that John and I have collected for the 30 yrs. we have been married. We put tiny white lights on the tree too and tinsel one strand at a time! The tree topper is an stained glass angel I made about 26 yrs. ago!

11. Snow! Love it or dread it. I love it! We don't get much snow here where we live now, but we used to in northwestern NJ where we used to live. I don't like a whole winter of it though.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? For our first Christmas John gave me a black onyx ring, which I still wear today. One year he also gave me a diamond necklace he designed himself and had a jeweler make for him. The diamond was his grandmothers!

14. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you? I love that our family is together and that we are all celebrating the birth of Christ. I love the Christmas cards I receive from people I don't hear from very much throughout the year.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Cheesecake!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? It used to be cutting our own Christmas tree on a local farm, but we don't do that anymore. Probably setting up my nativity scene right after Thanksgiving. I also love putting up my Dickens Village.

17. What tops your tree? A stained glass angel I made for us about 26 yrs. ago.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving-I love to see the look on the recipients face when they receive something they were not expecting!!

19. Candy Canes? I really like candy canes. I love the red and white colors swirling together. I also love the peppermint flavor.

20. Favorite Christmas Show? I love The Bishops Wife-an old black and white movie. I love The Holiday as a more recent movie.

21. Saddest Christmas Song? The Christmas Shoes. What a tearjerker!!

22. What is your favorite Christmas Song? All of Nat King Cole's Christmas songs and Josh Grobin's too!

Megan, Jenny and I baked cookies last night!

It was cookie central at our house last night! Megan and Jenny came over for some cookie baking. We had a really nice time! We made 3 different kinds of cookies (that was all we had time for). First up was Megan's Craisin cookies! They are so good with the craisins, white chocolate chips and oats in them. We made a double batch so there would be enough for all 3 of our families. Next up was my cream cheese cookie recipe! I love these cookies! I used to make them with my Nana and then my Mom. I always made these with the girls when they were little too. Jenny was up next with a sugar cookie recipe of Rachel Ray's. She had gotten these woodland animal cookie cutters at IKEA (squirrel, moose, porcupine, etc.) so we made those. They didn't quite turn out the way she wanted but they were all right. Live and learn!

Here are a few pictures of the craisin cookies and cream cheese cookies:

I also thought I would show you this cute snowman cookie plate I've had since 2001. I love this!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Whirlwind Christmas Shopping with Jenny!

Yesterday Jenny and I went Christmas Shopping and we had lunch. It was a wonderful day spent with my youngest daughter! Jenny works 2 jobs so I don't get to see her very often and yesterday was our day!! We started out at our favorite bead store called On a String. Cute name I think! We bought some beads, of course and then proceeded with our shoppng. Next stop was a Comic Book store. My son-in-law, Kevin (Jenny's husband) is a graphic artist and collects book sets of comic books (only certain ones). I bought him book 3 of the set he is collecting. On to Marshall's/Home Goods. Found lots of things for Megan (my oldest daughter). Then we proceeded to Old Navy and I bought a sweater and fleece for myself with my Christmas Bonus! Then on to Brixx Pizza for lunch. Girls have to eat after so much shopping! We walked passed Coldwater Creek so of course, I had to stop in. I bought 2 tops (on sale) for myself with my Christmas Bonus $! Then on to Ulta. I bought Jenny a few things she picked out for her stocking and then I bought an Ulta Gift Card for her and she thinks it's for someone else! Jenny then had to go home so we headed on back to our place. We brought everything in the house, chatted for a minute and she was off! John was working so I decided I needed to finish shopping so I drove to Wal-Mart and bought the wonderful Singer sewing machine Jenny has always wanted. What a great sale on the Simple Singer! I bought some sewing notions for her too (straight pins, bobbins, scissors, etc.). I was also able to buy John a new pair of jeans for another Christmas present for him (on sale also). Then I headed over to Burlington Coat Factory and I bought my other son-in-law, Ken a wonderful leather coat. The coat was originally $298 marked down to $99.99!!! He has been fixing our computer (ridding it of virus', added things, upgrading, etc.) and we wanted to do something nice for him. His leather coat he has now is old, the zipper is broken and he needed a new one. I'm really excited I could do this for him this year! Thank goodness for the Christmas Bonus!!

Well that was my day! I ended it with reading my book and I was almost asleep when John came in! Whew! Funny thing he asked what I did with myself all day! I told him, "If you only knew!".

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Here are a few of our ornaments!

Here are a few of our beloved ornaments! I will share more on Saturday!

This is Vera the Mouse! I love this ornament. The girls picked her out when they were about 12 and 10. She's a cutie!

There was a craft village not too far from our house. There was a man that made ornaments on his lathe and this is one of them! What craftsmanship!

This pinecone ornament is one of 3 I got from my grandparents collection. They gave John and I all their ornaments when we first got married and we have treasured them for 30 yrs.!

The handmade ornament was a gift from a friend when we lived in NJ. It is from the Victorian era. We had a Victorian house at the time but it will always be on our tree even if we don't have a victorian-it is just so pretty!

This beautiful red heart was a purchase I made a few years ago. I love the deep red color!

Well that will give you a little taste of what is to come! Sorry I don't have time for more it is just such a busy time of year. I'll post more on Saturday when I have more time. Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Teddy in his Santa Hat

I had promised I would post some of our favorite and beloved Christmas ornaments, but instead I took a picture of Teddy, our Golden Retriever with his Santa Hat on! He looks oh so thrilled!

Hopefully tomorrow night I'll get the ornaments pictures on here. Everyone have a lovely evening!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The tree is all decorated!

Last night John and I took the large undertaking of trimming our tree. We had already put it up last weekend and John put the little white lights on but we had to decorate it yet. We have so many ornaments that mean alot of things to us. Some are from John's parents (who have both passed away) and some are from my grandparents (who have also passed away). Some of the ornaments are ones we have collected over the 30 yrs. we have been married. Some were gifts from very dear friends of ours. It always takes us so long to decorate because we reminise over each and every ornament. This is a good thing though! After all the ornaments get placed just so then we put on the handblown glass icicles we have collected over the years. Then comes the tinsel or "rain" as we used to call it growing up. John passes on doing that part because I put 1 strand on at a time and he doesn't have the patience for that. Towards the end of our tree trimming extravaganza It's A Wonderful Life came on TV so we watched that, drank our tea and relaxed for a bit. What a wonderful night!

Here are some pictures of the tree before and after. Tomorrow night I will post some of our special ornaments!

This is the tree before all the ornaments

PRESTO! Here is the tree with all the ornaments!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Evergreens in Snow

Whether you live in the North, South, East or West seeing evergreen trees with snow is just beautiful! That is about one of the only things I can say I truly miss about living in the South. Oh we do have the occasional dusting of snow or a few hours of ice, but up North you have the whole winter to look at these majestic trees. I know some of you are thinking, "oh yeah she doesn't have to deal with the snow, sleet, extreme cold, gray,dirty snow, etc., etc". Well for someone who lived in northwestern NJ for 35 yrs. and saw these beautiful snow-laden trees I really do miss them! I went on line and found a few pictures which I'm going to share with you. I have made one of them my desktop background just so I can have my own little window looking at these beautiful trees. So take a few moments when you see one of these trees dusted with snow to enjoy the beauty and don't take it for granted! Enjoy your day everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I've been making jewelry like it is my job!

Hi Everyone! I actually had a free minute at work to post this. Yes, I know it is hard to believe but it is true! I haven't been on here as much because all my free time at night has been going to making jewelry. I really wish I could make this my career. I've been making necklaces, bracelets, rings, keychains, earrings and cell phone dangles. I just got 2 special orders at work and sold 3 prs. of earrings! I took a few dollars from my jewelry orders and put the $$ away and I bought my hubby something special for Christmas. I will continue to put things on my etsy site after the holidays too. If any of you aren't familiar with my etsy site here is the link: When you get to that page you click on my username next to the bracelet and it will bring you to the page with everything I have for sale. Thanks to everyone who has ordered from me! There will be some new things coming this weekend-still time to order for the holidays! Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Work has been so busy and now I know why!

I have been swamped at work, I mean really drowning for the last 2-3 weeks. Today I finally found out why--alot of the guys I work with will be taking vacation before and after Christmas! They didn't tell me until today. They said they thought I would just figure it out-really I'm suppose to read 8 men's minds! I'm trying to closeout 5 fairly large jobs, type subcontracts, change orders, red line drawings, keep up with some maintenance things in the office(coffee supplies, heating issues, ordering flowers for sick clients, just to name a few), take care of 8 projects issues, etc. and I'm suppose to also know what they are planning in their little brains!! Truly they are kidding!! Oh well now I feel better venting a bit to everyone here! It doesn't make all the mountains on my desk go down but I feel a little better. The only lovely thought is all those men-free days at the office while they are vacation-aaaahhhhhh! Thanks for letting me vent everyone :)!

Monday, December 7, 2009

It was cold here over the weekend!

I know some of you have much colder weather than us but the weather here this weekend was really cold for Charlotte this time of year. The temp reading yesterday morning was 32 and the high for the day was 39! Our votive candle holder in the yard had ice in it and so did the birdbath! The roof on the garage was so sparkly with frost. Here are a few pictures of that:

Everyone stay warm and snuggle up with a good book and tea or coffee!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow Angel

Last night I was watching the news before I went to bed and the weather came on. The mountains of NC are expecting quite a bit of snow this weekend. The Piedmont region (I live in Charlotte, NC) may get a few flurries too! Then they showed all the pics from Houston, TX and New Orleans, where they hardly ever get snow this time of year or at all! All these pictures of snow reminded me of myself and my 2 sisters when we were little making "snow angels". Then my two girls following in our footsteps without any coaching making "snow angels" too! I found this picture on line and I thought I would share it with you! Isn't is just gorgeous! What lovely memories that picture brought back for me. How simple it is to create and such beauty afterwards. Enjoy your Saturday!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rockefeller Christmas Tree

Last night the Rockefeller Christmas tree was lit! What a gorgeous tree. This year I missed going into NYC to see the tree. A few years ago my sisters and I took my Dad into the City to see the tree and the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. He doesn't even like the City but that year he was having a bad bout with his Lupus and insisted he go into the City for the tree and the Rockettes! We had a really great time all together. We took him to Ted Turner's Restaurant not very far from there and had a lovely meal. We saw the Rockettes, the tree and then went into St. Patrick's Cathedral. What a wonderful visit to the City that was! What a really fond memory!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Recipe Club interview with the authors

What a very awesome bookclub last night! We were able to talk to the 2 authors through Skype and what fun we had. There was some lukewarm feelings about The Recipe Club. I enjoyed it but did agree the 2 characters in the book got a little tiring. The authors did say there will be a continuation book, it will pick up where this book left off. The authors told us they had this book printed in a specific way. The book when opened lays flat just like a cookbook would do because they had a special binding made to make the book do that. The cover of the book is cloth with gold embossed lettering (this is under the dustjacket). The weight of the book, the feel of the cover and the picture on the cover was all done in special ways to their specifications. They are not sisters and they really enjoy writing together. It made us all appreciate the book more having talked to them! They were really funny! They also said that Recipe Clubs have sprung up all over and some are more like therapy sessions. Some people tell each other about recipes that mean certain things to them and they shed happy or sad tears telling the other people about it! Very interesting! They also encouraged anyone who had a recipe or thoughts about the book to e-mail them, which their contact information is on the dust jacket of the book on the back inside flap. We are probably going to the new Ritz Carlton for our bookclub this month and have a high tea! We are all excited about that!! Our bookclub is so much fun, we do alot of things outside of reading a monthly book.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Decorating all around the House!

Yesterday I spent most of the day decorating for Christmas. I had alot of fun doing it! Since we are in a smaller home I thought I would have alot of challenges but I really didn't! I'll take you on a tour of what I have done so far!

Here is our front door wreath-welcome everyone!

Here is our bannister right as you come in the door. I love garlands and lots of little white lights. John realized half the little lights weren't working so today when we were out he got some replacements. He'll do that during the week. Thanks sweetie!

That now brings us to the little cupboard in the entry hall. I have been collecting a few Santas as you can see! Some are handcarved by a man in NJ. I used to buy them from him when we lived there.

Once inside our front door if you go to the right you would be in our Dining Room. Here is the Dining Room all decorated for the holidays!

Here is a closeup of the Dining Room table arrangement.

This little Waterford crystal angel is part of a set. John and I went to Ireland 5 yrs. ago to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and we brought her and her sister back with us! Every Christmas we put them on the Dining Room table.

When we lived in our Victorian house in NJ I started John on a collection of Dept. 56 New England Village pieces. He loves New England and he went to college there so it was a nice reminder for him. This year I set the New England Village up in our Dining Room.

There are so many pieces to the New England Village I had to continue it on another antique table we have in the Dining Room.

A few years ago John gave me this Willow Tree Nativity. I have other Willow Tree angels too in another room. I have to find the box that has my childhood bible in it. I received my Bible in Sunday School when I was in 3rd Grade and every year I put it with the nativity. I also place a white dove in the greens. That was a tradition my grandmother did every year and I have continued this tradition.

I have collected Dept. 56 Dickens Village pieces for probably for 21 years! I have stopped buying pieces but I put it out every year. I just love it!

I have quite a few Byers Carolers. I put Santa with his Reindeer on the breakfast bar ledge that divides the kitchen cooking area from the breakfast room eating area.
The following pictures are the rest of the Byers Carolers I have, which this year I put on the ledges that divide the kitchen and eating area from the living room.

Here is my 1st stocking! My grandfather bought it for me 50 years ago in Newark, NJ! I treasure this so much.

My grandfather also bought me this ceramic Santa the year I was born. I put this and my first stocking out every year! My grandfather loved Christmas!

This is a special decorative painting plate I bought from a woman named Jane Guthrie. She lived in NJ not far from my house and I went to her studio with a friend (who has now passed away). I had such a good time that day with my friend, it was a wonderful memory for me. I put the plate out every year as a reminder of my friend.

When the girls were little I decided I need a night out to myself. I found out from a friend this woman was giving decorative painting classes in her home. She had a little boy that was very ill and needed the extra money. I signed up for the class and did quite a few pieces which I gave as presents that year for Christmas. I decided to paint on this old sled I bought at a local auction. I haven't been able to paint anything that well again. I had alot of fun, but that year was a special year for me because the lady teaching the class told us on our last class before Christmas that her sons leukemia had gone into remission and it was because of all the prayers all of us had said for him! Miracles do happen!

Here is a closeup of Santa on the sled I painted! I just love the flow of his beard! Wish I could paint like that again!!

This cute little "Peace" pillow says it all! Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards men.