Sorry for the lack of posting, but I'm savoring the end of the year and getting ready for a brand new 2011. Are you having having fun? Taking naps? Getting ready for some really special resolutions? Me too.
Well, the days have been busy. Yesterday, despite my best efforts at maintaining a peaceful vibe, I had a small meltdown. While wrapping gifts, I discovered a small bag of merchandise to be totally missing. I searched high and low. No, it had obviously been left behind at the store. I called the store and they said to come with my receipt. I was SO mad, mostly at myself. It's my own responsibility to leave the store with all the bags. But when I got there, the bag had been set aside, waiting for me. Phew. BIG sigh of relief. Refinding the items would have been quite the hassle.
Grandboy's big gift is of the electronic variety and I've read in some of the reviews that we need to open it up and get it all started up so that he can play with it on Christmas. Something about using the computer and blabbity blab blab. I've assigned this chore to Hub, but you know that doesn't mean I've let go of it. Some reviewers said it's easy as pie, others have said it's quite difficult. Reading product reviews is a double edged sword! At least we know to get started on it.
I wish you all peace. I wish for a beautiful new year for our world. As tough as these times are, life is good.
I did a little more fluffing on the mantel this weekend. I like to add or tweak as the days go by and I have the time, come across an idea or stumble across a forgotten ornament or a sale in a chic little boutique (okay, in Harris Teeter, ornaments were 75% off!). If I can, I'll post an udated picture this week.
In the meantime, I wanted to show you some pictures I saw on another blog that I enjoy reading--Habitually Chic. Here's a mantel that is gorgeous, BUT it looks like a fire hazard for those of us who actually use our fireplaces. Yes, there's a roaring fire in the photo, but I just can't imagine... Anyway, pretty picture, great mantel. I'm a sucker for pine cones.
Here's another one, realistically more to my liking
I'm going to try to remember this one for next year. Not a big fan of that wreath hanging on the wall, but I like the clean, quiet vibe so much. Will keep my eyes peeled on my shopping adventures for a long, narrow container for the center, and maybe can put something taller in it. Then I wouldn't need the wreath.
I liked this idea also:
Again, clean lines, simple. Looks kind of beachy to me.
Here's one more. I've put candles in old champagne glasses many times, but this is a new twist for me--a little greenery in silver chalices. Just wanted to use the word "chalices," thanks for letting me.
Have a great week. Light candles, make cookies, play with a child (or a childish adult). Breathe.
Yesterday I pulled out the pre-decorated garland that I bought several years ago--an excellent investment because it makes the mantel a fast and easy project. Plop down the garland, rotate the artwork, give Mr. Moose and Mr. Deer their rightful place, add the sparkly trees that look like something Tim Burton designed and I'm good to go. I like imperfection, that's why those sparkly trees are still around. They're shabby chic in the truest sense of the word. Our family room mantel now looks special, but still clean and simple. Stephanie Fracasso did the still life oil painting. It's lovely.
Do you need gift ideas for those people who have everything? How about lovely hostess gifts? Would you like an idea that both men and women will like? Here it is--handmade soap. Once you try it, you will completely understand. It's a great way to start the day in the shower, or a lovely way to end it in the tub. It's aromantherapy and getting clean, all in one. And I think real soap is good for you, as opposed to those bars of detergents that the store calls soap. We have super sensitive skin in this house, and we're all happy when we use handmade soap from Hello Crafty.
Hello Crafty Handmade Soap is gift worthy, wonderful soap that comes in all kinds of amazing scent combinations. The beautiful Bonnie King of Durham, NC, whips these up herself and the girl knows what she's doing. The blue one, above, is called "Ocean." Isn't it pretty? It "brings the scent of an ocean breeze" into your shower (that's what she says and I believe her). It's a salt bar, meaning that it's made with lots of salt that gives it a hardness that makes it last a long time. But they're still make a creamy lather. My favorite salt bar has blood orange, lemongrass, grapefruit and bergamot essential oils in it. The smell is amazing. Hub has even told me how much he likes to use it in the shower! He has never mentioned soap in the 30 years that we've been married until I brought that one home!
This one is the lavendar citrus cold process bar. Go to her Etsy shop and read about all the different kinds of soap. Very reasonably priced--about $7 per big bar, very decadent stuff. She packages it nicely, so you'll be good to go. Oprah would make this a Favorite Thing. Martha would call it a Very Good Thing. Even better, DeCocco Design calls it the Find of the Week!