What Are You Doing New Years, New Years Eve?

We are going to be all cozy here at home. I have never, in my entire life, desired to be at a party on New Years Eve. Ever. I am much more content to be at home when it comes to this night. That's how I roll.

We'll do some reflecting on this past year and welcome 2010 in with open arms. This year has had its personal ups and downs, that is certain...but I always believe there have been far more Blessings than anything else at the end of the day. I hope the same for you.

And now, I need to go plan something spectacular for our supper and munchies. Not a clue as to what, but I am SURE it will be fabulous!

How about you? Are you a Party Person or Homebody on New Years?


Christmas De-Cluttering


You have seen parts of my house. I know most of you have the same sort of issues of your own homes looking like it is Santa's personal workshop.

The days between Christmas and New Years are when I start to take a good hard look at the Holiday decor 'stuff'.

Double Yikes.

I am no expert...I am pretty good at acquiring and decluttering, but I am not a professional. Nonetheless, I am going to tell you what I have been doing the last couple years to weed out what we simply don't need anymore. I will never be a minimalist in my Christmas decorating, but I do want to be surrounded by things we absolutely love. Not just items that are filling space. Here we go.

1--Do a quick walk through the entire house and see if there is anything shouting at you to donate it. If it shouts, pick it up and put it in the donate pile. I don't care if it was a gift you just received this year from someone you greatly admire. If you don't love it, let it go.

2--Bring your decoration boxes out to pack things away and get out your big garbage bags. You will need 2 to 6 depending on how much you need to clear out. I always start with 2.

3--One bag is going to be for donations and the other bag is going to be for clearing out garbage or paperwork or such that doesn't get donated. It is always hiding somewhere. Recycle any old magazines you come across.

4--If you declutter regularly, this isn't going to be too painful. You know you can tackle much in one good sweep. If you don't declutter regularly, let's just focus on clearing out CHRISTMAS ITEMS YOU DO NOT LOVE. Stay focused. CHRISTMAS ONLY.

5--Pick up each item and see what it says to you. If it bats it's eyelashes and coos to you in a loving manner and you cannot even imagine celebrating another Christmas without it, obviously, it is to be kept forever in your possession. Pack that away carefully in one of your Rubbermaids or boxes designated specifically for Christmas Decorations.

6--If you pick up any item that won't make eye contact or seems to say "Meh" at you, immediately put it in one of the bags to donate. Do it fast. If you hear it trying to purr a little, ignore it. Continue on.

7--Do this through the room you have decorated and as you dismantle the tree. It doesn't take all that much longer that normally putting decorations away.

8--When you are done: Put the Christmas Boxes away, throw the garbage bags away, stick the old magazines in the recycling bin and put the donation bags in the back of your car and take to Goodwill or where ever you do your drop to donate. You are going to love the feeling you get once it is all 'put away', so do it immediately. Trust me on this.

So my question for you is: When do you put your decorations away? Is it the day after Christmas? New Years? 6th day of January?

We are going to start within the next day or two.


Meant-To-Be Thrift (Nativity Scene)

One of our nativity scenes was just 'making do' for the past couple years...

Look Closer...

I had thrifted this nativity, but it came with 2 Josephs and 2 Wisemen...so the extra Joseph 'stood in'...

Until I found THIS at the thrift store early last week!!

And now all is as it should be:

I love these tiny little Nativity scenes. That Bud can touch them and play with them and I don't need to worry a bit about anything breaking. I love seeing him in the corner quietly reenacting the night Jesus was born and how the figures get set up differently each time. And I love that the third wiseman finally found his way home.


Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful

I hope you had a VERY Merry Christmas! We have been busy with Christmas and Blizzard preparations over the past five days or so and now are resurfacing after all the festivities.

We have been blessed with the best next-door neighbors on both sides of us...one provides warm Cinnamon buns and the other provides an endless supply of this:

That keeps this roaring for 5 straight days:

So we are warm enough when we come inside from playing around in all of this:


The Gift Of Thrift--The Elegant Thrifter

Stan Williams is back home in Missouri for the holiday and is showing the locals how to thrift! CLICK HERE to see his segment on local TV...


Christmas Thrift Karma Tips

If you are looking around at Thrift Stores for Christmas goodies and coming up empty every single time, I have some thrift karma tips for you to try out:

1--Take a large bag and large box of donations to Goodwill

2--Smile and say "Good Morning Sunshine!" to the lovely girl who is helping you unload the donations

3--Make lovely girl tear up because no one has said "Good Morning Sunshine!" to her since her Grandma passed away when she was 8 years old.

4--Get teared up yourself because, wow, who knew?! What made me say that to her?

5--Decide to do a quick run through of Goodwill because even though we are now days away from Christmas, maybe somebody made a last minute donation of some cool vintage stuff

6--Do not under any circumstances get a cart...you must make this first run through without a cart.

7--When you have made the walk down one aisle and your arms are already full and you can see more stuff that you want, then and only then do you turn around and go back and get a cart.

8--Then see a Girlfriend you haven't seen in MONTHS at the checkout (so pause for several minutes to play catch up and make plans for a play date with her and the kids next week)

9--Walk up and down every aisle.

10--Pay the nice lady at the check out $13 and bring home this:

Now you have a ton of vintage ornaments to make those wreathes with! And inside one of those bags?? You will find these:

WooooooHOOOOOOOO! Let me know if it works for you.


Frosty Necklace

Isn't it awesome what you can poke a hole through and wear as a necklace? We receieved a delightful gift of Frosty Cherry-Limeade soda pop and I just couldn't throw out the bottle caps, they were too cute! So pounded a hole into one of them and am wearing it with much pride this Christmas.

I might be all hopped up on sugar, but wouldn't this make a fun gift??

It's Like Christmas Came Early!

A few weeks ago, I was the rawther excited winner of a giveaway hosted by Linda of AlaCarte...she was giving away the cutest set of Santa coasters that came in a little sleigh-holder. I thought it would be perfect for our kids' table at Christmas this year and that the children would get such a kick out of them.

So imagine my surprise when a box arrived yesterday and not only were these coasters in it:

But a little Owl ornament from Sleeping Beauty:

And beaded napkin rings:


With a Made In Japan stamp on it!

I immediately sent her an email that was pretty much shouting my excitement to her:
What an awesome package to open...I am feeling seriously spoiled!


Santa Mug

I found this adorable old Santa mug at Memory Lane in my friend Deb's booth and couldn't get it purchased quickly enough...This is going to make my morning coffee fix so cheerful! I also found an awesome old elf dish cloth that I will hopefully get around to showing you soon and all of Deb's vintage Christmas ball decorations she had (as well as every single box and bag that was for sale in Memory Lane!)


Christmas Tree Ornaments

I thought you would get a kick out of seeing some of my favorite ornaments from the tree...We are all over the place with our tree decorations. It will never be matchy-matchy but is filled with our family memories.

Old Snowman (no good story here other than we like him!)

Sister 2 always gets me the latest Starbucks and Caribou ornies...

Lu's plaster hand print

Cardinal in memory of my Dad...

Flashback to the 70's...

Scrooge's Watch!

Bud's Initial that I glittered

An ornament that was always on my Mom and Dad's tree...

A glass ball ornament from my Great Aunt whom I was named after...

We always stick this old Santa and Reindeer inside the tree

Tons of handmade kids ornaments--This one came from Bud this year and his teacher's and I were joking (away from Bud's ears) that perhaps Rudolph had a little too much eggnog as his eyes were a bit red!

I love watching the kids putting on the ornaments and seeing what they remember from year to year.


Oh Christmas Tree!

One of my favorite times of day is at 4:30 when it is starting to get dark outside and we turn on the Christmas tree in the front window so it is glowing to greet Hubby has he comes home from work.