What makes a Happy Home? I love to take care of my family. For me, creating a home that is warm and inviting, where everyone feels welcome is pure joy! The smell of fresh laundry just in off the clothesline, a neat and tidy home and garden, a good home cooked meal, a few desserts here and there, the love of family, friends and fellowship all help to make our home a Happy Home. Join me as we celebrate the holidays, the birthdays and the every days!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Well it's week two of our countdown to Christmas. Is anyone following along? The postage stamps that I ordered last Sunday came by Wednesday. It's soo easy and convenient to order them on line - a real time saver. As I mentioned yesterday, we painted the foundation (well at least most of it). We're going to finish it in the spring before everything begins to bloom and there are less plants to fight with. The part that everyone sees is done which is the part that I care about anyway:) We painted it a taupe color - it had been white, but I wanted a more muted color.
One important thing on our checklist this week is to check/change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors next Sunday (it's also the day to fall back). Did anyone buy their Christmas cards yet? Our Target has them hidden in a back isle behind the Halloween decor. They have a great selection, although I'm well on my way to making ours. If you did buy them, then this week you should divide your addresses into 5 groups and sign and address one group. If your like me, you write a quick note to catch-up with those far away (I don't write one generic note to send, I write individual notes in the cards), this takes extra time and it's easier if you do it in batches.
Do you have a holiday budget? We save money weekly with a Christmas Club. It's nice to get that check each October and know that we have the cash to use. If you don't have a club, this is the time to set one up for next year.
I've been doing a lot of fall cleaning in preparation for my Christmas decorating. If you've been a follower of mine, you know that the entire house gets decked out for Christmas. I start decorating the day after Thanksgiving, it's also the day we cut our tree down (I'll tell you more about that later).
If you're like any of us, we all like to look great during the holidays. Now is the time to schedule a haircut, color, etc. You know how fast the appointments fill up after Thanksgiving. I'll be calling Lisa my hairdresser this week to schedule an appointment, I'm due for a cut and highlight.
I've been making double batches on a lot of meals - some to freeze for our fly-boy and some for grabbing after a long day of working or shopping. It'll give me more time for baking and gift making.
I keep a running list of people to buy for and buy gifts all year long if I see something on sale, or if it's perfect for a special someone. But, now the hunt is on... I'll start looking at catalogs and websites for great on-line deals. I love to shop this way! Then in the coming weeks I start to shop the stores. My goal is to be finished gift buying by Black Friday. It's a goal, so who knows?
For more tips on having an Organized Christmas, be sure to stop over at Organized Christmas.
Hope you enjoyed some of last years decorations around The Old Parsonage. Thanks for visiting and Happy Halloween!
Friday, October 29, 2010
That's right, Beverly said that we could share a little bit of fall with y'all on this special Pink Saturday.
I hope that everyone had a fantastic week. I'm just glad that the weekend is finally here!!! I'm trying to catch-up on all the laundry tonight, so that I won't have to do any clothes this weekend. I'd like to finish up washing the upstairs windows and curtains tomorrow (at least that's my plan).
We're also going to try and get a final coat of paint on the foundation (I primed it last weekend) at some point this weekend. Does anyone have the Martha Stewart Holidays DVD's? I love them! I'm actually watching the Thanksgiving one right now, it's great. A lot of clips from the early years where she seemed more accessible.
Is everyone ready for the trick-or-treaters? I'm not sure if we'll get any this year. Last year I think that we got maybe 4 kids. Most of our neighborhood kids seem to have outgrown the tradition. I bought 2 bags of candy - Kit Katss and Reese's Cups, neither one are a huge favorite of mine, which will help if we have leftovers:)
I thought I pop in a photo of a peat pot that I covered with some scrapbook paper, then antiqued and filled with some shredded pages from an old book. I love how it turned out.
We didn't have Pumpkin Palooza this year. With both the boys living away and my darling nieces only having every other weekend with their Dad, time just crept up on us too fast. I promised them (the girls) that we'll do something fun next month. Maybe a craft day, just
Wishing you all a safe Halloween weekend!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
is one of the best kinds of love. They are there for you through thin and thick (just wish it wasn't me who was getting thick). Loyal...uplifting...faithful...
considerate...caring...loving and generous. These are all words that describe April. She is one of my best friends and has been for 15+ years, although for about 12 of them she has lived over 2hrs away. She is a little older than I am and seems to be one step farther in life with her children, husband, and just about everything. She's my go to gal for advice.
April and I are kindred spirits. I don't know anyone else (besides some of you), who love to read cookbooks, hang out their laundry, scrub their homes til they shine, enjoy cooking and baking for tons of people, things like that. A lot of my other friends think most of that stuff is a drudgery. But not us, we can talk for hours about what we are going to make for a party and how we're going to decorate for it.
She gave me this beautiful footed bowl for my birthday (yes it's filled with those yummy Hershey nuggets with almonds). She got it at a farm sale near her home. The woman having the sale was 80 years old and said that the bowl was her mother's - she was over 100. April, knowing me so well snatched it right up and gave it to me for my birthday. I cried when I heard the story behind it.
Wishing all of you, my friends a day filled with love.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Yesterday was one of those work days, it seemed like it was never going to end. I had so much that I wanted to get done at home. I didn't get home until 6pm, then 'til we cooked supper, cleaned up and I did a load of laundry, it was 8pm. Darn, that's just not fair!
Fly Boy's sweet Chelsea gave me this cool magnifying glass for my b-day. It's beautiful and looks great as a decorative accent and comes in handy if I need to see fine detail on things. I love how it looks on an old Martha Stewart Living. The newest Thanksgiving issue came last week, but I haven't had the time to sit down and enjoy it.
My MIL sent us these gorgeous flowers on our anniversary last Tuesday. Aren't they beautiful? Can you see the mini pumpkin in the arrangement? Too cute! They are a week old today and still look great!
I worked on my Christmas cards last night. Everything is basically cut out and ready to assemble - yeah! As you can see from the little jack-o-lantern on the end table that I'm not skipping over Halloween and going right to Christmas. I enjoy all the holidays and love celebrating them. Thanksgiving is being planned too, but since it's just a fab dinner surrounded by family and friends it doesn't get as much attention as Christmas.
I'm mailing Halloween cards to the little ones in our family today and hope to get a package off to Adam and Jade before the weekend. I'm making some chocolate chip cookies to send. Any suggestions for packaging?
Gotta run, I'm headed to work...
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I found a fab website a few years ago called Organized Christmas. Cynthia Ewer is the mastermind behind this wonderful plan. It all starts with a Christmas notebook. I've titled mine Christmas Magic. This is where you'll become an organizing Diva. Cynthia encourages everyone to use a notebook or three-ring binder and to decorate it anyway you like. I love to use an album with protective sheets that I can store things in. Organization is key, a little planning now helps to take the stress out of the holidays so that we can enjoy everything around us.
I printed out the calendar from Organized Christmas, and started to schedule additional spruce-ups for the house (painting the upstairs hall and the foundation of the house) along with the rest of my fall cleaning. I've also penciled in a family party in late December. If you'd like to follow along, then this is the week that you should buy your Christmas cards (unless you bought them at the end of last year) or start to make them. And, if you're in the US, then you can also buy your Christmas Stamps on line. Just click on my link and it'll take you right to the USPS website. I ordered mine tonight.
My apologies, today isn't Rudolph Day, it's tomorrow. Sorry for the mix-up, I've been so busy and thought that today was the 25th. We talked to our fly-boy today and he did very well at regional's after flying for 2 only months he came in 20th out of 100 pilots - not too shabby:D We were thrilled for him!
True to her word, Karla finished the Oz Tag Book Swap projects in a flash and sent them out to us to enjoy. I am amazed by how many talented crafty people there are out there.
This is the cover - Karla's creation. Love how the little Toto tag comes out of the basket!
Lisa Stanton from A Peaceful Place to Be made this beautiful tag. Remember this scene from the movie where Dorothy and everyone fall asleep from the poppies? Her glitter-work is beautiful!
Mahala Elliot used an image from the book and bits and pieces of vintage inspired items to create her tag - love it!
Can you see the 3-d effect that Kathy Lowry created on her tag? She used a lot of things that are movie related - so unique to use the filmstrip and ticket!
And Robin Carr made this gem, I love the image of the Tinman from the book and how she glittered the joints to make him pop!
Charlotte smothers did a fantastic job with the flying monkey - I love the black glitter and the old book page wings - perfect together!
Glenda must have been a big character used - she's so beautiful and fun to do all kinds of girlie things to make her special. Gayle Pappenfoht did a great job bringing her to life.
Thanks Karla! Can't wait to see what you come up with for us next!
Today is Rudolph Day, and it starts the official Christmas countdown, stop back later today to see what I have planned for this week.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Some of you may remember that last weekend was the continuing saga of fall cleaning here at The Old Parsonage. I finished the living room, dining room and the kitchen (all but the ceiling fan).
Everything was thoroughly washed 'til it sparkled, including my Mum's tea set from when she was little. I saw it sitting on the dining room table waiting to be put back into the cupboard and decided it was the perfect thing to share on a Pink Saturday.
She used to play tea party with me too, we'd have water and Nilla wafers, and I'd invite all of my babies to tea too. As we cleaned, she told me again, the story of how this was the only present she got for Christmas one year (both she, and my Aunt Cathy got a set), and how much they treasured the tea sets. I'm happy to say that my cousin Pam has her mother's set too.
There was a lot going on here at The Old Parsonage this past week, including our 25th wedding anniversary. I had just turned 19 and he was 23, a lot of people thought we were way to young, but I've loved him since I was 12 years old and told my mother (she just laughed) then that I was going to marry him some day (of course he didn't even look my way). I thank God every day for giving me such a wonderful, loving husband and father.
Thanks to Beverly for hosting another fabulous Pink Saturday!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I love our home and all the things in it that makes it feel cozy. But, when it's time to spring or fall clean I always say that we have waaay to much stuff. It's all that taking down, dusting, washing, etc. that really gets to me. Just look at this window sill - 8 photos of nieces and nephews with a little bit of Christmas reminders that I like to leave up all year long - I know you're shocked! Right?
The plates over the piano and the chacka there take awhile to clean and re-do too. But, in the end all the cleaning is so worthwhile. And, I'm not showing you the half-of it. Everything was moved, dusted, scrubbed and put back, including walls, woodwork, and windows. I must confess that not everything was put back, I did put some things aside for Goodwill and some other things hit the garbage can, which is also a good feeling.
This afternoon I took the curtains down in the kitchen and started in that room. My Mum came down to help, and what a help she was. They say two hands are better than one - soo true. Plus talking, laughing and reminiscing makes the chore seem like fun!
See you soon my friends!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
There you have it! I use nothing but cold water and a white wash cloth (usually I say wash rag, but wanted to sound more sophisticated) to wash my face. Then a small dab of this old stand-by and I'm ready to face the day.
I'm ripping the living room and dining rooms apart for fall cleaning today. I've already washed the afghan and it's on the wash line and the curtains from both rooms are in the washer now - 6:43 am! I'm on a roll baby!
I also plan on indulging myself with this beauty at some point this weekend too!
And oh, I almost forgot, if I haven't added a link to your blog in my sidebar and you would like one, please leave me the link in the comments and I'll be sure to add it.
Much thanks to Beverly for hosting Pink Saturday!
Gotta run, I'll be by to visit when I take a break or two. Enjoy this beautiful day my friends.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I just can't help it, every week I buy supermarket flowers if I don't have anything from the yard to bring in. These inexpensive bouquets are easy to divide and make our home seem more warm and welcoming.
And those Hershey Nuggets with almonds are another of my treats. What can I say? I LOVE chocolate! I try to keep it to two a day - but on occasion it may end up being four.
We still haven't had our first frost yet, so the Boston fern is still on the front porch in the fern box. I'll probably bring it in after Halloween, unless it really gets cold. Then the fern box will transform with gourds and such, similar to my header photo from last year.
I heard from Jade today. She and Adam were researching flights home for Christmas - yeah!!! I'm doing the happy dance!
How do you treat yourself?
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I got out a stack of Christmas Books from my vast collection to read this week. These books are so great and are filled with such inspiration. Is anyone else looking for new ideas this year?
Sunday, October 24th starts the "Get Organized" week of our 6 week Christmas Countdown.
Who's with me?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
22 years... seems like yesterday. I get so sentimental and lately I'm just full of "waterworks" as my Dad calls it. Must be hormones - so I"m guessing.
Bryan came home this weekend, so we celebrated a little early. He had to study the entire weekend for a test on Monday. The test was so that he could fly solo. He passed and called yesterday after he was finished. I asked if he was nervous. He said, "I'm not gonna lie. Yes, I was really nervous."
He has the highest GPA in the class and has been asked to fly over homecoming in a formation. He'll be flying point, or as Chelsea call it "head goose."
This is the plane that he flies. He'll have his private license by December, which really boggles my mind. We are sooo proud of him. I guess that you'll give me a little leeway for bragging today, since it's his birthday.
Hope that you are having a great week!
Friday, October 8, 2010
These three words are forever etched in my memory. My cousin Pam, whom I mentioned here before was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago.
The day that she had her first lumpectomy, I bought both she and I these bracelets. The bracelets have 3 words inscribed on the silver charms. Hope. Strength. Courage. Three simple words that carry such profound meaning.
I'm happy to say that today Pam is cancer-free. She did just have major back surgery, so if you could remember her in your prayers for a speedy recovery, I would be grateful. Wishing all those with cancer the strength to carry on, the courage to face each new day and the hope for a cure, not only for breast cancer, but all cancer.
Beverly from How Sweet The Sound is dedicating Pink Saturday's this month to breast cancer awareness, so please stop on by.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Since Adam and Jade won't be home for Pumpkin Palooza this year, I decided to make a few fall goodies to send off to them. A lot of the elements of this cone came from a Tattered Angels Halloween kit that I bought last month.
I just couldn't resist the vintage inspired clear stamps that came with the kit. I'm going to fill the cones with some of their favorite candies.
I used the same stamp set on the next two tags. Don't you just love the images?
I'm going to get them each some new socks and tie the tags around the bundles.
It's been almost 5 months since we've seen the kids and I'm really missing them. But Christmas is coming soon - right?!
For those of you who asked for the Jewish Apple Cake Recipe:
- 3c flour
- 2 1/2c sugar
- 1c oil
- 4 unbeaten eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2c OJ or cider
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 8 peeled and thinly sliced tart apples
- 4 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbl sugar
Some people like to sprinkle with powdered sugar when serving. Enjoy!