Tuesday, December 18, 2018

EASE THOSE HOLIDAY MOMENTS

Holiday Blessings to all!

'Tis the season for everything Merry and Bright! This special time of year can be stressful in many ways. I'm here today to share some ideas on how to ease some of those moments!

So how do you decorate a small home without interrupting the precious living area, by keeping the decorating to a minimum. With all of our worldly goods in storage I had to be creative this year. I wanted to keep the cost down, because we have alot of Christmas decor that will be out of storage by next Christmas so why duplicate.

I have always loved mixing high and low end decor together, I find it quite rewarding. I decided to keep things to a minimum, but wanted it to be a cozy and warm Christmas 
without the expense.

I went shopping at BIG LOTS, a store near us. I was focusing on Christmas decor, so when I walked into the store I headed directly to the Christmas area. It was delightful!! I browsed the aisles up and down finding some of the cutest and most beautiful items. I spent a good deal of time and left with some sweet treasures! Check out the ornaments below.



I had the deer in a Christmas box I had leftover from a Christmas party we held here in Florida one year. The tablerunner is from Target this year, as well as the gold vessel holding the greens.





I picked up a Smith and Hawken white Amaryllis bulb from Target and it has become this beautiful display of white. The vintage ceramic tree is very special to me. Many years ago when I was taking a ceramics class I created a tree much like this, and it was broken during one of our moves. Our daughters' and son-in-law surprised my husband and I last year during Christmas break taking us to a ceramics studio where we all recreated the "same" tree! We had such fun and made some wonderful family memories. Now we "ALL" have the same tree in our homes at holiday time.

The Christkindlmarket 2015 hot chocolate cups were from our trip to Chicago when we visited our youngest daughter. We all enjoyed our cocoa and now these little cuties are part of my Christmas decor every year! The gold brush trees are from Target in the $1.00-$3.00 area in the front of their store where seasonal things are displayed.

The last little vignette is in the foyer of our home.


I didn't spend alot of time on my wreath this year. I hot glued some ornaments to an old wreath and added a new plaid bow. Easy!





This year my daughter and son-in-law gave us the ornament below. Inside this ornament are actual pieces of music that the Charleston Symphony has performed. This symbolic gesture means alot to us, because they were married in Charleston one year ago. The Swarowski ornament for "2018" is something we buy for each of our children and ourselves each year. 





The photo below gives you an idea of how beautiful ornaments of every price range can look on your Christmas tree. So if you enjoy shopping for beautiful things, don't forget to stop by those affordable stores that can make your Christmas tree as pretty as this!






Last but not least....our sweet sweet granddaughter Catherine, is nearly 10 months old. She "loved" Santa and he loved her! These photos were taken in Avalon Park, Alpharetta, GA. If you ever get a chance to visit there at Christmas time it is quite a sight. Their Santa was the most realistic and kind man.....his beard and hair were actually real!





Remember the holiday decor is not about how much money you spend, but
how beautifully it is displayed!




From my family to yours we wish you a very special holiday season!

Lots of changes are ahead for hubby and me.

See you in 2019 with all of the scoop!

Kathleen




Monday, November 5, 2018

CHRISTMAS DECOR THAT ANYONE CAN DO

Welcome TLB friends--

As Christmas is approaching, I decided to share some of  my old archived photos from Christmases past to get your creative juices flowing! ENJOY!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

COLORFUL CHRISTMAS CONTAINER GARDENING


Greetings TLB friends!

***** PLEASE EXCUSE THE FORMATTING ISSUE THERE APPEARS TO BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH BLOGGER TODAY!!

I know I may seem a little presumptuous thinking ahead to Christmas but........since we're in such a warm climate I thought I should get a bit of a head start so that the plants will be in full bloom for Christmas.

Ron and I took a trip to Lowe's and when I saw these beautiful Cranberry Pentas they became my tall focal point in the pot. These plants are loved by butterflies and their blooms are from 2-3 inches in width. I thought this would be a perfect explosion of holiday color. Isn't it funny how a color scheme starts with one plant?

Vining petunias grow well here with just a little pruning so I added white for a nice contrast with the Cranberry. Since Dusty Miller is one of my absolute favorites for a zip of contrast, and they finally arrived here in Florida, I added those for that silvery/white contrast. It reminds me of when we were children and we added those silver tinsel that glistened on the Christmas tree. My mother LOVED these, so we always had a ton of them covering our live Christmas trees! Did you have tinsel on your Christmas trees? Link to tinsel: https://www.walmart.com/ip/500ct-Silver-Tinsel-Icicle-Christmas-Garland-Strands-18/118257419

Of course this photo reflects just the beginning of my vision, but in a few weeks the color will all come alive and with some good pruning and a little "magic Miracle Grow." along the way, maybe, just maybe by Christmas----my planter will be overflowing with Christmas color!!







Whether you live in the North or the South, in my world, it's NEVER too early to start thinking of Christmas or the holidays in general!!

Happy Planting!
Kathleen




Wednesday, October 10, 2018

UNIQUE DIY PUMPKIN DESIGN

Happy Fall TLB friends!

Once I flip the calendar to October I dream of comfy sweaters, warm cider, fresh apples and my WNY childhood! Fast forward to today.....hubby and I live in FLORIDA! Hmmmm....with temps in the 90's this northern girl needed some inspiration to jump on the Fall bandwagon.

Fast forward....when the mail arrives is a catalog I love called Ballard Design. I've ordered from Ballard in the past so I leafed quickly through the pages. I stumbled upon the cutest pumpkin ever. It was a plaid pattern in black and white. Of course, it reminded me of the MacKenzie Childs patterns in black and white also. 



I grabbed a white pumpkin from Big Lots, opened my box of stencil paints, found the perfect black, and got busy. Half way into the project as I worked with my hand, that's not as steady as it used to be, I decided to make stripes instead of a plaid look.

Below you'll see my final results...........I even added some of hubby's pheasant feathers from one of his hunts.




I do "LOVE" the way colors have evolved for our seasons. Decorating with black and white pumpkins was unheard of back in the day---unless you were MacKenzie and Childs.

What colors have worked themselves into your Fall color palette? Feel free to share with us, it's always fun to discover new ways to decorate!

In closing I am including a beautiful Fall photo from our NJ home. Our yard was full of color every Fall. 




   Hope you enjoyed today's post!

                                                          Kathleen







Monday, July 2, 2018

RED WHITE AND BLUE & DELISH FOOD TOO!



Today I'm getting ready for the 4th of July!!  

Of course we have to start with the flowers! There's something so beautiful about a bouquet
with red roses, white baby's breath, and white hydrangeas with blue tips. I also stuck a little Dollar Store star flag in for a little pizazz!




There are a million tablecapes to be found for this patriotic holiday, so I'm using my red, white and blue salad plates with a cute little lobster on them this year. I love
red and white check tablecloths because they scream traditional picnic....which is traditional for us on the 4th. I had these blue stripped kitchen towels that seemed
perfect to use as napkins.




Here's another tablescape I've done with the addition of some Dollar Store decor. (tumblers, grapevine stars, placemats, and flags) I changed up the centerpiece and used golden Black Eyed Susan's in Mason jars that I spray painted a frosted look. I finished with a blue polka dot ribbon loosely tied. The runner is red stripe ticking that I just hem stitched.



It's always fun to add a bit of Red, White and Blue inside too! You can find died daisies in grocery stores! These little vases are something I've had for years from a mail order catalog.




We have to have a little dessert on this special day.....why not serve a RED cookie? Red Velvet Cheescake yummies with a cheesecake filling and white chocolate drizzle?

https://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/red-velvet-cheesecake-cookies/



It's the beginning of cold salad season. Veggies are fresh and bountiful and make such a beautiful presentation! One of my favorites is Ina Garten's Corn and Avocado Salad below.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/corn-and-avocado-salad-2303526




If you're like me I wait for Summer! It's grill time and all the mess is out of the kitchen!

However, you spend your 4th of July holiday, I hope that you take time to reflect on just how fortunate we are to live in a nation where our forefathers fought for the Independence we now enjoy!


GOD BLESS AMERICA!

                          Kathleen




Wednesday, June 27, 2018

OH JOY AN EASY DINNER!

Welcome to Wednesday TLB friends,

Are you tired of struggling with what to make for dinner every night? Sometimes I feel like I want something easy, because I frankly don't want to be in the kitchen in Florida for long periods of time!

Some might say that soup is out of the question, but I don't feel that way. Soup prep is easy and in air conditioning a pot simmering on the stove is not an issue. Besides it's a great way to have a nutritious meal without alot of fuss.

So today's blog is just that.....Cauliflower Chowder is a favorite in my house. Simple ingredients make this a "go to favorite" of mine and it's low-carb!







The recipe may be found at: 



Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my hubby does!


Have a fantastic week!


                          Kathleen