Christmas Party 2018

In the past my Christmas Parties have always been legendary.  But to be honest at the same time they have always been a lot of work.  I have always included a dinner with all the fixings.  When you have over than 25 people it begins to become a burden and stressful.  This year I am happy to say I came up with a fabulous idea.  Why not have an after dinner dessert evening party with live music.  I did have cheese trays with fine cheese soppressata and crackers and crusty bread but the main focus was on desserts.  I made one and told people to bring something sweet.  I used my good dishes and silverware but it's still less work than having all your dishes for a sit down dinner.  
With the money we would be saving on food I asked my husband if he would consider hiring a band to play.  Luckily we have many musician friends.  They were incredible and their talent brought out the talent of so many of my wonderful friends.  

 Below my beautiful friend Linda who is a professional singer graced us with her voice.

 Below my friend Charlie and I did a few numbers.

 And my friend Patti's husband dazzled us with his Outlander Attire that was a huge hit with all the ladies.

I am incredibly thankful to God for 2018.  It brought us another grandchild, Alex.  I pray that all who read this have a wonderful New Year filled with great joy and peace and love and many blessings from above.
My wish is peace and understanding for the world.  May we treat others with the knowledge that they matter and always show love through out actions and words.
Happy New Year Everyone!
Promise will post more.

Stay tuned for my third book "Holding On To Hope" Out by Valentines.

Christmas Decor 2018

This year I collected a few new friends.  Two who have beautiful style and decorating abilities of their own with gorgeous homes.  They are lovely women of faith who have become great friends.  They have asked me for help a few times with decor and getting their house ready for Christmas and are quick to send me pics for my approval.  I am so humbled and love that they look to me when I still have so much to learn.  Anyway, one of them asked me as I was decorating her chandelier, how do you know to do that? What makes you put this with that and so on?
I smiled knowing how much I have learned from Mary Carol Garrity, Carolyne Roehm, My friend Susan Taylor and my dear friend KC and I told her about copying for so many years and adapting most of their philosophies and then she asked what mine was.  

I believe I have developed my own sense of style, finally after so many years of not knowing, changing, searching and trying to figure it all out.  But I have come to the conclusion that it all comes down to how much you can reinvent what you have.  It's the ability to take what you have and shake it up, change it up, move it around and group it with old and new to give you the ahh moment.  You know the one, when you walk into a room or see a little vignette and your mouth opens and you let out a little gasp.  I want that whether it's Christmas, holidays or not.  I will emphasize that copying is not terrible.  It's the first step at figuring out what your style is.  First you copy something you see in your own way.  Sometimes it's exactly and sometimes it isn't and sometimes you improvise.  That helps you develop confidence in what you do.  
After you start to mimic what you've seen and realize your missing something like that here or there.  Thats' when your creativity comes out.  And then you begin to add a bit of yourself.  Like that recipe that your mother in law is known for making and you decide it needs just a little more vanilla.  Boom you have added your own creativity and a little bit of you.  Same with design and decor.  
Who says I can't put a nine foot midcentury mirror in my upstairs tiny foyer next to a closet?  No one.  And if they do I will say too bad!

Below, I love to decorate my French baking shelf.  It is always so exciting to see it with fresh greens. But here is a little secret.  This year I started with fresh and then added faux greens.  What is real is the fruit and the berries.  The winterberries are from my garden.

 Below Rudy sleeping on my wing chair.
 Every year I am motivated by a theme or a color.  Sometimes it can just be a ribbon or a motif.  This year it was all about the twinkling effect.  I wanted to make everything twinkle.

 This year after three years of having a house tour, since I no longer have a store I was not on the house tour.  I was very happy and therefore decorated very simply upstairs.  Here is just a peek at our master.  Just a few wreaths and bedding.

 I always decorate the mirrors.

I adore to make any statue festive.

Above my grandaughter placed all the saints on the piano.

I live to organize a little tray with a few greens and sparkly ribbon and ornaments.  Below was my favorite little spot of the house.  I wanted to dress up my favorite statue.  She was dazzling.
I know that I have done all these posts in two days so the dates are not reflecting when events occurred but I wanted to end 2018 blogging with everything from 2018.  Working on the next and final post for 2018 now.  My Christmas Party, and was it ever fabulous.  Will be up shortly.


Advent Morning of Reflection in the barn.

 When we had our barn built and I walked inside of it the very first time I thought "God lives here."
It felt right, and peace filled the space.  I thought this will be a place where we will have many celebrations.
Honestly I had not thought of a morning retreat and a mass but after doing one I realize that it was meant to happen.

 The cross above came from my old church that was torn down last year.  I have several things from the church and I had them all around us.
I invited so many wonderful women who are in my life and who I know are women of strong faith.
 With times the way they are and shows like housewives of this state or that one, that show women tearing others down with their gossip and cruel remarks and actions, we need to pull the women who we call our friends together to support them, to cherish them and respect them.  We had the most beautiful morning followed by a magnificent luncheon inside the main house.

 I had 22 women of faith including our Sr. Pat from our parish.

 During the mass we participated with readings and song.  My bestest and oldest friend Jeannie came from NYC and did the music for us.  It was so beautiful.
 This our wonderful priest Fr. Marc.  He said yes as soon as I asked him if he could do it early in October.

 One of the questions on the retreat was " What was a time when you felt God the most?"  If I had been asked after this day I would have said it was then, in my barn, with my friends experiencing mass so intimately.
Here, this photo was taken at the luncheon after the retreat.  My dear friends Lisa, sister Dawn (we say we are) and dearest friend Michelle.
Although it is some work, I am counting the days until the next one.  I can't think of a better way to begin the Advent season.

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