Sunday, December 29, 2019

How To Change From Christmas Decor to Winter Decor

Changing To Winter Decor

Hello everyone!  If you are like me, you just may feel a little bit sad when all of the Christmas decorations are put away. Although it feels good to get the house back to "normal" there is still a bit of a loss without all of the bright lights and beautiful decorations throughout the house. One way that I counter those feelings is to move to a "winter decor" theme in spaces throughout the house. While certainly not as glitzy as the Christmas decorations and lights, these winter decorations are cheerful and bring a happy vibe to the house!

I have quite a little collection of snowmen that I use on tables and shelves in the foyer, living room and dining room. This cute arrangement is on the dining table in the kitchen area. 

This table runner was a thrifted find a couple years ago. I love the blue background with the cute snowmen, snowflakes and white trees on the runner. The snowmen even have little puff balls on their hats. I simply added some of my snowmen statuettes and some wooden snowflakes to create a winter vignette. 

I want to continue to have some cheerful lighting in the living room since the Christmas tree is put away. To accomplish this, I use pretty winter white candle holders with flameless battery operated candles inside. The warm glow suffuses the room with a comforting warmth.

And on the corner table in the living room, a flameless lantern provides an equally warm glow. 

Even the corner shelf in the dining room gets a winter makeover by adding a variety of winter knick-knacks to each shelf. 

Just like my Christmas decorations, these winter pieces are not one main theme but, rather, a mish-mash of cute snowmen and winter objects I have collected over the years. Look around your house and see what you have that you can use to transform from Christmas to Winter Decor by using just a little bit of this and that!

Are you changing over to Winter Decor? Let me know in the comments. I love hearing from you!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Day After Christmas

Happy Boxing Day!

Happy day after Christmas, everyone! Or, as they call it in Canada and the UK, Happy Boxing Day!  Being a lover of all things British, I couldn't help myself using the Boxing Day terminology even though we don't typically use that term here in the US. 

I hope that all of you dear readers enjoyed your Christmas Days to the fullest. It was a pleasant day for us and today I was excited for the Mr. and I to spend some time together hiking on a beautiful trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

The Mr. and I took a selfie as we stopped for a breather. The temperatures yesterday and today have been in the high 60's which is unreal for Christmas! It made for a nice hike, though.

It was lovely to have the leaves crunching underfoot as I walked. The woods had a pungent, earthy smell which was refreshing. 

In the distance, we could see both downtown Asheville and The Biltmore House from the trail.

And, as you can see, there were beautiful blue skies!

Are you at all curious about the meaning of "Boxing Day" ?

I was and so I Googled it and found that the terms refers to the day after Christmases of old when servants were given the day off and were given boxes of gifts/treats from their masters. In turn, the servants carried boxes of gifts to their families since they had the day off. It seems to be a second day of Christmas celebration in the UK, although more low-key. If any British folks are reading please chime in!

I plan to spend this evening snuggled cozily on the couch enjoying my "new" old book, "Fresh From the Country" by Miss Read.  This was one of the Miss Read titles that I did not own and the Mr. ordered it for me as a Christmas gift. It has been years since I have read this book and I look forward to owning it and reading it more often as I do with all of my Miss Read books. 

And so, as the sun sets from my back porch, another day after Christmas (Boxing Day) has ended. 

My thoughts are beginning to turn toward the coming New Year (2020!) and I would love to hear from my readers about what they have enjoyed in my blog and what you would like more of in the coming year. 

Hope you'll also let me know about your Christmases, as well!

Until Next Time,

Friday, December 20, 2019

How To Find Serenity At Christmas And Always

How Do We Find Serenity?

Hello dear readers.  These last days leading up to Christmas can be so jam packed and busy and finding serenity can be a challenge. This is especially true if you find yourself having some "Christmas blues" which can be quite common at this time of year. 

I'm offering an online course starting January 20th which will offer Bible based tips for finding serenity. 

This two week course will focus on the full version of the Serenity Prayer and will use a text by Trevor Hudson

If, like me, you are looking for a little more serenity in your life, then join me in this course and we will learn and grow in Christ together!

Please continue reading for a Christmas Devotional:
Devotional Written by Debbie Ross for  Be A Disciple

Only five more days and Christmas will be here! 

Many  have anticipated, made lists, celebrated Advent, lit candles, sung carols and shopped till they dropped. For these folks, the days leading up to Christmas seem full with family, friends and events and often, in the midst of busy-ness, it is hard to focus on the meaning of the birth of Christ fully. 

For others, the days leading up to Christmas is less of a blur of busyness and revelry and more of a fullness of emotions that can include sadness, despair, worry or the sense of loss that can be experienced during a time that is portrayed as being only a happy and magical time. For these folks, it can also be hard to focus on the meaning of the birth of Christ fully. 

I have experienced some of all of these feelings at times over the many Christmases I have been blessed with and, perhaps, you have too. 

Whatever feelings and emotions we may be experiencing, we can rest assured that we never experience these feelings alone. While we may not be fully present to the meaning of Christmas, we know that God is always fully present with us. 

As near as our very breath, loving us in all our need, Christ is always fully present-Immanuel, God with us. 

When have you experienced Christ’s presence with you this season?

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Match Made In Seven: Beautiful Brown!

                                     Beautiful Brown

Hello, Hello! Today I'm sharing a new Match Made In Seven fashion challenge with you and this month's challenge may seem a bit surprising given that Christmas is just around the corner. Here is the recap of who we are in Match Made In Seven.

We are an international group of fashion bloggers who meet once a month. One of us chooses a theme in turn, and that can be anything. A book, music, a color, a movie. And then we style an outfit based on that theme. The theme of this month is chosen by Sonja and is: Beautiful Brown! Also, take a look at the other bloggers at the end of this post and how they have interpreted the theme this month.

 Brown is actually one of my favorite colors any time of the year. I look at brown as sort of another shade of black or gray and use it as a blank pallete to build other colors on. As you can see in these first photos I've taken a bright multi-color skirt and used a brown sweater and brown ankle boots with it and I love the look! Would you believe I have owned this skirt for years and always paired it with black tops and shoes. Then, the other day it just popped in my head-why not try brown with this skirt? And I found what I think is a perfect match-so well done Sonja! Guess that's why we're called, "Match Made In Seven!" LOL!

Brown is also a great color to add pops of red to for a holiday look! Here, I'm wearing a favorite brown sweater coat with a sparkly red scarf around the neck. 

Since it was chilly, I also donned my furry black hat and gloves for good measure. You will find that brown is a great background to almost any color!

And, I'm going to show you a repeat of this paisley dress filled with brown shades, plus the brown jacket and brown shooties. This is one of my all time favorite looks and it's all thanks to brown! 

I'll bet if you go look in your closet you may find some brown in there to play with and have fun adding pops of color to, especially at Christmas time!

Now, head on over to see how the other lovely ladies have styled brown this month!

Friday, December 13, 2019

How To Wear A Summer Dress in the Fall/Winter

Wear Summer Dresses In The Winter

Hi Everyone!  Today, I'm joining the number of posts I see online right now that talk about how to continue wearing summer pieces in the colder months. Nothing earth shattering, but I do think it's important to use our clothing as much as possible throughout the year. Sleeveless dresses are, in my opinion, one of the easiest summer pieces to continue wearing in the colder months because you can add layering to create warmth. 

I've done some layering here by adding a brown turtleneck under the pretty print summer shift dress. Not one to keep bare legs, I also am wearing taupe colored tights which pick up on the taupe and gold colors that appear, among other colors, in the dress. I also chose to keep the shoes flat even though a heel would possibly look better. But, let's face it, flats are more comfortable and my knees have been "talking to me" lately, so flats it is! Although not shown here, leggings would look just fine with this dress and a pretty sweater or long cardi would be another way to move this dress from summer only wearing to wearing during the colder months. 

One of the things I appreciate about this blog (among many) is that I have reason to "play" in my closet and try putting together different looks with outfits. You hear me say this a lot, but I hope that you "play" in your closet as well because you will be surprised at the number of ways you can find to style outfits. I'm excited about our upcoming "Match Made in Seven" theme, which will go live this coming Tuesday evening-December 17th-at 6:00 p.m., because it's an unusual theme for this time of year and I was thrilled with the outcome. Have I made you curious? Wonderful! Be sure to check back on Tuesday evening next week. 

Until then, let me know what summer pieces you continue to style during the winter and how you make that happen! And if you love what you read here and/or find it useful I hope that you will recommend this blog to others and that you will sign up to follow me by email. Just see the right side of the blog to see where to sign up to follow me by email. It's easy and free and you will never miss a single post!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

How To Decorate A Live Wreath For Your Front Door

DIY Front Door Live Wreath

I've just finished decorating my live front door wreath and thought I would share it with you. I'm pleased with the results. Every year a neighbor child sells wreaths as part of a school fundraiser and that is how we get our live wreath. I kind of debated leaving the wreath undecorated on our front door. We have green shutters against a white front on our house and the solid green kind of looked pretty on the white door just by itself. But, I decided the wreath needed a little more "merry and bright" so I went with what you see here!

The wreath decorations are actually pretty simple. I started by wrapping white tulle around the wreath and then tied a pretty bow to hang down the middle of the wreath. I already had these white and red picks and they were easy to insert around the wreath and then arrange them the way I wanted. I then finished with a few simple red balls. 

I haven't used tulle on a wreath before and it was super easy to work with! I've had it forever and it's nice to actually use what I have. I'm pleased with my pretty wreath and I think the house is now complete with decorating! Sometimes, I like to rearrange a few items so you never know! 

How is your decorating coming along?  Do you decorate a live front door wreath?  Let me know in the comments.  I love hearing from my readers!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, December 7, 2019

A Little Bit of This and That As Christmas Draws Near

This and That about Christmas

As Christmas draws ever closer life takes on a succession of annual events. I'm sharing some of those with you today in true "this and that" fashion. First off, are some photos from the annual "Dickens in the Village" that offers folks dressed in Dickens style attire, street musicians, roasted chestnuts, dancers and a beautiful array of village shops in Biltmore Village. 

The Mr. has been a street musician for 31 years at this annual event. 

My job is to help the Mr. tote his instruments, stand and music to the meeting place and then I take a few pics of the group and then I head out alone to enjoy the ambiance and to, perhaps, do a little shopping! (And I do mean a little, with the prices in these stores!!)

The store fronts look so festive with seasonal decorations!

Don't these colors look beautiful together?!  I am growing to love ornamental cabbage. 

These dancers were so much fun to watch. The men had bells on their leggings and I felt transported back into Dicken's time as I watched them. 

The street musicians are invited to play inside many of the village stores and the customers clap and enjoy the performances so much! This particular store always offers mulled cider and cookies to their customers which I always make sure to enjoy!

This large Christmas tree is next to the stage on the Village green and I'm sure looks absolutely beautiful at night with the lights on!

These folks are about to enjoy some roasted chestnuts. I have never tried roasted chestnuts. Are they good? I love the song, though!

I may be using the pics the Mr. took of me in the Village today for a later post, but here is one of me. Proof that I really was there!! Now, let's switch gears to another annual Christmas event. 

Return to Bethlehem has been an annual event in Asheville for as long as I can remember. For many years now, our church has housed Return to Bethlehem. Our church's fellowship hall is turned into the streets of Bethlehem and folks come to literally walk through the story of Jesus' birth as if they were Jewish families coming for the census. When folks arrive they are given a card with their "family name" on it and they wait in the sanctuary until their family name appears on the screen. While waiting, the folks are entertained by musicians. The Mr. and our church organist/pianist performed together for this event on Thursday evening. This is always such a lovely part of Christmas for me and many others! Now, on to other events. 

This month always starts with my birthday and these lovely flowers were a gift from the Mr. They are so very pretty!

Unfortunately, there is a certain little cat (Cassie!!) who will not leave my flowers alone, so I always end up putting them up out of the way on the refrigerator. Kind of takes away from the fun of being given flowers. Cats....(sigh)....

OK, one more thing to share.  What's Christmas without a little crafting?  I created these ornaments using jar lids, ribbon and musical craft paper. 

To decorate the plastic gift baggies for these ornaments, I threaded red bells on the twist ties. 

Shhhh...I can't tell you who these gifts are know, it's a secret!

So tell me, what little bits of this and that are you doing as Christmas draws near?  Let me know in the comments!

Until Next Time,