Friday, December 30, 2011

DIY New Year's Tinsel Garland and thoughts on being PRESENT this year


Hello happy time of glamorous sparkles, shiny everything, confetti sprinkles, bubbles of champagne, glitter toes, and new goals.  I have a super easy garland to create that can be added to your home or your New Year's Eve party.



DIY Tinsel Garland
in 3 easy steps!
 
1) Buy some classic tinsel {on clearance!!} 
2)Divide it into sections and easily tie each section onto a long shiny ribbon
3) Embellish with anything! 
I used antique watch faces,
but you can use strings of sequins, glitter stars, 
 felted balls, sparkly pom poms, or anything else to make it YOURS. 




I tied real antique watch faces
into my shiny tinsel garland
 


Celebrate.

We all have so much to celebrate no matter what our story is or where we are in life.  There is beauty all around us, and dreams at the tips of our fingers.  Every year we wonder if this is the year
to realize those goals and to have the perfect life we want.  We don't fully give life our best because we are always waiting to live, waiting for a new year and a new start, waiting for the bad to pass and the good to come.  It's been said that the best is yet to come.  But the best is NOW if we grab it.

I am one of those who has waited to live in a lot of areas.  True, there are many ways that I embrace life and love every single second.  Yet, there are other areas that I am paralyzed, stuck...just waiting to live.  You all know that I feel deeply burdened with my physical weight issues.  I have failed to fully experience my life completely because of this.  In my mind, I have a mental list of everything I want to do "when I lose weight".   My single goal this year, my solid resolution is to give life my best, in ALL areas, not just the areas that are already sparkly and pretty.

Minutes, hours, days, years, and LIFE disappear from our grasp when we fail to OWN them and be present.  I am going to choose to gather all my minutes this year and experience each one instead of waiting for everything to be perfect.  Whether I'm overweight, underweight,  or the perfect weight I just want to LIVE each moment.  What a sad waste to throw away time, our most precious resource just because we *wish* things were better.



Instead, we should be celebrating every day like it's New Year's!  Dancing.kissing.laughing.  Because life really is that cool.  It's always a fresh start and a new time whenever you make a choice within to START OVER.   

So my challenge to YOU is to glitter your life, make your moments sparkle, drink champagne from a fancy glass and celebrate because YOU ARE HERE...in this life...RIGHT NOW...and that is pretty special.


The spotlight is on 2012 and it is OUR time!  Each of us who are living in 2012 get to OWN this year.





New Year's PARTY ideas:

 
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This post is linked to: Simply Sweet Home Inspired Room HomeStories Mantels, Holiday Home Link Parties TLCUnder the Table & Dreamin, Think Pink Sundays, Seasonal SundaysMet Monday, Making the World Cuter, Tuesday Tutorials and Tips, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft On, DIY Design, Organize and Decorate Everything, Works for Me Wednesday, Blue Cricket Design, Transformation Thursday, House of H, Tablescape Thursday, Show off Your Stuff, Strut Your Stuff,   Show and Share Day, Foodie Friday, Frugal Friday, I'm Lovin It, Tickled Pink, Friday Flair, Design Dazzle, Be Different Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up  DIY by Design 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Christmas Day in Wonderland 2011

 
2011


My parents only live 15 minutes from us, but our annual holiday stay at their home feels like a complete WORLD away!  Every Christmas, it is as if we are magically moved to a weekend dreamland.  Once we pull up their steep driveway on Christmas Eve, there is nothing else.   No traffic.  No dusting or laundry.  No noise or rush.  No deadlines to meet or paperwork to file.  No math problems and school work.  No errands or chores.  The rush of life is instantly paused and daily life tasks are absolutely forgotten.


By recent tradition, we spend Christmas at my parent's home sweet home.  My brother joins us as well.  And our entire family stays the weekend at their house.  It's our special Christmas getaway and each of us look forward to it!



I have a so many strong feelings about Christmas as I've shared often before.  I hold those sentiments about this season close to my heart.  So, check my previous post on why I adore this commercialized holiday of excess pleasure.

I am certain that the primary reason I simply LOVE Christmas is because of my parents.  They have made every Christmas of mine magic.  It didn't stop when Santa didn't tiptoe into our house, and it didn't stop when I moved out and got married.  They have ALWAYS given me a dreamy holiday, every.single.year. of my life.  I've observed their hard work and I appreciate their efforts.  I know it doesn't "just happen".  They create this winter wonderland for the entire family to savor each December.  It means everything to me.  Their efforts are worth it for this girl! I hold my holiday memories close, pushed close to my heart forever.  These holiday experiences have colored my life with real, genuine beauty.  So, I move forward and share that joy with my own family.  I eagerly pass the glamorous holiday pleasure onto my own children, in hopes of making every moment of this brief time on earth count.

Little Stairsteps


My mom has their home appointed with a gentle amount of holiday charm throughout.   Nostalgically comfortable but traditionally dignified decor is nestled in their rustic Colorado home. 


Cozy mittens dangle over the fire.


A charming cluster of Christmas:
an updated Christmas village sits in the kitchen.


Our celebration kicked off with a Christmas Eve feast 
at my Mom's gorgeous table.



The table was set using my Grandma's china 
that has been passed down to my Mom. 



 Our Menu included a turkey, a ham, AND a prime rib! 
I think we were sort of spoiled. ;) 


 My Mom prepared a large assortment of sides including
{perfect} mashed potatoes, an absolutely delicious blue cheese butternut squash,
stuffing, roasted green beans, and more. 


I made a unique and fresh winter salad with 
diced pears, avocados, and Roquefort cheese with candied pecans. 

I also made mini cheese balls: 
Savory cherry cheese truffles.  


Lots of appetizers to last us the entire weekend too...


My mom and I both love to be little Betty Crockers 
and Christmas is the perfect excuse to go cooking crazy.

Annnd...we will never be hungry again!



 These are my incredible parents...I love them so much! 


After our feast,  we all gathered around and sang Christmas carols as Chris played guitar. 


A basket of jingle bells for each of us as we sing. 



The singing was going along normally...


Then somehow became a bit crazy...


The kids each get a new jammie set from us on Christmas Eve by tradition.  
And this year my Mom surprised them with super cute holiday penguins.  
She knitted each penguin a baby scarf! 
LOVE it!


The excitement was high and heavy in the air for the boys.  They all had trampolines on their toes as they weightlessly bounced around the house anticipating the next day.   They are all snuggly in their new, clean jammies cuddling their new penguins. 


We located Santa's location on the online Santa tracker 
and it was followed by squeals and panic cries to hurry into bed!


To close the night, my brother Kyle and I always recite Luke 2 
and then my Mom reads The Night Before Christmas to the boys.
The atmosphere is expectant, full of energy and giddy joy. 


She has read this to them each Christmas Eve since they were little.  
They sit still in absolute silent wonder, hanging onto every word she reads.  

 


Finally, it is time to be tucked into bed downstairs in my Dad's toyroom
for the "long winter's night".



 In the quiet hours of this highly anticipated night, 
Santa touches down with silent tiptoes to leave surprises. 


And rows of beautifully wrapped packages are secretly displayed 
for little wide-eyed boys to discover in the morning! 

 
Finally, Christmas morning arrives!




Umm...!!! Look who else got a big surprise snowball?! 
Meee. :) 
My parents surprised me with the heaven cloud I previously blogged about
So happy!

I'm not the only one who loved my new gift.


  These brief magical moments on Christmas morning are SERIOUSLY 
my favorite times of the entire year! 
I always soak up every second and love it SO much!!
This is my favorite day.
By far.


 
I have so many giddy memories of searching for packages 
with my name on them on Christmas morning. 
My boys do the same.


Balancing between shiny packages, 
on a hunt for their names on the tag...



Choosing just the RIGHT gift to open first.


Let the fun begin!




The gift opening craze is interrupted by breakfast.
Mom is serving up the BACON!


You can read more about our Christmas breakfast traditions here



Then it is back to gifts and lots of playing!

 My mom, brother, and I had a contest to see who could give my Dad his eBay gift cards in the most creative way.  Kyle did a mouse trap (pretty tricky!), I did a classic surprise ball, and my Mom made him a cozy hat and tied the cards on it.

My Dad said we all won. 


Boring.



My mom still taking care of my Dad after all these years.


The entire day was spent with BOY toys!  
We have so many LEGO sets, I'm afraid to walk barefoot.

Playing inside AND outside!
Off to try out the outside toys...



My brother spoiled my boys with REAL radio control cars...
not the toy ones, but the crazy real ones. 


This is what my boys were doing all weekend.

Even Chris got one...



We also spent a lot of time devouring Christmas cookies
 because my mom is always serving up some sort of goodness.

Her cookie tray filled with Almond Bars, Cappuccino Snickerdoodles, and Chocolate Gingers.  
She is a cookie-baking goddess.

We spent the rest of the weekend listening to Christmas music
on old records
and playing with our new blessings
...and best of all, doing it all together!


I am so extremely thankful for this Christmas 
and every one that we have been blessed with. 
It's a true time of splendor that is 
created especially for the grand finale of the year!  
It is a celebration of the pleasures of life, 
a dance of goodness,
and a rich sampling for our five senses. 

And these words of this Christmas carol couldn't be more accurate:

"There's a happy feeling nothing in this world could buy...
These wonderful things are the things we'll remember all through our lives".

How true this is!
I hope you had the merriest of Christmases!





This post is linked to:Simply Sweet Home Inspired Room HomeStories Mantels, Holiday Home Link Parties TLCUnder the Table & Dreamin, Think Pink Sundays, Seasonal SundaysMet Monday, Making the World Cuter, Tuesday Tutorials and Tips, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft On, DIY Design, Works for Me Wednesday, Blue Cricket Design, Transformation Thursday, House of H, Tablescape Thursday, Show off Your Stuff, Strut Your Stuff,   Show and Share Day, Foodie Friday, Frugal Friday, I'm Lovin It, Tickled Pink, Friday Flair, Design Dazzle, Be Different Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up  DIY by Design The Nester Home Tour

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