Summer with Talbots

Summer Styles from Tuckernuck

Thursday, December 21, 2017

My Holiday Home Tour

Hello, dear friends.  This is my last post of 2017.  As I attempted to articulate in my little poem above,  I am so grateful to all of you who take the time to read this silly little blog.  You have offered encouragement as well as support, and for that, I am eternally thankful.  

As I have mentioned many times, blogging has been a gratifying experience for me.  I have met so many delightful people, visited a lot of beautiful places, and in the process have made many lifelong friends. 

So when it comes to counting my blessings in 2017, my blog friends are on the top of my list.

This year, I took the minimalist approach to my holiday decorating.  I call it minimalist chic while others may refer to it casually lazy.

I have more filled red Rubbermaid containers in the basement than I have empty ones.  Please don't tell the Mister.  Before I know it, he'll be down there purging all my stored decorations that may make the scene next year.

Chili was still in hair and makeup when I took this photo.

We filled the window boxes with a combination of real and fake greens and bright plastic ornaments that Chowdah thinks are balls.  Every chance he gets, he steals one and hides it in the bushes.
The struggle is real, people.

I took this pic on the day of the first snowfall. 
It's exactly the kind of snow I appreciate - it looks pretty while it's falling and it doesn't stick to the ground. 

I bought a 6' preserved boxwood garland this year.  It was not quite long enough to go the full length of the mantle so I just looped it and called it a day.

My mantra for this season's holiday decorating:
when in doubt, use a pinecone.

This rooster survived six moves and over 20 Christmas seasons.

I decorated the kitchen in less than 2 minutes.
A world record.
I put those wreaths up two years ago at Christmas and never took them down.

Please excuse the photobomber.

A little holly and...

a pretty red ribbon.

I guess Chili forgot that she's not allowed on the couch.

This is Chow's "don't you see what she's doing?" look.

We only had a real tree one year in our marriage.  The Mister practically broke out in hives from seeing all the falling pine needles on the floor.  Have I told you that he is a bit persnickety?

This is a shout-out to my buddy, Kate the Great who sent me this ornament many years ago.  She is celebrating this Christmas in Ireland.  
Nollaig Shona
dear friend!

The sunroom is where we spend most of our time.  I put those little boxwood wreaths up a couple of years ago and never took them down.  

I'm not a huge poinsettia or cyclamen fan so I use a lot of red kalanchoes.  They are so easy to take care of and last forever.  Again my pinecones came in handy. 

My toughest critics except around mealtime.

Thanks for stopping by!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Please excuse the photo bomber. 

Until next time year...

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Holiday Hodgepodge

Hello, dear friends.  I hope that I find you calm and relaxed.  If that is the case, you're either extremely organized or on meds.  Either way, good for you.

This is my second to last post before Christmas.  My final one will be a post on my holiday home tour.  I only have a few things to do before writing it like finding the tree in the basement, putting it up, decorating the house inside and out, writing a shopping list, buying presents, wrapping presents, buying some stuff for me, learning to bake, losing 20 lbs. and taking Chowdah and Chili's royal portrait.

Only kidding, the royal portrait is being taken by a professional.

If it's Wednesday, it's time for Hodgepodge.

1.  Where have you found unexpected magic or delight this holiday season?

I don't get out much when the temps are below 40 degrees, so I can't tell you about a magical, heartwarming moment that I witnessed during the holiday season.

But I can tell you that I just finished a delightful, uplifting novel.  The Story of Arthur Truluv is a beautifully written, charming tale of two lovable misfits with a 60 year age difference who find each other and life suddenly becomes a lot more colorful and sweet for both of them.

I finished this book last week with a smile and a couple of tears.     

2.  What's your favorite type of holiday gathering?  Will you/ have you gathered in your favorite way this month?

No gathering is complete without these 4 rascals.
It will be a very Merry Christmas because both girls will be home.
Now if they don't break into a rip-roaring screaming match over a hairbrush like the old days, my holiday will be full of joy.

3.  Time has named 'The Silence Breakers' (women who came forward with stories of harassment) 'person of the year' for 2017.  Would you agree?  If not, who do you think deserves the title?

Yes, I think it was not only an interesting choice but also puts a face and voice to the end of an epidemic that has finally become unmasked.

I had a bet with the Mister that this guy was going to take the cover.  

Not to worry, I didn't lose my 5 bucks.  
The Mister's choice didn't win either.
He thinks James Bond should win every year.

4.  How did you spend your time this year?  
Are you happy about that? 

This is a bird's eye view of my typical day in 2017.

I get up around noon, splash some Bailey's in my cup of joe, and pray for something of interest to blog about.

Hours later, after my second nap, an idea finally comes to me.
I usually wear the same get-up every day and hope that the doorbell doesn't ring.

Later, I read my post with unbridled animation to my editors.  My hard work is met with deep sighs and disappointed expressions.

I then go back to the old drawing board and make some revisions and final edits.  I casually check the clock to see how many hours are left until cocktail hour, and most often than not, run into a technological difficulty. 

I then calmly call the Mister and tell him he needs to come home NOW because my dang computer is on the fritz again. 

When the Mister eventually arrives home, he usually pushes one button, looks at me with a blank stare, and solves the problem. 

*For those who don't read my blog regularly, this is not the Mister.
It is his body double.

I murmur an inaudible thank you and then quietly ask him what he's making for dinner.  

5.  Bid farewell to 2017 in ten words or less.

Any year that begins and ends with my family being happy, healthy, and safe is a good one.

I went over the ten-word limit, so I borrowed some words from a fellow Hodgepodger that didn't participate this week.

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

My #2 sent me this post on Instagram.

Hugo sounds like my kind of guy.

Until next time...

Would it kill these two to crack a smile?

Friday, December 15, 2017

My Christmas Wish List

Hello, dear friends.  It's great to be back.  I spent the past few days in my old home state, Texas.  Sista and I used our time in Austin to plan the shindig of the century... my Dad's 100th birthday extravaganza in April.  We got a lot accomplished while enjoying a few chuckles along the way.

Here are some pics I took.

The Westin is raffling off dinner in this darling gingerbread house for charity.

The Four Seasons lobby was decked out in all its glory.

Party Planner Dream Team
specializing in Centenarian Celebrations.

My return trip did not go as smoothly as I had hoped.  I ended up spending 3 hours on the plane waiting for a special de-icing machine to arrive so that we could take off.  Meanwhile, my Sista's plane which was in another terminal was de-iced and took off on time. 

That was the bad news.  The good news was that I had two empty seats next to me and plenty of time to work on my Christmas Wish List for the Mister.  I already got my big present - a new computer which I am typing on.  But the Mister wanted some ideas for gifts that he could give me to open on Christmas Eve.
He asked... I delivered.

I found a lot of ideas on Oprah's Favorite Things list.
If they're good enough for Oprah, they're good enough for me.

I made the Mister a relatively small list (49+ items) of a few things that are on my wishlist over at The Enchanted Home Shop.  If you want to treat yourself or someone else, stop over and take a gander.

This little fruit infuser water bottle is going to be the kickstart of my weight loss/healthy eating journey for the new year.  It probably won't begin in 2018 or 2019, but I have high hopes for 2020.
In the meantime, I want one of these to carry around so I can impress my neighbors.

I like my chardonnay brain-freeze cold.
This little number may be the answer to my prayers.

I love these trays with handles.
Great colors, too.

Spanx PLUS leggings?
Yes, please.

A makeup mirror in a phone case?
I need to be selfie-ready at all times.

I could use a new set of makeup brushes, and these look interesting to me.

You know you're getting old when your daughter has wrinkle-reducing serums and lash enhancers on her Christmas list.  There's no way I'm going to let my kid have longer lashes than moi.

My Clarisonic is on its last pulse beat.
I could use a new one. 

My make up mirror is about a hundred years old.  
I'll take this one, provided the reflection is included.

I met a woman in a store line a couple of weeks ago.  We chatted and I couldn't help but notice her gorgeous skin.  I commented on it and she told me that she uses a facial steamer/humidifier once a week.

I'll have what she's having.

OMG... do these look like preppy empty nester boots, or what?

My car mats were a mess last winter from snow and salt.  I need some rubber ones to trade out during those sloppy months.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I hate cold weather.  
This cute little robe looks like a warm one.

I can always use a new pair of warm jammies.  When I am out of the house, I dream of being at home snuggling with my rascals and wearing my nice warm jams.

Speaking of jammies, did you know that they have people/doggie matching jammies?
Sounds like a must-have to me.  

My #2 gave me these Ugg slippers about 8 years ago, and I wear them constantly.  They have begun to take on a life of their own.  I think it may be time for a new pair.

It won't be a happy new year until I have my new Lilly planner.

I start to stall around mid-afternoon.  A cappuccino/espresso machine may be just the ticket to give me that boost to take me over the hump until cocktail hour.

I love these chunky bangles.  I'm going to order the gold/silver one if I don't find one under the tree.  Oprah and I will be twins if we go to the same holiday party.

I've had my share of accidents in the kitchen.  
These cutting gloves would come in very handy.

As I age gracefully, I find I have lost strength in my hands.  The Mister is tired of getting frantic texts from me telling him he has to come home early to open a jar for me.

I put this Echo contraption down on my list because I have no one to talk to and boss around during the day except my two assistants.  And they just roll their eyes and ignore me.

The best part of this charger is that it is a car locator.  I'm the sad sack you see walking around aimlessly trying to find her car. 

I've even given serious thought to reporting my car stolen so I wouldn't have to look for it anymore.

Don't tell me you never considered that.

This GoBone gift idea looks like it's for the hooligans but it's actually for me.  Anything that helps to wear out my two crazies is a present for me.

This is another gift that is not only for me but also for someone else.  This little contraption stops snoring.  

Mister - let me introduce you to your new best friend.

As far as clothes are concerned, the only thing I really need is a towel bra.


When facing tense moments in 2018
goodbye deep breaths...
helloo to my new hobby
cursing while coloring.  

Until next time...

J. Crew

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