Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish you and yours a very

I also wanted to say a special thank you to a couple more sweet friends who sent me a little thank you gift for hosting the ornament exchange. Speaking of....if you haven't shared yours with us yet, please do so. Everyone enjoys seeing what the others received! Thank you Kimberley for the sweet ornaments. I love them!

So pretty! And, my favorite color! 


And, thank you Cecilia! I love the ornament you painted for me, and the card you sent as well! 

So pretty on my tree!

 I wanted to thank each of you who have commented recently and apologize that I haven't had time to reply. Please know that I read every one of my comments and am so thankful for each one. They just make my day! I hope you and yours have a blessed and beautiful Christmas Day! I have finished cleaning, planning, and packing and am ready to depart for Prague! 
Prayers for safe travels are appreciated! 

Merry Christmas!

Until next time.....


Monday, December 21, 2015

Tweaking & Fluffing In the Kitchen

Hello friends and happy Monday to you! I have been enjoying my days off for Christmas break. Yesterday I piddled around the kitchen and did some fluffing and tweaking. I have had fun adding things here and there. My Secret Santa at work gave me a few ornaments that found a home in the kitchen. I didn't buy anything except some Epsom salt and a bag of cranberries. That's what you see in the jar below. The adorable little Santa mug was bought at a yard sale or thrift store a couple years ago. I actually have two of them and came across them in my craft room. I added a tiny bottle brush tree and sat this one on the kitchen window shelf.

Here's the rest of the window. There's one of the ornaments I received from my Secret Santa hanging from the pitcher in the middle.

A couple weeks ago, the Hubby bought this home. His mom thought I might want it. I wasn't sure what it was so I googled the information I found on the grinder and discovered it is a nut grinder. I love the vintage green color. The patina is so pretty. I attached it to the top shelf on the right side of my sink. I hung another one of the ornaments from my Secret Santa on it.

You can see how it looks in the photo below. I received the gorgeous plaid dish towels from one of my kindergarten team teachers. I love them! Plaid and Christmas just go together!I rearranged this area slightly.

There's some yummy chocolate in my Buffalo cup.

I tweaked a little to the left of the sink as well. I am loving the pops of red and green!

One of my favorite vintage finds ever is this green dish. I don't know why, but I just love it! It looks great at Christmas, Easter, & Saint Patrick's Day. It is filled with some yummy chocolates gifted to me by one of the school board members. Every year he gives every single school employee candy of some kind. Very generous!

The cute Jingle All the Way dish towel was part of a gift from a student. It is so cute! The red ceramic mug was a gift from another one of my team members. There's the other tiny Santa mug on the green jar.

The bar now holds the  centerpiece from my dining room table. It is currently holding tons of tools and other things being used for the bathroom renovation. We are getting closer to completion! I am so ready!

The lantern holds a battery operated candle. The jars hold Epsom salt and cranberries. The tall jars also have a sprig of fresh cedar inside. The short jars hold a tea light candle. 

These are spaghetti sauce jars that I washed and recycled. They are just too good to throw away!

I have been enjoying my new Bath and Body White Barn candles as well. This Mahogany & Balsam one smells so good! I also got one called Dashing Through the Snow that smells just as good. I love candles and even more when they smell so wonderful!

It feels nice to slow down for a bit. I enjoyed a morning out and about with Mama. I had my oil changed and my vehicle serviced for the Hubby and son's upcoming road trip. They will be heading out for a fun weekend in North Carolina after they drop me off with my friend who is going to Prague with me. I am so happy about their trip! They have never done anything like this and I know they will have a blast! Anywho, after they finished with my car, I ran errands and bought groceries for a couple family parties this week, as well as road trip snacks for my guys and food to prepare for them to eat next week while I am in Prague. I am hoping not to have to return to town. I want to enjoy the next couple days working on the bathroom remodel, cooking, preparing for the parties, visiting with family, and packing for my trip. I am super excited but am not rushing this week. I want to enjoy every second of my break. I would be lying if I said I wasn't extremely excited about my trip too though! I can;t wait to spot Miranda in the airport and wrap my arms around her. Oh how I miss my girl! I know most of you are taking a break from blogging until after Christmas but this is the best time for me to blog since my job keeps me too busy to blog much. I hope to share my new travel clothes and things soon. 

Until then.......

Friday, December 18, 2015

A Spectacular Weekend!

Hard to believe a week ago I was sitting in Jacksonville Veteran's Arena watching one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen! The Trans Siberian Orchestra concert was just as spectacular as the Rockette's Christmas Spectacular, and any of the Broadway shows I have seen...Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast. It was awesome! The hubby and I both loved it and are planning to go again next year. Our hotel and the restaurant and concert venue were all in downtown Jax. This was our beautiful view while we were eating before the show. The harbor area is so beautiful at night!

This fountain was so pretty as were the palm trees and benches surrounding them.

We enjoyed a stroll along the waterfront and fountain after we finished eating and then we headed to the concert arena. We are early birds and were among the first couple hundred of the nearly 10,000 that were there that night. 

There was no way to capture just how amazing the show was, but here are just a few pictures to help you imagine. There were huge screens surrounding the stage and photos, graphics, and videos were changing constantly.

The fire that you see here is real. Every time the fired up the flames, we could feel the heat on our faces. We were not close to the stage either!

There were so many talented musicians and singers. I was in awe of their talent and the special effects throughout the show. I especially loved the narrator who told a story in between performances.

The laser lights were amazing!

You can click here to see my favorite. I tried to put the video on the blog, but it would not work. Not sure why, but maybe my Facebook link will work for you. Every performance was just as good as this one! I can't wait to see them again!

We enjoyed out evening and night on the town. It was a nice little getaway.
I attended a couple other Christmas events on Sunday. A new flower shop in town hosted our first annual Christmas Tree Walk. Local businesses and organizations were asked to decorate a tree. My principal volunteered a tree to be done by our school. I volunteered to help with the project and was put in charge of choosing the theme. So, I went with the same theme I used at home this year....Peace On Earth and Joy To the World. I had one class per grade level make a different ornament. I chose what I wanted them to make and provided the materials and directions for each one. It was a lot of work, but so worth it. Let me show you what I had the students make.

This was the Pre-K ornament. Their little hands were traced and then folded and glued into the peace sign with a heart.

My kinders made the Earth with a peace sign using recycled Cd's, construction paper, and popsicle sticks.

First grade made paper chains using old dictionary pages.

Second grade made these heart using very thin cardboard and dictionary pages.

Third grade traced doves onto dictionary pages and cut them out.

Fourth grade wrote about the gift they would like to give to the world. (Loved the things they wrote!)

The art teacher had a group of fifth graders paint planet Earth.

Fifth grade also made these tiny banners using map paper. They said Peace On Earth and Joy to the World. 

They also worked on the topper.

I made a faux chalkboard sign.

Here it is on the left. You can see some of the other trees as well. I love how some of the businesses decorated their trees to match their businesses. For instance, a baker who used cupcake wrappers to create ornaments. Or a lady who gives painting lessons who used paintbrushes and palettes to adorn her tree. I wish I had taken more pictures!

I truly love how our tree turned out and so did everyone else! It cost $1 to walk through and all the proceeds went to the local scholarship foundation for our local students.

After the tree walk, I went to church and watched the Living Christmas Tree performance by four local church choirs. It was beautiful!

Last thing and I promise, I am done! I just wanted to share the adorable candle holders my kiddos made this week. I had several glass baby food jars I had saved for years. They painted them white and added the faces. Aren't they cute? Even the one on the left who has a runny! And, the photo ornaments I made for the parents. I do a photo ornament every year. I love how this one turned out!

And, that's it! After a busy week including both mine and my hubby's work parties, a night Christmas shopping in the big city, and my class party, I am pooped! I am officially on Christmas break though and am looking forward to the next two weeks! Tomorrow I have a graduation party to cook for and attend for my oldest niece, followed by a Christmas party and Christmas with my mother-in-law. The break is starting off busy, but it's OK! Life is GREAT and I am blessed!

Until next time....

Friday, December 11, 2015

3rd Annual Ornament Exchange Reveal

It's here! Time to link up and show us what you received in the ornament exchange. This post will be published about the time the hubby and I will be arriving at the Veteran's Memorial Arena in Jacksonville to see Trans Siberian Orchestra! The concert, along with dinner out and a night spent in Jacksonville is what we decided on for our Christmas to each other this year. I will share more about the concert later! Now...on to the fun!

Let me just say I was overwhelmed this year with several gifts from some of you ladies. Such kind gestures sent to me as thank you gifts for hosting the exchange. While I sincerely appreciate all the goodies that were sent to me, please know that it was not expected. I really enjoy hosting the exchange and hope to continue it for a long time! Thanks to each of the following ladies. 
Your kindness and generosity are much appreciated!  

Jeanna from Slammin' the Screen Door sent me some adorable Christmas note cards, some beautiful washi tapes and a lovely little quilted bag. I will definitely be taking this with me on my trip to Prague! Thank you so much Jeanna! Some day I hope we can meet since you are a Florida girl too!

Jeanna is quite talented isn't she? Hop over and check out some of her quilted projects!

Donna from Distressed Donna Down Home has sent me a thank you gift every year. Donna is one of the first bloggers I became friends with. She is also very talented! She has an Etsy shop and a antique store booth in South Carolina. She stays busy filling these two shops with vintage and handmade items! Look at the beautiful Madonna plaque she made me. She also sent me one of her tags along with a vintage postcard. 

It is hanging above my Christmas tree. Thanks so much Donna!  I love it!

Next up is this precious snowman in a mason jar made for me by AnnMarie. She blogs over at Musings of a Vintage Junkie. Isn't this the cutest thing? I would love to make some of these to give as gifts next year! So adorable! I love the big bells tied on the side and the gorgeous plaid fabric covering the top.

See it up there on my kitchen shelf? I love it there and think it fits in nicely! Thanks again AnnMarie! I love it snow so much!

I received the next two on the same day! It was like Christmas! First up is this adorable batch of vintage and handmade goodness from Pam. Pam blogs at Virginia Retro. She loves vintage linens...especially tablecloths. She has an amazing collection! She is also very crafty. 

Just look at these adorable things she made me! favorite color! Look at that little sweetie on my tree! Thank you so much Pam! You are too sweet!

And. last, but not least! Karen from The Feral Turtle sent me a box of goodies, including some of her amazing handmade soap and lotion as well as one of her hand crafted spider ornaments and some other things. Love those adorable glass hearts! Can't wait to find a use for them! 

I think my favorite is this heavenly smelling soap! I don't want to use it...just smell it! I think I will wait until the bathroom remodel is finished and then put it out in there on a soap dish for a while before I let anyone use! Thanks so much Karen! 

I had this post ready finished and ready to publish, and Guess what? I came home from work Wednesday to find yet another package waiting for me! This one was from my sweet friend Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose. Stephanie has her own Etsy shop, Rose Petal Blessings which she keeps stocked with all sorts of lovely, handmade items. Everything she makes is just beautiful! Look at the adorable packaging she sent my things in!

I am in love with the beautiful fabric flower magnet in Christmas colors! The little Christmas bits are so cute as well! I love the little wax bag she tucked them inside. Thank you so much Stephanie! 

Aren't these ladies generous and kind.....not to mention talented! That seems to be a common theme in blogland though doesn't it? I appreciate the kindness and sweet gestures from each of these dear friends. I appreciate each of yoy as well and am so happy to call each of you a friend. I value my blog friendships just as I value my real life friendships. You are all very special to me! Thanks so much for participating in the exchange this year. It has been such fun and a blessing!

Now, let me share the adorable ornament I received from Bronwyn who blogs at Queen B Creative Me. She is incredibly talented as well and is a kindergarten teacher like myself! She and her family love to travel and she shares their experiences with us. I love to look at her travel photos! I also enjoy her fashion posts where she shares the way she puts her cute new clothing pieces together into cute outfits! This was Bronwyn's first year joining the exchange. She sent me this precious, handmade gingerbread man whom her children named Molasses! Isn't that the sweetest? Pun! I was so tickled to receive a gingerbread man since I didn't get to unpack all mine this year. I miss their sweet little faces! Do you see him?

That's better! He is hanging in my kitchen as well. I can't wait to let him join my others on my gingerbread tree next year! Thank you Bronwyn and thank you so much for joining the exchange this year. I hope you enjoyed it. 

And, that my friends is a wrap! Thank you to everyone who joined this year! I had so much fun and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. You all keep me doing this every year. Thank you! 
Please take the time to link up below so we can all visit and see what everyone received. I can't wait!

I'll be back soon to share a Christmas tree I was in charge of decorating for a Christmas Tree Walk as well as some other things very soon!
Until then.....

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