Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas to You

~ Merry Christmas to You ~

If, like me, you have been enjoying the seasonal treats a bit more than usual...
let's worry about that in the new year.

For now it will be our little secret.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Savoring the Season ~ The Joys of Toys

Yesterday I did some Christmas shopping for grandson, Jaxson.
It went something like this.
Grandma comfortable in her bathrobe (coffee at hand).
Links being sent via text from Jaxson's parents.
Grandma marveling at the toy's that appeal to 3 year old boys in 2016.
Grandma clicking a few buttons to order gifts which will arrive on her doorstep in a matter of days.
No need for getting dressed, fighting traffic or standing in long lines.
Grandma is reminded (once again) how the times they are a changin'.

So, while I'm making attempts at changing along with the times (would you believe I sent my first text just last week on the smart phone we finally caved in and bought), my sentimental side still surfaces now and then.  Perhaps especially at Christmastime.
During the big attic cleanout last month, a collection of my own childhood toys was unearthed.
Hello Barbie dolls and Raggedy Ann & Andy collection.

The collection was culled.
The pony tail Barbies had to go.
Was I the only little girl who just had to comb that long hair?
The resulting bald on top head was a bit disturbing and impossible to return them to their former beauty.
The bubble cuts, on the other hand, were still looking pretty good after all these years.
While I enjoyed the hair grooming aspect, I'm not sure the bathing ever happened.  After 45 years or so, it seemed like the right idea.
A spa night was in order.

While the gals enjoyed their spa time I did up their laundry.
Most of my Barbie clothes were handmade by the neighborhood moms for the Christmas bazaar (circa 1960 something).
Most of them went.
The few real authentic Barbie clothes were kept.
The sunglasses are missing one side, the shoes were a hodge podge and the rest was a wrinkled mess.
What can I say, we used to drag those Barbie cases all over the neighborhood and play with them all day long.
Well-loved, you might say.

My Raggedy & Andy collection extended well past my childhood.
That collection was greatly edited too.
These little ones aren't going anywhere.
Made by the Amish in Shipshewana, IN, they appeal to me as much now as they did the day I bought them.
Not only are they handmade, but they are tiny and nicely painted.
But, even better than that is the surprise they contain.

Tiny treasures for boys and girls.

For the girls:
A wee little blue house (swoon).
A teddy, a dolly with a bottle, a hobby horse and a teddy bear.

For the boys:
A truck
An airplane
Baseball and bat
Cowboy boot and pistol.

Like everything else, the toys have changed through the years.
Jaxson would, no doubt, be bored with Raggedy Andy and his hidden treasures in no time flat.
That Winnie the Pooh above was a Christmas gift given to me in elementary school.  He almost didn't make the cut.  But then I looked at him again and was transported to my own childhood and the hours and hours of fun I had playing with him.  He slept with me and was the finishing touch to my bed after I made it in the morning.  A trusted friend.  Nope, no way could I ditch him.
So there he sits under the tree all these years later.
A gentle reminder of the joy and excitement toys provide for children on Christmas morning.
This year my greatest joy of the season has been the FaceTime sessions with Jaxson walking from room to room showing us his Christmas decorations.  He then asks to see ours.  His wide-eyed wonder at each little ornament and decoration is a moment in time which I could pause and savor over and over again.

What joys are you savoring this season?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Happy Holiday Kitchen

Hello and Welcome to my Happy Holiday Kitchen.

The sun is streaming through the windows, but don't let that fool you as it's rather chilly outside today.
Might I interest you in a cup of coffee, tea, hot spiced cider or hot cocoa?

Decorating the Christmas kitchen allows the opportunity to retrieve holiday treasures both new and old to blend happily into a festive atmosphere for creating yearly sweets and special treats.
Man, was that a long sentence or what?

Before we know it will be time to set out cookies and milk for Dear Old Santa Claus.

Red is a color not normally found in my home.
That rule goes out the window at Christmastime when I say "bring it on."  For some reason during the month of December it seems cheerful to me. 

I have noticed that many of you are already well into your cookie baking.  I wish I could say the same.  Play baking is fun, but a bit disappointing to those looking forward to sinking their teeth into the real thing.

Cutest ornaments Hallmark ever made, in my humble opinion.

I know we are all busy at this time of year.
I thank you for taking the time to stop by today.
Maybe a little lunch is in order before you head out.
Pull up a chair.

After you leave, I'd better put my apron on and get serious about the baking... or at least get the grocery list started.

A Very Happy Weekend to You,


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Seasonal Spa Night and an Easy Gift Idea

At this busy time of year I think it's important to create calm within the chaos.  With so many demands on our time, it's nice to have a spot to get away from it all to relax and recharge.
I recently started a weekly "spa night" and have found it to be something I look forward to with great anticipation.
It usually involves a nice warm bath.  I haven't been much of a "bath person" until spa night began.
For the Christmas season I decorated the shelf above the bath tub with angels and wispy bine boughs.
It's important to create a relaxing atmosphere :D.

Since there is no electrical outlet nearby, I wove battery operated micro lights through the pine boughs. 

They provide just the right ambience for an evening bath.
Candles are also a nice addition.
For my spa time I like to do any or all of the following:

~ Use bath salts or bubbles in calming scents like lavender.
~ Prepare a cup of green tea.
~ Try out new products like face masks, foot scrubs, etc.
~ Listen to relaxing music.

I recently went to a favorite local shop and found this in my bag when I returned home.
A little gift from the shopkeeper to her customers.
The ornament is filled with bubble bath powder.
I thought it was such a cute idea.
Cute and fairly simple.

Perhaps you are in need of a small hostess gift or stocking stuffer.
I'm planning to make them for table favors for the young gals in the family.  I think I'll set them in a crystal goblet.

It looks like a few words in the last three lines are obscured by the bow.  They should read:

Into a tub of warm water, it's time for a break.
Lie back and relax, cast all your cares away.
Oh what a perfect ending to a long hard day.

In this instance they glued the poem to a pretty piece of scrapbook paper and tied it to the ornament with ribbon.  The ornament would be filled with the bath powder of your choice.

At the end of my spa night when the cares of the world float down the drain with the bath water I enjoy the small tree in my bedroom.
Peaceful and calming.
With luck pleasant dreams are soon to follow.