Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

I had some fun on Polyvore
creating some outfits for Thanksgiving weekend...

Here is something casually elegant for Thanksgiving day...comfy but classy!

Something a little dressier for dinner if you have a more formal Thanksgiving dinner!

Perfect outfit to hit the sales on Black Friday....layered for warmth!

Follow me on Polyvore to see other creations!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Merry Christmas Music

Since Friday is the unofficial start of listening to Christmas music,
I decided to share some of my all time favorite collections...
Oh Come All Ye Faithful
with the King's College Boys Choir
I've been listening to this amazingly beautiful collection of
Christmas carols sung by the King's College Boys Choir of Cambridge, England
since I was in middle school.
It is one of my very favorite playlists, and my favorite carol is
"In The Bleak Midwinter"
Go here to hear some selections.
In The Christmas Mood
with The Glen Miller Orchestra
I love Big Band music, especially Glen Miller,
and this is all the traditional Christmas music with some "swing!"
My favorite is "Sleigh Ride"
Go here to hear some selections from this playlist.
Joy: A Holiday Collection
by Jewel
I purchased this playlist at the recommendation of a friend,
and I was not disappointed.
She puts her own twist on some of the traditional carols,
and my favorite is her "Ava Maria".
You can listen to some selections on iTunes by searching "Jewel Christmas"
Christmas With Conniff
by The Ray Conniff Singers
This is a blast from my past....
We listened to this record album when I was a little girl,
and it still remains one of my favorites!
Favorite on this playlist is "Silver Bells"
Listen to some selections here
Ultra-Lounge Christmas Cocktails Part One
I love this playlist....the music is a combination of the music
you would hear while shopping at Old Navy during the holiday season,
and the music you would hear at a Christmas cocktail party in the 1960's.
Very fun and very non-traditional in a traditional way....does that even make sense?
Favorite song on this playlist is "Christmas Kisses"
Listen to some selections here
Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas
with Ella Fitzgerald
This is another jazzy take on the traditional Christmas songs.
My favorite on this playlist is "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
Listen to some selections here
A Merry Christmas
with Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
This is another oldie but goodie!
My favorite selection is "Christmas in Killarney"
which was my paternal grandmother's favorite as well.
Here are some sample selections.
 by George Winston
This is a beautiful collection of piano music and captures
the essence of the season.
My favorite is his rendition of "The Holly And The Ivy"
To hear some selections, visit iTunes.
That should be a little something for everyone....
quite a mix of genres!
What Christmas music is your favorite?

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Broke My Rule

I have a rule....
NO Christmas decorating or Christmas music BEFORE Thanksgiving.
It was disturbing to me that many stores had their Christmas decorations out before Halloween.
I was pleasantly surprised when I was in Nordstrom's
and noticed that they had NOT decorated their store for Christmas.
Well....I broke my rule.
D's children have never been able to participate in decorating our home for Christmas
 because their time with us in December is usually too late in the month to wait to decorate.
So this past weekend while D's children were here,
we decorate for Christmas.
It was a wonderful evening and the kids loved it!
It was an especially great weekend because my eldest daughter
arrived home from college for Thanksgiving break on Friday night
so we had six of the eight children home this weekend!
Here are some pics from the evening... 
D's #3 decorating our living room tree... 
She started with the bows and did a fabulous job! 
Meanwhile sisters snuggling on the couch... 

Most patient husband EVER...carrying down a million bins from our third floor. 
Making progress in the family room... 
Took a break for a family dinner....first holiday table of the season! 
The red and white mosaic hurricanes are some of my favorite decorations. 
The crew minus the twins...who were enlisted in carrying everything down from the attic. 
D's #3 hung the stockings....all ten of us! 
A little pink and green Christmas in our dining room...of course! 
Family room tree is done!
D's #4 decorated our sun room tree all by himself....
Took his job very seriously.... 
His finished product!
I may have broken my rule,
but it was absolutely worth it to see the joy on their faces!
MANY thanks to Virginia Mom,
who is the Master of Christmas
and was a HUGE help in
organizing and assisting with the decorating!


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Friday, November 22, 2013

Broadway in Richmond

I am a huge fan of musicals!
While I would love to get to NYC to see shows, it is just not realistic.
Fortunately, we are 90 minutes away from the Kennedy Center in Washington DC,
which has some fantastic performances,
and there is a series called "Broadway in Richmond"
where the popular Broadway Shows come to Richmond, Virginia.
For Christmas, my Michigan parents give our family an "experience" as a gift,
and this year they are sending us to see the Broadway musical
"Jersey Boys" which is coming to Richmond in January.
Our children love the theater, and they are quite excited!
Buy the Jersey Boys the Musical Broadway Window Card Poster at
Looks like it will be fun with great music!
Here are some of my VERY favorite musicals....
This is my most favorite musical in the WHOLE entire world! I know all the songs, word by word. IM OBSESSED!!!! If you haven't and you have the chance GO SEE IT!
We saw Wicked in Richmond and it was amazing!
I think this is my kids' favorite!
Favorite Song: "I Want To Be Popular"
The South Pacific Musical
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one....I took my sailor to see it two years ago!
Such a fun one with great songs!
Favorite Song: "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair"
Phantom of the Opera
D took me to see this on Broadway in NYC...
Favorite Song: "All I Ask Of You"
film: The Sound of Music {Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Rodgers & Hammerstein}
I've seen this 100 times and love it every time I see it!
It's a family tradition to watch it at least once a year together.
Favorite Song: "I am Sixteen Going on Seventeen"
THE MUSIC MAN (1962) Turn of the century Americana captured in this syncopated musical, starring Shirley Jones and Robert Preston ~ who IS the one and only Music Man.
Another high school did this fun!
Favorite Song: "Seventy-Six Trombones"
Grease is back in theatres on 7.7.13 and 7.10.13!
While I have never seen a stage production of this musical,
the movie is also one of my favorites!
Favorite Song: "Beauty School Dropout"
West Side Story 3.13.13
This is another classic...I have not seen it in MANY years...but a great one!
Favorite Song: "I Feel Pretty"
Guys and Dolls, love this musical but sorry world, no movie will be as good as the Wylie Highschool Show!
I was in this one in high the movie with Frank Sinatra!
Favorite Song: "Guys and Dolls"
Annie.  hehe i even got to meet the dog in the broadway show :). That was fun.  We enjoy meeting the actors and collecting their autographs.  The children enjoyed this show and I kept looking over at them to see the expressions on their faces.  As we left the theatre it had rained and the streets sparkled in the reflected lights!  12.12.2013
My girls loved this one when they were little!
Favorite song: "It's a Hard Knock Life"
♥ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Saw this in Chicago with Donny Osmond as Joseph!
Favorite Song: "Any Dream Will Do"
Mama Mia posters | Mamma Mia Broadway Poster. so much fun to see! The music was amazing and I love abba! I love the movie too
I was a huge ABBA fan in the 80's and I loved the stage version of Mamma Mia!
I rented the movie but didn't like the movie version at all.
Favorite Song: "Money, Money, Money"

Godspell Broadway Poster (2011 Revival)
This is a fabulous musical and it is hard to find performances these days.
Favorite Song: "All For The Best"

These are just my favorites....I have seen "Hello Dolly," "Anything Goes,"
"Pajama Game," "Showboat," "Oliver," "Pippen," "The King and I,"
"Mary Poppins," "Fiddler On The Roof," and "Oklahoma!" just to name a few more.
I also saw the PBS version of Les Miserables and would LOVE to see it on stage.

The only musical that I have not seen that I REALLY want to see is
"The Producers"
and I will always regret not making the trip to NYC to see
Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane star in it.

Do you love musicals?
If so, what are your favorites?

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sweet Sweaters!

When I am not wearing fleece,
I can be found in a sweater almost any time of the year.
I love cashmere sweaters, but those are not always practical for my job.
I also love turtleneck sweaters, or wearing crew neck sweaters with a turtleneck.
I like turtlenecks because they keep me warm...
I would say no one sees my neck from mid-November to early
I have a zillion sweaters, and don't NEED any new ones,
but are a few that I have my eye on....
Whaleisle Yoke Sweater-also adorbs
My sweet husband (who spoils me) bought this for me last weekend.
I plan to wear it with jeans, a navy gingham shirt as shown, and red suede flats!
Talbots Cozy Cable Sweater
This cable knit sweater from Talbots
comes in a rainbow of colors and I actually have my eye
on the one in bright Kelly green.
Cambridge cable chunky turtleneck sweater
This chunky cable knit sweater from J Crew
is both cozy and cute. Loving the baby pink color...of course!
This is a new twist on an old classic...
the LL Bean bird's eye sweater, only in a zip front cardigan.
I had the pullover version for MANY years before it finally bit the dust.
It is a great weekend sweater with jeans or khakis in the is WARM!
How Long 'Til Summer? @Lilly Pulitzer Sweater {this is basically my mantra}
This Lilly Pulitzer sweater says it all....
I hate winter....well, I hate cold weather to be more specific.
Winter in Hawaii is fine.
What sweaters do you have your eye on?

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Thank you to Eva at the adorable blog Nothingbutprep
for tagging me as a Monogram-a-holic!
I posted here about my love for monograms
and nothing has changed!
Here are the directions...
-thank the blogger who tagged you, and include the link to their blog
-include the logo of this post (The First Impressions picture) 
-Use a monogram app or draw a picture of your monogram and include it in this post.
-Answer the questions
-tag 5 or more bloggers to complete this tag 
Here is my monogram...
Here are the answers to the questions Eva asked...
1. What is your favorite monogramming font?
Interlocking circle script is always a classic, and probably my favorite.
2.  "If it's not moving..." 
then monogram it.
3. Which statement best describes you?
A- I have so many monogrammed items that it's hard to remember exactly how many I have.
B- 10 or more monogrammed items
C- 9 or less monogrammed items
Definitely A for me.
4.What item do you wish you owned with your monogram on it? 
Hmmm...that's a hard one....probably sterling silver flatware with a monogram.
5. What is your favorite online monogramming company?
For cute clothing, I like Sweet Tea Monograms...
For housewares, it would be Mark and Graham.
6. What is your favorite monogrammed item you own? 
I would have to say the monogrammed handkerchief
that my sweet husband, D, had delivered to me on our wedding day.
And here are my questions...
1. Do you follow "traditional" monogramming etiquette,
or do you follow "contemporary" monogramming etiquette?
2. What is the most outrageous thing you have monogrammed?
3. Have you ever regretted monogramming something?
4. What's your favorite monogram style?
5. At what age did you first discover your love of monograms?
I tag these fabulous bloggers
who also are monogram lovers...
Happy Monogramming!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

More Decorating Baby Steps....

Today was an exciting day for me...
we had carpeting installed on our stairs today!
I spent hours and hours looking for something I loved.
After looking for a year, I found exactly what I wanted.
It was possible way to get it.
Fortunately my Virginia mom was able to find something I liked even better,
and after waiting six weeks for it to arrive,
it was installed today!
Baby steps in my decorating....
Here is the "before" when we bought the house....
Hard to see but the stairs were carpeted with white plush carpeting,
as was the entire upstairs,
which happened to be ruined from cat urine
in-between our home inspection and the walk through on our closing date.
Needless to say ALL of the carpet was ripped out before we moved in.
Here is what it looked like this morning.... 

And now....

The carpet is a creamy white wool with a blue/gray lattice.
For all who think I am insane getting a creamy white carpet on my stairs having eight children,
I have the same color on the second and third floors of our home,
and with the "no shoes on the carpet rule" we have managed to keep it clean.
Here's hoping for the same for the stairs!
Here is an update on my powder room....
just a reminder of the "before"
and after....
My Virginia mom found exactly what I was looking for in terms of the rug.
It's a black hooked wool with a floral pattern
in greens, blues, pinks, and yellows.
I had a pair of botanical prints in my bedroom
that look great and tie in with the colors of the rug.
I just have to find a light fixture
and something for the opposite wall of the bathroom
and I will be done with it!
I still have yet to finish my ORC....
I will finish week six about six weeks late.
My next project is my kitchen window treatment,
and I need to put the finishing touches on my sunroom.
Then, I plan to tackle our master bedroom...
baby steps.

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