Category: Celebrate

A Million Tiny Little Things…..

There is a scene in one of my favorite movies, Sleepless in Seattle, when Tom Hanks talks about his wife in such a beautiful way, “it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they were supposed to be together…”.

When cleaning up a bit yesterday, room to room, picking up and dusting, I realized that Christmas in my home is a bunch of tiny small touches that when you put them all together, you feel the magic of the season.

Before this week is over, I wanted to share many of the tiny things I treasure each Christmas.  Many I have cared for with love over the years to use again and again.

My cherished white nativity set, purchased with Christmas money from my son.

My tree, with all the special ornaments I have collected over the years.

It is sprinkled with snow, pine cones and berries.

My beautiful paper mache angel, handmade, always sitting at the very top, love her so!

This wall hanging was my new addition this year.  I love that it is the first thing you see as you look into my home from the front door, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”.

A snowflake pillow, a wreath on the mirror, lots of sparkle, with gold and silver ribbons.

Garland on my dining hutch, and entry clock, decorated with beautiful ribbons, lights, and snow covered pine cones.

A bit of red in my kitchen, small dishes, tin canisters, and a small tree.

A Hallmark Santa, so old, nestled under a tree on my kitchen counter.  Love him!

This salt dough nativity set I have carefully packed up each year, purchased at a church craft fair, 42 years ago. The faces are amazing.  Big smiles, rosy cheeks, just so sweet.

A Santa tray, purchased on a Thanksgiving visit, with my precious mother, to see my brother in New York City, so many years ago.

When I bring it out each year, I remember our trip together and how I struggled with spending $35 on this hand painted, paper mache tray.  So glad I did, the memory it brings to mind each year is priceless.

The best saved for last, this Baby Jesus made of paper over 40 years ago by my son.

I love the smile Jimmy placed on his face.

Oh my, precious, cherished, now a family tradition each year, finding the perfect place on our tree to place our Baby Jesus.

Thank you all for allowing me to share all these treasures.

I truly hope every one of you have collected special Christmas treasures, those items that when the season arrives you find such overwhelming joy in displaying in your home as I do.

Sad a bit that the holidays are over and my treasures must once again be packed up with loving care.

Love to all of you, also precious treasures to me.

Blessings and love.

 

My Wonderful Incomplete Christmas

Made lists, and more lists, planned for weeks, shopped early, wrapped early, but with all of this, my Christmas planning was incomplete.

Most of my decorating in my living and dining area, and my tree was completed, but all my extra little Christmas touches, those I wanted to do here and there, never happened.

Cookies, I so wanted to make, didn’t happen.  Bakery Christmas cookies had to do.

Making ornaments, and creative gift tags, was limited.

So much undone.

In the end, the fact that my family made it to my home on Christmas Eve, despite slippery dangerous snow covered roads, was all that was important.  We all just wanted to be together, and with God’s help and protection we were.

Cookies can still be made, ornaments made and saved for next year.

My husband gets upset with me because I fuss so much when folks are coming to our home.  He always tells me, “it’s just family”.

I have different thoughts on all this fussing, I fuss because I want all to be special for them!

A gift to them.

Thanking them for coming and sharing this special time of the year with me and my family in our home.

I pray you all had a Merry Christmas with family and those you so love.

I also pray and ask God that we all will have a blessed and wonderful new year ahead.

Be safe, be happy, and always love each other.

Fussing for those you love is OK!

Until next time!

 

 

Musical Note Plates

One of my nieces introduced me to a wonderful antique mall and flea market.  She and her husband have a booth in the mall selling vintage toys.

It is a really large mall and takes hours to get through the hundreds of booths.

It’s heaven!

On my last visit I found these unique, fun, dessert, salad size plates.

Aren’t they great?  I have never run across any like these before.

There were only 6 in the set, but enough for any small party or celebration. Can be used for dessert, or as side plates on a table setting for accent pieces.

The black and white will go with so many other colored plates and napkins.

Finding items like these fun plates is really why I love antique malls and flea markets. You really never know what you will run across.  They were inexpensive, but now very valuable to me!

If I see that I have a free day I try to visit the mall.

When I tell my husband that I am going, it’s sweet how he says,”take your time, enjoy yourself”.  Maybe it’s “music” to his ears!  Alone time?

I cannot read music but I am sure the notes on these plates has to be “Happy Birthday to You”!

Don’t you think?

Hope your day is filled with beautiful music and love!

 

How to Carve a Watermelon Basket

It’s only the 9th of July, lots of summer still left to enjoy.

I thought you all might need an idea for something to take to a family gathering or cookout.

This is my most popular pin on Pinterest, pinned hundreds of times.

Here are the instructions from a previous post.  http://lovingmynewsimplelife.com/wow-them/

This is seriously so easy to do, and a show stopper on a food table.  Love the scalloped edges!

Can be filled with colorful mixed fruit, or simply cut up watermelon chunks as I did in the top photo.

When putting this post together I thought of my first memory of having watermelon.

I loved to spend time with my grandmother in the summer. There was a truck that would come down the street selling fruits and vegetables, and on one hot day, she grabbed her little black change purse, and we went to the truck and bought a watermelon.  Grandma cut it up, and we enjoyed it that hot summer afternoon.

My oh my, what a sweet memory for me!

Make some sweet memories this summer, and also try carving a “sweet” watermelon basket.

Love you all this July afternoon!

 

Gold and White Bridal Shower

My spring cleaning had an extra special purpose this year, co-hosting a bridal shower, with my sister, for her granddaughter.

Our sweet bride to be requested the shower be at my home, so I wanted everything special.

Today I am going to share some of the highlights.

I decided on a simple but elegant gold and white theme.

Decorations again were simple, using banners of white with gold glitter dots. So easy to make, using purchased card stock, gold ribbon, and a hole punch.

Once you decide on the size and cut out a template, simply punch holes on each end and run the ribbon through, under and over.

I used the banners everywhere as you entered my home, in the entry, on my dining room hutch, behind the table, our focal point.

Gold and white napkins found at Hobby Lobby were perfect, only embellished with the word “love” in script.

Our cake was simple as well, white on white, with dots.  It was beautiful enough to be used as a wedding cake.

Since our cake was ordered plain with just the dots, we needed a cake topper to complete. I found this elegant gold cake topper on Amazon.  Gold script, “love”.  Perfect!

To bring in a little more gold I spray painted thrift store frames gold, framing photos and favorite sayings.

We served punch, both plain, and spiked with a bit of vodka.  Serving punch was a must for me so that I could use my $3.00 thrift store punch bowl.

Isn’t is gorgeous? Seriously, only $3.00.

Served the punch in my stemless wine glasses along with gold and white straws. Although not shown in this photo, I made a fruit filled ice ring ahead of time which is always a must when serving punch.

We served a light lunch, small sandwiches, turkey, chicken salad, roast beef, and egg salad, also a colorful bowl of cut fruit, veggies and dip.

While we were all enjoying lunch we played a video, a “he said, she said” thing!  We ask our bride questions and played the groom’s answers. It was so cute!  Questions like, favorite song, movie, and what attracted you to each other.

At Christmas gatherings we have been playing a gift pass game, passing gifts when the words left and right are mentioned.  My Sister wrote a sweet story of the bride and groom’s first meeting using the words left and right. Everyone selected a wrapped gift, some large, some small. Guests passed the gifts to the left and to the right, at the end of the story the gift you ended with was yours to keep.  We did allow everyone one chance to steal another guest’s gift before the end.

Other games included, an ongoing Ring Game.  Guest with the most “bling” won!

Who’s Got the Groom.

Using a template of a tuxedo, I added heads of famous people including the groom.  Placed each one in an envelope with a gold glitter heart, opened at the very end of the shower, guest with the groom won!

Big Screen Romances.

Name the movie, the actress, and the actor.  Guest with the most correct answers won a beautiful turquoise bowl for popcorn and of course, popcorn!

The last game was an older one used at many showers over the years, but we wanted to bring something sentimental to our shower so we used our Mother’s apron as a prop.  Mother is with the Lord now, she was such a force of love in all of our lives, including our bride’s.

Filled the apron with many things, had our bride wear the apron walking around the room for a few minutes, guests then had to write down as many items as they could remember.  The guest with the best memory won!

As our quests were leaving we gave favors as a “thank you”, hand soaps from Bath and Body Works, and a cute pack of embellished “tic tacs”, easy to make by printing on adhesive backed paper used to cover the Tic Tac logo.

Our shower was simple, elegant in ways, fun, and so very special for our bride.  When love is involved special things happen, this shower was filled with love for my niece, my sister’s granddaughter.

The wedding is in a couple of days, the family is gathering, it is a wonderful time for all of us.

Love to all today, hope you enjoyed the highlights of this “love” filled shower.

 

Finding Green!

Cold, rainy, sleet, thunder, and even tiny hail fell today, St. Patrick’s Day.

In my husband’s oatmeal bowl this morning I left him a little something green for a treat.

His grandparents came from County Galway, Ireland, as I wrote about last St. Patrick’s Day.

He is weary, his brother is very ill in a hospital in Arizona. There is much on his mind.

He smiled as he found his surprise, and enjoyed his shamrock cookie with his coffee. The smile was enough right now.

On my weekly visit to our local thrift store, I found a little green myself, a sweet bowl for 25 cents.

Loved the shape and the scalloped edges.  It was marked on the bottom, E. O. Brody Company, Cleveland, Ohio.  Checked listings online and found my little bowl selling for as much as $20.  Just love it, and I will use it every year around St. Patrick’s Day.

Most of us collect or accumulate special treasures during our lives, I have added the little green bowl to mine!

Happy findings today, whether it is enjoying a cookie, or just sharing a smile with someone you love!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Are you all wearing a bit of green today?

Shamrock

My husband’s grandparents came to the United States through Ellis Island from County Galway, Ireland.  They met in New York and married before moving to Ohio.  Grandma was a maid and Grandfather worked for the railroad.  They were truly wonderful people, loving parents of six children, hard working, and devout Catholics.

I love these wedding photos taken over 85 years ago.

Irish GrandparentsGrandma looks so lovely, and Grandfather so young and strong.

When my son was small, not yet in school, we would make a trip to see Grandma once a week to help with cleaning or errands.  The best part of the visit was sitting and having a cup of tea with her listening to her stories of Ireland and of meeting Grandfather.

We do not have a huge celebration on St. Patrick’s Day but I try to do a little something special and always Shamrocks on the table.

Although I was having dinner out with a friend tonight, I left chocolate cupcakes and Cincinnati’s famous Greater’s mint chocolate chip ice cream for my husband and son.

St. Pat's TreatsYummy!

Wishing all of you lots of Leprechaun kisses on this day.

May your troubles be less

and your blessings be more,

and nothing but happiness

come through your door.

Celebrating the 5th!

4th of July tableWe were invited to my sweet niece’s new home for the 4th.  Just being with my sister and her family is always a reason to celebrate for me.  They are all so dear and such an important part of my life!

On Sunday, July 5th, I decided to bring out my red, white, and blue for a small celebration with “my family”.  Of course, we had another reason to celebrate, looking forward to watching our USA women’s soccer team playing in the final game later that evening.

I set a small table on our back porch with a few special colorful, holiday items.

The utensil bags were easy to put together using a cut off small brown bag and adding a band of star paper and a glitter star.

I love the red and white dotted ice cream cups which were perfect for our dessert, Greater’s chocolate chip ice cream. Greater’s is a famous ice cream shop in our Cincinnati area, and now famous across the country.

IMG_0570[1]

Greater’s is also a candy maker and uses the broken chocolate pieces for the “chips” in their ice cream selections.  Some of the “chips” are small candy bars!

If any of you ever visit the Cincinnati area, stop for some ice cream at Greater’s.  They not only offer chocolate chip, but also chocolate-chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, and the cherry cordial chip is one of the most popular.

I brought out the beverage tub I recycled last year at this time, and tried a Martha Stewart idea, filling balloons with water and freezing, using to surround the drinks.

IMG_0550[1]It worked great.  They froze hard and did not break!  I like the idea that you can choose any color of balloons for the occasion.

Our day was fun, peaceful, and most of all, “my family”…… me, my husband, and our son, were together for another 4th and 5th of July!

The day ended with our USA women’s soccer team winning!  What joy!

Love and joy to all!

Happy summer!

 

 

 

 

Simple Banana Pudding!

Whenever my mom’s family got together as I was growing up, there was always a banana pudding on the dessert table.

Thinking of those days, as I often do, I decided I would make one for my family on this holiday weekend, no company, just the three of us!

Instead of a bowl, I used small glasses.  Mason jars would also work and be kinda festive!

I used the mini vanilla wafers, which better fit my small glasses.  Some folks use banana pudding instead of vanilla, or even half vanilla and half banana.

There are many variations of banana pudding out there, but for those who have never made one, this is the really simple recipe that I use.

Ingredients:

2 packages of instant vanilla pudding (3.4 oz size)

4 cups of milk

4 small bananas, sliced

1 box Mini vanilla wafers

Cool Whip for the top! (thawed)

Instructions:

Mix the pudding with the milk as instructed on the pudding package.  Refrigerate for an hour or so.  When ready, start layering the wafers, sliced bananas, and then the pudding.  Repeat layers until you get to the top, leaving a little room for the Cool Whip before serving,

Refrigerate any extras.

That’s it!

Hope you all make a yummy treat this holiday weekend!

Let all of us remember our troops and all those who have lost their lives protecting and serving this country we love so much.

Blessings and love!