Friday, December 28, 2012

Love Your Laundry Room: Decorating & Storage


If your anything like me, you spend a lot of time in your laundry room...washing, folding, ironing...rinse and repeat.

Your laundry room doesn't have to be a black hole. An area of shame in your house you'd rather not visit or the first door slammed shut when company arrives. Make it functional and fun! Show your laundry room some love.

First, storage! The cabinets above my washer and dryer provide a plethora of storage. These can be picked up at almost any home improvement store for under $100.


The laundry bin is tucked away under the counter for daily presorting of laundry and baskets above provide additional storage for laundry room essentials.


The ironing board has been hung behind the door using an "over the door" hook to keep it convenient and tucked out of site.


Next, add your own personal touch! I've been collecting vintage household accessories to add a little character to my laundry room. 


I love these wood sock drying forms. I found them last summer at an antique store in Westport, ON Canada near our cottage.


My dad gave me the washing board above and the sad iron below. Why are they called "sad" irons? In Old English, sad meant heavy....hence a "sad" iron. Learn something new every day!


I also keep my collection of Cat's Meow Village wood collectables perched on top of the window and door frames.


Happy Decorating!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Eve Luminaries for Lauren's Legacy

It was a magical sight Christmas Eve on East Pointe when over 500 luminaries lined the street in memory of our beautiful angel Lauren Paige. Friends and neighbors gathered together and walked the street to take in the luminaries that glowed well into the night and lit the way for Santa's sleigh.

Our generous friends and neighbors raised over $2,000 for our newly formed Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer Foundation Western New York Chapter.

Thank you to everyone who participated. It was more than we could have dreamed.

 
 

Special thanks to Julie Rucker and Robert Thomson for the additional photos.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fun Christmas Gift Tags

Three days until Christmas and my shopping is done and all the presents are wrapped and under the tree. Well, all those except from Santa, of course ; )

Every year I am B-O-R-E-D with the cheesy drugstore gift tags and was so excited when I came across this cool idea to make customized gift tags using photos. Where did I find this great idea, you ask? Well, Pinterest of course!

Didn't they turn out great?! Can't wait to see the reactions on Christmas : )


Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Deck the Halls: The Exterior

Home Sweet Home.

Outside is very simply decorated. White lights on the bushes and greens decorated with bows hung on the light fixtures.

I've always wanted one of those cheesy plastic Santa in his sled and reindeer to display on the front lawn. I dunno...just something very nostalgic about it. Hubby said he'd love to string it across our pine trees somehow...but, I'm not worried...that's never going to happen. He'll never climb up a ladder that tall to hang it. One of these year's I'll get a set.


Ahh...the front porch. If you've been following my blog for a while or have seen my posts on Pinterest, you know how much of a freak I am when it comes to decorating my front porch.


The pair of lighted pine trees I've had for years, along with the sled. Yes, I made all the wreaths, bows etc., etc.


New this year are the vintage skates hanging on the sled (found those on eBay for a steal) and the urns filled with a variety of greens, berries and pine cones...thanks Pinterest for the inspiration!


 Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Deck the Halls: The Christmas Tree

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. You all know the drill...kids, Christmas shopping, helping to organize a major fundraiser for 250 people, my neighborhood luminary project...oh yeah, and throw in the daily housekeeping and laundry on top of that.

Hubby and I agreed to get a tree that was a little bigger than last year, but not as big as the previous year's had been. Every year the tree size is debated. He wants one you'll need a 10 foot step ladder to get the star on top of and I just want to be able to reach up and place the star.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

Although the tree is bigger than last year's tree and not as big as the previous year's as we had compromised...it still takes up about a quarter of the room it is in, and required a 4 foot step ladder to place the star.

Andy likes colored lights on the tree. Another compromise. I like white lights, so I use white lights outside and on the garlands, and he uses colored on the tree. Our ornaments are a mish-mosh of things we've picked up over the years and some special memories along with ornaments from our childhood.


Barbie & Ken were our cake toppers at our wedding and now reside on our Christmas tree every year.


A few years ago Hallmark began a series of ornaments from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Andy received one as a gift and was hooked. This year's ornament is a moose mug that says lines from the movie. LOL


I've been collecting Hallmark's Barbie Series ornaments since 1994 when they were first introduced. This is Country Club Dance Barbie from 2009. Andy likes to refer to our Christmas tree as the "estrogen tree" because of all my Barbie ornaments. Do the math people...1994 to present...that's a lot of Barbies : )

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 10, 2012

Deck the Halls: The Dining Room & Kitchen

The dining room and kitchen...the center of activity for all your Christmas cooking and eating.

I keep decorations in these rooms relatively simple. After all, you want the food to get all the attention!

This table runner I bought years ago at Linen's n' Things (remember them, I miss that store!) for a completely different table. Although it falls short on this table, I still love it and haven't come across anything I like better. The china cabinet gets some simple greens and pine cones atop.


More greens on the chandelier and a big cascading ribbon.



Again, simple in the kitchen. Just a pair of plain wreaths hung with red ribbon.

 

The pine cone frosted wreath below is hung on the inside of the door to the garage in our mud room. The ornaments on it are vintage, on loan from my brother.



Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday Sparkle

I love dressing up for holiday parties. Every year the company my husband works for throws a big holiday party at the Lodge at Woodcliff. And that means every year I get to splurge on a new cocktail dress! Here's what I wore last night...




Xscape Ruffle Taffeta Dress- Dillards
Kenneth Jay Lane Couture Collection Necklace- Lord & Taylor
Stud Earnings- Lord & Taylor
Bone Patent Leather Platform Pumps- Aldo
Paradox Black Crocodile Clutch- Lord & Taylor


Merry Christmas

Friday, December 7, 2012

Deck the Halls: How to Make the Perfect Bow

How to make beautiful Christmas bows, simply. What you'll need...

1. Three rolls of complimenting wire ribbon.
2. Scissors
3. Stapler
4. Floral wire

Measure out four feet each of two of your selected ribbons and cut. One for a "base" bow and one for the "secondary", smaller bow. I used plaid as my "base" bow ribbon. Take your base ribbon and starting in the center, wrap the ribbon into three loops and staple twice at the base of the loops to hold them together. Repeat again to form the other side of the bow.

Do the same with your secondary ribbon, I used a sheer red, making the loops a little smaller.

Next, cut about two feet of your last ribbon, I used a burlap ribbon. Place your secondary bow onto the center of your base bow. Then, take your last ribbon, in my case the burlap ribbon, and wrap it twice around the center of the bows to secure them together.

Cut a small sprig of floral wire, wrap it around the base of the completed bow and twist it in the back to secure everything together. You can use the excess floral wire behind the bow to attach it wherever you are placing it, whether it be a wreath, swag or garland.

Move the loops around until your bow meets your satisfaction!

Deck the Halls: The Foyer


Ahhh..the foyer. First impressions are everything. 


Our foyer is small, but TALL. I used to wrap garland around the bannisters and then decorate the ends with a swag of greens, pine cones, and berries. That's a no-go now. Since we had the railings painted black last year I'm afraid of messing them up. So wrapping anything that consists of wire and prickly"needles" is not going to happen. 


Instead, I decided to drape the garland this year. Tying it off with ribbon and bows in the corners. Here's a close-up of the bows...yes, I made them...very simple. I just visited my home planet...Hobby Lobby...and purchased three rolls of their 90 ft. ribbon (on sale 50% off for $4.99/roll...good deal!). One in red, one plaid, and one burlap...you know how much I love burlap : ) I was able to make seven bows for about $15...and aren't they pretty?

I keep my entry table pretty simple, just my Nutcracker, some greens and candles.


Some greens and cinnamon scented pine cones in the basket under the entry table look pretty and fill the area with the warm fragrance of cinnamon.


I hung ribbon on my closet door and pin Christmas cards to it using clothes pins for display. This is a new addition this year. In years past, I used to have a plate that sat on my foyer table where I would pile them. Thanks to my addiction, Pinterest, I found the ribbon on the door idea...LOVE IT : )



Last, but not least, even the door knob gets in on the act with some jingle bells. Andy loves these (sarcasm).

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Deck The Halls: The Family Room

It's time to deck the halls... or in layman terms decorate for Christmas! First stop...the family room and the all important hearth of the home.

I'm going for a very simple, natural, woodsy theme throughout the house this year.




I love this wreath. Yes, I made it. After New Year's and after all the Christmas decorations are put away, it will reside on my front door until Spring when my Forsythia wreath comes out of hibernation.


Grandma Linda gave us this snow globe years ago. Lauren always loved it. I thought it appropriate that is sat on the shelf between her and Logan's silhouettes. Yes, I made them too.


This little ceramic Christmas tree I bought off eBay probably ten years ago. My mom always had a larger one that she displayed every Christmas growing up. I love it...it will be mine someday (insert evil laughter). Dibs on mom's ceramic tree Mark and Alex!!!

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Luminaries for Lauren's Legacy

Here is Lauren pictured in front of our mammoth Christmas tree in 2010, her last Christmas with us. I complained and groaned about this tree. It was just too huge. But looking back on it, I'm so glad we did it. Lauren loved it!

This year I wanted to start a holiday tradition in memory of Lauren. She loved Christmas. But really, what kid doesn't?!

I decided on "Luminaries for Lauren's Legacy". I found a company in North Carolina that sells luminary kits specifically for neighborhood and community fundraising. After shipping, they come out to be about $1 each. I then wrote a letter to everyone on our street asking them to participate and order as many luminary kits as they desired to line the street in front of their house. And then, if desired, to make a donation to our newly formed Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer Western NY Chapter.


So far, the response has been great! Our neighbors have been very generous. We have about 100 homes on our street. It should be a beautiful sight...one that Lauren is sure to see from Heaven above.

Weather permitting, the luminaries will be lite at 6pm on Christmas Eve. Of course I'll post pictures, but if you are in Fairport on Christmas Eve, be sure to take a drive around East Pointe. Located off High Street Extension near Turk Hill Road...





Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 4th: 64 Degrees & Partly Sunny

Today is December 4th and what a beautiful December 4th it is! The forecast calls for a high of 64 degrees and partly sunny skies this morning...and because it's Rochester, 70% chance of rain this afternoon.

Hey, I'm not complaining in the very least. Except that my husband bought me this beautiful North Face winter jacket last weekend that I'm dying to wear. Too much for 64 degrees...maybe...right?


The bright pink zipper in the coat inspired me to break out my old Pucci winter boots...


I haven't worn these in FOREVER, but I think once the snow finally flies here in good old Rochester...it's sure to at one point or another...I'm ready!
 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Airport Tour!

Today we joined our friends from the Fairport Moms Club for a tour of the Greater Rochester International Airport (GRIA). They provide tours free or charge for schools, scouting organizations, senior centers, various clubs and societies, etc.

Our tour guide was GRIA Public Relations Director, Mr. Samuel Cooper. A former Airport Director, Mr. Cooper knows just about everything there is to know about the airport inside and out.


We began our tour with Mr. Cooper's office. The kids were captivated with the view he had of the airfield from his office. He also had a tower of Matchbox cars and invited each kiddo to select a car to take home. He had seven instant little friends. Next, Mr. Cooper made a phone call and our very own shuttle bus arrived to pick us up outside his office. We felt like VIP's. For the kiddos that would translate to "Very Important Peanuts".



On board the bus, we went for a ride around the air field. Our first stop...the New York Air National Guard hangar. And guess what we saw...


....and boarded! They were busy preparing it for departure later today, but we were allowed to go on it. The kiddos could even take turns sitting in the cockpit...





The Army helicopter was definitely a highlight of our airport tour! When we were finished there, they raised the hangar doors and we boarded our "private bus". The driver drove us out to the far end of the airfield where we waited to see a plane take off. Not through the bus windows I'll have you, we exited the bus and stood in the grass outside the bus while we watched the plane take off (photo at top). Very cool!

Next stop...the airport fire house.



Not as cool as the helicopter or watching a plane take off a few hundred yards in front of you, but these aren't your standard fire trucks. They are specially equipped to handle jet fuel fires with water and foam. One truck had a special infrared detector that could find fires from a distance and then a special hook on the truck could pierce a hole into the aircraft to target the fire. But, of course, not where passengers are seated the fireman pointed out : )

After our tour was over, a couple of us decided to hang out in the airfield observatory. It's a small area on the west end of the second floor of the airport. There is a small food concession stand that offers snack foods and beverages. They also have kid-sized tables and chairs and floor to ceiling viewing windows, so a great spot to wind down and have a snack before heading home.


What a fun morning we had!
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