Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Christmas Hodgepodgie Hodgepodge

This is our Christmas Hodgepodge post.
Next week, I will be celebrating in the Bahamas with our son and his family as we eagerly anticipate our grandson and theWestern Michigan Broncos playing in the Popeye's Bahamas Bowl on Christmas Eve.
There will be few family traditions for us this year, but we do look forward to sharing
this beautiful story of our Lord's birth together on a beach somewhere.

Traditions are only what we make them, and memories are also what we make them and this year will be full of memory making events.

So join the other bloggers and Joyce 
1. What's your biggest 'first world' problem?
 It has got to be the alarm going off at 4:45 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  Woe is me!

2.  Each year Time Magazine names a 'Person of the Year', someone who has 'for better or worse...done the most to influence the events of the year.' It was recently announced they've named Angela Merkel Person of the Year for 2015. You can read more about this year's selection here. Your thoughts? If you were in charge, who would you declare Person of the Year? 

No doubt Chancellor Merkel has done some great things for her countrymen, but allowing millions and millions of unvetted immigrants into her country as hopeful workers to boost the German economy is a very risky thing to do.  Her plan is not to create a multicultural society but to make it mandatory to speak German, etc.  I find this rather far-fetched with this particular group of immigrants.  To me, this is not basis enough for this honor, therefore, she would not be my first choice.  That being said, I frankly do not know of anyone I would declare as Person of the Year.

3. Do you have a nativity set in your home? If so share it's history and how you display the pieces.

I do have a simple nativity that I am using as a centerpiece on my table that I have had for several years, but has no significant history.  I often use it on the foyer table, but am doing less decorating this year, so made it very simple.

4.  Do you make an extra effort to give back in some way during the holiday season? How do you encourage those who need encouragement this time of year?

I am embarrassed to say that I do not do enough giving back or encouraging this time of year.

5. Who is your favorite person to shop for? Why?

It would be my daughter and daughter-in-law because they are fairly easy to please and are grateful for whatever I give them.

6. What's the last delicious thing you ate?

Hubby brought me a slice of Italian Cream cake from an office party today.  It was delicious!

7. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is________________.

Through music and sharing the joy of Christmas with family and friends.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

I happen to think we have one of the most beautiful churches around and thought I would share with you some of the tasteful decorations and Christmas symbols in our sanctuary.

 An overall view of the sanctuary from the balcony.
Poinsettia tree
Advent wreath and candles
Nativity on a side table
Large nativity in the foyer
Stained glass window depicting the Christ Child

For unto us a child is born
unto us a son is given.
And His name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, 
The Mighty God,
The Everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.
Merry Christmas to you and your family and may you (re)discover the joy that a life in Christ brings.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Two Weeks Countdown!

We are on the count down to Christmas 2015 but thanks to Joyce, we can divert our hustle and bustle into a fun time with the
1.  Many families have a story they love to tell every year around a holiday. Does your family have one? Are you the star of that story, or does another family member take center stage? Share your story if you want.

We really don't have a particular story.

2. Are you afraid to speak your own opinion?

Unfortunately not!  However, I do try to temper voicing my opinion in order to not hurt someone or cause greater confusion.  I am not always successful, I fear.

3. Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2016, and for the first time have chosen two shades-rose quartz and serenity. Hmmm...did you know serenity was a color? You can read the thought behind their selection here, but essentially it's blending the warmth of rose quartz with the tranquility of a very soft shade of blue. So what do you think? Are these colors I'd find in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in these shades to either place in the new year?

I didn't know serenity was a color either, but I do think it is an appropriate name for this shade of blue.  No, you won't find either of these colors in my home and other than one kinda sorta rose quartz tee-shirt, there is nothing in my closet.  I am not likely to add these in the near future because first, it just won't fit in my house, and second, I don't wear pastels, especially blue and pink shades.  See some more comments in my Random Thoughts below.

4. If you could be in a Christmas carol, which one would you choose? Why?

"Oh Little Town of Bethlehem."  I can't imagine any more wonderful place than to have been in that little village on that special night.  To have witnessed the chaos of so many people seeking a place to rest. To have been in that stable cave and witness the painful yet joy-full birth of our Savior. Then to be transported to the hillside with the frightened shepherds as the multiplied angels announced the holy birth and sang praises to God the King, and peace on earth to men who knew little of what that would mean.  Yes, Bethlehem is where I would like to have been.

We still have our Bethlehem today where we are too busy to see the needs around us; frightened by the unknown; blinded by the chaos and pain, often of our own making, to experience the Prince of Peace.  Let our prayer this year be to....
"Hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Immanuel!"

5. December 9th is National Pastry Day. Will you celebrate? When did you last purchase something from a bakery? What's your favorite treat that falls under the heading of pastry? Do you make it yourself or buy from the professionals?

I don't bake so no, won't be participating in that observance.  The last thing I purchased from a bakery was a cake to share with our Prayer Group on my birthday - a Red Velvet.  My all-time favorite is the Mardi Gras Ball made by a local restuarant called Rollin In The Dough.  Small but so yummy!

6. When it comes to holiday decorating I have not done very much this year and don't plan to.

7. When did you last laugh so much it hurt? Explain.

On Thanksgiving evening, my daughter and two granddaughters played games for several hours.  One of them was Apples to Apples and playing this with a nine year old was hilarious.  Don't know when I've had so much fun.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Why did Pantone choose these shades?   For their soothing qualities!
"Think of a trip to the beach under a calm Serenity blue sky that seems to go on forever.  It seems weightless and airy imbuing you with a sense of care free feelings. Rose is a color that is almost always associated with a gentle, tactile touch. At the same time its warmth draws you in, so it is seen as compassionate and caring. There is also a healthy glow that is attached to the color. Together, they are perceived as soothing."

So, now you know!
Top Ten Colors for 2016
 So, how can you incorporate these two colors into your wardrobe this winter and upcoming spring?
 Wear each separately or combine.  Mix them with one of the stronger colors for 2016.

Or, you may choose to use these soft, soothing colors in your home to create a relaxing ambiance.
 And, if that doesn't work for you, you want to just color your hair.

Monday, December 7, 2015

How I Wear My Brooch

On this Monday morning, I am joining my friends Adrienne and Jill at
for this month's "How I Wear My Brooch".

Their blog will be posted on the 9th if you care to see how others wear their brooches.  See it HERE.
Do you still wear brooches?  I do not wear pins very often anymore.  However, I thought it might be fun to participate in the post this month.

Just a word about my little pin.  It is a Mother-of-Pearl pin that I bought while visiting in Israel in 1972.  It is very delicate and I love the intricate design.
I selected this sweet vintage brooch to wear with this dress because the dress itself is quite busy and I didn't need anything to compete with the pattern.
Because I wear glasses and consider them as an accessory, I try not to over do the jewelry around my face.  With the cowl collar of this dress, I felt a simple brooch and earrings would be enough.    I also considered the large belt buckle as an accessory; therefore kept it all simple.
There’s a common misconception that a brooch is an accessory worn by someone 70+: ME, the Queen of England, Madeline Albright, aged Park Avenue Socialites, you get the picture. However, it seems pretty pins are making their way back into the current accessories market.
Wearing a brooch is a timeless way to add some sparkle to your fall outfits.
Getty/GoRunway, Art by Bobby Doherty
Pin one on in the glamorous style of Elizabeth Taylor, use it as a utilitarian way to close a shawl, or turn it into an embellishment.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Mix old with new. Wear a vintage brooch with a structured, graphic print dress, such as mine above, or neon clutch for a look that’s polished with added modern flair.

2. Placement is key. A brooch always works when worn, left or right, over the bust, (I was always taught to wear it on the left) but it can also be a surprising embellishment at the center of a buttoned up collar.
3. Blazers and brooches are friends. A fresh way to put some punch into your go-to, tailored blazer, jacket or denim shirt is to add a playful brooch to the lapel.
4. Use it in a surprising way.   Clip a beautiful brooch to a strand of necklaces or pearls, group several bangles, or wear on a scarf, or in your hair.  Wear one to call attention to the back of a simple dress. 
I bet you didn't know brooches could be so versatile.

Now, how do you like to wear your brooches?

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Friday Favorite Link Hop

For this Friday Favorite Post, I thought I would give you a variety of links I found interesting this week.

Whether you love, hate, have or have not put a foot in New Orleans, you have to admit that there are not many more interesting or intriguing places.
From the comfort of your chair, why not take this walking tour of some of the highlights of the
New Orleans Garden District.

If you love everything Chanel, you might enjoy this collection of short films.

Here are a couple links for spicing up a fall outfit with things you probably already have in your closet or jewelry box.
How To Build a Beauty Bundle

Now, the big announcement of the
Pantone Color of the Year 2016
What do you think?  Will you wear it? 

And to end with something simply beautiful.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's Gonna Be a Bahama Christmas

I trust your Thanksgiving was as memorable and enjoyable as ours was.  Now, on to things of Christmas.
Join other bloggers HERE for our Wednesday gathering.
1. Did you watch The Charlie Brown Christmas special Monday night? Who's your favorite Peanuts character and why?

No, I didn't watch.  I much prefer football to cartoons.  My favorite character has to be Charlie Brown himself.

"Most psychiatrists agree that sitting in a pumpkin patch is excellent therapy for a troubled mind."~Linus  

Would you agree?
Sure, why not.  What more does a troubled mind have to do but sit and wait for something better.

2. Describe a sound from your childhood. What does this sound bring to mind? 

Music.  My dad loved pretty music and he often played records for us.  He also loved to sing and taught us to sing and play the piano from shaped notes hymnals.

3. You've won a trip to a winter wonderland...would that excite you? Which one of the following would you most want to experience (or which one would you dislike the least)-see the Aurora Borealis in Norway, stay in Sweden's Ice Hotel, go dogsledding in Lapland Finland, take a winter wildlife safari in Yellowstone or celebrate Winter Carnival in Quebec? 

Yes, I love winter and would enjoy all of these trips, but I think I will select the Winter Carnival in Quebec.

4. Who or what keeps you humble?
Myself!  If I ever think too highly of myself, I will invariably do something that brings me down a notch.  Without fail!

5. What part of preparing for Christmas do you like the most? Explain. 

I guess its the excitement of knowing we will be with family.  I really don't enjoy the decorating because we aren't here to enjoy it and dread getting back home and having to undo what we haven't enjoyed.  Make sense?

6. Gingerbread-yay or nay? Is making a gingerbread house part of your family holiday tradition?

I love gingerbread, but do not do the house thing.

7. What's one thing you want to start, do, or complete before the calendar rolls into a new year?

I would like to do one more painting before we head north.  I also NEED to replant my flower beds in the front yard, but the weather or time has not permitted that so far.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
I actually have two random thoughts.
1.  We loved being with our daughter and her family and in laws in Dallas for Thanksgiving.  It was a time of visiting, good food, loving on each other and playing games.  Yes, it was a great day of Thanksgiving. 
These two cousin cuties enjoyed being together and working on an art project.
 On Friday morning, our grandson's team played the MAC West Champion, Toledo University.  This was a huge game for them and guess what!  They won, knocking Toledo out of the title and opportunity to play for the MAC championship.

During half-time, the camera spanned and caught our family in the rainy stands.  We were ecstatic to see them on TV.  And we were thrilled every time the camera showed #65.
Grandson's football team, Western Michigan University has accepted an invitation to play against Middle Tennessee in this much coveted bowl game on December 24.  How could we not go for that?
The Bahamas slogan is “It’s Better in the Bahamas,” and bowl week in Nassau is just that with a mix of sun, sand and football in one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world.
The Popeyes Bahamas Bowl will be played at Noon ET, and will be televised on ESPN and broadcast on the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl Radio Network.
Geaux Broncos!
There will be lots to blog about when I get back!