Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's {Still} Christmastime At Our House

It seems to me that there are two main views about the week between Christmas and the New Year.  One that moves to take the tree down, put the presents away and get back to normal life on December 26, and the other that continues with the Christmas celebrations.  We are proud members of the second group here!  (Not that I have anything against the first group; to each their own!)

With our immediate family currently residing in four different states, we rarely spend the actual holiday under one roof, but do manage to gather during the week after the holiday.  With the mister confined to the house, we are hosting this year. We have a houseful of family, and it's so very fun and festive!

I've learned recently that in some other countries the day after Christmas is also considered a holiday.  I love that; I wish we did it here in the states!  Luckily, the company that the mister works for shuts down this week every year, so it is our annual built in vacation. 

Once it quiets down around here I will be working on my resolutions for the new year, as well as implementing some plans and changes I've been working on for a while now.  Exciting stuff!  But I am in no real hurry; the time will pass all to quickly.

How do you spend the time between Christmas and New Year's?  I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa Is Coming...

And I hope that he brings you every little thing that you wish for!


It's my favorite time in television right now; 24 hours of 'A Christmas Story' has just started on TBS!  I own the DVD, but there is something about being able to go from room to room and watch it continuously that adds to my general Christmas Eve/Christmas Day joy.

What is making you happy right now?  I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Very Favorite {Vintage} Christmas Decoration

Or, an entire post dedicated to a tray!

This plastic tray depicts the Twelve Days Of Christmas, and was made in 1954, as stamped on the back.

I'm not even sure how this particular item came into my possession!  I came across it going through boxes in my basement a few years ago, and fell in love with the cute kitsch-ness of it.

 Every once in a while when I am visiting with a friend or family member, they will hand me a box of "a few things I thought you would like".  (My passion for all things 'old' is no secret among those who know me!)  But I do wish I knew who saw this special item and thought of me, because I would love to tell them how well they nailed it. 

I display this treasure during the holiday season in my dining room; it's walls are almost the same shade of pink used in the tray!

Here are close ups of the twelve days ~

I hope that you are enjoying your Christmas week, dear friends!  It is going by far to fast for me; I still have much to do!  But as one of my favorite blogger friends said in her post today, let's all be sure to remember the reason for the season.  I am happy to say that the meaning of Christmas is the focus of the holiday celebrating here in our home.  The mister and I don't exchange gifts, and we've cut back quite a bit on the dramatic over-consumption that we have participated in during holidays past.  Santa gifts for the little ones are never overlooked, but otherwise we prefer to focus our time and energies on good food, good drink and good times with family and friends.  And this year, watching Bob recover daily from his dual surgeries and take his first crutch assisted steps, both legs the same length for the first time in twelve years, is the best gift either of us could have ever imagined.

xoxo, Anita

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Now that things are settling in to a new normal around here, I feel ready to get into the Christmas spirit.  Just in time too, since {eeek!!} ~ it's only a week away!

Let's start with a few festive vintage images, shall we?

shiny paper and bows!

don't forget the mistletoe! xo

~gloves to keep and to give~

Say it with {festive!} flowers.

I have a busy week planned, filled with caring for my mister and decking the halls.  There is a tree to trim, flowers to be bought, gifts to be wrapped and friends to entertain.  I plan to do some cooking and some baking and some photograph taking.  And since I clearly love me some Dr. Seuss, the Grinch will be watched! 

I plan to share some of the best parts here with you.  What are your plans for Christmas week?  I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Friday, December 16, 2011

Footprints and a Healing Garden

During our stay in the hospital for the misters surgery, we were fortunate to be visited by several wonderful friends.  One of them brought the beautiful poem 'Footprints In The Sand' engraved on marble.

It has always been a favorite of mine, and now hangs in our bedroom.  Behind it in this photograph is a rooftop garden that the hospital built for moments of quiet reflection for patients and visitors.  I had hoped to get some time to go out and photograph it, but in the end took photos through the window.  It seemed that we were always waiting for someone to come in the room with an important bit of information or healing goodness, so much so that I barely made it downstairs to get something to eat most days!

I like that the window reflects back an image of the photographer (me!) taking the photo.  It adds a bit of visual interest, I think.

I hope that there is beauty outside your windows today, dear friends!  Have a wonderful Friday.  It's crazy to me that next Friday will be Christmas Eve Eve!  Is it just me, or do you feel it also?  I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One week and one day later...

I've found my way back to blog land!  Heartfelt thanks for all of your kind comments, thoughts, prayers and well wishes about the mister's surgery.  They worked; it went great!  The hardware removal went so smoothly that they were able to put in the new hip and finish in under four hours. 

Then the fun really began!  The standard three day hospital stay (medical care dictated by a corporation rather than a physician will always amaze me) turned into four because the patient needed a transfusion on the second day post op.  And what a difference that made! A few physical therapy sessions to learn how to walk with the aid of a walker, navigate steps and get into and out of a car, and we headed for home.

And that's when the fun really, really began.  I thought that I knew how challenging this part would be, but four days in, I can honestly say that I didn't have a clue!  I am beyond grateful for the friends who have visited at the hospital and helped at home; they've been lifesavers.

Thankfully, every day just gets better and better.  During the times of frustration and pain I remind the mister that this is the worst it is going to be; it only gets better from here.  I have applied this thought process to my life at other low periods, and it always helps!

And on a different note, did you notice my new profile picture?  It was drawn by the oh-so-talented Moorea Seal.  I love it so much!  {Having your picture drawn is better than air brushing. :-)} 

I hope that you are having just the most wonderful of days!  Remember to savor the great ones; they are truly a gift.



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nurses, Circa 1918


Today, my mister, the love of my life, is in the hospital for surgery to remove the existing hardware in his hip, and if all goes well, to have his new hip put in.  I want to thank everyone who has sent well wishes and/or included us in their prayers.  I am beyond grateful to be part of such an amazing community of bloggers and friends.

And aren't those nurses (above) stunning in their uniforms?  The mister is receiving amazing care where he is, despite the fact that the care givers are not quite as beautifully attired!

Have a wonderful day, wherever you are spending it!  I'll be spending some of my waiting room time reading the blog posts that I haven't been able to keep up with over the last few days.  I'll see you there!

xoxo, Anita

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Inspiration Is All Around Us

One of the things that I love about living near our nations capital is the opportunity it provides to learn more about our history in a larger than life way that can't help but inspire. 

The newest addition  to the national mall, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, is an amazing site to behold!

While doing some reading about  MLK and the great work that he dedicated his life to, I came across the following quote; one that spoke to me in a profound way.

AGAPE means nothing sentimental or basically affectionate; it means understanding, redeeming good will for all men, an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return.  It is the love of God working in the lives of men.  When we love on the agape level we love men not because we like them, not because their attitudes and ways appeal to us, but because God loves them.  Here we rise to the position of loving the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed he does.

It reminds me of something that my mother taught me as a child; a lesson she repeated whenever appropriate: "I may not agree with what you do, but I will defend to the death your right to do it".

This way of thinking presents a real challenge sometimes; it is often the easier path to write off the person who does not share our value system.  But what a loss that would be! 

Today, I am embracing the reminder to love ALL of my friends and family, even the ones {especially the ones} that I don't always agree with.  Hard work perhaps, even messy, but oh so worth it!

xoxo, Anita

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Fashion

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is finding the perfect {vintage} pretties to wear for the festivities. 

New pajamas and robes are a must for meeting Santa under the tree!  And dresses are a must for everything in my world, especially holiday celebrating.  Richly colored velvets and sumptuous silks make the most festive of frocks for those special occasions.  I can hardly wait to start dressing!

Do you use clothing to invoke your holiday spirit?  I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Monday, November 28, 2011

Positive Affirmations / Indie Artists

Welcome, first official week of the Christmas season!  Ready or not, it's here.  I'm doing my best to get all of my decorating and shopping done by the end of the week because ~ a) we have family visiting for the weekend, and b) the mister heads to the hospital on Tuesday for the first part of his surgery, which will finish with a brand new hip.

So {cyber} shopping I went!  I made some purchases on Etsy today, from artists who share positivity with their creations.  If you've ever been to my house, you know that I love for my walls to talk!  "There's no place like home", "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be" and "Live well, Laugh often, Love much" are just a few of the messages on them.  And because the best gifts given are the ones we love ourselves, I picked up a few positive pretties for some of the names on my list.  You really should check these artists out; their talents are amazing!

As you may have noticed or heard, I am a fan of Liv Lane of Choosing Beauty, so much so that I've enrolled in her blogging class for a second time!  I can't show you what I bought as gifts, but this pretty is one that I picked up a while ago in her Etsy shop:

Liv's post today led me to a page called The Feel Good Deal, a site where she posts super sweet deals every Monday.  Check it out!  My favorite part is the handmade section; while there, I discovered Volume 25, a shop filled with awesome art prints like this one:

One of my favorite quotes, ever.

My last share today is one of my favorite people in blog land, Jennifer of Ripplespeak.  I met her in Liv's blog class this summer, and both she and her blog are just beautiful.  This is just one of the offerings in her shop; in addition to prints, she makes the most beautiful note cards, all the better to share the joy with.

Stop by her blog and say "hi" when you have a moment; you'll love it!

Peace and joy to you this holiday season, dear reader.

xoxo, Anita

Sunday, November 27, 2011

On Cyber Monday, Click For RAINN

Every 2 Minutes

A message from RAINN Founder and President, Scott Berkowitz:

As holiday shopping season goes into high gear, I wanted to let you know of a way to support
RAINN, without it costing a cent. With just one click, 700 retailers - including Amazon, Target and Macy's - will donate part of your online purchase to RAINN.

Just visit the RAINN Mall, click on your favorite store, buy whatever you want and the retailer will donate a portion to RAINN. That one click won't cost you a penny - you will still have full access to holiday sales prices.

Dear friends,

If you know me in day to day life, you probably know why this charity is so important to me.  If you are a blog friend, you may have read my story here

In any event, please take a moment to consider making that extra click to tell retailers that you would like your purchase to benefit RAINN. 

eBay, Uncommon Goods, Dancing Deer Baking Co. (all natural treats!),, Groupon and Red Envelope are just a few of the retailers participating.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post.

xo, Anita

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Small Business {Everyday}

I've had a few conversations recently with friends about their dissatisfaction with shopping experiences at department and chain stores.  For one person it was the observation that the friendly and helpful salesperson is all but extinct.  I hear over and over about the poor quality of much of the women's clothing offerings.  And everyone seems tired of the hunt for the best price.  Why can't a manufacturer just offer it all the time, in every store?  And I am sure that this is being talked about quite a bit right now, thanks to the story on the news about customers using mace on each other to get at the best priced electronic offering at a retailer on Black Friday.  To me, that's just sad.

While I can't say that I never shop at those stores, I will tell you that I have worked very hard over the last year to discover as many alternatives as I can.  Virtually everything that I need to run my home is purchased within a few miles of it, from small local establishments.  I go to a farmers market, a fish market and an independent organic market for everything I can, and fill in the rest at a chain store. 

And I can't even tell you the last time I was at a mall!  Discovering Etsy opened a whole new world of shopping for me, and I've dedicated quite a bit of time to learning the ins and outs of the virtual world of independent sellers.  Today, I am going to introduce you to a few of my favorites.  These are the shops that I have bought from and will again, places where your money would be well spent, with people who work hard to earn it.  {{Please know that I have not been compensated for these recommendations; in fact the shops I am featuring here have no idea that I'm even doing it.  I simply wish to provide options that I personally believe in.}}

First up is my favorite natural and organic fibers clothing line, Sandmaiden

Amanda makes clothes that you can live in comfortably and look good doing it.  From jerseys to woolens, pants to jackets, there is something for everyone.  And the best part?  Everything is custom made to your measurements.  Heaven!

Also by Amanda is Sandmaiden Sleepwear, a line of lingerie to live in and lounge clothes you'll want to wear everywhere.

There is a sale code right now, (good through November 28) and orders are being taken for holiday delivery until December 5.

For Jewelery, I love Moorea Seal.   Her shop is full of pieces made with leather, mixed metals, crystals and stones.  They are well made, packaged beautifully, and sure to please.  She is also offering a discount code, through Sunday, November 27. 

What lover of books wouldn't love a book necklace?  And be sure to check out the customizable leather bracelets; so many choices!

Last up is one that I've mentioned before, Red Velvet.  They've recently launched a line of bow accessories, just perfect for gift giving.


I wouldn't wait long if you want one though; things there tend to disappear fast!

I hope that your holiday season is off to a wonderful start, dear friends!  I have about a weeks worth of decking the halls to look forward to; I'd better get started!  Fa la la la la!!

xoxo, Anita

Thursday, November 24, 2011

giving thanks

for friends near and far.  for love in my heart and my home.  for the wonderful family God gave me.  for the three beautiful children that were in my life for a season, in my heart forever.  for puppy kisses.  for warm sun and cool breezes.   for hand me downs.  for fabric, needle and thread.  for pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day.  for the opportunity to learn and grow.  for discovering blogging, making friends and sharing stories. and most of all, for this day.

xoxo, Anita

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Travel ?

As much as I love to plan, prepare and entertain for a holiday, sometimes it ends up being about traveling, so that loved ones have an opportunity to play host once in a while.  Lucky thing for the list maker in me, travel requires a bit of planning as well!

Where to go and how to get there require consideration, of course.

But even more important is what to bring!

I'm not very familiar with the "travel light" concept, however.  This is really are much more me ~

Car trips with the {fur} kids are the most fun of all!  How do you like to travel; with just the necessities, or with everything you could possibly need?  I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita