Getting Christmas Ready for a Progressive Dinner Party

Getting Christmas Ready for a Progressive Dinner Party

I live in a small neighborhood, so I have gotten to know quite a few of my neighbors really well. They in turn have gotten to know me, and some of my unique skill sets. My neighbor Nancy called me wanting to know if I could come over and help her get her decorations ready for the progressive dinner party that we were having in the neighborhood that Friday. I really love that my neighborhood tries to do this every year, and three to four homes volunteer to host a specific part of a four course meal. She along with my neighbors Chris and Andre had agreed to host the Appetizers. Because of this, even though she was going to be away for Christmas, she had decided to decorate. When I arrived she asked my opinion about some poinsettias that she was going to add to her stairway garland, and she also wanted to get my opinion on the fireplace mantle decorations. Well, let me just say after we finished the balcony and mantle, she starting thinking bigger – about 7.5 feet bigger to be exact. She had a very nice Balsam Hill tree – see one similar here, that she was going to leave bare. Well, I couldn’t in good conscious let her do that, so after she showed me what she had, I sent her out to purchase some additional gold stems from Michaels and then I went to work creating some bows for her tree. These are bunny ear bows, and they can be made quickly by using two cut pieces of ribbon and creating a...
Christmas 2017 Home Tour – The Office Tree, Part 3 of 3

Christmas 2017 Home Tour – The Office Tree, Part 3 of 3

After purchasing a new dining table, I felt like there wasn’t enough space in the Dining room to accommodate a large tree, so I made the decision to move the tree into the Office. The front Christmas tree is always red and gold and I typically use the same ornaments year after year. So last year I had a trio of trees, the year before I had a wide tree, and the first year in this home I had a live tree. Well, not to be outdone, this year I had to have yet another new tree. I thought a slim tree would fit the bill for its new home space. I found just the tree I wanted from Sam’s Club. It’s a Sherman Spruce, and it’s magnificent. Even though I have room for a 9′ tree, I decided that a 7.5′ tree would be best as I would have more options to display it. This tree has 1000 led lights – Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…. because just speaking of it makes me want to sing. 100 lights per foot of tree is ideal, and it is what you should look for when purchasing an artificial tree – but 1000 lights for a 7.5′ tree is not typical, so I literally jumped at the chance to own it. For once, there is no need for me to add any additional lights, (insert more singing here). In the past I have used a big bow at the top of my trees, but I decided I wanted a different look, so I bundled some sprays and picks together and created this as...
Christmas 2017 Home Tour – The Dining Room Part 2 of 3

Christmas 2017 Home Tour – The Dining Room Part 2 of 3

I came from a family of nine – seven girls and two boys. There are seven of us still living. The girls like to take the opportunity to get together as often as we can, but it’s not always possible, since one of us still lives in Chicago. This Thanksgiving, we had another opportunity to get together and I wanted it to be a special occasion. Even though it was decided that we were having a sister’s brunch, I thought it would be extra special to have the dining room decorated and ready for the holidays. First off, I really wanted a tablecloth that would fit my table with one leaf inserted. From experience I knew that picking up one from the store wasn’t going to cut it if I wanted to be sure that the sides were even all the way around. The only way I could make sure that I had the right fit was to order a custom tablecloth. I located a great vendor online – Bright Settings that was able to whip me one up within a week’s timeframe. I was very pleased with the way it looked and fit. The next step was to get some black chargers to match the black accents in the room. I found some that fit the bill from Crate and Barrel, unfortunately when I went to purchase them at the store downtown, they only had four and of those four, only two looked black. That prompted me to visit the store in Alpharetta; of the three they said they had in stock only one of those was the...
Christmas 2017 Home Tour – The Main Tree and Surrounds Part 1 of 3

Christmas 2017 Home Tour – The Main Tree and Surrounds Part 1 of 3

Every year at my Christmas party I start thinking of the theme and colors for my Christmas decorations for the following year. Last year I decided that the colors that I would use would be Red, Black and White. I also was pretty stuck on the idea that I would use Snowmen as my theme. To my amazement, these colors are pretty much on trend with the seasonal offerings, so this year it was easy finding my colors. For the first time, I am actually presenting my tree and decorations before Christmas and I am excited to share with you the joy and excitement that I get from decorating for the Holiday season. This is my fourth Christmas in my not so new home, and every year I’ve hosted a Christmas Party. Last year, I hosted a combination Christmas/Graduation party in celebration for my son, who graduated from college last December. The combination party was to avoid hosting two parties in December. Anyway, I digress – as I stated before my color scheme is Red, Black and White for my main tree, but my theme is not snowmen, – I settled for Winter Whimsy. From outside of my home coming in, you will always be able to determine the colors of the main tree as I coordinate the decorations from the front door all the way to the main tree in the family room. One more thing about the main tree, it always has the color red in it, and the other colors I pick – well, must go with red. The main tree is one of four decorated...

Memphis – How a King lived and died

I recently visited Memphis, TN, my son had a cross country meet there, and I figured as long as I was going I might as well see some sights. Before I left, I got some local information from my high school friend Cindy who had lived there recently before returning back to the ATL. She was very helpful and insightful, and I actually made it to a couple of the places she suggested – thanks Cindy. I arrived on Saturday afternoon, and my first stop was at Memphis Barbecue Co – well let me tell you, I got dry rubbed ribs, and they were not only seasoned well, but they were fall off the bone good. I was very excited about the prospect of eating my way through Memphis. Next stop – Graceland…I have to admit, when I told my friends I was going there, I got a lot of flack, mostly people telling me that “Elvis was racist, didn’t I know that”. Well I’ve heard the stories, but I’ve grown to realize that you can’t always believe everything you hear…wasn’t there a rumor about Tommy Hilfiger – I’m just saying, do your research and don’t always believe everything you hear. This repeated rumor made me want to find out more so I did…check out these articles – http://www.elvisinfonet.com/spotlight_racist.html http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/elvis_not_racist.shtml http://snopes.com/music/artists/presley1.asp Well, all I can say is believe what you want, but always get to the truth before spreading, or continuing rumors. Now that I’ve said my peace, I thought Graceland was very interesting. You get there by driving down Elvis Presley Blvd, and it seems to be located...

Las Vegas and Beyond – Mother and Son Trip

So typically when planning our trip I want it to be to someplace where we can see a natural wonder, our last trip was to Toronto, and we got close-up and personal to Niagara Falls. This time it was to the Grand Canyon. This was my first trip to “sin city”, we stayed at Planet Hollywood…but I am jumping ahead. The trip to Vegas started out bumpy – literally there was a lot of turbulence that seemed to go on forever, but I guess 20 minutes out of the four hours wasn’t that bad. During the flight the pilot flew us over the Grand Canyon, luckily we had a window seat, and a couple of the passengers who were seated in the middle without a window, thought it was a good idea to hang out over our seats. I was gracious for the first ten minutes, but they overstayed their welcome, and I finally had to ask them to please leave, I wanted my personal space back… Arrival at Planet Hollywood went very smoothly – we were allowed to check in early without the fees – Yeah. Our adventure began. We hit the strip and our first stop – McDonalds, oh well not so glamorous but I am traveling with a teenage boy. Now our tour can begin. We headed to New York, New York so we could see the rollercoaster coming out of the building… The statue of liberty replica looked great. I found all the walkways that went over the streets so that you could avoid traffic interesting. These were good and bad. Good because you can...

Older and Wiser

My birthday has come and gone, and I consider myself blessed to have lived to see it. I will continue my journey on becoming better and wiser for as long as the Lord allows. I have learned in my years here on earth: to give thanks to my creator, it’s better to give than receive, to not sweat the small stuff, to forgive and forget, to count your blessings every day, and to tell those close to you that you love them, frequently. Wow, if only I had such clarity at 21…C’est la...

Your Word is Your Bond

Do people still live by this credo, I don’t think so. No one is perfect, but if you tell someone you are going to do something, you should do it, or at least let them know why you won’t be able to do it. I know sometimes, life can get hectic and it feels like it’s all you can do just to keep afloat, but I still value consideration for others and their time, and I try hard to keep my word. Recently I’ve been faced with a dilemma – I asked someone that I trust to work on a project for me. Going in I was fairly confident about the person’s ability and skills. Now, I’m just trying to decide if I should cut my losses before I get in over my head. My reputation and how I am perceived is very important to me, which is why I try very hard to do what I say I’m going to do. So, is your word your...

Skating – Part 2

So the Jive Biscuit Family Reunion was off the chain, women were scantily clad, guys – well they were just being themselves, there were a few of them that took it back to the 70’s namely the gentlemen in the high-waisted white pants – you know who you are. I often wonder why some people feel that in a crowd of 500, it’s necessary to show all of their tricks while endangering the lives of others, thankfully no injuries on Saturday. Made some new friends and skated the night away. All in all, a fun time but probably won’t go next year, it was way too crowded, and also I’m still recovering from my sleep deprived weekend. Oh well, back to the rink tonight to practice my new steps and perhaps make up a new one. Until...

Skating – Part I

Okay, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I roller skate – old school, quads, indoors. I also rollerblade, but those are my go to skates for outdoors. This is a recreational, hobby, and exercise sport for me. I get to meet new people, exercise, and dance all in one activity. These are all win-wins, since it combines my loves. Every since I can remember, I’ve loved to dance. I was in a few dance troupes growing up, but it was nothing that I ever pursued. Once I became an adult, I loved expressing myself through dance mainly at clubs, and after I had my child, I started taking hip-hop classes as a way to get my dance on. That lasted for about three years, and eventually I realized that my knees were not going to hold up. Then I re-discovered skating, I skated when I was a teenager, but I was never really good at it, mainly because I found it more interesting to chat it up with the fellas, that were also at the rink. So in August of 2007, I thought it might be fun if my son and I could have a recreational activity that we could both do together, and with the urging of my girlfriend Lucy, we tried skating. My son, a natural unfortunately does not enjoy it at all, but I’ve stuck with it, and now I am a bona-fide skater. Like a golfer, or cyclist, I’ve invested in my sport to obtain the right equipment, and it’s very rewarding and I get the benefits of being able exercise why I...