Thursday, December 31, 2015

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans..."

John Lennon's lyrics to "Beautiful Boy" seem to fit my life lately.

I have been wanting to read blogs, write posts of my own, and a million other things, but LIFE just seems to be getting in the way - a tiny health blip cut into my time - everything is fine now, but I haven't done a lot of the things I had planned.

Added to that, while we were in Kauai, I got an email saying that we were hosting the "soup course" on our lane's annual New Year's Eve Progressive Dinner - you'll note that we are not a late night crowd!

The good news there is that I had an excuse to leave up my Christmas decorations - in year's past, guests have asked me why the house was stripped of all Christmas.

This year there is still plenty of "Christmas",

but I wanted a little New Year decor.

A burlap bag on the Dutch door will greet guests with a simple message - It's Party Time.

A quick and easy banner made out of book pages (stenciled and colored in) hangs across the dining room windows.

My number collection was raided for a  0, 1, 2 & 6.

Everything except the 1 was found, but for some reason I had two 4's and Steve kindly made a 1 out of a 4.

My first thought was to have the numbers as a centerpiece on the table, but with three different soups and condiments on the table, I decided to put the numbers in the window,

The side windows needed a little something so I found inspirational quotes.

I simply printed them on colorful paper, cut them into flags, taped skewers to the back and stuck them into mason jars.

Despite the cold weather we are experiencing, there will be overflow into the garden.

The garden window went from Christmas to New Year's simply by adding a few stickers.

I don't know if anyone will actually eat their soup outside, but the patio table is ready and we will have a fire in the fire pit for people to stay warm.

The dining room is ready for guests.

Nothing matches, but I think everyone can work it out.

So I will wrap up my last post of 2015

with a simple message -

..  ..  ..  ..  .. ..  ..  ..

Join me at

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson for Share Your Cup Thursday

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Mele Kalikimaka

December 24, 1957 -  I was 9 years old.

It was the night before Christmas and that was the year I discovered the truth about Santa -

he is REAL.

How did I know this?

My father worked for the railroad and he was away so my mother took my sister and me to her cousin's house for a family dinner.

We returned to our house about 11:30 that night and when we walked into the living room, we could see that Santa had already been to our house.

I went to bed that night assured that Santa really did exist - otherwise, how could all those gifts be under the tree.

Christmas morning was wonderful - my sister and I received a record player and several LP's - all Christmas music.

There was a Bing Crosby "White Christmas" album.

But, my favorite was "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" by a group of Warner Bros. Stars - it made the list of the Top 25 WORST Christmas album covers of all time!

Clint Walker sang "Silver Bells".

Peter Brown sang, "Winter Wonderland"

and Poncie Ponce sang "Mele Kalikimaka".

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would ever spend Christmas in "the land where palm trees sway".

This Christmas is definitely green and bright.

The sun shines by day, but we have seen no stars at night - they're obscured by rain.

Today we caught a rainbow as we walked along Hanalei Bay

and also a snow, or rather a sand man.

It is a JOY to have our family together, on a beautiful island, creating memories.

As I learned 58 years ago when Santa left Christmas albums beneath my tree,

is Hawaii's way to say "Merry Christmas" to you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday House Walk

Welcome to the Tidings Holiday Housewalk

hosted by Cathy of My 1929 Charmer and Judy of 20 North Ora.

It's a good thing you didn't stop by at the beginning of the month 

because the guest room was in total disarray.

Christmas is now spread throughout the house and we're ready for company.

I don't add many new decorations each year - I prefer to use old things in new ways.

One new item this year is the fabulous wreath I won on a Giveaway from Linda of A La Carte.

The wreath, from Tree Classics, is much larger than I expected so it ended up outside and I love the added lights on the porch.

We recently combined two pieces in the entry (yes, I know the colors don't match up, but they will in 2016) and I love the cabinet doors open to show off a colorful display of dishes.

After several days of open doors I realized they were just too much with all the Christmas decorations so I closed them.

I love this little tree in the shopping cart, but when Lulu's sitter came by, with her dog, to get the house key - 2 dogs and 3 people in the entry was too much.

 I simplified the entry for Suzanne and Vinnie.

The little rocker takes up a lot less room in the entry than the shopping cart.

We'll take a quick peek into Steve's kitchen before he notices.

I don't decorate much in here because I don't want to upset the chef (I might have to make my own dinner),

but a few little Christmas touches don't hurt.

Now we'll step into my favorite room in the house - I love it even more at Christmas.

Wrapping the window seat cushion in an old quilt softened the room up for the winter.

I change up the centerpiece on the table each day

and our new red and white chairs are perfect for Christmas.

I found a fun hand for my collection at Decor Steals, but I didn't realize how big it would be.

I tried it in a bunch of places and think it's fun on the lower shelf of my favorite side table.

In the living room, my normal primary color palette works perfectly with Christmas.

We bought a pencil tree last year and

I love that it takes up so little space in the house.

These 3 ornaments (all gifts) epitomize our lifestyle and are my favorites -

a beach ball, flip flops (almost the only thing Steve and I put on our feet) and art.

This time of year we have a fire each night

and I sit in my chair doing some type of needlework.

The guest room is the most decorated room in the house

with Christmas

in every corner.

Meet Henry, my latest Maileg pixy, who chose the guest room,

or I should say "Lulu's room" for his hangout.

I don't usually put Christmas decorations in the bedroom,

but I couldn't resist adding a few touches to the armoire.

One of the reasons that I don't go overboard in every room is that Steve likes the decor minimal.

He has been known to move things just to tease me, but he denied having anything to do with this scene - poor Olaf looks like he had a hard night.

I think I have found the culprit - what is Lulu planning to do with Olaf?

Thanks for visiting my 1928 California cottage.

Don't miss out - visit all the houses on the Tidings Holiday Housewalk

 Cathy at My 1929 Charmer

Judy at 20 North Ora

Susan and Bentley at Ash Tree Cottage

Kris at Junk Chic Cottage

Kathy at Kathy's Cottage

Jo at Anne's Attic

Tina at Cherry Hill Cottage

Pat at On Crooked Creektt

Becky at Sweet Cottage Dreams