Thursday, 15 December 2011

Things I am loving Thursdays,house updates and a giveaway!!

Good morning,everyone.....First thank you sooo much for all the amazing birthday wishes and kindness, it was so touching! I must say I had a wonderful birthday with a few hiccups, but overall it was a wonderful day spent with my family at night and many good friends during the day who treated me to a wonderful and much needed relaxing lunch, and then showered me with wonderful gifts, including a luxurious cashmere robe, a tote filled with all kinds of scrumptious goodies,stunning earrings, travel bags (now I need to plan a trip),  a bunch of monogrammed goodies, and four gorgeous floral arrangements,  I had to include a few pics of my "birthday loot" just because yes, it was that good

I was thinking this would not be a very long post but turns out its a mammoth of a Things I am loving Thursday post, so sit back down, pour yourself an extra cup of coffee and relaaaaax.

I am trying to finish up my Christmas list, while doing a "soft pack" not a full blown packup but putting things away I know I won't need for the next few weeks, getting ready for a busy weekend, my families arrival next week and our big Christmas party on Wed. night..whew!!!!!! I know I will get through it, always do and being a self appointed queen of lists, this helps me keep my sanity and see whats left to be done....anyone else out there able to relate to the tremendous power in being able to put a giant check next to an accomplished task on a list? BEST FEELING EVER!!!!!!! So lets begin, shall we! 

Giveaway low down all the way at the sure to enter!!

HOUSE UPDATES. Lots of finishing touches this week, biggest excitement for me was my kitchen backsplash. If there is one thing I learned during this process it is to listen to your instincts, and I am so very glad I did!!. Most were saying they werent' sure about the oversized subway and finding it was not an easy task then finding it beveled proved to be beyond challenging. Well I stuck it out and finally found it and I was doing backflips over the finished product. LOVE the backsplash, only part not yet done is behind the range, the chair rails came in wrong, so now waiting on the new ones and then will complete the back of the range and then folks, its bring in the range, get some lanterns and we are nearly done!! Woo hoo! Painting continues downstairs, and other little odds and ends, here's the lo down. Front entrance is back to being worked on again (they were waiting for copper flashing), porch is just about done, and came out beautiful, I know we are really going to enjoy spending time there. Some hardware got put on and mirrors put in.  Sure enough my camera died when I was about 3/4 done with my photo session!!  

Dressing mirror installed.....

Vanity almost done....glazing getting done tomorrow!

Vanity completed!
Close up

Mirror got put into closet

2nd floor window being framed
Front tower/entrance, from 2nd floor
Outdoor patio/fireplace is done! Wanted to take more pics, but thats when my camera died!

Door knobs

Finally top of front door is being finished!

Mini subways considering for laundry room backsplash

Laundry room completed except for backsplash
Might do mini bricks on backsplash since I have some left over!
Love the wire on the cabinets....

Ta dah! Loving my backsplash

Honed beveled very large/oversized....exactly as I had envisioned!!

BIRTHDAY GOODNESS. First and foremost the best gift ever is the gift of love, friendship and the relationships I am blessed to have in my life. Then the fun gifts and beautiful flowers are like the icing on the cake!! Here are some of beautiful and super thoughtful gifts I received on my very special day......

These white hydrangea and red roses arrangement will work beautifully with my nutcrackers!
I also got two vases of gorgeous pink roses!! They smell heavenly.....
Got these beautiful orchids!! Perfect on my console in the kitchen...
And this fun tote filled with all kinds of yummy treats, way too many but I am not complaining!

Sorry but camera ran out at this point.....but suffice to say lots of wonderful thoughtful gifts! Thank you to all my friends and family! 

MAST BROTHERS CHOCOLATE. Now I do consider myself to be somewhat of a chocoexpert. (I coined this term, catchy, huh?) I love chocolate, though not a huge fan of dark though I know its the healthier less evil twin:)  Anywho, discovered Mast brothers and their "gourmet chocolate" at Dean and Deluca, besides being sinfully good, I love the packaging, there are a million ways they package their beautiful bars and these also make great gifts/favors! Its a neat story about two brothers from Brooklyn who started making chocolate in their apartment to serve at big dinner parties, so many loved it, one thing led to the net and voila, Mast Brothers chocolate was born! They liken their chocolate to not candy but " more like caviar". Click here to visit. (Be sure to watch their beautifully produced video on their story and how they make/source their chocolate)

The brothers at work, you have to admire anyone who makes a career out of making chocolate!

AN INSPIRING POST FROM A FELLOW BLOGGER. Last week and in general, I haven't been feeling the spirit as I normally do, much to my chagrin. Think mostly because of the stress I have been dealing with both with the house and with a sick relative and trying to help out on that end. I mean me, the one who goes all out with her decor, the one who cannot visit enough Christmas displays and must see every one, at least once, the one who dreams of becoming one of those little people in the perfect idyllic Christmas village scenes. Well I stumbled across a post which so moved me about the spirit of the holiday and ways to subtly get in the spirit. I felt like her post was talking directly to me. I wanted to share it because I think it was so beautifully and poignantly expressed. Thank you Suzanne from Privet and Holly. 
Please click here to see the post. 

A TRULY INSPIRING STORY. I found out about this blog through 3 peanuts and though I didnt' expect to start my day (which started at a very early 4:43 this morning) crying like a baby,but they were tears of joy and total awe. You must visit this blog and read about this unbelievable story of an American who has two adopted daughters from China and after being on the path to adopt a third, for years, they are presented with a situation of a 9 year old girl having lived in an orphanage since 2 who was found on the streets literally on fire. You can read the rest on her blog but they finally met (picture below) and it became official yesterday. AMAZING STORY whose spirit will stay with me this entire day. You must stop by and say hello...its truly remarkable in every way.  Cami is a lucky little girl!
Click here to visit  Casadealegria.

TORY BURCH JEWELRY. Kind of hard to move from a story like that to something frivolous like jewelry but it is the holidays and its all about beauty, both in the human spirit and in fun things like gifts! I  am a big fan of all things Tory Burch, have lots of her clothes in my closet and really love the modern take on traditional classics (exactly how I like to dress when not in yoga pants)! I am really liking her jewelry line and must admit I have been so out of it, that I wasn't even aware of its launch until quite recently. But I received a great bracelet as a gift and have since "investigated" and really love what I see, its a natural progression for someone who has done so well with her clothing line and the jewelry like her clothing, is modern but classic. Here are a few pieces I think that look great and will certainly stand the test of time.

The bracelet I was given (thanks C)!!

These are fun, could see these in the summer with an all white outfit!

This is a classic look

Love this, great colors for fall/winter

A great cuff is a must have!

A WONDERFUL GIVEAWAY!! As promised the wonderful maker of some of the finest artificial trees and wreaths has so generously offered a giveaway for not one but THREE wonderful items!!
They are the following:

1. A 6' Frasier Fir tree ($219 retail) 

2. A 30" Princetone Pine wreath ($129 retail) 

3.An 18" Mountain mixed Pine garland ($119 retail)

Not only can you use these beautiful items for this year but for many years to come! The quality is excellent and surely something every household will treasure. To be eligible, its quite simple....all you need to do is leave a comment here and "like" them on their Facebook page. Click here to visit their Facebook page. (Only those who do this will be eligible as per their instructions). Christmas Tree Market's artificial trees, wreaths and garland look fabulously real and stand the test of time! I will announce the lucky winners tomorrow morning so these lovely items can be sent right out......good luck!

Well, that is about it over here. Crazy busy, all good things and making my many lists and checking them twice and three times. I will be featuring various guest posts from some of  my incredibly talented taste maker friends/fellow bloggers, over the next 10 days leading up to Christmas with a sprinkling of my own posts. You are in for a treat, wishing you peace and calm during this hectic and sometimes stressful time! This says it best........

Wishing you a wonderful day!!!!


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