Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Where's Your Christmas?

I feel like some of my older posts are worthy of revisiting.  Seems like a good time for this one.

It's here!  The time of the year when the urging, begging, annoying, nagging and other forms of persuasion begin in most households relative to moving in the Christmas decorations.  Boxes either have to be retrieved from an attic, basement, garage or the storage building across town.

Did you ever consider there might be a better option than putting it all in a box and hauling it to some dark corner?  I did and here is my solution.

This is a drawer in a large English chest that sits right in the living room where my tree gets decorated.  The drawer has several layers of tissue on the bottom and I've used divisions to separate ornaments by color, theme or size. 

This section is for some big ornaments. 

A section of the same drawerl.  


Another drawer.  This one holds holly candle rings, my collection of bottle brush trees, Christmas CD's, rolled ribbons, some neat Dept. 56 ribbon candle rings, a cup and saucer from my childhood teaset, old wood blocks with significant letters.  It is a tradition that I use the same ribbons year after year.  They show up tied on cup handles, candlesticks, bunches of holly.  Sometimes to accent a special ornament on the tree or to anchor one in a precarious spot.  I even have some satin ones from a Christmas wreath that hung on my Mom's door in the fifties.  As you can see by the top of the chest I was in the process of storing things when the photos were done. 

An idea of what goes in one side of the drawer.  In the back is a very old ornament box that I always use to display some treasures.  There is the ornament that commemorates my little bug.   I have a small collection of wooden tops most of which stay out year-round in a pretty bowl.  The one in the drawer joins the others at Christmas.  Most of my stuff is sentimental and traditional.

The two smaller drawers at the top of the chest hold my creche figures on one side and the other drawer holds small fragile ornaments . There are some small Radkos, some old family ornaments from my parents - one blue one is showing in the back.  In front is my collection of little grape bunches.  I cherish them.  

The bottom drawer really holds a lot of stuff.  There are several stuffed Santas - two from Toy Works that I wrote about a while ago, lots of stockings - decorative and personal, some small pretty boxes, books, a old flocked reindeer who visits under the tree every year, a couple of pillows and a Dept. 56 Santa with his hot air balloon.  I also have a collection of those little advertising hat boxes like you see in the upper right corner.  

My tree, swags and some other large things are in storage but my wonderful big chest holds all the stuff that used to go into boxes.  The best part is that throughout the year I can open a drawer and get a touch of Christmas. 

Happy Holidays!!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Doing The Mantel?

Two suggestions for mantel decor that use materials that might already be collected or on hand.  

  Bottle brush trees = nostalgia.

Not extravagant but definitely impressive.  

Hope I'm not pushing the season but I know you're thinking.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Skin Care Bargains

So, my new intro says "skin care".   We have talked about skin care a couple of times.  Once, I had seen talk of Boots No. 7 and made a post about it.  I never got around to trying it.  There was also the Avalon cleanser that I got at the grocery store.  It didn't make the regular cut.

After years of spending too much money at QVC and department store counters and too often seeing no good results, I now shop the bargain counters.  I love the couple of aisles of skin and beauty products at TJMaxx and seldom come away without something new to try.  

Most recently I picked up a couple from Ellen Tracy.  The photo is unclear.  The product is Nightime Hydrating Cream.  
When I got home I looked for reviews online and found about a 75/25 ratio in reviews.  One of the positives:  "I had a pretty severe windburn on my face recently and tried this cream three nights in a row and each morning I woke with soft, moisturized skin. It doesn't only make your face look good, it also makes your face feel very good."  Even someone who didn't like what the cream did for her skin commented that the consistency and light scent were pleasing.  

I, too, like the consistency.  It is sort of a light gel.  It absorbs quickly and I hardly noticed the scent.  That alone pleases me.  

This jar is living on my desk where I use it to refresh my face when it feels dry.  I pat it on my cheeks and forehead and rub the remainder into my hands.

Another Ellen Tracy purchase:

This one says 'facial' but I bought it  because I needed something for hands, legs and feet.  It works nicely. The exfoliation material doesn't disappear too quickly on contact as too many do.  Use it before getting into the shower for best results.  I wouldn't recommend it for tub use.    

These two jars cost around ten dollars total at TJ's.  Would I prefer a fresh container of Kate's Quench?  Maybe,  but shopping the bargains gives me a kick that forking over $90 - $150 just doesn't get.

To each his own.  Mine is bargain skin care.  

What's your secret?