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Thursday, December 20, 2012

[ Decorating for the Holidays]

With the Holidays quickly approaching, as they seem to do so every year, I like to remind myself not to let my day-to-day schedule over run the meaning of the Holiday Season… One of my secrets of being able to enjoy this special Season, is to keep things simple and within a budget.  From gift shopping - to decorating - to preparing holiday meals, I think is important that we keep it simple, so we may take time to enjoy the moments with family and friends.

As an Artist, I love to take a creative approach to Holiday decorating… I first look at the rooms that I will decorate as if they are a blank canvas - I sketch out in my mind or on paper the different areas of my home that I will choose to use as the focal points for the decorating story and theme. As I open my boxes of decorations, lights, ribbons, fabrics, garlands, traditional holiday books and flowers, these become my inspiration, my paints for the stories/themes to fill the blank canvas throughout my home...

My theme this year was created around Angels that I have collected throughout the years….

What is so wonderful with simple decorating is you really do not need a lot of things; you just need great imagination... Which makes it more fun to create a different theme every year.... That is why I always encourage family and friends not to rush through the decorating and preparing, but to enjoy the moments of creativity together....

Turn on some Holiday Music,
Light scented candles or create a holiday scent,
If you have a fireplace, start a fire, and
Listen to the crackles of the wood,
Imagine your theme-color, story, style etc. and
Choose your blank canvas…

You may start with areas in your home you want to be the focus of your theme, such as a Christmas tree, a Menorah, the fireplace or centerpiece for dinning table.  Once you find the focus area of your blank canvas, start painting with your decorations using colors that compliment your theme…
What I like to do to carry my theme throughout the home is by simply adding a swatch of pretty velvet fabric on a table with a Holiday Candle. Also add a bowl of extra bulbs and ribbons on a side table for color… and yes, I do love ribbon… I often create bows and tie them the tops of lamps or candle sticks to add some flair and softness to the look of the room. ***Ribbons are underestimated treasures, as they may be recycled from year to year.

So this year, I invite you to Keep it Simple as you are preparing for the Holidays. You will truly be able to enjoy the gifted moments of the season with family and friends.

Friday, December 14, 2012

[ The Hostess Gift … the simple gesture of “Thank You”]

A tradition I have carried forth through the years… is the gracious thank you with a hostess gift. I think it is really special when someone opens their home to you as a guest, to share their personal side of themselves with you.
I have noticed throughout the years, with the increase of
technology occupying every aspect of our lives with promises
 of "instant" connections and interactions ... I find that less and
less do I hear the simple words of " thank you". The words
"thank you" are two of the easiest words to say, which are…
I know, so uplifting to one's soul when one hears these
words. As many of us are moving quickly through the
day we may forget to slow down and to remember…
to express a little “thank you” to a family member,
friend or colleague....

A "Hostess Gift " represents a simple gesture of
thanks. It does not have to be costly or elaborate… 
it is a genuine gesture from the heart.Such as a 
handwritten note accompanied with a keepsake gift, like a candle, flowers/plant, handmade craft or a delicate food treat. A gift of “kindness and thanks” –an appreciation for sharing the special time together in one’s treasured home or for a special gathering. To say "thank you" for sharing a personal time and space...for a gifted moment....

Sunday, December 9, 2012

[Lighting Candles - Passing on a Reflection of Tradition…]

When I was newly married, Xzandrya, my friend and mentor, had shared with me one of the secrets to her joyous 66 years of marriage; lighting candles for dinner every night.  She had shared that by lighting candles, we would change the mood of the day … to a peaceful reflection of light and calmness.

Years later, we as a family, whether together or apart from one another, light candles for dinner every night to change away from the haste of our full everyday lives. Our tradition of lighting candles slows us down …
to take time,
to share some quiet moments with our family or friends,
to reflect upon our experiences from the day, and
to refresh one’s soul for tomorrow…