December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shopping and Thinking About Prepping...

Hmmm...yes, it should probably be thinking first and then shopping.  Duh, Jan! 

But while I usually plan many things well in advance (such as travelling vacations), when it comes to shopping for things for my house, I have a tendency to jump in feet first and think about it later.  This leads to mistakes in purchases sometimes, but fortunately nothing too terribly expensive over the years.  Still, there is probably a better way to do this!  It's not like I have money to burn --

Oh well, I did go shopping.  Online and in person, woo woo! 

Every now and then I visit Kirkland's online because I love their style, I have found their prices to be very good and they sometimes have great sales and clearances.  This recent visit, I was looking for some chessly gifts for the Hales Corners Chess Challenge that will take place in April, 2013.  The gift bags I gave to each of the top female finishers (Open and Reserve sections) in the Hales Corners Chess Challenge held last month were a great hit, and I received lovely thank you emails from each of the recipients.  That was enough to stir me to even greater effort to create great gift bags for the future respective winners in the Open and Reserve sections next April.

So, I was looking for something in a "crown" -- you know, because of the Queen in chess, who is the most powerful piece on the chessboard.  And, sure enough, I found a PERFECT gift at Kirkland's!  I wish they would have had three, that's what I ordered but, unfortunately, there was only ONE left in stock, which I promptly ordered -- a metal and "crystal" candle holder in the shape of a Queen's crown at a great price.  Here is an online image:

I think it's soooo pretty!  I also found at Kirkland's a ceramic crown shaped candle holder at a very good price that I may order.  There is nothing wrong with it at all, it is very pretty but, well, frankly, it doesn't hold a candle (har!) to this metal and "crystal" candle holder!  Still, it has a great shape so I will probably buy it.

While I was looking for chessly items at Kirkland's, I came across a set of three votive holders that have nothing to do with chess, but I fell in love with them, they were on sale and I bought them.  My thinking at the time was that they will look wonderful either on the mantle or on the coffee table as part of my Christmas decor, which I have been busy imagining for the past 10 days or so.  I have Paul Michael feathers that I will be using on my tree, and I am going to restrict my colors this years to gold, clear glass and silver tones.  I have even thought about possibly flocking my tree...  I have a four day weekend over Thanksgiving, and the tree will go up along with my other Christmas decor. 

Oy, I should show you those votive holders -- they are "mercury" glass, but actually, I find it impossible to distinguish these from the "silver" finish:

The Kirkland's box was waiting for me on my front stoop Friday night when I got home from the office.  Woo woo!  I unpacked the freezing cold contents and set the votive lights out to slowly warm up to room temperature before tucking them away the next day.  This is a pic I took of them yesterday morning.  Aren't they pretty!

A closer view:

Yesterday afternoon I once again visited the TJ Maxx that is a mile's walk away from my house.  It was a beautiful day and I wanted to stretch my legs, and I was again on the hunt for chessly gifts.  I remembered from the week before, when I was on the hunt for a gift for Thelma's house-warming party, I'd seen one of those "book" boxes that had a crown on the outside of it.  I didn't know if it would still be there but, IT WAS!  So, I scored another chessly gift:

There was only one of this perfect size, that can be used as a trinket box, or a special treasures box, or even just as a faux book upon which to rest a queenly candle holder.  I would have bought one for myself if there'd been two. 

During this visit, I happened upon a SATIN full size bedding set with FOUR pillow cases in it for $16.99.  In a ruby red color.  Not orange-y red; not fire engine red, not wine red.  Ruby red.  Luscious!  A perfect score for my bedroom!  I'd been on the hunt for awhile for a reasonably priced red set of pillow shams or a sheet set -- without luck.  Until now.

I will add the red pillow cases to my bed in December before I switch over to the really heavy-duty down comforter that is red/white/black floral on one side and red/black/white plaid on the other side.  I haven't had satin bedding for years!  A touch of lux at a great price, and the extra two pillow cases included in the set will be used as "shams" on the two "dress" pillows on my bed.  The satin sheets will be put on the bed in February when I switch back to my lighter weight black and white toile comforter and shams, rather than my usual black and white gingham checked pillow cases. 

I also bought three picture frames - a long story -- will blog about that later.

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