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Monday, November 24, 2014

This And That And Giving Thanks

Time sure is flying, isn't it? Thanksgiving week is already upon us! I have a busy few days ahead, so I thought I'd better check in here with a post before the week gets away from me.
First up, a little update on my paperwhites.


 They are pretty amazing to watch actually. The bulbs look like they're just thrown into the dirt, but when you look more closely, you can see how strongly rooted they really are. They seem to grow every day. In a few short weeks, I should have beautiful blooms. I'm excited!

I'm also excited that my dear Hubster is taking a couple extra vacation days this week. We are going on a little adventure tomorrow that I'm looking forward to and Wednesday, we will be doing some preparations for Thanksgiving. Of course I'll be making my favorite sweet potato recipe. YUM!
And Friday the tree goes up! Yikes! And Saturday, we have a wedding to attend.
I also wanted to let you know that I'm trying to use Instagram a bit. I haven't gotten around to adding a link here yet, but you can follow me @ jillc12 if you'd like .

I have so much to be thankful for this year. God has been so faithful to me. I'm so grateful that in all the ups and downs of life that HE never changes.

I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving and that you are able to take time out of the busyness of the season to consider all you have to be thankful for.
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Setting The Table For Thanksgiving

This year I will be hosting my family for Thanksgiving and yesterday I decided to do my table's dress rehearsal. I love puttering around, mixing and matching, and grabbing things from around my home to make a pretty table.

I fell in love with Lauren's table over at The Endearing Home....especially the beautiful Thanksgiving napkins she found at Pier 1. They were a bit of a splurge, but I kept reminding myself of all the "fraying" Mom and I did for napkins for my Easter I went for it. Thankfully, they were on sale and I had a coupon, so that helped. And they were the only thing new that I purchased for the table. Everything else I already had.

So the napkins were the jumping off point and I knew they would look nice with my black and white dishes. I never intended to use the turquoise dishes though. We could have as many as eleven for Thanksgiving dinner, and I so I started experimenting with different place setting combinations so I would have enough for everyone. That's when I started pulling out the turquoise. And as I looked around my home, I started finding more....first the Ball jars (fancy, I know), and then the candlesticks and tray....and it all started coming together. Once I had that all in place, I started contemplating adding some Fall colors, but I decided to keep it simple with just a wire basket filled with pinecones.

Here are the three different place settings I came up with. The clothespin chalkboard tags I used for place cards came from Target (okay, so I did purchase those too. I forgot.) You can see the details of the napkins better in these photos too.



If everyone does wind up coming, we will set up another table for the kids. I love Thanksgiving! The good food and time spent with family is special. I love when there's a chill in the air and everyone is just content to stay inside and spend time together.
Last year, I wrote a post about our Thanksgiving traditions if you'd like to read about that.
And if you need more inspiration for your holiday table, here's the Thanksgiving table I put together last year.....just for you!

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Monday, November 10, 2014

A Rebel Gardener And Paperwhites For Christmas

I have a confession to make. Halloween was only a little more than a week ago, Thanksgiving is still a couple weeks away, but I've got the Christmas bug. I know, I know....bad, bad, bad!

I blame it on the boys in my family. One son has a birthday next week, and my other son and Hubster have theirs in the beginning of December. I start shopping early and have thoughts about what gift ideas will be for their birthdays and what will be for Christmas. And you know what happens when you get in the stores this time of year. You get bit by the Christmas least I do.

So on Friday I succumbed to the bug and bought some Christmas decorations. It was out of necessity though...really! Last year I fell in love with Yvonne from Stone Gable's paperwhites at Christmas time. I knew when this year rolled around I wanted to try my hand at them. The thing is, paperwhites take about six weeks to grow and bloom. So if I wanted them to bloom by Christmas, this was the week.


Aren't they beautiful? Make sure you check out the Stone Gable blog when you get a chance. Yvonne has created such a gracious home. It's really lovely.

So here's where the rebel part comes in....since I pretty much have a brown thumb, and I'm all about being frugal, I bought paperwhite kits at WalMart rather than going to the garden center and purchasing bulbs and dirt or rocks like I'm pretty sure Yvonne did. (Did I mention how precious my time is to me too?)

It's actually a good deal and super easy. For five dollars, each kit comes with 4 bulbs, a pot (although I chose to use my own pretty containers....more rebellion), and potting medium.

You place the 1-inch potting medium disc in your container, add water, and in about a half hour your disc expands and fills the whole pot. It's pretty impressive!

Once all the water is absorbed, you can "fluff up" the soil a bit and then you can place your bulbs, sprout side up and root side down, in it. The bulbs don't need to be deep. From what I've read, the dirt is just to hold the bulbs upright so the roots can grow deep and gather nutrients from the water. Some folks don't actually use dirt at all, but simply place the bulbs in pretty stones.

So....hopefully I will have gorgeous paperwhites for Christmas. I'm crossing my fingers and my brown thumbs too. I'll let you know how it goes.


I'll leave you with a couple more displays of paperwhites to inspire you.

Here, they were planted in a silver urn and incorporated into a beautiful hot cocoa bar.


 Flanking a staircase.
Aren't these a sweet little favor for a Christmas dinner?
Planting them in a jelly or mason jar makes for a cute little gift too!


I hope you all have a great Monday!
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November Is Here!

It's hard to believe that we have already flipped our calendars over to November! The weatherman is already predicting cold and snowy days in the near future. Our calendar is filling up with birthdays to celebrate, doctor's appointments, days off school, a wedding to attend, and of course Thanksgiving.

The kids are already getting excited about putting up the Christmas Tree. But it seems to me like we just took it down a couple weeks ago!

Back in the Summer, I wrote about being intentional. This season of the year is also an important time to do that. It can become so busy with activities and things we THINK we have to do. It can become really easy to forget the importance of and the reasons why we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas if we aren't intentional about how we spend our time and what truths and memories we want to instill in our kids.
I've actually had the idea of making a "Holiday List" (incorporating both Thanksgiving and Christmas) to try and focus our attention. We'll see how that goes.
What are YOU doing to prepare for the last two months of 2014? (Yikes, I can't believe I said that!)

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