not on my list

I'm slowly realizing that, sometimes, the things missing from my Christmas list are the things a person would rationally and objectively think I could use the most. Things like my coffee maker, which was purchased seven years ago for about 15 dollars. It never fails to let half the grinds pass into the pot and it leaks more often than it doesn't. And I don't know if it's because I'm stubborn, or because I'm thrifty, or what, but I look at that old coffee maker most days and just think, what a damn good little machine.

With all the baking I've been doing over the past few months, I probably should have bought an apron. But I took an old dishtowel, and an old cloth belt, and stapled
(yes, stapled) the two together, creating a perfectly functional, albeit unattractive, apron. And I appreciate it the way I appreciate t-shirts from Goodwill — already worn out, so I don't have to worry about being the first one to stain or tear it. It's already stained and torn. Comfortable. The way I like things.


let your heart be light

Oh, what I would give to have a voice like Judy Garland...


new christmas traditions

My favorite way to spend a December Friday night...
fire in the fireplace, hot toddies, The Family Stone, curled up with this guy next to the Christmas tree. And a little bit of snow in the morning.


overheard 003

inside of CVS...

55-year-old woman in sweatpants: "Have you seen a guy with one arm in here today?"
Cashier: "A guy with one arm?"
Woman: "Yeah."
Cashier: "Nope, not today. Usually see him most days. Not today though."
Woman: "OK, thanks. Bye."


what an adventure this is

I'm reading Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl for the first time. May seem like a strange pick for the holiday season, but it's a wonderful reminder to not take a single thing for granted. In the face of such terror and harsh living conditions, listening to bombs dropping night after night, eating boiled rotten cabbage for weeks on end, and after 22 months of confinement, Anne still manages such a positive outlook — and she's only 14 years old! I can't help wishing that I had an attitude like hers:

"I'm young and strong and living through a big adventure; I'm right in the middle of it and can't spend all day complaining because it's impossible to have any fun! I'm blessed with many things: happiness, a cheerful disposition and strength. Every day I feel myself maturing, I feel liberation drawing near, I feel the beauty of nature and the goodness of the people around me. Every day I think what a fascinating and amusing adventure this is! With all that, why should I despair?"


mantel suggestions

I love love love our fireplace, but I'm getting a bit tired of the empty wall above it. Any suggestions? Favorite painters, photographers, or other creative ideas?


holiday centerpiece (on a budget)

Inspired in part by Dawn's lovely handiwork, in part by the beautiful crafty things in Midwest Living, and in part by the beloved Design*Sponge, I decided to create a centerpiece for family holiday dinners back in Georgia. I needed something affordable, easily transportable, and flexible enough to work for both for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Here's what I ended up with...

Supplies only set me back about $13:
-Glass tea light holders (.60 each, WalMart)
-Sheer gold ribbon ($1, Michael's)
-Mason jars (had them)
-Glass candlestick holders ($1 each, Dollar General)
-Tea light candles (had them)
-Tapered candlesticks ($2, Michael's)
-Hollyberry "garland" ($4, Michael's)

Fresh-cut flowers were an additional cost ($15), but worth it. Now all I have to do is grab a few red bouquets and it goes from Thanksgiving to Christmas in a snap.



Back in sunny September it seemed like a good idea to unpack a box, and then chuck it in the garage.

Yesterday morning, after scraping frost off of my car for eight minutes, it didn't seem like such a good idea. I couldn't feel my hands. It was 22 degrees. Sadly, by Indiana standards, that isn't even cold. And since I'll be happily rejoining the workforce starting Monday — after a five month "transition" period — I'm running out of days to put this off until.

The boxes must go. Today.