Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Three Word Wednesday!

 Clark Griswold Wannabe!!!!!! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Deck the Halls!

A first this year -- our house is all decorated and it's not even December!! Woohoo!!

Come on in -- the entryway

  I had a big incentive and deadline as Mr. Tennis agreed that our house could be open on Sunday, Nov. 20,  for a Holiday Open House tour.  Holy smokes, I was sweating it for a while there, but it all came together.  It may be true that Mr. Tennis ignored my "theme" of silver/red/white and threw in some other colors, but it turned out fine.  I put the kibosh on some of his "special" decorating touches and sent him outside to do his Clark Griswold impression! :)

 Reports were that there was a big crowd with a line out the door and down the block to go through the house. Visitors could see five different houses throughout the city and the admission price went to fund a special program for kids at our local elementary schools.  So, it was a veritable win/win -- we (somehow -- late nights, etc.) managed to do our Christmas decorating early and kids at schools throughout the city benefited too.

We decorated each room and even have two Christmas trees up!

My favorite room is the dining room!

Love my red and white dishes!

The stairs with polka dot bows are also a fave!

And love our mantel -- so pretty, but hard to photograph due to a large mirror!

How about you?  Have you finished your decorating? 
It may be a new tradition to get the decorating done early!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Getting ready to put my apron on and start cooking!!  

Those of you who know me IRL (in real life) know that I am not the best cook on the block and my meals are not always balanced.   I mean really, is it necessary to have both a vegetable and a salad?  Shouldn't one green thing suffice????  You can bet that I always plan a dessert! 
This year -- pumpkin pie and fudge!

Last year, I had these fun dinner conversation starters I found on another blog (though am not sure which one, but thank you to whoever thought them up)!   Everyone kind of rolled their eyes at me, but I know they really enjoyed them. 

This Thanksgiving, like every other big event - and actually every single day -- I'm thinking of and missing my sweet Mum.  She made cooking up a big meal seem so easy and effortless.  Her homemade dinner rolls and cinammon rolls were always so yummy!  She made a special strawberry jello every single year -- I think because Philip loved it so much.  One year, we (my sisters and I) put together some little margaritas (of course, margaritas go with turkey!!) and my Mom even joined in and had one.  Oh.My.Word!  That was the funnest dinner ever!  Just a few sips and she was on a roll, talking up a storm and telling stories. 
Such a sweet memory.

So much to be thankful for every day. 
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving remembering loved ones too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Favorite Photo Friday - Fall

Looking down Stratford Avenue

We've had the sweetest weather this fall.  I really hate to mention it because I'm sure that will jinx it and/or we'll have the worst winter on record!  But, must enjoy it while we can, right?!

The trees have been lovely, though cold temps along with windy days and nights have resulted in loads of leaves on the ground.  We had 30 (yes 30!) bags of leaves for the trash guys the other day and we're not done yet!  Not to worry, I didn't rake them all myself! 
In fact, I didn't actually rake any.   I hired someone! :)

 I took this photo last weekend (in my robe) when the sun had just come up and there was a rosy pinkish glow in the sky.  I wanted to be sure and catch a snapshot of the fall colors before the bareness of winter takes over!  Love you Fall  -- I miss your beautiful colors already!

Have a wonderful weekend!  Have you bought your turkey yet? 
 Started Christmas decorating?  More on that next week!

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Think Safety First!

This little public service announcement is being brought to you by our local fire department and Lifetone Technology.   We all know how important smoke detectors are and how they save lives every single day, right?  But, have you ever thought -- what about people who are deaf or who have a hearing loss?  What if they can't hear their smoke alarm??  

I recently found out that our local fire department received a grant to provide special special smoke alarms for individuals with hearing impairments, including families with children with a hearing loss. Miss M has a hearing impairment and qualified for the smoke alarm.  Some of our finest firefighters came by this morning and installed it.  Whoa -- it's pretty amazing!  It's called a Lifetone HL Fire Alarm and Clock, a fire detection system from Lifetone  Technology.

Basically, it works like this.  In case of fire or smoke, a special smoke alarm installed outside her bedroom goes off and triggers a fire-clock alarm on her bedside table that looks like a clock radio,  It works like so (borrowed from their website): 

• Sounds a 520 Hz square-wave alarm: This special sound proven in controlled scientific testing as the most effective at waking people up in a fire emergency. The Lifetone HL pumps out the alarm signal at 90 dBA – that’s like having someone start a lawn mower next to your bed!

• A visual signal: The back-lit display flashes with the word FIRE. In a darkened room, the flashing display is another form of sensory stimulation to “break through” the fogginess of sleep.

• A physical vibration from the bed shaker: A small clam shell-like device about the size of the palm of your hand plugs in to the back of the unit. When the alarm is triggered, the bed shaker, placed between the mattress and box springs, vibrates strongly.

• A voice sounds saying:  "FIRE, GET OUT". 

If you didn't check and change your batteries when the time changed recently, please check the batteries in your smoke detector --
be safe!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Favorite Photo Friday

I talked bribed Miss M into a few photos the other day before it got too dark and too chilly.  With the holidays approaching, paying her a little modeling fee helps and keeps her motivated! 
Plus, she loves this fur vest!  

Oh my -- she's looking so grown up here --
how can my baby be almost 10 years old!!!

While temps and leaves are falling, we haven't actually raked leaves up just yet!  Kind of waiting for the wind to blow them down the street to the neighbors' yards! :)  Kidding -- kind of!  We do plan to work on those leaves one of these days! 

 Our leaves are the dirty brown ones, so she and I were delighted to find this beautiful one!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Christmas Card Bloopers

A few weeks ago, Maddy put on her most gorgeous white tutu (love it!) and posed for our upcoming  Christmas card.   Of course, there were a number of bloopers.  That girl dances, makes faces  and generally has fun -- for a little while! 

Always has a stuffed animal nearby and she insisted on a photo with this one!

The singing and air guitar was happening at this moment! 
Don't you love her purple Pumas peeking out!

Singing continues!  Doesn't everyone stand on a bench for photos?!!

Wondering when the "perfect" photo will be captured?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Favorite Photo Friday

I love, love, love my hydrangea plant! I'm the only one in the whole block neighborhood with the purple blooms -- ain't I special? :)    It bloomed more than ever this year,  and it was so nice to see it holding on through some cold temps recently.  However, the lows in the 20's lately have done it in now.  I'm not much of a gardner (mowing is more my speed), but I do tend to my hydrangea!!   It was one of my Mom's favorite flowers too.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Update - A Tooth Fairy and A Hotdog!

Just a quick update as it was almost impossible to get a decent photo of Miss Maddy as a tooth fairy and Miss Muffy as a hotdog prior to Halloween!

 And so, here is the Tooth Fairy!

 With her trusty Scottie, the hotdog!