Saturday, December 13, 2014

Vermont Ski Weekend

We usually don't head up to Vermont in December due to all of our pre-Christmas activities.  But now that the boys have developed an interest in skiing, we managed to squeeze in a trip last weekend.  We picked them up from school Thursday afternoon and headed north on our 4 1/2 hour ride to Killington, VT.

Here is how the mountain looked Friday morning.

The boys didn't want to take lessons this time around so we let them just practice with us.  I took our 8 year old and my husband took our 10 year old.  Since it was a Friday early in the season, we basically had the place to ourselves.  The temperatures hovered right around freezing with no wind so I was happy to ski with them.  (I am a fair-weather skier by the way...remember I am a beach girl at heart!)  The boys did well even though my younger son was a little frustrated.

That night, it snowed 3 or 4 inches but we woke up to drizzle so I dreaded spending the day out in the elements...

Luckily, the drizzle let up and switched back and forth to snow so the day wasn't a total washout!  I was able to motivate my younger son a little more and by the end of the day he LOVED skiing!

I couldn't even take pictures of my older son because he was beating all of us to the bottom.  That weekend was his first weekend on the lift and let me just say, that I think we have created a monster!  He has no fear of speed and wasn't ready to come in when the rest of us were exhausted!

But I wasn't exhausted enough to miss out on some shopping!  I managed to stop in a few stores and art galleries and my favorite gift shop at The Greenbriar Inn.

What fun to visit this shop
 when I still had a ton of Christmas shopping to do!
Needless to say, I did some damage!

 They have the best selection of hooked pillows and rugs...

And some adorable wooden signs!

 During our weekend, we had dinner at our favorite spots..  
 The Garlic, our usual stop on the night we arrive.

 The Wobbly Barn, a must for every trip to Killington!

And this time, we tried a new place,
 A very ski-lodgy type of place with great food
and smore's right at the table!
I think the kids liked this place the best!

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend!

And even Rosie got to enjoy the snow!
It's not a family vacation without her!
Luckily, we stay at a family townhouse so she can join us!

I envy anyone who is heading to Vermont this weekend!  A ton of snow fell this week and I think almost every trail is open at Killington!  Have fun if you are going!

Do you have any winter trips planned this year?

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Front Porch

Well, things are moving along in the Calypso household.  The other day I mentioned my little tree dilemma where I bought these porch trees but the bases they came in were too wide for my urns. you can see I was able to make the trees fit!

Ta da!

A quick shot of my wreath...
It was windy this morning so the bow wouldn't stay in place.

And back to the trees...
Here is one,
all snug and tight in the urn.

Many of you gave some excellent suggestions on how to keep the trees in place.  Thank you very much, by the way!  I ended up using a combination of some of those suggestions.

My friend, Karolyn from The Relished Roost suggested that I use some styrofoam balls from Michael's.  I found some square florist foam instead and went with that.  

I had to cut them down to fit in the urns.  
A very messy job and I am lucky I didn't cut off my arm!
(Maybe something besides a steak knife would have worked better!)

But eventually I was able to make them fit!

I was worried that with our crazy winter winds, I would need some extra weight in there.  I headed to Home Depot for some gravel like some of you suggested.  

And as you can see, these babies aren't going anywhere now!
I would have loved to bring them forward a bit so everything wasn't so tight near the door.  Then again, I am probably better off having them covered and out of the wind.

Now, if the temperatures would only warm up, I could get my husband to put up the outside lights!  I tried to talk him into it weeks ago when it was still a little warm but he waited and now I have the sad-non-festive house on the block.  Boo hoo..

Are you still decorating?
Or am I the only one?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Three Looks for the Glass Doors

If you are like me, once you start pulling out the Christmas decor, your whole house seems to get messy.  It's almost as if my family notices all the extra "stuff" all over and feels it gives them a license to be sloppy.   One thing leads to another and before we know it, all the organization has gone out the window.

And speaking of windows...

Take for instance, my entertainment center in the family room.  This is what a few days of the "throw-it-anywhere-free-for-all" can do to the shelves.

And unfortunately, when you have glass doors...
You can still see the mess behind them!
(This is an old picture, by the way...
the mess is worse this year!)

Since I was using some red and black in the family room this Christmas, I took some checkered wrapping paper and taped it to the back of the glass.

I have done this "hiding technique" each year at Christmas.  It helps me relax a bit about the piles of DVDs and other various garbage that gets tossed in there.  

Here is a "finished" door.  Sorry about the sun glare.  You might notice the fireplace reflection in the TV...I had just started decorating in there so the mantel may change once some creativity kicks in.

Here is the paper I used last year.
This look was a little more subtle.

The greenery really stood out on this one.

And you might remember the first year I tried hiding the mess...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Little Tree Dilemma

While many of you are giving beautiful house tours of your completely decorated homes, I am still deciding where I am going to put things!

I have always wanted two small trees for my front porch and I scored these 3 1/2 foot ones on Home Depot's website on Black Friday.  They were regularly $69.98 for the two but I paid $41.73 with tax and free shipping.

They arrived yesterday and I was so excited to put them out this morning.
 I couldn't wait to place them in the black urns I bought last spring!

 Unfortunately, I didn't measure before purchasing and they don't fit!!!

I tried them without the urns and they look cute
but the urns would give them more impact.
So sad.

So I am trying to figure out if I can make them fit somehow.

They do come apart...

But this piece doesn't
 so I need to find a way to keep them standing straight.

Then I thought I would try to put them somewhere else...
But I think they look a little wimpy in here.

Where's Charlie Brown when you need him?

But the trees became the least of my worries
when Rosie wouldn't come in when I called her...
 Apparently, she thought it would be fun
 to chase some bunnies
into the muddy, sticker filled landscaping.
Just wonderful.

I have been trying to clean her up with some old towels.
I still haven't pulled all of the stickers out of her fluffy tail!
It's a good thing I love her so much!

So back to Christmas...
Any suggestions for my "little tree dilemma?

How's your decorating coming along?

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

White Thanksgiving

Wishing you and your families a 
Happy Thanksgiving!

As you can see, 
we have a white one here in New Jersey!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Vignettes

Before I run out to the store to pick up the rest of my Thanksgiving ingredients, I'd like to share a few Thanksgiving inspired vignettes around my home...

This is the coffee table in my living room.
The sunflower basket shows up in different places every year:

I added this subway art to my foyer.

 As you can see, I changed it a bit in here.
Here is what the table looked like about a month ago - Fall Foyer
(I know, I just can't leave things alone!)

 This rustic pumpkin is on the kitchen table.
Obviously it will look a bit different in here on Thanksgiving Day.

This fall vignette is in my guest bathroom.

 I made the "artwork" on Picmonkey.
I always like to change what's in the beadboard frame.

Last year, I used some subway art in here.

 The pub table is all set for a game of chess.
Gotta keep those cousins entertained.

And basket of pumpkins sits on the console table in my family room.

Here is how my house looked last year:

And now I have stalled enough!  I am off to the grocery store to brave the crowds of Thanksgiving shoppers..And the pre-snowstorm shoppers!  Yes, snow is in the forecast for tomorrow....looks like a white Thanksgiving around here!

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

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