Country Living...Island Dreaming

December 31, 2014

My Top 10 Most Viewed Posts of 2014

In my last post, I listed My 10 Favorite Posts of 2014 but I finally figured out how to list my top ten most viewed posts.  Yeah, I've been blogging for 4 years and I finally caught on...I'm such a computer wiz...

Anyway, here are my top 10 most viewed posts written in 2014!  Please click the link below each picture if you want to read the full post.


Homegoods Lamp








Home Office Makeover - Most Viewed Posts of 2014

There were a couple repeats from My 10 Favorite Posts of 2014 but for the most part they were different.  What fun to see which posts were most popular!

Once again, I want to thank everyone who stops by my blog!  I enjoy reading every comment as well as taking this journey with all of you!  Happy New Year and I look forward to more fun in 2015!

I'd love for you to follow along so you don't miss a post!

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December 28, 2014

My 10 Favorite Posts of 2014

Each December, I like to make a list of my favorite posts from that year.

There is no particular order...
These are just my favorites for various reasons.

Please click the link below each picture to take you to the full post.

My favorite table setting of the year...
Favorite Posts of 2014 - Table Setting
Because it was so much fun to channel Jackie!
Jacqueline Kennedy Inspired Table

My favorite island post, even though I didn't travel to one this year...
Favorite Posts of 2014 - Islands
Because there is nothing like some island scenery!
Island Dreaming

My favorite completed decorating post...
Favorite Posts of 2014 - Decorating the Office
Because this is where I spend so much time!
My Home Office Now

My favorite family trip post...
Favorite Posts of 2014 - Baltimore Family Trip
Because my family is everything to me!
Family Trip - Baltimore Inner Harbor

My favorite silly story of the year...
Favorite Posts of 2014 - Silly Story - The Frankenbike
Because my husband cracks me up.
The Frankenbike Story

My favorite (and only) post about celebrities I got to meet this year...
Favorite Posts of 2014 - Property Brothers
Because it's the Property Brothers - need I say more?!!
Shopping with the Boys

My favorite tip...
Favorite Posts of 2014 - Blogging Tip
Because I am hoping my tip was helpful!
A Simple Blogging Tip

My favorite house tour post of the year...
Favorite Posts of 2014 - Model House Tour
Because this house inspired me!
A Model Home Tour

My favorite sentimental post...
Favorite Posts of 2014 - Fathers' Day Thoughts
Because time moves too fast.
Father's Day Thoughts

My favorite post to remind myself of the kind of parent I want to be...
Favorite Posts of 2014 - Kids
Because I want my kids to look back and smile about their childhood.
Why I Allowed My Son to Hang a Poster

So much fun to reflect back on 2014!

Here are some of my favorite posts from previous years:
My 10 Favorites of 2013
Some of My Favorites of 2012
My Favorite Posts for 2011

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog this year!
I appreciate all your comments
 and I look forward to interacting with you in the new year!

What are your highlights of 2014?

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December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and your families!
Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year!


December 19, 2014

Recent Happenings and Random Silliness

Less than a week until Christmas and I am going non-stop!  I just thought I would pop in for a quick recap of a few things going on around here...

First of all, my doggie turned THREE this week!
I cannot believe how fast the time went.

Many of you might remember the Weekend Pupdates I wrote during Rosie's first year with us.  I can honestly say, I love that precious dog more than ever...we all do!

You might recall my recent post about Sergeantsville, NJ...

Well... a website, asked if they could use my covered bridge picture.  I said yes and now my picture is on their website.  Pretty funny since I am SO not a photographer - and I took the picture with my iphone!  Anyway, go check out their website.  They highlight some interesting places in that area of the state.

As a mom to two boys, I really got a good laugh from this: 
You just have to go take a look and tell me how much you cracked up!  Make sure you scroll down and look at all the pictures.

Speaking of pictures, here is a picture of my current kitchen..
But it won't look this way for long....

Believe it or not, we are actually moving forward with our kitchen renovation.  I know, FINALLY, right?  It's been two years or so since I started talking about this!  Just getting started is a long process and now that we think we know which designer and contractor we are using, we can start.  Most likely I will be doing a few posts where I ask your opinion about some things.  I really need to know what works for people so I would love your input!

Here are a few of my sketches but obviously these are just some preliminary ideas...
The most significant change will be going from a peninsula to an island...
And enlarging that ghastly window...
And moving the fridge...
And putting the stove against the wall with a hood...
Well...I guess I will be making several significant changes!

I would be lying if I said I wasn't totally freaking out over this!!!
I will keep you posted on the progress.

And for all you Seinfeld fans...
It's 4 days till Fesitvus!

Have a nice weekend everyone!


December 18, 2014

Christmas Breakfast Table

Every Christmas morning we open our gifts and then the four of us sit down for our traditional breakfast.  My husband always cooks the eggs and bacon, while the kids and I make the toast and cut up the fruit.  The table setting is usually pretty simple.

This year I am playing around with this setting
to go along with some of the other black, white and red decor this year.

If you try really hard, 
you can see some black and white in the family room.

And I do have this vignette on the kitchen counter.

To coordinate with the black and white theme, 
I clipped these chalkboards to the napkins.  
A great find in the sale bins at Michael's.

The plates are Mikasa - Italian Countryside.

I swear this is my favorite tablecloth.
I think I bought it at Kohl's years ago.

One more thing I can cross of my list!


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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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!

Christmas Front Porch with black urns
Ta da!

A quick shot of my wreath...
Christmas Wreath on Black Front Door
It was windy this morning so the bow wouldn't stay in place.

And back to the trees...
Christmas Tree in urn on front porch
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.

Foam blocks to fill urn on front porch
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!)

How to secure a Christmas tree in an outside urn so it doesn't blow over.
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!
Front porch decorated for Christmas
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.

Holiday porch with mini trees and wreath
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?

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