Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Christmas in July - Day Nineteen

I love Christmas tablescapes.

25+ Awesome Christmas Tablescape Ideas - I love what they've done with the chairs

Christmas Morning Table - love the cute deer - the link leads to a T-shirt company so I just linked as far as Pinterest

A Country Christmas Tablescape - I need to find one of these red trucks!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday 7/17/2017

It's time for another Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  Click here if you'd like to join in .

The weather:::

Another gloriously (not!) hot, humid, and thunderstorming week.

On my reading pile:::
Finished Dear Bob and Sue, it was a great read and also knocked out Lilac Girls.  I'm moving on to Everyone Brave is Forgiven.  On my Kindle, I have the first of the Keep the Home Fires Burning e-books, Spitfire Down.

On my TV:::
Haven't started Suits yet.  Vic and I had a Roger Moore as 007 marathon last week and I've been catching up on My Mother and Other Strangers on PBS.

On the menu for this week:::

Vic's traveling so it's snack nights.  Small group from church on Wednesday - bring your own meat and a side dish to share so I'm taking lumpia.

On my to-do list:::

  • Pick up lumpia and decide what meat to take to small group (a burger probably - Fresh Market has some yummy looking gourmet offerings)
  • Volunteer shift at the gift shop
  • Lunch Bunch - it's Peruvian this month
  • Pick Vic up at the airport - not sure when as he always tries to get on an earlier flight if they finish up in time
  • Pick up birthday card and gift card for my nephew
  • Mail wedding card to my cousin
  • See Dunkirk at the movies sometime this weekend

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Hoping to get some scrapbooking done while Vic is gone this week.

Looking around the house:::

One load of laundry to do.

From the camera:::

MudLynn on a hike this weekend

Something fun to share:::

Scored this great deal on four of these Easter plates at Williams-Sonoma yesterday - $14.95 each reduced to $4.99 and then 30% off on top of that!

What I'm wearing today:::
Purple sun dress,  flip flops.

Christmas in July - Day Seventeen

A couple of rustic ornaments caught my eye on Pinterest - there are endless possibilities with wood slices, twigs, twine, and assorted embellishments.

And while we're on the subject of ornaments, it was the Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Premiere this weekend and I picked up a couple, ok more than a couple, of ornaments to add to my collection.

Top row:  Harry Potter Gringotts Wizarding Bank and A Dangerous Game, Elf, and Christmas Vacation's A Star-Spangled Spectacle
Second row:  Daughter, Fit for a Princess, Pull-a-Tune Xylophone
Third row:  O Play-Doh Tree, Congrats Grad!, Our Family, Happy Howlidays
Miniatures:  The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Winter Fun with Snoopy, Tiny Chatter Telephone

I was disappointed when we moved back to Virginia to find that my local Hallmark store had closed.  I loved the lady who owned it, Hannah, she was always so welcoming and helpful and the store had a very homey feeling.  I was very happy to see that she is now working at the Hallmark store I went to on Saturday.  It was lovely to see her again.

I hadn't intended to buy any ornaments until they came out at our local Marine Exchange as they are 20% off there and there is no sales tax but as you can see from the photo above, I couldn't wait.  I have no will power when it comes to Hallmark.  I did hold off on buying the more expensive Disney and Peanuts ornaments; I'll save those for the Marine Exchange!

Did you shop at the Ornament Premiere?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Christmas in July - Day Sixteen

Week 3 (July 16-July 22) Nature/Rustic/Country (decorations, visits, etc.)
relating to the countryside; rural
constructed or made in a plain and simple fashion
Rustic is not really my decorating style but there are so many ideas to admire on Pinterest just by searching Rustic Christmas.  I particularly liked these framed pieces.

Baby, it's COLD Outside - this would look great over your kitchen cocoa station.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Christmas in July - Day Fifteen

Today's the day we've all been waiting for since the Hallmark Keepsake Dream Book appeared in our mailbox or was available to pick up at the store.  Hours of dreaming, making mental notes of what we would like, or marking up the book with our choices.  Today, those of us who shop at the Ornament Premiere event will see the ornaments up close and no doubt fill our shopping baskets.  Does your Hallmark store make a big production out of the event?  My all-time favorite Hallmark store was the one we shopped at in Florida.  The owners were delightful and they went all out for the Ornament Premiere with refreshments and just an atmosphere of...well, Christmas!  I miss them very much.

It's the end of Week Two so it's time to share my gift closet.

My gift closet is currently housed on a shelf of this four-tier shelving unit in the spare bedroom known as the Christmas room.  It's the room where all the Rubbermaid totes full of decorations are stored because I don't like keeping them in the garage.  Too dusty, too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, much better to have them indoors and since there is limited closet space in the house and we have two extra bedrooms, one has become the Christmas room.  The gift closet currently contains this year's Christmas cards (bought on sale after last Christmas), the gingerbread house we didn't make (we'll make it this year, it's not like we're going to eat it), a Yankee Candle Vic received at the office White Elephant event (and one which he will be taking as his White Elephant this year!), and the box of presents I have purchased for this Christmas.  Most of the gifts here are for Sophia and we'll be taking them to Washington with us when we go in December.  There are a few stocking stuffers as well, tucked into one of those boxes.

And finally, here is my box of goodies that came in the mail on Thursday - my share of the ornaments from the Magical Holiday Home Forums Christmas in July Ornament Swap.  This was taken before I opened them and I can't reveal them just yet because one member of our group is in the middle of a move and we don't want to reveal the contents until she is settled and can open hers.  Let me just say that our group has some amazingly talented members and I will treasure every ornament.  I hope we get lots of participants next year - I'd like to work my way to a Magical Holiday Home tree.

Coming tomorrow...Week 3 of Christmas in July.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Christmas in July - Day Fourteen

Here's a different take on wrapping - wrapped "presents" used to decorate your staircase.  All the details are here.  Such a cute idea.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Christmas in July - Day Thirteen

Have you ever used a non-traditional wrapping paper?  There are lots of options:  cartoon section of the newspaper, wallpaper, sheet music, maps, and Vic's favorite:

The flyers from Home Depot!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Christmas in July - Day Twelve

My friend Ginny's family follows the three gifts gift-giving at Christmas and several years ago, she came up with the cutest idea for presenting them.  I wasn't able to find the photo she sent me but this is very similar (no photo credit because the link led to Target).  Each of Ginny's snowman stacks were personalized with a scarf and hat for the recipient.

Happy 23rd Navy Anniversary!

Last night we celebrated Vic's 23rd Navy Anniversary.  23 years ago, Vic reported to Navy Recruit Training to begin what has been an amazing career that has taken us up and down the East Coast, over to the Midwest, and to the Pacific Northwest.  He has visited five out of the seven continents during seven deployments and has a chestful of medals to commemorate outstanding service.  I am so proud of him!

I decided to start a series of themed dinners to celebrate the remaining anniversaries.  They will be in the form of country themes, a retrospective of the liberty port countries he visited during his career.  First up was Spain (England was actually his very first liberty port country but I wanted to do an afternoon tea for that one so we'll have to wait until July 11th falls on a weekend - 2021 I think!).

I was fortunate to have a spouse in our group who is from Spain and she pointed me in the right direction for some of the ingredients.  The appetizer and main course were from a Spanish-themed luncheon put on by the local international spouses' group that I attended last time we were here in Virginia.

The menu

Table centerpiece in the colors of the Spanish flag

I sourced the dinnerware and place mats locally - I thought they looked quite Spanish - and found the green-tinged glassware at the Dollar Tree - red napkins completed the place settings

Trio of Spanish cheeses and olives for a starter

Pollo al Chilindron, a delicious tomato and chicken dish, with rice and steamed green beans

Tarta de Santiago, a Spanish almond cake, with the traditional decoration of the Cross of St. James

Cava - a perfect wine for a summer's evening

Has it really been 23 years that we've been living this Navy life?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Happy Another Blogiversary

Nine years ago today, I started my blog, Chez Nous, with this post:

Friday, July 11, 2008
Six days and 1800 miles later, we're home! Check back for the details of our fabulous trip to Western New York.
Posted by Chez Nous at 3:01 AM 0 comments 

This was our trip to western New York to take Sophia to horse camp at Houghton College.  Houghton was one of the colleges Sophia was considering and resident horse camp gave her an opportunity to check out the college and to see the equestrian facility.  Since it was her first long distance trip away from home, Vic and I checked into the inn on the edge of the campus so we would be close by if she decided that being away from us was not a good idea.  We shouldn't have bothered as after we said our goodbyes, that was that last we heard from her until we picked her up on the final day.  She had a wonderful time and went back the following year.  She didn't end up going to Houghton for college but she has fond memories of her summers there.  While Vic and I were there, we took trips each day and saw a lot of the local area - we visited Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Letchworth State Park, lots of lovely little towns close by, and even an overnight to Niagara Falls.  It was a fun trip for all of us.

Here are a few photos from that trip:

And we're off to horse camp!

Vic and I at Letchworth State Park - my hair was so long

Old Fort Niagara

Saying goodbye to one of her horses - each camper was responsible for the care of two horses during their stay - this one is Mike 'n Ikes

Sadly, I had to close Chez Nous because of a nuisance follower and I went over to a private blog for a while.  However, I missed my blogging friends so I re-entered the blogsphere with The Lady of the House Speaking (6th Blogiversary just celebrated on June 30th).