Thanksgiving, family blessings and the Packers!


I want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
And even if you don't like the Packers at all, you have to admit we have a good looking and talented quarterback in Aaron Rodgers.
Because on Thanksgiving day not only will we be celebrating with our large extended family, many of us will also be glued to the TV when our beloved Packers take the field!
A perfect day for my Packer loving hubby! 

Last weekend hubby and I spent a night in the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul.  This is our go to city when we want to get away!  It's just a short 2 hour drive for us and all interstate as well.
We visited the Mall of America and while it looked all cozy and warm inside....

 outside our motel window it looked like this!
We hit the snow about an hour from the twin cities and boy did traffic slow down quickly!  Driving in that first snow can be scary so I was happy to see my fellow travelers also taking it easy. 

But back to the mall!  It's simply enormous and even though we have been there more times than I can count we still get lost.  It's a nice little excursion if ever get there for a visit. 

We also went to IKEA which is right next door to the Mall of America.   This kitchen is part of a 550 sq. foot model home.  I love IKEA's storage ideas for small home living.  And even though this kitchen is not exactly what I would want, there are a lot of neat features especially with the storage.

I have many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  Two beautiful grand-daughters born in the past 13 months.  My little long distant pumpkin, Calista who may know her grandma as someone that talks silly to her on Skype.  And boy this Grandma can't wait to get back to Phoenix to give her hugs and kisses!

And my nearby grand-daughter little Addison who fills our lives with joy!
I am also thankful for a loving and supportive husband.  I am thankful for my son, daughter, step-son and daughter-in-law... my large extended family... and the fact that I still have my Mom around is something I am very thankful for.
And last but not least,  I am thankful for all of the friendships I have made though blogging.  Some of you I have met in real life.... others not, but your friendship means so much to me.
Enjoy your Turkey Day!


Christmas Mantel Inspiration!

I've been a little under the weather lately.  Could be the changing of the seasons or the November blahs.  Today though, I felt the urge to search for a bit of mantel inspiration!
With a toddler around our home, my mantel needs to be a big part of my decorating this Christmas season.  It's the one place her little hands can't reach as of yet! hehe.
I found some inspiration on Pinterest but I do have to say I find it a bit bothersome that so few are marked with the source they came from.  I do like the whimsical one above from BHG. It combines a bit of the traditional and whimsical without looking too funky.

But truly I think I am a traditionalist and tend to gravitate toward this kind of Christmas decorating the most.
Love this....it's cheery, sparkly and traditional to boot!

I love the use of lanterns, and that twiggy stuff adds so much here!

Another one that makes me smile!  Love the lights, garland and Merry Christmas swag.

I also love the natural look!  No matter how much you spend it's hard to get boughs that look as good as the real thing.  And pine cones, just love them and they need to be somewhere in my home at Christmas time.
So what colors and styles do you love best at Christmas time? 
I know that the style of your mantel and fireplace must factor in.
Ours is stone so nothing too feminine will work.

And how about your style of Christmas trees?  We always get a real one and cut it ourselves.  I do think artificial are easier to decorate but they don't smell as good.  I also am wondering how to keep little, bitty hands off of my tree this year.  Any ideas out there?  I truly am perplexed on this one and need ideas.    I don't want to buy one of those huge ugly gates that circle the tree.  I have even though of hanging our tree from the ceiling! Lol.

Our life is more complicated now with a toddler around but she sure is rewarding!
Her newest words are ho-ho for Santa and ah-oo no!  The words keep coming like crazy and its so fun!
Off to do a bit of holiday shopping today, maybe I will find the perfect solution!

Take Care,