Thursday, December 31, 2015

This and That...Blog Recap 5 Months and Going Strong!!

Blog Recap: Has It Really Been Five Months? 

Wow...I can't believe I have been a blogger for five months now! Seems like yesterday, I made those first tentative steps to setting up my own blog. I thought the computer might explode or was scary!!  But, I'm so glad I made the leap and am now officially a blogger! Even my cat, Gracie, spends time on the computer now! Go figure...I have a cat for a critic!!

These last five months have found me sharing many aspects of my life including faith, tablescapes, clothing styles and favorite authors. This last month being December, of course the focus was mostly on the holidays. My favorite December post was the tablescape I created for a Christmas table.

I'm also excited about yesterday's post about One Perfect Word. I can't say enough good things about Debbie Macomber's writing.

And, there was the sad post where I announced the loss of our sweet Annie Cat

On a much happier note, I had fun stylin' for my friend, Sharon's, retirement party!! Here you see what I wore to the party.

It's been a mostly great month for blogging and I'm already looking forward to continuing in 2016. Happy New Year everyone!!

All My Best,

I'm linking this post with Julie Wunder's Second Best of the Blogs December Linkup at Running in A Skirt. Please check out Julie's blog!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

This and That About.....One Perfect Word

(No compensation of any kind has been given for this post. All writing and opinions are my own.)

One Perfect Word
The New Year is almost upon us, dear readers! And as I reflect on the past year and plan for the new, I want to share One Perfect Word with you. Have you heard of the author, Debbie Macomber? She is one of my favorite authors that I have not yet shared with you. I first met Debbie in print many years ago, when I began finding her romance stories and reading them. She is a prolific writer and has published many, many books over the years so you will have no trouble finding titles by her! Her books are also frequently turned into Hallmark Channel movies and, of course, there is a series on Hallmark now devoted to her Cedar Cove series. As the years have gone by, however, she has devoted many books to her Christian faith. And I find that I love her most recent fiction books, as well, as they seem to speak to women more in my age bracket. Not that I don't like romance...but I find I now enjoy reading about the adventures of, shall we say, women of a certain age more now? But..I digress from the point of this post..which is One Perfect Word!

In her book, One Perfect Word, Debbie talks about her personal life, and how the Lord leads her to choose a word each year to focus on. Each chapter is dedicated to how a particular word impacted her life that year. I decided several years ago to try this and I must say that I have been amazed by how the Lord has spoken to me in the context of the word for the year! Here is the back cover of the book, if you would like to read more about Debbie Macomber and her book.

Over the years, I have chosen different words, each time praying that God would give me the right word. One issue I have, is narrowing it down to just one you will note that some years I have two words! That's just me...I have a hard time making my mind up! And sometimes, I feel that I hear leading to one word and then another comes. But, the key for me, is that I have a focus word(s) that speaks to me throughout the year and leads me as I search for the word in scripture, talk to the Lord about the word in prayer and generally meditate on what God is urging me to do through this word. My word(s) over the years have been...Prayer, Gifts, Trust-Acceptance, Hope-Present and this year for 2016...Make Room-Gratitude. I am excited to think where the Lord will lead me as I make room with gratitude in my heart this year!

Perhaps you would like to try one perfect word as part of your new year! And definitely try some of Debbie Macomber's other books as well. I know you won't be disappointed!! I close with the scripture Debbie shared in the preface to her book.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.    John 15:7

With Gratitude,

Linking to Imparting Grace

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

In Memorium

                           In Memorium

Dear Blog Friends:
It is with sadness that I write that our sweet and feisty Annie Cat passed away today. She had not been well for a few days, but when we took her to the vet this morning, we assumed that there would be a quick fix and we would be bringing our girl back home with us. Sadly, this was not the case as we found she had inoperable cancer. To say we are stunned and in shock is putting it mildly. Cats can't least not with human words....and Annie had not let us know how sick she really was except for digestive issues that alerted us that something was wrong. My husband and I are grieving over our loss. We count our "fur children" as close family members and are experiencing a huge loss right now. Christmas has definitely lost its cheeriness, although I am always happy that Christ was born. I would like to add how much gratitude is in my heart that Annie was a part of our lives. Although we knew her since kittenhood, she didn't live with us exclusively until about ten years ago. In that time, she managed to wind herself into our hearts and lives. Feisty, spunky, always into something....she regularly picked fights with her cat sisters (or cousins as we called them) and even was determined to take care of bears that came on our back porch! She wasn't afraid of anything and yet was always up for a good cuddle. She had a way of squinting her eyes at you that could melt your heart. You knew she was saying, "I love you." I'm so glad she was a part of our family and I surely will miss her. I'm so sorry she was so sick and we didn't know. I'm sorry Annie. I wish we could have made it all better for you. But, I know that you are at peace with God now, who cares about all animals. Thanks for being such a great cat. 

Luke 12:6
"Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

This and That.....Christmas Tablescape!

A Christmas Tablescape

Debbiethisandthat Christmas Tablescape
Debbiethisandthat Christmas Tablescape

Hello dear readers! I hope your weekend has gone well. Mine has been very busy with Christmas shopping and church, but I have managed to find a little time to be creative. And that brings me to today's creative post! I'm sharing a Christmas tablescape today that I plan to use on Christmas Day.  My table is set for three since that will be the number of people I will be serving. Feel free to adopt ideas to use for your table. If you plan to serve more, just increase the number of table settings. 

Almost all of the table decorations are pieces I have had for quite awhile. I did purchase these cute Owl Winter plates from Walmart recently for a couple bucks each. Very economical! Aren't they cute? And I like that they have a winter theme rather than a total Christmas theme. I plan to use them throughout winter as well! That way I get more bang for my buck! I placed them on top of my Winn-Dixie China plates that I mentioned in an earlier tablescape post. 

I purchased these cute snowman mugs at the same time. Again, very economically priced. I could have gotten matching Owl mugs, but I like the look of the snowman mugs better.

The silverware holders are actually gift card holders that I purchased quite cheaply at a local craft store. They have a little pocket in back to place a gift card. I tucked the silverware in that pocket. They also have a ribbon hanger to use to hang on a tree. Double duty....maybe triple....duty.   Love that!!

I bought three different designs of the gift card holders. You saw the stocking above. Here is Santa....

And here is a snowman.

I carried the snowman theme to the rest of the table. I have quite a collection of snowmen I could choose from.  See my Hallmark Mitford snowman in the middle? The two snowmen on the plate are salt and pepper shakers. 

The centerpiece you see above was inspired by a plate I saw yesterday while out shopping. The plate I saw could be used two different had an upside down snowman holding a Christmas plate. If you turned it one way it was a raised plate. If you turned it the other way it was a bowl with the plate below to put crackers or chips on with dip in the bowl. I didn't buy the plate, but I wondered how I could make something similar with what I already have.

So, I started with a raised trivet that I own.

Put a Christmas plate on the trivet that someone gave me a few years back.

Added some red Christmas beads. The idea of using beads was inspired by Rhoda at Southern Hospitality

And finished by adding the snowmen salt and pepper shakers.

Oh, and I almost forgot about the napkins! I didn't want to cover the cute owl plates with a napkin, so I tri-folded a red paper napkin and slipped it into the snowman mug at each setting. It kind of looks like the top of the snowman hat is pointed!

I'm looking forward to a very festive table on Christmas Day!!

How about you?  Do you have any special plans for your Christmas table? Do you keep it simple, formal, or go all out with the red and the green? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time,


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This and That..Debbie's Stylin' Party Wear!

What I Wore To The Party...
Happy Wednesday dear readers! This evening I'm stylin' by sharing what I wore to a retirement party this evening. My dear friend, Sharon, is retiring from teaching and we were celebrating her retirement in style tonight! 

The venue for the party was decorated to the hilt for beautiful! Many decorated trees, greenery on fireplaces, lights galore! I wanted to be dressy but also casual enough to be comfortable. I chose to wear grey slacks (Rafaella Studio purchased at Stein Mart) with a red sweater (many years old) to add a Christmasy touch. The jacket (Kasper purchased at Stein Mart) is a recent purchase which added some formality to the look and the silver sparkly scarf added a nice holiday touch as well. The scarf was a Christmas gift a few years ago from my oldest sister. 

The four strand faux pearl bracelet added some nice bling to the outfit. It is another Colorado trip purchase...this time from a favorite store of mine located in Estes Park called "White Orchid." 

My little Christmas tree can't hold a candle to the beautiful decorations at the party tonight! But, I still love my little tree and it's a nice backdrop for the photos. Tonight was bittersweet, because I sure will miss my friend, Sharon, at work. But, because we are good friends, we will still be seeing a lot of each other! I wish her much happiness in retirement!

How about you?  Are you attending..or hosting...any parties during the holiday season?  Leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Saturday, December 5, 2015

This and That.....Christmas Decor!!!

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Happy Saturday, dear readers! Have you decorated for Christmas yet?  At my house, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and I am going to give you a sampling of some of my Christmas decor. Today, we will focus on the foyer, living room and master bedroom. Our first stop will be the living room where you will see the tree above. A few years ago, we made the switch to tabletop Christmas trees. A very Victorian idea by the way! 

This year, I incorporated a music theme into the tree, using musical instruments (mainly trumpets and violins) as ornaments along with our usual gold and reddish/brown Christmas ball ornaments. The tree is simpler than previous years, but I think it's very pretty. 

I also have a collection of Santas on display. Here is one of my favorites.

And here is another favorite sitting on the mantel. You'll also see a smaller Santa and one of those fun pop out cards that looks like a snow globe. There is a cat on the snow globe. (Of course!!)

More Santas in front of the fireplace including a cute sleigh where I put Christmas cards as we receive them. And, remember the white pumpkin? I'm still getting use out of it for Christmas!! I also like to keep clear Christmas lights in the fireplace year round. Lighting them adds such a warm glow to the living room all year long! Naturally, we don't build fires in the fireplace!!

I want you to see my miniature nativities. I couldn't believe that I found the Precious Memories snow globe nativity in a consignment shop we just happened into this past summer in Colorado!! I love it!

And, of course, I have my Mitford pieces on display.  They are on the shelf below the tabletop tree. Now, let's go to the foyer shall we?

Another tabletop tree adorns the foyer table. I call this one my "Homespun" tree. I chose ornaments that are homemade or have a homemade look for this tree. I also decorated and/or created some ornaments for this homespun tree. None of my decorations are expensive and most I have had for many years. 

Here, you can see a couple of the wooden ornaments that I purchased this year for a dollar each at a craft store. I painted the candy cane and added ribbon and burlap to the snowflake ornament. These ornaments give the tree a child-like quality that I like. 

And a child's tree needs some toys under it, right? Here, I have some favorite stuffed toys on display below the foyer tree. I especially love my Raggedy Ann doll.

Did you know that this year is the 100th anniversary of Raggedy Ann? 

And here we are in the bedroom with yet another tabletop tree. This time, it is a white tree made out of that mesh material that is so popular for wreaths right now. I wish I could say I made this, but I actually bought this at a craft store on sale. I just love the blue ornaments on the white tree and it matches our bedroom decor nicely. The snowman table runner under the tree was a Goodwill find this year. Nice!

Aren't the little snowmen ornaments with the blue and silver miniature ball ornaments cute?  It's funny that I have tabletop trees in my home, because as a child only the tallest tree would do!! Guess we change as we get older. It certainly is easier to pack up when Christmas is over!!

And, finally, some more blue surrounding a flameless candle that sits beside the white mesh Christmas tree. You know I love blue!!

And that concludes the Christmas tour for today! I hope you enjoyed seeing how I am decorating for the holidays. And until next time, may you enjoy this beautiful season!!

Ho, Ho, Ho,


Monday, November 30, 2015

This and That...Blog Birthday and Recap!

Happy Blog Birthday!

Funky Cake

Today is a special day...the four month anniversary of my blog! I'm celebrating with a recap of the most visited posts so far along with my favorite post so far. Here we go!

Most Visited Home Decor Post

By far, the most visited post has been the first post I did about decorating my foyer table. I did an update post on the foyer table focusing on Autumn styling a little later. Folks really enjoy seeing home decorating ideas. I had a really good time being creative with these posts and sharing my ideas with others. 

Most Visited Style Post

My post on Casual Saturday Attire was the most visited style post. This was my second Debbie's Stylin' post. I felt very comfortable in this casual outfit and the photo shoot was lots of fun. The Autumn colors were amazing that weekend!

Most Visited Devotional Post

My most heartfelt posts are those where I share my faith. My post about the weekend Women's Retreat I went on in late September was visited the most. Although not strictly a devotional post, I ended the post with scripture which I felt really spoke to what the weekend was all about. 

Fave Post

This is a tough one, because I have really enjoyed doing all of the posts so far. But, I have to say that I had such fun setting up the tablescape for my Tablescape in Blue for Two post! There's nothing like getting out your favorite dishes and setting a beautiful table to make a girl feel great!

I hope you have enjoyed a Blog Recap. Fourth months and going strong--Woohoo!  Now, let's go eat some birthday cake!!

Until Next Time,

I'm linking this post with Julie Wunder's Best of the Blogs Linkup at Running in a Skirt. Thanks for the link party, Julie!

Friday, November 27, 2015

This and That...Debbie's Stylin' Leggings and Tunic!

Leggings, Tunic and More!

Can you tell I'm still in a blue mood? But, this time I'm not creating a tablescape! I'm in a blue mood stylin' with leggings, tunic and ankle booties. And, oh yes, a blue scarf and jewelry for good measure! So, settle back and relax on this day after Thanksgiving and join me as I share this week's stylin' with you. 

To be honest, I was nervous for quite awhile about trying leggings. But after seeing them modeled on so many blog sites and reading up on the appropriate length for tunics to go with the leggings on women my age, etc. I decided to give them a try. I wore this outfit to Thanksgiving dinner with my mother-in-law and I didn't get asked to leave the retirement village because I was inappropriately dressed so I guess I'm OK with the outfit!

I've worn this tunic several times with slacks and have gotten quite a few compliments. I love the blue and tan sequin 
designs on the tunic and how it is loose and comfy. I purchased it on sale at Cracker Barrel. I couldn't find the exact tunic online but you can see other tunics here. The leggings were a Walmart purchase. You can see similar here. These leggings are quite soft and comfortable. The ankle booties were another DSW on sale buy. You can see the exact pair here. I love that these booties are flat and I can wear them all day in comfort and style. A win-win combination!

The blue scarf adds some extra style and warmth to the overall look. I don't recall where I got this scarf, but I think the blue of the scarf compliments the blue in the tunic nicely. Mr.thisandthat was getting creative with this shot, can you tell?

The blue bracelet on my left wrist was a purchase from one of our Colorado trips a few summers ago at a favorite Estes Park jewelry store called Dakotah Jewelry. They usually have sale items that I can take advantage of on our visits there. The bracelet on my right wrist was a cheapie purchase at a local dollar type store. Gotta love those bargains!!

I'm a big believer in stylin' without big expense! How about you? Are you an "on sale" shopper? Do you love finding bargains? Leave me a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time,

I'm linking this post with Jess at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish for her Turning Heads Tuesday linkup. Please visit her blog! Also linked with Not Dead Yet Style