Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Grove Park Inn Gingerbread Houses

Grove Park Inn Asheville, NC

Hi friends! Do I have a treat for you today! My dear friend, Sharon, and I took a tour of the annual Gingerbread House Display at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville this evening. What an amazing display of talent we saw.....and here's the best part....you don't have to travel! You can relax in your armchair and follow us around as we bring the display to you. We've definitely got you covered!

Just look at the intricate work that went into this poinsettia design! Everything that is used in the gingerbread displays must be edible. Looking at this photo, it's hard to believe that this isn't a real poinsettia flower isn't it?!

The gingerbread display is part of an annual competition held at the Grove Park Inn (now known as Omni Resorts The Grove Park Inn). There are four divisions in the contest: child, youth, teenager and adult. There is no way to show pics of all of the wonderful gingerbread houses on display, but I have several that were my favorites to share.

The Gingerbread Competition actually began in 1992 as a way for Asheville community members to display gingerbread houses they had built. Now, 24 years later, it is a national competition that has been noticed by Good Morning America, The Travel Channel and The Food Network. You may have seen something about this competition on one of these shows. 

The Grove Park Inn is such a beautiful building and an historic landmark here in Asheville. So much history exists within these walls.

This giant tree in The Great Hall is always so beautifully decorated. In addition to the gingerbread houses there are many decorated trees to enjoy, as well, on the tour.

I was so happy to spend time with Sharon as we took in the sights and sounds of the season at The Grove Park Inn.

It is difficult to choose a favorite gingerbread house out of all the beautiful displays, but I find myself drawn to this one.

Sharon really liked this reindeer display. I thought it was pretty, also. 

Several gingerbread houses were whimsical in nature.

And so many had detail that just blew me away! Look at that gingerbread horse!

Looks like you could just walk right in the front door, doesn't it?!

And one final house that displays the "reason for the season" the birth of Christ. 

Such an enjoyable evening made even better because it was shared with a friend!

Hope you enjoyed the tour! What special holiday happenings are you enjoying this season? Hope you'll share!

Until Next Time,

Linking With:
Marilyn's Treats Wonderful Wednesday

Friday, November 25, 2016

Five Ways to Spend Your Holiday and Voting Results

How I Spent Thanksgiving Break

Cornucopia Clip Art
Sounds like I'm about to write a book report, doesn't it?!  But, I promise I won't bore you with something like that. How about a photo dump of how I spent Thanksgiving? Sit back, relax, put your feet up and enjoy some photos of this and that from my holiday. And if you stick around 'till the end, I will reveal the voting results from my "red sweater" post. 

Walking At The Arboretum

Thanksgiving morning was a perfect time to enjoy a walk around the North Carolina Arboretum. The last time I was there I shared the Lego Exhibit. This time around, I saw their Christmas Light display. Of course, it was daytime so not as impressive as lights at night, but still fun to see. Here are some of the highlights.

Chasing Squirrels Out of the Bird Feeder

Actually, Mr.thisandthat did most of the chasing. Not literally you understand. He just kept trying to outsmart the squirrels by doing things like greasing the pole so they couldn't climb up. Ahem...you can see how well that worked!

"Look Ma....no hands!"

Decorating The House For Christmas

Love my tabletop tree tucked in the corner of the living room. I decided to go with using some of my older ornaments this year rather than the Christmas balls I have used the last few years. I like to change things up sometimes. I like the two little elves I am using for toppers. They remind me of little knee hugger elves we had at my house when I was little. They seem to be popular again.

The tree skirt is a lovely needlepoint done by my mother-in-law. So pretty.

Our living room mantle. I am much more relaxed than I used to be with simply incorporating Christmas decorations with some of the decor I already use. For instance, I did not remove the picture in the middle of the mantle or the bear picture. I like these pieces and I think they go well with the Christmas decor. I did the same thing with the Christmas tree placement in the corner of our living room. It is next to a book shelf with a picture hanging on the wall behind it which I left in place and did not remove.  I realize some people may not like this look, but it works for me and my family and I like not having to try to find places to store objects until Christmas is over. The few objects from the mantle I did store away were small and easy to place in the Christmas tree box. When Christmas is over, I will just pull those items back out quickly before putting the tree back in the box. 

Cooking Veggie Soup

 Yes, we did have Turkey with all the trimmings. But, I also enjoy cooking soups and this is a recent pot of my "Veggie Dump" soup. I like dumping several canned veggies in the pot with my favorite canned tomatoes with garlic and basil. This soup is a quick, hot, delicious way to cook dinner in about 15 minutes. 

Serve with a side of cornbread and you have some good eating!

Watching The Sunset

Enjoyed this lovely scene from our kitchen window. How pretty is this?

Such a beautiful sky..... and that is how I spent my holiday. 

And The Results Are In

After checking the votes on the blog, Google+ and Facebook, the winning look out of the four sweater stylings, by a narrow margin, was the sweater worn with the pearls. All four looks got votes, though, showing that there are many ways to style an article of clothing that will appeal to a wide variety of tastes. For me, versatility is key to style!

And this was the look I wore to the concert! The jacket added needed warmth as it was a cold and windy evening. 
So...... Baba C you guessed correctly!

Your turn! How did you spend your Thanksgiving holiday? Hope you'll take a moment to share....I so enjoy your comments!

Until Next Time,

All photos on this post are property of debbiethisandthat and were photographed by Debbie.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Styling A Red Sweater...Four Ways

Which Sweater Styling Do You Like Best?

It actually felt like winter is coming this past weekend with colder temps and strong winds and I'm keeping warm by donning a favorite red sweater in honor of the coming holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Red seems to be the favorite color of choice for this festive season. Red is also a color I love and I decided to challenge myself to style this red sweater four different ways. And you get to join in the fun too...by letting me know which style you like best. Sound fun? Let's get started.

Style #1-Plain Sweater

In this style, I keep the sweater plain with no necklace or scarf. The wide neck cowl style of this sweater adds a touch of elegance all by itself.

Style #2-Sweater with Pearl Necklace

In this style I add a long multi-strand pearl necklace to the look. Who says you can't wear pearls with a sweater and a pair of jeans?!

Style #3-Sweater with Plaid Jacket

In this look, I add a plaid jacket to the style. The length of the jacket is a little longer which I like. I've had this jacket for a loooong time and always enjoy wearing it.

Style #4-Sweater with sparkly scarf and ring


In this final look, I added a sparkly black scarf tied with a ring that belonged to my mother. Using rings as scarf ties is a great way to enhance the look of the scarf. 

****So, four different styles using the same sweater****
Changing out the accessories and/or adding a jacket can really change up the look of an entire outfit. Some looks are more formal, some less so. I actually wore one of these styles to a concert yesterday afternoon. I'll reveal the style number I wore in my next post after giving you a chance to vote. I love getting the most bang for my buck by finding ways to style an article of clothing in different ways by changing out the accessories. How about you?

And Now A Word About Shoes....

I am LOVING these thrifted booties I picked up for a mere four bucks at Goodwill. I have been admiring the cuff style for awhile and these certainly compliment the skinny jeans and sweater styles in all of the four style pictures above. The booties are by "dollhouse" which is a brand I had not heard of before. 

The cuffs can also be pulled up and snapped for longer length and a bit of a different look. I really like the look and versatility of these boots. I plan to do a future post, by the way, on buying shoes at Goodwill, so look for that post soon. 

OK....voting time!  Hope you will respond to two questions in your comments today! 

1. Which of the styles do you like best?
2. Which style do you think I wore to the concert?

Can't wait to hear what you have to say!

Until Next Time,

Linking With:

Living On Cloud Nine

#iwillwearwhatilike | Not Dressed As Lamb

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Thanksgiving Tablescape for 2016

Happy Saturday before Thanksgiving everyone! I thought you might like to see the tablescape I put together on our dining table for the upcoming holiday. To be honest, I'm really ready to start Christmas decorating.......and I might have already put up a few Christmas decorations in our downstairs family room! Ha! But, Thanksgiving is too important a holiday to not enjoy. Reflecting on all we have to be thankful for is so important. So, even though there may be a few Christmas decorations here and there, I'll still be counting my blessings on Thanksgiving day, for sure. 

You'll notice a few elements from the foyer table have been moved to the dining table for this tablescape. I like using what I have on hand and these smaller wooden pumpkins provide both color and balance to the arrangement. There are still plenty of pumpkins on the foyer table, believe me!

My flowers from Mr.thisandthat are also still going strong and look beautiful in this pitcher on the table. I love it when flower arrangements have long life and this one certainly has. I always try to add the little packet of powder that comes with the flowers to the water in the vase. It seems to help the flowers last a long time. 

I like this table runner that I purchased at Target. It has a light edging of gold glitter that isn't showing in the photo. Just a hint of "sparkle" for the tablescape. The runner was wrinkled when I removed it from the packaging, though, so I tried to iron it and now I have some kind of sticky "guck" on my iron. I hope I can remove it easily. Any suggestions? I didn't iron the sparkly edges at all, so it isn't from that. Perhaps I had the iron too hot for this material? Always a sacrifice to be made for creative artistry, right?!

What do you like best about my Thanksgiving tablescape?  Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving? Are you like me and ready to decorate for Christmas? Hope you'll leave a comment. I love reading your thoughts!

Happy Thanksgiving Turkey
Until Next Time,                         

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Over the Moon Link Party