It’s going to be near 60 degrees today…

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So you know what that means…almost time to start outdoor dining…

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It’s also means it’s time to start airing out our homes and opening windows and doors…

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And rocking trench and lightweight coats!

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You can probably tell how excited I am. I am currently sitting in my car on lunch with the sunroof and windows open and a light jacket on. Spring is near!

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Random DIY, Design & Christmas Takeaways

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Have you all sent out your holiday cards? I haven’t but I will soon.

Useless knowledge: I have never had a gingerbread cookie in my life before, that I remember.

Do you put presents under the tree through out the month of December or wait until Christmas Eve?

I have a confession. I dislike real trees. I prefer artificial xmas trees anyday. It’s not the maintenance that’s an issue, I prefer the fullness of branches that artificial trees have. Which do you prefer?

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When I see this bakers rack, it really makes me want to spray paint mine gold. I currently use mine as a “bar cart”. All of my wine glasses, wine bottle holder, alcohol and decanters are on it against a black wall. I think ifnit were gold, it would bring new life to it.

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What a cool idea for those that have kids. It will look especially nice on black appliances.

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And then we had December….

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Happy Monday. Hope your weekend was funfilled. I had a good relaxing time with some fun thrown in. My aunt hosted a seafood gumbo showdown. I’m talking crab meat, crablegs, oysters, shrimp, sausage etc. It was so delish and fun to visit with family. I also went to a Bucks game the night that started my 5 day weekend and we won. I even made it to see The Lion King on Broadway. If you have kids or eant to enjoy a nice date night or girls night….go. It was so amazing. The last show is Dec 7th here in Milwaukee so get your tickets fast! December is the most wonderful time of the year and though I’m not 100% in the Christmas spirit this year, I am better than I was last year this time.

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Last year it took me going to Manhattan New York a week before Christmas in order to get in the mood. Seeing all of the lights, the jolly people, the skating rings, (both at Bryant Park and the Rockerfeller Center), the holiday windows on 5th avenue, the toys at FAO Schwartz and the snowstorm that delayed our flight home made me in the spirit. This year I’m trying to not let it take that long to get in the mood. I’m exchanging gifts with a few friends which is helping get in the swing of things so I have more people to shop for. I started shopping on Saturday for gifts. I really wish to share but one of those friends follows me on social media so I can’t. Let’s just say I can’t wait to see what she says about the gift I got her and her husband.

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Buying thoughtful gifts is second best to wrapping the gifts. I love wrapping gifts. People always say they know when Miya bought something because I like to use gift bags and go crazy with the tissue paper. This time I will wrap them up and use ornaments and ribbon instead of typical bows. Although I’m not putting up my Christmas tree this year, I did buy a wreath (something I never had) and flocked garland that will get adorned with ornaments and foliage tonight. It’s going to be super cold here in Milwaukee so I plan to stop to get me a salted caramel hot chocolate and go straight home and get busy decorating. I already decorated my home with table top décor (which I will blog about later) while watching the Macy’s parade (tradition).   I’m already finding myself humming Christmas tunes. So I guess I am in the spirit already. 

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Everything isn’t solely about Christmas though. For me, the month of December has some fun birthdays (niece and friend). December is a bit snowier so simply free fun things like snowball fights, building a snowman and taking my niece sledding will take place. I tried ice skating last winter and it wasn’t as fun as I remembered as a kid so I’ll leave that for yall.

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The short daylight, cold nights makes it perfect to snuggle and watch endless movies. Something about this time of year allows for cozy house shoes, socks, & PJs at all times. It’s the time of year when you wake up, shower and put back on PJs because you know you’re not going anywhere.  Faux furs and candles lit makes December so relaxing. If you are blessed to have a lot of paid vacay time (I get five weeks a year), enjoy it. Make time for you and do something you love or been putting off. I’m always on the go so being able to relax a bit is ideal. Knowing my car is parked in underground parking makes relaxing even more indulgent because I know I don’t have to shovel my car out after being plowed in and dust off the snow when I DO leave.

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December calls for a lot of get-to-gethers and parties, some of which you dress up for some of which you don’t but it’s great just knowing you will see your friends and family that much more. Be present in those moments. My friends and fam make fun of me cuz I always take pictures but it’s the same candid moments people love when they look back at them.

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It’s the time of year when I stock up on marshmellows and hot chocolate and spend a little too much buying fun flavors from Gloria Jeans & Dunkin Donuts like the Smore’s kind.

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December is also a time for reflection: what did you do or didn’t do throughout the year, what was a milestone or something that changed your life for the better, or what was something you can learn from that will help you in the future. It’s a time to set resolutions and goals for the upcoming year, though I’m a firm believer in not waiting as each day is a chance to start over. December can be an anxious month but it can also be filled with so much optimism. December is indeed the most wonderful time of the year.

{Images via Lauren Conrad, Style Me Pretty, minimalist baker, and plenty tumblr blackholes}

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4 year blogversary….

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I logged in wordpress and realized today marks year 4 that I’ve been blogging. I didn’t realize it but gosh time flies. I wanted to take a moment to give thanks to those who continue to read in this little corner of the web world, those who email and leave comments like my girl Style Fragment. I appreciate the pins and likes and all of the support. Thank you.

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Sundays…..in November…

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I can’t believe how fast the year is flying by. Already stores are airing holiday commercials and shoving Christmas down our throats. Can we please just gear up for Thanksgiving? It’s one of the best things about November. Actually, I can’t really make a list of other great things about this month because up here it gets so cold that the only thing I want to do is hibernate, read, watch nba and dvr’d shows and sleep.

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I guess dressing in layers, cozy fireplaces, hot chocolate beverages and scents of cinnamon are good things about November…

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And plaid. I need to buy some plaid. ..

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I also like harvest decor. It’s rustic and festive. Stuff like burlap, branches,  pumpkins and candles make all the difference in a tablescape….

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Entertaining family and friends and  reflecting on your blessings and being present in the moment are other good things about November. You can’t help but think of all the good food, eating and baking you will do. I am a great cook but I don’t bake. However I’ve been itching to do more baking this fall. I witnessed how easy it is to make an apple pie and want to try my version of it. I already made an apple crisp which was delicious under a scoop of ice cream. I also want to make a peach cobbler as I haven’t made one in years. Baking and cooking allows you to share meals made with love with people who appreciate it. That’s a good thing to look forward to this month.

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I guess there are great things about November. Hopefully this month is better than last which had quite a bit of negatives including an uncle and great aunt passing within two weeks of each other. After the funeral this week, I hope more joys and highs are in store this month for me and my family. For now, it’s Sunday….indulge in what makes your happy. I know I will. :-)

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Tuesday’s Tips: Buy the best that you can afford

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Whether you’re buying materials or furniture, sometimes buying the cheapest will cost you more in the long run if you need to replace it. I am frugal but sometimes you get what you pay for and you need to make wise choices on what you spend on investments and things that need to withstand years. So buy quality mattresses, sofas, and save on decor and little things. By no means am I suggesting live beyond your means but know that cheaper quality furniture may not last in the long run.

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Sorry for the week long absense. My uncle, who was my second client allowing me to decorate his entire condo, passed away. Between the funeral preperarions, pricing everything for an estate sale and spending time with family I haven’t seen in years, I’ve had no time to do much anything let alone blog or check emails. I ask that if you send an email, don’t send a follow up. It will just take me longer to reply. Please be patient as I get back in the swing of things…

{Images via apartment therapy & modwalls}

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