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Posts Tagged ‘25 days of Christmas’

I like any number of Christmas songs.

Truth be told, I will start listening to them in mid-November and will drag out listening to them well into January.

Sometimes I like the fast paced cheery tunes, others the more traditional carols.

But on a Sunday during the holiday season, I especially like to listen to songs that remind us of the reason for the season.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Vince Gill – Til the Season Comes Round Again

Kenny Rogers – Once Upon A Christmas

Kathy Mattea- Mary, Did You Know?

Amy Grant – Breath of Heaven

Tracy Byrd – No Room

Martina McBride – O Holy Night

25 days 2011

 

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25 days 2011

As we head into the holiday season, it is easy to get so caught up in things, we forget about the people who truly mean so much to us and make Christmas special.

I know for a fact, I can get so wrapped up in stuff, I sometimes neglect my own beloved Captain Cavedweller.

And even when I’m being a pill, he will still do something sweet and completely unexpected.

roses from scott

Like have little beauties like these waiting for me after a very long day of work.

I like the shade of red. I’m quite taken by the contrast of the white baby’s breath. I adore the sparkles in the buds.

But I really, really love my Captain.

She Who is Really Very Blessed

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25 days 2011

Guess what?

It’s time for the annual 25 days of Christmas on Savvy Entertaining!

To start you off, here is one of my favorite holiday songs…

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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During the hectic holiday season it seems there are more opportunities to get all dressed up for a festive party or night out.

For me, I don’t feel completely “gussied up” unless I’m wearing my favorite perfume.While the scent of roses is one of my most favorite things on the planet, wearing perfume that smells like roses makes me choke and I don’t like it as a home fragrance either.

So how do you find that perfect scent for you?

Here are a few ideas:

• Try the scent two ways. First on a paper tester. If you like the scent of it on paper, test it on your inner wrist. Scents interact with skin’s chemistry and smell different on every one. Take off any jewelry and your watch before spraying because they can alter the scent.

• Limit the sample. Sniffing too many different fragrances will give you sensory overload (and quite possibly a pounding headache!). Limit your testing to four or five paper samples and no more than two wrist tests during any given shopping trip.

• Take a breather. Wait a few minutes between sampling fragrances to give your nose a chance to recover. A good tip is to bring along a plain, unscented facial tissue to sniff between samples. The neutral scent will help clear your sense of smell and get you ready for the next fragrance sample.

• Wear it awhile. You smelled a scent you love, but wait before you buy it. The first 15 minutes you wear a scent, you are just getting the top notes of the fragrance. The heart of it will show up after about 15 minutes and that is the smell you need to love because it is the one that will stick with you all day.

• Tune out distractions. The sense of smell works best in a dark, quiet environment – about the polar opposite of a perfume counter during the holiday season. So try to block out as much of the light and noise as possible. Close your eyes and savor the scent to get the full effect.

One tip I’ve relied on for years that has served me well is that once you find a perfume that is “yours” you won’t be able to smell it because it blends so well with your body’s own chemistry. I have found two that fit this bill nicely and wearing them always make me feel dressed up an special. Just remember less is more with perfume!

Happy Fragrance Shopping

She Who Loves Her Perfume

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I’m sorry.

I feel like I owe you all an apology for my sad neglect of my blog the past few days.

I have excuses!

I had to finish writing at 50,000 word novel as part of the National Novel Writing Month Contest. I am happy to report I finished with 50,008 words at the eleventh hour yesterday. I’m feeling pretty good about reaching this goal!

I also had some stuff going on at work. Our local chamber has a banquet every fall and businesses decorate tables as part of the festivities. This has become a personal challenge for me to come up with something more fantastic and elaborate every year. Yesterday was the banquet and I spent a good amount of time getting our table ready. I have many people to thank for their help in pulling it all together. This is what the finished product looked like:

I’ve also been plotting and planning some fun for this blog.

As some of you may recall, I like to have fun with the 25 Days of Christmas here  as we count down to the big holiday.

Each day you’ll find posts with entertaining tips, decorating ideas, shortcuts, helpful hints and, of course, recipes!

Today’s helpful hint is about getting organized!

Here is an easy game plan designed to help keep you on track, cut down on stress and get you through the holidays with a little more order and a little less fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants.
Start by looking at your calendar, organizer or day planner. Pull out all those post-it notes with dates and appointments scribbled on them and start entering them into your calendar. The idea is to get everything into one calendar so you can see at a glance what days you have appointments and commitments and what days you have open.
Think about everything coming up in the next month like church programs, rehearsals, the kids’ school concerts, any parties or gatherings you will be attending, any doctor appointments, hair appointments, manicures and pedicures (if you are so lucky!), and so on. Get all those dates entered into your calendar.
Now, make a list of all the things you want to accomplish before Christmas. Are you planning to send out holiday cards? Will you be doing holiday baking? Hosting a party? Making ornaments? Having the best outdoor light display on your block?
Write down everything you would like to do this holiday season.
Once your list is complete, compare it to your calendar. What dates are open? You will probably find that your want-to-do list is far longer than the dates you have available.
Be realistic.
This is a very important step to maintaining your sanity and some level of fun through the holidays. Set realistic expectations and stick to them. The holiday season, no matter how hard you wish for it, will not magically bestow you with super-hero powers that enable you to accomplish the impossible or miraculously stretch time so you can add an extra three hours of activities into each day.
What can you cut out or cut down? Instead of baking yourself silly for two days straight, why not invite over a few friends for an afternoon, bake together, share the spoils, and be happy with your accomplishments. Do you really need to make 14 different kinds of Christmas cookies?
What can you delegate? Your spouse and kids can certainly put up outdoor lights. The kids can make ornaments. Your spouse can handle a few extra responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to spread around the chores. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Really!
Take another look at that want-to-do list. Circle the top five things you absolutely want to happen and choose dates to enter them on your calendar. Look at the rest of your list and decide what other things could be delegated or could be optional. And when I say optional, I mean that if they happen, that is great, but if they don’t you will not allow yourself to stress or fuss because they didn’t. That is why they are optional. Get it? Great!
And please remember, at the center of all the holiday hub-bub, no one cares if your house is perfectly decorated, if your cookies came from the store or your holiday greetings weren’t the first out this year. You’ll find what your family and friends really care about is the relationships, spending time enjoying one another and sharing from the heart.
If you focus on that, I guarantee you’ll have a very Happy Holiday season.
Quick Tip: Choose one day on your calendar between now and Christmas that is just for you. That’s right! A day just for you. Whether you spend it getting a massage, reading a good book by the fire, or at the spa with a friend (oh, sign me up for that one!), carve out one day for you to rest and recharge. You’ll be glad you did and so will your family. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle all the jolly holiday fun you can handle.

Check back often so you don’t miss out on anything exciting!

She Who is Almost Ready for the Holiday Season to Begin

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Happy December!

Starting today running right through to Christmas, I will be posting a daily holiday tip, idea, how-to or recipe. You don’t want to miss out on any of the fun!

So today, in honor of Day 1 of our Holiday Hoopla, here is our first holiday tip.

Start your welcome to holiday guests at the front door. There is nothing quite like a cheery welcome mat to say “thank you for coming to our home” as your guest walks up to your door.

I like to buy a new one every year because let’s face it, no matter how much you scrub on these after a season out in the weather they just never look very spiffy when you unpack them the next year. I cheat and buy a couple on the after Christmas clearance sales.

If you live in an area where you are going to get a lot of snow, slush and gunk tracked in your house, I highly recommend having a sturdier rubber-type mat outside your front door with a fabric mat inside the door. This will help cut down on the mess.

What type of mat you put outside should reflect your personality or the feeling you want to convey. It can be traditional, elegant, whimsical. Find what speaks to you and run with it!

Here are a few ideas:

Traditional

 

Elegant

Fun and whimsical (I am digging the word whimsical today. See how many times you can work it into a conversation!).

 

Scenic

 

Contemporary

Check back tomorrow for ideas on wreaths!

Happy Entertaining and Happy Holidays!

Shanna

 

 

 

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