Monday, December 11, 2017

Countdown to Christmas, Week 7

1.  Make your lists and check them twice! Are all catalog and on-line orders received?  (My last two were delivered this week.  Hooray!).
Elliot's Christmas Tree
2.  Buy (or create) thank-you notes.  As gifts are received, or parties attended, you can begin writing out and addressing the cards to be sent on the 26th.
3.  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus finalized? Non-perishables purchased? 
4.  Cookies baked? Food gifts assembled? Presents wrapped?
5.  Purchase any supplies needed, such as batteries (in abundance!).
6.  Charge the camera(s).
7.  Tree up and decorated? Cards sent?

8.  What about you?  Take time to pamper yourself.  Maybe a DIY Spa Night.  That’s always a treat.  Check out this post by The Dating Divas - 25 fabulous and relaxing spa night ideas, along with DIY beauty recipes.  Fill the tub, light a candle, grab your current read, slip into the tub and RELAX.

Merrily, Trish

Monday, December 4, 2017

Countdown to Christmas, Week 6, and a gift for you

We are getting closer to the big day.  It’s nearly upon us.  Twenty-one days to Christmas Day (that's if you are counting).  If you have been following along with the Countdown, you should have a pretty good handle on your Christmas preparation.  I however, have failed my Countdown.  This is the first year in a long time that we are just NOT ready.  Our tree still needs put up and decorated.  We still have a little shopping and baking on our list. HOWEVER! We are keeping with the Christmas spirit everyday in little ways.  Eating candy canes, having breakfast with Santa, coloring winter pictures, driving the neighborhood to look at the lights, singing Christmas songs, watching the Storybots save Christmas (a few times), reading Christmas themed books and just spending quality time together. 

If you are caught up, here is what to consider this week:

1. Now that the Christmas menu has been finalized, begin purchasing everything needed except fresh produce.
2. Trim the tree.  Hang lights around the windows. Decorate.
3. Check list of gifts ordered.  Everything received?
4. Complete gift wrapping.  We wrapped the bulk of the gifts this past weekend.  Pretty much what is left is making gift card envelopes. (Purchase a roll of Scotch Kraft Postal Wrapping Paper, you can find this at Target.  Have the kiddies finger-paint designs on the paper. Dry.  Using this Mirkwood template (do not enlarge, just print the way it is), lay on your painted paper, loosely tape, and cut around the template.   Fold as indicated, slip in a gift card, if desired, decorate the outside with ribbon, sequins, buttons, glitter, etc.). 

Now for the gift.  I love subway art and so my gift to you is a colorful and cheery printable of popular Christmas movies created using a few of my favorite fonts and bright Christmasy colors.  Print on your favorite paper (glossy, matte, cardstock) and pop into an 8 x 10 standard frame for gift giving or hanging in your own home.

Download your printable here.


Merrily, Trish

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Our Family Bucket List for December

Today the kiddies are having breakfast with Santa.  I'll post photos of that later.  For now, here is our Bucket List for this Merry Month.  What's on yours????
1.         Celebrate December birthdays!
2.         Put up the tree and decorate it.
3.         Document each day.
4.         Bake cookies.
5.         Make Cinnamon Applesauce ornaments.
6.         Sing Christmas Songs.
7.         Wrap presents.
8.         Spend an evening driving around to look at Christmas lights.
9.         Write letters to Santa.
10.       Watch holiday movies.
11.       Read holiday books.
12.       Hang Candy Canes.
13.       Host an Ornament Exchange party.
14.       Send Christmas Cards.
15.       Hang Stockings.
16.       Celebrate the Winter Solstice.
17.       Make small gifts for stuffing stockings
18.       Bake red wine cake (as gifts) (recipe here)
19.       Make a list of New Year’s Resolutions 
20.       Keep Calm and Be Merry!

Friday, December 1, 2017

December 2017 Photo A Day Challenge and Printable

This year I will documenting Christmas mostly through photos, and also by combining Ali Edwards' December Daily with Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas.  I love the idea of both and it just makes sense to me to take away a little (or a lot) from each.  My album is ready and now I just have to photo the day.  To guide me along in my picture taking and to ensure I do not miss a thing, I created a Photo A Day Challenge for this month.  If you would like to play along, you can download a full size copy of the Challenge here.

Merrily, Trish

Welcome December 2017!

The Wonder of it All
Towards the end of this year, I learned about Hygge (pronounced hue-guh), a Danish word used to acknowledge a feeling or moment, whether alone, with friends, at home or out and about.  I love the idea of Hygge and am attempting to include lots of Hygge moments in our life.  Seriously not always easy with two energetic little ones running around. 
I am so excited for December; it’s such a magical time of year, and we are determined to make each day filled with wonder.  Currently on our calendar is Breakfast with Santa, Elliot’s Christmas Pageant, Chloe’s 3rd birthday party, four other family member birthdays, our 17th Annual Ornament Exchange, an office Christmas party, and our annual Christmas Eve Family Luncheon.  Add to that buying a Christmas tree, decorating, shopping for gifts and cookie baking and we’ve got one busy and exciting month.
What are you looking forward to this month?

Merrily, Trish

Monday, November 27, 2017

Countdown to Christmas, Week 5

Week 5 has officially begun. You can see Week 4’s Countdown here.
To-Do this week:
1) Christmas parties are coming up. What will you wear? Do clothes need dry-cleaned, pressed, repaired. Or will you be buying something new? What accessories will you wear? Shoes?  Think about it.  This is the perfect time to buy YOU a new gift.  I am quite taken with this simple BCB Generation Cocktail Dressit would be perfect for the Christmas office party.
2)  Schedule time for a hair appointment and/or manicure.  Salons get very busy at this time of year, so get your appointment booked.
3) Mail Christmas cards.
4) It’s time to finish up with on-line and catalog shopping so that the ordered items arrive in plenty of time to be wrapped and put under the tree.
5) Plan the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus. Order fresh turkeys, hams or goose now.
6) Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of water. RELAX and ENJOY!

Merrily, Trish

Thursday, November 23, 2017


While I may still have tons to do, i.e., peel potatoes, stuff the turkey, and some light cleaning before the guests arrive, I find myself reminding myself of all that I have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for our table filled with glorious food, for the people joining us in this feast, for family and friends and the occasional stranger who touches our lives in a positive way.  I am thankful for this big old house that keeps us dry and warm.  I am grateful for the children, they bring such wonder and love to our everyday.  I am thankful for the four days I have off due to this holiday. I am thankful! Glory be to God!

I am thankful for the four day weekend I have thanks to this Holiday!!! My plans are to begin holiday baking, craft making, invitation writing and general prep and finalization of our upcoming ornament exchange, and our family Christmas Eve luncheon.  During quiet time (what’s that?!), I would like to settle down with the little ones to watch Thanksgiving themed film.  I posted a few favorites in a prior post.  You can see them here.  I am looking forward to drinking egg nog, reading holiday themed books with the children, playing Thomas Trains with Elliot and Fisher Price Little People with Amelia.

What are you thankful for?

Merrily, Trish

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

8 of My Favorite Thanksgiving Themed Films

 Looking for a Thanksgiving Themed Movie? Below are 8 of my favorite films which center around Thanksgiving.  

Thanksgiving Themed Films

1. Planes, Trains and Automobiles - John Candy, Steve Martin – What Thanksgiving is all about.    

2. Jack and Jill – Adam Sandler. Fun!

3. Home for the Holidays - Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Holly Hunter, Robert Downey, Jr.  This file is one of my absolute   favorites.  Going home for the Holidays has never been more fun.

4. Pieces of April – Katie Holmes. This film is different, and I like it.

5. What’s Cooking?– Mercedes Ruehl.  Love this film! 

6. The Big Chill – Star studded cast including, Glenn Close, JoBeth Williams, Tom Berenger.  I can't even count the times I have watched this film. What a soundtrack!

7. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving – The Peanuts Gang – it’s not a holiday without them.

8. Holiday Treasure – Jason Robards. I watched this as a young'un and it has always stuck with me.  I really like it.

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving film that you watch EVERY year?? Do share.

Merrily, Trish

Monday, November 20, 2017

Countdown to Christmas, Week 4

I've been staying up with my Countdown. Here's my Countdown for the Fourth Week of November:
1. Be thankful for all you have, and all that you've accomplished to this point.
2. Enjoy you Thanksgiving! You deserve it.
3. Send out invitations for the Christmas Ornament Exchange.
4. Pick up those Advent candles.  Advent begins Sunday.  If you are lighting the candles this year, I’ve included a cheat sheet for which candle to light when and the meaning of each.
5. Begin addressing Christmas cards. 

Advent Candles "Cheat Sheet"

Merrily, Trish

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

...and the Most Important Meal of the Day is...

Monday morning getting ready for Preschool:

Me: What would you like for breakfast?
Elliot: Nothing.
Me:  What do I always tell you is the most important meal of the day?

(That's McDonalds). 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Countdown to Christmas, Week 3

Week 3 has officially begun.  
To-Do this week:
1)   Continue shopping for gifts;
2)   Update Christmas card list;
3)   Purchase or order Christmas cards.  I have so many boxed sets that I do not need to buy any for a few years.  However, there are so many adorable cards that when I see a set that appeals to me, I just have to buy them; 
4)   Make and freeze a batch of baked goods (unfrosted cookies, bars, quick breads);
5)   Start collecting boxes and gift bags to use for gift wrapping, or do what K and I like to do – buy a roll of brown mailing paper from the dollar store.  Gather paints, stickers, ribbon, trim and create your own gift wrap.  One year, using an envelope template from Mirkwood Designs, K finger-painted on the brown paper and we cut out envelopes for money and gift card gifts;
6)   Start wrapping gifts as they are bought.  I must do this because I really do not like to wrap; and
7)   Finalize Thanksgiving dinner menu and entertainment plans.

Merrily, Trish

Monday, November 6, 2017

Countdown to Christmas, Week 2

Week 2 has officially begun.  You can see Week 1’s Holiday To-Do List here
To-Do this week:

1)   Continue shopping for gifts;

2)   Begin buying nonperishable items for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

3)   Decide what table settings and linens you will be using for each holiday dinner.  Will you be using the good china or the everyday?  What about chargers?  And let’s not forget the centerpiece!  Do you need to purchase something new? Sometimes I’ll indulge in a new tablecloth (Burlington’s has great prices on tablecloths!)  What about napkins? Napkin rings?  Get the kiddies involved. Check out Pinterest for easy to make napkin holders and placemats.

4)   Stock up on Holiday themed paper products, i.e., plates, cups, eating utensils, place mats.  While I set a pretty table using china and linens for the main dinners, I like to use Holiday themed paper products for potluck and impromptu get togethers.

5)   Decorate for Thanksgiving.

6)   Last week, we worked on the guest list for Thanksgiving Dinner.  Now it’s time to send out the invites.

Merrily, Trish

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Being Thankful: Part One

  • I am so thankful for the little ones in my life.  Elliot and Amelia.  They make coming home after work each night something to look forward to.  

  • I am thankful for the house I live in – true it needs A LOT of work, but it’s warm, and it’s large enough share with family, and to host parties.
  • I am thankful for the little things I take for granted.
  • I am thankful for my niece, Melissa, who is always so good to me.
  • I am thankful for health and strength.
  • I am thankful for my friends and co-workers.
  • I am grateful to my MOM for so much!
  • For my granddaughter Kayla for being here.
  • For Mister for his patience.
  • For gingerbread, my favorite authors, white chocolate mochas, snow for Christmas, the pitter patter of rain outside our window, warm blankets, candles, for Survivor, Project Runway and holiday themed movies.
  • I am thank for for every single day.  

What's on your thankful list?

Merrily, Trish

Thursday, November 2, 2017

November 2017 Family Bucket List


1.     Keep a gratitude journal
2.     Rake Leaves
3.     Make Butternut Squash Soup – share with family & friends
4.     Crochet a scarf
5.     Bake a pie
6.     Send Happy Thanksgiving Day cards
7.     Watch Thanksgiving themed movies
8.     Make acorn art with the kiddies
9.     Celebrate November birthdays
10.     Read a book
11.     Buy Indian corn and gourds – make a centerpiece
12.     Make homemade cranberry sauce
13.     Start shopping for gifts!

14.     Go for a walk around the neighborhood
15.     Relax, Enjoy, Be Thankful!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Welcome November!

As I’ve said many time before, September through December are my most favorite months of the year (cold weather not included, but comes with the territory), with Thanksgiving and Christmas being my most favored holidays.

September, for me, symbolizes a time to learn as it coincides with going back to school.  October is filled with parades, costumes and trick or treating and Halloween parties.
And then there is November.  This month is a quieter month, a good month to reflect and to count your blessings, especially before the hustle and bustle of preparing for the Christmas season.  

This month, I plan to embrace the practice of Hygge.  Yes, I am, once again, behind.  I just learned of this most comforting and laid-back tradition.  I am preparing our home and hearts for just being.  

What is November to you?

Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave thanks to God. Then he passed the bread to the people, and he did the same with the fish, until everyone had plenty to eat.

John 6:11 Contemporary English Version

Monday, October 30, 2017


This week I begin my Christmas Countdown.  I’ve counted down to Christmas for what seems like forever.  I start by purchasing a new journal for jotting down notes, gift ideas, menu and cookie baking ideas, and to-dos, which I’ll later transfer to my Holiday Lists.  This so gets me in the mood for celebrating and making the most of the holiday season.  Also, while I do love planners, I use a three-ring binder for my Christmas Countdown.  This is where I save the recipes and the decoration ideas, instructions for gifts to make, my cleaning lists, shopping lists… well, you’ll see as we count down to Christmas together.

On my Holiday To-Do List for Week 1 (along with celebrating Halloween):
1) Set budget for gift giving
2) Write out gift list (confirm sizes, colors, etc.)
3) Work on Thanksgiving Day guest list
4) Work on Thanksgiving Day menu and shopping list.
Quick confession: A few years back I created a dinner menu/shopping list for the whole week and use the same every year. Consider it – saves lots of time.  You can see the list here.
5) Create Holiday Calendar – mark special dates
6) Begin shopping
7) Browse catalogs for gifts, and begin ordering

To help get you started on your Countdown, I’ve included a few pretty and useful lists.  Enjoy!

Do you countdown to Christmas?  Consider sharing some of your most timeworn ideas and traditions.

Merrily, Trish

Sunday, October 29, 2017



I hope you will join me beginning October 30, 2017 as I Countdown to Christmas.  Every Monday through the week of December 25, I will be counting down to Christmas with checklists, recipes, ideas and inspiration.