A few of my favorite Christmas things!

I love everything fabout the holidays rom the aromas of the balsams and firs, baking, to the sights, and decorations, listening to thebells jingling, the songs and carolers, the parties and decorating my home…. what are some of the things that you (or your kids) love best about this time of year?

Advertisements

Inc(RED)ible offer from Starbucks!

I found this on my Facebook page…bev_lineup_154x154

Doing good never tasted better.

This holiday, Starbucks presents three delectable ways to give and receive. Every time you enjoy a (STARBUCKS)RED™ EXCLUSIVE beverage at participating locations in the US and Canada between November 27, 2008 and January 2, 2009, we’ll give 5¢ to the Global Fund to help save lives in Africa.

Join us in support of World AIDS Day. We’re giving 5¢ to the Global Fund for every hand-crafted Starbucks beverage sold on December 1, 2008 at participating US and Canada locations.*

Invite your friends! We’re counting on every customer to help make a difference. Together, we can do a world of good.

DO MORE GOOD.
Join the (STARBUCKS)RED™ Community at: http://www.starbucks.com/red
Learn more about Starbucks’ partnership with (RED)™ to help save lives in Africa. Make your own commitment and join the growing community to do good every day.
For more information go to Starbucks’ website!

And don’t forget to look below for my Starbucks giveaway!

Happy ThanksGIVING (away!)


As I continue working on my blog & home… both new and improved, I hope! I wanted to say thanks… thanks to my friends old and new and those whom I know IRL… for stopping by and reading… for laughing and crying with me… for supporting me along the way. Because we all know by now how much I love my Red Cups and Starbucks’ ever-so-delicious-and-ever-so-sinful lattes, because everyone knows how much of a pick me up they are even on the downest of days, I am GIVING AWAY a $10 STARBUCKS GIFT CARD! It’s my way of saying thanks.

So, in order to be eligible you must post a comment telling my just why you havehavehave to win this card and link/mention me on your blog if you have one! Anyone can play! The drawing will be picked by Rebecca who will pick all names out of a jar… the deadline for this contest will be a week from today (Thanksgiving) and the winner will be notified via email and announced here. Look folks, I’m not married to Daddy Warbucks so I am starting small. Perhaps we could get the Starbucks company to fund a regular giveaway…anyone know any BigWigs over there?!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving!

XOXOXO

Jessica

Changes in Lattitude Changes in Attitude

My dining room and my bloggy… both experiencing a make-over
I just love Jimmy Buffet, don’t you? But I’m not here to talk about him or Juicyfruit, or Cheeseburgers in Paradise… not until the summertime that is! Now is the season for giving Thanks and giving and hanging ornaments and drinking warm seasonal lattes in beautiful red ups and listening to bells jingling and children singing. As I sit upstairs at my computer listening to the paint rollers rolling and strange Spanish music blaring from below… as I wait (im)patiently for my dining room to transform herself… worriedly, excitedly… as I wait for the clock to tell me it’s time to go to get Alexander and meet Rebecca and her 4th grade class as well as the Kindergarten class in front of the Stop & Shop grocery store in Westport, CT so that they can donate all the food the school has collected to donate to Operation Hope and hear them all sing their Thanksgiving Song… and wait to bring Andy the Guinea Pig back for another long weekend… I am fiddling with my bloggy… It’s a mishmash at the moment but it is headed in the right direction. You’ll notice some changes around here. I’m selling myself out, heading toward Madison Avenue and Main Street. I’m entering the advertising biz promoting the items I love and use regularly both here and on my food blog. You’ll see some bigger changes around here. I’m trying to have this site serve as a better reflection of me. And why not try to make a few $$ as well. And, not to worry my friends there’s something in it for you too! My first ever give-away. It won’t be too large but it’ll be a little something that I really, truly love… a little something that puts an extra spring in my step… I’ll post about it in the very near future.If you can’t wait for my little giveaway you can head over to my buddy Jen at ListPlanIt… she’s giving away some Christmas music. Perfect! It will accompany mine perfectly! Have you any idea what I am plotting?

Oh boy…

I might need another run to the paint store… the dining room is blue. Really blue. Too blue. Too light blue. The paint swatch seemed a more masculine tone and yet when you place the swatch on the wall it does match up. But I’m not loving it. The stripes still need to get painted and maybe that will help. It is a darker blue. But I am afraid it is still too blue. Oye. Even Don agreed… It looks like Christopher’s room in the old house… all that’s missing are the Pottery Barn Wall Paper cut outs on the walls… Aye Carumba!

These pictures were taken earlier… now there is now blue below the chair rail as well. The room needs to dry overnight and then the painters will come back and work on the shadow striping… but I am afraid! I am very afraid!


(Below is Christopher’s old room … looks remarkably like the new dining room! Oh someone please tell me it will all be OK!!!!)

Sorry!

I do my best to update this daily… sometimes I am too busy. Or too boring. No more parties to plan and wrapping paper drives to chair. Now it’s time to redirect focus to me and us and our home. The painters started this week. HURRAH! My living room and dining room should be done by the end of the week! Yahoo! Remember my plaid panelled walls? Well they are no more!

They are gone gone gone and the dizzying pattern will no longer cause my stomach to churn! Instead I look into a room of clean, pure white primer! But it will be like that for not much longer! The dining room will be blue… Benjamin Moore San Fransisco Bay blue with shadow stripes above the chair rail and solid below

This is Benjamin Moore’s San Fransisco Bay (802) which we’ll have in a semi-gloss next to

Blue Bayou (801) which will be a matte stripe and Ivory Tusk (OC91) below for our trim in both the dining and living rooms.


This is Benjamin Moore’s Lenox Tan (HC44) which also happens to be a Pottery Barn select color and will be on the walls of the living room. For a little drama and color the ceiling will be Mediterranean Breeze (799) which is in the same color family (pictured below)as the two in the dining room. I want the two rooms to have separate feels and yet flow.

The living room is right now being stripped of equally hideous wallpaper (I’m sorry I never got around to taking a picture of it) I am so excited! The final thing we need to do is to get a big comfy sectional for the family room so that we can put the couch back into the living room… in another couple of weeks we’ll be there and we’ll be able to entertain and have dinner parties and this Entertaining Mom is so very excited about that! I need to start planning some meals and appetizers and cocktails of course!

My holiday season has already started and our weekends are filling up. Cheer is in the air. I can’t wait to break out my Christmas decor and get the house smelling like the holiday season with balsam and fir and baking!

Potty Talk

I am Queen of my castle… here is my Throne!

(for a mere $10,000!)

Who knew?! Well, my friend Kim did! Why and how I have no idea and I didn’t ask. But when I Googled it I found out that it was indeed World Toilet Day.

According to the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (leave it up to those crazy Canucks) “19 November was declared ‘World Toilet Day’ in 2001 by 17 toilet associations around the world. Since then there has been established an annual World Toilet Summit and many other regional conferences. Each toilet association has also engaged in many activities promoting clean toilets in their own respective country.
Since 2001, World Toilet Day has become a global platform for academics, sanitation experts, toilet designers, environmentalists etc. to share the latest on rural and urban toilets. The World Toilet Organisation asks each individual, in their respective country, to request better equality (more facilities for women); more accessibility & special provisions (for the disabled & mothers with babies); clean toilets (for everyone); and more toilets (for the less fortunate). “
There’s even a World Toilet Organization… but I won’t go on… I know many of you think this is a pretty crappy post anyhow!

A remote control flusher… because reaching behind you is far, far, too hard to do… and what happens when you have another remote to lose? Will you walk all over the house in search of it rather than just grabbing the little metal bar and gently pushing it down?

This one is just wrong!

For the hunters out there… or EccoMums who want to conserve…


Suspension bridges are one thing… suspension toilets are downright scary!


Yes, this is for real! And it ain’t cheap!

Gotta run to the can!

I’d be afraid someone would mistake the sink for the loo and vice versa!

Spectacular Painted Pumpkins

I am reposting this because I do not think that the last post and photos did any justice

Here are her directions!

For the glittered pumpkins at school, I used Martha’s glitters in Green Agate, Copper and Antique Silver. Honestly, the glitter pumpkins are easy and fast. I did 1/2, let it dry, then the other half. Once they were dry, I finished it with the Glaze so it wouldn’t “shed” glitter too badly. My tips would be to do them in a box and on sheets of wax paper so you can re-claim and re-use your glitter. It can get messy otherwise. I never actually watched Martha’s video, so I’m not sure how she did it. I used a wax sheet as a funnel and worked between 2 sheets per pumpkin with the pumpkin set in the box.For the painted ones, I used Delta Ceramcoat in Light Ivory for the pumpkin, Folk Art Acrylic paints in Asphaltum for the handles, Metallic Peridot and Metallic Antique Copper for the stenciling. I then finished them with Folk Art Clearcote Hi-Shine Glaze in the Brilliant Finish (it’s an aerosol can). I also played around with the combo of colors, but only used what is listed above. The metallic green body pumpkin was the same paint I used for stenciling on the others. The painted pumpkins take about 2 days because you need drying time and the final glaze really needs 24 hours to cure. But, there is room to be a little more creative. I did find that since the pumpkin is curved and grooved, using an actual stencil was difficult. (I tried brushes, sponges, etc) but could never really get good sharp edges. I ended up copying the stencil in pencil onto the pumpkin and then basically going over that with the paint. Some of them were just easier to freehand. to Kim’s Spectacular Painted Pumpkins. I am reposting better pictures… same directions!

Cheers!


Thank you all for your kind words, pleasant thoughts and well wishes.

The wine tasting was a smashing success! I am still amazed that we pulled off such a task in such a short amount of time… well, not so much that we pulled it off, but that we pulled it off so well. Really, it did not seem as though it was pulled together in a few short weeks, but seemed as though had been in the planning for months! The wine vendor was amazing and there were about 60 wines varietals to choose from. I learned a lot and yes I tasted a lot! We had something for every one and every budget. We had $10 bottles to sample and $65 to sample! There were assorted reds, whites, sparklings and ports.

The food was beautiful and bountiful. We had a sushi display, New Zealand rack of lollipop lamb chops with mint pesto. Passed hors d’oeuvres that included jumbo lump crab cakes with remoulade, wild mushroom phylo purses, cranberry and brie phylo purses, scallops wrapped in bacon, thinly sliced filet mignon on crostini topped with horseradish cream, caviar crepe towers and bacon grissini. There was a fall bounty table that included a plentiful international cheese board, assorted caponata, tomato and olive tapenade brushetta, crudites and assorted dips, olives, rustic breads and crackers and herb infused oils. We had coffee and assorted chocolate truffles, lavender shortbread and miniature fudge brownie wedges. (You have to have your chocolate with your Bordeaux!)

Our caterer was Rean Smith. He was fabulous. I will use him again. And again and again! If you live in New York or Fairfield of New Haven Counties, give Rean a call!

And finally our jazz trio, students from Yale University’s music program, set the tone for the night.

People mixed and mingled, sampled and ate… new families and old families attended. There was an electricity in the air. A good time was had by all! There was quite a buzz about it this morning at school. I’m glad it’s over. Relieved it’s over and sad it’s over. I’m ready to head it up again next year!

Now, for the meantime at least, I can have my life back and Alexander can have his Mommy back! And I can sleep at night without waking up worrying that I have forgotten an important detail!

What’s on your children’s bedside table?

Rebecca is reading Firegirl by Tony Abbott whom she met at her school’s Author’s Day.

From the moment Jessica arrives, life is never quite the same for Tom Bender and his seventh-grade classmates. They learn that Jessica has been in a fire and was badly burned, and will be attending St. Catherine’s while getting medical treatments. Despite her startling appearance and the fear she evokes in him and most of the class, Tom slowly develops a tentative friendship with Jessica that changes him. Firegirl is a story about how even the smallest gestures can have a profound impact on someones life.
Christopher has, on his bedside table, a pile of books that practically touch the ceiling. He is reading a few all at once I think. On his table are a couple of Magic Tree House Books — a wonderful series about two children, brother and sister Jack and Annie, who go into their magical tree house to discover wonderful, different worlds as they come to life around them. These books and stories are not only entertaining but educational. This series appeals to both boys and girls in grades 1 – 5.


He also has a couple of Dan Gutman’s My Wierd School books on his table. If you have young children (grades 1-5) they will love reading and laughing their way through this silly, zany, appealing series. (Dan Gutman is also a wonderful sports writer in the juvenile literature genre.)

Alexander has three favorites at the moment. His number one favorite remains Pinkalicious! His teacher even had the class make Pinkalicious cupcakes at his request. He was a bit sad when he didn’t wake up pink the following morning!

Next on his list is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day. He just loves to “read” me the story. And he loves to tell me that he is having a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!)

The Fireman’s Thanksgiving is new to Alexander. This book used to be Christopher’s favorite and is quickly becoming Alexander. It’s a sweet story, and beautifully illustrated, of firemen who try to have a nice Thanksgiving dinner but their duties make it almost impossible.