Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Be Fiercely Original

If you are in a bit of a creative slump or wondering about how to be true to yourself, check out this quote from Scott Ginsberg. He says to be the original not the echo and reminds us that "There are no cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame." Scott is know as the Nametag Guy and has worn a nametag with "My Name is Scott" for 3000+ days.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Choose Civility - or something

This post has absolutely nothing to do with decoration OR inspiration. Today I had a dental appointment, which is not my favorite thing to do, due to a couple of semi-traumatic events from my childhood involving the dentist. But today was also the day that one of my close family members was having a mastectomy, so I decided that rather than worry about some silly trip to the dentist, I was overjoyed to be going where I was going. In fact, I called it my "Joyful Trip to the Dentist!" so I would remember to focus on all that is good in my life.
I actually got all dressed up for this event. I had a new outfit, so I wore it! I was looking pretty good, let me tell you. As I got in the car, I said a little thank you prayer because both my college kids had made it back safely to their faraway campuses. I was so happy because the car I bought a few months back has seat warmers, which I've never had and it was chilly and rainy this morning. I stopped at the bank and made a deposit and I was thinking about some work I needed to do when I got back, that was actually going to be fun. Don Henley was on the radio singing "Boys of Summer" and I was belting it out and hitting all the high notes, too. It was a pretty good vocal!
So I was having a great day - my kids are happy and healthy and in school, I've got money in the bank, some enjoyable work to do, a cute husband, a cute outfit, and my bum is warm! I pulled into the parking lot and announced out loud: "I am having a Joyful Trip to the Dentist"!! I was determined to smile at EVERY face in that waiting room, which I did. I bet they noticed my cute outfit.
I sat down after signing in, and I was still feeling pretty joyful. The receptionist called me up to the desk and I thought she wanted to update my email address or something. Instead, she said "Um, Toni, we have you down for December 10th". Pregnant pause........ to which I replied as joyfully as possible, "Obviously I had me down for today". Then she went on to tell me, very politely, I might add, that they were sort of heavily booked today and there were no cancellations so would I mind waiting until Dec. 10th and she was sorry I had made the trip. (What? When you're wearing a cute outfit, is it ever wasting a trip?) I told her I'd run to the car and get my calendar so I could double check that the 10th would work, while she was still sitting at her trusy appointment-making computer.
As I came back in the office, I flipped open my book, and there on Dec. 10th, it said in big letters "DENTIST". Yikes! So of course, I looked her straight in the eye and said rather joyfully, "Yes, the 10th will work!"
Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that reads "Choose Civility"? Well, I went back to my car, pulled out and headed out of the parking lot. The first car I passed had a bumper sticker that read............wait for it.............

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Frosty - At Last!

Well it finally arrived! My 3-foot, plastic light-up snowman. I know you know my snowman. I have been secretly coveting him for years. This kind of decoration is generally not my thing, but for some reason, for the last several years, when I see one of these snowmen on someone's front porch, I feel this nostalgic pull on my heart strings. Maybe we had one when I was a child, but I don't think so. I think it is the innocent look of the thing. Every time my little white dog walks by it,though, he looks verrrrrry suspicious.
I'll post a picture as soon as he is outside, in full decorati, instead of sitting in my living room.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thoughts about White

Although I love color, maybe too much, I came across this quote to give you something to think about. And a picture of an almost white room with Toby, a cute white dog.

" not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as firece as red, as definite as black...."
G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Dinner Party

So I think we ought to wage an all-out campaign to bring back the Dinner Party. Last night we had a fantastic time at the home of our friends, Audrey and Ed. Talk about The Hostess with the Mostest!(Ed was the Host with the Most, but the other version is more fun to say.)After sampling a couple great Pinot Noirs, we sat down to a cozy dinner of Coq au Vin, grilled brussel sprouts and mushrooms. Audrey said you really have to have guts to serve brussels sprouts at a dinner party but let me tell you, they were pretty fab. She also made a pear and cranberry tart for dessert. Every bit of it was homemade - no hitting the prepared food section of the grocery store for Audrey!
The whole evening was made even more warm and cozy by the fact that it was raining BUCKETS outside. What a storm!
Audrey has such a nice way of mixing her "Grandmotherly Things" with more modern items. Here she is lighting the candles and preparing to serve the salad on her beautifully set table.
Is there anything better than good friends, good food, good conversation, good wine and good music on a dark and stormy night?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pine Cones & Cottonballs

Finally, my saving of little bits of ribbon and this and that have come to help instead of haunt me! I have these mercury glass pinecones that make an appearance each Christmas hung along the staircase amidst the greenery there. And then I don't know what to do with them and they sort of hang out wherever because I can't bear to put them away, thinking THIS YEAR I'll find a use for them. I bought these cottonball garlands at Pear Tree Cottage in Vienna, VA. They, too, hung out for a month trying to look pretty. I noticed I had several snippets of ribbon in different shades of brown. A Right Brainstorm ensued and VOILA! a new decoration that completely changed the ambiance of my dining room. It looks just as pretty from both sides and has such a nice Autumn-y look but I think it will also be perfect for Winter. Kind of like snowballs. I love all the different ribbons. This was fast to hang, too. Three nails and a picture hanger (all the pinecones are on the picture hanger - they are heavy!)I hardly fussed with it all because I didn't want it to be too perfect.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Time to Wine a Little

The other night I hosted a fun customer appreciation event at Il Vino,in Fairfax Corner, VA. It was great reconnecting with clients whom I haven't seen in awhile and also meeting some new people. We had fabulous antipasto style snacks and 3 great wines. Even though Massimo Silva, the owner of Il Vino, is Italian, he introduced us to some tasty wines from other spots in the world. Let's just say there is about to be a run on a certain Pinot Noir from Argentina!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Pumpkin November

Halloween is behind us and though I love it, I am not fan of the creepy side of the holiday. I favor more of a Pumpkin Halloween. The great thing is, the decorations I use for Halloween, I can keep up through Thanksgiving. There is a huge bounty outside right now, ready to be gathered and brought indoors. The brightly colored leaves are almost gone, but there are acorns, milk weed pods, orange berries (is that Bittersweet?)and other softly faded things to be had. I also enjoy the whimsy of it all - see my Pumpkin Topiary. All of it is fake, so it makes an appearance every year on my front porch.