Sunday, November 22, 2015

Girlfriend Charity Christmas Party and Give Away

Each year I host a Girlfriend Charity Christmas Party at my home on the first Friday of December.  I have been doing this for several years.

Every year each girl brings a beautiful gift to exchange that some or all of the proceeds from buying this gift benefit their favorite charity.

It always touches my heart to see the beautiful gifts that everyone comes up with for the gift exchange.

Each girl will be able to talk about the gift they bring for the exchange and why the benefiting charity is important to them.  The stories are heart warming.

We gather at my home and I usually have a theme for the party.  Last year's theme was Tequila and Tiara's.  We all wore Tiara's and had yummy Margarita's.  Anyway you get the idea about the theme!!!

This year is a Let's Whine (wine) that this is probably the last Girlfriend party in this home! (Since my home is up for sale.)

All my favors and prizes are wine themed.

Each girl wears their favorite Christmas jammies.  We all know it is more comfy to drink and eat in your jammies.  We really have a wonderful group that gathers each year to celebrate our love and friendships for each other.

This is my dining room table from the other day.  I started with all the stuff I needed to make up favors and prizes for the party.

I found these cute magnet Christmas lists at Michaels in the dollar bins.  Just adorable.

I added some Hershey's kisses and a red pen. An instant favor for less than $2 for each girl.

Michael's also had the sweetest note cards in the bins too. 

Look at these cute wine gift bags they had in the bins too.  They had several different designs one cuter than the next.

 I put each memo pad in a clear cello bag with some chocolate kisses and the pens and then tied them off with ribbon and small candy canes.  I think these will be a cute favor for each girlfriend to take home.  These will come in handy as they start their lists for the holidays.

Just wanted you to see my design assistant Libby is on break in the upper left corner.  Apparently her union contract states if the sun is streaming in the french doors she gets to sun herself.   She needed to nap while I was doing all the work!!!!!
Cute straws for our drinks in all different designs like the bags.

Since the Party is wine themed.  I got these cute wine purse/clutches.  Each girl is going to bring their favorite bottle of wine.  I will give each of them one of these cute wine purses for their bottle of wine.  We will play a game with the purses and wine and each girl will win a cute wine purse and bottle of wine to take home.

Loved this cheetah pattern.  Too cute!

Each wine purse comes with an insulated interior so this could be a multi tasking purse.  Maybe even used as a cute lunch tote!

Inside the zipper compartment each purse comes with a wine opener.

I found these cute wine purses at Marshall's and Home Goods.  They were on clearance for $7 each.  What a cool wine purse for $7.  They came in so many pretty patterns.
The hot pink is my favorite.  Love the cheetah pattern too.  Should be fun to play the wine game so everyone gets a nice bottle of wine and cute wine purse to take home.

One of the prizes I made up was this wonderful glamour satin pillow case.  If you sleep with this on your pillow it will give you smoother skin and healthier hair.  I found this at Home Goods and they came in different designs.  I got one for myself!  So we will see if my skin gets smoother and younger looking lol!
Also put in with this pillow case a wine mask.  Yep found these wine facial masks too.
So happy to find cute inexpensive wine themed things for prizes.

Now on to the Give Away.  You gotta love Home Goods.  I am addicted to Home Goods I will admit it!  That is my happy place to go!!!  Each year Home Goods brings out a shopping tote that when purchased the proceeds go to a wonderful charity.  They are only 99 cents to begin with but they sell so many of these it adds up quickly to benefit the charity.

This years tote proceeds are going to the Dana-Farber Jimmy Fund that helps kids with cancer.  My younger daughter Kim works as an pediatric oncology nurse at Lurie's Children's Hospital in Chicago.  I loved that Home Goods picked a pediatric cancer fund this year for the proceeds.

The art work used on the tote was done by a young girl (Kate 6 yrs. old) that is undergoing cancer treatments.

Love the sweet flowers she painted for the design of this tote.
 I am giving each of my girlfriends a tote to take home all her treasures from the party.  

I bought extra's so I have a few of these to give away to some lucky blog friends.

All you have to do is just leave me a message.  That's it no hoops to jump through or sign ups!  Just leave me a message and I will enter you into the giveaway for one of these totes.

If you are a no reply blogger please make sure you leave your email address so if you are picked I have a way to contact you.

Have a wonderful week ahead.  I want to wish safe travels for each of you traveling this week for Thanksgiving.  For all the rest of you that will be home for Thanksgiving have a wonderful day with family and friends.

I am thankful for all the sweet friendships I have been blessed with in this land they call blogging!!!  So blessed to know each of you.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger

Maria Elena from Our Home Away From Home. 

 Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger is a feature done each Saturday that introduces you to a blogger you may already know or a new blogger for you to get to know. This feature gives you a peak into the personal life of the blogger.  Getting to know the special person behind the beautiful blog.

There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland so enjoy getting to know these talented bloggers each Saturday.

Good Saturday every one.  This week we have a special blogger Maria Elena from Our Home Away From Home blog.  You will love getting to know Maria she has traveled the world raising her kids and her blog is fabulous.  So sit back and read and get to know Maria and then head over to her blog and say Hi.

Hello, everyone!
 I was so happy and honored when Kris asked me to be a part of her "life behind the blogger" series.
Thank you, Kris! I really appreciate you thinking of me.
  My name is Maria Elena and I blog over at Our Home Away From Home. 

Although we live in TX, I was born and raised very far from here, in Madrid, Spain where my parents 
and two brothers still reside.

I married my best friend and soulmate in 1981, he had just joined the US Army the year before and leaving my beloved Spain and my family behind was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do.
This year we will celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary, so I guess it is safe to say, 
he was the best decision I ever made. :)

We spent 23 years traveling the world while raising our three children.

In 1995 I followed my life dream of working with young children and went back to school to get my degree in 
Early Childhood Education.
For many years after and while my husband was still serving, I worked for the military child development program.
Almost at the end of my husband's career, he received orders for San Antonio. It was one of the hardest moves we have ever made since the kids were older, but it turned out to be the best thing it could of happened to us.

In 2001, when we knew San Antonio would be the place where we would retire, I was able to achieve what I worked for so many years and I became the proud owner of a private preschool in our city. 

My husband finally retired from the military and we built our dream home.

Our home is everything we ever dreamed off and the fact that we don't have to move again is such a blessing to us.

We put a lot of pride in our home and you will always find us together working on a project or another to make improvements.
Many people have asked me what is my decorating style and I have to say, I do not have a clue. :)
I buy or make for our home what I like without really following any decorating trends. 
All I worry about is achieving a homey and comfortable home for my family.

At the end of 2008, the recession hit my business pretty hard and I had to make the hard decision of letting it go.
It was very difficult, but meant to be.
 Just a few months after, I received very bad health news and I had major surgery, which took me months to recuperate from.

Today, I am fully recovered and a very happy stay home mom. I love having the extra time to spoil my family and take care of this little girl.

I love to "play" in my home and I finally have all the time I want to pursue my other dream, decorating and crafting. :)
 I started my blog in September of 2011 as a way of sharing my decorating adventures. 
As is happen, it has proved to be an amazing learning experience.
I am so happy to be part of this wonderful blogging community!

2015 has been a special year for us. 
My husband and I have finally became first time grandparents to this beautiful baby boy.
He has brought so much joy to our family and he sure has changed our lives forever. :)

And that is it! 
I hope the life behind this blogger was not too boring for you. :)
I want to thank Kris for letting me be part of their wonderful blog series.
 I am very grateful to be in such great company!

Thank you so much Maria for sharing yourself and your story with us today.  Happy Saturday everyone.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Special Gift

Today was a good mail day.  I love when my mailman stops the truck and comes to the door with a great package.  

Today  mail man Jim brought up this lovely package from Jo at Annie's Attic Designs.

Jo gifted me this pretty white tulle wreath that she handmade.  It is gorgeous.  She used vintage ornaments to adorn the tulle.  Jo told me the top ornament was one that her dad use to put on his tree.  Love that she re loves precious vintage pieces into her beautiful creations.

I have been trying this pretty wreath out in a couple of places.  I like it on the old vintage cabinet door in my kitchen.

The vintage ornaments hanging on this pretty wreath just make it special.

We have been getting lots of rain which is always a challenge to get good pictures.    I did not have good natural light to really show off this wreath so I hung it on my french doors going outside.   This way you could see the pretty tulle and the gorgeous vintage bell ornament that Jo added that was her fathers.

Inside the box was another beautiful creation from Jo.  This framed hugs and kisses Christmas Tree made out of vintage bits and bobbles.  Just gorgeous pieces used to make this pretty framed tree.

It looks so pretty hung by my entry way tree.  Thank you sweet Jo.  I love both the wreath and framed X's and O's framed tree.  I will cherish them both.

I wanted to do this post not only to show you the sweet and beautiful gifts sent to me by Jo but to thank her by giving a shout out of her Etsy shop.  Please hop over to Jo's Etsy shop and take a look at all her beautiful creations she has for sale.

There are just so many wonderfully talented friends out there in blog land.  Jo is one of the sweetest and has a big heart.  Thank you Jo.  Love these beautiful treasures you gifted me.

Have a great rest of the week everyone.  Come back on Saturday to meet another wonderful blogger in Spotlight.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dress Form Sneak Peak And A Very Special Angel

Happy Sunday.  

Remember this pretty dress form I got awhile back in one of my fave shops.  I am transforming her into an angel to be part of my Christmas theme this year.

She got a new crown collar.
Some new bling for her waist on the tutu.
And she got her wings.  Beautiful feather wings.

She is looking pretty sweet with her new bling.

She is underneath my framed chalk board with the wing saying.

 I wanted to give you a sneak peak at my new dress form angel to go along with my white serene angel theme for this year's holiday decor.  I am having fun getting my decor happy on!!!!
I am excited to have been asked to be in a Christmas house tour next month.  So more will be coming on that.

Just a little PS about a very special angel.
My granddaughter Abby is 5 years old and did the most amazing thing this past Friday and I have to brag about it.

This is my granddaughter Abby.  She is 5 going on 16!!!! I swear!!!  Well you can see how much hair this girl is blessed with.  Well Abby told my daughter that she wants to cut her hair and donate it to a little girl that has lost her hair due to cancer treatments.
So at the salon where my daughter works they were able to cut Abby's hair and then donate it to Locks of Love from Abby.

All the employees of the salon were doing a throw back to the 80's.  It was the salon's 30th birthday and all of them dressed like the 80's.  So it was big hair day all around lol!

Kennedy is one of the stylist at the salon that finished up Abby's new do.  I love how cute she looks with her new bobbed hair cut. They cute off 10 inches of her hair.

Abby was so excited to donate her hair to help another little girl in need.  One thing about my girls and now Jen's little girl is they all have tons of hair.
I have to tell you it really made my heart feel so big as this little girl gave up her long thick hair to help another child in need.  I am so proud of this little girl.  She has a heart of gold and at 5 years old already so generous and caring.
Just so proud of her so thank you for indulging this MiMi (grandmother)  in bragging about this precious grand daughter of mine.
I told Abby because she was so generous with the donation of her locks of hair that I would treat her to a mani and pedi day with me.

She loved getting her mani done and picked out red sparkle nail polish.

Of course she had to have matching toes in red sparkle polish too.

We even talked grandpa into a mani/pedi with us.  It was a fun day and we all walked out of there with pretty nails and toes.  As you can see Terry was not real thrilled about me taking his picture getting a mani and pedi done.  He was a good sport to have this done.  It made Abby so excited that he would be part of this too.

Have a great week ahead.