Saturday, November 9, 2019

HOLIDAY STRESS, OUTDOOR CHRISTMAS IDEAS, HALLMARK MOVIE CALENDARS AND MY BATHROOM RENO




Halloween 2019 In Chicago (no editing)

Hello Hello Hello!  It's always good to be back in a somewhat timely manner.  I'm hoping we are all past Halloween and looking ahead to Thanksgiving although it makes me shudder.  In all my years, whenever I host holiday dinners, I have never learned to not stress it out.  I'm a huge reader and eat up books, magazines, and websites that promise ways to handle hosting a party or simply holiday stress.  No matter, I fret over whether all the food will be ready at once, if everyone has a drink, a refill, a little tidbit,  And those that wander into the kitchen asking for the odd beverage, extra napkins, a hand towel for the bathroom (gulp).  And there never seems to be anyone around to say to, "Can you please help this person out?"  I feel my holidays have become so relaxed for my company, and perhaps routine, that everyone is happily chatting away while I'm sweating away in the kitchen and acting like a traffic officer at the same time.  The worse thing is...I apologize profusely.  We're out of ice?  Let me run out to a convenience store.  You're allergic to nuts?  Let me whip up some liver pate.  You're gluten free?  Really?  Really?????

I write for the Michigan newspaper and I'm a cross between Dear Abby, Martha Stewart, and Joanna Gaines.  No, I'm not in their league in any way but my column is geared toward encouraging readers to be the best cook, gardener, home decorator, gift wrapping professional, and above all, organizer.  No one has any idea how little I follow my own advice.  I'm really not much better than the writers of those self help-don't stress it out pieces.  So yeah, I'm not prepared and even if I were, something always goes wrong and maybe I ought to just ban guests from the kitchen.  



Christmas Inspiration

I'm definitely not planning for Christmas right now, but I do love to Pin ideas, and I came across an article on the Apartment Therapy site: "Beautiful Outdoor Christmas Decorating That's Not The Least Bit Tacky".  The Husband is not so keen on hanging outdoor lights or wreaths on windows.  He frowns on blow-up snowmen and white wooden deer sculptures (believe me, I'm open to everything).  So the outside of the house is pretty much non-Christmasy unless you count the lit up tree you can see through the living room window.  Anyway I digress, I saw this lamplight idea and I knew it was for me.  Simple.  Classic.  Beautiful.  And even though I have a phobia of climbing on ladders (thinking back to 2016 when I fell off a chair and broke my arm in three places), I'm doing it.  Nothing is going to stop me.  I may have eight people holding on to said ladder and an inflatable snowman to block a fall, but I'm decorating the porch and garage lights.  If you'd like to see some of the ideas I've Pinned, go to my page.  I have lots of good things on my boards--holiday cooking, baking, gift ideas, something for everyone.  





Lifetime Movie Calendar 2019

Maybe it's cheesy, maybe I should be watching Fleabag, Jack Ryan, or The Crown, I just can't help but feel the allure of a sweet, sappy love story set in a big city or a little town with snow and carolers, hot cocoa, and the inevitable widow/widower with children who instantly fall in love with The Love Interest.  Most times one or the other Love Interest gives up their present life to join the other Love Interest forevermore.  And all those interrupted kisses, we finally get to see one in the final thirty seconds. ❤️.  Sigh.  Just gotta love curling up and watching these movies to get away from the world.  Or your husband, kids, and needy, drooling dogs.



Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie Calendar 


You can Pin these calendars if you so wish, or download and print them.  Maybe not.  Perhaps you like Jack Ryan... John Krasinski is awfully sexy.



I had a lot of fun passing some on some info about moisturizing your skin as the really cold weather begins.  A few ladies asked about foundation that didn't make them feel like they had a mask on, so I wanted to move on to what I've learned about this sort of coverage.  

I had a rude awakening this past spring when I had been wearing Nars Natural Radiant Long Wear Foundation for a good couple of months. I love their radiant concealer for under my eyes so I thought the foundation would be a win as well.  And then I happened to see myself in a mirror in bright, natural sunlight and I couldn't believe how thick and caked it looked.  In spite of feeling I knew so much about makeup products and applying them, I hadn't really discovered the difference between full coverage and light.  I was telling the girl who does my hair about it and she recommended Bare Minerals Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream.  Back in the day I used something similar from Lancome that was a tinted moisturizer and it was prefect but I've never found anything like it since.  Long story short, although I felt that the Nars foundation was making me look line free, smoother and more radiant,  it was actually the opposite.  So I tried the Bare Minerals gel cream and I could not be happier.  When you apply, it feels like silk...I just smooth it all over my face with just my fingertips much like a moisturizer.  It evens out everything such as red spots or uneven tones, and your skin glows (and not in that bright highlighted way).  Best of all, I've come to love my freckles again (thank you, Megan Markle) and I feel fresh faced.  It is super hydrating which I love especially in the colder months, but if your skin is on the oily side, you can most likely skip your moisturizer and just use a primer before you apply it.  Good stuff.






And finally, I wanted to share an update we are doing on one of our bathrooms.  It's almost embarrassing that we still had the 1980's linoleum flooring and outdated light fixtures.  The vanity counter is pink.  The first thing we did was have the linoleum removed and the floor retiled with what you see above.  This is my actual bathroom with an overlay design board (courtesy of my interior designer daughter, Emily).  I ordered and have received the light fixtures and faucet gadgets from Home Depot.  I want to give the wall's vertical shiplap a fresh coat of white paint.  And I'm making trips to a few granite dealers to pick out a vanity top, I'm thinking something white with a little gray marbling.  The gold rimmed mirror is from Target.

My question is--- I don't want a completely black and white bath, nor a complete vintage vibe that the flooring leans toward.  I do have a bad way of mixing up too many elements in rooms that aren't  cohesive.  I'm thinking of adding rusty brown, bronze or copper colored pieces and a little bit of natural elements; plants, dried flowers, grasses, stems, or herbs, tucked in an urn, basket, something on the wall.  Please weigh in with your ideas or tips.  More to come...

Thank you all for your well wishes on this never ending bronchitis or whatever.  I saw a specialist after a chest CT scan and had a bronchoscopy of my lungs yesterday (not for the mild or timid).  A lot of bad stuff was sucked out and part of my lower right lobe has collapsed.  When, how...unknown.  Nothing to be done and it shouldn't present any problems.  So far the consensus is I have a bacterial infection in my upper left lobe and I'm getting a heavy dose of antibiotics.  My throat is a bit sore from the tube but I'm feeling much better all around.  The fluid and tissue lab results come in this week.  What a mess.  But I'm in good hands and I'm pretty tough!  So again, thanks for your thoughtful words and prayers.

Off I go now.  Hope you are having a great weekend!

Jane❤️










27 comments:

The Oxford School said...

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CJ said...

Lovely to see a post from you, and sorry you're unwell, I hope you're all better soon. You have such a warm, cosy way of writing, I so enjoyed reading this. I hope you get some help in that Christmas kitchen this year. Maybe you should take a year off! I shall enjoy seeing your Christmas light. CJ xx

Vee said...

At least, that procedure “not for the mild and or timid has resulted in your feeling better. I appreciated the tips on foundation...I think I need a really good mirror.

Your discussion of Thanksgiving guests made me laugh. Better not be anyone on a gluten free diet show up at my place nor with a peanut allergy either.

Your husband sounds a lot like me at Christmas. I need to up my game. You be careful on that ladder now!

Susie said...

Blondie, I no longer host gathering, haven't for years. But when I go to my daughters, I know to jump in and help. There's never anything formal about our gatherings. It usually moms help kids and themselves and hopefully men can fill a plate with food. LOL Oh I have to go along with your hubby, I hate blow up things for holidays. I do love a wreath and the porch table decorated in something simple. Stay warm young lady. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

It's always fun to read your articles. Have to check out the makeup and hope your tests all come out positive.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Ok, it is time you emailed all of your Thanksgiving guests and assigned them duties or food to bring! You need to enjoy the holidays too. And p.s. nothing has to be perfect :-)

Michele said...

Hope you are feeling right as rain soon, Jane. Glad you are on anti-biotics - the strains going around are brutal.

Get it all out of your system before the holidays hit hard.

We had snow on Halloween here too - my 3 year old grand daughter lasted all of 15 minutes trick or treating lol.

Hope the rest of the year is wonderful for you.

Ps - wow love your inspiration board for your bathroom update - it's going to be fabulous!!!!

Theresa said...

I pray you feel better and better every day! I agree with Penny, delegate some of the things for your family meals. We all pitch in so it isn't such a burden on one person. I can't wait to see your outside dรฉcor and DO NOT FALL:) Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Jane, your bronchitis sounds really scary, and I'm glad you at least feel somewhat better. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick it, together with the procedure.
Holidays can be really stressful. My #1 daughter is taking over Christmas this year for my family, which can be as many as 40 any given year, but she is a much more laid back personality than me. But, she loves to be organized and asked me for my menu, grocery list, schedule of week leading up to with cook times, etc, and even a copy of the invite I always sent (yes, I keep all those in electronic files, lol). Makes a mama proud. :)
Love your new bath ideas. That'll be a welcome change you'll really enjoy. Or, be like us, and end up selling your house once it's updated. :0

Karen Ann said...

Ugh I sure hope you're feeling better soon - no worse time than the holidays to feel like crap! I know what you mean about the holidays, but I have learned not to stress. I often have the family over on Thanksgiving AND Christmas, and I just start cooking and cleaning days ahead and whatever the day brings, it brings. Usually if there's something that didn't come out quite right or I forgot something ( like one year I forgot to put the ham in the oven completely - what?)... there's a way around it and the day goes on. The new bath will be beautiful! I like your choices.

Anonymous said...

Hope you feel better soon. Is it not hard to choose which Christmas movie? They are all against each other .
HAPPY THANKSGIVING
Marilyn

Kit said...

Hello! I love your porch light idea. It should look great! I am all about the vintage decor. Especially blowmolds! I have a growing collection of Santas...lol This year ahead of time, tell that family of yours to help out. When my kids come in they head right to the kitchen. And I put them to work. It makes them feel good to know they're helping. You take care of yourself. ๐Ÿ˜Š Kit

Little Wandering Wren said...

Oh, my golly gosh, you have all that going on and you still sound as fresh and fun and up for anything including blow-up reindeer on the front porch.
My advice is to stick them in the kitchen that way everyone has to join you in there to see the show and you can say 'whilst I've got you... could you just peel half a ton of spuds?! or 'Would you possibly mind cutting up carrots for Africa?'
I would so love to join you for a bubbly with or without our Xmas face paints on!
Wishing you a speedy recovering. Here's a big hug from Bangkok!
Wren x

Jeanie said...

Boy, that's grim, your infection. Glad they did the bronch. Those help me (I'm an old hand at them but the first time was a little disconcerting.) You sound awfully chipper, all things considered! I love that treatment for the light fixture and may follow suit. I have no porch, just a stoop and I just don't do as much outside as I like (because I'm lousy on ladders and so hanging outside lights? Not for me!) But I try.

I stopped giving Christmas parties a few years ago. I'd have a zillion people and everyone told me it was such a great party, they had a wonderful time, they saw so many new and interesting people -- and I barely saw anyone, except at the door coming and going because I was doing what you describe! Now I make it easy. Small groups or else everyone brings something.

My best TG was the one when Rick had his bike accident and I had a broken rib, but we woke up that morning and felt pretty decent for the first time in days so we decided to invite friends. Imagine -- I hadn't even planned a centerpiece or party favors! I made do (and used the good turkey dishes) and was more relaxed than any I'd ever had. It taught me a good lesson. Which I sometimes forget!

It will all fall into place if you remember your own words! (Which isn't easy, I know.) Meanwhile, the most important thing is that you take care of you so that you don't relapse. Glad you are on the right track.

It's me said...

Hi Jane...it is always so good to read your beautiful post...for me right now it is such a hard time...things happen i can’t control my life ...and i am verry sad...life is so difficult ...love from me Ria ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Dewena said...

Oh Jane, you have really been through it! Six weeks of bronchitis last fall made me realize just how rotten it makes you feel. And you're hosting Thanksgiving this year? Dear girl, your guests are relaxed at your house because you are such a great hostess. But maybe instead of reading things telling you how to be more organized, which you already are, you should study how to be a flighty hostess with bits of dough in your hair. Have a sign up list at the door with tasks each guest can be responsible for. Have a meltdown when the next person tells you they don't eat this, or that, or whatever. Make that meltdown loud.

Let me know how that goes.

As much as I love shows on Netflix or Prime, as soon as Hallmark puts out brand new Christmas movies I am there. Very few are too corny for me but I just this year discovered that Lifetime has Christmas movies too, maybe not as great quality filming but at least some of their stars are out of their 20s, maybe even out of their 30s. I love that.

Thanks for the Bare Minerals product info. I've used Bare Minerals foundation for years but never tried the hydrating gel cream you mention. I'll try it! And your new bathroom will be lovely, can't wait to see it and also your new outdoor Christmas decor. Your Halloween in the snow picture is gorgeous, says this Tennessean who was so disappointed this morning that we only got a dusting for our first snowfall.

Please take care! And remember the dough bits in your hair.

ann said...

Hello Jane. I have been having problems submitting comments on blogger, so this is just a test. As always I enjoy your chatty posts. I've trying to enjoy the season by season, so I have my Thanksgiving decorations up. I like the warmth of the harvest colors. Let's see if this comment publishes and if it does then I'll ask "Why?" here and not on other blogger sites.

Decor To Adore said...

Jane, I do hope you are feeling better soon! I hope that antibiotics will put in you in fighting shape for the holidays.

I had to giggle at your determination to hand outdoor Christmas decor. Inflatable Frosty breaking your fall...

I LOVE all the holiday films. I bookmark them and start watching 2 weeks before Christmas straight through the 12 Days of Christmas which ends January 6th. I never encounter holiday letdown stretching it out.

Bluebird49 said...

I absolutely remember when your arm got broken...and you got no sympathy for a good while! :(
Lobe collapse? Does not sound good, but you sound your bright, perky self, Jane! You lift me up!

La Contessa said...

JANE,
I use for foundation a LUNE+ASTER product called COVER CORRECT TINTED MOISTURIZER With SUNSCREEN SPF50.I get it at BLUE MERCURY A SHOP think its a chain store!
Sometimes I use their product called REALGLOW PRIMER before the foundation and I let that set for about 5 minutes before putting on the foundation.I ABSOLUTELY LOVETHIS PRODUCT and it comes in a tube not a bottle or glass jar.Go test it and tell me how it compares to what your using PLEASE!
Christmas Lights are THE ITALIANS JOB!HE is very organized and it takes minutes!!!WE have NUTCRACKERS on the chimney too!
SO SORRY to hear you have JUNK in your lungs and a partial collapse!THAT IS NOT GOOD!Take it easy until that all goes BYE BYE!!!!!!
XX

Mereknits said...

I am foundation-less, and frankly make-up less too which i probably shouldn't be. I do love Boom by Cindy Joseph fro my moisturizer. No chemicals just pure stuff which I love. I am not cooking for Thanksgiving my husband does but that means a complete mess in the kitchen all day long. Still it will all taste wonderful. Wishing you a wonderful week Jane.

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Sarah Jane Interiors said...

That would be beautiful! Love the idea of adding in other textures/colors to make it feel cozy. Love the tile!

Kim said...

I love catching up with you, Jane. I grab a cut of something hot and settle in. I can't wait to see your pretty bathroom. It sounds fabulous and I'm sorry you had to deal with that procedure. I have terrible lungs, so I get it. Feel better my friend! Happy Thanksgiving!!

handmade by amalia said...

Great to catch up on all your news, Jane. Jack Ryan is not my style but I'm looking forward to the new season of The Crown, I hear that it is fantastic. And yes, a sappy romantic movie is always welcome.
Amalia
xo

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

What an ordeal with the bronchitis, Jane! Hope the antibiotics do the trick for you, and that you are in tip top shape for Christmas. I'm the same kind of hostess as you, lol! I've also had those frightful moments of catching my makeup - or hair color - in daylight - yikes! I do recommend The Crown, by the way, and if you haven't watched Downton Abbey, it is probably the best TV series I've ever seen (and I say that having worked for HBO for 30+ years). It's on Amazon prime. It would be a great winter binge!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

So much happening in your life, feel better soon. Love the new look you are going to have in your bathroom. If you like yellow, it looks wonderful in a black and white room for a pop of color. I used soft yellow towels in our bathroom at our cottage in Maine which was black and white and got lots of compliments.