December 16, 2014

My Sister's Romantic Christmas Dining Room

Last week I was down in Pennsylvania to help my sister Kim decorate for the holidays. The main room she wanted to concentrate on was the dining room. You see Kim recently begun dating someone who she thinks is pretty special and she wanted to dazzle him with her culinary skills, but the setting had to be just right. So we thought it would be romantic to fill the dining room with beautiful Christmas candlelight, plenty of greens and the sparkle of little twinkle lights on the banister.

As you can see the gold tones of the room lends itself perfectly to the color red, which has been generously dispersed throughout the entire space.

A rich red runner was placed under the greens of Kim's candle centerpiece.

On the buffet we placed pretty red candle holders so the light will be enhanced as it is reflected by the mirror.

 On each china place setting is a small festive wreath which has been topped off with two napkins cinched together with a wicker ring for a nice blend of both casual and elegance.

Kim did purchase new gold chargers and pretty red wine glasses from Home Goods.

The twinkle lights on the banister provide a magical glow, while potted red poinsettias on the steps add a festive touch.

And now my sister has the perfect setting for a romantic dinner for two. All that's needed is a little Johnny Mathis on the stereo and a small piece of mistletoe to ensure a goodnight kiss!


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December 14, 2014

The 12 Days of Christmas...what do they really Mean?

A couple years ago I published this post just because I have always found it to be quite interesting. So since today we mark the 3rd Sunday of Advent which is called Gaudete Sunday, or Joyous Sunday, I thought it would be cool to share again with you the meaning behind the Christmas song The 12 days of Christmas.  


I am sure you all know the Christmas song "The Twelve Days of Christmas", but have you ever wondered why it was written or what the 12 days represent?
Well for me the question was answered when I began teaching Religious Education to my first group of fourth graders two years ago. According to the text provided me by our church for teaching purposes, in 16th century England Catholics were imprisoned and even put to death if they tried to practice their faith. It is said that two Jesuit priest came up with the carol  in which they devised a code for the basic truths of the Catholic faith.

They go as follows...

"On the first day of Christmas", as the song began, "my true love sent to me", which meant God was speaking to them.

The first gift was "A Partridge in a Pear Tree"...this image represents Jesus Christ the King reigning from the cross.

"Two Turtle Doves" is the code for the Old and New Testaments of the holy Bible.

The "Three French Hens" corresponds to the three gifts of the, frankincense and myrrh.


"Four Calling Birds" symbolizes the four gospels of the bible...Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The "Five Golden Rings" represent the "Pentateuch", or
first five books of the Bible...Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

"Six Geese a-Laying" equals the six precepts of the Catholic church.

1. To hear mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
2. To confess sins at least once a year.
3. To receive holy communion once a year, during the Easter season.
4. To keep holy the Holy Days of Obligation
5. To observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence from meat
6. To provide for the material needs of the church to the best of an individual's abilities 

The "Seven Swans a Swimming" represent the Seven Sacraments. Baptism, Confession of Sins, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick

"Eight Maids a Milking" signify the 8 Beatitudes.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall possess the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 "Nine Ladies Dancing" are the nine choirs of angels.

Seraphim ~ Love angels of the purest love

Cherubim ~ Protectors of the inner chamber of divinity

Throne ~ the Angels of pure humility

Dominions ~ Angels of Leadership

Powers ~ Warrior Angels

Virtues ~ Governs all nature

Principalities ~ Administrative Angels

Archangels ~ Emissaries of the Principalities

Angels ~ The Angels closest to the material world and human beings. They act as messengers by delivering our prayers to God and bringing God's answer and other messages to us.

"Ten Lords a Leaping"  are the Ten Commandments given to Moses.

1. Thou shall have no other god before me
2. Thou shall not take the lord's name in vain
3. Thou shall keep the Sabbath day holy
4. Thou shall honor thy father and mother
5. Thou shall not kill
6. Thou shall not commit adultery
7 Thou shall not steal
8. Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor
9.Thy shall not covet thy neighbor's wife
10. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's goods

The "Eleven Pipers Piping"  stood for the eleven Apostles after Judas' death. The eleven names of the apostles are...Simon Peter, Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James son of Alephaeus, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot.

And finally the "Twelve Drummers Drumming" represent the 12 basic beliefs named in the Apostle's Creed.

1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth

2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord

3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary

4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell

5. The third day he rose again from the dead

6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty

7. From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead

8. I believe in the Holy Ghost

9. I believe in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints

10. The forgiveness of sins

1l. The resurrection of the body

12. And the life everlasting. Amen

Merry Christmas!!


December 13, 2014

A Living Room Reveal for Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Friday!!
Please come right on in, grab a cup of joe and enjoy the reveal of our Christmas living room!!

But before the reveal let me start this post by saying that I am not only tickled pink but also red, green and turquoise to be part of another blog hop hosted by Sherry from No Minimalist Here. This time Sherry is hosting a Christmas Open House where 12 bloggers were invited to share their homes all decked out for the Christmas Holidays! And as you might remember, I began last summer redecorating our main living space...that being the living room! That's right our home was built back in 1973 so the family gathering room is actually the living room...go figure! So when Sherry invited me to the Hop I decided this would be the perfect time to share the reveal our new living space!

Since I did spend a lot of time at the seashore this past summer, I was inspired to bring a little of the beach home with me. Our house is more or less an expanded Cape Cod, so coastal decor is pretty much a natural fit. 

Let's begin in the entry foyer. This is not part of the reveal, I just wanted to build up the suspense!

This space is a nice size but also pretty narrow, so I just gave the main wall you see from the living room the royal Christmas treatment. 

My romantic wooden swans I found thrifting last year are nestled in for the winter atop the shelf over a rather large mirror. This mirror reflects the living room which I love to see as I walk on by.

Lit green trees act as a backdrop to the pretty resin nativity scene. I also filled the large pitcher I purchased at Home Goods this year with festive flowers from Hobby Lobby...they were 50% off! go ahead and turn around!

The new living room color is Benjamin Moore's Green Cast. So from there I took the cue for my Christmas decorating and brought in lots of touches of icy blue. I added it to the hutch and then sprinkled it about the entire room.

Now I have always struggled with the large wall behind our sofa, never quite knowing how to fill it up. But while perusing images from Pinterest and around the net, I saw many pics of louvre doors being used as wall art...and I liked that idea!!! So the mirror which hung over the fireplace mantel for many years got a new home above the sofa. The louvres flank the mirror and then to add more texture and visual interest a wicker tray plus two empty wood frames filled with Wilton Armentale plates are added to the mix. For Christmas, ornaments are hung by some jute twine from the top of each louvre and the word "JOY" was added to the inside of the wicker tray.

The walls behind the bookshelves on both sides of the fireplace were stenciled in a coordinating pattern and color.

Mr. Rosemary Lane's mantel received some new garland of which I went ahead and added glass Christmas balls, little white twinkle lights and two mega sized pine cones. I wanted to keep it simple this year so not to distract from the large painting now hanging above the mantel.

The coffee table is adorned with a darling distressed turquoise tray along with a few more glass balls and a ceramic compote which I spray painted in an antique white.

Our Christmas tree this year is decked out in gold, silver, turquoise, burnt orange and a lime green. It sits infront of our big bay window which recieved new window treatments. Bamboo shades and simple grommet drapery panels frame the windows on either side.

And that gallery wall I started back in September has been expanded from four pictures to nine. I decided to fill the frames with seasonal photos of which I printed off a Walmart for about $6 each. 

I also picked up some pretty new mercury glass lamps from Home Goods to place on the piano. (Shhh don't tell Mr. rosemary Lane but after the holidays I plan to paint the piano black!)

The snowflake pillows are a holiday clearance item this year from Kohls. Gotta love holiday clearances, especially when it is before the holiday!!

Finally I pulled the trigger on purchasing the twill slip covers I've had my eye on from SureFit. The color is called wheat but it looks more like white to me. Either way I can't believe I didn't think to do this sooner!

And the inspiration for both the color and content of our newly redecorated living room is this ah-mazing painting Mr. RL brought with him when we married. It belonged to his parents and hung in their family home for many years, so it has great sentimental value for him. Now it is in a place of honor in our family hang-out where we will be able to enjoy it for years to come.

Would you like to see what the room looked like 12 years ago when we first moved in??? Are you ready??? OK...scroll down!!

Wait for it

wait for it

wait for it...


OMGosh...UGH! Look at that bare wall around the fireplace and the TV on the floor...such style! I just shutter at the sight of this room, pretty much the way Sam the Snowman did when he first mentioned the Abomidable Snow Monster in the old Rudolph claymation! 

Ahhh but now it is time to cozy up by the fire in my freshly decorated room which is all decked out for Christmas. With my laptop in hand I 'm ready to check out all the amazing inspiration being shared during Sherry's Christmas Blog Hop.

Next up is my friend Marty and her gorgeous home and blog,
Can't wait to see what Marty has in store to share...I am sure it will be nothing short of stunning!!!

And make sure you don't miss any of the other fabulous blogger home tours!



Wishing you all a wonderful weeked!!!


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December 10, 2014

Fun Holiday Idea ~ Christmas Tree Cupcakes

How adorable is this little forest of Christmas trees...that you can eat! When I saw this floating around on Facebook the other day I knew I just couldn't resist the idea of giving them a try! So I followed the link and it took me to a wonderful foodie site called Just a Taste. This is actually a lot less complicated than it may look and if yours truly can pull it off than you should have no problem in creating your own forest of pretty little Christmas trees!

All you need is this...

1 box of chocolate cake mix of your choosing
a box of sugar cones which usually come 12 to a box
2 containers of vanilla frosting or you can always make your own
yellow and blue food coloring
some pearl sprinkles

* You will also need a pastry bag or gun fitted with a star shape pastry tip. I used a pastry gun with a #18 Wilton tip.

Make the cake according to the box directions and then fill muffin pan prepared with cupcake liners. While cupcakes are baking take one of your jars of vanilla frosting and using the food color begin to make the frosting color for your tree. Then taking one of the sugar cones, spread on a thin layer of frosting and repeat for the remaining cones. Transfer the rest of the frosting to the pastry bag or gun.

Once the cuppycakes are all done baking let cool and if necessary cut the tops of the cakes to create a nice flat surface. Slather on some of the white vanilla frosting to create a base for the cone and then pop the cone on top.

Starting at the base of the cone, pipe the leaves onto the tree. Once done add the little pearl sprinkles and a dusting of powdered sugar.

And there you have your very Merry Christmas Tree Cupcakes! These can even double as a festive centerpiece. We have a few holiday events going on this coming weekend so I think I will be taking a forest or two as desserts. 

Also don't forget that the Open House blog hop hosted by Sherry Carroll of the blog 
No Minimalist Here begins today and will be featuring open house tours from some of your favorite bloggers.



All About Vignettes

 Here is wishing you a wonderful day!!!

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