#chaletchristmas2018

Well it’s finally done… It took four days (3 longer than usual) with much huffing and puffing but, the Chalet is finally all turned out for Christmas and I couldn’t be happier. We always decorate Thanksgiving weekend. As I type this I’m listening the Nutcracker my absolute favorite holiday music. I love all Tchaikovsky!

The outside is the boys domain - the trees in the window boxes are a very special touch.

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My decor changed a bit this year and this is unusual for me - I am a history, if it ain’t broke don’t change kinda gal… I used the same decorations in the same places year after year. And let me also share I have been front and center for Christmas decorating since childhood; the first time I fully decorated the family tree I was 11. Ok so 1. I have repeated the same stuff for years 2. after restyling a lot of the Livingroom - along with the new couch and coffee table - same old same old was not going to cut it this year. I started looking around on IG and was so Inspired! Inspired to use less to change the placement or maybe not use absolutely everything in my arsenal.

Let me share what I did!

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I added simple green ornaments to the bowl I already had out. and viola I love it!

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I have four of these felt ice skates, in addition to being on the balcony door the rest are placed around the chalet - repeating a theme really brings it to life!

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How delightful is this vintage light up Santa and Sleigh - We found this last year on our trip to the Black Rose Antiques Center.

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Here is my custom Merry Christmas Art I shared with everyone last week. It’s simple and adds a touch of the holiday without an overpowering dose of Red and Green. I love art in the kitchen.

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This collection of Nutcrackers on the side board was based on an image belonging to Emily A. Clark. I’ve never placed the collection here nor, have I placed one of my wreaths in this window before but, I was so inspired after seeing Emily’s front hall table.I found additional inspiration from Jesseca Sali, Michael Warm Jr., Ann, Eddie Ross and my friend Nicole…. just to name a few!

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My sister and I each have one of these cute trees - our mother bought them in the early 1990’s. For years this one was in our bedroom and twice we’ve used it as our only tree. I love the size and the burlap wrapped base. I love this Nutcracker my son painted for me last year. How sweet is this gingerbread ribbon I bought last year at Michaels!

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The decor on the porch console table has been added to and taken away from - but, I think this is how it will stay through the New Year. I am so happy with the placement of the Advent Calendar. My son is able to easily access and everyone can enjoy it.

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Having just restyled the top of the television cabinet I added just a few festive touches - a vintage glass bowl filled with vintage ornaments that were my parents and few bits from my childhood - the Santa mug was my parents and very old. There are several bunches of the mixed faux greenery around the chalet.

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Even the mantel changed a bit this year. Yes, the train is a staple along with the Railroad lanterns but, it was pared down - less pieces, less greenery and I am so glad Imade these changes.

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I feel like I need a drum-roll!

Here she is! Completely decked out… we have 3 bins of only ornaments for this little 6ft Decorator tree! In addition I add special Christmas cards, gift tags and paper-chains! In my opinion you can never have too much on a Christmas tree. This year we moved the Chinese table and relocated the tree to this corner. It was a lot of crazy work… I’m sure you saw my trials in my stories … how long it took and the string of bulbs that went out.. and yes, there was some cussing involved - so will she be in this corner next year??? who knows???

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I’m so pleased with how the Chalet looks, feels and smells….. you know I am lighting my Thyme Frasier Fir Candle often!

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I hope you enjoyed the tour of the Chalet.

Til next time!

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Halloween Fun!

I have always enjoyed Halloween. We live in a great neighborhood - the roads are windy and it’s pretty dark so it has always attracted a lot of Trick or Treaters. But, fast forward to 1998 when Marc and Andrea purchased my family home. Yes, this house… and bam! It went to a whole new level!

 The Halloween House 2017!

The Halloween House 2017!

And the display only became more elaborate every year - with moving ghouls and sound effects. When you say Halloween House everyone knows what house it is. Here’s a clip from 2017.

Halloween in the Hood is where it’s at!

 The Boys Ready to Head Out on some Ghosting Adventures.

The Boys Ready to Head Out on some Ghosting Adventures.

So do you know about Ghosting or Booing?

In the days and weeks leading up to Halloween you fill bags with fun treats and a bit of candy then go to your friends homes - bang on the door and run away.

The idea being your friends will wonder who ghosted them!

Nothing better than hearing a bang on the door - running to open it - and trying to figure out by voice or by car who it is!

It makes me so deeply happy to see how excited it makes my son!

 The Chalet with a Bit of Spookiness! I can not take credit for the Pumpkins in the window boxes. Its all Steven’s doing!

The Chalet with a Bit of Spookiness! I can not take credit for the Pumpkins in the window boxes. Its all Steven’s doing!

 some scary decorations.

some scary decorations.

 Jason Voorhees, A Warty Witch and a Stormtrooper 2016.

Jason Voorhees, A Warty Witch and a Stormtrooper 2016.

 not sure if he’s trying to get in or just leaving….

not sure if he’s trying to get in or just leaving….

 the boys picked up this mummy! I never mind when they bring me homedecor!

the boys picked up this mummy! I never mind when they bring me homedecor!

 Jason Voorhees (with improved blade) and the Swat Team Commander 2017.

Jason Voorhees (with improved blade) and the Swat Team Commander 2017.

While Liam changes his costume every year… his parents aren’t that creative….. hahaha!

 I think the pumpkin came out boo-tifully! the boys used a stencil and I toasted the seeds! Yum!

I think the pumpkin came out boo-tifully! the boys used a stencil and I toasted the seeds! Yum!

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Happy Halloween! Here’s hoping your night is a spooky and as eerie as you wish!

Til next time!

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Disney Fun!!!

Friends we spent the last week in September in Florida - if you follow me on IG than you saw a bunch of stories. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I had, how lovely the accommodations were and how amazing the food was. It was a trip of a lifetime! Truly!

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 This was Liam’s first time on an Airplane. The Crew of our   United   Flight could not have been more delightful! he will have this memory forever!

This was Liam’s first time on an Airplane. The Crew of our United Flight could not have been more delightful! he will have this memory forever!

M...I…C…K…E…Y…..

M…O…U…S...E…!!!

 You can’t believe how thrilled we all were that the International Food & Wine Festival coincided with our trip!!!

You can’t believe how thrilled we all were that the International Food & Wine Festival coincided with our trip!!!

The Beach Club Resort is amazing! To think it’s based on the New Jersey Shore tickles me to no end friends! It’s a quick walk to Epcot which was wonderful especially during the Food & Wine Festival. If you get an opportunity to travel during one of these festivals GO GO GO!

 These passports were so fun! you fill in the country with a sticker once you enjoyed their treats!

These passports were so fun! you fill in the country with a sticker once you enjoyed their treats!

While I know many of you have visited Disney before - I was surprised by the number of friends who like us were waiting for their kiddos to be a bit older - So here’s a rundown of our trip.

We did not include a meal plan with our reservation at the Beach Club Resort instead we included the Stone Harbor Club - a concierge lounge offering food and beverages. We also dined at Rose and Crown in Epcot, California Grill in the Contemporary Hotel and the Biergarten Restaurant in Epcot. We enjoyed lunches at the Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, the Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios, Coral Reef in Epcot, Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Skipper Canteen in Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom. On top of these lovely eateries we enjoyed the Kiosks in Epcot. We ate dinner twice by simply walking around and purchasing several small plates from different countries! The food was incredible! I mean seriously!!!

We had the Park Hopper feature on our Magic Bands - enabling us to simple scan our bands and fingers to enter Epcot, The Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom easily.

 here we all are our first day! My sister- (who planned the entire trip), her husband and daughter completed our group.

here we all are our first day! My sister- (who planned the entire trip), her husband and daughter completed our group.

Arriving Saturday we headed to Epcot for dinner and the Test Track ride. We had scheduled 3 rides/events per day through Fast Pass prior to our trip. Once these scheduled events are used you have an option of going to kiosks located in the parks and adding more Fast Pass events but, we never needed to do this - since we were traveling during the school year we were able to walk onto many rides with no more than a 10 minute wait time. Sunday we started our day with the best - Pirates of the Caribbean - I still don’t think my son fully understands that the ride is behind all those movies! We enjoyed the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, Tom Sawyer Island and lunched at the Liberty Tree Tavern. The rest of the group ran to make it to the 1:55pm Fast Pass for Splash Mountain. (Fast Pass allots you up to an hour.) From there they hopped over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We closed out our day with It’s a Small World. That evening we dined at the Stone Harbor Club and capped off the day swimming in the sandy bottomed pools of the Beach Club Resort.


 When your son has battled Kylo Ren you share the image!

When your son has battled Kylo Ren you share the image!

 The Brown Derby In Hollywood studios. The Originator of the Cobb Salad did not disappoint! It was delicious.

The Brown Derby In Hollywood studios. The Originator of the Cobb Salad did not disappoint! It was delicious.

 Captain Phasma and Her Troops.

Captain Phasma and Her Troops.

Monday was all about Hollywood Studios. The boys got there early to sign up for Jedi Training (you have to sign up the day of) and Liam was speechless after battling Kylo Ren! I’m not going to say every ride or attraction made it on the agenda because we had to see it or do it… sometimes the crazy heat drove us indoors - this was the case with Muppet Vision 3-D - it was super fun - all the adults remember the Muppet Show it was great! After that we enjoyed the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. We didn’t have a plan for lunch that day and decided on the Brown Derby we only waited 10 minutes for a table and the food was super! A few went on the Tower of Terror while others walked around checking out the shops. Then we went to our 4pm Fast Pass for the very cute Toy Story Mania. We had a 6:50pm dinner reservation at the California Grill on the top of the Contemporary Hotel - which was accessed by monorail. We watched Fireworks while enjoying wonderful sushi. The Kitchen even accommodated Liam’s request for a plain Tuna Roll.


 I Love Donald Duck and was thrilled Liam got to Meet him during our Character Breakfast! ( I highly recommend!)

I Love Donald Duck and was thrilled Liam got to Meet him during our Character Breakfast! ( I highly recommend!)

 The pools were so great! Here’s Liam in orange waiting to go into the water tube! there was a lazy river and a baby pool… so fun!

The pools were so great! Here’s Liam in orange waiting to go into the water tube! there was a lazy river and a baby pool… so fun!

Tuesday started with a Character Breakfast! We were all thrilled to see Minnie, Goofy, Daisy and Donald. After that we headed to Epcot - the rest of the group went on the Soarin' Around the World ride - unfortunately my Vertigo prevented me from joining them. We did some shopping and headed into the Colortopia Exhibit by Glidden Paints - that was super cool. After walking around a bit more and grabbing some bites from the many kiosks in the World Showcase we headed back to the Beach Club Resort to enjoy the pool and dined at the Stone Harbor Club that night.


 Safari Ride - what beautiful birds!

Safari Ride - what beautiful birds!

 the most spectacular fireworks display ever!

the most spectacular fireworks display ever!

 Ireland Kiosk with much yummy treats!

Ireland Kiosk with much yummy treats!

Wednesday was Animal Kingdom day! There was a 10am Fast Pass for Expedition Everest! We enjoyed a lovely lunch at Sanaa Restaurant which is outside the park - in the Animal Kingdom Villas. The food a mix of African and Indian cuisine was delicious! After lunch we had a 2pm Fast Pass for the Safari and then a 3pm Fast Pass for the Kali River Rapids ride (you'll get wet & the seats are wet when you climb on board - It's a good last ride of the day). That night we enjoyed an amazing dinner and show at the Biergarten Restaurant in Epcot . After dinner we noticed all the small shopping stalls closing up and the lights going down. We were beyond lucky and thrilled to stumble upon the most amazing fireworks display I have ever witnessed! It was FANTASTIC - Walt Disney World Parks bring the Magic friends! Of course on our way back to the Beach Club Resort I needed to grab a Guinness and Baileyes Shake from Ireland! Slainte’


 Coral Reef restaurant - the view the food! it was outstanding!

Coral Reef restaurant - the view the food! it was outstanding!

Thursday was a day filled with great experiences in Epcot! First up was a 9:55am Fast Pass for Spaceship Earth. I’m such a history geek I loved this ride and wished it was longer. We popped into the Journey Into Imagination with Figment which was amusing. Next we made our way over to Coral Reef for our 11:55am luncheon - fantastic food with equally fantastic views!

 fun skeletons in the Mexican market.

fun skeletons in the Mexican market.

Thursday was also the day of Magic Band mishaps - after we got settled at the restaurant my brother-in-law noticed his Magic Band was gone. It was decided to enjoy lunch and then we’d circle back and look for it. While at lunch I visited the ladies room and to my horror my Magic Band was not on my wrist - thank goodness it was on the floor by my feet and the same thing happened to my husband. Well, the take away was to loosen the bands - even though they have double snaps we may have been wearing them too tightly for the very hot and steamy weather. Once loosened it didn’t happen again. I’m happy to report that after revisiting the rides we were directed to Guest Services and low and behold they had the missing Magic Band. Yay!!!

After that we went on The Seas with Nemo & Friends and enjoyed this great aquarium attraction. For dinner we walked around the World Showcase enjoying food and drinks from so many countries. We did a little shopping in Mexico - my son brought home a black skull and I a little orange kitty. We also took in the movie O Canada a 14-minute Circle-Vision 360° film - the vistas were astounding. We closed the day by enjoying the wonderful pools at the Beach Club Resort until past 10pm!


 This was at the haunted mansion - we all laughed and thought of our late cat fred.

This was at the haunted mansion - we all laughed and thought of our late cat fred.

 The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History

The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History

Friday our last day found us back at the Magic Kingdom. The Haunted Mansion was a 9:55am Fast Pass. There was a trip on Space Mountain for 1/2 the group while the other half had success locating a stuffed Porg! (Thank you Uncle Bobby). Then a ride on The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Then I found myself wanting to revisit rides/experiences I enjoyed in Disneyland with my parents when I was 13 - and thank goodness my family were good sports. So next… we happened by the Country Bear Jamboree.

While most of us went onto the Hall of Presidents. My hubby and brother-in-law watched The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History which they said was very entertaining! Our 11:55 Fast Pass Jungle Cruise did not disappoint - even after being at the Animal Kingdom with real animals on Wednesday.

 The Hall of Presidents. I loved it as a child and was delighted to share it with my son!

The Hall of Presidents. I loved it as a child and was delighted to share it with my son!

We had a yummy lunch at 1:05pm at the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen. Then we walked around and were amused by the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel and Mad Tea Party!

 how sweet is this architecture??? sorta made me miss the chalet!

how sweet is this architecture??? sorta made me miss the chalet!

We has a 3:30pm Fast Pass for Peter Pan’s Flight. This was my favorite ride experience. I love the story of Peter Pan and we flew over my favorite city London. The boys did one more ride on Dumbo the Flying Elephant and then we were done.

We headed back to the Monorail platform and back to Epcot. We enjoyed dinner in the World Showcase one last time walking around enjoying small plates. We ended our time in France with the most delectable desserts and champagne!

 Epcot totally stole my heart!

Epcot totally stole my heart!


Saturday it was up and out. The trip home was equally as fun as the one down - we enjoyed lunch at Ruby Tuesdays in the Orlando International Airport as a group and the flight was super fun! I love Airline travel and it didn’t hurt that my hubby surprised me with row 1 for this trip as a 20th Anniversary gift. I wouldn’t change a thing about this trip! Cheers and Huge Thanks to my wonderful Sister - who planned an amazing holiday for all of us.

Much Love and Thanks Sis! xoxo

Oh and Disney I’m counting down the next 5 yrs til we come back!

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Til next time.

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