‘Tis the Season

Welcome to my Warm and Cozy Christmas Mantle.
I finally finished it, WOO!

 This year I decided to do something very simple and work with most Christmas items I had from the previous year.
 Here is a close up of my Christmas mantle.

For my mantle, I decided to go with a pine cone theme with wicker. With this, I wanted to have a splash of color hence the red decor. 
This year, I purchased the hurricane candle holders ($3.99 each for the smaller one and $4.99 for the larger one – Old Time Pottery) and filled them up with cinnamon scented pine cones (On Sale @ Joann Fabrics – 2 for $8.00). Boy, does this make the house smell wonderful – I highly recommend! I tied red ribbon around each hurricane to give it a splash of color. I was pleased on how they turned out, and inexpensive! For an idea, you could also fill them up with pretty much anything – candy, potpourri, marbles, rocks, etc. You get the idea. Anything that would make your decor for your mantle.
I also purchased the wicker reindeer named Sparky. He is considered my mini sparky. Kevin’s mom has a wicker reindeer out in front of her house each year, and it’s name is sparky. I am still on a hunt for my own Sparky for our house this year. If you have any ideas, let me know!
Everything else was stuff I had previously, the small Santa Claus, the garland, tea light holder in the far right corner, the Merry Christmas sign, and the red and green tea light holders for another splash of color. I love having the challenge of trying to place things together. 
Now with the vaulted ceiling in the house I had to add a 36 inch wreath that I purchased from Old Time Pottery for ONLY $4.99 – now that a bargain! I wanted to give it some color so I purchased a strand of 50 lights and wrapped it around the wreath with an added red bow to top it off – a bow I also had previously. Last year I used it to top my old apartment tree.
Down below the mantle, I added some faux poinsettias (real ones would poison my kitties) – 2 for $10 at Joann Fabrics and a wooden snowman advent calender for Christmas – $19.99 at Joann Fabrics as well.
Overall, I think my mantle turned out to give the room a warm and cozy feeling, especially when everything is lit up in the main room!
Here is my overall project.
I am still debating on the tree topper. I think a red ribbon on top would be a better topper than what is up there now. 
What do you think?
Well I hope you enjoyed my Christmas decorations! I can’t wait to see everyone else’s!

For more Christmas mantles, click on the link below. ENJOY!

The Lettered Cottage
I love this time of year!
Now if only a miracle could happen, and there be snow in Florida!

Only 25 more days!!!
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

38 days until…. CHRISTMAS! But who is counting!?

Today we bought a new Christmas tree for our new home this year!
Before, we had a small apartment tree that I bought 2 years ago after the holidays. I think I bought it for $30.00 from Walmart. I am always about purchasing items after the holidays. There really isn’t any better way, but this year I think I will tackling it a little bit different. 
So I am beyond EAGER to pull out my Christmas tote just to pull out everything that I have.
My 3 main focus points in the house this year will be
1. My Mantle
2. The Front Porch
& of course,
3. The Christmas Tree
I absolutely love this time of the year, even if snow doesn’t fall here.
The feeling of the season is so cozy.
So, as much as I’d love to put my tree up now…
Kevin won’t let me. I have to at least wait until Thanksgiving. I, at least, tried to say, “HEY! We don’t have to decorate it”. But he didn’t go for it!
So in the box, our new 9ft Pre-lit (clear) Wesley Pine Tree will sit until my Mr. Wonderful gives me the thumbs up! 
Until, then… I will start piecing things together on how I want to decorate everything!
I’ll also post pictures once things start coming along!
What ideas do you have for the holidays!?
I definitely get very anxious thinking about all the fun things I want to do!
‘Tis the Season

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Reaching Out

Well I’d have to say it’s been awhile since I have been on here.
I guess life catches up with you and there are plenty of distractions.
One new obstacle that have happen in my life are meeting up with my mom’s sister who I haven’t seen since I was 5 years old. Since, I was little I have had lack of communication with my mom’s side of the family. This is mainly because my mom cut all ties off with them. 
Well recently, my aunt purchased a condo down here, about a hour away. She sent me a message over Facebook (Oh, what would we do without FB) and asked if we could meet up.
I was nervous at first, and really didn’t know if I wanted too. My mom, about a month ago, ended up at my Grandma’s doorstep, in Wyoming, because she had no where to go. I knew my aunt had communication with my mom, and was skeptical whether or not my mom show up with her.
I tried to look at the bright side of things especially when a friend mentioned, well may be she is trying to reach out to you knowing that you don’t have much family. After thinking about it (which I do all the time, THINK!), I said it’s not going to hurt anything. But it didn’t mean I wasn’t still nervous.
So Kevin and I came up with a plan, in case, my mom was to show. Off to the car I would have go and Kevin covering the tab. 
It meant a lot to me that Kevin come along with me through this. He was there for support! 
I couldn’t be more blessed.
Well the day came to meet up with aunt, and you know what, I am happy we did meet up! It was a pleasant time getting to know her and her husband, hearing about her kids (my cousins) and learning more about where they come from! 
My mom has yet to try to spend time with her family hence moving in with the neighbor guy (she hasn’t changed one bit), but even though she wants no connection her immediate family, there is no reason my sister and I shouldn’t!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Little Things in Life!

I was admiring all the fall colors as my plane landed back to my home state, Michigan.
The cool, cold weather, as I stepped off the plane, hit my face as I walked into the terminal! The smell of the air was so crisp, as it usually does, during this time of the year, Fall! Oh how I have
I missed you!!
I never thought moving away from Michigan to Florida, I’d ever miss the seasons but when the sun is shining 95% of the year and you are living in your A/C majority of the time, missing the seasons comes easily. As does, missing your family!!!
As you may have read in previous post, we had a new addition to our family. Our new bundle of joy, Jaxson!!
I, known as Aunt T, got the opportunity to meet the little guy, and reunite with my niece, Layla!!
My sister wasn’t able to do much because she was only a week in from labor, so moving around at long periods of times was rough. But we did get the opportunity to go trick or treating with the little ones during my short 2 day trip!!
Another trip in the making very soon!
I sure miss the little ones biggest moments.
I wish I could be in two places at once!!
Here are some photos of my trip back home visiting family.



These are the moments in life that keeps life going.
Cherish every moment!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Hello Spring Semester!!!

After November 5th, I will officially be a college student!
I couldn’t be more thrilled about this change in routine in my life right now!
After all the tears shed, and for this to finally come to reality…
Life is good!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

But I am an INDEPENDENT!

Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages  OH MY!
 This is what my life has consist of lately.
After 3 years of fighting to get back into school, my FAFSA is finally complete!
Not necessary complete the way I want it to be, but for now it’s beneficial.
Fall of 2011, will be a different story; another struggle.
I suppose I should give you all a run down on why it has taken me 3 years now to even get into college.
Independent VS Dependent
This has truly been the biggest obstacle for me to get across while applying for school.
Even though I am clearly an INDEPENDENT as of 17 years old, dependent of a father that has never had custody of me had to fill in the blanks for me to get into school.
My parents got divorced when I was 2 years old. The reason why is still unclear to me, but they would have never got a long anyways; they still do not.
My sister, 4 years older than me, and I grew up with a single mother. Times were tough as they are for any other single mom out there. While my mom was working 40+ hours, my sister was raising me. My dad loved us but you never knew when he’d be around; sober or drunk.
Through this time, my mom had ongoing relationship with different men in her life. They would last for a while, 3 years here and 5 years there. But nothing ever clicked. So having a stable family never existed unless I was over at friend’s house. My thought; so this is what a real family is like.
I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. Throughout school, I built up great relationships with friends hence that’s all I had minus my sister. During these times, my sister was much older than me, and doing her own thing. She wasn’t home much, and nor was I. I’d always be staying over at friend’s house.
Thinking back at how my childhood played out, I never really took in consideration what was really happening. Friend’s parents always took me in. They must have had an idea of what was going on. But to me, I thought this was normal. What little girl doesn’t want to have a sleepover?
When I got to 8th grade, the end of middle school, my mom was dating this guy who she met through work. He was retiring and moving up north where he had his cabin. Ironically, we use to go up there every other weekend with a previous boyfriend my mom dated, also a friend of my dad. Complicated, I know. So my mom decided to give up everything she had worked so hard for, and move up north.
As a teenager this was devastating to me. I felt like I was loosing everyone. My sister, my dad and grandma (Dad’s mom), great friendships that were created, and other families I got close to; this was my family. And having to start all over just because of another man in my mom’s life will never be clear to me.
This was the beginning of my nightmare…
On going events went on after this, and within time I am sure I will open up about.
I am not your ordinary 21 year old.
My childhood was nothing like a childhood should be.
& for a mom to think the things should put me through was right will never make sense to me.
I was kicked out of the house when I was 17 years old.
July 4, 2007.
Independence Day; Ironic I know.
The last thing my mom said to me, “Don’t ever come back” followed by the slamming of her bedroom door.
This was the year I graduated from high school.
High Honors and a 3.75 GPA.
My grades are not my issue of getting into school.
I have not seen my mom in almost 4 years now.
Nor do I ever think we will have the relationship we once had, or be the person she once was.
With the lack of communication with my mom, I was unable to apply to college. I wasn’t able to complete my financial aid to go to school.
Becoming an Independent was impossible.
I wasn’t 24 years old, have or plan on having baby, or was getting married any time soon.
Fighting to become an Independent wasn’t legit either. Yes, my mom kicked me out but I didn’t have any sort of paperwork backed up from courts, police reports, or even get emancipated when I was 17.
So showing abandonment was impossible.
I had many family members and friends that could have written me letters regarding my situation but it was never enough.
So for 3 years, my financial aid was incomplete.
Delaying on the fact I wasn’t able to go to college.
I didn’t have to money to pay out of pocket otherwise I would have.
I was a struggling, young lady, working hard to get on my feet on my own!
& that is what I did.
The question I always asked though,
What do people, my age, do when they are unable to be claimed as an independent and clearly they are?
I do not have help from my parents.
I am INDEPENDENT!
Luckily this year, my dad filed for taxes since now it is the hands of an attorney.
Zero Income.
This spring, I can finally go to school to become a more educated individual and be everything my parents aren’t!
Next year will be a struggle regarding whether or not my dad files. But for now, I will focus on what I need to get done. I hope that this won’t hold me back anymore.
So lately I have been studying for my placement test,
and will be on the road to signing up for classes!
This will be such a great feeling!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I love this time of the year!

After debating on what I wanted to do this year, I decided to go with the harvest idea then the spooky theme.
This is our first year in the our new home together. Everything has been expanded, going from apartment to house decorations. I don’t mind though because I love to decorate!
I am, kind of, a budget shopper. If there is a sale rack, I am there! So finding some great deals are always a great feeling!
Here are some photos of my Harvest Mantle

I’d have to say I hit jackpot when I stopped at Joann Fabrics to look for some jute twine. As I was walking in  they had all their Halloween and Harvest items, 60% – 70% off! I’d have to say that was quite the deal. They also have Christmas decorations for 30% – 40% off! Do they realize it’s not even Christmas? Well I highly recommend anyone to swing on over to see what they have to offer for you! It might just add the little touch you were looking for the season!
Here are some of the deals I found while shopping at Joann’s:
16 in scarecrow stake $4.99, sale for $1.99
Harvest table top $14.99, sale for $5.99
Maple Garland $9.99, sale for $3.99
Welcome Pumpkin sign, $29.99, sale for $11.99
Along with my decorations, I added a bale of hay $ 7.99 (local market), corn stalk $4.99 (local market), 3 pumpkins $15 (local market), and festive ribbon for the corn stalk $2.00 (Walmart).
All the other items were from last year. Most were picked up from Old Time Pottery. They have some pretty good sales on random things!
Here are some outdoor decorations

 
 For me, I’d have to say that shopping after the holiday is the best way to decorate for your space. But make sure it matches. I am sure the household across the street does her clearance shopping and just hangs, sticks in the ground, and lights up whatever is 50% off! 
 Chaos!
Well I hope everything one is enjoying their holiday season so far! Halloween is right around the corner! Before we know it, we will be saying hello to 2011!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized