One thing I hate about running normal errands this time of year is that everyone is Christmas shopping....so, traffic is insane, stores are crowded, and lines are verrry long. Even on a Friday. The positive? I didn't encounter any crabby people at all today, like I usually do when out in public. Quite the opposite. I saw a middle-aged woman helping an elderly woman who was parked in a handicapped spot, with putting her groceries in her car and taking the cart back to the cart corral for her. In another store, two older ladies were shopping together and laughing. The one said to the other, "See? I needed to be with you today. You always know how to cheer me up and make me laugh." Made me smile while I was shopping. All the store clerks were in good moods, too.
I put a little of that Christmas spirit (which we need year-round) in my kitchen with decorations here and there. Again, nothing fancy. Just casual, festive and home-y. That kitchen wall will be going bye-bye next month. We're having an eight-foot pass-through cut out in this wall. On the other side of the wall is the living room. The wainscoting and blue walls will be leaving, too. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the display space for the Santa mugs and Christmas glassware.
I recently bought this trio of tealight holders at Crate and Barrel with a 15% off coupon. Good thing is, I can use them year-round, not just for the holidays. Makes a simple, pretty centerpiece.
Reindeer plates and a vintage Marshall Field's crock (both found at Goodwill years ago) on top of the fridge...
Touches of red and white in the china cabinet...
On the wall to the right of the china cabinet, more red and white...
To the left of the china cabinet, my favorite red and white winter mugs came out of storage...
as well as a milk glass piece that's perfect for holding Earl Grey tea bags.
I attempted to make a coffee and tea station on a tray on the kitchen counter, but it turned into more of a catch-all station!
If you're a coffee drinker and have a Trader Joe's near you, I highly suggest this limited Wintry Blend coffee. I normally don't like flavored coffees, but this one's delicious. From the Trader Joe's web site:
It begins with a blend of quality Arabica coffee beans from a variety of locales, including Sumatra and Guatemala. (There are others, too, but telling you where the beans originate might just give away the secret to our blend, and well, we wouldn't want to do that!) The beans are roasted to a smooth, medium-dark Vienna roast. But since this is no everyday coffee, we didn't stop there. After the roast comes the intriguing part, the part where whole green and red peppercorns, fresh whole cloves and chunks of sweet cinnamon are added. The coffee isn't flavored; rather, it's spiked with spices. When the beans and spices have been combined, the blend is given a good grind, making prep a snap, and ensuring the spices are evenly distributed throughout.
I buy several containers of this coffee so that it lasts me all winter, because it's always sold out right before Christmas. And if you're a tea drinker, I suggest trying Republic of Tea's Comfort and Joy flavor. Between this and the Wintry Blend coffee, it's hard to decide which one to have each morning! I found the tea at World Market, but you can also order it online. The cute mugs were purchased at Kohls years ago. The one that says "Nice" on the front says "Naughty" on back. I'm a little of both ~ how about you? ;-)
More snow is coming here this weekend - they're saying 6+ inches Saturday evening into Sunday. And then the bitter cold will hit on Tuesday, with daytime temps in the single digits and below zero at night. These frigid temps don't normally happen until January. I guess that's what we get for having a warmer-than-average November!
Stay warm and cozy...until we talk again.