Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

From our house to yours…..

Happy New Year 2009

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Help with “My Blog List”

I am new to blogging but I am learning new things every day! Today I figured something out about “My Blog List” and I thought I would share it with you.

If you customize the layout of your blog you can add all types of gadgets. One of these is “Blog List”

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I added this gadget to my blog without much thought shortly after I started my blog. Since then, I have added blogs by selecting “Follow this blog” on various blogs that I like to visit. Recently, I looked at my blog list on my home page and wondered “Where are the blogs I added?”

Yes, I know I can go to “Dashboard” and look at the blogs I am following from there…but I want to see them from my blog! So, off I went to investigate…. I went to my layout page…and aha! there is an edit button! (insert DUH here)

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Okay so I am going to edit…. I see some of my blogs I am following but I want to add the others… so I select “Add to the list”

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and  I see as an option “Blogs I am following”… that is what I want! (There is also add by URL and import from Google Reader)…..

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When I selected”Blogs I am Following”, up popped a list of all the “missing” blogs! All I had to do was select boxes for each blog and select “Save”…. and now all the blogs I am following are on my blog page!

Okay, so many of you may have already known this…but I bet a few of you didn’t! A new year is around the corner…go clean up your blog list! All kinds of configurations are available…….. you can sort them a few ways, and you can select which way they are shown (icon, most recent title, snippet of most recent, date of last update). I went with a simple list since I have so many, but there are many options! [Note: DON’T FORGET TO HIT SAVE!]

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Just a little tidbit I thought I would share…… I will probably share things like this from time to time as I discover them…. perhaps they will be of help to some!

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Tablescape Tuesday

All the Christmas decorations have been put away… and the house seems bare. I was going to do the kitchen table this week but one of my sons decided to have friends over to eat pizza and play cards. Looks like we will have to see what is going on in the dining room!

Let’s go into the dining room and find a place to sit down and join me in Tablescape Tuesday hosted by Susan and her blog Between Naps on the Porch.

room

There’s a place set just for you! Today we are using white linen napkins and Towle King Richard sterling.

setting

Look at the detail! I have had it stored in a box for over 20 years. I finally decided to drag it out and use it. (What am I saving it for?)

King Richard detail

The bowl is a cream soup bowl in a pattern by Spode called Jewel. My first husband’s maternal grandmother gave me her entire set of Spode Jewel in the early 1980s after she saw my eyes light up when I saw the bowls in the set. (Don’t worry, she had more than one set of china)

Spode Jewel cream soup bowl

The salad plate is Asiatic Pheasant- Blue by Johnson Brothers. I picked up a few of those for a few dollars a piece at Marshalls (blue/white dishes and a good price, how could I NOT get them?)

Johnson Bros salad plate

It is a really pretty pattern! I wouldn’t mind a few more pieces!

Johnson Bros Asiatic Pheasant- Blue

And the dinner plate is Spode Jewel

Spode Jewel dinner plate

Here is a better picture of the detail

Spode Jewel dinner plate detail

and finally, the stemware…. a basic clear glass…and a glass with blue and white flowers! These were one of the items my sweet husband gave me for Christmas! He knew I liked dishes and blue/white….and I had mentioned looking for cobalt blue glasses…. so he was thrilled when he found these!

(Come on, say it….”awwww”)

glass

and peeking from behind the glasses is the Spode Jewel tureen with lid…… It is a real Jewel (to me!)

Spode Jewel tureen

Thanks for stopping by and visiting my Tablescape Tuesday and don't forget to visit Susan's blog Between Naps on the Porch to see more wonderful table settings!

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Twitter anyone?

After seeing a post about Twitter on She Lives, I decided to check out . I set up a Twitter for my blog …….

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Twitter only allows less than 15 characters in the name, so I shortened A Southern Daydreamer to SouthDaydreamer. If you would like to follow me on Twitter click HERE.

What is Twitter? From Wikipedia:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

Updates are displayed on the user's profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends (delivery to everyone being the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS, or email, or through an application such as Tweetie, TwitterFon, Twitterrific, Feedalizr, and Facebook.

I haven’t had a chance to play around with it much yet. It looks like a neat way to get to know bloggers other than their posts….by answering the simple question “What are you doing?”

Do you twitter? Have you found any useful “tools” to go with twitter? Comment below and let me know what you think!

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12/28- A Southern Daydreamer Week in Review

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Another week of blogging… and again, mostly Christmas posts…. but here they are….

This weeks posts: (clicking on post title will open link in a new window)

Comment Questions Answered: (no questions this week!)

I enjoyed reading all the comments left by everyone. It is very humbling to get compliments from the bloggers whom I have admired for a long time and who are the inspiration behind me finally starting my very own blog!

A Southern Daydreamer Visitors: Thank you to all  the visitors who left wonderful comments this week: ann, Bo, Cami,ceekay, cielo, Deb, Diane, Ellen b, envoy-ette, Geri, Gollum, Kathleen, Kim, Knitting Nice, Kristen, Kymber, Laurie, Liz, Lynne, Manuela, Ma’ dame French, Mary Ruth, Melissa, mishebe, Miss Janice, niartist, Once in a Blue Moon, Pat, Rhoda, Schotzy, Sheila, Sheila, sjbraun, Stephanie, Susan S, Teri, Theresa, Zoey

I appreciate all of the wonderful things you had to say! I hope you all will stop by again soon!

A Southern Daydreamer new followers: {Note: The followers listed are ones who are listed on the “Followers” on blog page. This does not include RSS subscribers, whom I would thank individually if I knew who they were!}

A big "Thank you" to my new followers: (clicking on site name will open link in a new window)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday Evaluation- How did it go?

christmas-holly-thumb165544 Grab a piece of paper and write down the following:

  • Best things about this Christmas
  • Special event(s) this year want to do again
  • Worst thing that happened this year
  • Anything eliminated to make Christmas less hectic/more meaningful?
  • Ways could have been better prepared
  • Put off, I wish I hadn’t
  • Christmas Eve what I wanted it to be?
  • Christmas Day ?
  • Open House/Family party?
  • Decorating?
  • Un-decorating?
  • Needs changing?

If you take a few minutes to reflect over what happened and what you wished you had done, you will have a head start on next year!

I do this every year….and it helps to make next year better!

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Need help taking Christmas decorations down?

It will be time to start taking the Christmas decorations down soon and I thought I would share how I take mine down and store it for the following year.

If you only have one tree and/or a few boxes, you might not need to do this…but it you put up more than one tree, or have many boxes this might be helpful. Since I decorate almost every room in the house, I’ll use the dining room as an example.

When I decorate, I write down in a notebook/on a piece of paper what goes on the trees, garland, etc for a particular room. When I get a chance, I enter the information into an excel spreadsheet. Here is a sample:

DR2

When I am finished I have an inventory of all the ornaments and decorations. I usually take pictures of everything also. This is helpful for planning for next year, as well as insurance purposes. If I am not making any additions or changes from the previous year, I don’t have to write anything down because I already have everything itemized.

When I take ornaments off the tree, I use boxes or baggies to group similar ornaments. I put all ornaments for each tree in their own box.

When I take the decorations down, I write down what goes in each box. I use Rubbermaid (or off-brand) storage containers. Each box has a label (example DR1= dining room box 1, DR 2= dining room box 2, etc).  Here is an example of the boxes (numbered 1-4) for the dining room:

DR1

I don’t itemize the ornaments because I have them on the ornaments spreadsheet.  It might sound like extra work, but it really helps to keep it organized and easy to find. A copy of the sheet could be placed in the box, and/or in a Christmas notebook, or left on the computer (whatever works best for you).

Every year I end up moving and changing things around and having my lists help me know what I have (in case I need to add more of a theme/ornament) and which box it is in.

If you store your decorations in more than one place (all mine go in the attic except for linens and dishes) it would be helpful to add a column for the location of the box (garage, attic, basement, closet,etc). Also, when putting the boxes in storage, put the room boxes you want to be able to get to first (next year) in last. We usually decorate the upstairs first (bedrooms), so we put those in the attic last. The boxes for the kitchen, dining room,living room, etc go in the attic first.

Another couple helpful tips if you are writing things down while un-decorating:

  1. Make a note of how long it took you to decorate the tree/room/area. This will help you plan your decorating next year because you will have an idea of how long it takes.
  2. Make a note of any changes/additions to tree/room/area that you would like to try next year. You can add items to your shopping list or work on those projects later when you have some free time.

I have been using this “method”  for twenty years…and it works for me. I realize it may be overwhelming to some….but I thought I would share it anyway!

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Decorated for Christmas: a few random photos

Last of the Christmas decorations…

The tree in the boys room

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The master bathroom ….

mbath mirror

The small tree in the master bathroom I have had for over 20 years. The plastic stand (finally) broke, so I grabbed a piece of foam and a vase, and voila ….. an “updated” tree

tree in Mbath

My daughter’s Christmas village (on her desk in her room). I think she does a wonderful job with it!

village

I thought I had pictures of my daughter’s tree, my eldest son’s tree, and the kid’s bathroom decorated…. but I didn’t!  (oops!)

I need to try and get photos before I start to take it all down!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

From our house to yours…..

Merry Christmas

Linus and Charlie Brown Christmas

O Holy Night sung by Josh Groban

I hope your day is full of love, laughter and family~ Susan

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vintage “A Visit from St Nicholas”

coverstnick Many people read “A Visit from St Nicholas” on Christmas Eve as a family tradition. When you have a few minutes, check out the following links for scans of antique (vintage)illustrated editions of the popular poem. I enjoyed looking through many of the different versions from various years!

Do you have a favorite?

Clement Clarke Moore's famous poem, which he named "A Visit From St. Nicholas," was published for the first time on December 23, 1823 by a New York newspaper, the Sentinel. Since then, the poem has been reprinted, translated into innumerable languages and circulated throughout the world.

Clement Clarke Moore was born in 1779 to a well-known New York family. His father, Reverend Benjamin Moore, was president of (what is now) Columbia University and was the Episcopal Bishop of New York. Moore's father also participated in George Washington's first inauguration and gave last rites to Alexander Hamilton after Hamilton was mortally wounded in an 1804 duel with Aaron Burr. Moore himself was an author, a noted Hebrew scholar, spoke five languages, and was an early real-estate owner and developer in Manhattan.

Despite his accomplishments, Clement Clarke Moore is remembered only for "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," which legend says he wrote on Christmas Eve in 1822 during a sleigh ride home from Greenwich Village after buying a turkey for his family. Some say the inspiration for Moore's pot-bellied St. Nicholas was the chubby, bewhiskered Dutchman who drove Moore to Greenwich Village to buy his holiday turkey.  Moore never copyrighted his poem, and only claimed as his own over a decade after it was first made public.

Moore read the poem to his wife and six children the night he wrote it, and supposedly thought no more about it. But a family friend heard about it and submitted the poem to the Sentinel, a newspaper in upstate New York, which published it anonymously the following Christmas. Moore's poem immediately caught the attention and imagination of the state, then the nation, and then the world. Finally, in 1844, he included it in a book of his poetry. Moore died in 1863 and is buried in Trinity Cemetery in Washington Heights, New York.

Sources: Wikipedia, A Visit from St Nicholas , Van Deusen Collection

Photo credit - InterMedia Enterprises

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Tablescape Tuesday

Last week I showed you our dining room table decorated for Christmas for my first Tablescape Tuesday hosted by Susan and her blog Between Naps on the Porch.

Today I would like to share with you today’s kitchen tablescape! (I say today, because it changes often)

table

Today's table consists of a bronze charger (from Hobby Lobby), Nikko's Happy Holidays Christmas dinner plate and flatware, and a green earthenware salad plate (from Cracker Barrel). The stemware is a simple glass with holly and berries.

view

Here is a picture of the simple place setting. The salad plate has a raised design that is almost too pretty to cover up with food.

place1

and a picture of the Nikko Happy Holiday dinner plate….

place2

The plates are easy to mix and match with any salad plate. Here’s another salad plate with the dinner plate.

option2

Since this is the last Tablescape Tuesday before Christmas, I thought I would share two other place settings from the kitchen table. The first uses a green earthenware dinner plate (from Cracker Barrel) and a salad plate from Queens multicolor Christmas. I love the non-traditional colors of the plate!

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And here is the same dinner plate with the Nikko Happy Holidays luncheon plate.

option4

See how easy it is to mix and match the dishes? My family enjoys seeing the dishes change from week to week…..

To see more of the Christmas decorations in the kitchen click here .

Thanks for stopping by and visiting my second Tablescape Tuesday and don't forget to visit Susan's blog Between Naps on the Porch to see more wonderful table settings!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Is there a Santa Claus? (part 2)

I’d say we have plenty of Santa’s in our house….and there is always room for more! If I had to pick a favorite, this little guy might be the one. My maternal grandmother made this pillow Santa for me when I was three. Even though she is no longer with us, I cherish this gift she gave to me over 40 years ago….

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Here are a few of the Santa’s in our house this year. We have many Santa ornaments…..

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and many Santa’s figures….

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and finally………

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Share your Santa’s!

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