Monday Musings

Hello world and welcome to another edition of Monday Musings!

It’s been a crazy weekend and as I write this ( late Sunday evening) it feels amazing to finally sit and get comfy and chill for awhile.

I’m listening to thunder in the distance and the sound of rain falling outside on my deck. Heaven knows we really need the rain here so I’m grateful for that. I also kinda like the sound of evening storms. Do you ?

We hosted my grandsons 6th birthday party this weekend so we were all pretty happy the rain held off all Saturday for his party. We had one of those huge inflatable water slides and probably didn’t need any extra water to go with it 😉

On a side note… you know it IS true…. grandkids are all the amazing things your friends always whispered to you before you had them.. but you thought they were lying or crazy or some other adjective.

Anyway, we did the party, he had a blast and that’s what matters.

I still have an obscene amount of balloons gracing my dining room….

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I finally got some time to work on some of my projects for my space at the Vintage store. If you missed my post on my journey into a vintage business, find it here.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

I love doing small things to fill in at my shop. I scooped this little wood caddy up on a local garage sale site this week.

It was kinda…. well…. sad… but I was already envisioning it’s future beauty….

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Pathetic, right?

But then… just give me a little time with something and then this happens…..

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Does it even look the same now ??

Look inside… I love this…

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Uh…yeah it was a pain in the butt cutting out those squares but so worth it 🙂

I think it came out super cute… such a bright cheery little thing now compared to its former self 🙂

Oh and I’m pretty excited to have had several people contact me to do custom orders for them. Meaning, they have a piece they want me to do some wizardry on.

One girl has a 7 foot buffet. For the love of heaven… nothing small….

I had been chatting with her answering questions, looking at pics and she messaged one night asking if I had an estimate together. I took a deep breath, finished it off, and sent it thinking she’d either decline my price or take it.

The next morning her message simply read… “When can I bring it by?”

Ha… I guess I got the job.

My weekends need to be productive ’cause I’ve kinda signed on to help my son at his shop for awhile since the woman who typically is up front is off gallivanting on a month plus long vacay.

Which means I’m like… a working outside the home kinda woman…  most of the week.

Gah.

So my mornings start with me hitting the floor early to get my workout in, showering and eating yogurt and berries while I get ready at Ninja speeds so I can get in to the shop at a reasonable time.

My “boss” knows I’m training for a duathlon so he’s willing to work with my training schedule 😉

Oh yeah speaking of that…..

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I already rode up this sucker, now the fun part 😉

How about a look down one of the hills I ride on the regular?  and don’t be jealous of my snappy Cannondale bike.

So I get some training in before I go to work…..

My son has a small engine repair shop. I run the front taking in orders, checking people out, answering phone and doing anything else he throws at me.

Like helping him lift a heavy generator into the back of a truck.

Those “Practice”  squats and deadlifts  in my workouts do have pay offs for real life 😛

I had forgotten how… “fun”…. dealing with the public can be in customer service ways or how people can have such high demands and well, gosh, they can be horribly rude.

One customer… “well, I’m not happy. I had this in here for repair recently and it doesn’t seem to be working now.”

Me: “Ok, well when was it in? If it’s recent then we can fix it under warranty, no problem. ”

Customer… “yeah it was in March I think.”

Me: ” Uh… so you mean like about 6 months ago….”

( I always use my smile when I’m dealing out an obvious statement to Mr. Customer)

Then you find out they were using it and ran over a rock or a stump…. like no.. we are not responsible for fixing your stuff for free when you trash it, just because you had it in here 6 months before…

And yes, yes they do expect that.

Or they want stuff fixed but don’t want to pay for what needs to be done, like fix it for free or do just enough to make it work but not do the actual work to fix problem so they can come back and complain.

The other day this man was ranting about a charge for a pick up and delivery fee ( which is the cheapest in town for this service) he’s… older… one day he’s asking me if I’d come cut his grass and telling me he’d make me zucchini bread and the next he’s ranting about the charge and how he’s gonna write negative reviews on us and blah, blah, blah, I just casually tell him no worries we’ll be fine, and may I please have his card number?

Threats are always great too.

When he called back to ask about the exact charge to his card, I told him, as I asked if he’d like a receipt I heard a weird noise and realized he’d just simply hung up on me.

Ah yes. The world of customer service.

I’m constantly amazed not just working there but out in the rest of the world, how horribly awful people can behave to workers behind the counter….like they have a given right to treat them badly…. just because….

I’ve seen to many people go off on baristas at Starbucks over a drink. Like for real. Even if it’s not right, can’t you be decent, talk nicely, and state the problem?

Didn’t your mommy teach you to be polite and respectful ?

The world would be a nicer place if we all took a deep breath and smiled a little, right?

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Saturday morning… coffee n braids 😉 I love my Starbucks baristas.

 

How has your week been? Any new adventures? Any thoughts on the world of customer service? How do you feel when someone is acting poorly to a person behind the counter?

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Nutrition Vs. Exercise For Weight Loss

Hello world! Oh my gosh it’s been a crazy week. If you saw my last post you know I took the plunge and dived into “officially” starting a little baby business. Find my post here on that topic…..  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

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Doors in old buildings are really short! I’m like Alice in Wonderland 😉

Anyway, besides trying to make that all good and lovely, I’ve been trying to work on those old relic furniture pieces that I love bringing back to life to go in my little cozy room at the Vintage store.

In the mix of  all that you know I’m training for a duathlon. It’s official “official” as I actually paid the MONEY today to torture myself… I mean….. participate….. mostly in a field of athletes that are my kids age….

Yeah, I’m out there reppin’ the old people, cheer me on 😉

I’m pushing more on my training, but gosh, the weather is pushing back pretty hard too as in… heat and humidity.

I knocked out 24.5 on the bike Sat and followed it with a 2 mile run.  Sunday I took off on the duathlon course and ran the first and last leg of the race course.

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After my Sunday run…It’s just me in the parking lot so I can make my own sweat angel, right ? 😛

No matter how early I get out there, that sun is already waiting. But here’s what I’ve learned from past training in the heat. Come cooler weather, there are happy payoffs as my body now finds it wayyyyy easier to work, which typically means my speeds increase too.

Let’s see how that all plays out this year.

In other horrifying news…..

My Garmin bit the dust. As in… it’s not working for me anymore. Literally the face plate came off and I guess, weirdly, it likes that securely in place to make sure it all works well. This is my second one in 2 years.

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I’m pretty sure my Garmin isn’t gonna work this way.

Am I just hard on the poor things or do they have a short life?

I got the Garmin Vivoactive HR when it first hit the market. I love that it tracked all of my activities and even some I knew I’d never use….hello…golf?

It also tracked my heart rate which was a feature I really wanted. As my training increased, I watched my resting heart rate drop lower and lower ( remember your heart is a super important muscle that gets worked and strengthened too. A lower resting rate means it has to work less hard)  and in other non-athletic things it was synced to my phone which gave me at a glance info on everything from incoming calls to my socials and a bunch of other nifty things.

I feel crippled without the thing right now. My arm bears obvious signs of our relationship….

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I’ll keep you posted on how this plays out….. meanwhile… no stats to track which bothers me ’cause it’s a constant carrot in front of me working for better times and not to mention, tracking my distance…

( as this post goes live this morning, I spoke with Garmin and they are gonna hook me up with the newest Vivoactive Garmin… yay! I promise a report on the new model )

Onto todays topic….I have one….

it seems lately I’ve caught convos from people who are  riding the ongoing wagon of losing weight and attempting to change the lifestyle they live.  Eating and nutrition now days to me, seem cut and dried. I guess my understanding has grown over the past few years of what good nutrition is and what the  hype and nonsense are that ultimately won’t work.

I remember last year my husband coming home from his yearly check up and discussing his convo with doctor and telling me… “you aren’t going to like what he said” as I gave him a blank look to which he responded… “he said exercise won’t make you lose weight”

My response was… “He’s right”.

It’s a common myth that if you exercise you will easily lose weight and have no worries.

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Don’t misread me here… exercise is great and our bodies are made for movement. We’ve become a lazy, sedentary, “please make it as easy and effortless as possible for us”, world.  All things set aside, we need exercise just for the health of our bodies, not for weight loss.

The first and foremost way to losing weight, keeping it off, and living a healthy lifestyle is to eat a proper amount of calories to support your (personal ) lifestyle. Eat to many calories, you’ll gain. Create a deficit and you’ll slowly lose. Exercise or not.

This is the smart way to go about it.

There are other factors that are invisible calories. Or things we don’t think we get many calories from.

Sugary drinks and alcohol being two big offenders.

When someone mentions they are trying to lose weight but aren’t being successful, but drinking is a part of their lifestyle, I can assess that is a possible link that’s hindering them. Alcohol packs a huge punch of calories and has high levels of sugars and carbs. And let’s not forget all the negatives it has on the body, in general.

And then there are sugary drinks, sodas, juices, fluffy coffee drinks with whipped cream and all that stuff. Do that frequently enough it will hinder your weight loss efforts.

I think these areas people often turn a blind eye to not wanting to see that those beverages contribute to their lack of success.

Your body requires a certain number of calories a day to live and carry out the activities you do.  You must eat and drink within the right perimeter for your needs, and if weight loss is the goal, you must create a small deficit each day to accomplish that goal.

How exercise ties in.

I wrote a post recently called No Exercise Required.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/06/28/no-exercise-required/

I laughed when someone told my husband they read it thinking I was gonna tell them they didn’t need to exercise.

Exercise is important overall for our health. It is not the magic thing to make us lose weight but it can be a helpful tool as you’ll obviously use more calories in your day which can help contribute to your deficit as mentioned above.

Do enough vigorous exercise all week and you’ll most likely find it easy to not just lose weight but maintain it as well.

Well, I mean, as long as you don’t use your exercise as a reason to justify eating more otherwise, you’re gonna be losing the battle.

Having a good nutrition plan in place alongside strong vigorous exercise (most) days of the week is a good combo to lose weight.

Thankfully, I’ve never fallen into the mindset that I just ran or biked a million miles I can eat all the food. I eat enough to satisfy my appetite and leave it there.

So when I hear someone talking about their weight loss struggles or lack of success in that dept, naturally I inquire as to what purposeful exercise they participate in.

When I get a response of they do “some things” or they walk around the block a couple days a week, this is not the kind of exercise that will be a helpful tool to weight loss goals.

The recommendation here in the U.S. is 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week. I think this is a great starting point but if you want to see changes, you need to work on kicking that time up.

And like it or not, cardio exercise is the thing that drives fat loss. Most people don’t like cardio work because this is when they come to the quick realization of how out of shape they are. Cardio is like brisk, quick walking, running, cycling,  rowing, jump rope or any other activity that makes your heart and lungs really work.

So what’s gonna help me lose weight?

Both. However, your diet needs to be what you are most diligent on. Going for a 2 mile walk then thinking you can go grab a donut pretty well negates anything ( caloric) you just did. Yeah, you’ll feel good for getting out and have your head cleared and maybe come up with a creative solution for a problem but you won’t be helping your weight loss goals.

When it comes to exercise, go ahead and be prepared to get a little uncomfortable. It’s ok to feel that way, and you will till your body starts getting stronger and adjusting to the new demands you put on it.

Eating healthy and sensibly ( at least 85% of the time) ’cause you know.. ice cream or cake… or whatever floats your boat… root beer float? there’s life going on too… eat right and make a diligent effort to workout vigorously ( most days) of the week and in a slow and steady way, you will see weight loss.

If after a month you feel you aren’t seeing results, you may want to track everything you eat and drink to see where the weak areas are. Seeing it in black and white works better than mentally dismissing something as “not that big of a deal.”

Remember most of all, the biggest key to success is to keep moving forward and not giving up.

Tell me what things you’ve found that work best for you? Have you found the right balance of diet and exercise to met your goals?

The Journey Of Opening A Vintage Business

Hello beautiful people! Good gracious it’s been a bat crazy week and I’ve found myself trying to work in more things in a day then I can fit.

Most mornings start with some kind of training, ’cause you know, that duathlon is coming in November. The weather has been absurdly hot, even early in the morning when I’m out. We were hitting record highs of 106-110 in parts of the state and it’s been like that for a couple days. Yesterday’s bike ride, I was on the road by 7:30 and the sun was already high in sky and the heat and humidity were fierce. It was a tough 23 hilly mile ride. I didn’t do a new PR on those hills like I’ve been lately, but I did break my top speed from a few days before at 41 mph 😛

I’m now starting to fantasize about leggings and colder weather again… or at least cooler weather.. you know… like in the 90’s.

And then of course there are some interesting topics I wanna delve into here like something I heard about the other day… CLA’s (??) its supposed to be some wonder fat burning thing… hmmm.

Then there’s the some new products out that are supposed to magically help you shed pounds without investing that pesky effort, you know, of eating properly and moving your body some.

Fortunately, there will always be plenty to write on in the market of the newest diet/weight loss gimmicks.

Of course one of my favorite topics to write on is healthy, well balanced nutrition and foods to sustain our active busy lifestyles.  I don’t care how you exercise, if your nutrition is awful, you’ll struggle in the weight loss arena.

However, between my love of athletic shenanigans and encouraging people to follow suit, training for an event, finding time to write and do plethora of things that come in a day ( cleaning. I love stuff clean, but hate having to give up time for it) and working part time helping my son in his business, I’ve also been getting more involved in a fun hooby/ side job/obsession of flipping old antique and vintage furniture.

You may have read some of my posts on it and seen some of my projects. If you missed out, find some of them below…..

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/22/the-art-of-flipping-furniture/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/23/steps-to-transforming-vintage-furniture/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/30/monday-musings-11/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/09/monday-musings-9/

Anyway, today I’m venturing off into another part of my life that isn’t about fitness and eating good. I wanna share some exciting things I’ve had going on this week…

So it looks like my hobby is kinda turning into a business…..for real.

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A peek in my shop

A few months ago when I kinda sorta fell into doing a couple pieces and they came out really cute and everyone went crazy over them, the bug bit me to keep looking for sad, awful, needy furniture that could use some new life breathed into them.

No, I hadn’t previously done this. I just started and it turned out I was pretty good at it, I started selling some of what I did and well… it’s just kinda moved along from there.

I’ve tried to set myself apart from so many who are buying up furniture and slapping paint on pieces just to make a quick buck outta their garage ( all while being staged on paint cans with the same brush still laying on floor by piece after they put final coat on)  Even though I haven’t had a “store” to sell from, my marketing, photos, and detail to work and professionalism are  important to me and set a tone for what I’m doing.

Secretly though, I really wanted to have all my stuff in one spot where it was in public and people could stop and see it, touch it, and well, buy it then and there. I’m not sure how retail areas are in all parts of the world, but here we have places in our town where you can rent rooms of cute old buildings and have your “business” set up in there. It’s a fun shopping adventure as you can roam room to room and see different things based on the individuality of each owner.

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There was one such shop I enjoyed hanging out in and had visions of… maybe some day.. it would be fun to have a spot there…..

Well, “someday” happened this week.

I’m so excited to share that I opened my own actual little “shop” within our local Vintage store.  There was a single room left that I loved, and thought really, was the coziest of all.  Somehow, that room waited for me to make the commitment and dive into claiming the space as mine. I spent some time over the weekend getting things moved in and fine tuning all the details that matter to me.  Once again, my amazing husband, who encouraged me to take the plunge, was there moving furniture in and offering his skills to hang pictures, mirrors etc.

When I went back the next day, and walked in seeing it with fresh eyes, honestly it was so pretty it made me want to cry.

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Another angle of the shop..

I’m a girl. What can I say?? 😉

Maybe it’s more the emotion I always feel when I’ve taken on something I never have, and do it. When I see it being fulfilled or coming together it always overwhelms me.  I’m like that when I finish big athletic events.

Last year, when I crossed the finish line of my first ever multi sport event, the dualthlon, I started crying. The poor guy bringing us in as we crossed was like.. “Oh are you ok??”

Like, how did I explain to him all I felt?

All those months of training and sacrifice, workouts in hot and cold and rain, the exhaustion on some days of kicking my own butt from a heavy workout, the mental and physical conditioning, the moments of self doubt followed by my fierce determination to see it all through, how could I even voice that as I choked back my tears overcome that I had done it? More tears came when I saw the posting I had taken first in my age group.

It felt amazing and was worth everything I had invested into it getting to that point.

Only this time, my little baby “hobby” is some how morphing into my baby business. I’m not sure where it will go. Hubby hopes I make enough for him to retire early. I’m not sure on that but I do know and have learned in life, if I don’t dive in, follow my heart, and do what scares me and makes me wonder what the heck I’m doing I will never accomplish anything and will always wonder…

“what if….”

I don’t want to do that.  I like living a bit fearlessly. I teaches me more about myself, and on top of that, I’ve done things I never, ever saw myself doing.

So as I write this today, the shop is open for business and I will just roll along and see what transpires in the months to come.

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One of my favorite antique tables.

My business is Shades of Yesterday and you can follow me there on Facebook if you’re so inclined and happen to love crusty old furniture and fixings that have a touch of freshness to their flaking, old, weary brown bodies. I love my business name and took some time to contemplate various ideas but when I something creative comes to me, it usually sticks.

I knew Shades Of Yesterday was absolutely perfect for what I was about.

It’s such a perfect representation of the freshness that cleaning, and often some shades of paint can give to items from yesterday. Once again they are ready to serve in a new way, hopefully for a long time to come. It absolutely brings me joy to restore pieces and have them look so different, in a good way.  I guess it’s a skill that kinda just popped up? But I don’t examine it to closely, I just give thanks for it, and am trying to use it in the best ways I can.

I love how cozy and homey things from the past feel and it gives me joy to set up my shop in a way that reflects that and others enjoy too.

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So that’s what’s new in my world. I’m venturing into the land of having a business and seeing where it leads. So among my other activities of life, my days are spent not only finding things I think will work in my little “shop” but also a lot of hands on work getting pieces ready to launch into the world to sell.

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Simplicity

And because you know I love showing you before and after on some things… I want to show you this little treasure I got at the thrift store. I loved how old and cool it was, all carved wood and such beautiful details. However, it was missing one of the decorative corner pieces. It was only 1.00 so I figured, why not? I felt certain I’d come up with something clever to use it for.

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Before….

Then I got inspired to use it in a most clever way in my new little shop…..

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After….

I made a piece for missing corner, painted and antiqued it, and now it holds vintage jewelry for sale 🙂 Not bad for taking a 1.00 risk, right?  I absolutely love how this ugly tired pieced revived.

Well that’s it on my news. Thanks for going on a virtual tour with me on my newest adventures!

We will resume regularly scheduled news next time…. now I’m off to run… or cycle.. or write.. or make old things new again…..

 

The Art Of Flipping Furniture

So I’ve been promising this post to you for awhile and I’ve got plenty of time on my hands and ideas in my head so I’m gonna do it.  Back when I started my blog I sometimes wrestled with going off the beaten path of what my brand is, what I’m about, and what the blog ultimately is about.

But then I’ve got this cool published author friend and she said “you are more than just a health and fitness whiz. There is a whole lot more to who you are and what you do than “just” that.  Your readers will want a well rounded version of you. Share life with them”

Since that time, I’ve heeded her advice and will often bring posts that have nothing to do with the overarching theme of what my blog primarily is. But I do bring life stuff. And I am well rounded haha and I do have fun letting loose on other topics… so for todays offerings… here we go…

I’ve shared tidbits with you about another part of my life, my obsession, or rather “hobby”.

Yes, let’s call it a hobby shall we ?

I have offered up some of my projects in my Monday Musings just because it gives me an outlet to kinda show some of it off.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/21/monday-musings-12/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/23/monday-musings-10/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/02/monday-musings-8/

It’s a hobby that’s turning into a little side business.

Hobby. Obsession. Business.

Where is the dividing line? Questions to be pondered….

If you’ve missed it, I’m referring to my flipping vintage and antique furniture.

I’ve shared photos of horrible pieces I’ve dragged home and transformed. For some reason, the worse it is, the more I like it.

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The Charger never gets to go on furniture runs with me. On this day, I had to get creative….

 

I’m pretty sure it’s ’cause in general, I just like challenges. And believe me some have presented some challenges. It makes me appreciate an easy, straight forward piece sooooo much more!

Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a stunning old piece when it comes around. But if it’s a piece that I think I’d leave “as is” then that leaves me out. I just won’t ruin something that has made it’s way through time and is still in a beautiful, usable condition.

Other things though, they haven’t fared so well. Neglect, cheap wood, flaking varnish, sun exposure, veneer damage … the list can go on…. those items are begging for a fresh look.

I’ve said it before, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s in the best shape to restore to some former glory.

And honestly today, many people don’t want bland, standard, varnished brown furniture. They want bright, crisp, clean looks in their homes.

They want something unique you can’t pick up at Ikea or Target. They want real, solid wood furniture and they want a piece that will enhance a part of their home.

Of course I also know the value of a beautiful piece, the wood quality, and that even if it stays in imperfect condition, it’s more beautiful in that look.

So what I do with it largely depends on what it is and it’s overall condition and how it can be given new life and function in todays world.

How long have you been doing this?

That’s a question I’ve fielded a lot lately since people who know me see it as a “new” thing.

Well, it kinda is. Meaning I really haven’t done this for long.

Actually, I kinda just stumbled into this arena and it turns out I’m good at it.

Go figure.

People actually like my stuff.

I never saw myself as the creative, artsy type. My mom was ridiculously talented in painting. I mean she could paint roses that looked like they were blooming off a plate. She had stunning penmanship when she was healthy before it became harder for her to write.  She could paint outdoor scenery and all kinds of amazing things.

She tried with me. I remember one year she bought me this whole cool set on painting and flowers and all things lovely. She showed me some simple steps to making a rose.

Honestly, mine looked like those little flowers you doodle out in 5th grade art class.  Why didn’t my rose look like it came off “Rose Month” magazine??

I yielded to the idea that the artsy gene skipped me. Just like the amazing green thumb my father had skipped me as well.

Plants come home from the store to die with me but that my readers, is another post for another day.

I grew up and accepted the talents and skills I had, even though my mom secretly believed  I had it in me.

I do have a very creative mind. It’s just my creativity has always flowed in other directions.

I had done some creative “repair” work in the past on much smaller objects. In a post I shared about cardboard Christmas houses, I talked about doing some restoration work on a few.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2015/12/22/favorite-things-of-christmas/

Not tacky with big plastic modern day Santa’s but more of a desire to keep it as close to original form as I could.

That perhaps, was the breeding ground for where I am now. And maybe, in a different type of way, I really did get some of her art skills.

The thrill of the hunt

Part of what excites me really in this process is hunting for that piece that speaks to me.

Oh, and that I can afford. Obviously, flipping furniture I won’t pay the crazy amount some people want for stuff. If it’s a piece I personally want then I don’t mind spending a bit more.

So there’s the hunt. The looking for the right item, the right price, and then hoping I can be the one to swoop it up before someone else does. I want wood, not fake stuff and I overall prefer vintage or antique although I will take a modern piece if it’s super cool and I can see a vision for it ( I picked up a little carved table last month, did my magic on it, listed and sold it in under 30 minutes. I could’ve sold it 8 times. Go figure)

Nothing is more disappointing than starting to love a piece, seeing a vision for it, and then it sells out from under me.

I’ve told myself… “don’t start planning or celebrating ’til you’re driving home with it”  then I can let my ideas out.

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Now… now I can cheer and let those visions and ideas run loose. I bagged the game!

 

The visions

Ok so it sounded crazy to me until I read some other posts by people who flip furniture and they would get visions for how it should look. Sometimes, the idea is so strong and powerful in my head I act on it immediately. Last week, I swooped up this feminine sweet chair that had seen better days. I immediately knew how to do it, even stopping at the hobby store on the way home and finding the exact fabric I wanted for its new cushion.  It has been one of my most favorite pieces so far.

I’ll let you take a look at it below….

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Before…. old original cushion, flakey finish and paint splatters from someone else’s project… but isn’t she sweet under it all?
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Look at her new beauty revealed 🙂
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I didn’t NEED another project chair, but as you may guess, the details drew me into this one…

 

I can’t tell you how vivid and clear the vision was for this. So much so that I bumped it to the top of my list to do it. I love having things come out of my head and seeing them come to life just as I imagined.

Ok I’ll share another project chair I finished this week too. I got it in a group of three. Chairs haven’t been something I had previously gone after but they are often old unmarried pieces and make fun, interesting and unique accent chairs. I love the idea each one can have it’s own look and theme,

When I saw this chair group I caught an immediate vision for one. I have a plan for a second and it is currently in the works.

I wanted to make one bold and fun. I went back for fabric I passed on when I did my telephone bench. I didn’t “feel” it for that project. But when I saw the chair I knew I had to go back for this particular material for it.

Check it out and you’ll see what I mean….

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Tired, worn, faded yet still have life lurking underneath….

 

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Yes. Pink. I love how the dark wax softens it while still letting it be bold. My free spirit wanted to do this piece
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Those legs….
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A playful cushion to go with it’s sassy color

 

To paint or not to paint?

As I mentioned above I have a healthy respect for quality wood pieces and if they need to be left and oiled and preserved then I will do that. For instance I shared in a post about this cool, massive dresser/cabinet with a huge mirror. A stunning piece I got off Craigslist for 80.00.

After dragging all it’s parts home and researching I learn it’s made of quarter sawn oak ( such beautiful wood) and most likely early 1900 in construction.  I was stunned that this piece was left behind and the other stuff he had for sale was gone.

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Thankfully he had the beautiful scrolled wood piece to attach to top of mirror. The mirror is filthy. It also weighs a ton. I’ve been cleaning hardware and it’s actually shiny under that dirt and grime!

 

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Lucky me. I think it’s very unusual and perhaps a bit rare. I’ve found nothing like it at all in my searchings.  Items similar, but nothing like this piece.

I’m carefully oiling it, cleaning it, and allowing it’s 100+ vibe to shine through.  That’s it. I’d never consider painting it.

However, for so many other projects, paint is a improvement and help to it’s overall abuse and sad condition. Sometimes there are repairs that need done as well as various issues the piece may have and a lovely coat of paint and sometimes some wax or antiquing gives it a fresh new look ready for more years of service.

Chalk paint is my favorite medium to operate in. Not only is it super easy to work with, it’s extremely forgiving as well. Not only that, I make my own now so my colors schemes are endless and I can match a perfect color for a project as I did with my pink chair above.  After sanding and topcoat the finish is silky smooth and beautiful.

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Cute early 1920s’ serpentine dresser… but in needy shape

 

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Smooth silky chalk paint and an ebony stained top gives this a fresh new look for years ahead… I loved this piece… it’s now in my entryway 😉

 

Ok a peek at one I finished up this past week….

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it started off looking kinda like this….

I bought this from a guy who was older and said he had found it in his grandmothers attic and was cleaning out. Solid wood, 2 tiered, and cute little clawed feet I was immediately drawn to it, a fun antique piece.

It also felt “masculine” to me so I felt an immediate connection with what I wanted to do with it. I mentioned enjoying straight forward pieces? This was one of those. I love how it came out… I’ll let you take a look….

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Chalk painted in slate blue with black wax

 

 

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I love it’s little claw feet 🙂

Yeah, blue with black wax to pull out all of it’s lovely details.  It was a good combination for a masculine table.

It’s always so satisfying seeing something drab, dirty, tired and left and forgotten about turn into a usable, fun piece for years ahead.

What next?

Well, let’s just say, I’m not at a loss for projects. I’ve got several things in the works and several in the wings waiting.

Of course, that doesn’t stop me from hunting for good deals to still drag home.

I’m working on coming up with a separate name and a separate identity for my “hobby”.  I am learning new things all the time and am blessed to have connections with a few talented people who do this as well.

Tomorrow, stay tuned for the final part of my sharing on this topic. ( I was trying to not write another War and Peace novel 😉 )

I’ll share a bit more on a question that’s been posed a couple times… “well, don’t you just put paint on it?”

Well.. kinda…eventually… yes.

But what happens before the fun part of painting? This is where any creative artist earns their money… and that’s all I’m gonna say… you’ll just have to come back and find out the rest in the final part of this project 😉 Check in tomorrow….

Tell me.. do you have a favorite hobby? Have you ever started something randomly and seen it grow and take off in your life?

Monday Musings

Wow.  Is it Monday again? Time for another edition of Monday Musings and what not in my life.

Time.

Ever notice how funny that is? It’s a commodity we all have and are all given the same amount of each day. Sometimes it seems to crawl by, like when you’re stuck in some god awful boring meeting. A few months ago I was in such a one and I felt myself settling into that “to comfortable zone” as in, if I didn’t start moving around or do some active deep breathing I was going to take an unscheduled nap.  I glanced at my watch and scrolled to my heart rate.

49.

My heart was getting just as comfy and relaxed as the rest of my body haha

But then there are occasions when time seems to fly like when you’re with people you really like or are doing something fun. Time then moves all to swiftly.

Deadlines make time seem to move faster.

Being stuck behind a driver who doesn’t know where the gas pedal is makes time crawl by.  😛

I think, as we get older we are much more mindful of it than when we lived careless days as children.

Speaking of time, it makes me think of seasons. This in turn makes me hopeful that spring is in the near distant future. It’s been a whole lotta grey, misty, dreary, foggy and overall gross days here in the happy land of south Texas this winter season.

I’ve tried not to think that last February I was running in shorts a lot and by March was rocking a decent enough tan that people thought I was using a tanning booth.

That. Will never happen.

I assured a lady my golden skin was a by product of spending time outdoors on bike or foot, not a tanning bed.

All that to say the other day I actually got to hit the road in shorts and I forgot the pure freedom of running with less stuff hanging off me. It was glorious and reminded me that sun and daily sweat sessions will be here before I know it.

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Hello sunshine! What a wonderful treat

I’m not whining. Oh no, I’d never be a whiner, but it will be nice to really start logging some miles again and not have to worry about safety issues ’cause of fog and sloppy roads.

If I complain when the humidity cranks up again and its nothing but sun and I’m sweating out the weight of a small child on a run, you may nicely remind me I asked for it.

In the context of time management

When I hit the floor in the morning my mind is already spinning for what I’m doing in the day ahead. I sometimes worry if I have ADD as I can be wanting to do ALL of my projects, errands, and necessary house requirements at the same time.

What I have started doing is writing down all the things I want to do and picking one or two in my day alongside everything else to get it done. I try and get the necessary, not usually my most fun things done, ( like cleaning) out of the way then I can work on my fun projects.

Like my furniture shenanigans.

Last week took me into the big city to this seedy little dive in pursuit of a 1930’s china cabinet I had spotted online.

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Yep, that’s my big game in the back 😉

 

 

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Here it is in all it’s glorious disarray…waiting to be transformed.

Oh, so when I’m at this little hole in the wall shop which, really, was a time warp of treasures from decades, and decades gone by ( I am planning a field trip back  there) the only person working was this short little older lady wheezing and huffing telling me she should probably be in the hospital ’cause she might have pneumonia.

WHAT?!

Of course I’m thinking, “she’s the only one here who is supposed to help me get this out and loaded??” She mentions having a dolly, I ask her to get it, thanking God at times like this I’m strong and capable and I wheel it out making jokes I should get more of a discount since I’ve gotta load it too. I did get them to drop it 35.00 😉

Anyway, she was able at least to help lift the other side with me into my vehicle.

Yesterday I spent more time prepping it for it’s transformation. Sanding, cleaning, dusting, digging (leaves??) out from under the drawer, doing a little repair work ( the decorative wood in door needs replaced. Once upon a time it had glass but I’m not putting glass back in it) removing the hardware etc. it’s so close to starting the fun part.

But before we leave this topic… I also got the cutest little cupboard… I tried to leave it behind I just couldn’t. I managed to get it for half of what it was marked 😉

It looked like this…..seriously though… how CUTE is it??

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How sad IS it? The obvious before pic.

 

It didn’t take long for me to catch a vision for it. I finished it today. I am totally, completely in love with it.

What do you think about it’s make over?

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The ugly duckling transformed

 

I will share some more adventures on this topic in upcoming weeks 😉 I have a couple pieces in the works.

 

In some final musings…

Have  you ever wondered why foods you thought were so good when you were a  kid, don’t really taste good at all when you grow up?

My youngest son had brought home a half gallon of premade chocolate milk one day.  I never drink chocolate milk unless I’ve come off a long hard workout then it’s a delicious instant recovery drink. But I always make it, you know with milk and chocolate syrup… yeah I’m bad.

Anyway, I opened the fridge and there it sat… and I thought …heck yeah.. I’m just gonna have some.

The first chug it was like…. ACK! It tasted like and reminded me of, the way the school cafeteria had smelled.

Which was not good, I might add.

Weird, I know. That chug was all I got in.

Then there’s things like fish sticks. boxed macaroni and cheese, most cheap sugary cereals, and bad thin crust boxed pizza.

Ok true and well, I’ve grown up, but I think I really enjoyed that as a kid. Thank goodness my tastes have changed.

My kids are adults… they complain since I “got healthy” I don’t buy fun foods anymore. This translates to ” crappy, walk in pantry or go to freezer and grab pre made foods and snacks with zero nutritional value”.

They can go buy their own minced, diced, chopped, prebaked fish sticks and what not..

Is it just me? What about you? Have you left foods behind that aren’t seemingly as tasty as they once were?

In the way of food… this week coming up we will be looking at healthy cheap meals, and of course a few spotlights on various fruits and veggies (’cause ya’ll seem to dig those posts), fitness, and as always a little sassy, cheeky attitude to go along with it.

You’ll just need to check back in here and see what’s up 😉

Now tell me…

What are some favorite foods that hang on from childhood? Do you have any new healthy foods you’ve tried this week?

Monday Musings

Hello world! Time for another edition of Monday Musings, a general collection of my random thoughts, observations, and other life stuff that’s going down.

So what about that Super Bowl last weekend? Between hubby and three sons I’ve had to get on the football wagon in these past years or get left behind.

That being said, I weirdly miss it once the “big” game happens and then there’s nothing active or current going on with it. I actually got excited last fall when someone said it was almost football season.

What happened to me???

That being said… of course I was watching last weeks events unfold with the Patriots “we’re just here to scoop up another ring” and the Eagles “we’ve never won and have no rings but are ready to bring our A game”  to the big field.

Ok… so I’m always a sucker for the underdog. I can’t help it. Damn that compassionate spirit and what not. I wanted to see them have the win. The other guys, they’ve got enough bragging rights and rings, they can try next year.

And what a game it was. The Eagles came out and played like they wanted to take the win, the ring, and the Disneyland trip home with them. Not that Patriots didn’t try and deliver, they just didn’t deliver, enough.

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So although I was only like, one of two, cheering for the Eagles win it didn’t matter. It was a cool experience watching men overcome with emotion to achieve that. As an athlete ( on a much smaller scale!) I understand emotions that come from the accomplishments of doing something you haven’t done before.

It’s worth the tears.

Speaking of athletic shenanigans

This last week I’ve spent a little more time doing indoor strength training. When I say that I don’t mean solely weights, although I do. But, like using your body and that alone, is the way to build some strength. No matter what you may or may not have, you have a body and can do exercises to build strength with it.

Squats of all varieties, lunges, jump squats, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push ups, ( sweet heavens how I hate them) Russian twists, planks, side planks, V up’s the list goes on.

So I incorporate a lot of that, I use real weights too ’cause you know…girl muscles… and I kinda like out flexing most guys haha but seriously, I just like being strong for life, ya know?

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Girl muscles

 

 

Oh yeah, and some cardio ’cause you need to do that stuff. Your heart and lungs honestly will thank you. If you missed my post on heart health and why your heart wants you to do cardio find it here…  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/02/08/your-happy-healthy-heart-2/

It’s great to build muscles, but if you can’t walk a block or run a flight of stairs, um, you need to rethink cardio.

So before strength training I usually knock out either 10 minutes on the rowing machine which gives me around 1.3 miles or so, I sometimes do a 20 minute round of boxing or a quick run. Of course other days in my week are nothing but cardio….enter running and cycling 😉

Speaking of strength ….

the winter Olympics are upon us. Although I haven’t seen much yet, can I say all the snowboarding athletes. Holy cow Batman!

And Americans have been scooping up some gold goodies too.

The Olympics are the cream of the lot when it comes to athletes. I wanna be one when I grow up.

Complete, total machines.

I’m fascinated at all they have had to do, and continue to do to maintain the level the operate at.

Well. Wait. Do they have like… a senior Olympics? I might be able to do that! haha

Do you have a favorite Olympic sport or event you enjoy watching?

In fun projects I’ve been up to this week….

So I may have mentioned when I’m not preaching athletic stuff or learning about nutrition one of my other “hobbies” has become old, antique furniture. There’s a certain thrill of “the hunt” and if I’m successful I get “the prize”.  I want the odd, unique, different things I don’t see floating around. It’s so exciting when I get the prize AND for the price I want.

There’s something therapeutic about transforming a piece and giving it new life.

Like this ugly little night stand…. I’m so in love with how it turned out….

I wanted a project piece to experiment with pink. I love pink. I just wanted something to practice that look on. This night stand was headed to the dumpster when I snatched it from my son thinking I’d clean it up and donate it. One day while working out as I was pondering my desire to do something pink, I realized this was just sitting there, staring at me waiting to be transformed….

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the obvious before photo…. isn’t it ugly??
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Isn’t it beautiful now???

Since I really had nothing to lose it was fun to let go with it. The piece had been speaking to me and I had a vision for what to do with it. Now I really want to practice this on a bigger real piece of furniture. Like an old school vanity….

Anyway…..

I also got this super cool, unique, interesting piece this week, I’ve never seen anything like it….

 

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My newest score this week on the antique furniture hunt

 

Thankfully, I came across a man who is very knowledgeable in this work of knowing furniture. I shamelessly pick his brain on various things regarding a couple pieces I got recently. So of course, when I could turn up nothing on this ( for the love of old things I don’t even know WHAT to call it to search it up) I shot him a pic asking if he had a clue.

Oh lucky me. He knows his stuff… and this is what I learned….

A dresser like this is called a cheval dresser. He went on to say based on the hardware ( which I’m in love with and can’t believe it’s all still on it… with a real key hole) he thinks it’s English made and made of quartersawn oak and get this… circa 1900! AH!

One interesting factoid you probably don’t know…. As I’ve acquired a few pieces recently I of course, want to know how old it is. Evidently at the turn of the century (20th) they stamped the mirror on the back before putting the wood cover over it. This would reveal the month and year it was made. You can understand how tempting it is for me to want to pull the back off of a vanity mirror to know it’s age.. but then there are all of the neat brass tacks holding it in place and that checks me from doing it.

For now….

Anyway, he went on to tell me if I can look behind mirror, if the back of mirror is red or gold it was made in England. If it’s silver, it’s American. Regardless, it’s still circa 1900 wherever it was crafted.

So ok, yeah I’m a wee bit excited at this online find. Oh, did I mention I paid only 80.00 for it?

Eighty bucks.

Obviously my remodel thoughts on it now are quite a bit different as I will be sanding it back to it’s original beautiful wood tone… it will be so worth it.

I love a good challenge.

The wood around mirror top has some broken pieces so that’s where I’m setting my hand to first. Then, on to the next thing.

My other acquisition this week was a 1920’s ladies writing desk….

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1920 Sligh ladies writing desk

 

So it’s been a busy kinda week, but a fun, good kinda busy. I love doing so many creative things. Writing is definitely a wonderful outlet, exercise is always a creative time, but transforming things let’s more of my creativity come out. Stay tuned in upcoming weeks for updates on their transformation.

Tell me, what do you enjoy doing? What’s your passion or something you have a love for that makes your heart sing?

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

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As the old Christmas song goes… “it’s the most wonderful time of the year….”

This is a disclaimer before you proceed reading anymore :

I’m gonna get all kinds of nostalgic on you so either buckle up and grab a fresh cup of coffee or abandon your computer for higher ground .

You’ve been warned.

I’ve always loved Christmas but I’m pretty sure my mom and grandparents had a lot to do with making that impression on me.

My memories of childhood were of fun, festivities, and family. Of course there were always lots of delicious baked goods and candies, and everything was always beautifully decorated. Christmas music was on and I remember my mom and grandmother singing along with various songs. There were special table linens and candy/cookie trays that were brought out every year to be filled again.

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Speaking of childhood and vintage. How about a couple pics of yours truly age 17 mos. and 6 years. I look thrilled over that baby which I still have…somewhere.

 

Cookies. Can you say… cookies? Of all the ones to be chosen, the cut out cookies still have my heart. All of those fun Christmas shapes in sugar cookie form … is there anything better? That is one thing today my kids all still love doing. Piling in at the kitchen table and decorating trees, Santas, reindeer, angels, sleighs, snowflakes, gingerbread boys and girls. My mom had tons of cool cutters that I enjoy using as well along with the ones I already had.

The season was steeped in many traditions for me.

As a family we always went together and bought a fresh tree. I’m grateful no one had any issues that kept us from having one because to this day it’s one of my favorite things to go do… pick out the biggest tree I can get my paws on… thank goodness I have 12 ft ceilings now! As a child our ceilings were much shorter so we were limited in the height we could drag home.  This years specimen comes in right around 11 ft and it smells soooo amazing. Some years the fragrance isn’t as strong, this year, beautiful AND fragrant.

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The photo really doesn’t do it justice

 

No, I don’t mind a real tree, and no I don’t mind cleaning up at the end of the season. It’s all worth it to me.

My children are adults now ( good heavens… I can’t believe that sometimes) and they too continue to expect a real tree and the married ones plan to carry on the tradition.

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I love looking into the tree when it’s lights are the only thing on. It’s still magical to me.

 

So we had the tree covered in bright lights ( remember those big C7 lights you could line a run way with?? I do have those on my tree but they are the more modern ones that stay cool and wont burn the tree down) and family decorations, amazing homemade treats, beautifully wrapped packages, family, special meals, worship service and of course the celebration of Jesus birth.

I simply grew up immersed in the beauty of Christmas, and not just the beauty, the magic too. The magic of waiting expectantly for Santa on Christmas Eve and the inability to fall asleep from excitement. My family always worked to make sure that the magic was a part of Christmas.

My mom was such a child at heart about Christmas till the day she left this earth. I’m afraid I’m no different.  I still get excited at Christmas and I have a hard time sleeping sometimes.. only now I’m Santa and my kids and grandbabies get to experience it.

It was a sobering moment to me thinking this year that I’m the only one left to carry on all these traditions that have become precious to me. To pass them on to my children and their families.

Let me say I’m fully aware that Christmas isn’t fun for many, especially when they are acutely aware of loved ones that are missing from their lives.

Nothing brings that loss home more than Christmas time and I can fully speak to that.

In the last 5 years I’ve lost my brother, my mother, and this past year, my dad.  At this time of year there are moments that the pain and anguish strike my heart and spirit  so hard it almost takes my breath away.

I deeply miss my people.

I miss the ones who shared those long ago memories with me. I miss taking out certain decorations or ornaments and reminiscing about them. Oh, I still do on many items as I share stories of various treasures with my kids but they don’t have the memories associated with it.

In this last year I’ve also been busy cleaning out my parents entire house and going through years of….life. It has to be done but there have been so many days it’s been an agonizing road to walk.  There were times I went in with the intent to work and only found myself sobbing on the sofa longing for those I loved to be there again.

However, in the cleaning process I’ve found some beautiful treasures that I have brought home to enjoy and to share with my kids. One thing I finally felt emotionally strong to do was go through the various boxes of carefully wrapped ornaments that had been my mothers and my grandmothers. I tried last year but opening the box that she had last carefully packed away was a bit more than I could handle at the time.

This year, I brought everything out. I laid them all on the table smiling, laughing and sometimes crying looking at all of the years of Christmas treasures in front of me. I pulled precious old ones from the mix, ones of my grandmothers that date back to World War 2.  There were treasured delicate glass ornaments that have always gone at the top of tree to protect them, now in my care to treasure. There were silly ones that for some reason I always loved, like these colored glass balls that had big fake eyes and a foam mustache. When my brother and I moved out my mom gave me a blue one and my brother a red one. Two years ago mine fell from the tree and shattered in a million pieces. Yes, I cried.  Going through my brothers ornaments I came across the red one… somehow it was like an old friend was back as I settled it into a position on my tree.

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He’s old and not fancy, but I love him. As a child I named him Oscar.

 

 

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One of several from my grandmother that date back to World War 2.

 

Speaking of trees….

I realized that one poor tree, no matter how big, reaches a point of holding all the memories of Christmas past.  However, I can have several other trees that are fun or have a theme. Of course my kids might secretly be wondering if I’m turning into a crazy old tree lady… 😉

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I love this little pink tree. It’s fun, whimsical and is my gingerbread/candy tree in my kitchen. I add real colored candy canes to it as well.

 

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The tinsel tree is a new acquisition this year. The tree is new but it’s covered in vintage glass ornaments. The little house in front is actually an old light bulb that my great grandmother used on her tree
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I love the rustic look of all of this. The trunk was a great yard sale find years ago for 15.00. It’s an 1800’s steamer trunk.

 

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I won’t lie. I’m seriously in love with this. I picked up the tiny white tree this year and it’s covered in more vintage glass ornaments. The old wooden coke crate contains many more that were on my grandmothers tree.

 

So many treasures are vintage collectibles now. Not just that, it’s the history they hold as well that means so much to me.

AH! I’m vintage.

Ha well in the life of Christmas decorations when they are up and over 50plus years that’s pretty old. I’m fascinated with the Christmases they have seen and sometimes wonder how they’ve survived so long.

My cardboard Christmas houses, so delicate and fragile and originally only pennies in a dime store are now worth hundreds of dollars depending on the era it came from, style etc.

I am completely enthralled with them. However, my love again, was started as a child when my grandmother would place her little village out with the Barclay skater people. It was one of my most favorite parts of Christmas. I was thrilled when my mother let me have the beat up old village when I found it in the back of the loft long forgotten. I took them home and carefully restored them. It was only when I began digging into their history that I found the ones I grew up with were actually the end of an era of these unique houses. The first ones had been produced in the late 1920’s -early 30’s into the 40’s and 50’s and were last made in the mid 60’s a far cry for the original grandeur they had been crafted in.

Today, I have my grandmothers original set I still put out for that is where my childhood memories are.

But I’ve also carefully collected some beautiful, unique houses by shopping carefully and skillfully on Ebay. There are some I have to look wistfully at and let go as they soar in price zones I won’t participate in.

All of the houses in my collection are  70-80 years old. How they have withstood the test of so many Christmases gone by always amazes me. Some I’ve purchased and carefully done some restoration on. Others, I’ve purchased knowing they will stay “as is” in my collection mainly because the coloring or materials would be impossible to find and replicate now.

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Shhh step into my quiet winter wonderland…

 

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Churches are my favorite pieces. The red windowed one is from the early 1930’s.  The one on end hales from the same era. I’ve collected seven unique ones.

 

I wrote a post on them last Christmas, you can learn more reading “Favorite Things Of Christmas”  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2015/12/22/favorite-things-of-christmas/

I guess I should say for a more modern, trendy girl, I absolutely love and adore vintage Christmas. The new cheap modern day stuff doesn’t have the same appeal to me. I think though, it’s more because my heart is connected to the times gone by with the old items from the past.

But life moves forward, and memories are sweet and dear and keep us connected to those we’ve loved and have been privileged to share the journey of life with. As I’ve decorated this year it has been a sweet treat to incorporate so many things from the past that are old and beautiful with newer things I’ve collected with my family over these past years.

I love being able to create a magical, special season for my family like I knew growing up. It blesses me that they appreciate it so much and enjoy being there. I want them to have memories of special times and special things that they can share with their children.

Traditions. Simple or elaborate I want them to have the history of traditions.

But Christmas is so much more. It’s a time in the year when we should be more mindful than ever of peace, love, and joy. To be mindful of those we hold dear and the treasure that they are to us.  To give those gifts freely and generously back to them.  To embrace some of the simplicity of the season and not be swooped up in the commercial money train it has become.  To enjoy the presence of each other because that isn’t always granted to us.

I hope that you make your own traditions with those you love. I hope you value and embrace the simple things that make Christmas so beautiful and magical. I pray you know the peace and joy that this season is about and that it stays with you all year long.

As I’m concluding this post, and thinking of peace, I can’t help but mention it has been snowing here now for over an hour. I’ve watched big white fluffy flakes tumble from the sky and blow through the air, silently beautiful, peaceful.

It’s kind of a big deal for a girl who lives in south Texas… we rarely ever see snow.

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Do you wanna build a snowman? My adult sons crafted this big guy.

 

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Oh my! Did we get some snow! How beautiful is this?? Our first real snow since 1985. What an exciting day and night it turned into! A bit of a white Christmas for us.

 

 

It’s peaceful and quiet… it’s been reflective for me. I pray you know and experience all of the things that matter most in this Christmas season and that you have eyes of a child to still appreciate the magic and a spirit that receives the peace and hope of the Christ child.

Do you have special traditions or things that make Christmas magical to you? What are your favorite childhood memories?