Comments : 12

Hi, everyone. Hope everyone is well. Busy busy days here, with my birthday, it was five days stairght of going out for lunch or dinner or both. No time to come up for air it seems. I am resetting as of today and making my lists and checking them twice. The crunch time is on. We have a cocktail party at the end of this week so will be busy tying up things at work and prepping for our party (its cocktails so nothing crazy but we also all know its all in the details:)

I have only bought a few gifts but this weekend I plan to finish hopefully, fingers crossed in the next few days. I am trying to simplify somewhat this year. So far I have been mildly successful. Every year I remind myself next year to start the gift buying much easier, has that happened? No. And going into stores is not for the faint of heart, more on that later. OK, onward to my post…..

1  OUR HOLIDAY LOVE PHOTO CONTEST IS OPEN TO YOUR YOUR ENTIRES! I announced this yesterday and we are already filling up fast. Time to send in your best 1-2 holiday pictures to enter our contest for the chance to be crowned the 2023 Holiday Love winner and receive a big box of Enchanted Home goodies. Send in your pictures to [email protected]. If you want full details, click here



2 A WONDERFUL HOUSE TOUR I love this elegant understated older home all decked out from the holidays sponsored by Schumacher…lovely tour and so inviting!




3 INSTAGRAMS OF INTEREST Of course this Sunday and next have to be exclusively devoted to all things Christmas and holiday!


4 CHRISTMAS INSPIRED CHARCUTERIE BORADS I am so in love with these charcuterie boards shaped like Christmas trees and just might try my hand at one for Christmas Eve…I mean how darling! Such fun ideas and I think they could be fairly easy to execute.I will keep you posted:)  Click here for more from The Savvy Sparrow


5 A FEW SNEAK PEEKS INTO SPRING!! So, we just got our first batch of beautiful Easter eggs back and all I can say these have my counting down the days till spring! Yes I know its a week before Christmas but over here we have one eye on spring:) We are still tweaking a few designs but we will offer a traditional blue/white collection, a pale blue collection, a soft pink collection and a pale green collection.

Of course that can all be easily mixed and matched which is part of the fun. We do not have all the patterns shown below but gives you some ideas of how beautiful this collection will be.  We will also bring back bunnies, a few other spring surprises and that paired with our new incoming pastel tones of cabbage plates, well they are going to make the most  beautiful spring themed vignettes!

Last year we offered these best selling eggs in several sizes. This y4ear thinking of paring down the size selection. Would love your opinion, just check all sizes that you think we should offer, your insight is appreciated!


6 A VISIT TO YOUNG’S FARM I always say, despite the significant advances we have made in technology,  with AI, the ability to do things via technology that we never thought possible, self driving cars, etc….we all seem to gravitate towards things like a beautiful country road in Vermont with a small country store, in other words we take great pleasure in the old fashioned way of doing things. Show me a glass bottle of milk, snow gently falling on a Vermont covered bridge, beautiful small privately owned shops twinkling with this annual holiday decor, I am sold!! Yes I also am a HUGE Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas/holiday movie junkie!

I always say I was born in the wrong era and mean it! We have a small farm (shop/bakery) called Young’s farms about 15 minutes from my house and it gives me that very experience of going back in time. As close to a Vermont Country store with an epic bakery that we have around here.  I will go out of my way to stop in even if I need nothing because it just makes me feel so good being cocooned inside their darling shop/bakery. A big plus is they make THE most delicious pies, we stock up for Christmas! Here are a few pics from my recent visit-



7  Sevens Survey Not sure if its me but for the first time I ventured out into the jungle aka stores, dept stores, etc…..and I was thoroughly overwhelmed, I literally got dizzy. Mostly from the crowds, lack of salespeople, overheated stores and crazy parking lots. But the one thing that really struck me was that in literally every store I went to, was the lack of stock. I would look for something in a size and they would have maybe two of those garments in two random sizes. ( am talking mostly mens clothing) It was SO frustrating! I asked the salesman if its because of Christmas and he said that no, they are just getting in a lot less stock across the board as most are increasingly buying online. I literally made a beeline for the exit door, and drove straight home. Once back in the refuge of my home, I promptly say down to my computer and got about 7 gifts ordered within an hour, and it was an aha moment for me. I made a pretty big dent in my Christmas list. My boys are saying all that they want is money so its made my list a bit easier though I have to get them something to wrap up!

Sometimes I like to go and feel things, see what they look like in person but between the lack of stock, the gas, the crowd fighting it wasn’t worth it at least for me. If the stores were chock full, I would definitely have powered on but it was such a let down. And this was not one store, this was three major dept stores, Nordstroms, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales.  I don’t know what you have observed but I have seen some really big changes in retail….curious what your thoughts are and if this impacts your buying online?



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Incredible time to buy something you have had your eye on or get those last minute gifts. Ships immediately!

And that my friends, is a wrap. Though I was hoping for a lazy Sunday, looks like that’s not in the cards. I feel compelled to continue to try and knock some more gift buying off my list to know I am done in the next few days. My dad comes in on Wed and we are hosting a holiday cocktail party on Thursday and I really don’t want the pressure after that of knowing I still have a long list of things to do. I just want to be able to totally relax and unwind…of course I say that, unlikely it will play out this way:)

Anywho, for anyone out there feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the season (many of us), just know it does really always work out. If we are with the ones we love, eating a great meal…then we have already won. Any gifts are merely icing on the cake. I am taking the stress down a notch this year by reminding myself of that daily.  So, carry on but stay calm:) Wishing everyone a wonderful day, until next time…….

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Happy Birthday Tina!

I grew up in a family of 4 and 3 of our birthdays were in 4 days…mine the 15th, my Dad’s the 17th and my Mom’s the 18th. Even I got tired of cake! But I do love this time of year… hope you can enjoy a bit of relaxation and time with your family!

I forgot to mention that my dad would have been 100 years old today, December 17th, Unfortunately he passed away 25 years ago on Christmas Eve – which has only made the day more sacred for me. I choose to believe only the most special people are called to be with our Lord on that holy night.

My dad used to say, rather than dwelling on what you feel is missing in your life, focus on the many blessings you have and be grateful You’ll be so much happier!

Since he passed away, I have put his words into practice and have made a daily effort to be grateful for what I do have. Not surprisingly, I have become a (consistently) very happy person! It’s really our choice in how we look at things and whether we choose to be happy (or not).

Everything is so beautiful. I love those Easter eggs, though I am getting ahead of myself because I don’t even have my gifts purchased, like you, so you are not alone, trust me!

The tree boards are adorable, you gave me a good idea too for a Christmas Day appetizer before the big feast.Now off to watch that house tour. Have a good day Tina.

Happy Birthday Tina, and wishing you a wonderful holiday with your Dad there. Surrounded by family is what’s it all about! We are trying something new this year, having our Christmas few days with family in our Santa Fe home. Never had Christmas out there, and very excited to see what its like. Its a new home for us, larger but fewer bedrooms, and we will have snow too! Keep you posted!

The house tour in Charleston was amazing. The kitchen was fabulous! What a lovely couple.
We live about 10 minutes from Young’s Farm. Love this place. Fresh pies, jams, baked goods and fresh produce and seasonal gifts are all wonderful.
Wishing you and yours a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas!

I’d love to go to Young’s Farm. It seems to harken back to simple times with beautiful baked goods, jams and lovely textiles. Sigh. We could all use a moment to slow down and appreciate what is still good and right in the world. Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures.

I think you should win your own Christmas contest. The picture of your entrance, front door, and the view beyond showing your Christmas tree is absolutely beautiful. Everything you do is perfection.

Fabulous 7 on Sunday…everything about it like a fairy tale. Thank you Tina and Merry Christmas

The department stores here in CA are the same way Tina. I was down in Southern CA visiting family and Nordstrom looked 1/2 empty. I took a picture and sent it to friends saying you would think the store was going out of business. I miss the days of stores looking over the top festive, gift wrapping available, and lots of help to assist with your purchases. I think shopping is heading all online!

Hello Tina,
I am with you on the in=person shopping. I am in Manhattan. Have given up on department stores a long time ago. I prefer the independent small stores, whether big brand or not. They give so much better service, will find the item you want in another store, wrap it and hand deliver if they have to. Sales people give you their cell number. I have had such positive experiences with the smaller boutique stores. Thanks for the tour of Young’s. I miss it. A great store AND shopping experience….Happy Healhty Holidays!!

Another fabulous video is Schumacher visiting Barry Dixon and Will Thomas’ majestic manor, Elway Hall in Warrenton, VA. While beautiful anytime, the holidays are magical there.

Happy Birthday Tina!
I agree with you wholeheartedly when it comes to shopping out in the marketplace. It doesn’t matter what department stores you go to, it’s absolutely crazy town! I did all my shopping online this year, simply because I couldn’t find what I was looking for out in the brick and mortar stores. When I was younger I worked at a high end department store and we were never out of stock on anything in the Ralph Lauren Department that I worked in. Our stores were always staffed properly and if anything, over staffed. It’s certainly nothing like that now! Merry Christmas Tina 🎄

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