Thursday, December 6, 2012

Inheritance and Simple Lives

I try not to acquire too many objects, especially at this time of year, but there are some new things around here.
First, this sweet pendant.  It's from this etsy seller (unfortunately it's too late for Christmas orders) and is a belated Mother's Day gift.  It is the phase of the moon as it was on the night Ellie was born. I love it. Like all good Etsy products it came in beautiful packaging.
On a black silk cord, though I ended up putting it on a sterling chain with an E charm of in the same size.
A keepsake to go with it.
It's tiny and perfect. The date is also etched on the back.
On the opposite side of the new-thing spectrum is the gigantic room-sized rug we inherited from my great-grandparents.  It lived in my aunt's home for years until her dog refused to stop marking one spot of it and she removed it.  My parents generously agreed share the cost of having the rug cleaned and replace the pad and it now fills our living room.  It's a wool Karastan rug and we couldn't be more thrilled to have it in our home.  Someday I will pass it on to Eleanor, if it's her style, and maybe she to her children.  It's the kid of rug I have always wanted but could never have afforded.  The pattern and colors fit perfectly in our room by a stroke of great luck.  It's so touching to me that Ellie is now playing on a rug that my sister's and I played on when we were little girls.
The room before:

After.  Ok, more like during. the rug is in but things are still a mess. We had to remove all the furniture, including the piano, since the rug is only a few inches smaller than the room.
I will try to get some sunny pictures soon so you can see the real colors.

Close up of the pattern
It makes the room so much more warm and comfortable feeling.  The colors highlight the hutch (you can see it in the first photo) which we were also recently handed down from Tim's side of the family.  Would you believe me if I told you that the kitchen table (from Goodwill) is the only piece of real furniture I've purchased in my home?
I'm am so lucky. So many people have been so kind to us.
 A coworker very generously gifted me her Champion juicer, which is a total powerhouse.  I've been using my juicer recently since the citrus is so abundant and delicious. We've been ordering from Azure and this month got lots of carrots and oranges which we made into a super sweet foamy juice with apples, lemon, and spinach.
It was almost TOO sweet, despite what it looks like.
She loved it.
I made Smitten Kitchen's pumpkin cinnamon rolls recently, mostly for the smell and the frosting.  (You could bury me in pumpkin pie spice and I'd be happy.)
Nothing too bad ever starts this way.
The frosting was great but honestly the rolls weren't anything special. 
That's what we've been up to. We're also getting ready for the holidays, trying to decide if we want to get a full size Christmas tree or something small to avoid dealing with toddler grabby hands.  Any advice, parents or child-care friends?  
We have most of our gift list done for the first time in a few years (maybe it's just me but I have become significantly more organized since having a child, largely out of necessity) but we still have a few key dudes to check off our list.  Why are dads so tough to find gifts for?
How are you preparing for a simple holiday this year?  Check out the links in the Simple Lives Thursday blog hop and please join us in welcoming back Annette!! WE MISSED YOU!
Please remember to link back to one of the host blogs:
or here.

Our favorites from last week:

1. Homemade Bath Salts with Lemongrass by Holistic Squid. "While this recipe for luxurious homemade bath salts will guide you to create lovely homemade, health-promoting gifts, it will also soothe you when you need it the most...the holidays."
2. 8 Ways to Use Swiss Chard Stalks by Poor and Gluten Free. "We go through a bunch of Swiss chard every week, so I'm constantly looking for ways to make use of the chard stalks. Because the stems keep longer in the fridge than the leaves do I tend to store them up for a couple of weeks, then make something from them."
3. Don't Abandon the Sage by Our Heritage of Health. "Thanksgiving may be over, and the leftovers may be all gone, but there's no reason to abandon the bottle of sage in the back of the cupboard."


Shannon Gassman said...

That rug is such a treasure. What a beautiful reminder of family and tradition to bring into your home!

Karrey said...

That rug is perfect! It's very YOU. I agree about the cinnamon rolls being nothing special, although even "nothing special" cinnamon rolls are delicious, amirite? Aaaaand, I'm totally smitten with that necklace. It's very witchy.

Susi said...

Karastan is great! I know one of the local reps here (who also works with Mohawk, Bigelow, and Lees labels) and just got a butt-load of carpet tiles. They don't match but are awesome for a walk-way into the garage and to piece together for small areas.
I love wool carpets because they are fire-retardant as well eco-friendly. Nice yours seems to have a low-pile so it shouldn't shed too much.
Regarding Christmas trees with little ones, I think it depends on the child. Maggie came to pick out my folks' tree every year at the tree farm and loved contributing to the decorating. She never, as I recall, got too grabby with the tree or ornaments. I remember one time she was intrigued when she poked one ornmament and it wouldn't fall right off. But I think we only had to tell her once that's its not for playing and she listened. Could be selective memory, but I don't remember it being a problem. Just got to keep an eye on them and let them know its for looking and not playing. :)

Alicia said...

Shannon, we feel honored and lucky to be the current caregivers for such a great piece.
Karrey, I always feel strange when people say "it's so YOU" because it's sort of revealing of what they think about me. In this case I'm flattered because I think it's awesome. And yeah, cream cheese frosting is all it takes to make me giddy, as you know.
Susi, thank you so much for chiming in! It's so great to have your perspective. I confess that I don't seek your advice about home-related matters too much due to my own feelings of inadequacy. We went ahead with the tree, emboldened by your comment, and have learned that Ellie is just a bit more...assertive :) but we love having it and she's enjoying it so much. We have a few low ornaments that are accessible for her and that seems to satisfy her curiosity. The presents, on the other hand, seem irresistible.

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