Happy 2013 and a toast for you!

Here's to the days of good will, cold weather, and warm hearts.

A New Years toast to love and laughter
and happily ever after...

 A health to you, a wealth to you,
And the best that life can give to you...

 Dance as if no one were watching,
sing as if no one were listening
and live every day as if it were your last...

Me and my parents in our Jersey basement - morning after MANY of the New years Eve parties they'd have!

Always loved my top hats!
Just remembered: My dad actually PAINTED the glitter stripes onto basic black felt hats (I'm wearing here) Sturdier to use year after year!

Look above here for my love of disco balls!

 Here's wishing you more happiness
Than all my words can tell,
Not just alone for New Years Eve
But for all the year as well!

We've Holidays and happy days,
and memory days galore
And when we've toasted every one,
I offer just one more
So let us lift our glasses high,
and drink a silent toast
To the day, deep buried in each heart
that each one loves the most!

HAPPY 2013!!

If you're NEW to join Focal Point - WELCOME!
And to all - THANK YOU for following!


Merry Christmas Wishes

May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright new year. Have yourself an ideal Christmas --  an occasion that is celebrated as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions. May the good times and treasures of the present become the golden memories of tomorrow...

Wishing you lots of love, joy and happiness for the next upcoming year...
Warm Winter Wishes for a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Seasons greetings with love,

Help Heal: Make & Mail Snowflakes for Sandy Hook

From the PTA: the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) reminds our country of its obligations to children and provides parents and families with a powerful voice to speak on behalf of every child. The PTA is a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for the education and well-being of every child. They initiated this means of a way we can all help heal the children and families in Newtown, CT and Sandy Hook Elementary...

See ALL KINDS of snowflake PINS for ALL AGES here: 

plus: See

Help heal & welcome back the children with a winter wonderland...
Make & Mail paper snowflakes for the school via the Connecticut PTSA by Jan. 12.
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514
Please Share.
Thanks so much for stopping by...

Season for Giving: Kids Christmas Donations for Hurricane Sandy

From cookies to coloring books, I've been busy trying to focus on Christmas "goodness" rather than the awful acts that happened last week. I think over the weekend, I baked every cookie my mom and I baked together when I was a kid! And in between baking, I wrapped up sending out holiday cards - especially to some online acquaintances that have become special people in my life this past year. I also had fun with a "pay-it-forward" project I wanted to do: Shop for super storm Sandy kids for Christmas. I had taken a little poll on facebook (since I'm not a parent) to see if I was on the right track - and hands down YES: Kids art supplies beat toys! My pay-it-forward came from having received a $100 cash gift from Jeff's mom when she was here for Thanksgiving. She said it was to go buy something nice for myself - but I don't "need" anything, and these kids do. I had planned to go shop (last) Friday, but with the news of Sandy Hook, I didn't head out until Sunday. I picked up some pretty good deals at Big Lots on artful activities for all ages from coloring books + crayons + colored pencils, charcoals & pads, art kits, water color paints + brushes + pads... and even a few cool journals for those writer tweens, some warm & cozy socks and a few toiletries. I donated all these goodies to "Stuff the Bus for Hurricane Sandy." Even if they don't make it to New Jersey in time for Christmas, the activities will be donated to a Sunday school church....

Kids Christmas Donations to Stuff The Bus for Hurricane Sandy
 Monday through Friday -- 8 AM - 5 PMBarker Bus Company
81 Chimney Rock Road #2
Bridgewater, NJ 08807

If you're local, call Peggy at 732-580-6475 before you arrive if possible.
 Out of town donations may be sent to Barker Bus's address above.



Added in some throws & a card too...
A little tough to do this year (to be 'jolly') but doing what I can from here to help!
And so can you!
New Jersey still needs our help!

There are ways to help, no matter your location...
Thanks for stopping by...


As with many, I've been inspired by a photo on Pinterest I'd like to recreate in our home or for a project. Some Pinterest projects are nice, but some can be too crafty to try. I prefer (super) simple - done in a day (or even better: minutes!) Which is why I adored this "noel" image I spotted (and pinned!) on Pinterest. Although the letters were painted on the book edge in red, I adapted the same 'look'  as a no paint option with press-on letters. I already display books backwards (for texture) and this look was the perfect detail to add. I simply re-used letters from sheets I had previously used to create initial place-settings (like pinecones for Christmas and gold eggs for Easter) so this little holiday decor detail cost $0. Another option to utilize this detail could be collecting old books (through thrift) and using them as a boarder around a kids room - using helpful words of encouragement...

Simple Christmas decor detail...

Inspired from a Pinterest photo...

The letters were previously used for Easter and Christmas...

EZ way to add a little interest and personalize your book-shelf, with a simple DIY!
More about the fresh greens arrangement coming up next...

What have you been PIN-spired by lately?

Off to go bake some Christmas goodies!
Thanks for stopping by...

Sharing post at the 



On one of the first cool mornings we experienced here in AZ, Jeff got up and started lighting candles to get warm. At first, I thought it was funny, but then I took it as the inspiration for my "faux mantel". I had seen displays of candle clusters on Pinterest, and decided that is what I would do this year: a functional display of candle clusters... so it would not only become a heat source for winter, but it's also easy to light and snuff out at night. I was originally going to do all white, but while in Savers Thrift for the Veterans day sale, I had spotted a pair of great green leg warmers AND a pair of socks. Since I had wanted to try the candle cozy Stephanie Lynn had made (about 2 yrs back called Recycled Sweater Vases) I thought these would work as an option to cutting up a sweater (especially since I don't sew). And they worked just fine to make 'greensleeves' for Christmas. Here is how I did it...

Stocked up on various white pillars at a (new to AZ) store called Garden Ridge.
The extra large pillars were THREE for 9.99 (in other stores, those would easily go for 9.99 each!) The 6in trio of pillars were 7.99 and the 3in. trio packs were 4.99

Thrifty goodness for Christmas: Mini trees w/burlap base (1.99 ea. at Goodwill), white Ikea pots (also 1.99 + 50% off at Goodwill), a bag of 12 mini wreaths (NEW! tagged 1.99 ea. but got the bag for $2!) and my green socks and leg warmers... for only .50 for BOTH (from Savers Thrift)

Just cut and slip onto glass. That's it! NO SEW.

Candle Tip: You now how annoying that "bump" in the bottom of a glass container can be? You put in a candle, and the candle tips to the side... and doesn't burn even. I started to save these tops from Bath & BodyWorks scented candles to use inside glass containers, and it helps make a level surface for the candle to sit on (plus it's recycling the tops!)

Back to the candles... as easy as 1, 2, 3...


Glass containers I already had from Michaels, Walmart and the Dollar store.
I put the candles inside of simple cylinder glass containers before nesting them inside these (to help prevent fire)



easy peasy! :)

I spoon filled in some buffalo snow (picked up last year after Christmas) and added two flocked firs I cut from a spray. Since they are in between the glass, it makes the candle display safer. 

Here are the original "Pin-Spiration" images...


And how I implemented the inspiration in my home...

Mixing in some thrifted tapers in brass added a little interest. The taller tapers are from Ikea.

Since the leg warmers were longer than the socks, I was able to make another to use on the side tables...

Great after Christmas for winter too...

They can slide down to expose more of the candle, or just fold over the top...

Simple side table...
Stacked books, fresh cut greens, and some hickory chips in a silver bowl. Jeff had gotten the hickory chips for the grill but didn't use, - they made a great filler option this year! The fresh greens are in a mercury glass piece, but another glass (with water) is inside: water started to remove the mercury :(

And the snuffer to put out the candles worked into the coffee tablescape...

Staying warm this Christmas with thrifty candle coziness...
Staying sane with a candle lighter, a snuffer, Christmas lights on remotes... and my Advil :)

(bad phone upload - sorry!)

 If you were to purchase these to make, it would come to under $25

Glass (left) Walmart $5
Tall glass (center) Michaels $10
Glass (right) Dollar Store $1
2 Smaller glass cylinders (inside left & center) Dollar Store at $1 ea.
1 candle already in Glass Dollar Store $1
Thrifty Socks & Leg warmers .50
Bag of Buffalo Snow .75
Plus 2 pillar candles (you probably already have)

These could easily also be used in you holiday tablescape for a dinner party...

Thanks for stopping by! 

Sharing post at the 



Related Posts with Thumbnails