Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Glittery New Years Eve Affair

Christmas is in the books and there is one last party 
that we will be hosting, here at Maison Decor.
Its the end of 2015, time for pause and reflection
and a time for getting ourselves ready for a brand new year.
Its time to celebrate!
Throwing a party is a great way to celebrate any occasion and its
certainly the best way to celebrate those who are special in your life.
The nice thing about a party is that when your guests walk through
the door, they are already in a great mood!  All you have to do is set the scene
for all to party and have fun.  As always, I get a basic theme and then gather items 
to decorate the room and table setting.  For this New Years Eve, I liked the idea
of glittery metallics with the boldness of black and white.
 Since this is a buffet style service, that means setting up so those can 
help themselves with ease.  Silver trays hold gold rimmed wine glasses
and punch glasses for the Holiday Moscow Mules I will be serving.
 Gold lusterware plates will be used for piling on hors d'oeuvres.
Everything and anything in my butlers pantry that had gold would be
gracing the table for the glittery affair.   
(Haha, I wish I had a butlers pantry....)
 Adding sources of ambient lighting will make the table dance at night.
Lighting is always important, so include candles, votives and the new wired lights that
run off of battery packs to create ambience for your table.
Dishes with gold rims are stacked in a rattan tray, which is on top of 
a gold flecked runner, which is layered on top of the black and white tablecloth.
Layers make a table interesting!
 Its not really a table cloth though, the black and white is a bolt of Sunbrella
that I just rolled out over the table to create a dramatic backdrop. You can 
use sheets, quilts, and basic fabric by the yard to make your own table cloth.
Black and white checkered ribbon was woven through the chandelier and 
over mirrors and my mora clock to reinforce the black and white scheme.
 A package of cardboard stars and Happy New Year letters found at HomeGoods
 was perfect for the party decor, in black, white and gold with glittery edges.
All the chairs are pulled away from the table for the buffet and lined up in groupings.
In front of the French doors are a pair of slipper chairs to create another 
spot for guests to sit, sip and talk.  I can picture everybody already here!!
All that is left to do now is to set the food out,  pop the champs 
and make a batch or two of Holiday Moscow Mules when the big evening arrives.
And answer the door!
For other New Years' inspiration, including a great Moscow Mule recipe
check out the other bloggers  below who are on the New Years Blog Hop with me.

Sunday, 12/27
Monday, 12/28

Tuesday, 12/29

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Fabulous New Years Party Ideas

Hi Everybody! 
 I am pleased to be joining a talented group of bloggers
with inspiring ideas for New Years.  If you are searching for easy and delicious recipes, 
unique hostess gifts, pretty decorating ideas and more,
then take a look at this fabulous lineup below!
Each day you can get some new ideas to make your own New Year's Eve special.
I will be joining in on Wednesday, but until then you can get started on the 
blogs assigned to the days as they register on the calendar.
Enjoy and as we say in France~ Bonne Annee!!!

Sunday, 12/27
Monday, 12/28

Tuesday, 12/29
Wednesday, 12/30
Sondra Lyn at Home
Finding Silver Pennies
Maison Decor

Thursday, 12/31
Celebrating Everyday Life
Sew A Fine Seam

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Reflections~the best ever!

 Sitting with a cup of coffee in the dining room where all is quiet and bright.
We had back to back family parties starting on the Eve of the eve for Christmas,
which is what happens when you have to share family members after they marry.
Such is part of life, and as children grown into full fledged adult hood,
our roles as parents change with their growth.  So we are lucky to have 
them in our lives and watch them become happy in their own lives.  And thankful
to have the kids still at home that make holidays especially happy times.
 Our home was all set for the celebrations as this year I had every day
to focus on the needful, as my dad likes to call it.  And relish the needful
I did, as I love to entertain and set the stage for everyone to gather and have fun.
 From the meal planning and cooking to thinking of meaningful and thoughtful
gifts for those you want to remember, that is what this Christmas was about.
Mr. Maison Decor and I felt like we hit a home run, and although we 
didn't share a single gift with each other this day, we took great joy in seeing
the gifts we gave to our children bring them happiness.  And more than
that, it was the special activities we did together that made it 
one of our most favorite Christmases of all!  
Colby was our most favorite gift of the year, and we are so happy with
the little inquisitive but relaxed puppy he is becoming.   On the Eve of 
the Eve party he was out of his mind with excitement when Sylvia came
back to her original home to see us.  After the first hour of getting over the 
excitement they both settled down and shared the family party like they had
known each other forever.  Sylvia came into the house looking for Dillon and
Tobey, at least that's what Justin and I thought...and instead only found a very
perky pup that she really had no interest in dealing with.  After a few time outs
in his kennel, Colby realized that he had to be nice and calm when he got released
back into the party.  And since he is very smart, it didn't take long for that to happen.
The Eve of the Eve party may become a new tradition, and it really was 
nice having back to back parties as it extended the Christmas celebrating
which is often over way too quickly. My boy's father came bearing gifts and 
Justin and Madison and Sylvia were there to celebrate before they would go 
and see Taylor and Madison's parents in Maine on Christmas Eve.  
The end of the night family portrait was a bit of a challenge trying to get
the dogs in the mix, but Mr. Maison Decor did a great job taking one million
pics so I could choose one to share.  The next day would come quickly and 
and suddenly it was Christmas Eve and time for another party!
For Christmas Eve we had a small dinner party with just the two kids and my 
mother in law, who lives next doors.
I changed the decorations up a little bit for our formal sit down dinner.
Purple glitter snowflakes from Walmart hung from the chandelier.
A silver tray carried a bed of greens and ornaments as the centerpiece.
English crackers were laid out at each place setting. 
 We wore the English cracker paper crowns and instead of tiny novelty gifts, 
this years crackers had tiny horns in different tunes that required us all 
to toot our own notes to produce well known Christmas Carols.
 The number on your hat was related to the note you were to play.
We pretty much nailed White Christmas, but weren't so great at the rest.
It was pretty funny and made for a special time after dinner and before dessert.  
After dinner the men opened red plaid pajama bottoms
that Santa had left for them.  All cozied up, we watched a special movie together.
Truman Capote's 1963 narrated version of his short story, A Christmas Memory.
I had forgotten that it had a melancholy ending, but the heart of the story was
how Christmas is what you make of it, and it can be so very special without 
things and money.  Its a touching tale and one of my favorites.
We ate cannolis and drank eggnog and after the movie we all hit the hay.
Who says small gatherings can't be extra fun and meaningful?
Then Christmas morning arrived.   
We handed out some gifts and had more eggnog 
and coffee and even cookies from the night before.
 Even Colby got a Disney Pet Stocking from Santa, filled with "Frozen" toys.
Wearing the plaid PJ bottoms Santa handed out the night before,
the men in the house turned into a real life version of
Three Lords a Leaping!!  
(Of course I know its ten lords a leaping...)
 As Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas" began to
play in the background, the men leaped into full out dance mode!
This was a very happy Christmas, and our house was filled with love.
My husband's son's mom would come over for a Christmas coffee
and it really doesn't get any better than that for our kids.
Lucky are those that are in their original families, and luckier are those
that have created new "blended" families and found a way to respect 
family traditions that are important on both sides.  Its super special and a real gift
and one that all of our kids enjoy, thanks to all of their loving parents.
Later on Christmas day we took advantage of the bizarre and balmy 63 degree 
Boston weather and took Colin up on his great idea to take Colby 
for a walk along the Atlantic coast, where he took his first dip in the ocean.
We racked up a pile of incredible memories, and 
today hubs and I are talking about how special this Christmas was,
how blessed we are to have each other and our health and all those 
in our lives.  From both sides of our families, to our ever growing ones,
it just felt so perfect this year.
Wishing you also had a lovely and loving Christmas.
Looking forward to New Years and spending time with some
special friends to ring in the year 2016! Wow.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Christmas Hutch

All the elements of Christmas decorating can be boiled down to these three things:
Greenery, Ribbons, Lights. 
So I was overjoyed when I saw Mr. Maison Decor's big dump truck full of shrubbery
 pull in our driveway yesterday. He is a retired police officer 
but now is the CEO of his own excavation biz and was taking all this
 green goodness to a dump as part of clearing the site for an addition.
 Oh boy!! Wait a minute!
I had a clear vision of how wonderful that greenery could be right in 
our own home, instead of at a dump.  He looked funny at me (for only a few seconds)
 and then knew it was probably not worth any further discussion.  
I ran outside in my bathrobe while my first cup of coffee cooled on the kitchen
counter.  Hubs climbed up into the bed of the truck and clipped an assortment
of boughs and tossed them down to the ground, along with the industrial strength
clippers I would need to trim them when decorating.  
Who cared what the neighbors think anyways. 
 I couldn't have been more excited about this bounty of boughs! 
I wouldn't be using them on the mantel as the fireplace would dry them out.
I had the perfect place I planned to put them.
Right on top of the country hutch.  
And so the "Christmas Hutch" was born.  
I started piling and shoving the boughs up on top of the hutch, 
until it was full and lush.
 I couldn't love it more. 
 It feels like an old fashioned English cottage Christmas in here!
Large pieces of furniture can really become beautiful focal points of any room.
It's size can carry this lush and bountiful dressing of branches woven with 
wide purple velvet ribbons.  Its truly the focal point of the dining room now.  
Which is really saying something because....
Our new beautiful French doors are hard to compete with. 
 I will be getting started on the table as our first party is tomorrow, buffet style.  
The second party will be a formal sit down dinner,
and both will have different looks with special accents that I will be sharing here. 
 Hoping you are in good shape for the upcoming holidays, 
its been such a treat this year for me!  Staying home and not running to a 
retail shop has been a gift. 
 My new dog, my husband and kids and home are all
 getting lots of attention, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Pretty Dining Room and Colby

 One week 'til Christmas so  its the official Christmas count down.
Around here that means getting the house looking as pretty as it
can be, and planning a menu and wrapping up a few gifts to put 
under the tree for Christmas Eve.  Although this year we will have
Santa put them on the piano so Colby won't open everyones gifts before
they get a chance to even see the tags and ribbons on the boxes.
Having Colby around is putting a smile on all of our faces, even though
he himself has the most serious expression.  He is very intent, and moves
with deliberation and curiosity around our house.  Its fun to watch him in 
action, as well as to see him turning into a snuggly cuddler.  
 One thing I did this week was to pull out a big bolt of fluffy white pom pom
trim that I had bought years ago.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it
and I didn't want to "waste" it, because I loved it.  So I waited many years until
one day while looking at these greyish lavender curtains, I thought:  YES! The pom poms
will look AMAZING on these panels.  It will add a cottage look and a bit of whimsy,
as who can be serious in a room with pom poms anyway?  I love how they came out,
I took out my dusty old sewing machine and stitched them right on the leading edges.
Colby found it fascinating and learned in a few minutes that he too could put his
foot on the pedal and the machine would take off full speed.  It freaked me out!
I finally had to banish him from underneath the dining room table so he would 
knock it off.  He is a curious pup, and for the most part is becoming very mindful
when told not to do something.  For the most part.
 Anyway I think the room looks even prettier now and I am 
pleased to be holding two parties for Christmas. 
 An old French bergere and ottoman are now tucked into this corner and Colby
has grown quite fond of sitting in this spot.  We often squeeze in together
side by side, or sometimes he will settle in on the ottoman. Its a great spot 
to have coffee and grab my laptop or a magazine.  I love it. 
 By turning the table so it faces a different direction, jutting out from under the mirror,
and removing the extra leaves, this room has a nice spacious feeling. 
 Even with the addition of the chair, its a room with two purposes now,
 instead of being a space that is used once a night for dinners only.  
Have you ever looked at your home with fresh eyes to figure out how you
can gain a new space for yourself?  I give this one ten stars. 
 Now to the details...the table is cleared off with the exception of the beginnings of a centerpiece.
  See those little tiny ornaments on the stags horns?  They are wine glass markers!
 A few bottle brush trees and timed pillar candles on an old silver tray
 make for a festive vignette as a centerpiece.
 The wine glass markers are on the hutch along with a set of crackers that are a requirement at our holiday dinners.  Wearing those paper crowns make merriment for sure.
But this years crackers are going to be a bit more merry as they have horns that sound in different notes. Guests will toot along to sheet music of holiday classics when their note is to be played. Someone will be the conductor and point at each player to toot when their note is to be played.  
Could be a disaster or quite good, either way it should be fun.
 Planning the menus for both nights remain, and I am happy that
 I don't have a shop that is taking all my attention this year. 
 I get to focus on my family and making it as nice as it can be for us all.
 Which includes my little puppy dog too, of course.
And if you are looking for a great gift idea for your dog, order some of these 
amazing treats by the PolkaDog Bakery.  Cod Skins for dogs!!  We were given some when Colby went to the modeling event for the dog catalogue.  Colby devours these things, so now we order them by the 60 count!  I crush them up and add them to his dry dog food to make it more tasty or just hand him a stick and he runs off with his prize to chew it up in private. 
 Its a dog's life around here I tell ya!

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Its the holiday season....

"Its the holiday season"...that tune hums in my head, as the holiday season
is truly underway.  Hubs and I shared a fancy night out for dinner yesterday to steal
a little time together before it really hits!  Everyone was dressed up a little bit
glitzier than normal as it seemed the holiday spirit has officially arrived, even without
the snow.  Actually the weather in Boston has been in the 50s and 60s so its been 
unseasonably warm and with that we have been doing some outdoor projects.
 I had a bit of a bow-dilemma with the back doors. The french doors.  My new amazing and favorite thing ever doors!  So I didn't want just any bow on the wreaths back here.  I started with the red bows that came with the wreaths which didn't last one minute.  Then the wreaths were naked. Then they had a skinny black and white houndstooth check that seemed to get lost, and next came some bold purple bows to try to link the interior of the room with all the purple transferware, but it just looked off to me.  I hit HomeGoods and found this black and white plaid bow with wired edges and fell in love.  They had quite a bit of nice wide fabric ribbon there, so if you are looking for great ribbon, check it out.  After decking the wreaths on the french doors, I added one to the front door as well.
My little baby is doing so good now.  Colby is really turning into a loving little dog, and he follows us around the yard and house and is pretty chill most of the time.  We officially ADORE him!
 This past week found us doing some holiday kind of stuff, like shopping at cute cool stores.
Hahah!! This is my son's shop Pioneer Goods.  Its on Tremont Street in Boston and it had quite the selection of stocking stuffers, so I loaded up.  It also had these tiny lights on copper wire that are all the rage right now, so I had to get those, as well as some other battery operated lights that look Moroccan as well as....oh well, you just HAVE to go!!! Look at that gorgeous Pendelton wool blanket in one of my favorite patterns!! What a super gift for the classic guy in your life. Call him, he will ship it! (ok that is my plug for the day...oh, maybe I might have one more).
Here is our mantle with those tiny lights from Pioneer Goods.  Its enchanting!
Earlier that same day we stopped into Justin's shop we had just traveled out to another small business,
this dairy farm in Leicester, MA.  They make their own eggnog and its got quite the great reputation, 'so we thought it would be a fun family car trip out to the western part of Massachusetts and get us
some homemade EGGNOG!!!!  I loved the outside of the shop. 
We took Colby and my mother in law and our youngest and headed off on what
was a very lovely Saturday.  Colby met the cows and then we put him back in the car 
and got our eggnog and the most amazing Whoopie Pies in the world.  The eggnog was 
more milky than eggy, but it was delicious, and it was a fun field trip.
The cows are friendly and come right up to you  when you arrive.
Look at this gorgeous cow.  She is darling, isn't she? They have goats too,
and it really would be a fun family trip, especially if you have little ones.
The Christmas Cards I designed finally arrived and as you can see, we are all about showing off our new little guy, Colby!  And we want to wish everyone LOVE PEACE & JOY.  We feel fortunate to have a loving family and a new little dog.  Its a wonderful time of year. Next week will be back to back family parties and I have to get these cards in the mail and start menu planning and shopping.  My presents are done, we don't go too overboard with the gifts as its the love and the memories we will be making that will be the things that we all remember.  Hope you are in the holiday season, if not I recommend going into some tiny independent shops and taking in the atmosphere, then hitting the eggnog. 
764 Tremont St
                                                                    Boston MA 02118
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