Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tea for Three

My contribution for this Tablescape Thrusday is a Tea for Three. Two friends of mine came so we could just hang out and sing Karaoke. And when we do that, we like to drink tea and munch on something. I like to use a teapot with a warmer cause we continuously drink hot tea during the session. Somehow, we think it opens up our vocal chords, lol. For a lot of creative tablescapes, please visit our gracious host, Susan of
We do this in our family room, which is the most informal place in the house. With leather furniture, it is meant to be comfortable and worry free. It is also the most funky one combining safari and tribal decor.
This is very informal so I just used paper napkins. Do you like the painting on the wall? I painted that by myself.
I got this pewter tea set and the tray from Ebay a long time ago, when I still lived in Florida. It was made in Holland and I like it very much. In fact, I like it so much that I searched for more and I found a set that I gave to my daughter and another I gave to my friend, Nit. They are very similar except I could not find the same kind of tray. Too bad cause I really like the pierced scroll design. Mine also included a coffee pot not shown here.
I hope you enjoyed my small participation on TT. Thanks for coming and thanks Susan, for hosting it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Home Sick So I Redecorated

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas celebrations. I had a very nice quiet time with John. I was not feeling too well so I really did not want to go anywhere. But I was getting bored at home so I started working on our guest room for grandkids.
Both old and new are blue so I am linking with Sally of I am also linking the changes with Susan of For more, visit these gracious hosts and their participants.
This is how the bedroom looked. Our granddaughter, AJ loves mermaids so I created it with that theme.
But I have had the same look for almost 3 years now and I wanted a change.So, I changed it into this. The idea started with the 2 toile throw pillows I found at TJ Maxx about a month or 2 ago. They sat inside the closet for a while.
While Christmas shopping on line, I saw these matelasse coverlets at JC Penneys and ordered them. Luckily, they were the right color. While Christmas shopping at Belk's, I saw the blankets and beddings and thought they would blend well with what I had in mind. Then I saw the drapes on the clearance table. They were marked down to $19.99 a pair from $69.00 and when I went to pay for them, they were marked down even further to $9.99. Oh boy! Was I happy! They are thick and heavy. All these stayed in the closet cause I still needed bed skirts.
I have been to several stores and just could not find the right colors. I wanted striped blue and yellow skirts but just could not find them. We went to California (where I think I caught my bug from, ugh!!) last week and I was in search of these perfect bed skirts with no luck. I settled for a plain cream colored one since I could not find a plain blue or a yellow one in the right shade either and of course, no stripes. The cream dust ruffles joined my pile in the closet.
I moved that painting from our master bedroom. I think the color looks good here.
Then, while at Walmart 2 days ago to accompany John get his van oil changed, I found a striped blue and yellow material for $8.97 per yard. I pulled out the bolt to pay and then I saw the clearance table and found a small printed flowery blue and yellow material for $2.00 per yard. I debated b/w the 2 but the latter won due to the price.
Yesterday, I started sewing and adding a shirred layer of this flowery fabric into the plain cream bed skirts. Then I started putting the beddings together and this is how the room came out. I was hoping I would have enough material to make window valances but it was just enough for the bed skirts. I bought everything available which is all Walmart had that is why it was on clearance.
I ordered some toile printed valances on line and I hope they will blend with what I have going right now.
I pulled out some iron decorating pieces that I have had but just did not have the right wall to put them before and hang them above the bed. And to think that I almost gave these away on the 200th post or PIF give aways but just forgot to put them in the package. There is a reason for everything, isn't it? I think they are perfect there cause I needed something narrow.

Well sick or not, the long weekend turned out to be a productive one and I am happy. How do you like the changes?
Thanks Sally and Susan for hosting these 2 memes.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's Been a Very Busy Month!

December has been very busy and hectic for us and I thought I would post a summary of what we have been up to. This is my second post for Monday. I also did a combined Met and Blue Monday post so if you have time, please take a look at my bedroom makeover.
I created some mosaics so I think I will link with Mary of To see more creative mosaics, head on over there.
The excitement started when we joined the maiden voyage of the biggest ship in the world, Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas. The ship was quite an awesome experience all throughout but the highlight of my cruise was being able to watch the Nelsons perform. I have always been a # 1 fan of their dad, Ricky Nelson, and I have always admired their whole family. They had 3 shows in the ship and we watched all 3 of them, lol. Talk about being a fanatic, I felt like a teenager once again. After the show, Matthew handed his guitar pick to AJ and they autographed it the next day. I have it in my safe. AJ asked why she could not have it. I told her it's because it is more valuable to me than to her and that I am just keeping it for her, LOL.
We came home and stayed for about 5 days after the cruise and then flew to California to attend my nephew's daughter's College graduation. Kristin is the oldest great granddaughter of my mother and is the first to graduate from College, with a Bachelors degree in Health Administration. She wants to take masters in Nursing next.

But what I
was most excited about was meeting a good blogging friend, Cindy of and her hubby, Hugh. Cindy does not blog often because she is extremely busy but she took the time to drive 2 and a half hours to come and see me. Isn't that just wonderful? I really do appreciate that, Cindy! We were so excited that we couldn't stop hugging each other. John and Hugh probably thought we were crazy, lol. You see, Cindy has been a friend since RMS and she is just the sweetest person. Don't I look like a midget amidst all of them? LOL!
And look at the scarf that she gave me. Isn't that gorgeous? Just the right colors, my favorite colors. Thank you Cindy and Hugh, for coming to see us and for the beautiful scarf. The scarf is so soft and feels so silky nice. Here's Kristin! I am so proud of her. She was the first one to get up on stage to speak too and welcome the graduates.
It was so nice to see relatives and friends that I haven't seen for so long. My nephew and his wife threw a party for her the next day and there must have been 150 guests there. Talk about parents who are very proud.

We just got back home last Monday and unfortunately, got so sick as soon as we got home. I was scheduled to have a dinner party on the 23rd but had to postpone it cause I just could not get myself moving to prepare for it.
So, for Christmas eve, my friend brought us some food. John and I had a quiet dinner for 2.
After dinner, we went to attend mass at 9 PM at St. Mary's Basilica. Isn't our church pretty? They are doing some work on the ceiling so ignore the scaffolding.
I immediately got into my pj's when we got home. I forgot I wanted to take pictures while opening presents but I was so lazy to change again. So, I hope you don't mind me in my pj's. John likes his presents. I gave him a Kindle and a case for it, a set of 4 framed ducks, which I hope he will hang in his office, a lit library which will be the first building for his planned Christmas Village for next year, a screw driver X'mas tree ornament and a wooden egg.
And look what I got from him! A black and white diamond bracelet set in 14 k white gold. Of course I like it! Isn't it pretty?
Now, I can start to relax and rest until New Year's eve. I hope you all had a nice Christmas celebration and continue to enjoy the hoilday season. Thanks, Mary for hosting this event.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Quiet X'mas Eve Dinner

I have been sick so I did not have the energy to cook but look what we ended up having for dinner. Foodie Friday is brought to you by Michael. If you really want to see delicious foods and beautiful presentations, head on over to her blog at
My friend told me not to cook and she would bring us over some dinner so I set the table, very simple, just for 2.
I took out my Johnson Brothers Friendly Village plates and just used my everyday flatware.
I went outside to cut up some hollies and placed them in a vase.

I couldn't believe how much Nit brought us, 4 different kinds of Thai dishes and rice, freshly cooked from her kitchen. Isn't she just the sweetest? Maybe I should get sick more often, lol.

As you can see from the background, I am getting ready for a dinner buffet party for Jan. 2nd, rescheduled from 12-23 because of the bug I caught from California.
I even lit a fire in the fireplace. DH and I had a very nice quiet evening. We went to church after dinner and then opened presents when we got back home and then watched "Lost" until we fell asleep on our recliners.
I hope you are still enjoying your Christmas get togethers with family ad friends. Have a Blessed one!
I am feeling so much better, must have been the Thai food which I do not know how to prepare.
Thanks Gollum, for hosting FF!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Party in an Antebellum House

I caught a bug in California and I just do not have the energy to create a tablescape here at home. I was supposed to have a dinner party tonight but had to reschedule that too. But, I did not want to miss Tablescape Thursday so I will share with you pictures of the party given generously to the Physicians and wives by the hospital last week. TT is hosted by Susan of and if you want to see more tablescapes to inspire you, head over there.
The party was held downtown in a very prestigious antebellum house, which is used solely for parties. I was in awe of all the beauty of the fursnishings. John and I were drooling over all the Sevres pieces and I wanted to take the harp home, lol.
Here is more to show you. You wouldn't believe the intricate details of all the ceilings and walls inside the hall. And to think that it was offered at an auction. Who would give up an elegant beauty such as this?
The food and the table setting.

The banquet was catered by All Cotton, the cooking school that I posted here a few months ago. We had crab cakes, lobster bisque. fruit parfait, roast beef, brie and many others and everything was so delicious.
What is more fun than food in parties is being in the midst of friends. Shown here with us are very good friends of ours, the CEO of the hospital and his lovely wife, Nit (my shopping partner!)and the hospital CFO, Melissa. Aren't they just pretty with their lovely dresses?
I hope you and your families all enjoy this holiday season and unlike me, stay well.
Thank you Susan, for hosting another fun meme and I appreciate each and everyone for your visits.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Deck the Halls, Better Late Than Never

Sorry, I am late but we just arrived home from California at 4:20 early this morning. Long flight and drive! Anyway, the important thing is that I made it and I don't want to miss this event. Susan of is graciously hosting this event so go over her site to check out her and others' Christmas decorations.
Since the ornaments are more than 3, I thought I would link with Tam at also.

I have shown you our dining room and a few accessories here and there. I would like to show you more of the formal living and the family room today.

Below is the living room!

See my medical santa? My sister from Illinois gave it to John last Christmas. The gold crown is for the King of Kings. It's actually a tea light candle holder.
I keep the living room Christmas tree traditional. Here are a few of our Christmas ornaments from around the world. I buy one everytime we visit a country or a state.
Don't you just like the Russian doll and the Turkish slippers? The ball on the bottom left is from London. The T model car is from Henry Ford's museum in Fort Myers, FL and of course, we have some ornaments from the University of Michigan. Go Blue!
Now, this is the family room. I have 2 white trees here and a wire table top from Southern Living at home tree, where I hang orange balls and Lladro bells.
the family room mantel....I got lazy and been so busy with travels that I did not place the garland. It is still sitting in the garage.
This is my family tree. I made the ornaments. They were plain ceramic ones that I bought from Jo Ann Fabrics about 3 "after X'masses" ago. I painted something christmassy on them. They were 10 cents each. Hey! That's thrifty, I should have joined Thrifty Tues too.
BTW, if you wonder what my name xinex is, X stands for Christ and "ine" is ine, thus, Christine or xine and the last X stands for Cruz or cross, which is my maiden name.

Thanks for stopping by and I would like to wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed holidays.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oasis of Dreams

Are you ready for a triple post? It's Monday and I just cannot leave out any of these 3 wonderful memes so why not join them all? First is Blue Monday, hosted by Sally at . Next comes Metamorphosis Monday hosted by Susan of htttp://betweennapsonthe and last but not least is Mary of You would not want to miss their wonderful posts and that of their participants so be sure to go and visit them.

This is part of the continuing saga of the Oasis of the Seas. There is still a lot more to see. I think I showed you this aqua theater in my other post but I would like to show you more of its features for it really is a fantastic theater. It is shown here with a stage but this stage opens up from a pool with shallow water to a pool that is 19 feet deep to accept the divers safely.

We were watching this team rehearse from our cabin balcony.
See it convert to a pool?
Shown below are taken from the spectacular show.
You can see the performers standing in shallow water

Here the swimmers and their rhythmic dancing. The first picture shows them dancing on the stage, the stage becomes a pool. Isn't that amazing?

Now the divers are diving into a 19 ft. deep pool. Have you noticed the diver on the very high platform in the first picture? Yes, he jumped into the pool from way up there.

The talented performers!

After the performers did their part, the stage became a showcase of a magnificent water show. Truly spectacular!

Thanks to our 3 gracious hosts for these amazing 3 events in Blogland. And thank you all for coming. I hope you enjoyed being here. I am not done showing you about our incredible cruise yet so make sure you come back for more.

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