There’s one week left until Christmas, and by now, you may be feeling a little panicky. Maybe you look at your “to do” list; you know, the one that keeps getting longer? You haven’t crossed off nearly enough, and there’s so little time left.

Following are 9 ways to take a deep breath, slow down, and feel better, maybe even great:

1)  Look at your list and eliminate tasks that don’t really matter. I guarantee they’re there, and they really aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things. And don’t feel guilty!

2)  Hire someone for last minute cleaning—it’s worth it, esp. if you’re having guests.

3)  Take some time for yourself. Get a massage or, go for broke and add a manicure and pedicure. At the very least, sit down, put your feet up, and enjoy a glass of wine.

4)  Do some yoga or meditate if this is something you do. Don’t put it off because you think you don’t have the time. When stressed, you need it more than ever.

5)  Don’t forget exercise. This is a tried and true stress-buster. Even a walk can take the edge off.

6)  Eat and sleep well. Sleep is a must in order for your body and mind to function at its best. Watch food intake. You don’t want the added stress of having to lose weight come January because you overindulged in December.

7)  Stay mindful of alcohol intake. It’s so easy this time of year to drink more then usual. While it’s fun at the time, we generally pay for it in the form of not sleeping well, added pounds, even feeling depressed.

8)  Give yourself permission. As women, so much falls on our shoulders, and much of it we do to ourselves. Each day take a little time for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a big block of time. You will feel calmer, which in turn effects those around us in a very positive way. Who knows, maybe we can extend this permission into and beyond the new year. Wouldn’t that be terrific?

9) Finally, take stock of your blessings. It’s impossible to be anxious or depressed when we do this. The mind can’t feel two different emotions at the same time.

That’s all for this year. I’ll be back in January. I wish you all a wonderful, blessed holiday filled with joy.

Until next time.

Warmest regards,
Nancy

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15 Steps to Help Ready the Public Spaces in Your Room

It seems as though there is never enough time during the holiday season to get everything done. You think of one thing and forget another. Making a list is the best way to prevent this. It is such a feeling of accomplishment to draw a line through each task.

If you’re the one hosting this year, the list is even longer and the stress even greater. One way to make this easier is to concentrate on the spaces your guests enjoy. They are as follows:

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LIVING ROOM/GREAT ROOM

  • Change your pillows and throws to cozy fabrics like chenille, velvet,and my favorite, cashmere. Another really fun addition is faux fur. You don’t have to use red and green. Choose your own color scheme that blend with the colors that already in the room. You can then continue to use them throughout the winter.
  • Pare down what you have on your mantle, coffee table, and side tables. For the mantle, consider seasonal greens with berries, candles and large Christmas tree balls. You might consider placing 3 balls on one side, and 2 on the other side. Nestle your candles and tree balls amongst the greens and berries. Keep the coffee table and side tables really simple. You want your guests to have room for cups, glasses, and appetizers. Make sure you have coasters and cocktail napkins within easy reach.

DINING AREA

For the table, keep it simple as well. Place a runner down the center of the table. Choose whatever colors please you. I love gold and silver because they reflect light. If you have a round table, cris-cross 2 runners. If you use chargers, you won’t need placemats. At a crowded table, they can get in the way. For the centerpiece, one of my favorites is to fill a clear vase(s) with flowers placed inside of the vase. Or, you can use ornament balls,nuts and berries or anything that’s seasonal. Make sure everyone at the table can see each other. If you choose to use votives, CANDLES4LESS.COM have ones that can last for 15 hours. This keeps you from having to replace the votives throughout the afternoon and evening. One less thing to keep an eye on. All of your overhead lights and lamps should be on dimmers. You want everyone flattered with soft lighting.

POWDER ROOM

  • Use a holiday scented candle or a diffuser.
  • Make sure the room is sparkling clean and that there’s enough toilet paper on the roll.
  • Have a selection of hand towels and small soaps so each guest doesn’t feel they have to use one previously used.
  • A holiday floral arrangement, in scale with the space.
  • Don’t forget handcreme and make sure it doesn’t have a strong scent.

FRONT ENTRY

  • Make sure your entrance is well lit for safety, and if there is snow or ice, clear the walking area.
  • A wreath or some type of arrangement on the front door. If you have the space, potted greens on each of the door are lovely and you don’t have to remove them after the holidays,
  • Have a designated area outside for any smokers.
  • Inside the entry, have enough space for coats. If it’s already crammed, remove your own temporarily.
  • Have an umbrella stand at the ready. If it’s raining or snowy, you don’t want water all over your entry floor. A small table, if possible, for a bowl of candy and a small flower arrangement. One idea is a potted narcissus. The scent is delicious and it can remain after the holidays.

These tips can be done ahead of time and you and your family can enjoy your “dressed” home longer. The best part is you’re not running around at the last minute.

For great accessories, ANTHROPOLOGIE, CRATE & BARREL, POTTERY BARN, and TARGET offer a wonderful selection at good prices.

Until next time.

Warmest regards,
Nancy

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YOU GUESSED RIGHT – STRESS!

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, the rush is on for Christmas and that means gifts. True, there are those who have their presents bought and wrapped by July 4th. God love em, I wish I could be like that. Most of us, however, are not.

We want to give the “perfect” gift and have it received with much joy. But what do you give to the parents who have everything and say “Oh, you don’t have to give us anything.” Or, the husband who says, “I don’t need anything.”

A couple of weeks ago, I heard Joy Behar say that she loved receiving gifts throughout the year. That got me to thinking about Gift of The Month Clubs. Then I thought, what if I could avoid bad weather,long lines, crowded malls, parking woes, and tired, crying children afraid of sitting on Santa’s lap? And best of all, these “stores” are open 24-7.

So this year, I’m going to buy my gifts online. I found some great ones that have unique gift ideas, made with quality, guarantee their products, good prices and offer free shipping.

amazingclubs.com

An amazing array of 32 different clubs. From wines,all manner of tasty foods, flowers,coffees, dinner of the mo. to dinner and a movie club. Even Fido is remembered with the dog treats club.

Prices vary. You can order 3,6, or 12 months. They also have a —-of the season with new selections each fall, winter, spring, and summer.

gifts.com

Great gifts for everyone ranging in price from $25 to over $100. A few standouts are a design and customize a pair of Nikes, eco-friendly gifts, a Time Squared LED alarm clock, a personalized, custom pet portrait done on canvass, and a mini projector that can fit in your hand and still fit a screen up to 60 inches.

myron.com

Executive gifts for both men and women. A few offerings are chocolates, micro solar charges, pens, desk and travel clocks, sheepskin gloves. Well priced and personal items can be monogrammed.

findgift.com

Ever wanted a 25 gallon aquarium coffee table? They have it and it truly is unique! This site also has a wide range of stocking stuffers. For example, a little cloth bag filled with “ilove you” stones or a family tree embedded into a tumbled, marble tile.

If you’re stuck for ideas, they have a service to help you. You answer who the gift is for, their relationship to you, their age, what the occasion for the gift is, the type of gift, and your price range.

I hope this helps make your gift giving easier, and less stressful. I know giving and receiving gifts is not the real reason we celebrate this holiday, but it’s a part of our culture and will, most likely, remain so.

Until next time.

Warmest regards,
Nancy

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Probably not. How could these possibly be related? You choose each carefully to insure yourself of a happy life—the perfect fit.

IDEAL MATE: …………………………………………………..IDEAL HOME:

He gives you beautiful memories……………………………..Your home is filled with beautiful memories …………………………………………………………………….Photos of loved ones.Collections gathered from your …………………………………………………………………….travels. Family holidays and get-together’s. It’s the …………………………………………………………………….place where you watch your children grow and …………………………………………………………………….become strong. The walls resound with more …………………………………………………………………….laughter than tears.

He’s organized—No dirty socks left on the floor by him! …..In your perfect home, everything has its place and …………………………………………………………………….everything stays in its place.
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He protects you. ………………………………………………..Your home protects you by keeping you warm and …………………………………………………………………….dry. You feel safe in all your rooms and free to be …………………………………………………………………….who you really are.

He’s beautiful–At least to you and who else matters? ……..Your home is beautiful because it speaks to you. It’s ……………………………………………………………………..beautiful because of the joy you’ve created in it.

You can count on him. …………………………………………No matter how distraught or tired you may be, at …………………………………………………………………….the end of the day your home is always there to …………………………………………………………………….greet you with a “warm hug.”

He tells you that he loves you each and every day…………Because every room makes you smile and you know …………………………………………………………………….you are loved.

Well, I did say “ideal.” It’s certainly worth striving for, don’t you think? It’s all meant to give us a much deserved, happy life.

Until next time,
Warmest regards,
Nancy

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Hello everyone and welcome to my blog!

My promise to you is that I give you rich content and the best solutions to your interior design challenges. You already know your home reflects your personal style, but even more importantly, it nourishes your heart and soul in whatever way you define beauty for yourself.

I also promise not to fall into “THE EXPERT SYNDROME.” Every field has them, including interior design. The GURUS who tell you their version of what good design should be. What you should do. It’s wise to listen, but unwise to follow without question.

Every human being is born with the ability to create—everyone. Somewhere between early childhood and adulthood, most of us lose this gift. We haven’t really lost it, it’s still there, buried underneath the opinions of those around us. All of the “you shoulds”, “you can’ts”, “are you serious?” Etc., etc., etc.

Together, let me have the honor to help you rediscover and foster your own creative talents and gently guide you in the design direction you want to go.  guarantee you a fun and exhilarating ride.

Please feel free to comment on any of my postings—even if you don’t agree with me. I wish this blog to be interactive. I want to know what your design challenges are and address them in such a way that you see your home as your own creative expression.

Until next week,

Warmest regards,
Nancy

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