Archive | December, 2016

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Classic Christmas Books

Christmas is just a day away,  and if you’re looking for a fun last minute gift, how about a classic Christmas story?  There are so many wonderful books that bring back such feelings of nostalgia for Christmases gone by, and among our favorites are How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a perennial favorite for both the book and the television special.  As with all Dr. Seuss books, the rhymes make it a fun read aloud book.  The Grinch is so evil and conniving in the beginning.  Making his little dog wear that big antler and haul the sled, stealing all of the Who’s presents and food.  But whose eyes don’t get a little misty when the Grinch’s small heart grows three sizes the day he discovers the true meaning of Christmas? This was a favorite of ours as children, and May enjoyed reading this one to her boys during the holidays.

Polar Express  This is a sweet and magical story about a little boy who takes a journey to the North Pole on a train called The Polar Express. He, along with other children all in their pajamas, visit Santa and his elves as Santa prepares to deliver presents on Christmas Eve.  The book has wonderful illustrations and will appeal to readers both young and old. “Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

Little Women is a book that all little girls should read and this is a beautiful edition.  The book tells the story of the March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, whose father is away serving as a chaplain in the Civil War.  The sisters have many sacrifices to make because of the war but find ways to entertain themselves through performing plays written by Jo, celebrating Christmas, doing charitable works and getting to know their neighbor Laurie.  The book is a true tearjerker.

This book holds a special place in our hearts.  In fact, June was named after the character Beth. May still keeps her original book she received as a young girl on her shelf.

We hope you have a joyous and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We will see you in 2017! ~May and June

Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see. The Polar Express

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Christmas Table Centerpieces

Are you hosting the holidays this year? One way to make your Christmas dinner parties a little more festive, is to decorate your dining table with a centerpiece.  Your table is an easy surface to dress up with holiday cheer and it gives your guests something pretty to look at.  If you do not have a centerpiece yet (and Christmas Eve is only 4 days away), you can easily make one with items you probably already have at home.

I always change up my centerpiece from year to year.  I wouldn’t want my guests to get bored looking at the same thing every Christmas.  Because I like to change it up, I do not spend much money on a centerpiece and usually make one myself.  Also, because my dining room table is fairly small and when we have more than 6 for dinner we have to add a leaf, the centerpiece needs to be uncomplicated and moveable.  I also like to put a small centerpiece on my counter height table in the kitchen.  But, once again it needs to be moveable since the table often gets converted to a work space.

This year, I made two centerpieces with items I had around the house and in my boxes of Christmas decorations.  After the holidays, they can be quickly disassembled and used for another purpose next year.

For my dining room, I used a long wood bowl I had bought from Target last fall.  To the bowl I added glittered and frosted pinecones which I found at Joann’s.  Finally, I added some bottlebrush forest animal ornaments and bottlebrush trees to create a wintry magical forest scene.

For my kitchen, I used an old tarnished silver shrimp platter that I received as an “antique” from some family member.  On the larger part of the platter I placed a wreath that has paper feathers with a little bit of glitter.  Because there was a gap between the inner part of the wreath and the platter I placed some of those frosted pinecones in the center ring.  I then added a candle votive in the smaller attached bowl above the platter.

Together these centerpieces probably took me half an hour to make.  Plus, I spent no money because I had all of the supplies in my house.   After they were put together I thought they were a little weird and funky, but I like weird and funky.  What makes them unique is they are one of a kind and only temporary, so if I decide they are a little too strange, we never have to see them again.  So, if you are looking for a centerpiece, search around your house.  In the past I have used containers filled with ornaments, battery operated fairy lights, old christmas cards, my collection of miniature Christmas trees, candy canes, fresh greenery, lots of candles and various table runners.   Have fun! If you need inspiration you can check out Pinterest but don’t get too caught up in perfection.   It’s a wonderful opportunity to be creative and any imperfections make it unique and special.

I hope all of your Christmas preparations are almost done and that you get to relax and enjoy your decorations and the spirit of the holidays. And, if you are looking for more things to decorate, you can always decorate your dog.  -June

Christmas is too sparkly.  Said no one ever.

 

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Thoughts on the Holidays

Wow! There is no questioning it, winter is here. Last weekend, we experienced our first major snowfall here in the Midwest. For me, Sunday was the perfect day to stay in and bake Christmas cookies. With the snow piling up outside my window, holiday music playing in the background, and my cookie sheets lined up across the counter, I mixed, measured, rolled out dough, and baked all the cookies I would need for family and friends this year. The warm sugary smells in the house were intoxicating, and as always, I couldn’t resist sampling the sweet inventory.

While looking for some ribbon for my cookie gifts, I came across a box which held forgotten family photos, and as I sifted through the memories, I uncovered many from Christmas’ past. My cookies forgotten for the moment, I brought the box upstairs and before I knew it, I was sitting on the floor next to our Christmas tree, surrounded by memories. Many of the snapshots made me smile, and some, while still sweet, forced a lump in my throat thinking about family members no longer with us. I started to line the photos up according to the time they were taken, enjoying the story that I was being told about my family, and how we all have changed and grown over the years.

From my dad playing Santa Claus for his grandchildren- and grand dog – to making gingerbread houses with the girls, seeing the Macy’s Christmas tree every year, ice skating at Millennium Park and enjoying a pizza dinner afterwards, and of course all of us sitting around the dining room table on Christmas night, playing a mean game of Taboo or Balderdash while nibbling on leftover goodies from the cookie tray, Christmas was always a special time.

I have to admit, as I looked back, I felt a little nostalgic. It’s funny how a photo can propel you back in time to moments long forgotten, and yet it somehow feels like it all just happened yesterday. And now, our once full house has been reduced to a busy seventeen year old, who has been flapping her wings in anticipation of her flight to college in the fall, eager to leave our nest. The house is much more quiet.

As I sat in the glow of the tree, with the aroma of my recently baked cookies still warming our home, I was reminded that although our Christmas traditions have shifted and changed with our evolving family, the spirits of those no longer with us along with the beauty, peace, and love of the season can never be lost. As the years pass, I am learning to keep my focus more on enjoying my family, and less on the superficial details of what Christmas should look like. There is something to be said for keeping it simple. I am grateful for my family, and although we can’t all always be together, our bond is strong. Despite the fact that there has been much discord in the world we live in, today, let us all try to love without judgment, and enjoy each other’s company this holiday season.

As I write this, it is early morning and there is a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. I’m enjoying a cup of coffee, the quiet of the house, and the beautiful lights on our Christmas tree where several ornaments made by my grandmother and me have been carefully hung. Our oldest daughter is home from college, my weary husband is home from his business travels, and they are all (including our pup) still tucked in their beds, with what I hope are visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.

Merry Christmas! ~May

Time was with most of us, when Christmas Day, encircling all our limited world like a magic ring, left nothing out for us to miss or seek; bound together all our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes; grouped everything and everyone round the Christmas fire, and make the little picture shining in our bright young eyes, complete.” ~ Charles Dickens

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Peppermint Bark

A Sweet Holiday Gift – Peppermint Bark

Since this is the time of year for gift giving, we thought it would be fun to give the gift of a sweet holiday treat. Homemade peppermint bark! May does a lot of baking during the holidays and has always given tins of homemade cookies as gifts to family and friends. However, if you’re not a baker, or don’t have the time to bake, we have a great DIY that is fun, festive, doesn’t take a lot of time, and most importantly-it’s delicious!  You can make this with your kids or with a friend. May and June spent a few hours in May’s kitchen last week making these great little gifts.

INGREDIENTS -PEPPERMINT BARK

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line a 9×12 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate (use the method you prefer, either double boiler, or microwave – cook 30 seconds in a heat-proof bowl, stir and repeat until you have a smooth consistency.
  3. Pour the melted dark chocolate on the parchment paper, spread the chocolate out until it is about 1/3″ thick. You can do this by hitting the pan on the countertop repeatedly, or maybe you could use a spatula to spread the chocolate.

4. Melt the white chocolate, using the steps above. After the chocolate is smooth, pour it on top of the dark chocolate – trying to make the layers the same thickness. (it’s best to do this step while the white chocolate is still very soft — I’ve had them separate when I broke them into pieces, I think the layers “stick” together better if the white chocolate has not hardened).

5. Unwrap the starlite mints, or peppermints of your choice and put them into a heavy duty ziplock bag. Using a hammer or meat tenderizer – crush the mints then, while the white chocolate is still melted sprinkle on top.

6. Let the chocolates harden in the refrigerator for 2 hours, then break the candy into pieces. This needs to be stored in the refrgerator if you live in a warm/humid climate.

Since the peppermint bark is so pretty and festive, we thought some simple clear packaging would look best. You can wrap the peppermint bark in cellophane and finish it off with a cute bow, or place it in a mason jar and decorate the lid. We also tied on some cute ornaments which can be hung on the gift recipient’s tree.

We hope you have a great weekend and if you’re in the Midwest, stay warm. ~ May and June

“Baking and love go hand in hand, for as one bakes a tasty treat and fills the room with its sweet aroma, the true joy is to take what has been made and share it with another.” 
― Heather Wolf

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Getting Everything Done

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” -Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

It is that time of year again.  The time where you feel like you can barely catch your breath as you hurry from one thing to another.  As of today, there is only about 10 days until the Christmas weekend.  I don’t know about you, but I am starting to get worried about getting everything done in time.

I have a million Christmas chores that still need to be finished.  I have a little bit of shopping, cookie baking, some decorating, meals to plan and cook, and gift wrapping.  And that does not include social events to attend and year-end work deadlines that are rapidly approaching.

While part of getting everything done is just sheer fortitude, I do have a few tips that I use to finish it all, without losing my mind in the meantime.

Make Lists.  I am a big believer in the power of a list.  Once you put it on the list you can save your brain energy for more important things other than remembering to buy Scotch tape the next time you go to Target.  I keep several different lists this time of year.  Also, my lists are always written on paper and not on my phone.  The physical act of writing it down helps me remember my shorthand notes and also helps me remember that I have a list.

I often will make a list of things I need to do like the one above, listing holiday baking, gift wrapping and decorating.  I always make a Christmas shopping list.  My Christmas shopping list is organized by the person I have to buy a gift for.  I simply write the person’s name down along with my gift idea for them.  If I know which online site I want to use or brick-and-mortar store I want to visit for that particular gift I write that down as well.   After the gift is purchased, I cross the person off of my list.  I can then easily figure out what gifts I have left to purchase.

Plan Meals.  Planning weekday meals is important this time of year, so you have something that you can throw together, especially if you get home late.  It also keeps you feeling good to tackle all of your to-do items and prevents some of the dreaded regret come January 1.

In addition to planning regular meals, there is the planning of the holiday meals that you are hosting or the item you need to bring to a party.  Because time is precious right now, you do not want to go to the grocery store multiple times and the list of unusual ingredients makes it very easy to forget one critical item for a recipe.  To stay organized, I write down my whole menu for a holiday meal that I am hosting, including the main course, sides, drinks, dessert and even any extra items such as festive napkins or plates.  I then get out my recipes for each of the dishes and read them carefully, writing down on my grocery list any items I need to buy.  If I am not sure whether I have an item, I write it on my grocery list with a little star next to it and check the pantry or refrigerator for those items before I go to the store.  If I have the item already I simply cross it off the list.

The day before the hosted meal, I once again look at my overall meal plan and figure out if there are any items I can make ahead of time.  For Christmas Eve, our meal is our family’s tradition of steaks on the grill with a few new additions.  So I almost always make Olive Cheese Bread by The Pioneer Woman (this is delicious but has probably a million calories so we only eat it maybe this one time of year).  The cheese topping for the Olive Cheese Bread can be made the day ahead and put in the refrigerator, so I will do that and then just place it on the counter a couple of hours before I want to spread it on the bread.

The day before,  you may want to put the leaf in the table and make sure someone is bringing extra chairs.  As a funny side, we host a lot of family parties but own no folding chairs so someone always has to bring some.  I guess we need to invest in some of those.  Some people like to set the table the day before.  I tend not to do that because it gives me the heebie jeebies of unclean dishes by the day of the party, but I do try to set it before my guests arrive.

Group Errands Together.  Let’s face it, traffic around stores is terrible this time of year.  If you can, try and do errands to several different stores in the same area at the same time.  When I do errands, I like to go out once and get them all done before I go home.  Sometimes, this is impossible to do especially if you are trying to do errands after work.  However, if you can group together as many as possible, you will save yourself the aggravation from having to be in the same traffic more than once.

Also, if you can do errands early in the morning or later at night and during the week the crowds will be smaller.  I try to go grocery shopping early on Friday mornings.  The lines are short (including at the deli where there is always a wait), there are less people running into you with their grocery carts, and you can breathe a little easier.

Make it Fun.  These Christmas chores are supposed to be fun.  This is a one-time-of-year thing and I look forward to a lot of it.  So figure out how to make it fun.  When I wrap gifts, I put them all in one place and get out all of the supplies (paper, tape, tags, scissors and ribbon).  I then put on a Christmas movie, like Elf or Fred Claus, and get wrapping.  Watching the movie makes the chore a little easier.

For Christmas baking, my mom comes over and we bake cookies together in my tiniest of kitchens.  We listen to Christmas music and as the day wanes, enjoy a glass of wine.  Even if we only have a couple of hours for baking, we have fun doing it.  And she helps me do my dishes so double win for me!

Take Time For Yourself.  It is so easy when your to-do-list gets long, to not put yourself on that list.  This is not the time to forget about your well being.  Make time to go to the gym.  Definitely do yoga.  Take a walk and look at Christmas lights.  Go to church.  Just sit and be in front of a crackling fire in your fireplace with the Christmas tree casting the only light in your living room.  Sip that glass of wine while you watch the snow fall.  And most importantly, be with the people that matter the most to you.  That is the joy and spirit of Christmas.

Good luck with your to-do-list!  And remember Christmas will be here even if some things are undone.  –June

Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.

Lights please.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo the angel of the Lord came down upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.”

That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown. -Linus “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

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Holiday Baking

During the holiday season, you can almost always find me spending my free time in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies. As a child, I loved helping my mom and grandma bake cookies, and for several days, I was dusted in flour. I continued the tradition with my children as well, and smile at the memory of my flour coated boys standing on their step stool decorating snowmen and reindeer. It must be genetic. The warm aroma of cinnamon, molasses, butter, and sugar fills the house which is such a treat on cold winter evenings.  Although I occasionally toss in a new recipe here and there, my family has their favorites and for the most part, we stick to our familiar cookie playbook.

This year, however, I decided to add a new recipe to our repertoire. I love to watch cooking shows and recently, Giada De Laurentiis baked a pan of almond biscotti. Biscotti are an Italian almond biscuit which are twice baked, oblong, and with their crunchy texture, they are ideal for dunking into your favorite hot beverage. They are not overly sweet which makes them a perfect holiday treat if you’re having guests for tea, or just want a little afternoon pick me up. They are also a great cookie for gift giving. I have always loved them, but they are a little drier than most cookies, which can take a little getting used to.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

3/4 cup coarsely chopped whole almonds

18 ounces white or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat sugar and eggs with an electric mixture until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Mix in flour and beat until just blended. The dough will be sticky. Stir in almonds. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

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Divide the dough evenly into 2 equal mounds and place on prepared baking sheet. With moist hands, space dough evenly apart and form into 2 ( 9 by 3 inch) logs.

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Bake for 35 minutes until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut logs crosswise into 3/4 inch thick diagonal slices. Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the same baking sheet. Bake until the cookies are pale golden, 20- 25 minutes.

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Let cool completely. Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the pan does not touch the water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the end of each biscotti in the chocolate. Transfer the dipped biscotti to a wire rack, set over a baking sheet, until the chocolate has hardened. Store in airtight container.

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These are such a pretty addition to your holiday cookie tray. Enjoy!

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~May

“First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie-dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.” Elf

 

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Our Favorite Target Stocking Stuffers

Does Santa fill stockings at your house?  At our homes, stockings are always a fun little treat after opening presents under the Christmas tree.  And since all good things come in small packages, you never know what fun surprise you may find.

Recently, we took a trip to Target to search for great stocking stuffers. When you are the Christmas shopper in the family,  you know that by the time you get to the stocking stuffers, you are exhausted and just want to to be done with the whole Christmas shopping experience, instead of being creative.  So, hopefully some of these items we picked out will be helpful to you too.

img_4881Let’s face it, every stocking needs a little candy. We also found  a cute winter hat, flannel pajama pants, a festive Star Wars t-shirt, a small book and a classic movie. These are all fun little items perfect for a child.

img_4884If you are shopping for a girl or woman, cosmetics like nail polish or tinted lip balm are always a good option.  How about a sparkly wristlet, necklace or a new phone case?  Hand sanitizer of course is a practical choice, especially during our current cold and flu season.  We also loved these cute little printed socks (in fact both May and June bought those pink sheep socks for themselves).

img_4880The dollar section at Target has a great selection of stocking stuffers that won’t break your budget.

img_4887img_4889Small toys for kids such as Hot Wheel cars or Star Wars figures fill out a stocking nicely.

img_4888And for those of you who remember playing Oregon trail on your school’s lone computer with terrible graphics such as little “v’s” for bullets, you can now buy a card game version of Oregon Trail for the whole family to play.

We hope you are finished, or nearing the end of your Christmas list.  Have a good weekend. –May and June

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there. -Clement Clarke Moore

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First Snow

First Snowfall

If you have read here for any amount of time, you know that I am not a fan of winter.  It is my least favorite season.  It is so cold I walk around with my shoulders around my ears like earrings.  I miss the sun and I have a tendency to get a little depressed.  However, I do appreciate and look forward to the beauty of the first snowfall.

This last Sunday we had our first snowfall in Chicago.  The weathermen were predicting one to two inches.  We got 7 inches!  I would like to have that job where I can be so wrong, but still remain employed.  Being a Sunday, it was a perfect day for snow.  We had nowhere we had to be, no work, no commitments and we could just stay close to home and enjoy it with no aggravation.

During our morning walk, Gatsby was not so sure about the snow.  He walked with an expression on his face that made me think that his brain was thinking “Oh no! Not this again.”

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But later he got into the snow by enjoying a little self-inflicted snow rubdown and catching snowballs thrown by me.

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It was a beautiful snowfall.  Big wet flakes that coated every surface with a white fluffy covering.  From my windows it looked like a snowglobe outside.  And once outside, the earth was hushed in a blanket of white.

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The snow made the Christmas lights shimmering and diffused that seemed to make the whole tree glow from within.

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It was a time to breathe in the peace of the night.  A small deserved moment in an otherwise busy world.  –June

Everything is magical when it snows, everything looks pretty. – Lorelei Gilmore

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Breathing Through the Holidays

Breathing Through the Holidays

For many of us, the holiday season is a time filled with decorating our homes, hanging twinkle lights, baking cookies, cocktail parties, school functions, final exams, work functions, travel, family, gift buying, wrapping presents, and of course gift giving. Whew!! That’s in addition to our already full schedules of work, family, and activities. Needless to say, it’s a lot.

Have you ever noticed when you are rushed or stressed, your breath changes? Well it does, and not for the better. It becomes shorter and more shallow so our normal relaxed breath, which is deep and even, becomes compromised leaving our inhalations longer than our exhalations. This increases stress and makes us more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, even panic attacks. We become unbalanced.

There is, however, a solution that will bring some much needed serenity to your central nervous system, and you don’t even need a yoga teacher! The practice of 2-to-1 breathing (exhalation is twice as long as inhalation) is a simple breathing technique that helps regulate the motion of the lungs, quieting the body’s nervous system, bringing a sense of peace and tranquility to our overstressed mind, body, and yes- spirit. This is a technique that can be done anytime, anywhere. To get started, sit comfortably with your head, neck, and trunk of your body aligned. If it helps, close your eyes and begin to tune into the movement of your breath, feeling its soft touch at your nostrils. Be aware of the cool touch of the inhalation, and the warm touch of the exhalation. I teach my students to place one hand on the belly, and one hand on the chest so you can actually feel the breath gently moving into your palm at the abdomen.

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Your inhalation moves to the count of 4, and your exhalation to the count of 4. When you are ready, begin to adjust your breath so you are inhaling to the count of 2, and exhaling to the count of 3. The breath may feel a little odd at first, but don’t give up. By simply giving a little more attention to the exhalation, you will notice a difference in how you feel in a very short period of time. After exhaling to the count of three for a bit, extend the breath just a little bit more to the count of 4.  Sometimes, I practice this breath at my desk, or laying on my back in bed if I am having trouble sleeping. I’ve even done this breathing technique while stuck in traffic!

This is a great practice to do for 3 to 5 minutes everyday, to reduce stress. You can also do it at bedtime to help unwind after a long day. Simply lay on your back with your palms on your upper belly, and feel your breath move into and out of your palms, paying attention to and extending your exhalation. It only takes a few minutes and you will feel calmer and more relaxed.

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I love this girl!! She is always willing to be my model, even when it is freezing cold outside!!

Have a great week! ~May

When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. ~Author Unknown

 

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Holiday Sidewalks

City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks Dressed in Holiday Style……

Now that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are behind us and the holiday season is in full swing, we encourage all of you to check out your local community and see what’s happening during this festive month.  Almost every town these days dresses up their trees, parks, and storefronts in celebration of the holidays. It’s a great opportunity to get together with family, friends, and neighbors to do a little Christmas shopping, enjoy the lights, and perhaps even sit on Santa’s lap. And while we all enjoy the festive Christmas light displays of the big city, sometimes in the hustle and bustle of December, it is difficult to take a whole day to visit.

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Beautifully lit streets.

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A festive storefront

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Beautifully decorated trees dressing a restaurant entrance

There is something so charming about strolling down the streets of a small town at Christmas time. You almost feel like you’re in a beloved holiday movie, such as It’s a Wonderful Life. Of course the evening isn’t complete without sharing a meal and toasting the upcoming holiday.

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June always gets talked into posing but she loved the alley of Christmas lights

This year May and June decided to stay close to home by visiting downtown Arlington Heights, Illinois to enjoy a holiday happy hour, and do a little Christmas shopping. The weather was cold and windy, so we bundled up and enjoyed walking down the beautifully lit streets and nearby park, and we even found a few gifts. We both are big supporters of local businesses. The stores are unique, friendly, and you can always find something for that special someone on your list. And by supporting your local businesses you keep your local community vibrant, and hopefully attract even more businesses you can enjoy.  Chances are, you’ll also probably run into someone you know. Some stores are keeping longer hours this month too, which is nice for those last minute gifts on your Christmas list.

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A streetscape that should be in the movies

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This is Santa’s tree farm

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Our town’s North School Park wishing everyone a wonderful season

We were able to get in the holiday spirit with all of the Christmas lights (and the glass of prosecco probably helped too) all without going too far from home.  And once we had enough Christmas spirit, we were both able to arrive home in ten minutes, and get tucked warmly in our pajamas.  Have a good weekend! –May and June

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful –Norman Vincent Peale

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