MY REWIND of 2010

They say happiness is a byproduct of what we share with others and this I share with you ~ "Life can be frustrating and challenging and painful, difficult and unfair. Even so, life is always good because you can always make it better, and in so doing you make it great. You can choose, right now and in every moment, to put your powerful and effective abilities to purposeful use. There is always something you can do, no matter what the situation may be, that will move your life forward. You can explore, you can invent, you can question, you can taste, you can give, you can observe and you can build. You can commit your whole life to what you value and quickly move away from what you don't." ~ Ralph Marston

Ralph Marston's words were a major driving force of inspiration and motivation me for 2010. Because of his thought provoking and motivational words of wisdom, I not only feel I survived 2010, I also feel like my style and abilities developed. Here's a rewind of my year of transition for 2010...

After working retail for 25 years of my life, this past year (2010) ~ thanks to the love & support of friends ~ I really tapped into my design style and evolution. Through attending webinars, I've learned about the importance of Social Networking, acquired so many NEW friends and connections, and even reconnected with a few lost souls from the past!  I also (still am) learning to blog, and create a more focused online presence.  It too has been a true evolution in progress. It just goes to show, "leap and the net will appear". If I hadn't had my separation (layoff) from my previous employer (of 16 years) I would not have never tapped into so many hidden resources (including myself) ... I cannot THANK YOU enough for your patience, kindness, and inspirational encouragement. It has meant the WORLD to me and really helped see me through this past year.

As we head into a NEW year and decade, Ralph Marston's words of wisdom are still a strength of inspiration:

You Have The Strength

You have the strength to choose your thoughts. You have the strength to choose your actions, your attitude, and your feelings in any given moment.

You have the strength to decide what to focus the energy of your life upon. You can be strong in any way you choose to be strong.

Life will often come at you fast and furious and in an unrelenting way. Yet as intense as it may become, it never has to overwhelm you.

For you can choose to be as strong as you must be. You can think strong and positive thoughts, and follow through with strong, decisive actions.

You can reach inside and feel the ever-growing strength that comes from the truth of who you are. You can connect that strength to everything you do.

You have the strength because you have the choice to live in accordance with your deepest, most treasured values. Choose to be strong, and bring those values more fully to life with every experience.

God bless you in all you do for 2011 and beyond...
Ok ~ enough with the sap... Time to CELEBRATE!!!

Happy NEW Year!!!


I spotted a tablescape for New Years over on Rate My Space that not only inspired me ~ but I have to share with you. It was featured by HGTV's Design Happens blog contributor Kayla as a part of her New Years Eve party plans post. The Timepiece Tablescape was conceptualized and design by a Rate My Space user mypointofview (aka Elizabeth Maxson). Elizabeth is also a former shop owner, writer, and photographer, who shares her creative spirit through interior design on her blog The Adventures Of Elizabeth. Her Timepiece Tablescape is so thoughtful, charming, creative, simple and elegant. Here - see for yourself...

She displayed a collection of vintage clocks on the mantel.

Tins she found at Target and used for a made up
game called: Remember When?

Her French fireplace mantel was covered with old books, clocks and a French gumdrop fringe shawl.
Her New Years Table for two was actually "an old table that when covered, you'd never know."

She used sap buckets from a hobby store to hold candles.

Elizabeth created a cozy setting for a quiet evening for two to end the year.

Elizabeth's Timepiece Theme used vintage clocks, watch faces and parts. She says "the little space was only 6' x 7' , has a worn, tattered and elegant look with an old world feel. Very inexpensive to do!"

Definite inspiration for next year! I've found a new collection to hunt & gather! In the meantime, if you wanted to create a similar look, you could also utilize this clock face ornament and free pdf download I found earlier this December over at the blog Bargain Hoot to create your own - but similar look.

It's almost  t i m e . . .  I actually took down and packed up the tree yesterday afternoon. Although most of the holiday decor is down, I did leave up a few pieces of bling for a festive restyle for New Years Eve... I'd like to share, but for some reason, they aren't uploading from my phone. Hopefully for tomorrow, they will.

Happy (early) New Year!!

Thanks for stopping by,

Sharing post at the 



Should old acquaintance ~ or family or childhood memories ~ be forgot ~ and never come to mind? Absolutely not! At this time of year, I can't help but not only reflect on the passing year, but all the years that have passed. And as much modern style I 'think' I may have, I do become a traditionalist at New Years. I grew up in a house that no matter how tough times may have gotten (remember the recession in the 70's?) my parents and their friends still managed to ring in the new year with a party in our New Jersey basement...

New Years morning - NJ in the 1970's

I slept through most of their New Years Eve parties - although I don't know how!! One of the things they use to do was POP all the balloons with their lit cigarettes at midnight! And my dad would go outside - even in the snow - to light off fireworks in an old milk can we had out back. I'd wake up around 6am and they'd STILL be going... Party hats, noise makers and all... half empty chips and dip bowls and glasses on the bar... leftover dishes like lasagna and sausage & peppers would be over on the buffet (everyone brought a dish!) and there I was, wanting to be a part of it...

New Years Morning - NJ 1970's

My parents even made some of the New Years decor like these hats: Just plain black felt top hats, but my dad took a little masking tape, glitter, and spray paint (hmmmm....) and they made these festive top hats they could resuse every year! My dad had built that thirteen foot bar - plywood, walnut paneling and moldings. With a jigsaw, he even cut out my parents initials along with some martini glasses he mounted in its front. The bar top was RED Formica, framed with the walnut molding, which also he installed Christmas lights up under with garland at Christmas. Above the bar was the (motorized) mirrored ball, WITH... two spot light boxes my dad also made and hung in the corners of the bar overhang.

New Years Eve-Day - NJ 1970's

Oh ~ but the decorating for him didn't stop there. Some of our holiday decor in the basement (I learned later in life) my dad found in good old New York City. He went dumpster diving or curb mining at Macy's in Herald Square. With a little spray paint (hmmmmm again) they were as good as new (and Champagne Gold too!) During New Years Eve 'day', I'd help blow up balloons to help flood the ceiling with. I don't know how more didn't pop before NYE, because he had to attach them (with a white tack) in between all the StarBrite (now vintage) ornaments and tinsel he already had hung from the ceiling (he was a true believer in decorating that fifth wall!)

Here it is in color...

That tinsel filled ceiling and mirrored ball did it for me. Who knew that glitz & glamour would translate so many years later to my favorite tablescape to set: New Years Eve. Although I don't have a big party, it's more of a quiet evening for two (plus our furball), but I still like for it to be fun and festive! Last year, around this time, I had just started the blog. I used a more tutorial voice when I wrote the post about a New Years Eve tablescape called No Reservations Required. You can still get some helpful tips from it, that I refreshed today... but for now, here are just the images ~ more than the original post... Thanks for the inspiration DAD!!!

I may use a little gold with the silver this year... but one thing is for sure...
I will still be using my 'traditional' mirrored disco balls in honor
of my dad and his
love of celebrating New Years Eve...

BTW: I hope to be sharing just one more New Years Eve tablestyling idea, I came across yesterday... I'll try to be posting tomorrow...

Can't wait ~ It's almost here!!
Happy (early) New Year!!

The Original Post: No Reservations Required

and these parties!


No fireplace? No problem! A romantic setting of a table for two can still be created by getting creative with your TV as a backdrop - and the TV unit displayed as a mantel. Comcast has screen savers for FREE and Amazon sells Fireplace DVD's to turn your black box into hot spot! In the past, I've set a table setting for two, but in place of the Christmas tree. Since removing the large area rug to expose the greige tile earlier this December, it opened up space in front of the TV for an easy swap & shift...


I swapped the two white ottomans for my two $5 thrifted chairs [previously on either side of the TV unit], added a 36" round folding table layered in coordinating colors for our space [white sheet with a paisley cream printed window panel as an overlay], utilized some gold pieces [previously used on the Thanksgiving table] as well as a centerpiece [another free branch in a vase - displayed in another room - but now adorned with snowflakes previously on two lampshades] - and couldn't forget the candles - including one I found at Target that actually crackles like a fire...

I had set this for us for Christmas eve, and we spent Christmas day down south at my Moms. It was fun to set, and Jeff was surprised when he came home. It made for an elegant setting for a slow-cooked meal of a Top Round Roast, simmered in Lipton Onion Soup Mix with carrots and potatoes. The only thing left to prep was some steamed asparagus, bake some crescent rolls, and pour the wine. Eventhough this was done for Christmas Eve, you can still apply its winter style to New Years Eve...

For New Years Eve, we usually stay in (too expensive & hazardous to go out!) and this year we're thinking of going for scallops and shrimp. Any recipes you care to share? Until then - Food Network, here I come!

Hope you're enJOYing the merriest of holidays...
And a wish for you for all GOOD THINGS to come your way
for the upcoming NEW year!

Thanks for stopping by!
Note: All photos by Lynda Quintero-Davids



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