30 December 2016

Feline Friday: Meet Wobbert!

Santa was very good to the girls! (Was there any doubt about that? LOL) Lily received a Friskies Pull 'n Play which Santa thought would promote "active" play for her. So far, it has been a hit!

It comes with a plastic "wobbler" (named Wobbert), a bag of crunchy treats, and a pack of pull-apart string treats. The wobbler lid unscrews, allowing you to insert the string treats into the "ears" and the crunchy treats into the body.

Kitty can eat the string treats to tip Wobbert until the treats come out of the hole in the side or use Wobbert without them.

Santa thinks that Lily's regular crunchy food (not treats) should be placed in Wobbert, encouraging her to actively work for her food and prevent the gobbling which often leads to throwie-uppies.

Bailey spent just a few minutes showing Lily how to tip Wobbert so that her food would come out the hole. It only took a little while for her to get the hang of it.

Wobbert is weighted on the bottom so that it wobbles but doesn't tip over. Lily can tip it either direction to make the food come out.

It looks like Wobbert is going to be a fun way to add a little activity to Lily's normally sedentary days!
Here's to that New Year's weight loss plan! :)

23 December 2016

Feline Friday: Christmas Best

 We're all decked out in our holiday best to wish you a very Merry Christmas...

...and the happiest of MEW Years! Thanks for reading our blog!
Jan, Tinsel, and Lily

21 December 2016

Christmas Decorating with Meaning: Part 2

 Welcome back to the second installment of my little holiday decor tour! In today's post, I'm focusing on the dining room. If you've followed my blog, the dining room decor will look similar to how I decorated this space last year. 

I feel like I'm a little bit limited in the dining room simply by the colors of the walls (olive) and the green and gold chair rail border. For that reason, I think the "woodland/metallic" theme works pretty well in the space. As long as I continue to like it, I'll keep the theme!

It's really hard to get a good picture of the dining room with the tree lit. This picture makes it look very gold, which it is not. But the gold ornaments and decorations do give a bit of a gold glow.

The top of the china cabinet is very much the same as last year, with a combination of things I've made myself (the nut tree and pinecone tree) and family heirlooms. I made those trees (and some hanging nut balls!) when I was 8 months pregnant with Bailey and working at Spouse's office. I remember hot gluing nuts and pine cones in between my "official" duties! This must have been my woodland "nesting" phase!

This footed compote is a real treasure. I keep it up on the china cabinet year-round, out of kitty jumping range! It belonged to my great great grandmother on my dad's side.

Here's a new addition to the dining room holiday decor -- this beautiful old footed bowl/compote which I found at a thrift store for less than $2. I quickly identified it on eBay as pressed glass known as sandwich glass and made by the Indiana Glass company in the early 1900s. I have some dark green sandwich glass dishes which belonged to my grandma (I'll be getting them out for Christmas!), which is why the bowl caught my eye. It looks so pretty filled with these old ornaments! Someone let go of a treasure when they donated this beautiful piece. I'm very glad I found it!

Under the dome are some wooden woodland critters I bought in Germany during college. The wooden box is filled with gold and silver pine cones my mom used at Christmas.

 I made this little guy last year by antiquing the car and strapping the tree to the roof. I haven't decided which size of wood base to use, so right now it's perched on two!

 These wooden trees came from a thrift store a couple of years ago. I love their simple shape and how easily they work into lots of different holiday themes.

The dining room tree holds all of my gold, silver, and bronze mercury glass ornaments, plus other ornaments in that same color scheme. Last year I sorted my mercury glass ornaments by color which made it much easier to find the colors I needed when I decorated the tree this year! One year I'm going to have to do a pink tree because I have a TON of pink mercury glass. Too bad I'm not a fan of pink! Hopefully it will grow on me because I'm not parting with those beautiful ornaments, regardless of the color!

 Thanks for following me around the house this year! I'll be back in the coming days with more holiday decorating photos. 
Happy holidays to everyone!

20 December 2016

Christmas Decorating with Meaning: Part 1

 This year, I put up a few more Christmas decorations than usual because we are hosting three events over the holiday season. Since I lost my parents and grandparents, it has become even more important to me to incorporate sentimental objects in my holiday decorating. This includes items that belonged to me as a child or came from my parents or grandparents. As time has passed and the raw edges of grief have softened, it has become easier for me to bring out these items. Now I find a huge amount of comfort (and even joy) in having these cherished items visible at Christmas. I hope that our guests will enjoy them, too.
I decorate this pencil tree on the landing differently each year. This season it contains all the special ornaments given to us by Spouse's parents over the years, one for each year we've been married. Normally these ornaments are spread over several trees but we thought it would be fun this year to put them all together.

 I've become a little bit obsessed with trucks (or cars) hauling Christmas trees. This is my fourth one and I must stop! I found the truck at Goodwill last summer for around $2. It's larger than the others at around 10" and is made to look old. I covered the "Menard's" signs on the side with Christmas tree farm signs I resized and printed.

  I always enjoy having a tree in the kitchen, although it does take up a bit of space! For the past few years, I've been decorating this medium-size tree with a set of ornaments I made a few years back. I bought the red apples many moons ago for our first Christmas in our old house. This year, I added my grandma's red checkered tablecloth as a tree skirt. We used that tablecloth for picnics when I was a child. It was one of the many linens I saved when cleaning out my parents' house.


 Everything on this shelf is meaningful to me. The cookie jar is a real treasure: My mom and her sister bought it for their mother, my grandma, for Christmas one year. They each had only a few pennies to spend, so one bought the head and the other bought the body. They were so excited about the gift they'd selected that my mom spilled the beans before they even left the dime store! The potato masher with the greenery on it belonged to my mom and sat on her refrigerator year-round. The oil lantern belonged to me as a child. And of course I had to put out my childhood Santa cup. Reproduction Santa mugs are everywhere these days, but this one is an original. :)

 This cellophane wreath is one of many that my grandma hung in the windows of her big old house. I've had this wreath for a few years but this year finally decided to clean it up and put it into use. I can remember going to my grandma's house and seeing the cheerful glow in the windows...

 ...like this! The lantern hanging nearby hung in my mom's kitchen year-round. I'll put a candle in it at Christmas.

These little elves also came from my grandma's house. This year, they're on the kitchen counter but they're free to go anywhere they'd like! I think they look just like the modern-day Elf on a Shelf. Grandma posed the little guys in various places around her living room at Christmas and I always enjoyed looking for them. They are perched on an awesome wood block I found at Goodwill for next to nothing! The little Christmas village is also special to me. I bought it at the United Nations in New York City on a trip with my government class in high school. I loved it then and still love it today! The little cake stand came from the Target Dollar Spot and the dome from a thrift store. You can't have too many domes!

This wooden box on the kitchen table was given to me by a dear co-worker who made them for us a couple of years ago from an old barn on her family's farm. I added the snowflakes which are just wooden cutouts, inked and glittered -- now they look like cookies! The little figurine with the candle is from my childhood. I have four of these little figurines, each one different, from my parents' and grandparents' houses. I have a vague memory of selling the candles as a fundraiser but can't recall for what!

Oh, gosh...here's another truck with a tree! I found this one (maybe 4 inches long) at our local grocery store. It was so cute that I could not resist! I already had a tree that fit perfectly in the back. 

The camping percolator came from a thrift store and works nicely with the little truck. We've enjoyed percolator coffee a few times! The sugar container is also an antique from a thrift store. I think I paid 49 cents for it -- I just love its simplicity and embossed label.

 That's all for today's post! I'll share more photos in the coming days. 
Happy holidays to everyone!

16 December 2016

Feline Friday: Hunker Down!

 Lily must have read the forecast. Snow's a-comin'! 
Stay warm, kitties!

11 December 2016

Holiday Sled Project


Ever since I brought my old sled home from my parents' house three years ago, I've been hoping to outfit it for Christmas. I've enjoyed seeing all the sleds with big bows, greenery, pine cones, and skates on porches and hoped I could turn mine into something similar. 

My plan is to put the sled out on the front step on the days when we have holiday gatherings but otherwise it will sit in our entry way. Sadly, vintage items can get stolen from porches and I sure don't want to have that happen! :)

My sled didn't get a huge amount of use when I was a kid. I can remember my dad taking me sledding on just a couple of occasions. We usually slid down the road in front of our house since there was almost no traffic. The last time I remember using my sled, I went down the hill with a girlfriend and lost control, hitting the phone pole at the end of our driveway. We hit the pole so hard that the metal sled front made a big dent in the wood. I wasn't injured but was very shaken up, and my friend recently told me she still has a scar on her leg from that accident! In retrospect, it could have been much, much worse! To this day, I am scared to go down hills!

Unfortunately, I sold my mom's ice skates at our auction (not sure why I made that decision...I've regretted it since), so in order to outfit my sled I needed to find a "new" old pair. Because many people are looking for them, they tend to be pretty pricey these days, so I was very excited to finally find a pair in good condition for $5.99 at a local thrift store. With the skates in hand, I was ready to start on my sled project.

 My good fortune continued when the owner of the store where I teach gave me a big wired bow she had made but no longer needed. It was the perfect size for my sled! Of course, I thought I'd first put it on Lily for a photo shoot. :)

  Obviously that didn't go well...

So it was back to the sled project. The sled has been in the garage for three years and was covered with dust and cobwebs. Still, it cleaned up pretty nicely. I applied some furniture oil to the wood parts and the color improved considerably. (A quick check of Ebay indicates that "vintage" (haha!) sleds like mine in similar condition are selling for around $45.)

As projects go, this one was very easy to do. I looked on Pinterest for a few ideas as to where to place the bow, greenery, and skates.

First, I tied the skates onto the sled using the laces. I found that tying them separately allowed me to control the placement a little easier than tying them together.

Next, I added two pieces of greenery which I had on hand. I attached them to the sled diagonally with twist ties. 

Finally I attached the bow using a twist tie in the back.

I'm really happy with how the sled turned out! It's a fun and meaningful holiday decoration!

09 December 2016

Feline Friday: The Feets!

My poor, neglected blog. I've been away from my blog for awhile and will explain more about that in a later post.  
In the meantime, please enjoy some very sweet FEETS!

Lily's little white feets are among her very best features. Sometimes I call them socks. Sometimes I call them tennis shoes, especially if she's running. But no matter what she's doing, those little white feet are just precious.

I especially love it when she tucks her feet under her chin.

And look at this! She was sleeping so soundly in the sun that her head sort of klunked back, leaving those sweet little feets curled on her chest.

Those soft little white feet can do no wrong! 
Well, that's not exactly true. Let's just say that AT THIS MOMENT, those little white feets can do no wrong!

02 December 2016

Feline Friday: Tinsel's Secret Code

Tinsel is not the most affectionate or communicative kitty. In fact, most would consider her pretty stand-offish.

But there is one occasion when Tinsel always lets you know what she wants: When she's hungry, she stands on your foot using one of her back feet. If she's really hungry, she'll stand on your foot with BOTH of her back feet. She has done this since the first day she came from the North Pole to live with us. It's a good thing we figured out her secret code!

As it happens, sometimes a foot is just not available. What's a girl to do?

Stand on a hand! When you're hungry, I guess any extremity will do!
 Got it, Tinsel! Let's go get you some breakfast! :)

25 November 2016

Feline Friday

Look at the size of those paws!
What did we do without her? :)

18 November 2016

Feline Friday: Just Chillin'

How do we chill? Let me count the ways....

Tinsel chillin' on the scratching pads (AKA the "deck")

Lily looking pretty zen while chillin' in her Expensive Cat Basket

 Rory chillin' in her Christmas t-shirt

 and in her fancy school dress

I seriously need to take a cue from these girls! I'm the world's worst at just chillin'!