Archive for Christmas
Today I had so much fun putting together our gifts to take to my daughter-in-law’s family in Japan. I couldn’t resist sharing. Here they are!
In last week’s post, An Easy Gift Idea, I talked about the items to be included. To make things a little more personal I used Google Docs to translate the notes I attached to each gift into Japanese. With the Prickly Pear jelly is a translated article about the native SW plant and its use in recipes. Google’s translations better make sense! If not, I hope it will be a reason for a few good laughs.
Of course, I have to carry something for our kids. Here are their small packages with Merry Christmas translated into Japanese, メリークリスマス!
Celebrating a holiday in another country will be a new experience. But wherever you are, keep the spirit of Christmas alive. Goodwill to all! Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!
This year we travel to “Santa” Monica for our Christmas celebrations. It is one of the few times the immediate Sherwood family is all together. 🙂 This year we will have the joy of Paul’s sister and husband joining us right after Christmas day.
Here is the family picture from last Christmas at the lake house. I remember this fun time and insisting on the group shot despite objections of “Oh Mom!”
We are driving to Santa Monica this year. Close enough not need an airplane ticket. 🙂 I believe our son Jake has a Christmas photo in mind involving two JCW Mini-Coopers. You’ll just have to wait to see that one.
On another note, my friend, Lori, and I took the hotel crawl to see holiday decorations, particularly two life-size gingerbread houses. My favorite GB house was at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson to benefit juvenile Diabetes.
The walls were all made of gingerbread by the resort’s bakers. It took them 3 weeks to do all the baking. The decorative details are amazing.
Here is a “little” life-size gingerbread house trivia:
- 420 lbs. of flour
- 420 eggs
- 12 gallons of molasses & honey
- 120 lbs. of egg whites
- 550 lbs. of powdered sugar
- 718 lbs. of sugar
- 2.317 gum crops
- 120 lollipops
- 600 candy cane
- 15 lbs. of sprinkles
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Be safe in your travels and enjoy all your family and friends!
Love to all!
Note: This is the last post until after the New Year! Look forward to a re-cap of our holiday on January 6th.
As I anxiously await the arrival of our sons and daughters-in-love I am reminded about how important family is at Christmas. I am so very fortunate to have such a loving and close family. We are spread out across the country but we make the effort to be together for Christmas. I am truly blessed. Here is my playful family last Christmas at Lake Gaston!
Over the years my family circle has grown. The MSLL gang is a large part of that circle. This is the gang at our annual Christmas dinner along with our new addition, Ethan Campbell Wenger (being held by Ryan, his proud Dad)
My extended family goes much further than just our team. It encompasses the wonderful friends that grace our showroom, our design clients that invite us into their homes and all the talented contractors that support us. We get to know them and their families as part of our amazing family circle.
So whether you spend Christmas with family, friends or neighbors it is the people that make Christmas magical. Embrace the moments!
Merry Christmas to you and all your family circle!
Love to all,
MSLL has constructed the ultimate Holiday Gift Guide to make your shopping experience a bit easier this Holiday season. We promise with these amazing gifts there will be no returns or re-gifting if you stick to our guide! The following MSLL Holiday Gift Guide features 12 perfect gifts that are sure to bring happiness and make you the best gift giver ever! Move over Santa, I’m giving the best gifts this year! Oh! Not to mention you will have the best wrapped presents around with our fabulous complementary gift wrap!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living Holiday Gift Guide 2014:
1. Fashion Apparel: This year’s apparel seems to be the best we have ever carried! It’s been hard to keep the racks full. We have wonderful travel wear, bright tunics and palazzo pants that have been super popular this year. Our travel wear is wrinkle free, perfect for your next getaway! $38 – $78
2. Don’t forget the Captain! Our Captain Rodney’s Boucan Glaze and Peach Barbecue Boucan Sauce are a crowd pleaser! These would make perfect gifts for a neighbor or take a bottle as a hostess gift for your next holiday party your attending. This sauce is delicious! The bottle has a recipe attached for an amazing appetizer dip! Even someone that tailgates would love this for their next sports event! You can’t go wrong here. $12
3. Magnolia Casual Indoor/Outdoor Swings: I always have people telling me their child would love this in their bedroom or they are planning on hanging one on their boat dock! Which is a perfect idea for these gorgeous swings! All our swings come in a set which includes: The swing constructed in indoor/outdoor fabric, a seat cushion, back pillow and matching carrying bag which is easy to stow. $189
4. Sweet & Saucy Caramel Sauce: This happens to be our Salted Caramel Sauce which is my favorite! = ) We have: Spicy Mango Madness, Rum Caramel and even a Raspberry Fudge Sauce! This is a great gift for anyone! I would pair my jar with an ice cream scoop for the perfect ice cream sundae package! Simple & Easy! You could always add cherries on top! $11
5. Lake Gaston Picture Frame: Here is another great gift idea! I’m sure mom or grandma would love this in their lake home! Take it step further and actually put a photo in the frame of the family or grand-kids! The picture corners in the frame make it easy to change out the photos each year! $49
6. Mary Sherwood Lake Living Gift Card: The perfect gift! Our gift cards do not expire and can be used towards anything in our showroom! You could even give a gift card for $25 or $35 for someone to attend one of Chef Yvonne’s cooking classes held here at MSLL! Absolutely Perfect! $ – $$$
7. Lake Gaston Christmas Ornaments: We have several different ornaments to choose from this year. Some even have Lake Gaston printed on them! How cool is that? These would be great if you know someone that gets an ornament for their tree each year or for an ornament exchange party. $18
8. Jewelry: Our Jewelry display has just everything from necklaces, earrings, bangles, brackets, watches, rings and a few necklace/earring sets. Various style to choose from. We even have a handmade line from a young lady in Virginia Beach! $10 – $148
9. Handbags: We have the look you want but not the price. Our gorgeous bags look similar to a Micheal Kors’ bag but not the ticket price! I love our bags I think they are age appropriate for anyone 20-something to someone 60-something! We have various sizes and style for fit any ladies taste. $14 – $123
10. Scribble Cloths: Have you seen these yet? Scribble Cloths are amazing! Great for parties, children and events! We have runners that can be scribbled on with chalk! We have used these several times for events here at MSLL! We used the large runner for our food display, labeling all our delicious delights! What a great gift! $38 – $50
11. Lake Gaston Coasters: We have several sets of Lake Gaston Coasters! My favorites are the Lake map and Lake Rules! We have sets of two and fours! Perfect for anyone that loves and lives on the lake! $32 – $57
12. Add-A-Kid Bibs: Don’t forget the little ones! We have an array of items in our children’s area but, these have to be the funniest! These bibs are one of a kind designs for little guys and girls! All bibs have Lake Gaston on them as well! Such a great keep sake too! $13
Just follow our Holiday Gift Guide for the perfect Christmas presents this Holiday season! Need more ideas? Just give us a call (252-586-2437) or ask me! We do our best to meet the needs of our customers. We are always willing to help! We even suggest gift ideas for no charge! =) Join us this Holiday season and Shop Small here on Lake Gaston! Don’t forgot the complimentary Gift Wrap!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living, Lake Gaston
It’s that special time of year again, the holidays. The stockings are hung with care and Christmas spirit is in the air! Loved ones near and far come to together to celebrate this joyous holiday. We would like to wish each and every one of you,
a very Merry Christmas from our Mary Sherwood Lake Living Family to yours!
Please be careful in your travels and don’t forget to leave cookies for Santa!
Here is a little sneak peek from our
Mary Sherwood Lake Living Christmas Party. Enjoy!
Rocking around the banana tree? Yes, Mary doesn’t have your traditional Christmas tree every year. She likes to think more outside the box. What do you think of her non-traditional tree? Check out Mary’s blog about non-traditional Christmas trees. http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/oh-christmas-trees/
I love when people have interesting or humorous cocktail napkins. They are a great conversation starter! Here are Mary’s from our get together!
So many great presents! We opened our gifts before indulging in our fabulous meal prepared by Chef Yvonne!
I even decided to make my Christmas Candy Sleighs! I featured them in the past Design Wisdom Wednesday on Christmas Party Planning Guide. I think they came out great? What do you think?
Our dinner was amazing. Chef Yvonne out did herself as usual! For appetizers, we raved over the Buffalo Chicken dip and mozzarella cheese sticks wrapped in salami on a balsamic jelly. Did I mention the balsamic jelly came all the way from Italy? YUM! Our first course of the night (shown above) was bay scallops on a sweet potato puree with pickled corn and roasted sunflower seeds topped with micro greens. What an incredible combination!
For our main course we devoured this delicious homemade creamed garlic spinach and lasagna. By now my buttons are about to pop off my pants! But Yvonne’s food is so good, of course I didn’t turn down dessert, especially when we had two choices! She even let you choose both, if you wanted! Many of us shared our decadent treats! We had a choice between eggnog bread pudding with an eggnog glaze and chocolate pate with a cranberry coulis. Outstanding!
I am truly blessed to be a part of the Mary Sherwood Lake Living family. I’m the new kid on the block, but I have been so fortunate to have met such wonderful people who I get the privilege to work with. I can not only call them co-workers or my boss, but also great friends!
Again, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas &
a Happy New Year!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond!
I attended an amazing Christmas party this past weekend, which gave me the inspiration for my blog this week. When I attend parties I am constantly taking mental notes of my favorite things. I’d like to think of it as a mini Pinterest board in my head. I’m constantly “pinning” these ideas to have for when I decide to host my own holiday party. Here are a few things I would keep “pinned” when planning your holiday gathering.
It’s always a good idea when you’re sending out your invitations to include a way for guest to RSVP, especially when you’re going to serve food. The Christmas party I attended this weekend was scheduled at 7PM with cocktails and heavy hor d’oeuvres.
Here are a few party planning rules of thumb to consider when planning your holiday menu: (refer to the chart to the right)
If you are planning to feature hor d’oeuvres, here are some other tips:
-3-7 bites per person when accompanied by a large dinner
– 10-12 bites per person when accompanied by a light dinner
-20 bites per person if hor d’oeuvres only
Remember to provide a variety of foods to please everyone. Try to have hot and cold foods, but also be considerate of vegetarians, vegans, and food allergies to keep everyone nibbling throughout the night. Don’t forget to have something sweet, too!
The Themed Christmas Party.
Tacky Christmas Sweater Party: I must say this party makes for the best holiday photos! I have been to a few of these, I try to make it a personal challenge to find the tackiest of Christmas sweaters. Just about any sweater with a Christmas tree, reindeer, or snowmen on the front will do. This would be the easiest of parties to host, just ask your guest to please wear a Christmas sweater.
Christmas Cookie Swap: This would be a great party with your girlfriends during the holidays. Invite your friends to bring their favorite Christmas cookies with their favorite bottle of wine, and you have an instant girl’s night. Don’t forget to have goodie bags for your guests to take their favorite cookies home at the end of the night. You can also ask the guest to bring copies of the recipe to share.
I love these cookies. I think they would be a great hit at your next Cookie Swap event!
There are lots of other kinds of parties you can host such as: 12 Days of Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Gift Wrapping Party, Ornament Making, and many more. Don’t forget the little ones. Let them join in the fun and host a gingerbread house making party or cookie decorating event.
Keep your guest active by adding games to your party schedule. I thoroughly enjoyed the games I part took in this weekend. Here are just a few games with their rules you should try to incorporate in your party planning:
White Elephant, Dirty Santa, & Chinese Gift Exchange: I have heard this game called by several different names, but these are probably the most popular. It’s ultimately a fun re-gifting exchange game, Click the link to find out how to play. http://www.wikihow.com/Organize-a-White-Elephant-Gift-Exchange
The Reindeer Antlers Balloon Game will be your new holiday favorite. I had never played this game before until this weekend. Let’s just say I wasn’t on the winning team but I had a great time participating! Here’s how to play: http://www.cookie-exchange.com/party_games/reindeer_antlers_balloon_game.html
The 12 Days of Christmas: We were divided into groups and given one of the 12 days of Christmas. We started off the song and when your number came up it was your turn to sing and act out your number! I must say this was a great hit, I definitely enjoyed seeing my cousin acting like a “french hen” for the third day.
There are many games out there, just make sure they are appropriate for the crowd you are hosting. There is no time limit to the games, but give your guests breaks so they don’t feel like Santa on Christmas Eve!
Favors are not something you have to do, but they are always a great way to say thank you to your guest for attending your party. Favors do not have to cost you a fortune. They can be easy to make and become little mementos for your holiday fun filled night. Here are just a few to consider:
Red Tic Tacs can be transformed in to “Reindeer Noses”. Just add a cute little label and “Wah Lah!” a party favor that will have your guest smiling all the way back to their homes. I have even seen green tic tacs labeled as “Christmas tree seeds.” So Cute!
Try tying a cute bow on different Christmas Cookie cutters for an instant easy party gift as well.
If you have a little more time on your hand, these sleighs made of candy are an awesome Christmas party favor.
Click the picture to find out how to make this tasty sleigh!
Good Luck Party Planning.
Just remember no matter what you decided to serve, what theme your party is, or what games you play, your party will be a success only because of the loved ones that attend. Tis the season to remember our friends and family which is the true meaning of Christmas! I wish you the best of luck and safe travels to all your holiday celebrations! Last but not least, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living, working with you to create your lifestyle!
I am getting ready to travel to one of my favorite places, “Santa” Monica, because that is where I will share Christmas with both our sons and two daughters-in-love. It should be a great week! Our times together involve a lot of relaxing, eating and sharing stories with the newer members of our family. It doesn’t matter where we are, we always find these times together so special.
Last night reminded me of what an incredible acquired family I have right here at Lake Gaston. We had a Christmas dinner at our house for all the MSLL family. The wonderful, talented people who surrounded me are truly amazing. It makes it such a pleasure to come to work each and every day.
Paul, Autumn, Lu, Michelle, Peggy and Yvonne thanks so much!
The rest of my acquired family is every one of you who has supported us, shopped in our showroom, cooked in our new kitchen and asked us to help make your home a comfortable, family place. We have gotten to know you and your family and friends. The circle just keeps getting bigger. Thank you for enlarging our family!
Make this a holiday to remember with your family whether acquired or by nature.
Here are a few pictures of our MSLL Christmas party.
Have a wonderful holiday!
Working with you to create your lifestyle!
Shopping for a special gift for that special someone? Looking for the ideal present for the person who has everything? Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle. Allow Mary Sherwood Lake Living to help you compile the perfect gift basket.
Are they a wine enthusiast? We can combine our E-Z Grip Wine Bottle Opener, Wine-A-Rita Drink Mix, and a package of festive napkins to help them celebrate.
Do they enjoy mixing a cocktail or two? We can combine our Mini Red Ice Bucket, Mini Red Cocktail Shaker, and a jar of Pickle, Olive, and Pearl Onion Cocktail Stirrers to help them conjure up their concoctions.
Are they the chef in their household? We can combine our famous Captain Rodney’s Boucan Glaze, a White Rectangular Baker, and a Knotted Spreader to aid them in preparing Captain Rodney’s Cheese Bake (recipe included).
Do they just deserve to be spoiled? We can combine our Azalea/Ruby Dot Glittens (glove and mittens combination), Leopard Ballet Cozy Slippers, and a Jeweled Photo Frame to help comfort them.
Still stumped? Come visit us at Mary Sherwood Lake Living or give us a call at 252.586.2437 to help you with just the right combination for the loved ones on your list.
Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping from Mary Sherwood Lake Living!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!
Yes, friends there will be a Christmas tree at the Sherwood’s Lake Gaston home this Christmas! Some of our friends were beginning to worry there would not be any sign of holiday cheer at our house by the time our family arrives. Have no fear, we once again have a “live” Christmas tree. Here is the story…
Being in the retail and design business we are often very busy at this time of year. As our business and children were growing up and time was at a premium, Aaron and Jake began to question “if” and what kind of tree we would have. Traditionally it was always a live tree, sometimes collected from a local tree farm or the local Jaycee’s lot. In 2002, having waited until the last minute, I rushed to Wildwood Nursery in search of a live tree. They were too large, too tall or too expensive, so I had to re-group. Wondering through the nursery I spotted a Pom Pom Topiary Juniper. It was not very big but had a very interesting shape. Could I make this work as a Christmas tree? I am always up for a challenge! My youngest son, Jake, at that time, always arrived home for Christmas late in the night from NJ. I had promised him a real tree! So, he first laid eyes on this tree while everyone else was sleeping. In the morning he said, “Mom, what have you done? You decorated a “broccoli” tree for Christmas! Thus the saga of the potted Christmas trees began. Here is the pictorial version of the saga from 2002 to today, http://bit.ly/vFOmDz.
So this past weekend once again we set out on the quest for a tree. Again Wildwood Nursery was able to oblige. We found a beautiful potted ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Cypress tree about 5’ tall. This type of Cypress is a very airy looking tree with aromatic, pale blue-grey foliage. Because the foliage is so wispy, developing a decorating scheme took some thought.
I began with the lights placed close to the trunk. Tulle mesh ribbon in three colors, white, red and turquoise, and lime stretchy ribbon was added for the garland. Last but certainly not least, an assortment of light weight glass ornaments created the finishing touch!
Yes, we do have a tree and a few other Christmas baubles and bangles.
Thank you for reading this story! It helped me remember how precious these holiday memories will always be in our lives with the people we love.
Enjoy your holidays wherever you may be. Make some memories!