Oh God. I’m sitting here at my bespoke office—the dining room table and I have a headache from the stench. It’s awful. And it’s a good thing that Bonaparte is at work because he would get all “French” on me with the complaining. I can hear it now:
“Merde!” “Cassee–whut eez zhat smell?” “Eeet smells est alle pipi pipi!!” “Wut deed ou dooooooo?”
Yeah. My resonse to Bonaparte will be “WTF?. I deed nuss-sing!”
As if the stink is my fault—even though it kind of is.
This morning while getting ready, I decided to use a sample foundation that I received at the bareMinerals store at the mall. A tiny sample, it be, and when I was finished, I threw the empty little container in the trash.
Chippy happened to be with me while I threw this sample in the little trash bin.
And as I was getting my boots on, I saw my little devil scurry past me and run downstairs. This is his “I’ve-got-something-in-my-mouth-to-eat” run. After my boots were on, I ran downstairs, practically bare-assed because I hadn’t put my skirt on yet!
And there it was, in the tiniest pieces. The remnants of the tiny sample of foundation. And some of the remaining foundation on the carpeting (just another reason why carpeting is the bane of my existence). I had to think fast—because if Bonaparte saw that little spot on the carpet, Chippy would never be blamed for it. I would.
And to make matters worse, Chippy jumped upon the sofa, unfolded the throw blankets and had the nerve to make a bed. Look at the guilt on his face!!
I ran to the closet and grabbed the first thing I could find. In this case, it happened to be Nature’s Miracle. This is a cleaner for carpeting—OK? Only I didn’t see the small writing. It wasn’t the cleaner—it was the housebreaking product. It has some sort of ingredient, Attractant Pheromone scent that is supposed to help dogs to become housebroken quicker. And I didn’t even know we had it until today—Chippy came to us completely housebroken.
And here I thought Nature’s Miracle made only cleaning products. Read the label. This stuff IS long lasting. I can still smell it and it is now 4:03 in the afternoon!
And so, thinking this was a carpet cleaning product, I sprayed, sprayed and sprayed some more. But while I was spraying I thought that perhaps the product had gone bad because it reeked of…well, almost of dog piss!! I ended up cleaning the carpet with something else and then spraying with my lavender chamomile spray that I use for laundry.
Let me tell you something. This stuff works great on making laundry smell nice. Not so for carpeting!
Four hours later I have a headache and the stench is embedded in my brain.
Yup!!! That’s how I’m feeling at the moment! Let’s hope the smell disipates by tomorrow!
Anyway, now that things are getting a bit organized at the chateau, I spent yesterday getting an early start on the Christmas decorating. It’s weird because I’ve never attempted to do this before Thanksgiving. But given the events of the past year—with all the mass gun murders and a major wacko presidentay, the need to have a cozy and festive home was tugging at my heartstrings.
And so, I went downstairs, got most of the decorations out and went to town.
I dressed the banisters! The theme this year is PLAID!!!
My Christmas/Holiday décor is always kept simple. I love the shabby chic and casual elegance but never overdo it. It’s the little touches that bring the look together.
This guy was a gift when I was pregnant with Jake–34 years ago! I tied a festive ribbon around him and made a bow!
It’s in the deets!
This hanging Longaberger basket must be almost 20 years old. It was thrown into the garage. Until yesterday when Bonaparte hung it for me. I literally threw garland that broke off of a larger piece and little faux berries in it. Looks cute–right?
Same thing on top of the cupboard! Old garland and fake berries!
I added a pillow to the loveseat in the sunroom. The two pillows at the end were already there..
Same thing in the living room. I added a few pillows to the sofas. The red pillows? They were already there but with different covers. Red pillow covers were purchased last year at Ikea for less than five bucks apiece!
And the other sofa with the revamped seat cushions. Take a good look because normally the sofa is covered in a throw and Chippy thinks this sofa is his personal space and bed!
Pillows and a throw were also added to the downstairs family room sofa. (Ignore the pile of laundry in the lower, far right corner. I do my ironing here.
The red throw was $4.99 at Ikea last year. The green pillow, $4.00 at Primark!
One can never have too many Christmas pillows–or white sofas!
This is my favorite pillow. It’s so old-school Santa. And he sits upon a club chair!!
This platter is a festive reminder for when the kids are here to make sure any food in the family room is placed on it!!
The downstairs guest room gets a pillow and a burgundy throw. Very basic!
And by the way, I did some holiday décor shopping on a very low budget. Michaels craft store was having great sales and I was able to load up on ribbon. I also got two baskets for a total of five bucks!
Two baskets totaling $5.00 from Michaels! I filled the top one with odds and ends of garland and tied a bow around some fake stuff I found in the garage! It made a corner of the kitchen a bit cozy!
A couple of items were found at the local Goodwill store for $1.97 each (OMG, as I write this, that smell is making me ill—Bonaparte is going to have a major fit when he comes home tonight. What story can I make up?)
This $1.97 little vase/catch all is perfect for holding holly berries!!
Not gonna lie to you. I went to the Dollar Tree store today to see if I could find greens for the deck. No such luck. What I did find was a plastic deviled egg tray. Honestly, I have a huge ceramic deviled egg tray, but we will be hosting 10 dinner guests for Christmas. The kids always request my deviled eggs and they are the greatest appetizer because they are so easy to make. But man, if I can just get away with serving them on a plastic tray, it’ll be one less item to stuff into the dishwasher.
I know! I know! I feel like the devil for serving deviled eggs on this plastic $1.00 platter, but I can toss it in the trash instead of the dishwasher. Makes my life a bit easier!
I also purchased four red ceramic bowls—they’ll be great to use as little nut bowls and candy bowls to be scattered around but out of Chippy’s reach!
On second thought, I’m going back to buy more of these. They’ll make great gumbo bowls!
Add to the purchase a leopard scarf for a buck. The length is a joke, but I can wear it as a fun collar!
My elegant leopard print dolla collla! It’s too short in length to wear as a proper scarf–but for a buck–it’ll hide my turkey neck!!
A bag of bubble gum as a diet aid was purchased too. I’m back on track with the weight. I’m tracking everything I eat. I’ll be returning to weekly weight loss posts after the Holidays though. My goal for the next month and a half is to maintain my present weight!
Bubble Gum. The perfect diet aid. Although I prefer Bazooka, Double Bubble will suffice!
Look what I found at Walmart!
I’ve amassed quite a number of ornaments over the years but these were so cute and red that I couldn’t help it. Check out the rooster ornament. I’ve named him “Bernard Le Coq” after the French actor!
Battery powered lights! WHO KNEW??? I certainly didn’t! This makes life so much easier! Bonaparte will have to return to Walmart to buy more of these great little nuggets of happiness!
Look how nice–and they are timed! They go off after 6 hours!!!!
Please note that the only other decorative items needed for Christmas are the tree, some poinsettias and more of those battery-operated lights. I went through the table linens today and they are in the laundry to be washed and ironed.
With all the “house” stuff out of the way, it’ll be much easier to concentrate on the important things like the food and the baking!
Remember—you don’t need a ton of money to make the house festive for the holidays. You can find inspiration anywhere!
From Jake’s MTV days! This hat has become traditional attire for me during the Holiday season!
I’ve been dressing up a bit the past few days. Thankfully, my clothes from last winter still fit so I’m ahead of the game at this point.
Yesterday’s look–Black J. Crew Pixie Pants, Repettos, a red Schoolboy Blazer and the Brompton bag that Oona gave me a few Christmas’s back. My “hair” is Shasha by Sensationnel Empress!
Today’s look. And one of my favorite looks ever. Tan faux suede skirt from J. Crew, J. Crew tissue turtleneck and a scarf, also from J. Crew from years and years ago. Black tights and black faux suede over-the-knee boots from Unisa complete the look. My hair today is Kimmie from Freetress!
Here’s a very unique Holiday song. It’s on one of the Christmas compilation CD’s that I have. I believe the CD is “A Jazzy Christmas”. I’m too lazy to go outside to the car. Anyway, the song is “Blue Xmas” by Miles Davis. It’s so out there that it’s great. The video is a bit out there too! Let me know your thoughts on this song—I would love to know what you think! Honestly. This is such a beatnik song that I love it!
Such pretty decor! 😻
Thank you Nina!!! XOXOXOXO (PS. Oona was almost named Nina. I love that name but went with a traditional Gaelic name instead!)
What a fun read this was and this has put me in the mood to start decorating early, once we get home from a short trip to Florida. Your home looks so festive and the red and white looks perfect. Although Christmas season can be stressful at times, it still is something I look forward to and get excited about every year.
Hi Toni!!! Oh. Early decorating is fun and definitely a stress reliever. Now I can concentrate on the cooking and baking. I love red so much. I’m thankful red is the color of Christmas!! Enjoy your trip to Florida!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
Love the song, almost certain I heard my Dad play it a time or two. And I love your decorations! You inspired me to pull out my winter decorations today! (I don’t call them Christmas decorations because that’s too hard for me…it’s just me and Mom, and my Dad passed away on Dec 18th six years ago…but it’s nice to add some lights and red this time of year)
Hi Lori! Glad you like the song. It’s so hipster!!! I can imagine listening to it while drinking a Martini or a Manhattan! Glad you are taking out the winter decorations!!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
You’re right; the video is out there. Far out 😁 Miles is a favorite. You’ve been busy. Your home looks so welcoming and festive! And carpeting and pets are a terrible combo. I know from experience. I shop in thrift and resale shops more than in any other kind of store. I began because of budget constraints but no I really enjoy it. It is such a treasure hunt for beautiful and unique items. Yours are great.
PS I sent you an email a few days ago. This is NOT a plea for a response. Honestly, that’s completely up to you and perfectly fine with me either way (of course, I would love to hear from you!). But I just wonder if I sent it to the write address. I don’t plan to email stalk you. I just may have sent it to the wrong address and some unsuspecting stranger is wondering what the hell I’m talking about. I can be a bit spacey sometimes…too much far out jazz in my youth.
Hi J! Oh…I’m sorry but yes. I did receive the email. I’ve been meaning to write back but it’s been quite hectic around here! I will respond by this weekend!
My goal is always to have the house look comfortable and inviting. I’m not a formal person. I do think that Bonaparte has become a bit more casual over the years too! Ugh. I despise carpeting so much. I swear if I won the lottery, the first thing I would do is rip all the carpeting from the house. It’s vile as all get out!!
The song is great though…isn’t it??? XOXOXOXO!!!!
Love the song. Oh, I hope you don’t feel pressured to respond. Do that when it’s a good time for you, please. Yes, I HATE the carpeting in my home and although I have seen some lovely carpeting, I can’t stand it. I plan on having elves be the Christmas theme and everything being innocent and even cute. I never was much for cute, but the political climate and the state of the planet is too much for me this year and some cute will help lighten that up for me. I’m scouring for silly Christmas quizzes and games too to play on Christmas Day. We all need to laugh!
I just love you and your joie de vivre! And I love your appreciation for the off-beat! Check out Pandora and tune to “Jazz Christmas” radio. Perfect background music for the holidays!
Thank you so much Nan!!! Ohhhhhhhhhhh. I forgot about Pandora! I’ll have to go to the Jazz Christmas radio on my Pandora iPhone station!! Thank you!!! XOXOXOXO!!!
Is it just me or are the years whizzing by at warp speed? I have the clear memory of just having taken down last years decoration. Was that 12 months ago……already?!
Love your Christmas decoration theme. Makes it all so homey and cosy! Love all the reds!. Tell me, do you light any candles? During the dark months, starting late afternoon, I always light candles in the living spaces. I have a whole collection of different style candle holders and I just love the atmosphere the flickering light creates. So peaceful. In this house we’re also big on celebrating Advent with the wreath and candles, lighting one each Sunday until all 4 of them are lit. It’s more of a Nordic/Eastern tradition and I don’t know whether Advent is celebrated in the US. It’s certainly not wide spread in France.
I too will need to speed things up in the decoration department this coming weekend. In 10 days I’m off to see my daughter in Montréal and when I come back I don’t want to be stressed out by last minute preparations. We’re having full house at Christmas and, like you, my energy will be aimed at food.
Hi B!! Thank you–that’s the look and feel that I’m trying to give off!!! Actually, I do not light candles. I’m too clumsy by nature and I’m petrified that I’ll drop one and then we’ll be in deep trouble. When we were kids we always had an advent wreath. My mother lit each candle for each week of advent. It was a nice tradition. I attended Catholic school so advent was pretty much a part of the seasonal festivities. The nuns had us singing Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel every advent.
Thank you for bringing back some fond memories for me!!! Have a safe and wonderful trip to Montreal. And try to do as much before you leave so that when you get back home you can concentrate on the food!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
The lyrics of Blue Xmas aren’t too far away from my own thoughts about it! Your home looks very xmassy already, in a very tasteful way let me add. I’ll be putting my decorations up (if I bother) around 20th Dec.
Oh no poor you, having the place smell like dog piss. Here, the cat has a cone on her head as she has grooming OCD and it’s exacerbated her skin allergy but the cone got shit on it when she used the litter tray and the poo got on the door and the carpet….eww! A lot of carpet shampoo and disinfectant been used in this household too. xxxxx
Hi Fiona! I swear that song just does something to me, I’m glad you can resonate with it! Thank you. I like a tastefully decorated, but not formal holiday look. My goal is inviting and comfortable. Like–it’s ok to stay in your pj’s all day sort of way!
Thankfully the scent is gone!!!! I threw that stuff in the trash earlier. It’s so awful!!! Ohhhhhhhhh..I hope your kitty gets well sooner than later!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
OMG! Catherine–my cat peed on my mattress a few weeks ago. I put that Nature’s Miracle crap on my mattress (the foam version for carpets–sold to me at PetSmart). Anyway, that perfume-y odor overtook my bedroom for days and days. Believe it or not, I ultimately had to go out and buy a new mattress. That’s how hopeless it was.
Oh God. Cathi. Ugh. I can smell that stuff as I’m writing this. I am not surprised that you had to get a new mattress. That stuff is vile!!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
I know! I’d rather smell urine than that stuff!
I am away from home with work at the moment, but I had already decided that when I get home all the decorations are going up! You are validating my decision, so thank you
Oh Q. You are most welcome!!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
Love your Nature’s Miracle story (a brand I’m all too familiar with). Your house looks fabulous!
Thanks Gillian!!!!! Nature’s Miracle is more like Nature’s Joke!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!
December is the month of CRAZEEE at our house…starting with my husband’s birthday Dec7, #2 boy is Dec 21 and # 1 boy is ( of course) Dec 24…this year there is #1’s new baby to join the crew but he’ll be only a few weeks old. My 92 and 91 year old parents will be joining us for a week of old person shenanigans and we have various check ins from friends and neighbours over the month. Being French my husband is all about Christmas Eve Réveillon ( oh yeah birthday cake too) and my parents being anglo’s have to have the full on turkey dinner on Christmas Day AND we do an brunch for friends Boxing Day (Dec 26 it’s a holiday in Canada but I don’t think in the US?)
By the time New Years rolls around me and my credit card are about ready for a long winter’s rest..
Did I mention the 9′ high Christmas tree that is pre lit with 850 lights and weighs a friggin’ ton? Did I also mention that it’s covered in almost 500 ornaments? The tree is the show piece and everyone gets a kick out of it so now I don’t really decorate the rest of the house like I used to. I find as I get older I edit holiday tasks based on my time, after I started working full time something had to give. Maybe things will be different when I retire.
Your house looks very sophisticated and holiday chic. I love it….but your dog is too much! He is a cute little devil….my dog doesn’t eat stuff randomly but he pukes randomly ALWAYS on the carpet and we only have it in one room in the house…the family room!!
Brilliant – I did once accidently spray a buzzing fly with what I thought was flyspray and it turned out to be laundry starch, I can only imagine the flies bewilderment when it realised flapping/waving its wings had suddenly got pretty hard and it smelt strongly of lavender. Your house looks stunning – our house looks an absolute tip but I did tidy out the kitchen cupboards yesterday. The daughter is home so there is no point tidying as it closes like the proverbial red sea behind me when I try, she is one mucky pup. I can only wish to live in such a nice environment – one without sticky handprints (she is 22yrs old for heavens sake) and isn’t littered with bobby pins and where the mugs are neatly corralled into their cupboard…
Hey Grandmomcat! Wow! You get the holiday prizefighter award. If I was your neighbor, I would offer to assist you!!! Your tree sounds spectacular!!! It’s funny though because I completely “get” you. I used to decorate a lot more when the kids were younger. I had to have lights on the outside of the house, welcome candles in the windows, and now it’s just the inside.
Oh..Chippy has also been known to puke randomly upon carpet. One more reason why I despise carpeting!!! XOXOXOXOXO
I am so happy to see your holiday decorations!
I always decorate early for the holidays so that I can decorate for my clients. Nothing beats dreary cold rainy days in Atlanta than a festive home.
I do not miss the cold winters in New Jersey but it is weird decorating for Christmas in a warmer climate.
Plaid is a always a classic and I did one tree in it this year.
I am also a big fan of Nature’s Miracle. When Bruno eats too fast he will head for the closest area rug and empty his stomach. Why they think carpet is grass is beyond me!
Tis the season!
Ha! lovely article. How do you keep your sofas so sparkly with dogs around! I’ve got two cats and a velvet sofa. Yeah, not my best moment!
Hi Samantha! LOL! When nobody is around, I cover the sofas with blankets!!!!!! XOXOXOXO