Beautiful Hand-Crafted Christmas Ornaments + A Way To Save On Baccarat Rouge 540

Welcome to the 777th Metamorphosis Monday! Wow, hard to believe Christmas is just a week away now! Lovely Norma (who lives in France) shared a few photos of her tree for this year and it’s beautiful! Norma makes a lot of her ornaments by hand so I love seeing how she designs/decorates her tree each year.


Her tree is so elegant this year–dressed in gold, silver, and white! As mentioned, Norma often handmakes her ornaments, embellishing them with beads in beautiful designs and shapes. You can see them on the tree in this photo below.




The kitchen has a little tree too. I know we’re supposed to be looking at the tree, but I love that SMEG toaster!


Norma has decorated her home with festive Christmas pillows that she designed and sewed herself! I always love seeing her decorations for Christmas each year!


Tips for Saving on Expensive Perfumes: Switching gears, I wanted to share a couple of things I just discovered this past weekend that I never realized before–in case you find it helpful, too. After buying a Maison Francis Kurkdjian sample/discovery a year or so ago, I’ve been hoping to purchase a full-size bottle of their Baccarat Rouge 540, but the ridiculously high price was stopping me. This past week, I was shopping at Saks online, looking for something to use the $50 Saks credit my American Express card awards me twice each year. I missed using the one I received for the first part of 2023 so was determined to not miss the second one! During my shopping, I came across a special offer where if you purchased a bottle of Baccarat Rouge 540, you also received a small purse-size bottle of the perfume. That’s it there on the right below. The offer also included a ton of samples of other products, plus–a $50 Saks gift certificate! I liked that offer and decided to go with it.


These were all the samples included with the offer and some were quite large. It even included a leather-covered perfume atomizer! I’ve already used the $50 gift certificate toward the purchase of two Hermes lipsticks, one for myself and one for my daughter-in-law, and for once, I didn’t lose my $50 Amex award. Surprisingly, when I clicked to check out with my perfume purchase, a message popped up giving me the option of using Membership Rewards Points I had accrued through my Amex card. Since I have a lot of points, I decided to pay with points. I didn’t even realize that was an option when shopping at Saks. I guess it’s part of the partnership Amex has worked out with Saks.


TIP: I was talking with a friend this weekend and she shared a brilliant way to avoid missing out on using the twice-a-year $50 Saks award that comes with the American Express Platinum card. What she does is she uses her award each time it comes around to purchase a $50 gift certificate. Then she holds onto the gift certificates until they add up to the amount she needs to purchase something she really wants. Brilliant! So, if you have a card that gives you a $ amount to be spent in a particular store, and it will expire if not used, consider purchasing a gift card that you can save to use whenever you wish. I have never thought of doing this, but I will definitely be doing that from now on. Great idea!


From the samples that were included with my perfume purchase, I fell in love with Goldfield and Banks Sunset Hour fragrance. I watched some reviews of G & B perfumes on YouTube and their Pacific Rock Moss is super popular. So I decided to order one of their Discovery sets. Searching online for the best place to purchase a Goldfield and Banks Discovery set, led me to a site that has great prices on many of the perfumes I love and wear. Have you ever shopped at Maxaroma online? Knowing nothing about them, I was a little reluctant to order, but so far, they seem to be legit. I’ve received confirmation of my order and I’m looking forward to sampling these popular Goldfield and Banks perfumes. If I have any issues with my order, I’ll let you know, but if they do turn out to be legit, I’m sure I’ll be ordering from them in the future since their prices look really good. Do you own any Goldfield and Banks perfumes? I can’t wait to try Pacific Rock Moss. I really love their Sunset Hour fragrance!


The last thing I wanted to mention is I stopped back by the Saks website this weekend and I noticed they have removed the offer I purchased that included all the samples, the purse-size bottle of Baccarat Rouge 540, and the $50 Saks gift certificate. Instead, Baccarat Rouge 540 was straight-up on sale, $50 off! Did you know Baccarat Rouge 540 goes on sale?! I was very surprised to see that! Unfortunately, the sale didn’t run very long–I think just a day or two. Not sure why it didn’t run longer.


Anyway, I just wanted to share this because I had no idea that Baccarat Rouge ever went on sale! So if you’ve been hoping to pick up a bottle at some point, know that it does go on sale–so keep an eye out for that! You know, if I do as my friend does and purchase gift certificates twice a year when the $50 Amex award becomes available, by the time I finish the bottle I just purchased, I may have enough gift certificates to purchase another one during one of their future sales events. Are you a Baccarat Rouge 540 fan, too? Baccarat Rouge 540 is available here, but unfortunately, no longer on sale: Baccarat Rouge 540. I would not be surprised if it doesn’t go on sale again either before Christmas or right after.


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  1. Norma’s tree is beautiful, and wow, you really scored with your perfume purchase! Thanks Susan and Merry Christmas!

  2. Debra @CommonGround says

    such a gorgeous tree! Thanks so much for having us over this week. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Week, Susan.

  3. franki parde says

    Did you….really say…ONE WEEK… Hah! We’re ready (well, I have a requested fruit cake to make, oh, and a chocolate mayonnaise cake…shhhh…that’s it!) Enjoying Christmas music…makes my heart sing. xxx franki

    • Can you believe it?!
      Chocolate mayonnaise…that sounds so interesting! It sounds like it should be a Southern thing. Now if you add some butter and fry it, it will definitely be Southern! 😉

  4. Susan,
    Norma’s house is just lovely and thanks for sharing it with us!!
    Merry Christmas!!!!
    Thanks so much for hosting this delightful party each and every week!! I really appreciate the time and effort that goes into it!!! Thank You!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

  5. Susan, I love that responce to franki. It’s almost as good as “bless your heart”. I can say these things because I am a SOUTHERNER. (love you franki & susan} Have a great Christmas and New Year.

  6. Norma, I love your tree! It’s beautifully decorated and so jam-packed with ornaments. I wish you’d come decorate mine, lol. Mine never looks as full as that and I do love an abundantly decorated tree. The color combo is lovely as well.

    Je pensais à toi parce que j’ai récemment regardé une série policière française. Je crois que le nom français était Jugee Coupable. Il a été tourné dans un endroit extrêmement magnifique. J’aurais aimé savoir où c’était ! Avez-vous vu cette série par hasard et savez-vous où elle a été tournée ? La campagne, l’océan, les bâtiments et l’architecture étaient sublimes. J’adorerais y visiter un jour. Joyeux Noël, Norma. Merci de partager vos décorations de sapin de Noël avec nous. Bonne année à toi aussi! (P.S. J’utilise un traducteur Internet, donc j’espère que tout cela a du sens.)

    • Pam, that was so nice of you to take the time to translate it to French. Don’t worry, though–Norma speaks English, although she may speak French, too. So you can just ask in English.

      • Hmm. This is the third time I’m writing this because it didn’t show up. I hope you don’t get multiple posts, Susan! Thanks for letting me know I can speak to Norma in English. 😀

    • Merci Pam
      Yes I speak French.
      No I have never watched Presumed Guilty. Je ne l’ai jamais vu.
      Je regarderai

      • Hi Norma, I think something was lost in translation there. The movie I am referring to was called Mystery of Manon in English, but IMDB says the French title is Jugee Coupable. When I looked up Presumed Guilty, it was a different movie entirely (and now I want to see that one as well, lol) The one I meant starred Pierre-Yves Bon and Garance Thenault. If you ever see it and know where it was filmed, please tell me! IMDB didn’t mention the location. Thanks.

    • Merci Pam
      Oui je parle Francais et oui je comprends tout !
      Joyeux Noel a vous aussi.

  7. I’ve wondered about Baccarat Rouge for awhile now! My instagram has been flooded with ads for the dupe perfume, ALT 23, and I’m so curious if it’s as good and lasts as long as reviews say BR does. I have a skin sensitivity to fragrances but sometimes the itching is worth it

    • It does smell unique and different from anything else I’ve ever smelled, and it does have lasting power. I really like it, but I don’t think it’s worth $325 for a 2.4 oz bottle. I would definitely watch for a sale, now that I know it goes on sale. I used a bunch of points I had on my Amex card to purchase it. Angie, before you spend $$$ for it, I would purchase their Discovery set since Baccarat Rouge 540 is included in that. That’s what I did and it helped me decide to buy it. I will use it sparingly, though, so it will last–not like I use my Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet which I spray with abandon. lol

      • Yes – the price of Baccarat Rouge has given me pause, so I may just try the Discovery set, thanks for the tip! I don’t typically spend very much on fragrances since I never know how much it will make me itch but I bought my daughter Valentino Born in Rome and it smelled so good on her that I went back and bought myself a bottle! I also really love Tocca Florence – gardenia is one of my favorite scents. I’ll have to sample Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet!

        • I’ve never tried any of the Valentino fragrances, but I’ve been wanting to. I will check out Born! I just discovered Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet earlier in the year and absolutely love it! A couple of months ago, I read that they had just changed the formula a bit, you can tell the new one because the ribbon on it had changed slightly. I’m really hoping it still smells the same as the bottle that I bought earlier and have been wearing like crazy. My son is always asking for gift ideas so I told him I could use another Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting the newer one for Christmas. Hopefully it will still smell the same. These perfume companies are always messing with their formulas due to laws restricting them from using certain ingredients or who knows why. I wish they wouldn’t do that!

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