Holiday Decorating, Fall Fashions I’m Loving & A Fave Soup for Fall-Winter

Later today I will be going up under the eaves to start pulling out all the Christmas decor. This photo is from a previous year.


Here’s how it actually looks right now. I need to wear a helmet while doing this because I always end up hitting my head a couple of times in the process of pulling everything out. I think I may put on a thick, winter beanie for a bit of protection. lol Not sure why I persist in storing everything here when I have a basement. I think I just prefer hauling decorations downstairs as opposed to up.


The sofa in the upstairs living room is covered with gifts waiting to be wrapped. I like to get a jump on the wrapping because once the tree is up, it’s nice to have a few presents underneath. That may be torture for my grandsons (ages 4 and 6) when they are here for Thanksgiving, but I plan to have a few things for them to open so hopefully, that will mitigate some of the angst. Ha!


Window Cleaning

Every year when I hang the wreaths on the outside windows (photo below is from a previous year) it bugs the heck out of me that the windows and shutters always seem to need a good cleaning. Since I can’t stop right then and clean every window in the middle of hanging the wreaths, last night I started the process of cleaning them all.

Do you clean the interior side of all your windows? It’s a big job, isn’t it? I love a true divided light window though, so I don’t mind the more intense cleaning a couple of times a year.

Since it takes a while to wipe down all the shutters, molding, sashes, and window sills, I’m doing just a few each day. Otherwise, it feels too overwhelming. The process really isn’t that bad since I’m doing it while listening to a book on Audible. The reward will come at the end of the week (or next week) when I start hanging the wreaths and see clean shutters, windows, and the new Baldwin Brass window locks I added recently.


Finished this puzzle last night and it was challenging! The flooring, the shadows, the white wicker, and white rails definitely made it interesting! I bought this puzzle to do this past summer but never got around to it since I was away from home so much.

I love the ocean view, the flag, the lighthouse, the flowers, the white wicker…just everything! If you love this scene, you’ll find this puzzle here: Oceanview Puzzle and here: Ocean View Puzzle.


I picked up a few items last night at Publix for making the Vegetable Beef Soup I’ve previously shared here on the blog. I still need a few more things like corn and potatoes…forgot those last night. Once done, I’ll freeze some of the soup to pull out for a quick meal when family is here. With bread, it makes a pretty hearty dinner. I love this soup!

Best Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe


You’ll find the recipe here: Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup. Your house will smell like heaven while it’s cooking!

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe


In the midst of pulling out the holiday decor and cleaning windows, I’ve been taking a few breaks to do a little shopping online. I don’t plan on buying the vest below but wanted to share it because I have one that’s pretty much identical to it and I wear it allll the time during the winter. I have several puffer style vests, but this one is the one I wear over and over because it looks great with everything. It especially looks great layered over a sweater or a plaid shirt, paired with slacks or jeans. Every time I wear it, I get compliments. Def recommend it if you want a piece in your wardrobe that goes with everything! Find it 40% off here: Down Puffer Vest.


I’m just a little obsessed over this furry sheep sweater. That fat, fluffy body on those tiny, stick legs are killing me! lol Sooo dang cute! You’ll find it 40% off here: Sheep Sweater.


Love this wool stadium coat. This looks like a coat my daughter-in-love would like…she loves a red coat.


It comes in 6 colors including a pretty soft blue color blue, navy, black, and heather gray.

You’ll find it 40% off here: Italian Wool Coat.


I love the design of these boots! So chic! They are available in three colors here: Leather Ankle Boots.


If you live where it gets really cold (cough-Ohio-cough) and you need a beautiful puffer coat, this one comes in two colors (red and black) and is currently on sale 40% off here: Puffer Coat.

I don’t normally like black coats but the black is beautiful with its black faux-fur trim!


So many beautiful fashions on sale–too many to share all that I found! I’ll end with this gorgeous cashmere wrap…love the ruffle trim around the bottom!


It also comes in this beautiful ivory/cream color and in black. You’ll find it 40% off here: Cashmere Wrap.

I really want this piece, trying to decide between the red and the cream color. Gahhh, love them both!



Not on sale, but love this gorgeous sweater! I love the wider neck opening–so pretty!


They also made in a bright pink version. Soooo pretty! It’s available in three colors here: Beautiful Sweater.


I’ve linked a few more of my favorites below. Click any photo for more information on that particular piece.



Okay, I’m off to clean windows and finish up the table I started for tomorrow’s Tablescape Thursday.

See you tomorrow!

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  1. Rosellen Siebenthal says

    I look forward to your post!!! You have inspired me to clean my windows, which needs to be done.
    If your daughter in law Nancy is a reader and she loves the color red for a coat I highly suggest the book The Red Coat: a novel of Boston by Dolly Carlson. Not that I am from Boston, nor the Red Coat got me, but it is a nice story or Irish family which the Red Coat is the main factor. If she does read it, I hope she enjoys it.

  2. If you put your decorations in the basement or eaves you still have 2 trips to make, one up one down. Where you store them depends on what order this comes in …food for thought…Happy Thanksgiving!

    • That’s true! Although, it really doesn’t seem like work so much bringing everything back up because I go up/down my front and back staircase so many times each day. When it’s time to put up all the decorations in January, I always take something up when I’m headed upstairs. Since my office/computer is upstairs and the kitchen/living room is downstairs, I probably go up/down 50 times a day. So gradually over the space of a couple of days, everything I’ve decorated with on the main level, ends up in the upstairs living room ready to be packed back away. So, it doesn’t feel so much like extra work since I’m already headed up.

    • I was thinking the same thing!

  3. I thought you might be a bit early on getting the Christmas decor out, but then realized it’s only 2 wks til Thanksgiving (eve)!

  4. Patricia A. Stratton says

    Even though I love, love, love the magenta sweater, I can’t wear that color. It makes me look like I’m near death. An old gal can dream.

  5. Have you ever used the Windex you attach to your hose to do the outside of the windows? It is a dream. It will reaach the second floor too. You hose off the windows, flip a lever and hose down again with the Windex, (do a few windows at a time) then before it dries, hose down again to rinse. It is a wonder!

  6. Jackie Allen says

    The soup looks delicious- I will try the recipe! Love you table too – so festive. My decorating is going so slow- can’t wait to get it all up. I love Fair Isle sweaters – so in the spirit of the holiday season. Enjoy your decorating. Cheers! Jackie

  7. Love your blog! Do you have a secret to get clear, non-streaky windows? I feel like I’ve tried 100 scenarios, products and tools – always streaks on one or both sides – UGH – I have had better luck on the outside with Dawn and a garden hose but you can’t use that method very easily on the 2nd floor or inside LOL. Also, do you you just dust your shutters or do you actually wash them with a cleaner and dry them? If you wash your shutters and woodwork, what have you found that works well?

    • Thanks, Amma! I really like Fish Foam. I really how it doesn’t slide down the glass and I think it’s pretty streak free. You can see it here:
      Here’s their website…you may want to order directly from them:

      Another one I use is Hope’s Perfect Glass:
      I like it, too…but it is liquid so doesn’t runs a little easier than Fish Foam.

      For my shutters, I take a slightly damp/wet rag, and wipe them down, including each individual louver. Dusting just doesn’t seem to be enough to remove the grime/dust/dirt…maybe because I have older windows.

  8. Snowflake281 says

    Boy, do I ever know what you mean about needing a helmet when scrounging around the rafters! Same with me whenever I need to get something from my attic….each and every time without fail! Ouch! With regard to the clothing, I love the cashmere wrap, as well as those boots. Since wraps seem to have come back into style or maybe they never really went out of style, what do you think about wearing a poncho from the 70’s? My mother made me one and I still have it. It means a lot to me but I don’t think it’s really “the style”. The colors are appropriate for this time of year…brown, gold, white etc. What do you think? Should I or shouldn’t I start wearing it again?

  9. Bobbie Bell says

    You recently mentioned that you were trying to find ways to help reduce colds and transmitted viruses, etc. I will share a suggestion I received from my internist many years ago. I am a retired elementary school principal who had constant contact with individuals large and small. The suggestion: swab a dab of an antibiotic ointment ( many brands are available) inside each nostril twice daily. It has really helped me through the years.

  10. BOBBI DUNCAN says

    Lol! I just completed my window and shutter cleaning as well. Wish I still had the true divided-lite mullions (even though they’re more time consuming) than these between- the- glass vinyl mullions; they give so much more architectural dimension to rooms. I’m hoping we can put the real thing in the next house. Know what you mean about going up & down stairs so many times a day. Like you, I bring things up or down almost every trip. Your wreathed windows always look so beautiful! I love the photo your neighbor took of your home when it snowed a few years back–truly Christmas card worthy! Hugs!

  11. Susan, your puzzle picture made me remember to tell you this … my grandchildren love to put together LEGO sets – and I’ve gotten interested in them too – I just completed the Christmas gingerbread house on my own to add to my Christmas village. Several years ago I purchased one of those black felt mats you use when putting puzzles together and now I stretch it out on my dining room table when we “work” on our LEGOs. It keeps them from rolling and bouncing around and the black is a good contrast for all the blocks, except black. Not sure if your grandsons are into LEGOs yet – but the mat makes it so much nicer.
    I really enjoy sitting with my grandchildren to put the sets together.

  12. Though on the most part we have a full height basement, I store my decorations in a crawl space area so I can relate to banging your head. Ouch – ouch – ouch! Re the lamb sweater; so encouraging to see as have one that is ages old (looks like new though and an Irish woolen) that I’ve debated about wearing but is oh so cute, reason why I held on to it and goes beautifully with blue jeans so I think I’ll start wearing it again. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Our temperatures have been all over the place lately. This week alone we had highs in the 70°F and today is in the low 40°’s.

  13. Linda Page Gurganus says

    We live your Vegetable Beef Soup and I make it often. We eat soup all year; not just in the Fall and Winter. Your soup and Broccoli Cheese Soup are our favorites. So glad you shared your recipe several years ago. Watch your head in the attic!! Ouch!!

  14. Love your blog! Can’t wait to make your hearty vegetable beef stew/soup. Was wondering where you purchased the huge Hershey kiss…I think it would be a great gift for my granddaughter and grandson from Santa. Thanks so much.

    • I found those in Walmart a few days ago, I bought 1 red and 1 green. They are huge! Can’t wait to see the look on both of my grandson’s face when they see them. lol

  15. I made your vegetable beef soup/stew tonight and it is hands down the best recipe. I didn’t change the recipe and will definitely be making this again!

  16. Another thumbs up on your vegetable beef soup from us, too!
    And I’d go with the cream on the cashmere wrap — so luscious and more versatile than the red.

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