November Faves, Greenery for the Mantel, Winter Bedding & Great Stocking Stuffers

Happy Weekend to you! Do you have some Christmas shopping planned today? I think I’m going to visit my nearby Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn today just to see what’s all on sale. I LOVE shopping in both stores this time of year.

Before I get into my November favorites, just wanted to share a quick photo of the greenery I used on the mantel this year. I was so busy getting ready for family to arrive for Thanksgiving, I never got around to adding anything else. But you know what–I actually loved how it looked just like this. I just loved the simplicity of it.

I picked up the fresh greenery for free from Home Depot. You may remember in a previous post I mentioned that I always stop by one of the local tree lots each year to pick up a few of the scraps they cut off the Christmas trees that have been purchased. This year Home Depot had a big bin with a sign on it encouraging shoppers to take as much as they wanted. They love it when people take the scraps because it’s great recycling and leaves much less for them to burn later.

The scraps are always a good size, so they are perfect for decorating around the house. The greenery was so beautiful and so fresh! I could have taken all I wanted, but I just took one large bag which was enough to completely cover my mantel with a little leftover for other areas. If you have an artificial Christmas tree, this is a great way to get that wonderful Christmas tree smell!

Fireplace Mantel Decorated for Christmas

 

In mid-November, I was shopping in Pottery Barn and came across this beautiful bed. It was love at first sight! I was so tempted to get it and redo the guest bedroom for my family I had coming for the Thanksgiving holidays. I barely resisted since it wasn’t on sale.

Well, it’s on sale now! I love, love, love the plaid! You’ll find this bedding currently on sale here: Duvet Cover and Shams.

 

I love the red, velvet quilt they paired with it. This is the epitome of luxury! Wouldn’t guests feel totally spoiled sleeping in this bed?! The velvet quilt is also currently on sale here: Red Velvet Quilt. I also love this one: Red Velvet Quilt/Shams.

Plaid Bedding Duvet for Winter and Holidays

 

As if all that plaid and velvet goodness wasn’t enough, they had woody car sheets on the bed! Gahhhh! I was dying! lol It was all I could do to not buy it right then, but I really wanted to wait for a great sale. The Woody car sheets are currently on sale here: Woody Car.

 

If you’re looking to update your guest room for the holidays, this would be perfect! The plaid duvet and red velvet blanket would really work all fall and winter, not just for the holidays. I love this look!

Plaid Bedding Duvet for Winter and Holidays

 

November Favorites

I had so many favorites for November, too many to share them all in one post. I love this little mini vacuum I purchased for my desk and keyboard. I have a huge mouse pad that stretches across my desk and this cute little vacuum works great for keeping it clean so my laser mouse works great.

It’s also great for cleaning keyboards and keeping them free of dust. It would make a great stocking stuffer, too! You’ll find it here: Mini Desktop/Table Vacuum Cleaner, Great Stocking Stuffer

 

 

I purchased these oven mitts to use during Thanksgiving, thinking my grandsons would get a kick out of them–and they did! 🙂 They work great and actually fit my hands. Most oven mitts are way too big and bulky to really be usable. I love these! You’ll find them here: Fun, Bear-Paw Oven Mitts.

 

 

I have to mention this fun dinosaur pancake maker since it was such a big hit for Thanksgiving. I love the pancakes that came out of it, as well. They were delicious! If you have some dinosaur loving little ones coming for Christmas, you’ll find the waffle/pancake maker here: Dinosaur Pancake Maker.

You’ll also see other fun pancake makers at that link, including a spiderman one and a bunch more.

Dinosaur Waffle Maker

 

I’ve raved about this waffle/pancake mix a few weeks ago. It’s delicious and officially my favorite, especially the blueberry! You’ll find it here: Pancake Waffle Mix.

Birch Benders Pancake & Waffle Mixes

 

I have to mention both the napkin holder and paper towel holder that I purchased last month. I’ve enjoyed both so much over the last few weeks! They are beautifully designed where you only get one napkin or paper towel each time. Definitely recommend these and you’ll find them here: Napkin Holder AND Paper Towel Holder

Simple Human Paper Towel Holder and Napkin Holder

 

I purchased a pair of these ultra-thin silk thermal pants a couple of years ago. This year, I purchased a second pair because I like them so much. The first pair has held up beautifully, I just wanted a second pair as a backup. These cost a little more than cotton thermals, but they are so worth it because they are very thin, thus don’t add any bulk underneath your pants. I even wear mine with my jeggings, they are that thin! It’s amazing how much warmer I am when wearing them, despite how thin they are.

You would think being so thin, they would tear or run easily, but I haven’t gotten the first run in either pair that I own, and I’ve worn them a lot! I do hand wash them since I want them to last.

Definitely recommend these if you’re looking for some thin thermal pants to go under your everyday slacks or jeans. You’ll find them here: Silk Thermal Pants

 

Had to mention my puzzle board since I’ve been using it so much! I’ve been working so many puzzles lately, just find it so relaxing while I listen to a book on Audible. If you love doing puzzles or need a great gift idea for someone who does, you’ll find this puzzle board here: Puzzle Board

Puzzle Board for Working Puzzles While Standing or Sitting

 

I shared these merino wool socks shortly after I purchased them. I’ve been living in them over the past month. Even though they are super warm, they are not overly thick or bulky, so they fit nicely inside all my winter boots/shoes. They aren’t scratchy at all since they are Merino wool.

I liked mine so much, I purchased another six for myself and for my daughter-in-love, as well. She loves them, too! The price is amazing: 6 pairs of merino wool socks for just $23.98! Plus, right now, there’s a 5%  off coupon available. Unbelievably great price and would make a great gift or stocking stuffer. You’ll find them here: Merino Wool Socks.

Best Wool Socks, Merino

 

When my grandsons were here for Thanksgiving, they kept asking for hot chocolate every day. I kept wondering why they were sooo into hot chocolate and then realized it was because each time I made it for them, they were allowed to choose two snowman marshmallows, one to eat and one to drop into their hot chocolate.

Of course, one must drink hot chocolate from Moose Mugs at Christmastime!

Non-breakable moose mugs (a la Christmas Vacation) are available here: Moose Mugs for Kids.

 

They were obsessed with these adorable snowman marshmallows! It was so funny watching the youngest (age 3) carefully and thoughtfully choose which two he wanted to have each time with his hot chocolate. 🙂

I noticed today they are currently on sale, so I just purchased more to take with me when I head to Ohio for Christmas. You’ll find these adorable marshmallows on sale here: Marshmallow Snowman.

Again, these would make cute stocking stuffers.

 

This was the hot chocolate I made for them…the one in the middle in the brown tin. They loved it! You’ll find it currently on sale here: Hot Chocolate. Great time to stock up while it’s on sale! A tin of the hot chocolate with the marshmallows would make a great gift for someone this Christmas. Would also make an excellent hostess gift if you’re invited to a party or friend’s home for the holidays.

 

Those are just a few of my favorites for the month of November! Love this time of year so much! Happy Holiday shopping to you!

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Comments

  1. So many good things and definitely this blog is winter comfort central! I love those woody sheets and wonder why it took so long for someone to design them. So cute how which snowmen to pick was probably the most important decision of his day. What a great visit that must have been–for all

    • Thanks, Mia! I know, so true about the sheets! lol Yes, it’s highly important that you pick the right snowman, especially when you’re older brother is swooping in to get them, too. lol

  2. Gayle Kesinger says

    I just ordered the snowmen marshmallows. So cute. Thanks for all the geat ideas!

  3. Carol Gillespie says

    This doesn’t have anything to do with your current post but I just had to send this to you. If you haven’t already seen it, I knew it would make your day. It’s about leaving snacks out for the delivery people.

    https://www.popsugar.com/family/video-delivery-man-discovering-snacks-outside-house-46975776?utm_source=network-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=network-newsletter-Thu-12052019&esg_id=174564693&trk=article_title_7

  4. Great ideas, Susan. I have the paper towel holder and it’s great. I think I will order the hot chocolate to go with gift of cash for someone. I try to order dish towels when Williams Sonoma has free shipping. Not in this article, but I tried the Cutemol lotion last year and thought it didn’t work for me. I have contact dermatitis or eczema on my hands and have figured out how to use the Cutemol. I’ve been putting it all over my hands and then using a q tip to add to the really red places like I would use an ointment. It seems to work better than the prescription ointment. Thank you for all your posts. And I want to get some fresh greenery from Home Depot. The smell would be great!

    • That’s awesome! I have a friend who lives in Oregon and her daughter gets super chapped lips, cheeks and chin this time of year. They’ve tried everything including some type of cream her peditrician prescribed. They couldn’t use the cream because it burned her face and made it feel worse. I ordered some Cutemol for her and it arrrived 2-3 days ago. She texted me and left me a message telling me I was a genius! lol She couldn’t believe how much better it was after putting it on for just one night. I knew it would help!
      Today she texted me and said her chin is completely back to normal now. She’s working on the area above her lip now. She hadn’t wanted to put it there initially but after seeing how well it worked, she using it there, too. I hope they never quit making it, it’s the only thing that keeps my fingertips from cracking in the winter.

      • That is amazing! I’m glad to hear it helped and will pass that along (and recommend your blog) to others. The doctor gave me a sample of some medicine that reviews said burned like crazy especially the face. I didn’t even try it. I’m so glad you shared the Cutemol with everyone. It’s been a big help. And I forgot to say in my last comment that your little grandsons are adorable! Such a cute age and what fun memories they will have of the tent beds and hot chocolate, etc at their grandma’s house. What do they call you?

        • Thanks! When the first was born, my dil asked me what I wanted to be called. I just really wanted to be called Susan, but I had to pick a name since that would seem odd, I guess. Someone suggested Mimi, so that’s what they call me. But I don’t feel like a Mimi and don’t really like that name, either. I never came up with one I liked. I’m kinda stuck now with Mimi.

  5. You make it so special for the boys! Making memories that last a lifetime. 🙂

  6. Jane Bucklin says

    Great sales on bedding. It is so helpful that you post items that are on sale. Thanks, also for sharing the picture of your grandsons enjoying their special time with you at your beautiful home. So sweet!

  7. Your mantel is lovely Susan! I like the natural look – so beautiful! And your grandsons are darling! I bet they just love having you around to make things so much fun for them! 🙂 And thanks for the great recommendations. I definitely want to try the little vacuum. Hope you have a lovely pre-holiday shopping weekend!

  8. Robin Lambert says

    Today and tomorrow (December 7&8) Joann Fabric stores has buy 1 get 3 free! Yes, 3! Holiday pillows, dish towels, decorations. Try not to miss it!

  9. Carol A Norton says

    I enjoy your posts so much Susan! I spotted a couple things for my big grandsons stockings in this post.
    I had an email from World Market come in a few days ago that I’ve just gotten around to reading. It had some interesting dinnerware I’ve not seen before–
    https://www.worldmarket.com/category/holiday/christmas/holiday-entertaining/dinnerware.do
    The Nutcracker one is especially cute! The Knomes, too. Don’t know if you or the rest of your followers have a World Market nearby, but they do ship. Enjoy!

  10. Susan how many piece puzzle will the puzzle board accommodate? 500, 1000?? Thinking about it for my mother. Thanks. Toni.

    • Almost all 1,000 pc puzzles will fit if they are horizontal (not vertical) but it’s always a good idea to check the measurements of the puzzle against the board before buying a puzzle. But I’ve found almost all the 1,000 pc (and smaller) puzzles do fit. I love mine, it spoils you quickly. I can’t bring myself to do a puzzle any other way now.

    • Toni, thought you might enjoy seeing the puzzle I started working on yesterday. It’s the biggest puzzle I’ve ever done on my puzzle board. I measured the board and compared it to the completed puzzle size before buying it because I knew it was going to be much bigger than most 1,000 piece puzzles. It literally filled the board. If it had had just one more piece going vertically, it would have completely filled up the board. It’s a 1,000 piece puzzle but they made the pieces much larger than normal, so that’s why it’s filling up the board so much. Most 1,000 pc puzzles fit on the board and leave several inches open on the sides and top. I love how big the pieces are in this puzzle!

      This puzzle is called Medieval Castle and it’s so much fun to work!
       

       

  11. While my wish list never ends, my husband never has one! Finding a gift for him is next to impossible. As soon as I saw your puzzle board, I ordered it. Luckily my daughter was visiting over Thanksgiving when it delivered, and she carried the large box upstairs for me. Thanks to you, my husband will receive a surprise this year that I’m quite sure he will like. Many thanks!

    • I bet he will love it, Kaye! I surely do love mine! I like that I can stand for part of the time and sit for part of the time I’m doing it.

  12. Francis Moore says

    I just discovered your blog. I think I saw a You Tube entry on how to hang wreaths on windows. Now I can’t find it. If you have time, please send me a link. I read it, but I want to save it to my favorites. Thank you. I am going to enjoy reading your entries and looking at your pictures.

  13. The bedding is lovely, but I would suffocate with that much covering. I would only use a light quilt on my bed. Our weather in Carolina does not warrant that much warmth . It is very nice to look at!

  14. I got the merino socks first time you suggested them and I have been living in them. I love them and also recommend them. I was concerned they may be scratchy / itchy, but they are sooo soft and cozy.

    Three is my very favorite age for human beings. I love that he carefully chooses his snowmen marshmallows. :D:D:D

    Thanks for the tip on the marshmallows, too. I’ve had a hard time finding nice hot cocoa trimmings this year. Remember the cute little gingerbread cottages you had one year? I haven’t seen anything like that. I had gotten one or two of the trimmings kits when you first brought them up and I loved them. They’re harder to find, now. 🙁

  15. Forgot to mention, we get the Birch Benders keto pancake mix. My husband loves it. I actually haven’t tried it since I’m not a pancake fan, but I wanted to mention it for those who like low carb.

  16. At first, I didn’t realize the bed was in a store and wondered why you needed three headboards LOL. See how your snack box influenced others to do the same ? Such a great idea. I love how you take the pine scraps to make the house smell good. I did that for a long time because I didn’t want a real tree. Yet, I could not figure out why I was getting really sick every Christmas. So allergic to trees.

  17. I have a red velvet-like winter quilt from Poverty Barn that I bought quite a few years ago. I get really cold and the quilt is heavy and nice and wide; so that when my husband pulls on it, it still covers me. I love it.

    • Lol. When your husband pulls on it, it still covers you. :D:D:D I think more than a few people can relate to that, whether on the giving or receiving end.

  18. Hi, I couldn’t find an email to write direct but hoping you can help! Sometime in the last 2 (?) years or so you listed some men’s socks that made great gifts. They had that sort of ski/Christmas/nordic print look and you said they were very comfortable. I’ve scoured your posts and can’t find it. Does this ring a bell? Thank you!

  19. Bobbi Duncan says

    As always, great finds! I am in love with the adorable marshmallows–just ordered them and the hot chocolate mix for our grandchildren and friends with children still at home. Know you enjoyed having your family come visit, and I’m sure the littles loved every minute of their “especially for us” things done by their ever thoughtful grandmother. It’s crazy around here–lots of company this year, from before Thanksgiving through Christmas (whew!), but I’m really loving it all. Hugs!

  20. Hi Susan, I love doing puzzles and put your Puzzle Board on my wish list for Christmas. It’s great that it holds a 1000 piece puzzle!
    I have a question — I’ve done a search on your blog and found the puzzle sorter, which is fantastic, but other than that, how/where do you lay out your puzzle pieces to start, especially with a large puzzle? I always find myself craning my neck to find pieces on the dining room table, and the light has to be just right.
    Any suggestions, or pics? Thanks, Susan — BTW, the boys are absolute dolls!

    • I’m not sure how most folks do it, but I always start by sitting at my desk where I have plenty of space and I go through all the pieces, sorting out the edge pieces from the rest.
      After I move all those from the inside of the puzzle box to the lid of puzzle box (which is what I initially use to sort those out) I go ahead and place all the edge pieces on my puzzle board, then began creating the outside frame of the puzzle.
      Once I have the edge pieces/frame put together (and sometimes I might be missing a couple of pieces that I didn’t find when I initially went through the puzzle) I look at the puzzle itself and notice what elements/features are really prominent or noticeable.
      For example, currently I’m working on “The World of Shakespeare” puzzle. You can see it here: https://amzn.to/2YQfWJo .
      After I got the edge pieces all connected, I started sorting out the Thames River. It’s aqua in color and takes up a good portion of the puzzle, so it was easy to sort out all those pieces. I put all those pieces in one of my sorting trays.
      I also sorted out the Globe Theater since those pieces were really easy to find, those pieces went into a second tray. There’s a lot of greenery/plant pieces, I sorted those out, too…and they went into a third tray.
      I sorted all the people and put them in another tray.
      I usually sort out 5 or 6 elements (at one time) when I go back through the puzzle, so I’ll be filling 5-6 trays as I sort.
      Once I’ve sorted out a lot of pieces of a particular element (like the Thames River) I’ll often start working on that element of the puzzle, assemblling those pieces on the puzzle board. I like assembling “objects” that are within the puzzle, then going back and filling in all around them, as opposed to starting in one corner or at the bottom of the puzzle and just working my way up.
      For example, on The World of Shakespeare, I worked on the Thames, then the Globe, then start putting all the boats together…working on the puzzle board with all those pieces.
      Hope that kinda makes sense. I wish I had more space on my desk around my puzzle board. I need to clear a few things off my desk…it would give me more space to spread out all my sorting trays. I may bring a small table into the office to put beside my chair when I’m working so I can easily reach all my sorting trays.
      Oh, one of the best items I’ve purchased is this Gooseneck light that attaches to the top of my board…see it here: https://amzn.to/2rBr5BE . It’s touch activated and has three levels of brightness. I usually have it on the middle brightness.
      It is awesome and helps so much with seeing the board without having to have an overhead light on.
      Hope this helps.

    • Marlene, in case you’re interested…here’s a photo of “The World of Shakespeare” puzzle which is almost finished…and another one I finished last week called “Medieval Castle.” The colors are much more vivid in The World of Shakespeare puzzle than they appear in this photo.
       

       
      Here’s the Medieval Castle puzzle. It was a lot of fun!
       

  21. Susan, thank you so much. It seems we go about puzzles in the same way, but the puzzle sorters seem to make it much easier. Adding those to my Christmas wish list!
    I sometimes put up a bridge table next to where I’m working a puzzle, especially on a large one, to hold loose pieces (or the sorters). Some sort of side table helps alot.
    I linked to the lamp and it also looks like a must have — so much better than an overhead light, absolutely.
    And thanks so much for the puzzle links — Kodacolor made beautiful ones years ago, and it’s hard to find newer ones with the same detail, especially 500+ pieces.
    When I break up a puzzle (hubs can hardly bear to watch), I’m always tempted to put the edges in a separate ziplock bag for next time. Do you think that’s cheating?
    P.S. I have a fun Jigsaw Puzzle app on my Kindle Fire, which would take up some time on your airplane trips! It’s free, pre-loaded with a good number of puzzles, with a free new one every day. You can also purchase additional packs if you’d like. I’ll find it in the app store and send you the link.

  22. Susan, I finally found the link to the Jigsaw Puzzle app I have on my Kindle Fire: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kristanix.android.jigsawpuzzleepic&hl=en_US

    Lots of puzzles, up to 625 pieces, and lots of options, like puzzling your own photos.

    I hope you’re enjoying your visit!

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