Some Cozy Winter Updates That Would Also Make Great Gifts for Christmas

Welcome to the 562nd Metamorphosis Monday! I’ve been visiting with my grandchildren for the last two weeks but will be heading back home soon. On this trip, I brought up the chest-of-drawers from son’s old bedroom visible below the top bunk in this old photo.


The chest ended up in one of the dormer windows of my grandsons’ bedroom, replacing the train table that had been there. I would share a photo of how it looks there but my youngest grandson is currently napping in that room. I’m gradually bringing up my son’s childhood bedroom furniture a few pieces at the time. I think future pieces will have to be stored in the basement since we are running out of space here in their bedroom.

Dormer Windows, Slanted Ceilings, Boy's Bedroom


Porch Painting Update

I’ve chosen another painting contractor to paint the front porch; they will be starting soon. Looking at this older photo I realized I needed to take an updated photo of the front of the house. The boxwood shrubs I planted a couple of summers back are sooo big now! I’m almost wishing I had purchased them in a smaller size initially because they have already grown to the size I wish they would stay at forever. I’ve already trimmed them once this past spring and they immediately grew right back. I will share a photo soon, it’s truly shocking how big they’ve gotten!


So things will be busy when I return since the painting will get underway either later next week or the following week. I have 40 bales of pine straw being delivered sometime during the week of the 12th. Thankfully I’m not spreading it this time, I’m letting the company delivering it handle that.

I can’t wait to do a bit of fall decorating and I’ll be sure to share that with you once I’m back. I will probably hang wreaths on the windows the week of the 19th since I have family coming for Thanksgiving and I really want the wreaths and trees to be up when they are here since they won’t be here for Christmas.

Big Snow Storm, December 2017


For details on how I hang the wreaths, check out this previous post: How to Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows.

How to Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows


Puzzle Time: I enjoy doing puzzles any time of the year, but when the weather turns cold, I really find myself in the mood to stay hunkered down inside with a mug of hot cocoa and a great puzzle. This girl does not do cold! While I’ve been visiting family here in Ohio, the weather turned quite cold and the puzzle urge hit. I’m so spoiled by doing puzzles on my puzzle board at home (really saves the back!) I decided to purchase one to keep here in Ohio. My grandsons also love puzzles so when they get a bit older, they may enjoy using it, as well.

Adjustable Puzzle Board, Tilts


I like the board I previously purchased for my own home, but I like the design of this one even more.

The Cat Library Puzzle on Puzzle Board


I actually love doing puzzles on this board back home, as well. This board is now available in green again here: Puzzle Board.

Adjustable Puzzle Board, Tilts


Tilting Puzzle Board


As mentioned, I love the features of the blue one, too. Puzzles look so pretty against the blue background and the blue color is easy on the eyes.

Puzzle Board, No Bending Over Saves Back


Plus, the cover you place on top when you’re done for the night and/or wish to move your puzzle to another location, is much nicer. It has felt on one side that helps prevent puzzle pieces from sliding or moving when you move the board to another location. It also has little tab handles to help with placing or removing the cover. Love that! (This puzzle board is available here: Puzzle Board.)

Puzzle Board Cover


Lighting for Crafting, Puzzling, or Reading: I purchased a rechargeable, battery-operated light to attach to the top of the board. Overhead lighting from the ceiling light created too much glare and made it difficult to see the pieces. This light was very inexpensive and I love that it turns on with just a touch. It has three settings so you can adjust the level of brightness.

This light is perfect for those places where you need more light, but an electrical outlet isn’t easily accessible. Since this light is battery-operated, I recommend purchasing two. That way one can always be charging while the other one is in use. That’s what I did, I purchased two. This works perfectly in this situation. (Light is available here: Rechargeable Battery-Operated Puzzle, Reading Craft Light.)

Light for Puzzle Board


I purchased this light below to use on my puzzle board at home where I do have easy access to an electrical outlet. It also has three light settings and turns on with just a touch. You’ll find it available here: Puzzle, Reading, Craft Light.)

Clip-on lLight great for reading, studying, working puzzles or crafts


I completed the puzzle I’d been working on last night while my son and Dil were attending an event and the boys were tucked in their beds for the night. Here’s how it turned out. The colors are much prettier than this photo conveys. Check out the photo above for a better view of the rich colors.

You’ll find this adorable puzzle (along with several others I love) available here: Kitties and Books Puzzle.

The Cat Library Puzzle, Cobble Hill


I purchased a couple of more puzzles this past week. I couldn’t resist this cozy puzzle below. If cozy isn’t a genre for puzzles, it definitely should be. If you look closely, this puzzle creates a wonderful story.

Leaving her shoes on the mat near the door, Jane (let’s call her that for now) has just been outside walking her new puppy and gathering firewood for her wood-burning stove. After getting the wood going, she lit lanterns all around the room and turned on the fairy lights she recently strung to make the coming winter months less dreary.

The kettle atop the stove holds more of the rich, hot chocolate Jane is currently enjoying while curled up under a cozy throw. For the umpteenth time, she’s rereading one of her favorite books, Jane Eyre. (It’s the scene where Jane is talking with Robert Leaven, the Coachman of her cruel aunt, Mrs. Reed. She hasn’t seen him since her days at Gateshead Hall and is reminiscing with him about all the times he gave her rides on her cousin, Georgiana’s bay pony.)

Cozy Puzzle for Winter, Book Lovers


When Jane isn’t reading, she loves puzzling. She has several stacked on the table just to the left of her desk and another one she just finished is visible over on the bookshelf. Jane also loves chess and knitting. Her sweet kitty is curled up on her latest knitting project by her feet while her adorable pup is lovingly keeping watch from under the coffee table. Jane loves the theatre and travel. She’s working on filling an album with photos from her recent summer trip to Cambridge, England.

For the last few months, Jane has been busy tracing her family history via Ancestry Detective, the site she currently has pulled up on her laptop. She carefully charted her family tree, hanging it on the wall above her desk for easy access. What else can we tell about Jane from this wonderful scene? I love puzzles like this!

All I’ve mentioned in the story above is actually visible in the puzzle. I love the details of this puzzle! If you love this puzzle as much as I do, you’ll find it available here: Cozy Wintertime Puzzle.

Cozy Puzzle for Winter, Book Lovers


The other puzzle I purchased was one I thought my grandsons would enjoy helping me do. It may have to wait for a future return trip since I’ll be leaving in just a few days. You’ll find this adorable puzzle available here: Naughty Kitties Puzzle.

Puzzle for Cat Lovers


I’ll leave you with a few more Before and Afters and some fun memories from this trip north. My son and daughter-in-law dressed as Wayne and Garth (Wayne’s World) for a costume party the weekend before Halloween.


This past weekend they looked slightly different for another event they attended.


My daughter-in-law and grandsons dressed as ninjas (my oldest grandson’s idea) for Halloween night. Dad was running late but joined them about 20 minutes later, also in ninja form. Unfortunately, we didn’t think about getting a photo of all four together before the boys had shed their costumes to dig into their Halloween candy. Hope you had an awesome Halloween!


Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. Franki Parde says

    WHAT FUN!!! franki

  2. Joyce Howe says

    I thought of you yesterday when I was shopping at Kohl’s. They have a green Christmas Dinos big fleece throw. It would be adorable in the boys room or for them to lounge with elsewhere. Here is the link to the item, if you are interested.

    I love those puzzles, too.

  3. Enjoyed this post. Your son and daughter-in-law were so funny as Wayne and Garth. Also ordered the kitty puzzle for my mother who loves doing them as well in the winter months in Oregon. Thanks.

  4. Brenda Lawrence says

    What a fun post Susan! I loved seeing the family ready for Halloween. Your son and DIL looked great as Wayne and Garth and then seeing them all dressed up for another outing looking so elegant. The boys and their mother were too cute as ninja’s too. I love the puzzle board you showed, how nice to have a nice place to put puzzles together. I love puzzles as well. Love the two new ones your bought, especially the lady reading. lol But how fun is the naughty kitties one?!! Hope you are feeling better for your ride home Susan. Safe travels! Hugs, Brenda

    • Thanks so much, Brenda! The lady reading puzzle really amazed me because at first glance, it just looks like a cozy winter scene. But once I started looking more closely, I realized it really told a story. You can literally see the website she has pulled up on her laptop, the words in the book she’s reading and the postcards from Cambridge, England. I’m looking forward to putting it together once I’m back home.
      I hope you are staying warm…it’s about to get even colder here, def time for me to head south! lol

  5. So nice that you are enjoying time with your family and getting a taste of northern autumn. I enjoy puzzles and have done a few that are some of your favorites. The one at the top of this post is on my save list to purchase. I am recuperating from back problems and can’t bend over to do a puzzle. Can you estimate the angle for the board in its most upright position. I trust your answer more than asking a question on the Amazon site. I really appreciate any help that you can give me. I know that you are away and probably won’t have an answer until you are home. Any help that you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Have a safe trip home.

    • Iris, so sorry to hear about your back. I hope your recovery goes quickly and you’re feeling much better real soon!
      I’m not the best at estimating the angle but at its most upright position, I can literally stand to work a puzzle. It’s that vertical! Here’s a photo that may help you get a better idea.

  6. Wayne, Garth, and Ninjas…what a fun family! Consider taking the new puzzle board home with you, since you probably do more puzzles in Atlanta than Ohio, and take up the old one with you next visit. Hope you are healing quickly and feeling up for that long drive.

    • I was thinking the same thing. I like it so much, I’m taking it home and I’ll bring the other back here. I ordered this puzzle for us all to do when I back here for Christmas. 🙂
      Thanks, I still feel pretty rough. I’m not getting enough sleep. My dil and I got sick about the same time and she’s in worse shape than me…coughing all night so she isn’t getting sleep due to that. Ugh. I’m going to go to bed with the kids tonight, I think.

  7. What a wonderful post as you share your fun trip to see your family! I so admire your hobby of “puzzling” (is that the term?). I can manage small puzzles, but lose patience with the teeny tiny puzzle pieces that sometimes have the exact same shapes! What do you do with your finished products? The pictures are so unique and lovely, do you frame them, or take them apart for another puzzle session? Have a safe trip home; sounds like you’ll be busy once you get there. ‘Tis the season!!

    • Rosie, I so agree! I hate a puzzle where there are pieces that are identical. Fortunately, the better/higher end puzzle companies are making them a lot better now with no duplicate shaped pieces. Ravensburger is very good. The Cat/Library puzzle I just completed was excellent, so can very much recommend it. It’s by Cobble Hill. Just read the reviews on Amazon before ordering and that will keep you from getting any frustrating puzzles. I’ve preserved a couple that I really loved, but the rest I’ve torn back apart to save for another day. You can see how I save them in this post:
      Some are so pretty, you really do want to frame them!

  8. Love those puzzles – esp the cozy one with the “story.” Any scene with a roaring fire in fireplace, a tea pot, etc. gets me every time. Good choice, Susan.

    As for your family – oh my GOSH your son and DIL make the BEST Wayne and Garth! Party on, dudes! ♥♥

    Yes, it got sooooo cold for Halloween here didn’t it? Could you even believe that wind on Thursday????


    • Thanks, Michelle! I know, it was actually snowing while we were out with the kids trick or treating! I’ve never in my life Trick or Treated in snow. My dil grew up further north so she has before. We all bundled up and I made a big thermos of hot chocolate that we all shared while we were out.

  9. Alison Bennett says

    Love your puzzles choices especially “Jane” Cozy Wintertime. Don’t have much room but the puzzle board could work. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Contrarily (Gee, isn’t that a surprise?), the blue background would hurt my eyes. It reminds me a bit of those overly bright car headlights (Though I understand that they’re not actually more bright, just a different part of the color spectrum or some such.)

    I do puzzles all the time and have over 50 of them, including the kitchen kittens. Now, having ordered the cozy one, I’ll have over 51 of them. Thanks…er…I think. *L*

    • I thought that about the blue when I first saw it but surprisingly, it doesn’t bother my eyes at all. It just creates a nice contrast with the puzzle pieces.
      I don’t like the black background of my older puzzle board, at least when I first start a puzzle. Once you’re part way into the puzzle, it’s not so bag…just bad when first starting it…or at least it is for me.

  11. We “borrow” (check out) puzzles from our public library. A good place to buy puzzles is Tuesday Morning. I’ve found some really good quality ones there. After we’re finished with the ones we buy we donate them to the library for other people to enjoy.

  12. Susan, I can’t link or post a photo here, but there’s a really cute National Lampoon Christmas Vacation puzzle for sale on Amazon. I know you enjoy that movie as much as I do, and thought you might be interested in the puzzle.
    Here’s the manufacturer and description from Amazon to help you find it if you’re interested.
    4.2 out of 5 stars 33Reviews
    Ceaco Thomas Kinkade National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Jigsaw Puzzle (300 Pieces)

    • Oh, I definitely need to look for that! That would be a fun one to do with my son/dil when I’m here for Christmas since we always watch that movie each year. I’ll look for it today. Thanks for telling me about it, Mary!

    • Mary, I found it here: Christmas Vacation Puzzle. Definitely getting that one. They also have a puzzle for the movie, A Christmas Story here: A Christmas Story. I wonder if they made those just 300 pieces so families could do them on Christmas eve or day and finish them.

      • Thank you Susan, I just ordered the Christmas Story puzzle as well! I usually buy 500 or 1,000 piece puzzles, but I couldn’t resist these classic Christmas movie puzzles. I think you’re right, that they’re made with 300 pieces so they can be completed while families are together over the holidays.

  13. Susan, happy to hear you had another fun trip to OH and have workers scheduled when you return. Nothing like checking things off the forever to-do list! I’m also happy to read your update on the puzzle board. I pinned that when you shared the first time, now I’ll update it. I have one hard-to-buy for sister who loves puzzles and reading as much as you do in winter. That’s quite the story you have with Jane, but I love it! Your shared family moments are priceless.
    Here’s to a good week!

  14. Susan –

    Loved this post! Grandkids are the best…. and your Daughter-in-law looks like she is a fun momma!

    I share a love of puzzles with my Daughter-In-Law – and as a result, bought the puzzle you featured. I actually got 2 of them, one for my Daughter – in – law too..

    Also, Thank you to Mary for the tip on the Christmas Vacation puzzle. Right after Thanksgiving dinner – that is the movie that goes in every Thanksgiving night!

  15. I’ve been wanting to get a puzzle board because I don’t have a great place to leave one out and the cats would knock all the pieces off the table anyway! I’ve been putting off buying one but I really like this one and the light, so I think I will treat myself to those as it starts to get colder and I spend more time inside reading and working on puzzles. The puzzles look like fun, too!

  16. Antoinette says

    “Jane” is one busy lady”! Susan, I enjoyed your post and good job on giving us a background story on “Jane”. I recently started doing puzzles, they’re so much fun! And those Halloween costumes were too much! Your family knows how to have fun.

  17. I was thinking about those emergency night lights, that you spoke about some months ago, as small Christmas gifts. I can’t seem to find the post where you mentioned them. Help, please!

  18. Mary from Virginia says

    Your son and Daughter in law nailed it with the Wayne’s World costumes!! wow!

    I’m waiting for you to find that yellow cottage in Ohio.

    • I was looking at the temperature predictions for here this week and comparing them to Atlanta. Ugh…big difference! I love living in the south. People are supposed to move further south away from the cold as they get older…not north! Right? 😉

  19. Thanks so much for hosting each week!

  20. We love puzzles at our house – thanks for the great board ideas. We got one for my father in law several years ago and want one for ourselves too!

    And those ninjas!! 🙂

    Thanks again for hosting this great party – I love getting so much inspiration! Happy Monday!

  21. Looks like you’re having a lot of fun Susan! Love the ninjas! Safe travels and thank you for the link up!

  22. I just finished a Halloween family puzzle that was from Hobby Lobby. Family puzzles have pieces that are small, medium, and large for all levels of difficulty so a family can work on the same puzzle. As the boys get older that would be something that you could work on with your adorable grandsons. Have a safe trip back home and hope you are feeling better.

  23. What a wonderful post. So fun. The costumes are terrific and they certainly found their dopple gangers in Wayne’s world.
    Good luck hanging your wreaths and getting ready for Christmas.

  24. Fantastic post, Susan!!! You are a wonderful storyteller!!
    We’re kindred spirits on jigsaw puzzles — thanks so much for the links on your puzzle board, which I’ve wanted to ask you about after seeing it in pics of your home office.
    When my Mom was still alive, we would always do a puzzle together over the Christmas holidays. It’s a lovely memory for me.
    The boys are adorable! God bless your beautiful family, and safe travels home … hope you’re feeling better. Looking forward to the porch column redo!

  25. Cyndi Raines says

    Great post Susan! The family costumes were really awesome. Glad you could spend time with them. I hope you are almost over the cold. Safe travels back home. Happy for you that they will be with you near Christmas, your house will be all decked out and a perfect place for a early holiday. You will have just enough time to get cookies made also.

  26. Dear Susan,
    Was fun seeing you and your lovely family!
    Very blessed!
    Love the green boots! I’m tempted to buy some blue ones I recently saw while shopping. They had yellow ducks on them; so cute!
    Glad you had a fun Halloween with your family!

  27. I love working puzzles, and those costumes are all great! Awesome fun at today’s party. Thanks for hosting!

  28. What a picture-perfect home you have! Your boxwoods are GORGEOUS! They are my favorite landscaping shrub. I lost all but one of mine this past year due to winter kill from our extreme cold (I replanted them anyway :)) Thank you for hosting the great party!!!

  29. I”m so jealous of your puzzle board! I’ve never seen one of those.

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