Monthly Archives: December 2012

This is a featured post from one of our Comfort Connoisseurs, Ashlea!


If you know me, you know that I am a sucker for soft blankets! I am a bit of a blanket snob when it comes to the softness of a blanket, and very few make the “cut” to make their way back home with me to be added to my little collection. Well, a few months ago, I stumbled across a blanket company called Berkshire Blanket advertised on the side of my Facebook page, and decided to scope it out… I instantly fell in love! The first blanket that I ordered was the Reversible Shearling Ultrasonic Luxe Blanket in grey. This blanket is absolutely beautiful, super soft, and keeps me so warm! The stitching detail on the blanket can easily make it pass as a comforter during the winter months, and it’s heavy enough to be used without needing another blanket (at least for me, I live in California, and…

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A Christmas Reflection by Marlene


From Pinterest/FloridaLeisureBlog

The holiday season is celebrated in many different ways around the world, varying by country and region. Elements common to many areas include the lighting of the tree, wreaths, Christmas stockings, candy canes, and family gatherings!  There is the ever popular sending of Christmas cards and the exchange of Yule tide greetings. I enjoy this season the most as everyone you meet seems to be in a good mood.

My family’s Christmas tradition is to go over to my aunt’s house on Christmas Eve for dinner, discussion, and GIFTS!  Our whole clan meets on this day! There were around 17 of us when I was a child, we are now up to 43 of us. Funny, the house never seemed too small when I was a child! But now…

We have a traditional holiday meal. LOTS and LOTS of food and good cheer. Adults at one table and children (anyone under 17) at the little table.  It was a thrill when I finally made it to the big table! After a great meal, the children play while the adults sit and catch up on what is going on and reminisce.

About an hour later we all converge in the living room around the beautiful 8-inch blue spruce Christmas tree.  It’s awesome! So much positive energy in one room.

My fondest Christmas memory is related to the collective gift opening experience.  When I hear my dad’s deep yet gentle voice call out the names, I recall happy childhood memories, so it brings me comfort. My dad is the designated “Santa.” He is a big man who looks like a cuddly teddy bear and has a deep voice.  Every year my dad sits near the tree with his legs crossed, and call out the names on the tags, one by one.  We make each gift opening and event.  We wait to see what the person receives, and then we “ooh” and “ahh” over the item.  Then on to the next name, and we  “ooh” and “ahh” once more! Every year the children wiggle their way to sit as close as they can to my dad, ” Santa.”   As I sit here and write this, I am smiling ear to ear.  I can’t wait to see the smile on their face and the true love and amazement in the children’s eyes as they sit and wait to hear my dad call their name.

Enjoy each moment during this Holiday season!  Cherish the memories!


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A White Christmas…Tree

Photo by blogger: the functional space

Photo by blogger: the functional space

Everyone has traditions when it comes to big holidays. Whatever holiday you’re celebrating, you will always find people who stick with the traditional or are really creative. Every home you drive by is unique and expresses the distinct taste of the family who lives there.

Jenna's tree.

My Christmas Tree!

For those who celebrate Christmas, the big excitement is picking out the perfect tree and decorating it. Some homes bring in a fresh cut tree that fills the whole house with the aroma of evergreen. Others put up an artificial tree which is always in perfect form. I grew up  fighting with my sisters over which tree we were going to bring home from the lot. We always thought the one tree we picked out would be the winner. When the tree was securely in the tree holder, the pine branches had fallen into place. and the string of lights were on, it was time to decorate!  We’ve had color lights with homemade ornaments mixed in with ornaments purchased from family vacations. We’ve also had white lights, family ornaments and Poinsettia’s scattered all over the tree. For the past two years we have switched over to a white artificial tree. At first I was a little bit weary but once it is decorated and the lights are turned on you forget the color of the tree and instantaneously get the feeling that the season of Christmas has come.

Get a small tree for your desk, like my co-worker, Jen!

Get a small tree for your desk, like my co-worker, Jen!

The white Christmas tree has come into fashion over the past few years. Many say that it is like a white canvas and you can decorate it any which way. Each year it can have a new theme and you can spread the theme throughout the entire house (…or even the yard)!  White lights make the tree brighter and sticks out to gawkers outside your home. You can make it as traditional as you wish or spice it up a little. Try colored lights and you have oodles of options!

The decoration of our Christmas tree has evolved over the years, but the feeling of Christmas hasn’t changed. Check out my photo!  How do you dress up your tree?


Themed Tree: turn it into a character!

Themed Tree: turn it into a character!

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Holiday Gift Swapping


Every year around the holidays, people rush out to the stores to buy gifts for their friends and family.  This can be very time consuming and expensive if you have a lot of people to buy for.  Holiday gift swaps can be a great way to cut down on the spending and increase the excitement at your holiday gathering.  Check out some of my favorite gift swap ideas, and maybe one of them will become your new holiday tradition!

Pick-a-Name Gift Swap:

This is a great, simple gift swap idea that will cut down on the amount of gifts each person needs to buy.  Instead of buying a gift for each person at your holiday gathering, have everyone pick a name out of a hat.  Then each person only has one gift to buy.

Secret Santa:

This can be done in a couple different ways.  It can be similar to the Pick-a-Name Swap (just be extra secretive!), or it can be a series of smaller gifts over time.  As an office gift swap idea, everyone can pick a name and hang a stocking near their desk.  Each day, your “Santa” can put small, fun gifts in your stocking.  Candy, stationary, gift cards, or even handmade gifts are perfect for this!  At the end, everyone tries to guess who their “Santa” is.

White Elephant Gift Swap:

For this gift exchange game, the more participants the better.  Everyone comes with one wrapped gift.  Most of the time, the gifts are unusual, useless gifts, or even items that you find around your house!  White Elephant parties are usually for entertainment, not for valuable gift giving.  Once all the wrapped gifts are in a pile, the first person chooses one and opens their gift.  The next person has the choice of either “stealing” another person’s unwrapped gift, or opening a wrapped gift.  If your present is taken, you get the same option of taking an opened gift or unwrapping a new one.  This is a great party idea for a group of people with a sense of humor. You’d be surprised by the crazy gifts some people will open!

Homemade Gifts:

Instead of buying gifts this year, try challenging everyone at your party to give homemade gifts.  Whether it’s homemade cookies or candy, knit scarves, holiday ornaments, or hand painted decorations, this is a great gift swap idea to see how creative your friends and family are!

Do you include a gift swap at your holiday gathering?  What are your favorite ideas?


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Creative Ways to Store Your Blankets

How to store blankets collage

All ideas from Pinterest.

“I’m running out of room!”

I have found out pretty quickly here that you can never have too many blankets! I have already accumulated a few favorites and I am sure I’m not done. Where am I keeping them all you ask? I have a few hiding spots; my bedroom, my car and even have one for my desk. I’m running out of space!!! As the colder weather is approaching (and for some of us Mother Nature has already shown us a preview of what we might be in for this winter), many people are pulling out their heavier sheets and their warm blankets to get cozy with. I have been catching myself relaxing with a few blankets at once.

Nowadays there are many storage options for those who need something quick to pick up at a store or a DIY weekend project. I’ve looked online and found some neat ideas…some I didn’t even think of!!! Some are great and work as a piece of art. Others are like hidden passages to comfy! There are too many options to decide what I want to do. I love them all, but there is only so little room I have!

Where are you pulling your stored blankets from? Is it in a trunk that is at the end of your bed, in the coffee table, the window bench?  Or is it displayed on the back of the couch for easy access?

Take a look at some ideas I came upon! I would love to hear what thoughts you have!


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