Wow! I have a lot of catching up to do. This post will be long, so just skim on down to the tablescape if that’s all you’re here for. The last two weeks have been filled with company, traveling, and catching up on chores neglected because of said company and traveling. We enjoyed our son and his wife for a few days before Thanksgiving. While they were here, my Equinox started giving me a service airbag message. Since we had some travel plans, I thought that it was fairly important to get it checked out. Russell followed me out to the dealer so that I could drop the car off. Troy, the assistant service manager, told me that the message could signal anything from simple to complex (implication: expensive or more expensive). Well, I had to do it, so it didn’t really matter. The last time that I used my preferred owner discount was September 2013. Every time I have any work done on my car, a percentage of the charge goes on my preferred owner card and I can deduct that amount from any future charge whenever I get ready. This really seemed like a good time to use my discount.
Troy called later that afternoon and said that it was a loose wire. The charge would run around $40, and Russell drove me back out to pick up my car. I pulled out my preferred owner card, and, yes, my total was $17.91. Score! Love being a preferred owner.
I also decided while they were here to make chocolate cobbler. I had only made it once before, and I wanted to see if they like it. On my way back from the dealership, I stopped to buy some ice cream because I thought that it would go really well with the cobbler. I grabbed the only vanilla that I saw, Edy’s, and went to the checkout. I remembered to pull out my $5 extrabucks. You will probably have to click on the photo so that you can see my final total, but, yes, I did spend $1.41. Both the cobbler and the ice cream were great!
While I am on the subject of bargains, I have gotten some really great deals at CVS lately. Unfortunately, you have to click on the photos to see the final totals well. My best deal recently involves a really big shopping trip, so I had to photograph the ticket in several parts because it was so long. The top part of the ticket shows the advertised sales that I found in the sale paper that week, such as buy one Osteo Biflex, get one free, and several others.
The next part of the ticket shows the deductions for the coupons that I had, such as those for Crest and Arm & Hammer, as well as several of my extrabucks. The last things deducted from my ticket are for the deals that I had preloaded on my card, such as $6 off $30 and $1 off Cascade.
The next photo shows what I spent on my purchases, $59.90 ($55.02 before taxes). Yes, that is a little more than I usually spend on one shopping trip; of course, I bought a little more than I usually buy in one trip.
OK, but look at the final! I saved $77.18; before the coupons were deducted, the total was $132.20. When I saw that $132 come up on the screen, I almost fainted. I held my breath until all of the coupons were applied, and I was thrilled with the final price that I paid.
One reason that I purchased a little more than usual is that David and I try to give a little more than we usually do during the holidays. This year we have chosen several ways of giving back. We plan to put a little extra in the offering plate at church for a couple of funds that need it. We will also purchase a gift for the angel tree at church. The angel tree is a way of giving gifts to children of the incarcerated, and our church participates each year.
We also will help out a family friend who is having a pretty rough time lately. Due to some physical problems and a series of unfortunate circumstances, he has no job and no income. The EBT card and a couple of churches who have food pantries provide him with enough food, but other necessities are a problem. Whenever CVS runs specials on things like toilet paper, shampoo, etc., I have been picking them up for him. Due to my careful scrutiny of the CVS sale paper each week, I was able to give him a box of bargain toiletries and cleaning products at Thanksgiving and should be able to take some more at Christmas.
The next giving back that we will do involves our local Lions Club and the newspaper that I work for. The Lions Club takes food baskets to the needy each year, and it asks those who are able to donate nonperishables to add to the baskets. The newspaper staff decided to do that as our project this year, so I have decided to pick up a few extra nonperishables each time I am at the store. Yesterday I picked up several bags of rice and a few boxes of mac and cheese.
Finally, our last giving back involves my extended family. Several years ago, we decided as a family that we could cut way down on gift-giving to each other and to give back instead. My son (that’s him in deep conversation with some camp kids) is a camp director and his camp has a long list of needs. He is planning to purchase a few new canoes before summer 2016, and our family decided to finance one of those canoes as our Christmas giving back this year. It was my mother’s idea, and we all like it.
Russell (he and his wife are on the far left in the above photo) was thrilled that we wanted to do that. His camp has a lot of needs and not enough budget to cover it all, as I am sure is true with most Christian camps. What are some ways your family give back during this time of year? Chime in the comments!
Russell and Callie left the day before Thanksgiving heading to her parents’ home. It works out really well that they live in the same town as David’s parents, so we got to see them again when they came over to see his grandparents. We had a great day of food, family, and fellowship and returned home that night. The next morning, David and I left for our semi-traditional weekend after Thanksgiving getaway.
We headed north to Jackson, TN, for a little antiquing, a little Christmas shopping, and a lot of relaxing. David got a great buy on some furniture that he can redo for our booth way before we got to Jackson. So we arrived there with the car almost fully loaded…I did say I drive an Equinox, right?
I did manage to get a few things that David said that he would squeeze in somewhere. Of course, I forgot to take photos before I put them in the booth this week, so I found some pics from google images. Between one thrift shop and one antique mall, I got 17 pieces of vintage Anchor Hocking swirl in white with gold rim. I have no idea if it will sell or not. I’ll keep you posted.
For the past couple of holiday seasons, I have had so much Christmas stuff in the booth that I have sworn to keep my Christmas purchasing to a minimum for this season. That has worked so far; I put the old Christmas stuff leftovers from previous years on sale very, very cheaply, and most of it has sold. The 3 sets of Christmas glasses that I did purchase have already sold, but the 1 set of Christmas dinnerware that I bought has not yet. However, when I saw a set of Christmas tree glass with a pitcher for a really good price, I just could not stick to my resolution. It’s not like I have another set of glasses left in the booth anyway! I’ve never had a set with the matching pitcher and I really wanted to try them. Once again, I’ll keep you posted.
I did remember to take a photo of one of my bargains, however. I just could not resist this set of Christmas wine charms. They were brand new, still in the box, never used….all 6 for $1. I love wine charms…they are really cute and don’t take up much storage room, so I don’t have to worry about purging when I get a lot of them.
Why is the Pioneer Woman an important part of my title? I love her new line that Wal Mart carries and I have purchased a few things for myself. However, I quit buying her stuff so that David would have something to get me for Christmas. I took him to a large Wal Mart a few weeks ago and showed him all of the things that I liked from her line. I want to be just a little bit surprised, so I did not point out specifics…just gave him general ideas.
Yesterday was my birthday, and I had two presents to open from him. I was so happy and, yes, I was surprised to find 4 PW cowgirl lace dinner plates in linen.
The second package held 4 cowgirl lace salad plates in red. The only thing that I had specifically asked him not to do was to give me a whole set because I like to mix and match. Like any good husband, he takes direction well! Why was I surprised at my wonderful gift? I had thought that he might give me the flowered version or one of the extra pieces. I love these and they are the basis for today’s tablescape.
Yep, I’m finally getting to it! A few weeks ago I decided to see what Wal Mart would be adding to its Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Heritage line, and I ordered a few things online. The salad plate that they added this year is called “Sledge,” and I ordered a set of 6. I really like them on last year’s poinsettia placemats and this year’s PW plates.
I used my red Bed, Bath and Beyond Christmas napkins. I dressed them up with my gold tassel napkin rings. I love this look…very holiday!
I have several types of Christmas glasses to choose from and chose these that I found at Dollar Tree last year.
Since my kitchen table is small, I do a simple vignette rather that a centerpiece. Because I had wine charms on my mind, I used my Christmas tree full of wine charms. Since I spent several hours this morning putting away all of the harvest salt and pepper shakers and getting out all of the Christmas salt and pepper shakers, I had to use some on this table.
Since I had a Christmas tree wine charm holder, I chose Christmas tree shakers.
I finished out the place setting with my everyday Chateau flatware. I love my simple, yet festive table.
I also like getting the kitchen into the Christmas spirit. I spent a few hours this afternoon getting out the Christmas dishes and putting away the others.
I really want to use only Christmas dishes and glasses throughout the season, and the only way to insure that is if I have them readily accessible.
It took a long time, and I was worn out when I was done. I was tired of fooling around with Christmas dishes, so the dining table will have to wait. I hope to have something done in there in the next few days and will post when I do. I also hope to have more time to read and comment on your blogs. Can’t wait to see what everyone has done! Have a great week of tablescaping and decorating…and sharing your giving back for the season!
I am joining: A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday, Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life , Tablescape Tuesday at Every Day Living, From the Farm at The Homesteading Hippy, Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday, Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday, The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home, Cuisine Kathleen for Let’s Dish, Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch to Yours, Homemaking Party at Hope in Every Season, The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday, What’s It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants; Spotlight Saturday at Classy Clutter, Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage, Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound, You’re Gonna Love It Tuesdays at Kathe with an E, Mop it Up Monday at I Should Be Mopping the Floor , Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style , Fridays Unfolded at Nancherrow, Make it Pretty Monday, Anything Blue Friday at The Dedicated House, Create It Thursday at Lamberts Lately, Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring, Tuesday’s Treasures at Uncommon Suburbia, Return to Loveliness at A Delightsome Life, Centerpiece Wednesday at The Style Sisters, The Scoop at The Stone Gable, Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner , Sizzle into Summer at DIY by Design, Tips and Tricks at Stringtown Home