halloween recap

Hope you and your family enjoyed a fun Halloween weekend!

My family reveled in the crisp, fall air and sweet time with family and friends.  My little guy was an astronaut for the second year in a row, which I find totally adorable.  I am space-OBSESSED and possess a freakish knowledge of early space program trivia, so I really do get such a kick out of his costume selections.

halloween space

Here we are this year, quite the costumed-trio:

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Continue reading halloween recap

christmas in july

For those of you following along this summer, you know that it has been a rough summer for our family.  Not to be melodramatic, but I’ve been sick for most of it.  Thanks to new meds, I seem to be getting a little bit better every day.

All of the time stuck in bed meant that I was extra excited to getaway in late July to the Smoky Mountains.  My little boy loves to visit the Inn at Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, TN and they were having a fun week of Christmas in July festivities.  The easy drive time and relaxing, laid-back atmosphere made it the perfect destination for a few days of fun.  We enjoyed Christmas movies at the pool, milk and cookies with singing Santa, eating out, pizza in our hotel room, outlet shopping and lots and lots of swimming.

Here are a few photos of our fun:

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A little time swimming and shopping (and Christmas cheer) makes all things better!

katherine Greene

white christmas cocktail

whitechristmasimage by AHOwens

This is one of my favorite fool-proof holiday drinks.  They can be made by the pitcher, so it is easy for guests to self-serve.  No bartender needed!

I served this cocktail at my annual holiday open house last year and it was a big hit.  The rosemary has a wonderful fragrance and the drink is not overly sweet.  Even the guys loved it!

Check out the recipe here.

Cheers!  May your days be merry and bright…and may all your ‘Christmases be white.’

katherine Greene

meaningful holiday touches

IMG_6235image by AHOwens

Some of my favorite holiday decor is simple and natural and can carry you through the winter months.  In other words, I like touches that are more wintry than “Christmasy”.  I think that holiday decor should also be something personal and meaningful.

Perhaps my favorite decoration in my home this year is my living room “bar” that features a vignette of meaningful items sprinkled with some burlap ribbon and a touch of greenery:

IMG_6204image by AHOwens

  • my Grandmother’s typewriter is incredibly sentimental.  She was a typing teacher and it so I have many memories of her teaching me to type at her home on this machine.  Next to the typewriter is a silver framed photo of my grandparents taken on my wedding day, which was also their 60th wedding anniversary.
  • a few favorite bourbon bottles (of course, it includes Pappy and a lovely bottle of Rock Hill Farms—these are separate from my husband’s bar cart that showcases his extensive bourbon collection)
  • a Blackberry Farm wooden spoon (where we spent our honeymoon and vacation each year).  The beautiful wood is rustic and charming.
  •  a gorgeous set of monogrammed Moscow Mule copper mugs (my current favorite drinking glass).

All of these items are on top of my husband’s childhood dresser, which we have used (with new hardware) to store tablecloths or other linens for entertaining.  By grouping these small items together, they have a greater impact on the room.  I think that it is a sweet focal point in the room that tells a lot about our family.

What are your favorite holiday decorations?  Any ornaments or chatychkes with special meaning?

katherine Greene

last-minute christmas

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Each year at Christmas, I feel like there is never enough time to do all that I want to do!  It’s actually why I try to do so much early (Christmas shopping, etc.), so that I don’t get overwhelmed in December.  No matter how much I do ahead, ultimately there are extra holiday gatherings and out of town guests that get tossed into the schedule.  It’s important to remember that it doesn’t that you can’t have time for fun holiday activities or decorations.

It may be in the final countdown for Christmas with just 12 days until the big day, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy or make one of these festive holiday goodies!

greenerycenterpieceimage by KGreeneOwens

Need an easy centerpiece?  Fill a rustic bucket with holly or magnolia branches and add a few sparkly Christmas ornaments for a bit of festive flair.  Doesn’t get any easier!  Plus, this alternative to flowers will last a couple of weeks.

JingleBellwimage by dthoskins

Looking for a festive holiday cocktail?  This Jingle Bell is simply delicious and refreshing.  No bartender required.

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Love to craft?  This fun music pinwheels will add a touch of whimsy to your holiday decor.

 

What are your go-to, last-minute holiday ideas?

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thankful

falltablescapeimage by KGreeneOwens

As we busily prep our houses and work furiously to whip up a fantastic feast, it is easy to stop being thankful and only feel the stress of the holiday season.  We wanted to press pause on the chaos and take a quick moment to thank our sweet readers for sharing Bluegrass Threads’ with your family and friends.  We are thankful for each of you!  Our dear readers are what make this worthwhile.

Other things that we are truly thankful for:

-safe and healthy family

-good friends and laughter

-lovely bluegrass fall days and gorgeous leaves

-delightful Christmas music to boost the spirit

 

What are you thankful for?  How will you celebrate tomorrow?

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BEING GRACIOUS AND GRATEFUL {guest post by Alice Greene}

BEING GRACIOUS AND GRATEFUL :

The importance of a thank-you note

nivothankyouimage by dthoskins

Okay – so the presents have all been opened, the toys have been assembled and Santa has eaten the cookies left on his special plate – now it’s time for the THANK YOU NOTES!

That’s right, the thank you note is not dead.  Why is a little note so important?  Well, for those folks who were not present when you opened your gift, it acknowledges that you received the gift no matter if it came by mail, another delivery service or via Aunt Susan.  In addition, it recognizes someone who has done something nice for you.  Did you ever stop to realize the time, effort and expense that goes into giving a thoughtful gift?  Surely you can spend several minutes writing a note of thanks to the giver.

Thank you notes and general note cards are so beautiful these days and relatively inexpensive if you shop at places like TJMaxx, Homegoods and Marshalls.  Add a beautiful stamp and you have a piece of mail that will make someone smile upon receipt.  Whether right or wrong, many people expect a thank you note when they give a gift and many others read their note numerous times as it reminds them that they and their gift were appreciated.

So – you don’t know how to begin to write a note of thanks?  Check out a book from the library or purchase one from your local bookstore on the topic.  I have owned On A Personal Note – A Guide to Writing Notes with Style by Angela Ensminger and Keely Chace for several years and have even given copies as gifts for high school and college graduates and brides and grooms.  It will help you find just the right words for whatever you need to express.  Don’t use this as an excuse for not writing a note of appreciation.  If all else fails, just thank the giver for the gift and tell them how it will be used or that when using it you will be reminded of them.  Isn’t that all anyone really wants to hear?

So in this quintessential season of giving, don’t forget to actually thank those who gave.  You’ll thank me later!

-Alice

Lexington, Kentucky

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Alice is a native Lexingtonian and quintessential southern lady, who enjoys cooking, baking and entertaining. 

 

Thanks, Alice!  If you have something you’d like to share with our readers about bluegrass living and style, send us an email at katherine@bluegrassthreadsky.com or diana@bluegrassthreadsky.com.

 

jingle bell

JingleBellwimage by dthoskins

This is one of my favorite holiday cocktail creations.  It’s light and refreshing—the perfect compliment to heavier holiday food.  Plus, it’s fool-proof: no bartender needed.

Jingle Bell

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp chilled vodka
  • 1/2 cup champagne
  • 1/4 cup scoop of lemon sorbet
  • mint for garnish

Step by Step:

1.  Pour vodka and champagne into desired glass.

2.  Add scoop of lemon sorbet and garnish with mint.  I also love to add a colorful paper straw.  Cut them in half and they are the perfect length for a cocktail stir.

Cheers!

katherine Greene