Charleston Holiday Farmer's Market & Charleston Place

Six days left!!! I'm home with my half-sick kids today while Chris is working. I planned on dropping them off for a few hours with my wonderful step-dad, Jack, but with one kid coughing so much, I didn't want to risk getting him sick. I have to admit that I'm stressing about getting my shopping done. But the kids are playing peacefully, and I'm playing on the computer with photos I've recently taken, so I guess it's an OK day. 

Last weekend we hit the Holiday Farmer's Market. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we enjoyed the fresh air and festive sights. The last one is this Saturday morning both Saturday AND Sunday this weekend from 9am-4pm, so check it out before it closes for the season!

I love the palm trees in Marion Square. They aren't palmetto trees, but another more tropical variety.
I also grabbed snapshot of the family under the Marion Square Christmas tree.

Love all of the wreaths around the Historic District in Charleston this year! Check out my Instagram feed if you want to see more decorated front doors of downtown Charleston.

How wonderfully crispy and sweet do these organic apples look? Perfect for  juicing in the Vitamix! From our experience, organic apples are totally worth the extra cost!!!

I am thinking of re-planting my potted herb garden on the back porch. The weather has been so mild, and I could just take them into the house on cold nights.

Pickles, anyone? 

These are festive and scream Charleston!

My mother-in-law, Vicki loves this locally grown tea. She always packs some in her suitcase to take back home after a visit. It just has such a unique flavor when brewed for iced tea. I haven't tried all of the varieties, but a trip to the Tea Plantation is on my list...

Very cool hand painted pillows.

Every year we make at least one trip through the Charleston Place Hotel. It just doesn't feel like Christmas until we see the trains and all of the huge fresh Christmas trees decorated in the lobby.

What fun way to spend a Saturday in Charleston during the holiday season!

Sugarplum wishes, 

Decorating the Christmas Tree

I have to admit something. I do this weird thing when we go on vacation (not since 2010!!!); I start to worry around day 2 about how we have to go home in whatever number of days. Like seriously, I almost cannot enjoy the trip for worrying about going home. One of my little quirks, for sure. This year I am doing the same thing about Christmas. It's just going too fast. We only have one more full week of the year and this time next week, we will be on that last minute rush to finish up everything for Christmas Eve on Wednesday. I haven't really finished decorating (no wreath on the door), haven't finished shopping, done no wrapping or baking. But it won't be the first year that I made Christmas cookies on Christmas Day or after...

I've been test-driving my new Nikon after the switch this month from Canon. Still shooting in Auto mode mostly. Some things are amazing about this camera, while I miss some of the perks of my old Canon. I have lots of photos to share!

Tonight I'm going to start with a few shots from decorating our tree.

As you can see, I had some great helpers. I think this is the first year that one of the kids was more help than aggravation. I was seriously thankful for E.'s help and encouragement through the process....which by the way took two days. I'm sorry I don't have a great final shot of the whole tree. We are having work done on our windows and the whole room is torn apart. I will grab one the minute we finish the interior stuff! More pics of our holiday activities to come!!

Holiday Pillow Covers 2014

Good afternoon! I just wanted to drop in and tell you that some of my favorite things are on sale today!!! Yesterday I hit a great sale at Bath and Body Works and wish I could have shared it with you in time for you to make it there. They had candles for $8!!! With one of the many coupons that they offer, I bought a bunch of candles for $5.50 each. They normally sell for $22 or if you're lucky, you can get them for $11 on special. These candles smell great and I love their packaging. Today, they are having another pretty good special in store. I feel like its a splurge to buy their hand soaps, but at $2.50, you can't beat it! 

$2.50 Soaps- In Select Stores Only

What I'm really kinda jazzed about are these Holiday pillow covers that are on sale today at Pottery Barn. Every year I get sorta obsessed with a Holiday item. One year I bought every ceramic figurine that I could get my hands on. Another year it was candles shaped like Christmas Trees.....then the following year I always wonder what I was thinking. But, I have been a fan of Christmas pillows for several years, especially the ones at PB. So I wanted to share today's sale~~30% off with free shipping!!!

Holiday Pillow Covers 2014

I'm gonna grab one or two. I have the inserts already, so I think they are a good holiday decor investment that you can use year after year!

Enjoy the weekend and all of the Holiday happenings!!

Christmas Wish List: For the Home &TBT

Hey there!!!! Has this seemed like a long week for anyone? The kids have only been going half-days and we are just getting into the nitty gritty of the repairs on our house, so our routines are crazy. And our Christmas tree lights went out again! Its so sad and dark.... at least on the bright side,  it still smells wonderful and it hasn't toppled over like I have seen in some pictures on Facebook!

I was looking through old albums and found some pics from Christmases past  when I was growing up. I thought I would include a few for Throw Back Thursday. These pics definitely have that hazy, nostalgic look to them, but part of that may be my scanning skills. So here goes:

I was born around Christmas, and here I am with my Dad. I just loved him to pieces and enjoy seeing photos of him "back in the day." He really was the epitome of a southern gentleman, channeling the Frank Sinatra, Ian Fleming vibe.

My mom loved to get her hair "set" as you can see. We usually dressed up in long dresses on Christmas Eve for midnight mass at our church. Her special tradition was to wrap all of the presents in our guest room and leave them displayed on the bed until Christmas Eve. I loved when in early December she pulled out the card table and the wrapping paper along with all of these fascinating little stickers and trimmings for the packages. She would also sit in there and write a huge stack of Christmas cards.....the seventies were just a simpler, more elegant time.

Then the eighties hit and my bangs were no longer cool and my Mom's hair got smaller. We still dressed up on Christmas Eve, and still enjoyed silver tinsel on the tree. I think this was probably one of the last Christmases before my parents divorced, so I cherish the snapshot.

I think when looking back at these pictures that preserve so many memories, I realize that I need to transfer them all over to digital. So I may post more pictures as I start on that project.

As I am working on our Christmas lists and slowly do some shopping, I thought I would share my personal wish list. I would love to open any of these things on Christmas morning, and wouldn't feel like it was an insult to get a vacuum for Christmas ;)

The Charleston Lens Christmas Wish List: Home

I do know one thing that would make the perfect gift for ANY Mom.  It may be an appliance, but this not anything like getting a vacuum for Christmas. This will change your life, your health and how you cook. Just ask Chris about his daily juice/smoothies!

Vitamix: The Perfect Gift For The Holidays!!!

This really may be the only blender you will ever buy. It comes with a 7 year warranty and is made in the USA. We purchased ours at Costco, but you can find them at big box stores and at Williams Sonoma. Even QVC has them. And I know because I watch QVC on Saturday nights. Sad, but true.

Two weeks till the big day!!!