Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Goodbye and Hello

Happy New Year to you!  I hope you're all looking forward to a new year of good things.  I know we are here at Forest Manor.  Last year had some good parts and some really tough parts, but isn't that just life in general?  We are thankful for the good things and pray for strength to deal with the not-so-good things.  I really like the feeling of hopefulness and expectation that comes with the start of a new year.
Before I completely leave last year in the rear-view mirror, I want to share a few last pictures of Christmas decorations at our house in 2018.  I hate that I'm so late showing all this, but I just didn't have time to do so earlier.
I arranged a completely different mantel this Christmas, and I really enjoyed the results.  We swapped out our spring and summer watercolor for our winter picture -- a snow scene depicting Old Salem, North Carolina. 
I've never done a mantel with just candles and greenery before, so I wasn't sure how it would turn out or if we would like it.  I liked it a lot actually! 
Our Christmas mantel started with these candles.  I'm so excited about these; they were a true bargain at Costco back in the summer.  This is a set of five LED, battery-operated, wax candles with a remote control for $19.95 (previously $39.95).  I paid more than double that price for just one of these candles a few years ago when they first became available around here.  Each candle takes four, AA batteries, and the Duracell batteries were even included in the package.  I love the realistic look of these "flame" candles, and the remote control is the best.  The remote makes it so much easier to turn these on and off.  Technology can be a wonderful thing, yes?
You can probably tell that these magnolia leaves are faux, but they are the most realistic ones I've seen so far.  My mom and I discovered these (another half-price bargain) at Hobby Lobby back in the summer.  They were not cheap even on discount, but they were worth the splurge for me.  All the greenery I used is faux, and I've had most of it for several years.  I'm glad I had a variety; this is a mix of white pine, cedar with mini pine cones, boxwood and mistletoe.  Artificial greenery has sure come a long way over the years.  The berries are actually real; they came from our Nandina bush.  I love the tartan plaid, flannel, wired ribbon -- found this at Home Goods last Christmas.
I also like that the brown transferware plates pick up the brown on the back of the magnolia leaves and the browns in the painting.
 This year I added some Christmas to the top of the desk -- a red plaid ribbon for the swan and more faux greenery.  Gotta love our 70's popcorn ceilings.  😏 
So that's the last of our Christmas decs for this year; it's time to start taking them down and putting them away.  Some of it will still be up for Epiphany, but I really do need to begin the un-decorating process. 
I wish for all of you a good year in 2019.  Thank you so much for your interest, support, and encouraging comments throughout the past year.  I'm hoping to post on a more regular basis this year; we'll see how that goes.
Happy New Year!!!  🎆  🎉


  1. It's fun to put them up, but always a bit sad to take down our Christmas decorations. But it brings a freshness and renewal and maybe some switching around of things as we clean up after the holidays and look to what the new year has for us. Have a happy 2019!

  2. Oh Denise..your home is so warm and elegant....your mantel was goreous....I love how soft and traditional it is....and of course magnolias are my favorite southern blossom....warm hugs and blessings for a beautiful new year!

  3. Your mantle looks so pretty, Denise. I love faux candles, and you got a great deal at Costco! I also love the ones with built in timers. I still use real candles, too, but they sure don't last long. I noticed your pretty arrangement of transferware plates, and love them, too. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  4. Your mantel is elegant and pretty, Denise. I'm loving more simplicity these days. I like your idea of swapping out summer and winter pictures over the mantel. Have a wonderful 2019 and I look forward to reading more posts from you. Happy New Year!



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