What is Your Favorite Holiday Decoration?

My Favorite Holiday Decoration

My Favorite Holiday Decoration

Sometimes our favorite holiday decorations are not the ones that cost the most money, or fit into a designer color scheme.  They are often the ones that catch us by surprise, and melt our hearts, because they were made with love by the hands of a child, who is so excited to give them to us, that their love lingers on years after we have received the gift.

My favorite holiday decoration is a wreath my son made me in his grade 7 class out of green garbage bags!  It is pictured here on my front door where it has been proudly displayed each Christmas!  Money couldn’t buy such a precious gift.

Here’s how he made it:

He bent a metal coat hanger into a circle with his hands and left the hook on top for hanging.

Then he cut the seams off a green garbage bag and cut the bag into strips 4 inches long and 1 inch wide.

Next, he tied the first garbage bag strip to the wire frame with a double knot and pushed it to the bottom of the hook, with the ends of the plastic being the same length .

Then he  continued tying strips of trash bag to the frame until it was completely covered, pushing the strips tightly against one another as he worked.

Next, he fluffed the garbage bag strips once the wreath was covered, making it appear full. With a glue gun, he glued small ornaments to the wreath and hung it on the door with the hook!

Please share your favorite holiday decoration with us, and any tips on how to make it, by hitting the reply or comment button on the blog. Thanks.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how_12052640_make-christmas-wreath-trash-bags.html#ixzz2me1zNRdD

Favorite Practical Christmas Gifts

practical Christmas gifts

Practical Christmas gifts are useful

This year I am simplifying my Christmas gift shopping list and buying PRACTICAL gifts. These are the tools that the people on my list will use every day to help them feel or look better, be safe, comfortable, happier, healthier, inspired, warmer, cleaner, well groomed, organized, dryer, relaxed, entertained, and developed. This is an all-ages list of Christmas gifts that are helpful, safe, fun and healthy.

On-line surveys show that when people were asked what some of the favorite gifts they received were, they were practical items. They said at first they thought they were frankly, a little dull. When they first opened them, they thought they were a bit mundane, but, years later, they were still using the gift, and remembering the thoughtfulness of the giver.

Some gifts that Topped the list of favorite Practical Christmas Gifts were: vacuum cleaners, mini vacuum cleaners, frying pans, knife sets, cordless drills and Cuisinart machines. I can see why Canadian Tire is such a zoo before the holidays.

practical Christmas gifts

Practical Christmas gifts get used for years

favorite practical Christmas gifts

My Dog Rocko received his favorite sweater for a Christmas gift

You can always sprinkle whimsical gifts in between the practical, such as a pair of eyelashes for your daughter’s car headlights, but do consider going practical. All these gifts can be purchased in a one stop, big box or department store, and you won’t be on a goose chase until Christmas Eve, sitting in traffic, waiting in multiple lines, or battling for a parking spot.
You can even stock up on some of these items, and place them in a gift closet so they are handy if you want to give a gift to the newspaper carrier, the letter carrier or school playground supervisor.

Favorite Practical Household or Family Gifts:

Clip-on Flashlight
Spice rack
Honey, or assorted jam basket
Tea basket – herbal teas, mugs, honey, spoons
Water filtration pitcher or water purifier
Air purifier
Grocery store gift card
Fancy Towels
Smoke detectors with batteries
Floor Fan
Dish cloths/ tea towels/ oven mitts

Favorite Practical Personal Gifts:

Movie passes
Money Clip (With money)
Bath robe
Re-usable Water bottle
Books- inspirational books (such as from Hay House Publishing)
Roadside Emergency Kit
New pillows
First Aid Kit
Electric blanket
Hair dryer
Spa gift certificate
Comb and brush set
Manicure set
Classic Style Sunglasses
Steel comb – never needs replacing

While it may take a while for these timeless practical gifts to become favorite gifts, these are the gifts that keep on giving, and won’t end up being sold in your friend’s next garage sale.

photo credits: Morguefile & Ann Hoy

Monster Mash – Favorite Halloween Song

It wouldn’t be Halloween if I didn’t hear Bobby Boris Pickett’s 1962 classic song Monster Mash playing on the radio. Listen here in stereophonic! This song was #1 on the charts in 1962 for two weeks, and played at my first Halloween Sock Hop at school in the 1970’s.

Happy Father’s Day – Sun June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day

Here is a poem to honor those good men that work hard for their families:


By:  Edgar Albert Guest
Only a dad, with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame,
To show how well he has played the game,
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come, and to hear his voice.

Only a dad, with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more.
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent, whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad, but he gives his all
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing, with courage stern and grim,
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen,
Only a dad, but the best of men.

photo: photopin creative commons

Shelley Fralic’s Favorite Things – Oprah coming to Vancouver


In honor of Oprah coming to Vancouver next week, Shelley Fralic, columnist with “The Vancouver Sun” newspaper wrote a column today Sat. Jan 19th, asking readers to send in a list of their favorite things.

Shelley is one of Ann’s muses as I have admired her writing for years, and would be happy with half of her writing talent.

Oprah is one of Ann’s inspirational people because of her amazing story of self-realization and because she uses her wealth and power to benefit so many people on earth.

Shelley notes that Oprah is famous for telling us her “favorite things” which can include luxurious items that our out of the price range of most of us. Shelley is asking for some of the best things in life which are free. Or as she says: “what will I miss when I die?”

Shelley’s list is in Saturday’s paper at www.vancouversun.com. I sent in my list to her, will you send her yours? Email it to: SFralic@vancouversun.com, with “Favorite Things” in the subject line, and they will publish the best ones.

Here’s Is My List:

– My dog Rocko asleep at my feet at night, a warm, peaceful, snuggly foot warmer full of love and loyalty.

– Opening my husband’s Christmas gifts – small elegant packages of scarves, perfume and bracelets I would never indulge myself with.

– Drinking my herbal tea recipe for what ails me, combining:
one bag of licorice root tea
one bag of spearmint tea
one bag of green tea.

– Eating a bowl of my labor intensive spaghetti. Its’ tomato sauce with sliced peppers, celery, onions, garlic, with a big dash of sinus-clearing curry powder.

– Hearing my three sons jamming in the basement – one on bass, one on guitar, and one on drums – music to my ears!

-Planting hanging baskets from starter plants in the spring, and nurturing them till they bloom and spill over the pots in trails of vibrant colors and shapes.

– Escaping the stifling heat of the house in August and laying suspended in my hammock in the back yard in the dying evening sun, with only me and the birds, and a gentle breeze to cool my skin.

– My fur lined winter boots to keep my feet warm and dry in the Canadian winter.

– Making all the green lights when I’m late.

– Looking at the twinkling stars and planets in the night sky after many days of rainfall when the air is spotlessly clear.

Photo credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/h_dwight_beers/3385236760/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/h_dwight_beers/3385236760/