The Circle ~ Pine and Promise

I would like to begin this post by thanking my dear friend, Roxana, for inviting me to join this special and meaningful Circle. Roxana, you are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. I have so enjoyed reading all of the contributions to this unique circle. Each one had a message that touched me. Thank you all. You’ve added extra joy to my holiday celebration.

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”
~John Muir

The scent that defines my beliefs and brings most meaning to my holiday season is pine. To me, it stands alone as the single most significant element.

Nature is such an important part of my life, and my family’s life. It inspires all aspects of who I am. During the holidays, this inspiration takes the form of a pine tree and its scent. It symbolizes hope, growth, new beginnings, and perhaps most importantly, promise. Promise of a bright future, exciting and perhaps not yet known miracles to come, the possibilities that each and every one of us have to make our dreams come true.

Yes, I’m an optimist and yes, I’m a bit sentimental and sappy. But after all, what is there without hope and promise? I feel that life is about making our dreams a reality and finding our special niche, our unique talent. Taking that talent to the absolute peak of our ability, creating challenges for ourselves to become the best we can be. That’s the secret of happiness. Love yourself and that love will encircle everyone around you. What better time to renew our hopes and dreams than while sitting in front of our Christmas tree with all the promise infused in our senses?

“Why are there trees I never walk under
But large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?”
~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1892

For a native southern Californian, there is no snow for the holidays. All the holiday traditions surrounding snow and signifiying the start of the holidays don't exist here. The pine tree and its scent is the tradition of Christmas for us. It's enough to give us all of our holiday spirit. It triggers the meaning of Christmas for my family.

That is what a simple miracle in nature, the pine tree, means to me. It’s sturdy, and can grow in the most impossible places; between magnificent boulders, out of the side of a sheer granite mountain. Yet they do grow and flourish.

“Who leaves the pine-tree, leaves his friend,
Unnerves his strength, invites his end.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The scent of pine has a magical effect on me. The holiday season doesn’t begin in my heart until we bring in that beautiful pine tree. The fragrance envelopes the house and fills me with every Christmas of my life. The lights are strung and the warmth and glow brings joy. We unwrap each ornament lovingly, like an old friend, and as we hang them, our tree whispers it’s memories, one by one as each ornament is hung. They’re like little memories on display intermingled with the scent of pine, reminding me of loved ones lost, new lives beginning, bittersweet thoughts of days I can’t bring back, but most of all they remind me of my life as a whole.

Our decorated Christmas tree is a story of my life. A story with a new chapter every year, a story of my loves, a story of how fortunate I am, and a story of the promise of tomorrow.

“It is difficult to realize how great a part of all that is cheerful and delightful in the recollections of our own life is associated with trees.”
~Wilson Flagg

No matter the size of the tree or the decorations. Your particular tree is a miracle of nature. The sight and scent of it will fill you with the spirit of joy, love and peace.

"I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”
~Linus from A Charlie Brown Christmas

In closing, I would like to wish each and every one of you a season of joy and happiness. May your New Year be filled with love, laughter, good health and prosperity. Keep the promise of growth and hope close to your heart…

Much love,

New Favorite Quote...

So, I was watching "Out of the Past" this morning for what was probably the tenth time. By the way, if you haven't seen it, it's a must-see. In my opinion, it's in the top 5 all-time best of film noir...

As I was saying, I was watching this movie (procrastinating about all the things I should be doing) when a line in the movie came up that I had never caught before. I couldn't believe I'd missed it all the previous times, and it is such a fabulous line. Of course, the film is filled to the brim with excellent one-liners, but this particular line is my new favorite quote:

"A dame with a gun is like a guy with a knitting needle." So awesome.

Thanks for checking in, pals of mine. Hope you're enjoying your holiday season...xo

Brock Street...

I'd like you to meet my brother, the apple of my eye. Isn't he beautiful? Let me tell you, he's as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside. And so very talented, in so many ways. Am I prejudice? Perhaps. Am I exaggerating? Not in the least. You'll see what I mean if you visit his amazing blog, Brock Street. He'll get you jonesing like no other.

Above are some examples of his decorating style, and his home. He is such an inspiring man. He'll make you want to go through each and every room of your house and make it perfect. His taste is impeccable and he loves thrifting and digging out treasures just as much as I do. He's the best person I've ever gone treasure hunting with. He finds beauty in just about everything, and never misses an extra special hidden item.

And let me tell you, no one knows fashion like my brother. He could whip anyone into fashion perfection in no time flat.

Truly. The best brother. Ever.

Thank you for stopping by, darlings...xo

Top Tweet of the Day...

A Financially Unstable Mess, But At The Liquor Store They Call Me Ma'am. Print by Mincing Mockingbird.

Top tweet of the day by mmockingbird (aka Mincing Mockingbird), via Twitter... I actually have a tie for best, both by Mincing Mockingbird.

"I have difficulty displaying naked courage. I get scared thinking that there is a day when McRib will not be available."


"Snow-capped mountains behind palm trees? I don't pay to live in a super expensive city to have clashing exterior decor!"

Hilarious, as are most of mmockingbird's tweets. Not only is he an artist with command over all beasts of the air, he has command of twitter as well.

Thanks for checking in, friends! xo

I'm All Aflutter...

Robert Downey, Jr. + Sherlock Holmes = One very happy girl.

Opening on Christmas Day...I can't wait!

Thanks for stopping by, friends...xo

The Uniform Project (and me)...

I'm so honored to have my Wallflower Brooch on The Uniform Project. Sheena is wearing it as a very chic hat and it makes me all kinds of happy. Doesn't she look amazing and beautiful?

Exciting news! For the entire month of December, any donations you make to The Uniform Project will be doubled! All that's wanted for the holidays is 175 kids in school.

Check out some of my other blog posts about The Uniform Project, and thank you so much for taking time out of your day to visit...xo