Christmas Decorating: Simple Tips for a Beautiful Holiday Home

I love decorating for the holidays, and I love seeing what others have done. I was especially excited to see what my friend Kelly, who you all met a few blogs ago, would do to her beautiful home. And boy, she did not disappoint!!


Christmas Decorating

by Kelly Wilkniss

 

It started with a fateful knock on the door and a single question…”who is your designer“?

White farmhouse porch http://mysoulfulhome.com

I am the designer. Mary Beth was the knocker.

Since that day, friendships developed, tours have been taken, videos made and now, I have the honor of guest posting on PLANK!

I am Kelly ~ the knock-ee. My blog is My Soulful Home. I host Decorating Tips & Tricks ~ the podcast, my book is My Soulful Home ~ a year in flowers and I co-created the app ~ bHome.

Finding (and Maintaining) Balance

Funny things have come from writing this blog … observations. Little things here or there that spark an idea and I think “I need to tuck that away” for future topics. Obviously writing them down would be helpful and probably more productive, but nevertheless, some things keep reappearing in my conscience, and I know it’s something I should talk about. This week, that’s balance … the physical kind. 

As those of you who read PLANK know, I, probably like most of you, wave in and out of my commitment to health and fitness. But, as I get older, I see all around me how important it is. Even though I lose my way sometimes, I always manage to find my way back. Now in my 50s (best decade so far!), I find that everything goes to crap pretty fast. But, if I commit to eating right and, more importantly, EXERCISING as many days a week as I can, I can pull it back from the edge.

A Date with Gratitude

I’m sure I have mentioned this along the way, but when I first met my husband, all I knew how to make was quiche. Because I became interested, I started making recipes from magazines and took some cooking classes. Tackling the holidays, however, is a WHOLE  other story!

Over the years, with lots of trials and errors, not to mention many phone calls to my mother or mother in law, I can crank out the holiday bird and, as my granny would say, all the fixins. But, I know how daunting it can be, especially to not have your turkey be DRY!

So I applaud Mandy, our PLANK editor, for her first foray into this … not only for her leap of faith, but also for doing it all so beautifully! Thank goodness she photographed the process and results so we can share the ride. I do think she should have added her friends’ food coma shot!!


A Date with Gratitude

by Mandy Denaux

Last Thursday, I had a first date with Tom. Now before you go and get excited (Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m looking at you), it wasn’t the kind of date you’re thinking. No, I had a date with Tom … my very first turkey.

When I decided to host my first Thanksgiving festivity, it was with the idea that I would not be cooking the turkey – I’m not much of a turkey eater, much less cooker, and the thought of cooking an entire bird was intimidating.

Instead, I placed an order with my local grocer and began plotting all the delicious sides and trimmings. But as the day got closer, the less excited I was about my store-cooked turkey. After all, this was my first time hosting a holiday dinner, and I’d planned everything else so carefully … why would I leave the main dish up to some random cook in the Gelson’s deli? And also, and more importantly, what would my grandmother think?

No Time for the Blame Game

Years ago, in an acting class, we read a book with a chapter and exercise about blame. I’ve said before that school was never my thing, but this excerpt has always stuck with me. When my son was in high school, I gave it to him to read … and shared it with him again recently.

Dreams Into Action book coverAs we prepare for the holidays, I’ve been thinking about the families who, at this time of year, struggle to overcome disagreements or long-standing family issues. It’s unfortunate that, in too many cases, misunderstandings, pride and blame can stand in the way of friendship, family or love. And, now with the holidays upon us, perhaps it’s a good time for a little introspection. 

#KindnessIs: Mary Beth asks, her co-stars answer

This past weekend, I was delighted to join my Days of our Lives co-stars for the annual Day of Days event at Universal City Walk, where we all at the opportunity to meet with thousands of fans. 

They cheered us on, brought us treats and shared stories of how the show has impacted their lives  … and we had the best time! 

While we were there, I decided to honor World Kindness Day (which was Monday), by asking my colleagues to share their opinions on kindness and what it means to them.  I loved their willingness to walk this PLANK with us … and I think you’ll love their answers. 

You Asked … Mary Beth Answers Your Questions (Part 2)

We’re back for more of your questions! I love these video blogs because I have so much fun reading your questions and hearing your feedback. I hope you enjoy watching as much as I did filming. 

We couldn’t get to all of the questions, but we’ll definitely be back for more of these in the future, so keep you eyes on my Instagram account … I’ll post a call for questions there. 

As always, thanks for your continued support!!