What I Did On Christmas Day

How I Spent Christmas…

I cooked a pork tenderloin, scalloped potatoes and green beans. It was delicious and there were leftovers, which I love. 

I watched HGTV and totally enjoyed chilling with my favorite shows. I really loved the tiny house hunts, which I hadn’t seen before, as I just recently acquired HGTV on my cable package.

A dear friend of mine called from Tyler, Texas. We spent some time catching up. Oh, how I miss her!

Believe it or not, it was warm on Christmas Day, and it rained. 

I wore shorts and had the air conditioning on. So weird. 

Christmas night I read a book on my Kindle. 

All in all, I had a great and relaxing day, doing exactly what I wanted to do. 

Notes About Living In Small Rented Spaces…

I’ve had quite a few looks in this apartment in the nearly three years I’ve lived here. It will be three years in April.

And every time I’ve looked at this apartment and thought the layout was limiting, I somehow managed to change it up. 

All this to say, you really are not all that limited when it comes to living in a rented and/or small home. 

I love a challenge, and so I’ve challenged myself when decorating this one bedroom apartment. 

If I lived in a big house, it would be easy to have “form over function.”  

But in a small space, it has to be function first. 

With the right mind set, you can do it. Where there is a will, I promise you there is a way.

The Urge To Purge Series…

On January 1st, I will begin on a walk-in closet. One of two closets in my bedroom that are a complete and utter mess. 

I can hardly walk in either closet without worrying about something falling off the top shelves onto my head. 

They weren’t that bad until I started digging around in there for Christmas decor. And made the decision to just leave everything in there cluttered until after the holiday. 

I will be purging some Christmas decor to try to get this yearly problem under control.

So that will be my first purging project.

If you’re going to join me and take part in this series, choose one spot in your home.

Maybe it’s a junk drawer in the kitchen. Or de-cluttering a book shelf. It can be as small or as large a project as you want to start out with. I suggest something not totally intimidating.

Choose your first project and focus. Don’t think about what you will start next. Put the second project out of your mind.

We will share what we’ve gotten done in the comments. 

Hopefully the discussion will keep us all feeling positive and we can spring ideas off one another.

So now is the time to look around your home and figure out what that first project is going to be. 

And here is a photo of Charlie Ross coming down his steps.

And another from yesterday. Just because he’s mama’s handsome little man.


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  1. Your Christmas sounded perfectly lovely. Sometimes I think we try to pack way too much into what should be a very simple, quiet, peaceful day. My husband and I are going to clean out our closets, one at a time. Some have not been organized for decades. We live in a one hundred year old house and have several walk-in closets to go through. It might take us all year! We shall see. Happy New Year!

  2. Your Christmas day sounds peaceful and cozy Brenda…My son and I had nice day too…he bought me a beautiful antique sterling and emerald ring on Etsy…he couldn't have picked anything more perfect…Emerald is my birthstone but I only like natural stone…the fake stuff is not nearly as pretty…I will be on board for your train to the land of purging…lol…it will be a bumpy ride but we will get there…I think my first stop will be the big deep shelves in our bathroom…I know there are things on those shelves that have sat there for ten years since we moved here…I really need the storage room for things that are useful…I am following your idea of relaxing and reading the rest of this week and starting the purge at the beginning of the new year..I wish the best of luck to all of us who have the urge to purge!

  3. Sounds like lots of us will be de-cluttering and donating. Please don't forget to look for an animal shelter thrift store near you–they need our help to help the animals. I'll start on a small project: over the years I've collected too-many-to-count supplements and prescriptions that haven't worked. I'm going to get rid of those tried-but-didn't-work ones. I hear you can take them to a pharmacy or possibly a doctor's office and turn them in. Then I'll rest up for a bigger project.

  4. We had ham, scalloped potatoes and salad, something similar….unless you had apple pie for dessert!! I seem to be purging constantly, but want to whittle down my Christmas decorations as I pack this year, so I guess I would be purging my attic space.

  5. A perfect Christmas. We had rain and warmish weather (for SE WI) too. A lot of the 16" of snow we had received over the prior two weekends melted away in a mini-winter thaw! I cooked filet mignon for myself, read, watched some favorite movies, exchanged email and FB greetings and news with friends and family and had a tranquil, quiet Christmas, just the way I like it. I started putting up an arrangement of mirrors on a freshly painted wall in my "dining area" in the kitchen/dinette. I put the last mirror up today (nothing like taking one's time :)) My closets, such as they are (not large, in this 1956 house) have been purged, but I do need to do something about too many boxes of Christmas decor. Got tons of storage/shelf space in my basement, but still, I should do something about those boxes I haven't opened in years!

    1. I simply cannot buy any more things for holidays. When it comes time to put it up, I am in a quandary! Always saying to myself: Now what was I thinking?

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you for starting with your walk-In closets. I so desperately need to declutter my closet. I will start and then think of how much I paid for that item, or might need that item in the future, or I could use that for… the list is ever ending. That is why is just stays as it is and I shut the door (when I can get it to shut! LOL!) hopefully, your inspiration will help me!

    1. Those closets are by far the most cluttered and unorganized place in my home. One good thing about not having much space, is the fact that you don't have a lot of places to clutter up!

  7. My closet is a disaster. It has everything thrown in it that doesn't have a place to go to. And of course when guests arrive the closet door is opened for more goodies. It's got to stop. My hse only has two closets so that does make it difficult. This will be a fun declutter session

  8. Brenda, I enjoy your posts so much. You brighten my day with your pups and posts on your apartment.
    I may have missed something in all the Christmas rush, but, how is the maintenance man that you used to post about? I remember you helped him with a coffee maker, etc and he helped you with odd jobs.

    1. Israel took a job an another complex, but we're still friends. He comes by for coffee. And last Friday he came by for supper on his way out of town to drive to Mexico to see his grandkids.

  9. I'm glad you had a peaceful and relaxing holiday. I was with extended family from the 24th through 26th. It went well but it's nice to be at home today with just my husband and the cats. My mom just gave me her Christmas village buildings and I've been setting them up. Some people are taking down decorations but this is the week when I enjoy them the most. As for purging and organizing, we have only been in this house four months and some areas still need work. I will be concentrating on our office/hobby room as well as our garage in the coming months. Also, our utility room/pantry area is disorganized. Well, that's quite a lot of area to work on!

    1. I say enjoy things your own way on your own day! I don't have much in terms of drawers to purge or de-clutter because I don't use my kitchen for storage (due to fear of mice). I store my plates, etc, in the dining space. I really love stand alone furniture more than built-ins anyway.

  10. you are an inspiration brenda. and it's a tricky thing to be able to inspire people.
    i love minimalism so much that at times i can get all preachy about it! and you don't do that. you just inspire!
    you have such a lovely approach to everything about HOME.
    your ' urge to purge ' series sounds refreshing and wonderful.
    and a fabulous way to start the new year. i'm always IN for minimalism!
    and could charlie ross look any cuter!!! xo♥

    1. I will never be a "true" minimalist in regards to having a stark type of home with few things in it. But I think I can tone things down and feel better about it. Less to clean!

  11. Isn't it funny how we are all getting the urge to purge? I also had a good Christmas day, although not nearly as relaxing as yours. It was nice to get together with all the family, but I was glad when it was over and I came home to a nice quiet house.

    1. Whenever I go to visit Andrew, I love to play with him. But I'm ready to go home and rest! I guess January is just the month to want to purge after Christmas madness.

  12. I'm going to tackle my sewing room closet! My fabrics are all a big messy pile! Two full shelves of them…and more to fit in there. Time to purge and donate! Your Christmas sounds like it was perfect!

    1. I carried around lots of fabric from house to house until I moved to this apartment and got rid of it all. It's hard to give up a fabric stash you've accumulated, I know!

  13. I love it when you post pictures of your totally charming gingham and polka dot dishes. I would love to find some like them! There are several areas in our home that reeeally need cleaning out and purging, so I'll join you and work on places that are all mine, hopefully encouraging my husband to work on his spaces. We've lived in our house for over forty years now, so we have accumulated much, much stuff and it all has to be dealt with. Thanks for spearheading the effort for your readers!

  14. He IS a handsome little man!! My master closet needs some help – I really need to donate some clothes I don't wear and get it cleared out a bit. And my linen stash in the closet under the stairs needs to be sorted out, and at least half of it donated. I'm with you, Brenda – can't wait!! xo

    1. I took a bunch of clothes and linens to the thrift shop around the corner a month or so ago. Probably need to work on more though. You and I both love our pupsters!

  15. What a lovely peaceful Christmas. Mine was crazy and lovely but the next few days are for me to relax and rest. I'm trying to pick my first spot to purge as I really need to do some serious decluttering here.

  16. My master closet needs a serious decluttering. Might be able to join up to this one.

    Where did you get your pup steps?? Lola is never gonna be tall enough to get on the bed, so I need some.. thanks

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