Tag Archives: Holidays

Looking Back on Memorial Day

So many people in America have parties and BBQs on Memorial Day.  It’s a time of celebration for so many but I think America has forgotten what Memorial Day is all about.

Memorial Day, formerly Decoration Day, is a day when we should remember the brave men and women who died for our country.

That’s what Memorial Day is.  It’s a Memorial Day.

So while everyone is BBQ ing, keep these images in mind and never forget.

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The American Cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy is a must-see at least once in your life.  The emotions that raged through me the day I was there were staggering.

© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.


I Have A Heart On For You

Saint Valentine’s Day is always so commercial.  I plead with my husband NOT to buy me roses but he always does.  This year I finally got through to him… he bought me some great flowers anyway.

My mom will be gone six years now and I miss her little Valentine’s Day presents she used to give me every year.  I miss my Easter baskets too!

In any case, here are my heart ons and where I have them (I can have them anywhere)…  Glad I can post them in public!

I hope you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day!

On The Floor

On My Feet

In My Hand

On The Dresser

In The Bathroom


© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010

Reflecting On New Year’s Eve: Because I’m Not Ready For Any Resolutions Yet!

Times Square, New Year's Eve, December 31, 2007

Image via Wikipedia

Another New Year’s Eve has come and gone and I’m still waking up alone in my bed – Where the Hell did my husband sleep last night?

It was always a tradition in my family to watch the ball drop in Times Square at midnight from the comfort of our living room then have a feast complete with mini-hot dogs, provolone, pepperoni, Herring for my dad and a host of other pickies that we all enjoyed.  It was a joyous time to celebrate the New Year and to reflect on the past and try to improve the future.

When I stopped spending New Year’s Eve with Mommy and Daddy, no matter where I was, or what I was doing, I would always call them at midnight to wish them a Happy New Year.  This year was no exception.  Even though my mother is gone, my dad still has his 12 o’clock feast:  mini-hot dogs, cheese, herring and some homemade dandelion wine.

Looking back on New Year’s Eves gone by, I happily remember how I celebrated each one – even when they were not so happy.

  • Fun parties at my cousin’s house.
  • Crazy parties at my house.
  • Parties at hotels and restaurants.
  • Spending it alone in my bed crying.
  • Watching my husband fall asleep.
  • Dropping way too much money in Atlantic City on dinner and a wine pairing + $500!
  • First Night in Montclair.
  • Toasting with my family and friends.

I’m not sure if there is any happiness left for December 31st but I was glad to have some friends over this year.  I miss having a big party or going to a big party.  It’s just not the same anymore.  Maybe I’m just whining.

As my traditions fade I can only think about starting more.  My dream scenario is spending Christmas and New Year’s in Paris – in the city I love – not stuck in suburban Hell at the Jersey Shore.

Aside from all that, I AM thankful for my family and their good health and my good health – barring the miserable sinus infection.  I have a good feeling about 2011 because this afternoon while I was putting away clothes I found my lost gold earring that my husband gave to me.  I thought I lost it a while back and recently chalked it up to LOST FOREVER status.  Today I found it!

I hope the new year bring better days for everyone.  I hope you had a Happy New Year and I hope that 2011 is better than ever!

© 2011  J. H-M and CultureChoc2010

MY Original Snow Village

Growing up my mom always decorated our house in full Christmas regalia.  She showcased her ceramic brilliance and creative knack at putting together a Christmas display to rival anyone’s.

So after I got married my husband wanted to start a collection of Department 56 Christmas collectibles.  We decided on The Original Snow Village because it was full of fun and style.  Our first piece was Kris Kringle’s Toy Shop coupled with a Hot Cocoa take-away and our collection grew from there.

Now it has grown into a massive undertaking (to put up and to take down) taking  days to assemble in just the right way.  In 5 minutes my cats destroy it!

Bailey walks right through knocking down lamp posts and people impeding his path.  Peaches enjoys plopping down in the middle of a square and loves to watch the animated dancers in the Starlite Ballroom.  This year we have a kitten – that can only lead to disaster – I’ll keep you posted.

Ah... Starbucks!

A Little Residential

It's A Wonderful Life

Kris Kringle's

The Train Station, Fire Station....

2 Levels

The Winery & Lodge


Le Musée


The Park


The Tree


The Bungalow


At The Movies


From Above


Side View








Any bets on how long it stays intact?

Merry Christmas!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Blinging Up The Christmas Tree

Decorating for Christmas is always stressful yet fun.  It only happens once a year so I don’t mind doing all that work.

My mother used to do it too.  Her trees always had a theme.  Whether it was Angels, Red & Green Bows, Pink Candy Canes, Fruit, etc.  You name it, she did it.  Not only was each tree themed but every year her tree was impeccably decorated in the most symmetrical fashion – I swear she used a ruler!

I am not that… anal… well maybe I am.  Who knows.  My husband used to put up the tree and I was in charge of my Snow Village.  As the years have passed, I am in charge of it all and somehow always end up getting sick when I should be decorating.

This year is no exception.  I’m sick.  I should be blinging out my house in full Christmas regalia – but it will surely take time since I have to sit down every 10 minutes with a spinning head.

I always put my favorite ornaments in the front of the tree.  They all mean something to me but I have a lot of favorites.

I like donning my tree with an array of memories that make me happy when I look at them.  How do you decorate your tree?  I’d love to hear about it.

Reminds me where I live... The Jersey Shore

My Mom & I made this and many others in ceramics

Reminds me of our first home

Precious Moments - given to me by my friend Alicia

Reminds me of high school

Scuba Santa: Reminds me of the days scuba diving with Kristy

Given to me by my student, Brandy, when I first started teaching

Given to me by my husband... I cried

A Granny's Attic find!

My Mother's Angels that she made for her tree

Hello Kitty - I love my cat ornaments!

We bought this in Paris - need I say more...

My first 2 "kiddie cats", John and Me

Given to me by a student - It says: "Bailey" on the front and "J'aime mon chat" on the back

Yet another cat from the kids! This is Peaches I think.



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