Images of Spring 2016

Hi, dear Vixens!!!  How are all of you on the verge of May???

So we started the month of April here:

April 4 2016

And ended in Spring!!!  Since I cannot do the colors justice, I will let the images speak for themselves. They ae all from my iPhone but I think they are OK.  Enjoy!

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The Ides Of Michele

Hi, Vixens!!!  Doesn’t this whole “lose an hour to spring forward” thing kind of make you feel like you lost more than just 60 minutes???  I cannot wait another 7 months to get it back.  I want it NOW   😦

We are six days away from the first official day of Spring but it already feels like the season has arrived thanks to last week’s mid-50’s temperatures here on the east coast-and this week promises more of the same.  I know the majority of people prefer the spring and summer months so much that they actually suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) waiting for the warmer weather to arrive.  But this is my time of year to be sad.

Getting-Through-Winter-SAD

Source:  Boatingtimesli.com

I get that some people have had it worse than me this time of year-Julius Caesar, for one, comes to mind.  But I prefer the fall to winter months, and let’s face it, we really did not have much of a winter this year.  It was not just the lack of snow, but except for a handful of days, it was a very mild season.

But this season’s holidays-Easter, Mother’s Day & Father’s Day, not to mention the birthdays of my grandmother and father plus my parent’s anniversary-and I need a morphine drip to get through the whole season.  Then come the hazy, hot & humid days of summer and I spend almost every waking hour in air conditioning.  I wish I was a bear so I could hibernate for these two seasons.  There is nothing to decorate for and even my magazines do not help as they are all chock full of “how to enjoy every second of the summer” articles.  Ugh.

Of course, there are some things I look forward to:  deliciously fragrant lilacs, paid days off (Memorial Day & Fourth of July),  fireworks, outdoor concerts and, of course, garage sales.  But other than that I would rather sleep through the next six months.

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Source:  flowerpatchfarmhouse.com

So this weekend as I nursed a fever and felt sorry for myself for being sick, I thought about ways I could make the next six months easier to tolerate.

Despite the fact that I have a black thumb, I am going to try to grow something if it kills me.  I will try a tomato plant, a basil plant & a cilantro plant in containers outside my apartment.  Maybe I will be successful since the plants will be outside in the sun as opposed to inside my dark 60 degree apartment.

I also want to up my baking game.  Every year I promise myself I will make Christmas cookies but I never do.  I also want to learn to make my own pie crust.  What better time to experiment than in the summer when the house will be nice & cool thanks to the A/C?  I will start honing my baking skills with this beautiful Speckled Malted Coconut Cake courtesy of Country Living that I want to bring to my book club’s luncheon coming up next month.  You can find the recipe here.

Country Living coconut cake

Source:  Country Living Magazine. 

So that is my plan so far.  I hope it works.  If not, it will be a long six months.

On a completely random note, I stumbled upon these adorable Lady Bug golf ball crafts online.  Too cute for words, don’t you think???

How-To-Make-Golf-Ball-Ladybugs

Source:  EverythingOrganized.Org

Hope you all have a great week.

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

Weekend Wanderings

Hello my dear Vixens!!!  How are all of you today?

The first full weekend of March was mild in weather but cruel in its omission of any estate sales for me to attend yet again. So with St. Patrick’s Day now just 10 days away & Easter a mere three weeks away, I decided it was time to peruse Pinterest for some fun ideas & recipes for the upcoming holidays.

I love this St. Patrick’s Day wreath.  It is a great way to use green Christmas ornaments for another holiday, plus it adds so much sparkle to the current one!!!  The simplicity of adding split peas to to white candles makes for some great ambiance during a traditional corned beef & cabbage meal.  The plant pot turned Leprechaun hat is a great craft for adults to do with the kids in their lives.  And when the holiday is over, just flip the pot over and start growing something you can later transplant into your spring garden.

green wreath       split pea candles     st patrick crafts

Source (L to R):  Etsy/Memphis Moms Wreaths and Two Twenty One and Life As Mama.

As for snacks, the green pretzel pops are just too cute for words!!!  Not far behind, Rice Krispies treats can be made specifically for any holiday simply by adding some food coloring and additional ingredients.  In this case see how extra-adorable the Lucky Charms cereal marshmallows look in the squares?  And a lime sherbet float looks especially refreshing in a mason jar.

St Patricks Day pretzel pops  rice krispy  lime floats

Source (L to R):  Mommy’s Bundle, My Honey’s Place/Classy Clutter and Home Cooking Memories.

For Easter, any one of these displays will work to not only celebrate the holiday but to welcome spring as well.  All three displays can stay up through April & most of May with just a little tweaking.  You can swap the eggs out of the first display for anything around your house, the second display works without the bunnies and the letters while the third display is fine just the way it is.

easter arrangement  decoholic  The Everyday Home springify

Source (L to R):  The Casual Craftlete, Decoholic/Pottery Barn and The Everyday Home/Vibeke Design.

As for food on Easter, let the bunny have center stage if there are kids you are trying to entertain while they eat healthfully.  The crudites platter or the breakfast pancake bunny should do the trick.  I do not know if the asparagus wrapped in pancetta and puff pastry will fool them, buy hey, the adults have to eat too, right???  And since I love asparagus, I am always looking for new ways to enjoy it.

buzzfeed crudite platter she knows pancake bunny whole and heavely asparagus

Source (L to R):  Buzzfeed, She Knows/This Little Pig Stayed Home and Whole and Heavenly Oven.

As for Easter eggs, I prefer the typical soft pastel hues over elaborately decorated eggs.   But if I was to attempt a design, this would be the one I would try.  Just too cute!!!

minion eggs

Source:  apumpkinandaprincess.com

So, how did you spend your weekend?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

 

 

 

So long, February!!!

Hello, Vixens!!!  How crazy is it that we arrived at the end of February so quickly?  What did you take away from the second month of the year?

As much as I am settling into my new life here in CT, I am itching to get to some estate sales as I am beginning to have severe & painful withdrawal symptoms.  I cannot wait to go into an old Victorian and dig, dig, DIG!!!

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Source:  Historicbuildingsct.com

While I bide my time, I am enjoying other activities like my book club meetings.  Last month’s selection was a fabulous read (“Everything I Never Told You“*** by Celeste Ng).  This month we are reading “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante.  Have any of you read this one yet?

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I am thinking of joining a second club through the library.  They read old books by classic authors.  This month’s selection is William Faulkner’s “Light In August”.  I am really looking forward to it because I still remember how mesmerized I was the first time I read “A Rose For Emily”.   Wow.

I reluctantly started watching “Grey’s Anatomy” again, which I swore I would not do after Shonda Rhimes killed off Patrick Dempsey’s Derek McDreamy character.  But the music on that show has always been top notch & mostly from new or lesser known artists, and I love hearing new talent.  A recent song I have fallen head over heals in love with is “Touch” by Sleeping At Last.  Just gorgeous. Whatever type of music you enjoy, I dare you not to adore this song!!!  Can you believe that “Grey’s” has been on the air since 2005!!!  Where have the last 11 years gone?  But I will always love the first three seasons with the original cast the best.  And I still miss the hottest patient ever, Denny Duquette. He almost made me enroll in medical school!!!  Sa-woon!!!

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Original source unknown)

As much as I love TV, I have been stuck in a happy rut of old shows (“Everybody Loves Raymond***”, “The Facts of Life***”, “Reba***, “Roseanne***” and of course my “Golden Girls***”.  But another one of the few prime time shows I watch is “Modern Family” which I am happy to report is still as funny as ever in its seventh season.  It was so great to see new episodes after the holiday hiatus.

Did you hear there is a new biopic about Hank Williams coming out this month?  “I Saw The Light” opens March 25. I am so there.  I love bios on the legends of music, whether past or present.

I saw the light

Let’s review what else happened in February:  Leonardo DiCaprio finally won a Best Actor Oscar (for “The Revenant“), Ed Sheeran finally won a Grammy Award & it was a big one (Song of the Year for “Thinking Out Loud“), I turned another year older and I am still wondering if there will be a sequel to “The Blind Side” since Michel Oher’s team, the Carolina Panthers, lost this year’s big game to Peyton Manning & the Denver Broncos.  But I think it is worth a second movie given Oher has now been to the Superbowl twice, winning a ring in 2013 with his first pro team, the Baltimore Ravens.  That in and of itself makes for a great plot, right?.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Recording artist Ed Sheeran, winner of Best Pop Solo Performance for 'Thinking Out Loud', accepts award onstage during the GRAMMY Pre-Telecast at The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Microsoft Theater on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)

A new movie could also explore the family’s rise to fame due to the success of the movie, how they felt seeing their lives played out on the big screen, meeting the actors who portrayed them and the experience of attending the Academy Awards in 2010.  Plus I would love to see Tim McGraw on the big screen again.  Swoon.  Who is with me 🙂  ???

So what made the second month of the year memorable for you?

Please note that I do not own the rights to anything, but the starred links*** are my affiliate links. I only share what I love and am grateful for the support 🙂   .

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

 

 

Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  Happy February!!!

It’s awards season!!!  Did I ever tell you how much I love awards shows???  I do.  I love watching the stars arrive on the red carpet, seeing the gorgeous dresses and shoes, the different hairstyles and accessories-all of it (although I must admit it is very different without Joan Rivers…sigh).  I like to see who presents with who, and if their jokes will be funny or fall flat.  I even like listening to the speeches, especially when they are off the cuff and heartfelt, and sometimes I get teary eyed during the “In Memoriam” segment.

So, after forgetting all about the Golden Globe Awards a few weeks back (I know, right???  I am sooo off my game!!!   But don’t worry, I caught the highlights on their site & YouTube LOL), I made sure I was front and center on Saturday night for the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards.  My favorite part hands down was when the perfect pair of Tina Fey & Amy Poehler presented Carol Burnett with the Lifetime Achievement Award, followed very closely by when the adorable Steve Carrell escorted her to the stage.  Look how classically beautiful the ladies looked:

Tina Fey Harpers  Amy  carol

Sources (l to r):  Tina Fey & Amy Poehler:  Getty.  Carol Burnett:  The Huffington Post.  

Prints were very big on the red carpet this year, worn by Naomi Watts, Julia-Louis Dreyfus, Rachel McAdams and Nicole Kidman, to name a few.  But I am usually old school when it comes to gowns and prefer more of a monochromatic look.  The women from “Mad Men“*** were three of my absolute favorites:

Christina  J Jones  Jessica

Sources (l to r):  Christina Hendricks & January Jones:  Getty.   Jessica Pare:  AP.

I really wanted “Mad Men” to win for Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series for its unbelievably phenomenal final season but that honor went to Downton Abbey.  But seeing Jon Hamm again with that post “Mad Men” beard had me sa-wooning!!!

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 30: Actor Jon Hamm attends The 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. 25650_013 (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner)

Source:  Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

The awards are also how I keep up with the movies and shows most worth watching since I have been out of the loop on both lately.  It does not have anything to do with who wins but rather what I find interesting.  As for films. I really want to see “Spotlight” with another “Mad Men alumni, John Slattery, “Room” and “The Danish Girl“.  For series, I am dying to see “Transparent” with Best Actor In A Comedy winner Jeffrey Tambor whom I have LOVED since I saw him decades ago with Al Pacino in “And Justice For All“*** and in “Hill Street Blues“*** as a dress wearing judge.  Wow, I guess his career has come full circle!!!  But I want to binge watch it, along with “Orange Is The New Black“, “Downton Abbey” and “How to Get Away With Murder“.

Here are some other dresses I loved from the awards show.  I adored the color of Viola Davis’ dress!!!

Helen  Sofia  Viola

Source (l to r):  Helen Mirren, Sofia Vergara & Viola Davis:  Getty.  

Amanda  Emerald  Sophie

Source (l to r):  Amanda Peet, Uzo Aduba and Sophie Turner:  Getty.  

I also think it is time for me to put this out there:  I am a pioneer in binge watching.  That’s right, before it was a thing, I was doing it.  And I am pretty proud of it!!!  It started a long time ago when I was a kid and was bored one Saturday morning watching cartoons (I loved the Peanuts and Fred Rogers.  No cartoons could stand up to those two powerhouses for me).  I turned the channel to PBS and three episodes of “Sesame Street” were on, followed by three episodes of  “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”.  I was amazed!!!  I thought I was controlling it too, because when the first episode was coming to an end, I wished another one would come on even though that had never happened before. But poof, my wish came true!!!  It was fantastic!!!

Mister Rogers'

Original source:  PBS

Many years later, I started recording my soap opera (I still miss my friends from Bay City) to watch after school and/or work and when I could not watch a Monday episode one week, I decided to wait until Sunday to watch the whole week of them in a row.  All that serial goodness in one sitting AND I was able to fast forward through the commercials!!!  It was life altering!!!  After that, unless it was a sweeps month and I could not bear to wait an entire week for an update, I binged them all the time.  Same thing with my nightly shows if time and tape allowed.  And the rest, as they say, is history.  So all the newbies jumping on the binge-watching band wagon are just a tad late to the party as far as I am concerned!!!  LOL

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Original source:  NBC

But the joke’s on me because I should have been the one to invent Hulu and the likes which helped introduce “binge watching” into the vernacular.  Ugh, I’m a blockhead!!!

So, that was the highlight of my weekend.  How was yours?  Did any of you watch the SAG Awards?  Are there any movies or series you want to see or would recommend?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

Note:  The starred links*** are my affiliate links. I only share what I love and am grateful for the support.  Thanks!!!

“And The Stars Look Very Different Today…”

Not even two weeks into the new year and we already have a devastating loss in the world of music.  David Bowie, the 1970’s rock icon who transformed himself over and over throughout his illustrious career, died after an 18 month battle with cancer on January 10.  He was 69 years old.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX (100574d) David Bowie DAVID BOWIE AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL - 1983

        Photo by Richard Young 1983

Born David Robert Jones in London on January 8, 1947, he changed his last name to avoid confusion with the other Davey Jones in The Monkees.  Bowie’s  musical career began with his break through album “Space Oddity” in 1969 and he spent the 1970’s establishing himself as a glam rock, art rock musician like no other with songs like “Changes“, “Golden Years“, “Rebel Rebel” and “Suffragette City“.  He easily segued from his Ziggy Stardust persona of the 70’s to the suave, well dressed gentleman in a string of 1980’s videos for hits like “Modern Love“, “Let’s Dance“, “China Girl” and “Blue Jean“.

Not only did Bowie do great work as a solo artist, but his collaborations were stunning as well.  Aside from his ground-breaking work with the likes of Lou Reed, Brian Eno and Iggy Pop, Bowie also worked with John Lennon on “Fame“,  covered the Motown classic “Dancing In The Streets” with Mick Jagger, joined Bing Crosby for a wonderful collaboration of “The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth” and teamed up with rock group Queen for “Under Pressure“, to name a few.  These collaborations showed how innovative, versatile and truly unique Bowie’s musical genius was.

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Source:  ultimateclassicrock.com

Bowie also had several acting roles, most notably in the movies (he played Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s film “The Last Temptation Of Christ” as well as roles in “The Man Who Fell To Earth” and “The Linguini Incident“) and on the Broadway stage (he played the title role in “The Elephant Man” in 1980-1981).  He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1996 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by David Byrne of The Talking Heads.  On January 8 2016, on what was Bowie’s 69th birthday, his last recording “Blackstar” was released.

My two best memories of Bowie after his collaborations are when the TV series “Without A Trace” used “Space Oddity” in Anthony LaPaglia’s signature episode entitled “John Michaels“.  The second was Bowie’s performance at the Concert For NYC in 2001.  He was humble and grateful to the men and women who kept his adopted home of Manhattan safe and showed that with a stand out performance of “Heroes”.  I cannot seem to find that performance online, so here is that song from his “Live By Request” show a year later in 2002.

Rest in peace, David Bowie.  “And may God’s love be with you”.

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Source:  livinglifeboomerstyle.com

Please note that I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some of my favorite music with you.

Christmas Song Of The Day #16 & Some Holiday Decor

Merry Christmas, my dear lovely Vixens!!!  Hope you are in the throes of the nicest holiday celebration you have ever known!!!  Before we get to the final Christmas Song Of The Day, I would like to share some of my holiday décor with you.

Around the time I moved into my house, Hallmark released a series of ornaments to celebrate “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.  A different keepsake was released each week or so until you collected the whole set.  To promote this line of collectibles, Hallmark had four foot tall cardboard cutouts of Charlie Brown in his winter attire in the store.  From the second I walked into the store, I knew one of those cutouts had to be mine.  Luckily, the store manager was agreeable and sold it to me at a very fair price (let’s face it, he could have price gauged me and I still would have bought it!!!)  Since then, that cut out has been part of my Christmas décor and celebration year after year.  🙂

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I am pretty traditional with my decorations-real wreath on the front door and real tree in the house.  I usually always have a white poinsettia, too which reminds me of my grandmother as she loved them so.  She preferred the red ones but since I do not care for that color I opt for the white version.  This year I am sorry to write that was a fail as it fell out of my car when I opened the door to get it and died at my feet.  Ugh.  Next year I will buy two.

This sweet vintage snowman sign sits on the back of my front door.  I found him at an antiques store in Cincinnati in 2011 when my cousin & I went there on our way to the 127 Sale (a/k/a the World’s Longest Yard Sale).  I fell in love with his sweet teddy bear-like face!!!  Don’t you just love the top hat!!!

iPhone as of 12 24 15 388

Because my apartment is small I thought little pops of color would go a long way.  I filled a hurricane vase with some vintage ornaments to give the bathroom a little sparkle of its own.  It looked lonely by itself so I added a candle and an ornament (yes, that is Pig Pen next to a snowman.  My Peanuts obsession is real and deep, people!!!  LOL!!!)

iPhone as of 12 24 15 392

The Christmas song of the day is a simple wish for joy and peace.  Whether it is global peace, inner peace or a way to get through a personal war you may be fighting, my wish is that we all find whatever we need by next Christmas.  I hope you enjoy “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon & the Plastic Ono Band.

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Source:  billboard.com

Merry Christmas, Vixens!!!

 

 

Christmas Song Of The Day #15

Hello, Vixens & Merry Christmas Eve!!!  We have arrived at the 24th of December.  I hope you are all basking in the beauty of this moment and letting go of whatever you possibly did not get to do yet.  Take comfort in a job well done and let yourself enjoy the day.  If you have approached the season with a less is more approach, may you continue to focus on what matters most not just during this season, but every day of the year!

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Source:  indulgy.com 

There really was only one song I thought was perfect for today, but since there are about 100 versions to choose from, picking one was not an easy task.  Until I remembered this version by Andrea Bocelli.  It features one of the most beautiful arrangements I have ever heard, courtesy of multi-Grammy winning songwriter and producer David Foster.  The orchestra is simply gorgeous and compliments Bocelli’s voice perfectly.

Truth be told I could do without the appearance of a children’s choir at the end for two lines (the song just does not need anything more than Bocelli’s voice and the exquisite arrangement).  Most of the song is done in Italian until the end when he sings a chorus in English.  I have adored Bocelli’s voice from the fist time I heard him perform “Time To Say Goodbye” with Sarah Brightman.  It is strong, deep, passionate and unbelievably beautiful.

I remember going to Christmas Mass as a child with my mother and her mother, and singing this song along with the rest of the people in the church.  All the Christmas songs the congregation sang were special, but this always seemed to be the loudest one, as if every one was participating.  As we attended a Catholic church, I should not have found that surprising.  The song focuses on the religious part of the holiday so if you believe in that theology, then “Silent Night” is probably one of your favorite holiday songs.

Please remember I do not own the rights to anything, I am just sharing some of my favorite music with you.

Enjoy & Merry Christmas!!!

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Source:  classicfm.com

 

Christmas Songs of the Day 12 & 13

Hello, Vixens!!!  Sorry I missed all of you yesterday but unfortunately, technical difficulties prevailed.  Ugh.  So first, let me wish you a happy Winter Solstice!!!  Two, to make up for missing yesterday, I will share two favorite holiday tunes with you today!!!

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Source:  Heartfelt Finds 

Up first is a familiar song that has closed out two of the most famous Christmas specials out there:  “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “It’s A Wonderful Life“.  So many people have covered this tune so I have too many favorites to list here.  But this year I have been listening to Amy Grant’s version of “Hark! The Herald Angels” the most.  Not a lot of bells and whistles, just her voice strong and clear and in the same version I remember best from my childhood.  Sometimes simple says it best of all 🙂

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Source:  entertainment.caller.com

Next is a more modern song (despite the fact that it came out almost 40 years ag0) that almost instantly became a holiday staple from the minute it was first released, despite coming out in April not December.  For anyone who has ever been away from home for an extended period, from service men & women to college students to married couples who moved away from their families for various reasons, this song welcomes them all home and more.  It’s Kenny Loggins with “Celebrate Me Home“.

Please remember I do not own the rights to anything, I am just sharing my favorite music with you.

Enjoy!!!

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Source:  allmusic.com

 

 

Christmas Song Of The Day #11

Hello, Vixens & happy Sunday to all of you!!!  As we continue our countdown to Christmas, I hope you enjoy another one of my favorite holiday songs!!!

christmasfireplacescene[1]

Source:  worshiphousemedia.com

Every once in a while a singer comes along who changes the game and takes it up much more than a notch.  Sometimes its the timing that’s perfect, or the song, or the arrangement or the singer.  Sometimes, when the voice is really spectacular, it’s all of those things combined.  That was the certainly the case with Karen Carpenter.

As one half of the brother and sister duo, her voice became the sound of soft romantic music in the 1970’s.  Even if their music was not your particular favorite, there was no denying the beauty or subtle power of Karen Carpenter’s voice.  Her brother, Richard, knew exactly how to write and arrange music that perfectly suited her vocal range, which only added to the magic of the recordings they made together.  Add in the fact that she was also one of the first drummers in an all male setting made Karen Carpenter a real hero to so many women and little girls, me included.  In fact, I started to learn how to play the drums in fourth grade because of her, and stayed with it throughout elementary school as the only girl playing drums with the boys.

If I think about her life too closely, it is hard not to feel sorry for how things unfolded for her:  a rigorous touring schedule that left her little time for a personal or social life, a failed marriage when she just wanted to be happy and have a family like most women her age and a battle against a disease that would eventually claim her life at the age of 32.

So I’d rather focus on the beautiful music she left us, from “Superstar” (remember Chris Farley & David Spade singing this in “Tommy Boy“?), “Rainy Days and Mondays“, “Close To You” (also featured in the movie “Parenthood“), “Goodbye To Love“, “Yesterday Once More“, “We’ve Only Just Begun” and so many more.

The Carpenters also made several holiday recordings but my favorite one is The Christmas Song.  Karen’s voice is crystal clear, soft and completely mesmerizing.  She had an incredible gift.

Please remember I do not own the rights to anything, I am just sharing my favorite songs with you.

Enjoy!!!

la-re-place-carpenters18feb18-3[1]Source:  latimes.com