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What’s under your Christmas tree?

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
6,305
Do you have a thread about your bathroom remodel? We are about to start one. Costs seem very high since we are actually just doing a "refresh."
I did have one for the kitchen remodel I did, but I don't think I posted much about the bathroom remodel. The guy I'm seeing buys, rehabs and then rents houses for his living. He is super handy plus has a stable of guys who work for him who I pay directly but pay his amount versus a mark up. And then I do the smaller things like buying the materials in advance, cleaning up, patch & painting of walls, and maybe tilework. Because they have other jobs and live elsewhere it is a bit of a hassle and more drawn out, but definitely more economical.

To give you an idea, my kitchen remodel was around 4500, and that included new sink, faucet, stove, microwave (as well as a huge demo of an old chimney!) The bathroom remodel is actually a combination of bathroom, laundry nook, and closet/bedroom remodel. It's not done yet but it should come around 3K but I should mention the guy I'm seeing has helped me for free plus has donated materials and items for the project. This weekend he cut and installed the shelves for the linen closet, bedroom closet and laundry nook!I find that quite romantic! If I paid for all the materials it would be more. I've been very busy but I will maybe at some point take some pics for a before and after.

eta the kids know it has been a crazy year expense-wise but the tree wont be bare. We adopted a kitten in August. She is super playful so I hope she behaves with the tree! The kids will have things like Sims add ons, books for each, some clothes, oldest wanted a cake mug set, youngest stuff to make her own slime. volley ball, maybe a new exercise ball (we have an old one that wont keep inflated) as well as stocking stuffers. But nothing huge (except, oldest did get a laptop as combination birthday/christmas gift). And I am wearing the ring I put together last year, so I am not bling-less!
 
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Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
2,636
At the moment the only thing under (and on, and up!) our tree is our little cat Panda. She was horribly mistreated as a kitten and never had a loving home until my brother rescued her when she was almost a year old, and as he moved to an apartment that does not allow pets, she is now with us. As a result she has never seen a Christmas tree before, so we put ours up last week and she goes nuts! The whole thing shudders and her tail flicks out the top, it's pretty hysterical. It's an 8.5ft tree so she works pretty hard to get to the top. Crazy cat!

As of Christmas Eve there will be a hoverboard underneath the tree for DH, four gifts for each of our two children (we do the 'one want, one need, one piece of clothing and one book' thing), and hopefully a loose cushion cut diamond for me for a 2020 ring project, if I can find the right one! :kiss2:
that kitty's life is getting better and better
:kiss2:
 

MeowMeow

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
861
Im really excited for Christmas this year. My father generously gave me some money as a christmas present so I used it for things for my baby first , then a few clothes I needed because I run around quite embarrassingly and have done for 3 years. My husband jokes that I am a hobo lol. But I snuck in a couple of presents for my husband in there. I ordered him a handmade box with a message on the inside and a set of engraved cufflinks. I just hope he likes them. I'm going to be over here dying until Christmas day lol.
 

Stone Hunter

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
6,387
I did have one for the kitchen remodel I did, but I don't think I posted much about the bathroom remodel. The guy I'm seeing buys, rehabs and then rents houses for his living. He is super handy plus has a stable of guys who work for him who I pay directly but pay his amount versus a mark up. And then I do the smaller things like buying the materials in advance, cleaning up, patch & painting of walls, and maybe tilework. Because they have other jobs and live elsewhere it is a bit of a hassle and more drawn out, but definitely more economical.

To give you an idea, my kitchen remodel was around 4500, and that included new sink, faucet, stove, microwave (as well as a huge demo of an old chimney!) The bathroom remodel is actually a combination of bathroom, laundry nook, and closet/bedroom remodel. It's not done yet but it should come around 3K but I should mention the guy I'm seeing has helped me for free plus has donated materials and items for the project. This weekend he cut and installed the shelves for the linen closet, bedroom closet and laundry nook!I find that quite romantic! If I paid for all the materials it would be more. I've been very busy but I will maybe at some point take some pics for a before and after.

eta the kids know it has been a crazy year expense-wise but the tree wont be bare. We adopted a kitten in August. She is super playful so I hope she behaves with the tree! The kids will have things like Sims add ons, books for each, some clothes, oldest wanted a cake mug set, youngest stuff to make her own slime. volley ball, maybe a new exercise ball (we have an old one that wont keep inflated) as well as stocking stuffers. But nothing huge (except, oldest did get a laptop as combination birthday/christmas gift). And I am wearing the ring I put together last year, so I am not bling-less!
WOW you are saving crazy amounts of money by doing so much yourself and hiring a guy with experience that isn't with a big company. We will be paying just tons of money for a "bathroom refresh." BUT it will also take care of a structural issue.

I don't know enough to be my own contractor for construction! I've saved money by being my own "jewelry contractor," buying stones separately and then finding a reasonable setting. Now all those savings will be spent on construction.
 

Catmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
9,964
Well I have a "big" birthday and a "big" anniversary next year. It's not going to be cheap so I told hubby to include this Christmas into the mix. So hopefully a 3 carat something or other. That means next year will be pretty barren though, lol.
 

MissyBeaucoup

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
921
I ordered my husband a set of retro colored pencils in a pretty box from pencils.com. We’ve also gone on a Blackwing pencils kick.

I’m ordering camellias to plant. Anyone who loves colored stones will be able to relate. There’s such a variety! There’s a website called camellias.pics where you can just browse through and choose your favorites. The latest is called ‘Sparkling Burgundy’.

We don’t have a tree yet, but hopefully will get one for the kitties to snooze under. That’s the best!
 

Grymera

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
59
This year is very exciting. I just ordered a new tree from Basalm Hill and I can't wait to see if it's worth the hype. My sweet puppy (now 3 but always a puppy) will eat anything so a real tree is a no go. As for presents, I'm most excited about some new pajamas and, AND I found an EW gemstone halo ring for $1200 which had me practically hyperventalating with joy. I justified it as a Christmas present so of course I can't enjoy it yet. I'm still in shock as Erika's prices are so high. And I'm considering getting some Brian Gavin Huggies but I may not pull the trigger as we need a new media console for the den.
 

MrsKMB

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
525
Well, this has been the worst year I can remember in my 50+ years. Recap: My hubby was in a horrible car crash on New Years Day, spent 8 weeks in the hospital, was on life support for part of that, then to rehab for a couple months, finally home after a total of 100 days away. Then more surgery, including one last week. He's still not back to normal, but sooo close. June brought a broken foot for me. September, my mom was hospitalized and is now in rehab, and I'm putting her on hospice in a couple days. Daughter had gallbladder out yesterday. Soooo...... too mush stress/emotional exhaustion this year. I bought a lot of gems this year to try and make myself feel better. They're pretty, but just added to my stress. LOL No one here needs anything, so there will just be a few gifts here and there. One daughter is working Christmas and Christmas Eve (She's an RN.), she also works Thanksgiving, so we had that the other night. I did get the dogs a Bark Box and Trader Joe's advent calendars! The cats get the empty boxes. :lol-2:
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
29,959
Well, this has been the worst year I can remember in my 50+ years. Recap: My hubby was in a horrible car crash on New Years Day, spent 8 weeks in the hospital, was on life support for part of that, then to rehab for a couple months, finally home after a total of 100 days away. Then more surgery, including one last week. He's still not back to normal, but sooo close. June brought a broken foot for me. September, my mom was hospitalized and is now in rehab, and I'm putting her on hospice in a couple days. Daughter had gallbladder out yesterday. Soooo...... too mush stress/emotional exhaustion this year. I bought a lot of gems this year to try and make myself feel better. They're pretty, but just added to my stress. LOL No one here needs anything, so there will just be a few gifts here and there. One daughter is working Christmas and Christmas Eve (She's an RN.), she also works Thanksgiving, so we had that the other night. I did get the dogs a Bark Box and Trader Joe's advent calendars! The cats get the empty boxes. :lol-2:
I am sorry @MrsKMB and hope 2020 brings better and happier and healthier times. As for the cats, well, boxes are their very favorite things.

catsandcardboardboxes.gif
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
29,959
This year is very exciting. I just ordered a new tree from Basalm Hill and I can't wait to see if it's worth the hype. My sweet puppy (now 3 but always a puppy) will eat anything so a real tree is a no go. As for presents, I'm most excited about some new pajamas and, AND I found an EW gemstone halo ring for $1200 which had me practically hyperventalating with joy. I justified it as a Christmas present so of course I can't enjoy it yet. I'm still in shock as Erika's prices are so high. And I'm considering getting some Brian Gavin Huggies but I may not pull the trigger as we need a new media console for the den.
Their trees are pretty good IMO. We have one and it is really lovely. Hope you love it. And please share photos of your new EW gemstone stone halo ring when you start wearing it. Sounds gorgeous. And you cannot go wrong with BG huggies if you get them. :love:
 

junebug17

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
11,997
Well, this has been the worst year I can remember in my 50+ years. Recap: My hubby was in a horrible car crash on New Years Day, spent 8 weeks in the hospital, was on life support for part of that, then to rehab for a couple months, finally home after a total of 100 days away. Then more surgery, including one last week. He's still not back to normal, but sooo close. June brought a broken foot for me. September, my mom was hospitalized and is now in rehab, and I'm putting her on hospice in a couple days. Daughter had gallbladder out yesterday. Soooo...... too mush stress/emotional exhaustion this year. I bought a lot of gems this year to try and make myself feel better. They're pretty, but just added to my stress. LOL No one here needs anything, so there will just be a few gifts here and there. One daughter is working Christmas and Christmas Eve (She's an RN.), she also works Thanksgiving, so we had that the other night. I did get the dogs a Bark Box and Trader Joe's advent calendars! The cats get the empty boxes. :lol-2:
@MrsKMB, I am so very sorry for all you and your family have been through this past year. One of those things would be very difficult to handle, let alone mutliple family illnesses. I have had a loved one in rehab so I know how stressful it is for everyone. So glad that your dh is almost fully recovered and I'm sending healing vibes to your daughter. And so very sorry about your mother. I know it is very difficult. I wish you a calm and peaceful holiday season and I hope 2020 is a much better year for you.
 

finerthings

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 4, 2004
Messages
261
Well, this has been the worst year I can remember in my 50+ years. Recap: My hubby was in a horrible car crash on New Years Day, spent 8 weeks in the hospital, was on life support for part of that, then to rehab for a couple months, finally home after a total of 100 days away. Then more surgery, including one last week. He's still not back to normal, but sooo close. June brought a broken foot for me. September, my mom was hospitalized and is now in rehab, and I'm putting her on hospice in a couple days. Daughter had gallbladder out yesterday. Soooo...... too mush stress/emotional exhaustion this year. I bought a lot of gems this year to try and make myself feel better. They're pretty, but just added to my stress. LOL No one here needs anything, so there will just be a few gifts here and there. One daughter is working Christmas and Christmas Eve (She's an RN.), she also works Thanksgiving, so we had that the other night. I did get the dogs a Bark Box and Trader Joe's advent calendars! The cats get the empty boxes. :lol-2:
Your year was indeed terrible! I am glad that your husband is almost back to health, but so sorry to hear about your Mom and your daughter's surgery yesterday. Wishing you and your family a whole lot of healing vibes. Take care.
 

Crystal_Dreams

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
595
@MrsKMB , I’m sorry you have had such a hard year! Hopefully things are starting to look up for you from here on out.

@Grymera and @missy , I bought a Balsam hill tree too! I don’t think we will be putting it up this year though... :( I was so excited when I got it. But our new place isn’t finished and we recently had a crazy storm rip through and have no power. The electricity company says there won’t be power till end of next week at least, so our contractors had to go find jobs elsewhere.

Which tree did you get? I love ogling their stuff! But they don’t come cheap...! The prices they charge in Australia are pretty high...

My gift won’t be under the tree as we will be heading to japan to pick it up in the first week of Jan... but it will be Paraiba blue and pretty I hope! I bought some cat leggings (lol) for my husband (he wears them for jiu jitsu) just for fun.

0C6B86BB-26A2-44FD-B2C3-2AA60E33F35E.png
 
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MrsKMB

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
525
@Crystal_Dreams Those pants!!!! :lol-2: I just bought a cat flour sack towel from Sur La Table. It's really funny: "10 Toms a-Spraying, 6 Legs a-Rubbing, etc."

Just finished watching the dog show on TV. It always makes me happy. When my daughter lived in NYC, we went to the Westminster one every year.

Thank you everyone for the good vibes. I'll get through this, and your support helps.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
2,636
Well, this has been the worst year I can remember in my 50+ years. Recap: My hubby was in a horrible car crash on New Years Day, spent 8 weeks in the hospital, was on life support for part of that, then to rehab for a couple months, finally home after a total of 100 days away. Then more surgery, including one last week. He's still not back to normal, but sooo close. June brought a broken foot for me. September, my mom was hospitalized and is now in rehab, and I'm putting her on hospice in a couple days. Daughter had gallbladder out yesterday. Soooo...... too mush stress/emotional exhaustion this year. I bought a lot of gems this year to try and make myself feel better. They're pretty, but just added to my stress. LOL No one here needs anything, so there will just be a few gifts here and there. One daughter is working Christmas and Christmas Eve (She's an RN.), she also works Thanksgiving, so we had that the other night. I did get the dogs a Bark Box and Trader Joe's advent calendars! The cats get the empty boxes. :lol-2:
oh my
please can 2020 be kinder to your family
i hole your hubby is right for Christmas and just enjoy each other's company
 

jordyonbass

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
1,735
Lots of presents for Finn! Nothing for me, I don't need anything - but I bought a 1.6ct Aussie Blue Sapphire faceted by Jamie Irvine earlier this year as a gift for my wife for giving birth to Finn, we're planning on getting it crafted into a ring early in the new year as a slightly belated Xmas gift. Unfortunately by the time we called our jeweller to get it made he was booked out with work until the new year. That's embarrassing as I usually do my planning a bit better than that :oops:
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
29,959
@MrsKMB , I’m sorry you have had such a hard year! Hopefully things are starting to look up for you from here on out.

@Grymera and @missy , I bought a Balsam hill tree too! I don’t think we will be putting it up this year though... :( I was so excited when I got it. But our new place isn’t finished and we recently had a crazy storm rip through and have no power. The electricity company says there won’t be power till end of next week at least, so our contractors had to go find jobs elsewhere.

Which tree did you get? I love ogling their stuff! But they don’t come cheap...! The prices they charge in Australia are pretty high...

My gift won’t be under the tree as we will be heading to japan to pick it up in the first week of Jan... but it will be Paraiba blue and pretty I hope! I bought some cat leggings (lol) for my husband (he wears them for jiu jitsu) just for fun.

0C6B86BB-26A2-44FD-B2C3-2AA60E33F35E.png
Love those leggings. I have similar ones from Modcloth. Love Modcloth for fun frivolous fashion haha.
I am sorry I don't remember the name of the specific Balsam tree we got as it was a number of years ago. We were very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the tree as before that we only had real trees but once we got that tree we decided we will never get real again as this tree is the bees knees. I am not sure we are putting it up this year since we have so much going on and anything extra is too much for us to bear at the moment plus with a new kitty it does not stand a chance lol. It would look like this I think if we put it up around Oliver.

photo courtesy of @Scandinavian thank you sweet lovely lady. This perfectly shows how cats and Christmas mix haha.

christmastreeaftercat.jpg


Here is a photo of our Balsam tree from a previous Christmas.

tommyintree.jpg


@Crystal_Dreams I am sorry about your power outage and hope the power is back on sooner than expected.


Ooh 50% off! For those of you looking to make a purchase fyi:
 

Grymera

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
59
@Crystal_Dreams I got the Red Spruce Slim from Basalm Hill and set it up last night--it's very nice. I need to go and see my mom's new tree, which she got from Wayfair for $200. So I'll have to see if mine is really worth the $250 extra. I did add some twinkle lights (youtube convinced me I needed to get them) and that really added some depth and sparkle to the tree.

@missy I'll just hotlink from the vendor's website. The instant I saw it I knew it was an EW, and sure enough, looking back through her instagram it looks like she completed this one in 2015. It's a 2 carat Tsavorite with a rose cut diamond halo. Gorgeous! I can't wait to unwrap it. I only got to try it on just to make sure it was as described and then my husband whisked it away.

 

Nick_G

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
112
I don't know if this counts. It's a spinel mineral specimen that I bought from a seller in Viet Nam which I wasn't expecting to arrive until next week, which is in December. However, it arrived last Wednesday, so an early Christmas present to myself maybe. The crystals are cranberry red and look less pink in person. Spinel in matrix Luc Yen 02.JPG Spinel in matrix Luc Yen 01.JPG
 

luv2sparkle

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
7,649
@MrsKMB, I have had a year like that and it was the worst of my life. Hoping 2020 is way better for you and the years just keep getting better and better.

Not much under our tree this year, and that makes me a little sad. The kidults are getting cash and we are keeping to strict limits. DH has been going through the retirement process for the past year and a half and we are getting to the end hopefully. We have pretty much used all our banked time. He will be having surgery on Jan 3 on his first shoulder. We have spent quite a bit this year on new furniture and a new roof and I don't want to spend anymore! We have just had to buy an new washer and dryer as well. It won't fit under the tree, LOL, but I will be happy to have it! I guess that counts as my present this year.
 

Nick_G

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
112
These two specimens arrived yesterday, the first one is a group of spinel crystals with an unusual rootbeer type colour more typical of zircon. The second was sold as a zircon but is in fact aquamarine. Both specimens are from Viet Nam, and the photos are from the seller as they are probably better than my efforts would be.

1575471935074.png

1575471955959.png

Spinel dimensions 21 mm by 16 mm by 14.5 mm, weight 26.3 ct
Aquamarine dimensions 10 mm by 5.1 mm by 3mm, weight 1.28 ct
 

Stone Hunter

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 12, 2006
Messages
6,387
Well, this has been the worst year I can remember in my 50+ years. Recap: My hubby was in a horrible car crash on New Years Day, spent 8 weeks in the hospital, was on life support for part of that, then to rehab for a couple months, finally home after a total of 100 days away. Then more surgery, including one last week. He's still not back to normal, but sooo close. June brought a broken foot for me. September, my mom was hospitalized and is now in rehab, and I'm putting her on hospice in a couple days. Daughter had gallbladder out yesterday. Soooo...... too mush stress/emotional exhaustion this year. I bought a lot of gems this year to try and make myself feel better. They're pretty, but just added to my stress. LOL No one here needs anything, so there will just be a few gifts here and there. One daughter is working Christmas and Christmas Eve (She's an RN.), she also works Thanksgiving, so we had that the other night. I did get the dogs a Bark Box and Trader Joe's advent calendars! The cats get the empty boxes. :lol-2:
I am sorry about all your family's health issues in 2019! That is so stressful. Please put taking care of yourself on your "2020 To Do List." Best wishes for your Mom during this difficult time.
 

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
7,504
Wishing everyone good health.

The year is unusual. Health-wise things could be better, my aunt died, we have lost a close friend to cancer, my dad is ill and my favorite uncle is in the last stage of pancreatic cancer. He is very strong, he refused any treatment as he knows the prognosis, and he repeats that he has lived a good life. I already miss him. The decisions people make in the face of the illness could make a separate book, but I never thought that my favorite uncle, spoiled in the family, loved by many women, charismatic and easygoing, would be so harshly unfearing now.

I had my own issues, at work and in general.

Wishing us all to stay strong.

I think there will be some cashmere under the X-mas tree.

An old photo made by my jeweler. With my mint garnet ))) 8ABC232E-2E8A-4D21-B526-908E88189549.jpeg
 

Nick_G

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
112
I hope everyone who has been having a bad 2019 has a better year in 2020.

One more buy (I needed cheering up) which may arrive before, or after Christmas, and hopefully won't get lost in the post:

1576274483028.png

They are tiny little crystals, about 2 mm across for each. Freaky-looking diamond crystals!
 

finerthings

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 4, 2004
Messages
261
...we found two more rescue kitties that needed our love. So this Christmas there will be NO Christmas tree for us because our new kittens are too crazy. OMG I forgot how kittens are so curious and everything either ends up in their mouths or all over the house... from toilet paper to rugs, to well, everything.
Well, we caved and got a very narrow artificial tree that we decorated with maybe 12 unbreakable bobbles! So far so good!
 

Tartansparkles

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
168
My first project is still with the jeweler (2-3 weeks has turned into 2-3 months) so what was an anniversary present will now (hopefully!) be a Christmas present.

It's a blue zircon from an antique pin that I bought and will be set in a white gold semi bezel with a satin yellow gold band. DH is contributing, my mum and MIL both gifted some gold charms from which to make the band and I had 4 tiny single cut diamonds left over from a remodel of my gran's engagement ring. So definitely a family present :D (Of course, I'm now in a panic in case I don't like it).
My ring is ready and thankfully, I love it. It won't be everyone's cup of tea and probably not to PS handmade standards; 'striking' is how DH described it. No photos yet - it's hidden (although not very well and I have been having daily peeks ). When DH and I met I was very clear and told him never ever to buy me jewellery (long story).But this year there will be a tiny package under the tree and I think DH is almost as excited as I am.
 
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