Girls Night for Christmas

I’m had a few girlfriends over for a Christmas get together.  So I needed to finish up with the final touches of decorating.

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My front porch is decorated simply with a crate of firewood and greenery.  It will welcome my friends and family, letting them know they are welcome in my home and will be surrounded with warmth and love.

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I set up a small nativity scene.  This has been in the family, it was my Dad’s and it may have been his parents.  I don’t have all the pieces, but I love it just the same!  My friends and I will know the true meaning of the season and our celebrating.

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I would love to find more pieces, if that’s even possible!  As you can see, I only have 2 Kings and they are ….. twins!

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I have my table set for a holiday meal.  My friends and I won’t be sitting here for our gathering, we will be all in the living room curled up with all my Christmas pillows.

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I’m providing the beverage, one of which is this specialty Christmas drink.  Found a recipe on Pinterest for a martini that I am sure the girls will love, the glasses are lined up and ready!

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When it is time to say good night, they will each be leaving with a small hand made gift.  These plates were so easy to make.  I was inspired by a pin I saw on Pinterest, found the plates at Target and the gold and silver leaf pens at Hobby Lobby.

  
Have a beautiful and wonderful Christmas week!

Be sure to follow me on my Facebook page for up to date posts and babbling!

Christmas Home Tour 2015

I must be crazy to want to do a Christmas Home Tour this year!  I am so nervous to show you my home but yet I am also excited to share my cozy little place with you!

I have admired so many Christmas home tours on blogs, the homes are gorgeous!  And I love the all the different styles of decorating, rustic, country, traditional, contemporary.  It’s all so beautiful!

I want to warn you that I have been in my home for less than a year.  I still don’t have things the way I want them.  I need to paint, and there are still a few pieces of furniture that I am looking for and I still need curtains.  My house certainly does not look like it is worthy of a home tour, but I love my home and I love decorating for Christmas.  I just want to share my little corner of the world, a little place that warms my heart and welcomes all the family and friends that I have!!

I have been planning my Christmas décor for months!    Let me tell you how I started….

I have lots of family heirlooms that have been carefully packed away.  I have quite a few antiques that I have collected over the years.  And, I just have a lot of STUFF!  So I have been trying to be creative in using so many of the pieces to decorate.

The first thing I did was to start with an empty slate, I emptied all table tops and counters.  Then I set out what I wanted to use from my collections, and unpacked all the Christmas décor I had packed away.

I used old and new together in the décor, but I tried keep all the silver pieces together, and all the gold together.  That said, I do like silver and gold decorations together, and I love a light blue thrown in with it, maybe next year….

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I keep at least one framed photo of my kids, grandkids and my parents on display.  My parents have passed on and I need to keep a picture of them out not only all the time BUT most definitely at Christmas. I have so many wonderful fond memories of my childhood Christmases, even though they are always in my heart, I still want their photo for all to see.

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Some of the Christmas balls are new, some are hand-made mercury glass, and some are from my very first tree when I became a single mom… so many years ago!  Here’s a close up of the handmade mercury glass.

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My Dad used to set up a platform train set when I was very small.  He was very detailed using black thread for telephone wire, he used mirror for ice on a pond, and there were train cars that actually functioned as if it were a real train.  The engine even blew smoke!  But sadly, Dad got rid of everything except a few of the trains.  But one of the things that I really loved were the little bottle brush trees!!  I can’t help myself!!

So I bought a few to set on my craft table.. Warms my heart when I look at them as it reminds me of that train platform so many years ago!

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I thought decorating the kitchen for Christmas would be difficult and I would just go light on the decor, but it turned out to be easier than I thought AND I was able to use some of the heirlooms!

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This cabinet I installed after I moved in, but I still haven’t decided on the type of counter tile I want, so I covered the plywood base with the shiny red cloth.

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Even the sink area has a little sugared faux fruit for decor.

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This corner is where I do all my cooking, and today, baking!  I left a few cookies our for visitors, and a little basket for tangerines and apples.

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I also set out the  makings for hot cocoa, the grandkids will love this!

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So, that’s it for now.  I didn’t get my nativity scene up yet, I’ll share that with you soon.

Merry Christmas friends!

Happy New Year!

May you all be blessed with laughter and joy, peace and love, health and prosperity in the New Year!

If you make resolutions, good luck but do not beat yourself up if you mess up a little, you are human and will make mistakes.  As for me, I gave up resolutions a long time ago, too much pressure!  I just try to be the best person I can be, I try to keep myself grounded & positive, and surround myself with healthy relationships.  I try to keep my body as healthy as possible with good food, yoga and meditation.  I struggle with fibro pain on a daily basis, and believe it or not…dealing with daily pain really keeps life in perspective for me.

I also keep God in my life, my religious and spiritual faith keeps me going.

I hope you are enjoying a new day filled with delicious food and family and friends!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

Looking for something fun to do with the kids this week?  Make these very aromatic ornaments!!!  You can use them on your tree as decorations or tie them onto gifts.  They are very easy to make and need about 2 to 3 days to completely dry.

Here’s the recipe (but DON’T eat them, they are NOT edible!!):

2 cups Cinnamon

1-1/2 Applesauce, NOT chunky

2 tsp ground Nutmeg

2 tsp ground Cloves

4 Tb Elmer’s Glue

Mix all the ingredients well.  When completely mixed, divide the dough in two parts,  roll out one batch between sheets of plastic wrap. Keep the dough around a 1/4″ think, if you make it too thin the ornaments will curl or break.  Using a toothpick or a small straw, put a hole in the top of the ornaments for the ribbon.  Place on cookie racks to dry.  After they are completely dry, you can carefully use a fingernail file to finish off the edges, tie a pretty ribbon in the ornament for hanging.

Luscious Creamy Hot Chocolate

Considering the very frigid cold snap that has most of the US in a state of shivering, tonight I thought I would re-post this hot chocolate recipe because it would be a good night to give this recipe a try!!

I have never liked those packets of hot cocoa that you just add water!  YUK! For me, my choice was always just simply Hershey’s Coco powder, sugar and milk.  I have stepped it up a bit!

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It’s thick, rich, creamy, just completely sinful!

For two servings you will need:

2 squares of bittersweet chocolate or semi-sweet if that’s what you have

1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk

1 T cocoa powder

1 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp vanilla

2 cups of milk

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In a small bowl, add the 2 squares of chocolate, the cocoa powder and the sweetened condensed milk.  Place in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  Stir to make sure the chocolate has melted and blended together, if you need to put it back in the microwave, only do so for about 5-8 seconds.  You don’t want to over heat this mixture.

Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium low heat.  Do not let the milk over heat or boil.  When the milk is warm, add the chocolate mixture and the sugar , stir for about a minute to blend together, I used a small whisk~that works wonderfully!  Immediately turn off the heat and move the pan from the hot burner.  Add the vanilla, give it a quick stir and serve immediately.

You can top with whipped cream or marshmallows and a drizzle of chocolate sauce!

You will want to cuddle up with whomever you share this with, its just that romantically good!!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I am going to share a recipe from a friend at work.  She baked these delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  They were so tasty that I could not control myself AT ALL!!!

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I thought my usual one cookie would suffice, it did not!  I am pretty sure I had at least three!!

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Here is Rhonda’s recipe:

1 cup butter flavored Crisco

1 cup white granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

15 oz can of pumpkin puree

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream the sugars and Crisco until fluffy, add the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla and pumpkin.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour,baking soda, salt and spices.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the moist ingredients, blending as you go.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoon sized balls onto a cookie sheet sprayed with a non-stick spray.  Bake at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes.

You need to give these a try, you will NOT be disappointed!

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