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December 2007

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. I wish we could all get together, chat, eat, hug, eat !!!!!

My hubby has to work on Christmas, so we are celebrating a day late. But I am all prepared (for once) and ready for Christmas. I  am taking a week off from the blog to enjoy all the festivities (and recover) but I will be back with photos and one more great idea I did not have time to post. Thank you all for the kind words, the Christmas cards (lots of pink ones!!), gifts and friendship. It means so much to me. I hope your are feeling the magic of the season and God bless xoxoxoxo

Christmas Menu


Beer Soup

Dried Fruit Compote

I am making mine with a comb of pears and Italian plums I dried myself. Also figs and sour cherries.

Red Cabbage and Apples

Mustard Roasted Pork Loin 

Egg-nog Creme Brulee

My game plan :

Several days ahead make creme brulee and compote.

Day before cut up veggies, steam carrots al-dente, make croutons.

Christmas morning prep meat.

Hour before pull out compote to come to room temp, make soup and cook spazel and then quickly fry in browned butter. Carrots saute for a few minutes in a dab of butter and caraway seeds.

While meats is cooked and resting make cabbage, pull out creme brulee to come to room temp.

Just before eating creme brulee do sugar top. 

Entrance To My Home

 Pink entrance 101

Thank you for the sweet comments about my kitchen. I have to tell you the first time I saw this house, my jaw hit the ground! It was love, pure love!!! Here is my entrance right of the kitchen. What I love most about this room (which I did not take a picture of) is the cobbled floor. I will confess that I do not do much decorating outside, I do not have the energy :-) My decorating consisted of two pink picks shoved in a pot by my front door. A peek of pink.

Pink entrance 202

Pink entrance 303

Pink entrance 4

This is my tribute to Sarah Lugg!!

Pink entrance 606

Pink entrance 5

I have decided one should always keep their dirty work gloves on a glass cake plate. I hope today is lovely day for you and not to crazy. If it is make a cup of coco, find a pretty spot in your home to enjoy and pretend you and me are having together.  Because I wish we were xox

Pink entrance 707



I have gotten a few e-mails from some people saying their trees did not loose their color. They got lighter but not white. Well I was talking with Angie she was told me on her doll-loop they have talked about the fact that once bleach is opened it looses it's strength. So if your bleach is old, that might be the problem. When I get a chance (not till probably after Christmas). I am going to buy a new bottle of bleach and try using that and see what happens. If you have done any trees I would love feed back on your trees and if your bleach is old or new.

I hope this helps. Also Sarah has started a flicker group for the trees.

PS. Check out Angie's wonderful spice tree. I am going to see it today and can not wait !!!!!

Twelve Christmas Fact


Dear Rosemary tagged me for 12 random Christmas facts about me. I am suppose to tag others, So I tag Aubern'e and Jody xoxoxoxo

Okay twelve Christmas facts about me !!!

1. I am already planning next years theme ;- )

2. I start decorating the day after Thanksgiving and we go to the tree farm and pick out our tree. We do not cut it yet but decorate in neon ribbon (so we can find it again) then come back a week later when I am ready for it.

3. Even thought I change my decorating theme every year, the tree stays the same every year. White lights and lots of tinsel. It is like a little black dress. A classic and goes with everything.

4. My favorite Christmas story since I was a girl is A Christmas Carol and I love the Muppets version.

5. I get up on Christmas morning earlier then the girls, because I am soo excited and can not sleep. Actually it is my favorite time of Christmas. I sit next to the tree will all the lights on and cup of hot tea and take in all the magic, to carry me through the year.

6. My husband is Sicilian and it is a Italian tradition to have fish at Christmas, so I always make a fish dish on Christmas Eve. This year we are having shrimp scampi, baked polenta with gorgonzola cream sauce and make your own Caesar salad.

7. We always on Christmas eve for dessert, have all the cookies and candies we made or were given. And only open one gift.

8. I have a weakness for See’s candies. I know I say I only eat sophisticated dark chocolate, but See’s candy falls in a group all in it’s own. I think it is a childhood thing. I have two twin uncles, uncle Sid and uncle Joe (who looked like a cross between the mafia and Frank Sinatra). I adored uncle Joe. He was not quite right in the brain and would tell you about his girlfriend (he did not have a girlfriend, I am not sure he ever had one) and how they went horse back riding (He could barely walk). But I loved him because he lived in a fantasy, happy world, was always kind to me and told me to never change. Every Christmas he would bring my sister and I each a doll and a 3 pound box of See’s candy. Oh heaven that giant box, oh torture try to pick the first one !!!!

9. I will unabashedly admit I love present. I love giving them, I love getting them. The more the better.

10. I only have happy memories of Christmas. I remember no drama. Just love and fun and magic. My father enjoyed Christmas, shopping and going to fun outings. It was just a happy time.

11. On Christmas eve, we leave oats and carrots for the reindeer and they leave glitter.

12. As much as I love all the Christmas staging and celebrating, sometime I secretly wish to go to some little B&B in New England and let them do all the work and pamper me.

PS. Speaking of gifts. I got the smashingly, yummy crown, wand and box from Donna. Donna, I gave my wand to Aubern’e. She so loves your items, I hope you do not mind. Thank you Donna xoxoxoxo

My Kitchen


I know there is no pink in my kitchen, well except for my pink kitchen. I used everything I had elsewhere and I thought I would use the blue and then added red. Actually I really love it. I did up my Hoosier. I am so thrilled to have a Hoosier to do up. Thank you and you know who you are xoxoxo



Okay I was bad, I treated myself to this sign (It was only $9.00). By the way I am doing good on my Christmas budget. I am finding it is all the extras I want, that get me into trouble ;-) But I just had to have this metal sign, since I can not actually have the house.


Sigh I am very frustrated, no matter how many pictures I take of my kitchen (over 50) I really can not get  a good picture of it. It is a hard room to photograph. Not to mention, I am not a photographer and do not know what the heck I am doing.


This window is my favorite thing I did in the kitchen. I LOVE the blue pom-pom trim with the red rick-rack ribbon over it. I am planing on keeping it up after Christmas. I already have the blue glasses in the windows and added candy canes, which is a cheap way to decorate.


I included a few shots so you could see my kitchen from different angles. Please try not to noticed the mess behind the Hoosier. I can not want till I can put my hubby and his desk in some hidden room, somewhere !!!


I always do a small tree on my scale. This year it has our faux gingerbread ornament. I will be posting more pictures of my house soon. And the village Gill xoxoxox

Christmas Quote


"Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the year.

And yet, for that, when it speaks, it's voice has authority"

       By W.  J. Camron



This garland is soooooooo easy to make. Just go through your ribbon drawer and pick out some ribbon. Wrap a piece of tape around the ribbons, were the shortest one ends. Then tape or tack to wall and add some vintage holly. I used six different ribbons.

I love this quote. It says it all, to me xoxoxoxoxo

Girly Christmas Tea




Well here is my girly tea table. Lately on days were we are home it usually go like this: in the morning after work is done, we mix up something yummy for the freezer, bake off some for us, work on a craft and then have an afternoon tea party. This is my idea of heaven, especially on a cold, blustery days. A full wood stove to keep me warm, something yummy and a craft to keep my hands (and brain) busy.

Another new cookie we have made this year, Rose Walnut Cookies. I took another recipe using orange water and changed it all around. I can never leave well enough alone. I made it with some brown rice flour. Which we like but it does have a bit of a sandy texture. It is important to let these cookies fully cool before eating them. The rose taste is very delicate and will be lost in the heat.

Since it is hard to find recipes using the rose syrup, I made a list on the side of recipes I have using the rose syrup. If you have a recipe to share, I would be glad to add it to my list.


Rose Walnut Cookies

3/4 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour  (I used1 cup all-purpose and 1/2 cup brown rice flour)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. rose water or rose syrup
1/2 tsp.vanilla extract

Rose syrup or rose water 
confectioners sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Toast the walnuts until golden brown and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool, then chop about half of the nuts and pulse the remaining nuts in the food processor until finely ground.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and nuts together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, egg yolk, rose syrup and vanilla extract together in a mixer on medium-high speed until the mixture gets light and fluffy.

Add the flour mixture to make a crumbly dough. 

With a tablespoon, scoop out 1-inch pieces of dough and roll into balls. Place the cookies on greased baking sheets. Bake until the cookies set and start to brown, about 12 minutes.

Remove cookies from the oven and immediately brush them with rose syrup and dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy



  PS. Do you like my blinged-out deer. I bought him silver but added crystal glitter and vintage flowers. I showed him to my husband, who is a deer hunter. He looked at me and said "You know he is a buck, not a doe" I said "Yeah and your point". He just walked off shaking his head and brushing glitter off his shoes ;-)



Saint Nicholas Day


I am so sorry I am behind on posting pictures of my house. I am so busy with having Christmas fun, I have no time to post. The only thing I do not like about Christmas, is trying to cram this much fun and joy in only four weeks !!!!

Last Saturday we celebrated Saint Nicholas Day. The girls left their shoes under the tree and Santa left vintage goodies (I think Santa shops at the Christmas House too, such a smart man ;-) and homemade fudge. My mother came for a tea party (I will show my girly tea table and blinged out deer soon). We made the best cookies, spoon cookies, Lasikkaleivat. But they should really be called browned-butter cookies, because you brown the butter and this is what gives it this deep carmelly taste. Please watch the video, because there is a little trick to shaping the cookies. But these will be made again in our family. Also in my opinion (you know how I have opinions about cooking and recipes) should be made with peach jam, because peach jam will go so well with that browned-butter, carmelly taste.

We also had so much making Feather Your Nest's mittens. Thank you Dawn for the wonderful idea and your inspiring blog. I wish we lived closer and I could bring you some cookies xoxoxoxo




When we were making the faux gingerbread ornaments, Chloe made one were she put a smaller cutout on top of a bigger cutout and painted it black. Well it looked like a silhouette and got me thinking. I made some from fimo and LOVE them. They are very easy.

Also I bought this wonderful pink and black paper with no idea what I was going to do with it (it was only $3.00 and the last piece). I came home took down a picture and taped the paper on the wall, but it looked a bit bare.Then I made these silhouettes and I knew they would be a perfect touch for my pink paper (and pink Christmas)

I took a length of mini rick-rack and glued the silhouettes to the rick-rack. Then just used a push pins to add them to the paper at the top and the bottom. They turned out smashing. One more craft I am going to have to make more of.

What I did :

I rolled out the white fimo on the pasta machine, the widest setting 5. Then I rolled out the black fimo on the next lower setting 4.

I cut out the white fimo with cookies cutters.

To cut the silhouette I had printed up some silhouettes I found on-line(here is a great free site)on card stock and cut them out. I set the cut out silhouette on the black fimo and cut around it. I found a small paring knife worked well.

Then carefully peel off the paper and set silhouette on the white fimo. Do not press down but use the knife to fix areas and then gently press down.

Bake as directed.

I tried painting black paint over the black fimo, also I tried using the shiny top coat. But really I like it plain, just back and white fimo.

I encourage you to play around with these and see what you come up with. 



Faux Cookies Ornaments


I saw the wonderful creaturecomforts tutorial faux cookie ornaments and gift topper. I just loved them and we had soooo much fun doing them. Although ours did not turn out as yummy and wonderful as Heather's. Thank you Heather. A couple of things I learned. First we rolled out the fimo with a pasta roller and this was great. I highly recommend it. But I bought white fimo clay and it took like five coats of paint just for the base coat. Next time I am going to buy brown and beige fimo. Also this craft lead to another wonderful one, soon to be posted !!!!

Menu Of The Week


I thought I better post something other then Christmas ideas, before I drive you all bonkers. I  will admit I have been decorating and crafting so much, my cooking has been on the back burner a bit. I have been meaning to share this fun recipe for a while. In the month of October I am hunting widow. It use to be really hard because the girls missed David sooo much and cried for him. But now they are older and just use to it. We try to do fun girly things while David is not around.  I wanted to do a surprise meal that the girls would love and never expect me to make. I came up with pigs-in-a-blanket, BUT ones I would eat. I will not each cheapy hot dogs wrapped in refrigerator crescent rolls (let me say, so I do not sound like I am judging those who do. But I can taste the hydrogenated oils, lots of salt, fake stuff). So I came up with a gourmet version of pig-in-a-blanket, fries and caramelized chocolate, banana and marshmallow sandwich.

I hope you enjoy my version of junk food ;-)

Gourmet Pigs-in-Blanket

8 hot dogs, I love Fearless Franks

(By the way about the cost of the franks, are much cheaper in my store. Also I am planning to write some posts after the holidays about how I can buy things like fearless franks, when I keep saying I am on a tight budget )

puff pastry

Dijon mustard

smoked cheddar cheese

Make a slit in the hot dogs with out going all the way through the sides or bottom. Inserts thin slices of cheese. Defrost puff pastry and cut length-wise 8 strips. Brush one side of pastry with Dijon. Wrap pastry like a curly-q around hot dog, with mustard side against the hot dog. Set a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and set hot dogs, cheese side facing up. Bake as package directs (which is usually bake 20 minutes at 400 ) and serve with mustard to dip.


Sweet Potatoes Fries

Peal and cut in large Julienne strips sweet potatoes. In  a large bowl mix some olive oil (enough to coat the amount of sweet potatoes you cut) salt, pepper, dried garlic and smoked paprika. Bake at 400 till crispy on the out-side and tender on the in-side. Probably will take an hour.


I did not make this dessert but wished that I had, Caramelized Chocolate, Banana and Marshmallow Sandwiches

Trees, Perfect Trees !!!!

Pink treeeeee

Do ever make something sooo wonderful, you want to call every friend and tell them about it. That is how I feel about these trees. I am soooooo in-love with them. I want to do dozens of them and fill my house. Mama and Jack posted about how to make these trees and am so glad you did Sarah. Thank you xoxoxoxo. They were very easy. Although I have to say I had to use a lot more bleach, like a generous 2 cups and it took a good 40 minutes to get light trees. But what I loved about these trees, is how they were all different. I only used two different colors, hot pink and blue. but each dyed it's own way. They each faded in the dye differently. Some I did not dye but just bleached till I liked the color. I posted lots of pictures so you could have a really god look at them. Also I did not use rite (but plan to for future trees) I did not have any and did not want to spend the money. I had bottles of liquid water-color. They are very intense and mixed that with water and they worked great. But in the long run, probably cost me more money. But I used them because I already had them. I just love the soft, luminous quality of these trees !!!!!!

Pink tree 22 

Pink tree 44




Rain, Rain Go away


Hello ladies, well we made it through last night, thank you Lord. I have heard we had up to 12 inches in 24 hours. Our basement does have a mess to clean up but compared to a lot of people we are just fine. This morning the sun is shining and the winds have calmed down. I am not sure if we will go anywhere today. All around us are flooded roads. Thank you for the kind words and prayers.I will try to post something much more interesting to you soon.  xoxoxox

Yes, it is me again. Just a quick post. My town/county has called a state of emergency due to flooding from rain. So if for some reason I am not around that is why. So far we are fine. My basement is flooding a little. I will have a mess to clean and have to throw out some stuff but I do not think it will be bad. It is odd we have had much heavier rains before and it is lightly raining all the time but never had to call a state of emergency before. Well not that I can remember. I just wanted to let you know, if I am not here. I am so glad you like my storybook cottage and think my blog has the perfect name. I will always remember the first time I drove up my curvy little drive and saw the house. My jaw dropped and it was love. xoxoxox

A Perfect Day



Yesterday was the most perfect day.You know when someone ask you to describe your prefect day, well that was yesterday for me. First off we had snow, not much but some. Snow around here only happens a couple of times a year so it is always a treat and magical. Second even though it is the second of December, for us it is the first. We will have to celebrate Christmas the day after because my husband works on Christmas, so everything is move a day ahead for us. The girls and I spend the day making fimo gingerbread ornaments (which I will share soon, they turned out so great). We had tea at our girly tea table and ate my favorite espresso hazelnut nut cookies (which I will share one day). And to add frosting on the cake I won Donna O'Brien at Ribbon Crown, crown. I actually screamed and jumped up and down when Aubern'e told me (which my girls are teasing me about). I am sooo in-love with Donna's crowns and am very thrilled to win.

As I was sitting in my pink/sliver chair knitting away, drink tea, listing to my girls chat and paint and watching the snowflakes dance around like fairies wearing one of Donna's crowns I could not think of a more perfect day. The perfect start of December. I always say December is full of magic. Thank you Donna for making my day even more perfect xoxoxox

PS. yes this is my house and across the street from it. Please try not to noticed that the trim on my house is peach (the old color) and dark green (the new color). My poor husband is soo busy who knows when he will be able to finish the trim. And since he will not let me get on a ladder (since I will break my neck) he has to finish it himself.


Makeover Wreath


I have been busy play and decorating my house. I am trying to use what I already have as much as possible. So I spent a day after I had striped my house of fall things and took innovatory of what I had that I could use for my pink Christmas. I had this cheapy Martha K-Mart wreath from several years back. I was never really happy with it but it worked in a pinch when I got it. I decided to give it a make-over. At first I was going to do some balls in aqua and some in pink glitter. But after I did the aqua, it looked so wonderful I decided to stop. It is important to know when to stop. The aqua really brought out the gold and copper balls. I think pink would just distract from it all. I am thinking for future Christmas, aqua and copper might be a fun combo. Also adding the glitter gave the wreath another texture and add a bit more depth.


What I did:

The wreath is all plastic and I have discovered decoupage medium works well on plastic. I thought it would bead up, like glue would but it does not. So I just covered the balls in decoupage and then glitter, that simple. Except that it was a large wreath and I had to work in section the let that dry. But it only took an half an hour or so to dry, I am really happy with this, imagine just a bit of glitter transformed this wreath. My mother was over today and really loved it to. Hanging on my grandmother Clare's mirror made the wreath sparkle all that much more. By the way can you see in the bottom picture we have a bit of snow. Yeah, a bit of snow is a big deal for us.

I am now looking at what else I own that could use a bit of a make-over. I wonder what you have that could use a simple makeover ??? I have a lot more to show. Wait till you see my pastel trees !!!!!