53 posts categorized "Christms" Feed

Christmas Pantry 2016

    Pantrytre2016 Storybook Woods

    Here is some glimpses of my kitchen and pantry. I used gray, red and white in my kitchen. As it picked up the colors of the tote holding greens on my kitchen door. 

Pantrytre2016e Storybook Woods

    I always do these kinds of garlands. Just layers of ribbons I have on-hand, in the colors I am using. So simple. Our vintage Santa collection from Davids family. 

Pantrytre2016f Storybook Woods

    For my pantry I decided to go with a French feel. I used my glittered Eiffel towers, pops of color and black/white to ground it all!

Pantrytre2016a Storybook Woods

Pantrytre2016b Storybook Woods

Pantrytre2016c Storybook Woods

Cheftwr1 Storybook Woods

Kitchen Christmas 2016

FrdorCCH1 Storybook Woods

    Happy December friends! I have been busy working on my Christmas theme this year, but I am not quite ready to share yet. So I welcome you into my house and kitchen. 

CHshltre1 Storybook Woods

    My little shoe room is a simple collection of shells, drift woods and other goodies I find when I hang out on the beach (or dropped in my yard by a bird. These brown bottles I have been saving for a Christmas project (share soon). Instead of a wreath I took this tote (that looks like wool but is recycled plastic bottles) and filled it with greens and holly from my property. Add some large pompoms from a past Christmas theme, and wha-la, simple!

Brwnbotl1 (1 of 1)

   I will be back with my pantry!! 

FrdorCCH2 Storybook Woods

Christmas Menu 2015

Xm menu 2015 storybook woods

    I have had numerous request for our Christmas menu (probably because it is different every year). So here is this years menu's!

Christmas Eve

A potatoes bar with both white and sweet potatoes. Assorted topping; bacon, cheese, guacamole, linquica sausage, pesto, grilled veggies, olives, etc.

A big salad.

Dessert assorted fruitcakes, cookies and candies we have made or been given.


Christmas Breakfast

A traditional German breakfast of assorted meats, sausages, cheese, bread/butter, hard boiled eggs and fruit.


Christmas Dinner

First course lemon marinated shrimp in avocado halves

Swedish Meatballs


Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage

Bacon spinach salad



Brandy mincemeat pie

Grain-free banana bread with mascarpone

Nutella Mousse except I am NOT using nutella (too much sugar and bad stuff in it). I am using Jasons hazelnut chocolate butter






Christmas Pantry

  XC pantry7 Storybook Woods

I had fun with my baking pantry this year. With the fridge moved, it opens up the whole room.

  XC pantry9 Storybook Woods

XC pantry2 Storybook Woods

I thought it would be fun to almost have an island in the room decked out for Christmas.

  XC pantry1 storybook woods

XC pantry6 Storybook Woods

XC pantry8 Storybook Woods

It is a bit of a hassle to move around, but I am thrilled with the results. Next post I will share our Christmas theme!

XC pantry4 storybook woods





Take Your Garbage & Make A Gift Tag

Recyle tags storybook woods

    In trying to use what I have this year, I made my own gift tags. I love my 3" scalloped punch. I use this ALL the time (& w/ a craft store coupon, they are not expansive). In the past I have used scrapbook paper, which works great.

  Recyle tags storybook woods0

    But the other day I was breaking down a candy box for recycling and noticed it was in perfect shape. The inside of the box was white.  So I cut the edges off, so I would have nice large piece and sure enough, the puncher worked great on the cardboard. What a lovely (& free) way to make gift tags. I am now checking out all my boxes before I break them down for recycling!!




Upcycling a Garland


    My mother has been deep cleaning, which means she was getting rid of some wonderful items. I was looking through her Christmas stuff and spotted two red and gold garlands.


     The problem with them was they were on this stiff, heavy wire. Which looked great when wrapped around my evergreen hanging over my kitchen sink.


    But made it hard to use elsewhere, so I restrung a smaller garland onto heavy coat thread, which allowed the garland to have the drape I wanted.


   I still had some of the red garland left, so I made drop ornaments of what was left. I have to say I so happy with how it all turned out. It is nice to have the same garland in different three spots. It gives my kitchen decorations some continuity.


    So moral of the story next time someone is getting rid of some Christmas stuff (or you are sick of yours) see it you can take is apart, paint, glitter, restring or upcycle it!!

Silhouette Tree

Sill tree 22

Thank you for all the sweet comments about my entry. Here is the other side and my silhouette tree. I thought since I already have my silhouette dishes up, I should make the most of them.

Sill tree

Sill tree 3

I already had the cake plate with the urn and dried hydrangeas, so again using what I had. Add a small white tree, whatever black ribbon and lace I could find. Oh and I used a hankie to cover the base of the tree.

Sill tree 4

I also cut out silhouettes with a large scalloped hole puncher. I find just poking a hold in the top with a pin and running a metal ornament hook through works best. Then you can bend those hooks to get your ornaments to face the way you want.

Click on image below and save in your pictures. Print up full page, set at shrink to fit. Next I will share a woodland tea xoxoxox


PS, Julie and Julia comes out today, I am heading to Target first thing this morning !!!!



Christmas Entry

Christmas welcomeeeeeeeeeeee

Welcome to Storybook Woods Christmas. My theme this year is woodland. I decided this the day after last Christmas and have been planning since (I know I am a loo-loo). My vision is lots of trees, moss, toadstools, gnomes, pinecones, deers, brown and green. Not really many Santa's, angels, candy canes, etc.

Christmas welcome

LOL, as you will see in my shoe-room though there is some Santa's and no woodland. I had to sneak those candy canes and Santa's in somewhere ;-)  You will see above my chalkboard a pip-cleaner garland, I got the idea from Design*Sponge but sadly mine did NOT turn out. BUT I firmly believe in embracing ones work (as I have said before) so I used it as it was.
Christ door 

Instead of a wreath for my front door, I came up with this little coin bag (One of my Christmas House finds this year). This is one of the my favorite things I did this year. I just opened it up, ran velvet ribbon through the side hinges, added some fresh holly and a Christmas pin and Wahlaa. A dab of tacky wax on the back of the clasp keep the purse stuck to the door. I will be back with more, a silhouette tree !!!! xoxoxo

Christmas door 2 

Christmas House day 5

Christmas house 2009 

Awww thank you for all the sweet comments about my lack of grammar and spelling skills (I still am not sure how I have a blog). It kills me I can not feed all of you to say thank you !!! Here is the last Christmas House photo. On Monday I will share my house.

I wish for all of you a relaxing, fun, yummy, memory-making weekend. I will probably be back at the Christmas House when you read this. I have family visiting on Saturday and Sunday we will have a Saint Nicolas tea. I will confess, I have not had time to bake anything except gluten free biscuits (that are amazing) so I stocked up on goodies at Trader Joe's for the tea. Oh and can I toot my own horn a bit. My candy cane syrup was featured on CRAFT. Plus David drive'd (that is not a word is it ??? ) today, no more carting him around. So I would say this will be an amazing weekend for me and I hope the same for each one of you. You are all such a gift to me and as I told some friends, "I embrace it all with a huge amount of gratitude" xoxoxox

Christmas House day 4

Christmas house 5 2009 

I hope you all realize this is not my house (I wish), this is a local boutique called the Christmas House. But I will share what I have been up to soon.

PS. I had a comment correcting my spelling and grammar, thank you for letting me know. I did want to share I have pretty severe dyslexia. I hesitated even starting a blog for a while because I knew this would be an issue. But I want you to know, it takes me a long time to write a post, even a simple one. I do my best to correct my mistakes, you should see the posts when I first write them  :-o . But I do not want to give the impression that I just casually write my post and am too lazy to check them. I put my heart in this blog and want it to be the best it can. So this is me good and bad. I hope it does not distract from the blog for you xoxox

Christmas House day 1

Christmas house 0 2009

Hello, I hope everyone had a yummy Thanksgiving. Ours was wonderful, thank you mom. Now is my favorite time of year, the week after Thanksgiving and decorating. I am lost in a sea of boxes, pine cones, tinsel and ribbon. When I find my way out I will share what I have been up to. But this week I thought each day I would share a picture from the Christmas House. If you look close (click on the picture to really see it all) there is lots of inspiring ideas. Now I am off to find my glue gun and a saw xoxoxo

Fruitcake Time

Chocolate fruitcake

The girls and I spent today making our yearly Chocolate Cherry Fruitcakes and thought you readers might like the reminder it is fruitcake time. For those of you who are not big fruitcake lovers, you will love this one. It does not have a lot of the candied fruit and is very moist. If you having my baking issue the recipe is there. So (said in my best Julia voice) bake away and bon appetit xoxoxox

Chocolate fruitcake 2

Merry Christmas

Pantry tree 

   Merry Christmas


I pray this is a blessed Christmas for each of you. Our Christmas was wonderful, relaxed and very yummy. The grand marnie frozen semifreddo was to die for. I ate a cookie (actually a lot of them) and thought of all of you xoxoxox

PS. This is my favorite tree this year, my pantry tree. It is simple but I love it. The tray by the way was a $1.00 find at the Christmas House !!!!!


Christmas Napkins

Christmas Napkin 

For our Christmas table this year, I used vintage buckles and ribbon for the napkin rings. I saw these wonderful napkins by Elizabeth Maxson in the December Romantic Home mag. They were  napkins with sugar cookies recipes printed on them. I love them, so I toke old vintage napkins and a fine-tip Sharpe and I simple wrote out a gingerbread recipe on each napkin. I think we will be able to use these each year. If I need more, it will be easy enough to write.

I am enjoying on my Christmas morning unwrapping gifts, gingerbread bread pudding and smooching my family. I hope you are relaxed and enjoying thislast day of getting ready for Christmas xoxoxox

I Can Not Leave One Spot Undecorated

Christmas bathroom

Well I had promised my hubby after last years pink Christmas, no pink this year. But after I decorated the whole house, all I had left was my pink stuff. So hubby was generous to let me use pink in the bathroom ;-)

It is kind of hard to see, but the garland over the window has a piece finger knitted by Auberne`. What is cool about it, is it is pink crepe paper. It actually knitted really well. I just ran some ribbon through it and hung my vintage ornaments. It is really much prettier in person (It is soo hard to take pictures in this bathroom). Thank you again Auberne`, keep that creative brain going !!!!!

On the garland around the sink, I collected fabric gifts from you readers. Stockings, strawberries, stuffed heart, pom-pom, coasters, handkerchief holder. It actually worked really well. Thank you ladies xoxox

PS. This morning I woke up to a good 6 inchs snow and no winds. It is just stunning and we have power. This will be a perfect day !!! 

Christmas bathroom 2 

Christmas bathroom 3 

Christmas bathroom 4


Owl tree 2 

I just love my owl trees with the wool owls the girls and I make. I tried to keep everything neutral white, gold, silver, with just a touch of robins egg blue. I had planned a garland with this beautiful variegated blue ribbon I had. But I just did not get to it. More ideas then I have time.

A Tip.Group a lot of something you have for Christmas. Even if it is not Christmasy, like owls or red china, it will work. Use what you have oxox 

Owl tree 

Shoe room

Christmas Menu's

Christmas eve menu

Christmas dinner menu

Most of these I do not have a recipe. But I tried to find what I could in similar recipes. Feel free to ask questions. xoxoxo

Gingerbread bread pudding Which I will assemble the night before and bake in a bain marie at 320.

Gingerbread, which I baked3 days ahead, so the bread can dry out a bit. I love a gingerbread that uses both fresh, candied and dried ginger.  

Mushroom soup, I used tarragon instead of thyme. I made this a week ahead and froze it. When I reheat it, I will then add the cream and sherry part.

Grapefruit sorbet 

Grand Marnier Semifreddo

Gift Inspirations



I have been looking for gift ideas. These are all ideas I am considering. If I only had more hours in a day. Thank you for the creative inspirations ladies  xoxoxoxo

Bulb forcer

Bulb Forcer - Farm Chicks


Ragamuffin Garland-Nesting Place

Silhouette ornament

Silhouette ornament - A Soft Place to Land


Eiffel Tower Washcloth - Knitting Heaven On Earth


Ribbon Wreath (in red)-The Long Thread

Chai mix- Craft Schmaft

Knitted Mug Cozy

Knitted Cup Cozy - Homespun Living

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. 

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

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

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 !!!!

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




Christmas Card Exchange


I was wondering if anyone wanted to do a Christmas card exchange (it is that time of year). We love getting and sending mail. We kept every single card from last year. Now I learned a few things from the Valentine card exchange, so here are the rules ;-)

1. I am only putting this out for one week. So after November 11th I am closing the exchange.

2. One card per-family. But sending a card to anywhere in the world is fine (and fun).

3.  There is no pressure about what kind of card. Store bought, homemade, whatever. Our cards are store bought, Cute but no time for homemade this year (I was smart and bought them after last Christmas and got them dirt cheap !!!). It is meant to be fun, not pressure.

4. E-mail me (my e-mail is on the right) if you want to do the exchange. Give me your name, first and last and your address. I will send you the same info.

Can you tell I am totally in the Christmas mood. Thank you xoxoxoxo

PS. a disclaimer (there is some misunderstanding) It is not me fixing you up with others to exchange a card. it is just send me a card and I will send you a card. Hope that clears things up. Sorry !!!!!!



This is going to be a very lean Christmas for us and I am trying to think of creative gift ideas for the girls. I would love to hear any interesting ideas anyone has. Do not worry that the girls are in their teens and might not like something. They are not the type of girls to only like certain or "cool" things. they are like their mother, they love everything !!! Even though money may be tight, I know I can still make this Christmas magical. After all magic is in the heart. Thank you for any suggestions you may have.

Black and White Christmas


I am already getting in a Christmas mood. I just got the new Blueprint magazine , I am doing a pink Christmas this year and was attracted to the pink tree on the cover. They have a wonderful article about gift wrapping and black and white papers to download. They also have a places setting card, but I think they would make wonderful tags. Here is some black and white prints that may inspire you too.





Happy New Year


I have been thinking about the upcoming year. I never do resolutions (it is to like a list and I am allergic to lists). But this is going to be a year of big changes for my family (which means big changes for me). By the end of this up-coming year Aubern'e will probably be driving and have a job. Chloe will have said goodbye to little girlhood. Because of homeschooling, we are together all the time. We work almost like one unit. We can read each others thoughts, we meet each others needs without even asking, we automatically pick up were one of us drops off. Now not that any of that is going to change. But with my girls changing, it will change our whole world. I am excited but honestly I am scared. This is whole new world for me. For me as a mother, me as a HSer, me as a wife and me as me. I am soo grateful for this blog. I am hoping it will be a place of comfort for me in the shifting sand of my up & coming life. So I am wishing to be open, honest, trusting and positive about 2007.

I also aspire to create a fun, inspiring, supportive blog for all of you amazing ladies.

So pop the champagne bottle (or sparking cider), find a beautiful glass, the best chocolate in your house and toast this exciting new year with me !!!!

Blessings Recived


I hope this post does not look like I am bragging because I am not. But there was a tide of Christmas blessings hitting my mail-box this seasons and I had to thank each of you. I feel so blessed especially because I feel bad that I do not correspond with each of you as much as I would like. There re so many times I want to write each of you a note saying thank you. Thank you for your support, thank you for your kind words, thank you for cheering me on. But sadly I do not have enough time in the day to write each of you as much as I would like to. There was such an over whelming love ad support from you ladies this Christmas. Thank you soo much. I can not find words to tell you how much it means to me.


Look at this HussifJodymade for me. It is amazing. The detail, the roses, the colors. It is all perfect. I love it and you !!!!! I know Camile's Placeis were she got her insparation.


Dear Susan at A Place Called Homesent me a bounty of goodies. Yummy hot chocolate, calendars, note pads, a charming Martha towel. ((Susan))


Joanne sent each of my girls these wonderful Santas and me a charming Christmas book xoxox


Okay you are probably looking at bags of rice and wondering, hmmm. Well Abby's family are rice growers (which I find fascinating) she was kind enough to send me some of her rice. Which was very yummy ;-)


I can not believe Angie would even part with this 1883 children’s book. But I am thrilled she did.


Mary at Patchwork Pasticheknows my addiction to glass glitter and I love the hope sentiment !!


Debbie as Homespun Living  sent these perfect coasters. They are pink and vintage bark cloth (another adiction of mine). Well I am in heaven. I also thought this yo-yo card was clever. The yo-yo comes off and can be hung on a tree. Just beautiful. How can you know me so well and we have never even meet.


Ginaat La Belle was kind enough to send an extra lavender stocking (which I plan to give to my MIL). I just love this fabric. I keep it in my drawer with my antique napkins. Very charming Gina, thank you.

Also thank you for all the lovely handmade cards, small trinkets, tea bags, ect. I cherish it all.

Christmas This and That


Well I know I said I would not post till after Christmas but I feel kind of bad. I was very stressed and kind of abruptly said goodbye. I did not know for several days how many family members were coming for Christmas and if I was having company staying at my house. Now it looks like we will have a second Christmas in 2 weeks. Luckily I love Christmas and cooking a second dinner. I was a bit panicked but now fine (now that I have a game-plan in my mind)

I wanted to post our Christmas breakfast menu like I promised. It is actually pretty simple. I would have like to do a bit more but with the craziness of the past days this will be what it will be.

Also I wanted to confess that when I posted that we were going to have beef Wellington for dinner I did not realize the price of fillet of beef. After the sticker shock wore off, I realized it was totally out of our price range. So we have having a cherry stuffed pork loin with a red wine lavender sauce. Also I did not have time to make the sorbet, so I went to this wonderful shop Mora and got mango sorbet. If you are ever on Bainbridge island, stop Mora. I will also say I tested the frozen raspberry mousse. It is amazing !!!!

Merry Christmas


I am going to wish each of you ladies a merry Christmas a little early.

I hope this Christmas for each of you is full of happy memories, lots of fun wrapping paper, full tummies, blessing and lots of, lots of love. This is a celebration, so remember to enjoy the moment and give those in your life an extra dose of happiness.

I thank each of you for all the kind word, support and love you give me (and oh my gosh all the presents I have been getting in the mail. I will post later). I wish for Christmas I could have all for you over to my house for a giant tea party and feed you lots of chocolate.

I will see you after Christmas. I am already planning (in the back of my busy mind) winter corners.

Love Clarice

Christmas Dinner Menu


Here is our menu (unless I change my mind : -) for Christmas dinner. We usually have a causally seafood dinner on Christmas Eve and a formal dinner on Christmas day. But things are a little different this year. So here is our menu. I want to say that this is my goal but life happens. If I can not do all I want to do I will buy some sorbet, make just the mousse and simply roast the meat and sauté some wild mushrooms on the side. I want to be honest here on the blog. I always pick a menu were I can do part of the cooking before hand. I do not want to be a slave in the kitchen all day.

On Monday I will make the mousse and the bread pudding in put in the freezer.

On Wednesday I will make the chocolate sauce and sorbet

On Friday I will make the meringues.

On Christmas Eve Morning (We are having our dinner on Christmas eve) I will prep-veggies and prep meat and wrap with puff pastry. My mother is making the crab Louie. My sister and MIL will be there to help me. So that is my game plan. Since I wing what I cook, here are recipes similar to what I am making.

Crab Louie

Mulled Wine Sorbet

Beef Wellington (although I am not doing the pancake part and can not afford truffles)

Bread Pudding

Zuccine with Cinnamon and garlic

Kale with Pinenuts and Currents

Frozen Raspberry Mousse on Meringues with Chocolate Sauce

Now I am off to plan Christmas morning breakfast !!

My Mothers House


Wow what a couple of days. We had a wind storm that broke all kinds of records. I have to admit I did not sleep that night for fear one of our 100 year old trees would fall but we were lucky none did. We did loss power and I can tell you I would not make a good pioneer. Finally this morning I awoke to the sound of the heater and was praising God. Thank you for those who were concerned about us, but we are okay. Cold but warming up. And maybe I can do some holiday baking this weekend. I am off to take a hot bath (what I missed the most) 


We went to my mothers to decorate gingerbread houses. I tell you ladies you can not tell by these pictures how charming my mothers house is. She had a red and white candy cane theme, perfect for decorating gingerbread houses


It was raining to hard for me to stand back and get a good picture of her front door. She has this simple but sweet candy cane garland around her front door.


I thought her manle was so cute. 



Doesn’t her dinning room look inviting. This was taken before it was covered in icing and candy !!


This area is at the top of the stairs. I love this little nook.


I thought this was clever way to keep the girls out ;- )


Okay my mother will laugh at me but this was my favorite thing my mother did. Who would have thought of blue transfer-wear and hydrangeas as Christmas decorations. But it is just amazing. You are so creative mom xoxoxox




I have to share Aubern'es disco tree. It is soo hard to take pictures of Christmas trees, so you can not see all the details. So I will share. Aubern'e made a big disco ball (with foil) for the top of her tree. There is mini disco balls, foil drop ornaments, guitar picks, drum sticks and mini guitars Aubern'e made with fimo. Very cool Miss Aubern'e xoxox


Well I am almost done decorating, which is good because I am having a Christmas party at my house tomorrow night : -{ I had to laugh between me and the girls in our house we have one 9 foot real tree and 5 miniature trees. But I want to share my bathroom. I know you would rather see that :-)   (I will show the rest of my house after the party and my coma) I had told you last year we had also done a Victorian theme and we made Christmas cones. Here is mine on you bathroom door. The garland over the bathroom mirror I love so much I keep it up year around. I almost never turn on the real lights.


I today threw this garland over the window and LOVE it. I tell you tinsel is the cheapest,(50cents) funnest, glittery, add wow a your room stuff. Every one should have some tinsel in their home, somewhere !!


Christmas Crazyness


Well am I the only one feeling over whelmed ???? I adore Christmas  but what I do not like is try to do soooooo many fun things in 25 days. My girls want to do it all but this mama is having a hard time keeping up. So it hit me the other day, why do we have to do Hanukah, Saint Lucia, boxing day, ect all in December. It is more important to have a joyous day not an exhausting crammed December. So I have decide part of winter corners (which will not start till after Christmas) we will do some of these traditions. Spread out the fun. So maybe if any of you are feeling the crunch like me, remember it does not all have to happen now !!!!

No-Alcoholic Wassail

Really this is spiced cider but wassail sounds so much more Christmassy. I do not like it too spicy so this is my version which I make in a crock-pot so it will keep it warm. I add to a gallon of cider, 2 cinnamon sticks, 6 whole cloves, 1 orange thickly slices, 1 vanilla bean. If you want to add some spirits a rich ale or rum is good.




I have been busy, busy. But I am almost done decorating :-)

I wanted to share my front door and entry-way. It is hard to tell form the picture but I found silver glittered leaves that I randomly set in the boxwood topiary. I am really happy with the look.




My color theme this year is black, white and red. I wanted to go with very different colors in the entry room. I picked soft pastels and a used all my birds nests I keep in that room. This tree turned out so cute. I set in birds nests, feathers and small birds I glittered. I set this paper garland all around the room in the windows.


I set snowman on the other side of the room mostly for the softer colors. I did not want to put something big on the door because I did not want it to distract from the tree on the side.


Well I am off to decorate more. I will show more soon.

Flavored Salts


I am always looking for something fun to make as gifts. This year I am (hoping) to make some flavored salts. I have seen them in food mags but they are soo expensive. But these are easy to make and help add a little something to your cooking.  Here is a gift tag to give with the salts. The picture is a little blurry but click on it and the picture in the new window is clearer.

Holiday Berry Salt

In food processor blend 1 cup salt, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1 TBL. anise (or fennel) seeds, 1 TBL ground pepper. Process till cranberries are finely chopped.

Citrus Lavender Salt.

Mix in bowl 1 cup salt, 4 TBL. dried lavender buds, 2 TBL. finely grated lemon peel, 2 TBL. finely grated orange peel