December 22, 2012

From My House to Yours

Building a gingerbread house has become one of our family's most anticipated traditions.   However, it's not the homemade version that takes days to bake.  The pre-baked kit which includes the house, icing and candy is much easier and a whole lot of fun.  Here's a look at the finished house - the designers added a Triscuit roof and chocolate chip facade this year :) 

Gingerbread House 2012

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2013!

I'm partying with:

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

December 18, 2012

Annual Cookie Exchange

Last Sunday it was all about the cookies.   We had our annual cookie exchange and it turned out to be another great day!  It's always fun to get together with friends and when you can include your neighbors among that group it's an added bonus.  I am so fortunate to have the most thoughtful and caring people living near me.  There are a lot of ways you can go about organizing a party.  We keep it simple so that it doesn't stress anyone out.  This year each of us baked 70 cookies and brought along 7 boxes/bags with ten cookies in each.  

Coconut Cranberry Chews in the making

Ready to be packaged

Check out how creative everyone gets with their packaging.  This year we had the following types of cookies:  Classic Sugar Cookie, Ultimate Chocolate Chip, Walnut Cups, Coconut Cranberry Chews,  Peanut Butter Balls,  Shortbread, Peanut Butter Surprise,  and Chocolate Krisps.

Now I'm ready with a tray of cookies for when guests stop by - yum!

I'm linking to:

Home Stories A2Z

December 13, 2012

Does It Get Any Better?

I didn't think it was possible but my love of burlap has grown even more.   Have you seen all the different colors and patterns that are now available in burlap?  I was in my local fabric store a few weeks ago and spotted some bolts behind the counter area that hadn't even made it onto the shelves.  It was burlap dressed up for the holidays - colors like red and green with gold circles or with just enough of a gold thread to make it festive.  I managed to contain my excitement and thought about what I could make.  I took 1 1/2 yards (my go to yardage for pillows or a table runner).   I chose cream with a gold thread running through it.  I decided to make covers for the kitchen chairs - a cozy shawl for the winter months LOL.  Here's the details of the project;

Cream burlap with just the right amount of sparkle

Pin right sides together and sew one side

Open and make hem along bottom

Stitch hem

Close with right sides together and sew along other side and top

Finished cover with tassel

Dressed for the winter

I'm partying with

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

December 10, 2012

Sneak Preview

Our annual neighborhood cookie exchange is set for this Sunday.  This is our sixth year getting together and it's become such a special tradition.   To take a break from the hectic pace of the holidays and reconnect with neighbors makes for a wonderful afternoon.  Plus taking home seven dozen cookies is an added bonus!!

This weekend we made one of our favorites; peanut butter.   Here's my daughter's perfectly criss-crossed batch.

I'm still looking through recipes for my exchange.   Does anyone have a favorite??

December 6, 2012

Deck the Halls

A glimpse of Christmas 2012

Has anyone read A Cup of Christmas Tea?   My mother gave this book to me almost twenty years ago and it has become one of our family traditions.   She even found a small "play" tea set to go with it.  Each year we set it out and each year I shed a tear when we read it.  Click hear if you would like to listen to the poem.  Enjoy!

December 5, 2012

Finally Finished

Last month I finally got around to painting my kitchen.   I think it was Hurricane Sandy that shook me out of my project standstill.  To have our home spared of any damage was truly a blessing and it reaffirmed to me to truly appreciate and care for everything you are given.  So the paint chip that decorated my wall for months turned into a gallon of paint and the final phase of my kitchen project was underway.

Here are some earlier photos of the kitchen project.   I wanted to add the look of  board and batten (the easy man woman version).   I measured off and taped where the boards would go.  Then off to Home Depot with the measurements where the most helpful lumber department employee cut the boards.  I put them up by using both nails and Liquid Nails - that glue is awesome!   I filled the nail holes in with spackle and areas that were not perfect fit.  

After sanding I primed and painted and this is where the project stopped.   I began to wonder if this is what I really wanted -  ugh????  The most common look is to paint the whole area white but I knew that just wasn't for me.  Manchester Tan by Benjamin Moore to the rescue.  I decided to paint the whole area in one color and see how it looked.  Whether it's correct or not I love how it looks.  The boards add a subtle dimension to the walls.   Here's how it looks today.

Have you ever doubted a project you started?

I'm linking to:

Old Time Farmhouse

November 27, 2012


Continuing with the Thanksgiving spirit, I'd like to say that I am grateful for many things about my mother.   Undoubtedly, I have inherited her enjoyment of collecting Westmoreland Milk Glass.    When I was younger I didn't think much of it when I would see her bring home a piece or two or three.  As I got older though I realized why I began to like it;  the pieces can stay out all year round, they go with any color decor, and they're versatile.  I become hooked.  At any estate sale, antique store, or even thrift store (the luckiest finds) my eyes go right towards the white glass.

Here's some background information as to why Westmoreland Milk Glass is so special.

So, I'm wondering if you too enjoy collecting something special?

PS   Here is a sampling of a few of my pieces

November 21, 2012

Why Not......It's Wednesday #5

I find the most beautiful table settings are those that are simple, using just a few items yet making a statement.   So, for those of you who haven't set your Thanksgiving table, there is still time to gather a few items and pull together a show stopper.  The tables below are some of my favorites.  I hope they provide some inspiration.

via dear lillie

via she-n-he photography

via home stories a to z

via william sonoma

"Gratitude consists of being more aware of what you have, than what you don't" - Unknown

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 19, 2012

Hutch Update

Whether it's the back of a hutch or bookcase,  I've admired how you can instantly update its look with a striking paint color or fabric design.   I decided to tackle this rather easy project and I love how it turned out. First, I found the material last week at Joanne's and with a 50%off sale going on it was only $12 a yard which was all that I needed.  Off to the Dollar Store for 4 pieces of poster board and that cost, well you can do the math LOL.

After measuring the back of my hutch, I cut the poster board.  I needed to tape together the two pieces in order to get the length.

I covered it like you would a present and taped it along the back.  No reason to get fancy here.

They fit into place perfectly!   How much better my collection of milk glass looks.  It's one of those projects that makes me wonder what took me so long?

Enjoy your week!

I'm partying with:

New House