Monday, December 30, 2013

The Snowman Bathroom

Here we are, nearly a week after Christmas, with some better-late-than-never photos of the Christmas decor in our home.  Up today:  the first floor bathroom, decorated in a Snowman theme.


Things I learned in December 2013

To be honest, December was an up and down month for me this year.   The Christmas season is always my favorite time of the year, but this year I struggled on some days to find the joy of the season.  We're just a few months into our new life here in North Carolina, and so many things are different this year as compared to years past.  I have so many blessings, but some days they were hidden from me by my own sadness of missing things "the way they were".   On the whole, I think these sad moments were just a part of managing and coping with all the changes we've seen this year, and I know that as we continue to move forward, these moments will be fewer.

With that as background, here are some of the things I learned this month:

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Avoiding the Post-Holiday Blues

It's the day after Christmas, and most of the excitement of the season has wound down, the gifts have been opened, the wrapping paper is torn and crumpled, and the special holiday meals are completed. We've all spent weeks preparing for this holiday, and then just like that, it's behind us. Sometimes in years past there have been times when I've felt a little bit let-down, maybe even some disappointment, about the fact that Christmas had come and gone so quickly. The week after Christmas was sometimes a drag. But as I've grown, I've come to appreciate this week after Christmas as its own unique contribution to the wonder of the season. Here are some of the ways that I avoid the dreaded post-holiday blues.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Coconut Macaroons

One of my favorite new treats this Christmas season is Coconut Macaroons.   These are really easy, and so yummy!   I found this great recipe on Yesterfood, and just followed the easy directions.


Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!  May you be surrounded by love today and every day.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Traditions

Changes are all around us, all the time.  In our family, 2013 was a year of a lot of change.  Our son graduated from college and moved to Minnesota; My husband transferred to a new job; I resigned from my 24 year career; and we moved to North Carolina, leaving our daughter at college in Maryland.  "New" and "Different" were the catchwords of the second half of our year for all of us.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Sweets and Treats

At Christmas time, I love to make candies and other sweet treats for the family and to give as gifts to friends.   Over the years, I've tried probably hundreds of different recipes for sweets, cookies, and special snacks. I've done everything from pretzels dipped in almond bark to hand-tempered, hand-dipped French gourmet couverture chocolate truffles,  and everything in between.  For the last few years I've made upwards of 30 or 40 pounds (yes, POUNDS) of candy to be given as gifts or savored as treats during our family Christmas celebrations.  This year, I'm cutting back and only making about half of the recipes I made last year.   Here are some of the things I've made in the last few weeks.
(sorry for the poor photos - I didn't know I was going to blog about all of these.  ;-)

Chex Mix - recipe off of box

Girl time

Here we are, a few days before Christmas, and my daughter and I are headed out to go shopping at a mall.   Crazy?   Maybe.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Cookies

When my daughter arrived home from college yesterday, one of the first things she said was that she wanted to make Christmas sugar cookies this weekend.  So of course we had to do it!!!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas on the Back Porch

This is the first time I've ever lived in a house that has a screened porch, and I'm SO HAPPY about it!   When we moved to NC on Labor Day weekend, the weather had cooled off, and we were able to enjoy almost every day out on the porch up until at least Halloween.  It's my favorite spot in the house, and so I just had to put something Christmasy out there this year.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Quiet Corner

In this corner of our house, there's a lot of peace and quiet.  This little room doesn't receive much action, it's kind of small and not really much going on in there.  But it's a great little room for snuggling in to the big comfy chair to read a good book or to nod off on a weekend afternoon nap.  Of course, if someone's on the piano it's not too quiet, but it's still a comfortable room that wraps you up and makes you feel all warm inside.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Decorating the Tree, Step by Step

I'd like to share a description of how I went about decorating the Christmas tree in our foyer.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Minty Oreo Cookie Pops

I made a quick and easy treat today, with thanks to, where I first saw this idea.

Minty Oreo Cookie Pops

Tuesday, Unwrapped

So here's the thing about Christmas these days.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas in our Living Room

I'd like to share some more photos of our living room.  I had a lot of fun putting this room together.  We began on the day after Thanksgiving, purchasing the tree from the local farmer's market.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Home Tour 2013

Welcome to our home!  We moved into this home on Labor Day Weekend, just three months ago, and since then, we've been working on making it feel like "home."   To me, nothing helps do that more than decorating for Christmas, so I'm glad that the season is happening so soon after we moved in.

In this post, I plan to show some general overview shots of our home, and then in the next week or so, I'll follow this up with some more detailed views of things.  Come on in!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Welcome to Our New Home

Welcome to our new home!  We moved this summer, from Maryland to North Carolina.  Our new home is a bit smaller than our last one, as we now have no kids living at home full time anymore.  This Christmas season, I've had the fun task of figuring out how to decorate the new home for the holidays using all my old stuff.  We certainly have enough decorations to completely deck the halls here, with only minimal new purchases.

I know it's been a while since I've entered anything new into this blog, and I guess I don't really know where it will go from here, but for the moment, I'm excited to share some things in this space. Hope those of you who happen to find me here enjoy your stay!

For this first post, I'd like to share some photos of the front of the house and our foyer.