Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Simplifying Christmas




I felt the need to somewhat simplify my Christmas decor this year; to create space instead of filling it. I realized that I didn't need to use every piece of decoration in the storage boxes and by strategically placing the treasured favorites, I could still enjoy them with a calmer feel. I looked at everything I placed with a new eye and the thought that less could be more.

A perfect example of this is the three simple wreaths I placed on my two story foyer stairway instead of the garland I have used in the past. Tied with pretty, plaid burlap ribbon, the effect is simple and sweet and the tree becomes the star. I didn't worry about tying a bow and think the knot gives the casual charm I was looking for.



When you enter my home this holiday season, the tall foyer tree shines bright in Christmas greeting with the lights of the mantel beyond. Dramatic, yet simple. A backdrop for the tree, that helps it stand out in all it's lighted beauty. Simplify - I like that word, even when it comes to Christmas.

Happy Tuesday!


{Linking with these friends}

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

Coastal Charm


Thrifty Decor Chick


Monday, December 15, 2014

Bunco Holiday Progressive Party




My neighborhood Bunco group has a holiday tradition, where we have a progressive event to make our holiday party special. We have members from all around the neighborhood, and while the majority are on my street, there is a group on an adjacent street that were the hostesses this year. We had a wonderful time and started out at the first home with martinis (cosmos - my favorite) and appetizers that everyone prepared.



We moved to the next home, right across the street, with appetizers in hand, to continue the party, where bunco was played. Our hostess served lovey, light and crisp prosecco, garnished with festive pomegranate seeds. As always, we manage to eat, drink and talk while getting in two lively and fun rounds of Bunco.



This decadent, chocolate tuxedo cake awaited at our last stop, where we enjoyed dessert, Kaluha spiked coffee with whipped cream and even a few toasts to our 20 plus years together. We opened presents, each more thoughtful than the next and truly meant what we said in those toasts - here's to many more years of celebrating with neighborhood friends.

Happy Monday!


Friday, December 12, 2014

A Book Club Christmas




We celebrated the Christmas season at my book club last night with our yearly dinner and gift exchange and like always, did not schedule a book discussion. We were having way to much fun and chose to keep our holiday dinner about the lovely meal and the company of good friends.


As we arrived, we all remarked on the beauty of the decorations in our lovely hostesses home and right away we were put in the holiday spirit. The wine was poured and everyone began to enjoy the opportunity to be together to celebrate the holiday season.



Our dinner; spendini, an Italian beef dish of thinly sliced steak, rolled with proscuitto and provolone, served with homemade strozza preti (Choke the Priest) pasta, was sinfully delicious. And the dessert was so beautiful too. There were three cakes to choose from; lemon, raspberry and chocolate and almost everyone had a sliver of each, with authentic Italian spumoni on the side.



At the end of the evening, as is our tradition, we exchanged gifts by bringing a favorite thing. The best part of this tradition is the story told of why that particular item is a favorite and the love with which it is received. We all agreed that by serendipity, everyone received the perfect gift, perfectly suited to them.

There was much love and friendship in evidence all through the night.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Salted Caramel Vodka Hot Chocolate




A cozy night in during the holiday season or the long winter months, is perfect for this delicious spiked hot chocolate. The caramel vodka that I had left over from the Caramel Apple Martini that I made for Halloween has been languishing in my liquor cabinet, until I came across a version of this recipe. I foresee many nights sitting by the fire, with a Christmas movie on the television (White Christmas - my favorite) and this wonderful drink warming my spirit.

It is very easy to make; especially if you use your Keurig to make the hot chocolate, but you could use any favorite recipe for that part. The addition of the sea salt was something I added to the recipe and it really gave it a delicious depth of flavor.

To make this fun, seasonal drink, simply make a cup of hot chocolate using your favorite method or recipe. Add 1 ounce caramel vodka and 1 ounce half and half. Put a generous dollop of whipped cream on the top and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy!


{Linking with these friends}


Rattlebridge Farm

Between Naps on the Porch

Savvy Southern Style

Gooseberry Patch


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