Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tis the Season

Christmas is just 4 days away!  Most of my shopping is done and I am just left with wrapping.  I have several last minute packages set to arrive in the next few days.  Thank goodness for the internet!  I am always amazed at how excited I am to decorate for Christmas and can't imagine ever wanting to take it all down and put it away.  But, it seems I have already hit the point this year where I am ready for the clutter to be out of my home and I'm really looking forward to freshening it up for spring.  I have a running list in my head of new year's resolutions for my home and I can't wait to get going on it!  My boys get out of school at noon today for 2 1/2 weeks.  I don't have any child care lined up for them other than their Meemaw a few days so I will be juggling them and work. Hopefully they will have enough electronics to keep them busy so I can do what I need to do.  But I am also hopeful that maybe I can get some organizing projects knocked out over the coming weeks since I will be spending quite a bit of time at home with them.  Fingerscrossed.  The older they get, the more they get in to, believe it or not.  Sometimes it's a challenge to work on any type of project with them around because they want to be right there "helping" me.  

Anyway, I'll leave you with this cookie recipe since it is our family's favorite and we just made a big batch on Sunday to give to the neighbors.  Enjoy and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

 Kitchen Sink Cookies
 Martha Stewart Living, September 1999

Even though the ingredient list may seem about as long as a grocery shopping list, they're simple to make. In fact, these cookies are so basic you can mix everything by hand; this helps to avoid overbeating, which may toughen the dough.
Yield Makes about 4 dozen


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sweetened flake coconut
  • 1 cup raisins ( I omit)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts ( I use pecans)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl with a wooden spoon, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into butter mixture until well blended. Add oats, chips, coconut, raisins, and walnuts, and stir until well blended.
  4. Drop batter by heaping tablespoons or with a 1 ounce ice-cream scoop onto silpat about 2 inches apart. Press tops down with the bottom of a glass to flatten cookies evenly. Bake until golden, about 16 to 18 minutes. Cool on pan for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, and finish cooling completely on wire rack.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Living House at Christmas

 Christmas 2011
The most notable thing about the pictures you are about to see is that I had the house to myself for 3. whole. hours. on a Saturday morning (this never, ever, ever happens!) and was able to actually take them without kids underfoot and Sponge Bob blaring on the TV!

I have not a stitch of red in the entire downstairs of my house and you just can't have Christmas without red!!  My mom bought this plate for me last year and it has served as the inspiration for my Christmas decor.

I filled my hutch with Christmas dishes this year.  Every single one of those plates/dishes was given to me.  This is another one of those times where I started pulling dishes out and realized I had quite a collection!

I'm so much happier with how my tree turned out this year.  Last year, the first ribbon I put on it looked like an ode to Papa Smurf, it was horrible! 


The lay of the land.  Looking back toward the kitchen and breakfast area.  That's a tired couch and it's missing the red pillow I keep in the middle.  Those aren't my "good" pillows either!  Those are the boys-kick-and-toss-around-the-house-cheap-pillows.  I forgot to put out my "company's coming" down pillows, LOL.  I have grand visions of refurnishing my living room but for now, I have young children and (large) old dogs so the furniture really does serve it's purpose.
Looking from the kitchen to the living area.  Ignore the junk next to the sink!  I didn't take a picture of my nativity set but you can see it behind the poinsettia.   It's the Willow Tree set and I purchased it for myself.  It took me 5 years to collect all of the pieces and I love that I didn't just run out and buy it all at once. 

The buffet in the dining room.  My mother-in-law gave me all of these Mikasa candy dishes and votive holders.  I didn't realize I had so many until I pulled them out last year.  Didn't take a picture of my table. It was still Christmas decor central at that moment.

A blurry picture of the mantle at night - fire aglow.

Greenery and gold ribbon in the entry with an angel to greet you at the door. Since this picture was taken I swapped out the ribbon and beefed up the bows.  Last year I put up a tree in the entry where that chest is with all of my Lenox ornaments that my mom has given me each year since I got married.  This year I used that tree upstairs in the playroom with all of the boys' ornaments on it.  I would love to start doing a fresh tree in the entry.  Maybe next year.

The front entry at night.  (A little blurry, sorry)

My mom and I decorated these wreaths last year.  We had put gold bows on them but this year I retied them and added red and green striped ribbon over the gold.  I love how it turned out and it looks great with the red and green striped cushions on my wicker furniture.

 All is merry and bright...

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!