Eve of Christmas I can’t believe it is that time of year again. I decided to take it easy with the next few blog entries, since this is suppose to be a time shared with family and friends. So, I will keep it simple. One more sleep and then the fun begins! For boys and girls it means Santa comes tonight, which always fills the house with extra cheer. This year we are in Northern California with my husbands family. Last year we were surrounded by snow and cooler temperatures, this year we are in a very green country where the wind makes it feel a bit cooler. But that’s all. The house is full of excitement, Christmas carols played by the piano, guitar and flute. Not to mention the stacks of snacks in every corner (bruschetta recipe will be shared soon). Yes, it is that time again.  I will be sharing my fourth Christmas with my husband. I still can’t believe it at times. We have fantastic memories and newly shared traditions. To my surprise, I found a picture of a very early Christmas while we were still dating. It takes me back to a magical time in my life!   Maybe you have a Christmas that is very special to you! Feel free to share your story, traditions or favorite recipes during this wonderful time of year! ... read more

Coconut Macaroons Here is another quick and easy recipe to whip up and put on a delicious dessert platter. I love these because they take no more than a few minutes to put together, throw in the oven and serve to guests. They look like cute fluffy snowballs, perfect for Christmas season!   ::Ingredients:: 1 1/3 cup coconut 1/3 cup flour 2 tbsp flour 1/8 tsp salt 2 egg whites 1/2 tsp almond extract ::Baking instructions:: Combine coconut, sugar, flour, and salt in bowl. Stir in unbeaten egg whites and extract; mix well. Place small spoon fulls on a baking sheet and bake at 325F for 20 minutes. This should make a dozen or so! ... read more

Tis the season for baking This year I am so behind in everything. I was so sick of putting my baking on hold that I finally went baking crazy! I rushed to the grocery store after work, bought all my ingredients and spent the next 3 hours in the kitchen putting together a few baking goods. I will share the other recipes with you another day, because today it’s all about the Neiman Marcus cookie! This cookie has all sorts of amazing ingredients in one, which is partially why I chose it. Should I bake chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, sugar cookies, or what! I was given this old recipe from a sweet elderly lady that comes into my work and I decided to try it out. I warn you, it doesn’t look like much but this is a very hearty cookie! Enjoy!  ::Ingredients:: (Recipe may be halved): 2 cups butter 4 cups flour 2 tsp. soda 2 cups sugar 5 cups blended oatmeal** 24 oz. chocolate chips 2 cups brown sugar 1 tsp. salt 1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated) 4 eggs 2 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. vanilla 3 cups chopped nuts (your choice) ::Baking instructions:: Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies. Simply enjoy with a glass of cold milk! ... read more

Lily in Wonderland This month I had the pleasure of photographing little Lily’s first birthday! I love event photography and taking in all the little details. Especially birthdays! I was surrounded by the cutest kid-lets as they explored a rendition of Alice and Wonderland. Lily’s ma and pa sure did a wonderful job putting the party together, from the handmade cake, DRINK ME potion, tea party, Queens croquet ground,  and everything in between! I am sure Lily felt loved and appreciated, her parents did a wonderful job. Here are a few moments captured on her special day.... read more

Craft Night Success Well, it was a long night of crafting fun! The girls and I had a good time with our lovely project and were all very happy with the end result! We gabbed over coffee, hot cider and fresh baked cookies. We exchanged stories and laughed hard…can’t expect anything less with these gals. It was nice being able to unload and rest knowing that you had a group of good friends to be with. Here are a few pictures of our fun night together: …my fellow crafty friends Getting ready for the task ahead Working ever so hard, poor Kelly took 1 1/2 to finish her tree. She’s a bit of a perfectionist!  This was a very tedious project, but it goes quick when you have girls to chat with Done!  And done! The aftermath…. The girls had a lot of options to choose from: white, black, metallic gold and silver, plus glitter galore!  A little treat to take home! Thanks girls for making this craft night a success! Can’t wait for January!... read more

December: Craft Night Tonight’s the night! The girls are coming over and we are going to have ourselves a jolly good time! I’m busy trying to get my house in order, goodies made, craft supplies ready for use and squeeze in a little picture editing time. I’m telling you, my life is crazy right now, but I am so looking forward to this night of fun with some of my best gals! If you are a crafty person or really want to be, I strongly recommend devoting one night a month to just that. I have found that the past 4 months we have been doing this, I have been less stressed and a bit more optimistic. It is so nice to have that one night to do something I really wish I had more time for. If you want to craft along from a far, please do! This month we are doing a festive craft, which I blogged about earlier this month: Magazine Christmas Tree. This time, however, we will be using colored spray paint to decorate our trees, so I’m excited to see the results! You can also visit here for a video that will show you how to create your own tree one step at a time! I will post pictures soon about our craft night! Feel free to let me know what kind of things you do to get away from the hustle and bustle of life…maybe you have your own version of a craft night! I came across this picture in another blog. I love to see that other bloggers are doing similar projects!... read more

Snap So, this was the third photo shoot I had this past week. We had a lot of fun playing around, the weather was beautiful and the kidlets were perfectly sweet! I can’t believe I get the opportunity to take pictures for people. Especially since it all happened suddenly and without effort. Some things are like that, you don’t have to make it happen, it just happens for you. I am grateful for the chances I’m given to get out there and put my camera to use…I am always satisfied with the results and I know the more I get out there and practice, the easier it will become. This particular shoot was a good friend of mine and her cute daughter and son. The little one you see at the end is her adorable nephew! ... read more

Glittered Leaves The other day we had a little storm blow through. It rained and poured and made a mess of our little neighborhood. Now, we have piles and piles of leaves around our home. My husband decided to start raking yesterday and I decided to be the helpful wife I am and help out too. Of course, I’m sure this isn’t what he had in mind! I decided that some of the leaves were too beautiful to put in the trash, so I  collected a few to use as a little decor in our home. At least I can say I contributed a little bit in yard work! This is a two minute craft! Go outside and hunt for something fun to put on display in your home…. I picked a few large leaves from two of our trees. Spray with adhesive glue and sprinkle the glitter.  I chose a little bit of silver and red, since it matches our Christmas tree.  There you have it, another easy and simple project! ... read more

Vintage Christmas

A Simple Vintage Christmas I love this time of year! I’m sure I’ve mentioned that many times before. I thought I would share snippets of our Christmas home with you. This is the start to our collection as the young married version of ourselves. I’m sure as time goes on, our taste for things will begin to evolve as well as every aspect of our lives. Right now, our lives are relatively simple: we are just the two of us, busy little bees and enjoying this chapter in our lives. We thought our home should reflect something along those lines: a fun, bright, carefree and welcoming environment. I think if you were to step into our front door, you would see what I mean. Our home has this very comfy, retro, age-old feel to it. So, here is a little taste to what we have so far. It’s not much, but we are satisfied with our simple vintage Christmas! Our Christmas tree decorated with red and silver. We decided to add a little height to our little tree, so we placed it atop some vintage suitcases. This was my husbands idea and I love the look!  This and that, here and there.  I love wreaths inside the home, it feels warm and cozy. Mr. & Mrs. Clause circa 1950. Some vintage Italian jars. To some, they are hideous, to us they are perfect! Hope you enjoyed that mini tour of our home during the holidays! ... read more

Magazine Christmas Tree If you are looking for a way to put some old magazines to use, this is a great way to recycle and reuse. I have a million magazines sitting around the house and why not put them to some good use by decorating some space in your home! I did a couple of trees for my dining room table and not only are they unique, but they are adorable!  Simply pick a magazine you no longer find useful. Bend the magazine to break the spine.  Fold the top right page into the seam of the magazine, then one more time. Repeat for all individual pages. Fold the bottom triangle of each folded page up so that the magazine is now flat at the bottom.  Spray paint your tree any desired color and immediately sprinkle glitter while the paint is still wet. For a more unique tree, leave natural so pages of your magazine are exposed. Apply adhesive glue and immediately sprinkle with glitter.  Ribbon is optional, but adds a little something extra!  There you have it: handmade with love.  I can’t wait for our upcoming craft night, take one guess what the girls and I are going to do! I think that this was a good trial run, but next time I may use some color. Hmmm…..white or gold, what do you think? Let me know if you give this one a try, I would love to see the results of your magazine Christmas tree! ... read more
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