Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

What are you planning to do on New Year's Eve?

The Husband and I always stay at home.

We make a very nice meal, with a good bottle of wine.

We watch the NYC New Year's Eve Celebration on TV, as long as we can stay awake.

When we go to bed, we pretend it is midnight.

I hope you have a safe and Happy New Year's Eve!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Report # 5 - Give a Kid a Box...

Following are my two favorite photos of the nieces on Christmas morning.

After all the wrapped presents were opened, their attention turned to 
the big box full of packing peanuts and bubble wrap.

What could be more fun?

I hope your Christmas was as merry as ours! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Report # 4 - Christmas Eve Dinner Menu

Let's start with an appetizer of deviled eggs, shall we?
Sorry I don't have a picture of them, I totally forgot! 

Deviled eggs are a staple at our family holiday dinners.
I mix the yolks with a bit of mayo, Dijon mustard, 
garlic salt and pepper to taste.
Once the yolks are spooned into the whites, I then sprinkle with paprika. 

Our next dish is one we have made several times for Christmas Eve
and it is always fantastic.

Our salad is an old favorite also.
Anything topped with seared goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto 
has to be good, doesn't it?

The main course needs little introduction.

and steamed asparagus.

Here are a few 'behind the scenes' shots of the cooking process.

The Sister and I are thankful every day that both our husbands 
enjoy cooking, both simple and elaborate meals.
We happily stay out of the kitchen most of the time!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Report # 3 - The Dinner Table

Behold, my sister's Christmas Eve dinner table.
The 8 year old niece selected the plates and the chargers
and then helped mom set the table.
The 5 year old niece determined the seating arrangements.
Attendees were The Sister, The B-i-L, 8 year old niece, 5 year old niece, 
The Husband and myself.

Pretty, isn't it?

2011 has been the year of the knife rest and the salt for The Sister and me.

I love these martini glasses.

A complete place setting, with place cards written by the 8 year old niece.

(Please don't comment on the chipped green trim on the salad plate 
in the lower right hand corner. 
A little imperfection at the table is acceptable, correct?)

Our family portrait before proceeding to the dining room.

The little girls love dinner parties that involve 
dressing for the occasion and setting a pretty table. 
The big girls love them also. 
The men secretly enjoy them, I'm almost sure.

Tomorrow, details on the menu and recipes!

China: Spode Christmas Tree, Estate sale 
Chargers: Hobby Lobby
Wine Glass: Waterford Lismore, Estate sale 
Martini Glass: Unknown pattern, Estate sale 
Water Glass: Pier One
Silverplate: Unknown pattern, Estate sale 
Salts: Estate sale 
Knife Rests: Estate sale 
Napkins: Spode Christmas Tree, Dillards
Table Runner: Kohl's
Brass Candlesticks: Estate sale
Centerpiece Santa: Hobby Lobby

I'm joining Susan's Tablescape Thursday. Click over to join us!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Report # 2 - The Naughty or Nice List Hubbub

The Husband always communicates with Santa and his elves
on Christmas Eve.
Last year, the youngest niece somehow ended up on the naughty list.
A phone call was made and that obvious mistake was quickly rectified. 

Prior to our fancy Christmas Eve dinner this year, 
The Husband checked the Naughty or Nice list from his phone.

Oh no. There was a problem.

Big Sister A's name was on the Nice list,
but Sweet Baby L's name was once again on the Naughty list.

The Husband immediately phoned the North Pole
and spoke to the Head Elf in Charge!

Sweet Baby L maintained her composure during the call.
However, if you look closely at her hands you will see she was taking
no chances and crossing her fingers for a good outcome.

The Head Elf in Charge advised they had received good reports from 'Elf on the Shelf Wayne' on Sweet Baby L's behaviour and this was a mistake. 
He told The Husband to check in 5 minutes and all should be rectified. 
It was a tense 5 minutes until they could look at the list again.

Success! Her name was moved to the correct list! Christmas was saved!

Big Sister A was the perfect supporter and advocate for her little sister
during this anxious situation,
telling everyone that she had been really good all year.

P.S. The adults have determined that 2012's Christmas activities 
will not feature Sweet Baby L's name on the naughty list. 
She's taken it very well the last two years,
but a third year in a row might cause real tears.

 I'm going to be the "sacrificial lamb" for 2012.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Report # 1

We had a Merry Christmas. I took lots of pictures of Christmas Eve and Christmas morning to share with you. However, I left the camera at my sister's house.

If you celebrated the day, I hope it was merry for you!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Accosted by a Reader

I ran into a reader of this blog recently who was more than a little disappointed in the lack of recent posts. 

I need to do something about the situation.

Perhaps after Christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Yardstick Shelf

I picked up this cute shelf at an estate sale.
You can hang it vertically or horizontally.
I thought it was a very clever use of yardsticks. A person could store thimbles, spools of thread and other sewing notions in this shelf. Or, any type of tiny collectible.

There are many cute things you can create with yardsticks and I've been pinning these projects in Pinterest. I've built up quite a stash of yardsticks, so I guess I'm going to have to get my craft on and see if I can duplicate some of the projects!

In the meantime, this shelf is going into my booth.

Do you know of any yardstick projects? Do tell!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hideous or Stupendous?

I purchased a vintage purse at an estate sale this week. My first thought when I laid eyes upon it was, "My Lord, that is hideous. But wait, it's also kinda stupendous."

Hideous = offensive to the senses & especially to sight; exceedingly ugly
Stupendous = causing astonishment or wonder

What do you think?

Why yes, it is a glorious gold lamé! The embroidery on the front reads:

I LOVE . . . .

And underneath the flap with a ? mark on it, in very tiny embroidery it says "sex"!

There is also a message on the back of the purse.

The embroidery reads:

I HATE . . . .

The inside of the purse is immaculate...

with a "Custom Made By Kurt Chambré" tag.

So, what do you think? Hideous? or Stupendous?

Personally, I'm going with stupendous. This purse has revived my long dormant love of gold lamé. Who needs a "statement" necklace when you can have a "statement" purse? I am so going to be "rocking" it this holiday season by carrying this purse.

P.S. It cost me $10. Yes, just $10 for this STUPENDOUS bag.

Note to my readers:
I've googled Kurt Chambré and all I find are listings for purses by him that have sold. I have not found any information on him as a designer. If you happen to know anything about him and would be willing to share it with me, I would be grateful. Thanks!

I'm joining Coloradolady today for Vintage Thingie Thursday. Why don't you click here to join us?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Our Halls Are Decked (Mostly)

Our house is decorated for Christmas. Mostly.

It's taken me several days to get to this point and I must report that there are still a few things laying on the table that need to be either displayed properly or put back in storage. I won't even tell you about the things I left in storage because I just couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with them.

In years past, I have rapidly unpacked ALL the decorations and deployed them to appropriate locations within the house the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year not so much. I have been trying to figure out why I've been so lackadaisical about decorating, but The Husband beat me to it. I don't have anything to push me to complete the task, since we are skipping our annual open house for neighbors, friends and family. That's it. The Husband hit the nail on the head.

In previous years, I had to have the house decorated the weekend after Thanksgiving because the following weekend was our open house. I didn't have time to dilly dally with decisions on decor, when I had to make sure the house was clean, the menu finalized, the groceries purchased and the food cooked.

Obviously, I only decorate rapidly and thoroughly when I have a looming deadline. With no deadline, I meander around and put a thing here or a thing there and then stop to contemplate what is next.

You know what? I'm going to not stress about it. I'm going to enjoy meandering around and changing how I display our decorations. I mean, it doesn't have to be finished until the 24th, am I right?

How about you? Are you decorated yet?

Monday, November 28, 2011

A New Word

A friend gave me this lovely book a few months ago.
I've referred to it several times to answer specific questions, but have not reviewed the entire book. I decided to start that effort tonight and, lo and behold, I learned a new word.

Preprandial: of, relating to, or suitable for the time just before dinner
< a preprandial drink >

According to Merriam-Webster, this word is in the bottom 30% of look-ups on their site. You think?

I challenge you to use this word in casual conversation sometime in the next 7 days. If you manage to do so, would you come back here, leave a comment and tell us the details?

Sunday, November 27, 2011


The tree is on the front porch and the house (inside and outside) is a blank slate waiting for the decorations to be applied. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

We had a few appetizers.
A turkey was fried.
Potatoes were expertly mashed.
The buffet was laden with food.
The cranberry sauce had ridges.
And a family portrait was taken.
I almost forgot to show the desserts. The pumpkin cheesecake was spectacular.
I hope your Thanksgiving was as good as ours!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Tablescape

To anchor the tablescape, I used a damask tablecloth and 12 napkins I snagged at an estate sale this past summer. Yes, $10!
The table.
A place setting. 
I love these salts.
A knife rest. Sterling purchased within a few months of our marriage.
Tiny butter pat plates.
Our wedding china on chargers from Dillards. The leaf plates from Pier One.
Wedding crystal.
The turkey and the candlesticks were all purchased at estate sales.
The turkey candle holders and candles were brand new in the box from Williams Sonoma, purchased for pennies at an estate sale. As was the pair of ceramic turkeys.
Our sweet 8 and 5 year old nieces were just here with their parents. They loved the table settings, especially the salt spoons and the butter pat plates. They can't wait to use them tomorrow. It's best they learn young to appreciate nice things, don't you think?
I hope you and yours have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Chargers: A gift from Dillards years ago
China: Royal Doulton, Alice
Crystal: Waterford, Araglin
Sterling: Easterling, American Classic
Leaf Plates: Pier One
Napkin Rings: Hobby Lobby
Tablecloth & Napkins: Estate Sale
Butter Pat Plates: Estate Sale
Knife Rests: Estate Sale
Salts: Estate Sale
Candleholders, candles and decorative turkeys: Estate Sale