Happy Thanksgiving!

Source: google.at via Tajuana on Pinterest

Christmas Tour of Homes

It’s BooMama‘s Christmas Tour of Homes!

Welcome – I’m glad you stopped by to see how we’ve decorated our house for Christmas! Unfortunately, due to morning sickness and major first-trimester exhaustion, decorations this year got scaled back.

Our front door has a plastic wreath (I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that) that I think doesn’t look too bad. It’s crying out for something to give it a little pop but see again above re: the extreme exhaustion. Well that and that I’m fairly decorating challenged.

We have our tree in our family room, and this year we went with a red and gold theme. Please don’t ask how long it took to get the tree decorated, but I will admit to cutting it close to my self-imposed deadline in order to participate in this tour. Even though it took awhile, it was lots of fun decorating it. I had my ipod set up to play lots of Christmas music, and it made for a nice atmosphere.

One present under the tree so far, and it’s not even wrapped. Yes, we’re pretty behind on our shopping. It’s not even a surprise at all because it’s something L won during his work party.

I’ve got some favorite ornaments on the tree, including a cute little glass snowman and an adorable penguin:

This tree has joy!

Some more closeups of the tree:

I’m not sure this snowman should have really made it onto the tree with his blue hat, but I love him too much to leave him packed away.

The mantle is usually covered with cards by Christmas, but it’s still skimpy so far. I’m hoping for a flood to come in in the next few days! The stockings are completely empty so far so I’m hoping to get to the store this coming weekend and get some stocking stuffers to fill them up!

And closeups of the stocking holders. Mine is the tree; L’s is the snowman. He has to remind me of that because apparently I have a mental block about remembering who has what color stocking & all the rest. I should probably get some personalized ones then I could manage!

Finally, my favorite seasonal throw that’s on the futon across from the tree. It’s quite warm too – I love to spend time in the room enjoying the pretty tree and the throw keeps me cozy as I read.

Thanks for visiting! For more tours, don’t forget to visit BooMama!

Thanksgiving Menu

Barb recently posted her Thanksgiving menu, and it got me thinking about the Thanksgiving menu I grew up enjoying.

Since we usually eat around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, we’d always need something to munch on to tide us over from breakfast:

  • veggie tray and dip, which includes:
    • broccoli
    • cauliflower
    • cherry or grape tomatoes
    • carrots
    • celery
    • mushrooms
    • green olives
    • black olives
  • cheese ball & crackers

For the main course, it’d be:

  • a huge turkey roasted in the oven (must specify since some of my in-laws get a smoked turkey and some deep-fry their turkey).
  • mashed potatoes
  • gravy
  • Stove top stuffing (fixed outside the bird, so I guess technically it’d be dressing)
  • green bean casserole, made with frozen beans not canned because my mom is picky. And some of the casserole would be made without the onion topping because her daughter is picky (that would be me).
  • cranberry sauce. Straight from the can, but we’re fancy and get the whole berry kind (and we don’t actually serve it from the can, again, we’re fancy and put it in a pretty dish.)
  • rolls & butter
  • sparkling cider
  • wine

And then, the REAL attraction. Dessert. My mom loves her desserts and goes all out for Thanksgiving. There is usually more than one pie for each person. No, they don’t all get eaten that day; that’s what the rest of the weekend is for. Pie types might include:

  • pumpkin (usually two)
  • apple (usually Dutch apple)
  • French silk (for my brothers)
  • mince (for my father)
  • blueberry or triple berry (for me)
  • lemon meringue (for my grandmother when she was still alive, and now just for my brother)
  • cherry (for my mom’s favorite son-in-law, also known as the only son-in-law)
  • Key lime

The Key lime pie, berry & cherry pie filling, and all of the pie crusts would come from the store; everything else was homemade.

It’s Coming…

BooMama’s Christmas Tour of Homes!

(and isn’t the button fantastic?)

And YES, I’ll be participating again. Last year was my first time decorating for Christmas and I am so glad I did. I’m already getting excited about putting the tree up again this year. I’m thinking of a change in color schemes for this year though; red and gold instead of the blue and silver we had last year.

I’ll have to do some ornament shopping!

Happy 4th of July!

We’re off to hang out with extended family and eat burgers and hot dogs and watch some fireworks. It’ll be great.

Photo by the National Park Service. I bet Mount Rushmore is a great place to watch fireworks.

Christmas!

Yes, it’s late but I’d been gone, but I wouldn’t want to ignore Christmas! I got some lovely gifts and we had a nice, quiet day. Most of L’s gifts were not a surprise, but he was still very pleased with them. He seems to especially love the slippers. He’s requested them (his old ones were worn out, and our floors are pretty chilly in winter) but he keeps raving about how warm and cushioned they are. So I did well on that, and I am really happy he likes them so much. His other gifts were all computer or stereo equipment that he’d requested and picked out specifically, so while he was thrilled, he wasn’t exactly surprised. :) He also really liked the candy in his stocking. What he doesn’t like so much? The fact that we are COMPLETELY OUT of those delicious wedding cookies! I really need to bake some more soon.

Oh, my gifts? You want to know some details? Ok, twist my arm.

  1. I got some super comfy pjs. I knew I was getting them and was so happy to unwrap the box. I love love love pjs, especially super comfy ones. I can’t wait to wear them!
  2. An automatic wine opener. L has noticed how I sometimes struggle to get the bottles open so bought me an electric one. Haven’t tried it out yet but will as soon as I have another bottle to open. What a sweetie looking out for me! :)
  3. Computer software – iWork and iLife. Soooo happy to have this. He says that I’d said I wanted them, but I’d forgotten that so it was a complete surprise to me when I opened the packages. A very good surprise!
  4. Finally, lots of books! All picked from my Amazon Wish List, but the specific choices were a surprise.

I am super happy with my gifts and know that I am very blessed to have received so much great stuff. :)

Christmas Tour of Homes

It’s BooMama‘s Christmas Tour of Homes!

Welcome – I’m glad you stopped by to see how we’ve decorated our house for Christmas!

Let’s start at the front door – we’ve got a real wreath that smells WONDERFUL. It’s not as pretty as it was when we first got it. The screen door kind of smashes it but it would be such a project to take the door off we’re just letting it be a little squashed.

It’s awfully cold and snowy, so let’s go inside and on into the family room, where we have our tree. We went with a blue and silver theme and had a lot of fun decorating it the day after Thanksgiving (no black Friday shopping for us!) Yes, that is snow visible outside. We’ve gotten a lot the last few days, and I love it!

A closeup of the star on top of the tree. L fit a light up into the star so it looks extra pretty at night.

One of my favorite ornaments – a blown glass snowman!

More closeups of ornaments I love, this time a snowflake and disco ball.

Some presents are already wrapped and waiting under the tree. L did a great job wrapping the gifts for me; I am very impressed with his wrapping skills. They are much better than my photography and image staging skills that’s for sure!

The large brown box is for L; he knows what it is since it’s something fairly techy and I wanted him to pick out exactly what he wanted rather than me possibly getting the wrong thing. I wrapped it with inside-out grocery bags and taped candy canes to it to make it a little less brown-blob-like. It’s not ideal, but it’s really big and heavy and this was the best I could do. :)

A partial view of the cards, stocking holders, and stockings from the mantle. We’re really light on cards so far, if it’s like other years we’ll get a lot this next week. I didn’t take a picture of the entire mantle & mirror above it because there are some photo cards included and didn’t feel comfortable putting other people’s photos on my blog, even if they would be small and not really identifiable.

Here are some closeups of the stocking holders. The tree survived a tumble off the mantle and landed in a plant, getting quite dirty and slightly bent in the process. The dirt washed off, and the damage is hard to spot. I’m glad it landed in the plant because if it had hit the hard floor the slight break would surely have been a complete breaking off of the top of the tree.

Finally, here is a cozy throw that’s on the futon across from the tree. It has more to it than is shown, but that’s all that would fit neatly when I folded it to put it on the futon. It really adds something to that space I think. And it’s warm too – I’ve spent some time in there reading and enjoying the lights and the throw helps warm up what is otherwise usually a pretty chilly room.

This is practically our first year to put up decorations – we had stockings last year but nothing else. And no stocking holders for them so they were just draped on the couch rather than hanging from the fireplace mantle. So even though I don’t have a lot of decorations compared to some, I’m really happy with what I have and how it looks.

Oh, I almost forgot about refreshments! It’s a very well known recipe, but it just might be my favorite cookie – wedding cookies/tea cakes/whatever name you know them as.

WEDDING COOKIES / TEA CAKES

1 cup butter (yes, real butter, not margarine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more
3/4 cup chopped pecans (toasted is better) (or almonds if you must)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla. Stir in flour, nuts and salt until dough holds together. Shape into 1″ balls and place them about 1″ apart on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake 10 – 15 minutes or until set but not brown.

Roll in powdered sugar while still warm. Cool. Roll in powdered sugar again.

Here’s a picture of them right out of the oven, before the powdered sugar step. I forgot to take a picture of them after being rolled in the sugar, and they’re long gone so I can’t take another. Must make some more soon…