December 28, 2017

The Week In-Between


We are still Christmas-ing around here!
In other words we are...

Playing new games...

Watching movies...

Eating cookies...

Drinking coffee...

And tea...

And cocoa.

And napping.

It is really cold.
So this is working out perfectly.

I hope your Christmas was cozy and merry and filled with joy.
Happy New Year, my friends!
See you back here next week!

December 24, 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas...Day Twelve...Merry Christmas!

 Merry and Blessed Christmas from our home to yours.
Enjoy this time with those you love, my friends.
And know when I count my blessings, I count you among them. 

December 23, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day Eleven...Christmas Punch

I hope you haven't made your last trip to the grocery store, my friends. If you have, you may want to brave those lines one more time to pick up the ingredients to make this delicious punch. It is worth it. Promise! Here is the recipe, but go ahead and double it. You'll thank yourself later. : ) The original recipe can be found here.

Christmas Punch

  1. Three cups chilled pineapple juice
  2. Three cups chilled cranberry juice cocktail
  3. Four cups ginger ale
  4. Cranberries and lime slices
  1. Pour everything except cranberries and lime slices into a pitcher or punchbowl.
  2. Add ice, cranberries and lime slices.
  3. Stir gently.
  4. Enjoy!
My kind of recipe. : )

This is a picture of our Christmas morning table last year, with the Christmas Punch in my mom's beautiful glass pitcher.

On this eve of Christmas Eve, we are burning a new scent to me...Alpine Martini.
Yankee describes it as a scent of mountain berries with a sprig of pine.
Not entirely sure what that means, but it sounds good!

Have a wonderful day, my friends!
See you here tomorrow for one last post before Christmas!!

Please visit Danielle and my Madison too!

December 22, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day Ten...What If

This is a repost from last year. If you have already read it, I apologize. I just feel really strongly about it. : )

Christmas Day is almost here. The most magical time of the year is upon us. The weeks and months of shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating, planning and preparing will soon be realized in the celebration of that blessed Christmas Day. As hard as we may try to keep it from passing so quickly, Christmas comes. And like every other day...twenty-four hours goes. 

What if we celebrated Christmas as a season, rather than a day? What if we could spend a few days nestled together with our loved ones, without pressure and chaos pulling us back into reality so quickly? What if we didn't have to cram all the joy and blessings of Christmas into one single day? Wishful thinking, I know. But think about it...

We could slow down and be in the moment. We could rest in the knowledge that we have tomorrow to pick up the wrapping paper and sit by the tree with the peace of Christmas Day still in our hearts. We could spend another day playing games and drinking coffee while eating cookies and watching little ones play with new toys. We could also take much needed naps under fluffy new blankets, or even spend the day in freshly laundered new pajamas. We could bundle up and visit aunts and uncles and cousins for another day of Christmas joy.

What if everyone could enjoy a few more days of Christmas without having to run back to work or to the store for after Christmas sales, or worse yet, Valentines Day candy? What if we didn't see discarded Christmas trees on the curb in front of houses on December 26th because people had to clean up before returning to work? What if we didn't experience the inevitable feeling of letdown due to exhaustion and sadness on Christmas night, because this wonderful day we waited for and prepared for all these months was over just like that?

Christmas is bigger than just one day. I fear somehow we lost the meaning of this blessed day in the mix of commercialism, competition, pressure, and technology. What if we looked back, just this once, and learned from the ones who came before? What if we slowed down and stripped Christmas down to what it is really about... The one silent night when the Savior came into the world? What if we all could experience that peace and joy with the ones we love for a few more days before rushing back into the chaos of the world so far removed from that night in a manger so many years ago?

What if Christmas was a season, not just one day? That, my friends, is my Christmas wish. And who knows? Someday my wish may come true. In the meantime, I'll do my best to make Christmas last for my loved ones, nestled here in our country home, for as long as I possibly can.

December 21, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day Nine...Treat Yourself

Hello, my friends, and happy Thursday! Christmas is almost here! As much as I like to plan and prepare, I realize some things simply cannot be done beforehand. So before the big day arrives, I take some time to treat myself. I like to think that caring for myself makes it much easier for me to care for my loved ones. As you may have guessed, I prefer simple things... a cup of coffee in front of the tree, or snuggling on the couch watching a favorite movie.

Sometimes, though, I find it necessary to put on some makeup and actual clothes and leave the comfort of my home. That is what I did today. And it was fun.

I went to my favorite salon downtown and got the best manicure!
I don't do it often, but it felt so nice to be pampered and have nice nails for Christmas.

Then I got dressed and put on makeup!
We went out to Steve's work Christmas party,
and had a really nice time.

This was the dessert.
Talk about a treat!

It was a nice day out and about.
And the best part?
Coming home, washing my face, changing into my pajamas, and snuggling on the couch watching The Grinch with my people.

Our candle today is Cozy By The Fire.
 Yankee Candle describes it as a mix of ginger, cloves, and orange, mixed with a hit of wood notes.
Sounds like a winner to me!

Thanks for stopping in, my friends.
Don't forget to visit Madison and Danielle too!
See you all here tomorrow, and don't forget to treat yourself!

December 19, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day Seven...Simple But Festive Weeknights

Well, here we are! We have less than one week until Christmas. Although this last week can be over scheduled, hectic, and stressful, we choose instead to focus on simplicity and coziness. It is tempting to give into the idea that we have so much to do and so many places to be, but in doing so, we lose the joy of Christmas, don't you think?

This week we will be eating simple suppers like homemade pizza and grilled cheese and soup. We will snuggle on the couch in front of the tree each night, and read one of our favorite Christmas Books together. We just want to soak in every single moment of this beautiful season.

Homemade pizza and store-bought Caesar salad is an easy but yummy supper on a cold December night.

We gathered our favorite Christmas books and will read one each night after supper.

And I will be reading this beautiful book every night too.
It was a gift from our dear friend and former parish priest, Fr. Leon.

Today our Yankee candle votive is Sparkling Cinnamon.
I have not yet burned this one, but the website says it smells of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Sounds good to me!

Thanks for dropping by, my friends!
Don't forget my Madison and our friend Danielle are sharing too!

December 18, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day Six...Cookie Baking Day

Happy Monday! And happy last week before Christmas! Today I am sharing some pictures of our annual Christmas Cookie Baking Day. It was fun and cozy and productive, despite being a bit quieter than past years. Madison and Nicolas are across the ocean enjoying a most magical Christmas time. And Steve and Rhett were at the Steeler game, which until the last quarter was AWESOME! That left my two star bakers, Peyton and Flynn. We put on our aprons, turned on the Christmas music and got busy baking. Peyton is not only a great baker, she is also super organized. With Flynn as her sous chef, and I as her dishwasher, she managed to bake five different kinds of cookies. And of course, I had to sample each one. : )

Our little elf Zip was all ready to bake with us this morning...

And so were my girls!

The results of our efforts:
m&m cookies, chocolate chip, chocolate crinkle, oatmeal scotchies, and my personal favorite...molasses. 

Today we will burn this pretty candle.
I like this scent a lot...
It is described as a mix of pine, balsam, and holly berry.
And it makes our house smell like Christmas!

Have a cozy day, my friends.
Be sure to hop over to my Madison's blog here.
And our sweet friend Danielle's here.

See you tomorrow!
Thanks for visiting!

December 17, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day Five...Special Time With Special People

Welcome to the last Sunday before Christmas Eve, my friends. I hope today finds you happy, healthy, and filled with Christmas joy. Today I am sharing a few pictures from last night. We had a wonderful evening visiting with some very special people. Christmas parties and get-togethers do not have to be Pinterest Perfect. They can be cozy and simple. They can be games and cake after church and dinner.

Last evening we spent some fun time with my mom, my sister and her husband, and our dear friend Mary. We went to Mass. We attended a delicious Italian dinner our parish hosted. And then we headed home for some games and laughs and some delicious chocolate cake. It was simple. But it filled our hearts with love and joy. Just what Christmas should do.

These ladies are all about selfies!

And games. : )

Peyton used my mother's Christmas Tree cake pans to make this delicious cake for dessert.
And I set out my Christmas dishes...a gift from my grandmother long ago.

Today we will burn Bubbly Pomegranate, and I can already tell I am going to love it. 
It smells of berries and pomegranate.
But mostly it smells like Christmas.

Thanks for visiting, my friends.
Please hop on over to my Madison's and our friend Danielle's blogs and see what they are sharing today. You can find them here and here.

Have a cozy Sunday!
See you tomorrow!

December 16, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day Four...Delivering Goodies

Hello my friends! Happy Saturday! I hope today finds you warm and cozy and enjoying the preparation for the big day. Or at least...crossing things off your list. : )

Today I am sharing another of our family Christmas traditions...delivering our Christmas goodies to some of our special friends...nothing fancy or expensive, just something to brighten their evening and let them know we love them. This year we put together some hot cocoa treat bags, complete with Rudolph Hot Chocolate, mini marshmallows, candy canes, and Peyton's homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Last night after Steve got home from work, we loaded into the car and drove around town, delivering our treats. The Christmas music was playing and light snow was falling! We had so much fun together driving around looking at all the lights. When we had delivered that last package, we picked up a pizza, headed home, and watched Elf. It was a wonderful Christmas-y evening.

All ready to assemble...

And all ready to go!

Today we are enjoying our All is Bright Yankee candle.
To be honest, it is not one of my favorites.
It is a mix of citrus and musk.
But it sure is pretty!

If you would like to see what my daughter Madison is sharing today, you can visit her here.
And our friend Danielle is sharing her favorite Christmas traditions on her cozy blog here.

If you would like to join in the fun, please do!
And have a cozy day!
See you tomorrow. : )

December 15, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas ...Day Three...Afternoon Games And Cocoa

Hello my friends! And happy Friday! Today we are continuing our Twelve Days of Christmas series. Today I am sharing a picture of one of our afternoon game and cocoa breaks. We really try to slow down and embrace each and every day of our favorite season. One of the ways we do this is to take a break once or twice a week and play a Christmas game together.

Through the years, we have accumulated several of our favorite games in Christmas editions. Something about that makes them even more fun! Our favorites are Rudolph Monopoly, Scrabble Christmas Edition, and A Christmas Story Yahtzee. We have had those games for quite awhile. And we enjoy them every single year. New this year is The Grinch Christmas Bingo. I found it on Zulily, and we love it.

We usually play in the late afternoon, gathered at the kitchen table. It is just getting dark, the Christmas lights are glowing, and we are together. It is an easy way to slow down and spend time together. We usually have cocoa and cookies to make it even more special. Years from now, I imagine my children saying to each other, "Remember when Mom played Christmas games with us in the afternoon, and made cocoa too?" And that would be good. : )

We burned our third candle from our Twelve Days of Christmas book today, and it was one of my favorites. 

Home for the Holidays smells like Christmas. 
It smells of pine, cinnamon and spice.
I have burned this scent in my Christmas home for years.
As soon as we light it, we know Christmas has arrived.

Thank you for visiting my little space today.
Please hop on over to my daughter Madison's beautiful blog and see what she is doing on her third day in our series. You can find her here.

And I am thrilled our friend Danielle is joining us! You can check out her Twelve Days of Christmas here.

Have a cozy day!

December 14, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day Two...Christmas Pajamas

Thank you for joining me for Day Two of our Twelve Days of Christmas series! Today I am sharing something that may not be much of a surprise to you if you read here on a regular basis. I am speaking of pajamas. Which, quite honestly, make up a majority of my wardrobe!

One of our family traditions is "surprising" our children every Christmas Eve with new pajamas. It is something my sweet sister-in-law Sally did with her children, and I knew I wanted to do the same when we had our own. I loved the matching Christmas pajamas when my children were small! Eventually, they grew and began to help a bit with suggestions, and yet still acted surprised when we returned from Christmas Eve Mass, and running to their rooms, found their brand new, freshly laundered pajamas folded neatly on their beds. We continue this sweet tradition to this day.

One year, one of the kids asked me why I didn't have new pajamas for Christmas. And I answered honestly. I had never thought about it. As mothers, we think of our children first. Of their happiness before ours. The kids suggested I get my own pair of new pajamas for Christmas. And so I did. And continue to do so every year.

Last year I got myself a pair of Life is Good pajamas.
I liked them so much, I waited for them to go on sale, and bought a second pair!
They hold up well, and are so comfortable.

This year, I found the softest, lightest, coziest flannel pajamas!
They are from Gap. And I love them.
One of my favorite things to do these dark December evenings is to shower and put on my fresh new pajamas, before settling on the couch for a cozy evening.

Speaking of cozy, we are burning our second candle in our Twelve Days of Christmas Book from Yankee Candle. It is a new one for me...Mistletoe.
It smells of mistletoe, pine, and holly.
It is a softer lovely scent that fills our room with Christmas.

Thanks for joining me today, my friends.
If you would like to see what my Madison has in her Twelve Days of Christmas post today, please visit her here.

Have a cozy day!!!!

December 13, 2017

Twelve Days Of Christmas...Day One...Christmas Cards

Well, here we are. Twelve short days until Christmas. How? I don't know, but I am determined to savor each and every moment as we anticipate the joy of Christmas Day. My daughter Madison asked me to join her in a series of posts starting today and continuing through Christmas Eve, in which we would each share a short, simple, festive Christmas favorite. I am excited to start today.

I know technically The Twelve Days of Christmas actually begin on Christmas Day. For the purpose of this series, however, we felt it more fun to begin today. And so I am sharing one of my very favorite Christmas traditions...writing out my Christmas cards.

This year marks the twenty-seventh year I have written out cards for family and friends. I treasure the time I spend at my table, Christmas music playing, mug of hot coffee nearby. I don't think of it as a chore, but rather as an opportunity to slow down and reflect. And to enjoy yet another cup of my vanilla coffee.

Today we begin burning our first candle from our Yankee Candle Twelve Days of Christmas Votive Set. It is Christmas Thyme. And it smells wonderful.

Thanks for visiting with me today. Please hop on over to my Madison's Blog to see what she is posting on her first day of The Twelve Days Of Christmas. And if you would like to join us, please feel free! The more the merrier!!!