Hi lovely friends. Sorry I haven't posted for a bit, but Christmas was nuts and I'm only now getting to sit for a bit and share. I hope you are all having good holidays. This year we chose not to go away right after Christmas, but wait a week and it's been so calming having the quiet and the downtime to regroup after the chaos.
We had a lovely Christmas with my dad and also celebrated with dear friends two days before that. I miss my mom still so much and the holiday season really brings forward all those feelings that I push out of my mind most of the year to cope. Opening our beloved and ancient Betty Crocker Cooky Book with mom's writing all over was tough.
I have many ornaments my mom bought me over the years and cherish. This year I bought one I found at Anthropologie that she would have loved. It was a knit pair of bunny slippers. As a little girl I had bunny slippers and whenever I was cold, even as an adult, my mom would say, 'Where's your bunnies?' which meant slippers so I had to get that ornament in her honor.
This year we got a Victorian Fraser Fir tree which is a little sparser and more English looking. It was from Summerwinds Nursery and I have loved it. You can see our ornaments even better than a Noble Fir which I usually get. It's also less cumbersome and let's more light in the house, which I savor at this dark time of year. I'll be a bit sad to take it down. It's been my most favorite tree yet and has hardly dropped any needles!
We did the requisite baking - sugar cookies, biscotti and cornflake wreaths. This year I tried a new sugar cookie recipe that I clipped last year from The Mercury News Home Plates column. It is called Holm-Made Sugar Cookies after the family that submitted it and are famous enough for it they give the recipe along with cookie cutters as wedding favors! It has a mix of vanilla and almond which gives it a marzipan flavor I think. Recipe can be found here.
We had fun making more tags with an old rubber stamp we had and more vintage ribbon of my grandmothers like I mentioned in the last biscotti post.
I found some holiday cards with the Golden Gate bridge a while back and turned them into tags which looked nice on plain bags. I bought a load of these brown bags in different sizes this year and colored tissue. I just got creative with tags to make them more festive. They seem a lot greener and reusable than paper...though we did still use some wrap.
I tried for a pink theme as much as I could.
My friend Ani sent these pink cards from Kate Spade. Just loved them.
One new decor thing I added was this pink and gold mod looking tray from Rosanna.
My dad came through with his cinnamon rolls from Christmas breakfast and did his famous candied Yummy Nuts too.
I thought it came out very pretty.
All the men proudly wore their crazy sweaters on Christmas Eve.
This little gem of a tree collage is from my grandmother's home and made of old jewelry. It went perfect in my entry. I loved it as a child and so glad to have it now.
Lasagna is my Christmas go to and I make it the day before so we can relax on Christmas day and just throw it in the oven.
We had a drink station going all season with our collection of holiday mugs.
I love using this vintage cup made for me in 1970 by a friend of my mom's.
I have really enjoyed our Christmas past photos I drag out..
And a few funny things too...
We always hang holiday seed wreaths for the birds and loved all the visits from pretty wrens, towhees, juncos and chickadees.
Now it's a week later...Our town has emptied and this week we are savoring the quiet streets, crisp walks and dinners at home and a few out. My boys are overdosing on their new Xbox and I am puttering about doing what I love rearranging the house, clearing out the remains of the holiday excess. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty much done with Christmas and all the clutter. I cleared out half the house of all the glitter and greens, but am still leaving our lovely tree up for New Year's Eve. I feel like the lights make it a bit more festive, but come January 1, it's gone.
I'm ready to for 2016 to be done. I'm ready to turn over new leaves, start fresh, eat fresh, begin with a clean and uncluttered house and toss out the tired.
Just yesterday I opened the kitchen towel drawer and was dismayed at so many sad, grey and stained towels. I ask myself why do I live like this? I happened to pop into Williams Sonoma in my town and happily found they have a sale on basics like their lovely kitchen towels (I bought 2 stacks and love the aqua color) and these tumblers.
For $4 they look clean, modern elegant and best of all- can be stacked in the cabinet, a huge plus which give me room for better organization. No more opening the cabinets to find a hodgepodge of drinking glasses. I'm done with the mess and ready for less. This is just the beginning of my house overhaul and refreshing.
Speaking of 2016, it just really ended badly didn't it? Losing so many great people this year along other issues...
I'm hoping to power on into 2017 with open eyes, a fresh perspective and I the heart of an activist. Each year I get older I feel the need to make a difference in the world and it's never been more needed than now. Is anyone else feeling the same? Let's be the change.
Thanks to each and every one of you for being here reading. Thank for your kind notes and comments. I'm truly grateful for all of you for your friendship here. Hoping to be bringing you more posts and good ideas in 2017 and wishing you all the happiest of new years!