Thursday, December 30, 2010

Favourite Things

New Year's is almost upon us, is everyone ready for whatever tomorrow night holds for you?  It will be a fairly quiet one here as I have a couple of sick guys down.  So with all the crazy hustle and bustle of the holidays I thought today I would have a "whatever" day.  Just a day to relax, kick back, and look at fun, frivilous favourites.  We all have our favourite "junk"  things, some that have meaning, some that don't and just look pretty, some old, new, some gifts just received.  It can be very destressing going through favourite trinkets and wares, taking stock of them or are a few of my favourite things.

And to bid farewell to Christmas, I loved the little pastel setup on the kitchen table this year

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas All!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, be happy, be safe, and enjoy your time with loved ones!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Getting Closer

I made some good progress on my day one of baking. Now if I can keep all the male paws in this house out of my freezer, I just may have some left for Christmas!  I started with some super easy bars and candies today for which I have included the recipe or link for the recipe.  If you have a question about the goodies, please feel free to leave it as a comment and I will try to answer it asap.

This a family favourite....not mine, but everyone else's lol

Peanut Butter Squares
So easy to make and if you are going with a pastel theme for your holiday decorating, this treat will fit right in

Peanut Butter Squares

1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
1 12 oz package of butterscotch chips (aprox. 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 packages of mini colored marshmallows (aprox. 4-6 cups)
1 cup of coconut

Line a 9x11 baking pan with foil making sure foil extends over sides of pan
Melt butter, vanilla, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth and creamy.
Transfer to large bowl and cool in fridge for about 3-5 mins.
Once cooled, add marshmallows and coconut and mix well, transfer to foil lined baking pan, set in fridge to cool for about 1-2 hours.
Remove from pan, cut into squares, can be frozen for about 2 months

This simple to make treat is probably the most requested for me every year---Almond Bark

Almond Bark

1 1/2 cups of almonds
5 cups of white chocolate dipping wafers
1/4 cup of milk chocolate dipping wafers

Roast almonds on cookie sheet for about 10 mins at 350 degrees
Melt chocolate in microwave on auto defrost or defrost if you have in your settings ( I find this helps prevent burning) for about five minutes, checking every two mins and giving a quick stir.
Once melted and smooth, pour white chocolate over your almonds coating well and evenly
In small bowl, microwave the milk chocolate for about two mins.
Drizzle the milk chocolate over the white chocolate, using a toothpick or pointy knife, lightly drag it over the drizzled chocolate one way, then back, and then another way to create the marbling.
Allow to cool in fridge for about an hour, break into pieces and store in fridge or freezer.

I use white chocolate dipping wafers because they are much more inexpensive than baker's chocolate and honestly everybody loves it just the same.  The wafers are the least expensive in the big chain grocery stores, they are about .58 cents/100 grams at Superstore.

I did a little more decorating with some odds and ends around the house

Made a little Joy banner, not sure where to put it but I'm sure I'll find a spot

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Well, I've finally done it!  Joined the world of blogging and what better time to start than the holidays.
I'm just going to jump right into it as it is getting down to the wire, only 10 days until Christmas! It's hard to believe isn't it?

Since buying my tiny little home last year, dubbed "The Dollhouse" by family and friends, I have learned to improvise and be creative for just about everything.  I have become a firm believer in "the use what you have" decorating style more out of necessity than choice.  I know this is how it is for many out there. Due to space limitations I am unable to swap out all of my regular decor for Christmas decor as I just don't have enough room.  I thought I would share some little ideas I tried this year and will follow up with some recipes, scrapping and crafting. 

When I decorate my tree, I always save some ornaments (we always have way too many for the tree don't we?) so that I can use it with ordinary things around my home to give them a Christmasy feel.  Sometimes you don't really need much and your guests will think these were meant just for Christmas. Below are a few simple ideas to add some cheer to even the simplest items around the house.

Wine glass, ornaments, ribbon, beads

Add some garland and a cute ornament to a picture frame

How about just tying a matching bow around a sconce or fixture

Swap out flowers, seashells, or whatever you have in clear vases or jars for some fake snow and trees to create a charming little Christmas scene

Add balls, garland and other Christmas embellishments to dishes, baskets, antique crystal, and china


This unique antique oil lamp, which is a special family piece, has been sadly neglected and collecting dust on a shelf

 It now adds some holiday sparkle to an otherwise drab shelf in my front entrance

Add just a bow, garland or hang a glass ball off statuary, candle holders, etc that you normally have out all year round