Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Day of 2012- A Day to Reflect

I found this Red Velvet cocoa mix at World Market during the holidays.  I have been thinking about it - wondering if it would be a gorgeous red hot cocoa! This morning- the last day of the year- I finally got time to try it- and no- it -is- not- red.  But very delicious anyway! I just feel lucky that I have time this morning to savor it's aroma because in a few minutes I have to go to work.  With bittersweet feelings,  I am on my way in to the store.  As most of you know, we are closing the store in about 6 weeks. It's time to change gears and do something with a little more freedom. But more to come on that exciting subject later.  Today I just am thankful that I live in a country where I can make the choices about my life.  With that thought in mind, this video really puts things in perspective.
it's called "Lightning in a Jar"
Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


Christmas candles lit

Mark the elf, a gift from Aunt Lynda 4 years ago, travels to Chicago to watch the children

The four "littles" ready for the Christmas pageant-a play by the grand children for the adults as a gift

Cole as a "horse"

Audrey as  Dorothy- complete with the wig

Connor dressed as his favorite dinosaur
the final bow
Addie is exhausted from the pageant
time for brunch
candles are lit


time to open presents


gilded peacock on Christmas tree
I think I saw Santa!!!!
Audrey singing "somewhere over the rainbow" in the Christmas pageant
Christmas Day is finally here!  Up early to see what Santa left- 12 people on the steps for the traditional "step" picture. Cook the brunch, drink champagne. take pictures. Say grace and give thanks for blessings of the year.  Eat Brunch, give out the checks, lottery tickets,and poppers!  Next, the big present opening!  Several trash bags of wrapping filled up!Pork shoulder in the oven.  Play with toys-  play games.  Daughter taken to airport- sad goodbyes. Ball game comes on- grand kids to bed.  Dinner is ready.  Grab a plate and help yourself- relax- snuggle by the fire. Fall asleep.  Life is good!   Merry Christmas Everyone- hope you had a merry one!   



Friday, December 21, 2012

Sights of Christmas

A glimpse of the decorations at our home

I love Christmas time at home.  It's all about the bows, lights and glitter!
the dining room buffet- ready to serve

this year we decided to go red and green in the dining room


antique stemware washed and ready to go on the table

still working on this centerpiece - love the new little battery operated lights-perfect for this use!
Santa by the stove
urns in the dining room filled with greens, cabbages and icy branches
new pillow via Etsy - suggested on Splenderosa's blog- thank you Marcia!
kitchen dining area- cozy and ready for breakfast

festive chocolate passion mini torte from the local bakery- for dinner tonight!

My son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter arrived  last night for Christmas. Today we will spend the day doing last minute shopping.  A light dusting of snow fell last night, just in time for Christmas. I still haven't finished my tree or done any mantels- but no one seems to care! Also need to finish the dining room table.  Maybe tonight????

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Perfect Christmas Party


The Romancing the Home girls and friends were invited to the city last night for a Holiday Soiree- one that did indeed "exceed" our expectations!   Imagine walking up to a Chicago brownstone that is so gloriously lit with white lights and looking up and seeing a magical tree and huge crystal chandelier in the window- twinkling away and just waiting for us!  That was the beginning of the extraordinary Christmas party that Mariterese- the hostess with the mostest-hostess extraordinaire- good friend and fun companion- had ready for us! 

Let me share with you some of the elements that made this party so memorable.

Champagne cocktail waiting for us as we entered the home

enter the family room for appetizers and cocktails and to share  a few hostess gifts

Christy's pretty wrapped gift with the embellished egg and crown tag
Precious gift- assortment of different size candy canes in a silver mug and tied with a vintage Christmas tree pin.
tartan and rhinestone hat box by Candy
olive oil and candle in gold lame fabric wrap

up the stairs to the dining room for dinner

gorgeous salad served with roasted brussel sprouts with bourbon balsamic reduction and the most delicious chicken casserole that we have ever tasted -  need the recipes so much!
beautiful silver bowl filled with drink of our choice

enter the kitchen for dessert

study the beautiful dishes for daily use

so pretty - anyone could learn to love to cook in this kitchen

perched above on the banister overlooking the dessert table - the bird of the year

the dessert table - oh my!

chocolate torte with sugared roses and 14 karat gold sprinkles

Hummingbird Cake from Table 52 - moist and deelish
view out the back door from the kitchen- breathtaking angel with snow dusted bouquet
This was my favorite "peek" of the evening
Off to the powder room to get ready for the long drive home and look what awaits us1
only Mariterese would send us home with red toilet paper!
Oh - a box of caramels from Vosges! 
A magical evening in the city for all of us- thank you so so so much .  Holiday memories were made that are not to be forgotten!