Friday, December 20, 2019

Christmas Cookie Swap

Every year I host a Christmas Cookie Swap
 and Gift Exchange party.

 I have been hosting one nearly my entire adult life.
 It's a favorite of mine.

Just this evening thinking of posting about it
 I realized that I haven't posted a cookie party post
 since 2014! Yikes!!!

So just to kinda document it, I am throwing in some of the
 cuter pics from last year's party, too.

Everything is dressed so nicely for Christmas swapping!!!

There is always a few who think outside the "cookie box"
 and bring some other clever yummies.

We had gingerbread, raspberry, mint, cinnamon,
 chocolate, peanut butter, coconut, dates, blackberry -
 so many classic flavors - what a great lineup of treats!!!

One just never knows how a cookie
 will be dressed for swapping!

Anything goes - even fun pom-poms toppers!!

We had a White Elephant gift exchange this year -
 and the winning funniest one was a
 colorful wooden picture frame painted on top saying:

(Not Your Family)

Thanks for the big laughs, Debra!

We pack individually (usually a half dozen) for swapping
 and bring a dozen loose for the tasting-
this swap really is an easy self-serving kind of party.

All the hostess has to do is provide invites and a variety of drinks.

My staples are hot and cold tea, decaff coffee, egg nog and ginger ale.

I thought of serving hot cocoa, but I figured we had enough super sweet chocolate things,  killing us so I passed.

The gingerbread cookies had JOY written on them
 and then just J and O and Y are others.

My two beautiful daughters attend every year. 

I would like to thank my wonderful husband
 and my precious 3-year-old grand daughter
 for taking all the pics for this post.

 I was too busy eating cookies, entertaining and providing drinks to get out my camera. 

And the wee one was having such a fun time with the camera-
she decided she wanted to be IN a pic so she struck a pose.

She told her Grandpa that she was "thinking really hard"
when he reminded her to smile-
and the gift box prop and background was all her idea.

(I think she's ready for her close-up, now, Mr, DeMille!)

If you missed my last post - it is all about my
Christmas Afternoon Tea Party I hope you check it out, too.

As always, thank you for your visit! 



Saturday, December 14, 2019

A Christmas Afternoon Tea

Greetings one and all. 
Please come to afternoon tea!

I recently hosted a Christmas tea for my tea society besties.
It's a pic heavy post, so I will TRY to keep words to a minimum.

(You know that is a real challenge for me, right?)

Thank you, Mary D. for taking these pics with your phone
 while I was busy brewing tea and such.
(You just knew I would get too busy and forget!)


I made the mushroom soup with 3 kinds of mushrooms
and my bone broth, and vegetable broth as well.

The greens were mixed with candied walnuts and tart apples
 and lots of crispy bacon.

The night before the tea I cooked the bacon
 and made the candied walnuts -
it was all I could do not to sit down and eat it all, it smelled so yummy.

MD either ate her apples or skipped apples in her salad, haha.

And I forgot to put out the Meatball Basil Bites. 
I hate it when I do that. Just sayin.

I think if I do the tree bread cut-outs ever again 
I will use rye or wheat so it shows better on the plate.

The traditional British "crackers" or "poppers"  were fun.
We were surprised they didn't contain a paper  crown inside -
which is highly traditional -  but the silly jokes inside made up for it.

I photo-shopped out my melted mess of holly and berries on my
teapot cookie. Just couldn't bear to post it like they really looked.

My personal fave sweet by far was my gingerbread madeleines.

 I was so pleased how they came out -and they froze nicely, too. 
That is always desirable when one needs to prepare ahead of time.

The dark bits on the lemon truffles were dried lemon zest.

We had some awesome live entertainment, too!

A dear old friend and old co-worker of mine
(who also did the music for our wedding)
came and crooned holiday songs for us.

What a treat it was to have him take the time
 in his very busy schedule for us!

You can find his holiday sampler CD
 by contacting him directly from his website here.

It can also be found on Amazon here or on itunes here.

His City Sidewalks sampler CD is the perfect little last minute
Christmas gift for postal carrier, teachers, babysitters, host/hostess gift, stocking stuffers, etc. 


Frankincense and myrrh soap
 and peppermint lip balm favors!

My daughter launched her new company of artisian soaps
and bath products recently and I am so proud to share it!

 She wrapped the favors up so nicely for us with a simple and
fun little holiday theme. (Thanks so much, Evelyn!)

If you get the chance please visit her web site -
it is filled with quirky fun humor and interesting facts.

 Click on company name below for the awesomeness!

Her stuff is PERFECT for last minute unique gifts, too.

Again - great gifts for the person who has everything-
consumables makes the perfect present.

Everything is hand-made and is made with ALL natural goodness.

Her Christmas cut-off day is rapidly approaching 
so visit Fresha Soap soon!

I know she can help finish your gift-giving list -
filled with things for anyone on your list!
(Or just spoil yourself for once. You will be so glad you did!)

As always, thank you for your visit.

Hugs and prayers,



Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving Tablescape

From my home to yours.....

From my table to yours.....

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving;
one filled with peace, and joy, and lots of hugs.

And lots of delicious yummy goodness to eat...

I will praise God with a song;
 I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
                                                        -Psalm 69:30 

And the sorry truth for after all my feasting:

As always, thank you for your visit.
It means a lot, and I am truly grateful.
Hugs and prayers,

Comment free  - so you have enough time to dole out those hugs and those extra pieces of pumpkin pie!


Tablescape Thursday

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Neutral Autumn Dining in Green

Before the blog world turns completely into Christmas and Winter
 wonderland I thought I'd better share my fall tablescape!

Our fall table in green this year is something quite different for me.
I have had it like this since early September.

It has been a nice transition from summer to fall
 while our temps were still high and leaves hadn't changed.

I may warm it up more now that true autumn weather has arrived.

The Pamela Gladding salad plates are a recent ebay find,
 and the "moody" grey-green napkins
were purchased a few months ago.


 The wicker napkin rings are also a new-to-us find
 from my favorite second-hand store after their fall season last year.

I forgot all about them stashed away in an autumn decor box.....
oh, the thrill of finding forgotten treasures! ♥

The extra tall wainscoting wall wood work
 and custom framed trio of feather prints in the background
 are a recent addition to our home that I haven't shared yet.

I intended on doing blog posts about each of our little home improvement changes
 we have had done in the last year, but good intentions weren't enough to make it happen.

The tall natural rattan vase was found by dear tea sister Mary D.

The larger mercury pumpkin was a recent birthday gift
from my dear tea sister Karen.

It lights up at night and is such a pretty way to add a bit
 of ambient lighting to that dark music area.


Our wrought iron table is fun to seasonally decorate
 and is useful as a make-shift coffee/tea/drinks station
 for dinner or tea parties.

It is shallow and adds interest to the back wall without interfering
with the path area getting to and from the dining table.

I used to keep an ornate iron and glass etagiere there,
 but it no longer worked once we added our new wood work.

Here is a different prospect from the foyer
of my 1959 vintage Baldwin  7 foot grand piano-
 and its wee "twin" that our 3-year-old grand-girl often plays.

♫  ♪  ♫ 

Yes, those are York Peppermint Patties.

I was excited to find a perfect way to display my rusty metal leaf
my eldest daughter gave to me for my birthday a few years ago.

I love having a fall birthday!

It is my favorite time of year to decorate, and to add
 my beloved autumn decor birthday gifts
 makes it all that much more special!

The background of the mirror reflection captures a glimpse
of the top of our tall antique china cabinet with a large ceramic
pumpkin with metal leaves, and an European-inspired
colorful autumn silk floral arrangement 
 I designed many years ago. 

A pretty scented candle and another color coordinated 
silk floral arrangement
completes and complements the green theme this year.

I really liked taking these easy and moody darker pictures.

I have had the flu for over a week now, and couldn't find
 the strength or energy  to fuss with setting up 
heavy photo lights or doing much photo editing.

Hope you have enjoyed as much as I have had sharing.

As always, thank you for your visit.

Hugs and prayers.


PS: Halloween cuteness:

Princess Bonnibel "Bonnie" Bubblegum from Adventure Time

Linking to these wonderful parties:

Pink Saturday   *   Inspire me Tuesday   *  All About Home   *    

At Our Home   *   Make It Pretty   *   Share Your Style  * 

Tablescape Thursday   *   Pink Saturday (AG)   *