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Friday, December 23, 2011

Gingerbread House

A friend suggested we make gingerbread houses this year, and I am so glad she did. What fun! I haven't made one since I was a kid, but I think now we'll make this a new tradition.

Here's my little cottage!

I knew I was going with a snowy white theme, and I wanted a big contrast between the gingerbread and the decorations, so I used this recipe for Chocolate Gingerbread because it makes a darker dough.

I'm delighted with the result, though I did learn 2 things for the future:

- I need to work on my piping skills! I was going for elegant swirls and ended up with silly squiggles.

- Meringue is not a stable substance. In addition to the mushrooms, I made some lovely branchy trees out of meringue. But I didn't photograph the completed house immediately, and in a few hours time the trees had wilted completely and I had to remove them. So sad, they really added a lot.

Some details:

Some meringue mushrooms perched on the rooftop.

 Side yard, filled with snow and 'shrooms.

Roof line, shingles made of white gummy grapefruit slices.

 Little icy pathway, made with white M&M's.
Meringue mushroom close-up.

White chocolate pretzel star.

How about you? Any gingerbread traditions or aspirations on your end?

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas! 
I'll be taking a little blogging break for the holidays, so I'll see you after the New Year!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Friday!

My weekend is full of holiday cheer, how about yours? If you need some more Christmas spirit, just take a few moments for this lovely and simple DIY glitter banner by Kate's Pencil Box. If there is one thing we can always use more of, it's glitter.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Non-Traditional Christmas Trees

As much as I love a traditional Christmas tree, I know that's not everyone's style, or maybe it's not an option due to pets or small children. Here's some equally lovely non-traditional Christmas trees!

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

O Christmas Tree

I just love Christmas trees, they make me so happy. All the twinkling lights, glittering ornaments, and present piled up... what a lovely sight!

Here are some trees I've been admiring. Some of them are simple and sweet, and some completely over-the-top (but you know I love that).

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

Source: via Ez on Pinterest

Source: via Ez on Pinterest

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gingerbread Houses

I'm going to be making a gingerbread house with a friend, and was digging around for some inspiration. I found so many lovely cookie cottages, I just had to share. They vary in style and complexity, but they're all sweet!

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sweet Paul Wreaths

As usual, I love everything about the latest issue of Sweet Paul, but this time it was the DIY wreaths that really caught my eye. I'd be happy with any one of these beauties!

Click here to get the directions for these and other lovely wreath projects!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Everlane is a new shopping site that offers designer-quality goods for non-designer prices. I just finished the waiting period and gained access to the site, and I'm very impressed with what I've seen so far!

Here's a little peek:

Aren't their products just lovely? You can see what they have to offer too by using this invite link. Happy shopping!

Weekend Glimpse: Christmas Soirée

This past weekend we had our annual Christmas Soirée, and it was just wonderful. I love hosting this party, and every year seems to be more fun than the last.

I did take plenty of photos, but the lighting in my house is abysmal at night, and there was no time for staging the food, so I apologize in advance for the quality of the photos.

First up, and most importantly, the sweets!

From top:
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes
- Vanilla Bean Marshmallows with Dark Chocolate
- Vanilla and Raspberry Cake Truffles
- Nutella Berry Bruchetta (modified: no salt, mint, almonds)
- Sponge Candy
- Meringue Kisses
- Lacy Brandy Snaps

And then for the savory treats:

From top:
- Pork Tenderloin Sliders
- Parmesan Bacon Pinwheels
- Peppers and Pasta Skewers
- Crab Rangoon
- Prosciutto and Camembert
- Feta and Sundried Tomatoes with Pretzel Crisps (not pictured)

And then the drinks:

From top:
- Sparkling Cranberry Blackberry Punch
- Ice Water with Limes
- Peach Sangria (modified)

A few dark shots of food set-up:

And last but not least, our dear guests!

 Lovely ladies talking

 More lovely ladies

 My sweet friend Michelle and I... she was an angel and helped me for hours getting ready for the party. I also had a friend help me clean, another helped me prep food, and several helped lay everything out... I am so grateful for their assistance!

 Sponge Candy and menfolk

 Christmas tree and Heather's head

The guys enjoyed a roaring fire outside.

There you have it! I can't wait for next year.