Thursday, December 31, 2015

Seven Swans....

The countdown continues and we find ourselves surrounded by even more birds...what was it with these people and all of these birds??!!  They must have been cleaning and picking up eggs and feathers for days on end once the 12 Days of Christmas had been completed.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...


...the creation of the world!  Wait, what?!  That's not what the song says!  No, it isn't.  BUT that is what the six geese a-laying represented...the six days of creation!  Who knew, right?

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...


...seven unique spiritual gifts...disguised as swimming swans.  These include Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

I was going to add a few appetizer recipes for everyone's big New Year's Eve celebration, but after all these birds, all the food I've eaten for the past 2 weeks and all of the eggnog I've been drinking, I just couldn't bring myself to look at any more food.  I may be able to share a few things at the end of the 12 Days of Christmas, but since all of these birds can be cooked and eaten, I figured I would let your imagination kick into overdrive so you could create some special recipes of your own using all of these birds.

I want them out of the house as I think they've eaten my Five Golden Rings and there is nothing left of the Pear Tree!




SHARE:

Stylin' and Profilin'...

Have you ever caught yourself just flipping through sites on the inter-web (as the hubster calls it), daydreaming of furniture you would buy if you had the money or the space?  And if you bought said furniture, how you would decorate it?

Since we moved into our new home, it seems that I do quite a bit of daydreaming over different furniture pieces I would like to have and then daydream some more over how I would decorate them.

Our home is short on storage so I'm always looking for furniture pieces that would be nice to look at and work perfectly for storage.  Armoires work great in this capacity!  I found this little beauty at Chairish the other day and thought it would look perfect in our family room.
It is a classic straight-line design...neat and clean.  It will contrast nicely with my white sofa and chairs AND with the vintage bookcase I already have in the room.

While I was mentally placing this piece in the family room, I decided I would go ahead and pick out a few pieces to decorate the top of the armoire.  We have a pretty high ceiling in the family room, so I can use larger accessories on top.  I decided to try two different styles.


With this design, I thought I could use a basket or two, some greenery and a tall lantern.  I'm torn between the wire baskets and the solid baskets.  And do I want to use one large one or a graduated set that has 3 baskets?   The greenery is strictly filler and can really be any type of faux plant.

This design....


....has some different design elements that I like just as much....varying heights of jars/vases, a globe and some geometric objects.

I may have to flip a coin on this one because I really like both designs.  Or, I could mix and match some of these items to have something really unique.

Thoughts, suggestions, comments? :-)


SHARE:

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside...

Typical of the South, we have moved from summer to winter in a matter of 24 hours!!  Why couldn't we have had this cool spell Christmas Day when we wanted it to be cold?!  I'm going to be having a stern chat with Mother Nature about this crazy weather!

We visited with family in Alabama over the Christmas holiday and my sister made a wonderful dip that I wanted to share with you.

Annette's Chicken Cheese Dip
2 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 10 oz can of chicken, shredded
1 small jar pimentos
4 tablespoons scallions, chopped
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Chopped pecans (optional)

Mix all ingredients well.  You can form into a ball and roll in the pecans or mix the pecans in and serve the dip from a bowl surrounded by crackers.  This little dish will be perfect for a New Year's Eve party appetizer.

Sorry there are no photos, but we ate it all! :-)  I did find this photo that looked similar...


Today is the 5th Day of Christmas...5 Golden Rings!


The five golden rings are said to represent the first five books of the Old Testament aka The Books of Law aka The Pentateuch aka The Books of Moses.  These books describe the fall of man because of sin.  They include: Genesis (Book of Beginnings), Exodus (Book of Redemption), Leviticus (Book of Holiness), Numbers (Wilderness Wanderings) and Deuteronomy (Reiteration and Reviewing).

Tomorrow, we will be adding a few more birds!  Oh JOY!!




SHARE:

Monday, December 28, 2015

Four Calling Birds...

....three French hens....

Now that you have the partridges and turtle doves flying around the house, we are going to add some more birds to the mix.  I must admit, this makes for a full house of birds and we are only 4 days into this carol.  Pretty soon we are going to have geese laying eggs, but at least we will have some people around to manage all of these animals!

In my reading, the three French hens have a double meaning.


One source states that the hens represent the gifts given to Jesus...gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Another source states that these birds represent faith, hope and love.  I will let you make the decision.

About those calling birds....the term "calling" is actually incorrect.


Calling is the Americanization of the English word "colly", which means black and actually refers to the European blackbird.  The four colly birds represent the four gospels...Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

I know space is getting a little crowded with all of these birds, but we do have a tree in which they can hang.

Happy Fourth Day of Christmas!


SHARE:

Sunday, December 27, 2015

On The Second Day of Christmas...

....my true love gave to me, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree!

On Saturday, I shared that the 12 Days of Christmas might actually have been written as a code to those of the Catholic faith, who were not allowed to worship publicly.

According to legend, the "two turtle doves" are not actually birds, but represent the Old and New Testament of the Bible.

It has been interesting to read about this particular carol and I hope you don't mind me sharing it with you!

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and concerns for us during this last round of bad weather.  Please keep the families of those that were killed in your prayers.  The weather has been horrible down here in the south with so many tornadoes and we spent most of Christmas Day watching the weather channel and listening to the sirens blasting through our area.  Cell phone reception and internet service are currently spotty and I hope to be able to continue to post this little series, but we have more bad weather coming in on Monday.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas full of blessings, peace and joy!

Happy 3rd Day of Christmas!


SHARE:

Saturday, December 26, 2015

On The First Day of Christmas...

During each holiday season we hear "The 12 Days of Christmas" over and over.  We absent-mindedly hum this song while baking cookies, running errands, or working on craft projects...it is a staple of Christmas.

In the past, I have researched to find out what the actual cost of the 12 Days would be...it is staggering!  But I've never researched what this song actually meant.

"On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...a partridge in a pear tree."

shop.nationaltrust.org.uk

It is rumored that this song was not written just as a Christmas carol, but it was written as a code and message for Catholic youth.  The Catholics of the time were not allowed to practice their faith openly in England, so this song was a way to get the message of Christ out to Catholics.

The "true love" was not a lover, but actually God and his gift was Jesus, the partridge.  Partridges are known for sacrificing their life...which is what Jesus was sent to do for us.  Thus, on the first day of Christmas, December 25th, we were sent a Savior.

It's an interesting little story so I hope you will hang with me over the next few days to read about it!  I've got some recipes, home decor and maybe another craft project to share as well!

Happy 2nd Day of Christmas!


SHARE:

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas....

Oh, the weather outside is frightful (75 degrees - blech),
And the fire is NOT delightful,
But I'm hoping for good photos,
It's the way it goes, way it goes, way it goes!

Merry Christmas from our family, y'all!  It's a warm Hawaiian day down here in the South!

This first Christmas photo is an oldie but a goodie.  My mom was wearing her extra special hairpiece (wig) in 1972 and I obviously hit a growing spurt.  What you can't see is that those nice velveteen purple pants hit right at the top of my WHITE, yes WHITE "go-go" boots (I was a fashion rebel)...you know, those like Nancy Sinatra wore in her video "These Boots are Made for Walkin'".

You know why I had on purple?  Because Donny Osmond's favorite color was purple and I was IN LOVE with Donny Osmond...even tried to call him at his home in Utah after a concert in Birmingham!  ~shaking head~  I didn't know any better.  *gah*


The photo below was from Christmas 2009 in Dallas with the hubster's family.  My MIL purchased these snuggies for us...this was my first "white Christmas".  The hubster is hiding in the back...his was pink! :-)



Here's a Christmas song for your listening pleasure (my friends in Texas will appreciate a little Robert Earl Keene today)!

What?!  Like you would expect anything normal from me??!!


MERRY CHRISTMAS!


SHARE:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Silent Night...

The hubster and I attend 2 different churches, we alternate Sundays...he is Anglican and I am Southern Baptist (formerly Catholic).  Weird, I know, but we make it work.

This past Sunday was Anglican day.  The Anglican church we attend is exquisite!  It was built in the 1800s and with the exception of electricity, heat and air, everything has pretty much been left the same...even the pews are original to the building.

While singing one of my most favorite hymns, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, I looked around the small building.  The only Christmas decorations were freshly cut cedar branches with white candles in the center, placed in the windows.  That's it.  No fuss, no muss, no tree, no large swags of garland....just these few simple branches.

Those decorations made me think of a scene in the movie Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, where Indiana Jones had to enter a room to choose the Holy Grail...a cup used by the "King of Kings".  Each person who had previously entered this room had chosen a cup that had been spectacular, made of gold and heavily jeweled, something we would believe befitting of a king.  But we see that it dawns on Indiana Jones that the cup the true "King of Kings" would use would not be something expensive and flashy, but the cup of a carpenter, someone who did not have a lot of money and would not have anything flashy in his possession.

This in turn made me think of the decorations in my own home.  While I've been simplistic in my decorating this year, I feel that it is still overdone.  That the decorations in this beautiful old church far out-shined all of the decorations in my own home.  It was a reflective, eye-opening moment for me.

How many times do we spend the entire season running around purchasing gifts, decorating our homes, attending parties and feeling totally exhausted at the end of every day, when it only needs to be something simple?

We've already received the greatest GIFT we could ever get, so why drive ourselves crazy with all of the hoopla that has come to be such a large part of the Christmas holiday?  Why not just do the simple things....help others, love one another, comfort those in need?  Christmas is not about the grandest tree or fattest garland or shiniest bauble or most expensive gift...it is about the Christ child, the carpenter, the King of Kings.

One of my favorite movies to watch during the Christmas season, and really any other time during the year, is Silent Night.  To me, this movie sincerely reflects the true meaning of Christmas....peace and good will toward men.


I hope that you each have a most wonderfully blessed Christmas!




SHARE:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

All That Glitters....

We are in the final countdown for the appearance of the Big Guy!  Kids are out of school, out of their routine and full of energy.  You, however, are not!  If you are like me, mentally, you have already moved past the mountains of wrapping paper and gift boxes and moved on to something that is really all about you....New Year's Eve!

You spend your time hiding in the closet and dreaming of how you will look in that new "little black dress", heels and all things sparkly that you received for Christmas.  You're dreaming of that nice, romantic dinner party or spending some quiet time with someone special for that perfect kiss at midnight.  Suddenly, you panic and realize that you need something pretty to put on the table for this last special event of the year. 

Thankfully, I'm here to help....to show you a few options! And before we go any further, no, I'm not getting paid nor was I asked to write this post.  I just love pretty, shiny things for New Year's Eve and wanted to share them with you!

I have been enamored with all things gold lately, so naturally, this decanter caught my eye....and it is 70% off!  Seventy percent people....the big seven - zero.


Not a drinker?  No problem.  Some sparking juice would look lovely in this decanter.....or some eggnog! :-)

Something else I found that would be beautiful on that table...these wine glasses.


Don't want to spend a lot of money....make your own with this tutorial.  Easy and pretty!

Tablecloth?  Yes, please...

You will need a silver serving tray that will show up on that beautiful tablecloth...


And last but not least, some confetti!


Next week, I will share a few simple appetizers for the big night!


SHARE:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Semi-Homemade....

Sometimes, I like to pretend I'm Sandra Lee and make a few things that are "semi-homemade".  While I love baking from scratch, sometimes our schedule doesn't allow the time to do that.  So, when I want some freshly baked goodies, I use the semi-homemade method, which means I take a packaged product and embellish it so that it has a "homemade" taste.


It's been cold the last few mornings, finally, and I wanted to bake some muffins to go with our hot chocolate and coffee,  before we scooted out the door to work.

I took a package of Apple Cider Muffin mix and prepared according to the directions.


To offset some of the tanginess of these muffins (I've made them before), I added some cinnamon chips and cinnamon sugar.  After blending these last two items, I poured the mix into my muffin pan and sprinkled a little cinnamon sugar on top of each muffin.

Before placing in the oven, I filled the empty cups of the muffin tin with water.  I learned this trick years ago from Martha Stewart.  It helps keep the muffins moist.

They will be golden brown when they are done.


Look at those cinnamon chips melted inside.


YUM!


Fresh, hot, semi-homemade muffins right from the oven....on a chilly winter morning!


SHARE:

Monday, December 21, 2015

My Home Office...

I've been on the search for new lighting ever since we moved into our new home.  The current lighting is contractor grade and really has no "oomph".

One of the places desperately in need of some unique lighting is my home office area.

(This is a sponsored post for ParrotUncle.com)

This space is tucked into the corner of our bonus room.  I love the lamp but really want something hanging from the ceiling in this corner.  This is a photo of the current space....


See, it needs something to make it a little extra special.  I will be hanging artwork on the wall but wanted to get the lighting settled before deciding on artwork.  After all, I really want this corner to be nice looking until I can make it the dream space I really want.  And I want to choose the right light so that it can carry over into the dream space.

Since the ceiling in this area of the room is sloped, I want something hanging from the ceiling.  These are some of my favorites that I found.


I LOVE this light! It has just the right amount of bling and isn't too large to overpower the space now or when I get new furniture.  I can imagine the sparkles reflecting on the desktop while I'm working. :-)  And what woman doesn't love something sparkly hanging around?!  I found this jewel in the pendant lighting.


I also love this wooden light...yes, wooden!  It is so unique and has a little bit of an eclectic industrial look.  There are so many options in wooden lighting....it's so hard to choose just one! We had open-style lighting like this in our loft in Dallas.  We received so many compliments on those lights.




Then, I saw this gorgeous Tiffany light....my how these lights have changed over the years!  I seem to be drawn to black or white lighting.  I love the clean lines of the hanging pendant and the contrasting "squigglies" on the shade.

So there you have it...some of my favorites.  I cannot decide what to pick because I like so many of the choices I've found.  All three of these lights would work with what I have now and what I want to put here in the future.

I sometimes wish there were limited choices for these things because the more options I have, the longer it takes me to make a decision!






SHARE:

An Eggnog Love Affair...

You had to have seen this coming and knew it wouldn't take long!

I finally found a good homemade eggnog recipe on Pinterest.  I couldn't help myself.  I've already started my withdrawals and they haven't even removed eggnog from the stores yet.  

But I had to have it and needed to know that it would be good...for that occasion during the summer when I want a glass of eggnog while lounging poolside.


It is an easy, straightforward, simple recipe.


EASY EGGNOG
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups of 2% milk
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
6 egg yolks
1 pint of heavy cream
1 cup of Rum (optional)

In a saucepan, combine milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg and bring to a slow (and I do mean slow) boil.  Remove the saucepan from heat and set aside.  Combine egg yolks and sugar with a hand mixer until well blended (when the yolks are an ivory color, you can stop).  Slowly pour this mixture into the saucepan.  Add the pint of cream.  Return the saucepan to low heat and continue stirring until a creamy texture is formed...about 5-7 minutes.  NOTE:  heat must be low or you will scramble the eggs and curdle the milk.  Pour into container and refrigerate overnight.  Mix with rum when serving, if desired.  Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg.....or both or neither!


And yes, of course, I changed this recipe a little.  I added vanilla extract to taste...you can add it or leave it out.  Your choice.


I should have left well enough alone and kept this stuff away from my taste buds!


SHARE:

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Silent Sunday....12.20.2015

Dream....it is the perfect time of year for dreaming, don't you think?










sharing on One Dad 3 Girls
SHARE:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Frazzled Friday...

It's the Friday before Christmas and all through the house, all we creatures are stirring and there better not be a mouse!  I'm hustling and bustling trying to finish up shopping and wrapping and baking!  Then, throw in some work at the office and you have one frazzled female!  But it wouldn't be the holidays if I were not frazzled, right??!

Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of having dinner with another blogger, Kimberley at Seaside Ave.  We had such a wonderful time and I talked non-stop...sorry Kimberley!  I love meeting other bloggers...it is so wonderful to be able to put blogger names with a face and a personality!

Here's a little photo from the past...I love watching kids during the holidays, don't you??!!


I also love watching A Charlie Brown Christmas!  The hubster and I watched it the other night...Linus' speech gets me every time!

A popular Christmas movie I dislike....It's A Wonderful Life!  You know why?  Because they never show you what happens.....they just leave you hanging.  Does George have to go to jail even though he has all of the money?  It's still considered embezzlement, regardless.  Does Old Man Potter fess up...that he has kept the money all this time?  See, loose ends...I'm just sayin'..

And a song I dislike to hear the most during the Christmas holidays...



Happy Friday!

SHARE:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Blog it Forward With Wayfair!

We've always heard that it is better to give than to receive and the Christmas holiday seems to be the time we as a society do most of our giving.



For the month of December, Wayfair is challenging bloggers to spread holiday cheer by doing a good deed. Deeds can include any act of kindness, no matter how big or small. It's up to you how you give back!

So how can you, as a blogger, Blog IT Forward? Well, that is a great question and I have the answer!  Grab a badge, write a post on your blog explaining how you gave back, and challenge two of your blogging friends to participate!  It's that simple!

Wayfair has even given some suggestions on how to give back to others....


Throughout the year, we donate to local charities and to a special church fund which is set up to help those who are struggling by paying their utility bills or buying groceries.  During the holidays, we purchase toys for the Toys for Tots program and we try to leave larger than expected tips when we dine out.

We've all been there where just that little extra bit of generosity or act of kindness brightens our day!  So, how will you as a blogger Blog IT Forward?  What do you and your family do during the holidays to spread Christmas cheer?  And what can you do for the rest of the year to help others?

For every blog that includes the Blog IT Forward badge, Wayfair will donate $50.00 to Habitat for Humanity.  I think that is fabulous!  When you think of how many bloggers there are and multiply that times $50.00....well, I can't even count that high!!  But the number is amazing!!


So grab a badge here and write a blog!  I challenge Kim at Exquisitely Unremarkable and Julie at Renaissance Mermaid....Blog it Forward girls!!  Giving to help others is so awesome!!


SHARE:
© Chasing Quaintness | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig