Saturday, December 31, 2011


Happy New Year!

Let the celebration begin!
Here's wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
Salud, 2012!

Images via: and artsonearth.tumblr

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve!

Happy Christmas Eve!  I hope you're all having a warm and cozy evening surrounded by family and friends!  We're so lucky to have our kids home with us for the weekend. With a roaring fire warming our toes, Christmas carols playing softly in the background, and a standing rib roast with roasted root vegetables cooking away in the oven, we're definitely in the Christmas spirit.

My daughter & son have just finished preparing fudge (my mom's famous and decadent recipe), which my son will take with him on his visit to some good friends.  What are your traditions?  What traditional meals do you prepare?  Do you wait for Santa and open gifts tonight at midnight or wait till morning?

Merry Christmas!
Images via:  My three favorite blogs - Splenderosa, Inspired Design, The Enchanted Home

Friday, December 23, 2011

Jeez only 2 days!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season.  My sisters and nieces and their friends all recently gathered for Christmas cookie baking and a sleepover.  This is when I really miss living so far from my family (they're all the way in Arizona).  It's a wonderful family tradition from my childhood that I remember fondly (my sister Ana bakes the best cookies in the world). It's not stressful - it's just a fun, wonderfully delicious treat.

My mom's special mini pecan pies
(made with pecans from our tree in the backyard)


    • 2 cups butter or 2 cups margarine, softened
    • 4 (3 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 4 cups flour
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
    • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped ( chopped dried cranberries or mini chips can also be put in with pecans)


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In medium bowl, mix together the margarine and cream cheese until well blended. Beat in flour, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture forms a smooth dough. Chill the dough while making the filling.
  3. In another bowl, mix the eggs, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the pecans.
  4. Roll into small balls, and press slightly into the bottoms and sides of greased tart pans or mini muffin pans making sure to put some of the dough over the lip of the cup. Use a spoon to fill each of the crusts 2/3 full with the filling. It will overflow if you fill too full.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes in oven, until shell is lightly browned, and filling has puffed up. Cool, and carefully remove from pan.
It's just the right time to take time out from all the shopping and running around, bake something delicious with your family, and relax!

Images via:  coastal style, maxine brady, pinterest/; martha stewart, life is beautiful

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pink for Christmas?!?

How do you feel about pink for Christmas?  I love it for my daughters bedroom, but I'm not sure I could deck the whole house in such a sweet, girly hue.  But the following pictures make me feel like I should reconsider.  The silvery tinsel and sparkly pink is so festive and bright.  Pink could very well be exactly the right color for Christmas.

This gingerbread house is so very sweet - I absolutely love it!

Images via: ;; Life is Beautiful...just add color.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Deck the Halls!

Only 10 days till Christmas!  I have found so many awe-inspiring home decorating ideas for the holidays that I would like to share with you.  I have to start with red - the quintessential holiday color - because it's so cheerful and friendly!
Candy cane stripes and smiling snowmen - what a welcoming wreath
A stunning way to greet family and friends!
Sparkle and shine, along with some greenery really dress up the mantel

Children & Christmas go together like milk and cookies - oh so sweet!
Even the puppy gets the red treatment with a fun and simple collar.

Images:  Pintrest trendy tree, home, inside out design, casa tres chic, inspired design

Monday, November 28, 2011

Manic Monday's Mosaic ~ Shopping

The madness begins....
Happy Shopping!

{Images via the best blog ever: }

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. The gathering of family and friends from all over the world, the nippy weather (now that we are in PA), the feast - planned, prepared and thought of for weeks - the house filled to the rafters with laughter and stories, taking the time to give thanks for another year of blessings and of course... the pumpkin pie!

To celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this year I'm going to try two new recipes: Linzers in London's super-secret family recipe for pumpkin pie and a brand-new rub for our turkey. I'll let you know how they turn out in my next post!

Victoria Classics: Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey

2 cups butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chili flakes
1 (12-15 pound) whole turkey, washed, giblets and neck removed
Garnish: fresh herbs, hypernicum berries, and kumquats

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, combine butter, rosemary, chives, garlic, thyme, lemon zest, salt, pepper, orange zest, lime zest, sage, and chili flakes. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan; pat dry with paper towels. 
3. Evenly rub butter mixture under and on turkey skin and inside turkey cavity. Truss legs with butcher's twine. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 2 hours. Remove foil, and continue baking 11/2 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reaches 180 degrees; baste occasionally with pan juices during last 1 to 11/2 hours. Remove from oven, and let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs, hypernicum berries, and kumquats, if desired.

Pumpkin Pie 

Makes enough filling for 1.5 pies, or 1 pie and a couple ramekins of custard

1 1/2 cups pumpkin 
3/4 teaspoon salt 
3/4 cup white sugar 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ginger 
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs 
2 cups whole milk 
2-3 tablespoons brandy 

1. Mix all ingredients except eggs, milk and brandy, then add lightly beaten eggs and milk. 
2. Gently swirl in brandy, then pour into prepared 10 inch pie shell. 
3. Bake at 425 (218 c) for 20 minutes, then turn down to 350 (176 c) for another 25 minutes or until custard is set. 

Serve with freshly whipped cream with just a touch of vanilla and a sprinkle of sugar. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sweater Weather

I absolutely love cable knits:  Whether in fashion or for the home, they are perfect!!!
A cozy cable knit sweater is a must have for those crisp fall days!!!
Casually elegant and easy to wear: what a great combination.
Cable Knit Tile from FLOR
As the temperature dips and the leaves change color,
it's time to bring out that big, warm and comfortable sweater.
These socks are perfect to relax in and enjoy Sunday brunch....
I love the contrast of the raspberry color paired with this chunky knit throw!
I adore this heavy Ralph Lauren sweater.  It would be a perfect gift for my son! 
I love that a cable knit sweater can be both very masculine and chic, but homey all at the same time.
How simply perfect is her outfit?!?
Bright red, intricate and so gorgeous!

[Images via:  from the wonderful blog SierraChantal, willowfrank, vanityfair, pinterest via kristendolz, twistcollective, FLOR, firsthome.tumblr]

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dog Day afternoon!!!

I would Love to get a dog!!!!
So funny - look at that face - got to love him!!!!
[Image via

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Feliz Dia de los Muertos!

Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in Mexico
and around the world in many cultures.
Tradition connected with the holiday include creating private altars (ofrendas)
using marigolds, sugared skulls, sweet bread, the favorite foods and beverages
of the departed
.  The dead receive a warm and festive welcome from the 

living during the observance of Dia de los Muertos in Mexico.
At sundown families & friends gather sharing food & drink and
reminisce with the departed recounting stories and
events of the past year.
Scholars trace the modern day Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back
hundred of years to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess named Mictecacihuatl
(a deity whose role is watching over the bones of the dead)


Monday, October 31, 2011

October & Ghosts!

Crayola Ghost
Love the Louis Ghost Chair!
Twelve chairs & they still do not overwhelm the space.
The draping definitely makes it look like a Ghost!
Martha Stewart's Ghost Costume is amazing!
Happy Halloween!
{images via martha stewart and}