Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Gift of Presence

With Christmas just around the corner
presents have been on my mind
as I finish up the last little bit of Christmas shopping.
However, it hasn't been just presents on my mind.
With my daughter being home for three weeks over Christmas
it reminded me how this season isn't just about presents
but more about presence.
It is the time when we gather together with family.
And just as the Christmas tree is the focal point for the presents,
so the table is the focal point for the celebration of the presence
of family and friends.
It's not what is on the table that makes it special
but the people around the table
that remind us of the reason of the season.
~Finding the amazing in the simple~
Thanks so much for stopping by!

I am joining...
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Terra Cotta Snowman Planter

few years ago I made a little terra cotta plant holder
that I thought turned out so cute.

It is so easy to give it a quick Christmas makeover.
  Just a a change of the bow and the addition of
a Christmas poinsettia makes it ready for the holidays.

My hubby came up with the idea that we should make a winter version.
So, I put together the pots and he painted it white for me.
We shopped together for the accessories and he insisted it have a carrot nose,
which I think adds some personality.

So we now have a "Frosty" planter :)

~Finding the amazing in the simple~
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Brownie Minatures

Every year I ask every member of the family
what they would like me to bake for Christmas
if I was only baking one thing.
For my son, it is Brownie Minatures.
I don't know where I got the original recipe
but I have been making them every Christmas
for many years :)
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cups flour
35 rosebuds
In saucepan, melt sugar, butter and chocolate over low heat,
stirring until chocolate is just melted.
Remove from heat and let cool 1 minute.
Blend in vanilla and eggs; gently fold in flour just until blended.
Spoon into tiny paper baking cups
Bake in 350F oven for 10-12 minutes or until set.
Remove from oven; set rosebud on top of each.
Makes approximately 35 minatures.
~Finding the amazing in the simple~
Thanks so much for stopping by!

I am joining...
A Stroll Through Life  for Holiday Baking Party

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For today... Sunday, December 9, 2012

Outside my window... It is still dark and there is light snow falling.

I am thinking... Of how much I still want to get done before my daughter arrives home.

I am thankful for... The Christmas season.

From the kitchen...
~Today: Roast Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Mixed Veggies, Corn, Salad, Buns, Chocolate Eggnog Cake
~Monday: Schezwan Stir-Fry, Noodles, Sweet & Spicy Cucumbers, Mint Parfaits
~Tuesday: Simple Chicken Bake, Green Beans, Salad, Cream Puffs
~Wednesday: Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Ceasar Salad, Chocolate Egg Nog Cake
~Thursday: Beef on a Bun (Crockpot), Gravy, Tossed Salad, Cream Puffs
~Friday: Out
~Saturday: Leftover Smorg

I am wearing... Light Pink Sweater, Brown Dress Pants and my favorite 3-tones pumps

I am creating... Christmas treats.

I am reading... Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - such a good book.

I am praying for... Good weather as we travel.

Pondering these words... The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.  ~Burton Hillis  

I am still hoping... To go skiing over Christmas break.

I am hearing... The furnace running, otherwise all is peaceful at the moment.

Around the house... Final preparations before my daughter arrives home.

One of my favorite things... Christmas goodies.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
~Monday:  Christmas Baking
~Tuesday:  More Christmas Baking
~Wednesday:  Housecleaning and some baking
~Thursday:  Volunteer at MCC, shopping & errands
~Friday:  Drive to pickup daughter from airport
~Saturday:  Enjoy having daughter home :)
~Sunday: Rest

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...


~Finding the amazing in the simple~
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thank you Peggy for the The Simple Woman's Daybook {follow links to read more}.

I am also joining Stone Gable for On The Menu Monday

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Fridgetop Vignette

When you come in our home through the back door
the first view that a persons eyes fall upon from the back porch doorway
is the top of our fridge.
So I try to keep it interesting.
I started with this Christmas ornament cloth.
And kept the herbed vinegar and lantern
that I had used in my fall vignette.
And added a little gold gift and a wreath
along with a candle on the other side of the wreath.
I love decorating the top of the fridge
because it makes the whole kitchen
feel ready for Christmas.
Now, just to do some Christmas baking :)
~Finding the simple in the amazing~
Thanks so much for stoppig by!

I am joining...
ModVintage Life for Mod Mix Monday
A Stroll Through Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Kathe With an E for You`re Gonna Love It

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dressing the Tree - Before & After

I just love all the stages of getting the trees ready for Christmas.
When they first go up I enjoy their greenery for a few days.
Then, we add the lights.
Sometimes, I find it hard to believe it can look any better
than it already does with the lights :)
After enjoying the lights it is time to finish dressing the tree.
This slim tree in our living room
is decorated in ribbons and flowers and berries.
Some gold balls add the finishing touches.
I love the way the lights reflect off of the bulbs.
And my little white dove perches on top
keeping an eye on everything around.
What's your favorite part of decorating the tree?
~Finding the amazing in the simple~
Thanks so much for stopping by!

I am joining...
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares

This is a quick and simple square to make.
I am not sure where the recipe originally came from
but I have been making it on a regular basis for years.
1  cup margarine, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
 1 egg
1-3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
In large bowl combine margarine, brown sugar and sugar.
Beat until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla and egg and blend well.
Add flour and baking soda and mix well.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Spread into ungreased 9x13 pan. 
Bake for 15-25 minutes or until golden brown.
It is best to cut these while still warm.
To dress them up you can drizzle white chocolate on them.
~Finding the amazing in the simple~
Thanks so much for stopping by!

I am joining...
Walking on Sunshine for Foodie Friends
Addicted to Recipes for Scrumptious Sunday
Crazy for Crust for Crazy Sweet Tuesday