Holiday Cheer

Sometimes this time of year can be stressful as well as sad from things that are beyond your control.  I try to have little pick me ups around my space to just make the days a little brighter and sparkly.

First is a Poinsetta plant that just is so Christmas and beautiful.  This one was given to me by a friend.


Then on the way home from shopping and being very tired and it’s usually late, I like to enjoy the beautiful Christmas light displays that people have and I have Christmas carols playing on the car radio in stereo along with usually some kind of treat like an eggnog shake from McDonalds or I like ice coffee that is only $1.00 for a medium.  So refreshing.   The following display  is always so fun to see and I go by it every time I go out as it is just down the street from me.


I don’t have a lot of money to spend, but I find little things that are must haves for the season.  I saw these little snowman salt and pepper shakers and they just make me smile.  They were half price and very inexpensive to begin with.  But with holiday napkins in the background and my crystal candle holder, it is cheerful on the table.


Cute little things.


Then it’s always fun to see the paperwhite bulbs that I planted start to come to life.  Can’t wait to see them grow a little more each day.


Then a very cute, easy and inexpensive treat is store bought chocolate covered donuts that are made into reindeer.  I think they are fun.

reindeer donuts

I like this Vermont sign.  Welcome to Vermont.  🙂



December 20, 2015

christmas tea 17

I have always wanted to plan a Christmas tea.  I think it would be really nice to have complete with pretty Christmas tea cups, tea pot and sugar & creamer that all match.

Christmas tea 1

Cute little snowman crackers and cheese.

christmas tea 7

Little Gingerbread houses.

christmas tea 13

Fancy tea sandwiches and petite cakes.

Christmas tea 16

Stacked plates with cute tea treats.

christmas tea 27

Pretty and fancy table.

christmas tea 33

Pretty and delicate Christmas cookies.

christmas tea 10

Cute little touches.

Christmas tea 11

Love this tea set.

I always wish I could have all the above and have it as a tradition every year.  On the bucket list.

Balsam & Cedar

My favorite Yankee Candle is Balsam & Cedar.  It just smells like Christmas.  When I was at the Hallmark store I bought one candle at regular price and got one for $1.00.  Love it!  Saved myself a little and every little bit helps this time of year for sure.


I love these photos of  Cardinals.  They just look like  Christmas cards to me.

cardinal ice storm



Quite an adventure I had yesterday was to try and make photo Christmas cards at the Walmart.  The machines they have for making your own photo card are not user friendly.  It takes forever to get through all the steps and after about 2 hours choosing and making cards, I went to print them and the whole place of machines were all out of ink after a few of mine printed out.  I could have personalized them and I had a few with photos of my grand kids that are still in the machine and they have to order ink and it takes a few days.  To add insult to injury, there was one person in the photo department and she went on break and I had to wait for her break to end before I could pay for the few cards that came out.  Maybe I can use the ones still in the machine next year.  One of the cards that printed out with a photo that I had on a disc is the following:


The “Merry Christmas” format was in the Hallmark Holiday section and I just added the photo.  Only one printed out.  I like this card better then what I could find in any store all made.

I like the way the following envelope is designed and how it says on the photo card, “All that is unwritten, be it bright”.  So beautiful.  I saw another card that said “Merry little everything” and it was typing that looked like writing.


The above card  inspired me to make a card at Walmart.  I think the one above was ordered online at artifactuprising and I saw it on my facebook feed.

Maybe next year I can think of something creative like the above.  This year I am late and have had some hard luck trying to be creative.  Oh well.



Wine and Cheese

This time of year, there are lots of gatherings with friends and family.  I can remember when I worked in the office at a college and the President of the college had a wine and cheese gathering in a beautiful area of her domain for everyone in the office.  So fun on a work day to get an hour break like that on a snowy afternoon.  One lady had a candle at her desk going in the open concept office area and I don’t think much work got done the rest of that afternoon with visitors at desks etc.  Very festive day.

But I really like the cheese boards that people come up with. Some ideas I have seen are Triscuits and Wheat Thins for a hard cheese like Cheddar.  Then Ritz crackers for a soft cheese.  There are usually white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio.  Then red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot.   Port Wine goes with dessert.



I liked Barefoot Contessa’s cheese boards for inspiration, also.  She always goes to a cheese shop and picks up three different types of cheese.  Usually a local cheddar, a blue cheese and a soft goat cheese.  Then she puts grapes on the board and fancy crackers.  She likes figs and fig jam, also.



I just like the fire side picnic and wine and cheese that was on Ina Garten’s Holiday special.  She got thick slices of Apple cob smoked ham that she found and a jar of mustard.  She put the goat cheese in a mason jar with a little olive oil over it and some kind of chopped herb on top.  She picked up all her stuff in the Berkshires quaint and beautiful shops where her and her husband went to their friend’s farm.  I have that special on Xfinity on demand and have watched it at least 5 times.  So impressive to me.

It’s a very fun and festive time of year.

December 17, 2015

Some fun Christmas traditions that are cheery and seasonal.  I like to buy one new Hallmark ornament that is keepsake each year for the Christmas tree.  This year I got the 1954 truck with a Christmas tree in the back.  I saw it in the Hallmark Dream book and can’t believe I found one.


Then it’s fun to make Christmas cookies that are easy to make, not too fussy but look nice.





Then a traditional steamed pudding with hard sauce.  You have to have a special pan to make it.


I love how nice a Christmas wreath looks for decorating.


I always get the “paper white” bulbs that grow in about 4 weeks or so like the ones on the table.  They are supposed to be good luck to grow inside this time of year.  They are in most stores like Walmart in the plant and decoration section and I get mine sometimes at the local florist.  This year I got a beautiful red bulb Christmas tree ornament with a white snowflake on it for free with the purchase of 5 flower bulbs that were in a brown paper bag with a big red bow.  Just made a fun day buying them as well as planting the flower bulbs in a container.


Also a cozy fireplace is nice.

Christmas-Tree-Decoration-with-Presentation (1)

Lots of different styles that are cozy….



Then there is the tradition of building a snowman from a kit that just needs snow added.


A beautiful, magical time of year.


December 16, 2015

I like these Christmas bulbs that you can make from clear bulbs.


This Christmas ornament is sooo cute.  Hallmark has a 1954 Chevy green pick up truck with a Christmas tree in the back for a keepsake ornament.  They were sold out of the ornament in Springfield, but I found one in the Hallmark store in Keene today.  It cost $17.00.  A little more then I thought, but bought it anyways.


I had so much fun shopping today.  Lots of traffic and lots of people shopping.  I stopped and got a peppermint hot chocolate at Burdick’s Chocolate in Walpole on my way home.  Also a chocolate madeline as well as a plain madeline with raspberry for a treat.  Also got a beautiful Burdick’s 2016 calendar.  So nice.

On my bucket list is to go on a horse drawn sleigh ride in the snow.  My Mom lived in northern Vermont and in the winter went to school in a horse drawn sleigh.

A sleigh ride in Iowa.

December 15, 2015

I liked the roast pork and kale salad with lemon dressing that was featured on the Barefoot Holiday special for Christmas Eve.  The kale salad recipe that I found was Barefoot Contessa’s Winter Slaw which was on the Food Network.  The roast pork recipe was on her Holiday Special recipes on the Food Network.  I pinned them on my pinterest board of Barefoot Contessa’s recipes.  So awesome.



I like Christmas lights.  So fun to enjoy all the beautiful displays that people come up with.




Little Christmas treats are so fun.

christmas tea 3




December 14, 2015

This time of year is so magical and pretty.  I watched an ice skating Holiday special on TV yesterday.  So much fun to watch as they had a live band and professional skaters.  Beautiful lights and music and was just very special to see.

I like the beautiful scenery in the Vermont area this time of year.


Usually just a dusting of snow in the higher elevation areas with the heavy snow in the very near future.

Barefoot Contessa from the Food network had a holiday special that was filmed in the Berkshires just south of us in Massachusetts.  I liked the recipes that she featured and I pinned all the recipes on my Pinterest board “All things Christmas”.  The shortbread cookies that were cut in shapes of snowflakes and stars was interesting to me.  Also her fennel and pea soup looked awesome for this time of year.



She made a cheese board for a fireside picnic that she found all local ingredients.


And then she made a home made pasta dish that looked good.


Loved the french toast recipe she featured and made at the Southfield Store.


And if that was not enough, she made peppermint hot chocolate with candy cane stirrers.  So much fun to watch as they enjoyed a roaring fireplace and a gathering around it.

She also bought gingerbread molasses cookies and oatmeal pecan cookies.  Then miniature gingerbread houses that looked really cute.

Vermont is wonderful for skiing


I have not skied a lot, but the times that I did were awesome.  The views coming down the trails and the fun of pushing the ski into the snow to turn and slow you down as you go swishing back and forth down the mountain is just plain fun.  The crisp air and sunshine is just breath taking.