Friday, December 14, 2018

My Black and White Kitchen Tree....

My kitchen tree is sitting on the counter at the end of my cupboards.... is loaded with many of my hand painted balls as well as ornaments from...

....Patience Brewster....




...Christopher Radko...

...Lenox...and special gifted ones... is topped with a M-C pick of stars!

The tree is loaded with white lights and brightens up this area of my kitchen.  The best part is that I cover it with a tree bag and store it in the basement - the next year I just carry it upstairs and put it back on the counter!!  Easy decorating!

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix for National Cocoa Day....

Make your own cocoa mix for those cold snowy days ahead!:

Hot Cocoa Mix
10 cups non fat dry milk powder
3 3/4 c instant choc drink mix
1 1/3 c powdered non dairy creamer
2 c conf sugar

DIR: dissolve 4-5 T in a cup of hot water

Today is National Cocoa Day!  

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Holiday cocktails....

Here are some ideas for some holiday cheer....

"Rimming" a glass for a holiday cocktail makes it so special.  There are a variety of ways to do this; you can use caramel sauce, chocolate sauce and even melted frosting!

I used melted vanilla frosting, tinted pink for a "Vanilla-Peppermint Berry".

Just spread some melted frosting on a plate and dip your glass into it:

Then dip glass into sprinkles:

It's a potent drink, so beware!

Vanilla-Peppermint Berry
1 oz vanilla vodka
1 oz peppermint vodka
1 oz lite cranberry juice
Shake over ice and strain into rimmed glass:


you can try a :
Cranberry Martini
1 oz Cranberry Lite juice
1 oz vodka
Garnish with cranberries!

Grinch Punch is delish - not sweet at all!

OR just enjoy a good 'ol fashioned cup of hot cocoa


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Monday, December 10, 2018

A few days in Canada....

We live about 3 hours away from Niagara Falls.  John suggested we celebrate my birthday there this year, so the other day we headed out early in the morning to make it to Niagara on the Lake, Ontario for lunch at the Golf Club, the oldest golf course in No America, with a beautiful view!

The restaurant serves the best soups and each time I am more excited to try the "soup du jour".  This was barbecue chicken soup, a sweet hearty soup for a cold day!


After lunch we shopped in town and the shops and restaurants were all decorated with fresh greens, red bows and twigs.  Someone even put a Santa hat on George Bernard Shaw!

We met some interesting people.....

Niagara on the Lake is a quaint town located where the Niagara River flows into Lake Ontario.   It is about 25 minutes from the Falls.

After we checked into out hotel in Niagara Falls, we walked down Murray Hill to stand at the very top of the falls!  It was about 22' and windy, but a sight to see!  The water is only 2-4' deep at the top of the falls and there is only a little more than an inch of erosion there each year.  The water is so powerful and the mist is so high.  In the summer it is refreshing, but in the winter it can be bitter!

Our hotel was directly across from the Fallsview Casino - and luckily we both won about $25 each!

My birthday dinner was at the Skylon in the Revolving Dining Room, 775 feet above the falls!

We were seated directly over the Falls and it took an hour for the floor to revolve back to the same area....the views of the city, Clifton Hills and the American Falls were also exciting to see from above.  The Falls are illuminated at night, with the lights changing colors constantly!

After dinner we walked down to the Falls again for the 9:00 fireworks show:

I think we also perfected taking selfies - there were lots of giggles and retakes, but we got a few good ones:

On our way home John suggested we go to Seneca Falls for their "It's a Wonderful Life" celebration.  Every year they hold this festival for one weekend to celebrate the author, Frank Capra, and the movie.  
Frank Capra never admitted that Bedford Falls, the fictional setting of his 1946 movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” was based on Seneca Falls, New York. But citizens of Seneca Falls firmly believe that to be so. 

A great little town, a hometown parade, with Santa arriving at the end on a fire engine, the "famous Bridge", craft fairs, excellent restaurants and "characters" from the movie came to life on the sidewalks!!

It was a great birthday weekend getaway!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Our Holiday Dining Room.....

Our dining room only has 2 walls and is open to the living room.  We rarely use this space but it is always fun to decorate.

A few years ago I painted this inexpensive gold tray and it sits on the table in the dining room.  It was the inspiration for my tree this year

I painted a few ornaments to match and tied some greenery picks to plaid bows:

Our 25 year old "pencil" tree  fits perfectly in the corner and I only had to move one chair!  I bought the large gold pinecones at the "Barn Sale" for only $5 ea this past summer!

The tray is simply decorated with a Santa, a large checked floral Mackenzie-Childs pick and some mercury glass lights:

I added lots of gold ornaments, some Parchment bows, and gold curly-Qs:

I wanted to "lighten up" the area a little more .... I added a table runner to the side table and a table cloth....

...and the reversible table band I made a few years ago (original post HERE):

And this Santa greets all my guests!

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