This weekend we celebrated Winter Solstice. When you live in a place that it is dark until after 8 in the morning and gets dark around 4 in the evening, this little known event is an occasion to celebrate!
This year we invited some friends over to help us cut into the Yule log. The menu was simple. I was looking for an intimate atmosphere. I went with fondue! Cheese and garlic fondue in fact. We had our assortment of veggies, bread, and meat to go along with it.
I kept everything easy. Since there were kids coming, I set up a hot dog station.
I am not a hot dog person but it was a hit!
One of the entertainment events of the evening was decorating a gingerbread house. Hubby and I made it the day before. We had a lot of fun putting it together. He brought out the rulers and protractors. I just mixed and baked.
After we put it together and let it sit overnight, it was time for the kids to have at it. Here is the finished product!
It will not rival the Downton Abbey masterpiece, but the kids and adults had a blast!
We finished our evening with a fire and a piece of Yule log.
Not a great picture. It was delicious though.
What a great time we all had. Now we are looking forward to more sunlight!
How do showcase special treats that you have only during this time of year? I simply make it part of our decor!
Christmas is hot chocolate, Gluwein, and Christmas market mugs. Wrapping hands around a hot mug as the steam rises from the top is just a smile waiting to happen.
We use to make our own hot chocolate mix. A recipe from my Mom. As a child, I have fond memories of the big container she mixed it up in. It was always very sad when it was gone! Now, because we just do not drink enough of it, I choose not make my own. I guess that is why I treasure each mug I have now.
Using a festive tray, I have created a Christmas beverage station in our kitchen. A bottle of Gluwein (yes, Hubby cracked that opened), a Santa tin holding delicious hot chocolate packets awaits us.
We have a lot of Christmas mugs. I trade them out ever so often. They are just fun!
Each town has their own mug. Some put a date on theirs and some do not.
I am very picky when it comes to hot chocolate. Since I only drink it during this time of year, it has to be darn good! Right now, I am loving the salted carmel from Starbucks.
Just a little seasonal joy in the kitchen! Less than 10 days now!
We are officially ready for Christmas. We cranked up the Christmas tunes, munched on some queso, and sipped some Gluwein as we unloaded the tubs full of our Christmas stuff.
After we brought everything up from the basement, I tried to sort out what I had.
This the Santa pile. I just love this old man. I like to collect Santa’s from every culture. Some people collect angels or snowmen. For me, it is all about the man in the red suit.
Tree decorations. Our tree this year is the smallest one we have ever had. Not sure why, but it is. I understand why people have more than one tree. After we trimmed our tree, I had a lot of ornaments left over. Since this is our first Christmas in this house, I am getting the feel of where and how Christmas will go and look. I am learning so much! In fact daily, I am moving things around.
It was fun getting out our Christmas life. Each evening after work, I turn on the lights and light the candles. With my glass of wine in hand, I simply enjoy the scents and sounds of our home. Life is so good!
Have a wonderful weekend! We are off to another Christmas market and to finish our last bit of shopping.
It is hump day and I am already thinking about the weekend. Why? It is the weekend we will hit our first Christmas market of the season, decorate the house, and put up our tree.
As with all families we have a certain way we celebrate the season. We turn on the Christmas music, make chili con queso, heat up the Gluwein, and bring out the decorations. Since we are in a new house it will be about finding the perfect fit for our things.
It is fun opening up the bins each year. We start talking about years gone by. Memories are such a wonderful thing.
Trimming the tree is my favorite part. With a mug of mulled wine, Gluwein in German, reliving each place we have visited as I place an ornament on the tree. Hubby thinks he is done after we put the lights on. He switches to supervisor mode.
It is a special weekend that we share each year. I cannot wait to add to it. These traditions are the treasured moments that makes life just amazing.
Madrid picture update….
As you know during the week Hubby and I live in two places (sad, I know!). To make a long story short, Hubby has the camera. I will have to wait until next week to share. Urggggg… However, I will give you a sneak peek tomorrow of some of the Spanish goods I ‘acquired’ along the way!
Happy Hump Day everybody!
Weekends are suppose to be about relaxing from the work week. Of course, we have our errands to run, our clothes to wash, and our house to pick up.
This weekend will be a little different for us. Our to-do list has been created and prioritized. We will be like a busy CEO!
Whatever we will we doing? Ah…… A lot.
It is suppose to be a chilly weekend here. Yea! It is perfect for the things we need to get done. The not so much fun things about life. For example, cleaning out the frig or rotation all the ‘thicker’ blankets to the beds or change out wardrobes. Busy and vital things you just have to do.
We will turn up the 80s music loud and get it done. We will stop each evening in time to have a wonderful dinner and finalize our Thanksgiving plans.
See, even the not so fun things can be fun!
Have a fabulous weekend!
As I have said many times, Fall is my favorite time of the year. The colors are inspiring to me.
When adding touches of the season to our house, I want to keep it simple, natural. It fits our lifestyle. We are two very busy professionals that love the little things in life. We are not fancy but have high standards.
Here are some shots of season inside our home. Enjoy!
Acorns, pine cones, chestnuts, pumpkins, oh my! Lovely views as you are holding that steaming cup of hot tea.
Yesterday, I shared how we solved our kitchen space problem. That solution would not have been possible unless Hubby did not find this….
19th century English sideboard. As promised, it is a beauty. The best part about it was the condition. Usually the sellers have to refinish the top because of burned spots. Whoever owned this before took excellent care of it. That translated to a smaller price tag for us. Always love when that happens!
It has found a home in our dining room. I have to admit that I walk into the dining room to just stare and smile. I’m smitten.
Here are some details.
I just love the beveled glass and the wood trim. Right now, I have kept the decor simple. I believe the piece speaks for itself!
I am so happy with our changes. We have solved one out of two issues in our house. Now it time to turn the focus onto our bedroom. I will take my time though. I will not settle. Oh, the fun I will have!
Every since we moved in to our ‘new’ quarters, I have been stressing about the kitchen. We spend a lot of time there. I truly believe it is the heart of a house. When we look for a house that is the first thing I look at. This time it was a little different. There were other details about this house that outweighed the kitchen issue.
As with all things decorating, I do a lot of thinking, planning, and looking before I just go and ‘do something’. The main problem with the kitchen is the lack of counter space… prep space.
This is it. I did develop a system of cooking in segments. Constantly rotating tasks through this space. I knew what I wanted was an island or a possible island. I also needed some storage space. I currently have all food downstairs in a room turned into a pantry. It is the ultimate walk in pantry! All the cabinets are filled with dishes. Yep, a lot of dishes!
Enter a dilemma….
This is not my house. Everything I buy I have to think ahead to what Hubby and I call our forever home. The one that we will purchase when we move back to the states.
What I wanted was something that looked like this…
This a Buffet table that we have had for a number of years. I loved the bottom shelf for open storage. This what I wanted. I have been looking for months. We have found possibilities, but there was always something I did not like.
A couple of weekends ago, we went to an antique fair. Hubby just goes because he knows I like to look. However this time it was a little different. Hubby walked in and looked around and started walking to a beautiful piece. I followed because Hubby does not usually do that. I wanted to see what he found. What he found was the solution to our kitchen problem!
He found an absolutely amazing 19th century English sideboard. He said in his casual way…what do you think. I agreed with him it was amazing but it was to big for the kitchen. (Picture a lightbulb going off here!). I then started thinking… We have or I have been looking at this all wrong!
I was looking for a perfect piece that I already had to solve my problem. We decided that we would trade the buffet table for the sideboard. Bingo, problem solved. Easy. We went and purchased the sideboard! More on that tomorrow!
This weekend our sideboard was delivered and we moved things around!
Perfection! I have storage for my bowls. I moved them out of the cabinet and move food in. What a thought, food in a kitchen! Of course, I had to add things to the top!
I now have my cutting boards easily accessible. I also have a bowl of onions, garlic, and peppers out and ready to be used. Yes, I had to add some Fall touches with the pumpkin tile and wood pumpkins! I do still have space to prep for meals.
I am so happy with the results. Now Hubby and I can cook in the same space without getting in each other’s way.
Stay tuned tomorrow to see our new sideboard. It is a beauty!
This past weekend I hit my Flea jar again! Just love it when that happens. I did not go with anything in mind. I just went to look around and be inspired.
I have not been very good at hitting the markets this summer. Shame on me. I guess that means I need to get busy this Fall.
I love baskets. For some reason I have been more interested in wire baskets lately. I like being able to see through it. This weekend, I found one! I also like glass bottles. I have been collecting demi johns, but this time I found something a little more interesting. I was very drawn to the shape.
The bottle is clear and has a wide mouth. I cleaned it out and I ‘temporarily’ put by one of the much bigger demi johns that I have displayed in the entryway. My wire basket has found a home in the master bath as a ‘holder’ of literature. Perfect for those long soaks in the tub.
I am saving the best for last though!
Fabulous, isn’t? I have seen them in a lot of places but the condition has been poor or it has been more than I want to spend. I picked up this baby for $10! I smiled and danced away. It has sat in my table for a couple of days just so I can admire it. I do not talk to it or anything. Last night I put it under the coffee table. A perfect way to display some of our art books.
I feel successful. I love giving old tired treasure a new home.