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December 31, 2015

New Years Eve Dinner Menu | Seared Filets, Lobster Mac & Cheese, Orange Braised Parsnips, Balsamic Brussels & Chocolate Ganache Tart

As I was sitting down to write my menu and shopping list this morning, I thought I might as well share it with you, too!  This is going to be short and sweet - just what we're planning for tonight's New Years Eve dinner at home with my two favorite people.  I've promised Emma a day of "party planning" and decorating.  We'll be making a flower arrangement, some party hats and homemade confetti for our big celebration (that is likely to happen at 9pm).  She's planning to wear her fanciest dress and Mike and I are opening a bottle of wine from our honeymoon in Italy - everyone is very excited.

Hope you are planning a festive night - either in or out!

Here is what we'll be making today and enjoying tonight :

*The only thing not listed here is a simple Butter Lettuce Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, pickled onions, cherry tomatoes and a toasted Goat Cheese topped Toast.  I'll post it soon - it has been my go-to salad for entertaining this holiday season!

Lobster Mac & Cheese 
(with lobster for us, without for Emma - her request)

Seared Filets
(the best way to prepare delicious steaks at home!  so easy.)

Parsnips & Carrots 
This post leads to the post from a Valentine's Dinner we hosted a couple of years ago featuring recipes from Barefoot Contessa's book, Foolproof.  They are orange braised carrots and parsnips with shallots and thyme.  I'm embracing all things citrus this month - fresh citrus always sounds so good after holiday richness.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
This is also from the same post and Barefoot Cookbook.

Chocolate Ganache Tarts

This was the dessert from the same post (sorry for being a broken record, but it was such a good inspiration for this dinner!).

Here is a link that shares the link for the recipe for the cupcake version of this cake and my milk chocolate glaze - recipe is the same for the cake.

I'll try to post on Instagram throughout the day as we create our flowers, the table, DIY party supplies and the dinner!  Follow me on Insta, here.

Have a great day preparing for your festive evening!

December 23, 2015

Gingerbread House Cookies on Martha

I was excited to see my Gingerbread-House cookies on today!  Here is the article, if you'd like to see it.

I hope everyone is enjoying these last days before Christmas.  We have been baking, wrapping and lounging - three of my favorite things : )

Happy Christmas!

December 11, 2015

Holiday Table Setting & Menu | Real Entertaining | 30-50% Off Linen

Last night we hosted our first Holiday Dinner party - so I finally had a chance to set a pretty Christmas table.  It was such a fun night with friends, I'm so glad I have these pre-party table photos to remember it!  Our menu is below.

Table Linens including these Linen Napkins and Tablecloths (in this size and a larger) are now 30-50% off + Free Shipping.  Shop the entire collection >

I used :

-Tuscany Red & Cream 54" Square Tablecloth

A mixture of :

-Tuscany Red & Cream Napkins
-Provencal Red & Natural Napkins

-Hand-Dipped Taper Candles in Ivory
-Brown & White Square Transferware Planters
-Laurel Wreath Placecards

I used a piece of floral foam in each plater and then covered with cedar and fir clippings.

Menu :

Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Truffle Fries
Cabernet & Thyme Mushrooms
French Green Beans
Chocolate Molten Cakes
Poached Pears

 Shop the entire Linen collection >

December 09, 2015

Christmas at Our House | Photo Tour

Christmas at Our House | Photo Tour

This may be the longest post in the history of my blog.  There are many, many photos.  I hope you don't mind too much : )

Most of our decorating is finished, but I'm sure I'll continue to add more touches here and there over the next couple of weeks.  We are hosting a couple of get togethers this week and next, so I'm sure I'll add some fresh florals and homemade goodies, too.

On our tour, you'll find fresh greens, a fraser fir tree and garland, a juniper wreath in our dining room (my newest favorite), magnolia leaves and incense cedar sprigs, along with soft pops of red in pillows, winter berries, linens and ribbons.

Left : Rustic Bells & Vermont Red Grosgrain Ribbon on our Wreath, found here >

I have truly enjoyed decking our house with holiday cheer.  I made an attempt not to exhaust myself of it - but there is no getting around it.  Though I'm loving sitting at my computer right now basking in the glow of twinkling lights, enjoying the woodland scent of our fresh greens, and cushioned by many cozy holiday pillows, I will admit - it did wear me out a bit.  I'm sure half of you are exhausted from decorating every mantle and bannister in sight, and you can't help but wonder, is it worth it?  Why do we go to so much trouble?

All of you who are also sitting amongst your twinkling lights already know the answer - yes.  There is something magical we create when we transform our house.  It makes those moments you spend at home even more special this time of year.  When our homes are brimming with Christmas cheer, we find ourselves relaxing on the sofa that no one sits on to admire the tree at night, or spending an evening in front of the fire with our feet up, or coming downstairs early in the morning before anyone else gets up just to enjoy the stillness of a quiet morning and sparkle of the lights as the sun comes up.

I hope you all take the time to sit back and enjoy the splendor of what you've created in your homes, and take in the faces of your family and friends as they experience it with joy.   It is most definitely worth it.

Shop this years Holiday Collection, here, that features many of the favorite items in our home : )

Continue on the tour below.

We got these bells last year in Woodstock, Vermont on our trip there in November, now they are available in my store, here.  They were hanging on our bedroom door while we were staying at Mike's parents' house during our renovation : )

Classic Hooked Pillows (made in New England) & Throws, here >

These Classic Hooked Stockings & Pillows are available in my store.

I made these tiny trees out of clippings from our big tree... they are all over the house : )  The DIY tutorial is here >

This is my newest big find - a runner for the kitchen.  (I probably talked about it in our Thanksgiving photos, but I can't remember... Christmas decorating brain!)  I really love how it warms up the entire room and is so soft underfoot.  

Gingerbread House Cookie Cutters are back in stock - after a very exciting announcement!

The view back into the living room.

I have an orange peppermint dish soap recipe I'll share soon!  They are displayed in my Clear Bottles Collection.

Winterberry & Rosemary

Emma said, Mom the orange bloomed into the red for Christmas!

Paperwhites in different stages.  The ones planted in the blue and white container were in a not so sunny spot, so I've moved them here.

Can you spot our elf on the shelf?!  This "Duck Boot" Stocking, $36 is one of my favorites... and of course that tiny Red Gingham Apron, $14.

The Pillows & Throws are available, here, and the Rattan Basket on our ottoman, here.

Love that Sledding Pillow (available here) : )

We are hosing a dinner party tomorrow, so I'll be sharing our table setting later this week.   This is the start of it.

Linens & Tablecloths  Shop all Table Linens, here >

I did fresh incense cedar in my Brown & White Transferware Squares with Hand-Dipped Candles.

Winterberry on the brass chandelier.

Our warm and cozy spot... with lots of plaid : )  Plaid Throws available, here.

And a new Tiger pillow.

Santa & Emma 2015

I got up early this morning and decided to take photos of the house lit up in the dark, too - because that is when the magic really happens.

Rustic Bells & Ribbons available, here >

Isn't this magical?

And this ; )

So peaceful.

I hope you all have had the chance to enjoy making a little Christmas magic in your home for your family.

Peace & Joy,

Shop this years Holiday Collection, here, that features many of the favorite items in our home : )

Shop this years Holiday Collection, here, that features many of the favorite items in our home : )
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