Friday, December 31, 2010

happy 2011

happy new year! I'm not one for making resolutions, because I know that inevitably I will end up breaking them. and that kind of bums me out. so I figure if I don't make them then I can't disappoint myself, right? pretty pathetic, I know. but regardless, I want to wish all of you a year that is filled with:

 thanks for being a part of our 2010,

christmas morning

it was another beautiful christmas. my sister was able to fly in town for a few days, which was the best gift of all. as usual, my mom totally outdid herself (if you can't tell from the pile 'o presents below). we ate delicious homemade food on her beautiful lenox holly berry china & lounged around in our matching pj's all day & night. I love christmas.

{before we busted out our matching christmas pj onesies}

{santa done good}

{vintage rolling pin}

{santa likes red}

{grammie & pop are trading up. vhs for dvd!}

{robert looking sexy in his new leather jacket}

{my great-grandfather's pocket watch}

{my sweet parents}

"and the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. for unto you is born this day in the city of david a saviour, which is christ the lord. and this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising god, and saying, glory to god in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."  
- luke 2:10-14, king james version

Thursday, December 30, 2010

christmas eve

what happens when the church you attend for the first time as a guest is short an angel, a shepherd and joseph in their live nativity? yup. you guessed it. best christmas eve ever.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

happy birthday jesus cake

every year on christmas eve I make a happy birthday jesus cake. I wanted to step it up from last year's cake. I mean, jesus does deserve the best, after all. I used this recipe for a fourteen layer cake. and just to be brazen, I made mine a fifteen layer cake! even the savior himself would be impressed.

here's the building process:

{for scale; a cake as big as your head}

Thursday, December 23, 2010

o crimmus tree

my oh-so-talented-mother made me the cutest christmas decorations this year! if you shopped at anthropologie last year during the holidays, you remember the adorable felt trim they gave out. well, clearly santa likes to shop at anthro, so we had tons of it leftover. my mom collected it all up & then attached it to these foam cones to make felt tress. so adorable. thanks, marmie! 

{before, 2009}

{after, 2010}

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

peppermint bark

I usually have my christmas baking staples, but this year I made something new: peppermint bark (recipe here). it's pretty easy to make & is perfect for gifting.

{I packaged my bark in mason jars. graphic from tiny prints}

{step 1: crush up peppermints}

{step 2: melt white chocolate & sprinkle crushed peppermints on top. let cool.}

{step 3 & 4: follow with a chocolate layer, cool, then follow with another layer of white chocolate & sprinkle w/ peppermints}

{step 5: after it's completely cool, cut up into pieces}

{this dessert is easy to package. use tins, baggies, or jars}

Monday, December 20, 2010

linzer cookies

one of our neighbors, gisela, is this sweet little german lady with the coolest accent (think a grandma heidi klum). she just retired, so I wanted to take a little something over to congratulate her. but the problem is... she is an incredible baker & I highly doubted there was any way I could impress her with my mediocre american baking skills.

but as I was looking through around online & in my baking books, I came across this recipe for raspberry linzer cookies, which is a version of the very famous austrian dessert, the linzer torte (& heck, austria & germany are practically the same, right? right?). I've always thought linzer cookies were beautiful, so this was the perfect opportunity to make them.

they were quite a bit of work, I must confess, but they turned out really beautiful & delicious. gisela appreciated the fact that I made something from her home country.
if you would like to give the cookies a try, I basically used this recipe. the dough is the trickiest part - it's hard to roll because it crumbles easily. but in the end, it was worth the effort.

snowflake sugar cookies

I made & decorated some sugar cookies for a work party last week & they got such great reviews, I thought I'd share. I recommend making the cookie dough a few days in advance, only because it will make the whole process feel like a lot less work! I use this recipe for the dough and this recipe for the royal icing. 

{snowflake cookie cutter found at michaels, which robert said looked like phallic symbols. I must agree}

{roll out dough & cut cookies. work fast, the dough must be cold}

{using an offset spatula, spread royal icing on the cooled cookies. you can also outline them first with icing in a bottle & then fill, if you are patient enough- obviously, I wasn't}

{decorate with sprinkles and nonpareils}

Friday, December 17, 2010

vintage gift tags

inspired by anthropologie's jewelry tags, I decided to make similar ones as gift tags. I had such a great time going through my mom & dad's family christmas photos.  I just photocopied them & then glued them onto actual manila tags. I cut out the ring, punched a hole through the photo & then re-attached it. a simple and fun project that I know the family will enjoy on christmas morning.

{make b&w photo copies of old photos.}

{I glued mine to actual tags but it would be just as easy to print directly on card stock}

{attach gift tags to presents using ribbon or twine}

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I couldn't help myself. because nothing says "merry christmas" like a leg lamp.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

a toasty fire

burr. it's cold in florida right now. we've been lighting fires, cuddling & watching netflix movies all weekend.

{"the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that st. nicholas soon would be there."}

Monday, December 13, 2010

barbie christmas tree

growing up, my sister kara & I were obsessed with barbies. kara had a huge wooden doll house in her room that our grandpa built. all the rooms were wallpapered a different theme & we would spend hours sitting in front of it, setting up different scenarios & clothing the barbies appropriately. there were complicated love triangles in the pink limousine, custody battles in the ice cream shop & rock concerts in the steam from our vaporizer. yes, we were imaginative (& perhaps watched too much 90210).

in fact to this day, if kara is trying to describe someone I don't know to me, she'll say something like, "you know, he looks like our barbie allen (remember? married to julie with the quintuplets), but has the personality of steve (who got divorced from mary-with-no-legs who has that bratty step-kid, megan starr)". and instinctively, I understand.

so obviously, no one can appreciate a barbie christmas tree like I can. robert & I spotted this one when we were visiting family in charlottesville, virginia a few christmases ago. isn't it fun?

Thursday, December 9, 2010


robert surprised me & picked out these gorgeous flowers for me at our local flower shop. flowers for no reason are the best!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

five month portrait

I had the best visit with my friend heather a few weekends ago. she came into town & brought her sweet little baby boy, who I cuddled with all morning. he is adorable & has the coolest hair. I had my camera out so I took his five month portrait. I wish they lived here so I could make him sit for a monthly portrait!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

the tree

unfortunately, robert's vw bus isn't working at the moment, so we couldn't use it to pick up our tree this year (I hate breaking tradition). but that didn't stop us from picking out a big, fresh, beautiful tree. our home smells amazing. 

{step 1: add lights- robert has a special pattern, working the inside of the tree with lights first, then the outside}

{step 2: add garland- I'm pretty sad that martha isn't at kmart anymore. I got the best christmas decor there! }

{step 3: add ornaments & top with star. I'd prefer an angel, but haven't found one I like}


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