Monday, December 20, 2010

Save me from the SWEETS....and the Winter Blowout 2!

I heart the holidays. One of my favorite things to do is BAKE and the holidays offer the perfect excuse!!! I have plenty of opportunities to make sweet somethings, unfortunately I have plenty of opportunity to EAT them too! I can't get rid of them quick enough, but I am pretty proud of this years round-up. I made cupcakes, a chocolate cheesecake, peanut butter blossoms, gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies and chocolate suckers Here is a tiny sampling of this years treats:

Homemade sugar cookies-with SPRINKLES!!!

My homemade milk chocolate and dried pomegranate suckers. I tried this after watching Ina Garten do it on TV. She made it look really easy-and it WAS!! They are yummy-even though I only had one because I can't bring myself to unwrap another. Maybe I should put the cookies in cellophane bags with ties?

The little suckers all wrapped up-would you be impressed to receive these in a cookie tin?
Scott and I hosted the second annual Winter Blowout party at the garagement this past weekend. We had a great turn out and as always too much fun was had;) We upped the ante on decor this year adding a giant wrapped box as a backdrop for kicks.

The main attractions-a large wrapped box and our second annual Charlie Brown Christmas tree-jazzed up this year with the addition of the mop bucket and fake snow;)

Scott and I before the mayhem begins....

The party had many hijinks to I will devote a full post to it later this week. Suffice to say-adults can have more fun than children with a giant empty box. Who knew?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Trimmings and a Tipsy Holiday Party

It's one of my favorite times of year!! Every year the weekend before Thanksgiving Scott and his cronies go to Arkansas to hunt. They have a weekend that basically consists of this. Men in camo, beer, dead birds and general hilarity.

He loves it and I actually do too. While he is away I bust out the holidays, in full force, in the Pandora's Box. It is best if I do most of this while he is away for many reasons. He doesn't understand the level of effort, he doesn't enjoy when I leave the bins all over the house while it is in progress and most importantly if he were here I would try to recruit him to help. His being away is a win win for our relationship;)

My living room mantle and and the star of the show...the tree!! Note that fire...yeah I made that;)

I added garland going into my kitchen this year and I think it adds a great festive touch. I try to add only one thing or feature a year. This year I added two-but this is the only one I paid for, which I think is OK.

I realized I had planted holly bushes in my back yard this year even though i planted them like 4 years ago:) Better late then never to harvest my goodies. I cut holly and put it everywhere-nothing better than free decor! I love how it looks in my mercury glass.
When Scott got back to town i had a "small" list of projects I needed his help on. I am working to finish my office, more pics to come. I bought a great cork board and put it up with my existing memo board. This is totally what I wanted and I am so excited with how it turned out.

Scott, the super boyfriend, helped me hang my new cork board and re-position my memo board.

Scott was also called in to re-hang my crown molding shelves (have had them for years and needed a new home for them.) I added a mirror over the buffet in my office and I think its a great bar/buffet area. Notice the champagne chilling-that was for my first holiday dinner party.

I hosted my first, but definitely not my last, dinner party. I had always hesitated to do this because of the sheer size of the house. I worried I would be constrained on space so I have mostly stuck to afternoon, casual shindigs. I invited 10 girls, most of whom were able to come, and it was cozy and perfect. We huddled around the coffee table in the living room and had a ball! With the fire in the hearth and the yummy cocktails I think everyone left happy!!

Here is the crowd of ladies, minus Ali who had to pick up her son.

I love this picture for some reason. First I didn't mean to take it-its the background of another shot. Second it perfectly captures a girls party-cocktails, sparkly high heels and a mr happy back massager. It's random but a nice haul under the tree;)

My chocolate cheesecake. SO YUMMY!!! The ladies were impressed.