Friday, December 16, 2016


Merry Christmas TLB friends!

It's that time of year when the kids start arriving home for the holiday. The house is decorated inside and out, and the kitchen is filled with delicious smells of the season!

Today's blog was inspired by a creation of Ree Drummond, talk about smells of the
season ......The Pioneer Lady really knows her stuff!

Here's a peek at these beautiful little dollops........called CHRISTMAS CHERRIES.
For many years my Mom made a cookie with candied cherries on top. As I recall they were a chocolate cookie.....I wonder if Mom will give these a try?

These little cookies are simple and dress a platter beautifully! The citrus flavors and the shortbread like texture are a perfect compliment to a nice cup of coffee! 

If you're searching for a new recipe that's delicious and colorful you might want to
give Ree's Christmas Cookies a try.



Tuesday, December 6, 2016


It's that magical time of year when we "Deck our Homes!" Come on over.... 

Foyer's give us the first glimpse into a person's home. They actually say a lot about us. It doesn't matter if the space is large or small there's always a way to create something beautiful giving that lasting first impression.

By adding a simple golden branch (Pier One Imports) to an existing vase and a twiggy sleigh trimmed with fur (World Market) filled with a simple Poinsettia (Walmart) gives our foyer a festive feel. I placed my new  favorite Christmas at Designers Homes Across America book (Amazon Prime) at the top of stack to help elevate the vase to the proper height for the vignette to be balanced.

Across the hallway sits a simple ivory Bergere chair draped with a colorful plaid Christmas afghan and Noel pillow, a perfect holiday punch of color.

On the buffet are two silver candlestick lights with a beautiful festive tie on ornament accent, a gift from my niece. The Vietri platter is the perfect shade of ivory to hold a strand of tiny white lights. I placed the quaint little church on a clear cake tray, and  surrounded the tray with silver trees. The "Merry Christmas" sign, that lights, was a find in Homegoods this year. 

"Slim Jim" as our daughter's fondly named our foyer tree, fits nicely in his new home in the curve of the staircase. The woodland and ice theme on the tree glistens in the glow of the the lights. The red pinecone ornaments add just a touch of festive color. 

The woodland and ice theme is carried to the staircase along with the addition of icy sprigs and red poinsettia and berry pics.

Underneath our tree is the nativity that I painted many, many years ago and has become a family treasure.

Across from the staircase is the dining room. Since every room is open to one another, from the foyer to the living area, I decided to carry a touch of red into every room. There is just something about "red" at the holidays! Hubby just loves it!

The china cabinet holds simple white ceramic pieces with a splash of red in the form of goblets or ornaments. The snowy branches are a simple reminder of holidays past.

Speaking of holidays past, I painted the ceramic Santa below in 1975, around the same time of the nativity. Unfortunately, Santa was broken in the move, but hubby worked his magic and brought Santa back to life. Every year he holds our Christmas cards from family and friends. Gotta love my hubby for saving this memory for me!!

It was a year of change in many ways this year. With some of our Christmas decorations missing from the move, and some that had seen better years, it was time to replace a few things. 

I was shopping in Pottery Barn and came upon this table runner. The color was outstanding and it was just too beautiful to pass up. The embroidered detail gives it a vintage feel. I added a simple white wreath with silver pinecones in the center. The Ethan Allen vessel is filled with snow, pinecones and red ornaments. There's that red color again!

 I found this cute little "stick plaid deer," and couldn't resist him at Pottery Barn.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care. And take a look at that inviting on a cold evening keeping Santa and his reindeer nice and toasty!

The 2-story family room has cubed windows above adding some much needed extra light. Did you notice the mirror above the fireplace? Yes, it's the same mirror from our last "4" homes. A Pottery Barn purchase from the days we lived near the Palisades Center in NY. A neutral mirror is always a good purchase to hang above the fireplace mantel....the proof is here!

We wanted a fireplace stone that was indigenous to the area, so we chose to use Austin Stone bringing the look of Texas Hill country to our home. It adds a warmth to the high ceilings in the room, making it feel a bit more cozy!

The lanterns on the mantel were a purchase from Pottery Barn this year. I had Lumiere candles from my past fireplaces that I matches required just a remote! They certainly look real don't they? (They are now sold in Bed, Bath and Beyond)

 View from the living room toward foyer and dining room.

Looking from the family room into the kitchen the sofa acts as a divider. I chose not to add a sofa table to keep the walkway open between the rooms. The floors downstairs are hand scraped solid oak with a Medium Brown stain color. They were another selection choice because of their popularity in Texas.

With a bit of maneuvering of our sofa the Christmas tree squeezes into the living room nicely. The live 10 ft. Balsam Fir tree can be seen as you enter from the front door.

The kitchen has a few festive touches sporadically placed. I found this little ceramic vintage truck at Wal-Mart. I just couldn't resist him. Over the years my collection of Christmas cookbooks has grown to quite a few as you can see.

A few more festive touches....

The glass doored display cabinets get a Christmas feel by using a Christmas platter and a wooden reindeer.

I hope you enjoyed your visit today. From my family to yours we wish you a very

"Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."