Sometimes we get so caught up in preparing and planning we forget to enjoy the holiday beauty around us. I woke up this morning thinking I had to plunge into more Christmas chores. I turned on the Christmas tree lights and for the first time this holiday season, it seems, actually looked around my house. I suddenly realized I didn't need to keep doing and doing ~ it was done, and time to sit back and enjoy the season. After all, the decorations are hung, the presents are all bought and wrapped and under the tree and I finished the grocery shopping yesterday. I am going to slow down and enjoy myself as I bake only the Christmas cookies I really love and make some other goodies over the next couple of days. There are cups of tea and pumpkin bread waiting to be devoured, holiday magazines to leaf through and a few parties to enjoy ~ you know, the good things about the holidays that sometimes we all rush through in our bid to just get done.
I snapped some photos of the Christmas beauty around my home this morning to share with you. I hope you will take some time to enjoy your holiday, too.
It’s been cold and rainy here, the kind of weather that chills you to the bone. The best remedy I know for that is homemade soup and grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. Simple and delicious.
I had plenty of chicken stock on hand so I decided to make chicken soup this time ~ comforting and warming all in one. I like to cook the chicken separately while I cut up the carrots and celery to cook in the stock, seasoning as I go. Then I add the cooked chicken to the pot. I cook the pasta separately, too, and add it when I’m close to serving the soup so it doesn’t soak up all the broth. (And if you need to add a bit of water to the soup, just use some of the pasta water.) The great thing about homemade chicken soup is it is easy to make in any quantity ~ enough for one or two, or a pot full, as I made. And it smells heavenly cooking on the stove.
That’s my favorite way to beat cold, damp weather. What’s yours?
Don't you love it when you come across something that inspires you? I have been wanting to spruce up my other blog, The Pink Home, for a couple of weeks now, only I'd been stumped as to what exactly it was that I wanted to do. Then I came across the above photo when I was sorting through my photo library and suddenly, there was the answer. I turned it into my new blog header and used it as my inspiration to make a few adjustments to the layout and colors. Pop by and have a look and let me know what you think.
It's finally starting to look like Christmas at my house. The tree is up, most of the presents are bought, some of them are wrapped, and a few little holiday touches are scattered about. By the end of the week, I should have everything in order and looking lovely ~ and that will be wonderful.
How are your holiday preparations coming along?
With the holidays usually comes travel and, therefore, the occasional houseguest. Let's be honest, having a guest staying in your home, while enjoyable, is work. I came across these tips on preparing for a houseguest and thought they were worth sharing. Think of it as a helping hand this holiday season. The tips are from Martha Stewart's Website; you can find a printable checklist here.
Preparing for a houseguest, Martha style:
~ Allot adequate closet and drawer space and provide hangers.
~ Fully stock your refrigerator and pantry, and take into account any special food requirements.
~ Have a full-length mirror in the bedroom.
~ Have a working alarm clock in the bedroom.
~ Invest in a few small touches in the room, such as bottled water, chocolates, or fresh flowers.
~ Provide a sitting area with a pillow and throw, an adjacent table, and a good adjustable-brightness lamp in the room your guests will be staying in.
~ Provide extra blankets for temperature control in the bedroom.
~ Provide reading material, including several magazines and a daily newspaper.
~ Stock enough towels, washcloths and hand towels for all guests.
~ Stock up on toilet paper and other necessities and make sure they know where to locate extras.
Does anyone else have any other tips for hosting houseguests?
I hope all of you are enjoying the holiday season so far. I am woefully behind on both shopping and decorating, but there always seems to be a few minutes to check out what's new on Pinterest. I've come across some lovely holiday ideas, so I thought I'd share. Click on the photo numbers below for the original link.
Wishing all of you a lovely week full of holiday beauty...
December is here. Time to prepare in earnest for the holidays, bundle up against the start of winter and indulge in all those wonderful traditions. It's the month to enjoy cups of hot cocoa, candy canes and cookies. Try and finish your shopping early so you can snuggle in against the cold. December is a month best spent warm and cozy with loved ones.
May all of you be blessed with a beautiful holiday season...