Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Home Tour 2016

Welcome to our holiday home.  We haven't changed too much but there are a few new items in the mix.
 The white tree in the living room is still holding court and being pretty sparkly in our front window.
 Hovering over the piano are my Starbucks Cup Angels and here's the 2.0 Version of them.
What's new in the family room? Well our newly Painted Built Ins and mantle, that's what! It was fun decorating the shelves this year with little bits of holiday. The mantle is still jam packed with red and white decorations and candles..lots of candles!  The bear pillow is new too but it's just a pillow cover. Much easier to store and he adds some wintry whimsy to the room.
Speaking of the shelves in our newly painted built ins.  My oldest told me the elephant needed a hat, so a hat he shall have.
I think I found him the perfect one. It was on a jingle bell necklace from the Dollar Tree.  I saved the bell and hung it on the back of a door for some jingle.
 Looking into the family room from the kitchen. Our enormous tree takes up a lot of room but I love it just the same.
 This is a new nativity set made by Miss High School.  She left the wise man at school but he'll be reunited with the rest of them after break.
 Looking into the kitchen from the family room.  The checked pillow is another pillow cover that I found on Amazon.
Peeking out in our entry is the entry tree.
 Our entry tree is a hand me down from my parents.  We decorate it in snow related ornaments.
 Walking up the steps, you can see the white tree (decorated in blues and silvers).
 I love our little bedroom tree. We got it when Miss High School outgrew this one (each of the girls have their own tree and ornaments).
 I couldn't resist this pillow at Michael's, it's was 70% off!  The stocking was made by grandmother.  It's a treasure for sure.
Heading back down the stairs and stopping on the landing you see the Chalk Painted Mirror with its Ikea wreath.  It really glows and lights up that area!  Also, how stunning are the black banisters that were just painted?  I used red pipe cleaners to hang the garland on the banister this year.
 Our den (second entry) also got a new pillow cover for the chair and I threw a blanket scarf over the back to cozy it up.
 We had a tiny bit of snow and a lot of ice last weekend but it looked so pretty behind my Christmas village and snow family.
 Our wrapping this year, the presents are under the snowy themed entry tree.  I loved the nerdy animal gift tags.
 I can't forget our kitchen transformation in the tour.  Both windows got some new buffalo check valances which go nicely with the cabinets. I always hang this little faux pine swag with mistletoe above the window.
This little sign was also from Michael's.
 Down to the basement where we have our Disney tree.  This is always the first one I put up every year.
The new-to-me thrifted plates fit right in with my Disney plates.  How I hang plates for the holidays, here.
Finally, our holiday card 2016. From our family to yours, wishing you the happiest of holidays! Thank you for stopping by, reading, commenting and for supporting my blog. I really do love you a latte!  
Last year's Holiday Home Tour- Part 1 & Part 2.
Let's keep in touch!
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

{Recipe} Creamy Oil Free Hummus

Four days until Christmas...are you ready?  I'm still waiting for a few gifts to arrive but beside that, I'm feeling pretty ready.   Christmas break started on Friday so I've had helpers to pitch in and help me get things checked off our to-do list.   We are hosting Christmas Eve brunch and Christmas dinner this year so I have a lot to prepare for that and this will probably be on the menu.
I love when homemade is almost as easy as store bought.  Homemade hummus really is better and you can tailor it to your taste.  I found this recipe and I haven't bought hummus since.  It uses the chickpea liquid (not oil) to make the creamiest hummus.  Why don't you give it a whirl if you love hummus as much as we do?
 Ingredients:
2 - 15 oz cans of chickpeas (or 3 cups cooked) *Reserve liquid from 1 can*
3/4 cup -1 cup chickpea liquid (or veggie broth)
2-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 TBS tahini (or 4 TBS sesame seeds)
2-4 TBS fresh lemon juice
1/4 - 1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
 To make in a high speed blender:
Put all ingredients in the blender in order listed, using the lower amounts.  Start blender on low and increase to high.  Use plunger to push chickpeas down towards the blade.  If mixture is too thick, add more water a little at a time.  If using a regular blender, scrape down sides and keep processing until smooth.
Stop blender to taste hummus.
Adjust seasonings and add salt (optional).  We like it extra lemony and garlicky!  Blend briefly. 
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
It should keep for about a week in the fridge (if it lasts that long).  I hope to be back on Friday with a Holiday Home Tour. See you then!
Let's keep in touch!
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Monday, December 19, 2016

Philly at Christmastime

Spending a day in the city was the perfect way to get us in the holiday spirit.
 Our first stop was Dilworth Park and the Christmas Village.
 This garden in the center of it all was magical.
Requisite selfie in the park.
 The topiaries were awesome.
 A fabulous winter garden.
There were vendors set up all around City Hall.
I especially liked this section with wooden cabins for the vendors. It reminded me of the Christmas villages in Paris.  (Our Paris/London trip starts here).
One vendor(Kathe Wohlfahrt) had a huge heated tent so we strolled in for the warmth. I so glad we did.  I had never heard of the them but I was mesmerized by the displays.
First we noticed the little wooden village sets and I have one from my childhood so wanted to add to my collection.  But the lighted arches were really captivating. The Schwibbogen tradition (read about it above) is fascinating.
 The sets are quite spendy but gorgeous. Maybe one day....
 After we finished up at the village, we went to Reading Terminal Market for lunch. We had lunch at an Irish pub and I loved my salad (except for the beets!). #nobeetsforme  Reading Terminal Market deserves it's own post. It was so crowded, I didn't even take photos but it's definitely an experience!
 We went to Macy's after lunch to watch the light show. It's been a Philly tradition for years. The show runs every hour and it's free, you just need grab a spot for optimal viewing.
We also went to HipCityVeg for a milkshake (pumpkin pie!) and ordered some take out for dinner. So many good things on the menu, it was hard to decide what to get. Everything was delicious!!
Here's my little wooden set that I added to my collection, a nice memento from a special day!
Let's keep in touch!
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