Christmas Baking 2017

Another Advent and Christmastide has come and gone all too quickly. As always, we enjoyed baking (and eating) a lot of treats along the way!

We didn’t make quite as many cookies this year, but we made all of our favorite kinds…thumbprints in two flavors (raspberry and apricot), chocolate peppermint crunch (those are the ones we didn’t make as many of…I only made about half of what we usually bake), sugar, and gingerbread:

Of course we had lussekattes on Santa Lucia Day!

Cherry coffee cake for Christmas Day morning:

I’ve made Oreo truffles in the past, but I’ve never made an Oreo truffle Christmas tree…pretty and delicious!

I baked three different cakes in about two weeks’ time. Chocolate for Jesus’ birthday, a more formal tuxedo cake for New Year’s, and a Guinness cake for Ryan’s Epiphany birthday:

It’s become a tradition for me to make baklava for Epiphany, too:

And one new recipe for a savory baked good…cheese thumbprints with pineapple jalapeƱo jelly. That recipe is definitely a keeper!

I’m always amazed by how many baking staples I go through at this time of year, and the kitchen is always busy, and smells kind of like a bakery for weeks on end. I will admit to looking forward to a break from various doughs and batters, though!

Sartorial Saturday–Festive Fashion

The 12 Days of Christmas are officially over, but I’m here with one last look at all of my festive fashions from this season!

Last year, I focused mainly on red & green and blue & white outfits, with one Christmas print thrown in. This time around, I’m focusing on one Christmas print, the gorgeous ornament border print Bella skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing, and all of the different ways I styled it.

I went with solids on top…white, black, and red:

I also wore stripes…pink & white, black & white, and red & white:

Of course I accessorized. I focused on my festive Splendette stacks last week, so here’s the rest…beautiful necklaces and always my Christmas tree brooch!

I have had so much fun wearing this print…I’m going to have to find a few ways to sneak it into my wardrobe before next Christmas!

Chickadee Thursday

Yes, we’re still celebrating Christmas!

Every year, I wonder if this is the last year the Fisher-Price Little People nativity scene will be played with…that will be a very sad year, indeed! Fortunately, Chickadee still loves it…she started beginning me to get it out at the beginning of November! She’s been edging the three kings closer and closer every day, and she’s also still playing with the sheep and shepherds and all of the other animals, and making sure the Holy Family are comfortable in the stable.

I know that one of these Christmases, she’ll no longer be interested in it, and that will be the end of a long run of Little People in our house. Until then, though, I’m going to enjoy watching and listening to Chickadee tell the Christmas story!

Nativity Scenes from Around the World–2017 Edition

The 12 Days of Christmas aren’t over yet!

In 2014, we visited the Cathedral of St. Peter in Belleville to see a display of nativity scenes from around the world. We had the chance to go there again last month, where they had a similar display, but with many different nativities than the last time we were there!

There is no doubt about where some of the nativity scenes came from:

My personal favorite was from Germany, although I guess the origin of this one wasn’t as obvious:

I love how unique and beautiful they all were…especially the ones made out of unusual materials, like shells!

The most talked about item was the “hipster nativity scene.” While I wouldn’t want it on display in my home, it certainly was food for thought. There were some things about it that really make me hope that this isn’t how history remembers us, though! Here are some of the things we noticed about it:

  • Solar panels on the stable roof
  • Drone on the stable roof
  • Joseph, sporting man-bun and barefoot, taking selfies
  • Mary, Starbucks cup, duck-face, and possible Uggs
  • Shepherd with an iPad and a sheep with a Christmas sweater
  • Wise men on Segways sporting a combination of fedoras, sunglasses, facial hair, scarves, suspenders, and skinny pants, carrying Amazon boxes
  • 100% organic cow with gluten-free feed

I love seeing how different cultures depict something that has become so common to me!

Quote

Quote of the Day

I drew in a deep breath. “Wait until Sarah Jane walks in,” I said. “She’ll sniff and say, ‘Bayberry. I love bayberry candles. They smell like Christmas.’ You just see if she doesn’t.” Mabel Williams in the Grandma’s Attic series by Arleta Richardson

Sartorial Saturday–Splendette Christmas Stacks

As silly as it might sound, one of the most exciting things that happened for me this year was learning that Splendette was going to make Duchess Bangles that could actually fit over my hand without me having to break my thumb. I’ve had so much fun incorporating various stacks into my outfits all year long, but the most fun has been making different Christmas stacks with all the green, red, silver, and gold bangles I have. The glitter bangles have been an especially fun and sparkly addition to many of my outfits!

I’m hoping that Splendette will add more Duchess Bangles to their collection in 2018…I will never get tired of mixing and matching, but I will also not complain about having more colors or styles to work with!