Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year Cranberry Champagne Cocktail






Good afternoon! A happy New Years Eve to you. I hope that you had a great weekend. I have been on a "staycation" since Christmas and I have loved every minute. It has been so nice to have a week with no plans, no jumping out of bed to go to the gym, staying up late(last night I was up until 2:00 am reading), sleeping in, eating junk food, going for long walks or just sitting by the fire. I am enjoying the waning hours of 2018 because there are big changes happening in my life in 2019 and although I am a little anxious about them I am excited as well. 




Do you have plans for New Years Eve? I personally have never, ever been a fan of going out on New Years. I like to have people over for dinner and drinks, or to be with family. More often than not we stay at home, make dinner and are in bed before the "ball drops" in Time Square. 

If you are having a party and need a last minute cocktail idea you might enjoy this one, it has all of my favorite flavors, cranberry, lime, vodka, 

Cranberry Cocktail

4 ounces vodka 
1/2 an ounce of Cointreau
8 ounces sweetened cranberry juice
Freshly squeezed lime juice (1 lime)
Rose champagne

Pour vodka, cranberry juice, cointreau and lime juice into a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake until mixed. Pour the mixture into a glass and then top up it off with the champagne.  Add cranberries for  for garnish.

I hope that you have a wonderful and safe evening if you are headed out and all the best for a happy, healthy New Year!


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Jord Sier Arcadia Watch Review




Good morning! I wanted to post about JORDpronounced Yode, before Christmas but time, no pun intended, got away from me. JORD produces beautiful, one of a kind watches. The watches are are a sophisticated mix of natural, and largely re-claimed materials, combined with quality movements and components. JORD are known for their hand crafted wood timepieces, each unique because they are carved from Zebrawood, Sandlewood, Olive, Acacia and many other types of wood, meaning that no two are the same.





When I was approached by JORD to review one of their watches I thought of selecting a wood watch for my husband who is a watch collector but then I saw the Arcadia and decided to select it for myself instead. 




The Arcadia is just my style, it is simple and classic. This beautiful white turquoise watch has a grey leather band that looks great with everything I have paired it with and for those days where I feel like a change it has a mesh band as well. It compliments not only my favorite silver pieces but white gold too. I love the large face, the understated elegance and the timeless style of the Arcadia and will be enjoying it for years to come. 



Grey Cashmere Scarf

For those looking to add a little color to their accessories, the Arcadia also comes in a gold and  cobalt sodalite, a rose gold and white marble, or a rose gold and black marquina marble with a tan leather strap. Each one more beautiful than the next and as stated previously, each watch is one of a kind.




Grey Cashmere Scarf, Barbour gloves, similar here, Dolce & Gabbana Glasses(old)

One of my favorite things about these unique watches is that you can customize them by having the backplate engraved with a date or even a saying. The wood humidor is engravable too and makes a wonderful presentation box and keepsake. You can further customize these watches to suit the recipient by mixing and matching the faces and the wood. On that note, you can also customize your apple watch with a wood or leather band

Every watch comes with a one year guarantee and options for returns and exchange and has free shipping worldwide. 


Arcadia watch, vintage Tiffany Love Link Heart Bracelet, Vintage Tiffany Circle Link Bracelet, Lagos Caviar bracelet, Barbour gloves, similar here

You can enter here for a chance to win $100 off the watch of your choice. I am sure that you will love these beautiful wood, and stone time pieces as much as I do.  

Have a great day.


NOTE: JORD provided me with the Arcadia watch shown. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 




Sunday, December 30, 2018

Silent Sunday 12-30-2018



Have a great day!



Friday, December 28, 2018

My Christmas


Note:This post contains affiliate links. 




Good morning! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was exactly as I wanted it to be, relaxing, and quiet. On Christmas we spent the day watching non-stop holiday movies, including classics like White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, relaxing in our new tartan pajamas, eating cookies and candy, opening presents and just enjoying the day. Finally at about 4 we started dinner, a pork loin stuffed with chestnuts, apples, cranberries and shallots(recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen),  cauliflower gratin(recipe Ina Garten) and wild rice. A simple and delicious meal. 

 We also celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas, which in case you do not know, are not the12 days before Christmas, but actually start on Christmas day and end on January 6th the Feast of the Epiphany or the Fest of the 3 Kings. Do you? 

What did you do for Christmas? Were you with family and friends? What did you make for dinner? Tell me about your favorite dessert or cookie, I would love to learn some new recipes. 


Note:This post contains affiliate links. 




Monday, December 24, 2018

Twas the Night Before Christmas




Twas The Night Before Christmas or A Visit from St. Nicholas
Clement C. Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"


Legend has it that if you sit under a pine tree on Christmas Eve you can hear the angels sing. I will be sitting under my tree this evening hoping to hear the angels sing. What will you be doing? 

Merry Christmas!

NORAD Santa Tracker


Good evening and happy Christmas Eve! I cannot 
believe that tomorrow is Christmas. One of the things that I love at Christmas is the NORAD Santa TrackerAre you familiar with the Santa Tracker?




 It began in 1955 when a local department store misprinted a telephone number to speak to Santa and track his progress on Christmas Eve. Instead the children were calling CONAD, the predecessor to NORAD( the North American Aerospace Defense Command).
Luckily Colonel Harry Shoup was in command because he ordered that each child who called be told the exact coordinates of Santa, and to this day the tradition continues. Just in case you are wondering, this is paid for by corporate sponsors and all the phones are manned by volunteers. 




If you visit the NORAD Santa Tracker web site with your children or grandchildren you can see the countdown to Santa's visit, videos, games and much more. It really is a cute webpage and I think your little ones would like it. I know that my niece and nephew love it!
In addition to tracking Santa NORAD also supports the US troops all over the world and they provide links to all sorts of organizations that supports the troops and their families, you can see all of the links at Operation Goodwill

The holidays are an incredibly difficult time for the Armed Forces and their families, please think of them over the coming days. I know many bloggers that have children, or family serving and I am sure they would love to know that people are thinking of them and are grateful for their service and sacrifices.  The information is provided in the links above. 

If you would like to read more about this history of NORAD, click here.
 Happy Christmas Eve to you!



Happy Christmas Eve!


Good morning! I cannot believe that today is Christmas Eve, can you? Where did the time go? I hope that you enjoyed the Christmas season. I know that I did and I am sad that is is almost over. 




Today I am going to yoga, then home to relax, watch Christmas movies, and enjoy the day with my husband and pups. I am going to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast, open one present on Christmas eve, head to mass and then home to wait for Santa.

What will you be doing? Whatever you do this holiday I hope that you enjoy it and that you are surrounded by the love of family and friends. 

Merry Christmas my friends!

Note: This post contains affiliate links.




Saturday, December 22, 2018

Friday Favorites: Christmas Edition


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Good morning! Christmas is mere days away, are you ready? I am ready an awaiting the big day. I mentioned yesterday that I am savoring the waining days of the season and that is jut what I am doing. This year we are staying home and although I am going to miss my family like crazy I am happy to be at home out of the chaos of the the season. 

Today I thought I would feature my favorite Christmas foods and finds. I hope you enjoy!




This Christmas Fudge from Sugar Salt Magic looks delicious and a great last minute treat.





I made this No Bake Chocolate Peppermint Tart for friends and they loved it.



Image I Am Baker

I want to make this beautiful Poinsettia Cake! I would probably make a white cake and try my hand at decorating it similar to this. 


Image Here Life Made Simple


A beautiful Christmas breakfast, Nutella Puff Pastry from Life Made Simple




Cream Cheese and Fruit Pastry would be a great addition to your holiday breakfast buffet. 



Image Half Baked Harvest







Peppermint Hot Chocolate is perfect for a leisurely day next to the fire. 


If you are looking for last minute gifts you can still get things shipped from Amazon but only if you have Prime. Make sure to check the shipping terms before you order or you might have some disappointed friends and family. Perhaps a book about remarkable books for the book lover or a a cookbook for the baker? A pair of tartan gloves for your dad or husband? Something tartan? A pair of slippers?

If you do not want to shop you can always give the gift of YOU and YOUR time, that is a better gift than anything that you can buy. 


Have a wonderful weekend. 





Thursday, December 20, 2018

My Christmas Outfit

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Good morning,  5 sleeps until Christmas! Are you ready? I am finished with everything and I am now savoring the season. 




These last 5 days I will be drinking copious amount of coco with dollops of whipped cream, while snacking on sweet treats, sitting by the Christmas tree, reading Christmas magazines and watching movies all in anticipation of Christmas day. 

For mass and the ensuing celebration this is similar to the outfit I will be wearing. 




A crew neck cashmere sweater





Paired with a tartan skirt.






Add a pair of black sling back heels.







 a vintage poinsettia brooch



and this gorgeous handbag my husband gave me last Christmas. 


What will you be wearing for your holiday festivities? Whatever it is I am sure that you will look fabulous! 

Enjoy the season my friends and have a wonderful day!





Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Stocking Stuffers for the Whole Family


Good morning! It is one week until Christmas. Are you ready? Yesterday I mailed the last of my cards and sent the last boxes of baked goods, candy and treats, Fed-ex. All that is left is to pick up my books to give on Christmas eve and my stocking stuffers.


Image Southern Living


We have always awoken to bulging stockings so heavy they were no longer hanging from the fireplace but laying along side, when we were kids it was mostly candy and small toys. Nowadays, they are filled with little things, an orange in the toe, some walnuts, our favorite candy, a new toothbrushtoothpaste, and lots of other toiletries. 

Here are a few stocking stuffers that you might like to add to your list.




Cute socks  to keep feet warm on long winter days. 





candle to enjoy on a dark night. 








Or perhaps a cow hide catchall for you keys, change or jewelry?




You could also get a poop bag holder to attach to your dogs leash. 




Some bath bombs or bath salts.





Slippers, one of my favorite gifts to give and to receive. 
puzzle or two that you can do together after you open your presents and eat your breakfast. 





Finger Puppets for the kiddies. 





You can't go wrong with a card game or Domino's.



Or Monopoly which is a favorite at my families Christmas gatherings. Or you could add christmas classic on DVD. 

There are lots of little things that you can add to your stockings and if you don't feel like more little gifts, you can always add candy, nuts and fruit and books.

What do you always find in your stocking? 

Have a great day!






Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Fleur de Sel Truffles





Good morning! The countdown is on, are you getting excited for Christmas? I am, like a little kid, I love everything about Christmas, midnight mass, the anticipation of time spent with friends and family, the food, the lights, the music, etc. 

As I have mentioned numerous times I love to give homemade gift baskets/boxes filled with special treats. More often than not they are cakes, cookies, pies, nuts, or some sort of of candy. Today I thought I would share the easiest candy you could ever make, Fleur de sel Truffles. These decadent treats are made with 2 ingredients if you don't count the coating and the salt and there is no baking involved. You will love these truffles as will your friends!




Fleur de Sel Truffles 
Ingredients

8 oz. 60% chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cupheavy whipping cream

Toping/Coating

Tempered Dark Chocolate or Ghirardelli Melting Wafers

Other options:
Roll the balls in:
Chopped Nuts
Coconut

Directions

Finely chop the chocolate and place in a medium bowl. Heat the cream until hot not boiling, this can be done on the stove top or using the microwave. Once cream is heated pour over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes whisk the chocolate and cream together until smooth and creamy. 

Pour the ganache into a shallow pan, an 8 x 8 in pan is perfect, then refrigerate until firm about 30 minutes. 

Remove pan form the refrigerator and using a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop, scoop out portions, then roll them between your hands to make perfect balls. Place on a plate and refrigerate until ready to coat with toppings. 

When ready to coat, melt the chocolate and rolls the balls in the chocolate, place on a plate and then sprinkle with sea salt. 

If you would like to skip the chocolate coating you can also roll the balls in coconut, cocoa powder, nuts, jimmies and more. 

Store the truffles in the refrigerator until, remove 30 minutes before serving. Can be refrigerated for 2 months. 


Enjoy!



Note: This post contains affiliate links. 







Monday, December 17, 2018

Chocolate Dipped Viennese Whirl Cookies


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 Good morning! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was a little frustrating. I had a huge list of things I wanted to bake and make and I tried to do way to much multitasking, consequently, several of the things I made did not turn out. One burned, one was undercooked and the other tasted terrible. Oh well, lesson learned. 

I was successful at making several batches of Chocolate Dipped Viennese Whirls, which I had made of the first time last week and loved. 




This recipe is so easy and delicious that if you do not already make them you must make the time to whip up a batch for yourself to eat with your afternoon tea and one to share as well. 





Chocolate Dipped Viennese Whirl Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup of butter, very soft
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
11/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1 cup of chocolate chips of Ghirardeli wafers wafers

Directions

Preheat oven to 375"F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

With a hand held or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat together the butter and the powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the corn starch and the flour and mix well. 

Fit a disposable piping bag with a large star tip and fill the bag with the prepared dough. Pipe the dough into whatever shape you like, circles, S's, straight lines, etc on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes and the edges are just light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack. 

Melt the chocolate chips or wafers in a bowl set over a double boiler or in the microwave according to the package directions. 

Once cookies are completely cooled dip into melted chocolate chocolate. 

Enjoy!





Have a great day!