Holiday: Christmas

December 22, 2011

A White Christmas

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Another way to make a beautiful holiday display is to group all of one color together. I happen to love white.

It's surprising how these items, none having anything to do with the other, can look so pretty together. Look around your house and see what you have in like colors, and then pull it together for a display.

It will be beautiful!

Image by John Granen

December 19, 2011

Collecting: Christmas Mugs

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There's something special about collections just for the holidays. Like holly mugs - for Christmas. And aren't they so wonderful, displayed for all to see?

Do you have holiday collections? If so, what do you collect?

Image by John Granen

P.S. Melaine at My Sweet Savannah is giving away a copy of my book, The Farm Chicks Christmas. Head on over to her blog to enter!

December 16, 2011

Coffee Latte Punch

Tonight I'm having a Christmas party and I'm looking forward to serving this creamy latte deliciousness. And although I'm not a coffee drinker, this cool drink is more like a dessert in a mug than anything else.

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Coffee Latte Punch

Makes 14 (1 cup) servings

1/3 cup instant coffee

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 gallon 2% milk (8 cups)

1 cup half & half

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream

Heat 1 cup water to boiling. Add the instant coffee and sugar and stir until dissolved. Set aside until cool.

Pour the coffee mixture into a large container and stir in the milk. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.

Thirty minutes before serving, pour the coffee mixture into a large punch or serving bowl. Stir in the half & half. Using a scoop, add the ice cream to the bowl and let sit until most of the ice cream has melted - approximately 25 minutes. Gently whisk everything together until incorporated and serve.

Tips: You can substitute 1 cup of hot, double-strength brewed coffee or espresso for the instant coffee and water if you like.

Sometimes I don't fully mix in the ice cream, instead I leave it floating on the surface as a yummy sweet topping for each serving.

Tisseason

You can find this recipe, as well as Christmas inspiration, decorating ideas, and Christmas cheer in my book, The Farm Chicks Christmas.

Images by John Granen.

December 08, 2011

Making Something Out of Nothing

Growing up with very little was a blessing because I was able to see the beauty in the everyday objects that are often overlooked. That's what you do when you don't have much.

When you take the time to look around at what you have, you can make anything special. Take this collection of syrup dispensers for example:

Syrup

It's really simple:

1.) Gather together clear, like objects that can be used as vessels.

2.) Fill with Christmasey items such as little trees, ornaments, and fake snow or objects in a color to fit your Christmas theme such as old game pieces and glitter. (This can be done with anything you love, any time of the year!)

3.) Display as a grouping.

You can find this Christmas inspiration, as well as decorating ideas, recipes, and Christmas cheer in my book, The Farm Chicks Christmas.

Special thanks to my friend, Nancy, for letting us into her home to play and display with her collections. You can find more wonderful objects such as these at Nancy (and friends) shop, Forget-Me-Not, in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho.

Image by John Granen.

December 07, 2011

Free Desktop Cheer

Hi! How are you today? I've been thinking about you. How'd you like to add some holiday cheer to your computer desktop? How about barnloads of cheer?

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Well now you can! Here's how to download my image as your computer's desktop screen:

If you're on a PC: Click on the image size you want (below). The image will open in a new window. Once the image loads, right-click on the image and click on "Set As Background" or "Set as Desktop Wallpaper". Done!

If you're on a Mac: Click on the image size you want (below). The image will open in a new window. Once the image loads, move your cursor to hover over the image. Press and hold the control key down and simultaneously click on the image. Select "Use Image as Desktop Picture". Done!

Click here for 800 x 600

Click here for 1024 x 768

Click here for 1280 x 800

Click here 1280 x 1024

Tip: If you don't know the image size you need, simply try the images until you are happy with the appearance of your desktop.

Barnloads of cheer - from me to you.

Image by John Granen

December 06, 2011

Snowballs!

I'd like to introduce you to my family's favorite holiday cookies: Snowballs. They're rich, buttery, crispy and sweet and fun to eat.

Snowballs

(Snowballs shown on left).

Snowballs

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans (about 4 ounces)

3/4 cup powdered sugar

Grease two large baking sheets. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the butter and honey in a medium-size bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined and fluffy - 2 - 3 minutes. Lower the mixer speed to medium-low and beat in vanilla; then beat in flour and pecans until combined.

Roll the dough by tablespoonful between your palms, into balls. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1" apart.

Bake the cookies just until they turn light golden brown - 12 - 14 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Put the powdered sugar into a large plastic food-storage bag. Add the cookies, 6 at a time, and gently shake the bag until they are coated with sugar.

Makes 24 one-inch cookies.

To serve, pile up on a tray.

Tip: Snowballs make great gifts! Wrap in cellophane bags for gift giving. For added cuteness and stability for gift giving, place cookie filled cellophane bags into vintage food containers (as shown above), jars, or colorful paper bags.

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You can find this recipe and many more, as well as decorating ideas, projects, inspiration, and Christmas cheer in my book, The Farm Chicks Christmas.

Sources:

The containers shown are vintage.

Cellophane bags: Target

Ribbons: Michaels

Sweatshirt: Boden

Images by John Granen

December 02, 2011

Adding Christmas To The Cupboards

One way to add Christmas cheer (or any season for that matter) to your kitchen is to add wrapping paper to the cupboards.

Cup

You can line the back of the cupboards, inside the doors if they're glass, or line the inset panels on the front of your doors.

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Simply cut the paper to fit the spaces you'll be covering and attach with removable double sided tape. It's quick, simple, and darling!

You can find this project and many more, as well as decorating ideas, recipes, and Christmas cheer in my book, The Farm Chicks Christmas.

Images by John Granen.

December 01, 2011

The Perfect Little Bench

I always find it interesting to watch the trends that come and go in the world of antiques. I remember when trunks were popular. Now they're not. But these old pieces shouldn't be overlooked. In fact, they are so useful for turning into entryway or mudroom benches. (And they have storage space!)

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I bought this old trunk/box from my friend, Hollie, at her antiques show.

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I simply topped it with a standard pillow covered in my favorite vintage Christmas pillowcase and it was instantly transformed into a little bench.

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I can easily change the pillowcase to fit the season.

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Have a large trunk? Use two pillows or several toss pillows. It's as easy as that!

I found the trunk here.

My floor tile is from Daltile.

My beadboard wall tile, tile base trim, and tile cap is all from Dirk Elliot Tile.

I purchased my wallpaper from Wallflowers in Spokane. I'm sorry, I can't remember the brand.

November 30, 2011

Christmas Around The House

We've been decorating for Christmas and I love it when I add some cheer and the boys notice it first thing when they come home from school.

Today I decorated the bookcase in the kitchen. I organized the cookbooks by color and then just added in happy little bits I have on hand. I love that about the holidays. Just making things special with what you have.

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As you know, I love displaying sprinkles, and Christmas is no exception. Little old milk bottles are the perfect receptacles. Since they have no lids, I simply capped them with cute mini cupcake wrappers.

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Little vintage ornament boxes fit right in.

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A vintagey looking Christmas tree cake topper adds the perfect touch to the old toy sedan.

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Who says treats can't make you happy?

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Cupcake wrappers and cake topper from Bake it Pretty.

Mother's brand Christmas animal crackers are from Fred Meyer.

Cheer Up canister from Fishs Eddy.

My Christmas Book can be found here.

December 15, 2010

Gingerbread Eggnog Ice-Cream Sandwiches

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A Sprinkling Here, a Sprinkling There

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December 14, 2010

Serena's "Sweet" Centerpiece

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December 13, 2010

Woodsycake

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December 19, 2009

Christmas Star Cookie Wreath/Centerpiece

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December 11, 2009

Peppermint Fudge Cakes

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December 03, 2009

Christmas Pantry

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December 02, 2009

Christmas Collecting: Santa Mugs

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November 20, 2009

The Whipped Cream Secret

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