Saturday, December 31, 2011

...And A Happy New Year

I wanted to wish everyone a happy new year.  What does everyone have planned for tonight?  Husband and I are keeping it mellow, hanging out with our dogs and champagne, and watching the ball drop. There will also be a lot of junk food.  Oh yeah, and I will probably wear something with sequins, just so I feel all new years-y.  As you can see in the picture below, the dogs are good at keeping it mellow.  Perhaps they also need something with sequins (or better yet, glitter) just so they feel festive too.  I want wish everyone a happy and healthy 2012. I will see you next year (and I look forward to catching up with you soon).

P.S.  A lot of you have asked about the butterfly mirror from my last post.  You can find it here.  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Santa Claus Was Here

Hi Everyone!  I wanted to take a minute to welcome my new readers.  I also want to invite readers new and old to stop over here and introduce yourself, if you haven't already.  I would just love to learn more about you.

Also, I am guest posting over at My (Newly)Wed Life today.  Please stop over and check it out.

One of my favorite types of blog posts is reading about other people's recent purchases (or gifts this time of year).  So here is a recap of some of my holiday gift highlights.    Santa was very good to me this year.

Our dear friends Matt and Kim sent us this Garrett's Popcorn Chicago Mix.  Have you guys tried it?  If you are lucky and you live in Chicago, you can just go to the store and buy it any time you want.  Distance is probably a good thing for my waistline.  We literally couldn't stop eating it.  If you are a popcorn fan, I highly recommend giving this a whirl.

Our dear friends, Chris and Steph, sent us some goodies from London.  Hobnobs Creams are my absolute favorite (and always a highlight as far as I am concerned).

Husband picked out a few of my favorites to stuff in my stocking.  Except for the squirrel poop:)  Never saw that before (but it is really good).  Notice we are continuing with the Hobnobs theme.

One of husband's co-workers gave us these awesome little teapots that you put hot water in, and can brew tea right at your desk.  She also gave us some tea.  I cannot tell you how much I love this idea, and look forward to using it.  

I have had a new hummingbird feeder on my list for a while now, and this one sticks directly to your window. It is going to be so neat to see the birds feeding up close.

This has become a Christmas tradition in our house.

I could not be more excited about this DNA test for Harriet.  I think it will be fun to know what breeds she is mixed with.  On the right, is a collectible shoe.  Husband buys me a new one every year, usually trying to pick out something that relates to our lives in some way.  This year was all about animal print.

OK, probably not the best pictures of my new puffer jacket and scarf from the Gap.  Better pictures are here and here.  Much better pictures.

This beautiful new mirror for my vanity.

Did I mention that my mother-in-law is a jewelry designer?  Here are two of her pieces.  I adore them.

If you come here a lot, you know I am obsessed with watches, and this beauty had been on my list for a while.  Husband is a good listener:)  The bracelet on the left was a gift from my friends in London.  The heart says, "made with love."

My sister-in-law, Sally, was my secret Santa this year.  I have been wanting this cookbook forever, and the picture frame is gorgeous.

Last, but not least, I have a small crystal dog collection.  It is Lovlots Gang of Dogs by Swarovski.  I don't have the complete collection yet, but was able to add two more.  

Obviously, I had a fantastic holiday.  I am a very grateful and lucky girl.  Did Santa bring you the things on your list?  I would love to hear about it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Santa Pug Is Coming To Town

Some of you have been asking about the pups.  I can assure you, like most overly spoiled dogs, they had an amazing Christmas.  Meatball started obsessing as soon as as the stockings were filled.  There were big dog toys and little dog toys, but none of that mattered much.  They all played with everything, and are still playing with them as I type this.  They had a very merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Holiday Weekend

Well, Christmas has come and gone, and I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  I spent lots of time with family, and stuffed myself like a pig.  Here are some highlights from the weekend.

Have I introduced you to my 4 month old niece, Nola ( I believe you met her, here)?  I know what you are thinking, that is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen (and I am going to have to agree with you).  I spent a lot of time with her over the holiday weekend.  Check out the onesie and the smile.

Husband and some of the other men in the family went crabbing early Friday morning.  They brought home Christmas Eve dinner.

Homemade fudge and pumpkin spice rice krispie treats.

A disposable table cloth was the smartest thing I could have done for a crabfest.  Looks pretty too.

The table is set.  

Christmas cookies from a cookie exchange.

Christmas morning.

Husband and I cannot open gifts without a hot cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate.  

How was your Christmas?   Did you have good times with friends and family?  I am off for the rest of the week, so hopefully I can get back into my regular blogging routine and comment on all of your lovely blogs.  I have lots more Christmas to share with you, so stay tuned!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Fantasy Fudge

I could never seem to resist a candy store that made fresh fudge.  Then, I discovered that it is a really simple dessert to make at home.  A few years later, I found out that it was my father-in-law's favorite treat.   Easy Christmas present!  It is easy to prepare and fantastic for serving at parties or for gifting.  In the interest of full disclosure, this is the recipe that is on the back of the Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Cream jars.

what you need

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup  butter or margarine
1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup) (Do not use sweetened condensed milk.)
1-1/2 pkg.  (12 squares) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped
 jar (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
1 cup  choppePLANTERS Walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla

LINE 9-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Bring sugar, butter and evaporated milk to full rolling boil in 3-qt. saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 4 min. or until candy thermometer reaches 234°F, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

ADD chocolate and marshmallow creme; stir until melted. Add nuts and vanilla; mix well.
POUR into prepared pan; spread to cover bottom of pan. Cool completely. Use foil handles to lift fudge from pan before cutting into squares.

Like I said, it makes a wonderful gift for your father-in-law.  Just put it in a pretty box.  Do you have any recipes you make every Christmas?  

I would love to hear from you, if you make this.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Everything to Everyone!!

The holidays are already here!  I can't believe it.  We are hosting husband's family on Christmas Eve, for a little crabfeed and Secret Santa gift exchange.  The guys are going out crabbing tomorrow morning, and I will be baking and getting the house ready for company.  I leave you with some pictures of my holiday decor. I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday weekend.  How are you spending yous?

The stockings are hung and part of my Christmas village is up.  I still haven't figured out where I can put the rest of it.  That will be a problem for 2012 Erin to solve.

CVS always has the neatest things.  You can't really tell in this photo, but it is very sparkly.

Still trying to find a place for everything before Saturday.

My doormat, looking a little more autumn than fall.

My favorite new piece.  I adore penguins.

The pugs of Christmas.

Lots of Christmas cards, waiting to be hung.

This is how you keep presents away from three curious dogs.

Collection of nutcrackers and Santas.  Yep, nothing really says Christmas like Star Wars nutcrackers.

I took a pic of the front of my house with and without a flash, to try to give you the full effect.  Both the Christmas Tree and the airplane are animated.

Wishing you and your family all of the best!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Few of my Favorite Ornaments...

I have always loved Christmas.  I have mentioned before that I grew up in a Jewish family, but not a religious one.  My mom always wanted a Christmas tree growing up, so when I was born, she had to perfect excuse to get one.  As I grew up, I fell more and more in love with holiday decor, and in college, I started collecting it.  More than 10 years later, here are a few of my favorite ornaments.

Husband and I love fish.  We have had many tanks over the years we have been together.  This is one of my favorite fish ornaments, by Christopher Radko.  

My sister-in-law Kris gave this to us as part of our wedding gift.  I couldn't love it any more.

The pear shaped ornament on the left is the first one I ever added to my collection.  It is from a beautiful antiques and Christmas house that I used to pass on my way from my university to my parent's house.  The Starbuck's ornament on the right represents one of my favorite things about December.

Celebrating my heritage, on my Christmas tree.

Husband and I honeymooned in Hawaii, and this is a little token from that trip.  I try to collect an ornament from each trip we go on.

When my husband was a child, he packed his little red wagon and ran away from home for about 2 hours.  His mother bought him this ornament to remember that day  (obviously, husband didn't go very far).

My first fish ornament, purchased when I was in college.

I purchased this from Anthropologie this year (was on my wishlist here).  I love the spout.  

Stewie Griffin...not sure this needs any explanation.

One day, my friend Kristen asked me if I had ever played find the pickle.  I laughed hysterically for about 5 minutes (dirty mind).  I then purchased this.

My husband loves cardinals.  Of course, I love popcorn.

I purchased this when I moved to San Francisco.

This was also one of the first ornaments I ever purchased.  At the time, I thought it was really cool.  Now I admit it is kind of hideous (but I still love the concept).

My sister-in-law Sally bought this for me one Christmas, because I love to bake.

Do you collect meaningful ornaments?  What are some of your favorites?

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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