Follow by Email

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Busy Christmas - Bread baskets coming along!

Yesterday, we started once again our yearly tradition during the Christmas season--The twelve days of Christmas. We chose a family whose son is friends with my oldest two children. He is the funniest kid, and we know his family struggles a little bit financially, so we thought it would be fun to add a little bit of wonder and mystery to his life during this time. =-) 

This is how we do it: We leave treats, starting on the 12th of December, on his porch, and the best part is that one of my kids gets to ring the doorbell, the other one gets to place the treats on the floor, and then they both run like maniacs back to the car, as the driver (me!) takes off with the lights off in the middle of the night trying not to get caught (well, it was only 9pm, but it sounded more dramatic that way!). We do the same thing every night until the 24th, and on that night we leave something more meaningful, with a Christmas message and anything we may think of adding at the last minute. But the fun part of it all is this: they will never know it was us!! My kids love this tradition, and I kind of wanted to, mmm, skip this year, since I have sooo many baskets to put together and my life is a little caotic right now. But as the 12th day approached, my daughter Sofia was kind enough to remind me: "we need to think of what family we are doing this year and what we are making". Of course I could say no to that, which means I will be baking more than 40 loaves of bread in less than two weeks, plus coming up with ideas every night to surprise our chosen family! Yikes! Just thinking about it makes me tired! But it is a good tired, if there is such a thing!
 Here is a sneak peak to what I have been up to lately. Pumpkin chocolate chip breads ready to be taken to my neighbors. I used disposable paper/cardboard pans (from Amazon). You bake in the paper pans, decorate, place inside a clear treat bag and done! There is no need to oil the pans either. You should try them out.
 Honey butter for my Christmas bread baskets!
 My assembly line for the baskets. OMG'sh that's a lot of baskets!

 And the final result! Lovely.

I am out of bread knives right now, but if you want me to put something together with just bread and honey butter, let me know! I will be happy to do that for you Rexburg procrastinators. =-) Until next time!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Loving the Christmas season!

 Christmas is here! I hope this has not taken anyone by surprise!! I am sure we have all been seeing Christmas decorations at the stores since the end of October! Yep, it seems like every year the beautiful displays of Christmas decor are being set up earlier than the year before. I don't know about you, but when I see Christmas decorations at the stores and Halloween has not even passed, I get a little bit of anxiety. =-) I know here in Idaho, however, it is probably a good idea to have those Christmas displays up early.

 Most people start decorating the outside of their homes as early as October. Can you guess why? (This is a trivia question for my fellow arizonans) You guessed it! To avoid hanging up lights when the weather has already gone down to 20 F!

 I have some pictures of my Christmas decor that I wanted to share. Maybe someone will get inspired to do a little bit more decorating (I know, I am really late posting all this, but maybe for next year!) My son told me that our tree this year looks really "hip". Mmm...must be the leopard print on the ribbon I used this year. Our white dove, Natalias favorite, has been on our tree for many Christmases.

 Now, I went to Pier 1 Imports some time in October and they had these cute lanterns along with their beautiful Christmas decor. I have a thing for lanterns, and when I saw them, it was love at first light! I only got three, but as soon as those babies go down in price, I am going back for more! They look lovely on my Christmas tree.

This rustic star with some glitter and little berries scattered here and there, is from Pier 1 Imports as well, and when I got it, I was planning on putting it on the front door. But then I thought my foyer mirror needed some dressing up and I actually like how it looks!

My three wisemen sit just below the star. They are handmade pieces from an artisan in Puerto Rico. I just love their cute faces!

 This little tree we set up in our dining area every year. So fun to look at. It has all of my kids handmade ornaments they made when they were little. Brings back too many good memories!

Here are some pictures of my buffet area. This year I added a berry wreath to the mirror (you gotta love command hooks!) and used my decorated garland at the bottom of the mirror. I have had this garland for quite some time. It was a Relief Society project and I really love the sparkle it brings to the buffet area. The candle  holders are from IKEA.

I chose to keep my mantle not as cluttered as last year--the tree stands right next to the fireplace, and in the past I had put a long decorated garland across the mantle. This year I thought it was a little too much, and with the new mirror from IKEA, my lantern from, yeah, you guessed it, Pier 1 Imports, as well as the snowman and the big rustic star, I thought it had enough bling. The beaded garland is from Ikea as well, and the stockings I made a couple of years ago. I love the white, fuzzy fabric that I chose for the top of them. And I even took the time to line the inside and everything. I know! Fancy.

 These are some of the things I have decorating my entrance. This cute little rustic snowman, from Target, has always been part of my indoor decor, but this year I put it outside. It has had a rough time though. The wind up here is so strong, that the poor thing has fallen too many times. And then there is me picking him up again and again. We'll see how long I can keep up with this!

I had a rough time hanging this garland. I used command hooks that are see thru and removable, but a couple of them have come apart, and even though it does not show, this thing could come down on its own before Christmas. Oh well, if it comes down, I am not putting it back up! =-) I know, I probably WILL put it back up.

 I hope you enjoyed the pictures! Pretty soon I will be posting a baguette style bread recipe (I know, white flour!). This is a bread similar to the french bread you all know about, but oh, so much better. mmm! It is a recipe of the type of bread sold at every bakery in Puerto Rico. I am trying it first, and if I am successful, you will know about it! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas among the people you love the most! 'Til next time!