Cat-Dal-Interiors

We have something very traditional for this table decor. (above) It’s quite a stunner isn’t it? I believe all of the Holidays Tables are stunners, you have to decide what your style is and what you feel like doing this year. Has the family increased or decreased? Have you just moved to the Beach? Are you back to Maine or Colorado? Many times where we live dictates or has some influence on our decorating style. Just think if you have more than one house! Oh the opportunities that await you! Everyone I talk to, says it’s too much work, but I would adore this job. It’s play time for me!

This room, is so traditional. So rustic. Don’t you just want to be enjoying this comfort and beauty all day?

And this rustic, traditional decor is done with a very small budget. The greens are local if not from the very tree in the room. The brambles on the table are the same. Add candles and you are ready. Remember to never leave lit candles unattended. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.

by Antonia Ludden

Loved-By-Elena

Bright & Cheery Holiday Table:

We will move from dark and moody Table Decor to bright and cheery. (above) Somehow bright and cheery fits the holiday season, don’t you think? Although I admit the dark colors are handsome and beautiful. (Thursday’s post) But they are not as fun as the bright ornaments on the sparkling white tablecloth. Maybe you have your own thoughts on the matter. Please share.

We had a fabulous tip at my networking meeting this morning, Jennifer of Palm Beach Organizing recommends if you have Christmas, Holiday ornaments that you don’t love, you don’t use every year, donate them! Click to see the value of great organization. A Place for Everything!

Casual Holiday Table Decor:

If table number one wasn’t cheerful enough, what about this one? (below) It looks like a birthday party doesn’t it? Christmas is a time of good cheer so this just might be the cat’s meow. There is not the usual serious overtones, of elegance, the usual beautiful decor. The statement here is FUN! It is a very casual approach to decorating. There are no flowers, no candles, no pinecones, no greenery. If it weren’t for the red trees, you wouldn’t know it’s Christmas. This is a very non-traditional table-setting.

Lazy-Daisy-Jones-Christmas

 

Holiday 2017 by Etsy

Have you thought about decorating a Gothic Christmas? Dark and Moody Decor? It’s the latest according to Etsy. Black appliances are popular. They didn’t call it gothic. I did. Try the rustic and navy, or deep red or pine green. I’m sure to good affect. Remember to add candles, candlesticks,  and other shiny elements like stemware, and porcelain.

by Country Living

A lot of work:

The Christmas Tree signifies the extra work for this room. Also the small vignette of Christmas trees on the night stand. Small, thoughtful details make for good design. Changing the bed linens and hanging the wreath make a complete Holiday Picture. A lot of this decor depends on how much storage you have. How ready you are to have an assortment of different bed linens depending on the season or the holiday. Are your Christmas trees fresh or are they stored? Are the pillow covers changed out, now that would be an awesome way to creatively change the room without using up a lot of space. Wayfair has a ton of pillow covers. Holiday Pillows @ Wayfair

A little work:

Now for another minimally decorated bedroom. (below) This canopy bed has draped green foliage and hanging stars and that’s all that is needed to make this a decorated bedroom. It’s a rustic styled bedroom and it has stayed that way with the casual greens draped over the canopy. The stars are easy to hang with fishing line. See more @ Great Christmas Bedrooms

This really gets the wheels turning doesn’t it?  Which room that you don’t usually decorate can use one of these decor ideas? Wouldn’t it be fun to do at least the guest bedroom, especially if you are having guests for the holiday! Have a very merry Holiday!

posted by digsdigs

posted by digsdigs

Decorating your bedroom for Christmas might seem like an unnecessary evil. But I looked this up and was amazed at the marvelous ways this can be accomplished. We will start with bedroom decorating with a lot of fuss and then move to minimal fuss.

Add the tree:
To get these astounding results, with this bedroom (above) takes a bit of time and creativity. The wallpaper is perfection. The Christmas tree is fun we know, but time consuming. The room is at heart neutral, so were the red accents, the chair, table, pillows, quilts and bedding already there or switched out for the Holiday? What an absolutely charming room. Beautifully embellished. Enjoyed tremendously. OMG! I just realized the presents under the tree. More work, more treasures, more surprises, more JOY.

Minimal Christmas Decor for your Bedroom:
This bedroom decor (below) is like night and day for holiday decor contrast. The Holiday items are minimal, maybe half a box marked Christmas from the attic/closet. The wreath, the bow and small tree comprise the total accoutrements that say Merry Christmas! Just a little bit of detail making a big impression.

by digsdigs

by Kirkland

 

Lots of Accessories:
Here are some great ideas for decorating your foyer for the Holidays. Start with  large Merry Christmas greeting (above) and a garland of greens make this foyer ready for December. Notice the snowflake decorated bike wheel, it’s a beautiful detail. These lovely accessories can be used or placed any number of ways and each time it will be unique, a feast for the eyes. For instance maybe the bike would fit on your front porch or stoop another year, the Merry Christmas Sign could be propped on the floor and the console could hold three of those darling mini trees.

A simple bowl of pinecones is welcome on anyone’s coffee table or counter. Spray the edges with gold if you have a few minutes for a special touch.

Minimal Accessories:
This foyer has only a garland to make it ready for the Holidays.  (below) A bright splash of red with the flower and vase make the Holiday colors pop. These two decorative items make a powerful good cheer statement. There are endless ways to design a very good and very pretty foyer.

by Southern Living

from Food 52. An absolutely wonderful resource.

from Food 52.com – An absolutely wonderful resource.

I have been waiting for the opportunity to make this quiche with butternut squash and glazed onion.
I had the time but not the onion! We fixed that.

Actually I had to borrow an onion. I am never out of onions, but there I was naked.

Called my wonderful neighbor, Barbara, and she had one large onion. I’ll take it and return it tomorrow, I said with a huge smile. Here is the delicious recipe. Enjoy!

Caramelized Onion and Butternut Squash Tart
Serves 6 to 8 as a main

Note: I used Pillsbury Pie Crust – Delicious.
home made recipe pastry dough (see below)

Ingredients:

• 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 large yellow onions, halved and sliced
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 eggs
• 8 ounces crème fraîche (or sour cream)
• 4 ounces Gruyère, grated (or cheddar)
• 2 ounces Parmesan, grated
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 4 sprigs thyme (I didn’t have fresh thyme, used the jar version)

Instructions:

1. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, thyme sprigs, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring to mix. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until dark golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove thyme stems.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450° F. Toss butternut squash with olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and spread out on evenly on baking sheet. Bake until browned and very soft, stirring once, about 40 minutes.
3. Reduce oven heat to 350° F. Roll dough out until thin and press into a well-greased 10-inch tart pan. Prick all over with a fork and bake in oven 10 minutes.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, crème fraîche, gruyère, Parmesan, and black pepper.
5. Spread caramelized onions in bottom of tart and top with butternut squash. Pour gruyère mixture over the squash, making sure to spread it evenly throughout the tart.
6. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Pastry Dough:
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 stick butter
• 4 tablespoons ice water
1. Cut butter into 1-tablespoon pieces and freeze for 10 minutes.
2. Mix flour and salt in food processor or large bowl.
3. If using food processor, add butter and mix until mixture resembles small pea-sized balls. If mixing by hand, work quickly, mixing the butter in with your hands until it forms small pea-sized balls.
4. Add in ice water and mix just until dough forms and comes together. Form into disk, wrap in plastic, and place in fridge for 20 minutes.

I served this with roasted carrots and orange pepper the first time and broccoli the second time.
Mmmm, Mmmm Good.

Note: Barbara got two slices of this sumptuous tarte – so she did get the onion back!

xmas-tree-brownie-by-onelittleproject

I believe this picture says it all! Our 4th Annual Cookies & Cocktails was wonderful. You have to bring either an appetizer or a dessert. We devour the delectable appetizers and steal a sweet or two. We visit with new and old friends. I sometimes have games which the young at heart get involved with but most are just happy to visit. Not wanting to search for chocolate Kisses confounds me but then the stuffed mushrooms aren’t bad either. Oh and the Christmas Music and the Decorated and Lighted Tree are huge components of this magical evening.

Here are the stuffed mushrooms: Enjoy!

Mushrooms ala Lynda & Lydia

Stuffing is stuffing.

But it does go from boring to outstanding!
I find when you incorporate cheese and sausage you have divine.
Bread makes it go further, greens makes it prettier and healthier.
And An egg binds the trinity.

For however many mushrooms you are stuffing:

Celery, chopped
Onion, chopped
Garlic, chopped/minced
Mushroom stems, chopped
Greens: parsley, chives or scallion greens, chopped spinach
Sausage loose or removed from casing
¼ to ½ cup bread cubes or crumbs
½ to 1 cup Grated cheese of your choice (cheddar or Gruyere or wonderful)
1 tsp. thyme
Salt and pepper
Chicken Broth to moisten ½ cup or so.
Parmesan Cheese is always a welcome addition
One beaten egg salted (to bind)

Sauce:

Butter
Wine or chicken stock
Salt & Pepper

Clean your mushrooms with the veritable paper towel, the most tedious job on earth.

Chop them medium to finely and add them to the trinity below making it a quartet.
I always use butter and olive oil to sauté these guys.

Start with the holy trinity of celery, onion and garlic. Sauté until translucent, a good 8-10 minutes.
Salt & Pepper always in order. Add your Thyme here as well.

Transfer quartet to medium bowl to cool. In the same pan sauté your loose sausage, hot or mild
Drain the fat from the sausage or not. Add to the vegetable mixture to cool.
Keep this pan handy for oven simmering sauce.

All of these ingredients are non-measurable because it works any way you like. If you are using a lot of cheese you don’t need much in the way of bread. I was cooking for a lactose intolerant, so I omitted the cheese and made up the bulk with the bread cubes. The kind you use for turkey stuffing are great or just use bread crumbs. One beaten egg is usually enough.

Add the wet ingredient as needed, a little bit of the chicken broth and the egg beaten. You should be ready to stuff the mushrooms now. Or put this in the fridge for the next day. Or stuff the mushrooms and put in the fridge or the oven.

This last little bit I just learned from Lidia Bastianich.

Use a 2” inch deep vessel. 8×8 or 9×13 depending on your batch size.
Make a quick sauce in the same pan you used to sauté the vegetables with more butter and wine and little bit of salt and pepper. Sauté until golden.

Add the mushrooms to the buttered baking dish. Oven is preheated to 425 degrees.

Cook for 20-25 minutes until tops are crispy. Enjoy!

holiday_windows_tiffany_2016-11-of-15

This is Tiffany’s dramatic, gorgeous beautiful window, an absolutely wonderful part of the Season’s Festivities.

Another part of Christmas I adore is the card exchange. We shop early for our cards, we debate or shall I say negotiate, which cards we like best, we end up buying at least three different boxes so that all parties are satisfied.

I save all the cards that come with family pictures so that I can see the children grow up! It’s a miracle, from five year olds to twenty-five! Every year it’s a delightful time to review these and receive the latest one to add to the collection.

One joy I especially treasure is the Christmas letter. A special one comes from Jean. Always a lovely letter, filled with good news. How her family is doing, how the granchildren are growing, what goals have been reached, what big decisions have been made the past year. I enjoyed receiving a Christmas Letter from someone new this year and it inspired me to try my hand at this endeavor. Not that I can replicate these precious moments of someone else’s life or even want to, but it so beautifully and perfectly conveyed the Joy of Christmas. Five year olds tearing off wrapping paper that you know was carefully taped in place, with Merry Christmas or the wrinkle free crisp paper’s logo front and center. Bows and ribbons for decoration all go to shreds as kids tear away these beautiful wrappings. As soon as they are done, the instant they have one open, it’s on to the next one. Not that this was ever my experience, but I watch my grand nieces and nephews do this and I am in awe. This is part of the joy of Christmas. Imagine the anticipation of waiting – no wonder the year between this one and the next one always did feel like forever. Now those twelve months feel like one month. January to December – Swish! It’s done! Why does time fly more quickly as we grow older? We certainly have lost some of this exuberance of Christmas, of opening gifts for the mere joy of it. That’s why it is such a blessing to have these babies, these youngsters among us, they remind us of the real joy of the Holidays, to be loved and cared for.

Our year was splendid. The golf course was renovated and we thoroughly enjoyed taking a tour in the golf cart many evenings with Maggie our Westie – who I think enjoyed the ride more than we did! Which of course compounded our own joy. It was a nine month project. Very exciting. Not too noisy, not too dusty.

Jim’s golf game has improved splendidly, I have had several exciting Interior Design Jobs, I have rejoined Toastmasters. We did a trial evacuation with Hurricane Matthew. Went to Sebring, two hours northwest of Tequesta. We were spared by a hairsbreadth! Another excursion took us to my niece, Lauren’s baby shower in Baton Rouge. We drove there and back with Maggie, what a splendid time we had. We got to see how my sister and her family have put their lives back together after the Baton Rouge Flood. Twenty four inches of rain, the interior had to be totally renovated. This was true for the entire neighborhood. Incredible. Volunteers drove by with meals. Others came by and did your laundry for you. Just amazing, beautiful stories of people caring for people.

We went to NJ to celebrate a friend and a nephew’s birthday! Eighty years old and six years old! What a treat! That was in October and all the trees were orange. That was icing on the cake. I went to the Norton Museum’s Festival of Trees and that was so awesome I can’t believe it’s their tenth Anniversary and it was my first visit. I’ve had at least two puppy parties and if you haven’t had one or been to a puppy party, boy are you missing a fantastic event! Our love to you and enjoy your Holiday and Your New Year! Lynda & Jim Louden

festival-of-trees-poodle-skirt-2016

Norton Festival of Trees 2016

christmas-2016-by-delightfulleu

by-delightfulleu

It’s a big job to decorate the house for the Holidays. It depends how much you do, but between gifting, wrapping, mailing and the house décor it takes more than the Thanksgiving Holiday to get done. I should read a self-help book and get some pointers. The wallpaper in the living room fits in nicely with a Winter Scheme. The shelves over the fireplace can be easily changed out, what a great idea! Holiday or everyday! Changing out your throws is a great way to update seasonally or for the Holidays.

I do tend to get carried away. But it’s oh so much fun! The tree is up. Most of the presents are wrapped – shipping them all on Monday! Oh! Oh! Oh!

To the youngsters I’m saying they are from Santa’s Helpers.