Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Hot Cocoa and Hot Tea Station

Christmas is almost here.  I have really enjoyed visiting with each and every one of my blog friends!  I have especially enjoyed all the different ideas I've collected from your blogs on home decorating, recipes, family traditions and the sense of community we feel as we rejoice together, mourn together, and rebuild together..

One of the ideas I picked up from Elaine at Sunny Simple Life was her hot cocoa basket (station).  To see her post click here.  She took a basket and filled it with packets of hot cocoa and a pretty jar for the      marshmallows. She put it on the counter in her kitchen for easy access.  I thought ...hum...what a great idea!  So I reached into my boxes of yesteryear Christmas decorations and pulled out a beautifully decorated basket.  A dear friend had decorated it and filled it with Christmas goodies years ago.  It would be perfect!

I filled the basket with packs of hot cocoa, Christmas napkins, and marshmallows.

Beside the basket, I filled a little ceramic bread pan with our favorite, Cinnamon Stick tea bags!  Candy canes are in the blue pottery jar since everything needs stirring. LOL!  I set the Christmas cactus on the counter also.  Then I set a picture my husband took of me and our two boys over twenty years ago in a sled at Christmas.

I reached in my yesteryear box again and brought out vintage glowing Santa!   

The red tea pot for hot water is on the other side of the kitchen and the cups are all hanging but it has been really nice having all the ingredients out in the open for easy access.  Very festive and hospitable!

Would you like a cup of hot cocoa or hot tea?  It looks cold outside the window on this rainy day.  I hope you have enjoyed your visit today.  Best wishes and Merry Christmas!


I'm linking to:
A Favorite Thing at Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Sunny Simple Sundays at Sunny Simple Life..

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Update on House Restoration

Some of you have asked about the progress on Miss Willie's House.  Well, it has been slow but good!  One thing we have really realized is that we're not as young as we used to be! LOL!

DH has been working on the attic windows this fall. He re-glazed the windows intact instead of taking them down because the glazing was so old he was afraid the glass would fall out. This kind of delicate work is very time consuming but he doesn't mind.  

The attic window and bay roof over Miss Willie's bedroom is completely finished.  One day (far in the future), the green shutters will be rebuilt and replaced.

The front attic window and bay is completely finished.  The ladder on the roof shows the height above the bay to work on the window.

I worried about DH the whole time he was up there working but he said he enjoyed every minute!  By the way, before DH retired he spent his days in the classroom teaching art.  I guess standing up painting on top of a house can be fun when you look at it from that perspective.

The windows look beautiful!  Next project will be the porch in the spring!

DH has stained the floors in four rooms in the house, too, and they look beautiful, but most of the furniture is out of place now.  I did minimal Christmas decorations this year.  I seem to like it better that way.

And we celebrated my DB's birthday in the house this year.  Here is a picture of me, my brother and my DSL.

I have to be honest about work on our someday retirement house.  It is hard work and takes lots of money.  And like I said in the beginning of this post, we're not as young as we used to be!  And the money seems to disappear fast when working on an old house.  DH is doing all the work and I'm glad he loves it!  

  Wishing you and your family a happy holiday! 


Friday, December 7, 2012

Apple Syrup

I found a great recipe for Apple Syrup for my waffle and cottage cheese breakfast from Taste of Home.  It really tasted good and made breakfast feel like it was in the spirit of Christmas cooking.  Only took 10 min. to make with apple juice and no one noticed it was sugar free.  Everyone loved it!  I hope you will enjoy it, too! 

Apple Syrup
10 Servings
Prep/ Total Time: 10 min.

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups unsweetened apple juice
Sugar substitute equivalent to 4 teaspoons sugar (I used Spenda)

In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and apple juice until smooth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from the heat; stir in sugar substitute.  Yield: 1-1/4 cups.

Note: Each serving is 2 tablespoons which is plenty!

Nutrition Facts:  Calories  20, Cholesterol  0, Carbohydrate  5g.
Diabetic Exchange:  Free food.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Favorite Decorated House for Christmas

Do you have a house that you make a point to drive by just to see it decorated  for Christmas?  I do!  My favorite is the Toddle Inn - Williams  house located in the Silk Stocking District in Talladega, Alabama.  I just wanted to share a little bit of Christmas favorites with you today. The house was built in 1890 by the Cook family and later was a daycare center named Toddle Inn.  It seems every citizen of Talladega went there as a child.  Then the house stood empty for years and years before the present owners lovingly restored it!  The Christmas lights are a true gift to families who drive by.  Both the adults and children look out the car windows to see Santa on the porch.  Enjoy!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!