Sunday, December 21, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 21 Share your favorite Christmas poem or picture

Good morning from a very wet, rainy, cold Idaho.

It's been pouring down for the past two days and I couldn't be happier, I really do love rainy days.  It's 9am and it looks so dark in my house, so it's fairie lights and candles today.......oh and lots of laundry, blech.

Anyway, today's prompt is all about our favorite Christmas poem or picture.  I have so many that I enjoy, so I decided I would put up a picture and a poem.

I just love this one, it's actually my desktop background at the moment.

No other words needed.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 20 Last minute gift ideas

Ok, so another long day, but I had the family over and just wanted to have a day devoted to them without the computer being in the mix.

Sometimes you just need one of those days, right?

So, moving on to today's prompt which is about last minute gift ideas.  I have been good this year, and I have bought things throughout November and am actually completely done shopping for everyone, so I am not worried about last minute gift ideas.

But I do have some ideas if you're still looking for some for anyone on your list.....

Netflix or Hulu Subscription - we actually did a Netflix subscription for my in laws one year and they loved it so much they continued on with it after it ran out.

Beauty box - monthly delivery of different serums, pomades, polishes, colognes etc. to try. (I know there's Birchbox and Goodebox)

Hair, Nails Certificate -  I've received these for birthdays before and really love them.

Gift Certificates - can't go wrong with these.

Gift Baskets - it could be a flower, cookie, candy, or even a personalized basket for a movie fan, or a spa or kitchen fan. 

Kitchen tablet holder - this is SUCH a great idea, I am going to have my husband actually make me one. 

Quick Bread in a Bottle - I would love one of these.

Those are just a few of my ideas for a quick last minute gift.  I hope you enjoy it, and that it may give some of you out there an idea for a last minute gift.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 19 Preparing for Christmas


Hello my friends, how are your Christmas preparations coming? I am glad to say that we are well under way here and pretty much on the home stretch.

Today I spent most of the morning in the kitchen with Jasmine, she loves baking and was just on a mission. Oh goodness, I'm tired BUT I'm happy, because for years I wanted her to get into baking and cooking and have days in the kitchen with her and now I finally get that. Wouldn't trade it for the world.

Let me show you what we made.....

Chocolate Mint Bark

Chocolate Mint Bark

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Chocolate Mint Cookies

Chocolate Mint Cookies

Yuletide Bars

Yuletide Bars

In the fridge we have a batch of fudge that we are still waiting on to firm up.  I am not good with fudge though so I'm crossing my fingers and we'll see how that goes LOL

As for the rest of the preparations, there is a lot of this going on....


and crazy baking days....


Desperately trying to get Christmas cards out.....


Christmas dishes being pulled out of storage.....


And a fruit cake that has been boozing it up since November....I can't wait to get into this one.


So as you can see, we are almost there, just a little longer and we'll finally make it right?  And then the day will come and within an hour it will be done and we get to look forward to it again for a whole year and do it all again.  Oh boy!!!

How are you preparing for Christmas?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 18 Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Another late day posting mine.  As we wind down to Christmas I find myself busier and trying to get things finished and done, so I am not finding much time to actually sit down and compose a post.  It's easier to grab my tablet but I can't blog on that, it just feels so weird to me.

Anyway, so today's post is about stocking stuffers.  Oh goodness, I can tell you that I am awful at stocking stuffers, I just never know what to put in there, and so I usually leave this job to my husband.

Which means I don't have anything to show hopefully I can actually get some good ideas from you all??

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 17 Christmas Tree Reveal


First, I want to apologize for this going up so late today.  I am not feeling very well this morning and have been kind of out of it, so I put off taking the photos of the tree until about 30 minutes ago.

I finally have them and now I'm ready for the Christmas Tree Reveal.  I'm sure some of you will be doing your Christmas in your home country posts today because of the confusion yesterday, but that is fine, I'm looking forward to reading them nonetheless :)

I snapped this one from upstairs, looking down.....


The star on top is driving me completely bonkers, I keep setting it straight and it keeps leaning, I've given up.


You can tell that I am not into perfectionist trees or themed trees.  My tree is a mismatch of all the ornaments my children have made for us over the years, or chosen every year.  My husband and I usually put the lights on but the kids decorate on their own, and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Some ornaments hold a very dear place in my heart.




Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

I truly believe that a Christmas tree should reflect who we are and our families, and I think mine does that.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 16 Christmas in my home country

EDIT:  I don't know how it happened but there was a big of a mix up with today and tomorrow's prompt.  LOL  I am so sorry, I don't know how that happened, or it may have been that I messed up and got the days mixed up.  Either way, don't worry about it, just post whatever you intended to post today whether it's the tree reveal or the traditions from your home country :)

Good morning everyone :)  I do hope you've all been enjoying Blogmas, I have been loving it and it's helped me get through December and the craziness without having to worry about what I should post on the blog or try to come up with an interesting post.

I feel like I have gotten to know you all so much more and I'm looking forward to continuing to follow your blogs after Blogmas is over.  I hope you'll continue to enjoy mine too :)

Right, so today's prompt is about Christmas in our home countries.  For some of us we are still living in the country we were born, but for many others, we have moved overseas.

I want to hear all about Christmas in your home country OR in your heritage.  Wherever you're from, or your family is from, I would love to know :)

So I'm Portuguese and some of my fondest memories of Christmas are from Portugal, so I figured that is what I would share with you today. 

Welcome to Christmas in Lisbon, Portugal.

Pai Natal (Father Christmas) brings the presents on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.  The presents are usually left under the tree, or in shoes by the fireplace.

The main meal is on Christmas Eve and it's called the Consoada, it usually consists of the Cod Fish boiled, with potatoes and some sort of greens.  After dinner, a lot of people will then go to church for the Missa do Galo (Mass of the Rooster).  Usually during the mass, a statue of baby Jesus is brought out and people will line up to kiss it.  Then it is placed in the Presepio (Nativity Scene).   It's quite a lovely service.

The traditional Christmas decoration in Portugal is the Nativity Scene, a lot of stores will put up elaborate and stunning Nativity scenes on their windows.  We used to enjoy going to town just to go look at all of them.

Remember how I said we always have a table with tons of goodies on there?  That is what most Portuguese houses will have.  Traditional food, cakes, appetizers, nuts and all sorts of things.

One thing we always had and I can never find here in the States are the Christmas crackers.  You know what those are right?   They would contain some candy and a Christmas hat that we would all put on our heads.  In the one photo I shared of us as little kids at Christmas, you can see those hats on our heads.    I know I can buy them online but I don't really ever see them in the stores.

The traditional cake for Christmas is the Bolo Rei (King's Cake).  It will usually sit right in the middle of the table and inside there is a broad bean (fava) and a little gift.  Usually these tiny little trinkets hidden in the cake.  If you find the trinket you can keep it, but if you find the bean then you have to buy the cake the following year.

Christmas in Portugal is a big family gathering, a time to sit together and eat good food, catch up and bond.  I love the fact that I'm Portuguese and that I can pass these traditions onto my children and hopefully one day when they have children of their own, they will be able to share these with them too. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 15 Christmas Decorations

Oooh time to see the decorations going on in everyone's home. I can't believe that I haven't had time to take any photos, so this morning I was quite glad that it was still dark and I couldn't get this post up until later, because it gave me time to actually snap some photos to share.

I have been all over the place lately, and as much as I'm looking forward to Christmas I can tell you, that I'm looking forward to it being done as well LOL I know, how scrooge of me?!?!?

Right let's get going with the decorations. I don't have any of the outside of the house, but I'll take one tonight when all the pretty lights are on and come update this post. :)

Do you have a cup of tea or coffee?  There are a LOT of photos, so sit back and enjoy.

Going up the stairs, I have a few Christmas plushies....I never quite know where to put them so the stairs is the perfect place.

Christmas 2014

I am quite obsessed with Snowmen and most of my decorations reflect that.  These are my favorite Christmas decorations.

Christmas 2014

Love this guy too...

Christmas 2014

Here's part of my Christmas Village....

Christmas 2014

Santa in the wagon, how adorable is that?

Christmas 2014

I just love the Christmas Villages, so cute.  I used to sit and think that I would love to be able to live in one, how cool would that be?

Christmas 2014

My Nativity set, breakable so I'm always freaking out whenever anyone goes near it.

Christmas 2014

I just absolutely LOVE my Christmas area.  The tree, the fireplace, the stockings, it makes me think warm and cozy.  My kids say it looks like the movies LOL

Christmas 2014

As you can see the presents have started appearing under the tree.  I know a lot of you wait until the 24th to place them under, but since I was a little girl, the presents would start appearing throughout the month and it was always one of my favorite things see them, to watch the pile grow, to see who they are for and then anxiously await the big night.

Christmas 2014

Another Snowman themed item.  This is a basket and I usually keep Poutporri in.

Christmas 2014

And just because I love them so much....they bring me so much joy I can't help but smile when I walk by.

Christmas 2014

And last but certainly not least, here are my Christmas aprons.  Love, love, love :)

Christmas 2014