Monday, December 26, 2011

new traditions

My family used to have very specific Christmas traditions when it came to where we spent our holiday break. Now that my sisters and I are adults we've started taking turns hosting our family during the holidays which has resulted in each year being new and different. This year was spent in Savannah and might have been the most different so far but it has still been great!

I think each of us secretly missed the chance of it being a "white" Christmas but you really can't beat having the opportunity to visit the beach the day after Christmas.

Today at Tybee Beach. Photo by me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

christmas tree lights

My family is having a southern Christmas this year, therefore, holiday decorations will be in short supply. My tree and the bulk of my Christmas decorations did not originally make the move south with me and our packed-to-the-brim car has no space for them now. I've been enjoying my mother's tree while home and I spent my last evening taking photos of the tree to tide me over. I was experimenting and thoroughly pleased with some of the results.
All photos by me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

white christmas

I was really excited to pop over to Design*Sponge this morning and see my favorite Christmas movie of all time featured as the "Living In" movie.

Photo from iVillage.
See the whole post here. They pulled together a beautiful collection of Vermont-y rustic items that remind me of all the Christmases my family spent in Vermont.

Enjoy some Bing Crosby singing White Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

what I'm working on: button earrings

You know what I decided to tackle five days before Christmas, a new project. I am that kind of crazy.

I've had these in the back of my mind for awhile but just got around to buying the supplies now. I have a plethora of vintage buttons that I've inherited and love the idea of wearing them in a different way. I know this idea isn't the most original but I like that it really lets the uniqueness of the button shine through. My sister has incorporated buttons into her jewelry for a long time in much more interesting ways and inspired me to see them as more than just something to be sewn onto fabric.

Available in my shop soon.

Monday, December 19, 2011

from the weekend...

I just wrapped up my final side trip to sister #2 and her new hubby in Columbus, Ohio. I finished up my Christmas shopping and helped my sister finish some of her Christmas to-do list. Then I got to accompany them for the second year in a row to their holiday tradition of the Columbus Zoo's Wildlights exhibit. We bundled up and wandered the zoo admiring the pretty lights and sleepy animals. This is the only way I have ever seen the Columbus Zoo, therefore, I haven't seen a whole lot of the animals in my visits. It was a spectacular visit and it made it a little easier to leave knowing we would be reunited in just a mere 5 days in Savannah for Christmas!

Top to bottom: Nesting penguin feet inside their little habitat. Santa diver feeding the fish frenzy. A very small example of the zoo's extensive light exhibit.

All photos taken by me at the Columbus Zoo.

Friday, December 16, 2011

embroidered maps make great Christmas gifts

Still in need of a special handmade gift for someone on your list? What about an embroidered map of their favorite state and city. Custom orders can still be placed and received in time for Christmas. Visit my etsy shop to see more state and color combinations.

Get your orders in before Sunday, December 18!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

adventures in cooking: chocolate and peanut butter squares

I took a little weekend trip to Indianapolis to visit friends and wanted to come armed with lots of chocolate and candies. I find that everyone is excited to see you when you come bearing food!

My original plan was to make homemade caramels which I attempt to tackle each year, and each year I fail somewhat miserably. This year was semi-successful because I came away with one delicious batch and a second that never moved beyond the gooey stage. The back-up plan was chocolate and peanut butter squares that were a heck of a lot less time consuming and (maybe) better tasting.

The caramel catastrophe happened at about 10 p.m. so a late night run to the grocery store was in order because I was short just one ingredient. Luckily, making the chocolate and peanut butter squares took no time at all! These proved to be the perfect last minute dessert!

 The recipe:

1 pound white chocolate
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

I first lined an 9x13" dish with wax paper to make removing the chocolate easy once it had set up. Next time I make this I think I'll use a slightly smaller pan so my squares come out a littler thicker. 

Next, melt the white chocolate in the microwave for about one minute and stir until creamy. Add the peanut butter and blend until smooth.

Spread mixture into the prepared pan and refrigerate for about an hour until firm.

In a saucepan over medium heat combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream. Stir constantly until smooth and creamy then layer it on top of the firm peanut butter layer. Refrigerate overnight (or about 3 hours if you're in a hurry) and then lift it out with the wax paper and cut into squares.


I found the original recipe on Souffle Bombay and stayed pretty true to her instructions.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

from the weekend...

I'm spending the bulk of my winter break traveling and kicked it off with a visit to my sister and brother-in-law in Chicago. I haven't been to visit in a really long time so we packed a lot into my short visit. Here are a few photos from our adventures...

I did a lot of my Christmas (and selfish me) shopping while I was there. My sister and I also went to the Art Institute which I haven't been to since a college field trip.

Top to bottom: The festive lion statue in front of the Art Institute entrance. Inside the Sharon Hayes exhibit. Store window of AllSaints Spitalfields on Michigan Avenue.

All photos taken by me.

Monday, December 05, 2011