Merry Christmas, Everyone

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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

…and I finally got around to doing some festive baking!

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We are among the very lucky ones who were not affected by the ice storm and the widespread power failures that have left so many people without power or heat in these terribly cold days, so I was able to do a bit of baking to take to our neighbours. I love to bake for the holidays and it is always a pleasure to do so, but this year I was also full of gratitude to be warm and cosy in our well-lit, comfortable house. My heart goes out to all those who are still waiting for the lights and heat to come back on.

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I made my annual batch of chocolate shortbread cookies, jazzing them up a bit this year by dipping them in melted chocolate and sprinkling them with chopped-up candy canes. I added some peppermint extract to the melted semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate, just to give it a bit of festive flair.

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I wrapped them up in tubes of parchment paper, tied up with some green velvet ribbon, and delivered them to the neighbours, but I bet Santa would be happy to find a plate of these waiting for him this evening as he makes his rounds!

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Via Pinterest.

Confessions of a bad blogger: things in the realm of pre-holiday prep are a bit off the rails at Delovely HQ.
Oh, I had plans, Interwebz, I had plans. In my head, I had oh-so-many lovely posts lined up for you. But there have been speed bumps (see spontaneous shorting-out of new pendant lighting in master bedroom; cack-handed hanging of artwork over bed that now needs to be taken down, holes patched & repainted, blah, blah, blah; dining room still unfinished and currently housing queen box spring; giant sculpture belonging to a friend still sitting smack in the centre of my living room…) and, as a result, there has been nary a cookie baked, there is a very long list of stocking stuffers and other gifts yet to be purchased, and the blog has been languishing most un-festively. The aforementioned are not excuses, just explanations.

In the spirit of offering solace (and maybe inspiring you to whip up something pretty and yummy!), I give you this bit of deliciousness. It’s almost too pretty to eat, isn’t it?

Via 100 Layer Cake.

Via 100 Layer Cake.

Find the recipe & Jessica Foster‘s gorgeous images here.

In my travels around the interwebz, I found this pretty little way to add festive flare to a holiday dessert.

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Click on photo for source.

And that led me to discover the highly addictive Sweet Tooth blog.
Off you go, fall down the rabbit hole of loveliness.

You’re welcome & have a great weekend.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

I have tried to do the modern, edgy Christmas thing in the past. The first year we were in our house, I had two live trees– one in the living room, all decked out in black feather boas and chartreuse feather decorations; and one in the den with all my traditional ornaments on it. Both looked beautiful, but the old-fashioned tree was my favourite.

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Part of my love of Christmas (besides the mulled wine!) is a love for vintage ornaments and sentimental bits and bobs, including the collection of Santas I started in my 20s. I have always been partial to the old-fashioned, Father Christmas types– I’m a fan of the tall, skinny ones in particular. My dear mum is great at buying me a new Santa every year; she challenges herself to find unusual ones
(knowing that those are the ones I prefer)
and she is a champ at it!

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I have been lucky to have a mantel in both my houses and that is where I put my Santa collection every year. This year, I combined my vintage books and some amazing nubbly wool garland to show off my treasures. For many years, my favourite has been the one we call “turnip Santa”– he perches on the edge of the mantel, jauntily dangling his legs. This year, however, my mother outdid herself with a tall, willowy fella holding a lantern.

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Are Christmas decoration collections tacky? Maybe. But I don’t care– I love these guys.
Thanks, Mum, for being so thoughtful and for always getting it right.

All is Calm

All is bright.

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I think one of the reasons I love the Christmas season so much is that, once the craziness is over (my partner and I pretty much live this every year), there is time to slow down, to cosy up at home with some lovely candles burning, the glow of the tree, the sound of vintage Christmas tunes, a good book and something yummy to sip.

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Merry. Bright.

This year, I am keeping it simple.

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A linen runner that reminds me of France, a few graphic trees and my favourite candle holders.

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Runner– made by me. Votives & wooden trees, West Elm.

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Blue Christmas

Chameleon plate. Salad servers.

Christmas wish list, that is!

In my second wish list post of the season, here are some pale aqua
(one of my favourite colours)
lovelies I am dreaming of finding under the tree this year.

Chalkboard storage jars.

Wouldn’t they look perfect in this incarnation of my dream kitchen?

Kitchen design by Albertsson Hansen Architecture.

 

Quick & Easy

Today I picked up a few little Christmas presents.
Three of them were very simply gift-wrapped for me in kraft paper bags and bright green tissue paper.

I really like to have some element of the handmade in my gift wrap, so I had to add a little something to the packages.  Since I am planning to use kraft paper for my gift wrap this year, I decided to keep the gifts in the kraft bags and just add my own tags to them.
What could be easier?

I printed on each tag, added some festive washi tape to two and used a paper punch to tart up another one, added an oversized jingle bell and some pretty ribbon to each one and tied them onto the handles of the bags. It took a wee while, as I individually hand-lettered each tag, but you could speed up the process by using handwriting or calligraphy instead.

I LOVE these gifts– I got one for my BFF, one for my mum and one for my brother. I’d love to tell you what they are, but my mum is a regular reader and my BFF drops in now and then, too, so I can’t let you in on what’s inside the bags.
But I know it will drive at least one recipient nutty trying to figure out what the heck I could get that would be appropriate for both her and for my brother!

Gift tags & washi tape from The Paper Place.