Hoppy Easter!

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Need some quick and easy favours for Easter dinner?

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Here’s what I did with some cloth bags from the bargain bin at Target. First, I hand-stamped them with the recipients’ names and then filled them with some cute treats: Easter-themed bubbles (because nothing says “Spring!” like going outside and blowing bubbles!), and a few sweets. I had some heart-shaped thingies meant to jeuje up Ikea string lights, so added those to the ties on the bags and, quicker than you can say, “The Easter Bunny’s your uncle!” I was done.
My kinda project: speedy and sweet.
I gave mine away to my students, but they’d work well as place settings, too.

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If you celebrated Passover this week, I hope you had a great time and ate lots of yummy goodies.
If you are celebrating Easter this weekend, I hope you have a great time and eat lots of goodies.

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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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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.

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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Let It Snow

Source.

I have long had a fantasy about being a professional gift wrapper. If that is not a real job, it darn well should be! Ever since I was quite little, I have LOVED wrapping presents. As a teenager, I used to shut myself in my room with all the bows and paper and ribbons, sing along to Christmas tunes and wrap prezzies for hours and hours. It was one of my favourite days of the year and I looked forward to it for months.

As an adult, I still look forward to a day spent doing nothing but wrapping gifts. In my 30s, I started to pick a theme each year and wrap all my gifts the same way. One year it was blue paper, wide satin ribbon in chocolate brown and a single chandelier crystal on each gift. I often use kraft paper– one year I added a single magnolia leaf with the recipient’s name written on it in gold ink to each package; another year, it was organza ribbon with glass ornaments embellished with the recipient’s initial or a loving phrase; still another year, it was packing-stamp inspired stickers, red or gold jingle bells and red twine wrapped around and around and all over each package. I am also a huge fan of black paper and one of my favourite schemes involved it with oversized rick-rack in red or white and miniature glass Christmas balls.

Those are Liberty covered buttons on the right!

Source. Source.

I start thinking about my festive gift wrap months in advance, so now I am getting down to the wire and am narrowing down my choices for this year. You will have to wait and see what I end up doing, but in the meantime, I hope these inspirational images get you in the gift-wrapping spirit!

Source.

Simply Done

I know it’s early, and I  know that not everyone is ready to think about it yet, but there is the smell of snow in the air and even a few flakes floating down.
And that has me thinking about how I am going to approach Christmas this year…

I am planning to go with simple, pared-down decor.
My hope is that I will only use about 1/4 of my festive stuff and give it all some space to breathe.  I love the simple ideas in these images.

Are you thinking about your festive decor yet?

Images from here and here.