...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Dinner with Friends 2015

Christmas Dinner with Friends 2015

We love to open our home to acquaintances, friends and family throughout 
the year. However, one of the times I enjoy the most is our yearly 
dinner with friends. I try to choose a different theme each year so that 
the dinner is not only a feast for the tummy,but also a feast for the eyes. 
I do try to plan several years in advance so that should I choose to make any 
purchases,they aren't full price. 

This year's theme was the Night before Christmas. Luck was on my side last year
and I snagged the 'Twas the Night... tablecloth and dessert/salad dishes on sale from
Williams Sonoma.
Last Year's set of plates

This year's set. I sure wish we had a Williams Sonoma near us. I would have purchased
the Nutcracker plates!

I selected a red Thomson dinner plate to pair with the WS 'Twas... dishes. These were placed on
a Jay Imports gold charger. Gold flatware completed the setting.

I found the fun napkins at Home Goods and embroidered them with a big B.
I love to add the personal touch to our table. The color green in the embroidery
was selected from a very dominant green in the tablecloth.
For the life of me, I do not remember from where I purchased this embroidery font.

.
The Fitz and Floyd reindeer (found at an estate sale!) fit perfectly on the table
 as they repeatedthe colors of the tablecloth and kept the conversation 
flowing withtheir cheerful faces. Several years past, I had seen the idea to 
glue ornaments to a mirror as individual vases. I will admit it was
a bit tricky until I came across some circular foam with a center hole
from a CD stack.
 Another theme that paired well with the 'Twas idea, 
was an abundance of ornamental balls. I had them 
strung on the chandelier, in bowls, and outside in planters. 
With a venture of that undertaking, I made several trips
to our local Dollar Tree. You had to be there early to get
the ones with designs on them! Let's say I started in November.

I used a tureen to hold the flower arrangement, which consisted of 
eucalyptus, red roses, green buttons and white mums. An extravagance
that made the table feel sumptuous!



 Our Ajka Arabella wine hocks paired up with the Mikasa Parklane iced teas. Whereas
the clear crystal might have faded into the background, the red pop of the Ajka crystal
added a bit of color on yet another level.


On overhead shot. I just stand on my tippy toes and point down with the camera. 
My canon has a vari-angle lens so I can see the shot before I take it.

Each guest went home with an embroidered stocking. 
I designed and embroidered the free standing fabric 
holly leaves that had wire inserted in the embroidery process.
Not nearly as scary as it sounds. The names were 
embroidered on a ribbon that was knotted and then hand
tacked to the stocking cuff. Filling them was a blast!



In these last photos, you might notice that I decided that the napkins
needed a napkin ring. I love to add table jewelry when it seems to fit.

Thanks for stopping by, I know it's been a while, praying that the year
ahead will afford me more time to be more active on line. A family, still working
full-time, and being a BSF International bible study leader eats up so much of my time.
I would love to be able to spend some time with y'all.

Joining:




Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tartan for Christmas


I am a sucker for tartan, especially in red. 
Red Stewart is my classic favorite. I think I can thank my mom for that. I had numerous Stewart kilts growing up. I guess they were the thing to have way back then. No, I won't share how long ago that was. 

When I saw the Nikko Tartan, it came home with me without a second thought. 

 And then I succumbed to Lenox Holiday Tartan. Mom had the black plaid placemats. Maybe the love of plaid and tartans is a gene that has been passed down?

I've used the Holiday Tartan for both informal and more formal settings

It appeared for Thanksgiving one year.

I still buy tartan and love to wear it. I've even used gifted tartan as a table runner.

This year, I might just fall pray to Williams Sonoma's tartan chargers....

and their salad/dessert plates. Should I?


Found these here.  Called Harlequin by Dot & Bo... they don't look like harlequin!

Found these here. I should have bought these!

These from Pier One are adorable!!! Small appetizer plates. One can never have too many!

From Ralph Lauren Home. Duke Dessert Plate. Yummy!

Found on Replacements.com, Sasaki tartan plaid dinnerware.
 
 
This wonderful pattern is by Spode, called Glen Lodge Tartan. Found here.
 

From the Williams Sonoma blog.
So do you Tartan for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I love Advent Calendars

What is an Advent Calendar?


 http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pWlShgWVLno/TtuMcW0MBGI/AAAAAAAAHCQ/KfzpHR5W3Uo/s1600/IMG_6494.jpg
I've planned an advent calendar for you.. come by each day through December 25th for a new post showcasing something Christmas!


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-deTjr95RgLI/TtuMaN2ErII/AAAAAAAAHCI/yOs0aEXunug/s1600/IMG_6497.jpg
What is an Advent Calendar? It's a beautiful way to keep track of the days for both children and adults.

Open the door each day for a new surprise




source
The origin of the Advent Calendar can be traced back to the 19th. Century. The first styles came from the protestant area of Germany. Religious families made a chalk line for every day in December until Christmas Eve.  The first known Advent Calendar which was made by handwork is from the year 1851. Other early styles were the Adventclock or the Adventcandle - a candle for each of the 24 days until Christmas, like today's Advent wreath. In religious families, little pictures were hang up on the wall - one for each day in December. An other tradition was to paint chalk strokes on the door, one per day until Christmas Eve.

http://www.seacoastbeveragelab.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/advent_calendar.jpg
source
  In 1902, a Christian Bookshop in Hamburg published a Christmas Clock which was very similar to that published 1922 by the St. Johannis printing company. (Dominik Wunderlin, lic.phil. Swizzerland). The Austrian (NÖ) Landesmuseum is giving the year 1903 as the year of the first printed Advent Calendar. In 1904 an Advent Calendar was inserted in the newspaper "Neues Tagblatt Stuttgart" as a gift for their readers.

http://familyfrugalfun.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/The-Santa-in-the-Attic-Advent-Calendar.jpg
source
In contrast to the above Esther Gajek says that the first printed specimen was made in 1908 by a Swabian parishioner, Gerhard Lang (born 1881 in Maulbronn, Germany -died in 1974). When he was a child his mother made him an Advent Calendar with 24 "Wibbele" (little candies) which were stuck on cardboard.


source


 Later Lang was a contributor in the printing office Reichhold & Lang. He produced little colored pictures which could be affixed on cardboard at every day in December.

[IMG_4741.jpg]
source
This was the first printed Advent Calendar, although without windows to open, published in 1908. This Calendar was named "Christmas-Calendar" or "Munich Christmas-Calendar". At the beginning of the 20's, Lang produced the first Advent Calendars with little doors that opened. At this time as well the Sankt Johannis Printing Company started producing religious Advent Calendars, with Bible Verses instead of pictures behind the doors. The Advent Calendar traveled a triumphal way around the globe. But Lang had to close his company in the thirties. Until that time he had produced about 30 different designs.

[IMG_4731.jpg]
source
World War II terminated the success of this German tradition. Cardboard was rationed and it was forbidden to produce calendars with pictures. The first printed calendars after the war were printed by Richard Sellmer in 1946.

source
 We know that Advent Calendars filled with Chocolate was already available in 1958.  I have an addiction to these lovely things called Advent Calendars. I guess that I've had one since I was a tot has something to do with this addiction. I posted some of our collection HERE .  Enjoy. I hope you will check out the posts from December 1st on.. Thanks for dropping in and I am hoping you are having a wonderful Chris✝mas season!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Petit Papa Noël



 

It's been so long since I've blogged.. however, it's now December and it's time for an advent calendar. I've been singing this song for a week now, since the decorating began in earnest.  
I grew up in France, spent well over 12 years there. Lived in Orléans, a beautiful city on the banks of the Loire river, southwest of Paris. The Loire is a beautiful area, dotted with many chateaux, most of which I've had to pleasure to see thanks to a dad who loved traveling along with numerous school field trips.  Orléans was besieged with many wars, the Romans, Attila the Hun, the English and then World War II. Some of the old buildings still remain, but much has been rebuilt. 

 Petit Papa Noël
is a very famous French song, I believe from 1946. 
Lyrics and translation:

Petit Papa Noel

Petit Papa Noel – French Christmas Song

Petit Papa Noël is by far the most popular French Christmas songs. The song first came out in 1946 by Tino Rossi and has been sung by many singers over the decades. Most recently the song was made famous by the American singer, Josh Groban. In the video below you can listen to the song performed by the famous French-Canadian singer, Céline Dion, in English and French. The video also includes the French words. Below that you’ll find both the lyrics in French with English translation.

Lyrics – French & English

C’est la belle nuit de Noël
La neige étend son manteau blanc
Et les yeux levés vers le ciel
À genoux, les petits enfants
Avant de fermer les paupières
Font une dernière prière.It’s a beautiful Christmas night
Snow spreads its white coat
And eyes lift toward the sky
On their knees, small children
Before closing their eyes
Say a last prayer.Petit papa Noël
Quand tu descendras du ciel
Avec des jouets par milliers
N’oublie pas mon petit soulier.
Mais avant de partir
Il faudra bien te couvrir
Dehors tu vas avoir si froid
C’est un peu à cause de moi. Little Santa Claus
When you come down from the sky
With thousands of toys
Don’t forget my little stocking.
But before you leave
You should dress well

Outside you will be so cold
And it’s kind of my fault.
Le marchand de sable est passé
Les enfants vont faire dodo
Et tu vas pouvoir commencer
Avec ta hotte sur le dos
Au son des cloches des églises
Ta distribution de surprises.The sandman has passed
The children are going to sleep
And you will be able to begin,
With your sack on your back,
To the sound of church bells,
Your distribution of surprises.Il me tarde que le jour se lève
Pour voir si tu m’as apporté
Tous les beaux joujoux que je vois en rêve
Et que je t’ai commandés. I can’t wait for sunrise
To see if you brought me
All the lovely toys that I see in my dreams
And that I ordered from you.
- See more at: http://www.frenchlearner.com/songs/petit-papa-noel/#sthash.7ZjqADQD.dpuf
C’est la belle nuit de Noël
La neige étend son manteau blanc
Et les yeux levés vers le ciel
À genoux, les petits enfants
Avant de fermer les paupières
Font une dernière prière.It’s a beautiful Christmas night
Snow spreads its white coat
And eyes lift toward the sky
On their knees, small children
Before closing their eyes
Say a last prayer.Petit papa Noël
Quand tu descendras du ciel
Avec des jouets par milliers
N’oublie pas mon petit soulier.
Mais avant de partir
Il faudra bien te couvrir
Dehors tu vas avoir si froid
C’est un peu à cause de moi. Little Santa Claus
When you come down from the sky
With thousands of toys
Don’t forget my little stocking.
But before you leave
You should dress well

Outside you will be so cold
And it’s kind of my fault.
Le marchand de sable est passé
Les enfants vont faire dodo
Et tu vas pouvoir commencer
Avec ta hotte sur le dos
Au son des cloches des églises
Ta distribution de surprises.The sandman has passed
The children are going to sleep
And you will be able to begin,
With your sack on your back,
To the sound of church bells,
Your distribution of surprises.Il me tarde que le jour se lève
Pour voir si tu m’as apporté
Tous les beaux joujoux que je vois en rêve
Et que je t’ai commandés. I can’t wait for sunrise
To see if you brought me
All the lovely toys that I see in my dreams
And that I ordered from you.
- See more at: http://www.frenchlearner.com/songs/petit-papa-noel/#sthash.7ZjqADQD.dpuf

C’est la belle nuit de Noël
La neige étend son manteau blanc
Et les yeux levés vers le ciel
À genoux, les petits enfants
Avant de fermer les paupières
Font une dernière prière.It’s a beautiful Christmas night
Snow spreads its white coat
And eyes lift toward the sky
On their knees, small children
Before closing their eyes
Say a last prayer.Petit papa Noël
Quand tu descendras du ciel
Avec des jouets par milliers
N’oublie pas mon petit soulier.
Mais avant de partir
Il faudra bien te couvrir
Dehors tu vas avoir si froid
C’est un peu à cause de moi. Little Santa Claus
When you come down from the sky
With thousands of toys
Don’t forget my little stocking.
But before you leave
You should dress well

Outside you will be so cold
And it’s kind of my fault.
Le marchand de sable est passé
Les enfants vont faire dodo
Et tu vas pouvoir commencer
Avec ta hotte sur le dos
Au son des cloches des églises
Ta distribution de surprises.The sandman has passed
The children are going to sleep
And you will be able to begin,
With your sack on your back,
To the sound of church bells,
Your distribution of surprises.Il me tarde que le jour se lève
Pour voir si tu m’as apporté
Tous les beaux joujoux que je vois en rêve
Et que je t’ai commandés. I can’t wait for sunrise
To see if you brought me
All the lovely toys that I see in my dreams
And that I ordered from you.
- See more at: http://www.frenchlearner.com/songs/petit-papa-noel/#sthash.7ZjqADQD.dpuf
C’est la belle nuit de Noël
La neige étend son manteau blanc
Et les yeux levés vers le ciel
À genoux, les petits enfants
Avant de fermer les paupières
Font une dernière prière.

It’s a beautiful Christmas night
Snow spreads its white coat
And eyes lift toward the sky
On their knees, small children
Before closing their eyes
Say a last prayer.



Petit papa Noël
Quand tu descendras du ciel
Avec des jouets par milliers
N’oublie pas mon petit soulier.
Mais avant de partir
Il faudra bien te couvrir
Dehors tu vas avoir si froid
C’est un peu à cause de moi.

Little Santa Claus
When you come down from the sky
With thousands of toys
Don’t forget my little stocking.
But before you leave
You should dress well

Outside you will be so cold
And it’s kind of my fault.



Le marchand de sable est passé
Les enfants vont faire dodo
Et tu vas pouvoir commencer
Avec ta hotte sur le dos
Au son des cloches des églises
Ta distribution de surprises. 
The sandman has passed
The children are going to sleep
And you will be able to begin,
With your sack on your back,
To the sound of church bells,
Your distribution of surprises.



Il me tarde que le jour se lève
Pour voir si tu m’as apporté
Tous les beaux joujoux que je vois en rêve
Et que je t’ai commandés.

I can’t wait for sunrise
To see if you brought me
All the lovely toys that I see in my dreams
And that I ordered from you.





Monday, September 14, 2015

A sad note in Santa Fe


We just returned from another glorious weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I love this town. I'm sure it's because of the age and history of the city. Surely has nothing to do with exquisite food and shopping opportunities in every nook and cranny and at all fingertips! ;-)

a link to a previous post on Cielo: 


One of my favorite places to shop was Cielo.  Past tense is intentional. I was shocked, saddened, distraught, sent into a fit of despair. It's empty and their are location available signs on both Cielo shops. They didn't check with me!!! How could they??? Why? Why? Why? 


Their stock of Le Jacquard table linens was amazing. 


I could always go check out the Sferra napkin colors. They had the best gifts for the hard to shop for.

photo courtesy Le Jacquard Francais

Where am I going to get my Le Jacquard fix? They sent me down this road...  Any ideas? Jsut because they thought it was time to retire......





Do you remember this cute, cute Cafe Paris which had indoor dining in the winter and outdoor dining in the warmer months? It was our Saturday morning breakfast spot. They closed this portion down and then it went was primarily front and center on the corner of Burro Alley and West San Fransisco streets. 

Ah, imagine our disappointment when this place was also boarded up and for rent/available to buy!
I think we found a couple of places to try the next trip. We will see. But they did have the best croissants this side of the Atlantic.
 All because of something to do with their liquor license....

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