And the counting begins…
HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!
And the counting begins…
HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!
(I know, we can’t get enough of that sweet face either)
Some holidays just naturally seem to fit with the style of our house, Christmas more than any of the others.
The khaki walls and red/black accents are just the perfect background for fresh green garlands, vintage ornaments, and buffalo plaid.
I don’t care what the current trends are…..I can never have enough pillows or layered Navajo rugs. Or glass ornaments.
See for yourselves…..
Ok, I can’t keep adding photos…
We’re expecting a house full of family and friends over the next 2 days and I gotta get in the kitchen.
Not worried about decorating though……I think we’re finished.
A Very Merry Christmas to all of Y’all.
(from me, Jamie, and of course Harley Davidson too)
Have you seen this stuff?
Unless you live in an isolated cabin in the woods, of course you have. This time of year….peppermint bark is freakin’ everywhere.
And every time I see it, the prices are even higher.
Wanna know a secret?….This stuff is easy to make.
So easy, in fact, that I’m going to share it with y’all right now.
Here’s what you need:
In a Pyrex bowl, add the canola oil to the dark chocolate morsels….
…and melt in the microwave in 30 second increments.
Stir after each 30 seconds, until all the morsels are melted. (Took 3 rounds in my microwave)
You don’t want it hot…….just melted. (So a little chunky is OK)
Pour the warm chocolate onto a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet.
Slide the cookie sheet into the fridge to cool for about 10 minutes.
This is the perfect time to break up the candy canes.
Place them, unwrapped of course, into a sealed freezer bag and bang them with a meat tenderizer (or hammer if you need to work out some frustrations) ’till they are in chunks.
I said Chunks……NOT a fine powder. Don’t go all crazy on them.
Now, melt the white chocolate morsels in the microwave too. Be sure to add the peppermint extract first.
When the white chocolate is completely melted, took me 3 30 second rounds again, pour it over the cooled dark chocolate and spread evenly.
While the white chocolate is still soft…immediately sprinkle the broken candy cane pieces all over the top.
You may need to press them into the chocolate a little to make sure they stick.
Now let this cool in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour……until it’s hard.
Use a cleaver, or similar big knife, to cut the bark into strips….
…..then break it apart into smaller chunks.
I simply up-cycle Romeo Y Julieta cigar boxes (smoke shops usually give these away for free) for packaging.
(The cigar boxes remind me of the ladies who would bring Rice Crispy Treats in old Buster Brown shoe boxes to church pot-lucks)
Just add a bow and a sprig of pine….ohhh, and a candy cane if any are left.
And that’s all there is to it.
Fraction of the price,
The older I get…..the fewer material things I really want for Christmas.
Not a whole lot of shopping on this trip. It was about the experience, remember? But I did commemorate my blurry photo of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree……
Hard to believe that the Coca-Cola Company ever had slow sales. But in the early 1930’s the small soda company found that the winter months were that hardest for sales.
Enter advertising painter Haddon Sundblom, and his version of the St Nicholas people had grown to associate with the Christmas season – In a red suit with white fur trim that just happened to be the companies colors. And what’s Santa’s drink of choice? Why it’s Coca-Cola, of course. He was usually pictured drinking Coke by the fireplace, or, most importantly, leaving bottles of Coke as gifts.
The campaigns worked, and Coca-Cola skyrocketed in popularity.
In a time of black & white movies…it was these colorful illustrations (in magazine adds, billboards, and cardboard in-store stand-ups) that also solidified our modern image of Santa.
Pretty big influence on the kiddos too. Who happened to be the target market for sugar-water in the early part of the century. (Pretty sure that they still are)
It’s an urban myth that the Coca-Cola Company created this red and white Santa figure.
They didn’t, of course.
But they are certainly responsible for how we envision our Santa Claus today.
We’ve been known to hand-make some pretty intricate Holiday cards in the past.
But, I’ve had this particular picture in my “Next Christmas” folder for years now…Looks like perfect inspiration for this year’s Christmas card.
Isn’t he just charming?
John Dunfee is the photographer. I can’t find much about him…. I think this is him.
You know how they say, “People look like their dogs”? – Looks to me like they both need a good brushing.
Anyhoo, great jumping off point for this year’s card.
We have a dog.
We have a wreath.
We enjoy the challenge of getting an un-drugged dog to pose for pictures.
All’s we had to do was paint the white gate section, that I’ve been shooting pictures on for the past year & 1/2, red.
Took a few tries to get the color right…….I prefer my colors straight out of the crayon box…….but we landed on Ralph Lauren Stateroom Red. RL4025
Then we simply threw a scratchy wreath around Harley’s neck, forced her to sit on the freezing garage floor and yelled at her to “Look at Daddy with the camera!” for half an hour.
What could be simpler?
Took about 100 pictures…..no lie.
…4 of which might, actually, be usable. (In most of them she was either moving or looked humiliated)
We settled on this one.
That one floppy ear melts my heart every time I look at her.
Using my rudimentary Photoshop skills;…….. I cropped, lightened the wreath, brightened her face, color enhanced the red and even removed some unpainted boards and a few little blemishes.
Then added a little verbiage……..in my 2 favorite fonts.
Yeah, I think we found the one.
Headed to Vistaprint.com , and ordered us up some
Christmas Holiday cards. (Not all our friends are Christians, ya know)
Only took about 5 days to get them into our hands…..
…..and 2 more days to get them addressed and mailed.
Nothing says “Happy Holidays” quite like documenting a humiliated Doberman suffering through a photo session in a cold garage.
On a similar note, I was thumbing through the December issue of Country Living Magazine the other day ……and what do they have on the last page?
(Looks like they did a little Photoshop magic as well – lightened the wreath, made the wall red)
Now, get out of my head, Country Living.