Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmakkah 2011

If my memories is correct, my family has spent the last 15 Christmases at home. Some years with family in from out of town, some by ourselves. This year we met up with my sister and her family in CA. It was so fun!

Christmas eve we all splurged and stayed at the Hilton at Huntington Beach.

 This is the lovely view from our balcony. We put our stockings out there for Santa to find, since we had no chimney!

We had Christmas eve dinner at BJ's in the little Huntington beach downtown area, where there was a total of 21 of us! We did a really fun white elephant gift exchange.

 After dinner, drunk Santa pulled up on his motorcycle and handed out gifts for the kids. He thought Alexa was the mom, and was oblivious to the fact my sister's kids are jewish. Must be the first time they got gifts from Santa!

Christmas Day we had a yummy brunch at the hotel before heading to the beach for a bike ride. It took 2 double seaters, a four seater, and two beach cruisers for our group! We must have looked like an interesting crew!

After the ride, the kids swam in the ocean, then warmed up at the Hilton's heated pool and hot tub.
Then it was back to my brother-in-law's parents house for a "Christmas Dinner" (or the traditional 6th night of Hanukkah dinner, since they are Jewish!).

 And here are a few pictures from the pier. All 7 cousins together for the first time in 2 1/2 years!

It was a merry, if unusual, Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pinterest Sunday-Better Late Than Never

I am really loving Pinterest Sundays. Sunday has long been our laundry and grocery shopping day, so it's nice to add in a little fun! I would really like to try more crafts/sewing/home decor, but cupcakes seemed to have topped the list of what we make. They're just so fun and easy.

From the amount of booze cupcakes I have made, one might start to think I have a little problem. I actually have an alcoholic drink only a few times a year, but for some reason the boozy cupcakes appeal to me! On the rare occasions I do drink, one of my favorite mixed drinks is a Colorado Bulldog (Kahlua, vodka, soda, creme). For this reason these "white Russian cupcakes with Kahlua buttercream" really appealed to me. I used the recipe, for the most part, but substituted peppermint mocha Kahlua for all the alcohol:

I may have had to sample some of the ingredients, strictly for quality control of course! Yum!

The recipe turned out well. It only made one dozen, which was probably good since only a few of us could eat them!
 Aren't they lovely, sprinkled with a bit of the Trader Joe's Peppermint hot cocoa mix?

 My friend Debbie made this super cute stand for me, how nice was that? And guess where she saw it? Pinterest, of course!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pinterest Sunday- Secret Santa

Every year at work we do a secret Santa gift exchange at our Christmas party. This year I got Jenny, and was so excited! She shares my love of all things shabby and I immediately knew what to make for her. What better than one of my old farmhouse windows I got last October in Oklahoma?!

Thanks to Pinterest, I was full of ideas. I wanted it to display photos, and I also wanted to incorporate fabric, as Jenny is one of our store's sewing extraordinaires! I started by painting the frame Swiss coffee, an off white color. It was still too light so I diluted my charcoal gray and gave it a little color wash to tone it down. Next I printed the words as a template and hand painted them to the window frame.
Then came the boy help. I wrapped peg board in fabric and Michael fastened it to the back of the window. He also helped me add the antique clips and handle for the photos to be displayed.

Thanks to Facebook, I was able to put actual pictures of all her children and grandchildren on it. I am sure she will change them out for better ones in the future, but for now I am so pleased with how it turned out!

Celeste asked me if I am going to make us one. Of course I plan to, but I have a few more I would like to do as gifts first!