Saturday, December 18, 2010

Being A Christmas Hostess On The Spur of The Moment!

During the Holidays we can always have a drop-in guest!! I love when that happens because I know they came to see ME and not necessarily the condition of my home.

If you have a little bit of a notice be sure and light the candles and turn on your Christmas music.

There are a few things I like to keep on hand for these wonderful little surprises.

Ghirardelli hot chocolate mix. This is the best hot chocolate mix I have found.

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I add whipping cream such as Redi-whip and some crushed candy canes and it is a real treat.  I also have left the candy cane whole and placed it in the hot chocolate to use as a stirrer.

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Sometimes I step its flavor up a notch and add some of Starbucks peppermint syrup. You can purchase it at any Starbucks for $10.95.

For the tea drinker I love Peet’s Coffee Winter Solstice tea. It is such a wonderfully soft winter spice black tea with a touch of vanilla to mellow it out. Yum!! I will be right back, now I want a cup of tea!!

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Okay I am back with my hot cup of tea, YUM!! Now where was I? Oh Yes, hot drinks.

I also love hot mulled cider. I think  William Sonoma’s  mulling  spices are one of the best. Trader Joe’s has one that is also very good.

 A cinnamon stick added  will make it feel more special. I also add either a slice of apple or a twist of orange. So easy to do and it makes it feel more special.

Now if you want something cold and refreshing and very festive looking try a cranberry spritzer. I just use Sierra mist, cranberry juice and a touch of lime for a red and green festive drink!!

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If you add a festive red and white striped straw it becomes even more special.

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You can get 20 straws from Jack and lulu for $6.00!!

Now onto a little treat to go with all of these fun and easy drinks.

I love Trader Joes Pumpkin bread topped with a dollop of Redi-whip!!

It is so easy to make and if you have a little advance notice you can pop one in the oven and the house smells amazing as you greet your guest.

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I keep at least 3 boxes in my pantry at all times during the holidays.

The other treat I like to keep on hand is Trader Joe’s mini almond or chocolate biscotti.

I keep a festive red lacquered tray ready to go with all the essentials for coffee or tea. It is also really handy for my own daily use.
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None of the above holiday hints are earth shattering.  They are easy to do and  are all done with things you can keep in your pantry or refrigerator at all times.
I also like the fact that they are inexpensive ideas.

I hope this will help you with your very special drop-in guest. They are my favorite kind!!!!
“Enjoy the Process” Of:

Easy entertaining!!

Merry Christmas


Feathers Are NOT Just For The Birds!!!

Don’t worry! This is still going to be a Christmas post!!!! In fact, this post is going to be about what our fine feathered friends wear!!


A few years ago I decorated my friends home for a wedding shower that was held in the winter.  Instead of using the bride's wedding colors we used the colors of the season. Silver, soft blue and white!

One of the prominent elements in the decor was white feathers. They gave a snowy, ethereal  look to the room.  I used several of my clear apothecary jars and filled them with the feathers. It all really did look heavenly.

Today's post is going to be on using feathers in your Christmas decor.  If you keep reading to the end of the post I will be showing how I used feathers in this years Christmas decor in my own home!!

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This first image is a tree done by Sarah Richardson. It appears that she has used feather boas as garland. Very pretty with the touches of blue and silver. Keep reading and you will see how I applied this look in my home in a simplified way.

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The feathers you use don’t have to be soft and white. They can be bright and bold like these peacock feathers.

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How about a bright pop of red or green?

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Back to soft and ethereal.

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A collection of milk glass on a bed of feathers. So soft and pretty.

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I am so in love with this look. Call me silly, but I really do love this look. Just look at all the lovely textures in this image. I am on the hunt for angel wings for next years decor!!

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Gorgeous and elegant. One single feather and look at the drama it makes.

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Another boa garland.

A couple of years later I was looking at my guest room and just wanted to add a touch of Christmas. The room is a soft vanilla with a very soft blue ceiling. I have white molding and bedding.  I remembered the feathers that I used so I re-purposed them in my guest room.

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I chose to soften the hard edges of my unfinished window with a boa and a wreath hanging from a translucent ribbon in my guest room last Christmas 2009.

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To carry the feather element around the room I added a dove sitting on one corner of a picture with a soft blue ornament to bring out the blue in the ceiling of the guest room. Now lets take a look at how I used feathers in my Christmas decor for this year.

Feathers In My Home for 2010

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This year I chose to use the feathers in my entry hall. They reminded me of angel wings in a whimsical way. You also see in this picture my precious figurines of Mary and baby Jesus. In this section of my home I use all white, gold and silver. I like to keep it peaceful and serene.

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Looking into my living room you can see a small narrow tree in a white vessel decorated with a narrow boa and white lights. I had hubby hang my new sconces. I added a soft celadon satin ribbon tied in a loose knot to hold the silver and gold  ornaments. This room is actually a very soft vanilla with white trim and a celadon ceiling with white molding on the ceiling.

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I wanted to show this picture just because I love the way the chandelier reflects in my marble floor. You know how much I love a little sparkle!!!

"Enjoy the Process" Of:

Adding an ethereal or dramatic look with feathers to your Christmas decor.