Yearly Archives

2011

My Festive Front Porch

Put together a Festive Front Porch for the holiday season!

This weekend I put together our Christmas porch, so now the last of my holiday decorating is complete!  I’m loving how everything came together out here this year! The colour scheme is different than what’s going on inside, but that doesn’t really matter does it?! The theme is similar enough with the evergreen garlands, loads of ball ornaments and an ornament wreath. Pretty.  Festive.  Fun!

 Welcome to my home, won’t you come in!

My Festive Front Porch

Love, love the snow! I totally lucked out with this snow shot! The day after I put together this porch it snowed, and added the perfect finishing touch to my step!

My Festive Front Porch

My neighbour (hi Paula!) hung ornaments similar to these on her front porch, and I LOVED the effect! So I copied her.  Yes, shamelessly I did.  But aren’t they so pretty?!

My Festive Front Porch

My Festive Front Porch

I love evergreen garland and how it captures snowfall! And at night it looks gorgeous too, all lit up with red & green lights!

My Festive Front Porch

My Yarn Ball and Ornament Wreath ties everything together out here!

My Festive Front Porch

Like last year, I used my big flower pots as a base, and filled them with evergreen garland, huge ornaments, sparkly twigs and white lights!  A package full of sparkle! They look very pretty all lit up at night too!

My Festive Front Porch

That’s it! Thanks for stopping by my home, and for having me in yours!

Fruit & Berry Christmas Bread

I have been making this bread for all of my married life.  In fact, I am still using the same bread machine! Yes, this is a bread machine recipe.  Can it get any easier than that?!  I love a yummy, easy recipe… But this is actually the first year that I have not used the machine to bake the bread, and instead I just make the dough, shape it myself and bake it in the oven. I discovered that I prefer shaping the dough and baking it myself – I like the results so much better!

Fruit and Berry Christmas Bread
Print

Fruit and Berry Christmas Bread


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 tbsp soft butter
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 2/3 cup cranberries
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped apricots (about 10-15)

Instructions

  1. Put all of the ingredients, except the raisins and fruit, into the bread machine in the order listed above.
  2. If you are baking your bread in your bread machine choose the ‘Bread’ setting.
  3. Then add the raisins and fruit at the ‘Fruit & Nut’ signal.
  4. Let it bake!
  5. If you wish to bake your bread in your oven, choose the ‘Dough’ setting.
  6. After the dough is ready, remove it from the bread machine, and on a lightly floured surface, knead in the raisins and fruit.
  7. Shape your dough as you wish (I shape mine in an oval).
  8. Grease a cookie sheet, and put the dough onto the pan.
  9. Now you have to let the dough rise before baking:
  10. To do this, turn on your oven for 1 minute at 200 degrees, then immediately shut it off.
  11. Then place your dough in the oven and let it rise until it doubles in size (about 1 hour).
  12. After this time, remove the dough from the oven, then preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  13. Bake your bread for 20-25 minutes.


 

(Recipe from the Safeway Select Magazine)

Look how delish this is! Go ahead, make some!

Fruit and Berry Christmas Bread

Have a delicious day!

Starbucks Inspired Christmas Ornament Wreath

I wanted to share with you one of my most favourite wreaths ever! I made this one a few years ago, after I saw similar ones in Starbucks. I remember when I saw these my heart did a little pitter patter! So I sipped my eggnog latte while I studied them very carefully, then I ran, literally ran to Michaels to buy the supplies to make one for myself.

Starbucks Inspired DIY Christmas Ornament Wreath

Starbucks Inspired DIY Christmas Ornament Wreath

Putting together a wreath like this, really is quite easy.  All you need are a few simple and easy to find supplies, and about 1 hour, or more depending on how fast you want to work.  So get your glue gun ready, it’s time to make a wreath!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 grapevine wreath
  • ~ 40 shatterproof ornaments in red – I used shiny, glittery and matte balls
  • 2 sizes of styrofoam balls, about 35
  • 2 shades of green yarn
  • glue gun

Here’s how to:

  • Wrap the styrofoam balls in the yarn.
  • Then with your glue gun, randomly glue on the balls.  Go wild!
  • Tip!  I find it easier to glue on the ornaments when I hang the wreath on a door first.  That way you can see what you’re doing a lot easier.
  • Yes, it’s really that easy!

Love it so much! And it looks so pretty and festive on my Christmas porch! The great thing about this wreath is that you can make it with any ornaments of any colour…tailor it to your Christmas decor!

More Christmas Wreaths to Make:

– – – –

My Holiday Home

The house is all decorated and now it’s time to just sit back and soak up the holiday season!
I love everything about this time of year:  the decorations, the music, the concerts, the cookies, the malls, the parties…
…it’s all just so fun!
 – – – 
Although, I do have to admit that I am a teensy stressed, as I haven’t even completed 5% of my shopping.
Time is just scooting by so fast, and I need to get organized!
 – – –  
But for now, I will pour myself a Bailey’s on ice and sit back and enjoy my holiday home!
Come have a look!
  – – –  
Holiday Home Tour {A Pretty Life}
 – – –  
Ever year we buy a real tree – we love the smell and everything about having a real tree.
The needles and the mess never bother me…it’s all just part of the charm of the season!
And we always try to buy a big tree – at least 7-8 feet…so it always takes up a huge chunk of our living space!
 – – –   
Colourful Christmas Mantel
 – – –  
Because our tree is such a focal point in this space I try to keep the mantel very simple.
I could do so much more with it, but it would just get lost next to the tree.
So all I have done is add an evergreen garland with white lights, and hung the same ornaments that are also found on my staircase garlands and on my wreath.
  – – –  
Colourful Christmas Mantel
Colourful Christmas Mantel
 – – –  
This year I did add a new wreath.
I think it added just the perfect finishing touch!
It ties together the mantel, the tree and the garlands on my staircase.
I actually feel like, for the first time in many years, my Christmas decorations actually all match…
…they were having a bit of an identity crisis over the past years…
I wouldn’t say I have a theme yet, but it works for me.
  – – –  
 – – –   
Colourful Christmas Tree
 – – –  
This is our tree!  So pretty, and SO full of ornaments!
I don’t really have a theme for my decorating, but all of our ornaments mean something…
…they were all bought for each other over the seasons, and they are cherished and adored.
 – – –   
If you follow me on facebook or twitter, you probably already know that our tree actually fell over this year…
I was devastated.  Honestly.
It fell into our coffee table, and smashed.  Smashed.  Ornaments everywhere.
I did manage to salvage most of them, but we did lose a couple of
very very cherished ornaments.
Teardrop…
  – – –  
 – – –  
One other space I love to decorate is my coffee table.
I change it up for each season!
 – – –   
Colourful Christmas Staircase
 – – –  
Here are my staircase garlands.
I just wrapped them in evergreen garlands and white lights, and hung a tonne of ornaments!
 – – –   
All of the ball ornaments are shatterproof – not a glass ornament in sight!
And this is a must for our house!  Every time, and I mean every time, someone goes up or down the stairs, at least one or two of these balls goes bouncing across the floor.  Even as I write this I can see 3 ornaments on the floor.  Can you imagine if they were glass?!  Shudder.
  – – –  
Colourful Christmas Staircase
 – – –  
A pretty close up.
The staircase looks so so sparkly and pretty at night!
 – – –   
How is your holiday home decorating coming?
 – – –   
Signature

Cutie Pie Calendars for December

Wow, it’s December!
I know I say that every month, but wow does time go by fast!
Here is my round up of desktop calendars for December!
Just click on the images to get to the download!
Enjoy!
As always, please take care and be aware when downloading.  I can’t be responsible for any problems that may arise!  Thanks!

Orange & Clove Pomanders

Hello!  So, it’s December 1st.  Whoa.
There are so many things I want to make and bake this time of year, so I’ve been busy…
…and maybe just a teensy bit frazzled.
– – – – 
Yesterday, amidst all the chaos and mess that is my home right now,
I decided that I needed to make these orange and clove pomanders!
Why not add more mess to mess…it’s all part of being creative right?  Right?
– – – – 
Orange & Clove Pomanders {A Pretty Life}
I got the inspiration for these pretty pomanders from my lovely sister!
She spied some on an outing, and made some for her home, then passed along how lovely they are!
(She has an amazing sense of style & I admire her flair so much!)
– – – – 
Aren’t they so pretty?!
And they smell amazing.
You’ve just got to love an easy, pretty and festive holiday decoration!
Chances are you have all the materials in your home already!
Love it!
– – – – 
– – – – 
All you need:
oranges
cloves
pretty ribbon
toothpick
  • First I wrapped the oranges in some ribbon, and tied them up with a bow.  Just to make them pretty.
  • Then I added the cloves at evenly spaced intervals.  I started out just pushing the cloves themselves into the orange, but found it a little hard.  So then I decided to use a toothpick to make a hole first, then I pushed in the cloves.
  • Done.  Yes that’s it.

– – – – 

Orange & Clove Pomanders {A Pretty Life}
– – – – 
Mmmm, they smell so yummy!
– – – – 
Orange & Clove Pomanders {A Pretty Life}
– – – – 
And look so pretty!
 
Simple.  Inexpensive.  Gorgeous.  And so festive!
What are you making today?
Signature