Saturday, December 27, 2014

Table Settings ~ Blue and White Table and Cookies

Happy Saturday everyone.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  I spent my Christmas with a terrible cold.  I am just starting to feel a little better today.  Forcing myself out of bed, doing my hair and putting some makeup because I think it will feel help me get over this awful cold.

And so during the busiest of seasons, I took a moment to be still and enjoy a much needed break.  To enjoy a warm cup of Earl Grey with my hubby and delight in the flavors of my favorite Christmas cookie, Italian Anise.

Looking for a fresh and clean color palette, I decided to set the table with blue and white.  I guess with the warmer than usual temperatures here in the Northeast, my heart was yearning for a pretty spring day.  And it actually worked.  A white tablecloth, tulips casually arranged in a white pitcher and my china blue and white floral Devon Cottage china by Johnson Brothers did the trick. 


Such a charming scene...





What can be more relaxing - bracing blue and bright white.


















Italian Anise Cookie.  (See recipe below)



There is something about afternoon tea that can nourish the spirit and renew the mind.  It is a time  to slow down and enjoy a peaceful afternoon engaged in meaningful conversation and for sharing sweet delights with friends and loved ones.


Happy, happy Saturday friends.

Janet



Here is the recipe I used to make the Anise Cookies.  I found it on Food. com.


Italian Anise Cookies With Icing and Sprinkles

By Cookin'Diva on March 01, 2007
Photo
Photo by Cookin'Diva
52 Reviews
  • timer
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
  • Servings: 40

    COOKIE

    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons anise extract ( or almond extract)
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( may need up to 3 cups)
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 2 -3 tablespoons milk

    ICING

    • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 3 tablespoons milk
    • 1/8 teaspoon anise extract
    • food coloring
    • decorative candy sprinkles

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. For cookies, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add anise extract.
  3. Blend flour and baking powder. Start by adding about 1/3 of these dry ingredients to the butter/sugar in your mixer, then add 1 T. milk. Add another third of the flour and another 1 T. milk. Finally, mix in enough of the remaining flour until your dough is like a brownie batter (it should be softer than a drop cookie dough).
  4. Use a 1 T. cookie scooper to make simple round drop cookies - use wet fingers to pat any rough edges OR for an Easter-Egg look, roll 1 T. dough into an elongated ball.

Directions

  1. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes (they won't be brown but the insides will be soft and cake-like).
  2. For icing: mix sugar, milk and extract to make a sugar glaze. HINT: When I make the icing, I make it thick but then I microwave it for 10 seconds so it is thin enough for dipping. Also, I like to divide the mixture in thirds, and then add ONE DROP of food coloring to each batch (pink, green, yellow).
  3. Hold cookie in your hand and turn upside down so you can dip the top half in the glaze; turn over and immediately top with sprinkles so they will stick.
  4. Allow icing to harden overnight; then store in air-tight containers or freeze.

Monday, December 22, 2014

White Christmas Tablescape

Hello everyone.  And the countdown for Christmas is on.  I cannot believe that it is only four days away.  Where has December gone ladies?

I promised a few table decorating ideas for the holidays so today I want to share another table that I put together this weekend.  For me, a tablesetting is like a work of art.  A painting in which one can express individual taste, passions and artist flair.

For this tablesetting, I was inspired by winter's icy tones.  Winter whites, silver and sparkle.  Lots of sparkle.  I have to admit, I had lots of fun putting this table together.




A simple white tablecloth, silver plate chargers and white plates were the main characters of this well dressed table.








Silver and rhinestone candle holders add a little glam to the table.




A whimsical seasonal glass cloche accents each place setting.
















Another handmade napkin ring design which I created for this look gives the table an extra-festive touch and adds a bit of sparkle.




This year has certainly passed in a rush.  And it seems like the holiday season is high speed ahead. But I do plan to take a little time to take it all in, enjoy our family and be thankful for all our blessings, family and challenges that touched our lives this year.  I also want to thank each and everyone of you for all the love and support this year.  Your kind and loving comments inspire me and allow me to do what I love.  For that, I extend my sincere gratitude.

Merry Christmas to you all sweet friends 


Janet

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Little Pink Christmas Inspiration

Hello everyone...  I am taking a mini break here. This a very busy time for us all so I am taking a little time to relax and to play around with a few pastel Christmas ornaments that I picked up this year.  They won't be part of my Christmas decorations this year but since they were such a steal,  I just could not pass them up.  And since I find them absolutely irresistible, I pulled out my camera and snapped a few shots before I put them away.




This is a little tree that I purchased to plant in our backyard in memory of our beloved Niki who passed away this August.  The garden was his favorite place to be.




Vintage china showcasing lovely pink roses were perfect for my pink and white ornaments.  I am such a softy for anything shabby and romantic.


 

I love the soft and delicate colors of these ornaments. 














A small peek at my pink and white Christmas tablescape that I will be sharing  this weekend.  The napkin ring is a handmade design which will be available through napkinringbling.com.  A new on line store that my sister-in-law Lilly and I will be launching in January 2015.

What do you think about the design???  It is always a bit scary to dive into uncharted waters but life is about taking chances so please send a few great wishes and blessings this way. We are just testing the waters right now to see if there is a market for these pretty handmade pieces so I would love your input.  I will also share other designs in a future post.


Lots of hugs and blessings from here sweet friends.


Janet







Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tablescapes ~ Christmas Table Inspiration

Happy weekend everyone.  I hope you are all finished with your holiday decorations.  I am so glad to be done with mine.  I have now moved on to gathering ideas for setting the table for the various gatherings that will take place during holiday season.  And it is my favorite thing to do next to baking Christmas cookies.  

My first table is inspired by all the traditional festive colors of the holiday season. Reds, and greens layered on top of a simple creamy white tablecloth,  How predictable right???  As much as I love a soft and warm color palette, I do enjoy a table with the traditional colors of the season.  It just puts me in the Christmas mood somehow.




For this fun and festive table, I started with chargers purchase from the Christmas Shop last 
year.  The cream plates with the holy accents are by Grace and were purchased from Home Goods as well as the red Goblets. The green goblets were purchased from the Dollar Store a couple of years ago.   The napkins are from Pier 1 Imports and the little stockings are from Pottery Barn.
  



It is a table overflowing with whimsy and charm. .  Perfect for inviting friends and family for a relaxed and fun evening..




Snippets of holly tucked on the baby stocking enhance each place setting..





I love to entertain in this breakfast room because it has plenty of natural light.




This room has a round table accommodates four.








To give a little festive and whimsical touch to the napkins, I made a simple bow with red and white gingham ribbon to bring.

This is one of a few holiday table settings that I am sharing with you for a little inspiration this season.  I have a few more that I will be featuring within the next few weeks.

Thanks for visiting and may you all have a great week.

Janet  




Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Our Christmas Tree

Hello to you all.  I hope you are all having a wonderful week.  The weather has been a bit frightful around here.  Cold, windy and even a few snow flurries.   BRRR!!!

Today, I just wanted to share a few photographs of our Christmas tree in the living.  The pictures are not as clear as I would like them to be but I want it to share them with you all anyway.  I have always decorated our tree in the traditional seasonal reds, golds and greens but this year, I wanted our tree to match the soft neutral tones in our living room which are browns, creams and golds.  I had already planned on making the change last year so I picked up all the ornaments at Target during their after Christmas sale last year and purchased them at 60% off. 








The mercury glass ornaments and the ribbon add the finishing touch.  The ribbon I bought this year at Michaels, using a coupon of course. 




I love the added touch of gold on this ribbon.  And the rhinestone snowflake is an old ornament.








I even added willow branches to give it a natural feel.




And the star of the show, my new Downton Abbey ornament found at my favorite interior design shop.  It is perfect.




Thank you for stopping by today.  May you all have a great rest of the week.

Janet

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Holiday Touches




Happy Saturday friends.  It has taking me two weekends to get our home dressed for the holidays.  I like to take my time decorating.  Check inventory and see what new ideas I can come up with,  Re-purpose old decorations.  They are after all the pieces that bring the beauty and wonder of the holidays into our homes.  So on this rainy and cold Saturday, it was the perfect day to do just that.  




Decorations also help us get into a festive frame of mind  And this year, I wanted to give our home an old world feel.  



Soft tones, time worn pieces and linens vintage linens to create a few focal points.  Hints of the season without overpowering the scene.








Christmas stockings are great to decorate mantels, banisters and just about any spot you want to make a little festive.




I also like to incorporate little whimsical pieces to keep things fun and also to add a little conversation piece.  















I also love to make my own wreaths.  It is a fun way to add personality and warmth to our home. And because they make me smile.  I just finished making this cute snowman wreath for our kitchen door today with items purchased from Michael's.  All at 60% off and an additional 20% on entire purchase. That is certainly a reason to do a happy dance.  I will SHARE how I made this cheery wreath on a future post.


















I still have to share my Christmas tree. just need to finish and clean things up a bit around here.

I hope you are all keeping warm and cozy today.  Thank you for stopping by today.

Janet