Monday, December 24, 2018

12 Days of Christmas // Seeing the Lights ♥

Last night we made our annual trip to Edaville Railroad to ride the train and see the holiday lights.  I've been coming here ever since I was little, so this place holds many memories for me.  I feel like I've grown up here so its always special to bring John.  For the past few years we've come with my friend Julie and her family. The lights are spectacular! 
We arrived before sunset so we were able to see the lights come to life ♥

Hot chocolate and a treat are essential ♥

We also took time to go on a few Thomas the Tank Engine themed amusements. 
The weather was cold but luckily the sun kept us (somewhat) warm... : )

So here we are on the 24th! All of my "Christmas to do's" have been checked off my list! 
Thank you so much for joining me here as we count down the days till Christmas! 
I wish you all a warm and heartfelt holiday ♥
Please visit my friend Madison's blog today.  She's talking all about self care and doing an awesome giveaway.  You don't want to miss it! ♥
Self care is something we all need during this busy time.  So pour yourself something hot in a mug, get a cookie, cozy up and wait for Santa! 
Merry Christmas my dear friends! I love you all so much!!! xoxo

Friday, December 21, 2018

12 Days of Christmas // Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons ♥

Hello Everyone! It's day 9 of the 12 days of Christmas, and it's finally cookie day!
I had today off from work so I spent it in my slippers, listening to Christmas music, and making cookies.  After all the rushing around these last few weeks it was so nice to stay home today.  PLUS it was rainy and stormy out so it worked out even better ♥
I've been looking forward to making cookies all week.  I started with 3 batches of the raspberry thumbprint cookies that I made last year (click here for the recipe). 
This year I made some with raspberry jam and some with apricot ♥
These cookies are addictive! They are the most delicate butter cookie with yummy jam in the center. So delicious with a cup of tea in the afternoon. 
 Don't worry, I've set aside a stash just for me : )

In addition to the raspberry thumbprints, I tried my hand at this recipe for coconut macaroons.  They were super easy to make and only had a few ingredients (which I loved!).  I  have several coconut lovers in my family so I'm sure these will be a hit on Christmas eve!  After the cookies cooled I dipped the bottoms in melted chocolate to give them a little extra love!
My cookie testers told me they were very tasty! 


recipe from
2/3 cup flour
5 1/2 cups flaked coconut (I used sweetened coconut)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl stir together the flour, coconut, and salt.  Mix in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla - using your hands until well blended.  Using a cookie scoop  drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Cookies should be about golf ball size.  Bake 12 - 15 minutes in preheated oven, until coconut is toasted. 
My oven was exactly 13 minutes  :)
For the chocolate - melt 1 bag of milk chocolate chips over a double boiler until smooth.  Once cookies are completely cooled, dip bottom (flat side) into the melted chocolate.  Carefully lay back on cookie sheet to set.  I put the entire sheet in the fridge overnight.  Store in airtight container.
Tomorrow we are headed over to my mother in law's house for our annual Christmas lunch.  I'll be bringing a plate of these cookies for sure!

See you tomorrow! xo

Thursday, December 20, 2018

12 Days of Christmas // Vintage Hollywood Holiday

Hello Lovely Friends!
Welcome to day 8 of the 12 days of Christmas!
They are really starting to go fast now, aren't they? ♥
Tonight I thought it would be fun to take a look at some classic VINTAGE holiday looks from Hollywood in the 1940's & 1950's. 
I love looking back at this time period, especially the clothes, hair, and makeup.  Its fun to see old publicity shots of the era, holiday themed.  I mean, don't we all wear pink cocktail gowns to decorate the Christmas tree? 
Here is just a sample of what I found on Pinterest.  So many beautiful looks to choose from. 
These are a few of my favorites. 
Jayne Mansfield

Rita Hayworth

Debbie Reynolds

Elizabeth Taylor ♥

Doris Day


Bettty Grable

 Annette Funicello


Esther Williams
Ava Gardener
 Carol Lombard

Betty Davis
Loretta Young
I could go on forever.... : )
Do you love old Hollywood glamour as much as I do? It was fun to see all the holiday styles. 
Sometimes I really don't know what I would do without Pinterest! ♥
Well, tomorrow is Friday and it's the last weekend before Christmas! Can you believe it?
I have the day off and I'm planning on baking cookies so stay tuned for a yummy cookie recipe . It's going to rain all day so it will be a perfect day to bake.
Right now I'm off to make my nightly tea and get into bed.  I want to sleep extra soundly tonight so chamomile it is! I like mine with milk & honey ♥
Thanks for stopping by today.  I'll see you tomorrow! xo

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

12 Days of Christmas // Homemade Amaretto

Hello Friends! Welcome to day 7 of the 12 days of Christmas!  Today I'm sharing with you something a little different.  Alcohol! LOL
First let me start by saying that I am not a big drinker.  I hardly ever drink at all.  On the rare occasion that I do indulge, it's usually holiday time and one drink that I do enjoy is Amaretto.  I've never drank beer in my life (don't like the smell) and wine tends to give me a headache. BUT I do like the sweet stuff.  That being said, back in December 2012 I came across a recipe for homemade amaretto.  I had no idea how easy it was to make. I went out and bought some pretty bottles and made up a batch to give away as gifts.  It was a big hit!
For this year's 12 Days of Christmas I thought it would be fun to repost the recipe since some of you may have missed the original post .....7 years ago!
If you like amaretto or know someone that does, give this a try.  It's so simple and they will love you
December 3, 2012
Ok, I'll admit it.  I'm starting to feel a little stressed.  I try so hard to enjoy every detail of the holidays and in the process I end up driving myself crazy. Does that ever happen to you?  I still have so much to do and I can feel the days wizzing by, getting closer and closer to the 25th.  I need to chill.  To de-stress.  Should I take a hot bath?  Go for a drive?  How about make homemade amaretto? Bingo!

This recipe comes to us from Tracy at  As soon as I saw this I knew I had to make it.  Amaretto is one liquor that I absolutely love. I couldn't believe how simple it was and truly took no time at all.  Taste testing along the way was also interesting.  I had a fine night sleep that night! Stress free! Thanks Tracy : )

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups vodka
2 tablespoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine water and sugars in a saucepan over medium heat.  Heat until the mixture is boiling and all of the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and let mixture cool for 30 minutes.

Stir vodka, almond extract, and vanilla extract into the mixture.  Strain through a coffee filter for a clearer Amaretto and store in a sealed bottle.  Makes 3 cups.

You can drink the Amaretto immediately, but you'll find it gets better with age.

Sip it over ice or stir a splash into coffee or hot chocolate.  Put it in a pretty bottle and give it to a friend ~

Thank you for joining me today! Make sure you stop by my friend Madison's blog for some festive Christmas sugar cookies as part of her 12 days! I wish I had one right now! ♥
See you tomorrow! xo

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

12 Days of Christmas // Santa's Workshop

Yesterday I had the opportunity to volunteer at John's school for their annual Santa's Workshop.  It's a wonderful event that the school committee puts on every year.  It's designed to allow the kids to Christmas shop for their family and friends!  

All the items for sale are either hand made or donated throughout the year.  Their were hundreds of items to choose from and nothing costs more than $5!  Everything is also prewrapped, so all the kids have to do is put a name on the label.  

They are given a shopping list so they can remember who they want to buy for and they are provided with shopping bags.  The kids really love picking out gifts on their own to give to their parents, grandparents, siblings, friends....there was even a table with pet toys! 

The decorating committee worked hard the day before making the school cafeteria look like a winter wonderland! 

Santa was also available on stage to have photos taken if you wanted : ) 

We (the volunteers) had fun listening to Christmas music while setting up....and once the 9 o'clock bell rang the shopping began! 

Each grade (pre K - 8th) came down one at a time to do their shopping. 

It was so much fun to see them shopping! They love the power! lol 

View from my table.  I sold fleece blankets for $3.  

They were a big hit! I sold out! 

Each grade also had a group photo taken.  

John had a full bag in no time! 

(and also didn't appreciate me following him around with a camera...cause you know...6th graders are cool... ; ) 

I don't know who he was buying for here (because he wouldn't tell me : ) 

Full bags! 

This is definitely my most favorite event to volunteer for at school. 

Everyone has a real good time! 

So last night I took a break from my tea and had a nice big mug of hot cocoa instead.  I was still feeling quite Chrismassy from Santa's workshop and I felt like this rounded my day of nicely!!!