Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Eve Salad {with Apples, Oranges, Craisins, Almonds, and Feta}

Christmas Eve at my in-laws is a very casual night, with a big potluck, games, and Christmas carols. The past few years, we've brought this salad (a recipe from my mom), and it's been a huge hit. We usually have this in the summer, but with the dried cranberries and citrus, it felt festive enough for the holidays. 

Christmas Eve Salad
Fills 1 large bowl


6-8 cups chopped greens (I use Romaine and Red Leaf lettuces)
2 stalks chopped celery
1/2 bunch chopped green onions
2 chopped apples (I use Fuji)
1 can mandarin oranges
1 cup Craisins
4 oz. feta cheese
1 cup silvered almonds (can be caramelized)

For the dressing, whisk together:

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 T. chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

I could eat this salad every day, I love it so much. Almost as much as Aunt Karen's Christmas Eve fudge.

Hope you are enjoying your holidays!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sweater Stocking Tutorial

Sweater stockings have always been one of my favorite kinds of Christmas stocking. Their casual, cozy quality fits right in with my style. I've spent a long time looking for a set, and contemplating colors and patterns. I finally did what usually makes me happiest and settled on a neutral cream in varying textures. If we ever have another child, it's easy enough to find a cream sweater.

To make our stockings special, I decided to add vintage metal letters. I found a few at an antique store this fall, and recently found glass letters at Target (ornament section). I wanted to do all our initials in the glass letters-I love them so much. However... possibility of another child... matching is kind of out of the question. Plus, I thought the metal/glass combination turned out fun.

On to the sewing! I know these are the thing right now, and there's tons of tutorials out there. What's one more, right?

1. I washed and dried my thrifted sweaters.
2. I laid them out, analyzed the different knitting patterns, and planned a stocking shape around those interesting marks.
3. Snip, snip, snip.
4. I turned the stockings inside out so the right sides faced each other.
5. I pinned around the perimeter, being careful to match up pattern details.
6. I sewed a 3/8" seam around the perimeter, with *IMPORTANT* a long stitch (I set my machine to a 4).

7. I cut 6" of grosgrain ribbon, looped it, and sewed the bottom onto the top of the stocking.

I tied our letters on with another grosgrain ribbon in blue, to match the rest of the room. I figure I can change the ribbon color since I will inevitably change our Christmas decorations at some point in life.

We don't have a mantel, so I hung them from the stair railing.

Love the interesting details on this one. If you are going to make sweater stockings, take your time in finding just the right sweaters-it makes all the difference.

I mixed in a red berry garland, which I thought looked so pretty with the blue and cream. (Marsala on the brain, I guess)

We are missing a stocking. Someone was not a fan of the Target ornament version of his letter, so the search continues. Also, I'll need another sweater.

Like I said, casual and cozy. Perfect for us.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Our Christmas Decorations

This year, our Christmas decorations were on the simpler side, but I still want to share with you the touches around our house. 

I wish I could say decorating the tree with 3 kids was magical and stress-free, but it wasn't. However, even after a few broken ornaments and 7 dozen rearrangements by the baby, our tree stands bright and beautiful. And the kids are still raving about how fun it was. Phew!

The "presents" are books we open each night for this tradition. Some may think I'm crazy for wrapping all these, and I am. I'll take any excuse to play with pretty paper. Real presents will trickle in over the next few weeks. 

We have a mix of ornaments, but I try to unify the tree a bit with dried orange slices, lots of blue, gold, and silver balls, snowflakes, tissue paper poms, and paper tags. 

Our nativity from here made its way to the piano. 

Those cute little fingers had an unfortunate run in (shove over) with this Santa, but he still may be saved. He is from great-grandparents, and is a good fit for this house of ice-skaters.

I mentioned this fall that we decorate with a lot of garlands, since we don't have many flat surfaces (out of reach, remember Santa?). Christmas is no exception. 

Garlands galore. I think they make the rooms extra festive. 

The tree wasn't the only thing the kids decorated. 

Or, shall I say, undecorated...

I see you little girl...

I hope you've enjoyed my little tour, and hope you have a great time sprucing up your house for the holidays!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pantone Trends via Instagram: Marsala - 2015 Color of the Year

Have you heard? The color defining 2015, according to Pantone, is "Marsala." According to the institute, this color has universal appeal, is rich and dramatic, yet subtle and grounded. They predict it will be a staple in beauty products and bring warmth to interior products. As soon as I heard the news, I went hunting for it in daily life-via Instagram.
 Here's what I found:

Personally, I think it's a beautiful color, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it shows up in 2015.