Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Our first kiddo arrives today, and apart from a bit of baking, which she will gladly help me do...

(Remember my super-duper ideas for presents that will finally manage to blow my hubby away, for the first time in 40 years?  They are hiding under this quilt, in the back of my little car!  Shhh, don't tell!)

 well, I guess we're as ready as we'll ever be.  Up, up, and away!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Lex, making Burgundy Beef for us last Christmas -- she was a wee bit nervous about setting it aflame!
I woke up in a bit of a panic yesterday morning.  It must have suddenly come to me in the middle of the night that, though I usually just have my kids and any Christmas house-guests here for three or four days at most, this year is going to be a little bit different.  Lex is coming over early, possibly tomorrow or Thursday, while Austin is coming in at the last minute, but will probably stay through New Years.  Plus, we may have one or both of their special friends here for part of that time, and maybe our friends the Sanfords.  Anywho, the thought that jolted me awake that morning was, what can I feed them for all that time, without having to be in the kitchen, all day, every day?

We have a beautiful beef tenderloin that will be our main Christmas dinner, and it's so big that I should be able to slice several steaks off of it before roasting it, with which I can make John's favorite Steak au Poivre another night.  I don't mind cooking.  In fact, I'm quite fond of it.  I'm not, however, quite as fond of cleaning up one big mess after another, and I'd rather spend more of my time enjoying these friends and family, and not so much by myself in the kitchen (my kitchen only has room for one or two people at a time).  So, here's what I'm wondering.  What are your very favorite things to cook for a crowd -- easy things that you can prepare in advance, or which freeze well, so you can pull them out again later on and have a ready-made meal, or things from which you can use the leftovers to make something totally different, so it won't seem like you are eating the very same thing two nights in a row?  My sister-in-law Priscilla is a pro at this, I know, for when she still worked full-time, she said she only cooked from scratch a couple of nights per week, but they managed to eat quite well off of it all week long.  I'm hoping she will be the first to contribute some good recipes!  What about the rest of you?

Monday, December 19, 2011


I happen to know a very talented young designer, Alexis Lane of Lane Design Studio.  She made an exciting discovery recently, which she wished to share with you:

Growing up I heard more than once that I look just like my mother. My favorite story to tell is about a woman who stopped the two of us at a shopping center and said “Well don’t you two just look like Pete and Repeat!” I more than just look like my mother, though. We share quite a few personality quirks, one of which is that I get a little Color Mad myself. 
As a kid my favorite activities always involved paint, markers, or anything else bright and shiny I could get my hands on. When trying to figure out what career path to take without becoming a starving artist, it was Mom who steered me in the right direction with “Uh, Lex, did you consider Interior Design?” So, yes, I have a bit of a thing for color.
I hope you understand, then, when I say that I got a little misty eyed when I discovered the website Design Seeds. This website by Jessica Colaluca creates beautiful color palates inspired by photographs taken from nature and other fun images. The results are breathtaking. I have a feeling a few of these might work their way into some of my designs very soon! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I'm almost there, but not quite.  As soon as Mr. Santa heads off to do some Santa-y things for a few hours, I should be able to finish up, and then I can get this...
 and this...
 and this...
 and this...
outta my bedroom!