Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas home tour 2014- part two

Come on in, take a look around. It's a blue and green theme with a pop of pink.  The entry way is decked with mini trees. A miniture blue tree takes center stage while an ornament tree, yarn tree, and button tree flock the left.  On the right are some glass pebble trees and an old ceramic tree. I previously used these trees in different places and ways.

We took a look at the dining room table last week. It's a blue and green winter wonderland tablescape

Come a little further in. We'll sit by the fireplace and take in the glow of the tree. The garland for the mantel was purchased this year from Michael's and the stockings came from the Target Dollar Spot.

More of the handmade trees deck the mantel. The candy trees were previously used in a tablescape.

The ornament topiary is out in the morning room again and the windows are decked with wreaths, all made a few years ago.

Hope you enjoyed the tour. Many of you have all ready started the celebrations and more will start tomorrow. I hope you all enjoy a time of peace and rest with family. Merry Christmas!

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas home tour 2014- Part one

Welcome to my little Christmas home tour. I know I'm way off schedule and most have had home tours up for a bit now, but I still wanted to share.
We will start outside. I hope it stops raining soon so I can get a few shots of the lights at night, but for now this will do. We used lots more colored lights and color this year versus years past with white lights. Hubby fell in love with this wreath at Michael's and the colors really set of the theme and color scheme.

I had to have this swag. It was on sale for 50% off at Michael's and if I had wanted to make one, I could not have bought the materials for the price I paid. I had another coupon to stack on top of the 50% off. I didn't make any new decorations this year, just bought a few new pieces and used things from years past.
Let's sit for a while on the porch. I put out some pillow and a fleece blanket (thrift store find) to make it cozy. To add a little more color, I put some ornaments on the outdoor tree. You may have noticed above that I added ribbon to the entry trees too. I really wanted to bring out the color this year.

I also changed out the ribbons on the outdoor wreaths. I had not used mesh ribbon until now, but I'm in love. There may be mesh ribbon projects in the future.

Well that's it. Next time we'll see what's inside. I decided to break up this little tour into two parts to avoid picture overload.
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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gluten free (almost Paleo) Christmas cracker candy

 I stumbled across a recipe for a Christmas candy made with just saltine crackers, brown sugar, butter, and chocolate chips on the web. It sounded like something that I wanted to try but we now eat 100% gluten free and about 80% Paleo since we discovered that the hubby has some major sensitivity to gluten and corn. He is also sensitive to butter. The Paleo diet overall makes us feel better and controls some health issues for us. But every now and again, we like a treat.

So I set out the make this "crack" candy (as some call it) in a version we could eat. It took some trial and error. Just FYI, coconut sugar and ghee do not mix well. Since the purpose of the brown sugar and butter was to make a caramel like substance, I made myself some caramel sauce following this recipe and proceeded with my Christmas cracker candy. The sauce recipe only make a little bit so it was necessary to double the ingredients.

Here is my final version:

1 box Organ rice crackers
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1 cup coconut milk
4 tablespoons water
2 tsp vanilla
1 bag Enjoy life chocolate chips (dairy free)

Grease a jelly roll pan (I used coconut oil). Line the pan with the rice crackers. Prepare caramel sauce by bringing water and coconut sugar to a boil. Add coconut milk and vanilla and cook about 10-15 minutes until it thickens and turns darker brown. Stir constantly.

Pour sauce over crackers and pop into a 425 degree preheated oven for 3 minutes. The sauce should be bubbly at that point. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crackers and sauce. When the chips begin to melt, spread out the chocolate.

Put the pan of crackers in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Break apart your mixture and enjoy.

I don't get any affiliate rewards from the link to the crackers at Vitacost but if you sign up to shop there through THIS LINK, we both get at $10 credit on a $30 purchase. I love shopping there. Lots of gluten free, dairy free, and generally healthy items.  You can also earn cash back at Vitacost through Ebates. (that's my referral link where I can earn extra credit for participants who sign up and make qualifying purchases. I've gotten about $50 back from my regular shopping through Ebates so far.)

Thanks for obliging my affiliate plugs and self promotion.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winter wonderland tablescape

Where did the last three months go? And how did it get to be Christmas next week?!! I'm sorry that I haven't made an appearance in the last three months. Life just got too busy to keep up here. I haven't had time to craft and no crafts mean no posts for me. 

I haven't even made any gifts or done any Christmas crafts this year. All gifts were store bought and I used decorations made in years past. 

Today I'm sharing my winter wonderland tablescape. I used a combination of blue ,white and green. I kept it simple and used a hurricane, bowl, and cloche filled with glass ornaments as a centerpiece. 

Each place setting has a snowflake ornament (likely purchased at Dollar tree, Walmart, or Target I the past) and new snowflake placemats purchased at Pier One.

I used these adorable penguin salt and pepper shakers purchased at Target last year. I think they go perfectly with a winter wonderland. I kept everything fairly simple but I'm pleased with the results. Sometimes simple is best.

Linking up with Between Naps on the Porch and