Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Christmas Season in [iPhone] Pictures

I have been too busy to put together a proper post, so I thought Id better dump some pictures off of my phone just so you know Im still alive.  We still have some customers left but we are on the homestretch. Hopefully you will be hearing from me a lot more frequently.  Just like the picture says......

I LOVE how Christmas transforms the feel of the house.  Just makes me want to light a fire in the fireplace and curl up on the couch.

We bought a tree and put up our decorations the first week of December.

Mateo was a big help in picking out the tree and helped papi get it off the car and into the house.

On December 6th night we left our shoes out on the window sill for St. Nick.  You leave your Christmas wish list and Santa leaves you little treats in your shoe.  Do you guys do this too?

When I was little Santa always left us chocolates, nuts (with shells) and a piece of fruit.  Funny enough he is still bringing the same thing 30 years later. (Ok 40 years)
There wasn't much time for shopping the last couple months, but once when I stopped in the Goodwill, I found these awesome lucite (ish) reindeer (for $7!!)  and couldn't put them in my cart fast enough.  (I saw one at TJmaxx last year for $50!)

Of course, one hour after they arrived home one antler was broken.  (I won't mention any names) Nothing a little super glue can't fix. I hope.

And although I had put this gold flatware on my Christmas wish list this year, when I saw this set at HomeGoods, I had to go ahead and snatch it up.  An early gift to myself.

So nice, right?  After searching several more stores, I was able to secure one more box.  I now have service for 8 [at half price of West Elm] and I WILL be having a "gold flatware dinner party" to inagurate them into my kitchen.  Now...Who will be the lucky 7 to be invited?

Ernesto has been working now for a couple months straight and the boys are still crazy excited every night when he calls to say he will be turing onto our street.  We run outside and wait on the porch for him to toot his horn.   All our neighbors know when he is done working for the day!

Cookie time!

This picture looks really cute and fun, but those of you who have young kids know that baking is not the easiest when they are involved.  Still, we managed to bake several dozen of the best gingerbread cookies (ever!) and my long time favorite anise-almond biscotti. (I have been making this recipe for years and don't remember where it is from-I'll do a separate post for it.)

The Friday before Christmas I put together a nice little holiday cocktail party for some friends and neighbors.  I really wanted a chance to use my cute serving dishes I have collected the last couple years.

 Ernesto took the kids out one day and I was alone in my house from 10-4p.   ALONE!  Oh it was wonderful and I was so productive too!  (Note to self: Must schedule more days like that!)

Cheeses, nuts, olives, italian meats, dates wrapped in prosciutto,  caprese bites, cookies and sea salt caramels in dark chocolate.  After putting all of that together, I felt like I needed something hot.  I saw these hogs in a blanket and decided to go for it.  Andouille sausage wrapped in puff pastry with a mustard and indian chutney on top? Hell yeah!
Everything was super easy and by 7pm, I had a nice little spread going.

Since I had bought these brass and copper Moscow Mule mugs (another Homegoods find), it only made sense that we serve these at the party.  Lime juice, vodka, and ginger beer over ice. Darn tasty!!
Besides my brother Brrrian, we had some other guests over the Christmas season.

Brrrian brought Bruno (a Dutch Shepard) home from the Atlanta Humane Society 6 years ago and he has proven to be a perfect match to my brother.  He is a very very good dog....with very VERY high energy!
Basically a third kid for me to watch when the guys are working.  And although he makes a lot of noise (loudest bark ever!) and causes [more] chaos in the house, the boys love him.

Kyja was part of the Brrrian/Bruno Package deal!  What a HUGE help she was!

She probably cleaned our kitchen 3x day.  As if that wasn't enough, she also cooked often and really helped me out with the boys.  (Thanks again Kyja!)

Our neice from California, Cariza (aka: Caki) came for 10 days to visit and help me with the kids.  They LOVE her.  (me too!)

This California girl was looking forward to the cold weather, and she got some!! (by her standards anyway!)  She even bought a [one piece] sleeper just so she could be like the boys.

We were so busy with lights the whole time she was here, but we tried to cross off some of the things on her "must do" list.

Gladys Knights Chicken and Waffles and Highland Bakery and Martin Luther King Center to name a few.  The girls had a night  out at the Vortex and beers at the Porter.  Not on her list, but a must see landmark in Atlanta, Ernesto and I took her out to the Clairmont Lounge.
We had a great time and I feel like we got a lot closer.  Depressing Fun fact: she turned 21 a day before I turned 41.  Oh the difference 20 years makes! ha!

As usual, my parents flew down to help!  They entertained the kids/kept house while I was busy writing estimates, talking/texting with customers.

This year the Elf on the Shelf came to our house as well.

We named him Duende (which means elf in Spanish-Ha! very creative right?)  He was the source of mucho excitement at our house, although I can't say his presence and "watching" resulted in better behavior.

My friend Janie knit this adorable pom pom hat for Mateo.  It's so cute and he really likes wearing it.

Also, isn't he beautiful? (#totallybiased) He's going to be a real lady killer.

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