December 2014 archive

Decorating for the Season

As my son was walking up to go to bed last night after a fun Christmas Day, he paused on the stairs to ask why we would keep up the tree after Christmas. It was a fun day, but a long day, and my legs ached from running about the house all day cooking and cleaning. What came to mind immediately was to say “because no way mommy works this hard to get things ready for Christmas just for things to come down the next day.” That pretty much sums up my approach to decorating for the holiday – to decorate for the season so that I don’t feel like things need to be taken down immediately after a particular day on the calendar. New this year were the details we added to the porch, which consisted mainly of a set of new pillow covers, with a couple given special touches with custom stencils. The images of the snowflake and deer bring to mind winter for me more so than Christmas, and I will happily enjoy the porch and its pillows after December 25th.
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White Christmas

And by white, I mean the button-down. We’ve had an unusual amount of rain lately in Minnesota, making for a very un-white Christmas.  It’s a bummer in some ways, but it was nice for ease of holiday shopping and travel these last few days. For this holiday look, I paired a simple white button-down shirt with a full black skirt and brightly colored accessories.


Banana Republic shirt | Trina Turk Skirt (and similar style here) | Rebecca Minkoff clutch | Ann Taylor necklace and belt (old) | Trina Turk shoes


Spicy Roasted Carrots – Adding Color and Kick

Although we’re hosting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at our house, my mom still does the lion’s share of the cooking, handling the main dishes while I take responsibility for some of the sides and appetizers. I was leafing through cookbooks yesterday morning to find a vegetable dish that would go well with tonight’s meal of grilled steak and potatoes. I wanted something that complimented the flavors as well as the colors. How things look on a plate is a very close second in importance, in my opinion, to how things taste. I landed on these roasted carrots (recipe link here), because of the reasons already mentioned, and because my dad has a serious love of carrots. Truly – I’ve never known someone to comment on a vegetable as much at that guy does about carrots. These have a bit more of a kick than I was expecting (likely because I used smoked hot paprika), but they weren’t overwhelming. With the limited number of ingredients and minimal prep, this is a quick dish to add if you’re looking to round out a holiday meal over the next few days.


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