Spreading Some Holiday Cheer!

December 9, 2009

Ornament Seasons Greetings WM
I have to admit that it has been one of those years that I just can't seem to get into the spirit of the season. Can't put my finger on it, maybe it is just that life has been spinning out of control..... I have not had time or the energy to stop and really enjoy it all and quite honestly feel extremely overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done in such a short period of time.

We are typically completely decorated by Thansgiving, but that did not happen this year. So finally, last weekend I cleared our calendar and said that we were not doing anything or going anywhere until the house was decorated.

Friday night when I walked through the door after a long day at work, I saw three laundry baskets filled with neatly folded, clean clothes sitting ontop of our washer and dryer. My sweet hubby knew that I was going to be up to my eyeballs in holiday decor all weekend, so he helped out and did every last piece of dirty laundry in the house. Isn't he the best? Gotta love a man who pitches in with the housework:)

So Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early and headed down to the basement to dig through all the Christmas boxes.......

Before long, I was in the groove.....and next thing I knew it was midafternoon and I had finished just about everything except the tree.

We do a fake, prelit tree...... I LOVE a real tree, there is nothing better than the smell of fresh greens in the house, but I am allergic to the mold on them. Every year, without fail, I got sick around the holidays. The doctor asked if we had real trees in the house and when we said yes, he suggested we consider getting a fake tree. Sure enough.......he was right!! The fake trees are not quite the same, but they have so many really nice options out there. We bought a pretty one for our first Christmas in this house two years ago.....and so far, so good!! Although the lights gave us some trouble this year and Pat had to play with them for a little bit until we got them all to light up!!

I didn't go wild with camera, but I did snap a few pics of some pretty things.......

The Wreath WM
The wreath on the front door.... I love holly berries:) I also have plain holly berry wreaths that are hung inside on all the glass paned doors within the house.

Deck the halls WM
Nestled in the tree....some ornaments and ribbon......with white lights!!

Our mantel..... I love our "WISH" letters......and my poor stockings that I purchased on sale from PB just before Chrismtas two years ago.....still have not had them monogrammed......I am the worst with that kind of thing!! But in my defense, we do have stockings that have our names on them. Those get put out on Christmas Eve for Santa to fill:)

Wine Tis The Season WM
After a full days work, I was down to the last few ornaments and I poured myself a glass of chardonnay..... For some reason, in the end, I am always the only one left decorating the tree. I think after a few ornaments, the novelty wears off for everyone else.

I was actually chatting on the phone with my friend Marla as I took this shot!! We have a thing about taking pictures of our "adult beverages" and sending them to each other. Since we have more than few states between us, it is kind of our way of enjoying a cocktail together since we can't do it in person!!! So Marla....this one is for you girl:) If you look closely at my wine glass, you can see that it reflected the Chrismtas tree upside down.

As I promised, Here is a staple recipe in our house during the holidays. I get two turkeys every year from my company. They give every employee a turkey at thanksgiving and another one for Christmas, so whether we host the holiday or not, we always cook at least one of them during the holiday season. With a family of four, there are usually LOTS of leftovers. The next day, I usually make a big pot of Turkey Barbecue.

Here is what you will need:

Turkey Meat
Chicken Stock
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil

I usually try to shred and/or dice the turkey meat into bite sized pieces.....and I combine whte and dark meat. Basically whatever I have left. After it is all shredded, put it aside in a bowl.

Then chop one large onion and a couple stalks of celery and put aside.

In a large pot, melt about 2 TBSP of butter and 1 TBSP of Olive Oil. Once the butter melts, add the celery and onion. Season with Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until translucent. Then add all the turkey meat. Season with allspice, more salt and pepper and then add some chicken stock. Stir it all together and then add about 1/4 cup of ketchup and a TBSP of two of Mustard. Again, stirr thoroughly and simmer. The sauce is usually on the thin side because of the chicken stock, so I do one of two things. I either add a ladle full of gravy if I have it leftover from the meal or if there is no gravy, I take a TBSP of cornstarch and mix it in a small bowl with some cold water and then add it to the turkey mixture. After it simmers about 20 minutes, you will want to taste it to see if it needs to be reseasoned.

This is one of those recipes that I do not measure...... I eyeball everything, so use your judgement.

My favorite way to serve this is on a new england style roll topped with homemade coleslaw and cramberry sauce!! I know it might sound wierd, but it is SOOOOO GOOD!!! I made it with our Thanksgiving leftovers and I am sure I will be making it again during the Christmas holiday!! Maybe this time I can get a photo of the food before it is devoured by my family:) If anyone wants the coleslaw or cranberry sauce recipe, let me know!!!

Okay.....gotta run:) Time to go to work.......Have a great day


Love Letters To China said...

Wow it sounds like you are Super Woman! I hope you will be able to slow down and take some time off during the up-and-coming holidays. The small glimpse into your home is so beautiful. I too did not feel the holiday spirit so much this year. So glad you got passed it and were able to decorate your home and turn it into "Winter Wonderland"!

Kam said...

It all looks lovely! I second that I've had trouble getting it all in gear this season! But you sure pulled it off! I need to email you and get a quick tutorial on taking pics inside in low light...mine are very noisy and even a bit blurry. Your's are beautiful as always! Way to go mama! It's gorgeous! And yep, our mantle is sporting some after Christmas sale PB stockings this year too! LOVE a good deal! Mine aren't monogramed either though! Have a great Wednesday!

Jodee said...

You could certainly never tell from these pictures that you aren't in the spirit! Everything looks perfect. I especially love the WISH stocking holders!

Have a great day!

Marla said...

So so so pretty, my friend! And cheers! :) I love that the tree fit in your glass so neatly.

What are you going to do about stocking holders next year? You'll need FIVE!! :)

Kim said...

Isn't it nice to have all of the decorations up and then just enjoy them. The refelction in your glass says it all. I hope you take more time to enjoy them over the season. The BBQ turkey sounds great!

Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

I'm having problems getting in the spirit of Christmas also, but I think you have to go to at least one party to get in the mood. Your Christmas decorations look gorgeous! And your husband is the best for helping you out with the laundry.

day by day said...

Such pretty pictures, Lisa!! We decorated earlier than usual this year and I have really enjoyed that extra time to enjoy the season! I am normally very last minute...not because I want to be, but because of lack of time.

We do a fake tree, too and I love it! My hubby wants to go back to the real one that we did for years....but something about that mess makes me not miss
it much. : )

Merry, Merry!


Gail said...

Love the wine glass one Lisa...so pretty. It is great to have everything up and just sit and enjoy how beautiful everything inside looks!

Yummy sounding recipe!

Julie said...

Wow, beautiful!!!! I have got to try that recipe! I am due for a trip to the US to stock up on turkey. Plattsburgh, NY is about an hour away from Montreal - this is where I get turkey at .49 cents a pound instead of $1.97 a pound here!! :o)

Vivi said...

Beautiful pictures!

Wanda said...

Just BEAUTIFUL!!! Well, even though the Christmas spirit may have been late - it certainly DID arrive 'chez vous". Your pictures are a perfect reflection of the warmth you exude, Lisa.

Wonderful turkey leftover recipe. Hubs here is non-meat eater so we always have loads of turkey left-over. This sounds delicious.

And....ummm.....can we clone your husband? (Just an idea.)

Enjoy the snow!

Sharon said...

Very beautiful pictures.... especially the chardonnay ; )

Jboo said...

So very pretty! Have been feeling a bit overwhelmed and behind this year too! Everything at your house looks so lovely! Hope you have a great Wednesday!


Robin said...

I love your holiday pictures! I had such a hard time getting myself in the grove this year ... the weatherman scared me when he started talking about the Blizzard & we still had to cut our tree! I'm hoping to take some pictures soon! Take care & enjoy yourself!

Shelly and Family said...

Ok Lisa - I so need to know your secret - because I SO KNOW deep down inside you have special magical powers that help you do it all lol! We talked several times about the juggles of life: home, kiddos, hubs, and family...along with friends...and I must admit me being a SAHM, I still don't get it all done! So with that said and my motto is "Cocktails Every Night ~ and ~ Forget About All Those Little Things That We Just Don't {can't or want to} Get To"

Love you...call me when you get a chance ;)

BTW - GREAT photos!

Shari said...

Don't feel too bad. I'm still shoppping! I'm ALWAYS done shopping by now.
I'm not done cleaning - or decorating - not even 1/2

I have 3 papers due for my class by 12/20 and I haven't started any of them!

I have been WORKING...getting caught up and swear I will be done shopping and decorating by the end of the weekend.

Lisa said...

How sweet of your hubby to do the laundry for you! Your pictures are beautiful. We have a fake pre-lit tree too. We love it! Thanks for the delicious recipe, I may have to try it soon. : )

Faith Hope Love Photography said...

Looks like you have beautiful decorations!! I love following your various gorgeous pictures. I have been absolutely terrible this year and haven't even started decorating...wondering if it is even work it now...ha/ha

t~ said...

Just catching up with you! I love your decor and I am the worst at getting things engraved and monogrammed even when I purchase something with the fullest of intentions. This year, I ran into nifty silver letter pins that pin to the outside of the stocking.
& I love that you do the cocktail thing too...Col and I schedule dates where we drink & chat! It's a fun way to spend time with your far away friends.

Lucy said...

Your house looks beautiful! Doesn't it feel good once it's all up?! Love your wine shot...thought it was bubbly until I read that it was your tree I was seeing, very cool pic. Take care and have a good week!

Chasing Dreams Photography said...

So pretty Lisa...Love all the pictures. I'm happy you got in to the spirit : ) The recipe sounds yummy!!!
Love my PB letters and stockings...

Mei Mei s and Mayhem said...

So pretty.

That recipe sounds very good, will have to give it a try if we have any leftovers, which is not very much with our crew!!

Sylvia said...

I love that end of the evening picture of your adult beverage!

Steffie B. said...

Love all the pictures....perhaps I will try to post some holiday cheer as well....


The Gang's Momma! said...

Okay. First? The photography here is stunning. Just simply stunning. I could look at the exact same things and NEVER capture them like that. I LOVE these pics. My fave is the stockings. So simple and artful.

Second, I feel like a total slacker after reading this post. Tree is being purchased today, shopping should have been started by now (instead, I'm sitting here all congested and trying to motivate myself past the morning grumpies), and not even the OUTDOOR decor has gone up. Well, except for our 101 Dalmations winter flag and a wreath.

Ugh. I really need to get up and get moving. More coffee, please.

Finally, I think I will copy that recipe and try it out next weekend. It looks like a great use of left-overs. Have you been to the Pioneer Woman site lately? She's got some awesome suggestions for holiday left overs also. . .

jenbusymom said...

Okay, I'm caught up now, phew, great reading though! Your decorations look lovely and so does your glass, great effect of the tree in it! And after a day of decorating you deserved it!

CC said...

Gorgeous pictures!!!!!!! It doesn't feel much like the holidays to me either this year. :( With hubby in so much pain and no lights for outside and stress at work. Just not the same.

kerri said...

You have captured the spirit of the holidays beautifully!

Anonymous said...

Your decor looks beautiful Lisa! I hope you ands your family are enjoying the holiday season! It seems to be flying by this year doesn't it?
I'm making a Turkey for Christmas so I think I might be trying out that yummy receipe with the leftovers.
Take care and stay warm (brr it's a cold one today isn't it).

3 Peanuts said...

It all looks so beautiful Lisa. I need to take some photos of the decorations here too. I have been so busy that I ahve not just enjoyed them yet either...soon. The recipe sounds delish.

Have a relaxing weekend.

Michelle R Photography said...

Your home is just lovely!! You have such a flair for decorating. I love how your Christmas tree is reflected upside down in your glass of wine. And the Christmas tree light bokeh... beautiful!!

a Tonggu Momma said...

I'm struggling to embrace the season this year, too. But I love and adore your photos. You are so talented. And for some strange reason, I'm feeling the urge to go buy garland.

Jo said...

I've had trouble getting into the Christmas groove this year. I think it's because we have been running from one activity to the next. My goal this week is to slow down a little and enjoy some holiday cheer with my family ~ keep your fingers crossed :)

Have a very merry weekend~

fleur de lis cottage said...

Lisa, I just want to come over and hang out...your home looks so beautiful, warm and inviting.

Casey said...

I hear you on being overwhelmed during the holiday season. Some years it seems like a fool's game when your are in the midst of decorating. But then it is done and -wowza- it just lifts your spirits. Your decorations look absolutely lovely and I hope you are able to sit back and enjoy them for the rest of the year :)

Anonymous said...

Yum Lisa! I'm gonna have to try that! I make "Turkey Hash" and it's to die for. Sounds sketchy, but believe me, delish. Love all your pictures!! Show us some of your berry wreaths on your glass doors!

Rhonda said...

Lisa, I love your photography! Please come see me and teach me a thing or two!!!!

Dita said...

Considering me CHEERED with this post......you fed my senses AND my belly, what more could I want?

Your images are always so beautiful and I am dying to make this recipe.

Thanks for sharing all these GOODIES!



Shelly and Family said...

Hey Girlfriend - Just wanted to let you know that YOU are the lucky winner of my Mei Faith Studio pendant and the 20 Mei Faith Studio Dollars to use in the etsy store ~ so shop away! Let me know what piece you would like and I will include it in with the pendant! Call me later (if you can...) Love you and I am so happy you are the winner!

Faith Hope Love Photography said...

Just had to let you know that your special recipe is our christmas dinner!! Can't wait to try it out!! And you asked on my last post if I am using my wizards...yep I am, they are so much fun, trying to figure out this studio stuff because it is 14 below right now and not warming up here :) But it is another fun thing to learn...talk to you soon.

Unknown said...

Oh, I LOVE your stockings and your tree. And your pretty drink : ). We haven't decorated yet. I know, I know. It is CRAZY ridiculous. Christmas is NEXT week! I really must. I just can't seem to get motivated...

paige said...

your recipes are the best!!

the winter wonderland shots look like something from a wonderful catalog
you are so very talented!!

merry christmas friend

prashant said...

your home looks so beautiful, warm and inviting.

Work from home India

Bridget said...

Hi Lisa -

Glad you got in the groove and got decorated. Your hard work payed off and everything looks lovely!!! I especially love the picture of the wine glass:) Hope you are enjoying the season with those cute kiddies of yours!!!! (and not having to work too hard:)

Have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year!!!!!!


InsideTheMemories said...

Your blog and photos are awesome! I've been following you for a while now and wanted to finally say my hello! :)

You're great at photography.