Thursday, February 27, 2014

Merry Christmas

On Christmas eve we had our traditional bread day.  Every christmas, my family makes greek bread and sweet rolls to enjoy on Christmas morning.  The greek bread is always the kids favorite because they get to shape their personal loaf into any shape they want!  Thomas and Sam were definitely the most info the bread making, they were adorable.

Everyone wanted one of Thomas' sweet rolls come Christmas morning.  He had put so much butter, sugar and cinnamon on his....

My mom always cooks the most amazing family meals.  Our Christmas eve feast was no exception, and the table decorations and place settings were fabulous.

Then we gathered in the front room for a concert from the grandkids and to sing carols as a family.  James and I sang together.

Then all the kids got to open one present before heading off to bed.  They were pretty excited, especially Sam ...

Our family is pretty awesome for too many reasons to even count.  One of those reasons is we all sleep in on Christmas morning.  We had to wait around for all the kids to wake up!  We enjoyed our lovely baked goods we had all baked together.  Dad made is special and amazing frosting to top our sweet rolls.  

Then it was present opening time!  We all gathered in the "Christmas room", my mom and dad's downstairs living room that is decorated in deep reds and greens, the most perfect place to host Christmas.

The Griffins had me this year, Nora address all my gift tags and I loved it.

Sammy came to Christmas dressed as a pirate and stayed in his very manly costume all day, until he got another amazing costume... pictured later.

My cat is the most thoughtful cat in the world

The Griffin kids had a very Frozen themed Christmas this year!  They each got a costume and how cute are they?!?  Jens made Sammy's Christof costume since they don't sell one in the stores, she is so talented!

And that was our Christmas!  I didn't take as many photos as usual, I was too busy soaking it all in!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Tis the Season

Alright, I have been lazy long enough!  Time to catch up!  Starting with the wonderful Christmas season.  I felt like I waited FOREVER for the Christmas season to start, and then it was over before I even know it!  Crazy how life sneaks up on you like that.  Here is an eclectic collection of events that happened during the fun filled, christmas season.

I love getting Christmas cards!  It is one of my most favorite parts of the season.  I like to keep up cards from past years and put the new cards I get from friends and family next to old ones they have sent me.  It's fun to watch my loved ones families grow!

Here are my decorations for this year.  I like to keep it simple, yet elegant.  My Christmas decor is centered around cream, gold and silver.  I find it so peaceful.

In mid December I enjoyed a different kind of white christmas, I got half of my house painted the most lovely, creamy shade of white.  Look at the difference it makes!  Ah, I feel like I can breath and am not trapped in a dark hole anymore.  It has just made my whole house so much lighter, cleaner, and more relaxing.  It is so wonderful and I am enjoying it more then I can express.

I loved the way my mantle turned out this year.  I made these winter scenes in some different containers I had around the house, and I just fell in love with them.  I thought they were the most adorable little decorations that ever were.  And so easy and cheap, I began by just making one, then I got addicted and ended up making four...

(I took all my detail shots before I painted, so unfortunately the nasty, indescribable dark color is in the background.  Pay no attention to it)

Louis loves to look at the tree. During the Christmas season, he changes his whole hang out routine to center around being able to gaze at the beauty that is our christmas tree.  I love my sweet, gentle giant, Louis.

Our wonderful family tradition of going to Vivaldi by candle light at the beautiful first presbyterian church on South Temple.  I did a whole post on this event a few years ago, to learn more about it and to see that post, click HERE.

We had a few wonderful snow storms this year.  The city looked absolutely magical.

A few pictures of my fur babies ... cause they are the best.

I went to see the baby reindeer and christmas lights at Thanksgiving Point with Lisa and Becky this year, I love those two!  Nicole was manning the "holiday lights shack" and was a complete angel and let us in for free and supplied us with some of their magical holiday glasses that turn all the lights into SNOWFLAKES.  I know, it is pretty awesome.

Jenny and I attended Margurite's enchating Holiday Entertaining cooking class at her beautiful home.  This was such a fun class, she taught us how to cater our own buffet by barely cooking anything.  She told about wonderful things to buy from Costco and Trader Joe's, that taste marvelous and require little to no preparation.  I'm pretty dang sure this information will come as a life saver throughout the years of holiday entertaining I am bound to do.

Her presentations are always so gorgeous

Our December book club meeting is always my favorite.  The buffet is always huge and filled with the most delectable delights, the discussion is always inspiring and intellectual, and we have a fun gift exchange!  Yes, I do belong to the best book club in the world.  Click HERE to go to our Delicious Reads book club blog, I borrowed a few photos of our December meeting from there, thanks Kelly!

This year we discussed I am the Messanger by Marcus Zusak.  I absolutely adore his writing!  My all time favorite book, The Book Thief, was written by him I can not even begin to describe how beautiful that book is, I might start crying just thinking of it (the movie did it absolutely no justice).  While this book is completely different then The Book Thief, it is no less of a fabulous read.  In fact, I read it twice in preparation for our discussion, it has so many complicated layers and different things to discover you can't come close to picking up on the genius of this book with just one read.

My contribution to the buffet was pumpkin gingerbread mini bundts with spiced cream cheese frosting.  Baking is the best!
I picked this gorgeous scarf and a fun
 CD at our Favorite Things gift exchange.  Major score!

I switched by hair up a bit this Christmas season.  Its pretty subtle (it's longer...) but man am I enjoying it.  My styling possibilities are endless!

The gallery was mighty festive during this Christmas Season.  We host our annual Minis show during December.  All the artists we represent are invited to paint miniatures to have in our show.  These little paintings make such wonderful gifts and decorations and are pretty reasonably priced for original oil paintings, at our opening we sold a good half of our inventory.  I may have even ended up with one....

This was the wintery view I enjoyed one day at work.  The masonic temple makes for some pretty awesome scenery for our gallery windows.

Angie discovered a SMOKIN deal on these norwegian Onepieces that we have been eyeing for a while!  So we decided to take the plunge and get some!  We ended up getting matching ones, I am so sad we don't have a picture of us in them together, that needs to happen sometime soon.  Call me crazy, call me weird but I am in love with this item of clothing.  It is QUALITY and amazingly comfortable.  Not to mention adorable! 

When the Burtons came up, the whole family had an evening out at the Desert Star.  We enjoyed a hilarious show while eating a very delicious dinner.  It was a very fun evening.

The whole fam also bundled up and went to see the lights on temple square the very first night they were turned on.  

Look how big and handsome my two oldest nephews are!  I love when they are in town, they are so much fun!

We also went to see the candy windows. Beth and I will be involved in creating these one day!

To warm up after a night out looking at Christmas lights, we came home and had an egg nog taste test.  I had seen so many different flavors of egg nog at Macey's when I was shopping, I just couldn't resist!  They actually all tasted exactly like what they say they are, the cinnamon one was the family favorite.

James!  He is so adorable and is getting so big!