Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

each Christmas, i pick a little theme for gift wrapping.

our packages are either wrapped in brown paper or white paper...this year
it will be brown paper, the usual cello bags,

(the red  heather yarn did not photograph red..)
and you guess it! Burlap!  my blog daughter Jami made the custom tags for
our gift packages. she's closed for Christmas, but you can visit her here next year!

yesterday, the Chocolate Gousse and i went out into the back yard to
clip some more fresh cedar. just when you think the chandie couldn't
be any prettier...i added touch of evergreen !


i am so very blessed to have found each an every one of you!
and i am touched by those of you that found me!
you have enriched our life here on 34th street!

Have yourself and merry little cozy Christmas!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Mama Biscotti and the French "T" above our fireplace!

tonight, i put on my apron and i
become Mama Biscotti.
i was given the name by Chrislyn's friend
Agnieska!  i bake biscotti year 'round...
it's my comfort treat!
at Christmastime...
i traditionally bake the loaves on
the 23rd of December. i slice and toast them
into cookies on Christmas Eve 
 and  on Christmas Morning,
after the Cinnamon Rolls come out of the oven.
when the family wakes to the smell of  baked
cinnamon, almond and anise seed, it's officially
Christmas here on 34th street!
"Mama Biscotti"

in a large bowl...sift 5 1/2 cups of
flour and 1 tbl baking powder...i give it an extra
stir with a fork to make sure that the "bp" is
thoroughly mixed in!

in a 
bowl combine...
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
 1 cup (2 sticks) melted unsalted butter 
2 tbl Anise extract
2 tbl Anise seeds
2 tsp vanilla extract mixed with 2 tbl water
2 cups of coarsely chopped almonds
mix it all up with your favorite big wooden spoon!
crack 6 eggs...beat them with a whip or fork...and
add them to the mixture stirring with love and that big wooden spoon!
i start adding the flour and baking powder mix by sifting it
into the wet mixture...i dust the on top like a snowfall, stop and gently stir to 
combine...dust...stop...stir...repeat until everything is combined.  i love a snowfall in the kitchen!
the dough is ready
to be divided in half, 
wrapped with clear wrap,
and to be chilled for two hours!

~ * ~

line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

shape each  half of  chilled dough into a log or loaf shape.

it should end up about 12 inches long and 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide.

set the loaves side by side making sure that there is about 3 inches

space between them

bake in a preheated 350 degree oven  for about 25 minutes...until the loaves are golden brown!

place on wire racks to cool.  once cooled, i wrap the loaves in tea towels

until  i am ready to slice and  toast them into cookies!

for the finale...

pre- heat your oven to 375 degrees.

slice the loaves with a serrated  bread knife...

place the slices side by side on a plain cookie sheet and toast for 

ten on a wire rack to cool. 

oh! i there's a ritual!... i have a fresh coffee brewed... 

i  am so ready for that warm first biscotti bite !

we don't have a mantle on our stone fireplace...but
there is a quirky little jagged stone smack dab in the center
where i always hang a wreath.

at Christmastime the wreath is made from Evergreens...

 {everlasting life and love} 

this year it holds

our sweet French "T"!
~ found here ~

Merry Christmastime!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

flying in the bright lights with Santa!

i can feel the momentum rising!
on Tuesday, Jay called me at work!
the words...
next, an email from Las Vegas...
( where he is covering Boise State's Bowl Game)

~fly here~

yes, my son is the one singing with the "wedgie"!

when you are at your desk and you are having 
one of your most out of control moments at work.
this is what reminds you...
it's all WORTH IT!

my son is flying in the bright lights!
working in a profession that he LOVES!
making every moment count, and sharing his joy !

he'll be home for Christmas tomorrow night!

Merry Christmastime!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

chic Christmastime...Chanel meets burlap!

oh my goodness!
 so sweet...

i have loved burlap for years...
i have placed touches here and there at 

this year, i will say it..i became OBSESSED with
washed burlap, thanks to Andrea and Donna!

so i blogged about it, and just about everyone that knows me
knows that i have wrapped it like a fashionable scarf, around our home!

Monday night, when i came home from work, there was a Christmas Bag
on the farm table. Mr D said, "It's from Jeannie" can look!"

on the tag it read...

Merry Christmas
 Lynne and Chris!
with a mutual love for burlap!

this morning in the workshop/kitchen mapping out the final tree day plan!

inside was the absolute COOLEST wine bag 
that I have ever seen!

the Santas were peeking out from under the chocolate dipped sprinkled pretzels.

 under the Santas and pretzels...a lovely bottle of
Muller Thurgau from the Willamette Valley!

do you know how your heart just instantly beats to hug an other's heart?

i met Janeen this past summer. she invited us over to her beautiful home
for wine with aperitif  and dessert. Mr D has known her since his school
days. they commute to work on the bus every day to the U of Washington.

i hope to have her to our home in the new year when the weather warms
to have wine by the fire in our backyard!

and...yes...i have a new OBSESSION. i am going to make some
chic wine bags in the new year!

celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving.
make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!

~Amanda Bradley


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

cozy Christmastime...

it's not's cozy here on 34th street.

my Mom and Dad dropped the antique pedestal table off last week.
it might be my very first chalk paint experiment in the new year!
in the mean time, i tossed one of my grandmother's linen tablecloths
over it. Grandma would cringe because i just pulled it out of a warm dryer
and did NOT starch, sprinkle and iron it! 

on the table are some sweet keepsakes...
the little snowman globe is also a music box. it plays,
We Wish You A Merry Christmas!
 you will see your creative hearts and inspiration represented in our home.
Laura (hand made bookmark), Donna (hand poured soy candle), 
and Maria (lavender pillow sachets) stand out in this photograph!

we have a "Christmas In The City village". i spread it throughout the
main floor of our home. the post office and the bank are displayed
atop our roll top desk...

and here's my dreamy  little 34th street neighborhood on the hope chest !

i won Laura's {Decor to Adore} give a way a couple weeks ago. a package filled with
 goodies arrived. i have been dreaming about owning a piece of  Andrea and 
Laura's Metis Linens. the lovely piece set the stage for the hope chest neighborhood!   
there is sweetness from Laura all over this post today.  

oh, oh...time to get ready for work! i don't want to leave "cozy"...quite yet, but i must! 
yesterday, Mr. D and i received the sweetest's a hint...burlap love.
i'll show you tomorrow!


Monday, December 19, 2011

a first peek at Christmas here on 34th street...

i'll try my best to give you a  proper view.
the weather has been dark so light is a challenge.
let's start where i finished...the dining room!

can you believe it's five days until Christmas and the farm table is clear?
...well,  for the moment! 

Saturday night, i finished the kindergarten angels.

on Sunday morning, i made a simple little garland with some found items
around the house. i used some of our vintage tiny tinsel garland
from Anthropologie.  i love it's nostalgic look!

this year i added silver jingle bells tied on loosely with hemp twine.
 ( i used the crochet hook to pull the hemp through the loopholes on the bells.)
i have a ton of upholstery ticking that i purchased two years ago when a fabric store
 went out of business. so... i made some little regalia flags!

the chandie holds the kindergarten angels, some paper graphic
(coasters) from CAKE Vintage,  a beautiful sparkly Angel card that
i received from Rachel at 425,  

"Silent Night, Holy Night"
and the amazing rag Christmas hymn rag balls
that were made by Marlene!

our manger scene is very sweet and simple. do you see the bunny
keeping Baby Jesus warm and cozy?

on the farm table...i decided to create a mini marshmallow world.

it's a perfect little yummy vignette for a few of our Christmas village people to
hang out. could that be Loretta Young and Cary Grant?
 the Bishop's Wife is one of my favorite classic Christmas movies.

~ * ~

you may be wondering...
why does Lynne refer to her little angels as kindergarten angels?
this morning, i will also show you the top of our tree. there perched
 are my two very favorite kindergarten angels.

they were made by Chrislyn and Jay in 1988  and  1989.
don't you love the big smiles? i love Jay's green apple cheeks!

the pretty ornament next to the angels was given to Mr D and i by his
mother Rita on our first Christmas.  she passed away soon after.
she was a nurse. she worked in labor and delivery!
 her precious gift has hung on the highest limb ever since.

today's post is dedicated  to Chrislyn and Jay's Grandma Rita
and  to their  kindergarten teacher,
Mrs. Hutchins. both have  passed from
this world, but  have touched our lives and the lives of many...forever!

"Always have room in your home for some 
 Christmas miracles!"

Merry Christmastime!