Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Guest Tour

My friend Phyllis is a creative genius when it comes to decorating, and she really outdoes herself at Christmas. Honestly, I've visited stores that weren't as well decorated as Phyllis' house. When I visited her house last week, she graciously agreed to allow me to photograph and show her home, and in fact even sent me some additional pictures that she had taken. As pretty as the pictures are, just know that pictures do not do her house justice!

We'll begin our tour at the front door. So simple, but elegant and oh, so festive!

These are the French doors going into her sun room. She is a real estate agent, so she has collected house ornaments over the years. She has them displayed over the doorway in a beautiful, foofiied garland!
Isn't that tree grand?

This is the mantle in the sun room. She has two trees in there this year, all done up in shades of fuchsia, purple and silver. Gorgeous.
This is the top of her china cabinet in the dining area.

And her beautiful staircase treatment:

This is one of her whimsical trees...she also has quite the Santa collection.

Another picture of that gorgeous tree...sorry for the randomness of these pictures...I'm still not great at uploading stuff in the proper order!

This is the mirror in the powder room. The POWDER ROOM, people. It is absolutely beautiful.

I hope you enjoyed touring my sweet friend's home. I do have some more pictures that I will post later. Thanks so much, Phyllis!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Open House

Today is the Holiday Open House hosted by Kimba at A Soft Place to Land.

The rules were pretty simple...just post anything holiday related and link it back to her blog! So, I thought and thought...what to do? what to do? Then, while thinking about holiday menus, I remembered how good and easy this is, and how it's become a Christmas Eve tradition for me to make this:

It's Cathy's Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding!

12 cinnamon rolls, chopped into bite-sized pieces and allowed to dry for about an hour

1/2 cup sugar

4 beaten eggs

4 cups milk, cream or half and half (or a combination)

1 stick melted butter

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Put the bread cubes into a buttered or sprayed large casserole dish or a 13x9x2 baking pan. Mix together the sugar, eggs, milk and butter and spices, pour over bread. Let it set for about 30 minutes. Place the baking pan into a larger baking pan, and carefully pour hot water in the larger pan, until the water reaches about half way up the sides of the smaller pan. Put in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. I serve mine with whipped cream or a sauce of melted butter, powdered sugar and a little rum or rum extract, all whisked together and poured over the pudding while it's hot. Oh, so good!!


*Use French bread, cubed, and allowed to dry for about an hour.

*Use flavored liquid coffee creamer in place of the about half of the milk. Hazelnut is yummy, and so is caramel vanilla.

*Use eggnog instead of about half the milk, and replace the cloves with nutmeg.

*Use croissants or donuts instead of most or all of the bread

*You could add any dried fruit you like-apricots, raisins, cranberries would all be good.

I love bread pudding, and it's one of the few desserts that I don't mind making. I love to cook, but desserts are not my thing! Isn't that weird?

Thanks for the opportunity to spread a little Christmas cheer, Kimba!! Be sure to check out all the other blogs who are participating too!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Home Tour tomorrow!

Don't forget to check out Pumpkins and Reindeer for the home tour! And then hop right back here Tuesday for the Holiday Open House!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oohh, A Holiday Open House

Kimba over at A Soft Place to Land is hosting a Holiday Open House next week, and I've signed up to participate. It'll be the day after the virtual Holiday Tour of Homes we are doing at Magical Holiday Home. I'm hosting that one, over at Pumpkins and Reindeer, but I've linked this blog to Kimba's, just to, you know, spread around the holiday cheer!

Now, what to post? Kimba said that it can be anything...a recipe...a picture...some decorating tips...hmmm....

Maybe a picture from last year of my hall tree...

Or maybe my festive Santa and snowflake mantle from last year...

Or my village display (please ignore the ugly showing of cords...I did fix that after I took this picture, but neglected to take a new picture) from last year.....

Or the centerpiece we created for a ladies' brunch at my sister in law's church....

....or, maybe, just maybe...something new from this year! Stay tuned to see what I come up with! I really do have a plan....this is just to tease you a little! I just love a Holiday Open House, don't you??
What are you up to today? Only 16 more days until the Big One!!