Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Sneak Peek at Our New Year's Eve Table: Happy New Year!

sparkle party dress perfect for new year's eve
For our New Year's Eve celebration, it's all about the sparkle and bling. I've been in a golden state of mind for sure! This look is the inspiration for New Year's Eve party outfit. Isn't is smashing? Love her wild hair too; so me!

A Sneak Peek at Our New Year's Eve Table: Happy New Year
Here's a sneak peek at what our table looks like:

gold themed new year's eve table styling
I found those bells(being used as plate holders) while thrifting about a month ago and they are perfect for "ringing in the new year."

vintage bell

gold theme for new year's eve table styling



How are you spending New Year's Eve? Whatever you do be safe and enjoy! What a blessing to be able to celebrate the fact that we are still breathing! New Year everyone! xx

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry, Merry, Christmas!


a favorite Christmas pic snapped at night of the boys by the tree that i shared on instagram

I am popping in to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I wish for you peace, love and joy this Holiday season. I made a video for you all to enjoy from the boys and myself. I am no videographer, but I wanted to show you a bit of our Christmas in motion. Enjoy!




P.S.  I should be back to post a few more times before the New Year. Merry Christmas everyone! Love and Blessings. xx

Monday, December 21, 2015

Recipe for Jamaican Rum Cake.




If you read our feature in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine, you already know that one of our Christmas traditions is to bake Jamaican rum cake also referred to as Jamaican Black cake. Today I am going to share a simple recipe, very similar to the one we use(via the NYT)  in case you want to give it a go. Ideally the ingredients are combined and left to marinate for a month or more but soaking the ingredients for at least 3 days prior to baking is fine too.




INGREDIENTS
2 cups mixed dried fruit (equal parts raisins, currants, prunes and dried cherries)
1 cup Guinness stout
¼ cup muscatel or fruit-flavored brandy
½ to ¾ cup dark West Indian rum (preferably Appleton, Old Oak or Cockspur)
6 ounces butter
½ cup sugar
2 large or 3 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons burnt-sugar coloring (available at West Indian and some Latino markets)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

PREPARATION

*Place the dried fruit in a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with the Guinness stout, the muscatel or brandy and 1/4 cup of the rum. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 days (and up to several weeks -- the preferred method). Check the mixture every other day: if the fruit has soaked up all the liquor, add another splash of rum or stout and stir.

*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

*Grind the fruit mixture to a mushy pulp in a blender or food processor. Measure out 2 cups of the mixture and set aside.

*In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

*Add the vanilla, nutmeg and burnt-sugar coloring; mix well

*In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder

*Add, alternately, the fruit mixture and dry ingredients to the batter, mixing until just incorporated after each addition. Do not beat.

*Pour the batter into a 9-by-1 1/2-inch deep round pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

*While the cake is still warm, splash the remaining 1/4 cup of rum over the top. Let cool. The finished cake is quite moist, almost like an English plum pudding. It is at its best when served a day or two after baking, and it will last for two weeks or more if kept in the refrigerator and occasionally topped up with rum.

Tip
To make the burnt-sugar coloring yourself, caramelize 1/4 cup sugar in a small, heavy saucepan. Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup of boiling water. Stir to combine. You will have about 1/2 cup of the mixture, more than enough.

Since there's rum in it, be mindful of the kiddos consuming it. It's great for parties and people who we've shared ours with always seem to like its rich flavor.  Enjoy! xx



Friday, December 11, 2015

Snippets of Christmas at our Home: 2015

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015
Hello everyone! For our Christmas decor this year,  for the most part I made do with what we already had. However, I bought fresh greenery like the wreaths and garlands pictured. Though I love beautiful things and I am highly visual, the focus of my Christmas has been about spending time with my family, being present in the moment, demonstrating kindness and practicing being grateful and content.  Shout to photographer, Lea Hartman for always capturing our essence so beautifully. 

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

I usually do a double wreath, but i went with only one this year and added a garland. It's simple, but this beautiful and when one has an front orange door, one doesn't need all the bells and whistles. 

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015
 What can I say, I have a crush on pink and it shows! I scored some chalkboard paper and let the boys have fun with them after wrapping; nothing fancy. I finished them off with some jute twine and twigs from a garland.

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015


Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015
the front side of the mantel

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015
On the other side, I showcased my lovely candlesticks with colorful tapered candles.

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

Yep, I painted the tips of some of these logs to go with the colorful candles theme above. 

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015


Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015
a miniature tree in the foyer

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

Snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015
I made this wreath above by adding instagram pics to the wire base and then wrapping a garland around it to add some greenery. A little red ribbon adds a simple finishing touch.


A diy alternative  Christmas tree made using gumballs
i most definitely get the Mama of the year award for this gumball alternative tree i made for Zion and Ian. I used my handy glue gun and meticulously adhered them. I topped it with an ornament that I had that finished it off beautifully.

Alternative Christmas tree decorated with pom poms
Using pom poms as ornaments, why not?  I've had that alternative tree for a while.

Alternative Christmas tree decorated with pom poms

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015
Dada hasn't been home, but hopefully, he will be back in time to work his magic on the chalkboard.

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

another alternative tree with pom poms and our traditional Village advent calendar. 

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015
When you're a military family, year round, you're reminded of how precious life is and to take nothing for granted. But, there is something so inherently magical and spiritual about Christmas that always make me feel even more grateful for family moments and reminds me of the importance of being present. Amidst all the tragedies that have occurred recently we could use a lot of Christmas in our hearts.

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015
This Kate Spade like tablescape came together using items I already had. My kitchen is pink, i already had the polka dot table cover and i added in touches of green with ornaments and candles. Of course there has to be bling and the choice of bling was gold.

Fold your napkins in the shape of a Christmas tree for extra holiday flair on your table.
i am so proud of these christmas tree napkins i made!

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015
Gotta have dessert and we love to bake cookies!

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015


snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015

snippets of Christmas at our home: 2015
I hope you enjoyed what I have been referring to as our Christmas with Heart. I will be sharing more on Instagram, so join me there.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone. xx


Photography: Lea Hartman 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Pantone's Colours of 2016.

 photographer Mikkel Mortensen

Yes, you read that correctly; colour choices! Pantone for the first time ever chose two colors as their color of the year;the blending of two harmonious shades – Rose Quartz and Serenity. It is no secret that I have a crush on pink and blue is right up there on the continuum of colors i adore. I have to say i am thrilled with this year's choice and this post will showcase my enthusiasm. We'll look at examples of the two together and examples of rose quartz and serenity taking center stage separately.












the design files





marie claire maison

These colour choices also exist cohesively with other colours. Are you as excited as I am about Pantone's colour choices of 2016?