I think I’ve mentioned the City Flea before. But I also think I failed to mention exactly what it is, and how awesome it is.
This morning, we woke up to this!
Cincinnati rarely sees snow at Christmas, much less in the entire month of December, so I’ll take a White Day-After-Christmas if that’s what I can get. Plus, it really helps my case for staying in my pajamas all day today.
We had a wonderful holiday; the past 5 or so days we’ve been going non-stop with holiday dinners, parties, post-party cleaning, food prepping, family time, etc. I’ll back up and start at the beginning to give you all a recap of my very merry diy’d Christmas!
On Saturday, we hosted some couples for dinner. We got to use our dining room for the very first time since we moved in! Yea! Only took a year, haha. We don’t have a formal dining room set, so we used two folding tables instead! I put the table centerpieces together out of things I already had around the house: hurricane vases, ornaments, festive berry sprigs, loose tinsel, snowflakes, etc. I put a clay lollipop at each place setting in lieu of a place card, and asked everyone to take them home with them. I got 2 red paper tablecloths at Target for about $3.50 a piece.
I like to cook most/all of the food myself when we have parties versus getting pre-made meals or asking everyone to bring dishes. I just think if you’re invited to someone’s house for dinner, you should be able to go and enjoy yourself without worrying about bringing food along, keeping it hot, etc.
This was our menu for Saturday:
Appetizer: smoked sausage, garlic and herb cheese spread, olive tapenade, crackers, and cashews.
Main Course: mixed greens salad with toasted pine nuts, dried cherries, fresh parmesan and balsamic vinaigrette; baked salmon with herb seasoning (a “coastal blend” purchased from a local spice shop); and orzo with pesto and peas.
Dessert: homemade truffles and peppermint bark. Here’s my truffle assembly line: chilled ganache, toppings (chopped pecans, pistachios and cocoa powder) and a clean baking sheet to set them on!
(Scroll to the end of this post to find links to the recipes I used)
On Sunday, we celebrated Christmas with Tom’s parents. In year’s past, we celebrate on Christmas Eve, after the larger Kennedy family gathering. But with the new pup in the house, we decided to space things out a bit this year. We even took Molly with us to Tom’s parents’! She was pretty well behaved, and by the end of the night, had shredded a lot of wrapping paper. Girl loves to shred paper.
On Monday, we went to Christmas Eve Mass and then to the Kennedy family gathering.
On Tuesday, we hosted Christmas for the first time! My parents came over early in the day for brunching and gifting; then my extended family came over later in the afternoon for dinnering and gifting. Then we cleaned up real quick and went to Tom’s Grandma’s house to see his mom’s side of the family. Whew! Hence, why I’m staying in my pajamas all day today.
Here’s our Christmas Day Brunch menu:
Spinach, Bacon, and Red Pepper Quiche with Sharp White Cheddar
Portobello and Crimini Mushroom Quiche with Apple-Smoked Gruyere
Maple and Brown Sugar Sticky Biscuits
And some shots of the day’s various festivities:
Yes, those are official Clark Griswold Moose Mugs! Tom’s parents gave them to us. They are just as awesome in person as I could have imagined them to be!
Molly opened her own gifts! Smart girl shredded the paper, then plucked out her toy (a squeaky gingerbread girl), and started playing! I got to clean up her soggy paper shards.
Tis the season for owls! I got this awesome owl stuffie (from Kohls), an owl ornament, and an owl tealight holder. My family knows me well…
For out Christmas Day table, I changed out the table cloth (another paper find from Target; this one’s got a bit of Scandinavian flair!), and added paper trees underneath the clear plastic plates for a bit of color.
I added some other decorations around my chalkboard-inspired painting.
And lastly, the coolest gift I received, from the most awesome husband in the world 🙂
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with family and friends!
Recipes via: Coastal Blend Seasoning / Pesto Sauce / Homemade Truffles (I rolled mine in cocoa powder, chopped pistachios and chopped pecans)/ Peppermint Bark / Basic Quiche (I always reference this for baking temp, time, and the number of eggs; I usually skip the half-and-half because Tom is lactose intolerant) / Sticky Biscuits
I’ve been spending a lot of time recently on Etsy, searching for a few special prints to include in our family room gallery wall. In my hunt, I came across artist Jessica Durrant, and her gorgeous watercolors.
My absolute favorites are her “Wanderlust Inspired” travel illustrations. I just think they are incredible – the colors, the subject matter, and the beautiful drips and smudges that just accent the hand-done quality of her work.
I did inquire about having a custom watercolor done of the Cincinnati Skyline, but it was a bit more than I want to spend on this project. Maybe in the future… for a special occasion or gift…
See all of Jessica’s beautiful prints in her shop.
As much as a long drive home can be boring, tedious, and literally painful, I always love when you get the first glimpse of “home.” Whether it’s a familiar highway exit, a “Welcome to ___” sign or, in our case, a view of the city skyline, there’s always something special that signifies what’s near and dear. Tom and I even went out of our way (kind of) to make sure we crossed the Ohio River to catch this glimpse of the skyline – we both agreed it was more eventful than taking the back-roads route home.
When we got home, I was excited to find that my veggie garden seems to be picking up. It’s the end of August and I’ve only harvested 2 cucumbers and 1 lonely little strawberry!But I was able to pick this assortment this week:
Yep, that’s a cantaloupe! I don’t think it’s quite ripe yet, but I’ll give it a couple of days on my kitchen counter and hopefully it will be ripe enough to eat! I can’t remember what type of tomatoes those are. I thought the smaller two were Romas, but they might just be some kind of salad tomato. I think the larger two are Brandywines. My notes got all jumbled when I transferred my seedlings into the ground. I’ll have to do a better job of tagging my plants next year!
What do you have planned for your weekend? I think I’ll be making some kind of tomato salad. And hopefully enjoying some fresh cantaloupe!
(You can follow me on Instagram @onuwriter06)
Ok, we don’t really live in the country, but we do live a decent distance from downtown Cincinnati.
Anyway, I thought I’d send you all into the weekend with a few shots from around the city and around the “country”…
Cincinnati’s Carew Tower (it was a model for NY’s Empire State Building).
This view could make you dizzy!
Third time must be the charm. I’ve successfully killed at least 2 basil plants in my life. This one, however, appears to be thriving (hope I didn’t just jinx it!).
Homemade Caprese salad with fresh-picked basil (best enjoyed with a glass of a nice, chilled white).
You can follow me on Instagram @onuwriter06
Hope you have a fun weekend planned! I’m hoping to finally make some progress on my gallery wall project for our family room.