Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Decorations & White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

The weather was much colder today, and although we haven't got snow yet, we have had a pretty winter fog, and a frost in the garden. I love the crisp cold air, for some reason getting out in the fresh air always does wonders for me. So today, hubby and I went on a nice walk in one of my favorite little parks.

I love the fog and trees off in the distance.

The park is situated right next to very large field of berries, I love the way the rows look.

The park is surrounded by a wetland area, and many interesting plants, I love the red against the frosted brown twigs.

We saw a few frost covered spider webs, Gary spotted this one on a park bench.

I really enjoyed our walk, we were the only ones in the park, and it was nice to chat and stroll through this lovely area.

I just have a few finishing touches until all of my holiday decor is in place. In addition to changing things around this year, I also have the challenge of not being able to put any thing out on my lower tables, our little lab Zoey is quite a little explorer and would make quick work of any decoration in her reach. I shutter to think what she might do to the tree, I guess we will see this weekend. :)

Here are some of my favorite decorations.

These trees are made of felt.

I love paper board Christmas villages. I started my collection with these tiny houses.

These are reproductions of vintage Christmas houses.

Then I found these bigger paper board houses and churches. I think the pink church is so pretty.

Here is another little village, this one is made of wood, and covered in glitter

This is my Celtic Nativity set- I love the simple look of this set, and I look forward to putting it out every year.

I think it is nice to set out candy dishes, I have one out year round, and at Christmas I put out quite a few around the house, it is nice for guests to have little things to nibble. The candy in the green dish below are classic butter mints- yum!

Here are a few of my Nutcrackers.

I also have out all of my Christmas books, I hope to share some of my favorite holiday book selections in upcoming posts.

This is one of my favorite books and radio show- I listened to this way back in grade school , and I try to listen to the radio show every December. The Cinnamon Bear.

I have the audio version on both tape and CD, and can't wait to listen to it. This book is wonderfully illustrated and goes along well with the radio show, but I will make a suggestion to listen to the radio show first, it is so much better to imagine this story in your head.

Here is my Amazon Affiliate link for the book.

Here's the YouTube link of episode 1, it looks like you might be able to listen to all of the episodes on YouTube, which is great, such wonderful memories!

With all of these Christmas decorations up, we had to have some cookies, so I made up a batch of White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies.

I make these by using the recipe for Nestle Toll House Cookies- which can be found here, with the following changes- instead of 1 cup of butter, I use 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of shortening. I leave out the nuts and chocolate chips, and add in a rounded cup of Dried Cranberries, and two-thirds of a bag of white chocolate chips. Stir together and bake as directed in recipe. I love cranberries and white chocolate together, perfect after dinner treat for the family!


  1. Isn't that frosty spiderweb beautiful! Love all your little houses. You have a beautiful little village on your tabletops. BTW, if you love butter mints, I have a recipe for buttermint cookies that I'd be glad to send you. And thank you for your recipe. My husband loves dried cranberries, I'll have to bake him some. Never heard of Cinnamon Bear. Will have to give him a listen. Isn't Youtube remarkable?

  2. Beautiful pictures...wow!

    I love your Christmas decor too. Very charming.

    Ok.. so those are some seriously yummy looking cookies!!

    Hope you have a great week, and enjoy the fun things of this season.

  3. Thank You Jane! I would love to have a recipe for buttermint cookies, that would be very fun to make. I love the Cinnamon Bear, my mom used to buy us old Radio Shows on tape to listen to in our walkman, and I really grew to love them. The Cinnamon Bear is very fun to listen to- YouTube is remarkable, I love the things you can find to watch. :)

    Thank you Kerin :) I hope you have a nice week as well, I love getting outside and taking pictures, so relaxing!

  4. Hi April! Here's the recipe for Butter Mint Cookies:

    1 C. butter
    3/4 C. finely crushed butter mints
    1/4 C. powdered sugar
    1 tbsp. water
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 C. flour

    Beat the butter until creamy. Add 1/4 C. of the crushed mints & powdered sugar. Beat in the water and vanilla. Stir in the flour. Cover and chill 1 hour. Shape dough into 1" balls. Bake at 325 degrees on ungreased cookie sheets for 15 minutes. Roll warm cookies in remaining crushed mints.

    (Kind of like Mexican Wedding Cakes)

  5. Thanks for the recipe Jane, I look forward to giving it a try!

  6. You captured that fog beautifully! Such lovely (and yummy) things you have set out all around your home. I especially like the nativity.

  7. Lovely post, thanks for sharing your lovely things.


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