I have been gone a long time! So long in fact that I can't remember exactly what I have been doing with myself! A little of this, that and the other, I guess. I am totally wrapped up in Christmas if you call looking in magazines and at blogs for inspiration as part of holiday preparation! Have you seen any of the Christmas Home Tours yet? I have been following along with Jennifer Rizzo's blog, she features 3-4 blogs a day and I can't even begin to say how original and festive and pretty these homes look dressed up for Christmas. Have a look when you have time. So now you know what I've been doing!!
It wouldn't be a complete post from me if I didn't show you what is going on with the lakehouse plants here for the winter. The rose tree is blooming like mad! It didn't bloom this much in the summer!
Very pretty and a nice pick me up every morning when I see it. If these plants didn't take up so much space I would leave them here year round!
I've had a few projects going on and a few more I want to do so I started with this one yesterday. I believe it is a Martha Stewart project but I don't remember the blogger who featured it. Please let me know if it was you and I'll make a link. Anyway, I sliced up two naval oranges very thinly...
...put them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkled them generously with powdered sugar. Then bake them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 3 hours. Flip them once halfway. I didn't flip mine so I am letting them just sit out to dry another day or two. Then, you string them up like a garland on ribbon, jute string, baker's twine, or whatever your heart desires. I will finish up today and post a picture. I have been so behind on posting, I just thought I'd give you a sneak peek.
I have been tearing out page after page of recipes from magazines and this one is a Banana Nut Pound Cake from BHG. As you can see, the banana's are VERY ripe and begging for me to mix them up with some flour and sugar! Like yesterday! So that's on the agenda for today. I'm also mixing up some dough for cookies, according to Ina Garten, you can freeze the dough, but don't freeze the cookies. In one of my magazines I found recipes for three different kinds of dough; sugar cookie, shortbread and oatmeal. And then there were about ten different cookie recipes with a few additions to each base. I thought that was very clever!
We are having Christmas dinner here at our home this year. I can't remember the last time we did that, it's always been at a relatives home and to be honest, I miss doing it here. So...I am going to order a standing beef rib roast from my butcher and add some special side dishes with hope that they will become new traditions. Thanksgiving Day was right out of a Woody Allen movie here. All the men were up in arms when they found out we were putting sour cream in the potatoes (we always have), and onion in the dressing (we always have). And after 26 years of marriage, The Husband announced to me, "I really don't like those little green balls." Meaning Brussels sprouts. I make them every year and he is just now telling me!
As for the title of my post...if you don't mind me tooting my horn a little, you know that I have been going to the gym, I'm on my fifth week. I do 20 minutes of strength training and then I walk 2 miles around the indoor track. I really enjoy the walking, even though it's not outside. There are no distractions and my mind just wanders. I'm not solving the problems of the world, but I get a lot of heavy thinking done. Well, I've been wanting to get stronger so that I could start running. So last week I was walking and I thought, now or never. I looked behind me and there was no one there so I took off! Yes, I'm running! This middle aged lady is running like she is fourteen again! And I love it! Now...I'm not doing miles, not even a full lap, just running a few minutes and then walking, then repeating. I feel so...ALIVE!! I don't know if running is considered a sport, but there is a quote written on the wall of the gym that says, "Sports not only build character...they reveal it". I love that.
We are getting our Christmas tree next week and we will get it up and put the lights on. Then I like to let the branches fall for a few days before adding the ornaments. Emily set up the Christmas Village in the family room and we stacked all the boxes of ornaments and decorations at the bottom of the stairs to bring up when we are ready. She will be in Aruba with her fiance all next week and I love having her help, she is so creative! Abby has her school finals and Kevin has his last week of work since it's seasonal at the golf club. They can all help. I have started doing a bit of online shopping and will hit the stores downtown next week. Chicago is so pretty at Christmas time!
Now, I have a zillion things to do today and you can bet I'll be stringing up those oranges! I hope all of you are having a great week. Keep posting those pretty Christmas decorations! :-)
I'm joining Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage for her Favorite Things Party!