Just Life

TGIF | the Last One Before Christmas.

The sun is shining. Alexa is playing some of my favorite holiday music. I’m sitting at my desk, wearing real clothes (jeans and a sweater!) – and make-up! – and slippers 😉 Holly is nearby. There’s some experimenting with cocktails in my near future. and I am completely amazed that it will be Christmas a week from today.

Thinking about … a new cocktail to celebrate the season. I baked my favorite Orange Spice cookies* yesterday and had the inspired idea to make a simple syrup with the leftover orange sugar. I guesstimated that I had somewhere between 1/4-1/3 cup of the sugar mixture. I put it into a small saucepan along with a generous half cup of water and a handful of cranberries from the freezer, brought it to a boil over medium high heat, stirred to dissolve the sugar, (a few of the cranberries popped 🙂 ), turned off the heat and let it steep for about 30 minutes. I poured the syrup into a mason jar and put it into the fridge. I’m going to experiment with gin and sparkling water. potential add-ins include spiced pear liqueur, cranberry bitters, a squeeze of orange/lemon … and who knows what else.

Grateful for … my sister (always!) and specifically today for figuring out – and MAKING HAPPEN – a driveway cookie swap. I’m also grateful the very chilly morning warmed up nicely (to 47 degrees!) by the early afternoon. Picture Katie and Charlie to my left and you have the whole deal. Also, I’m grateful that my screened porch is now a huge walk-in refrigerator … full of cookies!

Inspired … to try some new things in our “new” rooms. The two rooms that got the biggest makeovers with the painting were the dining roomno more red walls!

and the living roomno more TV!!!

Marc and I have been doing Friday Night Dinners in our breakfast nook for a while. I hope we can start having those meals in the dining room. why not, right?! and I cannot wait to sit in the living room – with the fire lit! – and sip one of those cocktails I’m thinking about!

Finished … YES! that sweater I’m wearing today is Dissent. I have yet to create the Ravelry project … and I will! It fits just like I hoped and it’s even softer to wear than I thought it would be. It was freezing (literally!) this morning and that left-most photo shows it! that’s a teeth-chattering-lets-do-this smile.

I can’t believe how long my hair is! and how much I love the curls … I am fortunate to be counting many blessings from this crazy/terrible year … and for sure letting my hair do its natural thing is on that list!

and Marc’s out-takes are getting a little easier to share

I had hoped to have FO photos with an “I Secured My Vote” sticker, but the lines were long when I drove past my favorite early voting location this morning. Next week for sure.

Wishing all of you the best possible last-weekend-before-Christmas that’s available to you. And I’m looking forward to catching up with y’all and being a bit more present here.

*the recipe only specifies what to do with two of the three teaspoons of orange zest. I add that 3rd one to the butter/sugar mixture.

14 Comments

  • Carolyn

    Your walls & trim are gorgeous! I think I’d find myself spending LOTS of time in front of that fireplace…so inviting. (Don’t you love how new it all feels?!) Looks like you’re all set up–with plenty of cookies & cocktails–for some real holiday cheer 🙂 And that sweater…well done. I think a splash of orange simple syrup would go nicely with some bourbon and an ice cube. Y’know, just in case you have some begging to be poured!

  • Bonny

    Your dining room is beautiful and I love the plates on the walls, and the driveway cookie swap. And even better is your Dissent (and those cozy Uggs)! That is one great sweater!

  • Jane

    All things warm and wonderful. That sweater is gorgeous and your newly painted rooms look very inviting. I love the blue and white plates on the dining room wall.

  • Carole

    The neutral colors you chose for paint will serve you well, I’m sure. It all looks very fresh and inviting and the living room looks particularly cozy. When does Sarah arrive?!

  • Kat

    The painting looks beautiful! Clean, fresh, and so inviting! (But no tv? What? lol)

    And, I second Carolyn’s idea for a splash of orange syrup, bourbon, and an ice cube… ahhh. Perfection!

  • Sarah

    Love the sweater, love the house transformation, love that the cookie exchange happened! Kiddo and I are planning to do some cookie baking this week and hope to deliver some to our neighbors and leave some for our mail carrier. We haven’t done that in the past, mainly because we haven’t been home at this time of year, but it feels right to spread a little holiday cheer this year anyway.

  • Alexa

    Your home is beautiful, calm and elegant – like you in that lovely sweater of yours :). The out-takes are lovely, in fact! It sounds like a good time of year for experimenting with things, especially those that are, as my father would have said, ‘grateful to the stomach’.

  • Margene

    I love the idea of an outdoor cookie swap. We just need good parkas! Your dining room and living room look so light and bright. The fire would a nice place to chat and share a cocktail! (Someday!) Dissent is fabulous and the fit is right on. It looks warm and soft and perfect for NOW.

  • Karen

    The make-over is absolutely beautiful! Sitting before the fire with the tree lights on has become a nightly ritual. I think we’ll leave the tree up for a few weeks yet, just to enjoy the ambience as the winter closes in on us. Your sweater is, of course, lovely! Have a blessed holiday!

  • lydia

    The new walls look great! Love how well the pullover came together. Haven’t had a cocktail in a while, but I do have leftover cranberries . . .

  • Patty

    Those bright walls are wonderful! I actually walked into my family room this morning and said to myself “ugh…this place needs a refresh”. Happy you had your cookie swap – the one I attend sadly did not happen and it’s one of my favorite days of the year. 2021…I’m waiting for you! And Mary your hair is terrific!