Well, we are almost there.  December 23rd.  As of last Friday, we are on Winter Break for two whole weeks.  The boys have excitedly declared today, ‘pajama day’.  Somehow, I have a feeling that today won’t be the only time a declaration of this sort is made.  While I don’t quite have everything crossed off my ‘to-do’ list for the next couple of days, I’m ready for this break as well.  My own plans include a holiday boot camp with a friend, lots of family time, getting in a few good runs, some delicious food and a chance to recharge my batteries.  That last one feeling the most needed, and the rest just the combination to make it happen.

So, I’m stepping away from technology a bit, to make these good things happen, but first, I want to share a few pictures from our 3rd Annual Hot Cocoa Stand.  A couple of weeks ago, we warmed our hearts and bodies, sharing a cup of homemade cocoa with our good friends and neighbors.  We served just around 40 this year, making it a tradition that all of us have come to enjoy.

Hot Cocoa Stand

Hot Cocoa Stand

Hot Cocoa Stand

Hot Cocoa Stand

Hot Cocoa Stand

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday, good food, family time and a few ‘pajama days’ of your own.  Merry Christmas!

 

Growing up, I had a a grandpa that loved peppermint ice cream.  Actually, it was peppermint and Neapolitan, but it was the peppermint ice cream that stands out in my memory. Each evening, he would methodically place 2 scoops in crystal sundae cups, then sit at the kitchen table and slow eat his evening treat, savoring each bite.

What was even more unique about his love for peppermint ice cream, was that he was able to have it almost year round.  It wasn’t just a holiday treat, found on a grocery store end cap, but regularly stocked at the Jack & Jill where Gram would shop.  I loved visiting them and getting my own 2 scoops to eat at the table with Papa.

Peppermint Hot Cocoa

 

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As I sit here, writing away on a Monday night, ‘Love Actually’ playing in the background, a dog snuggled up next to me I can’t help but feel thankful.  Thankful for this wonderful little place in the blogosphere that has made the world feel a little smaller, that has allowed me to connect with people many miles away…foodies, photographers, writers and artists.

Natha Perkins is one of them.  Natha sent me a kind email when she found my posts about our summer vacation in Colorado, and time spent at the Boulder Farmers’ Market.  We share a love of vegetarian cooking and farmers’ markets.  She is the owner of a small metal smithing studio, Luscious Metals, located near the foothills of Boulder that creates ecologically sustainable jewelry.  Her pieces are beautifully and individually made.

Luscious Metals

I know this because she sent me one.  A lovely, mixed metal necklace from her Sweetheart Collection that has the names of my three boys alongside stones hand chosen by Natha.  I’m a person that loves simple, meaningful jewelry.  This necklace is both.

And now I’d like to share her work with you….

Luscious Metals

To enter to win a $75 gift certificate to put toward the purchase of your own Luscious Metals necklace (or earrings or bracelet) just share below in the comments what’s on YOUR Christmas list this year, or maybe one of the best gifts you’ve been given in Christmas’ past.

*This giveaway will end on Saturday, December 7, 2013.  

The winner will be chosen by random drawing using the ‘Pick Giveaway Winner’ plugin.

 

 

It’s been so beautiful here lately.  The leaves are mostly down with their show, but sun has been out, making it just nice enough to be outside. We’ve been cramming in as much outdoor time as we can after school before the sun goes down.  Sunset is just way to early in my opinion…dark by 5:30?  No, thank you.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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