Friday, December 30, 2011

Feeling Bubbly?

Happy New Year, all!


I have to admit this pesky cold is not helping me to feel bubbly. But hopefully by tomorrow night I'll be on the the mend and in the pink!


How about you? Any fun plans? In case you haven't picked up your celebratory Champagne yet, I asked my friend Bob (he of the annual Champagne tasting party) to recommend a few great bottles to bring to your fete or to quietly toast the new year. Here are his picks:

"Most of the Non Vintage Cuvees are well-made wines for their price points ($30-$50). For my personal taste (masculine styled Champagnes) in the Non Vintage, Vintage or Tete de Cuvee price levels, the Champagne houses that I prefer are Krug, Bolliger, Pol Roger, Vilmart & Cie, Egly Ouriet, Billecart Salmon and Veuve Clicquot. On the next level down, Henriot Charles Heidsieck, Guy Charlemagne, Ariston Aspasie and the domestic producer Argyle from Oregon."  

Which bottles have been the crowd favorites over the last 15 years of Champagne Parties?

1989 Veuve La Grand Dame 
1989 Veuve La Grand Dame (tied with) 1989 Krug 
1990 Pol Roger Chardonnay 
1990 Pol Roger - Sir Win Church 
NV Krug
1995 Veuve La Grand Dame
1988 Krug 
NV Nicolas Feuillatte - Blanc de Blanc  
1996 Nicolas Feuillatte - Plames d'Or
1996 Deutz Cuvee William - Rose
NV Launois - Quartz
NV Mumm Cremant Blanc 
2002 Henri Billiot - Brut Grand Cru
NV Philiponnat - Brut Royal 
NV Billecart Salmon - Brut Reserve 


Cheers to all! Have a sparkling New Year's weekend and enjoy every last moment of 2011. See you in 2012! XO

  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Resting Up

Hi all, I hope you shared a wonderful holiday with friends and family.


As if on queue, a little cold bug came to visit me just as we were throwing the last bits of wrapping paper away on Christmas night. So, I'm getting a bit of rest. Need to catch up on my beauty sleep to be ready for New Year's Eve!

Be back soon! XO

Friday, December 23, 2011

Peace On Earth

Joy to the world! Hope all is calm and bright where you are.

 My Illustration 

Sending you and your families the warmest holiday wishes.

Merry Christmas to all! See you next week. XOXO

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Cozy Nook

Wouldn't it be dreamy...

Southern Living

...to curl up in one of these cozy nooks for a little heavenly peace?

Traditional Home

Perhaps with a good book... a cup of tea or a glass of wine?


Here's my own little cozy nook, decked out for the holidays. We've added some window coverings and Pam at Red Ticking found the perfect piece of vintage linen to spruce up the table. I'm looking forward to a spending few quiet moments as the week winds down.

Where's your favorite spot to curl up?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All Is Bright

Sending you all the warmest, brightest wishes on what will be the shortest day of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere.

Canadian House and Home 

The Solstice occurs at 5:30 AM Coordinated Universal Time on December 22, which is 9:30 PM this evening here on the West Coast -- 12:30 AM for you Easterners.

Traditional Home

Style Me Pretty

While it may be the longest, darkest night, it also marks the point where things start getting just a bit brighter each day after.  

 Style Me Pretty

I'm a light-a-candle-don't-curse-the-darkness kind of a girl. You can bet that my Hope Glassybabys will be aglow and there will be fire in our fireplace tonight.

 British Homes & Gardens

Here's to brighter days ahead!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cool Yule

Just five more sleeps until Christmas. Are you keeping your cool? Perhaps this is a good time to take a deep breath and focus on the icy-cold hues of the season. Bring on the blues!

 Southern Accents 

British Homes & Gardens

Carolyne Roehm

Carolyne Roehm

Martha Stewart

 Southern Accents 

 Country Living

Carolyne Roehm

 Country Living

Martha Stewart

British Homes & Gardens 

 Cottage Living

Coastal Living 

 Coastal Living

Carolyne Roehm
Good luck...

Victoria

Getting Christmas all wrapped up!

Carolyne Roehm

Merry Tuesday to all! What's left on your list?

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Letter To Santa

Dear Santa, 


This Christmas do you think you might be able to spare an elf or two to help me finish up my own list? I'd be ever so grateful for some extra hands!


I promise there will be an extra cookie or two left out for you.

Thanks and ho, ho, ho, XO!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Playing Dress Up

Little pink dress...

Check! 

Shiny patent bow belt...

Check! 

Shoes with just the right bit of bling...

Check! 

When I was a little girl, I loved playing dress up. Still do - except now I have my own shoes instead of clomping about in my Mom's!

The holidays bring out the kid in me. What fun to put on a pretty party dress and be fancy!

Whether you'll be wearing pearls or PJs this weekend, I hope you have a merry one!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Very Entertaining 2

The best part of the holidays is spending time with friends and family. I can't think of a better way to celebrate that by gathering around the table with dear ones.


So Mr. H. and I were thrilled to be able to host our wine club holiday dinner last weekend. It was the perfect opportunity to eat, drink and be merry.


We've been sharing wine with this group of friends for six years now, sometimes getting together at each others' homes, occasionally trying a new restaurant. It's always delicious, always full of laughs, and there is always plenty of wine.


For a special holiday meal this year, Mr. H. and I decided to enlist help from Crush, a wonderful restaurant up the hill from us, where Chef Jason Wilson creates amazing Modern American cuisine from the freshest Northwest ingredients. I put my kitchen into the Crush team's very capable hands, sat back and enjoyed sharing an incredible meal with our friends.


Chef Jason designed an outstanding menu, and truly the meal was one to remember:


~APPETIZERS~
Fresh baked Gougeres with Truffled Chevre
Spot Prawn Ceviche with Cucumber Green Apple & Chicarone
Beef Tartar with Potato Cake, Horseradish & Parsley


~FIRST COURSE~
Roasted Roots, & Pickled Tree Fruits with Baby Lettuce Salad
Fresh Mt. Townsend Truffled Tremor Cheese, Watercress, Balsamic, Prosciutto


~SECOND COURSE~
Roasted Pacific Turbot Filet with Preserved Lemon
Vadouvan Thumbelina Carrots, Celery Root & Lacinatio Kale


~THIRD COURSE~
McFarlane Farms Pheasant Breast with Burgundy Truffle Gnocchi
Roasted Chanterelles, Leg Confit, Pinot Noir Sauce & Sage

  
~ DESSERT~
Chocolate Coulant with Praline Ice Cream & Huckleberries

With the menu and the cooking taken care of, I got to focus all the little touches that would hopefully make our guests feel welcome the minute they stepped through our door.





For the table, out came the best china, the blue and white (of course), accented with hits of red.


 


The place cards were dashed off just in the nick of time and tied to champagne corks with a bit of red ribbon.


All too soon, the bottles were emptied and it was time to say goodnight.


Mr. H. and I kicked off our shoes, rehashed the evening and how lucky we are to have such fantastic friends.



What's your favorite kind of holiday celebration? An intimate dinner with dear friends? A magical holiday ball? A cozy night with family? Or all of the above?


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