Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Women's Tea

While on holiday with Mr. Husband's family
a women's tea was held.
I had made chai tea as gifts~ the only difference to the
recipe is that I used Rooibos tea
so that it was all decaf.
I gave out tea bags, wrapped in parchment paper
in the little gift bag with the tea.
I used these tea bags. 

I used 4 oz or half a pint jars and split the chai recipe in half.

I cut out small pieces of paper
and wrote what the tea was on them;
one hole punch, the cellophane Christmas bags
and a bit of ribbon and they were ready!
Two of my nieces helped me prepare them. :)

I had ordered via amazon some this
GF brownie mix 
{we have a GF family member} and we had it at
our tea.

I have a small tablet that Mr. Husband gave me my
St. Nicholas gift
{our biggest gift is on this day, we found a great sale}
and I played Christmas music for this tea.

Mr. Husband and I did a grocery run
before we headed to the place that Mr. Husband's family
stayed at ... and we got these three teas.
One of the women also had a chai tea latte that many enjoyed.

I used the plates and napkins that were in the
kitchen already and placed the bags of tea by everyone's seat.

Mr. Husband's parents are and have good neighbours,
who brought treats to them for Christmas
and these also graced the table.
It is always a good challenge to make things beautiful in
places where one comes to without knowing what one's kitchen or table
will be!
I love making beauty where ever I am...
We discussed many things,
including the Little House on the Prairie books.
A lovely time was had by all!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Making of Chai Tea

When I saw this recipe posted here
I knew I wanted to try it!

I got some spices for it at a local store
and ordered the rest through amazon.

I used Rooibos tea for my first batch of 8 half pint
jars of tea.
They smelled wonderfully as they baked!

I used my mortar and pestle to crust the spices gently... 
Mixed the spices with the tea and candied ginger...
labeled them and they were ready to go!
An easy gift idea that took about 1.5 hours to assemble, bake and prepare!

Sunday, December 29, 2013


34 when I met Mr. Husband.
35 when I married him.
36 when I had our first Christmas as newlyweds.
37 is what I turn today ~ Thanking God!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Winter Soup for the Winter Christmas Fast

Read about this soup here.

I made two batches,
one with fish sauce and one with soy sauce.

Used vegetable broth and butternut squash.

They cooked up very quickly.
I tried it with brown sugar.
Next time will use maple syrup and a bit less of it
and more spice and fish or soy sauce,
perhaps a bit more curry too;
used the red lentils it suggested...
I found this soup to be lovely,
nourishing and warm.
A perfect winter soup that
Mr. Husband and I hope to try again
with the little changes I mentioned above!
I love soups on cold winter days
and this one can be made
totally fast-friendly!
What soups do you make during winter?
Would love to know!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

The colours red and gold & Icons ready for Christmas

This small table runner I got at the Greek
monastery I went to in mid-November.
It is simple and very beautiful.
Perfect for Christmas.

My Holly Hobbie Christmas Bell.
Mr. Husband's Deer,
from his Grandfather when he was a child.
The lamp is one that was in my bedroom
when I was a child.

Icon of Nativity from Holy Dormition Monastery.
Candle holder a gift from a dear friend for my
Birthday many years ago in MI.
Vase with pussy willows and palm leaves from
Pentecost in a lovely vase of Mr. Husband's. 
Our Family Saints icons ready for Christmas.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

What I hope to make during the 12 days of Christmas

White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake.
Inspired from the menu seen in the picture above.
I have gotten white bakers chocolate on sale.
I have some Peppermint extract.
Any favourite recipes for this
you'd like to share?
I have not yet picked what recipe I will use... 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Blessings to All!

Wishing everyone celebrating 
Christmas today
the Joy of His Birth! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Peeks of Christmas yet to come

For many this day is Christmas Eve.
It was my Oma's birthday.
She would of been 105 today.
It was on this day,
just 20 days after she fell asleep in the Lord,
that Mr. Husband and I first
said the words
that hold one true for years to come,
I love you.
It will always be on my Oma's birthday,
those words.

I have really grown to love this little deer,
one of the last things Mr. Husband held onto
from his Grandfather who immigrated to Houston BC
decades back...

These coins are waiting for St. Nicholas day.
Just wanted them in this post,
as Christmas Eve seems like
a second but even deeper
St. Nicholas Day.

I got this book years ago,
full of beautiful Christmas Art of centuries past
and the Christmas Gospel in calligraphy. 

My Mother gave this to me this year
as an early Christmas gift.
I have already begun reading it
and it feels so close to me,
it's as if Corrie is my Grandmother telling me
these stories in person instead of through
this lovely little book.
I was given this ornament by a couple in my second church,
who I knew when I was in library school.
It's a really lovely one!
Now all we need up is our small table top
Christmas Tree!
And presents wrapped of course...
We have till January 7 for our Christmas,
so we still,
by God's mercy,
have time.
Blessed Christmas Eve today for all whose Eve it is!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dutch Apple Cake Muffins

These are my Dutch Apple Cake Muffins.
We had them at home at my parents house
for my sister and brother-in-law's 
reception after they talked at my 
parent's home church about their
work with orphans.
I brought these all the way to MI from NJ 
on the plane to contribute! 
It was so nice to see so many family and friends
over the Thanksgiving Holidays!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

NYC and Yarn

I went to NYC in November
and stopped by this yarn studio.
Got some lovely green and cranberry skeins
of yarn!
At sometime I hope to make bunting for a Christmas
decoration but for now I am trying to get
many other things knitted for Christmas...

Friday, December 20, 2013

It is all worth it

I must say that all the cookie baking and
wrapping for St. Nicholas Day was worth it.
{Note to self, use this website when ordering
the goodie bags next time I need them...}
I am also very tired today,
that cannot be that surprising! :)
I am slowly doing laundry,
planning some last minute gifts,
simple ones that do not require that much work.
I am trying to get our house in order again.

I've been using packing material as
wrapping paper this year
with some ribbon.
Fun and simple!

I am so grateful for lit lampadas.
Esp. after I went to the mall for some needed last minute things
(I had a 20.00 off coupon and honestly needed some practical things...
well, and some just plain liked cranberry lotion and bath things
that were with coupons etc etc a very good deal...)
But wow, I still have such a hard time at malls.
No beauty, music that does not deserve to be called such
and whew I was so GLAD to be home,
with Mr. Husband, our icons, our little corner of beauty
and the coziness of a home that is lived in with
God's mercy.

I am excited for the new cookie recipes I made this year.

I've now listened via audible to all of the
Narnia books by CS Lewis.
The goodness, the joy, the beauty...
it reminds me of Father Christmas;
it reminds me of St. Nicholas Day
and that such beauty is REAL.
I am really beginning to look forward to Christmas with Mr. Husband now.
Not till January 7th and I have much wrapping to do before then.
But I am so looking forward to these days.
Truly, as tired as I am
{don't worry, I am resting...}
these days are just such an unmistakable gift to me.
Thank the Lord the Merciful Giver of Every Good Gift! 

A Beautiful and Wonderful St. Nicholas Day

St. Nicholas Day was wonderful!
The cookies I made for St. Nicholas Day
I bagged the day before...

I was so glad that I baked a lot more
as I would of not been able to fill the bags
nicely without them! 

A bag of sugar cookies for our
venerable {older} church member :)

We had a few clementines to give out as well!
And on St. Nicholas Eve the little
slippers with clementines were given out to
the young boy who they were made for.
He liked them and was most interested in the
chocolate coins and bag of cookies ;)
The vigil on St. Nicholas Eve was beautiful.

And St. Nicholas Day was so joyous.
After the liturgy I was able to give out the cookie bags.
This was so much fun!
Mr. Husband and I went out to lunch with a few
church friends/family for the feast and then
that night we had a simple meal
and gave each other some St. Nicholas Gifts.
I had my beloved icon of St. Nicholas on the buffet
and our smaller one came with us to the hotel we stayed in
on St. Nicholas Eve,
since it would of been hard to do the drive back at night only to return
the next morning (with rush hours etc it can easy be 1 hour 30 minutes or more).
It was a wonderful day!
Holy Saint Nicholas pray to God for us!

O who loves Nicholas the saintly,
O who serves Nicholas the saintly,

Him will Nicholas receive,
And give help in time of need:
Holy Father Nicholas!*
He who dwells in God's holy mansions,
Is our help on the land and oceans,

He will guard us from all ills,
Keep us pure and free from sins
Holy Father Nicholas!*
Holy Saint, hearken to our prayer,
Let not life drive us to despair,

All our efforts shall not wane,
Singing praises to your name:
Holy Father Nicholas!*
O kto kto Nikolaja l'ubit,
O kto kto Nikolaja sluzit,

Tomu svjatyj Nikolaj,
Na vsjakj cas pomahaj:
Nikolaj, Nikolaj!*

*Repeat the three lines of the refrain.
{source here}


It was a blessed St. Nicholas Day!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Decorating for Nativity ~ Cozy, Christmas and Lampadas Lit

Almost everything is decorated for
Christmas now.
I love lighting my lampada for the Nativity every morning.

I saw this plate at a thrift store in MI
when I was there with my Mom this past
I love it's simplicity and vintage. 

My handmade Nativity Glass Bulb from Romania,
with knit square under it from my Oma.
A handmade ornament from my family for this Christmas.

Nearly St. Nicholas Day slippers are finished!

The slippers are finished!

I am excited to give these to the young boy
as his St. Nicholas Present!
{We are on the Julian calendar, so
St. Nicholas day is tomorrow :) }
I am getting this pattern as I go along!
These slippers were esp. cute as they
are for smaller feet!
Ravelry here.

I recently finished The Cloister Walk
and it was a wonderful re-read,
peaceful and providing solace.
What are you reading and crafting?
Any last minute Christmas gifts?
I have a few of these to finish yet myself!
Come, yarn along with us!