Friday, December 18, 2009

Gingerbread Citizens

Holiday Baking



The week has been filled with baking, bundles,
and holiday extravaganzas...








Hoping your week has been Merry & Bright!


Happy Weekend Before Christmas!!!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Madness

Busiest Day of the Year- U.S. Postal Service





I'm not sure who I was today...
the Hare or the snowman.

Either way it wasn't pretty.


Happy Monday!
;-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Friday





Featured photo from MySwitzerland.com

This darling image was emailed to me this week
from myswitzerland.com.
It is my inspiration to continue writing my novel this weekend.
As I mentioned before, my story takes place in Switzerland.
Isn't this swim cap lovely?

Weekend plans include, but are not limited to:
a little writing,
a little HGTV watching, a little Christmas movies,
finalizing my packages,
and a little bit of Christmas baking. :)

How is your holiday progress coming along?
Or you on the ball or procrastinating?


Merry Weekend to All!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Travel Thursday

Purnumukan Porofarmi


Reindeer Farm in Finland






Won't you join me for a little winter wonderland,
reindeer sleighride, lunch and storytales fireside?

This reindeer safari excurision if 4.5 hours long.
They provide warm Finnish clothing,
a reindeer sleigh ride through the Sami village,
and provide hot coffee and lunch by the fire
in a tee pee in the forest.
You will even receive an
International Reindeer Driver's License!





Visit their site HERE.
Oh how I would love to touch those pretty antlers!


Happy Traveling!!



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Deck the Halls

...or window displays!













Last year in the Big Apple.

A Girl's first trip to NYC
 for the holidays with her boyfriend
can't go without Patrick the Pup from FAO Schwartz
or a shiny red nose!

Hoping everybody's holiday preparations are going smoothly!

I have been such a busy bee with the holidays, condo hunting and such.
Plus--I had my first mass order from my Etsy store
 for my photo cards!
16 sets! Yeah...

Here they are...
All ready to go...



See the contents HERE at Simply Colette Etsy.


And one last thing...

I just want to make sure that it goes duly noted
how extremely happy I am for

Teri @ Girl Meets Paris
&
Kori @ Blonde Episodes.

Both of these wonderful and disciplined women
completed the NaNoWriMo challenge.
I know there were many people who may have completed,
even though this was no easy task.
But in some way I am especially happy for them,
because as fate goes in life and the blogging world,
they found out about the challenge from my prior post.
My humble little blog. :)
Writing a book is my biggest dream.
While my month became tremendously chaotic,
and I have not given up on this dream,
or book, as I know one day
it still will happen.
I am moved beyond emotion to know in some small way I may have helped them.
So ladies, I know I didn't put the words on paper for you, you did it all on your own.
I just want you to know with teary eyes, how happy I am for you.

Congratulations!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Travel Thursday

Christmas Markets in Europe


It is a secret dream of mine to tour the Christmas Markets in Europe. I've been sent information from various travel companies about the tours that are offered during the month of December, featuring enchanting photos.




For anyone who loves craft fairs and flea markets, imagine sipping hot cider or rich milky hot cocoa with marshmellows, smelling fresh gingerbread cookies, all bundled up with knitted mittens, and scarves. Imagine the scent of fresh pine, the lights lit, and walking up and down the cobblestoned streets with visible breath taking in all the beautiful hand made works of art and Christmas decor laid upon red velvet fabric and jingling bells abound.




I will even go so far as to say, it has been a far fetched fantasy to marry at the Linderhof Castle in the Black Forest, near Munich, Germany.



Linderhof in Winter


Linderhof in Autumn


The photo taken in the winter, has made a winter wedding seem quite magical, followed by a German honeymoon touring the Christmas Markets.


Travel Intelligence has listed the Top 10 Christmas Markets in Europe:

1. Cologne
2. Vienna
3. Nuremberg
4. Dresden
5. Brussels
6. Munich
7. Prague
8. Tallinn
9. Berlin
10. Copenhagen

See detailed information on these markets HERE.

Also, for German Christmas Markets, visit HERE.

Stay tuned... I'm excited to show you some German ornaments later this week.

Happy Traveling!!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Good Eats Wednesday

A Partridge in a Pear Tree...


Beautiful illustration from John Coulture's Blog.


One thing I love about December is receiving gift baskets at work from other companies. Although, they are more sparse these days with the economic slowdown the past couple years, we still usually manage to receive at least one gift basket from Harry & David, which typically includes their delicious pears around this time of year.




And how I adore pair tarts too. This mouth watering recipe from Reader's Digest caught my eye...

Hazelnut Pear Tart


Photo by: Rob Hagen & Dan Roberts

You will need:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped blanched hazelnuts

Filling:
1/3 cup apricot preserves
2/3 cup chopped blanched hazelnuts, toasted
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg, lightly beaten
2-3/4 pounds pears, peeled, cored, and sliced

What to Do:
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar. Beat in vanilla, flour and hazelnuts. Press into a greased 11-in tart pan with removable bottom. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven; reduce heat to 350 degrees.

2. Spread apricot preserves over crust. In a bowl, combine the hazelnuts, sugar, flour, butter and egg. Spoon over preserves. Arrange pear slices over filling in a concentric circle, slightly overlappying slices.

3. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Store in the refrigerator.

Serves 10-12.

Bon appetit!!!

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