Country Living...Island Dreaming

December 30, 2012

Weekend Pupdate #46

I can't end the year without a holiday post
from my favorite golden retriever!

And what a holiday it was!

Rosie was totally embarrassed
that we dressed her up in reindeer antlers!

But she got over it
after she opened her Christmas presents!

A real antler chew kept her busy
while we opened our presents!
How smart of Santa to bring her one!

 And later in the day,
she got to celebrate with her cousin, Klein.

Needless to say,
all the Christmas excitement wore her out!

But the real excitement began yesterday...
when we had an awesome snow storm!

Rosie couldn't wait to go out and play!

I have never seen a dog so excited!

The kids tried to take out their sleds...

and Rosie proceeded to steal them.
(She never figured out how to use them though!)

Rosie is definitely a snow dog!
She was in and out all day yesterday
loving every minute of it!

It was the perfect way to wind down 2012!

Cheers everyone!

See you in 2013!


December 27, 2012

Some of My Favorites for 2012

When I started making a list of projects I would like to accomplish in 2013, I took a look back over my favorite projects in 2012.

Here are a few...

At the beginning of the year, we installed a beadboard ceiling in my laundry room. I still smile every time I go in there!

And soon after we added a schoolhouse light which really finished the look.
Laundry Lighting - Before and After

My eight year old was tired of his "baby" room so in the spring we gave him an update...(with his input of course!)
He adores his new room now!

I tackled my messy master closet!...
And am proud to say,it st ill looks pretty close to this today!

And just recently, I bought the Ballard Sonoma Bookcase for my conservatory.
This purchase has jump-started some ideas for the room and I plan to add some more pieces in there 
in 2013!

Wow, 2012 really blew by didn't it?
In case you missed them, here are some of my favorites for 2011.

I have enjoyed blogging so much this year
and look forward to sharing more projects with you
in 2013!

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!
Cheers everyone!

What projects did you accomplish this year?

Linking to:


December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas
from our home to yours!

We woke up this morning to a 
white Christmas!

It was only a dusting 
and melted pretty fast...
but it was still snow on Christmas Day!

We enjoyed every minute of our time together
and now I will enjoy every minute of sleep!

I hope you all had a fabulous day!


December 24, 2012

The Reindeer Cookies

Last night, we made the peanut butter reindeer cookies 
that I keep seeing all over Pinterest.

I adapted the recipe from
Baker Girl.
(who used the peanut butter cookie recipe from Jif)

Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies

3/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
3 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
Chocolate covered mini pretzels for antlers
Chocolate chips for eyes (or mini brown M&Ms if you can find them)
Red M&Ms for the nose

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Combine the brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk and vanilla in a large bowl.  Beat at medium speed until well blended.  Add the egg and beat until just blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture at low speed and mix just until blended.

Form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and pinch the bottom of the ball to make a reindeer shaped head and gently flatten with your hand.  Space cookies an inch or two apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes or just until they begin to brown.

Remove the cookies from the oven, wait a minute and then press two mini chocolate pretzels into the tops for the antlers.  Then press two chocolate chips (or mini brown M&M's) for the eyes and use one red M&M for the nose.

Put the baking sheet in the fridge for a few minutes to set (you will see why below!)  and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Makes about 2 dozen.

(The original recipe says to use 1 inch balls of dough which will give you 40 cookies.)  I liked using 1 1/2 inch balls of dough because I needed more room to stick the antlers in.)

Overall, they came out okay, but I had some trouble keeping the reindeer antlers from falling over.  On the first batch, I stuck the "antlers"in the cookies as soon as they came out of the oven.  The chocolate melted and they fell backwards.  It helped to wait just a minute before pressing in the antlers.
A bit of a mess!

I kept thinking about the scene from one of my favorite Bill Murray movies, Scrooged.  Bill Murray's character was working on a movie set and one of the workers walked over asking how to attach antlers onto the live mice...

Worker - "I can't get the antlers glued to this little guy.  We tried Crazy Glue but it didn't work."

Frank (Bill Murray) - "Did you try staples?!!"

Love that movie.  Love Bill Murray.  Anyway, staples wouldn't exactly help these cookies but I did put them in the fridge as soon as I finished assembling them and that helped.

And most of them turned out okay!

Notice there are barely any dark chocolate ones?  Well, I kinda have a bit of a dark chocolate obsession, and I dug into the dark chocolate covered pretzels while driving back from the store...I think I need some sort of intervention.  I may need to do a chocolate detox when Christmas is over!

Needless to say, we ran out of chocolate pretzels,
so we made due with some pretzel sticks.  
Not as cute, but they got the job done!
(But I did have a cute little helper with this batch!)
I guess maybe they do look a little like aliens!  Oh well!

My baking is now done and I just have to make an appetizer for tonight and a side dish for Christmas Day.  I am so glad I am not hosting!  I fulfilled my holiday hosting duties on Thanksgiving!  Good thing, because I don't think I could handle one more responsibility this time of year!

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday!  I have enjoyed another year of blogging with you and look forward to more fun in 2013!  I feel so blessed to have gotten to know so many of you out there.  It has been a tough year in so many ways and the blogging community has been a wonderful source of comfort as well as a perfect way to escape this sometimes insane world we live in.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Linking to:


December 23, 2012

Weekend Pupdate #45

Happy Birthday to Rosie!

This week our little girl turned one!

She celebrated with her usual shenanigans!
Come play with me!

 Should I get it?

 Seriously, do you want me to pick it up?

 Ok, I'm going for it!

Rosie also celebrated her birthday with a day at the spa!
 Well, it wasn't actually a "spa",
but she did get a bath and some grooming!

 Check out the bow!

She posed around the house in the new bow
before it came off.
She will be wearing it again on Christmas!
(Yes, those gates back there keep her away from the tree.)

It's amazing how fast she has grown!
It seems like just yesterday
we brought home our sweet ball of fur!
So darling.

Let's take a look back on some more puppy cuteness.
My little baby.
Oh, how time flies!

She's all grown up now!

Happy Birthday Rosie!

Did you celebrate any birthdays in your house this week?


December 19, 2012

Christmas Around My House

This year I went a little light on the holiday decor,
but I do have a few Christmas touches around the house.

Of course the Elf shows up in different spots each morning.

And the kids race to update
our old Santa advent calendar each day.

The snowman on the inside of the front door brightens up the foyer.

Ah yes, the tree.
My husband put on the lights
and the boys hung every single ornament themselves.
My eight year old stood on a chair to get the high ones
and didn't fall into the tree once!

Don't you love the clusters of ornaments?
I wouldn't change it for the world!

As you can see,
we put the tree in the living room
instead of the family room this year.
We can close the living room off from a certain "fur ball"
a lot easier.
Click HERE to see how the tree looked
 in the family room last year.

You might remember my Santa Christmas Table.
It was just featured at DIY by Design today!
Thanks Judy!

But this is what the dining room looked like
 before I set up the Santa table.

My mantel is very simple
(aka boring) this year.

The bakers rack in my kitchen got dressed up.

And my new Somoma Bookcase
got the Christmas treatment.

I added a cute pillow from Target
to my son's bed.

And while I was at Target
I bought this fabric star to hang
over the little one's bed.

It's hard to believe Christmas is less than a week away!

Did you finish decorating yet?

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