when i was younger, my family and i would visit nyc most christmases. there isn’t anything more magical than the city around the holidays, no matter your age. one of my most favorite parts was the windows on 5th avenue. i loved taking in every last detail of the intricate designs.
here are some- past and present. [i’m SO jealous of the amazingly talented people who get to call this their job- definitely a dream job for me!]
ps- a quick video of anthropologie’s gumdrop lane- love this so much!
i’ve finally started my christmas shopping and the packages are starting to show up on my doorstep- time to start wrapping!
when i was little, my aunt wrapped every present in craft paper and drew the prettiest bow and name tag- it was the best. maybe one day, i’ll be cool like her but for now i like to keep things pretty simple (ie craft paper, bakers twine, maybe a sprig of holly or rosemary tucked in) but these are just too pretty! [link under each picture]
since moving into our house in june, our neighbors have been so sweet, helpful and welcoming- we couldn’t ask for more! so i decided to put together a little homemade christmas basket for each neighbor. you can’t really beat the combo of homemade, sweet treats and a little Christmas touch.
shortbread toffee bars (there are a bunch of different recipes out there for this but this is my family’s recipe which is the BEST.)
for the shortbread:
2 c flour
1 c (2 sticks) butter
2/3 c powdered sugar cream together butter and sugar. add flour. (dough will be very stiff) pat into a 15.5″ x 10.5″ jelly roll pan. you can use a rolling pin to help smooth it out in the pan. bake at 350 for approximately 19 minutes until lightly browned. for the toffee:
1 c butter
2 T white corn syrup
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 can ‘eagle’ brand sweetened condensed milk melt butter in heavy saucepan. add rest of ingredients. stir over medium high heat for approximately 7-10 minutes. toffee will thicken and become creamy. (butter will incorporate.) pour toffee over hot shortbread. cool completely. for the topping:
2 giant hershey chocolate bars (approximately 14 oz)
3 T butter cut in small pieces put in a glass bowl and cover with wax paper. melt in microwave on high for 2 minutes. it won’t be completely melted but stir until smooth. spread over cooled toffee and shortbread. cool until firm but not really hard. cut into 1″ squares. should make about 8 dozen (obviously great for gifts + extra for you!) keep refrigerated or frozen- i prefer this. pieces thaw rapidly when taken out of the freezer and separated. hide from your dad 24/7. (obviously my aunt wrote these very helpful instructions hahaha! but really, hide them!)
i know i mentioned i was going to do a post about my bathroom reno this week but it has rained every. single. day. and there are a few more shots i’d like to get when its not raining. anyways, we have a lot of christmas things going on this weekend (a parade, charlottesville holiday market, the holiday market at grelen– has anyone been? i’m super excited!) and lots of decorating! hope y’all have a great weekend!
so I’m going to join the masses and try out this whole gift guide thing. i’m so unique! but hey, my stepdad (hi swan!), told me that he just bought a christmas present for me, based on my blog. so, i mean, if that’s all the good that comes out of these types of posts, that just kinda means i get to not-so secretly tell everyone what to get me 😉
some of my favorite shops just happen to be located in charleston- thank god they have the option of online shopping although i sure do miss popping in! also, i tried to round up some stores in charlottesville but as i haven’t lived there in over ten years, i’m a little out of the loop- would love recommendations!
we’ll be sticking close to home this weekend, finishing phase one of the bathroom, doing a few other projects and preparing our house for a huge (!!!) thanksgiving at our house, which we’re pretty excited about.
as y’all know, (since i confessed here) i kiiiinda likelove am obsessed with christmas. i keep things pretty simple and traditional but i’m such a sucker for vintage christmas decor. without it getting too theme-y/ cliche/ your grandma’s house, i love to add touches here and there (think bottle brush trees, pastel-y glass ornaments, tinsel) and mix traditional and vintage. i scour ebay, etsy and estate sales for items on the cheap but if that’s not your thing, so many stores this year (especially, it seems) have put out some nostalgic goodies.
some items on my wish list:
-some sort of old christmas related sign (see above)
-my granny had a bunch of these and i loved them when i was little
-some vintage children’s picture books
-look for some pretty antique stockings to add to the mantel
– frame old piano book lyrics/ record covers/ postcards—> YES