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Christmas Projects

My aunt flew me down South for Christmas and while I was visiting with my family, I got to help some folks with a few of their Christmas DIY projects, try some new recipes, and assist in some Christmas decorating.



It’s not Christmas in the South without a magnolia wreath. I haven’t got to make one of these in a while so I was happy to help my sister-in-law make this big beauty. Credit to my mother for my wreath and bow making skills.

My sister-in-law and I made three wreaths total. The one below was a mix of left over boxwood and cypress that I stuck into one of the grapevine wreaths I made with my parents years ago.


Now, my aunt made this wreath below. I just made the bow and attached one of her wooden stars.



My aunt’s Christmas theme this year was “vintage.” She used a lot of my grandmother’s decorations like these ornaments. We found a piece of fury fabric and used it to emulate snow for the Christmas village.



And it begins. My grandmother had all the blue and white ceramics, now my mom and my aunt have them and I guess starring at them for a few weeks made me like them too. So I begin my quest for blue and white pots, bowls, plates, jars, and stools.


We matted, framed, and hung the photos of the animals that live on my aunt and uncle’s farm. Look how cute Caroline looks in the upper left corner (they all look cute, I’m just saying).


I framed this cute towel my aunt gave me. Instant kitchen decor.


Ice Cream

I ate lunch with my mom and great aunt and one of the desserts the restaurant offered was a pecan ball. I begged my aunt to make these. First we rolled vanilla ice cream into balls, wrapped them in parchment paper and froze them overnight. We candied the pecans ( I burnt the first batch) using this recipe.

We then smashed the pecans into the balls of ice cream, rewrapped in parchment paper and placed the balls back in the freezer. Right before serving, we placed the pecan balls into dishes, melted caramel pieces in a pot and poured the melted caramel on top of the balls, finally sprinkling pieces of Heath Bar on top. Delicious!


I was not vegan this trip and especially this meal. Standing rib roast with horseradish sauce, mashed cauliflower and roasted asparagus. I made the roasted asparagus the other night.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, snip the ends off the asparagus and place on baking sheet. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, toss to coat, sprinkle salt and pepper and place in oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on top. My husband hates asparagus but the cheese gave him enough motivation to try it.


Speaking of trying things. I hate olives (green and black) and though I love the idea of bloody mary’s I don’t like them. Your taste buds allegedly change every seven years so I decided to see if my feelings toward these two things changed. They didn’t. Look how beautiful this bloody mary is though. My uncle’s recipe, he includes horseradish, bacon, celery, and olives. I decided that if this was served hot, in a bowl, I could totally eat it as soup. Olives, disgusting as always- nothing will ever change that.

Sweet and Sour Soup

You haven’t had sweet and sour soup till you have had this recipe. Based somewhat on a recipe from My Life As A Mrs., my aunt and uncle make this thick and filling soup, topping it off with fried wontons. It is amazing.


A lazy, super easy, but delicious creation of my own. I had left over vanilla ice cream from Thanksgiving. I bought it to eat with my pecan pie. I decided to make my last Kind Bar (Dark Chocolate, Pecan and Cinnamon) unhealthy by crushing it and using it as a topping for my ice cream. If I had had hot fudge it would have been used for this as well.


I also made Shrimp Stir Fry with Japanese rice (in the rice cooker) instead of rice noodles and Fettuccine Alfredo for my parents. Both really easy and delicious.

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