Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

Graphic courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

I originally saw this graphic on Kim's blog, and I fell in love with it.  I wish that I was going to have as much fun as this girl is having on New Year's Eve!   But alas, we will probably have a quiet and peaceful evening here at Love and Life at Leadora.  In the meantime, I would like to wish all my dear blog friends a happy New Year filled with much joy and success!   

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Post Holiday Blues

Yesterday was our final Christmas celebration with family, and this morning I woke up with a case of the post holiday blues.  My symptoms include: exhaustion, malaise, indigestion, and extreme aversion to sweets and anything related to Christmas.   You can contract this illness by being exposed to the usual holiday stress, as well as staying up way too late, eating rich holiday foods, and trying to do way too much.   On top of all that, post holiday blues can be made worse by the realization that you still have all those Christmas decorations to put away and a huge after Christmas mess to deal with.

I realized long ago that post holiday blues are just my body's way of telling me it's time to go back to my simple pre-holiday life.  So this morning I took a long walk, had a healthy breakfast, and decided that the Christmas decorations could stay put another day.  I feel better already, and by tomorrow I should be able to tackle all those wonderful after Christmas tasks!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas
and a happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Rainy Day Wish

It has been raining here at Love and Life at Leadora for the past four days.  I was thinking how fun it would be to have these Hunter rubber boots from England.  Do you think that when wearing these I could talk with an English accent too?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Secret Santa with a Twist

Last Christmas, we started a new tradition at Love and Life at Leadora.   About a week after Thanksgiving, the five of us close our eyes and take turns randomly choosing names from a hat.    But this isn't the usual "Secret Santa" game.  There are 2 rules: You cannot spend more than $5 and your gift must be purchased from the 99 cents store!   Last year it was quite a hoot and the highlight of Christmas.  Isn't it funny how sometimes the simplest things are what we cherish the most?    

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cookie Exchange

The weather is finally starting to cool down here at Love and Life at Leadora, and now it is really beginning to feel like Christmas!  Last night, I met my BUNCO group for dinner and a cookie exchange.  I left  the house with a dozen decorated sugar cookies and a dozen red and white marbled cookies.

And I returned with 2 dozen even more fabulous cookies!

It was a fun evening, and the best part was finding out what everybody brought.  As you can see, each cookie is different, but they certainly all look delicious! 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Corner Cabinet

As many of you know, my corner cabinet in the dining room at Love and Life at Leadora is always decorated for the season.   For Christmas, I always display my Spode.  Throughout the years, I have been given lots of Spode.  I even have a punch bowl!    I wish I could use my Spode throughout December, but it is not dishwasher safe, so I only use it for special holiday occasions.  In the meantime, some of the pieces sit in this corner cabinet so that when needed I can access them easily when special guests arrive.

This is one of my favorite snowmen!    As you can see, the ornament is actually a snowman's head, but I placed it on top of one of my Spode teacups, which became a little snowman body.  Also, this year I lined the back of my shelves with red and white ticking stripe to give this corner cabinet a little extra holiday "oomf". 

Hope you enjoyed seeing my dining room corner cabinet!  I love hearing from you, and I am always so appreciative of your lovely comments!

Its So Very Cheri

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Christmas Vignette

The original part of our house at Love and Life at Leadora was built in 1876.   What I like best about my house is that it is filled with charm and details that newer homes don't always have.  However, rooms in my home are small, and unfortunately there is not a lot of space for Christmas trees.  In the past, I've squeezed in a snowman Christmas tree in the dining room and then cringed every time one of the kids or dogs rubbed up against it.  So this year I decided to do a different kind of tree, and I used my white ironstone to do it. 

My inspiration came from a Mary Engelbreit print that my mother gave me.   Why is it that pretty Christmas prints are always hard to find?   Anyway, the cost of the print was free, and although I paid to have it framed and mattted, it was totally worth it.   Then I went to my snowman collection and chose my very favorite ones to display.   

I think compared to everyone else in blogland, I am really behind with my Christmas decorating.  I need to finish my dining room corner cabinet (I'm still tweaking), and I haven't even began the outside.  Oh, and gifts?  I haven't even bought one!  How are your Christmas preparations coming?
Ornament Party

Saturday, December 4, 2010

There's Snow Place like Home!

After I was newly married, my mother at La Vie Quotidienne gave me my first Sandi Gore Evans snowman figure.  I fell in love with these cute little snowmen and have been collecting them throughout the years.   Unfortunately, Sandi Gore Evans passed away many years ago, and so the snowmen are not readily available anymore.   Every Christmas, I make their home in the lawyer's bookcase at Love and Life at Leadora.   I couldn't possibly have a close-up of every snowman, but here are a few for you to enjoy!

I joined the link party at It's So Very Cheri.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Easy Christmas Decorating

Christmas decorating is fun, but for me can be rather nerve wracking.  I never feel I have it just right, and  I usually spend many days tweaking or rearranging things that I have created.   However, my light fixture ornamentation is easy.   I simply tie gold ornaments on the light fixture using wired ribbon.  Then I curl the ends of the ribbon with a pencil.   There is no precision, fluffing or tweaking with this easy Christmas decoration!   Do you have any easy Christmas decorating tips?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Woodland Tree

One of the best things about Christmas decorating is opening up all the storage boxes and seeing all your favorite things that you haven't seen in a year.   When it came time to start decorating, I immediately began with my woodland tree.  This tree features forest animals, birds, birdhouses, gold ornaments, and a bee skip.  I must admit, I had a very difficult time photographing this tree and all its details.  In person, it is much prettier. 


DIY Club

Monday, November 22, 2010

Red-and-White Marbled Cookies

Over the weekend, the December/January issue of Country Living arrived in my mailbox.  While I was reading the magazine, my eyes instantly landed on these red-and-white marbled cookies.  As many of you know, I enjoy baking and learning new baking techniques.   I also happen to love marble stone and would love to have marble countertops in my new kitchen someday!

Using a basic sugar-cookie dough, I divided the dough in half and then tinted one half red.  Next, I rolled each half into a rope and then layed the two pieces side by side and twisted those into one rope.  Then, I just kind of "smooshed" the two colors together to make the marble effect.   I just wish that marble kitchen countertops were that easy to make!

I joined the link parties at It's So Very Cheri! and Sew Many Ways.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A New Blog Header!

Hello, my blog friends!  If you haven't already noticed, I finally dove in and changed my header.   I am not very computer savvy, and the whole process was taking a lot of nail biting, hair-pulling, and many margaritas!  I finally discovered this tutorial, which helped immensely.  In the end, I found out that it's really not so hard after all!  I may even attempt to make another header for the holidays.   Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall Cookies

With fall decorating coming to an end,  I thought I would take out my leaf cookie cutters and decorate some sugar cookies.  Unfortunately, I decided to try a new sugar cookie recipe, and  although the leaf cookies are pretty to look at, they taste horrible!  Next month, I am participating in a cookie exchange, so I am so glad that I discovered this now and not in several weeks.  Otherwise, I would have had quite a baking disaster.   Have you ever had one of those?   

Anyway, if you like to decorate cookies, I would highly recommend Cookie Craft by Valerie Peterson and Janice Fryer.  It is the book  that I always go to when I want to learn more about techniques and great decorating designs.  In fact, Cookie Craft would make a great Christmas gift for yourself or the baker in your life! And no, don't worry, my horrible cookie recipe did not come from this book...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dreaming of a New Bathroom

This past week at Love and Life at Leadora has been very exciting.   The drywall in the new bathroom was completed.   Believe it or not, this bathroom used to be a bedroom prior to the renovation.  Currently, all five of us are showering in the master bathroom, and I am so done with sharing!! 

Next on the to-do list is paint and tile.  In the meantime, I am dreaming of a new bathroom....

Hopefully, my dreams will come true! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

To Decorate or Not to Decorate?

After Halloween, my corner cabinet looks awfully bare.  Thanksgiving at Love and Life at Leadora  revolves around the dinner and Christmas decorating commences the day after, so I own very few Thanksgiving decorations.   Also, the traditional fall colors of yellow, orange and brown look dreadful in my dining room.   This year, I decorated  my corner cabinet with some of my pink and white transferware, acorns from our large oak tree, decorative pumpkins, a pumpkin teapot,and my favorite little bird turine. 

What's your Thanksgiving decorating style?  Do turkeys and pumpkins fill your home?  Or do you skip and go directly to Christmas?  To decorate or not to decorate?  I'd love to know your answer.  Let me know by leaving a comment!

Friday, November 5, 2010


When Christine, from Silverlinings 4 me, asked me to participate in this week's wordweek for the word "abundance", all I could think of was the abundance of  house projects that need to be done at Love and Life at Leadora!  However, I quickly realized that all these house projects would not make very interesting nor pretty  photos!  So instead, I decided to share my abundance of pink and white dishes.  The dishes in the photo are only a small portion of what I own.  I love china and would probably have as much possible if it weren't for lack of money and space!   Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy November!

Today is a beautiful day at Love and Life at Leadora...beautiful, bright, warm and sunny. 
Happy November!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A New Sous Chef

I would like to introduce you to the new sous chef  at Love and Life at Leadora!  You can see her as young witch here.  Sous chef Willow is very lucky to have a talented grandmother who originally sewed this chef's costume many years ago for her big sister, Zoe.  This has been a very popular costume at Love and Life at Leadora because Willow's older brother,  Graeme,  also wore it. In fact, Graeme liked being a chef so much that he wore the costume two years in a row.   Unfortunately, after this Halloween, the chef's costume will probably have to be retired.

While the sous chef at Love and Life at Leadora was at school, the executive chef prepared cinammon baked french toast for a breakfast with friends.  This recipe is easy to make and quite tasty too.  With the holidays fast approaching, this would be a great recipe to consider serving Christmas morning.  In the meantime, have a happy and safe Halloween!