Holiday Fatigue

New Year’s Eve 2016 marks the end of one of the craziest years in my lifetime. It also marks the end of the Christmas season in our house.

Having had several late nights and days of eating hyper rich foods has left me feeling a bit fatigued, dull and dried out. A quick and easy home remedy: the lavender-oatmeal facial scrub. To make this, take a handful of raw oatmeal and a handful of dried lavender flowers and whir in a blender until mealy.

Next put about a teaspoon of this ground up mixture facial-4into the palm of your hand. Add a couple of drops of water  to make a paste consistency. Then gently massage the mixture onto your skin using circular motions. Rinse off. That’s it!

Bonus: It smells lovely too!


On the Table

Christmas morning, after the stockings were opened, the kitchen table was set for breakfast with Pfaltzgraff “Winterberry” patterned dinnerware.  I began my obsessive, too- extensive collection of this pattern in the late 1980’s. My late mother-in-law, who appreciated the table setting more that the food served, fuelled this obsession with annual Christmas cash.

At the beginning, Pfaltzgraff was manufactured in America and most of my collection comes from there. In later years it has been made offshore, and I have noticed the quality isn’t quite the same, some of the colours are off. Likely this is the reason I didn’t experience withdrawal symptoms when I didn’t add to my collection this year. christmas-breakfast-1

The Christmas breakfast menu was all prepared ahead of time making it easy to share with our neighbours:

Fruit cocktail (Hubby’s recipe)

Turkey Sausage and Egg Casserolechristmas-breakfast-2

Irish Whiskey Cured Salmon

Mincemeat Muffins

Apple pie




Merry Mincemeat Muffins


As promised, here is my recipe for mincemeat muffins. I baked a batch this afternoon ready for coffee with our neighbours tomorrow morning. While they are delicious warm, they taste just as good cold. This recipe is so easy I’m sure you’ll want to try it even if you “don’t like mincemeat”. My hubby is one of those people who claim to dislike mincemeat, but he certainly does like these muffins!

Sift together 1- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.

Beat together in a separate bowl: 1/2 cup butter, melted,  1/2 cup of apple cider (or apple juice), and 2 eggs. Stir this liquid mixture into the dry ingredients just until moistened. The batter will be lumpy.

Finally add 1 cup of mincemeat and stir until blended.

Divide the batter into paper lined muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 23 minutes.

This recipe is supposed to make one dozen muffins. For some reason I only manage to get eleven!



The Halls are Decked …a little


It is fun to decorate the house for Christmas. Some years every nook and cranny is filled with trees, garlands, candles, ornaments, wreaths, ribbons,  plants and other items that reflect the “spirit of the season”. 2015 was one of those years. This year I restrained myself from putting out every Christmas item we have. To me, the house still looks festive.


A silver bowl filled with glittery grapevine balls, topped with a plaid ribbon, sits on the coffee table. The tree provides all the light that’s needed to brighten the early evening dark of winter.


The fireplace mantle is decked out with our collection of reindeer, most of which have been made and given to us by dear friends. Family photos, stockings, and garland complete the mantle display.


A collection of tiny birdhouses sit on a shelf above the sideboard in the dining room.

The bathroom gets a festive touch with an LED candle placed on the toilet tank and hand towels that reflect the season.


To me, the halls are decked enough!

But I’m not as sure that my furry child agrees!