Last time I touched base with you all, we were jogging into the holidays.
Before you knew it, that jog became a full-time sprint.
I had so many decorations yet to pull out.
Aren’t Mr. and Mrs. Claus darling?
I found them at the Bins last month — and they currently reside on my porch.
With lots of other vintage friends.
There’ve been sleepovers for Charlotte and a gaggle of friends.
Dinner for a crowd? I love making a rice bowl buffet. I put out different ingredients each time, but for her sleepover I offered out pan-griddled chicken, marinated and sauteed tofu, veggies and peanut sauce. Everyone adds as much or as little as they’d like of each ingredient and add other sauces to further customize as they see fit.
Come breakfast time, who doesn’t love buttermilk pancakes with vanilla maple syrup in the morning?
There’ve been a handful of big bakes for friends in the ‘hood.
(My apologies if you’re a pal who lives further out — I’ll hit you up in 2020, I promise!).
And I’ve baked for people I’ve met in the Providence Cancer Center.
I met a father and son really struggling with treatments there so I decided to surprise them one day at the hospital with his-and-his freezer friendly packages of their favorite cookies.
What else to show you?
I brought something to this event.
Lindsay and Bethany are two Portland kick-ass foodies and professionals who organize this event every December to benefit those marginalized in our society (refugees and immigrants) and they ask for homemade donations which are then sold to the public during a fun holiday party.
I made an extra big batch of Holiday Snack Mix and dropped it off for sale.
One last thing needed doing in the Kline household.
Once Oliver came home from college, we gathered supplies for our annual gingerbread house decorating.
This year Charlotte and I separated all the various candies by color.
(I find that muffin pans are the ideal candy separating device; we used it to our heart’s content and then passed it on to another family who’d yet to decorate their own.)
The house was finished up and has been on the porch this past week and a half to greet holidays visitors.
It was made just in time! That — and a few last decorations to put out (all of this found below found at the Bins this last year!)–
and then it was time for our Christmas Eve Neighborhood Open House.
My Mom and stepfather had just arrived so there were many hands on deck.
I had about fifty people show up — but luckily I had a massive spread planned.
We had so much fun and around fifty of us noshed and sipped Mimosas and got caught up.
I love my community and my friends– many of which I met in the first months I lived here sixteen years ago.
Everyone at my party got a little gift to take home.
Inspired by my pal craft maven Laurie, I made a big handful of candy canes using mid-century glass beads and every family got to pick one of these to take home.
They also each got a wood basket of homemade treats to enjoy later.
I made those tiny wreaths all of out Bins finds (including those little pearls!) and included my favorite holiday cookies.
I’ve told you about these Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps before — and they are unbelievable.
So you see it’s been busy.
And it’s so wonderful to have my handsome fella home, front and center.
Everything tastes better
and is more fun to do– and share
and watch — when we’re together.
(Like all the holiday favorites. Elf never disappoints.)
I hope that your holiday too was cheery,
and surrounded by loved ones.
Wishing us all love, health and happiness for 2020.