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Talk of the Weekend #11

childrens Christmas party


Happy weekend before Christmas!  There are just sooo many fun things to see and enjoy these days.  I want to share a few with you before this brief time of celebration has slipped away .  So let’s get right to them!

Don’t you think this precious table setting would be perfect for a reindeer party for your children (or grandchildren)?

reindeer party

Oh… and you could make these adorable treats for that party as well!

reindeer treats from

I loved these no bake thin mints.  They would be gobbled up faster than you can say candy canes around here!

no bake thin mints for

And aren’t these the most charming gingerbread cookies ever??  They would make wonderful gifts.  (They’re almost too pretty to eat!)

gingerbread townhouse

Looking for a last minute gift or two?  You know I can’t resist anything with a jar.:)

hot cocoa in a jar gift

I found this old Crate and Barrel lookbook/ad that I thought was pretty clever. (When you click on it you’ll need to give it a few seconds to load.) Just scroll all the way down through it to enjoy, and you don’t have to follow all the arrows off to the side items. The end is pretty cute.:)

the tree lot from crate and barrel 

And speaking of Crate and Barrel, I have fallen in love with this wrapping paper from them.  Unfortunately, they are sold out online, and we have no time to drive 2 hours to Atlanta to find any (probably none left in the stores either.:()

Crate and Barrel gift

Have you had time to snuggle in and watch some of your favorite Christmas movies?  This article gives a good round up of Christmas movie houses (with most of their images from Julia’s Hooked on Houses blog.)

Christmas movies The Family

And since we are talking about Christmas houses, if you didn’t see last year’s Christmas tour of author Mary Kay Andrew’s home, you are going to looooove it.  It has to be one of my favorites in all of blogland!

Mary Kay Andrews dining room for

In the last year, she and her husband have moved into another home in the same neighborhood as their old house. She is calling the new one Squirrel Hollow.:)It seems to have more of her beachy color scheme than the old one.  You can see a little of her holiday decorating in their new home here.

Christmas mantel Mary Kay Andrews

Do you remember my post on Mary Kay Andrew’s smaller beach cottage, Breeze Inn?  You can see it all decorated for Christmas here and here!  And remember  Ebbtide the big beach house in which we stayed? (There are 3 posts on that one beginning here!)  You can catch a glimpse of a little of its holiday decor here.

Christmas tree at

One of my favorite Christmas house tours this year is the Geneva, Illinois one over at Debra’s 5th and State blog.  All the natural elements in it are simply gorgeous!

Geneva house

I have photos from a Christmas tour we went on a couple of weeks ago that I have been wanting to share with you.  Unfortunately, sickness has decided to grab me again….fever for 3 straight days this week (high fever!) and tonsils that expanded to the size of the marshmallow man in Ghostbusters.  Not fun.:( But thank goodness it is not pneumonia this time…just a bad infection and the meds have finally kicked in to stop the fever.  Yesterday was a much better day, and I am hoping that today things can finally start to look a lot like Christmas around here.  I am going to get that darn tree decorated today if it is the only thing I do!

On a more serious note, my father-in-law has been hospitalized for over a week with some very serious issues, and my husband has been doing his best to handle things with his father and me.  Bless his and his father’s heart.  But we do have some good news to share!  Our son got a phone call this week telling of his acceptance into Yale’s Law School for next fall.  Woohoo!  This has been his dream school, and we are so very proud of him!:) So we will have one son in Seattle and one in Connecticut next year.  (I vote for a Christmas in Connecticut for 2015!)

Christmas in

My plan for this week  is to get out two posts on the Christmas tour for you  (fingers crossed), and if there is time, I have a Christmas movie house post I want to do….yes all before Christmas.  But… I have got to get the house looking like Christmas (remember that little Better Homes and Gardens photoshoot coming up here???) and gifts bought and wrapped.  I keep reading bloggers asking Are you ready for Christmas?  I am not going to ask you that because that question is stressful since my answer is a big NO…at least a no for all the external things.  I have been reading and enjoying an Advent book of devotionals, and inside Christmas can come whenever it wants.:)

Anyway, I am telling you all of this for a reason.  I am not going to reply to comments and emails this week.  I will read them all, but given the time crunch I am in, I am afraid I am going to have to let that go.  Hope that is alright with you.  I want to leave you with a bit of holiday music (that of course made me cry like a baby when I watched it.)

Merry Christmas!
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Kim - December 21, 2014 - 11:48 am

Kelly, I sure hope you feel much better soon and I’m looking forward to your tour. A huge congrats to your son!

Mimi - December 21, 2014 - 11:57 am

Praying for a full recovery very soon for both you and your father-in-law. Also praying for extra energy for that dear husband of yours! Congratulations to your son–what a wonderful accomplishment! Thanks for the Christmas eye candy to get us through until your next post. God bless!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life - December 21, 2014 - 12:13 pm

I loved the flash mob concert, spectacular. Merry Christmas.

L J - December 21, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Jar with peppermints is clever and easy to add–I plan to do it along w/your idea of a simple Santa and reindeer in jar. Both clever, cute, and easy.
I too had tears and was touched by the AF band’s flash mob–loved it. With all the chaos and fighting in the world there is still heaven’s declaration of joy and peace.
WOW! Yale Law School-a terrific accomplishment, and Congratulations to him.
I hope the antibiotics kick in in a major way; I don’t want you to miss a moment of Christmas joy. May you have a speedy recovery. (I too still have my tonsils!)
May there be speedy and deep healing for your father-in-law and may your husband be resilient and blessed.

Barbara (WA) - December 21, 2014 - 12:47 pm

NO problem regarding comments & emails – please get totally well.

Frances in England - December 21, 2014 - 12:47 pm

I’m sending good wishes to you and your family for speedy returns to robust health, and additional strength in the meantime.
Also huge congrats to your son re Yale Law School – wow.
A heartfelt thank you for all your work in producing this blog – I always smile when I get a notification of a new post in my inbox.
I wish you all good things for this holiday season, and also for 2015.

Rhonda - December 21, 2014 - 1:32 pm

I hope you and your father-in-law start to feel better! Congratulations to your son!!! How exciting. Thanks for sharing the music and all the pretty things on your blog. We are turning an unused room into a game room. The room has been used as a junk room for way too long and now we are decluttering so we can get things switched around, which means that every other room is becoming messy. Before I head to bed tonight, I need to straighten up the other rooms before it gets too out of hand. Then, re-watching the Hobbit movies so I can go see the new one… It’s been a fun weekend!!! Best to you and your family. Merry Christmas!!!

Cynthia - December 21, 2014 - 1:34 pm

Kelly, praying you are better soon so you can accomplish all of the things on your list. So sorry to hear about your father in law. I hope he is better soon. I will praying for both of you. The news about Yale is so exciting! Please tell him congratulations and that we are all so proud of him! Yes I vote for Christmas in Connecticut, as well. I watched Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in Holiday Inn last night. It made me want to have Christmas in Connecticut, too. I also watched You’ve got Mail about 2 weeks ago and thought of you. I had my last and hopefully final surgery for a long time last Monday. I think I told you my mom and I were having cornea transplants because of a genetic eye disease? I had cornea and complete lens transplants. I am doing well. Just having to do a lot of drops and I am not driving yet due to swelling and still a little blurry. I am still exercising and trying to regain my range of motion from my breast reconstruction. I have come along way. I still have about 4 more weeks of recovery on the Tram Flap. That is the same breast reconstructive surgery Julie had many years ago. It is a very tough surgery. Well enough of health issues! Terry and I wish you family a Merry Christmas and love to all!

Dawn - December 21, 2014 - 2:15 pm


Congratulations to your son! What an honor to accepted to Yale law school! On another note, you need to get well and stay well, sista! You have had such a rough time of it lately. Good luck with your decorating, wrapping and such. I wish you all the best!

Debra - December 21, 2014 - 4:06 pm

Love the cocoa mix in a jar and those mint cookies look yummy. They remind me of some that are available at World Market. I usually make some, but I use mint oreo cookies, cover them in chocolate and decorate the tops. It sounds like things on the home front are so hectic. You poor girl. I was so worried again for you, and now your father in law. Prayers your way for better health. Congrats to your son. What an accomplishment. My mouth dropped open when I saw the 5th and State BlogSpot. This is in our neck of the woods. Geneva is a wonderful town, with Third street shops, pubs/restaurants and beautiful old homes. One of our charming Fox River towns. Debra’s shop is lovely. I remember years ago going on a Summer Garden Walk and her home in beautiful Wayne, IL was a garden feature. We were just allowed to tour the grounds, but I am sure the interior would have been lovely. Such a charming cottage style home. Love her style. Well, I am not ready here either. I say it every year, a day or two before Christmas…”Can I please just have another week to prepare please?” Ha… So much on you with the Better Homes and Garden photo shoot too. Good luck, Kelly. I can’t wait to see your future posts. More Holiday Goodness!

Teresa W. - December 21, 2014 - 6:01 pm

I’m so sorry to hear that you’re sick again and that you’re father-in-law has been so sick too. I hope he will be home for Christmas. On a funny note, when I was about seven, my three sisters and I all had our tonsils out on the same day! Can you imagine how quiet our home was with four girls quieted by tonsil removal? I’m the youngest of eight though, so only half of us were quiet. Congratulations on your son’s acceptance to Yale! That is a wonderful accomplishment. (I want to see fall foliage pictures on your blog). Curl up under a blanket with some hot tea and a good Christmas movie and have a very Merry Christmas!

Arlene@Nanaland - December 21, 2014 - 6:39 pm

Oh Kelly, so sorry you all are dealing with so much at Christmas! Prayers going up for you. But Big Congrats on that Yale Admission…a proud parent moment for sure. We are just home from North Georgia for our Christmas with my family. Please know we all understand your situation and we will be glad to hear from you when things settle down.

Barbara P from Ma - December 21, 2014 - 7:11 pm

Kelly, So sorry to hear that you are back under the weather- Hope your new meds have you feeling fine soon! A huge congratulation to you and your husband on your son’s acceptance into Yale’s School of Law! That is huge and even though you are very proud of him, you two deserve a lot of the credit for raising such a fine son! Merry Christmas to you all! (Hope your father-in-law is doing better also)

Martha - December 21, 2014 - 8:20 pm

Wonderful post! I love the wrapping paper too! YALE, how exciting and what an accomplishment. You must take it easy and get well. Merry Christmas!!!!

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - December 21, 2014 - 9:51 pm

So sorry to hear you are under the weather again. I hope you can take some time to recuperate and rest up on your Christmas break. Congratulations to your son…that is an amazing accomplishment!Thanks for another fun post with many good links. I’m in the middle of baking after bell choir practice…busy days before Christmas around here too. I’m sure Christmas in Connecticut would be beautiful…however, Christmas in Seattle has some magic too! Merry Christmas to you and yours. Hope your father in law is better soon.

Louvina - December 21, 2014 - 10:21 pm

Been wondering how you’re doing– and now to find out you are not completely well– so, so sorry and send well wishes to the entire family! On the upside–congrats on the Yale acceptance for your son!! Just finished making 10 dozen cookies for family and neighbors. We are having rain so can’t make divinity! Tomorrow will make fudge. I can’t believe I have everything done having started so late!! May have extra time to go back and look at all the ideas here! Wishing you and your family rest, wellness and a wonderful Christmas with a great New Year– 2015!! Just thinking about the magazine photo shoot and hoping you are well enough to do what you want — wish we followers could come and help!!( and have a sneak peek!) ;)

Donna Tait - December 21, 2014 - 11:21 pm

I’m so sorry you’ve been been ill. Your posts are always a joy to read! I hope you will consider posting a belated Christmas update and use this time to take care of yourself and enjoy your family. I often marvel at the amount of celebrating, decorating, shopping and entertaining we struggle to squeeze into four weeks. Perhaps you could steal an idea from The Hallmark Channel and share Christmas ideas in July. I loved the performance by the U S Air Force band. I went to see The Trans Siberian Orchestra last night and am still trying to absorb all I saw and heard. The talent in the production was amazing! I also love to watch the you tube movies by The Piano Guys. “Where are you Christmas,” featuring Jon Schmidt’s daughter and “Angels We Have Heard On High” are wonderful. I also love the Glade Christmas commercial and downloaded the full “This Is My Wish” from the Glade website. Prayers for you and your father-in-law, and the rest of your family. The true spirit of Christmas is not defined by a calendar. Enjoy! Donna

Paula B. - December 22, 2014 - 2:22 am

House love. Holiday (everything) love. Thanks for the great post, Kelly. AND, give congrats to your son on the Yale acceptance, what an accomplishment, you must be so proud! Have a wonderful Christmas, I hope you have two whole weeks off to relax and enjoy. We have school Monday and Tuesday, then it’s vacation, yay. I hope, too, that you are feeling much better and that your father-in-law is improving. I’m calling it quits with the baking and candy making, and, as is my “tradition”, still have almost all the wrapping (I mean slapping in gift bags) to be done. Ah, well, ’tis the season. Enjoy!!!

Anne from Atlanta - December 22, 2014 - 8:25 am

Thanks for a delightful post despite being under the weather. Congratulations on the good news about your son! Talent runs in your family! I’m sending lots of warm wishes for good health for your family in 2015 and, of course, for a Merry Christmas. Your blog brings lots of enjoyment and cheer to all of us readers in blog land.

Cynde - December 22, 2014 - 8:58 am

Kelly first congrats to your son, second I hope you & your fil feel better real soon to be able to enjoy the holidays. Have to say I was so “OMGING” when I saw then read the post about the Christmas House Walk. You see Geneva is very near me. I was actually planning this year to go on that tour, & all the festivies in town that night, but plans got changed last minute. But next year I’m doing it, even if I have to go it alone. I love that town, so much so, that it would be the one I chose to move too, if I ever have to leave my rural home. Geneva is so stinking quiant!!!! I go there to walk…..& ummm window shop….that can easily turn into real shop if I’m not careful lol. Especially when we get these dreary sunless, snowless, days that we are having. Thanks again for this post!

Donnamae - December 22, 2014 - 9:44 am

That was a wonderful tour! I’m rather busy myself…my son and DIL are coming home from Japan…and there’s oh so much to do! I may not be able to read any new posts until after Christmas. So, I hope you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Christmas! ;)

Susan - December 22, 2014 - 10:53 am

Merry Christmas, Kelly! Blessings to you, and your family, in 2015~

Garden, Home and Party - December 22, 2014 - 11:13 am

Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry to hear of your struggles with returning to 100% good health.
Christmas will undoubtedly provide the cure. I loved your post and am thrilled for your son who just got accepted into Yale law school! So much to be thankful for this season.
Best to you and your family!

Mary from Virginia - December 22, 2014 - 7:59 pm

I hope you are on the road to recovery and your father in law too. Have a joyous Christmas! May you get everything done fast!

Congratulations to your son! Way to go Mom and Dad!

How to Make Divinity

divinity (2)When I first started thinking about the recipe that I wanted to share with you in the Christmas in the Kitchen post, I remembered that we had divinity every year during the holidays as I was growing up, but… I didn’t know if all of you would even know what it was.  Boy was I mistaken!  I couldn’t believe how many of you said that you had also enjoyed it in your childhood.  From grandmothers to grandfathers to aunts, it seems that most of you had a fond memory of a relative preparing the sweet confection…and at Christmas!:)

recipe for divinity


My mother made it every year, but I had never tried out the recipe.  If I was going to share it with you, I wanted to know how to make it.  So my mother came over last week, and she showed me how to cook it. All I knew was that she always said you cannot make it if it is raining.  Humidity is bad bad bad for divinity.(We had planned to make it on a Saturday, but of course it rained.  So we had to wait until a sunny day.) There are quite a few variations of the recipe, but she calls this Twice Cooked Divinity because the sugar syrup is cooked twice.1 divinity ingredientsI mentioned in the last post that we increased the eggs to 3, the vanilla to 1 teaspoon, and the nuts to one cup (one heaping cup.:))  We started with 2 eggs, but they looked so small, we decided 3 would be better.

You begin by heating the sugar, syrup, and water over medium heat.  Stir it until it boils.  Then stop stirring, and let it heat to 240 degrees.

3 sugars cookingWhile the sugar is cooking, separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff.  (I had my mixer on the counter next to the stove.)

2 egg whites

Once the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees, keep the mixer going, and pour 1/3 of the hot sugar syrup over the egg whites.4 adding hot sugar mixPut the remainder of the sugar syrup back on the stove, and heat it to 265 degrees. Keep the mixer going (on medium speed), and pour the rest of the hot sugar over the egg whites when the mixture reaches 265.

5 adding hot sugar mixtureBeat it until the mixture is stiff and holds its shape.  Then mix in the vanilla.

6 mix egg whites and sugarsAt this point, my mother said, Now we have to use a wooden spoon instead of the mixer.  So take the bowl out from under the mixer, add the pecan pieces, and mix it all up with a wooden spoon.

7 add pecans and vanillaThen spread out parchment or waxed paper, and drop the stiff mixture by the teaspoonful.  It makes between 50 and 60 pieces.

divinityBoth of our boys love divinity, and since they are not living anywhere near here, my mother and I decided we would mail some to them.

divinity (2)So they will soon be getting a tin of the candy, a photo of the two of them from loooooong ago with Santa, and my mother’s handwritten divinity recipe…a taste of Christmas from home.:)

Christmas package of divinityAnd one of you will be getting the 2 cookbooks along with the $25 Williams-Sonoma gift card from last week’s giveaway.  There were 350 absolutely wonderful comments. Thank you all. I enjoyed reading them so much!  (A few of the comments got placed on the wrong posts thanks to my wonky comment form, but I included them in the pot as well.)  Here is the winning number…

winner number 9

Which belongs to this comment in the Talk of the Weekend #10 post.

winning comment Jennifer in VA

Congratulations Jennifer!  I will be getting in touch with you about your mailing address very soon.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week.  If you give the divinity recipe a try, I would love to hear how it turns out!

Until next time….

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Anne Boykin - December 15, 2014 - 6:22 am

Hi Kelly, Thanks for the recipe! I had divinity when I was a kid too – a long time ago, lol. Your kitchen is lovely and you photograph it so well. Love all the red and white.
You are more than welcome for the recipe Anne. Thank you for your compliments on the kitchen! This is the perfect time of year for all the red and white.

Arlene@Nanaland - December 15, 2014 - 7:53 am

Your divinity looks divine!!:) Believe it or not, that was one of the recipes I learned back in Home Economics!! And I did learn it is better to make any kind of candy on a day with low humidity! Thanks for that tip Miss Butler, Home Ec Teacher at Murray County High School!!
Wow that was a complicated one to tackle in Home Ec! Your teacher must have wanted you to practice reading a candy thermometer or trying out the stages of candy. :) (It’s a good one for that.)
You should be a pro if you learned it back in high school!

Garden, Home and Party - December 15, 2014 - 8:09 am

What a fun Christmas memory. I wish I had made divinity with my mom before she passed. I think this recipe looks delicious and relatively easy.
I’m happy that you are feeling better and hope the remaining week+ of the holiday season is filled with fun and magic.
P.S. I’m assuming your boys will be home for Christmas!
Oh Karen, I wish you had made it with your mom too. It is a delicious treat.
I am doing better and taking it slooow. No tree up nor much of anything else here other than the kitchen and dining area done. My to-do for the week is the outside, and I have done 2 windows and one door. It is progress!
The boys won’t be coming for Christmas because our oldest does not have any time off. Boo hoo. And we are not going there with all that needs to get done at our home. We are using Skype a lot!!

L J - December 15, 2014 - 10:13 am

My first taste of Divinity was at a Christmas party when I was in elementary school–and I loved it from first taste :}. My mother never attempted to make it :[ She did warn me though that it won’t work if there’s any humidity!
My plan had been to attempt it today but–it’s raining! And that’s good since here in northern CA we’ve been in a drought.
Kelly, l love all that red–makes me happy just looking at pics of your kitchen.
Tell your blog mates that I enjoyed the series on Christmas in the Kitchen. Y’all did a fun and fantastic job.
So glad you are getting rain, but it does make the candy making difficult. (But you all really needed the rain.) I am glad you are enjoying all the red. It is on major overdose here! LOL I will pass along your comments about the kitchen post to all the other bloggers involved. So glad you enjoyed it!

Kathy - December 15, 2014 - 10:23 am

What a fun thing to learn from your mom! It looks delicious! (And, are you surprised that I have your very same red mixer?) My dad just taught me how to make his chocolate peanut butter candy a few weeks ago. He never used a candy thermometer so we cook it until it forms little balls when dropped into a cup of cold water. It just has to “look right”. My college-aged son asked me if I would sometime write down his favorite recipes so I am making him a recipe book for Christmas. I am sending the link to it because it looks like something you would love….red with a little hounds-tooth napkin and plate/with utensils on the front.
Not surprised at all that you have the same red mixer! :) I am afraid math girl here has to have the thermometer…I can’t judge it in the cup of cold water. What you are making for your son is what I asked my mother-in-law for many years ago for a wedding present. One of my most used gifts! Your son better appreciate it. It will be a work of art! Love the cute cookbook!

Vicki - December 15, 2014 - 10:27 am

Thank you for the recipe and your beautiful photos! I think I’m one of the few with no divinity associations, so I guess it’s up to me to take up the slack for my family.
Have a great week, Kelly!
I hope you try it out Vicki. Be sure you have a good candy thermometer on hand, and it will easy for you!

Barbara (WA) - December 15, 2014 - 10:47 am

You have inspired me to hunt down my mom’s recipe (probably the same as your mom’s) and see if my DIL will make some. I’m thinking my 92 year old mom would enjoy tasting her favorite Christmas candy again. :) And I might need the source for those red & white striped measuring cups!
Oh I bet your mom WOULD love it Barbara! It’s yummy. The striped measuring cups were bought on sale around Valentine’s Day at Sur La Table. Love that store!

L J - December 15, 2014 - 10:49 am

Just had to say–Thank you for adding link to “The Piano Guys”. They’re new to me. And they’re absolutely Fabulous. After watching/listening to Waterfall I clicked on the link to video of Christmas hymn and just loved it. I think it was titled something like “Over 10,000 hours went into …”
Kelly, I really really appreciate you.
I am so glad you liked them. They are amazing!!! I appreciate you for reading and leaving sweet comments. :)

Julia G. - December 15, 2014 - 11:07 am

Kelly – I will be making divinity using your mother’s receipt this week. I don’t recall ever making it growing up.
I’d love to know how it turns out Julia. Good luck!

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - December 15, 2014 - 12:38 pm

Well, I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of divinity, but not only does yours look beautiful, we have matching red mixers! Yippee!

Gina - December 15, 2014 - 1:59 pm

Thank you for such a detailed recipe! How special to make it with your mom. I hope I get a chance to make it later this week. Time seems to be running out on me to get everything done (haha, I keep seeing more things to make on blogs and Pinterest.) :P My husband is planning to take candy to people he works with so I need to finish all of it first. :) My daughter and son-in-law will be here Saturday so I want everything perfect…well, as perfect as can be!! ;) I know that you know what I am talking about. :) Thank you for all your inspiration! :)

DiAnn - December 15, 2014 - 2:05 pm

I have to make this! Your photos are just perfect.
I already see the books coming from your blog and I will be rushing out to buy them. I can see Talk of the Kitchen cookbook. I have several titles for you in my head.
I know how happy your boys will be to get that divi you from home.

Dawn - December 15, 2014 - 5:42 pm


I will be trying your Divinity recipe but I will have to buy a candy thermometer first. I have been wanting to buy one for my kitchen any way. I will let you know how it goes. My Mom will be so delighted if I can get it to turn out. She has tried many times but she says its is always too humid here in Missouri to get it to turn out correctly. Thanks for sharing the recipe and how to pictures. they will help me greatly!
Yes, definitely get a candy thermometer Dawn. Your mother’s must not firm up. Perhaps beating it longer would help? Not sure about that – could be the temperature not getting hot enough. I hope yours turns out perfectly!

Susan - December 15, 2014 - 6:30 pm

Ok…just finished making your divinity recipe. I am not sure if it is a success or a flop!?! It is sticky but manageable. What is the final texture? I think I need your mom or better I need your mom in your kitchen!!!
It is sticky to start with – but it should not be runny. You leave it out on the paper (not covered) to firm up for a few hours – or even a day. It should firm up to the texture of nougat candy.
Good luck!

Carmen - December 16, 2014 - 3:21 am

Thanks for sharing the recipe!!! Have to try it!

Debra - December 16, 2014 - 7:12 am

My mother in law always made divinity, but it was not always my favorite to indulge in during the holidays. I would always go for my Aunt’s nut cups, while eyeing the cookie tray. Oh, my mouth is watering as I think of them. Hers were the best I had ever tasted. Unfortunately, she just pasted from cancer this last year. I was able to obtain her recipe, though I don’t feel I could do it justice. How nice that you and your Mom spent a wonderful afternoon in the kitchen and that your boys will have a taste of Christmas past. Love from the heart. The best kind… P. S. I am also drooling over your red Kitchen Aid. Almost bought one this last holiday season. Still contemplating. Are they worth the investment??

DiAnne - December 16, 2014 - 11:36 pm

Forgot to mention, I too have the same mixer. Funny story, I have always wanted a Kitchen Aide mixer but for some reason rationalized that I shouldn’t get one because I probably wouldn’t use it that much. Anyway, so this fall I attended a bridal shower where a young twenty something received a mixer. I left that shower thinking, why does a twenty something own a Kitchen Aide mixer and I don’t. Soon after I bought myself one. It is so easy to use and I have used it sooo much. The lesson here is Life is short so don’t wait around to get yourself a Kitchen Aiide Mixer.

Angela - December 19, 2014 - 5:57 pm

Hi Kelly, I fell in love with your picture frames and am now on the hunt to buy them locally. I have seen some at Walmart and Michaels but can you please tell me what size you frame is and the size of the picture used inside. The large ones seem to be a common size. I may attempt to cut my own matts out of very thin paper. Thank you so much. Your house is just beautiful.

Christmas in the Kitchen

TThe kitchen gets major glory at Thanksgiving with its over the top turkey-and-all-the-trimmings dinner, but Christmas in the kitchen? In my mind, Thanksgiving doesn’t hold a candle to the wonders of Christmas in the kitchen!  That is why I am sooo excited to be a part of a group of bloggers who are sharing their holiday kitchen and a recipe or two with you today.  I think you are really going to enjoy this.:)

Christmas in the Kitchen

kitchen corner for Christmas

Christmas in the kitchen brings to mind dozens of happy moments…

Teenagers making whipped cream topped hot cocoa after attending a holiday concert …

kitchen for Christmas red buffalo check drapes wreaths in window with jute bows

Popcorn popping for a Christmas movie-watching marathon.

(The Santa Clause and Home Alone are usually among the first we watch.:))

 Peppermint ice cream pie for dessert (just because we love peppermint at this time of year!) served with cappuccino made by a group of giggling nieces.

Christmas coffee tray

Then there are all those cookies and cakes that get prepared in the kitchen during the holidays for our friends and family (and Santa.:))

kitchen Christmas desk

kitchen Christmas chalkboard

And don’t forget the delicious smells that come out of that room at Christmas…ginger and spices in Swedish gingerbread baked for a treat to enjoy by the fire on a cold winter’s night…the cinnamon and clove scents from hot Christmas punch that’s made for every single party of the season here, or the fruity smell of oranges mixed with those same spices for a cup of hot Christmas tea to sip while reading a holiday novel. (Have any of you read Shepherds Abiding this year?)

Christmas beverage trayYes, I dearly love Christmas in the kitchen, and I love love love decorating it for the season.  From the fresh greenery wreaths in the windows to the little bottle brush trees sitting about, it is a fun space to fill with holiday touches.

plate rack with sleigh bellsAnd since our kitchen and dining area are one long room, I want to share what is on the other side of the island with you as well.  For the last few years, I have decorated our kitchen and dining area with gingerbread houses to accompany our Christmas china,  (Williams Sonoma Christmas Icons) but this year I wanted something different – something with even more of the childlike magic of the holiday.  So what better place to find inspiration than a memory from my own childhood.  I don’t have many specific memories of school from my childhood, but I do remember some of our Christmas decorating from way back then.  (Pretty sad for an elementary school teacher to admit, right? LOL) I’ve mentioned before my love for this cracked and worn Santa mug that I have enjoyed for many Christmases since I was a little girl.

Santa mug and Christmas teaSo when I saw these on sale at the Pottery Barn Outlet, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the kitchen and dining area this year.

PB Outlet Christmas table with candy cane dishesSanta Claus, the North Pole, reindeer, and sleigh bells from his sleigh all came together for the dining table.

Christmas tableI even carried the whimsy to reindeer names on tags with sleigh bells tied to the napkins.:)bell and nametag

Christmas table place setting

Dining room table for ChristmasThe centerpiece is Santa’s red sleigh (thanks Louvina:)) filled with holly from our yard.  It is sitting on a red platter (from Target) in a layer of snow  sugar.

sled centerpieceThe built in cabinet has a wreath that matches those in the window.

dining room for ChristmasSanta cookies are in the jar.

dining room cabinet for ChristmasI did not use the gingerbread houses in jars this year.  Instead I found a sparkly red Santa and two reindeer ornaments at Target to stand in the sugar snow.

dining room cabinet with Christmas vignetteLet me turn on the light so you can see them better.:)

(Santa came holding a white tree, but I changed it out for one of the green ones I had.)

Christmas vignette in dining roomAnd now for another childhood memory.:)

A few weeks ago I shared with you that I grew up in a home that sat in a pecan orchard, and each fall we would pick up the nuts that fell from those trees.  After selling bags and bags full of them, my father would always save out some that he would crack for our family, and then my mother would use some of those nuts at Christmas.  The one food I clearly remember my mother making at Christmas was divinity.  I do not remember her making it at any other time of the year – it was a Christmas-only treat.  But even though she made it every year, I never learned how to prepare it. (Yes, I know…shameful.) But the other day, she graciously came over to teach me how to make it. (Thanks Mom!)  Here is her recipe with a few tweaks. We increased the eggs to 3, the vanilla to 1 teaspoon, and doubled the pecans to 1 full cup.

recipe for divinity

I wanted to show you photographs of all the steps involved in making it, but this post is already toooooo long.

So here is a photo of the finished candy…


and next week I will do the post on how to prepare it.:)

dining room and kitchenAnd that wraps up my Christmas in the Kitchen. If you have come from one of the other blogs participating today, welcome to our home! I am so happy you are here!:) And if you are one of the regular readers here, I thank you for your frequent visits. I know you will find some delightful things at the other blogs on our tour today.  So hop over to them and enjoy!

Christmas in the Kitchen

Click on the banners below for a link to their Christmas kitchens.

Forever Cottage

Jenny Steffens Everyday Occasions

Nine and Sixteen

We hope our Christmas kitchens have given you a little holiday cheer, some decorating ideas, and perhaps a new recipe to try out this weekend.

One final thing before I go…don’t forget the giveaway going on here for 2 wonderful cookbooks and a $25 gift card for you to spend at Williams Sonoma.  (More ways to enjoy Christmas in your kitchen!)  You can find out all the details here. Just leave a comment to be entered, and remember the entry period closes at midnight Eastern time, Saturday December 13, 2014.

Talk of the House Christmas 2014

place setting

Thank you so much for visiting today.

Merry Christmas!

a signature

***giveaway has closed***

Sandy - December 12, 2014 - 7:01 am

Kelly, you always set the cutest tables. Love your hanging wreaths in the kitchen windows. Just added small wreaths, burlap ribbon, and bottle brush trees to my shopping list. Hope your school days are filled with Christmas plays, choirs, and a Christmas movie or two. Loved teaching the primary grades this time of year.

Katrina - December 12, 2014 - 7:07 am

Oh thank you for these inspiring pictures to start my day. I love the ribbon and bells used on your napkins with the reindeer tags…. You are so clever! I want to eat a yummy meal in your pretty dining room!
Merry Christmas, Kelly!

Arlene@Nanaland - December 12, 2014 - 7:42 am

Love the Santa theme in your kitchen this year!! So cute and red is my favorite color!!

donna - December 12, 2014 - 7:42 am

Your table setting is absolutely gorgeous! I wish I had a Pottery Barn outlet nearby but we do not in Savannah. Thank you for your wonderful giveaway.

Jenny Martin - December 12, 2014 - 7:56 am

Hi Kelly!
Your kitchen and dining area are beautiful! I love the red and white/Santa theme!! Always fun to see what you do in your home for the holidays!! Wishing we had a Pottery Barn outlet close by!! LOL I am enjoying the first book in the Mitford Series, thank you for your tips on reading them in order!! Hope you and your family enjoy the holidays and I am looking forward to making divinity with my mother this weekend!!
Blessings to you!

Barbara Hinske - December 12, 2014 - 8:03 am

Your kitchen looks lovely, warm, and inviting. I can picture the happy times to come with your family. Love the name tags on the napkins–I’m copying that. Merry Christmas!!

Joyce - December 12, 2014 - 8:07 am

WOW! Absolutely beautiful and fun. My mother used to make divinity too….but it had to be on a cold sunny dry day. if there was too much humidity, the divinity would be sticky. I think I will try it. Thanks for sharing recipe.

Judy - December 12, 2014 - 8:13 am

kelly, your Christmas kitchen is simply wonderful! I must try your Christmas punch and tea recipes…the last couple of years I’ve made my hot spiced cider so it will be nice to have some different drinks to try.

I hung some wreaths off my kitchen cabinets this year…something new to me but I love it! I’m hoping (against hope) to get a post up this week of my Christmas decorating since I haven’t even posted this month! But with the new baby due 12/30; spending time with my mama and just being busy, it’s been hard to even think about blogging.

I have to tell you….I was in a local $$Tree a few weeks ago and they had those Santa mugs along with Snowman mugs for $1.00 each! So I bought 3 of each for me and the same for my daughter….probably not the quality of PB but they look really cute!

I’m going to go ahead and wish you a wonderful and blessed Christmas season in the event I don’t get to visit with you beforehand.


Judy - December 12, 2014 - 8:21 am

I had to come back and say I just read your Christmas tea recipe….it’s the one my mom made every year! She would make it and give it as gifts along with her wonderful homemade cookies (that I never got the recipe for)! I’m going to ask her today if she remembers how to make those cookies so I can keep that recipe in the family. My daughter loves to cook/bake and now Taylor is taking an interest in it too, which is about the age Shannon (daughter) was when SHE developed a love of cooking/baking.

I had forgot about that tea recipe so I’m glad I “found” it again…it made me think of how much love my mom put into making her tea and cookies for family and friends every year.

Lynne - December 12, 2014 - 8:24 am

I can’t wait to hear how your divinity turned out. It sure looks delicious! My grandmother always made it at Christmas and we never learned how either. I am so glad you and your Mother got together and made it. A new tradition!

lissy parker - December 12, 2014 - 8:26 am

Kelly, I am loving all of the red and white. Everything looks truly amazing! I grew up with 8 pecan trees in the yard and fondly remember selling pecans with my brothers too.
xo, lissy

Cheryl M. - December 12, 2014 - 8:33 am

Hi Kelly, your kitchen is gorgeous, I love red in the kitchen!! I have had my eye on the Pottery Barn Santa Mugs for my grandchildren, I think I need to go ahead and get them! I made your peppermint ice cream dessert last year and my family LOVED it, I will be making it again this year!

Lisa K - December 12, 2014 - 8:54 am

Merry Christmas Kelly!
I love your kitchen with all the touches of red; it is so festive. Red is my favorite color. The wreaths hanging on your windows are wonderful! Did you use burlap ribbon or chair webbing to hang them with?
I’m inspired! :-)

LUCIE S. - December 12, 2014 - 8:55 am

Kelly, everything about your house is warm and welcoming. What a talent you have!!
I have several sets of those Santa mugs that my grandmother had back in the 1930’s and 40’s. You have inspired me to pull them out of the attic! Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

Diane@InMyOwnStyle - December 12, 2014 - 9:01 am

Hi Kelly –

Your home always looks beautiful and even more so now that you added your holiday style. I love the ribbon garland with the jingle bells over the plate rack and can’t wait to make one for my own home now. I love the sound and can never have too many to jingle my way through the season.

Barb - December 12, 2014 - 9:02 am

Oh such a happy, homey room. I love the little details. The “naughty” and “nice” tags on the coffee cracked me up. I always love the silver and red you use. The silver sugar bowl with the candy canes and the red candles in the silver candlesticks…love them. Now, on to visit the other sites!!

Victoria - December 12, 2014 - 9:05 am

Just finished listening to “Sheperds Abiding” yesterday. There is something so enchanting about this book and listening while I bake for Christmas seems to heighten my experience.
I love how you change out your windows to the red and white checks at this time of year. I love your wood countertops that add such farmhouse warmth to the space as well. The red and white is merry and bright and makes me smile just to look at it. Love, love, love the table setting with those napkins and the reindeer tags are perfection. One of my favorite things are the glass canisters with the sugar snow and filled to the brim with Christmas vignettes. Merry Christmas!

Barbara (WA) - December 12, 2014 - 9:05 am

What a fun find to go with your treasured mug ~ and since I’ve gotta have red, I think your home looks beautiful! I have a red putz house in one of “our” jars on my kitchen counter. :)

Jean from Georgia - December 12, 2014 - 9:12 am

Your home décor is such an inspiration to me, all your rooms are decorated to perfection and so enjoyable. Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.

Kathy - December 12, 2014 - 9:12 am

Kelly you are so talented. I love how all spaces work together and not compete with each other. Love the clean freshness of the table scape. The bells on the napkins are perfect. Lastly the jars with a deer & Santa are precious! Thanks for sharing your talent.

Kathy - December 12, 2014 - 9:14 am

Those napkins tied with jingle bells and reindeer names! You are just too clever!

Debra - December 12, 2014 - 9:24 am

Oh Kelly, I love it all. Hope you don’t mind while I sit a spell in your kitchen at the breakfast counter and sip a cuppa and gaze around some for awhile…… Your home just exudes love, comfort, and care. May you be blessed with a wonderful holiday ahead, even though I know this one will be difficult not having your boys under roof now. I finally got our tree up yesterday. I chickened out on the flocking for our indoor tree. I think I will still do a small one this weekend though, for the outbuilding porch. Decorating continues here too. Ha, maybe I will be complete by a day or two before Christmas?? Ugh! Thanks again for all your fun inspiring posts. Merry….Merry…..

Barbara (WA) - December 12, 2014 - 9:28 am

PS: we got hit with one of our infamous wind storms over night & it sounds like the Eastside (Renton, Bellevue) got hammered! Your sons will probably have a few stories to tell. We have our power back this a.m. Whew!

Stacey - December 12, 2014 - 9:33 am

Simply gorgeous!

L J - December 12, 2014 - 9:36 am

You’ve set just the right tone–elegantly casual. Things I love: the bottlebrush trees, the red sleigh, reindeer name tags, the bells, your desk. And you’ve something for our senses: sight, sound, and smell. I’ve never made Divinity but will do so this year.

Betty - December 12, 2014 - 9:39 am

Love the Christmas kitchen posts. I waited all week for them. Lovely!

Lynda Lamon - December 12, 2014 - 9:52 am

Perfectly lovely kitchen!!! Lots of inspiration!!! I always enjoy your blog posts!!
Thanks for the chance to win. Merry Christmas!!!

Shelley @ Calypso in the Country - December 12, 2014 - 10:04 am

Yes, the kitchen is the place to be at Christmas – and yours is just gorgeous! I love all the red and all your pretty pieces!

lisa - December 12, 2014 - 10:07 am

Hi Kelly,

I’ve always wanted to learn how to make divinity. I also try every year to make old fashioned fudge. I like the hard break apart kind that cooks on the stove but I can never make it like my mom. Wonderful to learn these things from our moms. This Christmas will be really difficult for our family. We lost my Dad Nov. 24. The holidays will be sad but we’ll try to fill them with the memories shared with him.


Louvina - December 12, 2014 - 10:40 am

SWEET!! So much fun to come into your kitchen! LOVE the table setting with the holly berries in the RED sleigh! Going to try that candy recipe– wish me luck– have never mastered candy making. So stepping out of my comfort area– but that’s how we grow, right? Will visit the other blogs during the weekend– what a great collaboration! Happy Friday– :)

Pat Peele - December 12, 2014 - 11:28 am

Lovely kitchen! Sometimes a change gives a big Ahhh!.
You put so much in your home for the family. This is bright and colorful yet simple. The decorations have a real purpose.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Carmen - December 12, 2014 - 11:32 am

Always love your decorations!

Julia G. - December 12, 2014 - 11:52 am

I remember having a santa cup when I was a little girl, but have no idea what happened to it. Your santa cups made me smile. I also love the idea with your reindeer name tags, very cute!

Merry Christmas!

Gina - December 12, 2014 - 12:27 pm

I always love all of your red touches!! It looks so festive. I always add red to my kitchen during the holidays. I love the sleigh used as your centerpiece too. I have an old brass Home Interior sleigh I need to spray paint and use this way too! thanks for the inspiration. Also, thanks for the divinity recipe. I have wanted to make some and have been looking at recipes this week. I think I’ll use yours since it is tried and true!! Now, to watch the weather report next week. ;) And your post! :D

Vicki - December 12, 2014 - 12:32 pm

So glad you did the Christmas in the Kitchen post! As much as I’ll enjoy seeing your home in the Christmas Ideas magazine, that’s a whole year away! :)
I love re-reading Shepherd’s Abiding this month, and I always squeeze in Rosamunde Pilcher’s Winter Solstice, too. Have a great weekend!

Marsha - December 12, 2014 - 12:41 pm

Ooooohh!! I want to come to your house for Christmas, but I guess I could settle for the cookbooks. Hope you and your family have a very blessed Christmas.

Joy Jenkins - December 12, 2014 - 1:06 pm

I can’t wait to head over and tour the next homes on the list! Love this idea!

Sherry Myers - December 12, 2014 - 1:29 pm

Mrs. Claus could not have a more inviting kitchen. The wreaths on the built-in, over the kitchen windows, the tablescape, sugar for snow, now that’s a great idea for the kitchen..sugarplums dancing in my head now with inspiration. My decorating is done except for the kitchen. I always save it for last and now I am glad I did! Please don’t tire of the oooohs, and aaaahs, because we, your readers, can’t help but SWOOOOOON! Thank you for including those little special touches..ribbon of bells on the plate rack. I love it! Have a holly jolly weekend!

Anne Boykin - December 12, 2014 - 1:32 pm

Hi Kelly, Your kitchen is lovely and I’m so glad you have so many lovely traditions that center around such a welcoming room. Thank you for sharing your wonderful home with us. Happy Holidays!

Joan - December 12, 2014 - 2:22 pm

Kelly, Your red and white theme never fails to lift my spirits.
You have a way of coupling new and old and natural things in a way that is fresh and functional. Holidays at your home must be wonderful.

JenniferfromVA - December 12, 2014 - 2:23 pm

pure and lovely………nothing more needed to be said!

Anne from Atlanta - December 12, 2014 - 2:35 pm

Hi Kelly, Love, Love, Love everything! Thanks for sharing your decoration with us. You are so talented. Where did you find the little sleigh? It is too cute. Thanks for a great blog, Anne

Melanie - December 12, 2014 - 3:07 pm

First time on your blog! Beautiful decor–loved it.

Jackie - December 12, 2014 - 3:07 pm

Love, love, love Christmas in the Kitchen. I can come over anytime to sit at your table and enjoy some hot chocolate and visit with you:)

DeeDee - December 12, 2014 - 3:46 pm

I am so glad you like to decorate your kitchen, because I LOVE this post as well as all of your decorating! You’re a gifted & talented lady as well as an inspiration. Merry Christmas in the Kitchen!

Darla - December 12, 2014 - 4:32 pm

Great job, Kelly. I don’t normally go for red in decorating, but it all looks fantastic and fresh.

Patty in Michigan - December 12, 2014 - 4:43 pm

Kelly, love your Christmas kitchen. So many cute touches. I love cute sleigh. Great idea with the sugar. I have a small sled I may have to add some sugar! The holly from your yard is incredible. It is so perfect, I thought it was artificial. Beautiful!

Lidy@FrenchGardeHouse - December 12, 2014 - 5:56 pm

Kelly, I am totally in love with your red checked curtains! Everything looks so bright and cheery, totally in the spirit of Christmas. I’ve really enjoyed your tour, and may have to go add more red to our own kitchen over here. Merry Christmas! xo Lidy

Joan - December 12, 2014 - 6:15 pm

Your kitchen is beautiful. Your photos inspire me, as in I should get up off my behind, stop ogling blogs and do some decorating!!

Garden, Home and Party - December 12, 2014 - 6:26 pm

Your kitchen is so warm and welcoming everyday, but it is magazine worthy at Christmas! I loved everything you’ve shared. My grandpa used to make divinity when I was growing up. What a fond memory.

PATTI - December 12, 2014 - 6:44 pm

My favorite part is the Santa sleigh with greenery for the centerpiece. The Santa and the reindeer in the jars with “sugar snow” are pretty cool too!

liz piccione-volger - December 12, 2014 - 7:00 pm

So Pretty! The red and white looks great. I have a question I’ve wanted to ask for a while. Where did you learn to do your beautiful lettering on all your chalk boards or is that just a natural talent? Beacuase I am always in awe!

Maureen - December 12, 2014 - 7:16 pm

Will you please come to my house and spin your Christmas magic? PRETTY PLEASE!! I am blown away by your creativity!!

Benita - December 12, 2014 - 8:04 pm

I love the Santa cups. We had similar ones when I was a child and there were always candy canes in them. When I first got married, I found some at a store to put on my mantel, along with garland, lights, etc. We had just had our fireplace installed and we didn’t know that the builder did not securely secure the mantel. We found out one evening. While washing dishes after dinner, we heard a loud crash…ran to the living room to see the mantel and all of our Christmas decorations smashed on the floor. I was in tears over losing those little Santa cups. I was so hurt I’ve never been able to bring myself to purchase any replacements….but looking at yours makes me smile! :-) Thank you.

Martha - December 12, 2014 - 9:04 pm

Kelly!!! As always, absolutely beautiful! Like many others have said, the Santa mug made me smile. I love the jars with Santa and “snow” I am going to try to replicate that. I had to laugh when I saw the snow (sugar) on the platter with the sleigh…..try that in a few years when your grandchildren are around. My grandmother always made divinity and I have a sister-in-law who is a pro at it, but I have not had much success and have not tried to make it in years. I am always so impressed with all you accomplish, I hope you are feeling better and not overdoing.

Barbara P from Ma - December 12, 2014 - 9:53 pm

Your kitchen / dining area looks so warm and welcoming! I’m always pleasantly surprised at all of your different ideas and takes on setting such gorgeous tables! Everything looks wonderful!

Susan - December 12, 2014 - 10:08 pm

I’m going to have to give that divinity recipe a try. It is making my mouth water!

Dawn - December 12, 2014 - 10:11 pm


Divinity is my Mom’s number one remember Christmas treat too! Thanks you for the wonderful recipe. I am going to have to make it for her using your modified recipe! I never learned how to make it before my Grandmother passed on. Your kitchen looks wonderful as usual. Thanks for sharing it with us. My favorite part is the naughty/nice caffeinated/decaffeinated tags on the coffee.

Merri Jo - December 12, 2014 - 10:37 pm

Oh, your Christmas kitchen is delightful!! The red sleigh and red sparkly Santa are just fabulous…any chance you can tell me a source for them?? Your jar-fillers combined with your endless creativity never cease to amaze me.
Praying you’re continuing to regain your strength at this busy time…hope you have a pleasant weekend, Kelly.

Mary - December 12, 2014 - 10:49 pm

I want to copy your kitchen and dining room… every single detail. Your house has to be my fave of all the blogs I read!

Theresa in Nebraska - December 13, 2014 - 12:01 am

So fun! I loved all of the kitchen decorations. Vintage Santa mugs are my favorites. I also still have a small one from my first grade teacher.

Nona - December 13, 2014 - 12:29 am

Boy, does Divinity bring back memories of Christmases past. My great aunt used to make this every Christmas and I had the privilege of helping her. Of course, there wasn’t much a 6 year old could do, but I tried. Unfortunately, I have never been able to make good Divinity and now that Aunt Lena is gone, I doubt I ever will. It must have been the love she put in it that made it so special to everyone in our family. Can’t wait to see the photos you post about making this treat. I love Divinity.

Courtney - December 13, 2014 - 12:55 am

I love love love your kitchen! The touches of red are just gorgeous and so cozy. Thanks for the chance to win! Merry Christmas!

Sharon - December 13, 2014 - 12:56 am

I too love the kitchen at Christmas. I do so much baking that there always seems to be a cloud of flour dust in the air. Your kitchen is so beautiful and I love your table arrangement. Can’t wait to check out the other blogs.

Bobbie Allgood - December 13, 2014 - 1:24 am

Hi Kelly,

This year my kitchen time is limited since we are moving into a different house. I am interested in the wicker chair you have in your living room. Has it been comfortable? Is it the small or the larger size? I am considering purchasing one or two for the new house. Would you recommend them? Thanks so much for your thoughts.

Bobbie Allgood
Omaha, Nebraska

Jill - December 13, 2014 - 9:43 am

Your kitchen looks wonderful and I love your Santa table. I’ve been crushing on Santa mugs….old and new….for years! And your little reindeer name cards….too cute! My heart sunk when you said no gingerbread houses this year, but I love the Santa and reindeer too!
I tried your Christmas punch last year and I’m making it for a party again tonight.
I didn’t get a chance to comment on your last post, but congratulations on being chosen for the BH&G Christmas magazine. That is so exciting. I will wait anxiously to see your house in print. And hopefully you will be feeling 100% again by the time the shoot rolls around in January. Things always work out the way they’re supposed to even though it’s not always planned that way.
Thanks for sharing your kitchen with us Kelly!

Susan - December 13, 2014 - 12:18 pm

Thank you for letting us spend Christmas in your kitchen. Everything is so perfect! I can’t wait for the divinity details. I plan to give your recipe a try next week. The give away items are terrific and so generous, just like you are with your decorating ideas and recipes. I must say that your photos are terrific, much better than those in magazines and so inspirational. I agree with the other comments that your blog is truly one of the best.

Robin Nikkel - December 13, 2014 - 5:09 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I’ve always wanted to make Divinity. We use to have an elderly lady who brought it to a sewing group for years. Unfortunaltely she has passed now. We miss her and none of us know how to make it! It will be like she’s there with us again. Merry Christmas!

Bonnie Bryant - December 13, 2014 - 8:57 pm

I love divinity but have never mad it, either. Maybe after your divinity post I’ll give it a try,

Donnamae - December 13, 2014 - 9:40 pm

Your kitchen looks so festive! ;)

Marianne in Mo. - December 14, 2014 - 11:46 am

Kelly, as always, you make me smile! Love the traditions, my favorite part of the holiday! While you had divinity, we had Potitcia, from my grandmother’s Yugoslav history. Kind of bread, filled with pecans (or walnuts), honey, cream and butter, then rolled into a log, shaped into a wreath and baked. It was HUGE, and wouldn’t be Christmas without it. I had planned to make it this year, but guess what – I too got pneumonia, so rest is all I can do. Boo! Haven’t even got the tree up yet, it will wait until Sat. when my daughter arrives from Texas. She doesn’t know how much work I have planned for her!
Have a very Merry Christmas!

Joan in Warwick - December 14, 2014 - 2:03 pm

Your kitchen looks lovely – I can’t imagine where you find the time and the energy to accomplish all of this! Hope you are feeling better.

DiAnne - December 14, 2014 - 9:25 pm

What a beautiful kitchen! I love the Santa mugs and the wrapped napkins. I alo would like to try making the candy.
Merry Christmas, Kelly

Rhonda - December 21, 2014 - 1:22 pm

I hope you and your father-in-law start to feel better! Congratulations to your son!!! How exciting. Thanks for sharing the music and all the pretty things on your blog. We are turning an unused room into a game room. The room has been used as a junk room for way too long and now we are decluttering so we can get things switched around, which means that every other room is becoming messy. Before I head to bed tonight, I need to straighten up the other rooms before it gets too out of hand. Then, re-watching the Hobbit movies so I can go see the new one… It’s been a fun weekend!!! Best to you and your family. Merry Christmas!!!

Joy B - December 28, 2014 - 6:48 pm

I found your blog today from Pinterest -I love your Christmas kitchen and dining room. And I’d like to enter your giveaway, thank you!

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