Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Let Your Hearts Be Light

The month is moving on apace - we added our third Advent candle on Sunday, and Brooklyn calls them "Mommy's, Brooklyn's, and Todin's" because we light them over breakfast and it's we-three sitting there, doing the readings together. She's very excited that we each have a candle, and anxiously waits for them all to drip (our indicator that it's time to blow them out).

All of the shopping is done and everything is wrapped - now I'm on to writing in Christmas cards (I love the assortment I got from our church's card ministry at our yearly local/fair trade/for a cause shopping night - it's so much fun to decide which card to sent which person, instead of just having a box that's all the same).

I was initially sad that this one wasn't in our assortment - until I realized that if it had been, I would have sent it to someone, whereas this way I get to keep it and it has sweet words inside!

On the receiving end, I decided to eek out out meager decorations (a wreath on the door and an ornament each on Brooklyn and Tobin's doorknobs) by stringing the cards we get, banner-like, by our dining table. It was pure coincidence that the first card coordinated so beautifully with the decorations that are usually there.

Love this letterpress card from a local paperie!

Since we're traveling for Tobin's birthday but not for Christmas, I've got everything divided into two boxes - the staying-here-box, for people here or who we know are going to visit, and the going-box, to leave in Fayetteville to be opened on Christmas Day. I'm a little sad that we probably won't get to see my uncle, aunt, and cousins, but I think it will be nice to spend a peaceful holiday at home.

On the receiving end of the gifting - a pretty print by a local artist

The final craft show of the season (for me, at least) was Winter Market at a park here in Little Rock - various local and Etsy-based businesses. It was a manageable size, with a circle of food trucks smelling delicious on one end and various performers in the middle (the color guard was leaving as we arrived, but a choir replaced them and they were lovely). Despite a few ominous sprinkles on the windshield on our way there, the rain held off until later - Cathy and I wouldn't have melted, but Tobin has very strong feelings about being rained on.

I'll leave you with a {gluten free, dairy free, very delicious} cookie recipe - Mum made these at Thanksgiving and I ate most of them, then asked for the recipe so I could take them to a "favorite things" themed party because they're definitely one of mine:

King's Arms Tavern Pecan Cookies

(This recipe dates from the early nineteenth century) 
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour (I used rice flour)Pinch of salt1 large egg white1 cup packed light brown sugar1 cup pecans, very finely chopped
Combine flour and salt; set aside.  In a large bowl, beat the egg white until stiff but not dry.  Beat in the brown sugar a little at a time.  Gradually fold in the flour mixture.  Stir in pecans.

Drop the mixture by small spoonfuls 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart onto parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are lightly colored.  Cool on the pan until firm, and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.   
Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Regardless of where you are in this season, I hope you'll take a few moments to pause and enjoy some of your favorite things (a hot - or cold - drink, a sweet treat, a nice-smelling candle, a solitary snuggle on the couch, time with someone you love, a night out, an evening in...)

2228. Spending a lovely evening with a lovely group of ladies
2229. A beautiful dinner, lovingly prepared
2230. The biggest shooting star I've ever seen

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