Friday, July 31, 2020

The final #ChristmasinJuly post - See you in November!


I didn't get to post all the posts I wanted this month. Moving house, across four states, is a lot of work! We move on August 10th so wish me luck.

I'll be seeing you in November for Sharing the Joy and the annual Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge. Until then, here's a poem which wonderfully expresses the year-round Christmas...


Always in spirit...

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Tabletop #Christmas Trees #ChristmasinJuly

I love to have more than one Christmas tree up during the season, but having multiple large trees can be a chore. The tabletop tree is a nice alternative. The smaller size makes it easier to decorate. Plus, by adding tabletop trees, you can have a little Christmas in every room (or almost every room) and all with different themes. Fun!

Here are a few I discovered on the Better Homes & Gardens website.

My favorite. My sons have bought me several Nutcrackers so I've now started a collection. This would be perfect with my Nutcrackers surrounding it.

Nutcracker Tree

This one has a nice elegant look. Love the winter theme!

Winter Wonderland

I adore the whimsical nature of this one. Candy at Christmas...what could be better.

Candy Land

I love the minimalist look of this one. It looks festive and rustic at the same time.

Blue and Silver Tabletop Tree

To see all 29 tree ideas, visit the BHG article here


Always in spirit...

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Weekend #Lit - 2020 #Christmas Book Releases #ChristmasinJuly


This is probably not every book being released in 2020 Christmas books, but there are quite a few on this list. I've provided Amazon links (click the title), though I'm sure they are available from other outlets as well.

FICTION


Christmas in Bayberry: A Small-Town Christmas Romance from Hallmark Publishing
by Jennifer Faye
July 7, 2020

She’s trying to save the family candle company.
He’s trying not to fall for Bayberry—and her—again.

Kate Taylor knows what she wants in life: to one day run her family’s candle business, which is at the heart of the close-knit community of Bayberry, Vermont. But the company isn’t doing well.

Wesley Adams is on the fast track to be an assistant vice president at his financial firm in Manhattan. Before the promotion is announced, he’s sent to this small town from his past to do an analysis of the candle company.

He doesn’t expect to bump into his childhood crush, Kate, and when he does, sparks fly. As he spends time in Bayberry, he falls for the town’s Christmas traditions—and for her. But he has a responsibility to submit an honest report. Will it extinguish Kate’s dreams…along with any chance they have for a future together?


by Melody Carlson 
September 1, 2020

All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can't find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there's someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade this year.

Tyler Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet--or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and, to get better acquainted, he poses as the house's caretaker. But when Emma's friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things
get . . . messy.

Fan favorite Melody Carlson is back with another delightful Christmas tale to warm your heart on those cold winter evenings.

by Julie Klassen 
September 1, 2020

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill's most prominent family, hasn't been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life--unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents unforeseen surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled . . . and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, joyous songs, and divine hope, work its magic in his heart . . . and hers as well?
by Susan Mallery
September 29, 2020

There’s no place like Happily Inc for the holidays…

Wynn Beauchene has a thriving business, a great kid and a mildly embarrassing crush on the guy next door—local cop Garrick McCabe. She’s a strong, independent woman who can’t help dreaming what-if about a man she barely knows. Until he needs her help…

Garrick’s pregnant daughter will be home for Christmas, and his house needs a woman’s touch. Garrick and his little girl were tight once and he’s hoping a small-town Christmas will bring her back to him. But thawing his daughter’s frosty attitude will take more than a few twinkle lights. Maybe sharing the holiday with Wynn and her son will remind her of the joy of family.

As the season works its magic on these wounded souls, Wynn realizes it’s time to stop punishing herself for a painful secret, while Garrick remains haunted by the ghosts of past mistakes. Will he allow Wynn to open the only gift she truly wants—his heart?

by Debbie Mason 
September 29, 2020

Can the magic of mistletoe bring together two busy single parents?

Mallory Maitland knows all too well what it's like to feel abandoned, which is why she's sworn never to give up on her two stepsons -- her late husband's children. But when the teens land in hot water, she's got a whole new problem: how to resist the caring and incredibly hot Chief of Police Gabriel Buchanan. All Mallory wants is to give the boys a magical holiday. She doesn't need the distraction of wondering what it would be like to kiss Gabriel under the mistletoe.

After his wife died, Gabriel left his job as an adrenaline-chasing New York City homicide detective to focus on raising his three sons. But back in Highland Falls, he doesn't have to go looking for trouble. It finds him -- in the form of a beautiful neighbor and her troublemaking stepchildren. With Gabriel's mother-in-law looking for any excuse to gain custody of his sons, Gabriel can't risk getting involved with Mallory, even though she's the only woman capable of making this Christmas -- and all the rest to come -- his best ever.


by Fern Michaels 
September 29, 2020

Christmas is more than just a celebration for Lauren Montgomery. For generations, it’s been her family’s livelihood. Their Christmas shop, Razzle Dazzle Décor, has seen seasonal fads come and go, but there’s one trend they can’t escape. Online superstores are swallowing their sales, and this Christmas season will need to be their best ever if the store is to stay in business.

To help keep the shop afloat, Lauren also has a sideline, writing biographies for business figures. She’s thrilled when her literary agent contacts her with a new proposal—before learning that the subject will be none other than John Gerald Giompalo. He’s the titan behind Globalgoods.com, the online retailer that has spelled doom for hundreds of small businesses just like Razzle Dazzle Décor. Despite her misgivings, Lauren travels to Seattle to confer with the mogul, and is caught off guard when his son, John Jr., attends the meeting too. Handsome, intelligent, and deeply kind, he’s perfect—apart from the fact that he’s part of the company threatening everything Lauren loves.

As her deadline, and Christmas, draw closer, Lauren knows that there’s more than her family’s shop at stake. Her heart is, too. But there’s no better time than the holidays to make a secret wish on the brightest star you see—and let the season’s magic take hold . . .

by Vicki Delany 
September 29, 2020

Christmas has arrived in Rudolph, New York, and Merry Wilkinson is looking forward to a much needed rest. But before that can happen, Luanne Ireland walks through her door. Luanne had asked Merry to help make decorations for her wedding, but has suddenly moved the wedding months earlier and is now demanding that everyone follow her lead, regardless of the cost.

But that cost is much higher than anyone anticipated. When Luanne's fiancé is found murdered at their proposed wedding venue, Merry resolves to restore peace and calm to the community of Rudolph. But the closer she gets to the killer, the more personal the case becomes, and Merry begins to worry that a death knell could ring in the New Year.


A Little Country Christmas
by Carolyn Brown 
September 29, 2020

From matchmaking carolers to a festive lights competition, four bestselling authors explore the magic of the holidays in these heartwarming small towns.

The Perfect Christmas
by Carolyn Brown
Rugged cowboy Landon Griffin can't help being smitten by single mom Dixie Boudreaux and her baby girl. To help win their hearts, he wants to give them both the perfect holiday at Longhorn Ranch -- baking cookies, trimming the tree, building snowmen, and the whole works. But when nothing seems to go right, he might need a Christmas miracle to help him out of the mess.

Joy to the World by Hope Ramsay
Retired music teacher Brenda McMillan has lost her holiday spirit, but reluctantly agrees to fill in for the director of the Magnolia Harbor Christmas Chorale -- even though Dr. James Killough, the town's biggest Christmas enthusiast, is the group's accompanist. Will he have enough Christmas magic to mend her broken heart?

Home for the Holidays by Rochelle Alers
Pastry chef Iris Nelson is looking forward to spending Christmas on Cavanaugh Island with her best friend's family. But she wasn't expecting to celebrate with their very handsome visitor on leave from Afghanistan. Is their attraction just the glow of the season or a gift to enjoy forever?

Cowboy Christmas at Heart by A.J. Pine
For Deputy Sheriff Daniela Garcia, no hometown tradition makes her happier than the Meadow Valley Holiday Light Parade. This year she's planning for the sheriff's office to have the most dazzling lights. But when the new mayor -- and certified grinch -- threatens to cancel the event, Dani will have to show him the true meaning of Christmas.

by Sheila Roberts 
September 29, 2020

Catherine Pine is hoping her Christmas is a bit more jolly than last year’s. That one was her first without her husband, and with her kids and their families absent this year, she’s worried. But things change when her good friend invites her on a Christmas cruise to lift her spirits. Suddenly every day is an adventure and she’s making a bunch of new friends, including the lovable Sophie Miles.

It’s like a gift from Santa when Sophie and Catherine meet the charming Dr. Rudy Nichols, a perfect match for hypochondriac Sophie. But he comes with a two-legged lump of coal, his guard-dog daughter. And then there’s chocolatier Trevor March, who’s also interested in the scrumptious Sophie. Can he convince her that chocolate is the perfect cure for what ails her? Who knows what Santa has in store for these holiday travelers? Anything could happen this charmed Christmas!

by Joanne Fluke 
September 29, 2020

As December turns Lake Eden into the North Pole, the heat is on in Hannah Swensen’s kitchen to honor two Christmas promises: baking irresistible holiday cupcakes and preventing a person who attempted murder from succeeding the second time around!

While Hannah speeds through a lengthy holiday checklist, drama in town grows like Santa’s waistline on Christmas Eve. Her sister Andrea wants to stave off the blues by helping out at The Cookie Jar, Michele’s love life is becoming complicated, Lisa needs Hannah’s advice, and Delores has a Christmas secret she’s not willing to share. But nothing dampens the holiday mood more than the chilling mystery surrounding the man found near death in an abandoned storefront two doors down from Hannah’s bakery . . .

The befuddled John Doe can’t recall a thing about himself—except for his unusual knowledge of restoring antique furniture. With a smattering of clues and barely enough time to frost Christmas cookies, Hannah must solve a deadly puzzle that could leave her dashing through the snow for her life!

Features Over a Dozen Cookie and Dessert Recipes from The Cookie Jar!

by Debbie Macomber 
October 13, 2020

Trapped in the middle of five siblings, Everly Lancaster always had big dreams. Now a top real-estate executive, Everly finds her work is her life, leaving no space for anything (or anyone) else. Sensing her stress, Everly’s boss insists she take December off. At first, a month away seems crazy—how will the company survive without her? But Everly’s mother convinces her otherwise. She deserves a vacation—plus, when she returns, she’ll have no excuse to skip family Christmas like she did last year.

But after her vengeful assistant books a guided cruise in the Amazon instead of the luxury beach vacation she expected, Everly is horrified to realize that she’s about to spend the next two weeks trapped—with no Wi-Fi!—in the rain forest. Not even Asher Adams, the ship’s charming naturalist, can convince Everly that the trip will be unforgettable. Slowly but surely, she realizes he is right: the sights are spectacular. And with each passing day, Everly’s relationship with Asher deepens, forcing her to take a long, hard look at her priorities.

Everly and Asher begin to see magic in the possibility of a life together. But as the cruise nears its end, and Everly’s family Christmas approaches, both must decide if love is worth the risk. A merry surprise may be in store in Debbie Macomber’s newest holiday delight.
by Sandy Barker 
October 16, 2020

Chloe, Jules, and Lucy meet at a Maui resort kids’ club, aged 11, forging a lifelong friendship spanning two decades and three continents.

Twenty-two years later, they decide to swap Christmases, none of them expecting the hilarity and romantic escapades that will ensue.

Chloe from Melbourne spends her Christmas with Lucy’s mum and dad in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England, stunned to the core when she discovers who grew up across the road from Lucy.

Lucy, who has jetted off to snowy Colorado for her dream-come-true white Christmas, is taken into the fold of Jules’s loud and brash family, discovering more about herself in a few short days than she has in years.

And Jules leaves the cold climes of Colorado to spend a balmy ‘Orphan’s Christmas’ with Chloe’s friends in Melbourne, finding that time away from her mundane life is just what she needed.

Join these three lovable women as they each get a Christmas to surpass their wildest dreams.


Pearl (Angel Creek Christmas Brides Book 14)
by Hildie McQueen 
November 6, 2020

The best gift Luke Reynolds can give his new bride for Christmas would be telling her the truth...

Pearl Jameson works at her family bakery in Charleston. When a fire kills her parents, her grief takes over until she can't function. When a friend suggests she respond to an ad for a mail order bride out west, she leaves everything behind to start anew.

Constantly butting heads with his drunken brother Owen, over the effort it takes to run the ranch they own, Luke Reynolds has had it. When a mail order bride arrives in response to Owen’s ad, Luke is astonished to find his brother has ran off and left everything, including his young son. Deciding not to reveal he’s not who placed the ad, Luke marries Pearl.

A sweet Christmas story of how love can make even the worst situations perfect.


Minnie (Angel Creek Christmas Brides Book 17)
by Sylvia McDaniel 
November 27, 2020

Minnie Ravenel needs a husband now and an escape out of Charleston. She answers an ad for a mail order bride in Angel Creek Montana, hoping that when she arrives, the man will accept her and her unborn child. 

Tripp Maddox isn’t looking for a wife, but when he sees Minnie standing alone on the street crying, something about her situation reminds him of his own losses. A lonely rancher, with Christmas only a month away, he asks her to marry him. 

Can two desperate strangers make a life together or will the past tear them apart?

by Cynthia Woolf 
December 4, 2020

ADELE JENSEN is mistress to powerful man, Richard Douglas and has been for the last ten years. But she wants a family and children, something he’s not willing to give her. She decides to be a mail-order bride and has corresponded with a man in the Montana Territory. A rancher and someone her protector would never believe she would marry. But she knows she can’t go as a former mistress and creates a new persona, a widow and governess. Can she keep her secret from her new husband?

EDWARD WHARTON needs a wife and a mother for his seven year-old daughter. His wife left him for a gambler from the saloon. They were killed in a stagecoach robbery and try as he might, he couldn’t mourn her death. He would never put himself in the position of loving a woman again. Her leaving him proved he couldn’t make a woman happy and he wants no ones pity, so he avoids everyone. Will he be able to let love into his heart? Can Adele break down the walls he’s so carefully build.

RICHARD DOUGLAS never lets something or someone he owns leave and he owns Adele. He follows her to Angle Creek, with revenge on his mind. If he can’t have her, no one can. Will he succeed with his dastardly plan?

Can Adele and Edward come to terms with the love they feel or will they both let their fear reign?

by Caroline Clemmons
December 18, 2020

Meg Bailey vows to escape to a better life than life as a servant in her older brother’s home. He and his lazy wife expect Meg to do all the housework and child care. When Meg learns her sister-in-law is expecting her fifth child, Meg’s innate spirit surfaces. She applies as a mail-order bride to a man in Angel Creek, Montana. At least there she’ll be in charge of her own home and can soon look forward to a family.

Curtis McClain inherited a small sum from his grandfather and uses it to set up a newspaper in Angel Creek. He believes the town is growing and will continue to do so, making the newspaper successful if he guides it well. For the present, though, he has to be frugal. He needs a wife and he needs help with the newspaper. Won’t having a true helpmate save paying a salary to someone? Children will be years in the future.

Two strangers find themselves married and at odds with one another. Can they resolve their differences and make their marriage work? Will outside forces help unite or split them apart?

NON-FICTION

by Publications International Ltd.
July 16, 2020

Fill your holiday season with homemade cookies from this delightful collection.
  • With more than 90 recipes to choose from, you’ll always find the perfect cookie to bake and share.
  • You’ll get perennial favorites like chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies and brownies, along with spice cookies, shortbread, decorated cut-outs, bars and plenty of chocolate.
  • Also, chippers, chocolate cookies, butter cookies, fruit-filled cookies, spice cookies, and sandwich cookies.
  • Holiday and Christmas classics: Browned Butter Spritz Cookies, Frosted Butter Cookies, Gingerbread Bears, Eggnog Cookies, Linzer Bars, Chocolate Cherry Cookies and many more.
  • Classic recipes for year-round baking: Triple Chip Cookies, Chocolate Pecan Bars, Extra-Chocolatey Brownie Cookies, Pistachio Lemon Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies and many more.
  • Every recipe has a full-page color photo.

by Search Press Studio
August 11, 2020

Christmas crafts for all types of crafters! You can quickly and easily make knitted, sewn, paper, felt decorative items, or even mosaic, decoupage, needlepoint and cross stitch objects with this beautifully illustrated instruction book.

Christmas is a wonderful time of year for crafting! From imaginative handmade gifts to stunning, reusable decorations, this book contains 100 fabulous quick and easy makes for the festive season. All the projects have been carefully selected from Search Press's best-selling 20 to Make series and are simple enough for beginners as well as seasoned crafters.

There's something for everyone in this book, including knitting, crochet, papercraft, sewing, sugarcraft, felt, jewellery making, cross stitch, mosaic making, decoupage, polymer clay and needlepoint. Each craft has a handy techniques section to get you started, followed by a range of quick projects that include a knitted star, a pompom Santa Claus, a polymer clay teddy bear, a felt winter owl, a crocheted Christmas tree heart and a pretty bangle.

All the projects are made using tools and materials that are easy to source, and provide all the inspiration you need to make Christmas extra special.


Making Christmas Bright with Papercrafts: More Than 40 Festive Projects!
by Alice Hornecke, Dominik Meißner, et al.
August 12, 2020

Christmas is an ideal time to get in the spirit of the season by creating festive decorations and gifts with a personal touch. This delightful collection of 43 unique papercraft projects will get everyone in a festive mood with its decorative suggestions for the home and the holiday table, Christmas tree ornaments, handmade gifts, and much more.

The book abounds in photos, templates, and easy-to-follow instructions for everything from a beautiful origami wreath to cut-out snowflakes, place-setting accessories, gift-wrapping accents, and an Advent candle holder. Each project is accompanied by helpful tips as well as a list of materials and measurements. The splendid variety of options make this the perfect guide and resource for papercrafters at every level of experience.

by Tiffany Wood
August 25, 2020  

With a few straightforward strategies and a perfectly practical planner, Tiffany Wood shows you how to jingle your way through the preparations for Christmas, from January to December.

The All-Year-Round Christmas Handbook lends a helping hand to everyone who would like to create a kinder, more mindful, and homespun Christmas celebration. Juggling all manner of jobs at a time when expectations of festive fun are sky high means that effective planning and time management are vital. Organizational and creative tasks are divided into months, then weeks and days as you get nearer to Christmas. In the month before Christmas, each week has its own 'dashboard' for different activities—creating, cooking, eating, shopping, entertaining—plus planning pages you can fill in yourself. To save you time, there are recipes for handy cook-ahead dishes, simple meals, and store-bought shortcuts. Tiffany shows you how to wrap your gifts with style, and make crafty things with the leftover paper. There are also tips from Mrs and Mr Christmases around the world, with some different traditions you might like to try.

by Alison Walsh and Haley Stewart
September 1, 2020

For fans of Little Women, The Chronicles of Narnia, A Christmas Carol, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and more, a literature-inspired cookbook for voracious readers during the festive holiday season.

Some of the most famous instances of fictional fare have become synonymous with the holidays. Who can forget the plentiful food surrounding the Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol? The simple but generous and joy-filled Christmas gatherings at the Marchs' in Little Women? Or the Van Tassel’s autumnal feast in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Finally, these literary meals can become a reality on your table with A Literary Holiday Feast.

From Christmas and Thanksgiving to Halloween and New Year's, this seasonal cookbook offers 17 full four-course holiday meals from 25 classic books—each including an appetizer, entrée, side dish, and dessert. Additionally, whip up festive sips and delectable edible gifts to share with loved ones. As you curl up by the fireplace to reread one of your favorite literary classics, learn to make:
  • Mouse King Cheese Bites and Sugar Plums from The Nutcracker for Christmas
  • Turkey Roulade and Jo's Gingerbread from Little Women for Christmas
  • Skillet Cornbread with Homemade Butter and Venison Pot Roast from The Little House on the Prairie for Thanksgiving
  • Deviled Raven Eggs and Coffin Pizza Pockets from Edgar Allen Poe for Halloween
  • The Queen of Hearts Tomato Tart and Eat Me Cakes from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for the New Year
  • and many more! 
Finally—whether you love Dracula, Phantom of the Opera, Redwall, or The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—book lovers can enjoy full menus of literary delicacies from their favorite books for all of their favorite holidays!


Christmas with Southern Living 2020 brings a festive new lineup of creative ways to decorate, entertain, and make gifts for the holidays. Inspired menus and decor ideas, along with more than 100 brand-new recipes crafted by the professionals of the South’s Most Trusted Kitchen, ensure entertaining success for celebrations large and small. Also included are dozens of kitchen tips and make-ahead ideas to take the pressure off the host, plus a special gifts-from-the-kitchen section with recipes for treats to wrap and share. Over 200 photographs add dazzle, presenting unique holiday decorations, table settings, wreaths, trees, centerpieces, and mantels.

Christmas with Southern Living 2020 is the go-to resource for everything you need to make your holiday memorable and spectacular.


The Christmas Cookie Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes to Celebrate the Seasonby 
Cider Mill Press
September 15, 2020

Craft a memorable celebration this holiday season with The Christmas Cookie Cookbook.

Craft a memorable celebration this holiday season with The Christmas Cookie Cookbook. The included 100 recipes are sure to lift your holiday spirits, with delicious classics like Gingerbread Cookies, as well as new favorites like Cardamom Cookies and other instant hits. Beautiful 4-color photography and easy-to-follow recipes makes it easier than ever to liven up any celebration with delectable sweets. With vegan and gluten-free recipes to choose from, you can be confident no one feels left out in the cold this Christmas season. From cookie swap champions to beginner bakers, this is the perfect gift for anyone looking to bring a hint of sweetness back to the holidays.

Christmas Cookies: More than 60 recipes for adorable festive bakes
by Hannah Miles
September 22, 2020

Over 60 delightful recipes for holiday cookies, from traditional favorites to creative new ideas, all of which make perfect gifts.

There is nothing as cozy as a day spent baking in the holiday season—filling the house with the scent of warm, sweet dough and producing delicious treats that raise a smile even before a single bite is taken out of them! The book features tips on how to host your Christmas "cookie exchange" from clever ways to display bakes to sending out fun invitations, plus packaging ideas for gifting home-baked treats. Decorating hints and tips and basic recipes follow, providing information on all the tools you need to bake more than 60 different cookies, from Jolly Santas, Coconut Snowballs, Frosted Fir Cones, and Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups to Reindeer Pretzel Cookies and Meringue Snowmen. A joyous collection of seasonal baking recipes for all the family to enjoy.

by Ainsley Arment 
October 20, 2020

Imaginative holiday-themed activities from Wild + Free to spark children’s curiosity and wonder and help families connect with each other in the most wonderful season of the year. 

Wild + Free is a great resource for parents to engage their kids’ creativity using festive, holiday-themed crafts, outdoor activities, and essays that celebrate the warmth of the season. Curated by Wild + Free families around the world, this full-color book is filled with creative and intellectually stimulating ideas and hands-on activities parents, educators, and caregivers can use to nurture their child’s curious spirit and imagination. With step-by-step instructions, lush photography, and family-tested and kid-approved activities, Wild + Free is a valuable guide to helping children spark wonder in the most wonderful season of the year.

*******

So, which ones are on your list? They all sound great, but I especially have my eyes on A Literary Holiday Cookbook and The All-Year-Round Christmas Handbook. 

Always in spirit...


This post is a part of....


Friday, July 3, 2020

Weekend Baking - Amish Sugar Cookies #ChristmasinJuly


Happy Christmas in July! Hope you have some kind of fun planned this holiday weekend, despite the continuing pandemic.

Since this has been going on, I have been doing a lot of baking. One recipe I'm particularly fond of is this Amish Sugar Cookie recipe. It's easy and they can be made plain, or with frosting. I have not tried frosting them yet. They are SO good just plain. Really though...what says Christmas more than sugar cookies. I hope you like them!

Amish Sugar Cookies

Ingredients
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, oil, and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, scraping the sides as necessary.
  4. Reduce speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing just until combined. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  5. Reduce speed to low and add the flour in three additions, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  6. Drop dough of two tablespoons each onto the baking sheet, spacing two inches apart.
  7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, just until the edges begin to darken. Let cool on baking sheet.
Recipe from and image (above) from I Am Homesteader. Visit her site for further tips and tricks on the recipe. 

Here's what they looked like when I made them. I love their rustic charm.


Have a happy and safe 4th of July (to my U.S. readers)! 

Always in spirit...



This post is part of...

Thursday, June 25, 2020

It's #NationalLeonDay and #ChristmasinJuly news


Today, National Leon Day, marks June 25th as six months away from Christmas day (Leon is Noel spelled backward). I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about the upcoming Christmas in July.

So, happy six months until Christmas! I'm excited because this Christmas I will be back in my home state (more on that below). 


Christmas in July this year is going to be a bit different, as you can see in the image above. One post per week. I will probably post on Fridays and since there are five Fridays in July, that's five posts!

The reason I'm not doing a full blown Christmas in July this year...I'm moving house in August, from Tennessee to Michigan, my home state, just 30 minutes from my home town. My mom retires on July 31st so we will need to finish packing up and be moved by the second week in August. We have to move my son into his dorms the week before classes start on August 17th. So, I'm going to be (and have been) busy, busy, busy. I'll barely have time to think! lol

I'm also not going to be hosting a Christmas in July readathon, which I usually do in partnership with my readathon blog, Seasons of Reading. Don't worry. It will be back next year...bigger and better!

The five posts of this Christmas in July I'll share recipes, crafts, literature, maybe some Christmas Around the World. The most important yearly post during this event is, of course, Christmas book releases for the upcoming Christmas season. 


While I'm packing up all my books, I'll be watching Christmas movies at the Hallmark Channel (July 10 - July 26) and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries (June 29 - July 12). Yay! 


So that's it! Thank you for bearing with me next month...and enjoy LEON Day, however you choose to celebrate.

Always in spirit...