Good morning! I hope you have had a great week, it is amazing that we are less than a month away from Christmas!! Do you feel the pressure yet? My week has been super busy but productive. I feel like I am juggling many balls in the air and on top of that I have been waking up at a ridiculously early time every morning (think 4ish) therefore I am anxious for a little relaxation. Think this will be the ONLY four relaxing days I will have in all of December! So, I am off today to beautiful Palm Beach, really looking forward to a 3 day mini break from well…….everything 🙂 Such a beautiful jewel of a place, I plan on getting some much needed relaxation, rest, indulging in a few great meals, and maybe hopefully some retail therapy! Any suggestions that you feel compelled to share…..please by all means, let me know. In the meantime…things are getting awfully busy around here. By next week hope to have my tree up and my front door wreath. Though I like to hem and haw about how crazy and chaotic things are (and they are) it is very exciting to be celebrating Christmas in our new home. I am thrilled to be able to share it with all of you and hope your holiday season is off to a blazing start! This is a very photo heavy post (consider it 3 days of posting all in one)! Enjoy your weekend…… I missed a dear friends birthday so invited her over for a one on one lunch. I wanted to have it look pretty and we had such a nice time. I made my usual tricolor salad with grilled chicken and shaved Parmesan, a yummy chicken tortilla soup, fresh sour dough rolls and for dessert I was very practical, instead of a cake that would likely go to waste, or to have leftovers for that would be serious tempation for me late at night, I got her one big oversized cupcake, fresh fruit and the best biscotti locally made I have ever eaten (its addicting, its that good). Here’s a few highlights… Even had a bottle of champagne for her to toast her belated birthday……… Please remember those chairs are going……….do not like the plaid but they are something to sit on! My pretty soup tureen This soup is soooo good and really satisfying..recipe below! The oversized cupcake, just perfect for 2! Trust me it didn’t stay there long! My very generous friend, came bearing gifts….these gorgeous flowers (she knows my love for white flowers) and these were exceptional and this beautiful holiday candle from Nest, too pretty to open! Want the recipe for the soup? Here it is…say hello to your new comfort food! ( I buy ready made tortilla strips, and am generous with the extra sharp cheddar for that extra little “zing”! CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP Ingredients: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or light olive oil? cup minced white onion? cup mined Anaheim pepper1 clove garlic, minced2 tablespoons cornstarch4 cups chicken broth2 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces1 cooked skinless, boneless chicken thigh, cut into bite-size pieces1 package sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded3 (6-inch) corn tortillas, minced (if you actually want to do this yourself…not me)2 tablespoons lime juiceCarrots very finely diced1/2 green pepper and 1/2 red pepper, finely diced? cup canned diced tomatoes? teaspoon ground cumin? teaspoon ground cayenne pepper? teaspoon oregano1 can pinto or black beans3/4 cup of corn? teaspoon saltTortilla strips, optional, for garnish Directions: 1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add the minced onion, pepper, and garlic, peppers and carrots and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the minced onion begins to turn translucent.2. Whisk the cornstarch into the chicken broth, then add the broth mixture to the pot, along with the chicken, cheddar cheese, corn, beans,, lime juice, diced tomatoes, cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano, and salt. Increase the heat to medium while stirring constantly to help the cheese melt. When the soup begins to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve the soup topped with tortilla strips and extra shredded cheese Store news……Been busy fulfilling holiday orders, the monogram items are hot hot hot, the napkin rings and silver also moving fast. I do a consistent business with my pillows. This line is particularly fabulous, super high quality, beautiful heavy down filled and I discount substantially. I am excited to have a bunch of new pillows, they will be added on by Monday. Here’s a peek at the new loot in the pillow dept! Click here to visit my online store. Also…several of you have made inquires about the pewter chargers. I had gotten in a large batch which went immediately. I am working on trying to get more, not so easy! I did get in a random assortment of 14 of the scalloped ones and 3 of one of the more ornate ones.. If interested just email me. I am discounting the scalloped to a great deal of $25 a charger (they sell for 40) because on some of them there is the slightest trace of a “sticker residue” on them but they will be covered any way so its a small “defect”. I tried to photograph them. Just email me here if you are interested! I have 14 of these And 3 of these Moving on.….continuing to decorate around here for Christmas. I have had such a chock full week that I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, but am getting there! Here’s a few new things in my holiday decorating…. I do love the way red pops next to blue and white…… Added some garland….will be adding pinecones at some point, this is phase I I like adding small sprigs of greenery with berries to vignettes around the holidays…. I found this HUGE pumpkin for 1/2 off (so next fall you will be seeing a lot of it) Its so great looking, about 22″ round! I love late afternoon sunlight and the beautiful silhouette it creates….. Though I am not a huge “red” person have to say a touch of it here and there brings the holiday spirit into my home in a beautiful way…. Love adding scented pinecones to the base of a planter for my holiday flowers… There is so much inspiration online that at times its intoxicating and overwhelming( I know many of you are shaking your head in agreement)! But it is so incredibly fun to drool over all the amazing images available! Here’s a few I am loving lately…….. Such a magical time of year, so much going on, so much inspiration everywhere! It is a wonderful season but it is also so important to pace yourself, I keep reminding myself of this every day and am a “list queen” and love checking things off my list! Enjoy the magic of the season that is upon us and I will speak to you next week! Wishing you a fabulous weekend. Ho ho ho…….