My Favorite Things.....

The holidays are upon us and I decided I would share some of my favorite things to give, get, and enjoy over this season {some can even be enjoyed all year round}. 

1. Orange Pomander Balls  

  • The custom of clove studded oranges traveled to the United States during Colonial Times from England. For that time oranges were still a very exotic fruit and were not commonly found in every household. Thank goodness times have changed, because I'm thoroughly obsessed with all things citrus.  They are very easy to make and below I have posted the simple two step directions.

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Ingredients

Oranges {you can substitute apples} 

Whole Cloves

I used floral wire to attach each orange to the arrangement.

I used floral wire to attach each orange to the arrangement.

It's so simple...the cloves have a point on one end, push that end into the orange and you're done! It lacks difficulty and I love that. You can make an extravagant design to give to your favorite hostess with the mostess , or you could even start a new Christmas tradition; by let the smallest of children help with the task .  It's quick, easy, and has the most fragrant scent. Put them on display in a pretty dish or a piece of china, add them to a center piece, or even your mantel. I added them to my front door arrangement, greeting every guest with the most delicious holiday aroma.  

2. Personalized, Personalized, Personalized

 

If you're from the south, you probably already have a handle on how important personalization is. We put our name or monogram on anything that's not moving, and at Christmas... it's no different. My favorite personalized items are Christmas stockings. Stocking were, and still are my favorite part of Christmas morning. If you're having holiday guests this season, make sure they have a stocking hanging when they arrive. It's a great way to make someone feel special, and included when away from home. 

       

I choose these vintage style stocking because they most resemble the ones I had as childThe original stocks were crossed stitched by my mother. They, however, have gotten misplaced over the years. I purchased these a few years ago, and we use these at my Mother's on Christmas morning. 

Last year, I purchased new furry stockings, and in lieu of embroidering them I decided to personalize each one with a german glitter glass initial. This allows me my southern indulgence, while still keeping with a modern vibe of our home.    

3. Stocking Stuffers

Now, for what makes the stocking amazing..........

My Mother and Step-Mother both excelled when it came to stocking stuffing! Both of their efforts made sure I'd always have a special fondness for this tradition. If you're new to the stocking tradition, or you find yourself struggling for ideas....I'm here to help! Unique is key, whether it is a small piece of jewelry, candy, or figurine....Think unusual...And stuff it full!! 

 

Consumed by antler necklaces! They are unique, one of a kind, and just plan fabulous! They can be found by clicking the tab at the top of this page or simply by clicking the photo. They range from $48 to $78, with both rustic and glamorous styles. 

My current obsession is JuJube Nougat. First off, the candy itself is just pretty, and the all colors remind me of how I think the North Pole might be decorated. I opended this bag and put a few in each stocking, as well as in my mouth!!!!{They taste soooo good!} I picked these up at World Market, it's one of my favorite places to find novel candies. 

JuJube Nougat $3.99

 

With a slogan like , "Spritz the Bowl Before-You-Go and No One Else Will Ever Know!" this is sure to stir up some intrigue!

We personally have this in our guest restroom and it's been the topic of conversation at several of our dinner parties. Everyone asks about it and the ones who know...sing it's praises. It comes in a travel size and is a great {as well as a very interesting} stuffer! 

 

Poo-Pourri 4ML Travel Bottle {Amazon $7.99}

Poo-Pourri 4ML Travel Bottle {Kiss and Makeup $5.00}

 

 

4. Sweet Potatoes! 

Yes, I know what you're thinking..."Why in the world is that one of her favorite things!!!????", but sweet potatoes aren't something we ate at every meal{we should have, but we didn't}. This delicacy was always prepared for special occasions, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas. However, in 2016 I'm going to resolve to fix sweet potatoes more often! Below is my recipe for sweet potato soufflé. 

Ingredients                                             Topping

1 stick of butter, at room temperture {plus more to grease pan}           1 cup finely chopped pecans

5 medium sweet potatoes                                                                            1 cup brown sugar {but you can always add a little bit more}

2 large eggs                                                                                                     1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar                                                                                  1/2 stick of butter, softened 

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup of milk

pinch of salt

Preheat over 350 degrees F. Boil the potatoes with the skin on until tender{can be easily pierced with fork}.  I usually boil mine the night before to save time. When potatoes have cooled enough to touch, peel and place into a large mixing bowl. Grease the oven safe baking dish you plan on using with butter. Mash potatoes until smooth {feel free to use an electric or handheld mixer}. Add eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, milk, and salt. Combine well with mixer and empty mixture into baking dish. 

For the topping:

In medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, butter, and pecans until thoroughly combined. Spoon mixture evenly over the sweet potatoes.

Bake 40 minutes, until slightly brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. ENJOY! 

 

5. EGG NOG!!! 

I find there is no need for me to make eggnog from scratch when "Southern Comfort" makes it sooooo good and sooooo easy to just buy it! I personally think it's better without the bourbon, rum, or brandy{I know...CRAZY}. I generally drink several cartons of this starting the moment it arrives in grocery stores {around the first of November}. I used to turn my nose up at this creamy concoction, but it's definitely worth giving a whirl. 

 

 

Hoping some of these holiday tidbits were helpful! Cheers, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holiday!!!

XOXO - Nicole