Oh, Happy Happy New Year!

What a wonderful holiday it has been! Christmas Eve was a highlight for me. Three generations sitting around the candlelit dinner table talking about their Christmas memories. It was such a treat to have both sets of grandparents and their aunt there for the children to hear. We laughed over Farmer Russ always wanting a bicycle when he was a boy and never getting one. He took matters into his own hands and bought himself a motorcycle when he was just 15! Whaaat? What is wrong with THAT picture.

Junebug’s (my mom) favorite present was an Indian outfit complete with a bow and arrow. To everyone surprise Poppa Frank’s favorite present was his Roy Rogers outfit complete with holsters and chaps! What a pair they would make and make now!

I had been obsessing over the menu for a week or two because… I just love to! Here’s what was served:

Asparagus Soup
(a family tradition)

Pear and Gorgonzola Green Salad with Walnuts
(my sister-in-law sent us the most wonderful pears from Harry & David)

Grilled Whole Beef Tenderloin with Green Peppercorn Cream Sauce
(Junebug and Poppa bring one every year… yum!)

Wild Rice Pilaf

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
(fresh from the garden!!! who knew!)

Pennies From Heaven ( a great carrot side)

 After basking in the warm candlelight glow from the table we all said our goodbyes and headed to the candlelight service at church. A beautiful service. So glad that my sister was there. My heart was touched as LaLa asked Ryder if she could put her head in his lap and he played with her hair and scratched her back as she rested. So sweet. Their gentle hands passed the flame from one candle carefully to the other. The sanctuary was aglow as we sang Silent Night.

Christmas morning was fun, EARLY and full of yummy goodness. Here’s what was on the menu:

Quiche Lorraine
(a family tradition: recipe from River Road Recipes- Baton Rouge Jr League cookbook)

Crustless Spinach Quiche
(a new recipe that I wanted to try… I think I prefer Quiche with a crust)

Fruit Salad

Lunch at my sister-in-laws with the extended family was fun and scrumptious. I managed to “win” a roll of toilet paper in the Bad Santa game.  I was hoping for a five dollar bill rolled up in there. No such luck.

The past week has been relaxing, pretty quiet besides the “school is out” sleepovers and “that’s not a word” Scrabble shouting matches. Farmboy even made a delicious Chicken Marsala dinner one night. He is such a Rennissance man! I have been in my pajamas much too much to admit to you. It’s 4:30… we have a party to attend at 7pm. Think I’d better go get changed… NOT that I could possibly still be in my pjs at this hour!

The smell of Black-eyed Peas is in the air. We are taking a DUO (I watch too much Ironchef) of Blackeyed Pea appetizers to the party tonight for double the prosperity for the coming year. Texas Caviar… a great alternative to salsa for chips and a warm BEP dip. Here are the recipes:

Texas Caviar

Zannie’s Black Eyed Pea Dip

When Ryder was getting his hair cut yesterday the stylist asked him what we were doing for New Years and his answer was simply “Eating black-eyed peas”. Made me laugh… we are such an exciting bunch. ; )

Next week Michelle Masters Studio will be back open for business and we will be gearing up for the 2012 Philadelphia Flower Show. There are new greeting card designs on the way as well as some fun new products. Fifteen pounds of french lavender buds is on its way for heavenly scented sachets and I will soon be ordering framing for some new paintings. Yay!

Thank you for stopping by- for reading, for your comments over the last year and for your encouragement and support of my little niche in the world. I am so honored. I wish you JOY, PEACE, PROSPERITY & GRACE for the coming year. May it shine in your lives and illuminate all those around you. : )

The Holidays


This has to be my favorite time of the year. My senses are estatic. The music, the smells, the snow, the lights. What joy. I go back and forth between the present and the past Christmas’ of my childhood. It’s really all good. I had an ideal childhood… until the my parents’ divorce. Apparently it wasn’t that ideal. But, life… it is what it is. And I’m glad. I know that I have been blessed. Perfection and imperfection. It’s okay with me. At least it is today.

I have a strong desire to give my children a healthy investment of tradition, memories, smells, tastes and sounds to fill their present as well as their past when they are old enough to look back. I wonder what shape it will take for them. Hmmm. I hope they remember that they are loved with an everlasting love and that their parents are absolutely crazy about each other. That would make me happy.


Hi, I’m Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed art for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, two children and a small petting zoo of other family members. #shapeyoursweetestlife



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