living a well tended life... at any age

couple of things

Happy Friday!

I am swamped! The holidays are so hectic – I feel like I”m running around with barely a chance to stop, catch my breath and just enjoy all of the wonderful moments.

I’ve been collecting some great tips and links to share, and finally sat down last night to put them all together for you.

Here goes!

So remember that pomegranate-champagne punch from last year? I used to be able to find packaged seeds, but no longer – and those guys are a bear to remove. I recently read this tip on how to easily remove the seeds, and you guys – it really works!

Simply halve the pomegranate and hold one half, cut side down, over a bowl. Using a large spoon (I used a wooden spoon), give the fruit some hard smacks all over. The seeds will literally fall right into the bowl.

seeding pomegranates

I advise doing this over the sink, wearing a dark shirt or apron – there’s not much spattering but that juice stains like crazy.

I asked Mike (the food shopper in the family) how much butter, on average, he thinks I go through during the holiday season. Are you ready?Fifteen pounds!! That’s a lot of butter, and almost every recipe calls for it to be at room temperature. You’d think by now that I’d have that covered, but I’m embarrassed to admit how often I forget to take it out of the fridge in time. Or, I find some extra time and want to do a little baking, but can’t wait for the butter to warm up.

Here’s a great tip – use  your cheese grater. Grate the butter on the large holes and it will soften really quickly – usually by the time you get your other ingredients assembled and measured. Brilliant, right?

I was out to dinner last weekend and commented on our server’s lipstick. She showed it to me and said that it not only lasts through her whole shift, but it’s really comfortable too (I typically find long-wearing lipsticks to be too matte and drying). It was a deep but subtle red that looked like it would be flattering on just about anyone.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain I got this color – “Romantic” – and love it. It really is long wearing, and moisturizing too. Check it out……

Are there enough gift guides around this season? There are a lot of good ones out there but my very favorite this year comes from In Honor of Design. Anna is a talented DIY-er (is that a word? I’m saying “yes”) with impeccable taste, who cleverly recreates pretty much every hot trend out there for a LOT less. And she has assembled this fantastic gift guide that I know you will love.

There are lots of easy craft and homemade gift ideas (really easy, I promise), as well as reasonably priced items for pretty much everyone you know (many with discount codes). I’ve purchased several lovely and unusual gifts, ordered a bunch of cool tags and trimmings, and am definitely making that berry syrup (on page 29).

And finally: you know how I love to force forsythia buds in late winter. But I never thought about trying it at this time of year. Every December I get a bunch of magnolia branches to put in my vintage milk bottles – I usually just trim them to fit, and plop them in. But this year, because I bought them much earlier to have for Thanksgiving, I placed them in water. I figured this would keep them fresher through December.

And then this happened:

forcing magnolia buds

What a beautiful and unexpected surprise! So if you happen upon these at your local nursery, snatch them up – and for heaven’s sake, put them in some water!

forcing magnolia buds

Have a great weekend – I’m off to fry about 100 latkes (recipe to follow, of course!)

10 Comments

  1. barbara w on December 14, 2012 at 7:46 am

    What a great idea to soften butter!! Will definitely do that.

    • sherisilver on December 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      It has saved me many a time….

  2. Anna @ IHOD on December 14, 2012 at 8:45 am

    You are so sweet to share Sheri! Thank you so much. I am so thankful for your support. Looking forward to checking out the other links!
    Anna

    • sherisilver on December 14, 2012 at 9:25 am

      My pleasure!! I am such a fan, as you know, and thrilled to share you with my readers!!

  3. Lisa on December 14, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Sheri, I can so relate to the Dec craziness! I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I haven’t done ANYTHING for the holidays yet. Usually I decorate our home starting Dec 1st, but this year…nothing. I can’t wait for school to be over next week and finally dedicate more time to this special time of year. Thank you so much for sharing this incredible gift-guide – so many great ideas! And I must to go to a nursery!

    • sherisilver on December 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      I feel behind the ball this year too – it’s not too late though! xoxo

  4. Lacy on December 14, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Love this! Doing the pomegranate thing this morning! And I need to check out that lipstick. Love lipstick but the kind I have comes off so quickly! Oh, and the butter idea? Genius!

    XOXO

    Lacy

    • sherisilver on December 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      Thanks Lacy! xo

  5. Marti on December 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    OMG looking forward to trying the lipstick, I agree with you “long lasters” totally dry up my lips something horrible.
    Going to look for the Magnolia’s Branches see if I can force them to open should be simple for someone without a green thumb.
    BTW LOVE Forcythia, they remind me home in the Spring.
    Looking forward to reading about the Latke’s
    Marti

    • sherisilver on December 17, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you so much!!!

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