Holiday Candied Nuts

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! How are y’all doing? Are you ready for Christmas yet?

It is finally cold enough in Texas to actually feel like Christmas. This year I made these yummy nuts to share with family and friends, and they were such a hit! I want to share this super easy Crock Pot recipe with you.

Holiday Candied Nuts in Vintage Mason Jars with Christmas Tree Tags

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Holiday Candied Nuts (Crock Pot Recipe)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Sugar

3/4 cup Brown Sugar

2  Tbsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. clove

1/2 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. nutmeg (freshly ground)

1 Egg White

2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 cup pecans

1 1/4 cup almonds

1 1/4 cup walnuts

3 Tablespoons of water

Directions: 

1.  In a large  bowl, mix together sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg.  Set aside.

2.  In a separate, bowl whisk together egg white and vanilla until combined.

3. Combine together all ingredients except water, and place in a greased Crockpot on low setting. Stir every 15 minutes for an hour an a half.

4. Add water and continue on low for 20 more minutes.

Enjoy!

Looking for last minute Christmas gifts?

Bibles make great gifts. You can still enter to win. I am giving away this beautiful Journal the Word Bible from Thomas Nelson, which sells for $49.99 and it can be yours!

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Like and Share this post to be eligible to win! Journal the Word

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More Christmas Inspiration!

“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.” –Ruth Carter Stapleton

It is the beginning of December, and my house is all decorated for Christmas! I now have time to relax, and open my home to serve loved ones.  At a recent gathering in my home, I was encouraged to blog about how I put everything together. So today I would like to share some inspiration and helpful holiday decorating tips.

Each year I like to mix things up, and move things around. We have several Christmas trees because I like a little bit of Christmas in every room! In preparation for this year, I met a lady who told me her grandchildren wanted to know when she was going to put the forest up? Forest? This idea intrigued me, and I decided to do something that I have never done before: a Christmas tree forest!

img_0481I grouped a couple of  7 foot trees together, with a slim tree, and two 4 foot trees, and pushed them all together in the corner of my sun room. Voila! Christmas Forest!

The Christmas Forest made the perfect backdrop for my nieces pictured below.

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Here are a few tips to make your holiday decorating a breeze!

The first thing I do when the boys bring down all of my Christmas stuff is to organize everything on tables covered with plastic cloths to try and contain the glitter madness. I group things together by color and type.

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This allows me to see everything very easily.

Here I decide how I plan to use it and where it will go.

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At the end of the season, I pack everything up by organizing like items and colors together. I carefully wrap all of my fragile ornaments and box them together.

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Another example of how I organize my Christmas items is to put everything I use on my mantle that year in one box and label it mantle.

Since I like to mix things up. I like to take pictures of each room once it is decorated for Christmas. This is super helpful! It makes it easy for me to see what I have done in past years. I can see what I like and what I want to change for next year.

In my great room I use a combination of mixed metals.

After looking at pictures from last year, I decided to redo my coffee table in my Great room, and the mantle above my fireplace.

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I found these beautiful florals and grouped them together on a tray.

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In this photo, I used the ribbon on the left on the tree this year and coupled it with this new ribbon I purchased on the right. Last year I used the ribbon on the left in my garland on the stairs, but this year I left the garland with a more natural appearance.

The tree in my Great Room pictured below is similar to last year, with a few little tweaks.

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When decorating a large tree, it is helpful to have large ornaments! And a lot of them!

Are you ready for the holiday season? What have you found to be helpful when you are holiday decorating? Do you have any organization ideas or decorating tips that you would like to share?  I would love to hear from you!

One final thought. It is my hope that you will be encouraged to invite others into your home and share the joy of this holiday season. Remember, when planning your holiday gatherings this year, hospitality is about creating a warm inviting space to provide respite from the world, and a safe haven for your family and friends. A place where you can reflect on the beauty of the season and celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ.

BEFORE YOU GO! There is still time to enter to win a Journal the Word Bible!

Like and share Journal the Word,  with your friends on social media to be eligible to win!

Importance of the Family Table

Today on the blog, I am talking about the importance of the family table, and sharing a few pictures from our Thanksgiving table 2013. Earlier this week, we heard from Michelle S Laurek on practical ways to love our neighbors, and  I told you about her new book, An Invitation To The Table: Embracing the Gift of Hospitality. If you missed that post, be sure to check it out here Love Your Neighbor!

I love this description of An Invitation To The Table: Embracing the Gift of Hospitality from  Amazon.

Jesus spent a chunk of his ministry eating and drinking with the “”sinners and tax collectors”” of the world. If we strive to be more like Jesus, shouldn’t we do more of what he did?

Hospitality involves more than the domesticated event we have grown accustomed to practicing. It is an embodiment of all the Christian life stands for: a gesture of love, opening up our hearts and lives, and sacrificing luxury and security for the chance to display Gods glory. To receive hospitality from others is an invitation to receive Gods transformative power to work in their lives.

Wow! Have you ever considered your family table a place of ministry? We have a huge farm table that we purchased several years ago to accommodate our growing family.  The wooden sun-bleached benches on either side of our 10 foot table are flanked by several mix-and-match black chairs with rush seats. It is reminiscent of farmhouse meets french flair, and it is located in our beautiful sunroom. The sunroom is one of my favorite rooms in our house because it has 12 huge windows that look out into our back yard, and we have a gorgeous view of the sun rise.


The importance of the family table, and the top 3 reasons I love mine! And you should love yours too!

Fist, there is something special about choosing the perfect table linen, arranging your favorite dishes, and adding a seasonal centerpiece. I love to prepare a feast for friends and family. I am going to let you in on a little secret though, I have a dish problem. I love my dishes and love any excuse to use all of the dishes that I have collected over the years.

The table is another great place in our home to spruce up with the changing of the seasons. I love to search Pinterest for new and creative ideas for my tablescapes. I also love repurposing old things and using them in new or unexpected ways.

For the 2013 Thanksgiving table, I used an old wine box, that Peter brought home twenty years ago when he worked at a hotel. I darkened the box up with a little leftover stain that I had from another project. Nestled in the box is a fairytale pumpkin, some pine bundles from our trees, Mason jars with tea lights, surrounded by pinecone candle holders with cream tapers.

Depending on the formality of the holiday or occasion, I may use chargers or place cards. When my children were young, and I wanted to make our holiday tables special, I would include them in helping me make place cards. For the 2013 Thanksgiving table, I purchased these vintage goblets at an antique store for just a few dollars. This was a fun way to serve our beverages, and I didn’t have to worry about them breaking.

Second, conversations at the family table tie heartstrings to our children, family members, and friends. This is an important time of connection and communion. At the table, you can linger, talk about your day, and impart your values to your children. There is time to reflect on issues that arise in our culture, morality, religion, politics, and books. Gathered around the table is also a great place to share stories from the past, or tales of family members that have gone on to be with the Lord. This is something that Peter’s mom Gigi instilled in me early in our marriage. We spent many hours in lively conversation as a family around the table. The Thanksgiving 2013 table pictured is very special to me because this was the last meal we shared together as a family with Gigi. She was an amazing woman, who was an incredible influence on my life. Read more about this at 5 Things Gigi Taught Me.

Holiday tip when entertaining for the holidays and small children are sharing the table with us, I always put a fancy tablecloth on the table, but then cover it with clear plastic. This way the table still looks beautiful, but it is protected from the inevitable spills that are bound to happen.

Third, in this fast-paced microwave society that we live in when families are going in different directions all the time, and we eat at the drive through or on the run. To have time to sit down and eat a home-cooked meal on real plates, not paper ones, and have time to connect at the table, and enjoy a meal is priceless!

Whether you are gathered at the table for a holiday or sharing coffee with a neighbor or friend, know that your table can be a place of ministry.  “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1  Corinthians 10:31.

Holiday Preparation and Inspiration!

Celebrating the holidays with friends and family is a great way to make memories and tie heartstrings with those we love. Last week I talked about our homes being a sanctuary,  Our Home – A Sanctuary. This week, I am excited to share a few more photos of my 2016 fall decor in my home, along with a couple of photos from Christmas 2015 to inspire your upcoming holiday decorating!

Also, I want to tell you about a lovely book that will inspire you with your holiday planning. This wonderful little e-book was written by my friend Debi Chapman, and it will help  prepare you for the holiday of your dreams! In the coming weeks, I plan to share other books I love on hospitality, and making Christmas meaningful.

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I just love this new vignette on my entry table – a beautiful floral arrangement surrounded by mercury glass canisters and candles. At the front and center of this photo is a beautiful cross that I recently purchased.

The cross is such a beautiful reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for us on Calvary. God loves us so much that He sent His one and only son, Jesus Christ, to come to earth to live and to die, just to save us! If you are interested in learning more about God’s great love for us, I would love to share the good news of Jesus Christ with you!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16 ESV

Pictured below is that same entry table in Christmas 2015.  I love to incorporate my existing decor with seasonal items. Here I incorporated my mercury glass containers and paired them with a beautiful cherished nativity scene we received as a wedding gift from a family member, a nostalgic looking Santa Claus, and a beautiful sleigh filled with gold ornaments, flanked by lit aspen trees.

One of the reasons that I love Christmas so much is because it is a celebration of the birth of Christ!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be on his shoulder, and his name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6 ESV

We have so much to celebrate! During the Christmas season you will find nativity scenes scattered all throughout my home, because Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

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Another area that is easy to change with the seasons is my fireplace mantel. It is the focal point of the great room in my home. My decorator friend, Sherry from Just Lovely Decor, always helps me to come up with beautiful vignettes and holiday decorations.  I love the way these white pumpkins look with the heathered blue pumpkins and florals. If you live in the Houston area and would like help decorating this holiday season, Just Lovely offers full design and installation of decorations for your home. Just let me know, and I will put you in touch with my friend Sherry.enlight1

Pictured below is my mantel all decorated for Christmas 2015, along with a side view of my Christmas tree. Notice how I have used the same candle holders and mirror both in fall and at Christmas. Again using my existing decor and adding some seasonal items to spruce things up.

By taking advantage of sales each year, I add a few pieces to my Christmas collection every year. My collection began to grow when my mom started a very special Christmas tradition with my boys. From the time they were born, they would each receive an ornament from her as part of their Christmas present every year. I love this tradition, and plan to do the same thing for my grandchildren in the future.  Another special tradition that began early in my marriage was Gigi would take us shopping after Thanksgiving dinner every year. These are special memories I hold in my heart.

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What holiday traditions are you celebrating this year? Are you overwhelmed by the thought of preparing for the holidays, or are you just not sure where to start?  I am excited to tell you about my friend Debi Chapman, and her new e-book Holiday Happening – 21 days to the holiday of your dreams.

In Holiday Happenings, Debi gives you practical ideas and tips to make the most of your holiday season. This book is filled with beautiful pictures that are sure to inspire, along with practical how-to advice to prepare your home for the holidays. I love the way that Debi incorporates healthy living and use of essential oils for your home during the holiday season. She encourages you to dream, and then provides practical hints and tips to pull it all together. I can’t wait to incorporate Debi’s wisdom in to my holiday planning this year!

In Holiday Happening you’ll find a simple path to 21 days of purposeful holiday preparation. Follow the plan day-by-day and I know you’ll begin to see your ideas take shape. Each day will take you one step closer to the holiday of your dreams.

-Debi Chapman

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The ebook comes with a Holiday Happening Pinterest Board and a Facebook Page to gather and share ideas, progress reports. You can order a copy of this e-book at: www.holidayhappening.com. Books are only $5 and are payable via Paypal.
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Debi Chapman

I am convinced that our homes are the battlefields for society and it’s my privilege to encourage mothers to stay the course and embrace the daily – for the sake of Christ. – Debi Chapman

Debi’s mom-journey began over 30 years ago. Armed with a newfound devotion to Christ and a Child Development background, she married her college sweetheart. Together they began to dream of what a family could become. Presently, Tim and Debi have eleven children, nine grandchildren, and lives filled with frontline battle scars and victories beyond measure. Debi desires to leave footprints for those who follow and impart grace to mothers of all ages.

Debi’s blog Fresh Grace for Mothers is full of life-giving wisdom to moms, Refresh Gathering – women’s retreat, New Season Oils – home business, Fresh Grace – facebook page

I hope you found some inspiration to help you begin preparing for the upcoming holiday season and look forward to more helpful holiday inspiration in the coming weeks. I would love to hear about how you plan to celebrate your holidays this year!