Friday, December 9, 2016

christmas in the kitchen

One thing I hate about running normal errands this time of year is that everyone is Christmas, traffic is insane, stores are crowded, and lines are verrry long. Even on a Friday. The positive? I didn't encounter any crabby people at all today, like I usually do when out in public. Quite the opposite. I saw a middle-aged woman helping an elderly woman who was parked in a handicapped spot, with putting her groceries in her car and taking the cart back to the cart corral for her. In another store, two older ladies were shopping together and laughing. The one said to the other, "See? I needed to be with you today. You always know how to cheer me up and make me laugh." Made me smile while I was shopping. All the store clerks were in good moods, too. 

I put a little of that Christmas spirit (which we need year-round) in my kitchen with decorations here and there. Again, nothing fancy. Just casual, festive and home-y. That kitchen wall will be going bye-bye next month. We're having an eight-foot pass-through cut out in this wall. On the other side of the wall is the living room. The wainscoting and blue walls will be leaving, too. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the display space for the Santa mugs and Christmas glassware.

I recently bought this trio of tealight holders at Crate and Barrel with a 15% off coupon. Good thing is, I can use them year-round, not just for the holidays. Makes a simple, pretty centerpiece.

Reindeer plates and a vintage Marshall Field's crock (both found at Goodwill years ago) on top of the fridge...

Touches of red and white in the china cabinet...

On the wall to the right of the china cabinet, more red and white...

To the left of the china cabinet, my favorite red and white winter mugs came out of storage...

as well as a milk glass piece that's perfect for holding Earl Grey tea bags.

I attempted to make a coffee and tea station on a tray on the kitchen counter, but it turned into more of a catch-all station!

If you're a coffee drinker and have a Trader Joe's near you, I highly suggest this limited Wintry Blend coffee. I normally don't like flavored coffees, but this one's delicious. From the Trader Joe's web site:

It begins with a blend of quality Arabica coffee beans from a variety of locales, including Sumatra and Guatemala. (There are others, too, but telling you where all the beans originate might just give away the secret to our blend, and well, we wouldn't want to do that!) The beans are roasted to a smooth, medium-dark Vienna roast. But since this is no everyday coffee, we didn't stop there.  After the roast comes the intriguing part, the part where whole green and red peppercorns, fresh whole cloves and chunks of sweet cinnamon are added. The coffee isn't flavored; rather, it's spiked with spices. When the beans and spices have been combined, the blend is given a good grind, making prep a snap, and ensuring the spices are evenly distributed throughout.

 I buy several containers of this coffee so that it lasts me all winter, because it's always sold out right before Christmas. And if you're a tea drinker, I suggest trying Republic of Tea's Comfort and Joy flavor. Between this and the Wintry Blend coffee, it's hard to decide which one to have each morning! I found the tea at World Market, but you can also order it online. The cute mugs were purchased at Kohls years ago. The one that says "Nice" on the front says "Naughty" on back. I'm a little of both ~ how about you? ;-)

More snow is coming here this weekend - they're saying 6+ inches Saturday evening into Sunday. And then the bitter cold will hit on Tuesday, with daytime temps in the single digits and below zero at night. These frigid temps don't normally happen until January. I guess that's what we get for having a warmer-than-average November!

Stay warm and cozy...until we talk again.


  1. Your home is so cozy, Melanie...your kitchen cart reminds me of the Bachman's pretty! How exciting to have the pass-through put in! I'll bet it will really open up the space! Snow coming here tomorrow, too!

  2. it doesn't take much to add a little festive mood to your rooms. I like that Meow-y Christmas mug. :) We get an HGTV channel here now. I think the shows are a few years old but that's okay by me since I've not seen any of them before. It seems when remodeling, everyone is knocking down a kitchen wall to open up to the living space. It's funny because people here are so funny about having separate kitchens because they don't want the cooking smells throughout all the rooms. Problem is, they never put ventilation in these buildings, so the smells are gonna be there anyways. :) Hope your construction work is quick and on schedule. I always try to go shopping when I know very few people will be out ... like first thing in the morning, on a Friday or Saturday which is our weekend). Glad to hear you saw some lovely encounters while out and about. We should all take the time to be nice (not naughty:) Stay warm!

  3. I find so many uplifting moments during the holiday season just as you have. Thank goodness! I love all of your holiday decorations...just perfect, That Marshall Field's crock is priceless.

    Keep up your beautiful Christmas touches. I'm just starting and need the inspiration!! ;-D


  4. It's heartwarming to witness such charitable behavior during this busy season, isn't it? Last year I watched a clerk at Barnes and Noble while I waited in an extremely long line. His demeanor was so calm that the mood spread to all the waiting customers. I told him how impressed I was with how he handled being the lone clerk during the busy holiday season. Not a single person complained about the wait!

    Big changes coming to Comfy House! Opening up that wall is going to make your house so bright and open, Melanie. I'm sure you'll find new spots for all your vintage goodies when it's all done.

    I need to visit Trader Joe's when I'm in Mpls. next week. Our oldest daughter always brings us goodies she buys there. Your coffee is going to taste extra good when you're bundled up in the warm house. We're in a deep freeze now. Brrrrrrr!

  5. Everything looks so festive! I love your coffee station, I might have to run by Trader Joe's and get some of that coffee to try! Hugs!

  6. It is looking a lot like a great Christmas at your house, Melanie. I LOVE that picture above the mugs there. It is fun and homey feeling. I am anxious to see what your home is going to look like when you open the wall up. My dd is getting ready to do the same thing. While you lose wall space I think that the flow from rooms and the light that passes back and forth through there will be wonderful.

    I don't like flavored coffees either (except a SF Vanilla latte from Starbucks) but they use regular coffee as the base. Trader Joe's here but I 'might' like it- you never know.

    Hope you have a wonderful rest of the weekend. xo Diana

  7. You are so right, Melanie: the Christmas spirit should be present in people all year round! It is heartwarming to hear little sweet snippets of conversation between friends and strangers - so inspiring!

    Your kitchen at Christmas is always so cozy and inviting. Wish we had a Trader Joe's in Toronto, but no such luck; I've heard only good things about it and now this signature Wintry Blend is tempting me to cross the border!

    Happy Sunday, to you!

    P.S.: Thank you for your sweet comment on my current post.

  8. Catching up on blog reading this morning. Your holiday touches are very sweet and simple and I love them. Our decorations are simple as well - nothing that a certain little girl can't play with. The challenge is real. LOL.

  9. What a beautiful, wintery post! The pictures are lovely. I love the blue in your kitchen, but excited to see what comes next.

  10. Did the snow come, Melanie? If so I can't imagine a sweeter place to be than inside your kitchen. I'm sure you're torn by excitement over the January plans for change in the kitchen and enjoyment of it just the way it is. Thanks for the hint about the Wintry Blend, I'll tell my husband to look for it just in case there's any left here.

    The red touches in your beautiful kitchen are lovely!

  11. It's funny, I was out shopping on Friday and it was insanely busy. I couldn't believe the traffic, the number of people in line, and it was the middle of the day. The little cart in your kitchen is so cute! Your house is so cozy.

  12. Melanie,
    Beautiful Christmas touches in your charming and cozy home. I have always enjoyed Christmas in your Kitchen with your sweet decor.
    I stock up on Coffee too, I like Community brand and just about this time of the year it goes on sale!
    Happy Monday,

  13. I just needed some cat food tonight after work and the supermarket was crazy busy! I only grabbed what I needed and ran away!
    Your home looks lovely and very cosy.

  14. Super cute holiday decor in your kitchen, Melanie! I bet you're excited to get going on the plans to open up that wall - big changes at your comfy little house!!

  15. Always nice to see the Christmas spirit in action.
    Your kitchen is so charming. I love all of your vintage touches.
    Sounds like big change will be coming in that room soon. I look forward to seeing what you have planned.
    Thanks for the tip on the Trader Joe's coffee. It sounds delish. I like to hear what others buy when they shop there. I keep a list and then when I go I am reminded of some new things to try. Our TJs is about a half hour from here.

  16. I've loved seeing some of your Christmasing! Isn't it nice to know there are still nice folks around us? I enjoyed your little tale. Thank you so much for the visit!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)


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