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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

got milk?

Baking and decorating cookies for Santa Claus is a big deal in the T&C household, particularly for the kiddos.  I have tried several different sugar, or cut-out, cookie recipes, and, I’ve decided my favorite is Paula Deen’s Animal-shaped Sugar Cookies from Paula Deen and Friends.  As far as celebrity chef cookbooks go, I favor Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa books and the Lee Brothers, but these sugar cookies turn out perfectly every time.  Or, more accurately, year after year.
To see some truly gorgeous cut-outs by a cookie master, visit Pink Martinis and Pearls.
We keep the old cookie cutters in an old tartan lunch box.  IMG_0580 My great grandmother’s rolling pin, one solid piece of poplar,
the chilled dough, and the marble slab.
IMG_0583The apprentice.
IMG_0592   I like the airplane and the bell the best.
“He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.”
That’s hardly surprising, is it?


  1. We made extra sugar cookies to frost and decorate this morning for Santa! Yours are wonderful...

    Have a blessed Christmas with your wonderful family...

  2. We tried our hand at sugar cookies this year, they looked nowhere near as delicious as yours!
    A wonderfully Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  3. We colored some icing with green and red food coloring to frost on some "extra special" sugar cookies that a dear friend gave us to decorate. We will see how Santa likes them tonight!! A Very Merry CHRISTMAS to you all.

  4. A little birdie would LOVE your Peppermint Meringue Cookies recipe...


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