Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve!

dear family and friends!


and it is also
another edition of
Favorites on the First

Feel free to take this button!

and though I have 
all my ingredients
to make shepard's pie
(which is what everyone here at my house 
wanted me to make as their comfort food of choice)
I have yet to make it.

rest assured it will
be the first thing I will do 
in the morning
so I will probably post 
the linky party 
sometime before noon CST.

Don't want you to think
I forgot 
or I slept in
or partied too much 
this evening!

Yummy stuffed green peppers.

So get your
comfort food favorites
together on a blog post
and be sure to link up
tomorrow with us
here at 
The Polohouse!

Always a big favorite, mac and cheese.

Also, I
 wanted to 
take this opportunity
to tell you all
how much your friendships mean to me.

Your kind comments 
and support
through the last two years 
have meant sooo very much to me.
 I wish you and your families
a very healthy and happy 2013. 

God bless each and every one of you!

A  :)

Had to end it with my personal favorite .... stuffed cabbage rolls. My kids won't eat them
so I never get to make them! I  LOVE these things.
Photo courtesy of

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Midwest Living Holiday House 2012

Midwest Living 2012

Have you seen this year's 
 holiday home from Midwest Living?

It's beautiful!

This home is located in Missouri 
and the homeowners
 worked with
field editor and stylist
Bonnie Broten. :)

What a lovely collaboration.

Here are some of the shots
that appeared in the holiday issue of
 Midwest Living
in case you are unable to get a copy
of this lifestyle magazine
in your area.

Midwest Living 2012

Midwest Living 2012

Midwest Living 2012

Midwest Living 2012

Midwest Living 2012

Midwest Living 2012

Midwest Living 2012

Midwest Living 2012

Midwest Living 2012

Midwest Living 
is a gorgeous magazine
full of beautiful images,
great recipes, and wonderful travel 
information and tips if you are
planning a visit to any of the states
located in the midwestern region 
of our great country.

If you are not a subsriber,
you can link here
and easily become one!


Feel free to pin these images,
just be sure to credit the magazine.

Photographer of these images:
 Alise O'Brien

Hope you found some holiday
decor inspiration in these photos.
I certainly did!
(Love all the natural elements and colors.)
So much fun to share them
with you all as this year closes
and another new one begins.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Little Snow Angel

A couple years ago
I got this moss-covered angel
topiary form for Christmas.
I had seen her at a 
local nursery gift shop, 
and she stole my heart.

has graced our holiday dining room
table in past years, 
and various other spots, 
but my most favorite spot for
her is outside 
our kitchen patio doors
on the table. 
(She stands about 3 feet tall or more.)

We got some light snow 
this week which makes her look 
even cuter, right?

She stands on a burlap runner and on the runner - fresh cranberries and birdseed.
All under a blanket of snow now.

(Side note: I have to smile every time
I type or write the word "angel"  ---
I am reminded of a story my mother
has told me from her childhood 
about a young admirer  
who wrote her a love note and it started it off:
 "To My Dear Angle Patricia...."  )
 I think of that every single time I write the word now!!!  LOL

How about you?
Any snow in your part of the world?

I know I have barely posted this month. 
And honestly, it has been killing me! 
I love to decorate for the holidays
and my house is decorated more than ever,
but as you know, I am unable to share anything
until the holiday issue of Midwest Living 
comes out next November.
It has been so hard for me not to post 
 on the preparations.
 But, I just have to wait 
until next Christmas 
and then.... it will be revealed.

Happy New Year, friends!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Year's Eve

How will 
ring in the
New Year?

Will you share the evening
with a few good friends?

 Or are you more likely
to share the experience
with a few 

Maybe you will be hosting
an intimate dinner party
complete with all
the New Year's Eve 

Or maybe you 
and your someone special 
will just be
sharing a quiet evening
fireside making resolution lists
and reflecting on the past year?

whatever the case...
I wish you 
a wonderful,
healthy, happy 
new year
filled with unexpected
surprises and 
an abundance of

God bless you and yours,

Celebrate life!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter Comfort Foods

Photo courtesy of the Food Network 

Winter is the time 
for comfort foods
especially if you are living 
in the north
where the temperatures 
have dropped!

On January 1st,
Favorites on the First's
linky party will share
your favorite comfort food recipes!

So plan to pull one or a few of
your favorite recipes
that you love to make
and you love to EAT
when it is cold or chilly outside.

Some of our favorites here
include creamy soups and chili,
homemade mac and cheese,
chicken casseroles and stuffed peppers,
meatloaf, pot pies, etc.

Courtesy of Food Network

The top two photos are shots of
Ina Garten's Lobster Pot Pies!
Don't THEY sound yummy?

Love her.

You can link to her recipe here.

So put on your apron 
and start thinking 
about what you can share
 with all of us here at
Favorites on the First
at the Polohouse, ok?!?

January 1-3, 2013

(My stomach is already growling
in anticipation!)

And check this out....

Pottery Barn

I was browsing PB's website for some
last minute Christmas gifts,
and saw that they had a
tutorial on 
"How to Host a Comfort Food Party"

You can check that out here~

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Getting back on track...


Have not been blogging 
for two weeks ...
seems like even longer!

But I am back 
on track now.

In case you 
missed my post in October, 
 my house was just photographed
this past week for
 read about it here.

So for the last two weeks 
my friend Jenn and I were
as busy as elves on December 24th
preparing for Christmas
for next year's holiday issue. 

On Monday,
we went to the airport
to pick up the 
famous Bonnie Broten 
-- stylist extraordinaire 
and Field Editor for Meredith Publishing. 
This darling (and beautiful) woman
has more energy and talent 
than most anyone I know! Her personality is magnetic.

We ran around and purchased
 fresh greens and flowers
and headed off to the house.

On Tuesday,
the magazine's Creative Director,
Geri Boesen, flew in and the four of us
got everything staged and prepared
for the photo shoot.  
(Lots of tweaking, rearranging,
and editing of things for the cameras.
Geri has such an artistic eye and a gift
for telling a story through photos.)

On Wednesday,
 Werner Straube
(Chicago-based interior/locations photographer)
and his assistant, Dustin, 
arrived with their equipment
and began shooting the house 
and the holiday decorations
for three days.
These two are so incredibly
talented -- the things they can
do with a camera! Oh my.

Trying to get the perfect lighting.

Moving things from one area to another.

Even the dogs took part in the process.
They were pictured in several areas
and they seemed to enjoy their
short stint in modeling. 
(Hallie is such a ham. Loves a flash .)

Until you experience something like this,
there's just no way to fathom
how much time and effort
 goes into each and every photograph 
of a room that is printed.

I learned SO MUCH!

Bonnie checking accessory placement.

Bonnie took her magic wand and applied
some "red holiday lipstick" 
to this old barn house
and Geri was right behind her 
with a couple design and styling
to pump up the looks of the place 
to get her camera-ready 
if you will! 

I couldn't even believe it was
the same place when the photos 
were finished.
(The final shots are all captured on
a laptop monitor so you are able to
watch the process of each shot from start to finish.) 
That's technology.

Werner and Dustin waiting for final "tweaking"
 being done by the ladies in the other room.

Now that it is all over,
it kind of feels like the day after 
your wedding --- 
a big let down.  
So sad it is all over.

When one spot is being photographed, the other rooms
become storage and holding spaces.

Was very teary-eyed 
when Bonnie and Geri left.
So blessed to have met them 
and to have gone through this experience 
with these professionals
who are SO crazy ridiculously talented.

Can't wait to show you
the photos but will have to wait 
until after the publication 
comes out next October 
or November 2013. 

It's going to be 
a looooong 
9 months!

To see the home featured
in this year's holiday issue.
click HERE!

Enjoy! -