Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pure Joy - A Holiday Get Together Continued...

When I arrived at Kimber's home yesterday - my place was set with a HUGE holiday gift basket from Merry. From my previous posts, you probably know that Merry loves to bake/cook (and to try new things in the kitchen!)...and I am one of the truly lucky ones who gets to sample all her fabulous treats! This first photo is a shot of what was in the basket...there was so much, it was almost overwhelming - both Kimber and I had to grab a pencil and write down everything as Merry walked us through the items, or else we would never be able to keep it all straight! There were three tins of baked goods (details below), a bottle of Lavender Extract, an adorable bottle of Limoncello, three jars of jelly (Spiced Crabapple, Gooseberry, and Black Currant), along with a bag of White Chocolate Cinnamon Granola - all of which she made herself!! I was truly in awe...

Here is a photo with the tins opened, so you can see inside...and I am going to do my best to tell you what each thing is....
The round tin in the lower left had three different cookies (from left to right) - Lavender Chamomile Shortbread, Sage Shortbread with Peach Jam Filling, and Raspberry Jam Thumbprints (of course she made the jams) - all are delicious...and believe me, my husband and I tried them all! The small treasure chest tin in the lower right was filled with Orange Flower Water Cookies (which are FANTASTIC!)....and the large tin shown in the top right was half Strawberry Madeleines and half Chocolate Chip Brownies with Peppermint Patties (my husband's favorite!). Yesterday I sampled each of these special treats with a cup of hot tea, so a couple extra miles on the treadmill is in order.....each and every one of them is absolutely delectable.

If all that wasn't enough, she also brought us both the most wonderful little lunch bags - yep, she sewed for us too! Seriously, how stinkin' cute is this little tote?! She found the instructions online for this great little bag on the Pink Penguin blog (which is spectacular)...if you want to make one for yourself, see Ayumi's fabulous Lunch Bag Tutorial! I absolutely LOVE the fabrics Merry chose for my little tote (note the birds in the fabric)...and the bottom section (brown flower print with birds) is actually a corduroy! I thought the rick rack on the handles was the perfect touch...and the drawstring cover is super convenient to keep everything safe inside. But wait, there's more! The bag was filled with treasures...can you say "over the top"? I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning pulling open the drawstring cover
to reveal more presents....there was a package of holiday hankies, holiday bandages, a tiny bag of lifesavers candy, two (not one, but two!) pairs of scissors that she knew I had been admiring, and a kitchen towel she made to match my black and white kitchen perfectly. AMAZING!! To say I was "blown away" would be an understatement. I have said it before - I have the most generous, creative, talented, and kind friends!

After we finished opening all out gifts, we headed back to the kitchen for more beverages and snacks...and then made our way to Kimber's sitting room for more chit chat and some needlework. Kimber had the fireplace burning to keep us toasty warm and we all worked on different projects. Merry was knitting, Kimber was hand quilting, and I was cross stitching...but truth be told, I think I did a lot more talking than stitching (what's new?)....

Driving home, I reflected on the our time together and the beautiful friendship the three of us have built - Merry and Kimber both encourage and inspire me...they help me grow and be better...their friendship is truly the best gift they have given me!

My wish for you this holiday season is to be surrounded by good friends and family - to find joy in the little things - to be encouraged and inspired - and to be aware of life's many blessings....


  1. Oh how nice. The baked foods look amazing. I do not have the gift of baking. What a great friend.

  2. What lovely gifts, and how blessed you are to have such special friends. I think my favorite is the lunch bag - it makes me wish my sewing machine and I were friends, but, alas, it hasn't seen the light of day for probably 20 years! Oh, well...

  3. What treasures to receive! Love the lunch bag and the birds were what I noticed first! I am glad you were able to spend the time with your friends. And Belinda, you are so right about the gift of friendship and its many blessings.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  4. Now that sounds like my kind of party - hot tea, lovely sweets and savory snacks, presents and good friends - what could be better. thanks for sharing your wonderful time - Hope you enjoy the season ! Melody