Christmas in July

Happy Christmas in July – Today, I have this adorable kitschy retro santa that I finished up just in the knick of time. 🎅🏻 🎄 🥰  Now, off to watch Tom & Jerry with hubby 📺 😺🐭

The Talmadge’s New Christmas House

Merry Christmas! I will keep the text minimal and focus on the pictures which take you throughout the portions of our home we have decorated for the celebration of Christmas.

Entrance to my studio

A peek inside the studio

My mom gave these two reindeer’s to me years ago….LOVE them!

A sleepy dog in the studio OH and the stocking you see here is the stocking Michael was brought home in when he was a baby. For those of you who don’t already know this, Michael was born on Dec 22 (A Christmas Baby).

The living area

The stockings are very near and dear to me. They are handmade from my wedding dress. One of my most cherished Christmas decorations.

Love my white winter birds

A favorite ornament handmade by mua. It has a picture of my sister and I at our grammies house. Digg the jammies and our black slippers. Quite the fashion statement!

A little outdoors brought inside

The guest bath. This stocking holds memories for me as well. This one comes from my teenage years and was handmade by someone who was connected to a near and dear friend of mine.

And lastly don’t forget to smell the flowers and enjoy Christmas for it’s true meaning. Merry Christmas to all of our dear friends and family may God Bless you today and everyday throughout the year. More pictures to come of our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebration.

Awesome Almond Biscotti

Emm YUMMO!  I decided to bake one of Mike’s favorites today and thought I’d share the recipe and a quick picture guide in biscotti making.  I dare say the finished presentation looks pretty good but not nearly as good as they taste!  The recipe originated from a patient at my office.

So preheat that hot pot (oven) of yours to 350 degrees and lets get mixing ~  These are the only ingredients you’ll need.  Looks pretty easy right?  It really is!

This is how your dough should look once you’ve finished mixing it.  Go ahead and plop it on the counter like I have and give er a little log shape like I did.  The dough should be fairly easy to handle and should NOT stick to your fingers if it does add more flour a little at a time until it’s not sticky anymore.

Now cut your log in half and make two logs out of it.  Place both logs on your pre-greased and floured cookie sheet and shape like I did into about 2″ x 10″ logs.  Your logs should look something like this.

Now stick em in the hot pot for 25-30 minutes until golden.  Umm I must say this is the FANCIEST oven I’ve ever used much less owned in my entire life!  I mean I’m really just a chick from the sticks who is undoubtedly thrilled with this loaded appliance.  Amen for gas ranges and ovens that bake evenly!

Pull your logs out and they should look something like this

Lower oven temp to 300 degrees.  Let your logs cool for 10 minutes and then slice those babies up into 1/2″ slices

Place the slices back onto the cookie sheet(s).  Place your cookie sheet(s) back into your hot pot and bake 20 minutes longer, until surface is golden and crisp.  See those two lonely floating pieces?  Well those two are the heal of one log.  I have to admit that I LOVE these little guys . . . I will eat two of them at this stage and eat the other two once they’ve been baked for their final time.

Friends and family who’ve had these little pieces of almondie heaven leave droll on my counter tops.  So if you enjoy almond flavor you must give them a try.  You’ll notice in the recipe to follow that you can change the nuts and flavoring and use the basic dough to make ANY flavor biscotti you like.


3 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup granulated sugar

2-4 teaspoons almond extract

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with oil; add sugar and almond extract.  Continue beating about 5 minutes until mixture is thick and pale.  Fold in chopped almonds.

Sift flour with baking powder.  Stir into egg mixture using wooden spoon then hands, if necessary.

Shape dough into 2 logs about 2″ x 10″ each, and arrange on cookie sheet.  Using a wet spatula, flatten top, and smooth sides of logs. ***Note from Brandi:  I don’t use a wet spatula to shape my logs, I just use my hands and add a little bit of flour onto the log to give it a tiny bit of a floured surface and makes it easier to shape.

Bake 25 – 30 minutes until golden.  Remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Let logs cool on cookie sheet about 10 minutes.  Cut into 1/2″ slices using a serrated knife.  Lay slices flat on cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes longer, until surface is golden and crisp.

When done, transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool.  Store in airtight container.

Side Note:  You can change the nuts & flavoring.  Add dried orange flavored cranberries and orange extract.  Use this as a basic dough and add whatever you like.

Santa Really Does Deliver!

Remember a couple posts ago I mentioned the three glass door knobs I purchased and asked that Santa (Mikey) build a custom shelf for my studio?  Well Santa really does deliver . . . he built it especially for me and look the three glass door knobs are on the shelf . . . isn’t she sooooooo pretty?  I can put so many of my pretty things on her . . . she and my “old stuff” in the studio are becoming acquainted.  Me and my “old stuff” are still deciding who will get to sit on the newbie shelf in the studio.

Another view of the newbie shelf and a larger view of the studio.  Like my new paint color?  It’s called Svelte Sage and is direct from Sherwin Williams.  I am totally in love with the color!

And because Santa was so kind to have taken alot of his time to build me this customized shelf I thought a nice homemade meal was in order.  My homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs (all from scratch) . . . Santa was very quite through dinner which means he & his jolly belly were very happy!  Hope Santa was good to you this year too . . . Good Night 🙂

Merry Christmas!

Oh what a jolly time we had at the Talmadge House last night (Christmas Eve).  We exchanged gifts, ate a bunch of appetizers, some fell asleep in the recliner (Jeremy who wasn’t feeling well) . . . we also had great company.  Thank you everyone for sharing your evening with us!  So here are some pictures . . . I wish I had more that turned out nice but I’m still working on nailing my shutter speed.  Layman’s Term = many of the pics were blurry.

Mike and his dad.  Sorry Mike I know your eyes are closed but it’s the only unblurred shot.

Uncle Mike and Isabella

Isabella watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in my studio.  Look at that beautiful smile, she’s such a happy little girl!  Oh boy was she so excited about Santa Claus arriving at their home.  Soooo innocent . . . hey I believe in Santa too and the sparkle in his eye.

Bridget and Isabella

Isabella even had us playing games (Cookin Cookies) . . . so cute!

Toys that Santa brought for Scottie Buddy Boy . . . all of his toys are called monkeys.

Our traditional Christmas Breakfast that is always prepared by Mike, french toast and ham.  Mike makes the best french toast on the planet.

And a Christmas kittie kat (Miss Wilbur).  She loves to lay under the Christmas Tree

I so wish I had more pics of the rest of the clan that celebrated with us . . . Jeremy, Carol, Kane, Scottie and yeah even myself.  I must’ve been a good girl this year as Santa was very good to me bringing many wonderfully thoughtful gifts.  Thank you Santa and Happy Birthday Jesus!  Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas Eve and a Merry Merry Christmas Day!

Happy 38th Birthday Mikey!

We celebrated Mike’s 38th birthday yesterday.  He received a couple of nice gifts if I might say so myself and we dined at the Outback which was alright.  The company and atmosphere was superb however the choice in food not so much.  We’ll get something different next time.

My birthday guy and our buddy wrapped up on the couch for their evening cuddling

A few other pics from the weekend blizzard . . . look how much snow fell on us!

And for good measure another picture of Scottie in his snow trail that his daddy so nicely snow blows for him.  He’d really have  hard time getting around otherwise.  Look how deep it is compared to his little body.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I’m so excited!  Here’s what our tree looks like . . . before we swiped her up at the tree farm.  She’s a little thing isn’t she . . . PERFECT!

We Say Merry Christmas, What Say You…

We Say Merry Christmas Thanks to the Factor we are sporting this bumper sticker, We Say Merry Christmas. When we saw this bumper sticker was given out with the purchase of “Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity” Bill O’Rielly’s new book we had to have it, and the book is great too.

It really amazes me how many groups, organizations, governments and PEOPLE are so intimidated to wish someone their good beliefs, especially Christmas.  This country is built on around this belief, do some people not know this?

If someone wishes upon me their good beliefs I am okay with that and thank you for your good wishes, but I will say MERRY CHRISTMAS.

What Say You?