Thursday, December 31, 2009

Celebrations & Enchiladas Extreme

Yo, peeps! It's the last day of 2009. Thank the Lord! I am ready for 2010, that's fo' shizzle. Here's to more happiness, laughter and blessings for all of us in the next year. Word, dudes.

I am celebrating early today--I just realized this is my 350th post AND I checked today and I have had 500 unique visitors to date. And I didn't even start analytics until almost a year into my blog PLUS I lost it TWICE for two weeks.

I am MOST proud, however, that 33% of you are "regulars" to BGR (200+ visits) and another 33% of you are semi-regulars (50+ visits). The rest of you, for the most part, are horny garden porn seekers, but you are welcome, even still. (If you are relatively new to BGR, go HERE for the garden porn seekers backgrounder--it's quite the hilarious story!)

So, THANK YOU to all my peeps out there--I really do appreciate you coming here and being a part of BGR. I never, ever thought when I started BGR it would be anything more than an online journal to share with a few friends and family members. Now, I have met and made friends through this blog, and had new experiences that I otherwise would not have had. YOU COMPLETE ME. OK, enough of the touchy-feely shizz. Onto the cooking.

Last night, I made some crackalicious enchiladas based on a "recipe" from Jen on the Edge's hubs, Petes. So, a shout out and props to the Petes for bringing the yumminess. Here's how it went down.

First, I mixed together 16 oz. cottage cheese, 8 oz. shredded colby-jack and the remaining roasted chicken, diced, from earlier in the week. I thought about mixing in some extra chilis and spices, but decided that my gallbladder would surely revolt in the worst way.

Next, I took my Great Value corn tortillas (fresh AND cheap!)....

 And "fried" them in canola oil. I spread out paper towels to drain/blot with as I was going.

 I put about a half-inch of oil in the bottom of my Dutch Oven and, per Petes, let them cook individually, about 5-10 seconds each side.

Then, I spread green enchilada sauce in the bottom of a casserole, about half a large can.

I prefer green sauce to red and this brand was really good...I gots it at Walmart.

 After the shells were cooked (see, they are just a tiiiiny bit golden around the edges), I put a heaping tablespoonish full of the meat and cheese mixture in the middle and rolled up.

Place in casserole and cover with remaining sauce and cheese. Cook 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly.

 Mmm....goldeny goodness. I actually made TWO casseroles full, or 16 enchiladas from the amount I had. So we had plenty for dinner and a shayt load of leftovers.

 Here they are plated (I served with small red beans). They were even BETTER today reheated. Though my bitch of a gallbladder is not very happy, I think it was worth it. YUM.

In other news, Savannah thanks everyone for the birthday wishes and wants you to know that we treated her to a ground beef dinner and lengthy bedtime belly rub. As far as tonight, we are pretty much staying in with a few friends, noshing and playing games. I am not a big New Year's person--just not a fan of forced frivolity. Unfortch, there will be NO alcohol drinking on my part which sucks the big one.

I have been meaning to do some type of resolution-y post about 2010 goals but have not got around to it yet, but maybe tomorrow. Top of that list might should be "stop be an aimless, procrastinating loser." On a TOTALLY unrelated note, I am officially obsessed with the song "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga (rah-rah-ahh-ahh-ahh). Which I am now going to put on repeat and dance to while I clean Casa Bunny.

HAPPY NEW YEARS, PEEPS! Be careful, be happy, be good (or good at it). XO, B.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Savannah!

Ok, this is going to be one of those posts that I wax on and on over my dogters, so jump off here if you aren't an animal lover. You heartless freak.

13 years ago today, Savannah Chrislynn was born unto this world. And it would never be the same.

11 years ago or so, she came to live with us, and our lives would never be the same. Our very first dogter, she has left quite an impression on us and everyone she meets.

I remember bringing her home from her adoption. We got stuck in a traffic jam in Atlanta on our way to the 'rents for dinner. We arrived late, took her in the house to meet Grammy and Poppy, and she walks right in and poops on my mom's rug. Yep, that pretty much sums Savannah up.

She is definitely the alpha dog in our house. Top bitch. Here she is howling, which she does when we come home or you really get her going.

She also likes to lie around and sleep on things she shouldn' my cashmere throw.

Or the "just so" ruffeled and pawed bathroom rug.

 And even though she starts things she cannot finish (well, without emergency surgery, like this wound that was inflicted by Pepsi in a particularly awful throw down caused by diabetes and food)....

And even though she runs the house pretty much all the time, between her medical needs (going on year four of diabetes with insulin injections twice daily and doggy Prozac to control her sugar-swing moods)....

And her need to sleep in all the wrong places, mainly RIGHTUNDER mom's desk and/or desk chair.....

And her princess, daddy-lovin' ways (Here on his lap. Mr. Martha nicknamed her Puddin' a long time ago due to her vanilla pudding color...ain't that revoltingly sweet? Wrapped ALL. THE. WAY. around his finger)....

She still is terribly, terribly sweet in her own way...I mean, this dog? Has loads of personality. More personality than the majority of people I know.

Even when she's sleeping (with daddy, of course).

We love her TOTES and I am going to be one bereft Bunny when she leaves this world. Even though she is a handful, she will always be our first dogter and she has definitely left her mark on our hearts. Happy Birthday, Pud!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Quickie From Bunny

OK, peeps, today is a quickie post because I have shayt-loads of stuff to do this afternoon. So, here we go:
  • I have been having a full-on gallbladder attack since Saturday. Pain, undying heartburn (now under control), queasiness--just the whole 9+ yards. First bad one in about 6 or 7 years brought on, no doubt, by holiday overindulgence and stress. I am trying, somewhat successfully, to control it. My self-medication has included a cocktail of antiacids, homeopathic remedies such as grated beet with flaxseed oil, limiting fat and no alcohol, and exercise. Why not go to the doctor, you say? Because 1) I have no health insurance to speak of and 2) regardless, my doctor moved away and her former partner is on vacation this week. Which leads me to 1) does anyone have any suggestions for relief? and 2) don't even bring up health care reform around me or I may possibly punch you in the face. Just so you can go use your insurance.
  • In other good news, Savannah has been incessantly gnawing on her rear haunches, to the extreme point of waking us up at 3 a.m. this morning with her gnawing. Vet suggests possibly worms or anal gland issues. I am ignoring that advice. I think it is just dry skin. Or another weird OCD behavior. Again, if anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
  • And, in my final note, here is the damn chicken, Cooking Asshole:

Wingless, because I had to sample, but oh-so-crackalicious good. It is cold here, hence the gelatinous look on top. Anyway, I am off like a herd of turtles...hope you are all having a great week! B.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Robert Downey Jr. Rocks My World & Epic Fowl

Well, peeps, I hope you all had a great holiday and Santa brought you everything you wanted. Or at least didn't bring you a lump of coal. I, mean, after all, you need at least a SACK of coal to have a decent cookout.

What did Bunny get, you ask? Well, in addition to the lovely angel from Mr. Martha, I also received a new dark grey Columbia polar fleece jacket from my sis-in-law (who had drawn my name) and a gift certificate to Kohl's. I was hoping for a W-S gift certificate, but alas, no. However, Kohl's does have quite a nice home goods sections, so I am sure I can find something to spend it on.

And it seems like I will be living in the jacket since it is not getting out of the 40s here in the G of A this week. And I don't want to hear about it from all you Yankees out there. 'Cause, trust me, it has been a COLD December so far for this neck of the U.S. However, apparently frigid weather means beautiful sunsets since we had another one Saturday night:

Simply lovely. And that is with my crappy camera. Anyhoodle, Mr. Martha and I went to go see Sherlock Holmes yesterday and can I say I. LOVED. IT. ?? Now, let me follow that up with 1) I love period pieces and 2) I am in mad love crush with Robert Downey, Jr. If I can't have his babies, I at least would love to have a non-alcoholic drink with him. I think Salon, when naming him sexiest man of 2008, summed it up best by saying, "[RDJ] is wildly sexy not just because he is a rogue, but also because he is a romantic hero in the flesh, a bad boy brimming with goodness. He has always radiated sensitivity and devilish charm. Even in his darkest days, we wanted to see him make it back to us with all of his intelligence and wit and charisma intact." Word. Plus, he's just smokin' hot, whether rumpled rogue or polished prep. See:



AND he is a sharp dresser! What man wears PURPLE? A confidently hot man, I say. This next photo, from Sherlock Holmes, is a 110% gratuitous daydream shot for the ladies, specifically Upset Waitress, my RDJ Fan Club Vice-President in waiting:

Please wait a moment while I finish having the vapors.....Sigh. Ok, so the MOVIE, I thought, was great. Good amount of action, held my interest, great acting. Mr. Martha also gave it two thumbs up and he is very picky about movies. There have been some folks out there who've said it isn't true to the books, but Hell, what movies are true to the books they are based on?? Really. Get off your literary high-horse and just enjoy this artistic adaptation. Sigh. Some folks can find something wrong with anything. Like me. Like the 6th Harry Potter movie we watched Saturday night which was lackluster at best. And dark. Very dark. BTW, I cannot WAIT for May 2010 and Iron Man 2. Yo.

So, last night, inspired by Cooking Asshole, I decided to roast my first chicken of the year. You may or may not remember, but last fall, I gots all excited about roasting fowl and brining. So, when colder weather started setting in this year, I bought this at Williams-Sonoma in preparation:

Basically, it is like a brine rub, full of salt because that is what a brine is. Just like when you bloat like a Macy's balloon after eating too much salt, the salt in the brine makes meat "bloat" with moisture. Now that I know what they put in this mix, I may try to create my own from spices and salt from the DFM. Anyway, I rubbed it up all over and in my chicken:

 Then, I placed the chicken in a plastic baggie and left it to do its thing for 8 or so hours. Later, I take it out to put it in the oven, and did not turn the oven up high enough for it to cook fully during the allotted time. Let's say I was hoping for 1 hour and got 3+. I was pissed off. I thought my damn thermometer was broken until I saw the blood running out.

Then, the damn roasting pan started SMOKING UP A STORM. Like we couldn't even SEE across the house. And the fire detectors were about one second from deploying. And my eyes were watering. And we had to open windows and doors and everything smelled like a pit fire. Holy Hell. Finally, we decided it wasn't going to be ready before midnight so we ate the salad and risotto alone. I was so over it by the time the chicken was done that I forgot to take a photo. But it was golden prettiness. And I did eat a wing. And it was delicious. And dinner is done for tonight.

So, that's it peeps, for today. Congrats again to Elisabeth for winning the 2009 Favorites Contest and hope to see you all back here soon! XO, Bun.

And the Winner for the 2009 Favorites Contest Is.....

Elisabeth, who had a whole long list of stuff she loved in 2009. But that wasn't why she was picked. It was all Mr. Martha. I wrote down everyone's name who posted a favorite, in the order they posted, and assigned each person a number, also in order from "1." I asked Mr. Martha, who was in the kitchen pouring up his coffee and had not seen the list, to yell out a number from "1" through whatever and he yelled out Elisabeth's number. So there you go.

Congratulations, Elisabeth, and I will be sending you that e-certificate from Amazon later today. And thanks to everyone else who submitted a favorite, those who didn't but still comment, and those who just come and lurk. I appreciate you and hope that, occasionally, BGR brings a little joy, laugh or happiness into your life. Check back later today as I will be doing a longer post about random weekend stuff and such. Later! B.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After

Well, it's the day after, peeps, and I cannot even believe it. Plus, I feel a little...well...bleh. That's just the day after blues though, I know. As my moms said this morning, I understand why so many people choose to kill themselves around the holidays. And, on that happy note, let's have a quick review of the past several days.

Wednesday, otherwise known as Christmas Eve Eve, I went to a friend's house for dinner. As I was leaving, I snapped a quick photo of a very beautiful sunset.

A nice start to the evening. And the food was lovely too. Take a look:

These are Betty Crocker's Brie & Cherry Pastry Cups and they were delish! The sour of the cherries was mellowed by the brie and the pastry....well, what can you say bad about puff pastry?

And this yummy sesame chicken with two kinds of sesame seeds and breaded in panko crumbs. Yum. Mee. Unfortch, Bunny was not the best company that night and owes her friend an apology for being a little out of it mentally. Esp. after my friend made such a fabulous meal.

Christmas Eve, Mr. Martha and I went out for special breakfast at Panera (Have you had their breakfast sandwiches? Slap your mama good.), ran a few last minute errands, and  then it was back home to prepare for my fams to come. It was the first time in 13 years (since we married) that we have hosted my family Christmas. We just didn't have the room until we remodeled last year. Everyone was really worried the kids would break something (I should say, everyone but Bunny--I was more worried about the drunk-ass adults!) but everyone left and all trees were still standing. And look how freaking cute these kids are:

They are getting so old, so fast and soon enough, they will be snotty little smart asses who I will want to smack across the room. But for now, they still let Aunt Bunny kiss and hug on them. So I take full advantage of it. After everyone left, we collapsed into bed, and then gots up Christmas morning to start all over again because we also agreed to host Mr. Martha's fams this year. Yeah. I didn't think that one through very well. But I kept the food simple--homemade soup--and Mr. Martha, being the baker, made the sweets. See what he turned out for his fams:

Too pretty to dip a spoon into, I tell you. This delight is Red Velvet Trifle. Mr. Martha found the recipe in a Duncan Hines ad, but I cannot find it on the DH site, so if you'd like it, shoot me an email and I will send it to you. It is easy and pretty, esp. it you get all fancy like Mr. Martha and add the rosemary and powdered sugar "snow" on top.

After our second wave of fams left, we were just tuckered (and I had a crippling case of heartburn which is still with me), so we cleaned up, put on our jams (My new Christmas jams with snowmen! Yes, I know I am older than dirt, but new Christmas jams still excite me. What was even MORE exciting is I gots them for $10 with a coupon at JCPenney!) and crawled to the couch to watch Christmas movies. And though we had agreed NOT to buy gifts for each other this year (due to our financial situation), the hubs surprised me with this:

Would you think me cheesy if I said I cried? It wasn't the was just that I wasn't expecting anything and I was sort of down about it. Not that I wasn't getting anything. Just the reasons why, if that makes sense. Anyway, now I have the holy trio:
The hubs had bought me the large and small angel last year for Christmas, but was not able to get the middle one. So, now I have them all. Let's hope they bring luck now that the circle is complete. However, as much as I feel sorry for myself these days, I keep being reminded that, in many, many ways, I am very blessed. To end our day, we gave the girls their treats from Santa:

This was about the perkiest they had been all evening. I think everyone is tuckered from two days of non-stop holiday-ing. Poor hubs had to go to work today, but I am still in my jams and plan on doing a whole lot of nothing today. I thought about shopping the after-Christmas sales, but I would just buy a whole bunch of stuff I don't really need with money I don't have. Besides, I feel a headache coming on, and will probably be napping on the couch later today with the girls.That's my gift to me--a low key, restful day. Tomorrow, I think we are going to go see Sherlock Holmes which I am TRES TRES excited about! I will report back how it was. Hope Santa was good to you and yours! B.

PS, One more day (well, two-ish) to enter the What's your "Best" Find of 2009? contest by 9 p.m. E.T. Sunday, December 27 (ONE entry per person, please). I will be back on Monday morning to announce the winner, a random selection from among entries, and that person will win a $15 Amazon gift card.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays & Ho-Ho-Ho

I hope everyone has a love and laughter filled day. 
And I hope Santa brought you everything you desired.

PS, Remember to enter the What's your "Best" Find of 2009? contest by 9 p.m. E.T. Sunday, December 27 (ONE entry per person, please). Monday morning, I will announce the winner, a random selection from among entries, and that person will win a $15 Amazon gift card.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hump Day Holla: Best of 2009 (+ Contest!)

Yo, dudes! I know I did a post on my personal best for 2009, but I also wanted to do a post on some of the great things I discovered this year, from music to cooking tools, that are now in permanent rotation at Casa Bunny. Now, I am not saying these things are new to the world at large, but they were new to me in 2009, so, hence their inclusion on the list. Of course, this list relied up my memory, which is for shit, so I hope I didn't forget anything good. And I hope you enjoy!

Bunny's Best of 2009

 Best Book I Read
Winner: America's Boy by Wade Rouse
Runner-Up: Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper

You can see why I love Wade and his book here.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you should read it. Now.
You can read my review of Book of Joe here.
Oddly, both by men (odd, because I rarely read male authors).

Best New to Me Restaurant (Where I Actually Dined)
Winner: Watershed in Decatur, Ga.
Runner-Up: Parma in Buford, Ga.

Watershed--great food, great song (by the Indigo Girls).
Parma was more recent but a nice surprise.

 Best New to Me Song
Winner: Broken by Lifehouse
Runner-Up: A Beautiful Mess by Jason Mraz
Honorable Mention: Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson

This? Was a hard category. As much as I love music, it was hard to choose two, hence three, and at least four or five more were contenders. Funny, as much as I stray from "dark" literature, I love dark, sad music. Actually, in looking at the list above, it sort of describes the three quarters of my life during 2009, in order.

 Best Movie on the Big Screen
Winner: The Hangover
Runner-Up: Milk

The Hangover because it made me laugh longer and harder than any movie I can remember in a long, long time. Maybe ever. Milk because it made me think longer and harder about many aspects of life than any movie I can remember in a long, long time.

 Best Movie Rented From Netflix
Winner: Young at Heart
Runner-Up: Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains

What can I say? Both of these are documentaries, and both taught me things about being a good, decent person who lives life to the fullest and fights the good fight.

Best New to Me Food Find
Winner: Publix Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Runner-Up: Fiber One Toaster Pastry in Brown Sugar Cinnamon

The ice cream needs no explanation. The Toaster Pastry? Hello, I am Bunny and I have a hidden Pop Tart addiction. These pastries fulfill my desires, but are not shameful because they have like 20 grams of fiber. Which is good for us old folks. So there.

Best New Cooking Tool
Winner: Caphalon Square Grill Pan
Runner-Up: Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Honorable Mention: Battery-Operated, One-Handed Pepper Mill

The Caphalon won on sheer usage alone. The Le Creuset cast iron is everything it is billed to be and more. The Pepper Mill is easily the most extravagant yet useful kitchen toy I've ever had.

Best New Recipe/Dish (Which I Actually Cooked)
Winner: Panzanella (Bread Salad)
Runner-Up: Goulash

Originally a Rachel Ray recipe, the Bread Salad took on an original twist under my hand. Bread, fresh cheese, salty cured meat, fresh tomatoes, good EVOO and fresh basil? What's not to love? The Goulash is a fresh, yummy twist on beef stew. Try it this winter. Yo.

Best TV Show
Winner: Glee
Runner-Up: Top Chef, New York and Las Vegas

Glee, hands down, no contest. And, ok, Top Chef is sorta cheating BUT both seasons were in 2009.

Best New To Me Beers
Winner: Brown Shugga by Lagunitas
Runner-Up: Chocolate Stout by Rogue

Really, these probably could have been any beers by Lagunitas OR Rogue, two stellar breweries. Haven't had a bad beer from either yet.

Best New To Me Wines
Winner: Consilience 2006 Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County
Runner-Up: Four Vines 2007 Old Vine Cuvee Zinfandel, California
Again, many choices here. But not for the winner. That Consilience is the best vino to ever pass these lips, I do believe. I could never afford it--I cannot even FIND it--so I was grateful someone else funded my tasting. The Four Vines was one standout, and tied to my meal at Watershed, which makes it more memorable.

Best New To Me Beauty Product
Winner: Winter White Cool line at Bath & Body Works
Runner-Up: Vaseline Body Oil Gel in Cocoa Butter

I gave up on makeup this year, being unemployed and all, but I still had to smell good and be smooth. The White line was a recent discovery, but I love it because it smells clean. I like the smell of clean. The Vaseline body gel takes me straight to the beach. And that? Is never a bad thing.

Other Bests

Best New Sweet Find: Dark Chocolate with Chilis
Discovered in Virginia. This Chocolove bar is ridiculous good.

Best New Household Product: Glass Plus
Rocks the super large mirror in the master bath. Word.

Best Guilty Pleasure: Party in the U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus
Really. I don't EVEN want to hear it. Trust me, my shame runs deep.

Best New Fashion Purchase: Silver Lining Earrings from Etsy
Fun, funky, unusual, artsy, original--just like Bunny. THE earring of my summer. Plus the title is so apropos to how I am trying to approach life.

Ok, so here's the contest: What's your "Best" Find of 2009? It can be any of the categories above or make up a new one! Just leave your entry in the comments section of this post by 9 p.m. E.T. Sunday, December 27 (ONE entry per person, please; I am giving SEVERAL days since it is the holidays and people are busy partying and traveling and such).

Next Monday morning, I will announce the winner, a random selection from among entries, and that person will win a $15 Amazon gift card to buy a little some'in-some'in that may become a favorite for 2010. I know it isn't much, but I just wanted to thank all of you who comment, lurk and otherwise support BGR--I appreciate you!

I will be posting through the holidays, though maybe not as frequently or as long, so tune in when you can. Have a great holiday, be safe, and remember to spread joy, love and laughter wherever you go. Peace! B.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday.....Isn't It???

Ack! Peeps, I cannot even remember what day it is. Life, the holidays and my general lack of memory all add up to severe day of the week dementia. Anyhoodle, other than last minute holiday scramble, there isn't much going on here, so I am just going to catch you up on some randomness.

First, cooking. It has been, to quote my moms, colder than a witch's titties in a brass bra here in the G-of-A, but that's fine with me because that means soups, stews and chilis weather. Saturday night, I made a big 'ol pot of my favorite Publix chili  however, I used some coarse ground beef I bought at the Publix Friday:

This grind is sorta cool and sorta gross at the same time. It looks like baby fingers, or maybe cat intestines, but it does make a nice texture difference in the chili.

 I know I have said this a million times, but this chili is SO easy-peasy and cracktastically delicious. I added an extra can of beans and tomatoes and we had plenty to eat plus three days of leftover lunches. Woo-hoo. Publix also needs to put me on the payroll for all the blog time I devote to them. Word.

 One night recently (Friday??) I made my famous Shrimp Creole. Okay, okay! It's Southern Living's famous Shrimp Creole, but it is also super easy and, believe it or not, quite healthy. Those peppers? Frozen from my garden. Delish.

I don't think big onions are supposed to sprout green things, right??  Oh, well, moving on.

In other news, I have been enjoying some Dogfish Head Punkin Ale I found at a local package store, waaaaay in the back room. It isn't been produced anymore this year, but it is quite tasty--real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, says the label. Those nuts? Winter spiced Planters premium mix. MMM-MMM-good with the Punkin Ale.

In other unrelated news, I was caught up in the CF of madness that is holiday traffic recently, when I spotted this large Chevy truck in front of me with some writing.....can't make it out.....(oh, and catch the "Jesus Fish" on the tailgate....those are REAL popular here. Not being a heathen, but it seems these are the same folks who will cut you off in traffic while trying to light their cigarette....just sayin').

Anyhoodle, on the close up, seems this fellow's "daddy" passed away and is now flying with "dem" angels. Really? You are going to eulogize your father on your truck? And using poor, poor grammar? That's just wrong. I totally do not understand this type of thing. Or those "roadside" memorials of white crosses and fake flowers. Maybe I am just a callous, cold bitch, but it all just seems a little conspicuous to me (and by "conspicuous" I mean "tacky"). 

On another note, I would love to stay holed up until next Monday....I STUPIDLY went to Kohl's today and it was a zoo. Luckily, no one was too rude, but traffic and lines and general holiday mayhem are at code orange level. My mom and I are venturing out in the morning to Sam's to buy some vittles for Christmas Eve dinner. No, I don't know what the
Hell we were/are thinking. Wait, I remember now! Cheap. Jugs. of. Wine.

Oh, for the Hump Day Holla this week, I think I am going to do a 2009 "Best Of" post and I am considering a little giveaway. So tune in Wednesday! Later! B.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Guest Book Review

If you are so inclined, check out my guest book review of Fat Girl: A True Story by Judith Moore over at Babbette's Book Blog.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bunny & Mr. Martha Thank You

Dudes! THANKS for all the kinds comments about our Christmas decor. I suppose I should have thought to post a link to this post from November 1 which gives some of the backstory on our holiday decorating.

As I noted, probably the most important factor in our decorating is that we do NOT have kids. Well, three furry four-legged ones. And, for what it's worth, none of them have ever given the decorations a second glance, much less bothered them. Which is good. Otherwise, we might be having Chinese, if you catch my drift....hehe.

Anyhoodle, our first married Christmas, we lived in a TINY duplex apartment and we almost had a throw down when it came to Christmas decorating. I really thought I was going to have to cut Mr. Martha. Seriously, we didn't speak for days. See, Mr. Martha likes it all traditional/fancy and I prefer it all relaxed/folky. But, somehow, over the years, I've worn him down we've been able to meld our styles. Ok, that's a damn lie. He does his thing, I do mine. Mine is the bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchen (yeah, the rooms no one sees) and his is the outside and living areas.

We do try to change it up a little every year--this year, my contributions were the light-filled canisters in the kitchen and the blue bedroom tree whereas Mr. Martha had the sled with wreath. Actually, everything this year was new since we remodeled and have 300 more square feet. And though Mr. Martha denies it to this day, the "grove" was MY IDEA originally (this is a BITTER argument up in Casa Bunny). And placement for the grove this year was def my idea. See, Mr. Martha is a good tree trimmer but he lacks "spatial" skills.

Which brings me, Cooking Asshole, to where we store all the crap. It's hard, let me tell you, as our house is modest. There are bits and pieces everywhere, but the main hub is the "Christmas Closet." Yes, in our house, spare of storage, we have dedicated ONE WHOLE CLOSET to Christmas (sadly, Casa Bunny does NOT have a basement). And, believe me, I can pack a whole lotta Christmas shizz up in the space. A. WHOLE. LOT. And, actually, we didn't probably put out about 25% of our stash this year. Seriously. We NEED to GIVE AWAY some things, but Mr. Martha won't hear of it. Next stop for him, HOARDERS.

To answer another question, Mr. Martha has decorated a few houses for pay over the years and we have talked at length about making it an "official" business for him (trust me, I would help but I couldn't stand being bossed around by the richy-rich assholes who could afford to pay someone to decorate their house) but Mr. Martha lacks self-confidence and thinks his work is for shit. So, thanks for all your nice words. Maybe now he will believe Bunny when I tell him he rocks.

As far as our accumulation of ornaments, the short story is Mr. Martha has worked high-end retail for 20 years and I worked in the collectible industry for many years, so we quickly amassed a treasure trove of baubles for a pittance. Hell, that's not entirely true. We've spent our retirement plenty of money, but we've also gotten some great deals. And the last two years, we've bought hardly anything. Mostly because we've run out of house and storage.

To answer another poster's comment, it IS a labor of love because we DO both love Christmas. But, believe it or not, if I tallied up the time, it probably only takes us about 3-3.5 days to put everything up. This year, it was a solid weekend and a couple of weeknights.

And, this year, for the FIRST TIME in 13 married years, we are having BOTH of our family Christmas gatherings at our house since, following the remodel, we actually have ROOM to do so. Mr. Martha is terrified the nephews & niece will get rowdy and break something. I say, bring it. We'll be eating Chinese.
:), Bunny

PS, I hope those of you who visited BGR for the first time yesterday will continue to come back and visit...I can, on occasion, be fairly amusing and somewhat of a hoot, if I do say so myself!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Virtual Holiday Home Tour 2009: Casa Bunny

Yo, peeps! Jen on the Edge had the brilliant idea to have a virtual holiday home tour, and B. signed up so I can display Casa Bunny in all its seasonal splendor. If you want to jump over to Jen's blog, you can see the links to the other folk's blogs that are on the tour. So, turn up the carols on your iTunes, turn down the heat for a frosty feel, grab you a toddy and settle in. And enjoy!

Driving up to Casa Bunny, your first holiday vision is this gigantic sphere adorned with ornaments and fresh greenery, highlighted by expertly aimed spotlights. The sparkly doesn't come through on the photos, but it's really pretty.

Welcome to our stoop, festooned with a small lighted and ornament laden tree and a live, lighted topiary. Yeah, we didn't do much in the way of outdoor decor this year.

Inside the front door and directly to your right is a small display of a few of my Dickens Village pieces accented by a lovely pole pine, decked with glass balls and ribbon.

Across from the bench is our behind-the-couch table which holds June McKenna Santas and my Grandnother's glass basket filled with colorful glass and sequined balls. Ooo, shiny! Bring the sparkle, baby!

Across the living room is the "angel corner" with two of my favorite angels and the hub's garden statue angel surrounded by a wreath on my antique milk can I gots for a deal-eo.

At the junction between our living in dining area is a small pole pine and more Santas. The June McKenna Santas are actually the hub's collection and he has tons. Tons.

On the far dining area wall is our "art wall" which I judiciously accented with some glass balls and, on the table below, my Lane snowmen accented with more balls and red bead garland. I am all about the balls, I tell you. I think simple glass Christmas balls give you the most decorating bang for your buck. You'll see more. Hold on. But, first, let's go in for some details here.

Pretty! This display was all mine! (whew! I think I just threw out my shoulder patting myself on the back!)

Here's our dining hutch, laden down with our holiday china, topped with more June McKenna Santas (I SAID tons!) and with a coal bucket of balls beneath. Oh, and catch the Christmasy pillows in the chairs.

We kept it simple in the kitchen--a glass brick and two canisters filled with glass balls and lights, and fresh greenery. We're big on the fresh greenery, too. Sorry for the crap photos...I do the best I can with my crappy camera.

And it the kitchen window, votives, fresh greenery, a few balls and fresh fruit!

The sitting area off our kitchen is esp. pretty....let's go in for detail.

The coffee table tray filled with cloches filled with gold and bronze balls and lined with greenery.

More angels, this time is shades of gold and bronze.

The hub's antique sled, decked with the wreath he made from broken ornaments.He's crazy talented when it comes to crap like this. He could be the male Martha.

The fruit tree, my hub's creation, decorated with beaded and glass fruit, birds and other natur-y things. The yellow birdhouse on the left? Made by my pops-in-law, the hub's daddy-o.

Our carolers and their dogs, to represent us and the girls, and more glass balls!

The small tree in our guest bedroom. I don't really think blue is a Christmas color, but that room is blue and tan, so.....see some of my bunnies to the left? When your nickname is Bunny...well, let's just say there are plenty of bunnies in my decor.

Back across the house, our bedroom, decorated by me, is all folky Christmas. Check out the angels (which actually stay out year round) and, guess what, MORE BALLS!

Our bedroom tree is my creation and decked with our whimsical ornaments from Hallmark and such as well as some of my collection of bears. Let's go in for some deets.

Under the tree, I decorate with some our old toys from when the hubs and I were kids. The Raggedy Ann? I got when I was 6. The little solider on the right? The hubs has had since a toddler.

For fun, I have the bears "hanging" ornaments. That monkey? He's a cut-up! My pops-in-law made the ladder for me.

And, finally, the piece de resistence--our "grove" of trees between our living and dining areas. Three trees, three finials, about 2000 white lights and hundreds and hundreds of glass ornaments. It probably took us about ten hours to decorate these trees. At least. They light our whole house. More Santas beneath.

So, that's basically everything. We really cut back this year! (snort) Actually, there are several other smaller touches, well, just about everywhere. The bad thing about any Christmas decorations, though, is they are truly beautiful in person, but you just cannot capture the sparkle and detail with a camera. But I hope you all have enjoyed the tour and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and yours! Love, B.