Christmas Day 2011

On Christmas Day my mom, sister and brother came over to my house for breakfast and gifts. I made my own Christmas tree this year, thanks to an inspiring photo on Pinterest.
one tomato cage + four strands of garland + five strands of lights + tablecloth = Christmas tree!

I got up early and made breakfast for the family. French bread has to soak in an egg mixture overnight, so Christmas morning I only had to add a few more ingredients and put the casserole in the oven. 
melted butter, brown sugar, pecans for french toast bake

I put together a tray of hot chocolate goodies. I didn't know until recently that you can buy around a small number of marshmallows in a tiny package, it was the perfect amount to add to the top of a few hot chocolate cups.
mint and dark chocolate flavored hot chocolate with marshmallow

I had a little time after cooking before the family arrived, so I logged on to Pinterest again to find an interesting way to fold my napkins. I bought these napkins at Target; maybe eventually I will make my own. I love this napkin fold, it creates a little pocket to put your utensils in.

Over breakfast (which included mimosas, yum!) we talked about a possible zombie apocalypse and all the things we would need to do in order to survive. My sister asked lots of thought provoking questions about what each of us would contribute to a new society of humans that was surrounded by zombies. I would sew everyone's clothes and other necessary textile items, of course.

recipe at the end of this post
We took a few family photos; it is hard to look good from this angle, but our silly photos are fun to create. Our 2009 Christmas photo is still my favorite. I printed it on to a pillow that I made for my mom.
Four corner photo
Head Stack 2011
Head Stack 2011 has become our new catch phrase, every time we mention our Christmas Day events.

After that we sat by the tree and opened gifts. I received lots of great things, but the funniest thing was the little surprise I found when I opened a gift from my brother. He is in his first year of college and did a great job shopping for the family and helping my mom to wrap his gifts. (Except for two bags of gifts that he handed to me on Christmas Eve and asked me to wrap for my mom and a few other people. I finished those up at 2:30 in the morning.) But he is still young, and a boy, and so he didn't notice that he added some trash to my gift.
I found a gum wrapper inside a gift from my brother
After gifts we made hot chocolate and egg nog lattes, prepared a snack  and sat down to watch Malibu's Most Wanted.

In the early afternoon my sister left to visit her boyfriend's family, my mom went home to take a nap, and my brother went home to play a new video game. I had a great Christmas with my family, our time together was a lot of fun.
I had the rest of the day to myself to sew, get caught up on some ironing, and plan out some new quilt projects. I made a fire, opened a beer, and appliqued these outfits for a sweet little boy that I know and his sister, she will be born in February.
airplane shirt for Q
butterfly onesie for baby Davis
Side note: When I gave the shirt to Q. a couple of weeks later, he said, "This isn't a Christmas gift. These are just clothes!" He was not impressed with my sewing ability or his one of a kind gift.

Two years in a row I have managed to set off the smoke detectors when I try to light my first fire of the winter season in my fire place. Somehow the flue gets closed during the year, but I don't realize it and the next thing I know my apartment is full of smoke. This year though, I made a successful fire without setting off any alarms...

...and then I tried to iron some laundry. I have a new blouse that is made of some rayon or polyester; I don't know exactly because I removed the tag. It has an undershirt and a sheer top over that, and for some reason the manufacturers put the tag on the inside of the sheer top so it is visible when I wear it. That makes no sense to me and so I cut it out. I thought to myself that the tag probably says Use a Cool Iron, but that never gets any wrinkles out, so I thought I would iron it just a bit. Just for a second or two.
big hole in my new shirt from the iron
the piece of my shirt that was burned off
This set off the smoke alarm nearest to me, which in turn set off all the others ones in the apartment. It didn't take very long to get those quiet again and then I set to work cleaning my iron. And I threw my shirt in the trash. I have decided to make an effort not to buy clothing made of that material anymore.
my poor Rowenta
my hero
looking like new and ready to get back to work
I had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then a week long holiday from work. I went to Fort Worth to visit my dad's family, which was fun and filled with more adventures. Including this:
my uncle and I attempt to work on my Honda's oil leak in his garage
French Toast Bake

12 day-old French bread
5 eggs
2 ½ c milk
1 c packed brown sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 c chopped pecans
¼ c butter or margarine, melted
2 c fresh or frozen blueberries

Arrange bread in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, ¾ c brown sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg; pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Sprinkle pecans over egg mixture. Combine butter and remaining sugar; drizzle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with blueberries. Bake 10 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Yield: 6 servings

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