Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Preparing for Christmas..

Hello friends! Am sitting here with a large cup of tea - the kids are asleep, I have lit candles everywhere, and am playing soft Christmas music.. *peace prevails* 

..I LOVE this time of the year - 'pre-Christmas'. Though of course the actual even itself is wonderful, there is something so special about the lead-up.. The planning, preparing, waiting, and of course also seeing the kids grow more and more excited.. So much love, warmth and anticipation in the air, don't you think!?

1. unknown. 2. Per Magnus Persson 3. Pinterest  4. Anna Kern

I just flicked through 'Sweet Paul's Holiday Issue'.. Always so much inspiration and joy there. And of course the fact that the 'main man' is from Norway makes it extra.. sweet (.ahem.). You know how I LOVE Norway..!
And of course it was lovely to see our very own Will Taylor's (Mr Bazaar to most) feature on how to create a stress-free but stylish Christmas table..!

I also loved this idea featured by Will!

Kate LeSueur's 'Rosemary Honey Pecan Nut' recipe looked too good to leave off my Christmas buffet list.. (would be great with a cheese tray!). 
You see, I go nuts over nuts (!). Not only at Christmas, though particularly then, and I love to serve them in all sorts of ways - in bowls around the house, on biscuits, in bread, in the traditional (Swedish) rice porridge on Christmas morning, in sweets and deserts... If there is a way, I'll be sure to sneak a hand-full of something nutty in there (thank God I was blessed with a family that aren't nut allergic!). Yum!

Styling: Paul Lowe. Photography: Alexandra Grablewski

I also serve my 'Glögg' (a traditional Swedish style mulled wine.. YUM!) with a generous helping of skinned almonds (as well as a cinnamon stick for decor). 
Despite there being a range of wonderful pre-made 'glögg' to buy I prefer to brew my own. I use my great grandmother's recipe (with a little twist now and then.. for fun). It takes three days to prepare and it fills the house with the most amazing scent which sends me straight into Christmas wonderland!

Back to the nuts.. I recently learned from my good friend Maria over at 'Scandie Foodie' that nuts should be ACTIVATED before you eat them. Who knew??! But reading her post (HERE) made me very inspired and I am definitely serving my nuts 'activated' this Christmas..!

More nuts.. I adore Oak trees - their solid structures, their leaves and of course their acorns. They have been a long time favourite of mine, so imagine my delight when I found these cute 'acorn baubles' over at Cox & Cox UK. I adore this store!

Also from Cox & Cox are these 'glass pumpkin baubles', which of course would look lovely with the acorn ones on the tree (not too many though - less is more!).. Or as place card holders, like in the picture below. Tempting, very tempting indeed..! 

All bauble images via Cox & Cox UK

As part of preparing for my very first Christmas as a Native Resident of Sweden in 23 years (see me do cartwheels!), I turned to some trusted and gorgeous blog pals for inspiration. I asked them a few simple questions around the topic of Christmas and of course they have shared generously and splendidly! I can't wait to publish the first post in just a few days..

Photo Stefan Örtenblad

Until then...and whilst we await the first snow
(it's taking its time this year..)
I send you lots of love and warm Wintery hugs from Sweden!

xx Charlotta


Kim Grey said...

Such beautiful wintery images! I love the white wintery table and the candle with sweater wrapping and oak leaf. Have a lovely holiday season!

anita said...

I love pre-Christmas too!!
Wintery hugs back to you.

Rambling Tart said...

Those nuts look absolutely fantastic!! :-) I love roasted nuts but I've never had them with rosemary before. I can't wait to try them! I do love Christmas so very much, but this year is so different for me since I'm in Australia and it's piping hot. :-)

design elements said...

Charlotta, the photos are fantastic! the fisrt one caught my heart. the man with the X mas tree made me smile :) big hugs to you

tinajo said...

Super collection of pics - you´re certainly setting the Christmas mood with these ones! :-)

Love the acorns, so gorgeous! :-)

It's me said...

Wowww Charlotta...shall i come to you this christmas ???......hahahahahah!!...love love....xxx

Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

Your kind and generous words just made my Tuesday! So pleased you enjoyed my piece in Sweet Paul as I had such a blast writing and researching for it! We have the festive tunes playing here in our apartment and the scented candles are a burning! Hugs to you my friend. xo

P.S. Wish it would snow in London soon as well!

Lumo said...

I love spicy, roasted nuts and every Christmas make them for gifts. Do't know if I have the patience to "activate" them, though...

Pre Christmas time is lovely, even though it doesn't feel like (almost) December yet. I understand you miss snow after so many years abroad, but we have had two extremely snowy winters and I have to admit I enjoy the snowless weather. Snow will fall sooner or later anyway...

Leah Moss said...

Thinking of you this season cozy in the north! Scandinavian Christmas is my favorite look ever since I was a little girl. I try to incorporate a hint somewhere in my home each season. Such a lovely collection of pictures and senses!

Alena: Oh, It's Just Perfect! said...

This is one of the best times--all the Christmas trees, lights, warm drinks--I'm SO excited for Christmas! xo

Delishhh said...

Awesome posts - bring back memories of Sweden!

Tina said...

Hej Raring!
Oj, Wow vilken UNDERBAR inspiration du delar med dig av kära Charlotta. Går inte annat än att komma i stämning efter det här:)!!!
Tack snälla för dina kommentarer/mail. Blev så glad när jag hörde ifrån dig. Förstår att det är svårt att få tiden att räcka till.
Ta väl hand om dig nu så hoppas jag det snart blir rätt tillfälle att äntligen ta det där snacket vi så lääänge pratat om nu.
Massor med kramar till Dig min finaste av vänner.

Lana {lanalou style} said...

Such lovely festive inspiration Charlotta! I also love those acorn baubles! Off to see what activating nuts is all about!;)

pretty pink tulips said...

Happy December 1st, Charlotta!! I popped my new Michael Buble Christmas cd in my car this morning and am humming along on all my errands.

It's a brisk, cold day here in New York --- and with holiday decor going up on home after home and our town decorated with it's classic wreath and lanterns.

Here's to a holiday season full of sweetness (and for you....some nuts)!!!

xoxo Elizabeth

Meera @ firstsense said...

Yes yes Charlotta, I love pre-Christmas too. I get SO excited about it and love everything about it - cosy evenings with glorious food, twinkly lights and candles, buying and wrapping presents, decorations, going to and hosting parties... it's the busiest time of the year and I love it all.

Wishing you and your family a very sweet festive season.

Hugs hugs,

P.S. I love love love nuts too! :-)

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