Winter Wonderland

It has always been hard being away from home during the holiday season.  My parents  live in Connecticut and unfortunately, I could not make it home this year.  It makes me miss the snow, cold, and ambiance of New England during the holidays. For Christmas day, we went over to our neighbors Quinn and Jeff and had a fabulous “Left Over” Christmas dinner sharing our dinners from the night before.  They had their family in from San Francisco, Christmas Eve and  Blake and I had our great friends, Nick and Sash, over for a formal holiday dinner the same night.  I wanted to create a magical evening reminiscent of the holidays, I grew up with ~I concluded our theme would be, “Winter Wonderland”!  I felt we needed a little snow of our own amongst the 60’ degree weather we were having in Manhattan Beach. 

Our festivities started at 5:00 PM, with Champagne and appetizers.  Nick and Sash provided the Hors d Oeuvres, champagne, gravy for the filet and eggplant stacks as our vegetable side dish.  They made oyster shooters served in little shot glasses, which, tasted as good as they looked.   From a decor standpoint, I filled the teapots on the mantle with white hydrangeas and had candles burning throughout the house and had a roaring fire in the fireplace (as much as you can with Dura flame logs).  Unfortunately, I am in need of a new camera, so, I couldn’t quite capture everything I wanted too.  Even the picture of our tree was a little iffy, it’s so pretty in person (white, silver, and anything glittery), but every time I took a picture it looked so, blah!  Anyway, enjoy a peek at our Christmas Eve, California style.


Let the festivities begin! Our holiday tree.  It fits in this tiny nook we have in the living room, it’s the perfect spot for a Christmas tree.

IMG_2080 Our fireplace, compliments of Dura flame.  I wouldn’t  know where to find real wood so we have to improvise.


IMG_2074 Our own Gingersnap.  Ready or not so ready for the festivities, she makes a cute Mrs. Claus!IMG_2088  IMG_2132I love Hydrangeas.  I filled all my tea pots with them.  So simple but elegant. 



I have included our holiday menu along with pictures of our dining table which was inspired by the snow and weather back home!



  • Champagne
  • Oyster Shooters
  • Coconut Shrimp
  • Truffle Cheese & Monchego Cheese with Assorted Crackers



  • Pancetta-Topped Goat Cheese with Raspberry Sauce & Arugula Salad





  • Banana Cream Pie & Fresh Whipping Cream


Our table was set using little trees that I flocked and put in mercury glass pots.  The silver branches were from a bouquet I bought and I pulled them out and used them separately on their own  I really didn’t want to use a table cloth, but our wood table needs to be protected or else it gets water marks.  Bummer for us, as I think the table setting looks better without the tablecloth.  It’s a Ralph Lauren white tablecloth from Home Goods.




I got a series of reindeers initially from Pottery Barn to use as place holders but then decided to sprinkle them over the table as part of the decor (see above).  Again, the silver greens were part of an arrangement I bought and I pulled it out and stuck it in vases with crystals, I bought from Pottery Barn.  The wine glasses are Mikasa.


I became addicted to these sea salt and chocolate caramels given to Blake and I, by our neighbors Kevin and Susan.  I loved them so much, I went out and bought more and combined them with these soft peppermint sticks as part of the table decor.  I love the combination of salt and sweet paired with red wine ~ YUM!IMG_2065

I got this chalkboard at Thanksgiving, while visiting Denver.  I put our holiday menu on it and flocked the branches, I found laying on the side of the house (the only ones I could find) ~ left over from the Weeds set that I sprayed with flock.  The only time I was grateful for the left over branches left on the side of our house.  Now, I’ll save a few more for next year LOL!IMG_2064

My paper whites are finally growing and my amaryllis is in full bloom.  I am kicking myself for not getting the pair of mercury glass candle sticks I saw before the holidays, in Home Goods.  I found this one hidden on a shelf and thought it would look so pretty paired with the flowers below (I still wish I had the other one or two other ones of various heights).IMG_2062           

IMG_2120 IMG_2119
IMG_2118 IMG_2121


IMG_2116IMG_2112IMG_2115 IMG_2114IMG_2122IMG_2117  



Since branches are hard to come by, I had to improvise, by flocking my bougainvillea plants (which were added to the chandelier) and trying to make it work.  It ended up looking great (pictures don’t quite capture it) and framing the table nicely. We had such a beautiful dinner and dined by candlelight (dimmed the chandelier) and played Tabletops (a fun question game) until we were so stuffed none of us could move.  It was a beautiful evening with close friends who appreciate yummy food, wine, and ambiance!  We wished we had more friends in town to enjoy the evening with us.  We hope you and your families had a joyous holiday. I’m still stuffed from all the food.

Enjoy and Wishing you all the Best,

Ann XO


Anonymous said...

Your Winter Wonderland looks so pretty!

Sure miss those New England winters . . .so many memories! Just to make you smile - remember all the times we ran home in our ice skates from Zanardi's pit. Oh, the sparks they made!

Love, Lori

Peggy and Fritz said...

Lori that made me giggle. My girlfriend just went ice skating and I said I haven't gone since high school. I remember every winter skating at the pit. I forgot about Zanardi's - how funny! We had a great neighborbhood. As I get older - I miss New England and our little town.

Anonymous said...

That table you set is sooooooo BEAUTIFUL!!! and don't get me started on the food!! yummmmm when can we come over for dinner! Great job!

Peggy and Fritz said...

Eddie your welcome anytime your in LA!!! We love to entertain! My friend Nicole and I drool over your dinner parties and gatherings as we are similar in the sense that we love to decorate, have great food, and enjoy our friends company! Come on by - I'll make you my new favorite cocktail - Espresso Martini's YUM!


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