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More Is More

November 28, 2010

Before we left to head back to Pennsylvania yesterday, I felt myself growing desperate for MORE!!!!  More vacation, more time with friends, more time with family, more relaxing, more time with Sophie, more wine, more walks, more laughs…but less food, please.  I practically had to zip my jeans with a pair of pliers yesterday morning. Thaaaaat’s attractive. 

We flew out early on Saturday morning (6:15, to be precise), which sucked…but, it was nice to be home by 3:00!  We had the whole afternoon to pick the dogs up, go to the grocery store, and unpack, which left today totally open for…

Decorating!!!!

Oh Clark.  I feel your pain.

I love holiday decorating.  Some people are of the mindset that holiday decorations should be classy, streamlined, and minimal.  While that may be fine for the Martha Stewarts of the world, I myself am of the mindset that you can never have too much holiday decor.  When we have lights streaming outside and in, garland draped on every surface, and miniature reindeer and elves gracing every tabletop, I’ll find a place for one more Santa figurine. 

I’m only happy when it looks like Christmas has thrown up all over our house after getting liquored up on eggnog.  And even then, I’ll usually find one last place to shove a little tinsel (that’s what she said?). 

This is far from a new development.

When I was little, my family would all decorate our tree together, and for about ten years straight, the night always ended in a fight.  Either me or my sister– but usually both of us– would storm out of the room in tears. 

We take decorating very seriously in my family.

My sister was very much of the minimalist camp when it came to tree decorating.  She would hang each ornament very carefully– always judicious, always certain not to overcrowd the branches or place one ornament too close to another. 

As you might imagine, that wasn’t really my style.

I loved piling on ornament after ornament.  With each new shiny glass ball, I’d feel a rush of excitement.  I was usually already hopped up on eggnog, hot chocolate, and sugar cookies, so overdecorating only gave me even more of a buzz.  There’s nothing like being six years old, high on sugar and decorations and Johnny Mathis. 

Actually, as much as I loved the ornaments, tinsel was really my drug of choice, and year after year, it caused many a Christmas tree showdown between me and my sister.  I’d pile gobs and gobs of tinsel on the tree, and she’d follow behind me, promptly taking the piles of silver strands back off.  We’d go on like this for a while, blood beginning to rise, until finally someone’s temper would erupt.  We’d fight, and scream, and each accuse the other of ruining the Christmas tree.  Then, both of us would usually storm off in tears, slamming doors and sulking while my parents finished decorating the tree on their own.

Don’t you just love the holidays?

Anyway…you’d think I would have outgrown my love for holiday decor, but it’s still going strong.  We’re going to have lights outside, lights inside, and decorations in every room. 

We’ve only gotten started, but here are a few of the decorations we’ve put up so far:

Candy Cane Candles:

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Breakfast Room:

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Isn’t this guy just the cutest?

Ornament tree:

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This is our dining room:

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…and I would like to point out that our centerpiece is actually VERY minimal.  I guess maybe I’ve grown up a little after all.  Although I’m really fighting the urge to go downstairs right now and wrap some lights around that angel.  Or maybe just drape a little tinsel over her wings.

We’re not quite done with the outside yet, but I’ll post a few pictures when all of the lights are up!

*          *          *

In the spirit of “more is more,” I baked these oatmeal cookies on our last day in Shreveport.  I kept adding more and more mix-ins to the batter…but that’s what makes them great!

More is More Vegan Oatmeal Cookies   

Ingredients:

1 cup earth balance

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tbsp. vanilla

3 cups oats

1 cup spelt flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup apple sauce

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used Scharffen Berger)

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325

In a standing mixer (or with a handheld mixer), cream together the Earth balance, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 4-5 minutes.  Stir in apple sauce until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

Add dry ingredients to wet slowly, mixing to incorporate.  Once all of the dry and wet ingredients are mixed, add the mix-ins and stir well.  The batter will be very thick.

Drop batter by the tablespoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes, until they are just starting to brown.  The cookies will still be very moist when you remove them from the oven, so allow them to sit on the sheets for a while before moving them to cooling racks.

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Minimalism, schminimalism.  More is definitely more.  These are dense, chewy, and full of goodness.

Now that it’s officially the holiday season, what’s your decorating style?  Do you prefer the “Santa took a dump on my house” look, like me, or are you more in the “keep it simple” camp? 

Some inspiration for next year?

england christmas

Sunnyville christmas

Heck. To. The. Yes.

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. November 28, 2010 11:10 pm

    I needed this visual! That is awesome! I am a minimalist and I think it is because Christmas was way over done growing up to a painful level. The decorating and the cleaning up afterwards was torture! I want to visit your fairyland though!

  2. November 28, 2010 11:12 pm

    My parents won’t let me decorate yet and it’s KILLING me. I have to wait 16 days until I’m home again!! Your house is beautiful though- I love the Christmas throw up look too :)

  3. November 28, 2010 11:18 pm

    I love your style in Christmas decorations and cookies. My dorm room feels pretty lackluster.

    • November 29, 2010 12:38 pm

      You should decorate your dorm room, Evan!!!

  4. Kelly permalink
    November 28, 2010 11:22 pm

    You are too cute!! I am not the best decorator but every year I get better. So if I live to be, oh say, 1000 my house might look like yours. hehe!

  5. greensandjeans permalink
    November 29, 2010 1:31 am

    Christmas Vacation is my very favorite Christmas movie, so I definitely subscribe to the Clark W Griswold school of thought.

  6. November 29, 2010 2:15 am

    looove completely overdone xmas decorations. can’t wait for new orleans!

    • November 29, 2010 9:32 pm

      I forgot you were going down there!!! Let me know if you want restaurant suggestions…although vegetarian options might be few and far between :-)

  7. November 29, 2010 5:01 am

    i just HAVE to see Christmas Vacation soon…i’ve been craving it! is it weird to crave a movie…? :)

    • November 29, 2010 9:33 pm

      I crave A Very Brady Christmas, so obviously I’m not going to judge you :-)

  8. November 29, 2010 5:35 am

    I love christmas decorations but never go all out…of course I love me some kitschy christmas ideas though!

  9. Ginger permalink
    November 29, 2010 12:17 pm

    Looks great! We decorated yesterday, too, but we’re waiting for you to do the tree. Listened to Johnny Mathis last night – ah, tradition!

  10. November 29, 2010 12:22 pm

    hahaha you’re so funny! It looks like you did a GREAT job decorating. I don’t think you over did it at all. We started our decorating last night too- we still have the whole outside to conquer. And those cookies- yum. Cookies yell christmas!

  11. November 29, 2010 12:58 pm

    Your home is so charming and those cookies? Heavenly!

  12. November 29, 2010 2:52 pm

    I definitely prefer to keep it simple…but I think it’s more so that I am not disappointed with my actual house once the decorations come down in January! I love the ornament tree – I’ll keep my eye out for one!

  13. November 29, 2010 4:52 pm

    I am definitely in the minimalist camp. I love the tree shaped from ornaments!

    I hate tinsel! Worst decoration ever- it is such a pain!!! You don’t find it annoying?

    • November 29, 2010 9:33 pm

      Ha, it is a pain in the A$$, and TOTALLY worth it :-)

  14. Anna permalink
    November 29, 2010 5:04 pm

    Looks great! Yum!

  15. November 29, 2010 5:21 pm

    I go Christmas crazy with the tree, but don’t do much else. EVERY year we get about halfway done with putting on ornaments and my husband declares that it looks just right and we shouldn’t add any more, but EVERY year we put them all on. The back of our tree (reserved for the ugly ornaments) is even kind of crowded. But I love it, and he always thinks it looks good too when it’s done.

  16. November 29, 2010 6:29 pm

    LOVE the decorations!

    And I am always a “more is more” baker, so I am excited about your cookies, too. :)

  17. November 29, 2010 7:05 pm

    Love the decorations, we have not even started yet! Christmas Vacation is an awesome movie, we watched it Thanksgiving and will probably about 10 more times before Christmas. :-)

  18. November 29, 2010 7:07 pm

    Growing up, our house was chock full of Christmas decorations….a veritable winter wonderland…so I don’t feel in the spirit unless I’m drowning in tinsel. I received a bunch of vintage decorations for Christmas a few years ago that never made it out to Indiana, and I’m totally psyched that I can put them up in our new apartment this year!

    I can’t wait to see more photos…please post a ton!! :-)

    • November 29, 2010 9:34 pm

      I still think about your beautiful aluminum tree!!! So pretty! I love vintage Christmas stuff.

  19. November 29, 2010 11:04 pm

    I’m loving that vintage table with candy cane candles! I love decorating, but hate putting it away. I’m the one who leaves their christmas tree up forever, haha.

  20. November 30, 2010 1:43 am

    I smiled just thinking about that movie..it’s my holiday fave :)

  21. November 30, 2010 2:03 am

    You have so much space to go wild with the decorations … I’m sooo jealous!! You gotta send me some pix of the outside, too!

  22. JenATX permalink
    December 21, 2010 12:57 am

    My mom & I kind of clash when it comes to chistmas. This year, she said she just wanted to get a colored christmas tress w/ built in lights.. that’s it. ?!!! I told her that if she didn’t want to decorate it by herself we could wait until I was done with finals & my sis flew in from LA to help her. But then she asked who would take down the ornaments & put them all away in boxes? I guess I kind of forgot about the cleaning up part… So I haven’t talked to her about it since & I’m anxious about entering the house in two days.. we will see what happens.

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