Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday's Fave Five #117

Hi everyone, welcome to Friday's Fave Five.  This is where we look back over our week's and find those things that were blessings in our lives.  Sometimes it's easy, and sometimes, like for me this week, it is hard.  But there are blessings in our everyday if we are but aware enough to look for them.  So let's do it!  :v)
If you are new and need the guidelines, they are here.

1.  Kind Words.  Thank you to everyone who wrote me kind and emphatic words on this post.  It really did help me get to this Friday.  Words, good kind uplifting words, are a precious gift indeed!  Thank you.

2.  The Sing Off.  Apparently this is season 2, but I just found it.  I. Love. This. Show!  It is accapella groups competing.  It is hard to believe there is not one instrument, only voices.  Pure incredible talent. I like to think I will sing like that in heaven, cause right now I'm just sorta making a "joyful noise" unto the Lord.  Anyway,  dare I say I'm actually liking it way better than American Idol?  Yes, yes I am.  My favorites are Committed and BackBeat.  Here's the opening number that all the groups did on the first night of the season.

3.  Toned-Down Christmas Decorating.  I made a decision at the end of November that I was going to tone down on the decorating a bit this year.  With all the stress we were under with our dog and Hubby's mom having health issues, the thought of decorating clutter seemed almost suffocating and overwhelming.  And it's always a bit of added stress to try to figure out where to put everything.  It just seems to be more and more each year.  So I pared it down, putting out only that which I really love or what spoke to my heart.  And you know, I really like it.  Another step in my "simplify" goal.

4.  The first batch of Christmas Cookies.  Out of the oven and being gobbled up by my baking deprived family.  They are raving about them, saying they are the best shortbread.  Ever.  I used this recipe.  Now mine did not come quite as easily as described.  I used new measuring cups and I don't think they were accurate.  My dough was on the dry side and would not roll.  But I made the rolls as best as possible in plastic wrap.  They don't look as lovely but they sure taste wonderful.  This is now my "keeper" shortbread recipe.

5.  The simple pleasure of sitting in the dark with just the Christmas tree lit and sipping on a hot tea or apple cider.  The peace of those moments is priceless.

Please join us with a post of your own and link up so that we may come and visit.


Willow said...

One of my favorite things to do at Christmas time is sit quietly in a darkened room with only the Christmas tree lights and candles giving light.

Have a great weekend!

Marg said...

I'm here too...late at night...but just enjoyed listening to you wanting to simplify Christmas.
I burnt my shortbread tonight...but all I have to say is Uff Da!
Have a wonderful week.

Marg said...

Where did Mr. Linky go?

Gattina said...

As you will sing like that in heaven, I suppose you are not going to hell, lol ! I only decorated our living room with what I like, this year I don't even put up a Christmas tree because we are in Amsterdam to celebrate with our son's little family.
I can imagine how you feel just now Christmas time doesn't make grief easier !

Gattina said...

I think you forgot to put a linky !

aspiritofsimplicity said...

I think we add to our Christmas decorations every year and it does get to be to much. I love being the first one up, sitting with just the tree lights on, a fire, and a cup of tea...all is well with the least for a little while.

Mary said...

Your tree is gorgeous. Sitting with the lights on in the dark is my favorite thing to do during Christmas. So peaceful.
Have a good Friday!

Sandy@Jesus and Dark Choc said...

Hey your tree looks kind of similar to mine. I have red ribbon and white lights also. Yours looks lovely and yes sitting by the tree is so peaceful! And I think that is a good idea to tone down the decorating....I get that! It's all about priorities.

Sandy@Jesus and Dark Choc said...

Yep just realized no Mr Linky????

Unknown said...

Your tree is lovely! We have cut back a bit on our Christmas decorating, and I am definitely not baking as much as I used to. All of those things are fun, but they can also add stress.

I didn't see the linky, but my post is at

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

I love the Sing Off, too!

I didn't get to your Broken Hearts post until today (it's been quite the week), but add my thoughts and prayers to earlier ones. I'm with you.

I love to hear about simplifying, if I'd just DO it!
Happy week!

LivingforGod said...

Your Christmas tree is so pretty. I like acappella, too.

Have a blessed weekend!

P.S. I didn't see Mr. Linky. My Friday's Fave Five post is up at .

Islandsparrow said...

Hi Susanne, Just want to say again that I'm sorry about your little dog. They become members of the family and we sure feel the loss when they leave us. We've lost a few dogs and kitties over the years and we remember them fondly.

I haven't seen The Sing Off but I'll check it out - it sounds like a show that my Sarah would love!

I'm going to check out your shortbread recipe. I haven't made mine yet.

Your tree is lovely! Sitting in front of it, with a cup of hot chocolate or cider, is a Christmas highlight here too. Add some Christmas music in the background and snow lightly falling outside? perfect!

Hope you find some quiet moments there this weekend.

Love and blessings

PS - here's my post until Mr Linky appears

elizabeth said...

How funny - sitting under the lit Christmas tree made my list as well!

Brenda said...

First batch of Christmas cookies sounds wonderful to me too! Can you add me to Mr Linky when you find him? I won't be back at the computer again until late tonight

Cindy said...

kind words are the least when someone is hurting, I only wish more for you.

Decorating can be stressful, even good stress is compounded. Clear the Christmas clutter, CCC, lol.

Baking is next on my list. You're right sitting watching the Christmas Tree is a favourite.

I'll check back later to see if Mr. Linky made it to the FFF. In the meantime here is the link.

nikkipolani said...

I'm sure it's been a tough week, Susanne. But I'm glad you are still finding thing to be thankful for. THat group is amazing. And your Christmas decorating looks simple and comforting.

Sarah said...

I have no idea how I did not know about The Sing Off, but I will most definitely have to check this out. I love acapella music!

Your tree is beautiful!

Barbara H. said...

I love The Sing-off! I saw it last year, too. It seems like it goes too fast, but then again I kind of like that it doesn't drag on and on. I really like Committed, too, as well as Street Corner Symphony.

With our move I have been seeing the need to tone down decorating in general. I tend to be much too cluttered. I don't want to get rid of all the things that are special in their own way, but I have a minimum of stuff out now and am liking it.

I love those moments of sitting in the dark with just the tree lights on, too.

I'm gad you've had some bright moments in an otherwise hard week.

ellen b said...

We're really enjoying the sing off, too. I like Committed and the Corner? group. Anyway one of our good friends' cousin is in Groove for Thought...the taller girl.
I've simplified Christmas this year, too. Glad you were encouraged this week!

Karyn said...

sitting in the dark with just the tree lights is one of the best things about Christmas.

I'm glad the heartfelt words of your readers were able to comfort at least a little.

That TV show looks like it would be quite fun to watch! THanks for sharing the opening number.

Faith said...

yummy...home-baked xmas cookies..always a fave around here. I am posting a shortbread, super easy, recipe over the weekend so come on over to grab includes CHOCOLATE and is the only shortbread cookie I bake. I usually have to double the recipe!! And one of my faves is sitting in front of the tree, in my warm robe, sipping a steaming mug of coffee and just enjoying the quiet, peace, and lights....Have a great weekend Susanne!

Lisa notes... said...

I just discovered The Sing-Off this year, too, and am LOVING it. And Committed is from MY town. Woo-hoo. Keep cheering for them. :-)

I agree with you that toning down decorating can be a stress-reliever. Good for you. I need a # 5 real soon. Have a great weekend.

Karen said...

I like the ribbon threaded through your tree. It looks very pretty.

Leave it to you to test that shortbread recipe for me. I saw that on Sarah's blog and wondered if it might be THE recipe I'm looking for! I guess it is:)

Finding Pam said...

Suzanne, I hope you enjoy your beautiful tree. I like the peace that I feel when I am in the dark with just the lighted tree. I hope all is better soon.

Take care and enjoy those cookies for me.

Vanessa said...

I too like to sit and stare at the tree all lit up! :) Your tree is beautfiul!

TXDidi said...

I miss Christmas decorations over here in Indonesia. It's nice to enjoy them vicariously from your blog. I had to laugh when I posted my Friday Fave Fives yesterday and then realized that it was still Thursday in North America. I really lose track of days and times over here.

Unknown said...

I LOVE The Sing off!!!!