Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Soon~it will be Christmas day.

 Photo..courtesy of their mom..Lucas with Katie's dog.The big brother..the sweetie who likes to scare his nana and jump on her sofa and toss the cushions♥

Photo, courtesy of their mom
Oli..still has all his baby teeth..wish he could stay this way..forever.
He's the last Little.
Photo courtesy of Caroline

Do you remember eating snow?
I do:)!
Lucas loves his funny face here ..he told me to look at it..
the only little girl..on their street right here..w/the boys♥
Smart..funny..not shy..lots of conversation..personality plus.
And how cute are they all?
She is the one that has said :"and when we are all older I will live in my house with my kids and the boys will live in their house with their kids".
I think they are adorable together..

Every year..I look through my old Canadian Living Holiday Baking magazines..some are 2006..they are the only Canadian Living magazines I have saved over the years and I have not found any the last 4 -5 years..

It's something I like to do..
one of my small traditions..

It's not Christmas without linzers..

I love the flaky cookies with the jam filled centers..cut outs and a dusting of icing sugar on top.
A classic.

You can go here for one of 3 of my favorite Linzer recipes..

That's the year I started blogging..makes me a bit nostalgic to see and remember how some of us got lost..
there were some good bonds..
hope everyone is well~

We made our tourtières..
A a French Canadian home..
my mom made them..Jacques' mom made them.
To Jacques..that taste and smell  are  Christmas to him.
Scents have such powers over us..for memories.

I made a chocolate house instead of a gingerbread house this year..and named it: "Linger Lodge":)

It will be on the children's table I guess..Christmas eve..Adamo..Giuliana and Lucas..will be at the big people's table:)
Marshmallow roof on  the chocolate one:)..a little white tree inside..Ferrero Rocher shrubs..
I still have things to bake and I am looking forward to them..

Cards do add love to a tree..

A little while ago..I mentioned our family Christmas stockings..
I must admit..every year when I take them out..several things go through my mind..

 I was taught..step by step how to make these..the materials were sent to me to get started.
Photos of her doing the stitches were sent.
Prior to that I had asked someone I worked with if she could show me the stitch in person..even though I did crewel and needlepoint for years..years ago..the process escaped me for a stocking.
I was met with impatience.
Let me just never forget a kind act..and lol you rarely forget an unkind in point at my office.
Back to the ,I have never forgotten the time,patience,and generosity of the person that got me started on these.
That's number 1:)

When I pull them out now(they are stored  in my mom's hope chest)..I can't really believe I stitched them all  as there are 11. 
I never thought I would get through one.I promise.

I don't think I could do them today..not sure..but I don't think so.I was extremely motivated to not let the person down..and I wanted to create them so my family would have them long after I am gone.

So many stitches!!!!

I stitched a few of them in Florida on the beach..our friends would come and peek..and I did finish   a couple in their entirety ..right there.

They are so big!
18 inches plus to the base not counting the foot
I have bought wine to put in my son-in-laws stockings and the clerk has said to cannot fit a wine bottle in a stocking....well I can..2 plus stuff ..I am sure.


The kind kind kind kind turned my tapestries into the beautifully lined and velvet stockings..w/ a fabric hook..and all the binding.
I had gone to Arnaldo the tailor..sweet as ever  he was but he said:" I am afraid I cannot turn your stitched stockings into stockings..but I know someone w/ fairy fingers  who makes all kinds of things for the church bazaar".
He gave me her number and I called her..
I had to take a chance..

A beautiful a cute cute house..greeted me with such kindness..I knew one of her daughters and son-in-law by chance.
She agreed..
To begin with..she did my mentor's stockings too..quite a few if I remember..and she did mine..all 11 of them.
Her workmanship enhanced the stockings 10 fold.
I am always always grateful to her♥
We exchange a Christmas card ever since..wishing each other well.
A wonderful woman who cherished her husband and talked about him with such love and pride.

On every one..I try and add something linked to the person in my family..On Mylène and Caroline's there are tiny initial charms that were theirs as little ones..some pearls from one of my mom's broken necklaces.A small police car for Alain..the Littles names on each one..Jacques as the  the patriarch..mine as a gardener etc etc..the latter 2 don't get filled..we are just that way..we don't need anything..

As I type..they are filled and on the sofa of my craft room..they will come out Christmas eve.
Re very first one I ever made..was for Frédérick..and how appropriate..the snowman father holding the baby snowman's hands.
Geesh I even get teary writing about them

My wish is that they do remember all the Christmases..past present and to come w/ even their families much later on. little fashion icon:) one of the  MVPs for his football team that won the provincials..he was so excited..
he kept telling us..IF we win the regionals..we go on to Provincials..inside we were are dreaming big, Max.Well he proved us wrong..dreams do come true♥

He is living up to his shoveling cute.

Noah had to wear a Christmas sweater today..his mommy dolled up a black one..♥
My other fashion plate:)

Photo courtesy of Mylène~

His look:)  Mom said he was not too sure..hahaha I love it.

 Thank you for all the nice friendly comments this year..Jacques reads them all..and has said numerous times..:"they are all so nice on your blog..or..  tes commentaires sont tellement gentils..and it's so true.
Thanks for all the posts you post..about everything..inspiring..I learn so much.

I wish you peace and love
I read this..and I thought..yes that would be my wish for everyone..
I want to add health too.


  1. Oh Monique, you are really the dearest soul. What a beautiful post. Making memories for your family - that is really the most important thing in life. I cannot believe you weren't a professional baker; that chocolate house is perfection. Needs to be in a magazine. I never even thought about a chocolate one. I remember eating snow ice cream and it was so good. I hope your holidays with your loved ones is the best one ever filled with much love.

    1. We just could't eat the yellow snow:)
      I hope you had a ball with your girlfrends on your outing for your birthday..
      I think I enjoy doing these things because I think my mom would have gone nuts over my maybe I am making up for moments in time I didn't get.
      Donna the chocolate house is very easy as the mold does everything..really you pour it in take it out.the only difficult part is putting the sides together..the first have to wait till the chocolate dries..wish I could remember which chocolate I used..there have been a few floating around..cause I like the sheen also..
      Meilleurs Voeux!

  2. Lots and lots of memories of Christmas I have of you...all of them beautiful . I just read this post and I cried...the boys are so beautiful and getting so big! I remember them as babies. The chocolate house os just spectacular! You do not waste even one moment of life...I adore that about you.
    I wish you and the family the most wonderful could it not be with you at the helm.
    Sending you lots of love!
    Bisous xoxoxo

    1. I am grateful for you..and our emails and knowing about your boys..your life..all your delicious pics..and well ..for just being there.
      It must remind you of your boys..infinitely so..and although we are happy they grow up to be responible kind people..the growing bittersweet..
      I knowxx

  3. Merry Christmas Monique, you make it so special!

    1. Chris..our girls make their Christmases evn more special..I bet yours have the shenanigans of Elf On The Shelf too.
      I love that about todays families..the parents are so involved equally..I have to confess..I don't remember my dad ..being involved..he loved me..this I know..but it just wasn't the same..then our generation..the dads changed diapers..fed..built skating rinks etc..LOVED them..but dada today are part moms:)
      Merry Merry Christmas to you and Scott and family.

  4. Cool Christmas sweater for Noah! Bet the stockings are gorgeous! I loved making them for the kids/grandkid, etc and also found a lady to help me with them, a fun project and they all look forward to them every Christmas. Your chocolate house looks awesome, Monique, very unique!
    I have been watching "This is Us" and really enjoy it! Thanks for the recommendation!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    1. I am really glad you like the show too..I think it is one of the best shows..I just didn't want it to end Pam:)'s his mom too..I told her he reminded me of her..yet he looks like Alain too..she just had a liitle side like Noah young:)
      The same to you..merry merry and ask your son for want to share your Littles pic:)

  5. The magical glow of the Christmas Spirit beams from this post. Thank you for your friendship, kindness and inspiration throughout the year. Wishing you and your family the very best xo

    1. My sentiments exactly Gail..I love seeing the Hamptons through your eyes..Sag Harbor..Hugh's art and yours..your togetherness..plein air painting..etc etc..
      it's a lovely web we weave.

  6. My gosh, those boys! All so handsome and yes, getting so big. Wish we could bottle time, don't you? I look at projects I've made and also think, how did I ever do it? Your stockings are works of art. When I made Lauren and Lindsay's needlepoint stockings I didn't even have a pattern. I copied them from pictures in a magazine! A labor of love - LOL. The chocolate house too - a labor of love and work of art. Wonderful pic of you and the rolling pin! Love the black nails and accessories :) I still have a few homemade goodies I need to finish before Sunday. I'll be baking until right up to the end. I do hope the weather is good for your Christmas this year and the power stays on ;-) Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family, Dear Monique ♥

    1. Caroline took the tourtière making pic..and yes I think the wrist accessory is very special w/ the seashell..the nails however?
      The color chips the same day..and you know how great that looks..I was stayed at finding OPI and the dollar store..and getting the stuff off?
      Not le fun.
      The house is so easy w/ the mold..I cannot take credit..and it'sptogenic..again no credit..
      Who would have thought..almost 20 years ago..less I know..but close..that we would be such good and loyal penpals..that we w/ daughters would have beautiful grandsons?
      You may still have a wee girl..and that will be fun too..but haven't boys proved to be so loving ..affectionate and charming?
      I do like seeing Katie..the hair..the clothes..:)
      Sing this..: "Thank you for being my friend"..

    2. Now I can't get the song out of my head ♥

      Our boys have been a true blessing. I wouldn't have it any other way now. I do have dolls and Florence Eisemann dresses in the attic just in case, though ;-)

  7. Monique, I love this Christmas post. You are truly an amazing artist and I've enjoyed each and every week visiting you!
    Thank you for sharing all your creative ideas and delicious recipes. Wishing you and your family a very, Merry Christmas!
    Hugs, Jody ♥

    1. I always visit you too Jody and find you are exactly like a Martha..
      You have a beautiful family and I hope you always have that beautiful life.

  8. You have outdone yourself with this post, Monique...
    So beautiful...your love shines thru in every word.
    Those stockings are amazing...and a story to go with them.
    The littles look always...
    And you...rolling pin in hand♥️
    Have a wonderful Christmas with all your loved ones...Bonjour Jacques!!
    Oh...and that chocolate house...incredible!!
    cheers mon ami...
    linda :o)

    1. The love you have for your family shines in every post..woke out of bed and loved life.
      That Miss V..I tell ya..the wee smiles..the older smiles..I just heard Joe Biden talk..suffered great losses..he wrote a letter to his twelve year old self..It is extremely one point he writes..your bond with your children and grandchildren will be your redemption.
      So true.♥
      Cheers to you!

  9. Oh my those stockings are beautiful! I used to do such things, but time got away from me :) I've never made anything that gorgeous. Your grandsons are so handsome, with fantastic smiles. What a lovely family! Send some snow down our way please! Merry Christmas Monique - and if you're reading this Jacques ... Merry Christmas to you too!

    1. You do so much!
      I never thought I could either.I tried to..and I was stubborn:)Jacques is laughing..CUTE he said:)

  10. What a beautiful post Monique. I remember your stockings from GB days. What works of art and the story of the lady who finished them is touching. Love the photos of all your Littles and their friend. Now how did you make such a perfect chocolate gingerbread house? Katherine would be sneaking chunks of the house till it fell down. Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful 2017.

    1. I think I mentioned last year I had bought the silicone mold in Dec I think..knowing I would try this year..they still have them:FReshware about $15.You get 2 silcone mats that make all the pieces..even gingerbread men..well worth it ..just FYI for you because I know how much you loe making things for the Littles..and FRankie!
      You have a great memory re the stockings Terry!
      My wishes are the exact same for you:)

    2. Just looked it up and not $15.00 anymore

      They have to be kidding!

    3. Go straight to Amazon Canada..type in Freshware house mold..the first one that appears is $15.00 w/ the exchange that is peanuts for you so much so the shipping should be fine? Let me know.

  11. Bonjour chère Nana,

    L'esprit de Noël est bien présent dans votre univers... Le partage de vos sublimes photos est un véritable ravissement.

    Que Noël et l'An nouveau vous apportent ce qu'ils ont de plus beau.

    Gros bisous 🎄 ❄️ ❄️ 🎄

  12. If ever there was a post on the spirit of Christmas, this is it! You amaze me in all you do and all you write. The stockings ~ they are treasures that your family will cherish always, but the memories you create within them and through them will become a part of their hearts. Eleven ~ I don't know how you did it. I've stitched maybe half that, but never any for ourselves. Some years I think I will, even just recently I saw a stocking that touched my heart. Made me want to stitch it. But then I would need to find a second that would be for M. I love to needlepoint, but find that I don't sit and stitch as much as I used to. Perhaps your post will be the inspiration I need to finally stitch stockings for our mantel. ;-)
    Yours are exquisite, Monique! Your littles are not so little anymore. Handsome young guys for certain.
    Enjoy these days. The chocolate house is amazing. I want to sit at the children's table!
    Christmas hugs from Texas. Merry, Merry!

    1. Meilleurs Voeux to one of my francophile friends:)
      Who knew years ago we would penpals in many many countries..a gift..I honestly don't know what I would have done a few years ago..if I was not part of this all.
      I have seen yur can do lovely would that be..would love to see the one that stole your heart..Meilleurs voeux pour toi..ton époux et Sadie.:)

  13. Where do I start. Your words are so beautiful and soothing and filled with all of the joys of Christmas. Family. Love. Sacrifice. Sharing. Caring. Joy. Peace. It is all here and thank you for that. Your stockings are a beautiful labor of love and will be around for years to come and are family heirlooms for sure. Such a treasure. The Chocolate house, adorable. Your grandsons equally adorable and handsome and so sweet. I wish for you and your family a very Merry Christmas filled with joy, love and happiness. May your Christmas Cup runneth over. Love you! xoxo

    1. Isn't it wonderful how we like seeing each others Littles? I truly love seeing yours and how they cahnge..the little faces..I want them to stay happy..when does that change? Because kids are so happy.
      I want your cup to runneth over and I want Todd well.He will be..he has you..nurse Nightingale..with your positive outlook and faith.

  14. Wishing you and yours very Merry Christmas! We are grateful for you and your blog! I can't wait to come back for a visit this evening after work and take it all in. I will be able to enjoy some relaxation for the holiday! lol

    1. It will put you to sleep!
      I know your Christmas will be very very special ..bébés first Christmas..and nana's first Christmas..FRed's mom had given me an ornament with exactly those words..look for one:)Special..I have not seen any since..

    2. How nice that J reads all the comments on your blog. Great idea about the ornament. I should look for one :-) The other grandparents have three grandchildren now, so I'll give it to Joe :-)

    3. SWEET..:)Maybe in a personalized mall?

  15. Your stockings are so beautiful Monique. And the boys . . . they are precious. It must be wonderful to have them so close by so they can drop in on Nana anytime. Your chocolate house is a work of art. Would be curious as to where you got the molds. That card on the tree . . . We sent the very same one, but with our picture of the grandkids of course. LOL. This was a warm and fuzzy post and I loved it so much. I wish you the same wishes for the New Year and hope that we continue to be blogging buddies for a long time to come.

    1. I hope so too!
      You know..I am grateful the Littles are lent to us♥
      Some are not so generous.
      WE know this proximity w/ both our a gift.
      really they are our lives..sounds a little constricted:) But it is what we love the best..being with them..You too I am sure..
      The molds..2 come in the set are sold at Amazon..US and Canada.I was floored when I saw the $..keep looking on the site..Freshware..about $15.00 so worth it! And EASY..and then you decorate as you wish!

  16. LOVE Katie's dog!!
    Does the chocolate house get eaten?
    Very pretty!!

    1. Demolished first..boys..all boys except Giuliana and she will laugh..that dog is cute..on the street a chihuahua..Ray..a Tekla..Sam..Katie's dog ..a Basset..Buddy..and a new pup I forget it's Rupert Katie's dog but black..not sure if he is a Scottie..I think a mutt..
      That's for 4 house..only 4 houses there and 10 vhildren.
      I love it..always a net out or bikes..chalk..3 of the kids are older..
      great safe Knots Landing;) But cozy..not flashy.

  17. Yay ! Christmas is coming and though I don't realise it yet (I must say that the feather is too peaceful to feel like we're in Winter here) I look forward to it.
    The snow and the lovely home decorations you made are so very special and full of Christmas spirit.
    I wish you and your family a very happy and lovely Christmas.

    1. Toi aussi te souhaite..tout..tout de beau et d'agréable:)

  18. Have a wonderful and beautiful Christmas Monique! The best wishes to you and your lovely family!


    1. I have missed you ..and wonder how you are..I have a binder w/ all my tried and true Christmas recipes..remember your mushrooms? You are there.
      How are you all?

      Meilleurs Voeux!

  19. OK, I'm back and this time I am copying before I hit send so my silly computer doesn't crash! I love the maple leaf mittens -- those are GREAT and SO is your rolling pin. That's a stunner. No wonder you turn out such good sounding things!

    Your family is incredibly beautiful -- even the dog is cute! And those stockings are such gems. I loved the story more than I can say. Talk about the season of love and kindness. I know how much went into those from my needlepoint days and believe me, there are hundreds of stitches. I have to tell you a story -- my sock that I made for myself in 1976 is my "fill it up" sock. My childhood sock is too fragile. Last year after Christmas we couldn't find it and I was certain it was accidentally thrown out in packaging and my heart just hurt. But this year, Rick found it, deep in the Christmas cupboard!

    The tree, the chocolate house, everything -- it say love and joy and happiness. I wish you the most beautiful (belle?) joyeux noel!

  20. Rick..well amazing he found it:)♥POints for certain!

    We have a store ..well a chain of stores.. called The Bay.. La Baie..La Compagnie de la Baie d'

    But YEARS Selfridges..

    it was Morgan' mom would be 99..her dad..imagine..was a window dresser for Morgan's..watching Mr Selfrigde..I basked in the history.
    anyway..The Bay..sells authentic..blankets..Olympic mittens..just a class store..a bit like Ogilvy's..
    I have asked Jacques to take me downtown..between Christmas and the New Year..I want to feel that feeling again..a feeling of my youth..w/ Eaton's..and the train..♥And the Christmas downtown windows..
    Meilleurs voeux!!

  21. Your stockings are BEAUTIFUL Monique! I am sure they are cherished by all... I love your chocolate house too, how did you do it? We were thinking of you last night as we strolled down Christmas Tree lane (a street all decked out in lights etc..) - our favorite house is a lovely old yellow house with wreaths in the window and gingerbread men on the lawn....very charming and welcoming. :) xo

    1. I bet Christmas Tree Lane is gorgeous:)
      Like a fairy tale..
      well we have a white Christmas Lee-Ann..maybe freezing rain tomorrow though.YOu should see my kitcehn right now..DISASTER..too many things under way..jacques couldn't find a spot to put something dow:)

      I think you would enjoy making that house..Freshware HAD apparently the $ is through the roof Tery above told me..Amazon Canada still had some last week I think $15.99,,right now sold out but they will get more..If you want one..I could always get one and give it to you next time I see you?
      Or I am sure you could order your US money:) It will cost nothing;)

      Dear Lee-Ann..Beaucoup de bonheur..en 2017 ♥
      Thank you for thinking of me:)

  22. Geez, my comment disappeared....Like I said, you are so fortunate to be close with your littles. My grands live about 3 hours away. If I want to see them, I have to make the effort. Love the stockings....the sweet little gingerbread house and of course your lovely baking. Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas.

    1. That is far..unless it is a sleepover..I get it..
      We do that trip for Vermont..long day...wired and tired when we get home..kudos for when you go❤️Thank you Linda for your colourful creative posts and everything you share.
      Merry Christmasand above all.. health and happiness to you and yours in 2017.

  23. Best chocolate tree ever. Happy holidays, dear Monique!

  24. Have a lovely and happy Christmas!

  25. Your home decorated for Christmas looks so warm and welcoming just as you are. I hope you have a wonderful and memorable holiday with your family. Joyeux Nöel

    1. I think this was your first Christmas in your new home? I am sure it was lovely~

  26. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!!

    1. I hope you did..and I wish you as much success in 2017 w/ your Photography business:) AS well as the joy it brings you.

  27. Beautiful &Perfect as always...Merry Christmas to you and Jacques, wishing you Health, Laughter, and Peace of heart!
    Have a beautiful day filled with wonderful memories~
    Gentle Hugs,
    Di & Nick🎄❤️

    1. I hope yours was so good too's been a busy couple of weeks..

  28. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and your wonderful family!!

  29. I just adore your blog M. The preparations and your attention to detail, photos and stories are so precious. The chocolate house is a work of art.
    Merry Christmas

    1. Thank you A..
      I love your Uke playing and singing..and so do a lot of other peeps..big and small!
      Here is to 2017✨

  30. Ton sapin ressemble un peu à mon sapin ! ;-) Quant à ces bas de Noël, ils sont juste incroyables !!! Tu es tellement douée ! Et puis je vois la maison d'un peu plus près. Le moulage est parfait, le chocolat bien brillant. Du grand art !!

    1. Toutes des décos très chères a mon coeur..ou de coups de ♥..tels que le Kitchain Aid:) L'ancien"woody" avec le sapin sure le cette année un "kinky Boot:)..Faits a la main..comme tu as vu:)

      C'est un moule pour chocolat la maison..tu pourrais le Cananniser!

      Merci pou ces passages sxxx