Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ladies Gingerbread House Decorating Party and Christmas Home Tour

About five years ago a tradition accidentally started (I think the best traditions may actually all start out as accidental) of flying icing and sugar spills all over the place. A tradition of decorating Gingerbread Houses with a few of my friends...adult women, no children and friendly but serious sugar filled creations to release our own inner child.
I say it began as an accident because five years ago I decided to sit down one mid morning while the children were at school and decorate a gingerbread house of my own. We had hostess gingerbread house decorating parties in the past, for children and I never had the opportunity to sit and see what fun I could create on my own. This particular day five years ago I sat down with supplies in hand, mixer running and started to work. Shortly after beginning a friend called and within in the hour she as well as another friend were sitting across from me in my Dinning room with houses in hand and decorating. Since then I have kept it simple and informal (no invites are mailed, no caters are called, aprons are welcome and messes are made). The above picture is of the table I set (buffet style) for the ladies to lunch. I used the Lenox China in the Holiday pattern as well as the Winter Greeting pattern (tartan accent plates) also from Lenox. The monogrammed napkins were from Sadies Stitchery (on etsy), if you know me then you know I prefer a white linen napkin with a pretty colored monogram over a colored napkin. Don't get me wrong, I love a pretty napkin of any color, pattern, shape or size, but I tend to gravitate toward white linens (all of our bath linens as well as everyone's bed linens are white...some rules are made to be followed). Something about white linens and holidays that add to the classic, timeless and slightly formal feel, which play to my personal sensibilities. 
I'll share a quick peek around the house before heading to the gingerbread house party. 
The wood monogram in this picture will be burned at first light of the fireplace this year...I can not stand it!!!!! Why it's hanging I can not understand. I guess it's like it's last dance before the inevitable. I love a beautiful monogram but that ones got to go! 
The wet bar (circa 1966) is in our library and this area is generally used by the children to hang out and watch tv. I love the blue and white ornaments, yellow walls, and simple feel of this room. 
Set up in our butlers pantry is a coffee bar and drink station. For the gingerbread house party I couldn't wait to use the Lenox Holiday cups and saucers.
No the table wasn't decorated in a beautiful fashion for the party because we take this serious! There is no room for extra fluff on the table, we need every inch for candy, houses, icing and elbows!!! 
I didn't get an after picture, but I promise the rug looked white from sugar and icing overload. I bought a new vacuum the next day, a Shark and WOW it sucked every inch of sugar up and left the room looking like nothing ever hit the floor. When my daughter arrived home from school and saw the after math of the party her reaction was priceless, "uhm Mom, you did have grown women over, right?!
I strolled the bar cart into the Dinning room for the party and fluffed it up a bit with a few holiday touches. 
This tree is in the Dinning room and decorated with fruits, veggies and birds (all mouth blown, hand painted glass ornaments.) 
Party snacks (lunch was served but I forgot pictures) I made a goat cheese torte, added stuffed grape leaves, blue cheese and seasoned pecans, and veggies. Lunch was a trio of salads: pimento cheese, chicken salad and a geek pasta salad, all served with a big beautiful green salad, cornbread muffins and cresant rolls. 
The day of the party was also a friends birthday so dessert was a big beautiful and yummy cake with pineapple filling and details. 
Another peek of our drink station. We drink A LOT...diet cokes, coffee, hot chocolate. You see bits and pieces of my huge vintage Santa collection, it started at least twelve years ago with one Vintage Santa mug and fast turned into Santa mugs, pitchers, punch bowls, etc... It's a sickness, I embrace it! 
More vintage Santa's and candy dishes. The chalkboard candy containers are from The Roundtop Collection and may be available online, they are years old but I think they may still make them. Inside one of the jars I added an extra touch...
Monogrammed Hershey kisses! Fun, right??? 
At one point of the party I thought my kitchen aid mixer was going to combust. It was so HOT, but not until it was on its sixth or seventh batch of icing. 
A few of the master pieces, I didn't get a picture of all the houses...life happens and sometimes my phone or camera isn't around. 
These ladies did great jobs, each house was different.
Some had more, some had less but they all were INCREDIBLY CUTE.
I seriously wanted to keep them all.
Mine (above) was not fantastic. I spend more time whipping up icing and socializing, which works for me.  The party was great fun and all of my guest were full of amazing and creative ideas. Fun was had by all! 
A few last pics from here and there in our home. This chandelier is in the library and I covered it using my vintage shiny bright ornaments (again I've had them for many years). The idea seems fun and the result is pretty...taking down will be a pain.
I used what I had and added a bit of black and white gingham ribbon here and there in the chandelier. Our Family tree is accented with black and white gingham ribbon and the two rooms flow so it made sense. 
Closer pic of a few pieces of my collection. I don't recommend putting water straight into the old mugs and pitchers (I have tried) they seem to weep and water rings can form. I put a smaller vessel in the pitchers and mugs.
At the end of the party I sat and relaxed while enjoying our family tree (it's my favorite). Our family tree was started the year we were married, I bought a few Christopher Radko ornament that first year and have added to the tree every year. Each child picks out an ornament every year that reflects the year, their personal interest or hobbies. I can't imagine decorating our tree any other way. The memories are priceless, and shouldn't the tree you sit around and share the holiday with your family respesent and hold special meaning.  Our tree does and I couldn't be happier about it. 
Enjoy your Holidays and may peace be with you and your families.



  1. Love your home & style, Tikaa! I made an ornament wreath last year using old ornaments-though not Shiny Brights-& I love it! Would love to come across some when I go estate sale-ing, but haven't yet. Btw, do you have any place special to buy your monograms? I've just used an Etsy shop here & there, but am tempted to buy a cricut & learn how to do it myself!
    Love to you & yours this Christmas....

  2. What a fun tradition! Your decorations look beautiful.

  3. Love the backstory about how the Gingerbread House party became a tradition. Your Radko tree is beautiful.

  4. Omgggg / Santa's workshop in Texas!!! You and your friends are professional confectionary decorators! Those gingerbread houses are magnificent . Love your house style and beautifully decorated trees.
    -Linda, ny

  5. Everything looks wonderful. Thank you for sharing all of your ideas. Love seeing your snaps everyday. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    Cdzzjordan from ig.

  6. Love seeing your beautiful home. Thank you for sharing your awesome ideas. Your snaps/IG posts have kept me entertained the past 6 weeks.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
    Cdzzjordan of ig.

  7. This is just so much fun. I have loved watching it happened over snapchat. Just might have to start the tradition next year!!! Love ya girl! Have a wonderful holiday!!! Paige

  8. I have love, love, loved following your Snaps this season Tikaa. I think we've been Insta buddies for years, but the Snaps just make it so much more fun. I can't wait to give my mother her hostess gift with the monogram Hersey's + Rolos! Such a good call. Where are the blue and white ornaments from? Gorg. Merry Christmas to you and your crew. xoxo, Nelle

  9. Love everything! You always give me great ideas to borrow. Would love to know how you attached your ornaments for the chandelier. Merry Christmas!

  10. I'm not sure my earlier comment went thru so again I say I love everything. You give me so many great ideas to borrow. I'm interested to know how you attached all the ornaments to the chandelier. Impressive! Thanks for sharing all you do and Merry Christmas!

  11. Absolutely beautiful!! Again, sure wish we lived closer!
    Love - Shavon

  12. Absolutely Beautiful!! Again, wish I lived closer!
    Love - Shavon

  13. Love your cups!Where do you buy the foam ones!?! They're adorable!!!

  14. What fun!! And every photo is so gorgeous. You might have influenced me to throw a similar party at our farm, haha! I've been following you on IG & SC, just realized you have a blog too. Wish you'd write more. Love it. Happy new year from Oklahoma!

  15. i know you have said on snap chat but i forgot what the brand of the gold bamboo flatware it.