Ideas to make the season merry and bright

Home is where memories are made and traditions are created. Here’s a mix of holiday ideas. From my home to yours, happy holidays!

Sugarloaf Artisan Village


Make the gifts under your holiday tree truly unique and one of a kind this year. Make the movement to shop small and locally made. Stroll through the shops, boutiques and visit the artist in their studio. Besides having a charming shopping experience, you will support local independent artists, designers and craftsmen.

Bliss Co-op in Sugarloaf

The participating vendors at Bliss offer unique handcrafted goods by


women artisans who primarily reside in the Hudson Valley region.

Owner Dana Anders says, “We truly have something for everyone on your list, and with all the hustle ‘n’ bustle of the holiday season we offer free gift packaging.”

Bliss offers an eclectic mix of goods for everyone! From a nice piece of jewelry or a hand-dyed scarf for Mom, to cufflinks made from copper enameled p


ennies or a screen-printed T-shirt for Dad.

For the kids, they carry travel chalkboards, dolls, and more.

Bertoni Gallery in Sugarloaf

Bertoni Gallery has a variety of handmade jewelry in a wide range of styles and prices. The wire and sheet metal designs are hand fabricated individually by Rachel Bertoni. I have a pair myself, and they are light as a feather.

Mimosa variation

Instead of using the typical champagne–orange juice combination, try cranberry juice or apple cider. It is a different kick for your holiday brunch, or any time.

Sweet cookie memories


Years ago I did mass quantities of baking for Christmas. Then there didn’t seem to be time in the holiday rush. My favorite baking memory with the kids is baking the week AFTER Christmas. We would make sugar cookies with cookie cutters in fun shapes. We are all gluten-free now, so the baking is minimal these days.

Here is the fun part: invite their friends over for a cookie decorating party. Put a vinyl tablecloth on the table and under the table if desired. Put out bowls of different color icing, chocolate chips, colored sugar, sprinkles, candy pieces, etc. They each go home with a plastic container of hand-decorated cookies to share with their family.

There is a gluten-free sugar cookie recipe posted here if you are gluten free as we are.

Holiday cleaning tip

How to polish antique brass: This tip ran by my Facebook newsfeed. Ray Zwart announced how his mom polished up the antiques candlesticks using ketchup. Ketchup? Yes!

Simply squeeze the ketchup on the brass piece and rub, scrub with a sponge scrubby. Rinse and dry with paper towels. This only proves that mama does know best.

Project Card One

For the last few years, I had the privilege to spread the word about a special project that sends greeting cards to our troops.

To participate in Project CARD ONE, please donate used or new holiday cards. If sending used cards, tear off the decorative front to create a postcard, then either write a personal message to a service member or leave blank. No envelope is needed.

Cards can be mailed to ML Project Card One 2015, PO Box 68, Greenwood Lake NY 10925

For more information on Project CARD ONE, contact Michelle at