Post Christmas & Banana Cream Pie

I hope you all had a really memorable Christmas holiday with your family! We had a wonderful day - the rain showers were the closest thing to snow we would see here in So. CA. We enjoyed yummy food, opening gifts, watching movies in front of the fire, more yummy food and good times with family. My oldest son said that his favorite dessert is Banana Cream Pie. I had never made one before. I used the following recipe and I have to say it was delicious!

Cooking spray
12 graham cracker squares (6 full sheets)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons boiling water
1/3 cup, plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups 1 percent lowfat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sliced banana (3 medium bananas)
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. In a food processor, process graham crackers until finely ground. Add butter and 1 tablespoon of water, and process until the crumb clumps together. Press crumb mixture into bottom of pie plate and about 1/2-inch up the sides. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then let cool.
In the meantime, make the filling. Put the gelatin in a small bowl; add 3 tablespoons of boiling water and stir until gelatin is dissolved. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/3 cup of sugar and the flour. In a medium bowl lightly beat the milk and eggs together. Add the egg and milk mixture to the saucepan and whisk so the flour and sugar dissolve. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes, until mixture comes to a boil and has thickened. Stir in the vanilla extract and gelatin. Set aside to cool slightly.
Arrange the sliced bananas on the graham cracker crust and pour the pudding on top. Place in the refrigerator until the pudding has set, about 3 hours.
Whip the cream with an electric beater. When it is about halfway done, add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, then continue whipping until fully whipped. Put the whipped cream in a plastic bag, concentrating it in 1 corner of the bag. Snip that corner off the bag and squeeze the whipped cream out of the bag in a decorative pattern around the pie. (photo & recipe courtesy of
Today is my sisters birthday and we'll both be celebrating when we meet up in NYC in about 12 more days!! Can't wait!


Merry Christmas from our Family to Yours

One of our very favorites movies ~ It's a Wonderful Life. I love this time of year just sitting with the fireplace roaring and the tree lights illuminating the living room. The past few evenings have been peaceful with a pot of tea and some wonderful baked treat. I hope that you are enjoying the season, we certainly are. Most of the gifts are wrapped and under the tree. Today is going to be for baking cookies and checking off the items on my to do list for food preparation for tomorrow and Christmas Day. Merry Christmas to all of you!


Holiday Open House

Please join us for warm cider and holiday goodies this Sunday, December 14th from 11:00am - 3:00pm while shopping at our Holiday Open House!

My friends and I have some wonderful treasures for you and those special people on your holiday shopping list.

We have an amazing selection of vintage and new holiday decor, linens, stunning rhinestone jewelry, furniture, ephemera, teapots, tea cups, aprons, hand painted snowmen, inspirational stones and so much more!

If you are one of our first 10 shoppers to make a purchase you will receive a complimentary gift with our thanks and sincere appreciation!

We will of course have another wonderful gift basket of treasures to give away too.

Bring a friend along - you won't want to miss this unique shopping experience - "who wants to fight the crowds and traffic at the mall"?

Erin & Friends
Trésors Marché...a Treasures Market


Treasures from the Market for you!

I'm going to start listing more items from the "Marche" on my blog. If you are interested in purchasing something please leave a comment. All shipping is for US unless you specify otherwise. These items below will also come with a complimentary issue of the December Romantic Homes magazine as my gift to you!

This lovely gravy boat and platter are a creamy white. The bottom is stamped with Traditional Ironstone Leeds Alfred Meakin England. There are no chips or cracks. What a beautiful set for the upcoming holidays! The saucer it rests on is 8 1/2" long. The gravy boat itself measures 3" high and 8" wide from handle to spout. The price is $24. plus shipping.
This lovely black hat would be wonderful to decorate or accessorize with. In very nice condition. It is $12. plus shipping.

What a perfect gift for the "Red Hat Society" lady in your life! $15. plus shipping.

Our Christmas Card!

Becky-TCBOTB ( designed the template for our Christmas card this year and we love it!! Thank you Becky! Check out their site for some really great blog designs and much more!


Back from our Road Trip

Wow our trip to our favorite city by the bay was a blast - despite the fact that all 4 of us were fighting nasty colds. As we crossed over the Bay Bridge Thursday evening we readied ourselves for the walking, laughing and eating that awaited us. Our first stop after checking into our suite overlooking downtown was a cab ride down to Northbeach where we had an un-traditional Thanksgiving dinner of the best pizza and pasta we've had in a long time. We laughed and ate and gave thanks for having this time together. After dinner we made the walk back to our hotel cutting through Chinatown and Union Square. Trying to decide what we wanted to do the next day; breakfast at Ealge Cafe at Pier 39 followed by a possible trip out to Alcatraz and then on to the Golden Gate Bridge. Our breakfast at the Eagle Cafe was a bit disappointing; the new owners decided to remodel about 2 years ago - it still had some of it's character but we missed placing our order at the counter and then having them call out your order. It's a little fancier now and the menu is too but also a little more $$. Nevertheless we laughed a lot and filled our stomachs with pancakes, coffee and bacon. Just a few steps outside were the sea lions all camped out - so fun to watch and such personalities they have. We then walked through the Wharf and passed on chowder, shrimp cocktails and more. We were on a mission to get to the Golden Gate Bridge. A little further than we remembered - where was that cab when you needed it? After walking through the Marina district and looking at the lovely homes we ambled through Fort Mason and then finally Fort Point. The boys ran around and we looked in awe at the beautiful bridge. A passerby took a wonderful shot of us under the bridge - this was to be our Christmas card; however one of the guys was not smiling so we'll take a some shots in front of the fire here at home. Our next destination was the House of Nanking at Kearny and Columbus for the best Chinese food ever! Always a line out the door here and owner Peter always outdoes himself. We usually let him order for us and we're never disappointed. Another walk through Union Square followed and of course some window shopping. After a bit of relaxing back at the hotel we waited for a cab and beat it down to the Marina District to visit Guiseppe at E'Angelos for the world's best carbonarra! We were not disappointed and again were just in time to beat the line forming outside his doors. Our cab ride back to the hotel that night was very entertaining; our driver Buzz had just recorded a CD and sang to us all the way back downtown - what a character he was. The next morning was for sleeping in and after we were packed up we drove out to the Avenues; 10th and Clement for breakfast at the Hamburger Haven - the place has not changed a bit and the chef there still puts out a great breakfast. Another stop at the bagel shop for some treats to take home and then lastly to Dino's on Fillmore and California for a slice of heaven - his pizza is still the best! Pulling into our street Saturday night we were greeted by all of our neighbor's Christmas lights - I can't believe the season is here! Time to pull out the Christmas decorations and get busy.


I left my heart in San Francisco...well part of it anyway!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and our family is headed to the city by the bay! Just a quick little get-away for a few days with our list of favorite restaurants in hand. Nick will be running in the Dana Point Turkey Trot bright and early and then we'll hit the highway. We lived in this wonderful city in the early 90's and it remains a favorite and special place to visit. Our boys look forward to walking across the golden gate bridge. The last time I did that I was trying to induce labor with my first son - it did not work. We'll be dining at some favorite places; The House of Nanking for Chinese and E'Angelo in the Marina District for the best carbonara just to name a few.
We are very blessed and we wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!


The Sugar Plum Show

My friend Linda and I had an outing a few Saturday's ago to the OC Fairgrounds for the Sugar Plum show. We ended up spending hours there walking the aisles being inspired and amazed at some of the talent. We were a little disappointed with some of the dealers selling a lot of "catolog" merchandise. We bought several things which I have not taken photos of yet. My friend Pam of My Country Fields was there selling her creations and we sat and had lunch together with her and of course talked non stop about ideas for the future! Pam is the creator of my fabulous custom canopy and is so talented! She's so sweet and so is her daughter Brittany who makes the most wonderful pillows.

Lastly we made a not so quick stop at Debra's Cottage in Costa Mesa. I just love the varied selection merchandise that all of the vendors have to offer. The store is amazing and it happened to be their open house. Debra was home sick with the flu but her teddy bear of a husband was running the show with a group of really lovely ladies!


Favorite Scone Recipe

Thank you Martha Stewart for one of my favorite recipes "Cranberry Scones". This recipe is easy and delicious - we rarely have any left after they are taken out of the oven! I use dried cranberries ~ not fresh. Enjoy.

Serves 8
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
5 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for topping
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) half-and-half
1/2 cup halved cranberries, drained on paper towels

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour, 5 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 2/3 cup half-and-half until just moistened. Gently fold in cranberries.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently, 5 to 10 times. Pat into a 1-inch-thick round. Cut into 8 wedges; place on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Brush tops with remaining tablespoon half-and-half; sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
Photo and recipe courtesy of


Our Champion!

We just returned home from our Seaview League Cross Country Championship and our little guy finished third for the freshman!! YEAH! He and his teammates made us proud tonight; the freshman boys came in 1st, 2nd, 3rd (Nick), 4th and so on. You guys rock! It was an awesome season and I am such a proud mom.

Here is neck/neck with his teammate "Toto". They all have nicknames and some of them are very funny! Nick's is "Big Black" ~ go figure!
Coming into the finish; his time was 17:16.

The boys! Nick is 2nd from the left. Congratulations Boys!


Let it Rain!

Our annual Halloween Costume Party was last night. It was a beautiful night with friends; nibbling delicious food and sipping ghoulish beverages! The costumes were fun ~ it's always great to see what everyone comes dressed as. Hubby made his wonderful chili and strung festive lights around the yard. Today we have a little rain in the forecast - how nice it would be to be in the house today listening to rain and the football game on tv. Here's a little peak from last night; My husband's brother Tim and Mercedes
Two Sarah Palin's are better than one right John!

Sarah Palin & Joe the Plumber

Our front porche

The backyard lit up with twinkle lights and candles

The ghoulish punch ~ it was yummy!

What a little devil you are Jake!

Our annual Halloween Costume Party was last night. It was a beautiful night with friends nibbling delicious food and sipping ghoulish beverages! The costumes were fun ~ it's always great to see what everyone comes dressed as.


Happy Halloween

I hope all of you have a spooktacular Halloween!
Our Annual Halloween Costume Party is tomorrow.
Here is the list for the kids scavenger hunt:

Black Cats Tooth (tic tac)

Pumpkin Seed

Cats Whisker (dental floss)

Witch’s Wart (mini marshmallow)

Candy Corn

Ghost’s Kiss (cotton ball)

Lock of Hair

Pie Tin

Spider Web – real of fake


Clove of Garlic


A few more snaps from the Boutique

Happy Girl! Sweet Janet found some goodies to take home. She brought some lovely friends by to shop too!

A glimps of some of the goods under the best canopy ever!

Our darling gift basket! Who will the winner be? Every shopper entered their name to win...

And the winner is...Darlene! Yes, she's on the phone calling Pam and Jill "Guess what I just won ~ na na na na na na!" I did not pick her name - we kept it all very honest and she only entered once! She's one of our BFF's!


Boutique Highlights

It was a gorgeous day spent with fabulous ladies! Thank you Debra, Linda & Becky. You girls rock ~ can't wait to do it again! Here is a snap below of us putting finishing touches on our displays and getting things ready for our customers. We had such a great turn-out and sold lot's and lot's of fabulous things. I would have taken more pics but it got a little busy at the check out table. We have a really nice little following with this being the second event and have a nice little mailing list of customers that are looking forward to our next event. We are even going to have a customer appreciation preview.This was the most fantastic chair and I was soooo tempted to buy it as soon as Linda pulled it out of her van but I didn't...I knew it would be one of the first things taken out of the yard and I was right!
Here goes the chair with Brandon ~ home to his darling wife. She's an amazing singer too. Their band played for our wine tasting event last May. Brandon's mom Pam is one of our best customers and she has such great taste too. She left with several items including the cute cart below loaded with pumpkins.
Pam Small our "Sewing Queen" was participating in a show up in San Luis Obispo on Saturday but she shipped me a box of her fabulous pumpkins and they were oh so popular. I still have a few left - if you are interested in one please email me.


Boutique Details!

Come pay us a visit! Sunday, October 19th 11:30am-3pm

27421 Abanico, Mission Viejo, CA 92691


Boutique ~ Sunday, October 19th

Ladies, it will be another "not to be missed" Boutique this Sunday! Joining me in the fun and shopping extravaganza will be Becky with her fabulous bling, Debra with her one-of-a-kind creations, Pam "The Sewing Queen" and Linda "Treasure Hunting Diva"! We'll be here from 11:30am-3pm and "yes" Early Shoppers will be welcome! Hope to see many of you!

Thank you Debbie Kay!

I recently won a sweet give-away from Debbie Kay of My Vintage Daydreams! Technical snafoo on my part ~ the photos that I took of her lovely package no longer exist ~ they are somewhere in "my computer won't cooperate land". She sent a sweet creamer, a really lovely vase and a chic little hook! Thank you Debbie - you are such a doll!

Matthew Mead's Latest Book is now Available

Matthew Mead is an entertaining and creative genius! His new book looks fabulous - I love his Halloween Book and it was such fun to meet him in person at the Junk Bonanza! Linda from Restyled Home is hosting a Matthew Mead Give-Away. Please visit her blog - she is really creative too ~ for more details. His blog is also really wonderful! Linda's contest will close on Thursday morning (October 9th), with the winners names posted shortly thereafter.
Enchanting holiday recipes and decor ideas!
YUMMY desserts!
and so much more! You can purchase his new book at bookstores across the U.S. and Canada or from his website.


Halloween Witch Globes

My talented sister, Meghan, created these awesome Halloween globes!
If you are interested in purchasing one of them please email her directly at
She will provide you with shipping details. The price of the large globes is $25.
plus shipping and the small globe is $20. plus shipping.
I hope that mine is already in the mail to me from Minnesota!!


Minneapolis Treasure Hunting Part II & Matthew Mead

We met Matthew Mead and he and his wife Jenny are genuinely nice and very creative to say the least! His newest book "Halloween Tricks and Treast" is chock full of great craft and decorating projects. He signed our books and we were on our way to shop some more! Pick up his magazine or book if you have not yet - still plenty of time to get your home decked out for Halloween! The energy and displays of merchandise were so inspiring!
Deb from the Haupt Antiek Market is one of the most gracious dealers we met. We have shopped at her monthly sale and her merchandise is fabulous! Their Harvest Happenings Sales is taking place October 16, 17, 18 & 19. If you are in the Minneapolis area don't miss it! Our last outing in the jam packed weekend was apple picking! It was a gorgeous day; the kids rode around on mini John Deere tractors, we tasted apple desserts, drank warm and cold apple cider and of course at another brat (bratwurst)!

Picture perfect view on a September day
Tasty apple treats!
Headed home after a long afternoon of picking apples~ it doesn't get much better than that!