Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Party...

Note: Party invitation from Doc Milo.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Setting....

Note: Items from our collection are from Crate and Barrel 2011 holiday season: Plates, coasters, candle with holder,martini shaker and sparkler picks pictured in clear vase.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The COUNTDOWN Begins....

The City...


Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight....

......Merry Christmas from all of us at Candy Castle Dreams.

Note: Items from our collection include pillow and throw from Pottery Barn. Pillow so far has been featured in Pottery Barn for two years in a row.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

KARL LAGERFELD: Impulse shop at Macy's


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Don't forget the reason for the season: DONATE- GIVE - DONATE

This year we gave to St. Jude's Childrens Hospital.

Smells from Christmas past....


One of the favorite smells to experience during the holiday other than the smell of the Christmas tree in your home is the smell of baking coming from the kitchen.  You enjoy the scent of warm sugar cookies baking in the oven or your favorite pie. This year I decided to reach back into Christmas past and try once again recipes long forgotten like rice pudding or a warm gingerbread cake with warm lemon sauce. I decided on the gingerbread cake, it smells delicious.

Gingerbread Cake:

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup 113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (105 grams) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon (outer yellow skin of lemon)
1/2 cup (120 ml) unsulphured molasses (To prevent the molasses from sticking to the measuring cup, first spray the cup with a non stick vegetable spray.)
1 cup (240 ml) milk
Lemon Icing: (Optional)
1 1/2 cups (150 grams) sifted confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
2 - 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Read more:

Gingerbread Cake:
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
In bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the lemon zest and molasses and beat to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the dry ingredients and milk, alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat just until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.  Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing cake from pan.  Let cool completely and then, if desired, frost with the Lemon Icing.
Lemon Icing:  Mix together the sifted confectioners' sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  (The icing should be thick but still spreadable.)  Pour the icing onto the center of the cake and spread with an offset spatula.  Some of the icing will drip down the sides of the cake. 
This cake will keep for several days at room temperature.   Can serve with softly whipped cream, lemon curd, or slices of apples sauteed in a little butter and sugar.
Makes one - 9 inch (23 cm) cake

Read more:
  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.  Butter and flour a 9 inch (23 cm) round or square
cake pan with 2 inch (5 cm) sides. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

What to do with Christmas stockings...

When you are finally finished shopping for all the people on your list and all the gifts are tucked under the tree, now is the time to tackle the task of filling those stockings. For some it's a challenge and for others it can be a daunting task especially if you do this year after year and you don't want to repeat the same gifts over and over again. I've heard a lot of negative comments about gift cards, but believe me these can be little jewels packing a lot of punch in your stockings. Just think about the person receiving the gift card. Is it someone who has spent the entire holiday season cooking and baking? If so, nothing is more welcoming in January than a gift card for the person's favorite restaurant, where they can now sit back and enjoy a meal. Or how about if the person who decided to skip online shopping and shopped at  the Mall. Well, this person might enjoy the gift of a back rub or pedicure at the spa with a Spa Finder gift card. Do you have teens or a music lover in the family? Give an itunes gift card. Do you know of someone who partied and ate their way through the holiday? Then a gift card to a gym will come in handy once those new year resolutions are made. Happy Stocking Stuffing!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Happy Holidays!

Hosting holiday parties this year? You are not the only one who needs to dress up. Dress up those champagne and wine glasses. Cheers!

 Note: Fur stole wine choker and bottle toppers from Pottery Barn.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gabrielle "Coco Chanel"

Her clothes have been marked by simplicity and elegance....

The brand makes a girl feel classy and fabulous....

Karl Lagerfeld joined Chanel in 1983 and with his help revamped the brand. Now in January 2012, Karl Lagerfeld will introduce his own line called Karl. Can't wait!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Items displayed from our collection:
Give Thanks pillows,
Orange Candle Pumpkin, Acorns and Plate all from
Pottery Barn
Silver Turkey- Tai Pan Trading
Grapevine Pumpkin- Crate and Barrel 

Window Seats...

I love the idea of a window seat. I don't have one at the moment but if I did I would like to have one that either lifts up to provide storage or the type that have built in drawers to place pillows and throws and books when not in use.

This is what a window seat may look like on the outside of your home.

....and what it would look like on the inside.

A perfect spot to hang out in or a great alternative to a fireplace. You could sit and gaze out the window on a rainy day.

If you wish to use the space other than relaxing and enjoying the view, then it can also be used to decorate during the holidays and year round

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Preparations for winter blooms

Fall not only starts off with back to school, Halloween, fall foliage and the time going back. Fall is also a reminder for me in late October or early November to start planting my holiday amaryllis bulbs. The bulbs take about 6 to 8 weeks to bloom and to fill your home just in time for Christmas. I love to mix these flowers with faux flowers. The best place to find these kits are at home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowes. I always choose the Red Lion Amaryllis bulbs, there are also many other varieties.  The Red Lion grows very tall and stakes are needed to keep the plant from toppling over. You can plant them in a single planter or in groups in a single container. The kit includes soil, pot and bulb. All you have to do is follow directions and add water and sit back and watch the magic's that easy. If you do not want to display these plants in the drain container provided in the kit, you can display in your own if you'd like. I sometimes transfer the drainage pot and bulb into a clay pot and saucer. After blooming, these plants can be transferred outside to bloom once again so they are well worth the price.

Monday, October 31, 2011


There are some tricks to the treats that I have gathered over the years.  Let me share them with you.