Sunday, December 23


I made my very first gumdrop Christmas craft while I was still in high school. My sister was away at college and I decided she needed a gumdrop wreath to hang on the door of her dorm room. The wreath was a huge hit with the girls in her dorm, but alas the wreath was too heavy and WOULD NOT hang from her door. No nails were ALLOWED on dorm room walls!

Saturday, December 22


'Tis the season to satisfy your sweet tooth, right? From candy to cookies to cakes, everyone has their favorite Christmas sweet. It's no stretch to say that my family LOVES Red Velvet Cake. It's the most requested cake in our family. 

There's nothing more festive than ending your Christmas dinner with a beautiful and stately Red Velvet Cake. This year I have decided to shake things up a bit and make Red Velvet Brownies instead of cake. Sacrilege! I know. I will keep you posted on how this goes over with the family. Fingers crossed. Red velvet brownies are a bite-size version of the classic cake we all love so well. Top it with cream cheese frosting and you've got yourself the ultimate holiday dessert! This already sounds like the kind of thing that will be calling me at night!

Thursday, December 20

Mini Christmas Trees, An Extra Touch

Seventeen years ago I decorated my very first mini-Christmas tree. Flipping through a magazine one day I came across a photo of a small tree for a baby's room. Ms.E was 6 months old at the time and I thought a tree dedicated to a baby's first Christmas was a  brilliant idea. Why had I never thought of this before? It was genius. Inspired really. Well, I'm sure you can see where this is headed, after the first mini I never looked back. Now there are trees in every room of our home. There are years when I would rather NOT decorate every tree, but it's tradition here at Porter Central and the kids wouldn't have it any other way!

Spread the holiday cheer in your home with mini decorative Christmas trees. Your Christmas decorating should not be concentrate only around your mantel and family room but throughout your whole house. Put around as many as you like in different themes to keep them interesting. Enjoy the following eye candy. You just might find something here that peaks your interest starting a new family tradition in your home.

Tuesday, December 18

Outdoor Christmas Decorating Tips

Want to make the exterior of your home just as classically welcoming with holiday cheer as your interior? Look to the award-winning landscaping firm 'Mariani Landscape' for tips on giving your home’s landscape a festive, timeless look you’ll love.

Monday, December 17

Shrimp with White Beans and Spinach Ragout

Most of us are finding ourselves in full-on holiday mode. Each day we become just a bit more busy than the day before. Here at Porter Central, we have been keeping late hours trying to finish all of our shopping, decorating, letter writing, baking, cleaning and the work we do within our community.

Sunday, December 16

Versatile Chocolate Chip Cookies, Baking Tips and Ideas

Last night Mr.P and I were ALONE! It was sheer heaven. What did we do? We baked cookies by candle and twinkle lights. With our favorite Christmas tunes playing on the stereo and just the right lighting we had an absolutely wonderful time in the kitchen. I would highly recommend this to anyone in need of a little Christmastime romance with your sweetie.

I keep this cookie dough in the freezer, most of the time.
Meet my trusty 'cookie' scoop. 
It makes perfectly-sized cookies, consistent every time!

Friday, December 14


Christmas pajamas, a holiday tradition I love, probably because they remind me of snuggly kiddos all clean and warm from their baths, cuddles by the fire and happy smiles as they open gifts.

However finding the perfect Christmas Eve Jammie's for your family can be a bit of a challenge especially if you are looking for a particular color, a style that works for boys and girls, in a range of sizes and reasonably priced. No one wants to spend a small fortune on PJ's, specifically during the Christmas season. Personally, I try to keep ours priced under $15-$20 a pair. Here's what I have found this year. ENJOY!

Thursday, December 13

TAE-BO ANYONE? The Art of Making Bows

A few year ago, a friend called me up asking if I knew how to tae-bo. 'No,' I replied, 'I have never tae-bo-ed before'. She asked again, 'tae-bo? You've never tae-bo-ed before'? Again I said, 'No, no can't say as I have....have you'?

Tuesday, December 11

Christmas Eve Party-In-A-Box

This has to be one of the best ideas I have come across in quite some time. My kids and their sweeties will adore this little extra special gift on Christmas Eve. This all-in-one surprise in a box is easy to pull together at the last minute. If you happen to find yourself wandering your local Walmart, brain dead from the mad dash you have been on since Thanksgiving, look up and add these  items to your basket and start a new family tradition.

Sunday, December 9

DIY: Christmas Boxwood Wreaths

Wreaths traditionally grace many homes during the holiday season. I have always loved Boxwood wreaths. They are simple and beautiful adding serenity and class to the splendor of the season. But do you know the origin of the winter wreath?

Friday, December 7

December 7th, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the American Navy and Army base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The attack came as a surprise to the American Navy and Army and lead to great losses of life and equipment. 

Wednesday, December 5

10 Simple, Yet Elegant Small Bites For Easy Entertaining

Far from ordinary, these appetizers will help get your Christmas or New Year's Eve gathering off to a memorable start. Taking ten minutes or less to prepare, these appetizers will please even the most discerning guests. They will never guess you were in and out of the kitchen in a FLASH!

Monday, December 3

How to Throw a Successful Christmas Party

Ten Things That Are Sure To Make Your Holiday Party Planning Fun and Simple.

Christmas is a fun and festive season with tons of parties. Why not throw one of your own this year? It doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. The following ten steps will help you get a jump start towards holiday party success!

Saturday, December 1

Absolutely THE BEST Buttermilk Biscuits

When making Southern Style Buttermilk Biscuits you want to aim for crusty, flaky and fluffy, ALL at the same time. Sound hard? Not as hard as you might think and quite possibly quick as well. All you need is a good recipe and a few tips.