Saturday, December 13, 2014

Decorating and baking

I have finally put the last decorative touches to both 
houses; I prefer lighter solutions than erstwhile. 

The weather has changed,we have cold and heavy rains. 
Dark afternoons are beautifully spent between 
tea and coffee shared with close friends. 

One of the festive season’s highlights is baking in advance. 
Make-ahead Christmas treats has always been good foresight 
as it makes you feel stress-free or almost. 
I have made thousand of batches of cookies over the years 
but this time I wanted to try something new. Having found 
some old Austrian cookie recipes and having been impressed 
by the gingerbread house presented in the last issue of Servus 
magazine, I decided to get involved in the project. 
I had all the necessary ingredients Austrians use for their 
Weinachten plätzchen but it turned out to be very difficult 
considering the lengthy preparation. 48-hour cookies 
didn’t make me cry tears of joy but the little house did me the 
favor of not falling apart because it would be the demolition
of the year!!! Ha-ha…
Anyway, looking at the photos you have an idea 
of what Ι have done; the taste is good enough 
despite the appearance!

I love keeping family rituals and sharing my Christmas delicacies 
with my beloved ones. A freshly opened tin box with all those 
sweet aromas of home baked cookies is a special gift 
I think because it’s personalized and made with love. 

The heart is beating a little faster as we are longing for 
Christmas holidays. A European wonderland is waiting for 
us and the countdown to our trip has already begun!  
Have you started planning your holidays? If so, have fun!
Hope you are focusing on preparations one step at a time!
I’m grateful you are here!


  1. Such sweet and pretty creations, Olympia! How courageous you are to have created these Austrian delicacies! It's true; baking and decorating during the holiday season brings such Christmas cheer to our homes and our hearts, and giving and receiving such homemade gifts, made with love, reflects the joy inside us, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday at your Christmas destination!

    Merry Christmas!


  2. Your gingerbread house is a tours de force and I bet it is a great hit with your lovely daughter.
    I wonder which European wonderland you are heading for? May be the clue is Austria which I know you all love - wherever you go have a wonderful and happy time.

  3. Dear Olympia,

    what delicious cookies do you have baked. The time goes pass so quickly and for christmas we have a lot to do. I have made our cookies in this week and our christmastree is standing in my living-room. Earlier like normally - I don´t know why. But it´s okay for me.
    In the moment we have the sun here. It´s cold but dry. It´s not the typical weather - we have no snow. I hope Mother Hulda is friendly and send us a lot of snow.
    Your decoration is wonderful and I know that your friends feel them good if they stay at your home :0)

    Have a great third advent

    Your Bluemchenmama

  4. Je suis imressionée par tes créations gourmandes !!!!! Et que de belles photos ! merci de partager ces belles ambiances que tu réussis merveilleusement bien à transmettre ... ! Je te souhaite un tendre week end.... Amicalement,

  5. You did your best by baking some Christmas creations, I am sure your results are much better than mine would be. An European trip...ohhh, that must be great. I hope you will have a wonderful time and hope you will tell us a lot of travel stories!!

    Sending hugs, Ingrid

  6. Lieve Olympia,

    Zie al dagen lang de mooiste blogposten langs komen,de ene nog mooier dan de andere maar sfeervol zijn ze allemaal.
    En zoals jij het hele jaar door in alle seizoenen de sfeer in huis en tuin weer weet te geven, zó is het nou in de dagen voor het feest van Kerstmis ook goed gelukt.
    En bij het zien van al het lekkers wat je zelf gebakken hebt loopt het water mij in de mond,wat jammer dat ik geen familie van je ben anders kon ik die balletjes in leuk kofferblikje proeven;-)
    En vakantie vieren in wonderland dat klinkt ook al zo fantastisch☺☺☺
    Ik wens jou en je geliefde naasten fijne feestdagen en aangename vakantie!!!

    Lieve groet,

  7. Gorgeous, heartfelt decorations! Looking very festive indeed!

  8. Olympia,
    Homemade baked goodies are the best. I love this gingerbread house that you made. Jess does all the baking at Christmas time and makes up goodies for everyone. Those tea cups are so pretty, and ready for a hot cup to warm your guests. We are having heavy rains too. Your ornaments are very nice, and each one has its own meaning. The turquoise clock is gorgeous, I really like that.

    Enjoy the season, Olympia, and this rain is such a blessing.


  9. Wat a lovely decorations...enjoy december Ria...x!

  10. Que fotos mas bonitas Olympia, y que rico todo lo que nos traes.

  11. Dearest Olympia,
    Love the way your gingerbread house turned out; very well for a first try. Tedious but worth it...
    Those cookies being presented in such a special tin are indeed the utmost gift of LOVE!
    You again created such lovely magazine worthy photos.
    Enjoy your Christmas holiday trip and stay cozy wherever you go in cold areas.

  12. Cara Olympia. Queste foto rappresentano tutto quello che per me è Natale e ambiente festiva , ti faccio tanti complimenti per la tua casetta . Io non avrei avuto la pazienza , oggi preparerò i semplici biscotti allo zenzero tipici del Nord , e come dici tu regalare una scatola di biscotti profumati di spezie fatti in casa è sempre un piacere speciale. Buona domenica - abbraccio.

  13. You have a wonderful decorated
    christmas home, love the ginger bread house.

  14. You did a wonderful job with the baking of your gingerbread house, I think it looks beautiful, it´s too pretty to eat. Your pictures of the Christmas decorations are lovely. Have a great holiday trip!

  15. Olympia, between you and Poppy in Crete. . .you've raise the decorating bar so high I don't know if anyone can match you. Beautiful. If you've not read our blog this week then you may not know we are back in the Peloponnese. . .this time hopefully buying that stone house on the hill! Closing is set for tomorrow so our holidays will be spent in The Mani and work will start on making this house as beautiful as yours. Happy holidays! A question for you, does McArthur Glen that you wrote about have home furnishing and accessories for the home or is it mainly a clothing outlet store?

  16. Hmmm, Olympia, this smells like christmas time and you decoration is so lovely. The bird is my absolutely favorit!
    Have a happy time

  17. Hello dear Olympia, love how you have decorated, it's all very festive and cheerful and you've been busy baking too....I still have some baking to do and I've also just put up my Christmas decorating on my blog too! Happy week for you. Sharon x

  18. Hello Olympia, I do love your gingerbread house. It has attitude and pride as if saying "here I am, designed by an architect, who does not take commissions and only builds from her heart" The thought of a cold early evening pot of tea shared with friends certainly embraces the season.
    A very Happy Christmas to all of you

  19. Hello sweet Olympia! Your Christmas decorations are charming and elegant. I like how it's not too much and not too little - everything is perfect :)

    And the sweet treats have my mouth watering. Hugs to you!

  20. I hope that your European travels will be wonderful and that you enjoy the baking and preparing in the meantime!! xx

  21. Thanks for youre comment on my blog.
    I wish you verry fine crhistmasday's and the best wishes for 2015.

    Inge, my choice

  22. Oh my Olympia, your baked goods look amazing and so delicious. I love your decorations too. Very heart warming.

    Enjoy your holidays.


  23. Your decoration is wonderful and you have a nice blog :) Have a good day / Anna

  24. Hello Olympia,
    I am like you. I take my time and prepare a little each week before the christmas day.
    I dont like to rush anything.
    Your christmas cookies and cakes look so lovely. You have done a great job on the gingerbread house..
    Great decorations. (I think that we both had the same idea)... mine will be on my final post for christmas .
    Its a wonderful time..
    The sun is shining here.
    My daughter from Switzerland came for dinner last night.. a fleeting visit to see her brothers and myself.
    wishing you happy holidays.
    I never go away at christmas.. always at home.
    xxx val

  25. Your decorations look so lovely and it was wonderful to see some of your traditions too! I have attempted to make a gingerbread houses and it didn't look as good as yours! How exciting to see be off on your travels! Have a wonderful Christmas. Sarah x

  26. Hello and thank you for your greeting!
    So beautiful images you display on your Christmas decorations home !
    And what a wonderful gift to receive a box of lovely and tasty cookies.
    Wishing you a lovely Christmas / Anneli

  27. Hello Olympia such a lovely collection of warm and bright festive pictures here! I love all the colours and your baking looks so delicious!
    Wishing you happy days in the countdown to Christmas.
    Helen xox

  28. Hi Olympia and thank you for your kind words! Lovely Christmas decorations, the ginger bread house was so cute and your cookies looks Mmmm...delicious!
    Wish your a great holiday and A Merry Christmas.

  29. Dearest Olympia,

    How wonderful it is to take a few precious minutes and spend them with you here. I am always enchanted by your artistic pictures - you must surely know that by now? - and I have smiled on seeing your delightful gingerbread house. We have made one a couple of Christmas too and the children have been clamouring to make another one. I think you have inspired me to do so...

    Happy, peaceful, magical holidays to you and your family.


  30. Everything looks so beautiful Olympia, well done on your gingerbread house, it looks very professional!
    A very Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  31. I totally agree with you
    about baked goods being
    a gift from the heart. I
    brought molasses spice
    cookies to a friend yesterday
    who grew up in Sweden.
    When she lifted the lid
    she pronounced that "This
    smells like Christmas in
    Sweden!" Made my heart
    just sing : )

    Gorgeous photos. Enjoy
    your European holiday and
    have a Merry Christmas!

    xo Suzanne

  32. Bonsoir chère amie,

    Je suis toujours très heureuse d'entrouvrir la porte de votre univers...
    Je viendrais bien partager avec vous une bonne tasse de thé et hummm ! toutes ces petites douceurs sont très tentatrices !... Un esprit de Noël qui me plaît beaucoup.
    Merci pour le partage de vos superbes photos.

    Je vous souhaite de très joyeuses fêtes de fin d'année à vous et à tous ceux que vous aimez.
    Plein de gros bisous

  33. Hello ! oh you have been busy and your baking looks delicious ! I will do mine on Monday ...we have 3 parties this weekend so by Monday I will need a day at home to bake and wrap etc. I too love to keep traditions it's a lovely way to celebrate ...Gail x

  34. Hi Olympia! You really have a created a lovely Christmas at your place...and I guess you have a green and lovely garden outside too?
    Here it´s so grey and dull, no snow...
    Have a great weekend, take care!

  35. Dear Olympia,

    Loved seeing all the beautiful Christmas touches around your lovely home - the smell of home baking is always the best.
    Your little gingerbread house is very cute.
    Happy weekend

  36. I know you said the baking is a lot of work, but everything is absolutely beautiful so it was worth it.

    Have a Very Merry Christmas


  38. Dear Olympia,
    It all looks lovely - very festive! And the house must smell so heavenly with all the baked treats.
    Warm greetings to you and yours for a Merry Christmas.

  39. Greetings from north Finland! You have really lovely blog. Beautifull decorations and photos!
    Welcome to visit my blog too:)

  40. Oooo I love love love love the gingerbread house!!!!! So sweet!!


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