Happy New Year!

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Oh, the messy, bright blur and wonder of all of these days! For goodness sake. Where does the time go? I would've written sooner but I was too busy making a dollhouse floor out of Popsicle sticks and looking at every miniatures web site ever constructed for the perfect diminutive wallpaper. I certainly am enjoying Amelia's Christmas present! And everything else about the holidays. It's been a glorious few weeks. Christmas with a four-year-old is the absolute best.

Today the winter sun is shining ever so brightly, and it's so windy that my office is flashing with light. It's freezing cold. It's Amelia's first day back at preschool in three weeks. Ahem. Mummy is a bit  e x h a u s t e d. The holidays, no matter how "simple" you try to make them, wind up being crazy busy. At least for us. Yesterday I got to spend the day by myself, and that was the first day that I haven't spent pretty much all day (and night — she keeps waking up) with Amelia in the past weeks. I went out to lunch at the brewpub all by myself, and they gave me such an awesome table, right in front of the roaring fire. I ate fish tacos and read my book and texted my friends. Then I went to the bookstore for a few hours and then I went to JoAnn Fabrics. At JoAnn's, which was pretty much empty, I wandered aimlessly and thought about things like should I buy these seven little silver cones (apparently jewelry-making findings) for $3.49 or should I use an old toothpaste cap for a tiny pendant-light-fixture (made out of a drawer pull) escutcheon??? I think about things like this now, when I have time to think of things. It was quite wonderful to wander aimlessly. I even looked at a magazine. Yes. It was a really nice way to finish the "vacation."

I wish you all a very happy new year and hope that you had a wonderful holiday season! It's my birthday in a few days and I want to make something good for dinner but I don't know what. Any ideas?

***The raspberry thumbprint recipe can be found here; the dress pattern I made for Amelia is Simplicity #9297 from 1979, and the fabric is from the wonderful Pioneer Quilts; the dollhouse I got used on Craigslist (but the same one is here) and I was totally inspired to get it because of Artemis's darling version — seriously, is that not the cutest ever; and I made Meyer lemon pudding with some gorgeous lemons my dear friend Sarah gave me for Christmas the recipe is here. I honestly don't think you need to add the butter, and a little zest could easily replace half the lemon juice.

94 comments

This almost ALMOST makes me miss the days my kids were in preschool, so sweet and innocent and enraptured with the holidays. They are 9 and 10 now and even more fun (and better at sleeping!), playing card games and helping in the kitchen.
I love your photos and that you share these snapshots of your life with us online. Thank you,
S

Happy New Year to you, too ♥ Yes, Christmas with sweetlings is the absolute best gift (mine are 8, 10, and 15), and it just gets better every year. And we are always weary from all of the celebrations but wouldn't trade it. I still haven't finished an entire magazine, but hope springs eternal :) The return to routine and a fuller schedule always handles our holiday sleeping issues, and I hope the same will be true for you. Hugs & prayers for a gorgeous birthday filled with love and joy and nice surprises!

Lovely lovely pictures!!!! What fun, what lovely days. And a day to yourself, a real treat!!! I am doing a birthday party for myself (am super excited, 19 people sit down dinner with China and silver plated flatware!!!)... it's the biggest dinner I have done to date ... I am going to do 2 roast chickens (herbs, butter the outside and inside of skin, garlic, salt, pepper) and a (humane raised organic) pork with cranberries and orange juice... have not fully nailed down the recipe for this, but this is one of the recipes I will be using (my friend Shannon made one years ago and I am basing it on that + others and most likely doing in a slow cooker. I love cranberries so cranberry sauce, stuffing with cranberries, mashed potatoes, a green salad... I am making, I hope, cranberry orange tea bread for the cake (2 cakes bunt and tube) with Trader Joes French Vanilla ice cream for the side. And teas!!! I hope to make a blend of earl grey, culinary grade rose petals and lavender, with vanilla and cinnamon... also have some flowering teas...

Anyway, that's that! Another fun thing is ground lamb with spices in pastry dough with a white sauce. My friend made that for my husband's birthday a few years back (we had a death in our church family so the friend made the meal for us, so kind of her!). If you want to know more about the lamb, just let me know!

I hope you have a wonderful birthday!!! God bless you and your beautiful family!!!

oh, it looks like the recipe for the pork that I will be using with other recipes did not post. Here it is: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/pork-loin-with-cranberry-sauce/

Oh these joyful pics! thank you so much and happy new year to you too!

Happy New Year to you and yours! May all your hopes and wishes become reality in 2017. Such wonderful photos. And Miss CM on the Brio!

How about you make something delicious for breakfast and then make Andy take you out for your dinner? Or pick up takeout? (Can you tell my cooking inspiration is low right now??) Happy Early Birthday Alicia!

It cracks me up that you took a photo of people taking photos (probably all destined for blogs or Facebook). Sign of the times.
I also love Artemis' mommy in the dollhouse by the fire while baby sleeps on the floor, but your mommy bunny sewing while baby kitty watches on is every bit as delightful. Happy New Year!

The cookie photo being photobombed by phones is so funny. And once again it makes me hungry. The dollhouse is perfect for Amelia. I love Junkaholique and somehow missed the dollhouse. Thank you for reminding me to go back.

I hope your birthday is a joyful one. Thank you for sharing these moments with us.

I adore your blog and beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing a glimpse of Christmas with us! Can I ask the brand of the doll house? I've been searching for a wooden one and am overwhelmed at the choices.

Fabulous photos as usual! As for your special birthday dinner, I would recommend Ina Garten's Filet of Beef Bourguignon from her first book 'THe Barefoot Contessa Cookbook'. My husband asked me to cook a special New Year's day dinner just for the two of us and after 2 1/2 weeks with a toddler and no pre school, I was in no mood for anything too complicated.
Its a little extravagant using filet of beef for a stew but it is so worth it for a special occasion. I bought some ready rolled puff pastry and then put the stew into individual pudding dishes and topped with the puff pastry. They were delicious and it was such a quick and easy recipe to prepare.
Whatever you cook. I hope you have a lovely birthday.
I adore Amelia's little aran hat, scarf and cardigan. Where did you get the pattern?

Michaelanne Neal says: January 04, 2017 at 06:57 AM

Happy New Year!!! Your holiday looked majical!!! You are such an AMAZING Mom with all the beautiful and thoughtful work you put into everything..your decor, your cooking..baking..Meem's dress!!!! the little knit hat and scarf :) She looks so incredibly happy! Her childhood is everyones dream come true!

Hi Again, Was just looking back on my Instagram account and found one way I did roast chicken in a dutch oven: sliced onion and a lemon quartered in cavity. Chicken broth, over 1 cup white wine, butter, garlic under skin of chicken and butter, salt and pepper over skin. Mushrooms. Baked 400F for 40 minutes, then more wine over (half cup), baked 60 minutes still covered. then baked uncovered 15 minutes to brown skin and left in warm but 'off' oven until ready to be served! baked potatoes in foil for the 60 minutes before the open lid bake time

Can't wait to see/hear what you make for your birthday!!!

Love doll house. My sister worked at the Washington Toy and Dollhouse Museum 25 years ago and sent me an unfinished Dollhouse that I finished for my daughter (glue gunned shingles,etc)My daughter didn't play with it much,but her six year old daughter loves it!
Love your blog!

One word, ADORABLE! Amelia's gaze is so strong you can almost see the young woman she will become.
Happy New Year and thank you so much for all of your inspirational posts and the happiness they bring.

Jean

Love your blog, always always always! A happy 2017 to your family.

I wanted to ask - where did you find that lovely "Hello"/birds cross stitch pattern?

Happy New Year to you and your family, what a lovely post...so enjoyed every pic and word!

Happiest of New Years. What about curry? I've had a thing for curry these days. Butter chicken? Thai Green? Fluffy basmati rice, naan bread, chutney. I love it in the winter when it's so cold and all the spices and richness, and the naan for soaking up the gravy! And Chai tea to finish . . . of course! Early Happy Birthday to you!

It sounds like you all had a lovely time over the holidays, your girl is growing fast. Happy birthday, I'm sure it will be a great day for you all. Fiona x

Love all of this! Every bit. Such a lovely holiday. Thank you for inspiring yet again!!

I loved my dolls house when I was a little girl and couldn't wait to decorate my daughter's when she was about the same age as Amelia. It's in storage awaiting the next generation! I heard of one lady who was given one as a retirement present - wherever she went she treated herself to a little trinket for her dolls house! What a great idea and an original take on retirement! I'm sure you'll have hours of fun from that present, just like I did!!!! Wait until she has the set of stables - I played showjumping for hours and hours!!!

Lovely warm happy photos! I especially love the laughing companionship one (second to last) and the one of Amelia in her hat and scarf is beautiful. It's a timeless picture too. If it wasn't for the quality of the image it could be a sweet winter girl in any time from the 1920s on. And then less timeless, but funny, is the photo of all the phones out taking snaps of the cookies. Happy New year to you and your extended family

Oh my goodness! What a terrific dollhouse!

I had a white nightgown with a red satin sash when I was just a bit older than Mimi. I only wore it "for special," and I thought it was so elegant and grown up that I always tried to behave behave when I had it on.

It was flannel, so when I got under the covers I would skootch around until it stuck to itself, so I could peel the fabric apart and make my own stars (static).

Thank you for prodding that memory.

Happy new year!! Can we get a tour of the doll house?

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.