It’s not officially winter yet, but it’s been cold.

So I’m offering you some merry and bright stuff.

You know, for lifting smiles and warming hearts.

sweater weather penguin doodle_opt

Β Sweater weather.

cookie accessories_opt

Cookie accessories!

I’ve been cozying up to the warm oven baking.

Did you know there’s a difference between dutch process cocoa and regular baking cocoa?

dutch cocoa_opt

I think it was Ina Garten who said, Once you go dutch, you never go back (but don’t quote me on that).

I tried dutch cocoa for the first time this week in a batch of Double Chocolate crack(le) cookies. SO much chocolate goodness. I’d show you a pic, but they’re ALL gone.

But these cookies are still hanging around. For laughs.

island of misfit gingerbread_opt

A native from The Island of Misfit Gingerbread People

So the autumn leaves are gone, but there’s still plenty of color to be found in Winter.

pomegranate seeds

sunset richmond virginia

Sunset in Richmond, Virginia (but it’s not exclusive to my town)

And I’m still feeling grateful for the opportunity to help out at a local pop up street store last weekend.

street store RVA

Tons of gratitude.

And after that I got to sit down and read with one of my nephews.

Reading kids_opt

I loved shark books as a kid too.

But wait there’s more!

I’m going to be an aunt again. πŸ™‚

mother to be_opt

My little sister is having a baby girl soon-ish.Β 

Merry and bright indeed.


What’s got you feeling merry and bright?

Happy weekend!

33 thoughts on “Stuff That’s Keeping Me Merry and Bright

  1. Alanna

    Pomegranates and the sunset for me too! Although not in Richmond the sunset last night was amazing! Almost crashed my car trying to see it, but it was probably worth it.

  2. Charissa

    Thanks for the merry and bright post. That’s fun that you’ll be an aunt again…and now I must try to find the dutch cocoa. That looked good!

  3. Carrie Rubin

    I love the gingerbread cookie in the bikini. What a great decorating idea! And thanks for the tip on dutch cocoa. I’ve not heard of it, but I’ll definitely look for it the next time I’m in the baking aisle.

  4. Patricia TIlton

    Ooooooh, that Pomegranate Pie looks wonderful! Would love a slice. Such a lovely post of cheer. You are quite the creative in so many different ways. Loved your photography.

  5. Teresa Robeson

    Congratulations to your sister! How exciting!

    I remember learning about the different types of cocoa on Good Eats but darned if I can remember what makes them different. LOL!

    Love your cute penguin in the “ugly” sweater and the bikini-clad cookie! I want to bake for the warmth too, but haven’t had much time to do it.

    Sleep makes me merry and bright, so I’m a bit grumpy and dull right now from the lack of sleep. πŸ˜‰

    Hope you’re having a lovely December so far!

    1. Coleen Patrick

      I hope you’re getting some sleep, Teresa. Lack of good sleep usually does me in. I am pretty much no good when that happens.
      Here’s to dark cocoa, yummy cookies, and sleeping!

  6. kath unsworth

    Coleen I love the Penguin and all that christmas cheer. Its a time to get baking and cleaning as well. I am up for a huge declutter every christmas. Out with the old energy in with the with the new. Happy festive season to you. Lovely to hear you are going to be an Aunt again.

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      As a kid I remember we always had to do a big room clean before Christmas! But baking cookies were always more fun. πŸ™‚ Wishing you a festive time too, Kath.

  7. :Donna

    Coleen, your photos are always SO enjoyable to look at, and that penguin (I love penguins!) is adorable πŸ™‚ And though I really don’t spend time baking, the biggest difference I’ve noticed of late, in respect to Dutch chocolate is Turkey Hill ice cream! I can’t really eat it without suffering physically :(, but their Dutch Chocolate ice cream is deLIcious! πŸ™‚

  8. Stacy S. Jensen

    The weather has been very warm here. I’m OK with this, but the snow predicted for Sunday will feel twice as cold since it’s been hovering in the high 50s all week. πŸ™‚ Kiddo is keeping everyone in the Christmas spirit at our house. Reading Susanna Hill’s holiday contest entries are keeping the week merry.

  9. Pat O'Dea Rosen

    Your post upped my merry-and-bright quotient. Thanks, Coleen.

    I’m savoring a recent visit with one daughter and looking forward to spending time with another. I’m also wondering how Dutch cocoa has eluded me this long.

    Enjoy your time with family and friends!

  10. Karen McFarland

    Love Cocoa Coleen! And that is why they are all gone! I have been reading a lot about cacao verses cocoa. Something about it being more healthy with lots of antioxidants. You know, the good stuff. Wouldn’t it be awesome to eat brownies that actually make you healthy? Now that’s my kind of goody. Hey, I’m just doing my homework on the healthy thing my dear friend and passing it along. Take care and enjoy this special time with your family! ((Hugs))

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