Monday, December 3, 2012

Pacific NW Holidays: Splendid Willow

Today for the Pacific NW Holidays series, I bring you the lovely & stylish Monika from Splendid Willow!  I am so happy to report that Mon is a new friend since I have moved to Seattle and she couldn't have made me feel more welcome!  Without further delay, let's hear what she has to say about she brings her Swedish style to Seattle:


Barbara, thank you for having me here today. I will happily share some of my Northwest-Swedish holiday traditions with you. (And you Ms. Barbara will be invited to one of them - guess which one?!!).

Coming December this household gets crazy busy as many others this season. Except for mandatory Holiday decorating, treat making and Nutcracker events, there are three special things that are part of our family traditions and that we always make time for:
Mid December we officially open the doors to our "Holiday Candy Store". The kids and I fill our old Swedish secretaire with lots of homemade treats and goodies. Friends and family members tend to gravitate more to that part of the house that many other! It is a fun tradition that I hope my children will continue.

Pssst... Brugge Chocolates makes the best chocolates in Seattle. Very high-end European style.

No. 2 - Gloegg Party(ies)!

Our gloegg party is growing every year and what a fun way to see friends and family, happy and relaxed during this busy season. Being from Sweden, "Gloegg" is a Swedish must have have during the winter season. Gloegg is basically hot, sweet, mulled wine with added spices, almonds and raisins. And of course we serve lots of good dishes and treats to go with this cheerful holiday drink.

No. 3 -- Bellevue Botanical Garden d'Lights Festival

We have been visiting for a few years and the kids love it! We tend to go late, after dinner, and together we walk the paths in the Bellevue Gardens and admire all the creative & colorful lighting displays on the trees and plants. It is really a wonderful & dazzling treat for the eye and it gets us all in the Holiday Spirit!

Extra Bonus (sans kids!)

When my husband and I need a little special time to ourselves, we enjoy visiting Cafe Juanita in Kirkland. The award winning chef & owner, Holly Smith, always gets rave reviews from magazines, critics and a loyal clientele. And rightfully so. Her food is top notch Northern Italian cuisine without the contrived factor. The restaurant is located in a retro styled converted home. I would describe it as understated elegant with a very good vibe. We always leave happy -- and full!

So, there. Some of my personal traditions and must-visit-spots around beautiful Seattle.

Wishing all of your readers a beautiful Holiday season. And a warm holiday hug to you Ms. Barbara. You are a gem. Seattle is very fortunate to have you right here in in our lovely city.

What a sweetie!  Isn't that candy store idea such a great one?
I haven't tried Brugge chocolatees (except in Brugge!) so that's a must for me sometime soon....
Mon, I can't wait to share some Gloegg with you!  Thank you so much for sharing your ideas with my readers.  :)


Acquired Objects said...

Wow Mon and Barbara it all looks and sounds so wonderful! Mon your Swedish secretaire looks fabulous and love the candy store idea. I hope you both enjoy!


The enchanted home said...

Love Mons fabulous style and your neck of the woods sounds like a magical place to ring in the holidays!! Loved this...thank you!

I Dream Of said...

I just love the candy idea! Mon's picks are all so lovely. I've never been to the Bellevue Botanical lights festival - will have to check that out. Even better if we can swing over to Café Juanita, one of my favorite restaurants.
Barbara, I'm thinking about you and your family today. Take care! XO

Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

Monika truly is a darling and so talented too! I love her traditions. Thank you for sharing them with us.
Happy Monday.

Robyn said...

Beautiful post, Monika! I love it when people of all cultures can share their special traditions at this time of year. Thank you for the great ideas!

Leslie said...

The Botanical Gardens .. such a wonderful and magical spot, and Cafe Juanita has a cult following :)it's THAT delicious! The cookbook looks wonderful.

Such a wonderful tradition to fill the Swedish secretaire with homemade treats .. a candy store. I can see how that would become a very popular spot :)

Your home and traditions are so pretty Mon! Thanks for sharing ladies!

cindy hattersley design said...

That candy store idea is so clever! Thanks for sharing all the wonderful swedish fun!

Haus and Home said...

Wow those lights at the Botanical Garden are beautiful!

michele said...

i love this lady. the candy store is such an incredible tradition setting the perfect backdrop for childhood memories of the holidays!

and how i wish i could lift a glass of glogguueeee (whatev, mon) with you two fun seattle chicks. maybe we can glogg it up in 2013 FOR NO GOOD REASON AT ALL.

smiles to you, barbara.


Splendid Willow said...

Dear Barbara,

This is my first blog comment since I came back from Sweden a few days ago!

Thank you so much for having me on over today. I had fun putting together this post for you. And I am looking forward to sharing some good, old gloegg with you!

Warm hugs. Mon.

P.S Link from my blog will show up tomorrow (:


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