It’s the season of festivity and food. I don’t cook but I have been known to bake on rare occasion. Very rare occasion. Even though I don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen I am always on the lookout for recipes, particularly for cookies and dessert, “just in case” I ever need to whip up a few batches of sweet treats. If you plan on gifting cookies to friends and family this holiday season or plan to attend any cookie exchange parties, Williams-Sonoma has you covered. This year they collaborated with 30 bakers and bloggers to come up with 30 holiday cookie recipes and all of the recipes are currently shared on their website. Try one or try them all. There’s nothing better than baking on a cold day with the oven to warm the house and having the smell of freshly baked cookies permeating through the air. Print the recipes even if you don’t plan to bake this holiday season because they can easily be adapted for anytime of the year. And if you need any baking supplies, be sure to take advantage of the free shipping they are currently offering. And don’t forget, you can also save money by signing up for The Key (read this post). Don’t these look yummy?

williams sonoma 30 days of cookies_Reviving Charm

A balanced diet is having a cookie in both hands.  –Paula Deen

matcha gingerbread cookie recipe williams sonoma reviving charm

Matcha Gingerbread Cookies

Olive Oil Sugar Cookies with Pistachio Glaze

cinnamon logs cookie recipe_Reviving Charm

Cinnamon Logs

chocolate peanut butter cookie recipe_reviving charm

Dipped & Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

williams sonoma espresso chocolate chip cookie recipe

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

christmas truffles recipe_Reviving Charm

Christmas Truffles


Whether you are a steady reader of Reviving Charm or just recently discovered my site, I appreciate you stopping by. Thank you for joining me! I know I said this last year but feel it’s worth repeating:

I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, simple moments that are shared with loved ones and dreams that turned into reality. Remember to find the beauty in the everyday details and no matter how big or small, always be thankful!

Today Mr. B and I are headed to San Francisco and will be there just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. While in the City I plan on taking advantage of the sales and getting a jump start on my Christmas shopping. But I have a feeling that I will be bringing back more for myself without making a dent in my Christmas list. I’ll let you know how that goes…

How will you be spending your day? Whatever your plans are, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.  —XOXO, Vanessa.



Why do I inevitably get up early on days I don’t have to work? It’s been a lazy kind of morning but we managed to get a fire going to take the chill out of the air, which is a wonderful way to start the day. I’ve moved my laptop temporarily to the family room so I am able to enjoy the fire while I also enjoy the welcome sight of rain come down, even if for a short period of time. This has got to be the best seat in the house!

Today is full of random thoughts and events. I need to finish planning for an upcoming trip, start getting things in order for Christmas, run errands, get a manicure, and go out to dinner. Oh, and most importantly, I can’t forget to call in for potential jury duty.  Since it’s a lazy kinda Sunday morning, I also thought I would post a few random things that have caught my attention lately. Happy Sunday….enjoy your day.


  1. Since I have been very good I am hoping Santa leaves the Chloe Faye Shoulder Bag under the tree this year. I really want the Faye Backpack (like the one shown here) but it is already sold out. Maybe Santa can work his magic?
  2. We have two fireplaces in our house but it would sure be nice to have one in the bedroom.
  3. I hang a single wreath on the outside of our house each year but I think I might hang multiples this year to mix it up. I like how they hung a couple of mini wreaths around the light fixture. I’m taking note of that…
  4. I don’t do “holiday gift guides” here on the blog, but I have to say that the book Beautiful: All American Decorating and Timeless Style by designer Mark D. Sikes is the perfect gift for the design book lover in your life. It has turned out to be one of my favorite books of the year.
  5. I love these tartan and pom-pom ankle strap flats by J.Crew. For classic styling, I would wear them with jeans, black leggings or a black pencil skirt paired with a white button-down blouse.
  6. I’m thinking that a plant like the one shown here might look good in front of our living room fireplace. But it will have to wait until after winter when fireplace season is over.
  7. We already have our Christmas cards, which come with red envelopes. This picture from A Fabulous Fete reminds me that I need to reorder white ink and dust off my calligraphy pens so I can get my cards and dinner invitations out early. Typically, I like to send them out just right after Thanksgiving.

So there you have it…a few random bits from me today. How is your day shaping up?


Memorial Day and Memorial Day weekend is an important time in America. Sure, the weekend serves as the unofficial start of summer with many hosting or attending outdoor barbeques, which seem to be the typical all-American celebration of choice this time of year (we had ours yesterday). But more importantly, it is a day to give thanks and pay tribute to those who gave their lives to protect our country and honor our fallen soldiers.

In 2000, The National Moment of Remembrance was established by Congress requesting that Americans pause and observe a national moment of unity and remembrance for one minute beginning at 3 p.m. their local time. In addition to the National Moment of Remembrance, President Obama designated today as a day of prayer for permanent peace and reserved 11 a.m. for people to unite in prayer. 

On Memorial Day, I don’t only want to remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace; men and women who have made this world a kinder place to love.   –Eric Burdon

Whatever it is you choose to do today, remember to reserve time for reflection on the real meaning of Memorial Day. It’s not about grilled hot dogs and hamburgers…its about giving thanks and showing appreciation for those who have protected our country and sacrificed their lives in the process. That my friends, is the ultimate sacrifice.   – -xoxo, V.

MEMORIAL DAY QUOTE REVIVING CHARMOriginal photo taken in Carmel, California by Vanessa for Reviving Charm.

New Years Day 2016


happy new year from reviving charmI am not a parade person but this morning I will be watching just enough of the 127th annual Rose Parade to support my friends who will be riding prominently on one of the floats. I am also hoping to catch a glimpse of a few other friends who are working the sidelines. While they will be exposed to the crisp California weather, I will be viewing the parade from the family room in the comfort of my own home. I will be sitting by a toasty warm fire eating delicious scones freshly baked by a wonderful neighbor. By midmorning I will be enjoying a New Year’s Day brunch at the oceanfront Terranea Resort to celebrate a loved one’s birthday. It will be a busy day but my year is definitely off to a great start.

What’s in store for you today? Whatever you plans may be…I hope they are filled with lots of fun and lots of laughter. Happy New Year’s Day!