Holiday Party 2021 + News from the Contractor

Hi Everyone,

Today’s post is more of a newsy-type blog post. You know, how people sometimes call blog posts “newsletters?”

I could never figure that out because why on earth would anyone be interested in my news.

Nowadays, a lot of you are interested in my news. Some of you don’t care one way or the other. And, several subscribers have already unsubscribed. lol, I still love you anywaaaaaaay. Have a nice liiiiiiiiiife…


So, instead of me wasting your precious time any further, I’m going to jump right in to tell you about my holiday party 2021 and a few things I learned.


Oh, wait. Forgive me, please. We need some music to get in the mood!

This is the album I played for the party. I found it via Youtube, which I can play on my TV.  The TV is connected through a sometimes temperamental receiver connected to surround sound speakers in the den. However, I’m not complaining. The previous owner left it all for me.



Michael Bublé. He’s the 21st-century Robert Goulet and blessed with a silky rich, resonant baritone voice. And, a disarmingly sweet, boyish upper register. Plus, he’s quite easy on the eyes. Sigh…

If you prefer, you can listen and look at this charming retro-style video where you can also see Michael singing “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas.”


As most of you know, I began preparing for my holiday party 2021 in mid-November.


A lot of that was because I needed so many essential items. You can see most of them here.


  • The table pads
  • Table cloth
  • paper or plastic napkins, plates, cups, forks, spoons
  • tree, garland, ornaments, lights, candles, holders
  • Plus, my dress/petticoat, and headband
  • firewood – Three different kinds.
  • Oh yeah, the toolset.


And, numerous shopping trips for food.


Lucky for me, my place doesn’t need a lot to look festive.

Laurel, we know that. Please can we see your holiday party dress? Pretty please? You better have a pic of you in that darling reindeer dress!


Yes, of course. I know you’re busy right now.


holiday party dress 2021

Sorry, this is the least out-of-focus one of me standing up. I wish you could see the long sash with the big bow in the back. The party was already underway, and about half of the ladies were there.


This next one is a better photo.


Me - Holiday Party December 2021Ugh. I was so rushed at the end; I didn’t even have time to put a pair of hose on. And, those shoes only made it through the first hour. lol.

Please find out about the dress here.


First of all. It is true what everyone says when it comes to parties.


Women don’t eat much.

Here’s my new rule. Provide half as much as you think you’ll need, and you’ll still have double what is actually consumed.


I might not go to the trouble of making roasted chestnuts unless maybe you soak them in water for at least two days first.


And, even then, I’m not sure. Most of the chestnuts are very difficult to get out of their shells after roasting. And, yes, I did make Xs in the shells.

If you make them and they come out whole, I would cut in halves or even quarters. I did a final roast with a bit of butter and salt. Hang on; I will get some to snack on while I’m writing.

Actually, you can warm them up in the microwave a little, and they’re quite delicious.

Here’s the nutritional info on roasted chestnuts.

Okay, I’m enjoying the chestnuts this afternoon. I would make them ahead of time and freeze them, so you’re not too taxed come party-time.


Why did I make chestnuts in the first place?


The group of women is called “The Chestnuts.” That is after Chestnut Street on Beacon Hill. And our holiday party 2021 was called “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.”

I just went and brought the bowl of roasted chestnuts into the den so that you could see them.


roasted chestnuts - sugared cranberries


Next to the chestnuts are sugared cranberries. They are also yummy and easy to make. Plus, they look festive to snack on or use as a drink garnish.

I also had a yen to make those 1″ sweet and sour cocktail meatballs. And, no, I did NOT use grape jelly.

That’s disgusting.

So, to make my life easier, I looked to see if I could find some ready-made meatballs. Well, I did, from Tarzhay. I was skeptical, except the reviews waxed poetic. I had them delivered along with a couple of other things.


There was only one problem.


They are micro meatballs. Lol. They would be suitable to put in a soup or a dish, but I couldn’t serve them as cocktail meatballs.

So, Wednesday night, I spent two hours making 88 of them.  Way overkill.

Even after a friend took a cup of them home, there were still 58 left.  I did try passing them around. However, those that tried them liked them, they said.

By the way, I made them gluten-free, and you’d never know it. I found some gluten-free panko bread crumbs. They are like tiny little crackers, so I threw them in the blender to make them a little smaller.


Then, I craved to make a chocolate, mocha, chestnut cream cake; also gluten-free.


I don’t have a problem with gluten, but some of the other chestnuts do.

As I don’t want to burden those interested in baking with recipes, I’ve posted the recipe for the gluten-free, mocha, chestnut cream cake here.

Oh, one of the women had two pieces and then begged me for the recipe. I figure that many of you are on gluten-free diets and might like to try this cake.

Incidentally, it’s gluten-free, not calorie-free. haha. But, it is a rich, satisfying cake and made with chestnuts!!!

And, if you’re not on a gluten-free diet, please check out my best ever chocolate cake recipe.


holiday party food tableMy friend Lisa came to my rescue and brought over the fixings for numerous charcuterie boards. She ended up making two, but really, one was more than enough. The second one, in the den, wasn’t even touched.

Nobody went in there the entire evening except for me to deal with the music.

Suzanne Christmas Tree 2021But, you could still see the Suzanne tree through the door. This is so funny. I was just looking at the photo and thought. What? I promised them I was going to get rid of the wire. What’s wrong with me? And then, when I zoomed in, I realized it was a mirror leaning against the wall.

Where did Joe go? I put Joe on the floor next to the Zuber screen. But, he’s back in his spot now. I don’t know if he’s going to make it. But, I’m trying not to think about it.


Where’s the headband, Laurel?


Well… I didn’t wear it for the party. I had my party hair and done by Giselle, my favorite stylist at the Dry Bar around the corner. It looked too goofy for this event. But, I wore it earlier today.

Let’s see your party hair, Laurel.


Selfie - Chestnuts Holiday Party 2021

I went all wavy for the party. I didn’t have time for much make-up either. The flush was from running around all day long! So, you can see that the scars from the accident are barely visible now.


Anthropologie candle centerpieceHere, you can see my tabletop with a beautiful Anthropologie candle; plus, the table runner and new table cloth, and votives. It worked out beautifully, I think. Sorry, this is mid-party and not a staged-everything-perfect-styling.

Lisa, also made a beautiful Christmas punch, but I forgot to take a photo of that and a photo of the meatballs, which I think taste like the ones I had as a child. So, maybe you can see a subtle retro theme going on?

gluten-free chocolate cakeHere’s the cake. THIS, they ate. There was only about a quarter of it left at the end.

delicious no-cook, egg-free rich chocolate cremeTo entice you into checking out the recipe, the cake is filled with this sick (the good kind of sick) no-cook, no eggs, chestnut, chocolate, slightly mocha, filling. I’m sure it has a name, but I don’t know what to call it other than pudding. The recipe for this is here, too.

holiday party 2021 textbook fireSorry, someone left their backpack behind the chair. I edited it out of the one of me in the chair.


Now, for the fire.


On the day of the party, Lisa and I were working mad and were nearly all set up. It was 4:30. The party started at five. I’m not dressed, and the fire hasn’t been made.

Of course, I can’t find the lighter or the match sticks I have—Grrr… so typical. Ten minutes later, Lisa found them in the kitchen on top of the microwave.




Luckily, I ordered some duraflame logs with the baby meatballs. I stuck one on, added some excellent pine kindling, and with a baby-soft whoosh, the entire thing lit almost like it was a gas fireplace. Then, I added a small apple-wood log also ordered online. Smells great. I added one more log a little later and had a lovely carefree fire for the entire party.

Phew! Dodged a bullet there!

Yankee Gift Swap Holiday Party 2021Here we all are having what they call a Yankee Gift Swap. I gather this is a New England thing. I won’t go into it here. But, everyone had a lot of fun.


A couple more things.


See the chandelier in the entry? See the light bulbs? There are three of them. That was another blinding nightmare. These candles are actually nightlight 3-watt incandescent bulbs. Yep. THREE WATTS is all they are.

I spent some time in the kitchen the last half hour, and there were always at least four other women in there. Could it have been the soft lighting? Or, maybe it’s because that’s where the wine was. lol


Laurel, did you forget about the contractor?


Yes, I forgot. ;]


What did he say? Did he look at you like you had six heads when you showed him your “unkitchen?”


No, he looked at me like I had three heads.

I was just kidding. Actually, he was super friendly and liked my ideas and drawings – a lot, he said.

Therefore, my next step is to write it all out. That will take some time, but I’m going to start working on it on Monday.


Friday morning, I dragged myself out of bed and went to our weekly coffee group at the far end of Beacon Hill.


It’s funny, but I’m no longer “the new girl.” There are two brand new lovely women who live near me, and we all walked over together.

On my way home, I took photos of a few of the gorgeous homes in Beacon Hill on Lime and Brimmer Street. I was going to go out today, for more, but…

one) it was raining

two) it was raining


Beacon Hill holiday doorI believe this lovely is on Lime Street.

38 Lime Street Beacon Hill Holiday 2021 - gorgeous door38 Lime on the corner of Brimmer St. is almost definitely the most photographed door in Beacon Hill. Of course, it is! And, the owners have exquisite taste.

And then, the three classics on Brimmer Street.

Brimmer Street Red door #1- holiday 2021Red door #1

Brimmer Street Green door - holiday 2021The lovely green door.

Brimmer Street Red door #2- holiday 2021Red door #2.

You can also see these doors in this post about the Doors of Beacon Hill in the spring and summer.

And, from last year in December, this post mostly shows evening shots of the gorgeous Christmas Decorating in Beacon Hill.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post about my holiday party 2021!

And, I hope your holiday season is filled with warmth, great health, and love!



***PS: Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!*** (Serena & Lily has another really great deal going on for a few days only.)

And HOLIDAY SHOP for 2021

And, please check out the new interior decorating, garden, and design book list!


***Also, I’m running a promotion through December 30th on my rockin’ interior design guides.*


If you’re not interested or already have them, you may be dismissed. ;]

Otherwise, please read on to find out how you can get two guides below for free.

The Best of Etsy 200 + Incredible Home Furnishings Sources
333 Difficult to Find Decorating Rules & Tips You Need to Know

Usually, they are $39 and $59 respectively. However, the price is going up on January 1st!


Below is a brief description of each product and what you’ll get if you order it.


best of etsy 2nd edition 2022 - holiday gifts for 2021


The $39.00 one is the brand new 200 Best of Etsy Home Furnishings Sources. It’s the culmination of dozens of hours of research. You won’t get anything extra, but you’ll get the updates for free, and you won’t have to pay the higher price that’s coming in January.


333 decorating rules and tips you need to know - holiday gifts for 2021 - Interior Design Books - drapery and furniture terms


At $59.00 is 333 Decorating Rules & Tips You Need To Know – This is a terrific guide that’s crammed with furniture terms, measurements, and proportions you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Well, I couldn’t. If you order this, you will get the Etsy guide for free.


The rest of the products will get the guides above for FREE from now through December 31, 2021.



At $199.00 Are two products. The Laurel Home Essential Paint and Palette Collection. This is a 2-volume curated Benjamin Moore Collection. You can read about Part I here, the paint colors, and Part II here, the paint palettes. Part II is where you’ll see a bunch of glowing testimonials. There are more, but how many do you need to read? lol


six figure income blogger cover - holiday gifts for 2020 - Interior Design Books

Also, at $199.00 and a guide for everyone who has a website. This is the Six-Figure Income Blogger Guide.


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You DO need a blog on your business website because a blog is what keeps your website fresh in Google’s busy eyes and automatically raises your business above your competition that has a boring “dead” website.


And, no, you don’t have to blog as much as I do.


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Finally, the crown jewel, but only because my name is in the guide’s title. Haha And, it was the first guide I wrote way back in 2015.

But, you always get FREE lifetime updates, and it updates every November.

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Laurel’s Rolodex. Now in its 8th edition. This is where I spill ALL of my secret and not-so-secret sources. If you’re in the interior design trade or want to be and you don’t have this resource, I can pretty much guarantee that you’re leaving money on the table—a LOT of money. Oh, and you’re also probably charging your clients too much, too.

This will help prevent them (your clients) from the dreaded “shopping you,” and most of the time help you come in at a LOWER price than most retailers, AND still make a nice profit. How does that sound? It took me over ten years in business to understand that it’s not always necessary to use a middleman to get terrific furnishings for clients. Sometimes, yes, but not nearly as much as I was.




Yes! Even if you’re not interested, maybe someone on your gift list is.

How does it work?

It works super well! When you click on the link to place your order, you’ll quickly see a gift box icon. Click on that, and it will prompt you to put in your recipient’s name and email address. You’ll then be asked what day and time you wish your gift to arrive. How cool is that!

Please go here to learn more about my rockin’ guides. You will find links to give you more information, but they are the same links as here. Please use the purchase products page when you are ready to order because you will get your free guides. And, please remember that the offer for the free guides ends December 31, 2021. As stated, the prices for the free guides will be going up in January.

*Please note that these are digital downloads, and that way, you can get free updates when they come out.


Welcome To Laurel Home!


Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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