DIY Sarah

Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert

Yeast Rolls

I’ve made these yeast rolls a couple of times and they are always delicious. They are just sweet enough and smell heavenly when they are baking.

They rise for 1 hour before being pulled into individual rolls and then risen for another hour.


After 20 min in the oven, they are browned and after 15 agonizing minutes of cooling they are ready to be devoured.


“Recipe was from a Fleischmann’s Yeast booklet from the 1960’s.”

The recipe can be found:

Christmas 2013

I apologize for the delay in showing you Christmas pictures. I’m afraid it’s all my fault…I didn’t take many… oops! We ended up having a Christmas party the weekend before Christmas and we decided to hold it just a week before. It was crazy! The piano came Monday and I spent the whole week painting, cleaning, and cooking. It was soooo much fun! I put up 2 trees and the brigade of nutcrackers and some garland and in my frenzy to get things done, I didn’t take pictures. And then, after the party, I took it all down…before Christmas… Sacrilege but I was cleaning up. My last year doing that myself instead of calling for the Houston’s Ready Set Maids service, seriously. Luckily one of my bestest friends ever, Pam, came to the party. She lives in Seattle and is a very talented and stylish mechanical engineer but was visiting her family just in time for the event. She brought a fancy new camera with her and has generously shared the photos she took at the party and now I can share them with you!

To start off, the tree:


We put the “main” tree in the piano room in the nook of the grand piano. It’s not quite tall enough for the space I don’t think but it looked good. I have my half of the ornaments from my childhood and those made up the bulk of the decorations. I think next year I may do a “fancy” tree in this room and a “real” tree with the childhood ornaments up in the den. Rather it’s actually a real tree or not remains to be seen. We may just wait for the “real” tree for when we have kids to care about these things. My family didn’t do a real tree except when I was very young so I don’t feel the need but Stefan is more of a tree aficionado.

I also picked up an unlighted 6′ tree from Target for $13 the Thursday before the party. Here it is with Pam’s sister Nicole. That really is a great spot for a photo. Hm. Perhaps next year’s Christmas Card…


The tree is in the entry way setting on a couple plastic bins to make it taller. I draped a 2-yard piece of faux-fur over the bins and it turned out great! The tree has all the Saratoga Springs annual ornaments that Stefan’s mother saved over the years for Stefan’s future wife. Such a cute gesture and the annual ornament is a welcome gift every year. I also took all the larger ornaments that the guests signed at our wedding and hung them on the tree.

The topper is again a vintage topper. The garland on the tree is a super duper obnoxiously long string of gold beads that I found at an estate sale when I was buying all the gold and pink christmas decorations I could find for the wedding. The $13 tree was a bit round for my taste so I fluffed it into the shape of a pencil tree which fit the space so much better. Since it was a cheap tree, it was easy to do by not bending the branches down all the way.

The garland on the banister is the same as the ones outside. The pearl garland I believe is from my mother. She had pearls on the “fancy” Christmas tree when I was growing up but I can’t recall if these are hers or if I picked them up somewhere. The gold ornaments on the banister garland are from…Dollar tree. They are plastic because Vector is a little bugger and this was his plaything. Luckily, it kept him busy enough that the other trees never even got noticed. Unluckily, the sound of paw on plastic ornament can be heard from our bedroom in the middle of the night!

On the stairs was my regiment of nutcrackers. They go on the stairs in ascending order. They have since I was a baby and now that my mother is in a 1-story house, my sister and I split the lot of them and they are on my stairs now. Our stairs are maybe a bit narrow for them but I can’t bear to put them anywhere else.


Some of the other details – a poinsettia, a small tree on top of the bar, and the mantle.




For 1 week from nothing to decorated and a party, I’m quite pleased with the decorations and I can’t wait to go all-out next year!

Thanks again to Pam for the pics!


    Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Christmas House Tour 2014 | DIY Sarah | Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert

    […] Ah yes, the playing with light exposure Christmas tree picture.  Well, here it is.  I like the stack of Christmas music on the piano seat.  I also like the paint swatches on the walls.  Some things just haven’t changed since last Christmas. […]

Bar Cabinet and Champagne Cocktails

Since it is New Year’s Eve, I’ve decided to show you our liquor cabinet and give you some ideas for yummy champagne cocktails.

I believe I’ve shown you this cabinet before here. We purchased it for $100 at an estate sale and I’m so glad we did. Now that the floors are refinished I can finally start arranging the furniture in the house, can’t wait to get interior design services! Yay furniture.


The bar cabinet fits perfectly in this nook in the dining room. We have a lamp on it at the moment but I don’t think it will be there permanently. It was a last minute addition to hang the chandelier in the room so the lamp was a practical addition to the room.

On top of the cabinet, I have my collection of jars. They aren’t filled or arranged yet but they will fill up with time I’m sure. I’d like to put my punch bowl up here and put the jars in the Den but the den isn’t quite to that point yet and the punch bowl is all packed up still so jars it is.

The outside of the cabinet is this beautiful burl veneer.
And the inside is a gorgeous maple.
Lots of mirrors and frankly, lots of booze. We are still drinking the leftovers from our wedding – 2 years later! I’d like to get to the point where the wine can hang out on this bottom shelf but for now…it’s still filled with more liquor –

This odd-looking contraption is called a Chandelier and the glasses are called Stagen which is german for Pipe. When Stefan and I traveled to germany, we went out into the suburbs of Köln (Cologne) to visit this Brauhaus. It was our favorite beer of the trip. Kölsh style beers are always served in these little 0.2 L glasses and each one typically costs 1 Euro. They mark on your coaster how many you’ve had and the waiter comes around with the chandeliers filled with glasses to serve you. We served Riesdorf Kölsh at the wedding and ordered the glasses and this chandelier. I’d like to display the chandelier better. It is a great centerpiece with flowers in each of the little glasses but for now, it is in the cabinet.

Stagen –

I mentioned Champagne Cocktails. I love me some Champagne Cocktails. Lets start with a Sarah Specialty – the Poinsettia. We served these as the signature drink at our wedding.

Sarah’s Poinsettia

1oz Cranberry Juice
1oz Triple Sec
1.5oz Good Quality Vodka (Optional)
Fill glass with Champagne
Squeeze of Lime
Garnish with Orange Twist

My second favorite Champagne cocktail is a punch. List most punches, this one involves a lot of throwing things in the bowl until it tastes good

Christmas Champagne Punch

1 bottle Champagne
1 cup Cranberry Juice
1 litre fruit flavored seltzer or Raspberry Ginger Ale
1/2 contaner of frozen strawberries in sugar

Add fresh cranberries and Orange slices for garnish
top with an ice block frozen in a jello mold

For our Christmas party, I found this great silicone snowflake mold and made some awesome ice cubes. I tossed some frozen strawberries and cranberries in the mold, topped with water, and threw it either in the freezer or outside until frozen. Super cute and easy!


If Gin is your Liquor of choice, try a French 75

French 75

1.5 oz Gin
1 oz Contreau
1 oz lime juice
lime garnish

This is basically alcohol with more alcohol as a mixer…dangerous and delicious.

I hope you all have a festive, safe, and happy new year!


German Pretzels on

I have written a guest post for my sister over at

Click here to check out my favorite German Pretzel Recipe!