Archive for the ‘House and Home’ Category

Christmas- Southern Living Style

December 15th, 2016

It has been a hustle and bustle kind of week.    I’d love to say that I’ve got everything together- have the tree up and it’s looking festive in here, but I’d be lying.    We have the tree, but it’s yet to be brought in and decorated.    We DO have the lights and decorations out-    so that’s a step in the right direction, but I’ve been swamped with work this week.   I’m grateful- oh so grateful, but I’ve been baking my  heart out-  with more in the works.

img_2300Thankfully, I’m a little ahead of schedule after running behind schedule earlier in the week, so that is a huge plus!  Tonight I took some time and finally cracked open my Christmas with Southern Living book that I’d ordered but not taken the time to look at yet.

I’ve also been itching for the Bake from Scratch holiday issue, so was able to browse it a little as well.  Both are favorites, but I’m one of those people who will leave a cookbook sitting for months if I can’t stop and fully savor each and every page.

I know it may sound silly, but it’s true.  There’s something almost ritualistic about it.   Pure enjoyment and focused on the season at hand.

I’ve seen several recipes that I want to make for our own holiday table, including my grandmas praline recipe that I improved a couple of years ago, plus divinity.    My dearest great aunt sent me a gallon of pecans that she’s picked up from her orchard and shelled.     It was an amazing gift, and something that makes me want to create something special with the fresh pecans that I know were sent with much love.

I want whatever I make with some of them to be made with love and deliberation, but also something that the flavor of the pecans will shine through.

What would you suggest?   I’ll be sure to share what I decide to make, but as for now- I’ve got some relaxing to do as tomorrow a villiage of gingerbread men await my services.

Late Night Sounds

September 11th, 2016

I was up somewhat late last night- first talking to mom and then my sister. I always enjoy my conversations with both of them, so last night was no exception. It was a great way to spend my Saturday evening. At around 12:30 I decided I had better get into bed and I start hearing music coming from somewhere. I listened and eventually was able to pinpoint that it was coming from my neighbor’s home. He’s in a band and when I saw him this morning he asked if he kept me up last night with the noise. He said he’d received a new boss gt-8 and couldn’t wait to test it. I told him it did bother me a little but nothing that I couldn’t manage since he doesn’t do it often. He’s a great neighbor and I love seeing him thrive with his music passion.

Let the Projects Begin

August 6th, 2016

Last year when a good friend of mine moved from the area- I bought a few of the things she was leaving behind in the move.    One of those ‘things’ was an old window frame, with the windows still fully intact.    I knew I would do something with it, but what ‘something’ would be remained to be seen at that time.

Fast-forward more than a year later and I’ve finally figured out where it’s going and what exactly I’m going to do with it.      I picked up some Annie Sloan chalk paint in the color Burgundy, which reminded me of a deep, cranberry red.  It’s a color that I love, plus it goes well with everything else in our living area.    We did some painting earlier this year, and when the guy finished, I decided not to hang any paintings back on the wall because I wanted to change things.   The window is part of that change.

Last week I started the prep-work for painting the window.  I sanded any rough areas, and cleaned everything really well.    Since then I’ve been waiting for the weather to be good enough to permit me to go further, and today was that day.    After a cake delivery this morning, and a breakfast of fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and coffee out on the veranda, I decided to get to work.

Since I have never worked with Annie Sloan chalk paint before, I decided to begin with the back of the window, the side that will be against the wall, so that I could get used to working with the paint.    I did two coats- and it dried fairly quick, but I wasn’t thrilled with the results of the brush I was using.  It was ‘ok’, but not as smooth as I was hoping.   I cleaned my brush, put everything away, then did some Googling to see if I should be using something different.   As it turns out, I was.    One quick trip to the hardware store and I am now armed with the right brush and ready to continue the journey tomorrow.

Since I’ll be doing some traveling next week, I’m hoping to get lucky with tomorrow’s weather and be able to get the painting finished and the waxing done tomorrow-   that way it can sit and cure while I’m gone and be ready for hanging when we return.

I’m SO curious to see the finished product.  Once that’s done, I’ll be moving on to the next thing on my Annie Sloan ‘to do’ list-  and that’s paint some shelves that are in the living room.

Have you ever used Annie Sloan chalk paint?  What was your experience with it?    I’ll make sure to share the photos when I’m done.

 

 

Day 82-100 Happy Days

February 12th, 2015

82When I see this- I think of mom- how much I love her- and all that she does for so many others.   She’s such a great example, and I can only hope to be half the woman she is-

 

On the day I shared this bit of happy- here’s what I wrote:

Mom made this and put it inside the ring on a jar of home-made jam she gave me. The delicious jam is long gone, but I smile every time I go in my kitchen and see this.

Day 57- 100 Happy Days

January 29th, 2015

57To know me is to know how much I love Illy Espresso, and finding it on sale at my favorite local store meant that I stocked up in a big way.

Today I’m still enjoying that coffee-   I’m down to a few cans though, so hopefully I’ll hit the sale lottery again soon.

 

 

Home

February 1st, 2013

home sweet home
Today I’ve spent the day inside (as with most of the rest of the week) nursing myself back to health.   I’m still not where I need to be- but with a little (lot) more rest, I’m hoping to have my sleeping habits back in order- and have me feeling good in no time-    It’s been a rough week though.

I spent a little time going through my pictures on the iPhone and I came across this picture that I took the Saturday afternoon just before we came home-   It was late afternoon and the skies were a perfect blue-  the yellow in the field was wild turnips-  and there was a gorgeous afternoon ‘golden glow’ that you can’t see in the picture.

I miss it there-   a little piece of my heart is always there and will always be home.

Good Eats and A Piece of My Roots

November 1st, 2012

I’m part of a food group on Facebook and a while back we decided that we would have a fall cookie exchange.  If you wanted to participate then you signed up- and then once everyone was signed up- they would use a computer generated method to assign us a person to bake for.    Then it was up to us to get together with that person- let them know if we had food allergies- things we don’t like and choose a time frame that worked for both schedules to receive the gift of goodies.

The person who got my name is a Scottish friend of mine.    Some of you who read this know that my ancestors on my diddy’s side of the family are Scottish- straight from the Isle of Skye-  so when she asked if it would be ok to send me a Scottish themed package- I couldn’t say YES fast enough!

Today was the day that my package arrived-   filled not only with gorgeous baked goodies (shortbread, Scottish tablet *which reminds me a little of pecan pralines without the pecan* and my very favorite- Scottish oat cakes).  In addition she added a tea cloth-  a towel with words of the scottish language- and a beautiful tin.. Oh and a spurtle (the little wooden stick), which is used for stirring porridge.   Of course, I’ll use it for steel-cut oats- which is probably very much like porridge.

Included was also a little drawing that her young boys had made for me- which was a perfect addition to the package.

This made my already good day great!   And of course- it gives me an itch to get back to Scotland for another visit.

That Time of the Year

October 10th, 2012

Now that fall is upon us- I’m starting to do some clean-up outside and get things ready for the winter season. That means digging out the dead plants that have seen their prime, and also bringing in the summertime outdoor cushions, cleaning them up and storing them until next year. Thank goodness for our storage shed- which is will keep everything out of the nasty winter weather until next spring- when everything will make its way out into the world again.

Lists Make Life Much Easier

September 20th, 2012

I’m starting to make our ‘list’ of things that I need to accomplish when we’re on our trip home for the holidays. I know- you’re probably thinking that it’s a holiday so why should I need to accomplish anything aside from having fun? Well, I always try to do certain things- spend some time working on mom and diddy’s computer- and these days on that list is working on them and figuring out how to speed up computer, as theirs appears to be running at a very slow speed. I suspect there is a LOT of programs running in the background robbing them of resources, but we’ll see when we get there.

I’m also starting to think about what I’m going to take- I find this the hardest balance to strike because I need to pick up some clothes- but I don’t want to overdo with what I bring from here- but I also don’t want to bring too few. Thank goodness for trusty lists. It makes life MUCH easier!

Ready, Set, Relax!

August 25th, 2012

I’ve been on ‘ready, set, go’ mode for what seems to be a while now- when in reality it isn’t quite as exciting as all that, but I am ready to have one big ‘relax’ day. Aside from a little testing that I need to do in the kitchen for an order on Monday- and a hopefully 3 or 4 mile jaunt in between rain showers- I plan to do as little as possible. After all, Sunday is a day of rest, right?

Thursday, Marcel and I took a road trip and spent the night in the North. I absolutely fell in love with the countryside there- and the people are pretty great too. We spent some time with Caroline and her guy- went to a delicious Mexican restaurant and then yesterday had a shopping adventure. I love them both and it was a fun, relaxed time. Marcel loved it too. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen him that relaxed in a while- it looks like the North suits us both.

Today, I went the opposite direction. Bobbi and I went to visit our friend Kati- and I was able to meet her new puppy Voitto and her other dog that I hadn’t met- Tarmo. Both are adorable and such sweet dogs and I loved meeting and getting to know them. I think that is a statement that maybe only animal lovers can understand, because each animal has it’s own character and personality, very much like us humans.

Kati and her husband made us lunch and it was SO good- She also made us a Finnish blueberry pie, made with blueberries she brought from her home of Native Finland- and I have to say it was the most amazing blueberry pie I’d ever eaten. A light and delicious crumb crust- and a lightly sweetened filling of blueberries and creme fraiche and I’m not sure what else- My guess would be sugar, vanilla and eggs. It was really really good.

I made it home just in time before the bottom literally fell out of the sky and the pouring rain began. Ran around and got dinner ready- Marcel did the dishes (what a sweet guy) and then I whipped up a batch of English Toffee to add to the cupcakes for Monday. I hope the customer loves them.

Right now- I’m thinking it’s going to be an early night tonight- This girl is tired!

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