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my blog
Interests: travel, knitting, calligraphy, classical music, wine, homemaking, history, parties, tea, homeschooling, brewing, nature walks, charlotte mason, chocolate., england, old children’s books, susan branch, making bread, entomology, cooking, drawing, sewing, baking, france, decorating, crafting, cozy mysteries, cottages, old building
Recent Activity
Here is a note I posted on FB about my health and weight lost. Thought I would share it with you!! "Well I weighed myself :-O As I have said in the past, when I started this almost a year and 1/2 ago, I do not weigh myself. I do not want to be defined by a number, nor do I want to focus on losing weight. Yes, I need and want to loss weight but even more so, I want to be healthy and I think by focusing on a number is counterproductive for me. Having said that, I know I weighed around 240 lb, give or take. So I finally weighed myself at my dad's and I am proud to say I weigh 203lb. I have lost about 40lb, give or take ;-) Which is wonderful, and not really important, all at the same time. I want to share for a couple of reason, first to encourage others. I do not know about you but it really inspires me when I see others meet their goals. Second I wanted to say, low carb and HIGH fat is working for me. Not that you are me. You need to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Well I am just behind on everything. One month slide by before I knew it and Storybook Woods had an anniversary in April. I have been blogging for 9 years! Wow! I marvel at what blogging has become. I do not think any of us pictured this but what a blessing it has been. I have been busy locked away in my library writing. I am just finishing the ending of Wren 2 (I am still working on the title). During the week, the girls do the cooking. Chloe got her drivers license! Yeah! It is wonderful to just say " can you go pick up such and such?" This is freeing me up to write. Also I have made a pinterest pin-board for Storybook Woods recipes. I will be adding more. I am planning on rewriting some of my old recipes when I am done with Wren. In honor of nine years of blogging, I am having a give-away. The current issue of Bella Grace, which features Annetta Bosakova. Annetta's work is always stunning and just makes me happy. You will also get a chocolate bar. So tell me whose work you love and why you love it. Also... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Believe it or not, I have a second Wren novel 3/4 written. A much bigger story 80,000 words so far, minus recipes. I have tried to finish it but cannot get to it. So the only way I am going to get this book finished is the way I wrote the first Wren. That means locking myself in my library and immersing myself until this novel is done. I am going to only be posting here once a month and instagram once a week. Hopefully it will only take 2-3 months to finish the bulk of it. So if you need me and I do not get back to you, be patient with me. I will soon xox 1.dress 2.honey 3.cottage 4.window 5.grass 6.tarts Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Since my diet is at lest 60% vegetables, I am also looking for interesting ways to bling them up. Then I came across coconut bacon! Wow what an interesting concept. Basically you take unsweetened large flaked coconut (I buy 5# bags through my co-op), mix it with oil and spices, then cook it in the oven. You end up with a crunchy, savory treat that taste similar to bacon. It really does! I like this idea for several reason, it is inexpensive, it is healthy, it is a way to enjoy bacon flavors when I do not have pastured pork and it taste so dang good. I find myself just munch on it but I created a salad. The coconut bacon is also wonderful on morning eggs with avocado! I encourage you to give it a try and here is a link to several version of the bacon! coconut bacon 1 coconut bacon 2 coconut bacon 3 Raspberry Coconut-Bacon Salad Spinach cucumber radish avocado vinaigrette* fresh raspberries coconut bacon I am not putting amounts because you can make a tiny salad or huge. I toss the spinach, cucumber, radish and avocado with the vinaigrette. Then garnish the top with raspberries... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2015 at Storybook Woods
It is okay if you just got by today. Some days that is just enough xox 1.roses 2.window 3.table 4.girl Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2015 at Storybook Woods
I have to say this is truly my favorite treat/candy. A top and bottom layer of dark chocolate sandwiched in between with a thick orange/vanilla scented almond dough. I came across this recipe for Cookie Dough Bark (Aimee blog is one of my favorites) and thought it could easily be made grain-free. It could actually be made gluten free as I think most any flour would work. I added the orange flavor but it could be left out. As long as you do not eat the whole pan, which is easy to do ;-) this candy is quite carb friendly and healthy. A fat bomb! I keep small squares in the freeze as a yummy treat! PS. Don't you love this carved wood frame I picked up in Oregon? I am not sure what I am going to do with it yet but it is a $4.00 bargain! Orange Chocolate Cookie Dough Bark, grain-free Makes about 27, 1' squares * 1 ½ cup fine almond flour ¼ cup coconut sugar (that is less than ½ tsp per square) a generous pinch of sea salt 4 drops of Flori Di Sicilla or orange extract or juice 5 TBL butter, cut into... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2015 at Storybook Woods
A calm life! It is something I have had to work hard for (my youth was not calm). I like calm, it is a happy place! 1.curtain 2.dress 3.sunset 5.beach Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at Storybook Woods
David needed to run to Portland, so we decided to make it a little last minute date. It was the best discition we ever made. We stayed over-night at Edgefield and what an amazing place! They have a brewery, winery and distillery (I even found a whiskey I liked) all on-site. So my home-brew hubby was very happy. With several pubs and restaurants, live music, a pool and theater, one never even needs to leave the place. It was a sunny day!! We stayed it the Stevie Wonder room (the rooms are inexpensive but you have to use a bathroom down the hall. It was not that bad). Stevie Wonder had performed at Edgefield in 2007 and then were quotes from him on the wall. I have seem him perform in person as a girl, so I was thrilled to stay in this room. Honestly I thought I took way more pictures than I did. But we are going to make this a yearly treat, so I will have more pictures down the road. Here is a peak at what we saw! Related articles Drunken Beans Soda Bread, grain-free Baking Pantry Up-Date Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2015 at Storybook Woods
No truer words were said! 1.door 3.fabric Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at Storybook Woods
I do this every year. I make a loaf of soda bread for Saint Paddy’s day, love it and scold myself for not making it more often. I mean their is easy to make, keeps well unbaked in the freezer and is delish. I am determined to keep mini loaves in the freezer. I tried a grain-free version and even my family loved it, so I thought I would share with you. It is a bit different then the other GF recipes floating around. I know there is a long list of tips but please read through them. Fist off, I feel like if a cook can explain their recipe to you, if they understand it, then one can trust the recipe more. Second, if you are new to grain free baking some of the tips might help you! Soda Bread, grain-free Makes 4 individual soda breads or 12 small biscuits Dry ingredients 2 cups almond flour ¼ cup coconut flour 1 tsp. xanthan gum 2 tsp. sweetener, I use coconut sugar 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. baking soda **** 4 TBL. cold butter, cut into small cubes Wet ingredients ⅟₈ cup dried currents Zest of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2015 at Storybook Woods
I love this because often when I lose, I feel like I failed! 1.girl and arbor 2.boxes Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Beside cooking, my other passion in life since I was a little girl is fashion/beauty. Really this was a first love. When I was a little girl I would sketch outfits, designed my wedding dress and bought my first wedding mag at 10. I would sit for hours as a teen playing with make up. I have worked as a make up artist, gave classes on homemade facial and how use make a bunch of outfits out of only a few pieces. But then babies came along and instead of focusing on me, I had fun dressing these adorable girls. It is funny how life circles around. My girls are women now and dress themselves :-P When you are young it is all about you, then you have babies and it is all about them. Then it comes back to you. Well really a combination of them and you, as it should be. The best of both worlds! Also turning 50 my beauty needs have changed. What worked before, does not now. Plus have you been to pinterest or youtube? There are so many fun tutorials, new products, a better way to do things. So I have been playing. Something... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Why do we always look to others for happiness? When in truth nobody is more invested in their happiness, than themselves! 1.girl 2.handle 3.key Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2015 at Storybook Woods
I mentioned on FB I was making drunken beans for dinner and someone asked what that was. I realized I had not written a recipe for it, which is stupid because I make these a lot! This recipe is another case of me trying to create a bean dish my hubby would like. He HATES beans. I figured if I worked some pork fat in there, that would help ;-) The twist, so to speak, is to boil the beer down to a thick/bacony sauce. It is an easy step and takes those beans to another level. David loves these and I find the more her eats them, the more he is open to eating beans. Since beans are so healthy, full of fiber and cheap, I am thrilled! Drunken Beans Makes 4 cups 4 cups (or two 15 oz cans) cooked pinto beans 3 slices of raw bacon, cut into small pieces 1 tsp. oil, I like raw coconut ½ large onion, chopped in small pieces 1 cup beer, I use whatever my homebrew hubby has on-hand but rich ale is good. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp. ground pepper 1 TBL. salt Heat a soup pot on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2015 at Storybook Woods
1.gardener 2.snowdrops 3.rhubarb 4.ferns Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Well David and I did a crazy thing. We put our 33 cubic foot refrigerator in our living room. I know, what?? We have this odd corner of our living room, that you cannot see unless you go around the corner and nobody ever does. It is right next to the pantry. The fridge was taking up half the pantry and making the room dark. So we thought what the heck, lets give it a try. Yes I have to walk through 2 rooms to get to the fridge. It is not the most convent place but we are trying it. If it does not work, we can just move it again. It certainly opens up my baking pantry. Now the room bright and sunny. Gosh, I am lucky to be indulgent and have a whole room dedicated to baking! Here are some glimpse of what is happening (please ignore the old, gross linoleum. NO, we still have not ripped it up yet and there is hard wood under there too). I am still tweaking the room but sometimes you just have to think out of the box and put your refrigerator in your living room ;-) I was lucky... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Spring fever is hitting. I am loving anything ;pink right now. The power of pink!! 1.sea shells 2.ocean 3.roses 4.girl Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at Storybook Woods
I realize I have not done a Things I Love post in a long time, so here we go. If there is anything you have been loving lately, please share! Emma Block I am a HUGE Emma fan. Her work just makes me happy. Emma's shop I started using marula oil on my skin and hair. I am LOVING it. My hair is thick and shinny, lines on my face are softening. It is extremely high in antioxidants, vitamin C and E. I buy it here and is reasonably priced. Also Bittersweet Soap makes an amazing Marula face and body cream image above from Trader Joes Turkish Honey What can I say about this honey, except that I am beyond addict. I am not even that big of a honey fan but this stuff ... well think of a floral honey that has been caramelized. That is the best way I can explain the taste. Unlike anything I have had before. My favorite way to eat it, besides off the spoon? Drizzled over fresh pineapple or plain cheesecake. Heaven! Some movies I have been loving but I will say these are for adults. There is no sex scene (one does... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Boy I love this quote and how I want to live. I really think people forget the power of empathy! 1.girl 2.door 3.window Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2015 at Storybook Woods
This was such a huge family fav I had to share it. A fun way to switch up that cornbeef. Amounts are general, all depending on what you like. You can leave off the cabbage slaw but I really like that cold crunch with the rich pizza. I served with extra horseradish and sauerkraut on the side. All you need it some Dark Chocolate Stout 60 second mousse and you have a perfect Friday night meal! Luck of the Irish Pizza 1 pizza crust, can be gluten or grain free too 1 TBL Dijon mustard 2 tsp horseradish 1 TBL oil, I like avocado oil Sauerkraut Thinly sliced cornbeef, a generous cup or so Grated cheese, a mix of swiss and gruyere is lovely Cabbage Slaw Pre-heat oven 400◦F and roll out your pizza crust. Mix together mustard, horseradish and oil. Adjust amounts to your liking and brush the entire top of the crust with the mustard mixture. Sprinkle some sauerkraut over the pizza, Top with cornbeef and then cheese over the meat. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. While the pizza is baking, make slaw and serve with cooked pizza. Cabbage Slaw 3 cups finely sliced cabbage 2 green... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Do you know that feeling "if I trust you, will you hurt me"? I was burnt bad a long time ago and have trouble letting others into my heart. But I am trying to be brave and risk being hurt. I do not want to miss out having someone add to my life!! 3.rose Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2015 at Storybook Woods
"Saying no leads to confidence and confidence opens up the world and that is a liberator!" Gosh it has been a year since I started dealing with my blood sugar/pre-diabetic stuff. A year ago I was feeling overwhelmed, depressed, panicked, sick (even though I pretended I wasn't) and thought it might be the end of me writing about food. I was having HUGE sugar/carb withdrawals, wondering what I could eat and having a pity-party. But boy what a difference a year can make! I now am walking 3+ miles 1-2 times a week (when I started I struggled with ½ mile). I continue to let an incident a year ago (almost crashed the car w/ my daughters in it), be my wake up call. When I do not want to do something, I remind myself what will happen if I go backwards. I am weight lifting 5# dumbbells for 10/15 minutes (when I started I struggles w/ 2 ½# dumbbells for a minute. I have really weak and flabby arms. It is the one part of my body I am focusing on). David and I go hiking now! I made myself run. I often have to push in with buff... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at Storybook Woods
1.peonies 2.dress 3.flower collar Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2015 at Storybook Woods
A girlfriend was cleaning out her basement and thought I might like this chair. It has great lines and I thought it would be interesting for photos. It is falling apart thought and cannot be sat on. I took it and then thought of ways it could still be used. Actually Chloe is on the one who came up with the idea of using it as a side table. We needed one and the chair just fit. To make it more stable for cups of tea or a glass of wine, we simply pulled out a pretty metal tray. It works beautifully and it was free. Maybe you have a pretty old chair you can upcycle into a side table? Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2015 at Storybook Woods
This is another message that took me a long time to understand and reason why you must love yourself no matter what others say or think!! 1.Shades 2.Morocco 3.wood Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2015 at Storybook Woods