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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
I love this because often when I lose, I feel like I failed! 1.girl and arbor 2.boxes Continue reading
Posted yesterday 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 5 days ago 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
I am a HUGE fan of slice n' bake cookies kept in the freezer. They are easy to put together, freeze well and whenever you need a treat or visitors are stopping by, you can just slice off a few and bake them off frozen as needed. It is hard to find grain-free baked treats that are both yummy and not time consuming. I found these amazing grain-free Rosemary Shortbread cookies that have become my go to cookie. I played with the recipe and came up with my contribution, chocolate/coffee version. You cannot go wrong with these! Especially when my picky eater even loved them, then I knew I had a hit! Café Cookies, grain free Make about 2 dozen 1 ¾ cup almond flour ¼ cup coco powder 1-2 tsp. instant coffee, depending on the coffee and how strong you like it ½ cup unsalted butter, softened 3 TBL. sugar (I used coconut) *see note about amounts 1 tsp. salt Put all ingredients except the butter in a food processor and with the pulse button mix together. Cut butter into small cubes and added to dry mixture. Pulse to start mixing the butter and flour together. Then mix until... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2015 at Storybook Woods
1.Etsy 2Honey Peach Butter. 3.vintage bees Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at Storybook Woods
This salad was inspired by one we had on New Years eve. It was a beet salad my husband loved. Now I have known David 29 years and have never seen him eat a beet, let alone like it. I adore beets, so I am thrilled. I came home, played around and came up with this salad. I have to say even though I love raw fennel, roasting it has become my new go to. Roasting fennel, like roasting most veggies, brings it sweetness out and softness the strong flavors. If you like fennel I would suggest you try roasting it and see what you think. I keep some on hand to throw in dishes. It is so much easier to just roast a big pan of something and then have it to use! Tips on changing your beet hater! 1. Golden beets have a much sweeter and softer flavor. Even thought I used red beets for this photo, I try to use golden when I make it for David. 2. Buy the best, fresh beets you can. Also roast/bake them! 3. Do NOT used canned beets. Really I have found most pre-cooked beets to be mushy. You want them... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2015 at Storybook Woods
1.Lily of the valley 2.rose jelly 3.tea Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at Storybook Woods
1.flower 2.quilts 3.sweater Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at Storybook Woods
I have been thinking about some chats I have had with friends recently. All were congratulating me on sticking with my diet changes and asked how I avoid food temptations. Like how have I not eaten pasta in 8 months or how do I avoid popcorn at the movies theater and so forth? Well there are a lot of reasons but it mostly came down to two things. First, I do not want to be sick anymore. Second, I like food too much. See, in case you do not already know this about me ;-) I am a food snob. Do not get me wrong, I LOVE food but I love good food, real food, well made food. Some old popcorn with oil and powdered butter does not tempt me. Well honestly, it temps me when I walk in the movie theater but I know when I get it in my mouth I will not be happy. That is it! When I have a treat, I want it to be worth it. I want to savor it. When I am running around and am tempted to just pick up anything to eat, I stop and think. "Do I really want... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Ohhh this was a hard message for me to learn in my youth. I wanted to be a friend to everyone and ended up being a doormat to a lot. It was hard to learn to say no. I ended up looking like a ... well you know what. But I realized I did not have to sacrifice myself for others. Also if someone wanted me to sacrifice who I was, then they really were not a friend in the first place! PS there is times on ones life where you are called to give above and beyond yourself but that is a specific situation. Not a full time thing. 1.Owl 2.heart 3.candle Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at Storybook Woods
A look back at my favorite post each month! January Gifts made by my girls Febuary Paper frame March Gatherings Spring April Bloom May Raw Taco Salad June I have graduated July Lavender Infused Butter Brownies, grain free August Bloom, Chocolate September Roasted Pear Sauce Cake October Autumn Instagram November Thankful Spoon December Churchmouse Yarn Christmas Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at Storybook Woods
Happy New Year! I have several goals this year. 1.My hubby. We have been very busy the last few years and have not had much time for eachother. That will change this year (we are hiking together). 2.To finish the next Wren novel. 3.Of course my health. To continue to make slow but deliberate steps towards health, including accepting my faults. They make me who I am! What is your goal? 1.bird 2.needlepoint rug 3.knit capelet Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2015 at Storybook Woods
At the end of a year one always looks back but do not get mired in the past. It is done! Learn, move forward and take risks xox 1.girl 2.Storybook Woods 3.hydrangea Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at Storybook Woods