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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
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 yesterday at Storybook Woods
1.Lily of the valley 2.rose jelly 3.tea Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago 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
Well after 11 months of eating really low carb, I was wondering how I should handle the holidays. I decided to eat what I wanted but in moderation. Actually if I eat too much carbs now I get really sick (which is interesting because I was not like that before I started this whole thing). I had treats this holiday because I did not want to feel deprived. In my opinion feeling deprived undermine long term health goals. So I enjoyed my homemade popovers but had a bigger helping of salad. Having said that over the month my starch/sugar carvings have been creeping up and up. I have been waking up in the middle of the night this past week wanting cookies (which I normally never do). So I need to detox but first I need a plan. I would like to acknowledge that it is NOT easy detoxing. Cravings are a strong thing and do not feel bad about your cravings. Do not feel bad if you feel unhinged, out of control and crazy woman when you cut out sugar or bread. That first week, 11 months ago, I cut out sugar was awful with a capital A. I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Happy, happy from my family to yours, David, Clarice, Auberne` & Chloe xox Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Happy Christmas eve! Thought I would share some random photos of my home! This hanging frame is my second favorite thing I did this Christmas. It is in my little entry-way room. Thank goodness for fishing line. I love the stuff! Isn't this antique yarn holder amazing? A good friend let me barrow it for Christmas. This and covering all the pillows with wool fabric and antique crochet lace really added to our Chruchmouse yarn theme! Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2014 at Storybook Woods
No matter what is happening this Christmas, good or bad, be at peace. You are not alone xox 1.Teddy 2.candle 3.peace Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at Storybook Woods
I have to say out of all the projects we did for this years theme,Churchmouse Yarn & Tea, this is my favorite. I guess because it came out just as I pictured in my head. I wanted to do a table-top village bit something with real plants and moss. Plus remember no glitter, fake trees or plastic building. This is what I did. I took a large, very heavy silver tray and lined it with heavy plastic. Then I dug up some dirt from my raised beds (I had to watch for earth worms. I did NOT want them on my village :-O) I collected from my garden lots of moss and small plant starts. I found laurel, holly and wild violet. I mound the dirt up around the plants. Also more dirt in the back, so those buildings would be higher than the ones in the front. I covered everything in fresh moss (again watching for bugs and worms as I pulled off sheets of moss from my old stone walls). I borrowed my mothers charming little houses and all the sheep from our 2 nativity sets. Poor baby Jesus does not have any sheep this year. Evey day... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Since our Christmas theme has a Scottish feel, I used that to inspire our Christmas dinner. This is a great menu too because many of the dish (or part of the dish) can be made ahead of time. I will be poaching the salmon ahead, making the custard and herb cheese, as well at the dill sauce a day or two before. For Christmas morning I am planning on making scotch eggs, fruit and cheese platter, scrambled eggs (we like our pastured eggs), whiskey bacon, sour cherry/lemon zest scones. And who knows what else. For Christmas Eve, we are going a totally different direction. Tamales, taco salad, beer/bacon drunk beans, cabbage salad w/ lime/cream dressing. All the cookies and candies we have made or have been given. Plus Christmas sangria!! Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Last year Churchmouse yarn shop had wonderful paper and tartan plaid cones filled with balls of yarn. We wanted to recreate these. Normally we make a wreath for this mirror but a garland worked better. First we made cones from roofing paper (I LOVE this stuff. Everyone should own a roll of it). Then covered it with plaid fabric, velvet ribbon and old mother-of-pearl buttons. The only change we made was to added pine and holly from our garden. I actually pinned each cone to the ribbon with a straight pin. I found it easiest to arrange the cones on the ribbon and you cannot see the pins. I am really happy how this garland turned out!! Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Remember this, have faith, do not rely only on what you can see. Beliving is so important! 1.Village 2.Snowflake 3.Baby Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2014 at Storybook Woods
As we made a list of what we wanted make for our Churchmouse theme, we had to make felted gingermen (here is the ravelry page for the pattern). You knit a round, then felt it and creat a fabric of sorts that you use to make you gingermen/woman! These were fun to make. Cutting them out I would say was the hardest part. We also hung tea bags, which I have to say look really cool at night with the twinkle lights making them glow. We tore tartan plaid fabric into strips and ties them on for bows. Lastly we used left over cones (which I will share about next) as tree toppers. These trees turned out really sweet! Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Our theme this year is ... TaaaDaaa, A Churchmouse Christmas! Which will probably does not mean much to many of you ;-) On Bainbridge Island is the most charming yarn and tea shop ever. This is the kind of store you walk in and all cares fall off of you. The kind of store you wish would rent you a cot in the corner for the weekend. Full of beautiful wool yarns, Emma Bridgewater ceramics, French linen for embroidery and needlepoint, Smith tea, transferware, English antiques and much more. We are forever inspired by Churchmouse and decided to make it our Christmas theme this year. We assembled a list of what we thought encompassed the shop. Along with past years ideas from the shops Christmas decor this is what we came up with. Tartan plaid, in soft muted shades of brown, moss green, red, blue and black Velvet trim whiskey/port station antique silver and chrystal deer antlers, transferware, English china live greenery, plants and white flowers wool and knitted items (we threw in antique crochet too, as in trying to use what we already had). sheep (no glitter, bright colors, plastic, wire rimmed ribbon. Only real stuff) Today I am... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at Storybook Woods
1.lake 2.cookies Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at Storybook Woods
I confess I am a Christmas girl. I love everything about it, the good and the bad. I hear all about the commercialization and pressure of Christmas. And it is true but I think it is about what one focuses on, where we put our eyes. I encourage all of us to focus on the joy, the love, the little things that makes Christmas so special: candy canes, a child's excitement, fresh holly, twinkle lights, the birth of Christ. It is time to put your Jolly on!!! 1.Elf 2.Gingerbread House 3.Candy Cane Tree ps. I will be taking a week off while I get my house ready for Christmas but I will be back. I cannot wait to share this years theme! Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours xox Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2014 at Storybook Woods
It is just a little thing. But it changes everything. Happy Thanksgiving xox 1.Pumpkins 2.Tea 3.Girl Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Our Thanksgiving menu this year. We love the technique of spatchcock chicken, so we are trying it with turkey. We will see how it goes. Are you trying anything new for Thanksgiving? Spatchcock Turkey Baguette, Smoked Oyster, Pancetta stuffing New York Style Pumpkin Cheesecake Sour Cream Apple Pie ps. I forgot to put Spiced Port Cranberry Sauce and I may add this Roasted Oersimmon and Ginger Custard to my menu too!! Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Ones health is very important. Having goals and keeping them is crucial but there are days when ones need to just let go and splurge a bit. Have that slice of cake (or pizza). Really, truly, enjoy it. And if you truly for your health cannot have a slice of cake, then redefine what cake is to you. The point is take a day off now and then, just enjoy. Even if it is not good for your health because it will be good for your soul and that is still a good thing l! 1.Jane Austen Cake 2.cupcakes 3.girl Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at Storybook Woods
Every Thanksgiving I make a small gift for each of my guess, as a reminder of that year. This years gift is wood spoons. I have painted them red and stamped them with the saying "stir up thankfulness". In the past I have made acorn cross, bronzed pine cones, paper feather, book apple and cups. I think I will add a tag so each person can write what they are thankful for this year. You will need wooden or bamboo spoons with a flat handle. Acrylic paint, painter tape, alphabet stamps and a stamp pad. You could paint over the stamped side of the spoon with some kind of sealer, I did not. Start by taping off the spoon, so you can paint the back and sides of the spoon. I found I only needed one coat of paint and then just a touch up in spots. Also I filled the hole with a little ball of painters tape. Tip, if you get paint on areas of the spoon you do not want, I found it easy to sand off with fine grit sandpaper. Finally stamp out your saying. I suggest you practice a few times on paper first but... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2014 at Storybook Woods