Home Life


November 7, 2012

P1030382PicMonkey CollageP1030407P1020796
A bit of a shorty today. Some elements to our fall thus far ~ apples, oatmeal with cream and almonds, leaf garland making with grandma, CROWS, a dancing girl and pretty colors everywhere. (Where's Andrew? He has a whole post devoted to him, coming next week. He is thrilled.)

Random question: have you guys made anything recipe-wise this fall that you just loooved and would like to share with me? Because I would love to hear about it! Or any good books? My friend Danzel loved this book!

Vermont Ginger and Spice Cookies


November 6, 2012

These cookies are a staple in our house. I make them all the time and as often as I make them, it's never enough, POOF, they're gone in less than 48 hours. Semisoft, chewy, not too much bite, they're kind of like...

...fall time in a cooky. That spelling was intentional. Some cookies are just cookies, and then you have a cooky. Which implies a hug and some milk and fun show to watch, along with a plate of these toffee colored treats. Or maybe a good book-and-blanket?

I feel so repetitive saying this, but yes, these sweetlings came from 'Lee Bailey's Country Desserts'. My posts on Intermont White Cake and Snickerdoodles, hey howdy yep, they came from the 'Country Desserts' book. Every extraordinary dessert I've made in my adult life has come from this book.

Not really wanting to get shouty today, but the only way I can convey how I feel about this cookbook to you is to tell you:


Just sayin'.

Would you like to make these lovely cookies with me? Here's the recipe, my sweeties. I so hope you enjoy these as much as we all do! Julia is just wild about them.

Vermont Ginger & Spice Cookies (via 'Country Desserts')


4 cups sifted all purpose flour (I just aerate with a fork, I don't sift)
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar, plus additional for coating
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

Cream  the butter with the sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the molasses and mix in the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

Pour out some remaining sugar into a bowl or wax paper. Using 2 tablespoons, drop walnut sized lumps of dough into the sugar and roll around to coat. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until light golden. Remove to a cooling rack. Continue to make remaining cookies until dough is used up. (dough can also be refrigerated for several days)  ~ Makes around 5 dozen, depending on size. I always find I end up with less then this, because I make my cookies bigger.

Falltime in a cooky, my friends!

Around the Year


November 5, 2012

I've mentioned just a few times that I kind of worship at the shrine of Tasha Tudor. Really Melissa, you did? Where? Oh, HERE (you get to see 3 yr old Julia!) and also HERE in my 'A Time to Keep' post (the most beautiful book ever!).  I just checked out Tasha's cookbook from the library and I'm loving it.

I just can't get enough of her work. There are a few authors and artists out there who are so special and unique that I'm slowly working on collecting each and every one of their works. Tasha belongs in that group. Her books are THAT special. These are the books you pass down to your kids and they pass down to their children. 

Here's how strong a position I take about her ~ either read the version she illustrated of  'A Little Princess' (by Frances Hodgson Burnett) ~ or don't read it at all.

Few people draw like her, and even fewer are depicting the time and the old fashioned style of life that she illustrates.

She doesn't just draw, I've decided.

She illuminates.

If you're looking for a lot of story or text, keep looking, Her books are to be savored for their breathtaking visuals, especially as they reflect a time which most of us are unaware and unfamiliar. Popular pastimes and activities particular to every month and many of the year's holidays are SO charmingly rendered, and shine a little light into the world of a New England family as they celebrate the passing of the seasons.

Do you love Tasha like I do? I really want to make my family stand around a Christmas tree this year and sing songs. I want to play charades and shadow puppets. 

(Lest you forget, I'm the girl who wore a real petticoat under her Laura Ashley dress to school in high school.)

Cool Stuff I Like


November 2, 2012

Happy November everyone! Oh East Coast friends, I have thought of little else but The Storm. I hope you all are ok. Our backyard was wiped out by a flood a couple of years ago and I will never forget the total shock of seeing all that water rushing by our house in the dark. And I hope those who could, had a Very Merry Halloween. Did I just confuse my holidays again? Oh yay, Halloween is over! I can now begin listening to Christmas music....

This week I'm doing something different with the COOL STUFF list. I found Justice, a new-to-me shop. A lot of it is over the top and a lot of it is...the stuff of little girl twinkly, sparkly dreams. There was so much there that was awesome that I decided to make today's whole list a collection of things from their site that I seriously think my kiddo would flip over, maybe yours too? It's all really girly, so be prepared:

Party Light Finger Beams.


Pleated Hem Tunic.

Quilted Cross-Body Bag.

Novi Stars. Ok, these dolls are kind of...is one of them even wearing any clothes?? But my first thought was, omg my kiddo would lose her mind over these. Especially the little pets. Oh, you can find them less expensively on Amazon.

Multi Color Monster Fur Pillow.

Electric Pink Fairisle Hat. (they've got a lot of great hats!)

Rainbow Zebra Initial Journal.

Neon Light Up Watch.

Sequin Stars 3-ring Binder.

Penguin Fleece Pajama Set.

Pastel Mixable Nail Polish.

Rain Boots.

Cool Book of the Week: Well I'm waiting. And waiting. For my library to pony up 'The Big, Big Book of Tashi' by Anna and Barbara Fienberg and Kim Gamble. The stories, about a plucky daredevil named Tashi who can outwit ghosts, dragons and giants, look amazing, and this collection contains the first seven books of the series. What looks fun is the fact that these are chapter books for early readers that have a picture or two on every page. Julia is often interested in longer length stories these days, but she still likes her pictures. I think she'll be taken with the exciting, but supposedly not scary, storylines!

There's also 'Tashi the Complete Collection' (every single book, available Spring 2013), 'The Great Big Enormous Book of Tashi' and 'The Amazing Tashi Activity Book'. If the library doesn't deliver something soon, I think I'll maybe get 'The Great Big Enormous Book of Tashi' as a Christmas present for Julia. If these books are as cool as they seem, I think this is going to go over HUGE with my kiddo.

Have a lovely weekend! Are we all going to be coming down from massive sugar highs?


Halloween Happened!


November 1, 2012

and here’s how it went down…

P1030230_DSC0018P1030258_DSC0022_DSC0024(i’m really super excited to put up Christmas decorations this weekend! no joke. that’s only a little crazy right? actually I'm already well down the road of becoming Crazy Christmas Woman ~ I've already been checking out Christmas books from the library. Andrew said this wasn't quite fair. I totally disagree. My response: GET THERE BEFORE ME, PEOPLE, if you want the books. Also, multiple copies ~ hi. It's not like I'm running away with the one and only copy of a book! Although that wouldn't stop me either. I'm pure book evil. How's that for Halloween horror? She's taken all the holiday books from the library! )

P1030261Thought you might enjoy seeing how the 'rents dressed up to go with our kiddo's 'Merida' costume...

PicMonkey Collage2(Andrew would like you all to know he was a most unwilling participant. And he thinks he would need another 200 lbs or so to be an accurate King Fergus. I shoulda given him a sword, maybe then I would have gotten a smile.)

PicMonkey Collage2(I dutifully parted my hair in the middle. My hair doesn’t part in the middle. First I wore my necklace up high. Then I moved it down to my waist to be more medievally.)

Andrew was both impressed and horrified that I was able to find several costumes just by walking into my closet and going through my OWN CLOTHES. I had the velvety ensemble you see here, as well as an outfit that I like to call ‘Hawaiian Flight Attendant’. I also have a dress that could be construed as Japanese Temple Ninja Prayer Person. I have no idea what that means. A Japanese nun? It’s some black, v-neck dress thing with side ties. It looks like a Japanese Temple Ninja Prayer Person, that’s the only way I can describe it.

_DSC0010(Andrew carved this because he’s a pumpkin carving wizard. )

And that there was our Halloween, my spookies!

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