September 8, 2020

spiced autumn

Well hello! Remember when I said maybe I wasn't going to blog anymore? "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!"  FUN FACT - that phrase is often erroneously ascribed to Shakespeare, but is in fact, from Sir Walter Scott's poem 'Marmion'. You guys should know by now that I sit on a throne of LIES. Ha ha ha. I appear to be on the once-a-month blogging schedule.

Some things I actually quite enjoy creating are little collages o' fun and interesting things. Books, treats, know, the usual.

I began putting together an Autumn layout and quickly realized that a sort of theme was emerging, and it was one of magic and spiced flavors and far-away worlds.

You know me and my motto, show me a great book cover and I'll show you a SALE - well I haven't taken my ordering pinky out  - yet - for 'A Pinch of Magic' by Michelle Harrison, but that's only because I've ordered five books recently, and I Must. Show. Some. Restraint. The reviews about this middle grade magical storyline involving sisters and a curse and magical objects just sounds so FUN, and the sequel came out this past February.

May I suggest with your reading some of these rose and pistachio shortbread cookies from Makabi & Sons? High five to them for their very cool website, and this intro description for these Maroc cookies:

"The grand Souk rumbles with the sound of nomads and traders in search of their next fortune. But navigate the Medina maze to find treasures beyond the Kasbah walls. A taste of the Berber life awaits."


Now. Let's get down to brass tacks here and can we all FREAK OUT IN UNISON that the genius Susannah Clarke has written another full length novel, 'Piranesi'. Who is she and why do we care? Because she wrote the utterly brilliant 'Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell' (which was published nearly 15 years ago!) and is considered by many to be one of our greatest living writers. And good news! For those who might have been daunted by Jonathan Strange's 1024 page endurance ultra-marathon, 'Paranesi' clocks in at a comparatively wee 272 pages.

Again, why do we care? Because Clarke is a flipping genius who can write about magic and unseen worlds while making you feel like you just got a literary Ph.D of some kind in the process of being royally entertained. 'Piranesi' apparently is about a magical house and really, that's all I know. I am HERE for this, and if you're unfamiliar with Clarke, but are a fan of Erin Morgenstern's 'The Night Circus' type fare (someday I will write a review of 'The Starless Sea' and complain A LOT - I loved the writing and the characters but I was totally bummed about the endless wandering around with no discernible endgame) you will want to get your hands on this book. 

Here are some items of interest that you might enjoy during the fall time season, along with your magical books. Tea and cardigan weather. Very few things make me happier. I was completely charmed by this tin of Harney & Sons Golden Milk Powder Tea, flavored with Turmeric, Ginger, Coconut and Spices - seriously how cute is this tin? What a lovely little gift for a friend or YOURSELF. Harney & Sons always give names to their tea blends and this one is called 'Glimmer'. Looooooove.

And while we're on the topic of tea, let's peek at this Marco Polo tea from Mariage Freres. This is a tea line from Paris, and they are splurge priced, but if you love tea and haven't tried this line, you need to get on it. One of my big regrets in life is that I didn't bring home 5 tins when we were in Paris last autumn, but I didn't want to cart the tins in my Very Tiny Suitcase. 

I gave Andrew a cannister of French Breakfast tea last Christmas, but one of the big stars in the Mariage Freres line is the Marco Polo, and that will be the next one we try. I've linked to the tin, rather than the tea bags, because you get more bang for your buck if you get loose tea. So get a strainer, stop moaning, and embrace loose tea! The Mariage Freres site describes Marco Polo thusly : "Mariage Frères’ overwhelming success is a mysterious blend that will take you to distant lands and unforeseen territories."  Well alrighty. I'm there. It's a floral and fruity black tea and it's supposed to be INCREDIBLE. 

I saw a bottle of Meadow Land simple syrup last year in a local shop and literally stopped and stared. The prettiest packaging! 'Inspired the prairie'. SAY NO MORE. You can put it in anything, or on top. Tea. Coffee. Drinks. Cocktails. Drizzled on desserts, ice cream, fruit. I'm linking to the original syrup, but there are a ton of other flavors, like strawberry basil and honey vanilla chamomile. 

OMG THERE IS NOW AN AUTUMN COLLECTION. Pumpkin Spice, Vanilla Maple, Woodfired Apple, Golden Age. I am FREAKING OUT. OMG AGAIN - there is a Winter Wonderland collection! I'm going to get one, break it apart, and give them out as holiday gifts. OH MY WORD.

Saw this cute pom-pommed sweater on Amazon of all places and was Very Impressed. I wish it had a button, but this is really super cute. I displayed it in the ivory to better suit the color scheme I had going for this collage, but my personal preference is the forest green color.


Well after all of that magical syrup biz, this Pumpkin Butternut Spice syrup from Pink House Alchemy seems a bit redundant, but here you go, here's another syrup. Enjoy. 

Anyone who has ever purchased one of my book boxes knows that I am nothing if not predictable - book, tea, socks, and a treat pretty much always find their way into a parcel, and more often than not, the treat is usually of the chocolate variety. Sorrynotsorry. I ADORE the look of this hazelnut milk chocolate from Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate. Beautiful packaging right? Tons of unique flavors. 

And lastly, I leave you today with another just-right-for-this-time-of-year read - 'The Vine Witch' by Luanne G. Smith caught my eye and I love the cover. It's the first in a series, and set in the French countryside, with the plot involving 'vine witches' who assist in wine production in the Chanceaux Valley. Magical wine? OK! That sounds fun.

So there you go! So many fun things! Did I make up for my Very Long Absence from blogging?


  1. Yay! Thanks for the post at the end of a very long day! Off to buy tea!!

    1. "Off to buy tea!" - I need a T shirt or a bumper sticker with that on it

  2. Are you going to make me buy ANOTHER cardigan? Even if I do buy it, I can't wear it for at least 2 months as it's record breaking HOT here in LA. Sigh. It's super cute though! xoxoxo

    1. I would NEVER make anyone buy a cardigan! Only STRONGLY SUGGEST. ha ha ha ha! it's too hot here as well. i'm hoping sweater weather puts in an appearance sooner rather than later.....

  3. I'm super in love with dark covers with flowers right now.
    And that Pinch of Magic cover. *love eyes*

    Pistachio shortbread cookies? Yummmm

    Ok Piranesi looks good. Will you read it and tell us all about it?

    I've been eyeing Harney & Sons. In fact, I was just sitting down to order their Hemp Moringa Blend/Deep Sleep. Have you tried any of their teas before?

    Ooo I want to try Marco Polo Tea. It's probably caffeinated though, huh?

    Oh that Meadowland Syrup is the cutest.

    Fabulous jumper/sweater.

    P.S. I'm thrilled you're going to keep blogging.

    1. Dark covers with beautiful flowers is clearly a THING right now in the publishing world and I love it! I've tried a ton of Harney & Sons teas, they are consistently great - their 'Paris' blend is one of my all time favorites from any tea line! Yes, the Marco Polo is a caffeinated black tea! And thank you for the sweet encouragement :)

  4. You sure did make up for the absence. Love all the great things you shared here! The cookies sounds delicious! Oh those Meadow Land syrups sounds wonderful! I imagine the Autumn ones will go great with pumpkin pancakes! Love all you shared! Thank you and have a great weak!

    1. All of those syrups sound AMAZING and pumpkin pancakes would be fabulous with the fall time varieties!

  5. Hello! *waving from California*
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the wonderful bits & pieces to discover, try, eat & sip!

    1. Waving from the Pacific NW!! Sending safe and smoke free vibes to the entire West Coast!