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July 2007

June 2007

du Puy


Say hello to my little froggy friend du Puy. I named him du Puy because he is filled with little french lentils (and I name everything after food ;-) I saw this wonderful project over at Pearl Bee. Have fun making one yourself !!!!


A Stawberry Weekend


Well it is strawberry time around here. We always go to Sequim through the summer, because they have the best you-pick farms. We picked 15 pounds and will go again. I froze most for future use. Since hubby was not with us we shopped to !!! I got these gorgeous glasses at a thrift-store for $12.00. Isn't the color to die for. Also this wonderful tin to hold our keys and sunglasses.

It had rained all night and just minutes before we arrived to pick berries, so we were soaked. We decided to go to breakfast and dry off. The Oak Table had been recommend but I was not prepared for how nice it was. We did not fit in with all our mud but it was fun. It reminded me of one of those frilly 80's tea houses (with floral wallpaper and borders everywhere). I had not been to one of those in soo long, it brought back memories. Plus they had some amazing antiques and this glassed in room I loved (I should have taken pictures, next time). I had Potato pancakes with sour cream and Aubern'e had this monstrous apple pancake, ymmm.




I Learned To Crochet


Over my little break I learned how to crochet and made these bracelets. I love how they turned out. I used a sizeE hook and No 8 finca pearl cotton thread. I crocheted a long piece in a single stitch and at the end I did a chain stitch loop for the button. Do not look to close and see how wide, then skinny, then wide they are. Only I would chose for my very first crochet project to use a small hook and thread. It made it a bit hard to see the stitches ;-p

I will be making more, especially with the variegated thread.


Gimme a T


Teresa-did a list of good things and I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and do one to. I hope you do not mind Teresa xoxoxox

Greek Gods-I can not tell you how utterly yummy this  honey yogurt is. It makes cream-at-the-top yogurt boring.I have only tried the honey and the fig. I did not like the fig. Which surprises me because I adore figs, but this did not work for me. The honey was heavenly. It is slightly sweet and very thick. It reminded me of a yummy panna-cotta with a slightly (very slightly) tang to it. This yogurt with fresh fruit, will be a regular summer dessert !!!


I have been having so much fun watching free movies on-line at Netflix. I just watched North and South and loving it.

"North & South is a splendid, four-hour adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's 19th century novel about an unlikely, and somewhat star-crossed, love between a middle-class young woman from England's cultivated south and an intemperate if misunderstood industrialist in a hardscrabble, northern city. Daniela Denby-Ashe plays Margaret Hale, forthright and strong-willed daughter of a former vicar (Tim Pigott-Smith) who relocates his family from a pastoral village outside London to unforgiving, largely illiterate Milton, a factory town where John Thornton (Richard Armitage) and his mother (Sinead Cusack), survivors of poverty, rule their cotton mill with an iron hand. Thornton befriends Margaret's father but incurs her wrath for his severity with his workers. What she doesn't notice is Thornton's core sense of responsibility for his employees' welfare. On the other hand, he misinterprets some of Margaret's own actions and intentions. Equally stubborn, the two drag out their obvious attraction over many painful months and events."


Isabella in the 21st Century

I have been so enjoying your blog Natalie's based off of Mrs. Beatons book of household managment. Now thanks to Natalie I want a still room ;-)

" Welcome Friends,

Hello and welcome to my site. In her biography of Mrs Beeton Kathryn Hughes says that Beeton's Book of Household Management holds up a mirror to our most intimate needs and desires. By representing "Home" - the place where we go to be loved and to be fed - Mrs Beeton has become part of the fabric of who we feel ourselves to be. This site is dedicated to those of us who choose to be home and is intended to be a virtual meeting place for women who do the feeding and loving in homes around the world"



I have been looking for a hand painted teapot (since I broke mine). I just love the hand painted china at shabbyfufu and check out the amazing Debfordshire Damsels


Dry Soda

I love dry soda and lavender is my favorite. I do not drink soda, it is too sweet for me. But this is light and barely sweet. Just perfect.

"Seattle-based DRY Soda Co. offers the first culinary soda, a line of all-natural, lightly sweet beverages designed for those wanting a sophisticated non-alcoholic option to accompany a great meal or simply a night out with friends. DRY combines the subtle essence of nature and the kitchen in its four cuisine inspired flavors: kumquat, rhubarb, lemongrass and lavender.

In a fashion similar to fine wines, DRY was developed to be paired with great foods, and when poured, each flavor teases the senses with an effervescent mix of fragrance and flavor. DRY is all-natural, non-caffeinated, flavored with fruit and herb extracts, and sweetened with a small amount of pure cane sugar. In addition, each bottle of DRY Soda contains only 50-70 calories — far fewer than conventional sodas.
Drink DRY and inspire the table"

Miss. Potter


I have had several e-mails asking me if I liked the Miss. Potter movie. Well yes and no. Let me say I thought the movie was like a perfect box of bon-bons. It was sweet and beautiful. Unbelibly beautiful !!!                     

I am so glad I bought it. I know when I am having a bad day this movie and a cup of lavender tea will cheer me up. I loved how they showed how Beatrix books were such a part of her and how important her imagination was to her.

What I did not like was there was not enough of what an amazing woman she is. Her life is much more then her books and her romance with Norman Warne. I felt the movie was a bit fluffy. Even though I normal love fluff, I am hoping someone still does a movie about what a truly amazing woman Beatrix Potter was. Also I felt they glossed over her relationship with her parent.

So I highly recommend the move but know it is a cotton candy version of her life. Which I like cotton candy, but would have liked it a bit more real. By the way we had a proper pot of tea and scones with the movie !!!

Rosey Cosmopolitan


I use rose syrup a lot. I like to use it drizzled over fresh fruit, in custard, on pancakes with fresh berries, in iced tea. T-party's Vintage Rose tea has roses in it and it would be lovely with the syrup. A favorite I make is a strawberries buttermilk smoothie with the rose syrup, yumm. But what I mostly use my syrup for is a rosy cocktail. I will be honest, I just eyeball the amounts (but I had to give you something to work with). So feel free to play with what you like. This rosey cosmopolitan is very refreshing on a hot day and it is pink !!!!!

Rosey Cosmopolitan

1 oz. vodka (although I only use 1/2 oz I am a wimp)

2 oz. unsweetened pink grapefruit juice

1 TBL. rose syrup


Fill a cocktail shaker (so it will strain off the ice) half way with ice. Add vodka, juice and rose syrup. Shake well, pour in glass and garnish with a lovely rose !!!

PS. I forgot to say in the rose syrup recipe, to keep syrup refrigerated, unless you can it.  Whitebloom   



Rose Syrup


Here is my recipe for yummy rose syrup. I will talk in my next post of ways to use it and my rosey cocktail. About what roses to use, first of course know where your roses come from and do not use any sprayed with pesticides. Second use very fragrant roses. If they do not have much smell they will not make much of a fragrant syrup. I have a friend who has a lot of old moss roses, the kind with zillions of petals. Thank you Angie. I just pull all the petals off the stem and put those in a bowl.

Tip: Pick your roses in the morning before the sun hits them and they will be more fragrant.

A mistake I made this year was I used evaporated cane sugar. Not thinking, it is light brown and it changed the color of my syrup. The syrup usually has a slight brown color but this was really brown. I always add a bit of pink food gel to the syrup for color. But my girls had put the wrong lid on the wrong color. So my syrup this year is a deep purple brown :-{ 

Tip: Use white sugar and check your food gel coloring in water before using 

What you are doing is basically making rose water and turning that water into a simple syrup. The recipe can be halved or double. I made the rose water one day, strained it,  put it into the fridge and the next day made the syrup and canned it.

Tip: if short on time make water one day and syrup the next

Make sure you quickly cover your rose water as soon as you pour the water over the roses and use a tight fitting lid so the fragrant oils that first come off the roses do not get lost. Also when you heat the rose water and sugar do not boil, so again you do not loose the oils.

Tip: you might want to use saran-wrap and a lid for a tighter seal

Lastly if your rose syrup is not very fragrant (that happens sometimes) you can cheat two ways : 1 add some store bought rose water or 2 add food-grade rose oil.

Tip: Go very light on both store bought rose water and food grade rose oil. You can add but never take away. Also it will taste more rosey once cooled.


Rose Syrup

makes 12 cups

6 packed cups of rose petals

12 cups water

6 cups white sugar

*  *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

In large bowl add rose petals, have a large heavy platter that fits over the bowl snugly.

Bring to a boil 12 cups of water and pour over rose petals and quickly cover with platter.

Set bowl aside till water cools.

Strain water and discard petals.

Mix water and sugar in a  large pot and bring to boil till sugar is dissolved. But do not boil, only heat water enough to dissolve sugar.

If the color is not to your liking, you can adjust it. Keep refrigerated. Will last about 1 month in fridge. You can also can the syrup.

PS: I am SO excited about the Beatrix Potter movie coming out Tuesday. I never got to see it in the theater. I am all ready, I will head to costco Tuesday morning, I have scones in the freezer and clotted cream in the  fridge. You know what I am doing Tuesday afternoon. Also don't you love my rosey lady above !!!!!


A Place Of Safety


Even though my hubby never comes to my blog (I will have to print up this post for him ;-) I wanted to write him a thank-you. Since it is Fathers day, I have been thinking about the kind of father David to our girls. I was thinking how he is a place of safety for them. Both David and I know all to well the consequence of having fathers that are not a place of safety. The good side of this is we both know the importance of a loving and giving father. A father who builds up his children, a father who put his children’s needs first, a father who delights in his children and mostly a father who creates a safe place were a child can be themselves. David always makes his time with his family a priority, everything comes second. He plays, he listen, he sets boundaries and he loves unconditionally.

I want to thank you David for how hard you work for us, how you always make your time with the girls important, how hard you try and for being a places of safety for our girls (and me too) xoxoxo

The Young Gardeners' Kalendar



Roses pink and roses red,
Hold a court in every bed;
Stately lilies tall and white,
Pay them homage day and night.

Marigolds and poppies show
In a rich and radiant row,
And beyond their splendid line,
Irises in purple shine.

Honeysuckle scents the air,
Loveliness is everywhere,
And beside the border-grass
Venus's own looking-glass.

Now the privet bears its flowers,
Now the petals fall in showers
Where a white syringa-tree
Guards the homely honesty.

Bulbs must come from out the ground,
Young ones must be good and sound,
And with care be put away
For another gardening day.

Water well, and tie, and trim,
June fills quickly to the brim,
Fills with work for those who'd be
Helpers in her husbandry.

From the The Young Gardeners' Kalendar 

Vintage Sewing Chest


I am so excited, I can not even wait till this actually arrives to share it with all of you. Look at this amazing sewing chest I just bought from Lisa at Pink Paint and Roses. Oh my, I am so in-love. I have been wanting a sewing basket. My cigar box is to small, but this is even better. I love how it folds up flat for storage and then opens up, even with it's own little table top you can pull out. Plus is is pink. I drag my sewing all around my house. This will be prefect for that. Thank you Lisa (if you have not seen her charming blog, go check it out !!! ) I will treasure this and thank you ladies for letting me share. Ohh if I can only wait for it to come now !!!!!


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A Highland Toffee Hello


Hello ladies, you are all so kind and left such encouraging words. I really appreciated and quite frankly was able to enjoy my little break, since you gave me permission to do it. Thank you xox

Well I played a lot; Medieval fair, grilled oysters on the beach, practice my calligraphy, did a collage, dear hubby has perfected his smoked ribs, had a surprise Hawaiian birthday party for a friend, baked, ect. We finally seem to be bonding with Mayra, the new bunny. She does not like our woods floors. She only hangs out in her cage or the large towel we set in front of it. So I do not (at this point) have to worry about her getting into things around my house. Also isn't my first Abraham Darby rose of the season just dreamy!

I made a new yummy bar cookie, my family is loving. I saw the recipe for these Highland Toffee bars but I wanted to make them a bit healthier. Here are the changes I made and the recipe.

thick rolled oats V. instant oats

rice syrup V. corn syrup (rice syrup is a great sweetener. It has a slight malty flavoring, so it adds to the toffee flavor. Here are two links talking about rice syrup)

bittersweet chocolate V. semisweet

virgin olive oil  V. vegetable oil (I buy the oil at Costco and it really does not have much flavor and use it for all my baking. Then I use the extra virgin olive oil for my cooking)

Evaporated cane and 1 TBL. of molasses V. brown sugar


My Highland Toffee Bars

2 cups rolled oats

1/3 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil

1/2 cup evaporated cane or coconut sugar

1 TBL. molasses

1/4 cup rice syrup

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup chopped nuts, I like sliced almonds and pecans

1 cup chopped or chips, bittersweet chocolate

Grease a square baking pan.

Pre-heat oven 350˚F. In a sauce pan put oil, sugar, molasses, rice syrup, vanilla and salt. Set over medium heat, cook a minute or two until all is melted and blended. Then add oats and toasted nuts. Pour oats into greased small baking pan or cake pan (I use a 10x110" pan) and smooth out. 

Bake for 12 minutes. Pull out of oven. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Wait five minutes and then the chocolate will be melted. Spread chocolate over the top. Allow bars to cool an hour (or enjoy warm and crumbly) before cutting into bars!