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May 2010

Killer Finds

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Gosh ladies, thank you for the overwhelming support of Wren Bay. I feels so love !!! I hope you love Wren as much as I do. I will share more soon.

I have been good for a while and not bought anything for my home. I have soo much already and I am trying to be happy with what I have. BUT when your girlfriend calling you Sunday morning at 9.30 and tells you, you need to get dressed and come down to this sale now because everything screams you and is dirt cheap, well you listen. I am soo glad I did. I got all this for $21.00 buck. The cottage dishes will make the sweetest table with my little cottage biscuit box. Another cottage print (it is a Helen Alingham) and who could say no to such, a beautiful, shabby, curvey large platter. Thank you Angie for calling me.

So this is the middle of the week for us. All Memorial day means for us is overtime !! But I would love to hear you plans. I can live vicariously through you xoxo


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Okay, Clarice, Share The Secret Already

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Well I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel, so I can FINALLY share what I have been obsessed (and bugging you) with. I think most of you think I have written a cookbook or craft book. Wrong, well sort of. I have written a novel.

Wren Bay, the story of making a home

It all started a couple of months ago, when I shared the sweet, little doll Paula made for me. I told you I had this little story in my head and decided to write it out for myself. It was about a doll, which had an herb garden. She was a newlywed and her husband was off to war. I thought it would be a page or two, because I am NOT a writer (I know Sharon I am a writer, I just do not feel like one  ;-)  Well 60,000 something words, 27 chapters, 3 parts later I have a novel. Not about a doll either. It is about Wren Bay, a newlywed, whose husband is gone to serve in WW1. Wren is a Boston socialite (although she was homeschooled), who is now living on her husband's dairy farm in Massachusetts. She knows nothing about dairy farms but she does not need to, she has the Harrison's family. They are caretakers of Bay Farm.

Wren is determined to use this time of separation from her husband, Devlin, to learn how to take this amazing, old stone house and turn it into a home. She will learn how to use all she has been gifted with and make the most of it.

Wren Bay, is also about the people in her life. Like her Aunt Sophia, a milliner who has raised Wren since she was 9. Aunt Sophia may be impractical and dreamy but she is a savvy business woman, who lives her life on her terms. Also there is Madam Mimi, Aunt Sophia's French cook. Who came to America after losing her beloved husband, Benard. She has given Wren the joy taking perfect ingredients and making heaven out of it. As Madam Mimi says, "One should never cook like a chef but understand and have the same skills as one." There is the Harrison family who have always been caretakers of Bay Farm. Mrs. Harrison, Mary, is very unsure of Wren and her harebrained (creative) ideas. Wren is trying to find her space in this new world, to focus on her blessings, not her losses and make her dreams come true, despite Devlin not being with her.

I have been told Wren sounds like my alter ego but I guess you will have to read Wren Bay and tell me what you think. I have someone editing for me (thank you editor xoxox) and fine tuning the story. Hopefully soon, we will have ALL my grammar errors fixed ;-o (Really it is insane for a dyslexic person to try to write a book, what am I thinking???) Soon I will ask your opinion on the cover and share more (there is soo much more). I am off to take more photos. Thank you for letting me share  xoxox


Things I Love

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Upcycled garden markers, what a fun reuse of old silverwear, thank you Gina xoxox

The new Sherlock Holmes movie, love it. A very differnt take on Sherlock Holmes (I was obbesed with SH when I was a girl) but I like it !!!!

Orange Vinegar, for cleaning. Brilliant Nadine xoxo

Make Fabric Paper Tape, I will never use boaring tape from now on

A savory zabaglione, who would have thought of that, yummm

Season 3 Lark Rise On Candleford on youtube. Sighhhh, I want to live in Lark Rise

I have to make a Rose belt and a ruffel bag !!

PS, Gill made the comment

"Did you know that Flora Thompson was post mistress (assistant) in the same village that Conan Doyle lived in, at the same time as he was writing some of his Sherlock stories?"

Thank is sooo cool, I did not know that. How funny I should mention both in the post. Thank you for sharing and now I have a fun bit of triva xoxoxo


So What Do I Really Cook A Lot

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This has been my view a lot lately, out my bedroom window. With me being sick for over a month now (now I have a cold with a low grade fever) I am so grateful my girls can cook. They have been such a big help, thank you girls xoxo

I have a cookbook for each of them and they need updating. I decided to look at my list of recipes (on the left side of the blog) and see what recipe we really use all the time. Those tried and true recipes, we lean on and add them to the girl's cookbooks. They are all, easy, yummy and fast. I thought I would share the list with you too xoxoxo

PS. you have asked about the picture below. That is Chloe and she is wearing a shirt, not a dress. It is black and from Target. It is really stunning with the ruffles down the front.

Coco Mix without preservatives, girls live on this in the winter.

Rose Syrup, this is my sunshine in the winter.

Mango Rum Slushy, Okay this is for me ;-)

Overnight Baked Oatmeal Cakes, I make these allllllll the time, especially when I have guests.

Chocolate Mayo Cake, you can do anything with this cake.Chloe made this for my dad the other night and served it with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream.

Espresso sugar, I could sprinkle this on everything

My No Bake Cookies, I make these at lest twice a month.

Peanut butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, there are no words how amazing these are.

Highland Toffee Bars, I make these at lest twice a month too.

60 Second Chocolate Mousse, I would say this is the recipe I make the most. I am forever tweaking the favorings but it is the fastest, most elegant recipe I have.

Broccoli Meatballs, I keep bags of these, unbaked in my freezer.

How I Roasted A Chicken, we have a roasted chicken every week.

Garlic Baked Shrimp, this is my "I came home, it is dinner time and I am too tired to cook dinner" recipe.

Cheesy Potatoes, Aubern'es specialty.

Salad w/ Orange Green Onion Vinaigrette

Make Your Own Microwave Popcorn, this goes without saying.

Buttermilk Biscuits, again I keep bags of these, unbaked, in my freezer. Ready to bake off and enjoy.

3 Ginger Banana Muffins, this is by far our favorite muffin recipe.

Baked Ravioli's, this is Chloe's specialty.

Roasted Tomatoes Ricotta Sauce, I roasted the tomatoes in the morning or days before and then whip it all up and pour it over pasta. Yummy and easy.


Lavender Honey Drop Cookies

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Thank you for all the well wishes. I am still having stomach bug issues but I am trying to keep life simple (trying).

I had to share these yummy cookies with you. I promise this will be the last almond flour recipe for a while. I know it is pricey and something most of you are not cooking with. I want to keep my recipes relevant to you. But at the risk of repeating myself I really love working with the almond flour. These cookies like the last recipe are just mix, roll and bake. So easy. What I also love about these cookies is they have lavender honey. I make herb/lavender honey every year  and love to find ways to use it. Here the honey both sweetens and flavors the cookies. Also I find the almond cookies stay fresh and moist several days. So that is nice.

I hope you have a relaxing Mothers Day. I will not be having mine till next month. Life is too crazy, I want to feel well and enjoy it. Remember to not feel pressured to do anything you do not want to do. If this is a bad weekend, put if off, till a good weekend. Your family is counting on you and you need to take time for you. So you can recharge and be the loving you, your family needs. Motherhood can be a veryyyy thankless job. Two year old's tend not to say "Why thank you mother for putting up with all you have had to." So much of what we do does not even get noticed or appreciated, except by other mothers. Who understand. But there are rewards that YOU can not see yet, that are invisible to you. Keep loving your children unconditionally, have faith in them and take care of yourself xoxox


 

Lavender Honey Drop Cookies

1/3 cup lavender honey

4 TBL. unsalted butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. of sea salt

1/4 tsp. of baking soda

2 cups almond flour

 

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Melt the butter and honey together.

Combine with other ingredients in a mixing bowl, till dough comes together like playdough. I found the dough a bit too wet and need a bit more flour. Just keep adding a bit and stir it in.

 

Set small balls of dough on parchment paper or greased baking sheet.

 

With three fingers flatten cookie a bit. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower temp of the oven to 175. Bake the cookies for another 10 minutes. Let cool.


Heartfelt Thoughts From A Mother To Her Daughters

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I have posted (finally something) on  Heartfelt Thoughts From A Mother To Her Daughters about taking care of yourself when you are sick, which we have been. I hope you are well and having a yummy weekend xoxoxox

PS. La-Tea-Dah asked about the photo. It is Anthropologie, I took it at Christmas time. They painted the wall with chalkboard paint and hung bunt pans. Then with chalk drew the circles. I am thinking of doing this on a wall in my kitchen. It is sooo cool. Sorry for not saying something about the photo before xoxo