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August 2006

It is Fair Time


Last week was the local fair. The girls and I all entered things. Our lambkin's and the Scotty. We all won ribbons a total of 11. Chloe won three for her needle-felted doll. Best in class, best in category and first place. I have to say I was quite amazed at the skill and creativity of the children’s entries over in the 4-h section. It made me so happy to see such creativity and skill. I got lots of ideas!!!!

I do get frustrated on some of the judging. Like they wanted to know what my cupcake was (Like is it a pincushion, a birth party gift). Why can't it be just a cupcake??? But the girls are already working on things to enter next year. I am battling not getting sick or I have bad allergies I can not tell. Anyways my posting my be sketchy over the next few days. Have a yummy Thursday!!!


Welcome Home Mrs. Lovedove



    Well ladies we received our yearly picture from Mrs. Lovedove in the mail, telling us that she will be returning at the beginning of the week. Mrs. Lovedove spends every summer in Provence. Above is her nature sketch of the lavender field below the house she rents every summer. Mrs. Lovedove need a whole summer in a lavender field to recoup and refresh for the new year.

    I bet you are wondering who Mrs. Lovedove is? Well there is a bit of a story behind her. When Aubern'e was six she was fascinated with the school bus. What is it with homeschooled six year olds and the school bus ? Anyways she thought Miss Frizzle drove the bus and was sure she was missing out on something. One day she informed me she was going to "school" (Now we do not call learning, school. We just learn! All the time!) At breakfast she came in with a backpack, all dressed. After breakfast she kiss me goodbye and went to take "the bus:. The bus was all our outdoor chairs and picnic table lined up in a straight line. Then Auberne` came back in the house and wanted to do "school". Which I found out meant she got to stand up and do show and tell, which is what she thought one did in school. Also read a picture book, draw a picture about it and have a snack. Wha-laaa, school done! After a couple of days doing this Aubern'e decided I needed a name and Mrs. Lovedove was born.

    Even though we homeschool year around, there is a rhythm to our year and over time I have learned to just go with the flow. Summers are always more laid back and in the fall there is a back-to-school bug. My girls always crave more structure in the fall after a relaxed summer. So every fall Mrs. Lovedove come home from France. Whenever Chloe wants to be doing more in school, she asks for Mrs. Lovedove. That is my cue. So in honor of Mrs. Lovedove's return, I am doing a back to school week. Sort of like summer corners but a week of school ideas. Recipes, crafts, stories, decoration maybe ever curriculum. Horrors :-P  I will be starting next Monday and I invite all to join me. If you have any ideas, please post them (or if you do not have blog send them to me). Let me know and I will post a link. You do not have to homeschool, heck you do not even have to have a children. We all learn, plus it could just be a cute corner of your home or a favorite breakfast recipe or snack. Come see me next Monday for fun back-to-school ideas!

Menu Of The Week


On the weekend I like Dh to grill (it gives me a break or if I am feeling like cooking then I can make a more elaborate meal). With the end of summer coming and the bounty of veggies this time of year I am eager to make lots of veggie dishes. You could easily leave out the steak and still have a wonderful meal. I saw this recipes for the stuffed zucchini with gazpacho sauce and thought that was perfect for this time of year. If it sounds like to much work you could make the zucchini without the sauce or make the sauce and serve over a quick veggi stir-fry. I wanted to say I did not bother par-boiling the zucchini. That seems like to much work for me and an unnecessary step. I just cooked it about 35 minutes and it was fine. Serve this with a simple grilled steak, some corn on the cob and a bottle of merlot, perfect. Ohh well it is not perfect till you have dessert. Since that grill is all ready fired up grill some fruit. If you really want to make it extra special ahead of time make some cornmeal cookies to. Now that is perfect !!!

Simple Grilled Steak.

I just rub my steak with olive oil, some finely chopped rosemary and garlic, salt and pepper.


Grilled Corn with Lemon Basil Butter

If you do not know how to grill corn, here is info.

Lemon Basil butter

Mix one stick of soften butter with 5 leaves of basil, finely chopped and zest from one lemon.

Stuffed Zucchini with Gazpacho Sauce

Dessert Grilled Fruit

just take fruit like halved peaches, plums, nectarines. Sliced pineapple or halved bananas. Based with honey and grill till honey starts to caramelizes. A minute or two.

Pitcure above Harvest is by Angela Morgan

Don,t you just love this picture !!!!

See what envy does !!!


The envy all started when Alison at Broncante Home posted this amazing washer/dyer. I am soooo in love with this but I am sure it does not fit in my beer budget. But I believe in knowing what you want, then trying to figure out how to do it in your budget. So I painted my washer and dyer. And for $2.50 and a 1/2 of my time to boot.


All I did is buy a $1.99 stenciled and some 50 cent red acrylic paint. I taped the stencil on and painted flowers. I painted a few, let it dry and then over lapped some more.


I wanted to share this for two reason. One to motive you to pretty up your laundry area. But for a bigger, second reason. Let's be honest, I just slapped this paint on and it is not the best job in the world. I could have picked a much more elaborate (and expensive) stencil or try to paint it free hand. I could have spent a good hour carefully painting my flowers, I could have gone back over it to perfect it more. But you know it is in my basement and it is good enough.


I wanted to share this because I have some friends who will not do something or keep putting it off out of fear it will not be good enough. Of course we all want to be happy with what we create and if this was in a room were I sit and look at my washer I would have been more careful. But I did not want to make this too big of a deal. So let go of the fear, procrastination, perfectionism and just have fun. Mostly just embrace that fun !!!

And The Winner is


Tracy at Seaside Enchantment is the winner of a 100 thank-yous. Sorry Tracy seeing your present is sort of a spoiler but I thought the other ladies would want to see it. I got the wonderful China Wear dishtowel at the Christmas House and thanks to Debbie's wonderful gifts I got the idea to decorate a composition-book. Thank you Debbie, I hope you do not mind me copying you !! and Tracy if you want it a dark chocolate pecan/rasin bar ???? Remember dark chocolate is good for you :-)


I also want to show something I made with leftover oilcloth. I had these odd skinny pieces. So I trimmed the edges with pinking shears. I folded them in thirds and added ric-rack to hold down the front flap.


I cut the top piece a little skinnier so it would lay under the ric-rack. Since I did not want to pin the oil-cloth (and have little holes) I found taped worked well (as you can see below). I just sewed up each side. I found it was best to start at the bottom fold, (not like in the picture below, this is were I made my mistake and found out I needed to start at the bottom) it did not slip around. Also you have to gently pull the fab as you sew. But really it was easy and a nice way to use up leftovers.


I just wanted to thank you ladies for the kind words and feed back. It is funny I thought there would be one or two things you ladies all loved but each of you picked different things. So the message I got is to just keep on doing what I do. I have some great homemaking ideas I will be posting over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

You ladies are the best xoxoxo

Cupcake Love


Imagine a whole blog dedicated to cupcakes !! I have to say I have been reading about cooking since I was a teenage (a longgggg time). A lot of what I read now, is "been there, done that" for me (although I still love to read about cooking) but this blog was WoW. Like green tea/lavender/honey cupcake above. Inventive, unusual, motivational and got me thinking. I think it is so important to think about cooking, long before you step in the kitchen. You need to be excited and visualize what you want to cook.

More Nature Sketch Book


I hope to post every couple of weeks a different sketchbook. I find it very helpful and inspiring to see others books. I really enjoy Susan Cornelis sketch books. I like that not only does she have nature one, but travel and every day things. I think there is a lot around us that we should observe but do not think about. There are times when I look at that plain white page and do not know what to do. Seeing others books, helps me bravely start sketching !!!


So Long Self


So Long Self

Well if I come across a little bit distant
It’s just because I am
Things just seem to feel a little bit different
You understand
Believe it or not but life is not apparently
About me anyways
But I have met the One who really is worthy
So let me say

So long, self
Well, it’s been fun, but I have found somebody else
So long, self
There’s just no room for two
So you are gonna have to move
So long, self
Don’t take this wrong but you are wrong for me, farewell
Oh well, goodbye, don’t cry
So long, self

Stop right there because I know what you’re thinking
But no we can’t be friends
And even though I know your heart is breaking
This has to end
And come to think of it the blame for all of this
Simply falls on me
For wanting something more in life than all of this
Can’t you see

Don’t feel so bad (don’t feel so bad)
There’ll be better days (there’ll be better days)
Don’t go away mad (but by all means)
Just go away, go away

So long self by Merymehas been my wish for myself this month.

Picture by Tomas Baker

Things I Love


Krisly Designs. I love her use of nature resources in a new way. Her feather tree is a favorite and I am wanting to make a bark moss runner. Make sure you look at her objects page.

I also love Alpineberry but her espresso praline muffin  just make me pine !!

Looking for some inspiration, check out Just as I Am. Her day 19 above.

At Safeway they have these yummy O Organic Ice Cream Bars. I had the coffee one. I liked them because the chocolate was a very good dark chocolate and because they did not use corn syrup but evaporated cane sugar. Yummy and healthy !!!

Vanilla Ice Cream Bar With Dark Chocolate

Blackberry Ice Cream Bar With Dark Chocolate

Coffee Ice Cream Bar With Dark Chocolate

Strawberry Ice Cream Bar With Dark Chocolate


Menu Of The Week


I am hoping to once a week (or once every couple of weeks, depending on what I can come up with) to post a menu. I know how it is to come up with something new to cook. We all need inspiration once in while. I made this dinner this weekend and we all LOVED it. Although it may have something to do with all that fat !! But I made sure we had a light meal the next night , to make up for it. Now about the cream corn, you will see that I baked it slow and low with a bain marie. Oh what is a bain marie ??

Food History


Bain-Marie (Mary's bath) refers to the method of placing a pan of food in another pan with water in it to stabilize the heat reaching the food (water bath). The term was originally used in alchemy, and was named after Moses's sister, who was an alchemist.

Although I did not set the pan in the water. I put the pan on the top rack and another small pan with water on the rack below. The reason is by cooking this low and slow and having the bain marie it keeps the custard very soft and silky. Custard can get grainy and break when cooked at a higher heat and I find the steam in the oven really helps this from happening to. So even if you have your own corn pudding recipe, try cooking it like this and see if you like it.

The hamburger, you can make any old hamburger (This is just how we like it. We like garlic in everything) and just wrap the bacon around it.

Now after all this rich cream corn and salty bacon, you need something to balance it all out. I think the spinach is perfect for this. I made the dressing just barley sweet to balance out the meal. Also you will see I have a very small ratio of vinegar to olive oil. This is one of my (many) pet-peeves. Most salad dressing are far too vinegary. Well at lest in my opinion. So play with everything to suite your taste. I think this meal is a brilliant balance between rich, salty, sweet and clean.

Cream corn

3 cups of corn (fresh cut off the cob or frozen. You can mix in the corn still frozen. It will be fine)

2 1/2 cup heavy cream

3 eggs

1 tsp. garlic powder

slat and pepper to taste

grated parmesan cheese

Whip eggs and cream together add garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix in corn and pour in a greased 8x12 (or closest size) pan. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Slide bain marie in lower rack. Bake at 300 for two hours or till set in center.

Bacon wrapped burger

Makes 7-8 burgers.

Mix 1 1/2 pound ground beef with finely chopped garlic clove, 1 TBLS. soy sauce, pepper, paprika. Make patties and take one slice of bacon and wrap around burger. Then grill or fry in pan.

Spinach Salad with honey balsamic

Dressing: 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 TBLS, balsamic, 1 TBLS. honey, salt and pepper.

Toss spinach, tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion and avocado with dressing.

Oil Cloth


I wanted to say a couple of things about oil cloth. It is bit different from plastic table cloth fabric. It has more weight to it. So it lays flatter and I think it is easer to cut. Which is nice for things like lining a drawer. Also the back has a slight web pattern, as apposed to the fuzzy back. It does not slip around. So when looking at cloth keep the weight and back in mind. Here is some info about oil cloth.


What is oilcloth?
Today's oilcloth is a vinyl that is bonded and supported with a coven cotton mesh. The surface can be wiped clean. The fabric has been tested and passes the National Fire Protection Agency 701 classification for commercial and residential use.
Oilcloth is waterproof and stain resistant. Fading may occur under direct sunlight for extended periods of time since the oilcloth does not contain a UV inhibitor.

How do I care for oilcloth?
You can wipe oilcloth clean using a warm, soapy sponge then dry it off with a soft cloth. Machine washing is not suggested. Store folded or rolled. Any creases from folding will smooth out over time-- faster in a warm environment. If you want to speed the process up you could use the steam setting on an iron with a pressing cloth between the iron and the oilcloth (DO NOT TOUCH THE IRON TO THE OILCLOTH).

What can I use oilcloth for?

Here are just some ideas-- table covering, lunch bags, dog food mat, high-chair mat, book cover, beach bag, shelf liner, apron, wallet..... what ever you would like to be pretty and waterproof!

How wide is the oilcloth?
The oilcloth is 47" wide.

What if I need a piece that is wider than 47"?
Oilcloth can be sewn using a size 16 sharp needle on your machine. If you are going to sew it by hand, I would nice heavy duty needle and a thimble. To strenghen your seams, you may want to seal them with a bead of silicone glue (available at most art supply or hardware stores). Silicone glue dries clear and flexible.
How do I hem oilcloth?
One of wonderful qualities of oilcloth is that the raw edges will not unravel or fray. If you are doing a tablecloth you can just cut a nice straight edge, or use pinking shears for a slightly decorative edge.

Thanks to Jody and Kim here are links to order on-line. I looked for you Canada ladies but did not find anything. I noticed a few on-line stores ship to Canada. Good luck !!!
A Bainbridge Island favorite Esters
Check out thier project page

Thank You 100 Times


I can not believe I have written 100 posts. Boy can I talk !! I can not express what a blessing this blog has been. It has been such a blessing because all of you ladies. You have become friends to me (and those who are friends, you have been my biggest cheerleaders) and I am so appreciative of it. There are so many blogs, more then anyone could ever have the time to read. It means so much to me that you would choose to come to my blog. I hope this is a blog worthy your time. I want to be able to thank each of you in person, but that is a bit unrealistic. So I am having a giveaway. Now I am still deciding what vintage goodies to send, but I promise it will be yummy. So this is what I would love for you to do. Leave me a comment telling me what is you favorite idea, recipe and/or craft I have posted (I would like to get an idea of what all of you like, so I can post more of that) I will put all your names in box. At the end of the week, I will draw a name and let you know who won. Well I hope I have motivated you to play or if you have to work, turn that work into play xoxoxoxo

PS. I have had several questions about oil cloth, I will post about it later and  some links.

PSS. I made a mistake on the carrot salad. I wrote you add lemon zest, but I meant orange zest. I fixed the post but wanted to let you know.

Ahhhh, clean drawers


I think I have found the perfect liner for my drawers (boy that does not sound good, does that !) I tried that peel and stick liner, hated it. It was hassle to cut, it only stuck in parts. It did not all lay flat and wrinkled. So it was hard to clean. I found in one draw melted butter and I really could not get it cleaned out of the wrinkled liner. I decided to try oil cloth and love it. My cabinets are hand made and not your typical size. But oil cloth is really wide so I could cut a piece to fit. It is easy to cut. I was able to write on the back side what drawer it goes with. Now oil cloth is not cheap, $8.00 a yrd. But it is wide yardage and I think it will last a long time. So every few weeks a I will buy 2 yards till I get all my drawers and cabinets lined. I mostly like it because it is easy to pull out and set in. That will make clean up so quick. Plus it looks so pretty. I also lined my medicine cabinet with it. Hopefully it will be helpful to some of you.


Pine Nut Carrot Slaw


Pine Nut Carrot Slaw

1 pound fresh carrots, peeled and ends trimmed

5 cloves roasted garlic, chopped

1/4 cup orange juice

Juice of half lime

zest from one lime and one orange

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1/4 cup fresh basil, torn

1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste

Shred the carrots and place into a medium bowl. Add the garlic, orange and lime juice, zest and olive oil; toss, and set aside at room temperature.

Heat a dry skillet to medium, add the pine nuts, and toast them, shaking the pan constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned. Add them to the carrots and toss. Add basil, toss, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Picture by Isy Ochoa

Dress up That Doll


I was over at These Foolish Things and was inspired by how she made new outfits for her bunnies. But being lazy, I did not want to sew.      I have a closest stashed with dozens of dress, in dozens of sizes. I pulled out this antique baby coat. I LOVE the deer on it. Found one of my girls dolls (which was in a corner of the basement, in some horrid disco outfit. EKKKK). I quickly undressed her and tied a pretty toile ribbon around her head. Added a vintage pin and set her on a chair in my living room.. Thank you Gena for the inspiration. I am now working on a back-to-school bear complete with a plaid Mary Jane dress and a lunch basket with an apple, hankie, ect. I will show you soon. So I dare you to find a doll, a stuff animal, a small child. Go through those baby clothes and dress them from head to toe !!!!



A literary meme


I have been taged by Miss. Eagle at The Trad Pad I have to confess I mostly read children’s books (I do not have a lot of patients for adult books) so my responses may not be very interesting or deep.

1. One book that changed your life

Well there is lot but for the moment I am reading Real Love For Real Life "the art and work of caring" by Andi Ashworth. I am loving this book because it is helping me think of care giving in a whole new light. When I heard the word caregiver I think of someone like a nurse. Well I am not good at being a nurse. It is much to practical for me. So I never thought of myself as a caregiver. But Andi talks about all the different and creative ways we caregiver. How to use the talents and interests you have to helps others. Basically do not beat yourself up because you are a certain type of person, but use who you are, the way you are to bless others.


2. One book you have read more than once.

Any Miss. Read book.


3. One book you'd want on a desert island.

My favorite book in whole world. "The House At The End Of The Lane" by Elizabeth Rush. It is about a doll (Miss Lucy), Mr. Bear, a giraffe (Bartholomew), Mr. Rabbit and Chester dog. They live in the most charming estate at the end of the lane. They have lots of tea parties, midnight concerts and general merriment. I so want to live with them.


4. One book that made you giddy?

Ohh I can not narrow this down. Any book that takes something, covers it in glitter, sets it in some scrumptious setting and shows me how to do it in my own home.


5. One book that you wish had been written

A homeschool book like the one I describe above. No schedules, list, curriculum. But fun hands on learning with amazing pictures. Basically if Victoria magazine were to do a homeschool book.

Baroquerule10_36. One book that wracked you with sobs?

Holly and Ivy

Baroquerule10_37. One book you wish had never been written

Most depressing adult fiction !!!


8. One book you're currently reading

"Stone Gable" by Brenda Knight Graham. Written in in 1978. It is a true story about 10 children who were homeschooled in forties. Their father is a retired artist because of poor eyesight. They live in this old amazing stone house. They do not called themselves homeschoolers, but that is what they did. It is very engaging and descriptive memoirs of their childhood. I am only 1/3 through it, so far nothing shocking or depressing. Hopefully I will still love the book when I am done.


9. One book you've been meaning to read.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. I have never read any of Ms. Austin’s books. I will confess I am very intimated by them. Even though I love books, being a dyslexic I am terrified of them at the same time. If that makes sense???

Picture by Mary Cassatt



Summer Corner #8


I am sorry to be so late with my summer corner. It has not been very summery here but we were finally able to do some fun things for this last summer corner post. I so enjoyed doing Summer Corner and I want to thank all of you for the support and those who did a summer corner !!

By the way I will write later what Mary and I were dressed up for. You have to go check out Kelli at There Is No Place Like Home, she has the most beautiful summer corners. I want to sit down and have tea with you Kelli. Thank you for sharing with all of us. Also she made a desk blotter and it turned out so charming.


My idea this last week is outdoor activities. I got the idea from Rebecca Frog and Toad are Friends who wrote to me about her summer corner ideas. Here is what she wrote

“Hello, Clarice!
I have three kids - I have some big messy art projects planned:
- throwing tennis balls dipped in acrylic paint onto big sheets of paper taped to our fence
- putting big sheets of paper underneath the swing set, giving the kids' paintbrushes (the big round house paint kind, not the pointy paint-set kind) and letting them paint while dangling from the swings
- again, my poor swing is going to be covered in a big sheet of paper and we're going to roll paint-covered tennis balls and little cars with paint on their wheels down it.
Pretty messy! I don't know if it fits with your blog's theme!
We're also making a theatre on the
clothesline theater and we've already made a fairy house in the front yard. We made honey cakes for fairies, and my daughter's buddies are coming over this weekend for a fairy party - iced herbal tea with flowers in the ice cubes, cupcakes that look like butterflies and fairytale mushrooms... I was also thinking about setting up a fairy mailbox in the hollow of the tree, where the kids would get little tiny letters from the fairies.
Other than that? We're making a papier-mache sculpture of Pippi Longstocking this summer!
I'm also saving baby wipe boxes - I dye water with food coloring, stick plastic toys or pennies or what have you in the boxes and then pour in the colored water. When it's frozen, I let the kids' excavate the toys out - or just let them put the colored blocks in the pool. Colored ice blocks are also fun to build with!”


Rebecca post so inspired me. Even though my girls are older, it got me thinking what fun outdoors activities we could do. First I made giant pick-up sticks. I bought wooden dowels (about 45 inches long) and just sharpened the ends in a pencil sharpener. We stuck one end in the ground and painted them different colors. That is it. At 40 cents a dowel this was a pretty cheap game to make. It is fun to try figure out how to work with such long pick-up sticks.


My second idea was a marble/paint idea. I took a wooden box, but any box would work. We taped the paper down on two sides. Put a couple of dabs of paint on the paper. All we did was roll three marbles around and around and around really fast. I found the more paint you use a more marbled affect it had. It was quite fun. I will not share the irreverent titles we came up with for each picture. It was sort of like looking at those ink spots at a physicists !! Now I am not sure about the sanity of my family, but we have a very good laugh !!!

Crescent Meanderings


Do you have one of those friends that you have known forever (well it seems forever. In the best sense of course). One who has known you since you were a silly, dreaming girl with no hubby, no children, no mortgage. That is Mary (and a few more friends who I will mention another day). We met in the church bathroom, both crying over the latest jerk. A friendship was born. We would get together every Friday night with strawberries, a wedge of brie and a bottle Sutter Homes white zinfandel. (I will not tell them how we would go punk dancing on Wednesdays after bible study in our leather pants !!) We would giggle, dream, cry, talk and talk. Dear hubbies tease that 25 years later nothing has changed. We can not see each other for a year and we pick right up, like it was just yesterday !! How lovely to have a friend you can just be you with. And who remembers how good you looked like in those leather pants !!!!
Mary has started a new blog
Cresent Meanderingscheck it out.

Ohh Mary is on the right and I am on the left.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children


"I wonder sometimes if you folks who are at home all the time know just what a blessed place home is," replied Jenny Wren. "It is only six months since we went south, but I said it seems ages, and it does. The best part of going away is coming home. I don't care if that does sound rather mixed; it is true just the same. It isn't home down there in the sunny South, even if we do spend as much time there as we do here. This is home, and there's no place like it! What's that, Mr. Wren? I haven't seen all the Great World? Perhaps I haven't, but I've seen enough of it, let me tell you that! Any one who travels a thousand miles twice a year as we do has a right to express an opinion, especially if they have used their eyes as I have mine. There is no place like home, and you needn't try to tease me by pretending that there is. My dear, I know you; you are just as tickled to be back here as I am."
One of the things I love about Charlotte Mason is how she used whole literature to teach facts. I am not a fact person and as a child I though I hated reading (because it was mostly text books). Although being dyslexic did not help. But as a grew up and I realized there were so many ways to learn something beside just reading a list of facts. Good literature can pull you in, tug at your heart strings and make you feel that you are there. You experience something, which is a wonderful way to learn. I have come to look at learning in a whole new light, thanks to Charlotte Mason. It is not just a list of facts, dry and dull. We are very into nature study. I think it is so important to be aware of the world around us and how it works. Chloe is fascinated by birds. How the live, how they build their homes, how they communicate, ect. I am always on the lookout for any whole literature about birds. One of our favorites is Thornton Burgess books. I love his stories but I especially love his series of animal nature stories. These are written in story form but go into much more depth and give lots of facts in a narrative fashion. There is the bird book, animal book, flower book and sea-side book. . Sadly only the bird and animal stories are on-line. They are pricey but I highly recommend them. Between me and two friends we have them all. Even if you do not homeschool or even have children, I think all would enjoy them. Here is the bird book and you can have a look for yourself.

5 Things


I was not thinking when I posted the zucchini cake recipe yesterday, I wanted to say this cake would be good with whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour. I find 2/3 of whole wheat and one third white works well. I am still playing with this. I am trying to eliminate as much white flour and white sugar with out loosing the integrity of the dish. Also other sugar would work fine. I actually used evaporated cane sugar. Lastly I made this cake somewhat plain because I wanted it to be a backdrop to the lime curd and cream. So I did not add any spices. But you could make just the cake and add spices or ginger or grated zest. Really anything play with it. Lastly I know several of you out there have lotssss of zucchini and are looking for ways to use it. I thought this Saltimbocca of Zucchini  looked really good. Enjoy what you eat, eat what you enjoy !!!!

I have been taged by Tracy at Seaside Enchantment!!!

1. Five things in my freezer:
blueberries, homemade yogurt popsicles, oat flour, Trader Joes chicken Monterey Jack cheese tamales, marinating steaks
2. Five things in my closet:
LOTS of purses, a beautiful pearl grey linen skirt I made, my dear daughters clothes (we share), cedar (it is cedar lined), a big basket filled with dozens of white lace hankies I have been collecting and can not decide what to do with.
3. Five things in my car:
Toby Mac CD, insulated bag to hold cold food, cup holders from Starbucks, a movers blanket, Chronicles of Narnina on CD
4. Five things in my purse:
My dark green large sun glasses, cigartte case that holds my credit card (it says I love Paris and is pink), a sequined bag to hold my change (it looks like a skirt and is pink), Chloe’s pink sunglasses (because she forgets them all the time), and espresso glitter lip-gloss
5. Five things in my wallet:
Ohh my wallet is boring just credit cards and my drivers license. No pictures or anything.
Picture by my daughter Chloe

Zucchini cake with lime curd and whipped Cream Fraiche


I got to meet an on-line friend today. It is so fun to meet someone in person you have chatted with. We had a wonderful chat, yummy tea and Zucchini cake with lime curd and whipped Cream Fraiche. It was a lovely day. One thing about the cake, when you spread the filling do not spread to edge. The filling spreads when you add the top of cake. My poor friend had to have cake with curd dripping off the side. It was yummy but messy. You could serve slice of cake then spoon curd and cream over the top.

Zucchini Cake
¼ cup butter
¼ cup oil
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup shredded zucchini
1 ½ cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt

Pre-heat oven 350. Grease and flour cake pan. Cream butter and sugar. Then add oil, vanilla and eggs. Sift together dry imprudence and add to wet. Mix and then mix in zucchini. Pour in pan, bake about 25-35 minutes. Till cake tester come out clean.
Cool, then slice cake horizontally into two. Spread lime curd on bottom layer, then spoon whipped cream over curd. Then place top of cake back on whipped cream. Just whip the Cream Fraiche like whipped cream. Add 2 TBL of sugar and whip. It is like tangy whip cream.
Lime Curd
Creme Fraiche
Creme fraiche is a naturally thickened cream with a tart and tangy flavor. Since heavy cream is pasteurized in the United States, it lacks the bacteria needed to produce creme fraiche. This can be remedied by combining 2 tbsp buttermilk per 1 cup heavy cream in a covered glass container and letting it sit in a warm place for 24 hours. Stir well and refrigerate
Painting by Jennifer Spencer

Thank You






It is very rare for me to be speechless, but I am. I am not sure I can take anymore birthday happiness. This year has been such a blessing, I will never need to celebrate my birthday again. Dear sweet Debbie at Homespun Living  sent me birthday goodies. I have never meet Debbie. We have chatted on-line and I deeply covet her home. I adore her blog, she is a fellow homeschooler that understand the journey. But to be so generous with someone she has never even meet. Well I wish had better words then thank you. Also thank you for such amazing gifts. Oh my gosh. Love the chocolate, the hankie, the handmade doll, the note-book (Aubern'es favorite), the tags and the pouch (Chloe and mine favorite). I keep saying this, but there is on-line the sweetest, creative, most giving people. I feel so honored to meet each of you. Thank you Debbie xoxoxox 

How To Make A Desk Blotter

I thought since I was sharing my desk, I would tell you how I made my desk blotter. The great thing about making your own (besides being able to decorate it) is you can customize the size. Mine is 22x12 1/2 inches. I got the idea from Mary Engelbreit Magazine. I took a piece of foam core cut to the 22x12 1/2 inches. I cut a piece of silver paper (left-over wrapping paper) an inch bigger. I wrapped the paper around to the back and glued and taped the edges.
Your corners do not have to be perfect because the will be covered up. Next out of heavy card stock I cut a piece 12 1/2x3 1/4. I wanted pockets to slide small cards in. So I cut a pieces of silver paper 4x5, gave it an extra inch to wrap over foam core.  Then I cut a piece of the blue swirl paper (stationary) to fit the rest of the strip but an inch bigger. I wrapped the paper on the inside, side. So now I have my side piece. First I wrapped the top and bottom to the back. This is were you will see your corners so be careful. Again gluing and taping edges. Then finish wrapping the outside, edge to the back, gluing and taping. Now as you can see in the pictures there are places to slide in cards.
There are different ways to make a desk blotter, this is how I made mine. I am not good at directions. I would rather make it with you. If what I have written does not make sense, please let me know.

Shabby Chic Desk


If you think of me, please say a little pray. My computer has dumped all my favorites. I mean everything. Hundreds of sites, ideas, images. So I am a bit scrambling with the blog. If I am not posting all the time it is because I am trying to play catch-up with the blog. So please be patient. It will get better.
Here is my shabby chic desk. I have a lot of silver and pale colors. I am totally in-love with my desk. I did have this on my living room but it was more of a writing desk. Now I transferred all my things for my desk off the kitchen desk (that is a complete bomb, David and I can not agree on how to organize) and now everything is here. I have my lovely painting of a lady from Boston and my tea print from my sister.
You can see my wish cake box from my Dear friend Aurora and my silver cup from my sister xoxox. 
I had fun coming up with storage. I have a old silver/white bread box, wire basket, cups. It is hard to see but I made the desk blotter. I hope everyone has a little corner with pretty pencils, stationary, storage, ect. 

Italian Terrace


lvonna at Cream Puffs In Venice theme for August is Italian Terrace, for the cookbook "Recipe's From An Italian Terrace" by Valentina Harris'. I can not think of a better theme for August. Actually I can not think of a better theme for any month, but it is a good choice for August. So in keeping in the spirit I will share my recipe for prosciutto wrapped chicken. There are lots of versions out there of this dish. Some are breaded, some add cheese, some pound the chicken. But I like this recipe because it is quick and simple. Add some fresh sliced tomatoes, simple salad, bread, heaven !!

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
ground pepper
1/8 cup olive oil
4 large basil leaf or 8 whole fresh sage leaves
8 very thinly slices of prosciutto
Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breast. Set basil on chicken breast and wrap 2 pieces side by side of prosciutto over the basil and around the chicken.

Heat olive oil till hot and add chicken basil/prosciutto side down. Turn heat down to med and cover pan and cook 10 minutes. Then flip chicken over, cover and cook 5 more minutes or till chicken it done.

Picture for allposters

Lavender Linen Starch


I was at Mrs. Wilt's Sparrows Nest and read her post about using laundry starch. I have never used starch before. But dear Joanne sent me some yummy linens and they were so beautifully starched. I was thinking I would like to make my own and make it smell yummy. Plus it would be cheaper and I aways want to do things myself. So I looked around the internet, played with some recipes and came up with this one. I was thinking how a bottle of this and a bottel of Linen water would make a lovely gift. You could use any essential oil. I just like to use lavender. It seems to work well.

Lavender Linen Starch

Dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 1 pint cold water. Add 6 drops of lavender essential oil. Place in a spray bottle. Shake before using.