2.26.2013

No Green Thumb Needed ❀

Sometimes we find a touching story
 in the most unexpected place.

Yesterday while browsing
Etsy, I came
upon the most beautiful
flowers.
Source: etsy.com via Prince on Pinterest


They immediately reminded me of
spring...of pansies and roses and
apple blossoms.



Source: etsy.com via Prince on Pinterest

As I browsed
Priya's shop, Amu and Pri, I was
taken
by the detailed work.

Source: etsy.com via Prince on Pinterest

When I clicked on the artist's bio, I 
was saddened. 

Source: etsy.com via Prince on Pinterest

The shop has marked
everything to half off,
and is scheduled to
close in April.

Source: etsy.com via Prince on Pinterest

But what touched me most was the 
lengthy explanation
of how Etsy encouraged
an artistic endeavor
at a low point in Priya's life.

Source: etsy.com via Prince on Pinterest

...and then, to read that Priya 
CUTS ALL OF THE PETALS BY HAND...hand-dyes many petals
and hand-stitches....
it becomes evident this is a labor of LoVe.

Source: etsy.com via Prince on Pinterest

Priya gave me permission to 
post her lovely flowers...

Source: etsy.com via Prince on Pinterest

Please visit her shop and
tell your friends about
the beauty she
is creating.

Source: etsy.com via Prince on Pinterest

Obviously she loves 
what she does, and
something very personal
 is forcing her to close.

Source: etsy.com via Prince on Pinterest

Perhaps we can
help her along.

Source: etsy.com via Prince on Pinterest

It would be so sad to see
Priya stop creating.
She also added that she will recreate anything from her 
sold items if you see something you like.
The images below are from her sold section.
(as is the first image at the top...my favorite)


Spread the word! Post to your Facebook, pin, tweet, email....Priya is so
talented that she should be doing this full-time!
She is giving up a part of her heart.
As a fellow crafter, it brings tears to my eyes.

Visit Amu and Pri for a breath of fresh air.

xo

2.24.2013

What's for Breakfast and Other Ramblings....


Our yummy gluten-free muffins

One of the added bonuses of being home recuperating, has
been having time to make my kids breakfast.
Typically, I leave the house by 6:30, and they get ready after I leave. 
I have always craved
the time at home in the morning....but it was a fair
trade for getting home 
from my teaching
job by 3:00 most days.

My husband, also a teacher, goes in later,
so mornings
have been his to handle.

In August, I always shed a few
tears about going back.
I miss being with the kids for their morning
routine....for ponytails and peanut butter toast.

So after my surgery, I WAS down for the count for a while, but the 
thing I could do was make a 
light breakfast, and a braid or two :)

It truly has been a whole
new bonding with my 9 and 14 year olds.
We have determined that N definitely 
needs to lay his clothing out the
night before, and that C needs to get up
a little earlier to motivate Dad :)

This past week was school vacation, and 
I am almost ready to return to work.
So we have been making LOTS of special breakfasts.
Our daughter has Celiac, and we don't use any
regular wheat flour in our house at all.
It has been banished.
Luckily, we all (including picky 14 year old), 
LOVE gluten-free muffins.

Recently I  purchased
Cup 4 Cup Flour. I  tried it using Lissa's recipe here. for
 orange brownies.
It was an amazing recipe, and an amazing result.
(Lissa is an inspirational mom, wife, photographer, decorator, and cook!)

I Love to take our traditional family recipes and 
use gluten-free flour. I decided to try
 our favorite blueberry muffin recipe with Cup 4 Cup.
The results were AMAZING.

Here is the Land O' Lakes Recipe.
We substituted Cup4Cup where it called 
for regular flour.

Muffin



1 cup milk
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, melted
1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg, slightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Topping

1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar



Heat oven to 375°F. Place paper baking cups into 12 muffin pan cups or grease cups; set aside.
Combine milk, 1/2 cup melted butter and egg in large bowl. Add all remaining muffin ingredientsexcept blueberries; stir just until moistened. Gently stir in blueberries.
Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin pan cups. Bake 22-26 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from pan.
Dip tops of muffins in 1/4 cup melted butter, then in sugar.
Serve muffins with butter with canola oil.

Variations:Lemon Blueberry Muffins: Prepare muffins as directed above, stirring in 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest with the flour.

Raspberry-White Chocolate Chip Muffins: :Prepare muffins as directed above, substituting 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries for blueberries. Gently stir in 1/2 cup vanilla milk chips with raspberries.


And I know that dipping it in butter sounds
positively slovenly...but it really makes this particular muffin.
I would like to buy baker's crunchy sugar and try
that as well, without the butter.

My family heads back to school tomorrow.
I will be here to make a few more breakfasts,
to comb that long, silky hair.
I will have a few more days of
my morning
coffee and toast routine.
A few more days of putting the breakfast dishes in the
dishwasher BEFORE 3:00 in the afternoon.
As always, it makes me a 
little sad. Last summer someone (an anonymous blogger of course), said
I was complaining when I expressed my sadness at the end of the summer.
I feel that same sadness now. 
But I know it will be summer
before we know it...
the garden will be in full
swing...the windows will be open, carrying in a warm 
breeze and the laughter of
neighbors playing.
I have BIG plans....a few home projects on a 
non-existant budget...a few new art projects that
have me so excited.


***C had a cyclic vomiting episode this week...she went 73 days.
Please visit cvsaonline.org to learn more about this mysterious illness, and educate a friend or family member. Thanks.
read more here.


2.22.2013

A Thank-You Giveaway

I still can't believe that 2013 starts my
 5th year of blogging.
In that time, my blog has evolved into 
a true reflection
of me.
I think I started out blogging
about
what I thought
others would want to read...
Then slowly...as if turning the page of a delicate
book, it has morphed
into a piece of my heart.
I am not one to try to 
drum up followers....
...I don't have a bazillion, but the 
ones I have, are
an extension
of my family...
...of these 2 cuties (and the photograph shy hubs)

...of me with my crazy theme park ponytail...


So...to thanks all of you sweeties,
 I am giving away all of the following items  to one lucky winner:
Vintage Velvet on old Spools



Stamped "Carte Postale" Clothespins


...a Few Little Saucers....

A little Bag of Lavender...

A Set of Tags with Vintage Ribbon...

....and a Vintage Linen Runner.

How to enter:

I will choose one winner from all comments left on this post:

Leave me a comment . 
Leave me Your Email...or I can contact the winner
through their blog.

Please comment by
Sunday night , February 24, 2013

USA Bloggers only*

****BUT for my dedicated

overseas bloggers....

I will also choose one of you and send you
a little treat.

Winners will be chosen randomly.





2.16.2013

The Evolution of a Pasta Bowl

 We ran to to Target today to pick 
up a few odds and ends.

I saw these giant pasta bowls marked 
down from 20 some odd to 6 some odd dollars.
So I bought two.


I've always wanted to
try the Sharpie trick
from Pinterest.


I visited a bazillion blogs and web sites.
Then I:

Picked a Favorite Quote 
(The Secret Garden),
Wrote it on the rim with black Sharpie, and
baked at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.



I love how it turned out!


Advice:
Do not dishwash.
Do not use a scrubby anything to wash it.
Use an oven proof dish/bowl/mug.

I placed the bowl in the cool oven, 
and let it cool down in the oven...

....trying to prevent cracking
from sudden
changes in temperature.

Just remember, I am no expert.
This might not work for you...but I am very pleased with my results!






2.14.2013

Where love comes from....

I often write of how my kids inspire me, about how gardening moves me...


but I wouldn't be able to be inspired 


or moved


without the L❤ve

of my own parents.


They taught us to work hard...


....to be kind and compassionate....

.....and most of all, to laugh.

Happy Valentine's Day D & J  ❤
xo


2.12.2013

Aurore

Recently I visited the Beekman 
where Josh and Brent had written a Valentine's post
asking people to write short stories about their
favorite neighbor.



 for you and
your neighbor.

"Hmmm....", I thought. I love chocolates, and "I have a perfect neighbor to write about!"

So I cozied up with a pencil and a notebook and let the memories spill onto the page.

“Back in 1963 my parents bought a bungalow in a seaside community. I (the 4th in line out of 5)) came along two years later. We had a glorious childhood: family baseball games from morning to night, bicycle rides to pick wild raspberries, frappes and lime rickies at the local drugstore where our father was the pharmacist….but some of the most lasting memories came from Aurore.

Aurore and Bob lived next door to us, in an antique, natural shingled cape. A huge barn sat behind the house. Beyond the barn was a bountiful vegetable garden overflowing with hubbard squash and peas and tomatoes. In between the rows, day-glo petunias self-seeded themselves, adding a pop of color to the lush green landscape.

Many nights after dinner I would sit in Aurore’s kitchen 
while she washed her dinner dishes. She always made a home-cooked meal, even after working all day as a private duty nurse. She would offer me a cookie from the cookie jar, and we would chat about wild violets, irises, and mint.

Aurore and Bob gave us free reign of the field beyond the garden. We tumbled through the yellow hay, chasing one another to the marsh and down the boardwalk to the river.

When I was 8, I begged to have a flower garden. Aurore lovingly gave me flowers and cuttings from her own garden. She taught me how to gently pull the weeds and remove the spent blossoms.

I have my own home and garden now. As I tug my garlic from the warm brown earth, or carry in an overflowing bouquet of lavender, I think of Aurore. Her patient guidance is always by my side. She is 91 and gardens and cooks, and loves life. She was my special neighbor, and is still a special friend.”



And guess what folks....I won!!!!! Yippee! Hooray!!!!! 
I am so proud...gushing actually. 


I love to write, love to garden, 
love Aurore.



Winning this contest
has motivated me to 
to really focus
on my garden plan
for this spring......
and to 
always recall those childhood 
memories...the stories of
 people who shaped me
into the person I
am today.... a neighbor, a parent, a teacher,
 the milkman :)


Grand Prize: NantucketDaffodil aka Prince Snow Farm. "We love this story about how a neighbor can have a lifelong lasting impact, especially when it comes to good food and gardening. Hopefully this story will remind us all of how we can shape the lives of our young neighbors" Josh and Brent












2.11.2013

Let There Be Light...

....and heat...and electronics.....

We are grateful to have power back.
Thanks to all for checking on us.

Snowfall:  14 inches
Winds: Gusts up to 54 mph
Steady, heavy winds
Temperature outside after storm: 9 degrees
Temperature in the house: 45

No power from 9 p.m. Friday, February 8- 11 p.m. Sunday, February 10, 2013

Here are a few pictures from "Nemo":

As the skies cleared...

Looking towards the garden

Upside down Junco :)


Hanging out in the Hydrangeas

Chilly Sparrow

The smaller apple tree split in half

Hurricane Sandy broke the left of this apple tree, Nemo took the right...no need for pruning!

A Junco tenement

View out the kitchen...we kept our food in a cooler, and in the snow here on the deck.

Through steam on the window.

14 inches

Let's play school bus!

Sparkly

Hooray for sunshine






Lots of hanging out by flashlight


Some of us preserved battery power ...me...not so much:)

(Although I will take credit for the cowl neck I crocheted
for my daughter, and one for myself during the storm...)

Hope everyone is ok!





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