Sunday, February 26, 2012

It's Not Polite To Stare...

But I just can't stop.
I adore every single, itty, bitty inch of this space.
So much so, that I can't seem to peel my eyes away.
{via martha stewart}

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Farmhouse Table Love

I have been on the lookout for a replacement for 
our dining room table for some time.
I wanted an antique farm table, preferably pine, with great chunky legs.

Earlier this week, I saw a 19th century 
New England harvest table up for auction at an estate sale.  
Pine top, drop leaves, gorgeous turned maple legs, with drawers at each end,
full of character with gouges and wear, yet still in really good condition.
I am supposed to be working on plans for our kitchen,
saving my pennies for a fancy stove, 
but I had to at least try for the table.
I did and I won! {and didn't break the bank}
We pick it up tomorrow!
And just in time.
We are celebrating my Mum's birthday on Saturday.
What a great first memory to make around our new table.
Oh, the celebrations, meals, and conversations that table has seen.
That's what I love most about antiques.  The secret history they hold.
I'll share a picture {or two} next week!
Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Scenes + Chocolate

Hi there.  I hope you enjoyed a long weekend! Here, its been spring one day, winter the next.  We go from being jacket-free to sitting in front of the fire and piling on blankets.  Saturday was gorgeous so we ditched our plans for a little family day trip to a museum up north and headed to the forest for a hike instead.

We got lost in the woods.  For a couple hours.  With two chidlren. It had its moments.  Not all so good. Apparently, somehow or other we veered off the easy, well paved, level trail and ended up on one that was steep, muddy, and LOOOONG.  We survived.  And laughed about it later.  After we recovered.

Sunday, winter and gray skies retruned. We finally removed the very dead greens from our window boxes, much to our neighbor's delight, I'm sure! :)  Jimmy played board games with Andrew and his friend, Charlie took a 3.5 hour nap, I cooked, lit lots of candles, and we kept the fire going all day.  After a hearty beef stew we had these...

{no bake - chocolate pots de creme, a family favorite, recipe here}

{top with fresh whip cream ~ heavy cream + 1 TBS powdered sugar + dash of vanilla. whip on high}

Today I braved the museum {always a packed house on holidays and weekends} with my two boys. We had a blast together though!  It was such a treat to have Andrew along since I usualy just take Charlie on school days.

By 3:00, it was up to almost 50 degrees again, so out we all went.  Armed with a steady suppply of warm cookies from the oven.  All measuring and mixing done by Charlie. When he was actually Charlie that is, because these days the majority of his waking hours are spent either as a "Ghost-Buster" or "Spider-Man". 

{don't even ask! :)}

{My recipe ~ the traditional Toll House recipe + 1 bag of Ghiradelli semi sweet chips,  
that's in addition to the Toll House chips.  
Use convection oven if you have it too.  Makes better chocolate chip cookies.  
Not sugar cookies though, they seem to prefer traditional oven.}

Looking at these pictures, some from my phone others from my camera, I'm struck by the ebb and flow of life these days.  All the little highs and lows, all in the course of a typical day.  I can feel complete adoration one minute and total frustration the next.  These picture show the good stuff that somehow manages amid all the chaos.  The chocolate faces, the dressing up, the pretend play, the outings and trips we take together, these are the things I choose to remember, the things I will be present for when they are happening.  Because everyday, sometimes in the smallest of ways, they are there.   

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Buttermilk Pancakes

This morning I ran into a friend and her daughter at the library for story time.  Afterwards, while Charlie and Alyssa played unicorn and power washer {Alyssa was a unicorn, Charlie was a man with a power washer ~ if there was any doubt}, Patty and I sat at a table and talked {uninterrupted} for more than an hour. I must say, I was feeling rather Parisian. {Click here if you haven't seen the WSJ article.}  Anyway, as 12 o'clock rolled around, lunch requests were made by the little peeps.  Pancakes!  Patty asked if I had a recipe I liked and I gladly told her I would email it. Since my camera was still in the kitchen, I decided a blog post would be better.  So, like any normal mother I prepared our lunch and then had a photo session with my food before I dug in.  Perfectly normal.  At least for bloggers anyway :)  Here is my favorite recipe...

Buttermilk Pancakes
1 3/4 c flour
2 T sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 egg
1 1/2 c buttermilk
3 T canola oil
3-4 T milk

1. combine flour + sugar + baking powder + baking soda + salt in a medium bowl.
2. combine buttermilk + egg + oil in a measuring cup, whisk to beat up the egg a little.
3. pour buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients and mix till combined with a wooden spoon.  
the batter will be very thick. you can use it like this or add a couple splashes of regular milk to thin it out.  i prefer it this way and it ensures that the inside batter will be fully cooked when the outside is golden. 
4. cook over med high heat till golden, flipping once. top with butter + syrup + banana for me!

{please tell me you leave one bite on your plate too,  
just to make yourself feel like you didn't eat the whole thing!}
{and for the record, tablecloths and linen napkins are not normal for our lunches!  
i figured bounty towels wouldn't cut it in a photo, 
even though I used two to clean up our sticky faces!}

Monday, February 13, 2012

valentines for school

some {most} years i just opt for store bought valentines
 and others i feel inspired to make them a little more special.
last year, i saw a cute idea for valentine s'mores using heart shaped peeps.
so i copied.  but instead of peeps i made my own marshmallows 
and cut them into hearts.  
a gooey, sticky, fun, food science experiment!
the black + white striped bags are for andrew's classmates and the red gingham are for charlie's.
and just to make sure they tasted ok we roasted them for breakfast this morning.
yep. delish.
happy valentine's day!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Date Night Attire

I am happily tired after a busy weekend that included celebrating a girlfriend's 40th birthday {she barely looks over 30}, a swim meet, planning and coaching a Destination Imagination team meeting for Andrew's team, a little Super Bowl watching, and a date with Jimmy. A very much needed date with Jimmy.  I always know when it's long over due because we start to get a bit snippy with each other about little {insignificant} things.  We don't really argue much, he is very laid back and usually let's me have my moments when I'm all bent out of shape about something.  But lately he's had to do quite a bit of traveling for work and when he's gone like that it sometimes takes a few days to get back into the fold of the household.  More for me than him.  I get so used to doing it all myself and running a pretty tight ship, so transitioning back to a family of four sometimes takes a little effort. Questions like, what time does Andrew get out of school or where do I store the grill pan drive me nuts when they should make me grateful - I have a husband who wants to handle school pick up and do dishes when he is home.  But it's amazing what a night out together {without interrupted conversations, laundry baskets awaiting folding, or one of us falling asleep while the other tucks in the kiddos} will do and how quickly our perspective changes.  A little reminder that I am indeed lucky to be in love with my best friend.

Going out is definitely more fun when you feel pretty, and it is much easier to feel pretty {for me, at least} when I am wearing something new. {why is that?}  Here are a few favorite recent-ish {December is recent, right?} purchases that make getting ready to go out a little more fun...

a word of caution regarding the mini, it does run short and tight