Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pecan Delight

I have to tell you about a delicious dessert I had in Houston over the holidays... Goode Company "Brazos Bottom" pecan pie. A family tradition for many in Texas, this pie is so popular that Goode Company provides a drive thru window for special order pick up during the holidays!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Gingerbread Neighborhood

This is one of my gingerbread cottages - it makes the whole room smell delicious! 

Have you ever walked by a gingerbread house? It is heavenly.  Keep your eye out for a local hotel/resort that builds their own Gingerbread masterpiece.  It would be a fun place to stop by.

I hope you enjoy this post and have a wonderful holiday season!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Family Traditions

An issue of Body & Soul magazine has an article about the importance of tradition in our lives as a source of stability and as "powerful organizers of family life." I have attached a link to a summary of this article for you. 

In my family, when we bake Christmas cookies, someone has to make an "elephant with a purple blanket" for my Mom. It is something she must have requested back in the 60's, because as I started baking with my grandmother at age 4, I was instructed to not forget the elephant with the purple blanket for my Mother. 

This year my Dad actually put the elephant cookie in a plastic baggie and hung it with an ornament hook on the tree. It is that important. 

In part of the article, author Barbara Ehrenreich says, "Festivity plays a critical role in our lives; it's mood-lifting and community building." 

What are your traditions? Enjoy the old and make some new ones too.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Neighborhood Progressive Party

Tonight my neighbors and I are having the world's smallest neighborhood progressive. The guys are getting together to play cards, so we decided to host a progressive to let the children have some fun too. 

Our theme is "Sweet & Savory." We will start at my house with apricot-glazed pork tenderloin on biscuits and a mixed green salad. I am making my famous coffee punch (inspired by the DELIGHT cover "Holiday Parties") too. 

I'll have holiday music playing and I know the kids will enjoy looking at our candy-themed tree. Then we will tromp through the snow to the "Garden Club" girls' house next door for dessert and a Christmas movie. Now that's the holiday spirit!

Coffee Punch

Warm 5 cups of nonfat milk over low heat.  Add 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/3 cup of instant coffee (*decaf instant coffee might be a good choice) and a pinch of salt.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until serving.  Serve in glass punch cups.  

Speaking of Santa

You have to be the first to hear... I saw Santa Claus yesterday. Seriously. I was winding my way through the back streets of our neighborhood and as I approached a stop sign, I saw a huge red late 60's Chevy convertible with its top down barreling toward me from the other direction. We both stopped at the intersection and behind the wheel was Santa. Red suit. White hair. Pink cheeks. No hat. He looked absolutely fantastic. And I froze. I did not think to yell out my address or that I've been good or anything! But after we both crossed the intersection, I thought to give a little "beep! beep!" with my horn. When I looked in my rear view mirror, there was his gloved white hand waving back at me. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Track Santa

You can track UPS packages, email delivery and the stock market...why not Santa? My friend, with technology, nothing is impossible. Every year the folks at NORAD provide a wonderful free service called Santa Tracker. Go to their website here on Christmas Eve and you can see exactly how Santa Claus is progressing around the globe. If you want it can be in 3-D with the help of Google Earth. Children love to run back to the dinner table and announce "He's in Peru!" So while everyone is bustling around the kitchen getting ready for the big holiday meal, make sure your laptop is set to Santa Tracker.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Candy Cane Lane

Have you noticed the huge selection of candy cane colors lately? They are gorgeous! I have 2 painted glasses filled with soft pink candy canes (bubblegum flavor) and they look just beautiful on our sideboard. Next year I am going to order all white candy canes online here. Doesn't that sound pretty? I will tie one on top of each gift-wrapped package next year - a Winter White touch. I have been reading White Christmas: Decorating and Entertaining for the Holiday Season and it has gotten me thinking about pure white decorations.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gift Wrapping Party

My friend, Suzanne, hosts an annual Psychic Gift Wrap party. By the 3rd week in December, every minute of holiday prep counts. She thought that instead of wrapping presents alone in her spare bedroom, it would be more fun to make a party out of it. She provides drinks, snacks and has card tables set up with scissors, tape etc. She also has a local psychic on hand to give 30-min consultations on the upcoming year. We arrive with shopping bags full of treasures, spend a few hours talking and laughing with our girlfriends and magically leave with one more task checked off our list. This year my gift wrap color scheme is aqua & coffee (from Target) with faux birch boxes and recycled maps to keep it interesting. When I wrap with a map, I use an adhesive crystal to mark a location significant to that person. When my Mom saw these presents above she said, "I want mine wrapped in a map!" I knew she'd love it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Decoration of Houses

Can you stand it? A tiny Christmas tree bedecked with boxes of laundry detergent and bottles of bleach! 

I wanted my laundry room to be as sweet & festive as the rest of the house, so I turned dollhouse treasures into a holiday vignette. 

A string for a clothesline and miniature clothespins to keep it secure. The ironing board (and notice that the iron is hot glued to the tree!) are from my childhood dollhouse.  You can print, fold and glue your own miniature laundry detergent boxes here.

I made the set of sheets by folding 2 squares of fabric (and 2 smaller ones as pillowcases!) and tacked them together with thread so that they would stack easily.  My tip is to show the folded edges; it makes the sheets look realistic. 

My laundry tree was mentioned in the Somerset Collection's "Sweet Memories" article, so I wanted you to be able to see it for yourself. Happy decorating...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snunder & Flightning

We are in the middle of a blizzard right now! 8" so far and seven more hours of snow in the forecast. We are so "in the thick of things" that Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel is broadcasting a half mile from my house. It has been thundering and lighting here too (which is unusual during a snowstorm) and apparently the Weather Channel has coined some new terms. I swear I heard Jim Cantore say "Snunder" a few minutes ago. It reminds me of a winter storm we had years ago when I worked in our family ski business. We all love skiing, snowboarding and winter activities and watch The Weather Channel non-stop during ski season always hoping for snow. One day I turned on the TV and noticed that they were broadcasting from a satellite truck near our offices. I dropped by mid-blizzard and banged on the truck door. When Kristin Dodd and her crew emerged, I handed them 4 cappuccinos and welcomed them to Michigan.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Vintage Ornaments

A few days ago I mentioned that I make ornaments out of old family photographs. I have had so many people ask me about them, that it's time for their blog debut. I think that they are simply charming. The best part is that the photographs are scanned and printed on printer fabric, so I can make multiples without harming the original. This is my husband's grandparents on their wedding day in upstate New York in August 1930. A bit of pink glitter in her bouquet and on his boutonniere coordinates with the border and adds just the right amount of sparkle. Here comes the bride!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Art of Baking

When you have a light green shelf in your kitchen where you display Japanese aloe drinks & coconut milk, you don't know quite how you will make it Christmas-y. 

Then one glorious day you stroll through Kmart and see the 2007 Martha Stewart Holiday collection. Pale green ornaments made from 1/2 scale kitchen implements - perfect! 

And when I found this print of a 1920's girl with rolling pin in hand, well, I had my vignette.

Today my goal is to bake gingerbread men and another batch of sugar cookies. Do you have a cute apron? It makes all the difference...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ornaments & Objects

Is your tree overloaded with Christmas delights? You don't have to hang ornaments to enjoy them. Make a little display in a cardboard ornament box and position it beneath the tree. I have a tabletop tree that features ornaments I have made from vintage photographs. A pink & white quilt is the soft skirt below. So for my display, I've collected ornaments & objects in pinks, white and silver. A large jingle bell, a glass ball I filled with tapioca pearls and a glitter "A" (for ANA) are among the beautiful objects. I love how this looks. Yes, I made the robed angel with the bubble wrap wings...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Postcards from the Heart

Every once in a while I come across an old postcard suitable for framing. I'm not looking at the vintage artwork on the front, but the heartfelt message on the back. This one begins "My dear Mark, It is so lonely without you..." Now who wouldn't want to receive that! It was written in 1908. Email is fantastic, but just because it is quick doesn't mean it has to be abbreviated. Before you launch into the who/what/where, tell them how you feel.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Glitter Butterflies

Want to add some subtle sparkle to your Christmas tree? Buy a box of paper butterflies and a tube of glitter from the craft store and in minutes you can transform them into showstoppers. Butterflies are usually sold in multi-colored sets of six. Make sure that each butterfly has a wire attached to the body. Brush on a solid layer of Elmer's glue and then dust with the glitter of your choice - voila! Allow to dry, wire to a branch and you have a masterpiece to punch up your ornament collection. Glitter & wire the extra butterflies to special packages - your friends will faint! Also, check out the December issue of House Beautiful - they showcase 101 ornaments for your tree and where to buy them - I love it.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sugar Secrets

Pssst...You don't have to get your cookie decorations at the grocery store or even at a giant craft superstore. 

Live a little and plan a field trip to a local cake decorating supply store (Google : cake decorating store your city). 

You will flip when you see the selection! I tagged along with a friend today and had so much fun. What did I buy? 

Red sugar, white snowflake sprinkles, tiny pastel circle sprinkles, white jimmies, a Santa mold, almond paste (for my next Stollen) and a button-shaped lollipop mold. Seriously, you will love it. 

Would you rather shop online? Check out Fancy Flours...and as you are clicking and happily baking in your mind, remember who sent you.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Gingerbread Effect

I love preparing for the holidays. This is my first holiday season with a blog, so I will take you through the fun day-by-day. There are always so many things that I want to accomplish that I have come up with a very specific approach to get it all done. Visual, Edible, that order. Visual is first because I want to be able to enjoy the lights and sights for as long as possible. Christmas trees decorated, vintage village on display, and a fresh gingerbread house proclaiming "Welcome Home!" Today is the day to build my house. And I want you to know that buying a kit with pre-constructed walls is the way to go. I buy the "Create A Treat" kit for $10 at Costco. Or buy one online here. For years I have made, cut & baked my own walls and roof and there are so many variables that can "halt construction." If you use the lovely, smooth and solid walls from a kit (and the perfect royal white icing that is included), then you can put your heart & soul into the decorating. Need more inspiration? Watch Gingerbread Challenge on the Food Network!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sugar Cookies

Today was "baking day" at my house. The magazine article I mentioned a few days ago spotlighted this family tradition of ours - 7 nieces & nephews, scores of vintage cookie cutters and one prized recipe all come together for a day of old-fashioned fun. That is my grandmother's rolling pin in the picture - she received it as a wedding gift in 1932 and the handle has been missing since before I was born. I wanted to share Nama's sugar cookie recipe with you...enjoy it and be sure to pass it on. Good recipes are meant to be shared.
Old Fashioned Rolled Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Cream butter in mixing bowl. Beat in sugar, egg, milk & vanilla. Add flour, salt & baking powder. Mix well. Divide dough in half and wrap in waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator at least one hour. Use plenty of flour on board, rolling pin & cookie cutters to prevent sticking. Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Bake at 375* on an ungreased cookie sheet for 5-8 minutes.
Nama's Frosting
Mix 2 Tablespoons of hot water to 1 cup powdered sugar. Mix with knife. Tint with a drop or two of liquid food coloring. Note: Using hot water makes the frosting shiny. Add hot water as needed to perfect consistency.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Marshmallow World

Last night, my Mom & I hosted a table at church to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. Our theme was "A Vintage Christmas" and our little winter village looked so cute after a marshmallow snowstorm. We served hot tea and iced petit fours and our table of eight laughed and talked all night. We had such a fun time planning this. My Mom's favorite part? The little skaters on the frozen pond...can you see them?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Advent Calendars

Advent Calendars are a sweet way to countdown to Christmas. This photograph shows mine from last year - a paper diorama with numbered windows around the border. Saturday is December you have an advent calendar for this year? When you are out running errands this weekend, Cost Plus World Market has advent calendars from around the world - some include chocolate! This year, I am making an advent house from a Martha Stewart crafts kit at Michael's. Go find yourself a wonderful advent calendar and then tell me what you found!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Somerset Collection

The 2007 Somerset Collection Holiday Magazine includes a wonderful feature article about my family baking tradition. Every year, our 7 nieces and nephews spend a snowy Sunday afternoon with us baking & decorating sugar cookies made with my grandmother's recipe. We sort through my 150+ cookie cutters (including the heirloom cutters hand-forged by my great-grandfather) and get lost in a day of cookie dough, sprinkles and relaxed family fun. The article & photographs do a wonderful job capturing our home and style at the holidays - if you have a chance, pick up a copy...and flip to pages 116-118!

Cyber Monday

On a day when internet sales are whirling about, I want to highlight my most popular online gift...a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription to DELIGHT.
A subscription to DELIGHT brings her a surprise in the mail every month. Little things that are pretty, fragrant, delicious, fun…adding whimsy to life one package at a time. You know she'll love it...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Vintage style ornaments

I am designing a host of new ornaments for my Christmas tree this year - some inspired by the vintage ornaments in this photograph. They will revolve around antique shades of mint, pink and pale gold. I'll use glittter, paper, felt and sequins to add some holiday sparkle. I want to display them on a table in an old fashioned cardboard ornament box. I can't wait to see how it turns out! Give me about 10 days and I'll show you the result. We are getting our tree tomorrow...
You can see some of my creations here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Moveable Feast

Today is the day that I cue up my Tivo and play the Martha show back-to-back on my kitchen television while I cook.
*Yams with pineapple, mandarin oranges & spices
*Classic Green Bean casserole
*Mini-Cheddar biscuits (new)
*Cranberry jello mold with apples & cream cheese
*Corn Pudding (new)
*Fresh Cranberry Relish
*Ham & Cheese breakfast casserole
These dishes comprise what I call my "salute to the 50's" Thanksgiving and I make them every year. It makes me happy & tastes delicious. I also love to grocery shop the week of Thanksgiving - it is the one time of year that everyone has the same items in their grocery cart - many variations on a theme. Why "A Moveable Feast?" - I am taking all but the breakfast casserole to my parents house tomorrow. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Little Black Dress...

I wanted to share this delicious Tiramisu Cheesecake with you. So perfect for any holiday party, it is the recipe equivalent of a little black dress. I have been making it for years and it is always a great success.
Tiramisu Cheesecake
2 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
2 T. brandy
2 pkg. Lady Fingers cookies
3/4 c. strong black coffee
1 container Cool Whip
Fresh nutmeg to grate
Mix cream cheese, sugar & vanilla with mixer on medium speed until blended. Add eggs & brandy and mix. Butter pie plate (I love Emile Henry!) and arrange lady fingers across the bottom and up the sides. Pour coffee across lady fingers and allow a minute or two to soak in. You may want to dip the lady fingers that make up the sides to ensure that they are coffee soaked. Pour cream cheese mixture over lady finger crust and bake at 350* for approx 40 min. until center is almost set. I recommend lightly covering with foil to prevent lady finger crust from browning too much. Cool and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight to allow flavors to meld. Garnish with cool whip puffs (use a pastry bag or Easy Accent decorator) and a dusting of nutmeg.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Field Trip

I'm going on a field trip to a General Store in Ohio today to shop for vintage style Christmas ornaments...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Winter Medallions

Winter Horticulture 2007! I finished the medallion for my front door today. It looks very dramatic from the street and is way more interesting than a typical wreath. I built it on a styrofoam disc and used greening pins to keep the fresh evergreens, silk larkspur & wild blueberries in place. The focal point is a flowering kale surrounded by fresh juniper with it's signature dusty blue berries. Check out my Nov 4th post to read about how I first came to love winter medallions.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wrap It Up!

Are you looking for inspiration? I love the books by Carolyne Roehm. She has an eye for combining color, texture and scale into lovely moments. Be it a wrapped package or a table scape, I always find myself commenting aloud when I look through her books. What do I say the most? "Oooohhhhh..." Shown here is one of my favorite books, Presentations: A Passion for Gift Wrapping. As you sift through the rolls of holiday gift wrap this year, consider taking on a color scheme under your tree. Cream & Gold? Cranberry & Evergreen? Red & White? It requires nothing more than a plan and the results will be so pretty.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Daley Center Christmas Tree - Chicago

A vertical forest.

I happened by Chicago's Daley Plaza last weekend and saw the city's official Christmas tree being constructed. Hundreds of live trees fastened in tiers to create one amazing showpiece. I thought you'd like a behind-the-scenes look at how they do it. I am including a link to the tree lighting and lots of other holiday events in Chicago. Be sure to pack your holiday calender full of fun.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Christmas Decorations

Imagine my delight when I walked into the Walnut Room at Macy's and saw full-size replicas of my favorite Martha Stewart ornaments surrounding the Great Tree. I love these pastel houses and every year I showcase mine as a little village on a plate rack in my family room. After the tree lighting ceremony, my friend, her daughters and I enjoyed lunch at the foot of this magnificent tree. What did we have for dessert? A delicious Martha Stewart Mini-Gingerbread Bundt cake, of course!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Martha Stewart lights Macy's Centennial Great Tree

November 10, 2007 was a magnificent day in Macy's historic Walnut Room on State Street in Chicago. Martha Stewart and Macy's Terry Lundgren spoke about the joy of holiday traditions in this photo just before the tree was lit. I promise to tell you all about this glorious event, but for now, take a moment to enjoy this spectacular Christmas tree.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


You know how I love & collect magazines for inspiration. One of my favorites is back on the newsstand this month, Victoria. It is different from other shelter magazines in that it is dedicated to beauty in this world. Beautiful linens, flower arrangements, holiday vignettes. There are no projects, instructions or changes you need to make after you read is published to be enjoyed. This photograph in my foyer looks like Victoria to me. Look for it...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Christmas at Macy's

My wonderful neighbor (mother of the garden club girls) is taking me on a field trip! The four of us are driving to Chicago to see Martha Stewart light the Macy's Christmas tree on State Street. I am so excited. A weekend of holiday shopping, Christmas cheer and Martha - I'll be in "girl heaven."
I thought you might like to see a picture of me with Martha Stewart in 1992. There were 200+ women in line for a book signing at Kmart, and Martha was there without an assistant. I could see that she could use my help, so I took photographs for those who had brought their camera and thanked people for coming etc. Basic hostess stuff, but it let me stay up front where the action was. Just as it was winding down, I had Martha sign a copy of Martha Stewart's Pies & Tarts for me and got my picture taken. She was lovely and thanked me for all of my help.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Turkey 101

A year or two into my marriage, I casually mentioned to my friends that my in-laws were coming from Texas for Thanksgiving. I was 25 and had never cooked a turkey before and the more we discussed what went into a full Thanksgiving meal, the more they started to panic. They insisted that this was a make or break meal to show that I was succeeding as a new wife. Hmmm... Did I have the right serving pieces? What about a tablecloth that fit the dining room table? All good questions. So what did they propose? We hold a Mock-Thanksgiving in October. They would make & bring the key side dishes (and the recipes) and I would try out my first turkey on them. It was brilliant idea. I was able to do a dry run for everything from arranging the centerpiece to polishing the gravy boat (I managed to find it among the wedding gifts in the basement). The meal was a success, which made the real Thanksgiving dinner relaxed and perfect. I learned so much. #1 The perfect turkey can be achieved with Turkey 101 from Martha Stewart, #2 Polishing silver takes longer than I thought and #3 I have the best friends ever.

Winter Horticulture

In 1998, I read an article in Traditional Home magazine about the art & practice of "winter horticulture" in Coopertown, NY. The members of the Clark Foundation dress the town in nature-inspired lawn ornaments and topiary. I thought the medallions made from dried fruits and flowers, winter greens and natural materials like bark & pepper berries were simply beautiful. I was inspired and made this medallion for our front door. Well, it is 10 years later and that medallion is long gone, so I decided to make a new one today - wish me luck.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs

The Michigan State Alumnae newsletter has posted an online article about me titled "Spartan Wins Entrepreneurial Honor" and I have been receiving emails from Spartans around the country.

Back in 1990, I was the only girl in the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs chapter at Michigan State. Remember what I said about things coming full circle? It is very fun.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Pie!

I've told you the story of the neighbor girls baking apple pie with me on Halloween. When they come by later in their costumes, they call out "Trick or Pie" and I give them a slice. Well, today's the day and I wanted to share our recipe in case you want to start a pie baking tradition in your life...
Trick or Pie
1 frozen 9" deep dish pie crust
3 T. melted butter
3 T. flour
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. apricot jam
1/2 T. dried orange peel
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg (it is the most fun if you use a nutmeg grater & whole nutmeg)
1/2 c. yellow raisins
2 lbs. granny smith apples, peeled, cored & sliced (it is the
most fun if you use an apple, peeler, corer slicer tool
Delicious Crunchy Topping
1 c. flour, 1/2 c. unsalted butter, 1/2 c. white sugar
Place pie shell into a glass/ceramic pie plate and then place the pie plate onto a cookie sheet (to catch any drippings and make removal from the hot oven easier). Combine pie ingredients (butter through apples) and mix well. Pour into pie shell. To make the delicious topping, combine flour, butter and sugar in a food processor (or with a pastry blender) and mix until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle evenly over the apples and bake at 375* for about an hour or until golden brown.
You will love this apple, or rather, trick or pie!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happiest Tourist

I am sure that I was the happiest non-smoker to ever visit a cigar factory. Back when my ANA cigar box purse business was just taking off, I visited the La Gloria Cubana factory in Miami to see where some of my favorite boxes originated. I love that someone has enjoyed the box, the brand, the product, long before it is ever appreciated as one of my handbags. I will never forget when a customer picked a purse from my display and whispered that her grandfather had smoked that brand. She thought she could still detect a faint scent of cigar and bought it on the spot. I love my job.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Art School

May I present the historic Old Art Building in Leland, Michigan.  It is a beautiful old building with a river running along the north side of the property.  For fifty years, Michigan State University taught art classes here.  One summer when I was a university student, I took a course here for college credit.

Three mornings a week I would arrive with a sack lunch and my "artist's" tackle box to paint in watercolor with a group of local artists.  I was the only actual college student and I saw first hand what praise and critique could do to art.

I had never been in a painting class before this and the conversations sounded so different to me. "Oh, Darlene, your clouds!" or "I wanted the water to really say something."  It was obvious that they were long-time students that really supported each other and that I was just a kid passing through.

Today the building is home to the Leelanau Community Cultural Center and 17 years after that summer class, my ANA's DELIGHT totes debuted here during a Northern Michigan art sale and exhibition - cool, eh?

My advice is to have as many experiences as you never know when you will come full circle.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dreaming of Dollhouses

Some things are just cuter when they are small. A bathmat & slippers, for instance. Or a stack of clean sheets. I made these tiny treasures for my niece's dollhouse. I love adding touches that make the place look lived in. You might want to check out this free online source for "printables" - miniature representations of household items that you can print and use to decorate your dollhouse (newspapers, Christmas cards, food boxes). Have fun with is to be enjoyed.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Since this is a big weekend for Halloween parties, I thought I would share an appropriate recipe: Pumpkin Bread Pudding from Cooking Light. A nice, cozy dessert that is perfect for a chilly October evening. Light a fire in the fireplace, put this dessert in the oven to bake and read a good book. Happy Halloween from me to you...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Yarn Management

I wanted to show you a simple project to keep your knitting clean & portable. A light-weight yarn caddy made from an Oatmeal container. Choose a beautiful piece of wallpaper, measure, cut and glue it to the side of the container. Glue a circle of wallpaper to the lid and then attach a pretty trim to soften where the plastic edge meets the paper. Poke a hole in the center of the lid and then use a grommet setter to secure the hole with a grommet. Voila! A beautiful way to keep your yarn tangle-free and clean while you are out & about. This container comes in handy when you are knitting on-the-go, perfect for a doctor's waiting room or to take along on a weekend trip. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween Traditions

Can you spot when a tradition is born? On Halloween three years ago, I looked outside around 4 o'clock in the afternoon and saw the 3 neighbor girls (you know them as the Roseglen Garden club) anxiously waiting for "Halloween" to start. It was too early to put on their costumes, too early to eat dinner, yet "not time" to actually start trick or treating. So I yelled out the front door, "Have you ever made an apple pie?" They leapt up, ran to tell their Mothers and within minutes, two 8-year-olds and a 6-year-old presented themselves on my doorstep. Together we made a delicious apple pie and when they returned in their costumes later that night, I served them a piece. A tradition was born and now every Halloween afternoon, the girls come over to bake an apple pie with me. How do I know that they love it? How do I know that this tradition will last a long time? Because once we head into October, they start calling out..."Mrs. Reeves...Trick or Pie!"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cider Mill Moments

Ahhh...a Sunday afternoon at the Cider Mill. What's the best part? Everyone is relaxed. People do not mind waiting in line for doughnuts, you know? Their biggest decision is if they should get a carmel apple, too (definitely, yes). Families feed the ducks by the river. Couples take pictures by the water-powered wheel. Everyone needs a quiet find a cider mill near you, check out this cider mill directory and have a doughnut for me.