Thursday, March 31

on my bedside table...

I apologize for being away for a few days but I have been in Scots Bay, Nova Scotia.  However, I have just returned!  I of course was not literally gone, just heavily immersed in the pages of a delightful book, 'the birth house', which took me away to Eastern Canada in the early 1900's. 

I devoured this book in just a few short days.  It was a wonderful read and I cannot recommend it enough!  It's a 'scrapbook' of a novel, filled with letters, journal entries, and newspaper clippings all told by the narrator, Miss Dora Rare.  I loved so much about this great book, and for me it was one of those novels that leaves me feeling mournful to be finished with it.  It has me wishing that I had gone slow, taken my time with her.  I will miss this book!

And I'm now just about halfway through a second novel called 'Crow Lake' and it too has me buried in its pages.  As it says on the back "...a gorgeous, slow-burning story of family love...".

Any of you happen to have read either of these Canadian books?  Would love to know what you think!

Friday, March 25

Friday finds from Etsy

Happy Friday!  I am so happy that the weekend is here.  I had a friend mention to me not too long ago that her favourite day of the week was Monday.  She said she loved them...she just felt great on Mondays and couldn't wait to get her week started.  I was appalled!  I didn't know that people like that existed!  Nope, I'm a Friday girl myself through and through.  So on that note, a few Etsy finds to share with you this Friday...enjoy your weekend!

beauty in the simplicity of a mason jar ~
print reproduction of original oil painting...

i'm a bit of a scarf fiend these days so am loving this ~
fine irish linen and lace scarf...

a little bit of lace for the table ~
french lace and bamboo napkin rings...

would love to add to my small but growing cake stand collection ~
handmade vintage 3-tier cake stand...

a perfect little card to say 'thinking of you' ~

succulents remind me so much of my dear sister ~
a beautiful, unique living wreath or centerpiece...

xoxo for now!

Wednesday, March 23

a lovely day

Well, Spring is officially here and she reminded us today, here in little seaside Victoria, of just how lovely she can be.  It's a warm, beautiful, sunny day here and the boys and I didn't hesitate to take advantage of it.  Here are all "my boys" out on our walk to the park this morning.  Please note how they are all generally looking in the same direction.  This was no small feat!  I gave up on Bear looking at me too, his sitting and staying was the most I could ask of him! 

Happy, happy spring to you!

Monday, March 21

bon appétit ~ Desserts

I first read about the new 'bon appétit Desserts' cookbook last fall and read all rave reviews.  I quickly put it on hold at the library and only just got to pick it up the other day.  That's how many people were also waiting to read it!  I knew that I would probably love this book, and boy do I ever!  A few nights and a couple glasses of wine later, I have read it from front to back.  It is a hefty book coming in at over 600 recipes and though there are not a lot of photos, they are beautiful ones! 

Red Velvet Cake with Raspberries and Blueberries

The first thing I have made from the cookbook is Blueberry Coffee Cake...for no other reason than I had all the ingredients on hand.  The cake is topped with a coconut streusal...yum!  It was the perfect thing to have with an afternoon cup of tea, and the boys had it after dinner warmed up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  The whole cake was gone in less than 2 days.  I say go ahead and make this yourself...wonderful straight from the oven and delicious still the next day with your morning cup of coffee (life would be so boring if we had to have porridge everyday, wouldn't it?).

Post image for Follow Me Foodie Contest! Enter to Win a Bon Appetit Desserts Recipe BIBLE!
Chocolate-Caramel Slice 

I have bookmarked many other recipes, such as Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes with Marbled Raspberry Cream and Coconut Macaroon Bars, that I'm hoping to try over the next few weeks before I have to bring the book back.  Only wish that it was summertime so I could also try yummy things like the Peach Melba Shortcakes, and Peach, Plum and Blackberry Cobbler...the list goes on!  I have not-so-subtly hinted at my darling husband that I would be just thrilled to receive this great book as a gift at any time! 

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping and Gingersnap Crust

Here is the recipe for the coffee cake, just in case you might be interested... ♥

Blueberry Coffee Cake

2 1/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 12-ounce package frozen blueberries, unthawed,
or 2 1/2 cups fresh

Combine 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, coconut, brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Mix until moist and crumbly. Set topping aside.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and flour 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Sift remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt into small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 1/2 cup butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix dry ingredients into batter alternately with milk in 3 additions each. Fold in blueberries.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool cake slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, March 18

Friday finds from Etsy

This weeks finds are all about the kids!  Some fun, bright, cheery items perfect for little ones. 

good & simple everyday reminders ~
 'good manners' 5x7 wall cards...

send Grandma a note in the mail ~ 
colorful personalized notecards...

perfect for chubby little fingers ~
'upcycled' kitty egg crayons...

love this cushion! ~
a favorite poem printed on charming notebook fabric...

cheerios anyone? ~
reusable hemp snack bag with birdie...

a classic ~
wooden alphabet blocks in great colors...

I am loving those 'good manners' wall cards.  I have been looking for something to hang above the chalkboard wall in the daycare.  A few weeks ago my husband and I created this new play area for the kids in an unused corner of the bedroom with a can of chalkboard paint, wainscot, and trim. The children are loving it!

xoxo for now!

Tuesday, March 15

I wanna hold your hand...

Often when I have errands to run I'll bring my eldest boy, who is 8, along with me.  We duck in and out of the shops, chatting and holding hands along the way.  There are no thoughts or words that go into us holding hands, we just do.  I've always put my hand out and a little hand has always slipped in.  Simple as that.

So while out and about the other day, as we were walking into a large, busy department store, I was surprised when I thoughtlessly put my hand out and....nothing.  "Hold my hand," I asked absentmindedly.

"No," Jack said. 

"Are you serious?" I asked, stopping.  "Come on, Sweets, hold my hand."

"Mom, we don't always have to hold hands," he firmly stated.  And even though there was a twinkle in his eye and a little smile on his lips, I knew that he was serious about this.  He wasn't budging.

And I thought to this how it happens?

As your children grow and naturally start to distance themselves from you, as they start to show signs that they don't need you so much anymore, does it happen like this?  Does it come with no warning?  And what about me?  I still very much want to hold hands with this little boy of mine.  I'm not ready for this.

I'm not sure what other Mothers have done when they have found themselves in similiar situations, but I wasn't prepared and I wasn't going down without a fight. 

So, in a very loud voice in a very busy department store, I asked him, "Jack, you need some new undies don't you?  Let's go find the little boys underwear section!  I know, how about some Buzz Lightyear ones!"

And just like that, his little hand slipped into mine.  He was mortified and he didn't hesitate to tell me.  But you know what?  I realized that I'm not picky.  I'll take hand holding with grumbling over no hand holding at all.  Because like I said, I'm not ready.  Yet.

Monday, March 14

lavender lemonade

Found this wonderful recipe (and pretty photo!) for lavender lemonade over at Sunday Suppers and had to share.  How lovely would this be to serve in the summertime at a garden party? *sigh* I am so ready for the warmer weather!

"Mr. Winter, it is over between you and me...I'm with Spring now so you best be on your way".

Lavender Lemonade

 2 cups sugar
 5 sprigs lavender (stems and buds), plus additional for garnish
 2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 10 lemons)
 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)

In a large saucepan, bring one gallon of water and the sugar to a boil. Remove from heat; add 7 lavender sprigs and lemon and lime juices. Cool to room temperature, strain, and chill. Serve on ice, with additional lavender for garnish.

Friday, March 11

Friday finds from Etsy

Sharing the Etsy love!  Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend.   Happy Friday!

adorable ruffled bottom, rose print swimsuit...

lovely way to end an Easter dinner ~
personalized, candy-coated, chocolate eggs...

fun print, pretty colors...

nothin' says summer like a bowl of fresh, local raspberries ~
5x5 kitchen print...

'buy local' screen printed flour sack tea towel...

perfect way to stay in touch ~
dandelion letterpress notecards...

xoxo for now!

Wednesday, March 9

cake bunting...who knew?

I came across these cake buntings at KikiLaRu and I fell in love!  I had to have one!  I just love the idea.  I am a big fan of buntings and flags for any on a cake? 

Why, yes please! 

I had a hard time deciding on which bunting to get (there were so many choices!) but in the end went with pink roses. 

Here is the bunting on a red velvet cake I made for a Valentine's Day party that my sister and I hosted for all of our best girls.  I plan on using this bunting for many more celebrations to come!

Monday, March 7

me, Adele, and the open road

Arrived home safe and sound last night from a little road trip that took me three hours north to the town that I grew up in, and where most of my family still reside.  Spent this weekend with my Granny and my Aunt, who both live on the same beautiful piece of property.  My Aunt lives in the "big house" and my Granny lives in the cottage that is tucked away within a pretty country garden.  It was a lovely, leisurely weekend with no kids, no husband, no commitments, no are-we-there-yets.  Just me and my thoughts, Adele, and the open road.  I downloaded her new album, 21, before I left Friday evening and listened to it the whole way there and back. It is the soundtrack of my weekend.

The whole album is fabulous, she is fabulous.  If you have not already heard it, I do highly reccomend picking it up.  You won't be disappointed.

Track 11, Someone Like You, is one of those songs that for me I loved from the very first time I heard it.  Here is Adele performing this song at the Brit awards last month.  It is close to a six minute clip, but so worth your time! 


Friday, March 4

Friday finds from Etsy

Sharing a few pretty things I've come across on Etsy.  Hands down my most favorite online way to shop. I have purchased some really lovely, fun, and unique things on really is wonderful!  Still so surprised when I meet people who have not heard of it!  Happy Friday!

a vintage floral cream and sugar set...

an adorably sweet, ceramic bird cupcake stand...

portrait silhouette invitations printed on linen cardstock...

a soft grey, personalized, market canvas tote...

beachy, bohemian, cotton gauze scarf...

a vintage milk glass compote (LOVE milk glass!)...

Pretty, right?  Does one stand out to you?

xoxo for now!


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