Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let's get Cozy

Relaxing Setting of Bushel of Apples on Table Along Fireplace

I always feel so "nesty" in the fall. It's nice to enjoy the cool weather and change things around to match the change in seasons. Here are a few things that I do in the fall to make us feel nice and cozy.

Buy fall scented candles. I'm currently burning one called "cinnamony vanilla" that smells delicious. I also make homemade "potpourri" by simmering orange and apple peels with some cinnamon on a back burner.

Make soup. A big pot of soup is so comforting on a cold day. One of my favorites is curried split pea soup.

Drape some soft throws over your living room furniture. Be sure to take advantage of them at least occasionally by snuggling underneath one with a good book and a hot cup of vanilla caramel coffee while you listen to some old-fashioned music.

Dig out the flannel sheets, warm PJs and fuzzy slippers. At the first hint of a cold night I'm ready for my favorite pair of plaid PJs.

Keep a small tube of your favorite hand lotion on the nightstand. My hands get really dry when the weather turns cooler and I like to have some scented lotion to use right before bedtime. It's always nice to smell good when you get into your bed at night. :)

Bake bread

Polish my few pieces of heirloom silver and set them out to sparkle around the house and kitchen.

Stock the pantry with flour, sugar, yeast and spices to be ready for all the baking coming up over the next few months.

Start listening to Christmas music. Yes, I know it's ridiculously early, I just can't help myself.

Splash in the puddles, jump in the leaves, drink hot chocolate, take an afternoon nap, watch a sappy old movie, and generally enjoy the season with my family.

"The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on."
- Emily Dickinson

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fashion Forward

I love clothes and shoes even though half the time I look like a candidate for What Not to Wear. I haven't revamped my wardrobe in years, so I recently bought a couple of cute things for fall and I'm so excited! It's so fun to put on something that I feel even halfway trendy in!

I love these boots, but they are WAY out of my price range so I settled on these cuties from Target.

I also got this really cute peacoat (again from Target). It's a perfect weight for fall and I've never had such a colorful coat. You would be surprised at how many things it goes with.

I'm now inspired to go through my closet and weed out all the 90s rejects and things that haven't fit since 2002. Who knows maybe I'll even splurge and get a shoe organizer!

Have you bought anything cute lately? What do you think are essential fashion staples for fall this year?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Let it go

Raking Leaves
Raking Leaves

Perfectionist: Noun(a person who is displeased by anything that does not meet very high standards)

Order and cleanliness at home is wonderful but life is just not perfect and our homes will never be immaculate and magazine ready as long as we really live in them. I don't know about you, but at my house as soon as I finish all the dishes, someone deposits a dirty glass in the sink. I finish raking the leaves, and more fall. I do laundry and everyone wants to change clothes. Sometimes you have to walk away from it and make the decision to do something fun and creative. Enjoy your home and your family and focus on the pretty flowers on the table or the scented candles in the bathroom, and look over the dusty lampshade and dog hair on the sofa. Let's not make ourselves and our families miserable trying to achieve something that's impossible.

I'll step over the football cleats by the front door and won't notice the muddy footprints on the carpet at your house and you do the same when you come to mine? OK?

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Tale of Two Coffeemakers

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...oh wait, that's another story.

Ahem... Once upon a time there were two coffeemakers.

There was a big red coffee maker and he lived at Lowe's. He liked to look at the riding lawnmowers and plumbing supplies.

There was also a petite and (slightly) round, green coffeemaker. She lived at Wal-Mart and liked to hang out on end-caps with the clearance items.

The big red coffeemaker liked his coffee with no foo-foo flavors. Just plain coffee for Red, thanks...nothing that "smells weird". It was best if he got his coffee in the supersize container from the warehouse store. You can never have too much coffee! He liked to start making coffee at precisely 6:15 am which is why he had a timer and a clock.

Green liked all sorts of flavored coffees and she preferred them in small amounts so that if she grew tired of one, she could try something different. She didn't have a clock and that was fine with her. Who wanted to be on a dumb ol' coffee schedule anyway? It was all about the joy of spontaneous brewing!

One day Red and Green came to live at the same house. They were a little unsure of each other at first because they were different, but they soon came to realize that sometimes different is good! Their differences suited their new owners and each other.

The gradually fell in love and began brewing in perfect harmony each morning. They are so happy with the pitter-patter of little mugs in the house and they lived happily ever after. The end.

Yes, I'm weird! :) This story came to me as hubby and I were making coffee in our separate coffeemakers this morning and I thought it would be fun to share it with you.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Do You Splurge in the Kitchen?

Woman, Cooking Recipes Books Magazine, UK, 1949
UK, 1949

Do you ever splurge in the kitchen? I try to keep my grocery budget in line, but I do have a few areas where I don't mind spending a little more.

One of my favorite "treats" for the kitchen is Mrs. Meyers geranium dish soap. It smells so good and anything to make doing the dishes less of a chore is worth it to me. :) I also spend more to get good, organic brown eggs. We don't eat everything organic, but I buy organic eggs and milk when I can.

Also, if you're making something like this pot roast that calls for wine, be sure and use the good stuff. If you use the cheap "cooking wine" you'll ruin it! I learned that one the hard way. No point in investing the time and energy in a meal only to ruin it with a bad ingredient.

Do you have any favorite kitchen splurges?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Banana French Toast

This is another re-run that I posted awhile back. It is one of Greg's favorites and he usually requests it when he's home.

This is what I made for breakfast this morning and it was SO good. I used homemade bread and bananas are cheap so even though I haven't worked out the exact cost I'm thinking it was pretty minimal.

4 eggs (I only have 2 showing in the picture)
1/2 cup milk
2 bananas, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon oil
Sliced bread

In a blender, combine all ingredients except bread. Blend until smooth and pour into a pie pan.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot. I recommend non-stick for this recipe. Soak bread in the banana mixture, turning to coat both sides.

Place bread in the skillet. Cook 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown, turning once.

Serve with additional sliced bananas, powdered sugar and maple syrup.