Sunday, October 22, 2017

Silent Sunday 10-22-2017




Have a great day!



Saturday, October 21, 2017

Hot Chocolate Finds



Hot drinks on cool days what could be better? I know that many like tea, coffee and cappuccinos, my favorite hot drink is hot chocolate. I actually do not wait for cool weather to drink it, I have it every morning.




I blend my own chocolate to make a very rich, European style drinking chocolate and I savor every sip. 

If you are a hot coco or hot chocolate lover here are a few fun mugsornaments and even signs for your holiday hot chocolate bar! I got this plaid thermos last year to take my favorite beverage on the road with me. 




If you are looking for delicious chocolate recipes check out my other blog, Once Upon a Chocolate Life for lots of my favorite hot chocolate recipes. Or check out my hot chocolate Pinterest board! 

 Have a great day!



Friday Favorites from Wife Mama Foodie, Honest Yum, Sequins & Stripes, and More


This post may contain affiliate links. 

Image from Honestly Yum


I love "junk food" not so much chips and candy but pasta, tacos, and pizza. I actually call those foods "Friday foods" because that is how I like to start the weekend, with something comforting and casual.  So this Apple, Bacon and Rosemary Pizza from Honest Yum is on my list for next Friday. Tonight I am going out with friends, hopefully for Mexican. 


Superfood Breakfast Cookies from Wife Mama Foodie


Do you eat breakfast? Typically for breakfast I try to eat eggs and avocado on sprouted grain bread but sometimes I get adventurous and eat oatmeal or even cold cereal. I might have to totally change my diet for these scrumptious looking Superfood Breakfast Cookies from Wife Mama Foodie! I mean what it there not to love about cookies for breakfast? 
I have made several pumpkin things already this Fall, including Thai, Coconut Pumpkin Soup and Classic Pumpkin Bread this week I am going to try one or maybe all of these 9 Pumpkin Recipes from Taste of the South


Image Sequins and Stripes


I have never made pumpkin butter but this recipe and the cute tags from Sequins & Stripes looks easy and delicious. 


Image House of Turquoise


Fall is all about the pumpkins if you ask me, but not necessarily orange and white. Isn't this green and turquoise porch from House of Turquoise fabulous!


You might have heard me mention a time or two that I love Scotland and would love to live there. My dream is a little cottage but perhaps if I ever won the lottery I might be able to live in one of these Spectacular Castles and Estates featured on Country Life.




I recently read, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan. 

From the cover: 


As England becomes enmeshed in the early days of World War II and the men are away fighting, the women of Chilbury village forge an uncommon bond. They defy the Vicar’s stuffy edict to close the choir and instead “carry on singing,” resurrecting themselves as the Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. We come to know the home-front struggles of five unforgettable choir members: a timid widow devastated when her only son goes to fight; the older daughter of a local scion drawn to a mysterious artist; her younger sister pining over an impossible crush; a Jewish refugee from Czechoslovakia hiding a family secret; and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past. 



A beautifully written book of interesting women(good and bad) trying to survive during the difficult times of WWII, who have the bond of the choir to offer them comfort. I loved this book and hope a sequel comes out soon. 


SaveSave For the person that likes to make a statement, loves Smeg refridgerators and has very deep pockets. 


These interesting refrigerators are a collaboration between Dolce Gabbana and Smeg and cost $50,000! For that price I hope they have smart capabilities  and order your food and stock it too!


If you are looking to add a little excitement and whimsy to your Thanksgiving celebrations here are a few things you might life, to include photo props and an entertainment set.





Did you read, eat, make or do anything interesting this week? If so, please share, I love to hear what you are up too. 

 Have a wonderful weekend!



Thursday, October 19, 2017

Just Curious...Have You Ever Been Sexually Harassed?





Good morning! This week the papers have had non-stop coverage about Harvey Weinstein and the sexual harassment claims that have toppled him from his prominent perch of "top Hollywood producer."

To be honest when I first heard the story, my first thought was, "I've heard that before" and indeed I had, several years ago when an actress, whom I cannot recall her name, said that he had harassed her. About that time there were rumblings that he had done it to others, and as quickly as the story came it was gone. There was even a mention that "this stuff" happens all the time in Hollywood and no one talks about it.

I remember thinking this weekend, "where there is smoke there is fire." I thought perhaps there were many more to whom this had happened; but that they did not think they could come forward because to date nothing had happened to Weinstein so they did not want to jeopardize their careers or future opportunities.

I never thought about any of this and how it affected my life until I read a story in which they quoted Donna Karan, and she said( I am paraphrasing here) "that we must also consider how these women were dressed when these things happened to them." Really? What does that have to do with anything?

That one statement brought my own claims of sexual harassment to the forefront of my mind because the same question was asked about me.

I don't want to go into all of the details but I will say that it happened to #metoo while I was in graduate school. I was not assaulted but I was inappropriately touched and was the recipient of many, many weird, sexual stories from a professor. After a year I reported him and I was the one investigated, and one of the first questions asked of all of my fellow students and professors was, "what did she wear to class?", "Did she dress appropriately?"

I am curious, what do you think about the Harvey Weinstein stories? Do you think all of these women speaking out will help to end this sort of behavior? Or do you think it will continue? Do you believe that "not everyone knew?"

I have to be honest, I think it will continue, not only in Hollywood, but in schools, in the workplace and wherever there is a man or a woman that has some sense of power and makes you feel as if you are powerless.

I also do not believe that not everyone knew. Granted they may not have been the target of this man but people talk, and tell stories and apparently for over 30 years people were talking. Lets face it, if the public heard some of the stories how did they people in this mans' sphere of influence not hear them?

Do you think that Harvey Weinstein deserves a second chance? Do you think he will get one?

Have you ever been the victim of sexual harassment at work, school or somewhere else?

If you are curious about the #metoo movement and the origin of "me too" read this article.

Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts. I hope that you have a great day?




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

10 Comfort Foods for Fall



Good morning! This morning it actually felt like Fall. In fact I wore a jacket to yoga which I haven't done since April. Immediately my mind went to warm, comforting, cozy food.


Chili and Jalapeno Corn Bread

Here are 10 comfort foods that I would be more than happy to eat often over the coming months.


Image from Saving Room for Dessert via Pinterest

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup from Saving Room for Dessert


Image Pinch of Yum via Pinterest





Beef Short Ribs and Gravy Image a Family Feast



Easy Potato Soup from Plate Cravings




Image Cupcakes and Kale Chips



Image The View from The Great Island




Guinness Coffee Irish Stew



Image Jo Cooks



Swedish Meatballs

I did notice that all of these foods have either cheese, gravy or a sauce. All of which are a great thing to keep you warm and fill your belly on a cold day!

What is your favorite comfort food? Do you have a link to it on your blog? If so please share or just tell us about it!

Have a great day!

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Classic Pumpkin Bread





Good morning! Did you have a nice weekend? Mine was great, we went out with friends in Saturday for dinner and a play and Sunday we relaxed, read and caught up on things around the house. It has been raining here for what seems like weeks, although I think it has only been 5 days, but the sun finally came out on Sunday so it was the perfect end to the weekend. 

In the last few weeks I have made 2 kinds of pumpkin yeast rolls, 2 kinds of pumpkin bread, a pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin brownies and pumpkin pasta with browned butter and crispy sage. Just in case you hadn't realized Fall is my favorite time to bake(and eat) because I love all of the spices and flavors. 





Pumpkin bread is one of my favorite things to make not only because I love its sweet, and spicy taste but also because it is a great treat to give away or mail to your favorite people.

This bread is a classic and although I have my own favorite recipe I am always open to trying new ones. I found this recipe from Baked by An Introvert on Pinterest.





If you are looking for some Fall recipes check out my Fall Baking Board on Pinterest. 


Ingredients

1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground  Cloves 

Directions

On a baking sheet, take 4 connected sheets of paper towels and fold in half. Spread the pumpkin across the folded sheets and set aside for 10 minutes. 
Preheat the oven to 350, adjust the oven rack to the lower third rung. Prepare a 9x5" loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl combine the oil, cooled butter, granulated sugar and the brown sugar, mix with a whisk until combined well. Then add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each one. 
Transfer the drained pumpkin into the bowl with the wet ingredients, add the buttermilk and mix well. 
In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda and the spices and mix with a whisk. Then combine with the wet ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients until just incorporated with the wet ingredients. You do not want to over mix. 
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
Remove from oven, cool on a air rack for 30 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Or eat warm, it is delicious plain but it is also very good with butter!

Have a great day!


Post contains affliate links.

Linking to:

Between Naps on the Porch

Saturday, October 14, 2017

5 Easy Halloween Crafts and Fun Finds


This post contains affiliate links.

Floating With Hats from Polka Dot Chair


Good mooring!. It's another rainy day here but I don't care because it gives me the excuse that I need to stay in bake, read and explore Pinterest.


Floating Ghosts from Love and Laundry

I personally do not decorate for Halloween because I do not have kids and I don't like scary things. My siblings however do have kids that love to decorate the outside of the house for every holiday and they love Halloween. They have the tombstones and skeletons and witches and more.  I found 3 easy and fun Halloween decorations that you can do with your kids or even your grand kids. 



Banner from Ella Claire

I think the floating ghost is a fun and easy craft to do with your kids or grand kids and the "trick or treat" banner from Ella Grace is a free printable so you could print it and have the older kids cut it out.


Yarn Pumpkins from Design Improvised

Aren't these yarn pumpkins cute? You could make them into garland or just make a bunch and put them into a bowl to display.



Happy Little Ghost Cookies from Sarah's Bake Studio


On a rainy day like today any or all of these would be great activities for the kids. They could bake and decorate these adorable Happy Little Ghost Cookies From Sarah's Bake Studio and then spend the afternoon making some of the other crafts while munching on tees cookies. 


If you are not crafty and prefer to buy a few decorations you can get the witch hats  and the ghost from Target and the "trick or treat banner from Pier !






SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave Have a great day!



Friday Favorites from Cup of Jo, Private Newport, Thistlewood Farms, The Fashion Magpie and More





Good morning! A beautiful and happy Friday to you. I hope that you had a great week. 

 I am not a huge fan of Halloween, don't get me wrong I love the candy but I hate anything scary. I did however make an exception for this cute little mummy cake that I made for my other blog Once Upon a Chocolate Life. It is so easy, it's a chocolate cake, buttercream frosting, a flat pastry tip, 1 Oreo cookie  and 2 brown M&M'S Milk Chocolate candies. It does not get any easier.


Image Here via Pinterest

I cannot wait to make this Pumpkin Lasagna with Sage infused Bechamel Sauce made by Gobo Root.



Image Thistlewood Farm

Are you crafty? I am not very crafty but I think I could make one of these beautiful Felted Pumpkins. Apparently all it takes is a thrift store sweater dried in the dryer, a pair of scissors and a pumpkin form. I will let you know if I have any luck.






If you would like a little help from 9 popular bloggers decorating your house for Christmas check out this course, Home for the Holidays, by Jeanne Oliver, where you will have access to 65 videos. 30 project videos and 35 discussion videos, beautiful house photos and inspiration, supply lists, PDFs, and a digital recipe book. You will have lifetime access to the content.

If you are like me than Fall and Winter consists of copious amounts of hot chocolate and mountains of books. This week The Fashion Magpie posted a great list of books to start your pile with.


Image Cup of Jo

As did Cup of Jo. Between the two there may be a book or two that you will want to add to your booklist. 


My Private Newport

If you have a little wanderlust head over to My Private Newport to see part one of Bettie's  trip to Paris. 





Or go visit Pamela of From the House of Edward on her Instagram page as she explores my favorite place in the world, Scotland. 


I hope that you found something interesting here. If you read, saw, ate, went, made or did anything that you would like to share please do!

Have a great weekend.


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Seletti HYBRID


Good morning! It's a gray rainy, hot, humid day here. But that's OK because tomorrow its Friday! I am looking forward to catching up. Its funny how things, like mail, packages, laundry, housework, etc pile up when you are gone for a week. 




Image Me taken from House Beautiful October 2017


I have mentioned before that I really like to buy plates for different occasions and then I pair them with things I already own. In addition to traditional patterns I love quirky unusual tableware and these pieces by Seletti are some of my favorites.



Image Here


If you do not know about this interesting china here is a little description from Seletti:

This dinnerware project designed by CTRLZAK multidisciplinary collective reflects on the historical production of Chinese and European Bone China and its centuries of fertilisation between Western and Eastern aesthetics. Produced in Tangshan, the renowned “capital of Bone China”, refined by hand, the pieces decorations are sliced in half, creating new hybrids that juxtapose scenes and themes interpreted in the respective cultural imaginary.


There are plates










And pitchers and vases.

And now there are rugs as well. If you would like to see the rug collection you can see it on Design Boom.


Image Design Boom


What do you think? Are you a fan of this interesting mix of East/West? Or do you prefer to stick to the classics? Do you have a favorite pattern for tableware? I personally love transfer ware in any color but the brown and the purple are my favorites. 


I hope that you have a great day! 



Just Curious...Are You a Pumpkin Spice Lover?



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Pumpkin Blue Cheese Macaroni


PS or pumpkin spice is THE flavor of Fall and it seems to have taken over not just our pies and drinks but practically anything that we put in our mouths.


Pumpkin Spice Cup Etsy


My grocery store has an entire display of pumpkin spiced items and there are pop tarts, bread, cereal popcorn, coffee, Tea, protein bars, marshmallows, granola bars, yogurt, ice cream, beer, spirits, Pumpkin Spice Oreos , truffles, candy bars, jello, pudding, malted milk balls, butter, cream cheese and so much more.



Pumpkin Spiced Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


I love pumpkin spice but I have to be honest I only like it in a few things, like my all time favorite pie, or in soup, bread and occasionally pasta and a bagel. Other than that I have refrained from jumping on the PS bandwagon. 
I simply cannot imagine a pumpkin Oreo or a chocolate truffle or a pumpkin spiced marshmallow? None of that even sounds good to me.



I prefer traditional pumpkin spice flavored things, like pumpkin cheesecake with praline glaze, or pumpkin cake with brown sugar glaze, and pumpkin soup to name a few.

Are you a fan of all of these new pumpkin spiced foods? If so which are your favorite products? If not, do you have a favorite traditional pumpkin spiced food that you like?

I hope that you have a fabulous day!




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