Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Final Flight

Good morning,

 I try not to talk about my personal life too much, but yesterday my family suffered the loss of my dear aunt. She lived a wonderful life, had a fabulous husband and two sons and a dear grandson and another on the way. 

Sadly she lost her life long fight with depression. Our lives are forever changed by this beautiful soul who never said an unkind word about anyone, loved and experienced life with the gentleness of a wide eyed child, and fought a hard battle that in the end became too much for her weary body and soul.

I am going to spend a few days with my family, reminiscing about our domino games, my aunts love of music and life, her spirit and her courage and just being together. 

The Final Flight

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free, I'm following the path God laid for me. 

I took his hand when I heard his call, I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day, To laugh, to love, to work, to play. 

Tasks left undone must stay that way, I've found that peace at the end of the day. 

If my parting has left a void, Then fill it with remembered joy. 

A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, Ah, yes, these things too I will miss. 

Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. 

My Life's been full, I savoured much, Good friends, good times, a loved one' touch. 

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief, Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.

Lift up your heart and share with me, God wanted me now, He set me free.

I love you and I am going to miss you, until we meet again. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pride and Prejudice Celebrating 200 Years!

Good morning! Did you know that yesterday was the 200 Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen? Love it or loath it is seems that opinion is split down the middle. 

Image Nose in a Book

This iconic book featuring Jane and Mr. Darcy as well as an entire cast of characters has spawned an empire; from video games, to movies, to spin-offs to coffee mugs and other promotional material, tours and so much more. 

Image Source

Personally I am a romantic and I love the book as well as most of the movie adaptations. 

Image from Mighty Girl

I mean what is not to love about a penniless girl who really needs to marry for money but holds out to marry for love? In this book, love conquers all. 

Image Source

Obviously, there is more to the story than that, but in a nutshell that is the iconic story with its classic lines that has enthralled most readers for 200 years. In fact Pride and Prejudice is in the top 25 books of all time! 

Image from Etsy Miss Kismet Shop

If you are a fan and would like to test your knowledge of Pride and Prejudice than go to The Telegraph and take their amusing quiz.

Image Etsy, A New History

Also if you are visiting or live in Baltimore, Maryland between now and July you can visit Goucher College to view the largest collection in North America of Jane Austen's work. 

Image Source

This collection was donated by Alberta Burke in 1975 who along with her husband, Henry collected Jane Austen's books, translations, newspaper articles and other periodicals relating to Jane Austen. 

Image Nose in a Book

The collection also documents Henry Burke's co-founding the Jane Austen Society of North America.  Follow this Link to view the Collection as well as additional information about Jane Austen. 

Are you a fan of Pride and Prejudice? Of Jane Austen? Let me know I would love to hear what you think!

Enjoy your day!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Transferware, Tea, and Weekend Treats

Good morning! How was your weekend? Relaxing? Filled with adventure? It snowed several inches both Friday and Saturday and made for an enchanting evening as it fell in big fluffy flakes by the light of the moon. 

Image Pine Cones and Acorns

I spent way too many hours on Google Art Project enjoying some of my favorite museums and studying the techniques and brush strokes of many of my favorite artists. Many of you commented that you had never hear of it, and thought perhaps it was new but in fact, it was launched on February 1, 2011 with 14 museums and one year later it announced agreements with 151 museums!

I think it is an unbelievable undertaking and a fascinating project. For many it is the only opportunity that they will ever have to see some of the great works  of art from around the world and for others it is the opportunity to study and learn from the Master's themselves. I hope you explore it if you are an art fan, it is addicting just like 

Aside from that I went to a few antique stores, enjoyed two books and watched Downton Abbey among other things. 

Can you believe all of the drama and the excitement? I don't want to give anything away because I know that some of the people who read my blog do not watch Downton on Sunday but stream it at a later date. Let me just say, this weeks episode does not disappoint. 

What did you think of Dowton Abbey?  Did you enjoy it? Were you lucky enough to get any snow(for those of us who have been missing it)? Make anything tasty treats? You know I love new books, movies and recipes so please share.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

P.S If you like chocolate come over to  Once Upon a Chocolate Life and check out my latest chocolate experiment, chocolate pancakes. Delicious!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Google Art Project and the Arm Chair Traveler

Happy Friday! It is still early morning and I am ready to jump back  in bed and snuggle in for the weekend. The weather is frigid and lends itself to a pile of beautiful books and a cup of something warm to accompany me on my journey.

 This weekend I have decided to be an arm chair traveler and explore some old familiar friends as well as some new ones. 

 I have many books, probably too many but that is a story for another day, and recently came across these Great Museums of the World books on my shelf. 

What better place to "visit" this weekend than some of my favorite museums as well as some that I have not had the pleasure of getting to know?

I am fascinated by museums and can sit for hours staring at my favorite pieces; trying to imagine how it was painted, where, in what setting, and the meaning behind each person or setting. 

Although I have been to many of the great museums of Europe I often find that some of my most memorable moments were in tiny relatively unknown museums where treasures abound. A small Renoir at the Limoges Museum or an alabaster,  Egyptian burial piece from the Richmond Museum, or the largest collection of Monet outside of France in Philadelphia. 

What is your favorite museum? Do you have a favorite artist, genre or piece that speaks to you?

If you are like me and you you love art than pick up a book and visit one of your favorite pieces this weekend.  If you do not have any books handy than visit the Google Art Project where you can currently visit 184 collections, featuring 7758 artists, and 37,006 artworks! 

The Google Art Project is an amazing feat and each time I visit I am amazed by the scope of the project and the accessibility of art from well know to small collections. It is fascinating to me to really be able to look, up close and personal at my favorite piece, and to see each brush stroke. 

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend, be safe!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Snow Magic

"Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood."
~Andy Goldsworthy~

Good morning! Guess what? It snowed! I won't be taking a snow day today or anything like that but it's OK, 3-4 inches makes me as happy as if there were a blizzard. 

Yesterday afternoon the snow came down for an hour or two in light fluffy flakes and created a magical wonderland.

I was so excited I could have danced a jig and threw myself to the ground to make a snow angel. I refrained and just quietly enjoyed it. 

I did make the first tracks!

 I grew up in the Midwest and some of my happiest days were spent frolicking in the snow or just sitting inside watching the flakes flutter to the ground creating a magical wonderland. 

I miss that as we do not get much snow in my part of the country. 

Today I feel rejuvenated; the fresh fallen snow and the beauty left in its wake has me grinning from ear to ear. 

I realize that for many Summer is their favored time of the year but for me it is the opposite.

 I enjoy winter, whether I am inside nesting or outside enjoying the chill in the air, the breeze in my hair and the snow landing softly on my cheeks. It brings a smile to my face and a spring to my step. 

It truly is the little things in life that bring the most pleasure. If you are a fellow snow lover I hope that you were lucky enough to get some too, if not I am sure that before winter is over you will have your fill. 

I hope you enjoy your day, stay warm and safe. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Simple Enjoyment

Good morning! I don't know about you but I am a homebody and never more so than in the winter, especially when the weather is as frigid as it has been the last few days. I think today we are supposed to have a "heat wave" and the temps will reach 16 so I shall be staying inside where it is nice and toasty. 

I love British magazines

As I mentioned yesterday in my post on Crock Pot soup, on days like this I love to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, a book, some magazines, and a comforting meal.

Recent reads

All of which I will be enjoying today, along with the delicious vegetable soup I made yesterday in the Crock Pot. It was quick, easy and of course piping hot when I returned home. 

I made up the recipe using the vegetables that I had on hand, but you can add anything that you like or have, in case you are interested in trying it.

Image Williams Sonoma

Easy Vegetable Soup

3 carrots peeled and cut into little chunks
2 potatoes cut into little chunks
1 head of cabbage chopped
1 bag of frozen green beans
1 medium onion diced
2 28 oz cans tomato puree or crushed tomatos
1 32 container of chicken stock/broth
sprinkle of Italian seasoning
salt and pepper

Place all chopped vegetables into the crock pot, add tomato puree, chicken stock, and seasonings. You want the vegetables to be mostly covered with liquid so add a little water if necessary. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5. This was made using a 6 quart Crock Pot.

Serve with a sprinkling of Fontina cheese and crusty bread.

Have you made any soup this week? Did you make it in your Crock Pot? I am going to try to make white bean chicken chili as soon as I find a good recipe. 

 I hope that you enjoy your day! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Crock Pot Soup on a Frigid Day

Image from Madigan Made

Good morning! Just curious, how many of you are waking up to frigid temperatures and lots of snow? Sadly, there are just frigid temperatures here this morning and I think the high is going to be 6! 

Weather this cold calls for a little comfort food, lots of hot beverages, a great book or perhaps a good movie.

As I am working today I thought it might be nice to have something hot, hearty and delicious when I come in out of the cold. What could be better than something that is cooking all day while I work?

Tomato Basil from Todays Mama

I know that there are many who do not use or even like Crock pots/slow cookers, and frankly I was one one of them. 

Crock Pot Beef Stew from Simple Living Magazine

 But I have become a convert in recent years, especially since I have one that is small and only makes about 6 servings. 

French Onion Soup from Dashing Dish

Soup is one of the easiest things to make in a Crock pot and I found a few recipes to tempt you into trying your out. Just in case it is still languishing in the box or on the shelf in your pantry.

Chipolte Lime Black Bean Soup from Katrina Runs for Food

Are you already a fan of slow cooking? Do you have any recipes that you make in your Crock Pot? 
Creamy Chicken Soup from Craft-O-Maniac

Although I typically make soup or sometimes a roast I have seen many other recipes for desserts, pasta dishes, meat and more. I have not tried anything yet but perhaps if the weather stays cold I might just have too. 

White Bean Chicken Chili from

I hope that you stay warm and safe today. Enjoy the snow and your day! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Parental Guidance, Vintage Finds, Cinnamon Rolls & More

Good morning! Did you enjoy your weekend? Mine was so relaxing that I did not want it to end. 

Detail of a painting I purchased this weekend.

I was visiting with my mother, sister and niece this weekend and we did all of our favorite things and more. Baking, eating, reading, sipping cocoa by the fire, watching movies and more. 

Friday night we went to the movies, which I have not done in donkeys years. I typically like to watch movies at home as I like to read magazines and books while watching the movie. Doesn't everyone like to multi-task while relaxing and watching a movie? 
As there is not a large selection of family friendly movies we settled on Parental Guidance, which I am happy to say we enjoyed. Although, I have since read many bad reviews I thought the movie was entertaining.
Have you seen it? Let me ask you did it look as if Billy Crystal and Bette Midler had some work done to preserve their youth? I have not seen either of them for some time and they look very different.

Aside from the movie, we baked more Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls, played games, and of course went in search of a few antiques. Although I tried to restrain myself I did come home with a few treasures, sadly some brown transferware for my collection was not one of the items. 

Vintage finds 

Tell me, what did you do this weekend? Do you have some movies, books or recipes to share? As you know I am fond of soup and desserts so please share your recipes and links.

Detail from another painting I found.

I hope you have a wonderful week!