Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cabin Fever

Good morning! I have a sever case of cabin fever this week. I am growing weary of the heat and humidity and I am longing for the beautiful summers that I remember from home. I grew up in the Midwest from the time I was a teen and I have spent many, many happy days at our family cabin or the cabins of friends and relatives. 

Star Lake Cabin

Our times at the cabin usually consisted of long, lazy days beginning with a hearty breakfast cooked in a cast iron skillet, naturally.  

Image Country Living

We would make pancakes and sausage or eggs and toast and then meander to the porch where a plan was hatched for the day.  

Image from Home Away

Perhaps an outing to the lake swimming, boating or maybe a  little time in the canoe.

Image Taigan of a Merrimac Canoe

Other days were spent on long walks in the woods hunting for treasures. Pine cones, acorns(I started young), feathers, moss, you name it we lugged it home. 

Image Pine Cones and Acorns

Lovely treasures from Mother Nature that we stashed on the windowsill to be revisited at another time.  

Image from The Growers Daughters Blog

A trip to the dock alone or with a friend to while away the hours chatting or watching jumping fish, flying cranes, or perhaps a skunk looking for lunch. One never did know what they might see. 

Image Pine Cones and Acorns

Then it was back to the cabin for dinner and some time playing board games or working on a puzzle.

Image Country Living

Some nights if it was chilly we would sit by the fire and read. On other nights we sat on the porch or around a bon fire and watched the fireflies and bats darting here and there, telling stories and laughing until our bellies hurt. 

Image Home Away

Eventually we would slink away one by one to our beds in the loft. The aroma of the campfire clinging to our clothes and hair, annoying and comforting at the same time. Snuggled in our feather beds we would fall asleep to the sounds of the frogs croaking, and crickets chirping mixed with the howls of some unknown animal. Sweet dreams sure to be had after so much time communing with nature. 

Image from Houzz designed byBeDe Designs

Are you a fan of cabins? Or do you prefer the sand and the beaches? Actually I do enjoy both but some of my happiest times are at the cabin.  

I hope that you have a great day!


The cabin shown in photos 1,3,9 is Star Lake cabin, actually it is a little compound of cabins for rent in Wisconsin. If interested follow the link HERE to Home Away Vacations.
I have no affiliation and am not being compensated, I just love the look of this property.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Blueberry Compote Oatmeal

 I hope you enjoyed a nice weekend. I did, but more often than not it feels as if I never manage to get everything done that I want to. Of course some weekends the problem could be that at 10:00 a.m. I am still in bed with a book and cup of cocoa.

This weekend I was up at at 'em early and my husband was the lucky recipient of one of my weekend experiments, Oatmeal with Blueberry Compote. If you have never enjoyed your oatmeal like this you need to try it. It is fabulous! I hate to say that I may never go back to my brown sugar and cinnamon oats. 

I won't go into the details of how to make oatmeal, we use both  McCanns Steel Cut Irish Oats and Quaker Oats but you can use whatever you like. Simply prepare the oats according to the package directions and then add a healthy spoonful or two of this scrumptious blueberry compote and enjoy!

Blueberry Compote 

3 cups of blueberries
1/4 cup of water
3 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
juice from 1/2 of fresh lemon 

Put all ingredients into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, then lower heat and simmer until berries start to pop and sauce is reduced and thickens. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and let cool, the sauce with thicken more as it cools. 

Note: This is not a science, if you like less sugar than add less, if you do not have lemon juice, skip it and add water or another juice like orange or raspberry juice. If you do not like cinnamon or nutmeg than do not add it. But do add more liquid if the mixture is cooking to quickly. 

This compote is also very good over ice cream, yogurt, cheesecake and more. 

Do you eat oatmeal? How do you fix it? With honey? Cinnamon and brown sugar? Plain? I am looking for a few more ideas so I would like to hear yours, please share if you have something new.

Enjoy your week!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Silent Sunday 7-28-2013

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The View from My Kitchen Sink...

Good morning! I hope that your weekend is off to a slow and leisurely pace...perhaps you are off to the market to pick up some summer, vine ripened tomatoes?

Or maybe you will just sit and enjoy your morning coffee and breakfast and watch the little critters come to enjoy theirs?

I have been puttering this morning and enjoying the view from my kitchen sink, thinking about the tomatoes that I purchased at the farmers market yesterday and what I want to use them for. Watching my squirrel and his friends eat breakfast and make a mess on the porch digging and rolling in the planters. 

Whatever your plans make sure to take some time to stop and "smell the flowers." Life is so much better when we savor the little moments.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Favorites on Friday from Twigg Studios, Lost Past Remembered, Poppy Talk and More

 It's Friday again, goodness where does the time go? I am happy to have you here for another "favorites on Friday" where I like to share my favorite finds from blogs, the web and more. 

My favorite things...magazines, tea and flowers.

As I was looking through my long list of favorites for the week, two things became apparent, I must have been very hungry this week and I have vacation destinations on my mind.

This fabulous vacation home rental  in the UK caught my eye, from It's Overflowing and stunning photos from Cachemiere et Soie of her trip to the Bahamas makes me want to grab a fruity drink and plop down in the sand with a book.

Image Lost Past Remembered

Lost Past Remembered shared her wonderful holiday to the Peak Districk in the UK, as well as, the stunning country house that she stayed in, Manor Farm. This house seems as if it could be in a Jane Austen novel, it is romantic, authentic, and has beautiful gardens.

It looks Like White

Image from It Looks Like White

I discovered my dream cottage on It Looks Like White. If I did not mention it before one of my dreams in life is to live in a thatched cottage on a loch in Scotland. Although this cottage is not in Scotland, the cottage itself is what I am sure that I want mine to look like. It is beautifully decorated, has a wonderful garden and a thatched roof, what more could a girl ask for? I think you will enjoy this little gem so much you might like one of your own.

Twigg Studios Lemon Tarts

Twigg Studios English Crumpets

I have been a fan and a follower of Twigg Studios for a while and each and every time I visit I am in awe of the food, the photo styling and the blog. Both of these recipes for lemon tarts and English crumpets caught my eye this week.

Cookie Crumbs and Sawdust

I do not know about you but sometimes I get a craving for something and there is no stopping me until I have made it. This week it was cheesecake, so I will be making the above no-bake cheesecake from Cookie Crumbs and Sawdust this weekend. I have never tried a no-bake cheesecake before and am anxious to compare the taste to the traditional recipe.

Image from Good Bones, Great People

Interior design fascinates me, the process, the client/designer relationship, the furniture, fabrics and more. If you are like me and would like to know which books are the "go to" books for information and inspiration than visit Susan and Lauren at Good Bones Great Pieces.
I discovered a new blog this week,  Things Your Mother Would Have Told You. As you can tell from the title, which is also going to be a book, it is filled with information about cooking, baking, DIY and tid bits that have been passed from generation to generation. I cannot wait for the book!

Photo by J. Aaron Greene via Poppy Talk

And last but not least, this impressive project from Poppy Talk. Doesn't this decoupage chest look like an interesting project? I have done a few small projects, like these pumpkins last year, but I am not sure that I am ready to tackle something this big. I will have to give it some thought.

As always I hope that you found something new and interesting, and if you have something to share please do. We all love new adventures, book, recipes and more.

Enjoy your weekend.

P.S: Feeling like a little chocolate? Check out Once Upon A Chocolate Life to see my new recipe for Skor Bar Chocolate Cheesecake. Delicious if I do say so myself!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Fun List

 I mentioned a few days ago that I felt like the end of summer was just around the corner and I was promptly corrected by some friends that summer lasts until the end of September. Point taken. But I have seen signs that Fall is approaching in my neighborhood; the bark shedding from the crepe myrtle trees, night falling a little earlier, back to school supplies creeping into the stores. I began to wonder have I done everything that I wanted to do this summer?

I have compiled a little summer list just to see how far I have gotten and to remind myself to kick things into high gear  if I want to accomplish most if not all of my list:

Visit the farmers market
Eat corn on the cob
fresh fuzzy peaches
host a barbecue or two
make s'mores
catch a firefly
take long walks on the beach

find some shells
relax in the sun with a good book
drink fresh squeezed limeade with friends
watch the world go by from my porch
go to family reunion

take a road trip or two with my husband
build a sandcastle
enjoy a BLT or two with sun ripened tomatoes
go to the drive in movie(for the first time)

make ice cream
go sailing
watch fireworks
look at the stars
take a nap
eat a wood-fired pizza

have my niece come for a two week "camp"
swim in the ocean
watch the dolphins frolic in the morning

visit a lighthouse
go to the botanical garden
go bike riding

go to a bonfire
have a picnic
roast marshmallows
try out the family Airstream

spend a week at the cabin
walk in the woods

This list is by no means comprehensive as I keep adding to it as I check a few things off.  But it is a reminder to "stop and smell the roses" as they say. After all summer is to be celebrated and enjoyed by everyone not just kids. 

Tell me, do you have a "bucket list" of things to do this summer? What have you been up to? Is there something special that signify's summer to you? Give it some thought and let us know, maybe you have something fun that we should try.

A gentle reminder to myself and to you my friends, life is so very precious and time is not to be wished away or squandered. 

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Refreshing Summer Drinks


The sweltering weather has had me thinking about cool and refreshing drinks. Of course the typical ones come to mind, lemonade, limeade and sweet tea. 

Hibiscus Tea

I personally love limeade made with fresh squeezed limes and simple syrup, add a few springs of mint and you have the perfect drink. 

Iced Sun Tea

Lemonade is a close second, but it has to be made fresh, never from a mix. Let's face it Summer only comes once a year, you might as well do it right. 

Mint Tea

For many others Summer wouldn't be summer without sweet tea. I have heard sweet tea recipes are passed from generation to generation, not being from he South I cannot be sure of this. If you are from the South please let me know.  

Peach Tea Punch

Cilantro Limeade

I have to be honest I am not a fan of sweet tea. It is too sweet, just like watermelon which is another summer favorite that I do not enjoy. 

Lemon-blueberry Sweet Tea

There are limitless possibilities for making a new and refreshing drink, with or without alcohol. You could use berries and stone fruits, or citrus. Early gray, camomile, mint tea and more. Then you can top them off with cilantro, mint, basil or lavender. 

Sweet Tea

Blueberry-Pomegranate Slushy

I actually was surprised buy all of the interesting combinations that I found, and as I mentioned these are just a few of the drinks I found. Perhaps in another post I will have to compile of alcoholic beverages, after all who doesn't love a fruity cocktail?

Lavender Lemonade

Do you have a favorite summer drink or a recipe for one that you are willing to share? I enjoy hearing your likes and dislikes, recipes and suggestions, so do not be shy and share with us. 

Watermelon Juice

I hope that you find time to sit back today with your favorite drink and savor a moment today! Enjoy!