Sunday, March 30, 2014

Silent Sunday 3-30-2014

Have a great day!

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Little Break

Good morning! A happy Friday and a happy weekend to you! I am sorry but I have no Friday Favorites today because I am taking a few days off to spend with my family before I go back home. 

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy and be safe.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Be Kind

Good morning! I have been thinking this week about people that we "see" each day in the course of our daily lives, whether it be reading their blog, interacting with them at work, purchasing something from them, etc. How much do you really know about that person, or do you think you know? 

Did you know that the person at Starbucks serving you your coffee this morning was beat up last night by her boyfriend? Or that a blogger that you read on a daily basis has just been diagnosed with cancer? Or perhaps the old man that walks the track next to you each day, has lost his wife and has no children nearby so the only contact he has each day are with the people that engage him on the track by asking how he is or laughing at his jokes?

What about the maintenance man in your building, did you know that he was in a work camp in Russia and the reason that he loves food is that he was starved for so many years?

And the teenager in the car next to you at the stoplight with the big grin on his face, did you know that he was just accepted into college, the first person in his family to ever go?

And the lady at the grocery store with the unruly kids that get on your nerves, did you know her husband has been deployed for the past 18 months and she is trying to do it all on her own?

It is funny because we all see what we want to see and often times our own issues and problems cloud our judgement or perhaps make us more judgemental and less compassionate.

Life is short, and time is precious, everyone has baggage and issues and on any given day someone that you come in contact with is struggling. 

Do you offer a kind comment on a blog post or do you criticize because it is not something that you like or would make? Do you say hello and engage the clerk at the grocery store, and do you actually listen to what they say when you ask how they are? 

Sometimes life is hard, sometimes it is wonderful. Some day's life is a struggle and some day's it is a holiday.We never know what sort of a day it is for someone else so why not offer a little smile to everyone you  meet? Maybe that is the day that your kind word or smile gives them hope enough to live another day. 

I hope that you have a wonderful day and that everyone you meet today is kind!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Styling Magazine by Coty Farquhar

I LOVE magazines! My postman however does not. Nor does my husband because I cannot part with any of them once I have read them. I have no idea why that is the case but it pains me to throw any away, consequently I think I have at least 300 back issues of my favorites from Country Living UK, Veranda, House Beautiful and English Homes to name but a few. Those were all that remained after a massive purge in November.

All Images Styling Magazine

Luckily there are many online magazines to explore, which take up no additional space int the house. One of my all time favorites is Styling by Coty Farguhar.

All images Styling Magazine

Each and every page is a feast for the senses; the art, the flowers, the photography and the beautifully written stories make this magazine one to sit and linger over for hours. Each edition also features a story and fabulous photos from Sharon Santoni of My French Country Home.

If you have not read the March Issue yet be sure to stop by and take a look.

You can also find Coty Farquhar on her BlogPinterest and Facebook.

Have a great day!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Jam and Biscuits

Good morning! Did you have a nice weekend? Mine was perfect, I did exactly what I said I was going to do, stay in my pj's, bake and read. 

Saturday was a lazy day, but Sunday I woke up and went like the energizer bunny for the rest of the day. I baked so many things my family said that when I leave next week they are going to have to have a detox from all of the sugar they have consumed these last few weeks. 

On Friday I mentioned that I was going to try out a recipe from The Joy of Nesting this weekend for biscuits, so on Saturday afternoon I whipped up a batch of strawberry jam  to accompany them. This jam is so easy and scrumptious, I do not know why you would ever buy jam again. 

Fresh Strawberry Jam
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten Food Network

11/4 cups of sugar
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
11/2 quarts of cleaned, hulled and halved strawberries

Place a small plate in the freezer. Then in a medium saucepan combine the lemon juice, zest and the sugar, cook over very low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir often so the sugar does not burn. Then add the strawberries and cook until the strawberries release their juices and the mixture boils slowly. This can take as little as 20 minutes or as long as 50 minutes. To test to see if the mixture is done take the plate from the freezer, place a small amount of the jelly on plate, wait a few minutes and see if it gels. If it does, the jelly is ready.

Place the jelly into sterilized canning jars, seal or refrigerate immediately. The mixture will keep for two weeks. If you are making a larger batch follow the USDA guidelines about sterilizing canning products, information can be found HERE.

NOTE: This is not my recipe, for tips and tricks with this recipe click the link above or here. Also, I have made this several times in the last few months, the recipe above includes extra berries that are not in the original recipe. The actual recipe calls for 11/2 pints, I like to have more fruit in my jam.

The biscuits are light and fluffy and the jelly is sweet, delicious and  filled with chunky berries. Add a little pat of butter and you have the perfect Sunday morning breakfast to accompany your morning paper and coffee.

What did you do, make or see this weekend? I would love to hear all about it.

I hope that you have a wonderful day!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Friday Favorites From South Shore Decorating, Rough Luxe, Baked Bree, The Joy of Nesting and More

Spring is here!!!! Or at least is was for a little bit yesterday, the sky was blue, the sun was shining and although there was a chill in the air by the lake I could feel the promise of warmer days ahead.

I am ready for the weekend, I have had a busy week. Thankfully, I have no plans for the weekend because I want to be a couch potato and stay in my pj's all weekend, watch movies and read. If you have similar plans for the weekend then you may enjoy perusing some of my favorite links from this week.

Image South Shore Decorating Blog

Stacy from South Shore Decorating Blog featured an amazing house this week. The house belongs to Leopoldina Hayes a London based antiques dealer and children's boutique owner. I am completely in love and I have read the post and looked at the photos more times than I can count, not to mention spent at least an hour or two on Leopoldina's Pinterest pages. If you like French and Swedish antiques than I think you will enjoy it too. 

Milieu Magazine Image from Rough Luxe

If two of my favorite bloggers write about the same thing in one week than it must be worth taking a look at; Joni from Cote de Texas and Cindy at Rough Luxe both featured a new magazine that is a "must read". The home and garden magazine is called Milieu and it is stunning, I cannot wait to receive my first issue. 

Chicken Satay Soup From Baked Bree

If you have followed me for any length of time you know most weekends I can be found doing something in the kitchen. This weekend I have this Chicken Satay Soup by Baked Bree on my list of things to try.

Image The Joy of Nesting

I also think I am going to try this biscuit recipe from the Joy of Nesting to use for a party we are throwing in a few weeks. They look like they will be perfect served with fresh berries and whipped cream. 

If you find yourself in Paris this weekend, Pam from Views From My Kitchen Sink recommends visiting Josephine at the Musee du Luxembourg and if you are in New York Bart Boehlert recommends both the book and the exhibit, Gilded New York.

And last but not least, get out your tissues for this one. Sam is a 17 year old boy with a heart condition who was told he would never ride a bike, or a skate board, much play his favorite sport hockey. This week, with the help of the Make a Wish Foundation Sam got to play hockey and more. Click HERE to see this inspiring and heart warming video. 

I hope that you find something new here this week and if not I hope that you have something to share. I love learning about new recipes, books, movies, exhibits and more.

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Welcome Spring and My Three Year Blog Anniversary!

Good morning and a Happy Spring to you! Although to be precise I believe it actually begins at 12:57 PM EDT. Wouldn't it be great if at 12:57 we went outside and just like in the movie The Wizzard of Oz the sky turned blue and the flowers and trees bloomed? Ok, I know that is wishful thinking in Wisconsin as today I saw a few snowflakes but a girl can dream can't she?

In addition to the first day of Spring this week is my third blog anniversary! Frankly I cannot even believe I started a blog. Although I always thought it would be fun to start one and even signed up in 2008 I just could not bring myself to post anything until three years later. What in the world I was waiting for I could not say, perhaps some Divine inspiration?

In any case I am happy that I finally took the plunge. I have been blessed to meet many inspirational and exciting people that I now call friends. I have expanded my horizons, learned many new things, grown not only a little older but also a little wiser. To date I have published 843 posts and have had 1,125,905 visitors!

I just wanted to thank each and every person that visits and comments on my posts, your encouragement and kind words always make my day! 

Happy Spring! And thank you again for coming to visit Pine Cones and Acorns!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Flowers

"No matter how long the Winter, Spring is sure to follow."

Good morning! Can you believe that tomorrow is the first day of Spring? Does it even feel like it where you live? Have you seen any crocus popping out of the ground? Or any other Spring flowers?

I have yet to see a sign of Spring other than it staying light longer. I guess I will just have to wait a few more weeks but I am sure that it is coming.  

Yesterday I read that more people have been affected by SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder than ever before.Really? I hope that they did not pay a lot for that study because I think you could walk down the street of any city this year and about 99% of the people would have said they were sick and tired of the endless winter. 

 I know I was suffering from a little of this myself this year that is why I have been looking for ways to brighten the house and my mood. I find a bouquet of flowers does it every time. 

Although there are no daffodils outside yet they are currently in the stores and at the flower shops. A little burst of sunshine in the house and a great way to lift your spirits don't you think? Do you have a favorite Spring flower?

What are you doing around your own house to bring a little Spring in? Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones and you are seeing a few cherry blossoms or azaleas?

As I said we are not seeing anything yet but that has not stopped us from stocking up on Spring bulbs. So far the ones we have planted are doing fabulous!

I wish you are wonderful, sunny, Spring like day! Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2014

St.Patrick's Day Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Happy St.Patrick's Day to you! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend, filled with lots of sun and warm Me neither but we can wish can't we?

As I am not a drinker nor a lover of savory food I thought I would celebrate St. Patrick's day with a few green pancakes. Not necessarily the most appetizing of colors but throw in a little dark chocolate and I promise the taste with make you forget about the color.

These scrumptious pancakes are light and fluffy with little bits of sweet molten chocolate. A morning treat to celebrate St.Patrick's day or any other special occasion.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 cup of milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup 60% dark chocolate chips

*2-5 drops of food coloring for desired green

Serve with powdered sugar, strawberries, chocolate sauce or whatever else you like.


Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl, whisk until combined. In another bowl whisk the egg, milk, oil and vanilla, then pour into the flour mixture and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and stir.

Heat a non stick griddle that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray then pour 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle. When bubbles form on the top turn over, cook until the other side is lightly browned, turn out onto plate and serve with desired toppings.

Have a Happy St.Patrick's Day! Enjoy!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Weekly Roundup

Good afternoon, I hope that your weekend is starting out well. Only a few more days until Spring, I think I can feel a little bit of it in the air, either that or it is wishful thinking. If you missed anything this week you can find me

Trying out my latest recipe for Creamy Rice Pudding with Summer Berries

And last but not least my Friday Favorites for around the internet.

I hope that you have a wonderful day! Enjoy some time with family and friends!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Favorites from Paris Breakfasts, Books and Cupcakes, Vibek Designs and More

Photo Pine Cones and Acorns

Good morning! Today it is going to be a beautiful day, not only because it is Friday but also because it is supposed to be 49! I cannot even remember what that feels like, but I will be basking in the warmth of  the sun today, especially since it is going to snow again on Tuesday.

Monday is St.Patrick's Day and although for many it is a religious holiday for many others it is all about the food and drink. If you want to try something new to drink or to eat you can find  25 St.Patrick's Day Recipes here. 

Photo Pine Cones and Acorns

Paris never gets old and for those who dream of picking up and moving there but are unable too we can live vicariously through these bloggers. My sister found THIS fabulous new blog written and photographed by Magdalena Martin who after years of traveling to Paris picked up just one year ago and moved there to live her dream.

Image Carol of Paris Breakfasts via Etsy

Carol, the writer and illustrator of Paris Breakfasts also moved to Paris last year after years of traveling back and for from her home in New York. This past month she announced a wonderful new subscription service for those of us who love not only "snail mail" but beautifully illustrated letters from Paris. You can find more information about 6 and 12 month subscriptions HERE

Photo Pine Cones and Acorns

Next week is also the first day of Spring, it is hard to believe but it is. I think there may be an end in sight to the never ending Winter. As I said on the blog this week I have been searching for a little Spring inspiration and I have found it here in the Best of Britain's Beautiful Spring Gardens and HERE at Vibek Designs one of the most beautifully photographed blogs I have just discovered. 

Speaking of beautiful, I recently discovered The Ballerina Project, do you know of it? If not, click HERE to see the amazing work of photographer Dane Shitagi and dancers from around the world. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

If you are a voracious reader and a lover of books as I am, you might enjoy the blog Books and Cupcakes. It is bursting with book reviews and beautiful photos of what else...books.

Last but not least if you enjoy wine you might enjoy Hello Vino, a virtual wine assistant app that can make recommendations for meals, holidays and special occasions based on your personal preferences. 

I hope that you find something new here and if you have something new to share we would love to hear about books, blogs, recipes, etc.

Have a beautiful and safe weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring Inspiration From Pinterest

Good Morning! I hope that your week is going well, only one more day until the weekend. Hip hip hurray! This week although the temps themselves have not been altogether Spring-like the sun has been shining and the skies have been clear. I am ready and waiting for Spring.

Tulips Pine Cones and Acorns

As many of you are I LOVE Pinterest and pin a lot, although I do not often go back to look at what I pinned unless I am looking for something specific. 

Image Stone Gable

This week I decided to rectify that and I spent a bit of time scrolling through my Spring board for a little  inspiration. After all where else can you find ideas for flowers, decor, food and fun all in one place?

Image and pound cake Pine Cones and Acorns

To me Spring is all about rebirth, symbolized by eggs, flowers, sweet baby animals, and birds among just a few things. It also means, family, food, Easter, celebrations and more. 

Image Martha Stewart

The Best Carrot Cake EVER

Lovely Lemons

Banana Bars Pine Cones and Acorns

Speckled Eggs Pine Cones and Acorns

Easter Wreath

Spring Flowers in Transferware Pine Cones and Acorns

Spring Flowers Pine Cones and Acorns

I have so many more Pins on my Spring and Easter Boards that I may have to do another post. In the meantime if you have any inspirational Pinterest boards leave your links in the comment section so that we can come and check out your boards.

I hope that you have a wonderful day. 

This is going to sound like a broken record but if you are in the path of the most recent storm stay safe!