Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween: My Grandmother the Witch

Happy Halloween!

For those of you that have followed me for some time this post will be a flash back from other years, but I love to re-read it and re-post it at Halloween because it brings back so many happy memories of my grandmother; because you see I grew up believing that she was a witch. 

My Grandmother the Witch

I've lived a magical life and I am lucky because I have always been surrounded by love, imagination, colorful story tellers and taught to believe.

Image from The Graphics Fairy

From the time I was a small child my grandfather wove tales of our heritage to amuse as well teach us. In addition to my relatives, Hocus Pocus Johnny Mocus, the alligators in the basement that guarded the barrels of money and the shark that bit off the tip of his finger, my grandfather loved to share tales about my grandmother who was a "witch" and lived in a beautiful tower.

via Martha Stewart

He claimed that after we went to bed, she took her long black hair down from its bun, hopped on her broom and rode off to see the city and perhaps to visit her friends before going to sleep in her tower castle and then coming back by morning to see us.

Image from Wicked Faerie Queen

He often took us driving by her beautiful tower and when we asked if we could go in the answer was always no, you could only go in at night and the only way in was to fly on your broom to the top window.

via Pine Cones and Acorns

Being of a young, fertile mind I thought perhaps the story was true because after all, my grandmother did have long, black hair ( most witches do), it reached her rear end, and she always wore it in a bun. She always took it down at night and would brush it, 100 strokes to keep it soft.  In addition, she did a lot of sweeping with a really cool broom ( witches have these too), and sometimes when she wasn't looking we would take it outside to the garden to see if we could get it to work.

Then, there was her tower which was perched on a hill, overlooking the beautiful Lake Michigan and surrounded by beautiful houses and a park, clearly visible for all of Milwaukee to see, even those far out to sea. 

Visible for all all to see, even the ships out to sea!

My grandfather would drive us by the magical tower and although we could see the beautiful windows and the architecture there was no door that I could ever find.

I dreamed of visiting her here!

Most importantly, every time we asked her if she was a witch, and I can tell you there were many times, she just smiled and said we should "believe in things we cannot see."

I never really had reason to doubt these stories because I did often see my grandfather come out of the basement, from a room we were never allowed  into, and he always came out with a box of money, which he gave us a quarter from every Friday to go the penny candy store (dating myself a days that doesn't get you much). He did take us to meet Hocus Pocus Johnny Mocus, a distant relative who gave us candy and soda and was a magical man. And my grandfather was missing the tip of his index finger. Clearly evidence to a small child and her siblings to believe any and all tales, even one that entailed a shark biting off the tip of your finger. 

Image Graphics Fairy

I also had other reasons to believe. My grandmother was from a family of 13 children, and she had 10 children herself, from a stock of hard working, land owning, German, Catholics. She was magical, because whenever you were with her she made you feel like the most important person in the world and she made you feel loved. She was a hard worker, industrious, intelligent and she loved to read, which is a magical gift that she passed on to me. 

 She worked magic in the kitchen and would whip up delectable treats, Cinnamon buns, Christmas cookies, cakes, and tasty morsels for family and friends, and often she let her little apprentices stand side by side with her, rolling dough and frosting cookies. Even when times were tough, she always used her magic and faith to find ways to feed her children and to make sure they had a wonderful life.

My grandmothers "slab apple pie"

She instilled in us the value of family, the importance of love, and a zest and joy for life. She also taught us about the magic of tradition and to always be there for one another and the fact that there is "no place like home."

 I believe and think that is the most magical of beliefs. So my guess is that if she was a witch she was the best kind there is...a Good Witch.

I think of her often and miss her all the time but mostly when I see her tower which I visit each time I am in Milwaukee. I stand there and imagine her up high with her friends sharing a cocoa and a cinnamon bun looking down and smiling at me.

Image Pine Cones and Acorns

Happy Halloween!
 Be safe and Enjoy! I hope you do not eat too much candy and tasty treats!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Favorites Heather Christo, My Connecticut Country Home, Not Without Salt, and More

Good morning! Happy Halloween Weekend! I cannot believe that we turn the clocks back this weekend and are on the home stretch to the holidays. I think life speeds ups as you get older because I cannot believe the year has gone this fast. I want to yell "time out" and enjoy it a bit more. Oh well, I guesss it is as they say, "time waits for no one."

What are your plans for this holiday weekend? Will you be heading out to a party, or a haunted house? I will be staying in and hopping to get some trick or treaters.  It is either feast or famine at my house, but I love seeing the little kids in the costumes. It brings back happy memories of myself with my siblings.

This weekend is Halloween, not my favorite holiday as I don't like scary things. But I do love the idea of lots of candy! Candy corns are one of my favorite candies of the season. This week Two Nerdy History Girls have posted the history of this iconic candy.

Image Heather Christo

If you have time before the little ghosts and goblins turn up you might want to make this Pumpkin Chicken Curry with Cranberry Coconut Almond Rice from Heather Christo

Delicata Squash with Cocoa Nibs from Not Without Salt

Or perhaps you would like to try this scrumptious Delicata Squash with Browned Butter and Cocoa Nobs from Not without Salt?

All Recipes Show are linked Here

Of course if we are going to have a little savory then we must have something sweet to balance it out. So how about a selection of pumpkin desserts? When it comes to pumpkin it is hard to pick just one favorite.

Image Nora Murphy Via Pinterest

I discovered a fabulous blog/online magazine this week, called My Connecticut Country Home. You have to check it out if you love beautiful houses, photography, design, and more. 

Last but not least, a little something to make you smile. It is true what they say, you will do anything to make your mother happy. I love THIS VIDEO. I hope that you watch it!

I hope that you have a Happy Halloween, a safe and happy weekend and that you enjoy your extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I See Spots: Leopard Fall Fashion

Good morning! How are you? I am great but looking forward to the weekend. Is it too early to say that? I have a million irons in the fire this week and I want a little down time. 

Bittersweet Colors

So lets talk about something that has been on my mind, spots. Ever since I posted the  photo above from Bittersweet Colours last week, in my post Green with Envy post,  I cannot get this print out of my mind.  Is leopard the "new neutral" or is it a statement piece? I guess it depends on how you wear it. 

Leopard Belt Here via Pinterest

This Fall/Winter leopard is everywhere. Personally I like it in small doses, a scarf, shoes, boots, gloves, clutch, etc. Although I have seen beautiful skirts, pants, dresses and more I do not know that I will have that in my collection this year. 

Leopard Shoes Here

Here are a few of my favorite looks from the web and of course Pinterest.

Image from Atlantic-Patific Blog

Image Polyvore

Image Southern Curls and Pearls

Image Memorandum

Image Extra Petite

Image Here With Love From Kat

What do you think? Are you a fan of animal prints? Do you have a favorite look when wearing them, do you go for bold or understated? I think they look fabulous either way!

Have a great day!

P.S. If you are a fan of leopard in all sorts of patterns, dresses, shirts, scarfs and more be sure to check out all of the fashion ideas from Bittersweet Colours

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Swedish Meatballs

Good morning, how is your week starting out? I am enjoying the beautiful fall weather, the bit of chill in the air, the crunching leaves and of course all of the decorations.

As I mentioned on Friday I love comfort food. One of my favorites is Swedish Meatballs and egg noodles. This recipe is one that I make frequently in the cooler months because it is easy and delicious. 

Swedish Meatballs

2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
1lb. ground beef
1lb. ground pork
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

3 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups of beef broth
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon soy sauce
ground pepper 

In a cast iron skillet heat one tablespoon of olive oil, the add chopped onions, cook until translucent. Cool and put in large bowl along with the pork, beef, bread crumbs, eggs, allspice and nutmeg. Mix well and then shape into 24 meatballs, set aside. 

In a cast iron skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, then brown meatballs in batches on all sides. Then set aside. Once meatballs are all browned add butter to pan and melt, then add the flour and whack for 2 minutes. SLOWLY, add the beef broth until incorporated and sauce thickens. Then add the sour cream and mix well. Add soy sauce and ground pepper to taste. Add the meatballs back to the pan and simmer for 25 minutes or until cooke through. Serve over potatoes, or egg noodles.

NOTE: I have also made this recipe by baking the meatballs and then adding them to the sauce. You can make them either way. And if 24 meatballs is too many, you can always freeze them before you cook them. 

This recipe couldn't get any easier and is the perfect meal on a cool day. The meatballs are also  great to serve as appetizers at your holiday parties. 

Are you a fan of Swedish Meatballs Do you have a recipe for them that you make often? Or do you simply eat them out? 

I hope that you stay warm and safe from the flooding. Have a great day!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Friday Favorites Pop Sugar, A Hint of Honey, Averie Cooks, Host the Toast and More

Good morning! How was your week? Mine was busy, but then again this time of year seems to always speed up. I think it is the looming holidays, travel and just enjoying the waining days of Fall.

If you have followed me for any length of time than you know that I love Fall, food(especially comfort food). reading and sweets! This week I found a little of all of these to share with you.

Image Pop Sugar

Pop Sugar released its list of 29 Books You'll Want to Read This Fall. I have read a few of these and now have the others ordered. I love a good book and cannot wait to delve into some of these on a cold afternoon. 

Cranberry Margaritas

Friday night is the perfect night for a cocktail and this Cranberry Margarita looks like a great way to toast the weekend and might be a great addition to your holiday parties as well. 

Image here Host the Toast

Comfort food is what Fall and Winter are all about, especially if the dish contains pasta and cheese.  I think this French Onion Stroganoff looks scrumptious. What could be better than a cheesy, casserole after a lazy of watching football?

A Hint of Honey

Or perhaps this Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta from A Hint of Honey instead?

Fall Cobb Salad

If you need something a little healthy than try my Harvest Cobb Salad. It is easy to make and delicious. 

Salted Caramel Pecan Pie Bars

What would the weekend be without a little something sweet? These Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Bars from Averie Cooks are on my list to make this weekend. 

Image and Scarf Here

Blanket scarfs have been all the rage for the last couple of years. Typically I see and in fact own several in different patterns of tartan but I have never seen one that features the colors of Fall. This beautiful scarf is available at Accessory Concierge.

What did you discover this week? If you have seen an interesting movie, cooked a great meal or read a good book please share with us.

I hope that you have a fabulous and safe weekend. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Green with Envy

Good morning! How is your week? Mine has been great, the weather has me perplexed though.  One minute I am bundled up for Winter and the next I am wearing a t-shirt and shorts. 

Green coat J.Crew Extra Petite Blog

Pulling out my Fall/Winter wardrobe has had me thinking. Maybe this is my year to branch out from the traditional and classic grey, navy, black and brown to something bright and that makes a statement. Something like Kelly or Emerald green?

Image Lands End

Lately, I have been drawn to everything green, bags, coats, scarfs, and more. Her are a few things that caught my eye on Pinterest and perusing the web.

Image Dolce Gabanna via Pinterest

Image Nordstrom

 Image Nordstrom

What do you think? Are you a fan or green? Are you "green with envy" at how fabulous these ladies look? 

Green Gloves via Pinterest

Image Bittersweet Colors via Pinterest

Image Pink Peonies via Pinterest

Image SS Blog via Pinterest

I have also seen pants, boots, booties, shoes and more. I think I will stick to the sweaters and scarfs and leave the pants and shoes to someone else. 

What do you have your eye on this Fall/Winter? Have you found anything special to share?

Have a great day and enjoy your Fall weather!

Linking to:
Refresh Restyle