Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Linky Love

Still busy busy with the holidays over here (and loving it I might add). I thought I'd take a moment to share a few links:

  • Orangette has a lovely recipe for Peppermint Bark (found via Soule Mama). One hint -- plan on making a double or triple batch. These little candies disappear quickly. We did splurge and use good chocolate. I highly recommend it.
  • Homemade vanilla is quick and simple and looks pretty to boot. The only caveat here is if you make it today it will be ready for use in 8 weeks. Give only to those with patience. A recipe can be found here and a label template here. By the way Costco has a great deal on vanilla beans -- ten beans for $10.99! They were in the baking section of the store.
  • Don't forget your canine friends this holiday season! We whipped up several batches of these dog cookies. You can download a label here (just click on all sizes, download the original size and print).
  • And finally check out these great free holiday recipe templates from Shabby Princess.
I hope you are all having a grand weekend and enjoying all your holiday preparations!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Love Thursday

Here are a few things we've been up to. Life has been busy. It's a task in and of itself not to be overwhelmed. I've yet to ship packages.
None of our handcrafted holiday parcels will arrive on time. Yet it is okay. We are okay. I've given myself permission to slow down and enjoy the process. Surely friends and family will appreciate gifts in the New Year just as much as now. Nothing, no life, no person is perfect. Certainly not me.

I'm very much looking forward to a few days of down time before the rush of the holiday. No work. No taxi service. No place to be or go. I fully intend to bake, sew, knit and craft to my heart's delight. Why, perhaps I'll even sneak in a bath, a bottle of wine and a good book -- just for good measure.

Next week the whirlwind will return; dragging my heart between work and family. But you know what? We'll get through that too. And I'll be looking forward to the next ebb that follows the flow.

I hope each and every one of you are giving yourself a break and enjoying the life you have been given.

Happy Love Thursday!

Monday, December 14, 2009


We're back from our respite at the coast. Back to work. Back to reality. This morning my middle daughter couldn't find her math book. We went to look in her room. The room was abominable. Really and truly.

Now two large garbage bags full of junk are ready to go to the Goodwill and two additional bags are full of actual garbage. I do not understand how this mess happens in such a short period of time. If the girls' room does not stay clean I am very seriously considering canceling Christmas. My children need more junk like they need a hole in their head.

Fortunately our Christmas plans are already humble. A few homemade gifts. A few thrifted items. I will be working on Christmas day. As such the affair will be immediate family only and will pass without much pomp and circumstance.

Ah but back to the room. The one thing I love about cleaning the girls' room is finding written treasures. Today's gem was in the form of a contract. You see middle daughter wants to visit her Grandmother over spring break. She also wants to take a friend. Now of course Little Sis wants to go with them and Big Sis is not so thrilled. So Big Sis wrote up a contract and had her five-year-old sister sign it. Granted Little may not know what she was signing her name to. Somehow I doubt it would be binding in a court of law.

Click on photo to enlarge

Given their propensity for such documents I may have to write up my own contract regarding the condition of their room.

By not cleaning my room I, the undersigned, hearby give up all rights to happiness. I will not be able to play. I will not be permitted to watch television. I understand that under no circumstance will I have a friend sleep over. I understand that messes made by me are my responsibility to clean up. Additionally I am fully aware the condition of my room is completely under my control. I am able to change my destiny by keeping said room clean. If said room is clean I will receive an allowance. I will be permitted to cohort with my peers. I will, once again, be given the right to happiness. I, and no one else, am responsible for the condition of my room. I can not blame my brother, my sister or my parents for my mess. There may be times when I have to clean up messes made by others. I understand this is an inherent part of family life. In short I will accept responsibility for myself and my actions.

Ah if only that would work!


I do have some holiday crafts I'm eager to share. Soon, soon I'll take a few photographs and get them up online.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our Contingency Plan

This week we intended to teach our children about food from the source; catching, dispatching *ahem* and cooking their own crabs. We bought crab pots. We bought bait. We sloshed about in the bitter wind and frigid cold. It seems, however, we are gathers by nature. Or rather we lack the genetic make-up of hunters. Despite our valiant efforts we were wholly unsuccessful at crabbing. It is not that we couldn't go in for the kill. That part would have been accomplished. No. We simply couldn't catch the buggers. Not a one.

After three days stalking these elusive arthropods we broke down. Today we enjoyed the delectable warmth of a fish market and devoured this creature who, just this morning, was plucked from his aquatic home. He was delicious. I highly recommend him splattered with lemon and dripping with butter.

As for teaching about slow food? Well the children learned that food fresh from the source is ambrosial. They also grappled with their barbaric kinglike behavior as they ripped off legs and tore into the shell. They were, however, spared the gory details of the kill. It's still a lesson worth learning if we are going to continue with our omnivorous ways. The instruction remains for another day.


I wonder -- do you eat meat? If so do your children know from where their food comes?

Monday, December 7, 2009

A little time away ...

Hello from the Oregon Coast! We are on a little vacation. Today was girls day ... coffee, knitting and meandering on the beach. Just perfect! Have a lovely Monday all!