Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy Girl

Thank you Santa (Mister)!!

I must have been a pretty good girl this year!

Did you get what you asked Santa for?

Have a wonderful weekend friends....see you next week!   xo

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

For Unto Us A Child Is Born

Wishing you all a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

Much love to you,


Monday, December 16, 2013

The Misters French Bark Tutorial

Hello friends. Happy Monday to you all on this last full week before Christmas.

Most of my shopping has been completed and only those few last bits need to be done. Have I wrapped yet? Well, let us not discuss that, I have a big helper that does most of it when he arrives at City sweet Mister.

Speaking of my sweet Mister, he has some sweet things he wanted to pass on to you. He had intended to do a tutorial on peppermint bark for you all but saw the Barefoot Contessa on Saturday do a nice French Chocolate he decided to do his own adaptation of it. So, yesterday afternoon, he tied on his apron and set to it as I followed him around with my camera.

Let us start with the ingredients and move on to the process. Here is the link to Barefoot Contessa's recipe that he started with if you care to use this.

The Misters French Chocolate Bark

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
8 ounces very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup dried blueberries

The first thing that the Mister did was to draw a rectangle 9" x 10" on a piece of parchment paper as a guide to spread the melted chocolate on, making sure to turn the paper over after, to not get pencil lead on the goodies.

He gathered all of the ingredients and set to work.

Here is the method he used to melt the chocolate.  A medium sized saucepan with a few inches of simmering water in it and a medium sized bowl on top.  Make sure to not have a hard boil and the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.

He finely chopped the Bittersweet chocolate.....

adding it to the chocolate chips in the pan.  He then checked to make sure the water was at a very low simmer.

He went about chopping his dried apricots in between stirring the melting chocolate.

Finding that he didn't need to chop the blueberries, he decided to take a sampling to make sure they were good.

When the chocolate was almost all melted he took it off of the stove and stirred a bit more until it was smooth and then poured it on to the sheet and smoothed it out to the 9 x 10 markings.

Next he evenly distributed the mixture over the chocolate and gently pressed to make sure all was in tact.

After letting it set for at least 2 hrs.  he took to cutting it in to pieces.

Finally he put them in their little papers and into a festive tin....he will be sharing it at work on Thursday.

Thank you honey for sharing with all of us today.


Well friends, I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and perhaps may even be able to put it to use someday.  I must say it was very easy to make and I will be doing some batches also to add to my Christmas goodie tins.

Have you been making any candy?


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Thrift Find

Hello friends, I hope all is well with you and your Christmas preparations are running smoothly.

I am plugging along having fun finishing up my decorating here at Little House and will begin the baking process, in full, tomorrow. The Mister promises to help with a simple tutorial of Peppermint Bark this weekend...stay tuned.

Yesterday, while on a quick trip to the thrift shops, I saw this treasure hanging in the window of the Red Door (one of my very favorite shops). It is about 6 feet tall and I could just see it, with all of it's retro beauty, hanging on a wall at City House!

I have never seen anything like it.  The tag says, Made in Columbia, so I am wondering if it is truly a vintage piece or just something that is common in that part of the world.  Either way, it is a treasure to me.

As you can see, it is made entirely of notions...thread, pompoms and trim...very interesting.  I am smitten indeed.

Frederick the cat wanted to give you a ' Feeder Unpdate'.

Here is his new window friend, a baby squirrel.  Frederick tries to touch it through the glass but has been unsuccessful in that endeavour. 

Must be off now to get the rest of the Christmas cards addressed....Do you have all of yours done yet?

Much love to you all.  xo

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cold Weather Winner

Good morning my friends. Here we are at Thanksgiving week, it is hard to believe that in a few short weeks Christmas will be upon us.

This year has gone by so fast, it almost makes my head spin. A year ago, I had just begun my treatment, and now, that is all behind me. At the time, it seemed that it would never end and I would wonder, to myself, if life would ever be normal again. But, 'normal again' it is and better than ever...Thank you Lord!

It is still very goosebumpily here in the Northwest,  unusual for this time of the year when rain, rain, rain is the norm.  We are not complaining and will happily take the blue skies that go along with this weather system.

On to the winner of the Cold Weather Cookbook....It is Jen from the cozy blog 'Reflections in the Window',  I am a happy new follower of hers now.. Congratulations Jen, please send my your info.

I'm sure you all have many preparations going on for this busy week.  We will be going to City House where the Mister will be putting up the lights on the house and helping me get the tree up inside and boxes of decorations pulled out from their hiding places. I will only be coming down one more time before Christmas so we need to get a head start on it. 

Daughter Kami will be hosting the big feast and it will be a good one...I have so much to be thankful for.

I wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Much love.  xoxo

Photo - Pinned source

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cold Weather Giveaway

Hello friends, how is your week going? My week has been good but a definite cold snap is upon us here in the Pacific Northwest and seems will be with us for the rest of the week. When I said good by to the mister this morning at 6:45, it was a chilly 25..burr!

This past weekend we went thrifting and of course checked out the cookbook section, as you know I don't have enough on my shelves..Ha! Anyway, I hit a gold mine and now have a duplicate situation and would like to share with you.

I do hope you will not be offended by me offering a second hand book but could just not pass this one up in this almost new condition.

If you are not familiar with the author Sarah Leah Chase you can check out this link to here, where you can check out the inside of the book.  Sarah has several more books that you may own or have heard of.  Nantucket Open House Cookbook is the summer version of this one and came about as a result of her very successful deli shop on the Island named Que Sara Sarah.  She is good friends with Ina Garten who we know so well as Barefoot Contessa.

If you are old enough, you may also remember, or still own like I do , The Silver Palate Goodtimes cookbook that she was co-author of.

So, if you don't mind a book, in great condition but not brand new, just say so in your comment and I will happily put you in the hat on Monday when I will draw a name.

Have a happy day.  xo

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Anniversary

Happy Friday friends! I hope you all have had a nice week.

Today is our wedding anniversary...Happy Anniversary honey, I love you!

We will be having a nice rib eye dinner, grilled by my sweetie, at home this evening and I will be making a nice dessert of molten chocolate cake, yum!

Tomorrow we will get into the old pickup and head to Deception Pass Park, only a few short miles from here, where we will collect some interesting drift wood for some new projects we have been planning to do together. Can't wait to share that with you in the future.

Here is a book that I picked up at the thrift shop.  "French Women Don't Get Fat", it is proving to be a very interesting read.  It is fascinating how differently the French women eat and approach food in general, such a contrast to how we see it in America.

Have any of you read this book and if so, have you applied it in any way?

Here is a visitor to Frederick the cats' feeder.  As you can see, the squirrels  don't seem to mind that I am just on the other side of the glass.  It should be loads of fun this winter to watch and take photos of all of the creatures that come to feed.

This is what I will be up to later today.....I'm not going to get caught by surprise at Thanksgiving being late this year and Christmas right on the heels of our turkey day.  The lights on the fence will be ready to make their debut Sunday, December 1st, when we get back from City House.

Have you started any decorating or just in the planning process?

Wishing you all a very happy weekend...See you next week.  xo

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Karate Chop The Block

Yesterday, as I sat staring at the computer screen, once again, trying to come up
with something to post about, Frederick the cat noticed my sad mood and asked what the big problem was. I confessed to him that this blogger block I have been having has hung around way too long and I was at a loss as to how to correct it. "It just won't go away", I said with a big sigh.

"I know how to fix that" he said."and will tell you the secret if you help me out with a problem I have been having".

Well, since I didn't have anything to lose, I agreed and Frederick set to work on the solution.

After a short while, he came out of the garage and put this down and said...."When you have a problem like this, it has a tendency not to ever just go away by itself.  In other words you need to take some kind of action yourself....and, it has been my experience that a good karate chop always does the trick".  

So he gave a, 1, 2, 3....and hollered .. " Karate chop that block"!

As you can see above, I did as he instructed and low and behold, I was able to do this post.  Such a wise cat indeed.

In return, I helped Frederick out with his problem...He requested that the bird feeder be moved to the window box right at his favorite spot...ha!

Thank you all for being so patient with me during my black hole period.  Off I go to do some visiting.  xo

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall Giveaway Winner

Happy Friday, my friends, I do hope you had a nice week and have some fun plans for the weekend.

Our Fall here in the Pacific Northwest is turning out to be on of the prettiest that I can remember.  I took a quick shot of our hill here at Little House, before I left to go south. 

The drive down I-5 was nothing short of spectacular and it seemed that the further south I went the more intense the colors were.  I so wish I could have taken some shots while I drove.

Before I get to the winner of the book, I want to share the package I received in a mug exchange that Stephanie, from The Enchanting Rose, organized.

This is the sweetest mug...Made in England and with a garden theme too, which thrills me.  It is from Sandra at the blog, Ravenhill Cottage which is as lovely as the package full of treats she sent.

Sandra tucked in some extra treats to go with the mug.  As you can see, she made sure I could try out the mug with some special tea (raspberry, yum).

And, something that I always appreciate, a hand made item that will definitely get a lot of use in my kitchen...a dish cloth!!

This journal will be put to use right away as I have been meaning to pick one up to keep track of menus and recipes that have turned out especially well.

Thank you Sandra for a package full of joy....I will treasure these things.  Also, a big thanks to Stephanie for hosting this fun exchange!

Now on to the winner of ,  Simple Sewing with Lola Nova.....

The winner is....Kimberly from the happy blog...Camp and Cottage Living.  Congratulations to you my friend.  Please send me your address and I will get that ordered for you right away, Enjoy!!

Thanks to all of you who stopped by and entered.

Wishing you all a most beautiful and happy weekend.  xo

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Book Giveaway

Hello my friends I hope you all had a nice weekend and are ready for a brand new week.

First off, I want to wish all of our Canadian friends a very Happy Thanksgiving...Enjoy!

For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, you will know that I like to have a giveaway at about this time of year..before the holidays are upon us.

This time, I have chosen a very special book for the giveaway, and it is from our very own Lola Nova -Whatever Lola wants, blog.

Simply Sewing with Lola Nova, was released last Fall in the UK and just now released here in the US.

Photo - Lola Nova Website

When it first came out, I couldn't wait an entire year for it to get here so I ordered a copy last Fall

from The Book Depository and gave it to my sister for Christmas, she was thrilled and has found it a joy to use.

A bit of a confession is in order, I do believe....This fabric above, is from a sheet set that I had for sale

in my Etsy shop and Alex (Lola Nova) purchased it.

You can imagine my delight when I saw that Lola had used a piece of it (above) for project in her

book ( he, he..clapping hands and jumping up and down along with feeling a bit famous, ha!).

This adorable bag is just one example of  the many wonderful projects offered, along with special tips

and techniques, in this lovely sewing book by our sweet blogging seamstress.

Congratulations to Lola Nova on the success of her fist book.  You can visit Lola at her blog here. If you would like to take a look and check out a few pages, you can go to the Amazon page here.

To Enter Giveaway:

Just leave a comment by Thursday night.  I will be announcing the winner on Friday.

Have a happy day my friends.  xo

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy Dance

Hello my friends, how is your week going so far? I almost wanted to say, "Happy hump day" but couldn't get that camel commercial out of my mind, ha!

 I am so excited about a new arrival to City House. We have been wanting a fireplace insert for quite some time now and have finally made a choice and will be having it installed tomorrow.

Here it is, Pacific Energy 'Super'

It will be filling this 'black hole'... We will decide on what kind of a surround we will have at a later time.


Our wood pile is growing and I have been picking up this Executive kindling at a local cabinet factory for $2.50 a box.  They are full of all sorts of wood scraps from the shop and make excellent coals and work well in wood stoves.


Here is a group for you...Three little girls having their first sleepover at grandma's house.  Juliet, in the middle, was ready for the reading time to end..not so much for Eden and Ella though.   I so enjoyed having them over, such little sweethearts.

I must be off to do my 'Cinderella' duties and scrub down the bricks on the fireplace before the install tomorrow...wish me luck.   xo

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

An Accidental Collection

It all started, quite innocently, several years back. I do believe it was all Martha Stewarts fault..yes, I think we shall blame her, I'm sure she won't mind in this case.

It was the show she did on decorating sugar cookies with the royal icing, perhaps you remember it. The glossy pastel colors, perfectly done and looking like a piece of art, it got into my brain and never left.

At that time, I had never done sugar cookies and did not own one single cookie cutter.

I set out right away to find a few interesting ones to begin with.

This moose was my very first one and quite large...with a large price tag too.

This elephant was the second one to be added, just as large and equally expensive.  At this rate, I felt that my pocket book would not allow many more.

Thankfully, I soon discovered that the local thrift shops would have them now and then in small bags with an assortment inside....Mental note:  "Pick them up when you see them".

So, pick them up I did...every time I saw them.

I would come home and stick them in the baking cupboard or a drawer.

I added and added until I had lost track....Then, on my last trip down to City House, I found a large container with two unopened bags of cutters.  I was confused since I had just seen these at Little House. 

Ha, you know where I'm going with this don't you?

You are right, I had collected and added for so long that it just became a habit and I simply lost track of having 'enough'.

So, when I came across this at the thrift shop last week, I thought it over at did what I knew I must do.

Added it to the 'Accidental Collection', of course!

Do any of you have a cookie cutter collection or any kind of 'Accidental Collection'?  I would love for you to share about it.

Hope you are all having a wonderful, first week of Fall!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

True Garden Bouquet

Hello friends, I hope your week is going well so far. Mine is going well, I got back in from City House on Monday and have been getting caught up on odds and ends. Before I left, the Mister filled up a new raised bed with good soil and I planted a few starts for the Winter garden..Kale, Rainbow Chard, and a new one for us, Purple Pak Choi. Today, I think some Mesclun and Tuscan Kale seeds will also be added to the bed..we will see what comes up.

Speaking of Kale, I just had to share with you the bouquet from my garden.  This kale was just too pretty to leave in the garden.

I clipped some large leaves off, added a small bunch of flowers from the market and now we can enjoy it in the house.

I must share this too..I am so thrilled with our second try at Kiwi here on our gazebo.  Our first attempt was a miserable failure and we almost didn't try again.  I got a good deal on two Female plants at the feed store and purchased a Male plant at the nursery.  As you can see, this girl is reaching for the!

One last thing to leave you with.  Normally I don't share a lot of grandchildren things but sometimes it is too good not to share.  This is our daughters youngest little guy.  Our son in law is a fire fighter and has today off so was left in charge of the four children while mom gets all of the market shopping done. No small job as 3 of them are now in home school.  This is the photo that Colin sent daughter while she was at Trader Joe's and said..."He did his writting lesson too...on himself with the marker".

Love how Abe is 'dressed' for the day too!

Wishing you all a happy rest of the week.