Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. "The cure for anything is salt water-tears, sweat, or the sea." (Isak Dinesan) Would you agree? Of the three, which has 'cured' you most recently?

  I do agree in part, for most often in every situation one of those three is there to calm and recharge one's spirits.

  Of which has cured me most recently. Let's see. I do not enjoy sweating, besides a proper lady doesn't sweat, she perspires. I haven't been to the sea in several years now, so I am left only with the tears.

2. What's something you can't eat without salt? Do you normally salt your food a lot, a little, or not at all?

  Something I cannot eat without salt is meat. I remember reading in a  story as a young child where when asked how much she loved her Father the young maiden replied with "I love you as meat loves salt." Or at least something like that, and it is a very deep and strong love indeed for meat without salt is terribly loathsome.

3. Sands of time, bury your head in the sand, built on sand, or draw a line in the sand...which sandy phrase could best be applied to something in your life right now? 

  Bury your head in the sand. For goodness knows that's exactly what I feel like doing every time I have to do Geometry.

4. A favorite book, movie, or song with an island setting or theme?

  I loved "Misty of Chincoteague" very much as a young girl.

5. Yesterday-did you run your day or did it run you? How so?

  I ran my day, I felt quite productive after crocheting my afghan, baking a little cake, sewing a nightgown for myself, and writing both in my diary and my cookbook. I love busy days and today is sure to be another.

6. You're on an island holiday. Will I most likely find you parked in a beach chair, shopping in town, on the back of a jet ski, or snorkeling off the back of a catamaran?

  While I would love to be out and about shopping, you'd most likely find me having the time of my life in the water, swimming, collecting shells, etc.

7. What do you think we humans most take for granted?

  Our lives seem to be what's most often taken for granted. I think that so often no matter how hard we try, we forget to be grateful for every little breathing moment of our wonderful lives, stopping frequently to savor every little morsel of happiness is something I try to do often.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

  Some of you know that one of my very favorite TV personalities is Rachel Khoo, and I have been wanting to make her peppered strawberry cream cake for quite some time now and my Mum just announced that she'll purchase all the supplies I'll need so this weekend I get to create it.  I'm excited for I dearly love baking.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Popcorn Day

  Today is National Popcorn Day, my family members and I are all popcorn lovers and in the spirit of the holiday I decided to share with you all, a random list of popcorn moments from my past. Do beware of course, for I tend to be corny with these kinds of things.

  When I was around ten years old I was in awe of Alton Brown. To me he was an absolute genius, and if you are like me and have watched re-runs of Good Eats for ages you'll agree with me when I say that as a wee girl I fully felt that he deserved the Nobel prize that he wished to receive.  Anyways, one episode something he said sparked my interest. If only I had known what the disastrous consequences would be! I marched out into the kitchen one morning and with the air of a mastermind. I dumped a generous serving of stale popcorn into my cereal bowl and walked over to the fridge where I retrieved the milk. Naturally I felt as if I was saving the world heaps of money, as if I was solving inflation problems everywhere, and as if I was a mighty genius, notable in every aspect as I calmly poured the milk onto that gummy stale popcorn.

  I ignored the gaping stares from my siblings, after all, I couldn't possibly imagine that they being mere peasants could grasp the enormity of my epic-ocity. With a smug smile I slid a spoon under the quivering muck in my bowl and triumphantly lifted it up to my mouth as I took a big bite. As the slime slid down my throat, I also felt my smile slide off in a similar fashion. I flew up from the table and flung that horror out of the back door without a single word.

  It took quite some time for me to recover. I thoroughly rinsed out my mouth and poured myself a bowl of cheerios. Though the popcorn had thoroughly tasted unbelievably horrid, I was mostly disappointed that my all time favorite TV personality had even dared to share that idea on his show.

  Yet another popcorn moment that I have to share is from last year. Diane and I had wanted to string popcorn garlands for our room and we made short work of preparing everything. We settled down on our bed and started stringing all the popcorn. The sad thing is that those garlands were never completed since in the end we ate all the popcorn off while talking.

  Besides those few moments, we as a family have a lot of general uses for popcorn. Here are a few of them. Do note that a few of the numbered topics are sarcastic.

  1. Making garlands for our tree.
  2. Making popcorn balls.
  3. Making Bibble, also known as caramel corn.
  4. Snacking while having a movie marathon.
  5. Feeding the birds with leftovers.
  6. Making sure to spill it all over the floor on my way into the living room.
  7. Managing to let it explode everywhere once out of the kettle.
  8. Making snack mixes with raisins and popcorn.
  9. Munching on it while playing UNO during the summer.
  10. Having it at the movie theaters.
  11. Allowing it get stuck in my curls because I enjoy having good taste in my hair styles.
  12. Eating it when I'm supposed to be making crafts..
  13. Blocking out the movie's annoying noise because we enjoy hearing each others' chewing.

  And with the conclusion of all of those splendid ideas, I'm sure the list will have put a "pop" of inspiration into your day so that you as well as my family can all celebrate this most lovely of holidays  properly.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now?

  Anne Shirley Adores Plums. I couldn't think of a single thing that ASAP could stand for other than that. Besides, considering that I am reading Anne of Green Gables it technically should apply to my life.

2. Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no?

   The strange thing is that though I may be the first to have an idea, I'm usually the last one to put it forth. I don't know why that is, maybe because I feel I learn more if I listen instead of talk.  I wouldn't say it's a bad thing, considering Stephen Hawking's quote, "Quiet people have loud minds."

3. What do you remember best about being 12?

  I remember all of the terrific play dates I had with my dear friends. We had such a blast doing heaps of fun things, from playing dress up, to catching minnows in our creek with flour sifters.

4. January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why? If you're stumped go here for inspiration.

   Okay, before taking the quiz I had no idea who I'd relate to the most since I was never really into Winnie the Pooh. The quiz said I'm more like Winnie the Pooh, always getting into jams, and pies and cakes. Hey, what can I say, that's pretty accurate.

5. What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way?

   My calculator app. I'm not the kind of girl to have a huge screen full of apps, I have the bare minimum and I'm good with that.

6. San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL) have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why?

   Definitely San Juan Puerto Rico! It is so pretty there and I wouldn't mind taking a trip there at all.

7. Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what?

 Hills are Alive. This song brings to mind my golden summers filled with running through fields of dainty buttercups, splashing through our laughing creek, and feeling as if I could fly whilst leaning back on my swing staring up into the expanse of sky. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

  Just a few days ago  My Mum, Diane, and I started watching Victoria on Masterpiece and I utterly love the new series. It's a touch stressful as I absolutely loathe the Duke of Cumberland and you can't possibly fathom how much I despise Sir John Conroy! I do, however, love Victoria's dog, and perhaps even Lord Melbourne.


Monday, January 16, 2017


Reading..... Anne of Avonlea, I took a break from it for a week or so but now I'm back to reading and am loving every bit of it.

Writing..... Apart from the obvious blog post, I'm still working on my book. It's taking me ages because apparently I'm suffering from my biggest case of writer's block ever.

Listening..... I hear the static in my earbuds since I'm actually not listening to music at the moment, as if you can imagine that! And I can hear my siblings playing a game.

Thinking..... That the keys on my keyboard are such a delight. They have the perfect amount of clicky-ness.

Smelling..... I smell popcorn because it's being munched on while my Dad watches some kind of sport.

Wishing..... I am wishing that I could get to see my dear friends more often. I have a good friend that lives several hundred miles away and we hardly ever get to see each other.

Hoping..... That I can muster the will that's necessary to write in my book.

Wearing..... Jeans, a Steelers shirt, and a messy bun.

Loving..... My little notebook that I turned into into a mini kitchen notebook.

Wanting..... A pretty little bag for when I go back to my homeschool group. Last semester I was known for my hideously oversized bags.

Needing..... To look up apricot oil on Amazon, one of my friends recommended that I incorporate it into my skincare routine.

Feeling..... Content and excited because my home school group is having a field trip to our local cheese factory towards the end of this month.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Favorite Things ~ My Teacup

  With it being winter and all, it's only natural for me to drink tea frequently, and I don't know if it's just me, but the prettier the cup I drink my tea out of, the better it tastes. So every time I want to thoroughly enjoy my tea I reach for my favorite teacup which was given to me for my Birthday. Today's favorite thing is my Royal Sutherland teacup.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tea for Two ~ New Year's Goals

  If you have read my list of new year goals and aspirations you probably knew that I wanted to have a tea party this year. As it so happens, I have just recently had a positively splendid tea party with Diane. Both of us loved every bit of it and had the most wonderful time.

  I spent all morning prepping for the tea, between folding napkins into a flared fan and trimming them with lace, to making sure my scones were light and flaky, I had a pretty busy time of it.

  Then, once we were all dressed and everything was ready we were quite positive that you couldn't possibly have such a tea party without having appropriate names, so in a short manner of time I created place cards with new and improved names to go by. I was Countess Esmeralda DuPont, while Diane was Lady Arabella Grindelwald.

  We had a positively smashing time. Naturally we had to have English accents and spent our whole tea party discussing our imaginary maids and footmen, we boasted about our excellent stable masters, and deprecated our carriage men. Not to forget we gossiped heartily about the Dutchess of Buckleberry, and easily passed snide comments concerning Americans. Naturally we almost choked laughing over our cucumber sandwiches when we realized that we were Americans, not actually Ladies and Countesses.

  Such pleasantries lasted for well over an hour and then our tea turned to a close. That was most likely one of the most fun things I have done so far this year.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today.....  Monday, January 9, 2017

Looking out my window..... I see snow everywhere, it's laying about like a soft blanket on the ground, and floating lazily off the tree branches.

I am thinking..... That winter days spent reading, and writing, and sipping cups of tea are the very best.

I am thankful.....  For home, and warmth, and happiness.

One of my favorite things..... The blogging planner that my Mum made for the both of us, it has helped me a lot in the past week.

I am wearing..... A soft black skirt sprigged with blue flowers and olive green branches, and a navy blue shirt.

I am creating..... A U.S.A. lap quilt, it is a project that I love, even more so because the states are all stitched in various shades of purple, which is my favorite color.

I am reading..... Anne of Avonlea, I don't care how many times I've read the series, they always delight me.

I am hoping..... To finish my lap quilt sometime next month if not by the end of this month.

I am learning..... To applique, my Mum is teaching Diane and I the art of appliqueing. We are appliqueing all of the states onto our lap quilts and I can hardly wait to have them finished.

In the kitchen..... Mum is cutting and ironing more states out of fabric for us girls to sew onto our quilts, it takes a long time to iron them and cut them into the correct shapes so I am really grateful for my Mum's patience with it all.

Picture thought.....  Though it is already several weeks after Christmas I just had to share the picture of our mini gingerbread houses. They were heaps of fun to make and Diane, Sean, and I all agree that they will be one of our new traditions.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Favorite Things ~ Daddy Daughter Dates

  It all started at around one o'clock in the afternoon. I was toasting a batch of cinnamon almond granola and it filled the kitchen and school room with the delightful aroma of warm cinnamon. Then upon checking my email I discovered that my dearest dad went and asked me out on a date for that evening, in a very flowery way too. In a matter of moments it was all arranged. He would be home at around five thirty in the evening and we would go out to eat.
  Naturally, I just had to dress up. When five thirty rolled around Dad was ready to go and so waving goodbye I was escorted out of the house and away we drove.

  The whole evening was terribly beautiful since it was snowing large fluffy flakes. We talked for a while and then we arrived at the Cornucopia which is really the most darling-ly rustic and charming restaurant. We had a friendly waitress serving us that evening and I enjoyed every bit of my time. Dad being the photographer that he is, snapped several pictures of the Cornucopia.

  The evening was filled with many random spurts of hilarity because my Dad and I both cracked up laughing over the absurd stone pig that resided on the fireplace hearth in the restaurant. I would have a picture to share with you but neither of us wanted to get up from our table and be seen taking a picture of that garish pig with it's huge candy cane bow tied around it's neck. But my Dad did make me pose for a picture with the fireplace in the back, if you look hard enough you'll see the corner of the pig's ear, and a bit of its ribbon in the background.

  I suppose I went a little out on a limb that evening with my order because I chose a spicy Korean brisket sandwich with chow mien noodles, snap peas, and various peppers. After my dad and I thoroughly enjoyed the delicious artichoke bruschetta we took several pictures of our food and so on, making sure to document our evening.

  By far the most hilarious thing about the whole evening was the fact that my Dad had such a huge case of order envy. He had chosen a barbecue chicken pretzel roll sandwich but compared to my huge, laden with juicy toppings, sandwich, his' dwarfed in size, however we shared my sandwich then so all was good.

  The air once we left the Cornucopia was so magical. The night was falling and all around us twinkling white lights illuminated the millions of floating snowflakes. I think it was because of the ethereal air that Dad and I felt so inclined to prolong our night.

  We browsed through a local tourist's shop amusing ourselves by how the poor tourists don't realize everything is horridly overpriced. While browsing the shop I was so entranced with the gorgeous rolling pins that were being displayed.

   And then I was both terrified and struck silly by the ridiculous stuffed animals for sale.


   Then after Dad had me pose in front of the shop we set home, talking the entire time.

  I had such a splendid evening.

  Since I didn't directly address what the point of this post was, it was to say that Dad-Daughter time is another one of my favorite things.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Facts about Me

  I am feeling quite random today, and what goes better with random than even more randomness? Today, I will be sharing several random facts about me.

Random Facts About Me

  1.  Granola is my very favorite food.
  2.  My favorite number is seventeen.
  3.  Health, Nutrition, and Anatomy are my favorite subjects in school, plus vocabulary, I adore long words.
  4.  I can't write neatly if my paper isn't slanted outrageously.
  5.  I have been known to spend hours reading cookbooks.
  6.  I prefer simplicity over extravagance.
  7.  Mustard and peanut butter grahams are my favorite snack.
  8.  I have never met a fruit I didn't like.
  9.  I prefer reading books during the late evening and night.
  10.  I always abhorred geometry but recently realized that trigonometry is even worse.
  11.  I can't draw properly unless the muse is upon me.
  12.  My cursive is hardly legible.
  13.  When I was twelve I stubbed my toe so hard I broke it.
  14.  My favorite singers are Jaime Grace, Toby Mac, and Indila.
  15.  I lay perfectly still when I lie down to sleep.
  16.  I can't stand having my feet uncovered when I use a blanket.
  17.  I abhor Brazil  nuts.
  18.  Winter evenings spent reading and snacking are my favorite.
  19.  I love the song "Moon River."
  20.  Dresses are my my favorite kind of clothing.
  21.  I used to randomly crash into large, damage inflicting objects when I rode my bike. 
  22.  I love the smell of warm cinnamon.
  23.  I used to be fascinated with green roses when I was six.
  24.  French numbering gives me a headache.
  25.  I love making lists about everything.
  26.  I love British Baking books, I'll never not be amused when I see the phrase "granary baps."

  And that's it for today. I know that usually I like to compose moderately sized, flowery entries and exits but not today my friends, goodbye. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday. 

  My favorite moment this Christmas was when Diane and I had our own little Christmas yet under our own Christmas tree. It was such fun giving each other gifts whilst snacking and talking. It shall surely become a tradition, a delightful one at that.
2. What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?

   I'd have to say that the best thing I ate over the holidays, as in the tastiest would be my whole Christmas breakfast in general which was a mixture of store bought and homemade.
3. What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

   There are so many things I would love to name, like the smiles of pure joy on the faces of everyone as they opened presents and gave gifts, or perhaps our lovely Christmas tree, even the mini gingerbread houses that Diane and I made.

4. What does fresh start mean to you?

   Fresh start means a new perspective on life. Going for the positive view, ignoring everything that hinders and bursting forth with determination. New years are perfect for such things though I frequently "re-started" all throughout last year. I can understand how the new year is the biggest time to start anew with your life, but as I always thought, everyday is a new day, a time to start afresh.

5. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain.

  I suppose I'd rate it a seven or an eight. In overall perspective it was pretty good but I hope to top it this year.

6. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you're like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it's used. There were quite a few on this year's list I'd never heard before.

Here's the 2017 list of banished words-

You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption

Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

   I would love to banish the word guesstimate, as a perfectionist that word raises my hackles just looking at it. I would love to add the word triggered, it annoys me beyond belief how so  many people go around saying how "I was so triggered."
7. Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year. 

   Oy, if I would have know this was going to be one of the Hodgepodge question I wouldn't have shared my list of goals this Monday, but as it is, if you would like to see my goals please click here.
8. Insert your own random thought here.

  One of the things I have learned recently is that it is a whole lot better to have an overwhelming amount of things to do all the time, than to be bored completely even once.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tasty Tuesday ~ Molasses Crinkle Cookies

  Today was and still is spectacularly foggy, cold, and rainy, not to forget muddy and dreary, and it's exactly days like these that I love to bake something warm and oozing with delicious spices. I set out to the kitchen and about two hours later I am sitting back quite satisfied that not only did I discover one scrumptious cookie recipe, but also the gingerbread replacement for this Christmas since my Mum banned gingerbread cookies from ever being made again. (No one likes them, so it's not like anyone is suffering because of her decree.)

Molasses Crinkle Cookies

1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ginger
white sanding sugar

In a large bowl beat together the butter and the brown sugar. Vigorously beat in the eggs and molasses till smooth. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Gradually add in the flour mix to the wet ingredients, mixing well till a smooth, soft dough forms. Use a cookie scoop (about 1.5 tablespoons) to form round balls of the dough. This step was particularly fun for me since it was pretty much the adult activity of playing with play dough. Gently press the cookie balls into white sanding sugar till they have flattened to about half the size of the original cookie ball. Bake the cookies one inch apart on a parchment covered cookie sheet at a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Let the cookies set for about a minute once you have pulled them from the oven so that the crinkles can set, then move them to a wire rack. These are delicious with a glass of cold milk, or a cup of hot cocoa depending on your mood.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's Goals

  Isn't it both terribly exciting and perhaps a touch intimidating to face a new year, a year that is completely clean and sure to be oozing with surprises and the potential to be the best year ever?! I definitely think it is and therefore I am viewing 2017 with much eagerness to embark on a potential adventure.

  I love to be organized though for the new year and because of that I wasted no time and immediately composed a list of goals for this year. Since I supposed you would appreciate seeing what my goals are (I know I would like to know what yours are) I made a list (I have an undying love for lists.)

New Year's Goals 2017
  • learn to temper chocolate
  • have a proper high tea party
  • complete my crochet afghan
  • start my own kitchen notebook (like Rachel Khoo)
  • blog much more frequently
  • have excessive berry-ings
  • read 52 books
  • finish writing my book
  • make a proper pâte à choux
  • make a proper pastry cream
  • broaden my french baking knowledge in general
  • break my bad habits (wouldn't you just love to know what they are)
  • have a real picnic
  • become fluent in French

  And I think that finishes my list. I am only slightly daunted, not overly much because I absolutely love challenges and my list makes a splendid one. Just so you know, I will try to let you know if I have completed any of my goals and shall strive to document each adventure regardless of whether or not they were completed throughout this year.

   Before I go, I want to wish all the best to you with completing all your goals.