11.30.2009

breakfast

Clearly inspired (and not nearly as beautiful as) Simply Breakfast, I took this picture of an antioxidant-laden breakfast I enjoyed recently. The jam is blueberry-cranberry from Granite Town Farms in Saint George, New Brunswick. It is so delicious - the cranberry isn't obvious, but it complements the blueberries beautifully. In the bowl is my new favourite yougurt - Astro Balkan-style plain, with a heap of pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of Nova Scotia maple syrup. Yum.

11.29.2009

housekeeping

Since getting our computer back, it's only now that I've organized some pictures. I found some that I haven't shared yet - these are the not-necessarily-beautiful-but-have-interesting-stories ones.
We have a large window in our dining room, and it happens to be near to our bird feeder. This morning, once again, a greasy, greasy bird crashed into it. It wasn't even terribly clean to begin with - maybe it's a visually impaired bird. Or just clumsy? No sign of him on the ground, so I'm assuming he's okay.These bulbs were $1.50 per box a couple of weeks ago at the grocery store. We've had a beautiful November, so Phillip and I picked some out, brought them home, and planted them together. He had the cutest quizzical look on his face when I was telling him that some of them will be blooming when his brother is born. He chose the Muscari (I've always called them grape hyacinths ) and I opted for the daffodils and those amazing double tulips - I can't wait to see what they look like in person. It was the last box of those, otherwise I would definitely have brought more home. They're planted in the little bed to the left of our back door, which I seem to have lost the lovely picture of which I took earlier this afternoon. Ah, well.

Look what I found at Frenchy's! Circa 1989, Martha Stewart's Christmas. Awesome. Full of ambitious recipes that I may never try, and lovely to look at. Especially because of the circa 1989 decor and clothing.

I bought a new Christmas wreath a few weeks ago - I love it. Next to the door is one of Adam's gorgeous prints on canvas. It doesn't usually live there, but a few months ago he was testing some velcro mounting things, and they've worked so well that it's still there.
Lastly for tonight, I made nine batches of soap this morning. A few of the usuals for selling, but the majority of which was fun playtime, making soaps for gifts for friends and family and using up lots of stuff that I had on hand and hadn't taken the time to try out. I had a lot of fun. I didn't get to the whipped soap, but decided that a few other things were more pressing, as the whipped soap wouldn't be ready in time for Christmas anyway. (And these ones are cutting it kind of close!) Those blue silicone molds were on clearance at the Superstore a long time ago, and I will sometimes use them if I have a wee bit of soap that won't fit in a regular mold. I've been using one of those bars in the shower lately, and I love the size and shape as it gets used up! So I made these monsters (they're at least a good 7 ounces each) to give to family - they would be a royal pain to ship.

I hope that you've had a fun and productive weekend, too!

11.27.2009

homey


I cleaned out the wood box and the area around the wood stove after work today, and came up with a new way to use this nifty antique crock thing I picked up awhile ago. Without the lid on, it's perfect for holding kindling! I'm not quite sure what to do with the lid in the meantime, so it's kind of sitting there. Which looks nice in its own way, too.
Speaking of looking nice, check this out! (The soap dispenser - not so much the hilarious fake tile backsplash behind our bathroom sink. Enough said about that!) I came across this Etsy shop a little while ago, where the very friendly sellers modify original lids on vintage Ball jars to make them into soap dispensers! Since it's a glass jar, I had to get it. In fact, I bought two and am using one for hand sanitizer. You can see the other available ones they have here, and you can also buy just the lid, if you have a jar on hand already. I love the size of these jars, though - they're not too big and not too small.

I'm going to have a bit of time to myself this weekend (yay!) and I have some soapy experiments and secret Christmas concocting to work away on. One of my plans is to try making liquid soap with potassium hydroxide, which I have never done before. I'm also hoping to re-try felted soap and whipped soap, while I'm at it. Wish me luck!

billy jean

video
When he's in the mood, P can certainly bust a move. (What a funny expression.)

11.26.2009

christmas picture

I know it's early (Happy Thanksgiving to you Americans, by the way) but I'm pretty excited about this year's Christmas pictures. I had the idea to take a picture, process it with Poladroid, (free, quick, easy, and CUTE!) and add the text in Photoshop. We printed them off in 5x7 format, and trimmed the black off of the bottom once they were printed. I love that they're a little bit different from the usual pictures, but were easy to do. If only we could have squeezed more than a grimace from P! We tried, I assure you. Now for the extra fun part - mailing and delivering them!

11.22.2009

fieryeyed calendar 2010

I bought a Fieryeyed 2009 calendar last year (there's a great cookie recipe in the same post, if you follow that link), and needed another one for 2010. It arrived, and I can't wait to start enjoying the images each month. You can see her gorgeous Etsy shop here.

Speaking of Etsy, I've listed a few new things in the shop this weekend, and will be doing some other minor updates today. I won't be shipping anything after December 1, to avoid Christmas delays and disappointments, so you still have a bit of time!

Hope you're enjoying a lovely weekend!

11.21.2009

november in the garden



Even though it's a dark month, November is still beautiful in its own way. And if the chamomile is still blooming, it feels a tiny bit like summer.

11.17.2009

a tree-filled christmas




Phillip and I had a lot of fun getting out the Christmas decorations on the weekend. For the past few years, I've really kept things to a minimum, but this year I'm feeling nest-y and wanted to make the living room 86.9% cozier. The catch being that some of these things aren't toddler-friendly. So I moved our customary family and friends pictures from the bookshelf, and set up a little birch themed space, well out of reach. I used a Frenchy's table runner underneath everything to add some more texture. My dad has a woodlot and cut a few specific birch pieces for me to use in craft fair displays, and I bought the tabletop birch trees after Christmas last year for next to nothing. The birch bark candle was a Frenchy's find (it was new) and the little white ceramic Christmas tree with the red lights was purchased at a craft fair this fall by Adam and I - it reminded us both of our grandmothers. And Phillip loves it. He says goodnight to it. I asked Adam if my display looked too much like a store display, and I loved his response:
"If you're selling Christmas!"

the winners & christmas is coming

Christmas has exploded in one corner of our living room, and I've already given away one very early gift (seen above). Isn't that fantastic wrapping paper? I picked it up at Chapters last year after Christmas, for next to nothing. I love it.

Okay, folks - only 4 comments to win those fantastic labels? I guess everyone else isn't quite as excited about them as I was. It it because I told you they're from the dollar store (where I very seldom go)? Regardless, I got some random numbers generated, and comments 2 and 4 were selected! Amber and wabisabinaturals are the winners! Please e-mail your mailing address to met at grahamsherrie [at] yahoo [dot] ca and I'll get them to the post office, post-haste.

Next up are those decorations! Have a great evening!

11.15.2009

recipe-a-week #35: mom's corn chowder

My mom's not much of a cook. I'm sure she could be if she put her mind to it, but she's just not interested. Actually, we're about as opposite as you can get - she isn't into decorating, craftiness, or any of the other things I love. (Except Phillip. of course.) Something funny happened last Christmas that sums her up neatly.

I really wanted a copy of Great Food Fast. Mom asked me what I wanted, so I told her that it was something I would really enjoy and use. I didn't get it from her on Christmas day, but since she's kind of got a habit of forgetting gifts in closets, before I went out and bought it, I thought I'd better ask, just in case.

"Mom, did you happen to get a copy of Great Food Fast for me for Christmas and forget to give it to me? I'm just checking before I buy my own copy."

"No, I didn't - you have a cookbook already."

Ayup.

Incidentally, speaking of cookbooks, here's Martha's new book, Dinner at Home, which I won by calling the Sirius channel on the day I was nearly killed. It's pretty great, as one would expect.
All that said about Mom's cooking, there are a few things she makes that I love. (One of which is refried macaroni in tomato soup, which sounds revolting but is heavenly.) Another is her corn chowder. I made a batch while the computer was down and out, and here's the "recipe".

Sherrie's Mom's Corn Chowder

In a wee bit of butter, saute some finely chopped onions in the bottom of a large pot. If they start to brown, add a bit of water. Cook until translucent. Add a bunch of diced potatoes, and enough water just to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce and cook at a simmer until potatoes are tender. Add in one can of 2% milk, a can of creamed corn, and some extra corn niblets, if you have some on hand. Douse liberally with black pepper (that's my addition) and grated carrot, if you like. Heat though, and serve. YUM. I ate this for about four days straight and didn't get tired of it.

Here I am on my way to Ingrid's baby shower last weekend.


And my little addendum - 20 weeks at the time.Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

11.14.2009

cherry burl bowl



We went to a craft fair a few weekends ago, with a couple of specific vendors in mind. One of them was Winston Spates, a local artist who makes the most gorgeous hand turned bowls, ornaments, and other creations from wood. They are more carefully finished and finely done than any others that I've seen. This is a cherry burl bowl we bought for ourselves (we bought a different one last year as a gift and wished that we had bought one for ourselves, too) and we also bought a gorgeous ornament (Phillip's choice), which I'll try to remember to post a picture of soon.
Mr. Spates said that he does most of his business directly, through a studio at his home. Since he doesn't have a website, if you're local (or not) and are interested in his extremely reasonably-priced work (this bowl was $40 - a complete steal) just leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I'll send his contact information your way.

And don't forget to leave a comment over here to win something fun!

11.13.2009

up and running with a little giveaway

This frosty scene greeted me when I walked out of the door yesterday to another beautiful day in a streak of sunny November weather we've been having.
To celebrate our computer's being back (essentially, it's a new computer - all new innards, and half of a new outer) I'm going to have a little giveaway! I found these little adhesive chalkboard labels at the dollar store today, and picked up a couple of extra packages to send to a couple of lucky readers! Each package has four different labels in it; they're stickers with a slightly rough surface, perfect for writing on with chalk and sticking to just about anything. As you can see, I used two of them on jars on the laundry shelf. (Incidentally, I picked up the jars at Frenchy's awhile ago - even though they don't have matching lids, I think they're pretty great. And I wish that I had a chalk sharpener so the writing could have been made tidier. Ah, well.)

So... leave a comment about how you would use them before I get home from work and have a chance to choose two winners (sometime in the early evening Atlantic time) on Tuesday November 17, and a package could be on its way to you!

Hope you have a great weekend!

11.12.2009

miscellany

Can you believe that P was this small? And cute? (He's on a steady continuum in the cute department, methinks.) I keep wondering if Son #2 (that's what we've decided to name him) will look like P or not. We'll see! Now that we've had the ultrasound, I just really, really want to meet him. I remember the same feeling with P.

Still no computer. We're expecting it to arrive first thing tomorrow! In the meantime...
a few other fun things to share:

Pictured above, the most beautiful baby quilt I've ever seen. (Photo from here.) I wish I could touch it! It's in Jewelweeds' Etsy shop. She was the featured seller on Etsy a few days ago, and I fell in love with everything she makes, and even ordered a few little gifts for Christmas. The featured seller interview is here, and she has a blog here, too!

I thought that this would be so much fun to try - such a simple way to make foamy steamed milk, without any tools other than a glass jar and a microwave. And Phillip would love the texture of the foamed milk.

Speaking of making fun things, here's how to make your own microwave popcorn. Yum.

Here's hoping that the computer will indeed arrive tomorrow and I'll have a nice bloggy weekend!

11.10.2009

a perfect kitchen

I just saw this kitchen over here at AT, and almost keeled over. It's perfectly perfect. I especially love the glass doors on the upper cupboards, and the fact that it's small enough that everything's close at hand, but smartly laid out. Off-white cupboards are always great, and I love the little architectural detail in the upper left corner, too. Mmm.

Our computer's not back yet (my stash of photos and things to share is growing!) but the repairs were finished today. So far, we've spent $120 in shipping to send it back and forth for the same problem (they had to replace the logic board three times since we bought it - I think that sounds like their fault rather than a fluke), so we're working on getting Apple to reimburse that shipping money for us. Hopefully it will work! (The computer and getting a refund!)

11.09.2009

thanksgiving table on Apartment Therapy

The other exciting news: my thanksgiving table photo from last Thanksgiving was selected by one of the AT NY writers to be included in this post. I looove AT and could spend all day browsing there. There's decorating inspiration from real people, recipes in the kitchn, house tours, and just about everything else enjoyable about peeking into other people's lives. Really, there's so much more than I can tell you about here. So, please get a cup of tea and head on over there - you won't be getting up for awhile, so you should probably pee, too, while you're up and all.

boy #2

Here's Boy #2! We got to see him today, and he looks perfect. He was holding his toes, and wiggling around and generally being a baby in utero. See his arm waving to you?

That's exciting thing #1. Exciting thing #2 isn't ready yet, but I'll post about it as soon as it is. I promise!

blog2print blog books - 20% off - last day!

Just popping in quickly this morning to let you know that if you order a blog book through Blog2Print today, and use the coupon code below, you will receive 20% off the price of your book! Pictured is one of three volumes that I have already - they're a great way to keep a physical record of all of the great stuff you post, they're very good quality, and you can customize them to your likes. They have free shipping within the US, too!

Coupon code: fall4b2p

P.S. I have two very exciting things to post later today - stay tuned! (Okay, it drives me crazy when people do that and don't give any hints: one thing has to do with Boy #2, and the other has to do with publication of one of my photos somewhere that I LOVE and am soooo excited about. Stay tuned!)

11.07.2009

it's 6:45 on Saturday morning, and I'm wide awake

Good morning! (Photo of P by Adam.)

No, the snow pictures aren't new ones - we haven't had any snow yet. I must say that I was a wee bit jealous yesterday when we didn't get any of the snow called for in the forecast, but a few hours' drive from here, they had a bunch. I know, it's early and all, but I do love the snow. And I'm really excited for Christmas. (Incidentally, that's what P has decided to call his baby brother. 'Christmas'. I think it's because I keep saying that I'm 'excited for Christmas'.) Even though our computer isn't back yet to share any new photos, I have a few other things I wanted to mention.

Ingrid has a picture of hers up as part of an Apartment Therapy piece about before-party quirks. It's over here - yay, Ing! I love AT and could spend all day, every day browsing there. You know, if I had nothing else to do.

Did you know that many of my photos are over at flickr? Feel free to use them as backgrounds on your computer or for other such un-nefarious purposes. But don't go selling them or anything. I have some lovely new ones to upload as soon as our computer is back.

Adam got a new iPhone. I usually can appreciate gadgets, but am not enthralled by them. And I certainly don't usually covet them. But this thing is amazing!

One of my upcoming posts is about a fantastic local Lebanese restaurant I adore, appropriately named 'Little Lebanon'. After a bit of Google time, I finally found out what the amazing spice is that is used as a garnish on many of their dishes - it's ground sumac. It's kind of tart and acidic, but very pleasantly so. Yum. Have you tried it? Feel free to send me some for Christmas, if you're so inclined.

Okay, it's time to start the day - I've been tapping away down here as my two handsome guys sleep soundly upstairs. Speaking of my guys, I'll leave you with two of several pictures that Adam took of P last week. He's getting so big!

Have a great weekend!

11.05.2009

Lipstick on Your Teeth: at home with moi!


I am blushing right now - I was asked by Alison of Lipstick on Your Teeth if I would be willing to share some images of my home with her readers, and she has put together a lovely blog post of my home images, some of which I had entirely forgotten about. Thanks so much, Alison!

The post is here; be sure to comment and let me know what you think!

Have a lovely Thursday!

P.S. We still don't have our computer back from being repaired, so I'm feeling a wee bit lost. I have a growing list of things to post for you as soon as we get it back, which will hopefully be very, very soon!

11.01.2009

hiatus

A photoless post - our computer is, well, not exactly functioning. (I know, I know. And I still loooove it.) So I probably won't be here to post for a little while. Hope you're doing better than the computer, and I'll hopefully be back soon!