November 24, 2014

Early Thanksgiving

Olivia polished the silver.  This silverware was my grandmother's wedding silver.  We don't use it everyday, just on special occasions.
 Hannah wrote name cards and set the table, adding a sprig of sage from our backyard to each plate.
We made bacon-wrapped green beans.  I basically followed this recipe:  http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/green-bean-bundles-with-bacon-and-brown-sugar.html  I used frozen green beans and didn't use the butter or brown sugar.  They were SO good!
 We celebrated Grandma's birthday (which was a few days ago) with a cake afterwards.
 Grandma with 3 of her grand daughters.
Meanwhile, my husband's littlest brother, Nathan, went to fly the remote control helicopter.  It was a bit windy.  He accidentally flew it over the house...it was quite funny!
The girls played games inside, hide-and-seek, checkers, UNO, etc.  Being together, talking, laughing...this is what I ♥ about Thankgiving.

November 21, 2014

It's still fall...but feels like winter

 We met up with a friend to go sledding.
 This is our favorite park to go sledding...
 She almost hit that tree!!!
 Lusy (our dog) came and had a great time, too. 
 Olivia trying to "snowboard" on a sled down the hill...she has great balance!
 Time for a break...chamomile and lavender tea or hot cocoa?
Have a great weekend!

November 17, 2014

Snow cake

Sprinkled with coconut on top...to look like snow:
 This is what I've been reading lately, while the girls are doing their homeschooling lessons.  We have also been playing a lot of chess and checkers (and making up variations, like "giveaway" where you must take an opponents piece if you are able to jump them, but want to get rid of all your pieces first).
Lusy loves the snow...jumping and running around, burying her face in the snow. 
Usually, we dig out from a huge mound of snow, but this morning, we didn't have that much snow, so we packed the snow into plastic containers to make "snow bricks." Olivia's snow fort is like a 3 sided square.  In the middle, you can see the chicken run (they are in the coop today) and what is left of our tomato plants! 
 
 Hannah is making a circle fort, thinking about making an igloo...

November 12, 2014

Keeping warm

Since the weather has gotten colder, we haven't been spending as much time outside.  Rob brought home an old metal brake drum and he dug a hole to make a safe little fire ring.

 Perfect for marshmallow roasting.
 While the girls were in dance class I went to Crabtree & Evelyn at the mall, because I had gotten a 25% off coupon in the mail.  In the winter, their hand therapy is the most moisturizing (and great smelling) to me.  My favorite scent is either "Rosewater," "Summer Hill" or "La Source."  I was introduced to their Jojoba oil soaps as a child, my grandmother always seemed to have them in her bathroom.  I think they make nice little gifts.
Another favorite shop of mine is Anthropologie, where I saw this pack of paper placemats!  Wouldn't that make a fun gift?  My sister's birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks. 
I think it might be a fun gift for her, as she has 2 young boys (one is 5 and the other is almost 3)...something they could do together at brekkie.  
I'm going to make some for us using large paper...and then we can recycle that paper by making another fire in the backyard or in the woodstove inside our home.

November 5, 2014

Gluten-free brownies...

I made these gluten-free brownies twice already.  I basically followed the recipe on the back of the bag of coconut flour, but I only had 3 eggs, not 6 as they suggested:
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
Preheat oven to 350'F.  Melt butter in saucepan and add cocoa, let cool a bit, then add beaten eggs, sugar and vanilla and coconut flour.  My batter was a bit lumpy, next time I'll mix it until smoother.  Baked in 8x8 or 9 inch round ban for 30 minutes.
We brought some to my parent's house to share and topped it with caramel ice cream.
Bokeh.  I love this effect that I found here: http://cavalars.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/canon-50mm-bokeh-cardboar/
My friend Joscie made a simple tutorial here:   http://www.cutchens.com/2009/12/how-to-make-a-high-tech-bokeh-shaper/

The rest of the photos are taken with our new (used) camera that we bought from a friend.  It's a Canon DSLR and we bought a Tamron 28-300 lens that takes nice pictures close-up and had a great zoom, too.
This is the last dahlia (and a bit of basil that has flowered) from our garden, the rest were all hit by the frost this weekend.
 I love that I can choose where to focus. 
Foreground vs. background!
We now only have 2 chickens.  Pepper died. 
They are moulting now and look pathetic.
 Nutmeg's favorite place to look for bugs is under the logs.
 And they are not laying eggs...hopefully in 2 months or so they will resume, although Cinnamon is now 2 and a half and Nutmeg is 3 and a half.  They are getting old.