Thursday, March 5, 2015

Luck of the Irish




Since we have Irish blood in our family tree, I try to add a little green to the month of March. I keep it simple; just a few touches of shamrocks here and there. A free St. Patrick's printable, in a simple white frame adds some flair when propped in front of a window pane on my mantel and on my front porch, a bit of bright green burlap ribbon is a welcome shot of seasonal color.



A slate tile, with a prominent shamrock, is simplicity at its best on this Pottery Barn shelf that I like to change with the seasons. And, these easy to make ribbon candles are a bright and cheery accent in my kitchen.



The snow continues to hang on this month and a seasonal flag in the backyard area brings a smile, while we anxiously wait for all that snow to finally melt. There may be no green grass in sight, but my St. Patrick's Day touches of color, give March the colorful welcome we need.

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Apple Sour Cream Loaf




Another snowy day means another day of baking something yummy. Yes, spring will arrive, eventually and I will be out planting flowers instead of stuck inside, but until then, I love to bake when the cold weather strikes. Today's recipe was a new quick bread that I made in a different way. I usually make one regular sized loaf, but wanted to try the small loaf pans I found in my cupboard, while looking for another item. I discovered that one full size bread recipe makes three perfect, little loafs; one to enjoy now and two to freeze for later.

I wasn't about to go to the grocery store in the sloppy weather, if I didn't have to, so I found a recipe that used the ingredients I had on hand. There is always a bowl of apples sitting on my kitchen counter and I knew the addition of the sour cream would make this bread special. It was the perfect accompaniment to the cup of tea I enjoyed after what I hope will be my last time shoveling snow this season. Hurry spring!


Apple Sour Cream Loaf

1 stick butter, softened slightly

1 1/4 cups sugar ( I used stevia equivalent)

1/2 cup sour cream

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 small granny smith apples, peeled and chopped (1 cup)

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

Spray one regular size or three small loaf pans with butter flavored cooking spray. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with a hand mixer until fluffy. Beat in sour cream, then beat in eggs, one at a time. And vanilla to egg mixture and finally stir in chopped apples. In another bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Fold this mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove to wire rack.

{Linking with these friends}

A Stroll Thru Life

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Downton Abbey Thoughts




The season finale of Downton Abbey was heartwarming, sad and surprising all at once. I laughed and I cried with equal measure and thought the writers did a wonderful job finishing story lines, as well as giving the viewers a view of future events. I don't want to give too much away, but some of the highlights for me are as follows.

Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes and his incredibly sweet declaration to her. It's what we have all been waiting for, all these years, yet it was still surprising when it happened. The acting in that scene and seeing a softer side of both was really phenomenal.

Lady Edith happy at last and maybe with a romantic interest for the future, was really nice to see. The scene between Edith and Lord Gratham was so touching and he proved once again he can be a wonderful father.

The scene in the nursery where Tom, Lady Mary and Lady Edith remember Lady Sybil was a tearjerker and once again showed a glimpse of the softer side of Lady Mary. I was wiping away tears when they joined hands.

The hunting trip to the lavish estate was just breathtaking to see. We have been treated to many dinners, trips, parties and even a wedding this season, but this trip was the best by far. The lavishness of their lifestyle was on display and the long table at dinner was like none we had seen before. The level of detail shown in the hunting scenes was wonderful and so interesting.

I wish there had been more of a resolution in the Mr. Green murder saga, but I fear we will have to revisit that storyline next season. For me, this storyline is getting stale, but I did love the initiative of Mr. Moseley, who finally is coming into his own.

Every scene between Violet and Isobel is wonderful to watch and I found myself laughing at their dry wit. The writers have given them an unlikely, but sweet friendship.

The season was a short one, and it will be a long wait until next year, but there is so much to look forward to and I for one, can't wait.

Happy Monday!


Friday, February 27, 2015

Fashion Friday - Garden District Collection



We receive a lot of catalogs in the mail and I rarely give most a passing glance, before putting them in the recycle bin. But, the spring Land's End catalog cover caught my eye and I was drawn immediately to the collection featuring botanical prints. What a classic and fun way to incorporate something new for spring into your wardrobe. In the winter, I tend to wear a lot of black and grey, with maybe a touch of red for color. These subdued colors are great transition pieces between the dark colors of winter and summer brights. I already ordered the crop pants and they will be perfect for my trip to Florida next month. Hurry spring!





There are also shorts in a variety of garden prints and which come in longer lengths, that can be so difficult to find. I think any of these dresses, pants and shorts would be beautiful paired with a simple cardigan in a soft, spring color. There may be snow on the ground, but it is fun to plan a spring wardrobe and dream of the day when we can put our winter coats away for another season.

Have a wonderful weekend!


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