Happy (almost) New Year!

Hi gang!  Happy New Year to those of you in different parts of the planet.

I had a really relaxing weekend, finally.  Mark and I bought a new vacuum and we deep cleaned our furniture.  Really exciting, eh?

My area got hit with a ton of snow this week, totally making up for virtually snow free winter we had last year.  I vowed to not leave my house after I got home from work on Saturday and that’s exactly what I did.

I did a little thrift shopping Saturday morning before I came home.  I bought a few things, but the thing I love the most is a fuzzy, deep red bathrobe from the 1970s.  I have to take a photo soon and when I do, I will share it on the blog.

Sunday was super lazy.  The cupboard is pretty bare, but I still managed to whip up a tasty meal for our brunch.

What you see here is sun dried tomato polenta mush (nothing fancy, just  a little oil, some mushed up tube polenta, minced garlic, dried basil, and a little water), sweet and smoky tempeh (sliced tempeh fried down with liquid smoke and Pickapeppa sauce), and some carmalized onions.

I had mine with a Scotch toddy.

I mentioned snow earlier in this post.  In my area, we got about 15 inches from one storm and then about four more a few days later.  Here’s the view on my deck/backyard from my sliding glass door.  The deck is covered!:

I stepped outside to snap another photo at a different angle:

Here’s a bonus outfit photo from earlier in the week.  I was channeling my inner Oscar the Grouch.

Outfit details: Oscar the Grouch hat-Christmas gift from my sister, black dress-retail, scarf-outlet sale, green (much more green in person) tights-yard sale, stripey socks-retail, drink – Chambord and Godiva liqueur (also a Christmas gift from friends).

So what are you doing/what did you do on New Year’s Eve?  I got a fondue pot for Christmas so tonight I will be making a traditional fondue and Mark and I will have fondue and champagne.  I hope to manage to stay awake to see the ball drop.  Tomorrow, I have to work for a bit, then we have a party to go to around the corner from our place. I am hoping to sneak in a little time with my new snowshoes sometime too.

Well, whatever you decide to do, I hope you are safe and sound.  Here’s to 2013 being a great year!

A walk in the woods, a cure for what ails ya!

I wanted to do something a little special for the blog on Christmas, but I didn’t get a chance to do it, so I might do it on New Year’s Day instead.  What I ended up doing on Christmas Day was going for a walk at one of my favorite places on earth, the wilderness trails at Point au Roche State Park.

I was feeling kind of blue and certainly stretched thin because of the holiday season, so I gave myself the gift of time spent in nature.

Peak a boo! Oh, I guess this could count as an outfit post, so here are the details: knitted cat hat-gift from my sister, grey Cashmink scarf-outlet sale, vintage zippered ski sweater and burgundy Henley shirt-thrifted, olive convertible pants-yard sale, long underwear (not visible)- retail, and hiking boots-inherited from a former co-worker.

I have been asked many times why I haven’t moved from upstate New York to larger cities. I think the proof is in the photos.

I love taking photos of weeds in winter.

Tracks in the snow and my shadow.

These photos were taken around 2:30-3:00 and the temperature was around 19 degrees.  Brrrrr!

We are supposed to get a lot of snow over the next day or so.  It’s is terribly cold outside but I braved the elements to take some outfit shots.  I am making odd faces in these shots, but that’s because it’s 17 degrees outside.

This is the very red coat that I bought a few weeks ago.  I have always wanted a very red coat and this wonderful wool coat was only $5 at the Salvation Army!

Here’s what’s under the coat:

Outfits details:  grey slouchy hat-consignment shop, grey Casmink scarf-outlet sale, grey and black striped turtleneck-thrifted, grey skirt, wool stripey knee socks, tights, and Sanitas-retail.

Keep warm, North Country friends!  I plan on braving the storm with a few beers and some snacks tonight. Be safe!

Soup and a pre Christmas feast!

Happy Christmas Eve, friends!  I just wanted to take a moment to share with you the creamy dill and white bean soup I made the other night.  It would be a lovely addition to your Christmas feast!  It’s so easy to make as well!

Creamy Dill and White Bean Soup

olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped

3 tablespoons of minced garlic

2 cans of white beans, drained

2 cups of vegetable broth

dried dill (to taste)

hot sauce

salt and pepper

First,  saute the chopped onion, garlic, and a pinch or two of dried dill,  in a little olive oil in your soup pot.  When the onions and garlic is translucent, add the beans and the vegetable broth and a splash of hot sauce.  Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes.  After the soup has simmered for the 15 minutes, use an immersion blender to puree the soup and make it creamy.  If you do not have an immersion blender, wait until the soup completely cools and whirr it up in blender until it’s smooth.  Remember, do NOT put hot soup into a blender because it will blow up and burn you.  Yes, I am speaking from experience.

I served the soup with hot dog bun garlic bread because we were out of bread.  It worked perfectly!

 

In closing, I wanted to share some photos of the spread we enjoyed with my best friend and her husband.  She brought her delicious cheddar apple pie.  So good!

 

From left to right:  mulled wine, grape jelly and chili sauce “meat”balls, Wickles pickles, “It’s a Sham” salad sandwiches, homemade Chex mix, cheddar cheese ball and crackers.

Mulled wine close up!

Mac and cheese!

I hope you all have a wonderful night.  If I get my act together, I have a special blog post planned for tomorrow night.  Merry Christmas!

Christmas!

Now, I have to admit, Christmas isn’t my favorite holiday, because my favorite holiday is Halloween.  However, over the years, especially since we bought out home, I have been enjoying the season more because I can decorate!  I am always looking for an opportunity to decorate!

When we lived in a small apartment, I couldn’t really do much other than string up some lights and put up our tiny tree on top of a bookshelf.

I inherited a white Christmas tree from my Ma that she got from my Gram.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have any decorations when got this white tree three years ago, so we had to go out and buy some.  Now, you know I love second hand everything, but this was one of the times I went out and bought specific ornaments because I had a vision for our white tree!  Because the color palette in our home is light blue, lilac, and a smokey violet, we went with those colors, along with some pink, silver, white, and a little pale green.  I am also currently obsessed with sparkles and glitter.  At a potluck a few years ago, a friend of our friend’s daughter said our house looked like a snow palace.  I liked that and I have run with the ice/snow theme ever since.  That was, once the tree is down, I can keep my winter decorations up for the whole winter!

Here’s this year’s tree, taken on a snowy Sunday.  All of that snow is gone now.

Edie has been very interested in the tree this year, especially the silver stars.  I am thinking of using this photo as our Christmas card next year.

In his own way, Watson has been enjoying the tree as well.  He has also gotten after the tree a bit, which is shocking because he doesn’t usually do that sort of mischief.  I will admit, I think it’s cute.

Here’s a view of the dining room decorations.  The snowflakes are being attacked by cats on a daily basis.  There were at least four more when I started.  Apparently, they are in the way of the cats while they observe the backyard.

Here’s the staircase, complete with stockings for Mark, me, and the six kitties.  This is the first Christmas without Aleister, so it was sad to not hang a seventh stocking.

I recreated my snowy bathroom once again, but this year I added stars.  I can never get a good photo of how cool this looks.  I wish you could see it in person.

Today will be a busy day.  I have to tidy the house, do some cooking, and wrap gifts because my best friend and her husband are spending the night so we can do our Christmas together.  I will try to take some photos of the spread.

Have a great day and keep cooking!  I will have that creamy white bean and dill soup up on the blog soon!

Outfits!

When the camera was out of commission, I really missed taking my outfit photos.  With it being dark when I get home from work at night, I am going to have to start getting creative with my photos or I am going to have to get up earlier.  I am guessing I will figure out something long before I will ever get up early.

Here’s a small outfit round up.

This is a cape I inherited from my grandmother-in-law. She got it on a trip to Ireland in the 70’s. Wanna see what’s under my cape?

 Outfit details: grey slouchy hat-thrifted, dress, bracelet, and shoes-retail, tights and rhinestone pin-yard sale.

 Pin close up.  Man oh man is this dress pilly!  I need to shave it before I wear it again.

I have a feeling that a lot of my winter outfit photos will be taken in the kitchen while I am making dinner after work.  It’s got the best light in the house and I can share an outfit and a recipe with you!

Outfit details:  blue Cashmink scarf, grey cotton cardigan, and grey and white flowered 80’s polyester dress – thrifted, blue tights – yard sale, boots – retail, stained glass heart brooch – picked it out of a out of a box at my Dad’s house. Dinner details: creamy dill and white bean soup.

Speaking of that creamy dill and white bean soup, I hope to write about that soon because a friend asked about the recipe.

Have a great day and stay tuned to the third post in my catching up series:  Christmas!