Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

enjoying it

photo via livingetc. this serene scene looks nothing
like my home at the moment!

Monday, when our holiday company left and I had a huge surge of..."let's clean and get organized"...and I threw the tree out the door and cleaned the whole house...
well that was the end of that.

Since then, I have done what has to be done...a little laundry here...pick up dinner there...but that is it.

With all of us here, there are piles of book and magazines and movies laying around. All of the holiday decorations haven't found their way back to a permanent home yet. Pillows and throws are askew on my couches. Crafting supplies are left on the island. Piles of shoes are lined up by the door, and not in the closet. I think there is a lot of food in the fridge that should probably be thrown out.

For once, I am not letting it bother can wait. Besides, the girls want me to watch "Eclipse" again.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My favorite thing...

I received some really wonderful Christmas gifts this year...including some Jo!!
But my hubby did a fab job with gift giving this year. On Christmas morning, he handed me an envelope with a photocopy of this Boden Coat, which I just happened to have featured in a Houndstooth post awhile ago. Anyway, the coat was delayed coming from the UK to the US in customs, and didn't make if for Christmas.

It arrived yesterday, and I just love it for all its loud,
bright, feelgood pink and purple!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

casual living

via simplecasualliving.blogspot

I saw this great decorating book at a little book store
on one of our pre-holiday shopping trips. I loved it, and thought
I would try to find a few images from the book to show you.

which is about what casual style means and how to get the look right.

I don't know about you, but at this time of year I always feel ready to freshen things up a little. As I was throwing that tree out the door
yesterday, I was dreaming of organizing...
maybe moving some furniture around.

The book talks about paring down your belongings...I need to work on that.
Make it personal...who doesn't love a house with personality and personal touches everywhere.

But most of all...don't try too hard.

Monday, December 27, 2010

bolognese sauce

image via jamieoliver

We had a wonderful Christmas, with family flying in from Minnesota. They were here for five fun days. Unlike lots of you with the snow, we just had rain the whole time. Christmas day it was really lovely and clear though, so we all had a long walk on the Harbor to work off the cookies.
Our family flew out this morning, and since I had a lot to clean up anyway
I took the tree down. The needles were starting to drive my a little nutty.

For our last dinner with the family, we had Bolognese...which is sooooo yummy.
I love Jamie Oliver (great accent/great recipes) and this recipe for Bolognese Sauce is one of my fave's from him. Plus the family loves it. It makes a ton...which in my book is great. I use half the sauce over linguine one night, and then I freeze the other half for another night.

I make a couple of changes to his recipe, but the link for his original recipe is here.


4 oz pancetta
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
Olive oil
2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
2 pounds good-quality ground beef, pork or (even better!) a mixture of the two
2 14-ounce cans of diced tomatoes

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small bunch of fresh basil
4 ounces parmesan cheese
1 pound dried spaghetti or penne

To make your sauce

Finely slice the pancetta. Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery.

Place a large casserole-type pan on a medium to high heat. Add 2 lugs of olive oil, your sliced pancetta, and the oregano and cook and stir until the pancetta is lightly golden.

Add the vegetables to the pan and stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly colored. Stir in the ground meat and the canned tomatoes. Stir in a good pinch of salt and pepper.

Pick the basil leaves and place in the refrigerator for later. Finely chop the basil stalks and stir into the pan. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer with a lid on for about an hour, stirring every now and then.

Remove the Bolognese sauce from the heat. Finely grate the parmesan and stir half into the sauce. Tear and stir in any larger basil leaves, keeping the smaller ones for sprinkling over before serving.

Mix up, have a taste, and season with a little more salt and pepper if needed. Serve with pasta.

Monday, December 20, 2010

granny chic christmas

via litchi7.blogspot




Hope your weekend was nice...mine sure was. I took some photos,
but didn't manage to do anything with them yet.

So instead here is some "granny chic" for Christmas.

I am thinking I need to learn to crochet.

Anyhoo, off to spend some time with my girlzies.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's a wonderful life

Christmas 2005

It is a wonderful life, and I feel so grateful for
health and happiness!

I feel very grateful for these girls...
and gosh they sure grow up fast don't they?

I plan to really enjoy all the moments over the holdiay break with them.
Especially since at the moment I find myself half listening
as we all race to finish up the holiday craziness.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

holiday hairdos

We had so much fun with this little holiday hair
preview at our house last night.

My girls picked out some of their favorite hairdos from fashion magazines...
it was my job to "create" and their job to model.

We gathered up the styling gel, hairspray, and bobby pins...and some
good Forever 21 accessories
and went to town.

My lighting was kinda funky for the pictures, since
by the time we got around to all this is was
pretty late...but you get the idea.

My youngest wore her retro waves (Veronica Lake)
to school today.
She has the hair for that one.

Monday, December 13, 2010

chicken, shrimp, and sausage jambalaya

recipe here.

4 (1 pound) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of visible fat, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 teaspoon(s) Creole seasoning
2 tablespoon(s) canola oil
6 ounce(s) andouille sausage or other smoked sausage
1 large white onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
1 small green bell pepper
1 tablespoon(s) fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper
1 cup(s) raw long-grain rice
3 cup(s) chicken broth
1 can(s) (16-ounce) diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
3/4 pound(s) large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail shells intact
Chopped parsley, for garnish

1. Sprinkle chicken with Creole seasoning. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add sausage and brown 2 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add chicken and sauté until brown, about 4 minutes; remove to plate.

2. Add onion, peppers, thyme, flour, and cayenne to pot and cook, stirring constantly, until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in rice, then add broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

3. Stir chicken and sausage into rice mixture; cover and continue to simmer 6 minutes. Stir in shrimp; cover and simmer 6 minutes, or until cooked through. Spoon jambalaya onto plates. Garnish servings with parsley.

Makes 6 servings.

This recipe is so good...and perfect after a long day of

crafting, decorating, wrapping, or shopping...because

I know that's all everyone has been doing lately.

So, you might not really feel like cooking.

But if you do, you'll be happy you did.