Thursday, November 28, 2013

weekday reading

Hi! You haven't blown away? Your laptop still has power? Perfect. Here is some reading for this blustery Thursday evening:

Black Friday creep. My inbox is blowing up with deals. You?

My beautiful friend blogging in HRM parent.

Who drives in the car in your family, him or her?

Gorgeous pictures of Haiti.

Do you walk around your house naked? (over share: I sometimes do!)

Rules for naming your baby.

Halifax development in a national paper. Some love for our Lebanese community.

I don't like Margaret Wente, but I am so happy my girl gets to play so much at Susie Q's!

What does your favourite pie say about you?



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

stocking stuffers for men

I heard a lot of feedback from my lady friends and apparently I am not alone in my struggle to fill my husband's stocking. Girls are so easy! I often think, I wish I could fill my own sock. I've actually gone so far as to pick up a few things for Jeff to slip in there now and then.

Here is my best attempt at a stocking collage for my main man. I tried to find a few things to keep him warm on his walk home from work, a favourite beer, some golf balls to replace those lost this summer, a few kitchen tools he has mentioned, a favourite sweet treat, a cute mug, a movie I wouldn't watch with him and a maple candle which he told me  flat out he wouldn't want. I love it, and I know he would too if only he gave it a chance so I included it here.  Yes, he has seen this collage. I won't get these exact items, but this is at least a start, it will guide me when I actually brave the shops in the coming weeks.

Any other ideas?



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

stocking stuffers


Warning: do not proceed if you are a believer (of the Santa Claus variety, of course).

Stockings are one of my favourite things about Christmas. They make me feel like a kid again. I'm lucky because my mum was the best sock stuffer. She had a knack for striking the perfect balance between things to eat, things to read, things to make various parts of your body soft and fun little Christmas trinkets. I only hope I can make Violet's sock as magical as ours were growing up.

Jeff and I actually still do stocking for each other. Do you do that? My parents never did, which makes sense because they are supposedly from Santa who never brings gifts for grownups. Anyhow, I find it harder stuffing a sock for a grown man. In case Jeff finds it equally hard stuffing my stocking I compiled a little list of ideas. It is pretty tailored to my taste, but you could use these as secret santa gifts too. Nothing is much more than $10.

How fun is it to think about the holidays? It makes me feel a little gitty!



Friday, November 15, 2013

snap happy

{someone loves jewels!}
When your family is scattered about the country (and the world, ahem, Lou) you sometimes get requests for photos of your offspring.

This is me obliging.

Happy friday, friends!



Thursday, November 14, 2013

weekday reading

Hi! How are you doing on this cool November day? Keeping warm I trust. Any November eggnog drinkers out there? I've indulged in a bit of the yellow stuff myself. So festive. So warming. It really is beginning to feel a lot like you know what! We still have a moratorium on full on cheer in our house, but Violet has been working on her dad and we've infused our home with a few seasonal trinkets. That Violet, she knows the way to her daddy's heart. Such a great pawn for my Christmas plans...muahahaha.

Moving right along...

I have book club tonight, which I always look forward to. I am also looking forward to dinner since I really don't have to make it. We bought a frozen meal from the Little Red Kitch'n at the Seaport Market. Jeff wanted brisket with blue cheese gnocchi, I wanted something vegetarian, so we settled on Moroccan meatballs with quinoa -- meaty, but healthy! I've been waiting for this all week. I love cooking for my family, but I love not cooking for them almost as much. Is that bad?

And now for the good stuff. Here is some reading to tie you over until Parks and Rec starts:

The book our group read this month. So sad.

Adam from Girls, dreamy? Other words have come to mind...

Pasta for women of the night. Racy.

A how-to guide for Thanksgiving (the American variety), which I plan on using for Christmas

A beautiful video about adoption (get your tissues ready)

I want this tee pee for Violet, but it is pretty pricey. A few friends and I are going to attempt to make these instead.

Cute holiday craft ideas for kids (which I will probably never do, but I want to, I do!)

I wish I could knit

Since I can't knit, I want to buy this! (Although my awesome mother in law bought me the coziest blanket in the history of blankets. I refuse to share it with my family!).

Oh, big sale on J. Crew sale items. A deal on a deal? Sold.(Why are the best sales at the time of year when we are supposed to buy things for other people. No fair!)



Monday, November 11, 2013

chewy molasses spice cookies

I've made these cookies before, but this time was different. My sous-chef has really been stepping it up lately. I, on the other hand, have been wrestling with my OCD tendencies because I really want to be the type of mum who lets her daughter roll out the cookies without secretly re-rolling them when she isn't looking. I admit it, I am a re-roller. A re-roller, a re-mixer, a re-scraper, a re-washer -- you name it, I do it again, the way I like it, when Violet isn't looking. 

I know this isn't healthy. I don't want Violet to think she can't do anything right. I also don't want misshaped cookies, but I suppose the former should take precedence. 

You would have been proud of me today. I let Violet shape the cookie balls and I didn't touch a thing. I let her roll them in sugar and I didn't mention that not every inch of the surface was covered. I did still choose to photograph the most uniform of the bunch wrapped in red twine, but come on, give me a few more weeks and Violet will be charge of presentation too.

Here is the recipe. It is quick and easy and via the one and only Ms. Stewart who definitely would have reshaped the balls.



Martha's Chewy Molasses-Spice Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  1. STEP 1
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a shallow bowl, place 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.
  2. STEP 2
    With an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining cup of sugar until combined. Beat in egg and then molasses until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in dry ingredients, just until a dough forms.
  3. STEP 3
    Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 tablespoon. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat.
  4. STEP 4
    Arrange balls on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake, one sheet at a time, until edges of cookies are just firm, 10 to 15 minutes (cookies can be baked two sheets at a time, but they will not crackle uniformly). Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely.

Friday, November 8, 2013

weekday reading

Weekday reading...on a Friday...after I went on about the benefit of midweek posts. I am apparently not as good with schedules as I thought I was. Lots going on this week though. I'll fill you in on all that in good time, but for now week*end* reading for all!

If you don't have exciting plans tonight, read these:

What is your favourite holiday film? Too soon? Mine is White Christmas (although I love watching The Holiday every year with the women in my family.)

Speaking of the holidays, here is a pretty guide on how to build a cheese plate. I personally love medjool dates and would welcome them on any of your holiday spreads ;)

Enough with the thigh gap pressure. #nothappening #notenoughrunningtrailsintheworld

In defence of millennials (or in offence of stupid commentators!)

Why is everyone obsessed with French food? I've wondered this myself.

Never say goodbye (at a party, that is)

The Star reports on more than Rob Ford! A shout out to Nova Scotia native Lynn Coady. We grow writers good in these parts!

(Oh, and something about Rob Ford, because, well a mayor smoking crack is reason enough for this list!)

And because I can't possibly end with Rob Ford, what do you think of Decembrow? I like it!



Thursday, November 7, 2013

making the most of winter

Okay, so I know it isn't officially winter for another six weeks or so, but can we all admit it might as well be? It is dark early in the morning and early in the evening, the crisp apples are softening and I'm sick of pumpkin spice lattes -- fall is over. I am so not a winter person. In fact I spend an inordinate amount of time dreading its arrival. I hate being cold and other than Christmas there just isn't much I get excited about. Violet, on the other hand, loves winter with passion. On the most classic beach day in mid-July she'll insist she'd rather be in the snow. So weird. If she wasn't my clone I'd question we share genes.

This year I've decided to try to make the most of winter. I had fun with my summer to do list so I thought I would do the same for winter. I tried not to include too many Christmasy items, because I already have enough enthusiasm for that particular season, it is the other weeks and months that make me worried.

What do you think, is this a good list? Did I miss anything? How do you get through the long cold winter?