January mid-month

Mt Ascutney is the most beautiful mountain ever. Can you imagine living in the above house and having that view out your window. I saw the house on the market for sale and the next day I looked at it and it was in contract. Someone grabbed that deal fast.

I found a recipe for Wendy’s Chili using the instant pot. It sounds really good to me and I pinned the recipe on my Pinterest Board under my Instant Pot board or my Copy Cat recipes board.

You just have to use the saute button on the Instant Pot to brown the meat and then add the other ingredients. Very easy and Chili is good this time of year. It doesn’t take long to pressure cook it, but you have to wait for the cooker to heat up for the saute part and you have to wait for the pressure to go down before you can open the cover. But the flavor is supposed to be really good and also healthy.

My favorite fashion blogger posted some ideas on what is going to be in for Spring for fashion. The above tiedye is one of the new Spring fashions.

Also the Utility Jumpsuit is going to be in fashion. I had a beige jumpsuit very similar to the above about in the 1990’s. At least they are not going back to the 20’s. The bell sleeves that were in fashion last year are supposed to be out of fashion in the Spring. Also the off the shoulders blouse look is going to be out of fashion.

I like the above laundry room. It is just so cute, but it needs a sink.

The only things I like about the above kitchen is the island, the built in china cabinet and the double wall oven. I like white cabinets better then dark color cabinets.

I like the above look for a breakfast nook. The round table with a window seat and the beautiful ceiling light. I love the blue and white cushions.

I don’t particularly care for the floor or the black sink and faucet in the above laundry room. But I would love to have the washer and dryer with the folding area. Also the laundry hamper on wheels.

I would be happy with the above home office. But I would have a blue and white rug with a similar pattern. And light blue curtains.

My favorite fashion blogger has the above painting in her home office. I just like it and it costs $29.00 at the Walmart online. I want to get it for my home office as I have a couple of gift cards for the Walmart.

What a neat idea for a fancy cake that would be super easy to make. I bought Wolfgang Puck’s frosting decorating tips that show how to make that fancy rose frosting idea with a special cake decorating tip.

I would love to live within walking distance of a coffee shop like the above. What a nice walk it would be, even in the snow.

All I have is driving distance to a Dunk’n Donuts and the Cappuccino was like luke warm the last time I got some.

And that is my thoughts for this Friday in mid January.

January Finds

I love anything French and I came across a recipe for Apple Tarte Tatin, Single Serving sizes. It just looked so fancy and something you would find if you were in Paris or something from a Bistro. I pinned the recipe on my Pinterest board that I call “All things French”.

I also found a recipe from Nigella Larson’s website for a Clementine Cake that is flourless. She has the recipe and you can make it and take a photo of it and if your photo wins, you get a signed cookbook of Nigella’s. The photo above is where someone made the recipe and put pomegrante seeds on top of it.

Then I found a website that had a Chicken Marsala recipe that was one of her top 6 recipes of the year. The recipe just called for chicken tenders, sliced mushrooms, Marsala wine, chicken broth and butter. It was all made in a skillet in 20 minutes. The chicken tenders were dredged in flour.

Then there are all kinds of ideas for making planners fun. I love the Washi tape idea and I have all kinds to choose from for my planner. I also use stickers and rubber stamps on mine.

I like pantry and cupboard organizing ideas. Lots of neat ideas out there.

The above pantry was on the Today Show this morning and it’s Kloie Kardashian’s pantry. Kind of interesting on the use of containers.

I saw the above idea to store onions and potatoes. Kind of neat.

Then I saw the above idea on how to organize the fridge.

I like the above idea to store snacks in the fridge.

I have been seeing a lot on Marie Kondo and her book called “the life-changing magic of tidying up”. There are a lot of videos on youtube showing how she folds clothes. She also has a book called “Spark Joy” and it’s about how she finds joy in her clothes and only keeps clothes that bring her joy.

I like how she folds t-shirts and she has everything neat and tidy.

She seems to put everything in a box. The above is Marie Kondo.

I also like how you can make one of those magazine organizers out of a Priority Mail box. I have a ton of magazines that I would like to keep but I throw them away bacause I have too many and those organizer boxes that you buy are too expensive.

I love the idea of making a magazine box this way.

Then you just cover the box with a strong paper that won’t rip easy.

I think I would use rose paper, but the above paper is neat.

She must have made those labels going on the Avery website. I have seen lots of designs on that Avery website that you can use with the Avery labels and it’s free to print out with your own printer.

I have Julia Childs Mastering French Cooking cookbook and it has the above recipe for Coquille St Jacques. I love scallops and when you put white wine and swiss cheese on them and bake them, it’s really good. Julia’s recipe also has minced yellow onions, minced shallots, thyme and butter on the scallops.

Mason Cash Colour Mix powder blue batter bowl -¿15.99 Potterscookshop.co.uk.jpg Daily Mail Femail re: Nigella : At My Table

I love the above batter bowl that Nigella uses in her kitchen.

Randwyck Milano 200Ml 3 Cup Espresso Maker -¿16 Creative-Tops.com.jpg Daily Mail Femail re: Nigella : At My Table

Nigella also uses a French Press like the above to make coffee. I’ve got to try it to see if the coffee is really good making it this way.

I also like the above idea for a spa treatment.

And that is my finds for today.

January Days

It’s cold outside and with the wind chill factor it’s even colder. My son and his family were thinking of going up to their camp this weekend and snowshoeing in through the up hill and long driveway. I mentioned to him that on the weather news that it said that it was going to feel like 30 below zero in that area this weekend. He changed his mind on going up there, hopefully.

The northeast kingdom can be really beautiful in the summer and Fall. But not too many people go there in the winter.

It’s really pretty when the snow sticks to the trees and a red Cardinal really shows up against the white snow.

I think that it would be really fun to go on a sleigh ride through the snow. A lot of places around offer the sleigh rides, but I’m sure that it is really expensive. Just the idea of being out in the frosty air and having fun on a sleigh ride sounds awesome to me.

Curling up next to the fireplace with a good book is a better idea for this weekend I think.

I really like the Pioneer Woman canisters that I got at the Walmart. They are just the right size for holding walnuts, trail mix, pumpkin seeds, etc. I love the covers as they are colorful and there is a neat pattern in the glass canisters. They look neat on the lazy susan that I also got at the Walmart. And I like the glass canister that I found to hold flour that works slick that I also found at the Walmart. I love my pantry and every once in awhile I will organize it. This is the kind of weather that I find stuff to do inside.

I love to browse the seed catalogs. I saw a package that you could buy for seeds for “Happy Babies” kitchen garden veggies. It was in the John Scheepers catalog.

There was also a package in the same catalog or on line at their web site for a perfect kitchen garden. You could go out there and make up a nice salad that could not be any fresher. Totally farm to table. And very healthy.

I bought the above planner package for my home office back in November I think. I started using it in January. I love the Anna Griffin style and I could not find one I like as well in any store around here. That’s why I like the home shoppers on TV. There is a desk calendar that looks really nice for a mat on the desk. Then a nice planner and a journal. To me, it cheers up my little home office and January days.

Have a nice day and stay cozy.

Snow Days

It’s fun to ski and I just used to ski on hills around our house when I was a kid. Back then they didn’t have release bindings and my brother broke his ankle going over a jump and landing in deep snow one time.

The first time I skied on a mountain with a lift, I was in my 30’s. I had ski boots on that were my son’s boots that he had discarded that were like a size and a half too big for me and also his poles and skis which were nice ones. I went to the top of Suicide 6 with a friend that had skied on mountains since he was a very young kid. Well the trail was steep and I was not prepared with ski lessons or anything and my heart just about sank from what I had to choose from for trails to get down to the base of that Suicide 6. Thankfully my friend’s friend was a ski instructor and after being abandoned by my friend who wanted to have fun skiing, the ski instructor helped me get the hang of turning and pushing a ski in front to slow you down. Then he yelled at me to slow down because it was actually fun to go fast.

Looking back, it would have been much more safe and fun to start my mountain skiing with a less steep trail. They always have an “easy mile” that goes out and around and you can get the hang of controling your skis. Suicide 6 has short, steep trails made for speed. No easy trails.

Vermont is so pretty with it’s covered bridges and rural roads. Every season has it’s beauty and I just love all 4 seasons. Even winter if you don’t have to travel on the roads too much and you have studded snow tires as well as 4-wheel drive.

We are going to get more snow tonight and it’s a heavy wet snow that sticks to the trees. Sometimes the branches will fall onto the powerlines and put the power out in some areas if we have a blizzard. I think we are just going to get maybe 6 inches of snow at the most in the mountains. No blizzard. In the southern part of the state maybe 3 inches, at least in the valley areas. I love the above photo of the sun coming through the trees in the morning light. With the ground frozen and the air is warming up, sometimes we get freezing rain and that makes like a skating rink for the roads with snow on top of it. The plows hate to use much salt and it’s not an easy situation if you have to be on the roads. Some people will not slow down and there are fender benders accidents sometimes.

I don’t know how the winter birds survive in the winter as they are so little. The little Chickadees just seem to thrive in the weather and they love it.

When it’s cold and snowy outside, I like to look at garden seed catalogs. One of my favorites is John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds. The website online of John Scheepers has all kinds of colorful ideas for planting gardens.

It’s a good day for soup and I’m just going to use my Instant Pot pressure cooker and make some Lentil Soup. It’s perfect for a day like today.

And wishing you a sparkling day.

Hygge

I just got interested in Hygge. Everything about it is inspiring. The following is how Hygee inspired me.

I found an “Inner Peace” three-wick candle at T J Max. I looked around for quite awhile before this candle just appeared to me. It has a beautiful scent and I just love it. Best of all, it was at a great T J Max price of $7.98. Affordable even for me.

I have been looking for a soft throw at an affordable price for some time now. Yesterday, while browsing T J Max, I spotted the above Kate Spade, light green soft throw. I couldn’t believe it. There it was and the price was just $15.00. On line the very same throw is $49.00 plus shipping. And they even had the throw in my very favorite color.

The above sweater is a “Barefoot Dreams” sweater. I have that exact sweater that I got on one of the Home Shoppers. I just love it because it is soft and warm and just right for a Hygge day. I was very lucky to be watching the Home Shopper when it was on special last month and on 6 easy pays. It just made it affordable for me. Because the price was about $20.00 lower then usual, plus very low easy pay. I also have a pair of black leggings that are perfect to go with the sweater. And it’s like wearing a soft throw.

Nothing like really good hot chocolate this time of year. I found a recipe for French Hot Chocolate that is like the most decadent dark hot chocolate found in Paris cafes. The recipe is based off the famous Cafe Angelina in Paris. I pinned the recipe on my Pinterest. But here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 teaspoons powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate – at least 70%, chopped, giant bowl of whipped cream – for serving.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the whole milk, heavy cream, powdered sugar and espresso powder until small bubbles appear around the edges. Do not allow the mixture to boil.

Remove from saucepan from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted, returning the sauce to low heat if needed for the chocolate to melt completely. Serve warm, topped with lots of whipped cream.

Yum!

Twinkling lights that are run by battery and you can put in a mason jar are kind of neat.

I first started liking sparkling white lights in the kitchen from watching Nigella Lawson’s cooking show on TV. Her kitchen is just magical. I really like her style and it’s an inspiration to me.

When she cooks, she uses tea cups and regular dinner spoons for measuring. She loves food and doesn’t mind enjoying the creations that she makes. So when I think of Hygge, Nigella comes to mind as she is totally living life for each moment and enjoying life.

Nothing like warm socks. A lot of people can knit socks like the above. Anything is easy to do if you know what the basics are. I think knitting takes a lot of patience, though.

I think that it would be Hygge to have a bubble bath with lots of candles. A beautiful view looking out the window from the window like above is heavenly. And then the huge garden tub with plenty of room for candles. A rain shower added to a garden tub is total luxury.

The above is like Hygge to me because even though it looks cold from the snow, there is hot coffee and a warm throw and the lantern candle.

It’s relaxing to enjoy the winter birds. They are always so cheerful sounding. There is a birch tree that I can see from my kitchen window. It’s not real close and sometimes all I can see is the outline of the birds that use that tree to gather waiting for their turn to get cherries from a cherry tree that is about 10 feet from the birch tree. But if the sun is shining just right, I can see their beautiful colors. The cherry tree is like a bird feeder.

I love the outdoors and love floor to ceiling windows that bring the outdoors inside. How fun would it be to go for a walk in the new fallen snow and enjoy coffee and some Danish’s with that view.

I like looking over seed catalogs and all the neat ideas that they have for planting a garden in the Spring. The above is a bouquet that you can make from a seed kit that you can buy. I would love to have a flower garden and be able to pick fresh flowers all summer long.

Hygee is sort of coziness. Coziness is a luxury state of mind you deserve every day.

Old Times

Sigurd’s Mom used to make a Wellesley Fudge cake when he was a kid. There is only one recipe for the cake and Sigurd always mentions that cake when he thinks of the good times back in the day.

I used to make a Chocolate Cream pie back in the 70’s. Sad to say, those are old times now. The pie was very easy to make and I used to make it on holidays especially. And I know that it is one of my son’s favorite.

When I was a kid, we lived in a rural area with a dirt road. They plowed the roads but it just packed down the snow more or less and you could slide on them with a sled. Then in the fields where there were hills, it was always fun to go sliding with a tobaggon with about 4 or 5 kids on the tobaggan.

My Mom grew up on a farm in northern Vermont. One of her favorite memories is the Maple Walnut cake that they used to make with real maple syrup from their own sugar house. The roads up there in the winter had so much snow on them that they used to just roll the snow and she went to school with a horse and sleigh in the winter. When she got older she went to a boarding school is what she called it. I think that it was like a private school as the elementary school in her area was a one room school house.

The Vermont town I grew up in had a ton of schools and nearby small towns used to come to our high school. My Mom and Dad lived in Conneticut when my older sister was born and my Mom loved it there as they lived right on the ocean and close to New York City. My Dad hated it as he always loved Vermont. So that is where I was born along with my three brothers.

Sigurd always lived in Woodstock and he had his own Morgan horse. Some of the adventures he talks about are just plain fun. He always liked to ski and the closest place to ski back then was Suicide 6 in South Pomfret. Sig and his brothers and two sisters used to go to Wellesley, MA every summer for a few with his Mom and grandparents and they used to vacation to Maine or the Cape with his aunt Marion as well in the summer. They were all pure Swedes as their parents were born in Sweden. Sometimes his Dad would take them all up to Stowe skiing which sounds like a lot of fun.

Sigurd had a friend in Stowe that had snowmobiles and they used to go across fields with the snowmobiles and have hot chocolate at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.

In Woodstock, they had a travice which is a long sled. They used to take it up on a steep hill road near their house and slide for quite a long distance. The travice had a brake on it. Even Sig’s Aunt Marion would ride along with them with her scarf flying in the wind.

And that is fond memories from the olden days.

Magical Dreams

My dream car is a silver Lexus. It has 4-wheel drive and is just plain luxurious in my opinion. I just love everything about it. In the area that I live in, it’s all hills and in the winter you need a car that will get up those hills. It’s quite expensive to own and I’ve seen a couple of Real Estate agents that own one. A little over my ability to own one, but I came close a couple of times in my life of being in a position of being able to earn the money that it takes to get a few things you really want. But being close only counts in horseshoes. It’s a damn hard world out there to say the least.

The above is exactly everything that I love in a house. The farmers porch and the huge window that lets in lots of light. A screened in porch on the back and there is a balcony on the second floor loft. All open concept and open beams. It’s called the Craftsbury Cottage. I love the landscaping with the stone wall and the white fence. The shrubs and flowers.

A French style sewing and craft room that has French doors that overlook a garden is just a dream. I love the French style chair and armoir. The hardwood floors just a dream room.

The Notebook was on TV tonight. This is the second time that I have seen that movie. Very romantic and it shows what really true love is all about. That is also a dream to have. Really true love. I think that everyone wants to feel loved.

I think that it would be dreamy to have high tea in front of a fireplace at a cozy Inn.

This view of Mount Ascutney is a dream view. That mountain is magical and I have always loved it. The house that has this view was for sale a few years ago. Someone very lucky got it.

This is the livingroom in that dream house and the mountain view is right out those huge windows. The fireplace is awesome and cozy. I love the round rug under the round coffee table. The vaulted ceilings are so airy and light.

I also loved the bay window breakfast nook that house had. I mean everything I ever dreamed of in one gorgeous house.

Such a dream place. I wouldn’t mind owning a house like that. And it was actually less expensive then I could have imagined. It was on the market a very short time. I saw it one day and the next time I looked, it was sold.

I love new fallen snow. It looks so pretty on trees

And that is some of my magical dreams. In reality, I am always on the outside looking in. And getting on in years I know that the dreams are not ever going to be. But I have so much to be grateful for. I don’t need dreams. I find happiness every day in the blessings that God gave to me. Sometimes I didn’t always think that it was fair that some people have it all and I always did not have a lot. But sometimes material things are not where true happiness is. Sometimes when you can make someone else feel loved and bring happiness to your loved ones, it’s where true happiness is.