This and That

March is just about a week away and Spring is just around the corner from there. The above photo reminds me of my Irish Grandmother who loved to bake. I like the maple dining room chair that is classic New England style. The napkin lined basket is just a special touch and who doesn’t like home made muffins. The white flowers with the green accents, just says there is hope for some Spring sometime soon.

L L Bean has a green sweater that is perfect for this time of year. I love the color and the style of it. It’s perfect for this time of year for the weather around here.

I have been having fun with the Instant Pot pressure cooker that I got for Christmas. I have several recipes that I have tried and I made notes on them after trying a few times to get them just right. I love the Cabbage Soup recipe that I found and also the Lentil Soup. I pinned a ton of Instant Pot recipes on my Pinterest Instant Pot board and I printed out a lot of recipes that I want to try. I love how there is a saute button and all kinds of features on the Instant Pot.

There are all kinds of ideas for a Cottage Garden in the seed catalogs. I love to just look at the catalogs and dream of what I would put in my flower gardens.

Heavenly Blue Morning Glories are an old fashioned flower that blooms come out on the plant every morning. Lots of them and they climb up a string. Just beautiful to have and to enjoy.

Nasturtiums are just beautiful. My Dad always planted them in front of the Chicken Coop that was near the garden. They just bloom all summer.

Dahlias are just beautiful and I’ve never seen any like the above colors. I used to have some red Dahlias that my sister gave me. You dig them up with the bulbs intact in the Fall and store them in the cellar. Then you plant them every Spring.

Foxgloves are so old fashioned and a must have in a cottage garden.

Marigolds are a must have and I love the colors in the above Marigolds.

The pink Cosmos are just so pretty to have in a garden to accent some color.

I love a nice kitchen that you can actually cook in. The above cottage kitchen with an island and a double oven with the white cabinets is just right. To get that kitchen is just a dream that would have to be custom built.

The above is the old fashioned look that I love. The Cedar shingles stained a Nantucket grey and the climbing roses on a picket fence. It’s very New England style.

My Grandmother always had hand embroidered pillow cases and crocheted added touches. My other Grandmother was a seamstress and could look at a dress in a store window and go home and make it with her own pattern. I think that skills like that skip generations or something because I have to really read every help book there is and follow directions to the T and then try and learn from mistakes.

Blue Hydrangas are so beautiful. The above look over a white fence is just a dream.

Then the Spring bulbs. Just so easy to grow and they come up every year.

A bay window with a round table and window seats is my dream breakfast nook. Everyone has different tastes, but that is what I love.

And then high ceilings and French doors that open to a deck. That is how I would design a house. All on one floor, easy to heat and easy to keep cool. Low taxes, yet close to a nice area. Location is everything in Real Estate.

So this time of year always is like you think winter will just go on forever. We have another storm coming in on Sunday that is going to be a mixture of freezing rain and snow. Just great. Yuk. But at least we can think of fun things to brighten dull days.

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Tea Ideas

Tea in the afternoon is such a fun idea. I have saved a ton of recipes for tea sandwiches, scones and fancy pastries. The above photo is so inviting next to a roaring fire in the fireplace. Also cosy for tea in the winter.

The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont has tea every afternoon in their Lodge. There are cross country ski trails there that are just beautiful. How fun it sounds to come in from the cold after enjoying cross country skiing and enjoy a cup of hot tea and cookies.

I always dreamed of having tea in the summer outside in the midst of a secret garden.

On my bucket list is to visit “The Tuckbox” that is in Carmel by the Sea California. It’s a teahouse and they have outdoor tables, also. I first saw it years ago when Rachel Ray visited it on her “$40.00 a Day” show that used to be on the Food Network.

At the Tuckbox, they have Scottish Scones that are sort of like cornbread and Orange Marmelaid and Olallieberry jam as well as Clotted Cream to go with their tea. They also have awesome salads.

The Tuckbox is like all the Storybook cottages that they have at Carmel by the Sea. That entrance to the right is to their outdoor patio. Then there is a gift shop to the far right.

You can buy their Scone Mix online from their website.

They also have their Olallieberry Jam that you can buy on their website.

You can even buy one of their teapots. So awesome.

Above are the tables where you can enjoy tea on the Tuckbox patio.

They also have their Orange Marmalaid on their website that you can buy.

The above photo is looking outside to the patio from the inside of the teahouse.

The above photo is the inside of The Tuckbox. So awesome.

There are some beautiful tea sets and the above pattern is just classic.

Fancy teacups are just elegant.

Peppermint tea is always a favorite. Also Earl Grey tea.

I don’t think that I will ever get to California to the Tuckbox. But I can make up for it by making the scones and also the actual jams from there are easily available.

We have been up to the Trapp Family Lodge a couple of times and that is really fun. The views are just awesome and we hiked on the cross country ski trails. We went there in the summer and had tea on the deck with some awesome pastries at their Kaffee House.

So that is my ideas on tea.

Blue

Does anyone like the color blue? I think that it is an earth color and has always been my favorite color. When blue is accented with white, it just looks nice.

Quilts are just so beautiful anyways, and the above pattern and colors with the blue accent just make a peaceful and comfortable look.

The above blue and white dishes just look beautiful for a tablescape. Then the blue goblets are just the right touch. Add the white quilted tablecloth and white napkins with the red rose on them and it just pops.

Colbolt blue looks beautiful with sunflower colors. And then the blue bottles just look artistic to put in windows.

And that is my favorite of all favorites color. Blue.

February Musings

It’s cold in Vermont right now and I would like to be in Southern Florida. Be one of the “snowbirds” as they call them that have the best of both worlds. Summer in Vermont and winter months in Florida. That, to me, would be the ultimate fun. The above is the livingroom of a house that I saw recently on line for sale right on the coast and near the beach. The place was affordable and the owner had it fixed up just to the taste that is my dream place.

It was fixed up like a beach cottage which I have always dreamed of having.

Can you imagine being within walking distance of the above Florida beach? The ultimate dream place to escape cold winters. Be able to get all tanned up and then come back up to Vermont in the late Spring when all the tree blossoms are out and the Spring bulbs. Sigh……..

I saw the above idea that is totally over the top to store pockebooks. The pocketbooks are all designer and quite a collection. I have a few nice pocketbooks and could put one of those cabinets in my walk-in closet and have half for pocketbooks and the lower half for shoes. The cabinet with the glass doors, lighting bought separately and glass, adjustable shelves bought separately can all be bought on Ikea on line. That cabinet is one of their best selling. The crystal knobs on the cabinets can be bought at Walmart.

The above are the crystal knobs for the cabinet. I love them. They look elegant and expensive, but they are not expensive.

Above is the price and articles to buy if you want 3 cabinets. I would only need one for $159.00. I just love the looks of it. I read that Ikea sells about a thousand of the Billy/Oxberg cabinets every minute all over the world.

What a nice project to have and create a really fun cabinet.

I can’t afford designer bags, but if you know what to look for, you can get really nice pocketbooks that are classic and look very stylish at T J Max for a fraction of the price of designer. Sometimes you can get the real thing for a fraction of the price.

I had a vanity table that was white and the same idea as the above when I was a kid. It was a vanity table that my Grandmother gave to my Mom and my Mom gave it to me. It’s in storage right now and needs to be restored and is another project that I would like to do.

Yankee Barn Homes builds houses with open beams. I love the design of the above kitchen from Yankee Barn Homes. The wall double oven, the island, the skylights and kitchen nook.

So beautiful and you can see the French doors on the end of the kitchen where the kitchen nook for a table is. There is a deck on the other side of the doors.

It’s my idea of fun to see the ideas out there. But also take ideas here and there and combine them into something exactly to your own taste.

I have unlimited Craftsy which the name has been changed to “Blueprint”, but it is so much fun to take their online classes. My latest interest has been for journaling, calligraphy and they even have a class for how to write a book. The instructor for writing a novel is an author that has a best seller novel. So fun.

I love anything French. So French Onion Soup is something that I would like to make. It looks like something out of a fancy restaurant, but it’s really easy to make. There are all kinds of recipes that sound really good. I pinned a couple of recipes on my Pinterest that I want to try. The recipes are either on my “All Things French” board or my “Soups” board.

“Beef Bourgiugnon” is the next French recipe that I want to try. It has red wine in it and would be fun to have in any favorite recipes. I pinned the recipe on my “Instant Pot” board on my Pinterest.

My Mom used to make a Boston Cream Pie like the above that was soooo delicious. It was a yellow cake with a vanilla pudding in the middle and then the chocolate frosting on top. She used to make it from a mix that she bought at the grocery store. King Arthur Flour has a mix that you can buy that would be fun to try for the Boston Cream Pie. Yum!

And that is what I love for today.

Valentines Day Ideas

Molten Chocolate cake makes a memorable treat for Valentines day. I pinned the recipe on my Valentines board on my Pinterest.

I love pretty table settings. So many ideas out there.

Tablescapes with pretty dishes and linens are awesome.

A butter-basted, pan-seared steak, winter green salad, Oyster Rockefeller and the Molten Chocolate cake make a really nice Valentines day dinner. I pinned all the recipes on my Valentines ideas board on my Pinterest.

I found some recipes for chocolate covered strawberries that I pinned on my Pinterest Valentines board.

Also, a cute idea is heart shaped Macarons. I always thought that Macarons are complicated and not easy to make. Then I saw a ten year old kid on the Food network whipping up a batch of Macarons and decided that it can’t be that complicated. The heart shape is made by using a pastry bag and two swipes to make the heart. I pinned the recipe on my Valentines board on my Pinterest.

Valentines has to be celebrated with some bubbly.

How about a glass of wine and the fireplace going. The white tablecloth with the red roses look elegant.

Valentines day has mixed memories for me. There have been good ones and bad ones. I can remember when it seemed everyone in the office where I worked got roses sent to them and I got none. And someone felt sorry for me and sent a rose to my desk from “a secret admirer”.

But I have gotten a dozen roses lots of times to make up for it.

There was the year I was divorced and overwhelmed with being alone and the whole world on my shoulders. A time that is best forgotten and moved on from.

So another Valentines day here. Wishing everyone a nice day.

Cooking with Eggs

I love extra large brown eggs the best. They have to be from happy chickens that are free to roam. And they have to be organic.

So many recipes and they are frugal to use.

Eggs are so versatil. Lots of ways to use them.

There are so many recipes to be made using eggs. One recipe that I tried was the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for poached eggs over sauteed veggies. (photo above) I used zucchini, summer squash and mushrooms. Then a couple of slices of Vermont Cheddar on the side.

I love Frittata’s and the above is just broccoli, bacon and Vermont cheddar. I steamed the broccoli and used fully cooked bacon and just cut it up. I beat up 2 eggs and put the eggs with the broccoli and bacon in an 8 inch frypan that was stainless steel complete with the handle and could be put under the broiler. I sprinkled small diced up Vermont Cheddar on top and cooked on the stove top a few minutes and then put under the broiler a few minutes. So scrumptious. ❤

Scrambled eggs with artisan bread toast with melted butter is a nice breakfast.

Or you can add avacodo to the toast and sprinkle “Everything Seasoning” over the slow cooked scrambled eggs. When you slow cook the eggs and constantly stir them, they are soft and fluffy. I added a teaspoon of grocery store pesto from a jar to the Avocado with a squeeze of lemon. So easy and so flavorful.

I could not find the Everything Seasoning in with the herbs at my grocery stores, but I found the seasoning at the Walmart. It’s also good on bagels.

I also tried a poached egg on the Avocado toast. I like my poached eggs a little runny and I broke the yolk to show the way I like the eggs. That’s my idea of a perfect poached egg.

Then there are “Deviled Eggs”. So easy to make with the Instant Pot. You just put 5 eggs in for 5 minutes. Then you put them in cold water and the eggs peel easily. You can mash the yolks up with mayonaise, mustard and whatever recipe you have. Then sprinkle with Paprika and Chives or Dill.

In the summer I buy my eggs at the Farmers Market and the rest of the year I buy the best eggs I can find at the grocery store.

I love all the ways you can use eggs. I also have a recipe that is no carbs where you cook up some bacon and then cumble it and then in the same pan saute thinly sliced onions adding a little olive oil until the onions are a carmel color. Then you make a nest of the onions on the plate with the bacon. Then you add olive oil to the pan and fry a couple of eggs to put over the nest of onions. It takes the place of homefries. (photo below) I love it.

So those are a few of the ways that I love to use eggs.

Smiles

I like the Hyacinth that I put in my carriage at the grocery store last week. It just makes me smile and brightens a dull and chilly winters day. When I got the plant, it just had buds on it. But today it’s just about full bloom and there is another budding flower on the side of the full bloom one. Anyways it’s like a taste of Spring in the middle of the winter.

I made some Lentil Soup in my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker yesterday. I followed the recipe exactly the first time I made it. This time I increased the time for it to cook because last time the lentils were not completely cooked through. This time it was close to perfect, especially with the flavor. I put some of the leftover soup in my Pioneer Woman soup mug with the neat seal top, and it kept nicely in the fridge. So, it made an easy lunch for today and made me smile. I really like that soup mug. It’s pretty, has a nice design and works really nice for soup.

I preordered a Journal from a facebook friend that is an artist and photographer. By preordering it, I got a signed copy that is also numbered 302 of a 1000. The photos in it are so beautiful and the whole set up of it is so awesome, that I don’t dare write in it. Not kidding.

So I like to write and I like craftsy things that I am not afraid to use. I saw the above Craftsy quitlted book cover that you can make for a journal. I have a journal that I can just write in and draw and put anything I want in it and I want to try to make that cover for it. I have unlimited Craftsy courses that I can take on line and there is a class complete with an instructor and print outs on how to make the cover. Actually, it looks like a lot of work and will take patience, but may be a learning experience if nothing else.

The preordered journal is going on my bookcase It’s really nice, but mostly a keepsake.

Have you ever dared to make an opinion on anything on Facebook? Well I did a couple of times. And I got private messaged that I was ignorant because I did not agree with someone. In other words, I was told in no uncertain terms to just shut up, because my opinion was not worthy of being able to speak.

Well, I private messged right back that I would rather be ignorant then to be an educated idiot. And I don’t care who they think they are, I will have any opinion I want and when there is a law against that, then we are no better then the worst communist country that there is. And after I stated that, I smiled. 🙂

Then after that I got a private message on my facebook that I had a photo from Pinterest of some big butt vegetable stand in Iowa. I think that I may have liked the photo and it went into one of my boards. Well………..this very important photo did not have permission to be liked. Seriously. I am not kidding. And I was told in no uncertain terms that it better not be on my blog. I think I have 2 people that have ever looked at my blog and they do not have to worry. My blog is simply a hobby that I once had fun with and I once had fun with Pinterest. Not much is allowed to have fun with anymore. Unreal. It kind of tried to take my smiles away from the day.

And that is my smiles for the day. I try to think positive and am trying to stay away from anything that takes me down. I guess that is all any of us can do.