Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's Show and Tell Friday!

Well it's another Show and Tell Friday (hosted by Kelli at http://kellishouse.blogspot.com/)

I'm doing something a little different than my other Show and Tells. I have decided to show you how I cut down on magazines...well, magazines lying around. My mother also taught me this when I was a teenager. When I read through a magazine I will tear out pages that have something of interest to me whether it be a cute outfit (fashion), a good recipe and most of all anything about decorating. When I tear the pages out they go into my binder of "Things I Love". I still have to put that title on it. :) I buy a binder and the sheet protectors that go in it and slip all the pages that I have torn out of the magazines into it! It's neat, effective, cuts down on all those extra magazines you have lying around and you can always go back and look at it when you want to be inspired! I have broken my binder down in three sections, Recipes, Decor and Fashion. What more does a girl need?

This is my binder. I like to get the kind that's easily bendable and sort of flimsy (is that a word?) so when you open it, it bends like a magazine.

So here are a few pictures of my binder and a few pages inside! These are a couple of pages I saved on decor.


Here are some pages of my favorite fashions.


Except, I swear I won't put my dog (if I ever get one) in a coat like that.

Then my recipe pages so I don't forget to cook all the yummy goodness that's out there in magazines and then not fit into the fashions that I put in my book. Oh well.


Then there's the occasional catalog that comes in that I typically never get. I save that in my binder so I can remember the name for the future!

Well, hope you enjoyed my little tip on saving the favorite things you find in magazines but not keeping the whole magazine. Believe me, I learned my lesson on "stacks 'o magazines" lyiing around. I think at some point it became a fire hazard!

Enjoy and bring those black cats in and eat as many sweets as you can!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Trivia!


With Halloween approaching, how well do you know about the pumpkin? This is interesting. I got a few wrong myself! Take it yourself but don't look at the answers at the bottom until you're done!

1. A pumpkin is:
A. A vegetable
B. A protein
C. A noodle
D. A fruit

2. When is the best time of year to plant a pumpkin seed?
A. End September/ beginning of October
B. End of May/ beginning of June
C. End of April/ beginning of May
D. End of January/ beginning of February

3. Which state grows the most pumpkins?
A. Alabama
B. California
C. Illinois
D. Arizona
E. Florida

4. What were pumpkins once recommended for?
A. Removal of Freckles
B. Diarrhea
C. Curing snake bites
D. Indigestion
E. Both A and C
F. Both B and D

5. Which country did the tradition of carving pumpkins come from?
A. Italy
B. Yugoslavia
C. Ireland
D. England
E. Germany

6. How did the pumpkin pie originate?
A. Someone accidentally poured cinnamon instead of chili powder into a pumpkin that was roasting.
B. As a dessert, colonists would hollow out a pumpkin and fill it with milk, spices and honey and then roast on hot ashes.
C. Back in colony times, a person entertaining filled a pie crust with roasted pumpkin when they realized they were out of apple pie filling.
Sroll down for the answers!


Answers:

1 = D
2 = B
3 = C
4 = E
5 = C
6 = B

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

Healing Herb of the Day

MINT!

Every now and then I will feature an herb of the day and give some information on it's healing properties and even ways to cook with it! Today's featured herb is Mint. Some species of mint are used to treat Alzheimer's disease and to flavor candies, gum, toothpaste, and liqueurs and even cooking extracts. They are also used as digestive aids. Peppermint oil is antiallergenic and is used in aromatherapy to stimulate brain activity or just to relax!

Name derives from the nymph Menthe, who was turned into a plant by the goddess Perserpina when she found out that Pluto was in love with her. Greeks used mint to clean their banqueting tables and added it to their baths to stimulate their bodies. Romans used it in sauces, as an aid to digestion and as a mouth freshener.

Mint is also rich in Vitamins A and C which is an important antioxidant and may help decrease certain cancers.

And to finish today's lesson on mint, I thought I'd let you in on a recipe! Okay, so this doesn't call for fresh mint but since the holidays are coming up I thought I'd use a fun cookie recipe that uses mint chocolate.

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE MINT CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups mint chocolate chips,
2 Hershey's chocolate bars chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. In another large bowl stir together butter, both sugars, eggs, vanilla and cocoa. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture and mix until combined. Stir mint chocolate chips, chopped chocolate bars and walnuts, if using, and stir to distribute evenly.

For cookies: Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets and bake about 10 minutes. Cool on a baking rack.

Enjoy that minty goodness!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cats on Tuesday!


Every Tuesday Gattina over at My Cats and Funny Stories hosts Cats on Tuesdays! I don't have any thrilling pictures where my cats are doing acrobats or anything but here are a few laid back photos of them today. I am getting ready for a move so they don't see what's coming soon! :)

Here is Quincy just chilling on the couch unaware his whole life will be uprooted soon. :)

Mocha just waking up from a nap and wondering why the heck I disturbed her with that loud clicking noise....

Then she decided to wake up and scratch herself like heck with her big thumper foot....probably was itching her like crazy for awhile but couldn't wake up enough to do the deed....

And I just love how my little boy lays.....legs spread out in the back like a dog! :)







Monday, October 27, 2008

Product Review Monday!

Happy Monday! Debra over at Bunnies' Bungalow is hosting a Product Review Monday. How fun and informative! Okay, here are a few of mine. :)

First, I have to say I just discovered this new product from Bath and Body Works. It's their aromatherapy collection called Sleep - Warm Milk and Honey. I haven't used all the products yet. The scent is so subtle and clean. It's not strong like most of their products are so I come out of the shower smelling sweet and clean! :)

One other body product I love is the C.O. Bigelow's Rose Salve. I won't go one winter without this wonderful healing salve. I use it on my elbows and anywhere that I have dry skin. It's so soothing and has a very subtle smell of rose and vanilla. Oh yes and I love that it hasn't been tested on animals. :)

Okay, here's one that I can't stop eating once I start! Quaker Cheddar Rice Cakes. The other flavors are all good but this one is addictive! It's crisp, crunchy and low on calories!
Last, this is my FAVORITE microwaveable mac and cheese, Stouffers. I have to say this is the best mac and cheese I have found that is instant. It's gooey good! I guess you can't tell that I love cheese. Okay, I do have one thing I wouldn't recommend but it may depend on your skin. I bought this Oil of Olay Eye Contour Gel and it made my eyelids SO dry I had to start putting the C.O. Bigelow's rose salve on it for a month to get it back to it's tender self! Ugh. It may be different with you but I wouldn't chance it. ;)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pretty in Pink!

I couldn't believe this! A pink pumpkin! This pumpkin was grown by Ellsworth Hill Orchard and Berry Farm in Sharon, Connecticut (http://www.ellsworthfarm.com/). This is the world's first naturally pink pumpkin harvested in 2001. I'll take 10 please. :)

Happy Sunday everyone!

Friday, October 24, 2008

For The Love of Toile.


Did I ever tell you how much I love toile? Well, I do! I am so drawn to the beautiful vintage, turn of the century print. I think I lived at the turn of the century in another life. There are two eras I'm drawn to and that's, you guessed it, the turn of the century and the 1940's (if you haven't noticed my music yet). :)

Here are some beautiful toile items I found online that I just love!

Must have toile lampshade....

Of course every vintage girl needs a toile bag....


And a beautiful toile bed to dream in....


Some toile pajamas to sleep in....

A toile bed for FiFi to sleep in....
Some toile napkins for the tea parties you'll have....
Some toile fans for your tea party guests to fan themselves with after partially fainting from hearing how much you spent on FiFi's bed....

A toile apron to cook in before the tea party even though you don't know how to cook but dang you look good....
Some toile rainboots to walk FiFi in when it gets rainy....and easy to wipe after kicking FiFi's poop into the neighbor's yard.... And a little raincoat for FiFi to wear outside when it's raining because FiFi has to be fashionable like mom....

One day I will have all of these. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque Soup and other Fall Ramblings

Since Fall has arrived, it's time to make my favorite soup of all! There is something I have to admit. I can't make up my mind if I like tomatoes or not! I like tomatoes in soup, marinara sauce, cucumber and tomato salad but I don't really like them whole or on hamburgers or sandwiches. I'm a Gemini! What do you expect!

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery rib, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons unbleached flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cans (14.5 oz size) tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons basil
1/4 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste
croutons and fresh parmesan for topping
Directions:
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes. Stir in flour over low heat. Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, bay leaves and basil; bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves.
In a blender, carefully puree half the soup. Return to saucepan, stir in cream and season with
salt and pepper. Top with croutons or freshly grated parmesan cheese.
To add to this Fall weather, here are some cozy pictures and a sweet quote for you to enjoy.
Some comforting tea...
A well decorated autumn porch...

Some autumn fruit....

Warm baked pumpkin bread....

And a beautiful simple quote by Emily Bronte

Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree.

TIS AUTUMN!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Featured Haunted Hotel!

I will be featuring the top 10 haunted hotels before Halloween! I thought this would be something fun to do given the upcoming spooky holiday. Here is the first!

The Stanley Hotel (Located in Estes Park, Colorado)



The Stanley Hotel was built in 1909 by F.O. Stanley and his wife, Flora. Over the years, the hotel has hosted films including "The Shining" starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall (and written by Stephen King). I loved this movie! I thought it was great movie because of its subtlety. Actually, to be more precise, the hotel was host to the movie from the inside but the outside of the hotel was Timberline Lodge here at Mt. Hood, Oregon. Stephen King actually wrote most of the book "The Shining" in room 217 at the Stanley, which was portrayed in his book as the haunted room. Here are a few quotes I have found on various websites that will tell you more about the hauntings.

"The ghosts in the Stanley Hotel aren't evil as in the book. Room 418 seems to have the most ghostly activity reported. In fact, the entire fourth floor of the Stanley Hotel (formerly the servants quarters) is quite active. Often, the sound of children playing in the halls of the Stanley can be heard, even when no children are present. The Stanleys: The Stanley Hotel's original owners, F.O. and Flora Stanley, are said to haunt the hotel as well. Mr Stanley plays the piano in the music room, and frequents the billiards room and the lobby."

"There are several rooms in the hotel that seem to be particularly haunted. One is Room 407, which is said to sometimes be occupied by Lord Dunraven, who owned the land prior to F.O. Stanley. Reportedly, he likes to stand in the corner of the room near the bathroom door. On one such account, witnesses reported that a light in that corner kept turning on and off. While the light was off, they told the ghost that they knew that he was there, they would only be staying two nights, and would he please turn the light back on. The light turned back on. However, later when the lights were turned off and they were trying to sleep, noises were constantly heard from the nearby elevator during a time when the elevator was not in use. At other times, a ghost has been reported to be looking out the window of Room 407, when the room is not booked."

and

"Tour guides tell a story of the ghost of a small child who has been seen by many of the staff in various areas of the old hotel. Reportedly, Steven King also saw the child, who was calling out to his nanny on the second floor. Other past employees report footsteps and apparitions seen throughout the building."

So, if you live in Colorado and have the all eternals, stay a night at the Stanley Hotel. You can also take their ghost tour closer to Halloween when the veils between the world of the living and the world of those who have passed on before us are thin! BOO!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Featured Website Time!

There are so many websites I save to my favorites and thought I'd start sharing some with you. :) JZ Rose (formerly called Outback Boutique) is a site I thoroughly enjoy. The products are adorable, the graphics are fun to look at and the music is wonderful!

http://www.jz-rose.com/

There are so many stores within this site so check them all out and save this site to your favorites if you're so inclined.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I've been "Book Tagged"!

Heather book tagged me! Oh fun!! Here are the rules: Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST. Tag five other people to do the same. Pg. 56
Here goes....

It doesn't matter what people tell you. It doesn't matter what they might say. Sometimes you have to leave home, sometimes, running away means you're headed in the right direction.
And the answer is.....Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. You know, the one I've been reading for, for months! :)

Whoa, that's kinda heavy isn't it? Okay, you're turn to guess what the title is!

Next I tag:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Show and Tell Friday!

Once again, it's Show and Tell Friday hosted by Kelli at http://kellishouse.blogspot.com/.

Today I am showing a little part of my collection of "small dishes" that I have bought at either antique stores or antique shows. I love collecting these small dishes. I have to admit...I feed my two baby cats out of a couple of them. Well! They have to eat out of pretty dishes too. :) I just started my collection and hope it will grow! My favorite dishes have small floral prints or fruit prints but I am open to any small dish that is sweet and lovely. The Palmer Wirf Antique Show (http://www.palmerwirfs.com/) that comes into town twice a year is where I usually get them. There are so many vendors at this show that it's hard to see everything but it's well worth spending the whole day there. It's coming to Portland soon so I better get my cart all ready for collecting! :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Pancakes from 1882 Aleksander House Bed & Breakfast!


I have a favorite site I go to every once in awhile to get some good down home recipes and that's at the Bed and Breakfast Online website, http://www.bbonline.com/recipe/
(http://www.bbonline.com/). It's a great website to just find a bed and breakfast inn (worldwide) or to find a good recipe. Here is one that I thought fit the season!



Pumpkin Pancakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
dash of salt
2 tsps baking soda
1 cup milk
2 Tbsps vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sour cream

Combine all ingredients. Batter will be lumpy. Spray grill with cooking spray. Bake pancakes on grill using medium heat until bubbles rise to the surface and edges are brown. Turn and bake until golden brown. Serve with Honey-Pecan butter. Serves two.

Honey-Pecan Butter:

1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup honey

Spread pecans on baking sheet and toast in 350 degree oven for 8 minutes. Chop nuts in food processor or blender. Beat butter and honey together until smooth. Add pecans. Serve with Pumpkin Pancakes. Makes one cup.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rain, rain, rain....

It's beginning to rain here in Oregon. Reminds me of one of my favorite performances by Gene Kelly. :) Don't forget to pause my playlist at the bottom so you can hear better!



My mom said she used to say this to me when I was little....."Rain rain go away, come again another day, rain rain go away, little Michelle wants to play!!"

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gifts for a Friend Today




I'm going to see my friend Thea today and I thought I'd bring her a gift of a pumpkin I made. Yes, I know...I'm still going pumpkin crazy! I'm also going to bring her some cute simple votives I made. My plan was to melt my own wax, scent it and fill them but I got short on time so I am placing some Yankee Candle votives inside for now. I think I will fill the rest later (and post them). :)

Happy Monday!