Thursday, October 22, 2009


Another one of my favorite things...

Life is full of simple pleasures. The trick is to find pleasure in the simple things. One of my favorite simple pleasures is candlelight. Every night I light candles, even if it's just a few by my bed while I read. But normally, I'll light candles all over my little studio apartment and see it come to life in the warm, flickering glow of candles.

My oldest sister, Emily, once said, "Candles are a warm presence when there's no one else around." That's how I feel; they add a bit of life to a still night, a bit of warmth to a chilly room and a bit of happiness into my quiet life.

Friday, October 16, 2009

caramel apples

A yummy way to welcome Fall!

The other day, I was in a lovely little market where they were selling caramel apples... for $13.50 a piece! Now, I love apples, and I love caramel, but I'm not about to pay that much for something I can make at home for one tenth of the price. So I didn't. I went home and made my own.

I made four scrumptious flavors: caramel, peanut butter caramel, chocolate peanut butter caramel and caramel gingersnap. Although it was a messy endeavor, it cost less to make ten of my own than to buy one from that market! I've given them as gifts, shared with coworkers and eaten quite a few myself. (Now my pants feel a little snug... so maybe it's time for a crisp walk in the Autumn leaves!)

Next up on my Fall festivities... pumpkin carving!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

creamy butternut squash soup

Creamy & Delish!
1/2 cup chopped onion
6 Tbsp butter
6 cups (1 large) butternut squash
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (8 oz) pkg light cream cheese
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp coriander

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cover a cookie sheet with lightly greased aluminum foil.
  • Slice squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place squash sliced-side down and bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven.
  • Allow squash to cool completely, then peel off skin and chop into cubes.
  • Saute butter and onion in large sauce pan until onion is tender and transparent.
  • Add squash, broth, cumin, pepper and coriander. Bring to a brief boil, stirring occasionally.
  • In a food processor or blender, puree squash mixture and cream cheese in batches until smooth.

- - -

I'm not a huge fan of sweet butternut squash soup, so I love this creamy take on one of my Fall favorites. If you're looking for a good starter to a nice meal, or a comforting lunch on a chilly day, this soup is sure to please!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Another attempt at a green thumb...

Since my last post was on spices, it seems only fitting to throw in a little shout-out to herbs as well. Like most people in this economy, I've looked for ways to trim that fat, while still enjoying life. Spending $3 and up on herbs in the grocery store that I'd only use once or twice was a luxury that was no longer in the budget.

At first I tried to grow herbs from seeds (shown) and they sprouted up nicely, but alas my brown thumb killed them before they were really able to yield anything substantial. So a few weeks ago I checked out the greenery shed at my local Farmers Market and found - hallelujah chorus - full grown plants for fifty cents each! Yes, you read right. Fifty cents.

For weeks now I've been able to enjoy sweet basil, lemon verbena, mint and rosemary for a grand total of $2. It's the little things...

Friday, October 9, 2009


Spices add a little zing to everything!

Living in a tiny space requires a lot more creativity than I first imagined. I have to literally use every nook and cranny to store, hide or display necessary household items without it being cluttered, inconvenient or messy. It's quite a job, but I really enjoy doing it.

To save some of my very limited cabinet space, I picked up some magnetic spice jars to stick on the side of my fridge. Using some white labels and my typewriter, I added a little vintage-inspired charm to these otherwise bland jars.

Not only are they useful and easily at hand when I need them, they look really cool on the side of my fridge!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

parlor chair

I wish I actually had a chair like this!

This is the final image from my portfolio. I'm getting ready to put a line of wall art on my etsy shop, so when I put those up you can see some of the rest of my portfolio, but for now... it's a secret!

I've realized that vintage stuff really inspires me, and not just because it's cool and funky and becoming trendy with the whole green movement. I like it because vintage pieces, for the most part, are painstakingly made my hand and crafted for quality. Prior to the days of mass manufacturing, craftsmen and artists made everything. Sure, there are some cool things in I*KEA, but I'd take one finely-crafted vintage chair over an entire room of "some assembly required" composite furniture.

Friday, October 2, 2009

peach muffins

It's like peach cobbler in a muffin!

I have been on a real baking kick lately. Often baking every day, and sometimes two or more new recipes! While my pants feel a little more snug, I get such pleasure from the simple act of baking that I don't want to stop. From muffins to cookies to pies and pizzas, I love exploring new recipes on Whether you're looking for a quick and easy soup recipe or the best way to marinate pork chops, the site has it all! I highly recommend it if you're a fine-tuned foodie or a basic cook. There's something in it for everyone.

Like delicious peach muffins. Yum.

The last of the fresh Farmers Market peaches. Au revoir, mes amis!