"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Friday, February 27, 2015

Everybody's Working For The Weekend

I went to a  Loverboy concert in 1982 and I haven't been able to get that song out of my head since.  I was only 12 at the time, just so you understand the length of the mental torture.  Still, it's not a bad tune, and it makes a point: we're all searching for something to look forward to.

I've been looking forward to this weekend because House of Cards Season 3 is up on Netflix, that's an obvious one.  But I'm also planning to cook with vermouth and butter, a delicious combination if ever there was one.
Chicken, mushrooms, tarragon, vermouth and butter.  Try it.

The Staub Simmer: it's a beautiful sight.
 I bought a book because Wendy told me about the author:
Wendy recommended.  It's excellent of course, she does not lie.
 Even though I am a gluten-free person I make pizza for MrBP and The Rascals, I'm not asking for a medal or anything but I think we can all agree that it is a selfless act.
Pizza dough.  The Martha recipe.

Pizza dough "resting" or hiding, really.
 I'm not sure why I find this Italian tomato paste in a tube so pleasing but I just do.  It's economical, stays fresh, has intense flavour...win win win.
Italian tomato paste in a tube. 5*

 I recommend harissa as a pizza spice, it has a little heat which is slightly unexpected.
 This weekend we're planning to binge-watch some Netflix (of course), drink some wine, take Scout on snowy walks, NOT wear sweater pants, host a lunch for MrBP's parents, drink some coffee while reading the paper and generally take on the feeling of a mini-holiday, which the weekend should be, don't you think?
Finished pizza compliments of the Selfless Baker.

Mmmm coffee... just add New York Times.
What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Brora's Clearance Sale

My dream jumper: Cashmere Aran in Forest
MrBP: this is a good gift idea.
 I haven't been interested in shopping at all these last couple of months.  In fact I've been wearing the same sweater pants (merino wool with a fair isle pattern, not flattering) for weeks.  It's been a long winter which is not nearly over and I am so tired just from trying to stay warm.
Luckily this morning I had an email from Brora announcing their 4 day clearance sale, and it's such a good one it has piqued my interest in dressing properly again.   I had to share my picks.
 The star silk dress, above, is a favourite of mine.  I tried it in two sizes, the 8 and the 10, and sadly I am more of a non-existent 9.  It is a very pretty and well made dress however, I highly recommend.

I own this fern print velvet dress, below, and I adore it.  I wore it on Christmas day and it was the perfect comfortable, elegant frock.
There is an online review detailing a problem with the arm width but the arms on mine have plenty of room and drape beautifully, for me it was a perfect fit in a size 10.
 Have a look through the site for some extreme bargains, these are rock bottom prices and if you are a Brora fan and are quite sure of your own seasonal colour stories you might find an addition or two to your wardrobe.
I have this, it's a stunner!

This coat is so elegant.
Pair with black heels, slim black pants and sweater and maybe a silver cuff bracelet or bangle.

Great time to stock up on scarves.

There are plenty of pretty tops and blouses.

Everyone loves these, so pretty and they make perfect gifts.
I hope you've all been well.  I'm going to try to develop an outfit for today that doesn't involve those sweater pants!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mop Philosophy Monday

 Hello, how are you?  It seems I missed January entirely, what have you been up to?

Our house renovations wrapped up last week and I haven't stopped cooking since.  Lots of vegetable soups, but with cream and butter, it is winter after all.

Ridiculous wine stopper thing.
 I bought this insane wine stopper thing from Pottery Barn at Christmas, I can't even explain why I like it so much.

For our first dinner in the new kitchen I decided to give the range hood a real test: grilled lamb chops.
 It's such a novelty to have a range hood, how did I live without one for nine years?
A range hood sucks out the greasy smokey air, is this not a good invention?
 Cream of broccoli soup for lunch, and after-school snack:
 I've been testing those ovens with lots of baking:

 We didn't have a kitchen for the holidays this year so I'm making up for lost time: potato latkes.
 The key with latkes is to get them perfectly brown before you flip them, don't flip too soon, take my word for it.
Listen to me: don't flip too soon.
That's advice you could take in many areas of life, but nevermind.

Potato latkes with the fixings.  Swiss chard on the side.
 Remember my temporary kitchen?
 Thing of the past!
 I do like that chandelier.
The glass bits slip off for cleaning.
Our painter Ryan noted that they were just the size for beer shots.
I think he'd had a long day.
 The millwork throughout the house makes such a difference, don't you think?
Snap!  It cost a fortune but it was worth it.  
 A friend sent me this Emma Bridgewater mug which now has pride of place on one of the barn board shelves:
I adore it, thank you!
 Because of course, I do love those goofy dogs.
Scout embracing winter.
Scout is happy to be done with the renovations, we had to keep her away from the trades all day because she wanted to Help Them by eating their tools and knocking over their paint cans.  It was a bit trying on the nerves I have to say, Scout was near end of her rope with it all (ah-hem).

I smashed my camera dropping it on the icy sidewalk which is going to cramp my blogging style, these iphone pictures are not quite the business are they?  I'll try to get up to speed and if you stick with me I'd be most grateful.

I hope you've been Top Drawer, in health and happiness,

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Chalet Dream

 The dark evenings of winter seem so magical in chalet country.   The sky and the trees make for stunning composition.
 I hope you have a beautiful New Year's Eve, whether you're at a large and rowdy gathering or maybe tucked into a hideaway, like Dolores and Ed.
Dolores and Ed's Hideaway.
They seem smart don't they.

 Wishing you and yours a healthy 2015, with much happiness in your everyday life.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

 Wishing you love and happiness on this Christmas Day!
Mmmm cookies.
 I hope there is a treat in store for you: a nice drink, a festive cookie or a delicious meal.
My favourite Christmas salad, the best result of leftover turkey...
I'm listening to the bells ringing from the Basilica and it is a lovely, festive music on this green Christmas morning (no snow!)... have a peaceful happy day Darlings!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Counting The Days

 It's that time of year, special and magical due to a special guest arriving next week... no not Santa, he has been replaced in my December heart by Ole Rascal, due to arrive next week just in time for Christmas (after he finishes exams, attends a Swedish Folk Metal concert (?) and his friend Harris' Christmas party).  Never mind, we'll be waiting with cookies and beer (come to think of it- just the same as we do for Santa).

I've been prepping his room with blue and white objects, including plenty of pillows which will likely prove annoying and end up on the floor:
 Ole Rascal's room was refreshed during the renovation with a plaster skim coat, new floors and millwork and some of the sitting room furniture (most especially a settee) which has found its way to the Land of Blue and White.
Too Small Furniture in Ole Rascal's Room
 Ole Rascal always has loved that settee even though it is super-ridiculously small for his tall frame.
Here is Ole Rascal in the photographic flesh with Scout and the too-short settee:
 Have you been shopping for Christmas?  Me too and what a commotion.  I think I might have it sorted except for the food, but guess what happened?  I returned home from the grocery on Friday, with my trusty elephant bags...
Trusty Elephant Bag
... and just after my daughter returned home from school we were quite boldly robbed, in broad daylight and while we were home.  It has been a very creepy and scary experience and this is what I have to tell all of you: Lock Your Doors At All Times!

 Our robber was looking for something quick and valuable, he caused quite a bit of grief but could have caused more if we had stumbled across him... stay safe Darlings by locking up and securing your systems if you have them.

I've been too relaxed, where do I think I live, Mayberry?  Clearly I don't, and though there have been many tears there is a new set of eyes on the street and a finger on the trigger (of the alarm system that is).  I'll be locking up and watching out for criminals every single day.  Our own robber was arrested due to the magic of the iphone6, which showed me (and therefore the Police) exactly where he was located in our city, right down to the house number.  Isn't that amazing?

Have a safe and happy Christmas all of you Darling Tooties with the Locked Doors.   I hope your Rascal-ish guests arrive home healthy and on time, and if you are travelling may your journeys be good ones.

 Bless you and your families too,

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Warm Printed Scarves

Birdsong Patchwork Stole in Claret and Dove
 I don't have to tell you how much I adore Brora and as you may remember their printed scarves are a special favourite of mine.
I wear them constantly in the cold weather, even under my apron while I do the housecleaning.
If you've been keeping an eye on Brora's Advent Calendar you'll notice that today only they are offering half price on their luscious warm scarves...such the deal!
Graphic Print Stole in Cobalt
 I'd really like to buy one for my older daughter, just the thing for her to wear while she studies her Greek and Latin and makes the cold commute up to the University.
Nomad Flower Stole in Navy
Decisions, decisions... they are all so pretty and the colours are such outfit enhancers.  I can see the navy floral stole with a navy turtleneck and blue jeans, can't you?
I'll have to make my mind up sometime today as I go about sorting my house and cleaning up.  We're having a swirling snow storm here and the temperature has dropped, just the atmosphere to think about buying stoles and other warm presents.
Take Care Tooties,