Sunday, December 27, 2009

in the morning

Most of the Christmas mornings in my memory seem sort of grey and cloudy. That can be nice in its own way, but this year when I woke up there was the most beautiful light streaming through my window. I couldn't resist running outside in the cold to take this polaroid. I hope you and yours had just as lovely of a Christmas day as I did.

Friday, December 18, 2009

things to wish for

The thing about Christmas shopping is that it's really hard to do without spotting things you'd just love to have for yourself. Here are some of the things I've been seeing and loving.

I would love to keep track of 2010 with this dreamy calendar.

These boots would keep me happy through rainy days and winter slush.

concentric's entire shop is so lovely, I hardly know which item to choose. But this plankton hoop just might be my favorite.

I love, love, love this print by esan01

Rust Feather Earrings by anotherfeather

Pink Dahlia Ring by linkeldesigns

Sunday, December 13, 2009

hello mr. owl

On Friday I went to the store and wandered around amid all the fake trees covered in glitzy ornaments searching for the perfect thing to hang on our tree. And just when I thought there was nothing there that would suit me, I found this little owl. My first ornament for my first tree in a house that is not my parent's. And it may sound silly, but shopping for this decoration made me feel just as excited as a little kid on Christmas morning.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

the perfect day for a little black magic...

Alas, this morning's snow has turned into this afternoon's rain and everything is quite grey and mushy. Nevertheless, there is a tree in the dining room (giving the whole house a lovely pine-scent), gifts to be ordered and cupcakes in the oven. Because, really, what is there to do in this type of weather except bake?

Lest you think I am about to consume 24 cupcakes all by my lonesome, I will tell you that these beauties are actually for a birthday celebration at work tomorrow. I thought of trying a number of different new and exciting recipes, but trying new recipes when you actually need a cake to be in a certain place by a certain time and to be, you know, edible and in one piece is kind of like tempting fate. If you're me anyway. So in the end I went with this old and reliable favorite. It's the recipe my mom always uses for any special occasion and it has a tendency to elicit wild reactions from people. It's that good. It's that moist. It's that caffeinated.

Black Magic Cake
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee or 2 tsp. instant in i cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into two greased and floured 9 inch pans. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes. If making cupcakes bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely on racks and then frost. I think cream cheese frosting goes great with this cake so here's the one I use.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1 package cream cheese
1 tsp milk
1 lb box confectioners sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add milk and sugar and mix until smooth.

I topped the cupcakes with some shredded coconut for a little something extra.

Monday, November 30, 2009

SO much better than an english muffin

Look at that. Tea and crumpets. The ultimate breakfast duo. The first time I had a crumpet was in the spring of 2008 when I was visiting a friend at school in York and I remember that week very fondly. Sadly, crumpets are nowhere near as plentiful here in the states and I hadn't been able to find them ANYWHERE. Until last week. Thanks Whole Foods. Who knew? Delicious as they are, I'm slightly disturbed by the fact that there are ingredients in these packaged goodies that I can't quite pronounce. So I've ordered these and can't wait to get cooking. Expect pictures of homemade crumpets soon!

Monday, November 16, 2009


I am a little bit in love with this shop. Okay, maybe I'm a lot in love. These are some of my favorite items.

And how sweet are the images from their look book?

Sunday, November 15, 2009


In another attempt to use up the last of this seasons apples I baked this Apple Cinnamon Buttermilk Cake. Once again I got the recipe from Pinch My Salt and the results were quite delicious. Just take a look.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

this is november

75 degrees in November? Surely not! And yet that was indeed the temperature on Monday. I decided that the perfect way to enjoy the warmth was to try out the Minolta SRT 101 that I picked up at the Flea Market on Sunday. I'm quite happy with the results. Many thanks to my brother for being such a willing model and walking buddy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I have a feeling that these curtains will be making themselves at home in my bedroom shortly.
I have a problem with coats. It doesn't matter how many I already have, as soon as I see one like this I feel the need for just one more. Can you ever really have too many? Say no. Please say no.
I am in love with this bag. Look at the strap! Is that not the most perfect length ever? Look at the pretty metal buckles and loops! Sigh. If I had enough money I would forget my issues with leather and this bag and I would ride off happily into the sunset together. The end.

Favorite couch ever. Enough said.

Monday, November 9, 2009

etsy wanderings

My favorite shops of the moment from the land of Etsy.
Diana Sudyka's shop is so lovely I keep coming back for more. I've already ordered three beautiful prints from her and this morning I checked in and noticed the above beauty. How can I resist something entitled Bronte in New Zealand?

Golly Bard's shop is a wonderful blend of whimsy and nature brought to life through delicate watercolor paintings.

Whatever did I do for Christmas presents before Etsy came along?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

nothing like a good muffin

I have been searching for the perfect apple muffin for a while now. I like my muffins hearty and healthy enough to not send me on a sugar high for the rest of the day, but I also can't stand for them to be too dry and dense. But I've found it! My perfect apple muffin came from this recipe from the Pinch My Salt blog. These are wonderfully moist and light muffins despite the whole wheat flour. I cut out the raisins and nuts and added in another apple instead, but other than that I followed the recipe exactly. Yum!

Interloper among the muffins!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

a bit of both is nice

I love where I live. But every now and then the city calls and I think... maybe for a little while.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

nice things...

Today is a strange mix of sunny skies and gloomy dark clouds. The day just can't seem to make up its mind and it truly feels like October. In any case, it's the perfect day for me to catch up on my blogging by posting a little list of things that have caught my attention of late.

This photographer's photostream is absolutely beautiful. I am captivated.

Check out this fanciful umbrella! Sadly it is out of stock at the moment, but I'm hoping it will come back. I think these shoes would go with it rather well.

The perfect little notebook.

I have been reading up on Gocco printers and now I'm convinced I must have one.

I just ordered this set of prints and I can't wait until they arrive. I'm in love with pretty much everything in this artist's Etsy shop.

I want all of these sweaters. 1 2 3 4

Perhaps I will make something like this with the apples I picked over the weekend.

And now I am off to be productive and do fun things like clean my room return books to the library. Oh, one last thing that I've been loving lately: GLEE! Tonight I plan on catching up on the episode I missed last week.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted here. Last time I wrote I was thinking of all the summer things I wanted to do and now here we are, almost done with September! Now all I can think about is how pretty the leaves look and when I'll be able to go apple picking. And bake pie. Mmmm, apple pie.

For now I have no baked goods, so I'll just share a few of the photos I've snapped lately.