Monday, November 29, 2010

monday music: christmas countdown, week one

winter on glass
Thanksgiving being over means lots of things. There's suddenly a rush to buy things, people are seen driving about with trees on top of their cars, and lights and decorations appear overnight. For me it means I can finally listen to Christmas music. I have a self-imposed rule about holiday tunes, to prevent myself from playing my favorites all year round. Once Thanksgiving is over, that's when the carols come out.

I've known plenty of people who hate Christmas music, and I can't say I blame them, considering the sort of stuff you're likely to hear when you walk into a store around the holidays. But for me, music is a huge part of what makes this time of year special and magical. So until Christmas, my music Monday posts will be mixes of my favorite songs of the season. They may not be what you'd expect. I've got plenty of Windham Hill Christmas cds in my collection, yes, but for the past few years I've been leaning in a decidedly indie direction. When you do a bit of searching, you'll find that lots of bands and artists seem to have a soft spot for the holidays, or at the very least do a beautiful job of expressing their Christmas angst!

You can find this week's mix HERE.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the best smelling day of the year


I had a hard time leaving my mom's house earlier, the kitchen smelled so good. Like buttery crust, sweet apples, and spicy pumpkin pie. But I had my own baking to do, and now 18 sweet potato buttermilk rolls are puffing up all golden in the oven.

Where ever you are going tomorrow, whatever you may be eating, and whomever you may spend your day with, I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

scenes and a recipe

These are just a few scenes from what I've been doing the past few days. I'm having a bit of trouble adjusting to these November days, so I've been drinking large amounts of tea and trying to get some things finished for the holiday tables at work. I've also put up a garland in the shop. I made several and they are so festive and pretty that I think I'll have to make one for myself!

As you can see from the above pictures, I've been doing a bit of baking. I was struck with an urge to bake cranberry bread over the weekend, so I started searching for the perfect recipe. I wanted something not overly sweet and moist without being spongy. I was also hoping for a recipe that incorporated whole wheat flour to add a bit of density and a more complex flavor. Unfortunately I couldn't find a recipe that had all these things, so I did a bit of experimenting and came up with my own. I'm quite happy with how it came out.

Cranberry Bread (adapted from this recipe)

4 TBS melted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice
12 oz. cranberries
1 TBS turbinado sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan (8-cup capacity), and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine butter, egg, milk, and OJ. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, and whisk to combine; fold in cranberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan; sprinkle top with turbinado sugar, if desired. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let bread cool 30 minutes. Invert onto rack, then immediately turn right side up to cool completely.

Notes: The original recipe said to butter and flour the loaf pan, but I decided to use spray oil instead and it worked perfectly. I also didn't have the right sized pan, so I used an 8-by-4 inch pan instead. Because of this the cooking time was a bit longer, but it came out alright in the end. I would like to make this again and add some chopped walnuts or pecans to the top.

Monday, November 22, 2010

monday music: cut copy

I've already done a music post about Cut Copy, but seeing as I love them so much, I couldn't resist posting a link to their new single. You can listen to Take Me Over here. I'm looking forward to hearing what the rest of this album sounds like!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

all that is gold

There's a certain time of day...

when everything in our house turns golden.

I don't like how early it gets dark these days, but at least the sun's been putting on a good show before going down.

Monday, November 15, 2010

monday music: mix for november

fall cleanup
(photo by SnaxTRON)

Instead of one song or artist, today I have a mix for you. These are the songs that I keep coming back to this fall. Some are old, some are new, but they all have been getting a lot of play around my house lately. I very much hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

a bed to dream in

I can't get over this amazing bed that was featured on Etsy today.

Imagine falling asleep in that each night! I think it would inspire magical dreams.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

morning scenes

Just a few scenes from my mornings of late.

Monday, November 8, 2010

monday music: patrick wolf

Anyone who listened to my radio show can probably tell you how much I love Patrick Wolf. To me, his music is like a mystical blend of melody, emotion, and drama. When he's at his best he creates songs that are sweepingly epic and haunting. I could go on forever, but instead I have a video for you. This is a single from his forthcoming 5th album, The Conqueror. You should also check out the video below of the title track from my favorite of his albums, The Magic Position.

white on the ground

This is not exactly what I expect to see upon waking up in early November.

I wish it had been one of those flaky, light, magical first snows. Instead it's more of a wintery mix of snow and ice. But it's still exciting to look out the window and see all that white. Today is a perfect day for plenty of tea and a good book.

Friday, November 5, 2010

all good things...

I've been so busy lately that my polaroid camera hasn't seen much use. With my film collection dwindling, it seems so important to make each shot count that sometimes I end up not taking pictures at all. This 'Roid Week helped rekindle my love for taking pictures with this film. There are SO many beautiful images in this group's pool that you simply must see. I'm amazed and inspired by what people can do with their polaroid cameras. I'm sad to see it end, but I'm very happy with what I got from it. Here are some of my contributions.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

dream world

Roid week is here again, and what a lovely week it is. I think this might be my favorite one yet! There are so many polaroids that conjure up images of a dream world, with distorted colors and gorgeous light leaks. It's hard to choose favorites, but here are just a few that have caught my attention . I suggest visiting the group to see more.


Shadowfax. Perhaps.


autumn hair*

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

wish list: cozy

Is it too early to be excited for Christmas? Maybe it is, and yet here I am with a wish list. With the branches getting bare and the temperature dropping my mind turns to cozy indoor things and these lists practically make themselves.

I am a little bit in love with these socks, is that silly? I saw them in the store and have been thinking how perfect they would be for snowy days. The perfect sock for wearing with winter boots.

I cannot resist a good bomber jacket. Especially if it has fuzzy lining and zippered sleeves.

I love the buttons on this cowl.

... Dogs need to be cozy too. I would really love to buy this for my parent's dog and then watch them try to put it on him Christmas morning.
If I had my way, I'd be curled up under this blanket right now.

I want these leggings. So much.

NewExtrave's designs are so unique! This blazer would be perfect as a top layer.
And last but not least, I would love to add these beauties to my fingerless mitt collection. Although I know I would have the hardest time choosing a color!