Friday, July 22, 2011


Wednesday was my birthday! I celebrated with presents, a pretty pink smoothie, a day spent in Northhampton, and birthday pie on our newly decorated porch.

Age and time are such funny things. This year I kept forgetting how old I was turning. Birthdays are still fun, but the age itself just doesn't seem as... noteworthy.

Now it's the boy's turn. His birthday is on Sunday so we're having a little party tomorrow night to celebrate. Then it's time for us to escape for a week of blissful vacation! So much excitement all at once leaves little time for blogging, but I hope to have some nice beach polaroids and such to share when we return.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

the perfect pancake

freshly picked

I can't resist a good pancake recipe. This became very clear when I recently counted exactly how many pancake recipes I have bookmarked: 31. That's thirty-one DIFFERENT recipes, all for pancakes!

But testing those recipes will have to be put on hold for a little while, because I have a new favorite. To be honest, I didn't really expect much from this recipe. It seemed pretty basic and I worried it might be a bit bland. Since I had some fresh blueberries I decided to throw those in too.

blueberry pancakes

Oh my.

These turned out to be the most fluffy, golden, delicious pancakes I've had in a while. The cornmeal added texture and there was enough baking powder to really let them puff up, even though I used almond milk instead of real dairy. And I'd forgotten how much better blueberry pancakes are with fresh berries versus frozen.

Next time I make these I'll probably use more whole wheat flour, but they were lovely just like this too. Yum.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

sunday pieces

We were up and about early this Sunday, ready to head off to Brimfield. We actually came away with a few things we've been searching for, success!

At home the garden has been a major focus. Tomatoes and green beans are growing, peppers are starting to ripen, and our black hollyhock is in full bloom. We harvested our garlic today and have laid it out to cure.

The boy got crafty this evening and set up a polaroid wall for us to display our many instant photos. We've talked about doing this for quite some time now and it's really great to be able have them out where we can see them, instead of in a box. It's a nice splash of color in our sun room.

Friday, July 15, 2011

film friday

I love film. This week was polaroid week over on flickr and the boy and I have been thinking of little but taking, looking at, and coming up with ideas for polaroids. Looking through everyone's pictures is so very inspiring.

Sometimes I feel like my experience with taking photos has been a little bit backwards. I started off with a digital SLR because that's what made the most sense. And I loved that camera and still do. It helped me get a feel for taking pictures because I could see my results immediately. But when I saw other people's photos, the ones I felt drawn to were not from digital cameras. So I started using film... then I started taking polaroids.... then I got a land camera and started taking polaroids with peel apart film! It involves lugging around multiple cameras and film and equipment, but the results make me happy. I love the scratches, fuzziness, vivid colors and unpredicability of it all.

Some of my favorite pictures to look at are old. Really old. I love looking through the old black and white family photos my mom has, so I thought I'd start featuring some of them here. These are the sorts of images that inspire me.

Starting things off...

These are two images of my great grandfather. I love the tilt of his hat and severe expression in the first picture. He looks like a bit of a dandy in these pictures, but he was actually a farmer. My mom grew up visiting the farm and I have plenty of beautiful pictures of that place to share at some point.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

reading list

Is there anything better to do in summer than read in the sun? I started this year off with rather lofty reading goals that I may or may not be able to achieve, but it has definitely prompted me to get back in the reading groove. Here are some of the pages I've had my nose buried in lately, plus a few that I'm setting aside for my upcoming vacation!

I hesitate to mention this series here, because I'm not sure how to describe it. These books rank very high on my list of favorites so this was actually a re-read for me. The first book in the series takes place in 1547 Scotland and introduces us to Francis Crawford of Lymond, an antihero of epic proportions. Dunnett masterfully weaves her characters into the middle of historical events with great detail. Her language is beautiful but very dense and hard to follow at times, so it can be a struggle until you give up on understanding and just enjoy the ride. These books have delighted me, made me laugh, given me a better appreciation of poetry and language, and kept me up until dawn. Some crying may have happened along the way as well. I wish I could say more about the plot, but it's all so intricate that I'm afraid I couldn't do it justice. This review I stumbled across says it much better. Suffice to say I love this series and I'm very happy to have had a chance to revisit the world of Francis Crawford.

Honestly, when I first heard the premise for these books, I was a little skeptical. A young girl, taken on as an apprentice to Sherlock Homes? It seemed like it could get a bit cheesy. And now, here I am, about to dive into the ninth book in the series. These are the sorts of mysteries I really enjoy. Very engaging and with enough suspense to keep me glued to the page, but not scary or dark in a way that will keep me up at night. There is so much talk of tea that I had to keep interrupting my reading to go put the kettle on.

Summer Reading List

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin - Yeah, ok, I totally got hooked on the show. I can't wait for it to come back on. Must. Know. What. Happens.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett - I hear this is good and I always like to read books before seeing their movies.
A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway - Paris in the 20's, how is it I haven't read this already?

I am, of course, always looking for good recommendations.

Friday, July 1, 2011

distracted by the real world

My internet connection has been quite moody this past week, which accounts for the lack of posts around here... at least in part. There are other reasons too. Things like fireworks... lemonade... picking the last of the strawberries... drinking the most delicious iced coffee... and reading good books. All of these summer things. It truly seems like summer to me now, I think because of how the nights feel. More of the day's heat is left over and all the night noises sound like July.

So, I'm happy to be away from the computer these days, but when I'm around, these are the things I've noticed.

I want to make this and this and then create amazing veggie sandwiches.

Since July is my birth month, I couldn't resist checking out my horoscope. (via Gala Darling)

This mug is seven different kinds of awesome. Seriously.

I have been drooling over this tumblr page for a while now. Not surprising given my extreme love of breakfast.

You know those strawberries I mentioned? I had plans to freeze all of them to be enjoyed in smoothies, but then I spotted this. Gorgeous!