Tuesday, February 20, 2018

President's Day Dinner

Bill, my brother-in-law, had the idea that we should celebrate President's Day with a dinner made up entirely of past President's favorite foods.  It turned out to be something that was tasty (foods we might not have thought to make) and fun (it's nice to mix things up every once in a while).

Grace made little signs for each of our foods that were super cute.

Washington's Cherry Bounce (a cocktail that Bill started 2 or 3 weeks ago!)
John Adam's Hard Cider
George W. Bush's Cheeseburger Pizza
JFK's Favorite Chowder
Abraham Lincoln's Gingerbread Cookies
Thomas Jefferson's Vanilla Ice-cream

Monday, February 12, 2018

Olympic Cookies

The olympics are here!  As always, we gathered Friday night with friends to watch the opening ceremonies.  I made sugar cookies to celebrate the occasion.  I used the little figures I got for the last winter olympics and popped them atop fluffy ice/snow.  Easy and cute to boot.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Kitchen Island

Before we decided to add on the new kitchen, and use the old kitchen as a mudroom/office, we were not going to have an island with seating as I thought everyone could sit at the table at the end of the kitchen.  In yet another good demonstration as to why it's a good idea to live in a space before renovating, we discovered during the year before the kitchen was complete that it wasn't a comfortable nor inviting space to sit.  In fact, I found that I was most often alone in the kitchen while cooking since no one tended to linger.

From the moment we bought the house, whether in the new kitchen or the old kitchen, I always envisioned an island that looked like a table.  In fact, my original inspiration was the kitchen work table in Downton Abby.   When Gretchen and I were in England this past summer I snapped this picture that we used for reference quite a bit.

We worked with our cabinet builders to design the island so that it would be totally functional but have the look we wanted.  Also, remember that walnut tree that we had to take down and we milled the wood?  THE ISLAND IS MADE OUT OF THAT WALNUT!  It's so, so special to have that in our kitchen and I just love how it turned out!

Now, the kitchen is back to being a hang out spot.  The island is made for gathering round and we have also found that both children choose to sit and do their work more often in the kitchen instead of their rooms!

P.S. We made the island slightly shorter than counter height as I'm on the short side and it's more comfortable lower for me (we compromised and meet in the middle of table and counter height).  If you look closely at the chairs you will notice that one is taller than the others.  When I snapped this photo, Bryce hadn't finished cutting down the legs of the chairs as our first attempt was still too tall!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Parenting High Five

I'm posting this, not to toot our own horns, but because I want to remember it during any given moment of raising teenagers.  I'm certain we have messed up as parents in so many ways that we can't even know about yet, but boy it felt good for one moment to get a parenting high five from our daughter!

P.S.  Rereading this text I'm not sure how I feel about the lowercase everything and the text talk.  Oh well, can't win them all!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sibling Gifts

So it's almost February and I"m just now getting to posting the children's siblings gifts, a tradition we started years ago and one of my favorite Christmas traditions.

Grace absolutely loves succulents and so Harris made her two little succulent planters from tree branches he found here on our property.  They turned out so darling!

Harris loves and adores his blankets- the more the better!  Therefore, Grace made him a super cozy/comfy plaid blanket with cute rick-rack trim.  Her Grandma was there to guide her, but because of her broken wrist, Grace really had to take charge on this one!

Friday, January 19, 2018


One of the first things I learned about Bryce, mainly through his climbing of them, was that he is a lover of trees.  He appreciates their beauty, their shade and their purpose within our environment.

Our property has a lot of trees, which is wonderful, but many are approaching the end of their life span and we are committed to planting more.  While we do have many trees - sycamores and black walnuts being the majority - we do not have many ornamentals or specimen trees.  We have lots of plans to add trees every year but I was surprised this morning, as I wrote down all the trees we've planted, to realize we've already planted 43 here!

One of the very first things we did after we moved was plant 10 maple trees along the driveway.  We figured it would take many, many years for them to make a true impact so we wanted to get started right away.  These have been, by far, the largest trees we've planted.  

The rest of the trees have ranged from small to very, very small as it's not very financially feasible to plant large, expensive trees.  We planted 10 autumn cherries in front of the garden this past fall.  I'm super excited about these as they bloom in the spring and fall (though fall is a much lighter bloom).

We also planted 8 dogwoods along the Birthday Trail in the woods.  They are teeny tiny but hopefully they won't always be.  The tubes are to protect them from the dreaded and loathed (sorry, but they destroy everything!) deer.

We've also planted 4 crabapples, one red maple (other than the driveway trees) and 8 dwarf fruit trees in the garden.   Planting trees is really an exercise in patience and looking toward the next generation, they being the ones who will truly enjoy a mature tree, but one that I think is totally worth it.   

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Celebrate Rosie

Today is the anniversary of when Rosie came into our lives.  I've never been much of a dog person so if anyone had told me just how much I would love this dog, I wouldn't have believed them.

But love her we do!  She seems to be just about perfect for us and we are so thankful for her.  To celebrate we made her a hat (she wasn't a fan) and a doggie cupcake (she was a fan!).

Recipe for doggie cupcakes from Butter Celebrates: A Year of Sweet Recipes to Share with Family and Friends

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