Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm Blessed:: snow storm adventure

Happy Monday everyone! Today we are blessed with a cancelled day at the University. This was especially awesome for my husband who didn't have to go in and teach 3 classes today. Instead he can stay home and grade all their midterms :) It's nice to have an unexpected day to catch up with everything you've been wanting to do but haven't managed to fit into your already busy days.

On Saturday night, the northeast (where we live) was hit with a snow storm! In october! The new called it "Snowtober." Lol, I couldn't believe it when the flakes started to fall. It really looked like Christmas. And despite everyone freaking out, I loved how beautiful it was.

Yesterday, I went to a Reformation Concert (that my husband performed in) and they did lots of beautiful music with choir and orchestra, including Bach Cantata No. 80 that includes the famous tune "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." Before the concert I dropped him off for rehearsal and went to IKEA since it was only 2 miles away from the church! (LOVE that place) I got a couple of little things that I'll share with you in my post tomorrow. But you can't leave ikea without getting some froyo and a cinnamon bun. oh and coffee. (i mean, the price is just so right!)

I'm linking up with my blogger friend Gretchen from He Sows, She Sews to take a breath at the beginning of our weeks and just think about all that we have that we can be truly thankful for. For more on that, visit her blog if you've got a second.

we got some beautiful snow. 

we woke up on sunday morning to find that someone had dug out our car! how awesome is that?! (it's actually especially awesome for us since we don't have a shovel. we are procrastinators)

I rearranged our living space. it used to look like this.

while it was snowing late saturday night, we watched The Fellowship of the Ring, and I cut out my little bunting that I will use to decorate the food table at the recital for my students this weekend. also, i am wearing my where's waldo sweater that makes me feel extra comfy and quite lucky. ;)

we could actually hang out together and do something weirdly fun- the hubs and i built a domino train design. after we had built it 7 times (knocking it over while it was in progress) we ditched our fancy design and just did this. 

I went for a walk to take pictures and found some downed trees around our neighborhood.

these were actually blocking the main road in front of our place. we are so lucky to not have lost power when most of CT was without power. (over 700,000)

what are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

:: It's the little things::oct.28

This week we have had the most beautiful weather as well as some really gross stuff going on. Like darkness and rain and little ice pellets (why do I always forget my umbrella during times like these?). Linking up with Lindsey from Aisle to Aloha- recounting the little things that brought joy to our lives this week. Here are a couple of mine:

Before the icky weather set in, Karl and I took a little trip down the road to a park/farm/cool place. This "park" had a mini farm but also a greenhouse, a (large) garden, bee-keeping/hives, a horse, cow, donkey goats, sheep, geese, chickens, lamas, turkeys...(am I forgetting something? oh yes, pigs.) It's really cool because it's a public farm where you can go walk around during certain hours, but there's also a family who lives there and takes care of the animals/keeps a garden/bees/. You can even buy fresh eggs there. Which I think is pretty cool for being in the middle of a city. Oh yes, my camera died after 2 minutes worth of pictures. sorry 'bout that.

not sure why you would want to keep a llama on a farm....milk? wool? anyways, I love how all the animals graze together and get along: llamas, goats, sheep, horse, donkey.... :)

Trader Joes. so love going grocery shopping there. originally went there to get these apples.

ended up getting all this stuff too. i'm not very good with sticking to my grocery list.

I'm especially excited for this stuff: i know i could have made it myself, but it wouldn't have looked this cute.

went on a walk. love crunching leaves underfoot.

(on my walk) found these interesting flowers (?)

sold this headband in my etsy shop this week and shipped it off to croatia! (how fun)

{pretty} bottles {to look at}
  {pretty} smells {for when I've sauteed 100 onions and then must go out in public}
{pretty} hair oil {for everyday that my hair has a life of it's own. which is}

Happy friday everyone!

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, No.2

The other day was sooooo beautiful- like how every autumn day should be- and I could not resist taking a walk out in the fresh, crisp air with a cup of coffee to sip on. (and of course, my handy little camera) :) 

I just love days when I can actually afford to take time in the middle of laundry/practicing/cooking/whatever I'm supposed to be doing
 and go out and do something spontaneous. In my college days (haha, I'm so old), I used to do a lot more of that sort of thing. Times are changing, folks, and we're not 19 anymore. ;)

Come join me on my walk through photos!
Here we go: (warning: if you don't like lots of pictures, this post is not for you. but then again, who doesn't like pictures?)

First colorful falling leaf I found. 

 so much red to love............

 this house looks like it was painted especially for autumn- doesn't it??

 there's a law school just a couple blocks away, and I snapped this as I saw it in the distance.

for a little school, it's really nice. seriously, why don't they make buildings like this anymore?
the college even has a community garden. so jealous.

this is probably one of my favorite houses to walk by. i think the roof should have actual thatching on it. 

curved edges? yes, please.

I immediately thought of The Secret Garden when I saw this. I really want to see that movie now.

crunchy leaves littering the sidewalks? totally my favorite.

ready for halloween :)

hope you enjoyed going on a little picture stroll with me!
and feel free to drop by for a cup of tea sometime. really anytime.
*love fall*

Thursday, October 20, 2011

:: It's the little things::

Linking up with Lindsey from The Aisle to Aloha for a post on the little things this week that God has blessed my life with to enjoy! As I was looking over the pictures from this week I took to put in this post, I realized they're almost completely of food. I sincerely apologize. Not sure how that happened :)

A bowlful of yummy clementines from trader joe's. it's been such a long time since i've had a flavorful, juicy citrus. ahhhh.

there's a shake shack in connecticut!!!! it's only an hour away, haha. we went there after a concert we played nearby. best burgers and custards!
i finally designed an invitation for my students' upcoming recital. it's a ton different than my original design, but at least the file transfered to my jump drive. (after 6 days of trying with a different design and file) oophf.

we had time to make a real meal this week. and it was yummy: arugula grape salad, ratatouille rice and herbed salmon. 

frozen grapes. we don't always have enough fruit on hand. so freezing is a good way to keep it around longer.

my impromptu lunch. there are some days that I'm just not in the mood to eat anything i've had in the past week. so i've got to throw something weird i've never had before together. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  this was preeety good. toasted  homemade bread with melted cheese drizzled with olive oil, arugula, red onion, salt, pepper and dill. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Before you see the pictures, I must tell you that I don't normally use things like box cake mix. I don't really care for all the fake ingredients and preservatives. But I made an exception for these cupcakes. Autumn is the season when we all go crazy for pumpkin everything- lattes, pie, ice cream, bread, muffins, and as they have at Trader Joe's pumpkin cream cheese. I shamelessly jump on the bandwagon and buy anything with "pumpkin" on the package.

I saw these on pinterest and decided to try them. Glad I did! They are so yummy and *too* easy (both to make and eat). Yes, I had one for breakfast this morning.

how can you say no to easy peasy AND yummy?

this is what you'll need to make the cupcakes. actually you only need the pumpkin and the mix. but i thought it would taste better with some spices. allspice, cinnamon, and unlabeled yummy smelling spice.

 dump the cake mix in your mixer. plop the pumpkin in too. put in your spices (vary it according to taste) a couple dashes of each was what I did.
and bake
according to the box.

i kind of improved a  frosting with 
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 TBS melted butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 -3/4 cup brown sugar

mix it all together and taste it! 
sprinkle cinnamon over top,
add some dried cranberries,
and voila!

what's your favorite pumpkin-y thing this season?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Apartment Tour Continued: The Kitchen

Before I get to the picts. I'd have to say decorating an apartment can be a bit frustrating at times. There are some things that I would looooooove to change in my apartment like wall colors, light fixtures, flooring, kitchen cabinets, and many other things. But when you rent, that changes things up a little. (also, we'll most likely be moving by next summer so we don't want to invest too much in things we'll have to leave behind) You work with what you've got and try not to think about how things could  look if you could have things your way. That being said, I still enjoy moving into a new place and getting to arrange the furniture and making things look fresh and new.  So here we go: on to the kitchen!

So this is actually part of the walk-in pantry that is perfect for storing much of our baking and misc. kitchen equipment

drying oregano. it's the prefect place to dry herbs because this place stays dry and dark.

we're big fans of America's Test Kitchen. 

 The left side of the kitchen. I know it looks messy, but that's realistic, right? 
I do like that our stove is gas- which is a change from our last apartment.

The view from the opposite side of the kitchen. we bought this cart/island off of craigslist (which is originally from ikea) and it's definitely a workspace we need and use often.

Hands down- my favorite way to store our knives. super accessible. who likes to go digging in a drawer for sharp objects? 

an ikea purchase which gives us even more accessibility and ease. that's what i'm about in the kitchen.

my poppy flower spoon rest! found at marshalls on clearance for $3. love.

my organizational board in the kitch. it has my grocery list, recipes we use on a weekly basis, meal ideas and some recipes i'd like to try soon.

part of my butler. or at least that's what I like to call it. 

ta-da! my butler. i cannot tell you how easy this makes my life. no opening drawers and cupboards when trying to set the table or getting someone a drink. also my measuring cups and spoons are always where I can reach them with floury hands and not leave four marks behind on drawers and such.

well, that's most of the kitchen for ya. there's also a food pantry off to the side of the stove where we keep food and such. it's really nice to have one (since we didn't have one in our previous place.) 
hope you enjoyed it!