December 15, 2014

Holidays Around These Parts

Wow, Its the middle of December already?! I still have one foot back in Thanksgiving land! I like to go into the city at least once during the holidays, and usually I don't do very much shopping since that is just too stressful. I go in to enjoy the ambiance, decorations and lights for the most part. We happened to have had our 6 mo.  dental appointment last week, so it was fun to wander around Union Square after our appointments. We made a point of visiting the Williams Sonoma flagship store, because it just wouldn't be Christmas time without doing that, and snacking on the peppermint bark that they hand to you at the door!  It was also the evening before the massive storm that passed over the Bay Area! They hyped it up for the most part, but it did hit pretty hard farther north. The store pictures are of "Castle in the Air in Berkeley. I LOVE that store during any kind of holiday!
 It's really fun decorating a new house, and laying out all the familiar ornaments, but in a different environment than you are accustomed to. This house is more fun to decorate I think, mainly because it has more details to it than our last place. I was able to take out decorations that I didn't at the old place like  the faux garlands that I had from another house where we had a staircase! I had enough for both windows in the living room and a little bit for the kitchen.  Our new decoration acquired this year, is the carousel from Germany. We picked that up while in Munich this past July, its so sweet.  Our tree this year is a bit of a dud, although you can't tell from the photo! It must have sealed up before we got home, since it sure is on the dry side and losing needles already! This will be the first year that I can't wait to take it down, because I fear it might catch fire!! Hahaha.
I was busy this weekend completing a couple of cape orders, which is always fun. I was sweating bullets though, waiting for my wool order to come in time to make them, as my local source didn't order any red for the season! I was so happy when I got it in time and was able to complete and  ship the orders out today! Every time I make and send one of them, I feel as if a little piece of my heart goes with them, I truly love making them and always hope that the little girls receiving them will love them as much as I loved making them.
Wedding planning has already started in earnest. We already have a venue and the church lined up! The date of the Wedding will be October 24th. I'm sure these months will whiz by with all the planning. Next month Caitlin will start the dress hunt! That is going to be my favorite part I think. I'll share as much as possible with the planning.
Hopefully this week I can squeeze in some cookie baking. I'm not going to go too crazy with baking, but I have to make something :)
Hope everyone is having a great holiday season. Remember, try and not stress over silly things and the commercial aspect of it. In the end it just isn't worth the anxiety. Enjoy the small things....the music, food, and family!

November 30, 2014

Our Thanksgiving

Phew, that was fun and and exhausting! We had such a lovely day shared with some friends, who are expats from Germany, and of course cutie pie Caitlin. Cyrous came by later, as he had spent the day with his family. I kinda went crazy making desserts and in between doing so, decided I would do a whole floral arrangement. I had a lot of fun making it though, but man was I wiped out by the end of Thanksgiving day!  We usually eat later than most, since I can't even bare to get up early in the morning and start messing with a raw turkey. It makes for a more relaxed and even paced day for me and most of the time we invite people who are use to eating much later than what most Americans do on Thanksgiving.
I sure did have a blast using my new food processor for the meal. I really could tell the difference in quality and performance and I feel like I really made a good choice with it. The best part was how super lightening speed it was to whip cream, and next time I will keep a better eye on it, since it was almost butter consistency hahaha.
Our guests, who I mentioned were German, had never had Thanksgiving food. They couldn't get enough of it, and had many helpings, and enjoyed all the flavors of the meal. They really loved the pumpkin pie, which also they had never eaten! I'm glad we were the first Thanksgiving gathering that they had.
Next day was spent cleaning up the huge mess in the kitchen, because you know how it is, no matter who organized you think you are, that last few minutes of getting all the food on the table is a nightmare and always leaves the the kitchen in a big disaster!
Saturday we met Cyrous' parents to look at a venue for the wedding. It was beautiful, and hopefully this will be the space, because it has everything that we all need in a venue. Exciting times ahead with the planning. Can't wait for Caitlin to start trying on dresses, I think that will be my favorite part I think, and flower selections next hahah. I would so love to do the flowers, but know how impossible that would be to fit in.
While putting up my feet after a long Thanksgiving day, I checked my Etsy shop and someone had bought my last cape! This made me so happy, and has given me a push to get some more made up for the holidays. I kind of needed a break making them after the Halloween rush, but now I'm anxious to get some more completed.
I sure hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving, I know we sure did!!

November 26, 2014

Baking, Cleaning, and Waiting for Thanksgiving

I'm really loving watching the back yard evolve in color and appearance. We have been enjoying all the fruits that the yard is giving us, and have played around with a couple of persimmon recipes to attempt to use the gargantuan amount that is out there. I think I'll leave the rest of them for the animals. I saw those ravens snacking down on them the other day when I snapped those photos.  Lucky for me, the gardeners have been picking up the dropped over ripe ones, so it doesn't become too messy out there! I have a question for you gardeners. Why are some of the citrus trees and bushes blooming right now in November? Are they confused with all the warmer weather we have had, or do they bloom more than once in the year? The plus side to all these blooms, are all the cute little humming birds enjoying the nectar out of them. I love seeing them buzzing around the lemon tree by my window.
The house is all spit shined and ready for our guests tomorrow. I feel like I have everything done and now all I need to finish up are the desserts, and my floral arrangement. I'm excited to play florist today, because I found some really beautiful flowers and I have some fun ideas.
I took out the new toy yesterday to make some pastry and it was a joy to use! It will be in heavy use, later today as I prep for tomorrows feast. I feel the splurge on this food processor was totally worth it.
I wish everyone a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your day and live in the moment, try and put down all those devices, and enjoy your guests.  Ok, maybe one or two IG pictures, but seriously, please try and detox from the devices on such a wonderful holiday!

November 20, 2014

Exciting News!

 You already may know this news if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, but in case you don't, Caitlin and Cyrous got engaged last week! We are so thrilled and happy for them. This sweet couple have been together for 6 years, and we have all been lucky to watch their love bloom and become stronger as the years have gone by. Forgive me if I gush about them and share some fun photos of them. I stole some of these pictures from Caitlin....hope she doesn't mind!

They met in college. I remember Caitlin coming home from school in the fall of 2008 telling me that she saw this cute guy in the quad, but didn't know quite how to start a conversation with him. A few days go by, and while driving her home one day, I look in the rear view mirror while we were waiting for the light to change, and I say, " Hey, that guy behind us is cute." She turns around, sees him....and yells "That's him!" She quickly slumped down in the seat and we busted out laughing!  Little did he know, we were driving along side him on the freeway for quite sometime, glancing over hahaha. A few days go by, and while in the parking lot of  our Whole Foods, Cryous walks right in front of our car. Caitlin was driving and she slowly comes to a stop, and he looks into the car. She was surprised to seem him there! As most of my readers know, I shop at Whole Foods on a daily basis, and Caitlin at this time, use to come with me most of the time. We had NEVER seen him at this Whole Foods, so once again, it seemed like Cyrous was being thrown in her path. It was fate I suppose that they meet. We often laugh at the thought that their little souls have most likely crossed paths many times without them knowing, as both were raised in the same area.   Cyrous was the one that finally broke the ice and talked to Caitlin at school, and shortly after that on November 1st, 2008 they had their first date.  They are so cute together, and each others best friend. If you want to see Caitlin's engagement ring, go to my Instagram .  Tentatively Caitlin thinks their wedding will be next fall. Tune in for some fun times in planning this wedding.

 This Skype photo was taken when we were vacationing in France back in 2009, and the only significant time these two have been apart from each other!

November 10, 2014

Colors of November

When I think of November, I think of golden trees and the start of beautiful winter light that is plentiful in our area. Even thought the weather is still topsy turvy over here, as in still too warm for me, I'm choosing to look at all the beauty of the colors and the impending holidays that I love. This weekend I made use of the persimmons in our backyard and made some cookies from this recipe. Isn't the color of the pulp mind-blowing? I used no filter or editing of these photos! The cookies came out really yummy. If you like soft cake like cookies, these will make you very happy.
I finally finished the Liberty dress, and it is up now for sale in the shop. I think this week I will be making more of the little hats to fill out the shop for the holidays, and also I'm still trying to get the clothes made for a couple of the linen toy mice.  As usual life keeps pulling me away from working on these. I always have such grand plans to make at least 6 or so of these little mice, and fall short of time. They are quite time consuming, and I tip my hat to those who only make these types of soft toys full time. I find myself wanting to make more clothing instead and get side tracked very easily away from completing these little guys. If I'm really lucky, perhaps I will at least get these two finished.
We had a lovely dinner with Cyrous' parents this weekend. Nice to catch up with them and share wonderful food. Our weekend was filled with cooking, baking and favorite kind of weekend.
Starting to plan for Thanksgiving, and eagerly awaiting my new food processor, which is back ordered from Williams Sonoma. I sure hope it gets here in time for Thanksgiving cooking! Seems like there is a huge demand for these, and they sell out often. I geek out over kitchen appliances and couldn't think of a better way to spend my birthday money. I'll do a post on it when it arrives :)
Off now to try and get some work done on this bright and beautiful November day!