Plaid shirts are classic. Vintage 100% wool plaid shirts are just perfect. We have a few really good thrift stores that I visit frequently and I came across this wool navy and tan plaid shirt on my last visit. Button-up blouses are so versatile and practical. You can wear them on your casual day around the house, dress them up with a sweater or blazer, or just wear them camping and hiking.
When it is snowy outside a warm, simple soup is a great dinner.
I had ham and a huge head of cabbage in my fridge that needed to be used up so I googled soups and found this recipe. It was good.
White Bean-Cabbage Soup 1 yellow onion, finely chopped a couple of leeks, sliced finely (I used celery instead because that is just what I had) 2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped a couple pounds of ham, cut into bite sized cubes 8 cups chicken broth 2-3 (15oz) cans of cannellini beans (I used 2 cans of white beans because again that is just what I had) 1 medium head of cabbage, chopped into bite sized pieces rice wine vinegar (I added a little red wine vinegar and brown rice vinegar) red pepper flakes salt and pepper to taste In a large stockpot, warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add onion, leeks, and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 20 min. Add ham and beans, let that cook for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat to medium low and add stock. Let everything slowly simmer for at least 45 minutes. Add cabbage, a good splash of rice wine vinegar, and a pinch of red pepper flakes and let cook for another five minutes or so. Serve in warm bowls.
I don't think I have ever decorated for Valentines Day. But this year I felt inspired to make a little holiday cheer. So I took an old book we were going to throw out and cut hearts out of the pages. Then with a small amount of pink watercolor I added a splash of color. With twine I made little heart rows to hand in my windows.
I also had some old maps lying around so I cut a few hearts out to hand around the house.
We also made some classic sugar cookies and some chocolate sugar cookies for the chocolate lovers in the house.
For gifts this year I waited till the last minute so I made a mug for the morning and then ran to the thrift store and found a vintage wool plaid shirt and a pair of coveralls. I was so excited to find them. With a little brown paper, twine and a card made from some old maps my gift for my most wonderful husband looked like I tried.
For my little loves I bought them a few goodies and put them in tin pails. Thank you Target for your $1.00 bins!
When I need a last minute dessert for a dinner party, but want it to look like I spent a lot of effort on it I always turn to the bundt cake. I think it looks elegant yet it's so easy! Here is a Chocolate bundt cake I made last week when we had a family over for dinner. Who does not love chocolate and coffee?
Here is my Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake I made last week.
My first ever cheesecake. Even though the recipe itself was not hard there were a lot of different steps so the process was time consuming. But it was amazing! And I think it turned out pretty darn well for my first try.
I am making a real, homemade, from scratch cheesecake today. My first ever! It is for a dinner party we are going to this evening and I felt inspired and ambitious. I will post later a recipe if it turns out. But either way it was a good excuse to buy a few luxuries we never seem to have around the house. Like this Emmets Ireland Cream Liqueur. (The recipe called for a few tablespoons and of course it could not be substituted, just bought)
And what better way to enjoy cooking a cheesecake then by drinking a cup of coffee in my favorite mug with a bit of liqueur during the process.
We hosted a Christmas Carol Singing Party and I wanted something simple as a sweet. I made my eggnog cookies and had a hot chocolate bar for the beverage. Candy canes, marshmallows and hot chocolate powder all in jars made it cute and fun, especially for the kids.
Also I had a ornament exchange party that I made a few burlap tree ornaments. They were simple and I just used what I had around the house.
Burlap with a bit of stuffing to give it shape.
A few vintage buttons for color
A twig for the stump
A loop of twine to hang it from
And I burnt the edges so it would not fray
This year I really wanted a fresh garland around my front door and I was feeling ambitious enough to try and make one myself.
Here is how I did it:
I picked up a fake wire garland strand at the thrift store.
And a LOT of green bows.
Cutting the bows into smaller piece, you wire a small bunch together then wire the bunch on the garland.
You repeat this over and over and over again, overlapping the bunches slightly to give a fuller look and hiding the wires. It took me roughly 2 hours to finish a garland long enough to go around my door.
Using some extra bows to fill my milk jug and my front entrance is complete.
Since we usually have a limited budget for Christmas gifts I end up making a few for our boys. This year I made a cape for our three year old William.
I found some heavy fabric that did not fray. I just happened to have some in my fabric bin and it was a perfect shade of blue. This project was as easy as cutting the cape, cutting a whole with two ends, adding a button and button hole as the clasp and then cutting out a mask with the same fabric. I also added a big letter "W" on the back of the cape by cutting out some grey fabric and sewing it on with a regular stitch.
Simple and fun.
And now I have a Super William flying around most days.
This year all of my in-laws were coming to our house for Christmas. Which meant I had to come up with 5 more stockings!
Instead of going to the dollar store and picking up some of those cheap red generic stockings, I decided to make them. But I did not have a lot of time or a large budget. So I went to our local thrift store and picked up 5 old sweaters. Then I just drew a pattering using a large piece of paper, laid it over the sweater, then cut and sewed. 5 quick stockings that had character and texture. A great addition to my mantel.