Happy Thanksgiving!

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J
ust want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are having a wonderful day with your family and friends.

I'm very thankful for all of my friends!

Blogger of the Week : Liz

L
iz of Mabel's House is the blogger of the week. As I mentioned yesterday she's in my short list of favorite bloggers, and I loved learning more about her.

Read all about her and then go visit her blogs and say hi!


What did you have for breakfast?

Biscuits with raspberry jam.



What is your favorite childhood book?

It would have to be a tie between Little Women and Ramona the Pest. I loved the sisters in Little Women. But realistically, my sisters and I had much more in common with Beezus and Ramona.

What is your favorite work of art?

My favorite work of art is a dual painting by my mother… Galveston. She gave it to me when we closed on our house. The children riding their bicycles in the front are my sisters and me, so it’s not only a beautiful set of paintings, but also hugely sentimental.



What is your all time favorite quote?

"If you cant make it better, you can laugh at it." Erma Bombeck

What's your favorite super secret website?

Ooh. This is hard one. I don’t think it’s super secret, this girl’s got a following, but I recently discovered Camille’s website Simplify and just love it. She’s so cute, and can quilt like nobody’s business. I just look at her pictures and sigh, all the while knowing I would sew my fingers together if I tried one of her patterns.

What is your favorite and least favorite chore?

Favorite chore: walking Mabel and watching her try to bite joggers that get too close to me. I passively enjoy her protectiveness in a manner that would make dog trainers go gray-headed within a few moments.
Least favorite chore: Cleaning the toilet, cleaning the base of the floor around the toilet to be specific. Loathe this entirely.

What makes your house uniquely your home?

Lamps and candles. Any house or apartment that has lamps (don’t get me started on overhead lights) and smells good is automatically homey. A person can have the finest mansion filled with expensive furniture, but it’s all for naught if their guests walk through the front door, squint from glaring overhead lights and smell last night’s tuna fish dinner wafting from the trashcan. Lamps and candles… they really make a home.

Will you share a favorite recipe?

Right now I’m addicted to the tarte recipe from Francis Mayes. I’ve made it weekend after weekend until Matt has begged for fruit relief. I think he’s afraid we’re all going to turn into peaches.

What first sparked your interest in cooking?

My mom. She used to make Halloween cookies in the shapes of Frankenstine heads and pumpkins with orange icing. From then on, I kept an eye on what she did in the kitchen. Although, I’m married to a man who cooks most the meals, a true chef, so I’m not quite ready for the food network yet.

What homemade project are you most proud of?

As a writer, I’m pretty proud of the book I finished, The Secret of Cold Springs. It can be downloaded for free from a link on my blog (excuse the shameless self promotion). In frilly-house-related projects, I made an apron out of a sundress that was pretty exciting.




What got you interested in blogging?

I began to feel like life was a blur, that weeks and months and years were starting to run together. Blogging makes me accountable, it makes me assess what I’m doing, where I’m going from week to week.

What are your 3 best/favorite posts on your blog?

http://mabelshouse.blogspot.com/2008/11/reproduction-circus.html
http://mabelshouse.blogspot.com/2008/10/boo-not-everybody-likes-it.html
http://mabelshouse.blogspot.com/2008/11/someone-better-give-me-back-my-polka.html

Now that you've read all about her, go visit her and say hi!

Vacation and Updates

H
ello dear friends, are you all still with me! I'm leaving tomorrow for Thanksgiving in Florida with my family. A full week of relaxing, I won't know what to do with myself.

We've done all of the Disney resorts over the past 6 years, so it's on to Sea World this year.

I can't wait to spend time with my family, I do miss them terribly. I wonder if they'll let me interview each of them for my blog? Hmmmmm...

I can't wait for tea parties and twirling with my niece, and trucks and tumbling with my nephew. I'm bringing the Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure to share with them, I was always particularly fond of The Camel with the Wrinkled Knees. "Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers" is taken from a song in the movie, it was always a favorite of mine growing up. It's time to share it with the next generation.



I'll still have a Featured Blog this week. She's in my top 5 favorites so be sure to check in. Oh, the intrigue.

Confession: I've done all my Christmas decorating except the tree for a holiday party shortly after I get back. So I have lots of bits to share in December.

I'm still in the middle of the busiest time of year for me at work, so please bear with my lack of posting. Only about 45 more days and I'll be back to daily tidbits of pretty things and life in general. Until then 2-3 times a week is my limit.

Oh and I do have a Cocktail Party post in the works from a party we had a couple of weekends ago, I swear I'll get it posted soon for you. In the meantime, I did add a few recipes to Kitchen Comforts.

The first, my Cheese Ball, it is homemade deliciousness. It's easily made ahead and chilled until needed.

Second, a yummy Caramelized Onion Dip, it's the perfect alternative to your standard onion soup mix and sour cream.

Monday Musings is on hiatus this week, I will have limited internet time. We will resume next week. :)

Monday Musings {30} - Kennedy

Monday Musings Image with Lady

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
-John F. Kennedy

Blogger of the Week : Jude

J
ude of Randomly Run4istRun and Do Not Leave Unattended! is the blogger of the week.

Read all about her and then go visit her blogs and say hi!



What did you have for breakfast this morning?
The last piece of the Wholly Wholesome Cinnamon Crumble Cake a friend gave me for my birthday last week. I’m not really much of a breakfast, or a cake, person, but this stuff is so good and I’ve been subsisting on it for days!



What is your favorite childhood book?
So many! I loved to be read Aesop’s Fables and the tale of The Tortoise and the Hare still sticks with me today. Slow and steady wins the race!

[Milo Winter]

What is your favorite work of art?
I honestly don’t know that I can pick a favorite. From the works of the Masters to contemporary and current artists of all mediums, to all the work I love and which resides on the walls in my home, singling out one in particular would be too hard! If I had to choose a piece with which I’m currently enamored, it would be this image, entitled ‘Forest,’ by Atlanta photographer Dorothy O’Connor. Without going into great detail, what I take from this piece is a feeling I’ve been experiencing for a while now, which is one of the reasons I love it so much.


What is your all time favorite quote?
That which does not kill you makes you stronger. -- Neitzsche

What's your favorite super secret website?
I can spend hours reading all the good stuff on the Coudal Partners site.

What is your favorite and least favorite chore?
I love to vacuum, and the instant gratification (if only all the problems of the world could be sucked up so easily) helps to calm me down during stressful times. My least favorite is cleaning toilets, especially when I’ve had a house full of people!

What makes your house uniquely your home?
Probably that I’ve filled it with things I love and have meaning to me, including pieces from my Mother’s house: a crystal chandelier, lamps, a framed piece of edelweiss, a paper weight and a pair of opera glasses, to name a few.
{Added by Barbara: She has exquisite decor, you should check out her blog for the pics of her home, just GORGEOUS! I have her living room saved as a favorite of mine.}

Will you share a favorite recipe?
A side dish I love to make that’s always a hit is Sweet Potato Flan. They are nothing like traditional dessert flan, and as the recipe calls for hot sauce (I always use Crystal Hot Sauce) they have the perfect little kick. I put them into fluted ramekins so when they’re plated they add a touch of elegance to the plate. Making a batch does involve a little work, and they are highly caloric, but they’re unbelievably good and definitely worth the effort.

What first sparked your interest in cooking?
I do enjoy cooking and think I can pull off a tasty menu when the occasion calls for it, but don’t do it nearly enough. My stove and cook top are neglected most of the time, so I can’t really put cooking at or even near the top of my list of interests.


What homemade project are you most proud of?
Hmmm. I’m woefully inadequate on the homemade project front and can’t think of anything worthy of mention. Does my yard count? I have had some professional help with clearing out the ivy that used to cover almost every inch of the yard, but all the beds are a labor of love I continue to cultivate as time and money permits.



What are your 3 best/favorite posts on your blog?
I’ve been blogging for just over a year now and think the posts that resonate most with me are those in which I’ve shared something personal, which I think this is probably true for most bloggers. Three which come to mind:

http://run4istrun.blogspot.com/2008/09/september.html
http://run4istrun.blogspot.com/2008/07/happy-birthday-dad-belated.html
http://run4istrun.blogspot.com/2008/02/ode-to-aunt-charlsie.html

Now that you've read all about her, go visit her and say hi!

All Handmade... Mankind Mag : Issue Five

A
s most of you know, my favorite design blog is Design For Mankind and Erin is the featured blogger this week.

Her fifth issue of Mankind Mag came out last week and it's focus... handmade. As often as possible I buy handmade goodies for friends and family as gifts, the items are so much more personal than stuff from a big box store. Plus, you can then support artisans whose work you adore rather than a faceless corporation. So, I just loved perusing this issue. Oh, and she interviewed Claudia Helming, the founder of DaWanda. I just love DaWanda, I could lost in it for hours!

I love the cover of this months mag so much, that I didn't try to pull together snippets from throughout the mag like I usually do, but then I've always been a fan of paper dolls.


Go check it out! I'm so demanding, aren't I?

Monday Musings {29} - Anon



"Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses."
-Anon

Blogger of the Week : Erin

Erin of Design for Mankind is the blogger of the week.

Read all about her and then go visit her blog and say hi!



What did you have for breakfast this morning?
OK, I'm going to be totally honest here. Lately I haven't been waking up as early as I'd like. I don't know if I'm seasonally depressed or just still in transition from the recent move (CA to IN), but I sleep until at LEAST 11am each morning. I can't believe I'm admitting this over the Internet! Eek! So, my "breakfast" is actually lunch and usually consists of a can of Spaghettio's or leftovers from the night before. My extended family eats out a lot, so there are always quite a few sniglets in the fridge!

I know, I am VERY malnourished.



What is your favorite childhood book?
Hands down, The Little Prince. My grandfather used to read a book of short stories, including this one that he had saved from his younger days. Any time my cousin and I would stay for a sleepover, we'd get to hear him read them in his special voices and dream of sweet galaxies far away!



What is your favorite work of art?
Oh goodness. This is a rough one for me. I love works of art that are ever-evolving and transitioning into something that sort of transcends what it was originally designed to be. The 'You Are Beautiful' project is like that for me. A beautiful work of art that is both meaningful and brilliantly executed. I'd say it's a pretty key favorite of mine.

site: http://www.you-are-beautiful.com



What is your all time favorite quote?
"No great man ever complains of want of opportunities."
Ralph Waldo Emerson



What's your favorite super secret website?
I don't think it's a secret necessarily, but one of my favorite sites to check in with is Jennifer Daniel's:

site: http://www.jenniferdaniel.com

What is your favorite and least favorite chore?
Oh gosh. Any and all. I am the laziest gal on the planet. If I had to choose my favorite, it'd be organizing my bathroom shelves [I LOVE to organize!]. Least favorite? Everything else.



What makes your house uniquely your home?
I have a lot of personal touches throughout my home--- a proposal post-it, an old fountain pen, a rotary telephone... things that have been given to me by people I love. I also adore mixing styles and patterns that are unusual and surprising. My theory on curation and decor is that if I love it, it matches!



Will you share a favorite recipe?
Uh-oh. I'm not a recipe kind of gal. Take-out?



What first sparked your interest in cooking?
I have zero interest of cooking, so I'll talk about writing instead. ;) The first day I became interested in writing [other than journaling] was a rainy day (of course!) and I wrote an entire manuscript in one day. I couldn't put the pen down. I was 14.

What homemade project are you most proud of?
Last year I vowed to have a 100% complete handmade Christmas, and a friend and I got together to design postcard sets for a list of 100 friends/family. They turned out beautifully using old encyclopedia pages [there's got to be a copyright law that we've broken somewhere along there] and modern typography. We were so proud!

What are your 3 best/favorite posts on your blog?
I love any post from my "Reader's Speak" column, which I don't do quite as often anymore for a lot of reasons. But, I'd say these are my favorites:
http://www.designformankind.com/2008/04/readers-speak-price-tag-for-inspiration/
http://www.designformankind.com/2008/05/readers-speak-tuning-out/
http://www.designformankind.com/2008/05/readers-speak-unknown-beauty/

Now that you've read all about her, go visit her and say hi! I absolutely love her blog and it's a constant source of inspiration!

Thanksgiving Planning for 2008

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and even though I won't be hosting this year, I will be in Florida helping my mother with the preparations there. Last year I posted a Thanksgiving Planning Guide on Kitchen Comforts, and I've updated it again for this year. I hope you find it useful.


I have a lot of Thanksgiving Planning Posts on Kitchen Comforts along with my yearly Thanksgiving menu.

I will be onsite in Florida on November 22nd and will share photos and blog minimally about our preparations from there, after all I will be spending most of my time with my family.

Monday Musings {28}



"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there."
- Irish Proverb

Blogger of the Week : Fifi

Fifi of Fifi Flowers Design Decor is the blogger of the week.

Read all about her and then go visit her blog and say hi! She also has an Etsy shop, go take a peek.



What did you have for breakfast this morning?
I know breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day... but I just don't like to eat in the morning most of the time... and I do not like breakfast food... my favorite thing to eat in the morning... if I do eat... is cold pizza! No cold pizza in the house this morning... so my breakfast is simply cafe creme...



What is your favorite childhood book?
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion. I love all the mischief Harry gets into as he roams arount the town to avoid a bath. I love how he turns from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots. I still have the book too! It sits in MY studio book shelf tucked in with all my art books...



What is your favorite work of art?
That is a hard question for me. I always wanted to be a curator in an art museum. I started out as an Art History major and switch to a hands-on Bachelor of Art degree... receiving a minor in Art History. Sooooo... I love many works of art! But I must say that Henri Matisse is my favorite artist. I have painted MANY reproductions of his work and many are hanging
throughout my home. This one is the one I see the most because it hangs above my work space and I love it...

Matisse "Tea" 1919


What is your all time favorite quote?
The Golden Rule... "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." It quite interesting how many different versions there are... you can read more about them here.

What's your favorite super secret website?
If I tell you my favorite SUPER SECRET website... it will NO longer be a SECRET! Sorry...Can't Tell... it shall remain a SECRET!

What is your favorite and least favorite chore?
Favorite chore... is that possible... hmmmm... maybe reorganizing closets... I've been doing it for years... I think I drove my mother crazy... pulling everything out and putting everything back in in order. Least favorite chore... that is hard to say... I'm a princess, I don't like any chores... hmmm... ok, well... I guess laundry... HATE to fold clothes and iron... YUCK! Hubby will agree with this answer.



What makes your house uniquely your home?
My house is VERY unique to moi! I re-designed it myself! It was a small 2 bedroom/1bathroom 1930s house (now 4 bedrooms/3bathrooms). I love old homes and I wanted it to feel like it was originally when I set about designing the additions and with the help of an architect's to-scale-drawings, I got exactly what I envisioned!

Will you share a favorite recipe?
Recipe... are you kidding? Wow... can I give you my favorite restaurant take-out menu instead? Hmmm... I have to tell you... when I cook, I do not follow a recipe... it's always a dash of this, a sprinkle of that... soooo... I guess I should give you a link to a few of my favorite foodies... I love to visit and drool over their photos...






What homemade project are you most proud of?
Well... I do paint a little... he he he... so I would have say I'm proud of my paintings, and how they make people feel HAPPY! This is painting is what I call "My Dream Studio"... many of the paintings I have created can be seen in my Fifi Flowers Painting du Jour Gallery



What got you interested in Art?
I come from a family of creative people. My Swedish grandfather was an interior decorator and made contemporary furniture and sold it in his shop. His daughter, my mother, can draw anything and she used to do beautiful watercolour paintings... sadly she does not create art often... and SHE SHOULD! Her brother is also AMAZING... he designs and builds race cars and at one time he drove them.

What are your 3 best/favorite posts on your blog?
Ooh la la still in paris... Because it is about a unforgetable trip to Paris (Luzern, Firenze and Milano were other stops on our trip) I took with my mother

Looking back on sunday... Because it shows a wonderful day I spent with my hubby and two darling boys!

Sunday in garden ... Because it shows how fellow bloggers inspire me everyday with their postings... the blog world is FABULOUS... and the painting in this post was later made into a BLOG LOVE button and I see it all over on many sites and to me this is a table that I invite my fellow bloggers to sit at and enjoy life along the Seine!



Now that you've read all about her, go visit her and say hi!