Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dan Mills - Socks

I am lovin', lovin', lovin' this song! I heard it on satellite radio during my drive into work, and it made me smile. It reminds me of a time when my baby girl was merely five months old. She would always sleep with us at night. We (my husband, baby and myself) would spend cold winter nights bundled up and huddled in bed. One morning while making the bed, I was fastidiously trying to smooth out these incorrigible lumps under the sheets. See, I'm a bit of a bed-making Nazi --- tight corners, smooth sheets, even draping on both sides, please! After some rooting around, I dig out one of my husband's socks. Sigh, I thought. He's always leaving his socks all over the place. Then I notice another lumpy bundle closer to the foot of the bed. Darn him, I thought! It's undoubtedly the mate to his rogue sock. I pull it out and ashamedly discover that it was one of mine. Oops! Sheepishly, I continue making the bed. Again I notice a small little lump at the very bottom of the sheet. I reach in and pull out the teeniest, tiniest, multi-colored striped sock. I immediately smile. A little family of rogue socks. My heart melts...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

the graceful and loyal crane

I've always loved origami -- the traditional Japanese folk art of paper folding. I love the beautifully printed, sometimes gilded, always colorful sheets of paper. I love the concentration it takes to precisely fold a single paper square, manipulating it just so. And I'm always delighted when all that folding results in nothing short of miniature sculpture. My favorite of all origami shapes is the majestic crane.

According to Japanese culture, the crane symbolizes honor and loyalty. It is a beautiful, graceful and strong bird that is extremely loyal to its partner. And actually, it's one of few animals that mate for life. As such, the crane has become a popular symbol for weddings and anniversaries.

I've been thinking of using an origami crane theme for my parents' anniversary dinner. They've been married for 35 years. Amazing, right? With four boisterous kids, I'm sure those years haven't always been easy. Definitely an inspiration...

Love these paper crane cupcakes. On a side note, I was thinking these would make a great children's birthday party idea. A variety of origami animals atop cupcakes would be adorable. You could also set up an origami craft table complete with paints, glue, beads and rhinestones for kids to have fun with.

Colorful cranes serve as a backdrop for a wedding banquet.

A curtain of cranes surround a wedding couple.

Paper crane cake toppers, place cards, invitations, decor and even a fabric crane boutonierre.
The possibilities are endless!

(Images via,,

Saturday, November 6, 2010

glorious apple pie

Look at these gorgeous apples. We picked them fresh off the trees at an organic orchard just an hour and a half from where we live. It was really a ton of fun. What's more, we were able to get varieties of apples not normally found in stores. You can read about our little apple pickin' excursion HERE.

We took home these Glen Seedling, Stayman Winesap and Virginia Winesap apples with the intention of baking a homemade apple pie. I found a basic recipe online and customized it to my liking. It's hard to say how many apples you really need as it really depends on the variety of apple you use. Just make sure you get enough to overfill a pie plate. I used a mix of 10 Winesaps (smaller tart and sweet apples) and 4 Glen Seedlings (large tart apples). You can also use Granny Smiths; but I like to mix the sweet and tart to get just the perfect balance.

  • Apples (enough to overfill a pie plate) peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 pastry sheets (I used Pillsbury ready made pastry sheets)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water (remove 1 Tablespoon of water from the 1/4 cup to compensate for vanilla)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 egg white beaten

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel, core and slice apples. Don't slice them too think as it will take longer to cook. Submerge in a bowl of very cold water to keep them from turning brown while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to thicken. Add water, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and keep on a very low simmer. Careful not to burn it.
  • Working quickly, remove apples from water and place on paper or cloth towel to dry.
  • Place bottom crust into pie plate. Make sure you press crust into the plate so that there is no air between the crust and the plate. Brush the crust with the beaten egg white.
  • Remove sauce from heat. Pour 3/4 of sauce over your sliced apples (make sure the apples are not overly wet) and toss together. Save the rest of the sauce for later.
  • Pour apples onto crust, filling pie plate generously and mounding it just a bit.
  • Cover with a lattice work of crust and seal edges of pie. I used the tines of a fork to pinch them shut. Gently pour the rest of the sauce over the crust, spreading it out evenly. Brush with egg whites and sprinkle a bit of sugar on top. This will give the crust a nice, sparkly sheen.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until apples are soft and pie is a nice golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for one hour. This will give the caramel sauce time to thicken. Enjoy!

Sauce covered apples overfill a pie plate.

A lattice top crust covered in sauce. Best to spread the sauce evenly to give an even golden color. You can use a pastry brush to hep you with this.

Golden baked, yummy, sweet and tarty apple pie. It really came out quite well, if I do say so myself. It's got a nice caramel cinnamony flavor without it being too sweet. And the mix of apples were a good balance. Just perfect for chilly autumn evenings!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

diggin' wide leg jeans

I'm on a total wide leg denim phase at the moment. I find them so much more fun and versatile than skinny jeans. You can dress them up or down. They can look tailored or slouchy. High waisted dark denim wide legs are my fave. They make your waist look teeny tiny. Throw in a pair of chunky wedges and your legs look like they go on for miles. Not an easy feat for petite peeps like me. In my opinion, they're really the perfect base for a super stylish outfit.

Here are some of my favorite photos featuring these oh so chic jeans. Enjoy and Happy Friday, everyone!

(Images via Glamour UK, Vogue, and

Monday, November 1, 2010

One simple question

I find this video rather inspiring. I love how one simple question can offer a glimpse into somebody's heart. What about you? Where would you wish to wake up tomorrow?...