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Showing posts from August, 2015

End of Summer 2015 Review

The end of August seems like a good time to sit back and review what I've shared and covered here on the blog during the past six months.  I don't do my monthly overviews anymore the way I used to, because it takes quite a bit of time, but I thought that an end-of-summer review would be just the thing before the start of September. Think of this as a small reminder of undertakings you may want to get to in the coming months or in 2016.  Make a note of that cookie project you feel like getting to or of the area in your kitchen that needs reorganizing.  Perhaps you want to start collecting some beautiful jadeite or some Martha by Mail cookie cutters like I do.  Whatever it is that you happen to like or want, go through these favorite posts of mine and get an idea or two, then make them your own. Rather than taking this month by month, in chronological order, I decided to break it up by category and begin with some decorated cookies.  This review is rather long, so read it

Lavender Sugar

If you grow lavender in your herb garden, chances are that you have a good amount of it at the moment since it's been so hot.  There is something soothing, yet bracing about the scent of lavender, whether it is used in soaps, countertop sprays, lotions and other products for the home, but have you ever had it in the form of sugar?  The wonderful thing about lavender sugar is that it is very simple to make. Having a jar or container of lavender sugar is one of those little luxuries that you should indulge in every now and then.  To be able to sweeten your tea with a spoonful of it or to use it in a traditional pound cake, a batch of vanilla bean madeleines, or perhaps some tender shortbread cookies, is simply magnificent.   A little bit of this beautiful herb goes a very long way when making lavender sugar.  I find that the enhanced sugar pairs very well with any tea which contains hibiscus, such as the one I'm having here in my vintage Wedgwood Queen's Ware

The Dog Days of Summer in Pennsylvania

We're not the only ones experiencing the unpleasant heat and humidity of the dog days of summer right now, but it's to be expected throughout the month of August for much of the country.  I try my best to plan whatever outings I need to do early in the morning so that I'm not out when the sun is at its brightest and hottest.  Yes, I still take my walks around town and throughout our trails for that much needed exercise, but it gets done before noon.   Just yesterday, I decided to take one of my walks with a camera in hand in order to take stock of what our place looks like right now.  It's good for me to document the landscape from season to season, year to year.  Whenever I get a chance to look through my photo library, I have to pause at some of those pictures that capture an idyllic moment here at home. The area in front of the barn is where I stop to see what's going on around our home.  If the driveway is swept and free of twigs, branches, leaves, b