Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

And it's a Wrap

It's the last day of my holiday getaway, and plans and hopes of 2012 quietly start creeping into my head.

I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year!


{photo via inhonorofdesign}

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Saying Thanks

After the holidays, there is a strong, lovely feeling of gratitude.

Even in this media age, I still favor the handwritten word.

Here are some of my favorites~

Holiday Thank You Cards Warm Mittens

Holiday Thank You Postcard

Eco-Friendly Holiday Note Cards

Much love,

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Just a little reminder...

{photo via thecuriosityblog}

Ode to North Dakota I dare say North Dakota is trendy right now?

There are all these great articles on my home state here, here, and here.

{photo via ourfamilyfarm}

I think I dare.

I hope everyone is savoring these last few days of 2011.

Much Love,

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Spritz (Sprut in Norwegian), is a standard cookie I make every year. This year was no different (okay, there was one difference: it was the only cookie I made!)

I like this recipe the best.

3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 cups all-purpose flour sifted with 1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

I can't believe the holidays are almost over!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Successful Saturday

This Saturday was special. It was Christmas Eve.

I love coming home for Christmas Eve. I love getting together with family, the protectiveness of the snow and the over abundance of traditions packed into a few days.

This Christmas Eve felt a little different due to the lack of snow, however, it created new memories of wandering that hadn't been possible in the years prior.

I hope everyone enjoyed their own magical night!


Patiently waiting to unwrap presents from the ones I love.

A strange occurrence of a brown field instead of seeing it blanketed with snow.

The coulee behind the farm turned a unique shade of hazel in rebuttal of no snow.

Merry Christmas, dear tree.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Weekend

It's Christmas weekend!

I hope your weekend is full of celebration.

be wonderful

{photo via cupcakesandcashmere}

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guest Cottage

I love coming home. I love that I'm still able to sleep in the room I grew up in and explore the farm with adult wide eyes and childhood memories.

On our farm, we have a bunkhouse that has been used for sleep, play and storage over the years. I like to view it as a cozy little cottage.

Check out these cozy cottages used as guest houses. Beautiful!

East Hampton, N.Y. - The three-bedroom guest cottage is next to the gunite pool and a short walk to the tennis court.

Bainbridge Island, Wash. - The charming guest cottage rests in a garden-like setting and also enjoys the picture-perfect landscape.

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. - Located next to the pool and entertainment areas, the guest house is extremely private and boasts serene desert vistas.

Greenwich, Conn.- The luxurious guest cottage is cheerful and bright, and it showcases excellent craftsmanship in its decorative half-timber framing, low-pitched roof line and multi-paned windows.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lavender Hot Chocolate

Last holiday season, I was all about apple cider. This season, its hot chocolate.

This hot chocolate recipe is dream worthy with its lavender/chocolate aroma.

Much love,

Monday, December 19, 2011

Successful Saturday

This successful Saturday was full of seeing things in a different light.

Normally, I grab a cappuccino from Starbucks. This Saturday, I wanted to try something new:

myWayCup was just what I needed.

I've never see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree during the day. I almost liked it better. It was calming and the tourists weren't as overwhelming.

I love these cool facts. Who knew?

I finally had a chance to look at Janet Zweig's public art at the Prince St Subway station. This art celebrates the significance and individuality of the citizens of New York.

I love it.

I hope the very best happened this weekend.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

No Snow for Christmas

I received several messages from family and friends in North Dakota exlaiming "NO SNOW FOR CHRISTMAS?!" Are we really going to have a brown Christmas?

I've had a Charlie Brown Christmas before, but I can't remember the last time I had a brown one!

Of course, careful what you wish for.

(I'm crossing my fingers for a light dusting)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Just a little reminder...

The Travelers Tree

"...we scored a huge bottom branch that had been cut from one of the larger trees to fit into a stand. We took it home, turned it vertically and stuck it in a pot with water and a few rocks to keep it in place. We decorated it and the branch became our tree. It’s a little crooked and a tad patchy, but totally charming in that Charlie Brown Christmas tree sort of way."

Love it!

Yikes! Where has the time gone? I'm feeling a little behind in the holiday prep! Regardless, it doesn't matter what is under your tree, but who is around it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

This time of year, I always crave peppermint. Which is why, this new cookie recipe is making my baking list this year.

Happy Baking!

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
8 large candy canes or 30 peppermint candies, crushed
2 pounds white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Find full recipe here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Successful Saturday

This successful Saturday started off with a sudden reminder that SantaCon 2011 was in full effect.

I can't believe it's December and we still have a sky like this.

Therefore, ideal weather for Christmas tree shopping.

And Christmas tree lusting -The Metropolitan Opera House

Finally, the rooftop; warm enough to have drinks- The Empire Hotel

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Mine was full of gratitude for what I have and hope for what I wish to achieve.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rainbow (Seven-Layer) Cookies

I always try to bake a "new" cookie every holiday season. I finally found this years winner. I mean, how could it not? The layers and colors are perfect for the festive season.

Rainbow (Seven-Layer) Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies (or more, if you cut them as small as I did)

Time: These take at least 11 hours from beginning to end, most of it inactive, but make sure you have a good 2 to 3 hour window

4 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 (8-oz) can almond paste
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
25 drops red food coloring
25 drops green food coloring
1 (12-oz) jar apricot preserves, heated and strained
7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped

Find the full recipe here