autumn + normandy apple bread

Every morning the girls come out and say, "Mommy! The leaves are falling down!" 
{We will miss this neighborhood. So much.}
This week I made some long-awaited loaves of Jeffrey Hammelman's Normandy Apple Bread.
It was totally worth waiting for.

Thanks for all the Pin-Did enthusiasm! Can you say jazzed?? (jazzed.)
Happy day, friends!


pinterest challenge!

Been feeling like this lately?

Yeah me too.
Howzabout a little Pinterest challenge?
Short, sweet, simple: every week, DO something from your pinboards.
Or from someone else's pinboards.
Or just something that you've been meaning to try in general.

So what's got your fingers (or your tummy) itching?
Fabric-lined envelopes and Mod Podge pencils are at the top of my list.
Maybe a lace t-shirt?
or possibly some tinted glue?
Apple cheddar scones?
Peanut butter cocoa?!

Next Tuesday we'll do a little linky party so you can show off your stuff.
Sound good?
I hope so, because I will feel really silly if no one links up!

SO to get the ball rolling, here's my pin-did (hee) for the week...

Brown butter pumpkin spice krispie treats!!
And I am here to testify -- they really are that good.
{I mean, we gotta start this thing off on the right foot.}

Let's get out there and start pin-diddly-DOING!
YEAH! (punches fist in the air, rock star style.)

And we'll get away from so much of this...

...or then again, maybe not.

eta: Here's a button! I'm so excited I couldn't wait until next week.


home / inspired: grey + white

We're buying a house!
This is our first time + we're pretty excited. 
We found a cute little house in an amazing neighborhood.
It is 131 years old.
{I will get back to you on how that goes.}
We'll move sometime in November.

It needs some a lot of updates. Orange shag carpet? Check, baby.

Our first two goals are the floors and the walls.
The kitchen comes next.

I always thought that once I owned a home, I'd go hog wild with bright paint, but now that it comes to it, I'm irresistibly drawn to grey + white. It is so modern, so clean, so versatile. I am a little bit worried that the wrong shade could make the house feel depressing, but I think the right shade would feel relaxing and, well, ahhhh. Here are some of my favorite grey + white images of late...

Happy weekend, friends! It has been a crazy week here and I know we're looking forward to some down time together. See you soon!



It's been a while since I canned anything --
But the siren call of the local apples
(and the grapes, too)
was too much to resist.
That and I found a still of a dill on some brand-new jars on Craigslist.

Food storage is something I feel strongly about,
and for so many reasons --
celebrating the local harvest,
laying up in store for a day of need,
practicing self-sufficiency,
bringing the family together in the heart of the home,
preserving the skills of our mothers --

but most of all, to claim the blessing of peace:

“If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30).

What have you been preserving lately -- edible or otherwise?


night in / night out

Night in:
giant bowl of popcorn
{after a 20 minute workout, thankyouverymuch}
my fave nasty old orange armchair
The Way We Live Now on Netflix
oh yeah.

Night out:
foxy man in his dress blues
excuse to wear deliciously ridiculous earrings
the dress I found on ebay(!)
all our army friends, all gussied up

What have your nights in / nights out been looking like?


sunday dinner: zuppa toscana + olive levain

While at a church work party last weekend, my friend Tammy served up this amazing soup.
Oh. mah. goodness.

Sausage. Potatoes. Kale. And some cream (mmm).
I could eat it every day for a week.
We had it for dinner tonight with the remnants of some olive levain loaves from earlier in the week.

My sweet man is not a picky eater. But he truly hates, despises, and loathes olives.
So when I asked him last week--
"Love, how disappointed would you be if I made olive bread this time?"
and he said--
"Pretty disappointed."
and then--
"But I know you really really want some. You should make it. Really."
I half-heartedly protested for all of maybe 5 seconds before giving in.
Oh it was so good.

(I think this was one of our last outdoor/barefoot meals for the year. What a beautiful day it was.)

ps! In case you missed it -- I got to guest post for Candace over at Sparkle Power this week while she's busy with her sweet new baby boy. Hop on over for my roundup of freezer meal recipes!


first day + some giveaways

This kid kills me. 

 First day of preschool. 
She was so jazzed + took off like a shot. 
Miss Maren was not quite so jazzed. 
We had a nice morning, just the 2 of us, and whew! did I get a lot done.

Major giveaway alerts:
Oodles of giveaways at Take Heart, including a Modern Marigold bunting kit, 
all to benefit the Burkleo's adoption fund (love that girl!). Everyone gets a free entry.
Also go check out Give 1 Save 1, a beautiful project designed to make something 
big out of all our little contributions (love stuff like this!). 
Enter a gorgeous pillowcase giveaway from Rosehip right here.

Happy Tuesday, friends! See you soon.


tutorial: the wonky triangle improv block

Wonky is my fave, ok my only, style of quilting. 
I really, really suck at sewing perfect seams and matchy corners.
So, wonky quilting is sorta my quilting salvation.
No pins -- no pressure -- no perfect.
Love it.

This block was inspired by this delicious snippet (thanks, Jeni!). It's so sassy and I can't get it offa my mind.
Let's haul out some scraps! 

I'm going to make a doll quilt... 3 strips... 3 colorways. 
For this tutorial: oranges and yellows.

We'll be making a 6.5 x 18 in (16.5 x 45.5 cm) block.
It's super easy to make any width/length block you like; just make sure your scraps are 2-3 inches wider than the finished width of the strips.
(The strip I made for the do. Good Stitches bee was 48 inches long!)
Since I'm making a 6.5 in block, I'll be using scraps that are mostly 8.5 in and longer, in a variety of widths, mostly between 5-9 in.

1. Start with 2 scraps.
2. Place them right sides together at an appropriately rakish angle and stitch.
3. Press and trim the block to about 7 in. We'll trim the block to 6.5 in when it's all finished, but for now, we want to give ourselves a bit of wiggle room while still ensuring that we're sewing on each new piece in a linear fashion, yaknowwhaddimean?
4. Pick your next scrap and sew it to the block, right sides facing, at a slightly different angle. Easy!

5. Press. Here's the block so far.
6. Some of the scraps can cover more than one piece of the block at more extreme angles. Make it interesting!
7. Be sure you trim up from time to time before pressing.
8. Press and trim to 7 in.

9. Add interest by using some smaller scraps. Sew that sucka on...
10. Press it open...
11. And add another small scrap.
12. See? You're getting the hang of it.

13. Another method is to pre-piece a few smaller scraps together.
14. It's a bit more manageable, especially when you're nearing the end of the block.
15. I like to add the small pieces to both ends of the block.

Ta-da! All done.
Time for a nap.

Thanks for joining me -- I love this block and it is so deliciously easy and mind-clearing. 
Hope you have some fun with this!


wonky triangle improv strip

I think maybe this is a record? 
The 7th day of the month, and my quilting bee block is finished?
{hot dang!}

This one's for do. good stitches {love}. Natalie is having everyone make a 48 x 6.5 strip in whatever design {those are my faves!}. Even better, I got to use some of my very fave fabrics & designers. I have a phobia of triangles that I am trying to get over, and I really really loved piecing this wonky improv triangle strip. If anyone is interested in a tutorial, let me know & I will put one together. 


Two things save my bacon when there's a new baby around here:


freezer meals (ok, a little Ben & Jerry's never hurts)
paper plates.

Yep, I said it. I am shamelessly fair-weather conservationist, at least when it comes to the noxious combination of dirty dishes + new baby + no dishwasher. Ahem.

And what better to put on those beautiful paper plates than a hot, tasty, home-cooked freezer meal? Hmmm? 

I am a huge fan of make-ahead cooking, though I don't do it as often as I'd like. There really is nothing better than remembering on a crazy/busy/lazy day that dinner is already in the freezer. I think our collective autumnal chipmunk genes must be kicking in, 'cause it seems like Pinterest has been swimming in make-ahead links lately. Here is a little roundup of some of my faves. Happy freezer cooking!

Freezable Breakfasts via iVillage
Freezer Meals for Us via Freezer Meals for Us
Freezer-Friendly Meals via What's Cookin, Chicago?
Stocking the Freezer via Annie's Eats
Freezer Meals on the Cheap via A Turtle's Life for Me
Freezer Cooking via Mama and Baby Love
Freezer Meals via Fabulessly Frugal
Best Make-Ahead Meals via Parents Connect
Freezer Meals via It's All Happening
Easy Freezer Meals via Southern Living

(This is how I know I'm getting old: thoughts of owning a chest freezer make my heart beat faster.)

Anybody have some fab make-ahead links or recipes we need to know about?

Thanks for having me over, Candace! I think I speak for everyone when I say we seriously can't wait to meet your sweet little guy!!

loving words

Happy Tuesday, peeps. It is cold and rainy, so we are off to the indoor swimming pool!