Saturday, January 31, 2009

Little fairy sitting in a tea cup

Last Sunday, I noticed something very cute. A tiny pink fairy and a sweet little tea cup!

So cute in the sunlight.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hello! Valentine's Day

This year, January has flown by unusually quickly. Usually, this one month(which also happens to be mine and probably everyone else's least favorite month) feels at least two or three months long.

I don't even feel like Christmas is over or like I've resettled down into normal life after being in Oregon for two and a half weeks. I'm finally coming to terms with the change of Holidays and I did manage to get all of my Halloween decorations put away on Tuesday, along with the one piece of Christmas decor that I put up in our apartment before leaving for our trip. I bought it at Daiso for $1.50, a little Snowman tinsel rope, very cute and tacky.

Since Valentine's Day is less than a month away, I pulled out my Valentine's Decorations and put these adorable lip soaps(an xmas gift from my mother) by my sink. They are made by a super cute soap company in Southern Oregon, Kisses and Kompany. They smell delicious.

So, this week I took the opportunity to say, "Goodbye" to Halloween and Christmas, and "Hello" to Valentine's day.

Day in Sacremento

On our way back to San Diego, we spent the night with Matthew's sister in Sacramento.

The capitol's Christmas tree

We had all of Monday to hang out there and, although it was raining the whole day, we had a good time putzing around the capitol city.

We took the public transportation into downtown and walked to Old Sacramento to see the Train museum.

I really like this museum and wish we'd had a little more time to spend there. But, we did get pictures with, what looked like, the largest Train Wheel in the museum.

Lynnea vs. Train Wheel Matthew vs. Train Wheel - Matthew Wins

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Photos from The New Year

Here are a few photos taken during the first week of January.

Freshly collected eggs

Home made pizza for New Year's eve.

Trends take a while to reach Southern Oregon. And when they do, they are usually way too late to even be considered part of the trend. These cupcakes come from a darling little Frenchish bakery. My mother knows the owner and couldn't stop raving about their buttercream frosting. Unfortunately, none of the Cupcakes they served the weekend after new years were buttercream frosted. But that didn't stop these from being some of the tastiest cupcakes I've purchased.

Such a cute logo on the cupcake box. Too bad the photo didn't turn out well.

Mead Making. We tried to make it a New years tradition a couple years ago(2007), but last year we never got around to making the 2008 batch of mead. This year, we went to the new homebrew store back home and found White Labs mead yeast and decided that we would pick up the tradition again. Expecially since the mead from two years ago is really starting to taste good. This year, we decided to add Heather tips, since we really enjoyed a Heathered mead that a Quaff member made. Also, we suspect that the Honey we purchased may have been a mix of various honeys and probably contained a good deal of Clover honey, which the experts say, doesn't make flavorful mead.


The little baggies for the heather tips, we made a heather tea.

Putting the honey in the pot.

Heating the mead

Lynnea, stirring the mead

The mead, before we added the yeast and nutrient.

Monday, January 12, 2009

More Christmas pictures

So, this holiday trip home felt like one of the best holidays we've had in a long time. We just had more opportunities to hang out with our families and do the sorts of things we all did when we were younger and remember so fondly.

For some reason, this ornament made me laugh more this year than it usually does.

Our familes enjoyed these British Christmas Crackers after dinner. They made this Christmas dinner the most fun in my recent memory.

The first Christmas decorations I've put up in years. And actually, I bought them but made Matthew put them up. The point is, I actually wanted to decorate for Christmas, which is highly unlike me.

Toby: The cutest Christmas elf!

A wintery bench.

The snow was a real treat and made Christmas feel one hundred percent like Christmas, for the first time in years.

Pictured above and below is one of the contestants of the Snowman competition which spontaneously erupted at our
Day after Christmas bonfire. Notice the orange glow of the bonfire on his face.

This lavender-in-snow pincushion really made me chuckle. It looks very silly.

And, apparently the Hawthorne tree fascinated me because I took far more photos of it than necessary. But the pictures came out so pretty. I couldn't resist.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year's cupcakes

For my mother's new year's eve gathering, I made a batch of cupcakes from my new cupcake book, a Christmas gift from my mother. The book contains beautiful photos of the wee cakes, with a nice combination of easy, medium and difficult recipes.

After perusing each recipe, I decided on making the Black Forest Cupcakes because I wanted to use up a jar of brandied cherries that I'd canned way back in June 2004(an unusually bountiful cherry year). The recipe calls for blending cherries with their juice and then adding it to the batter. I thought the extra brandy flavor would be good, despite the fact that I put a hefty amount of Kirschwasser in the batter as well.

The other reason I chose this recipe came from the fact that I didn't need to use frosting. I prefer not to make or eat frosting, which is why Matthew rarely likes my cakes. He insists that a light sprinkling of powdered sugar and some fresh flowers do not make for a satisfying cake topping, and he's right.
But I will say, my black forest cupcakes were delicious with just a few cherries, a little whipped cream and some chocolate curls to adorned these sweet little cakes. No frosting necessary!

We ended up with two left over the next day and I will say, they still tasted great, but didn't necessarily hold up as well as I'd hoped. They looked a bit wilted. Of course, my mother didn't refrigerate them, which may have helped keep them fresh longer, now that I think about it.