favorite things

Loving Lately 👜💄💍

I’m not one of those “a few steps ahead” people. I’m more like “a couple years behind.” It’s okay. I’m preoccupied with a happy life. But everyone once in a while, when I catch a late whim of something, I’ll think “I should check that out.” What’s better is when I love it- then I want to shout it out, like this is awesome! (…Pinterest, …kombucha, …things I don’t know about.) And everyone’s like “yeah, we know.” And I’m all like, “your long-time knowing will not curb my enthusiasm!” Such is the case with #fabfitfun. And I just want to encourage you that it is never too late to try something fun and new (to you 😉 ).

A couple weeks ago, I signed up to receive fabfitfun boxes. I’ve been trying to watch what I eat (gasp) and I wanted to reward myself- and not with food. Also, admittedly, being a stay-at-home mom for me at times, I feel like a drab disconnected hermit… and I thought this might be a fun and exciting way to keep in touch with what’s trending and current. (I’m already in constant pursuit of appreciating what’s old.) Anyway, I got my first box… and it feels like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one. It’s possible that I squealed.

The first thing I noticed was the Mod Cloth. It was love at first sight. It’s a blanket scarf… probably my new favorite thing. The first item I took out of the box was the 18K gold plated necklace by Jook and Nona that says “Dream,” that’s what I’m best at! I put in on right away. The first little box I read was skin hydrating booster from #dermalogica. How did they know I have dry skin? (I may have mentioned I have combination skin when filling out their form… but I didn’t say ridiculously dry and need this immensely!) I gave my face a quick wipe and applied. I’m glowing. Best day ever! Next I took out the primed lip gloss stain by Manna. It’s a shade called “lucky”. I’m feeling it. Then I took out the Zoya nail polish box. That’s a brand I’m familiar with. I love that their product has no formaldehyde or several other toxic chemicals. Yay! I also received Marrakesh Oil, an Argan and hemp oil therapy hair styling elixir; Colored pencils and coloring book (I am not too old to color.); Mineral Face Peel by O.R.G., a gentle exfoliant face spray; and a “good morning gorgeous” travel mug. I’ll just say it, I saw that travel mug online and was hoping I would get one. I’m so excited!

The program is seasonal, they send four (winter, spring, summer and fall) boxes a year, full of surprise products that they select for you based on your preferences. The cost is $49.99 per box, but the value is approx $200+ worth of full size goods. They are always running specials such as $10 off of your first box and you can cancel your subscription at any time. Also you can opt to pay for 1 full year up front for only $179.99, an instant $20 in savings.) And if you like the products, they offer discounted “add-ons” to members available for purchase. For more information visit FabFitFun.com!

Loving Lately

So Spring is not exactly “in the air.” In fact, currently the temperature is below freezing. But it’s that time in the upper midwest when we are ready longing for Spring. And because Michigan has drastically fluctuating weather, I am aware that beyond this nearly 60° forecasted weekend, there is probably still a snowfall on the horizon. Actually being the true Michigander that I am, I’m okay with it all. But I am still loving the idea of Spring… the gradual bursts of opened windows… the flower buds… the recipes…

I am really excited about making the spring line-up from Farmhouse Rules by Nancy Fuller: Spring Fling Fiddlehead Soup, Tavern Ham, Roasted Asparagus, Buttery Braised Radishes… Fiddleheads and radishes! How spring am I! I am looking forward to the fresh garden offerings, and more time outdoors. It’s menus like this, little peeks of sunshine, and days with longer stretches of light that fuel my fire this time of year.

It’s a time of transition. And it’s not very beautiful. The trees are still bare, the snow has left behind brown patches of mud… But it’s hopeful. It has the promise that good things are on their way. (Photo courtesy of Betterphoto.com) I’m eager for the good things that lie ahead. I think we all get that way after a long cold winter. It’s the homestretch, our rite of passage. I can almost taste it… and I want to taste it!

Here’s a random goal: I want to eat nettles. (Photo of baby nettles courtesy of forageporage.) Apparently, they only grow in the Spring. Eiven and Eve Kilcher, from Alaska: The Last Frontier, make them sound like the most necessary and nutritious things I’ve never tried. In their cookbook, Homestead Kitchen, they include them in several recipes from tea, to Nettle Bread, and even Nettle Burgers! …Now, how do I get nettles?

The first day of Spring this year is March 2o. Yes, (small cry) still over a month away. We are smack dab in the middle of “The Thaw” phase (photo courtesy of Flickr). But thinking about Spring helps me get through the cold and gray. And enduring these last cold murky days makes the appreciation of what’s in store all the better.

Thank you refreshrestyle.com for my featured image and inspirational spring quote!

(And even more so, thank you to my readers who put up with my ramblings! Xoxo)

Loving Lately ☀️

I read somewhere recently that Michigan had a record setting number of days in a row without sunshine. I’m not against a moody day to cozy up every now and then… and then it’s like -whoa, one day too many. And you realize that it’s not just the weather that’s stinkin’ gloomy. (Maybe you’ve read too many of those political Facebook posts?) Anyway, it sure makes one appreciate when the sun comes out.

Isn’t that laughter? How about sunshine AND laughter? Yes please! Image from http://buzzsharer.com

Today is one of those days, even a little blue sky to boot… so I’m going to keep this short and soak up some rays, albeit through the heated side of my window pane.

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Shine on! 🌞

Featured image courtesy of (and available for purchase from) Lily & Val.

Loving Lately 🛏

This week I am seriously loving my new B&B. It’s perfect; charming, cozy and inviting. The warm seasonal fruit muffins are fresh from the oven and ready to serve. Owen is stoking the fire in the idyllically welcoming front lobby… It’s all in my head of course; my new dream.

It’s a natural transition really. If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that I’ve long yearned for a café and small farm. Except, I don’t think I do anymore; one of those “unanswered prayers” type of things. In reality, I’m much more of a homebody. A café is a real commitment! Maybe, just maybe, something like this coffee station from In Your Back Pocket is more my pace?

I’ve really got this desire that won’t go away… So I’ve been scouring the internet for articles on starting a Bed and Breakfast, a dog with a bone I am. And I came along a great piece from entrepreneur.com (also responsible for my lovely featured image) that includes some great start up ideas. Oh, and I am deep into fantasy land. Look at how cute these welcoming baskets are from embellishedweddings.com!

Some people pay so much attention to the details! These signs from The House of Smiths Designs are over-the-top.

I know you’re thinking, “Sadie, you hate to do laundry!” That’s true. But in my defense, towels and sheets are the first things I tackle on laundry day. (They’re the easiest to put away!) And I’m in dream mode right now… So let’s just focus on fun things like all of the sunshine pouring into this dining room found at bedandbreakfast.com.

And these ridiculously cute Mini Dutch Babies with Lemon Curd and Blueberries from Nerds with Knives.

Can you imagine how great it would be to serve those at my B&B? I would be beaming! …And I could stock a little community refrigerator for my guests to help themselves… it might look something like this from Live Simply by Annie:

Honestly, I think my chickens would just add to the charm. And obviously the eggs would be useful… this photo by Dreams Gather Here explains it all.

A delicious breakfast is a given… but equally important is the comfort of my guests. For the “bed” part of “bed and breakfast”, theBERRY.com has some really good ideas. I mean, I’d want to sleep here:

And who wouldn’t want to relax and enjoy a good soak in this tub captured by ollebosse?

Food for thought: Perhaps “Sadie’s Nest” is not just the name of my blog?

Please excuse me while I think about that all day.

Loving Lately 📕

OMGoodness!!! What am I loving lately? It’s a no-brainer… Crumb A Baking Book by Ruby Tandoh.

We all know that I am a cookbook fanatic. I can walk through any department store, past the shoe department, through the make-up and perfume, past woman’s clothing and accessories, and leave empty handed. I can visit any home goods store and ogle the decor, romanticize about placing the holiday decorations and get really tempted by the serving ware. Yet, I have reasoning enough to remind myself that I am out of storage space (ugh, that dreaded voice of reason). So, I can resist. But alas, when I see a discounted cookbook misplaced on any given random shelf… well obviously it’s a sign.

I’m not like a cutting edge, latest and greatest, New York Times best seller cookbook buyer. (Can you imagine the pressure?) Perspective: I’m just cooking for my family.

But I have so much to know!

For example, it was from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child where I learned that you don’t just want the butter to melt to sauté, you want it to separate and froth before adding the diced onions, celery and carrots (or what have you). I had known for years that the esteemed classic French cooking techniques were actually founded on the capability of “peasants” to extract the most flavor from any food to which they might be privy (i.e. onion soup and quiche- a.k.a egg pie). Those are a couple of my favorite foods, btw. But it wasn’t until after making a few recipes out of the book, Tyler’s Ultimate by Tyler Florence, that it actually dawned on me -“light bulb,” how really good these simple ingredients taste by following a few steps.

So, I’m a few pages into Crumb and there are like 3 paragraphs dedicated to “Brown Butter”… and I’ve made brown butter before (sometimes accidentally)… and she clues me in to the idea that heating the butter this far reduces its water content by 20% of its original weight, so you should reintroduce a splash of milk… and maybe I’ve read this before, but if so I obviously didn’t remember (clearly I wasn’t ready). Then Ruby, if I may call her that, goes on to explain with her following recipe of “Honey Madeleines” (those traditional shell shaped French cookies with a honey spin), that it is indeed the brown butter that compliments the honey… and to chill the pan to give the characteristic crispy edges… and I am like, “Eureka! I have needed this book all of my life!”

Don’t even get me started on the “Caraway Carrot Cake With Poppy Seeds” which I am chomping at the bit to make. Because by page 48 she has already earned my trust and I am confident that this must be an amazing flavor combination… I ❤️ Crumb! Oh, I should mention fantastic photographs of food… which I also love.

This is me.

And here’s a little shout out to my husband who supports my quirky.

 

Loving Lately 🤔

Loving Lately, huh?

Um… Er… Can someone love procrastination?

Or is it that they are just really good at it?

Anyway, I am excelling at it right now. I started the year enthusiastic to try so many new recipes… I have a long list of recommendations from my readers and fellow bloggers. I really do love this stuff. And you know I get carried away with Pinterest. Take for example these Valentine cupcakes from The Silly Girl’s Kitchen

On an any given creativity-filled day, I might give them a try. They’re adorable! But in times like this, I talk myself right out of it. It’s easy. Listen: “You are not Martha Stewart. You know that red heart in the center would just be a ruby blob.” Done.

I did manage to get out a few Valentine’s Day decorations. Same thing.

It’s not Christmas, right? Between reconfiguring the kids’ rooms and dealing with the stomach bug that attacked three out of four of my kids (on three staggering throw-up filled nights -sorry if it’s TMI), I’m just happy to get dinner on the table at all. So be it from a jar… or via carry-out.

But then I see these Toasted Ravioli Nachos from Foxes Love Lemons…

I think, really? Because I’ve done the Fried Ravioli thing and it’s delicious, but it takes a wee bit of time all on its own. And I am in full procrastination mode right now, so tell me it’s going to be worth that extra step.

No, please in all seriousness, tell me it’s worth it. Because it sounds amazing and I want to love it.

Wikipedia says that “procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished.” If I think about it, trying new recipes isn’t exactly “a task that needs to be done.” It’s more of a “want”. If I’m going to be honest with myself, I’m really most likely putting off the laundry. It’s all a facade. And to answer my own question: Yes. I think I do love procrastination.

It’s a love/hate thing.

Loving Lately

It’s the middle of January in Southeast Michigan and we’ve traded in our usual snowfall for a grey, cold and blustery thunderstorm. That can only mean one thing: staying cozy. Who doesn’t love staying cozy? (And thank you anonymous for capturing the essence of my indoor warmth while the world is wet outside.) I won’t pretend being a stay-at-home mom is an easy job, but it does allot me this: the opportunity to stay in my pajamas and ridiculously oversized socks. I’ll take it. Am I turning my back on the mounting laundry and stack of dishes to blog? Yes. I am also daydreaming about my perfect kitchen. It might look something like this from French Garden House:

Or this from loombrand.com:

I love the simple French charm of the first, but I’m kind of Bohemian at heart.

And speaking of hearts, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. So naturally I have to gather ideas for the holiday. How cute are this donuts from Frau Zuckerstein? Ich spreche kein Deutsch, aber ich danke Ihnen Frau Zuckerstein!

 

But really, before I can get to Valentine’s Day, I have to get to my daughter’s birthday. She’s feeling the “Shopkins” theme this year. Nothing screams “Shopkins” like Chuck E. Cheese. Er, wait. Don’t worry about it, I’ll figure it out. It would just be easier if the person who made these cookies lived next-door. I would love to know you, My Girls Lolly Bouquets.

In other news, I made Pork Schnitzel with a Beer-Mustard Sauce last night. So, I can scratch that off the bucket list. I really think I got the whole schnitzel thing right out of my system. That’s a lot of pounding. I might be a wimp, but my arm is sore. And if I may… just pan fry those pork chops.

But I have to try things, it’s just my nature; like this “Life-Changing 30 Masala Sauce” from Pinch of Yum. I love Indian food. And in 30 minutes? Yes! And why is it “life-changing”? I HAVE to know!

If that’s not your thing, here’s one for you: Sticky Apple Cider BBQ Chicken from How Sweet Eats. Yeah baby, put it on the list.

And how fun would it be to eat that food in this kitchen from ink361.com?

Let’s just think about that on a day like today. Because outside it’s like this:

(Thanks for the pic Zeutch.com) And we need to stay cozy… even if it’s a state of mind.

Loving Lately 🍏🍒🥒🥝🥕

It’s time to start the new year off right! So for my first edition of the Sadie’s Nest “Loving Lately” 2017, I’m keeping it real with my current favorite… Door to Door Organics! My sister and brother-in-law surprised me this holiday season with a gift subscription to the on-line grocery store with home delivery. In case you missed that, it’s an on-line grocery store with HOME DELIVERY! (Some of you might have been doing this for years…) I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve already had two deliveries!

I can literally choose any recipe from one of my favorite blogs or cookbooks and just click on the desired ingredients from the comfort of my pajamas, and then up to two times a week a delivery person will bring my order to my front door. The one catch, if you want to call it that, is I have to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with every order. I chose the “Bitty Mixed Box” (which is plenty). It means that with every delivery I will receive $19.99 worth of organic and local fresh fruits and vegetables. I can let them choose seasonal offerings or I can substitute for selections I think would suit us better. Door to Door Organics has a huge variety of products, most of them local (which I love). I can specify a list of offerings that are all non-GMO (which I also love) and their certified organic selection (hence their name) is terrific! Organic Worcestershire sauce and Kalamata olives? Got it.

If your order adds up to over $75 (not hard to do with a family of 6), delivery is free. Oh, and as if it couldn’t get any better… it does. On your next delivery date just leave out all of the previous boxes and packaging and they will recycle/take-care-of-it for you! I might never have to leave the house again.

 

Update: Sadly, as of November 2017 doortodoororganics is no longer providing services.

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Loving Lately ☃️

It’s no secret that I’m off my game lately. It was cold season, then the holidays… I wrote a children’s book. I can’t believe I missed my Thursday edition of Loving Lately! I’d like to say it was because I was doing laundry.

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No, but really… I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been sampling all of the hot chocolate recipes I can find. For example, the Nutella Hot Chocolate pictured above from Café Delights. I whole-heartedly wish I was chewing on one of those marshmallows this very moment. Or the Champurrado (Chocolate Atole)  from Muy Bueno Cookbook in the epitome-of-cocoa-greatness featured image. I don’t believe I’ve ever had hot chocolate thickened with masa harina (corn flour) before… but oooh, the cinnamon, star anise and brown sugar make it sound like it’s just the right thing to do.

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And I really wouldn’t mind having a cup full of this French Hot Chocolate by wellplated.com. I don’t think an explanation is necessary. But, I’ll tell you why… because someone (I assume one of my children) turned the heat off in my house. They just flipped the switch on the thermostat to off! It is literally freezing outside, and I am inside with numb toes and numb fingertips… so numb that it is difficult to type. (Because as I already admitted I am off my game, and it literally took frozen toes for me to check the thermostat.)

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What would I give to be the person in this picture right now holding that warm London Fog Hot Chocolate with Maple Whipped Cream wearing an oversized sweater? (Courtesy of The Kitchen McCabe) …Let’s just say I would give A LOT!

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I can pretty much guarantee that I WILL be making this Crockpot Coconut Hot Chocolate from Rachel Schultz this afternoon. Look at the crushed graham crackers on that rim! I want in.

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Of course, if you’re feeling experimental, you could try the Jalapeño Hot Chocolate by The Pioneer Woman. I like a little heat in my hot cocoa now and then, but I’ve only tried chile peppers. Who am I to limit your heat options? Go for it!

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And if you want to make it cute for the kiddos, you could always add the marshmallow snowman taking a soak in a chocolatey hot tub (which sounds amazing). I’d love to give this genius credit… but to no avail, I will just credit Pinterest (also genius).

Cheers friends!

Loving Lately 🎁

Loving Lately: Christmas Catalogs

I know, I know, I’m a little ahead of the game. Well, for me. I do know people that shop the sales after Christmas and stash gifts away for the following year. That’s not my style. I like to procrastinate- no shopping until after Black Friday (with emphasis on after, because I am not going out in that mess). But the kids are sick (again). And I’m sick (again). And these bright cheerful catalogs keep coming to the house. There is nothing like a Pottery Barn catalog to spark inspiration for the season. I’m getting the warm fuzzies thinking about the holidays; which is just what someone with an incessant cough and runny nose needs. That and some hot tea and a box of tissues.

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Can you smell the pine tree in the air? Seriously. Look at that table runner, those reindeer plates and that serving board. The antler serving spoon- over the top. Just stop. I can’t take it any more.

Here is something else for the table…

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This soapstone tray from uncommongoods.com is oven proof and retains heat for up to 45 minutes so you can keep food warm. It’s also can be refrigerated so you can keep food cold! Thats pretty cool right? If you haven’t checked them out, you should. Uncommon Goods has a ton of unique gifts- personal, for the kitchen and the home.

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They are also responsible for this “Berry Buddy” stoneware strainer. It’s handmade in Pennsylvania. It’s pretty enough to leave out! You know what they say, you pick out gifts based on what you like. Guilty.

I also fell in love with this decanter from Crate & Barrel.

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I don’t drink scotch or cognac. But they put this set in their catalog all shiny next to a Christmas tree with complimenting gold bulbs… And just like they intended, I started thinking about how pretty is was and what a lovely display it would make… I’m such a sucker.

I also received this awesome catalog from American Spoon full of artisan foods, handcrafted preserves and condiments made in Michigan. They show pictures of these perfect berries picked on an idyllic farm transported in iconic baskets and crates to the quintessential copper pots for small batches of what I imagine to be the ultimate preserves. But I’m like, you had me at the simple brown paper label with the nostalgic font.

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I understand what it seems like, but it’s not all about the kitchen. The kids are always on my mind. I wish they liked getting clothes as gifts. Look at these ridiculously cute ensembles from Janie and Jack.

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It just goes on and on. How am I supposed to get through Thanksgiving with all of this Christmas excitement? 😳