Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Original Chex Party Mix

6 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. Lawry's seasoned salt
3 c. Rice Chex cereal
3 c. Wheat Chex cereal
3 c. Corn Chex cereal (NEWS FLASH: my Grandma, mom, and we girls use Cheerios instead since the corn cereal tends to fall apart)
1 c. mixed nuts (or you can use peanuts or cashews)
1 c. pretzels

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Melt butter in roasting pan (if you're tripling the recipe, you'll want your largest one that you'd use for baking a 20+lb turkey like we do). Stir in worchestershire sauce (and say the word a couple of times, it's fun) and seasoned salt. Stir in remaining ingredients until evenly coated.

Bake for one hour in 15 minute intervals by stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool.

Enjoy, and let me know how it turns out! :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Kitchen Delights

These scenes are a sampling of the many things we like to make during the Christmas season. Of course, some were not photographed (like the soft gingerbread) for reasons of short duration from the freshly baked stage to the consumption stage. :)
Yours truly making the Original Party Mix. Don't be fooled however! The "original chex mix recipe" on the cereal boxes is not anything like the original, or so says my Grandma and Mother-dear.
We triple the recipe whenever we take it to the annual Christmas Caroling Party. But then we always triple the recipe, it tastes so good. :)

I made Thumb Cookies from Tasha Tudor's Cookbook for the first time this year. I made enough to share with friends and neighbors also. My brother kept raving about them. I think they'll be a keeper recipe.

Mother-dear in the kitchen Christmas morning. Our brunch always consists of apple cider, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, cinnamon rolls, and pecan swirl bread.

Rolls rising on the stove for our Christmas dinner

I pulled out the antique glasses from Grandma for our sparkling grape juice to drink along with our dessert of chocolate pie

Every year we make our Christmas cutout cookies using vintage cookie cutters that Mama used when she was little. I've picked up a few along the way, too.

Ready for the oven!

One year we doubled the recipe, but made a decorating party out of it. Since then, we've made sure to only make one batch since it makes so many. With Mama, Molly, and I decorating, it didn't take to long.

They taste quite delicious, too. :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Post


I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you.

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing Presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.

Fra Giovanni, Christmas Eve 1513

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Calicos in the Shop

Yesterday I spent most of the day in the sewing room (when I wasn't, I was teaching violin) and had fun cutting into new fabrics. When Mother-dear and I went to JoAnn's the other day, I was horrified to see how much fabric has gone up in price! Why it seems like just yesterday we all of us girls were buying blue calico to match family friends of ours for Easter Sunday and only paid $3.99 a yard (and probably used a 50% off coupon!). The cheapest price I saw was $6 a yard for ugly and cheap feeling yardage. Feel special that I didn't change the price on these aprons even though I used premium cotton.
I finished two aprons and listed them yesterday in the late afternoon/evening hour:
This one in the 1930s style reminds me of the springtime in Georgia when the the skies are often grey with a cool drizzle, but the pink and white dogwoods trees bloom on in profusion.

This one just seems like a classic 1950s calico apron that you'd find hanging from a cabinet in a antique store. The fabric almost looks like a vintage print.

Now I'm off to start baking our Christmas cutout cookies. I have a whole entire post in the works designated just for the baking endeavors I've done since I've been home. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Time for Home

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. ~Edith Sitwell

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Seamstress Has Returned

Many thanks to those of you who kept me in your prayers over the last few weeks. God provided all I that I needed, plus some. Our 2nd orchestra concert went well (we have heard rumors that it was one of the best in recent years), violin juries and the following recital went well (apparently my vibrato sounds gorgeous when I'm nervous, or so said my teacher), and finals were stressful, but went well with good class grades (the highest being a 99.42 in Biology Lab!).
I pulled into home-sweet-home shortly before supper last night.
As you can see, this afternoon I already dusted off the sewing machine. I cut this apron out when I was home for Thanksgiving, but had no time to sew it. Since it is Christmas-y in nature, I made sure it was the first to be sewn before any others. Like it?

Looking into my bin of stashed fabric, there are no cottons in there so it looks like I'll have to go peruse the local shops if I'm to stock up before the next semester! I'm open to suggestions or requests if you have something in mind.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Autumnal Joys

It was such a treat to be able to fly home for Thanksgiving Break and spent the week with my family.
These are a few testimonials of my visit...
Three pumpkins greet guests as they come up the front step

By the back step wild fruit or berry of some kind can been seen that the birds love this time of year

I was surprised to still see the Johnny-Jump-Ups bravely blooming in the brisk late November weather. There must be a deep layer of leaves to protect them!

My sisters and I (minus one) on Thanksgiving Day. I think the only time I took my apron off was for the dinner. ;)

Sparkling Cider in my inherited glasses from Grandma. It (the cider) was a perfect addition to homemade pumpkin pie and chocolate pie.

My very tall brother (who also flew in for Thanksgiving) and I.

Now back in the south with just a little over two weeks of the fall semester, I cannot guarantee that you'll hear much from me. I would covet your prayers for physical, mental, and emotional stamina! :)

Anticipating Christmas break already, I've pulled out some of my favorite Christmas music. Can anyone recommend their favorite CD (preferably traditional or classic Christmas music of orchestral, symphonic, and/or choral? That is, nothing wild and crazy)?

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many--not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. ~Charles Dickens

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Butterscotch Oatmeal

A cup of brown sugar in this recipe, but it sure was yummy. Thanks, Mother-dear!

Today there are pies to be baked, quick errands to be done, laughs to be exchanged, and a brother to be picked up from the airport tonight (he's a college student too, but on the opposite side of the country from where I'm a student).

So much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Greetings from the Cottage

I am home for a few days on Thanksgiving break.

There is a new cheery-looking ironing board cover to match the sewing room. Hoping to use it once or twice this week!
(If you're looking for those Tasha Tudor aprons I mentioned a few weeks ago, they are finally back up in the shop.)

Friday, November 02, 2012

Gathering Autumn's Last Harvest

This week as I was walking back from class, I was approaching the stone steps when I slowed my walking pace for an older women who had a small bucket with her and tucked underneath her arm. She was bending down in appeared to be looking for something of great importance.

Did she drop a keepsake?

Was she collecting prized leaves to press between wax paper like my dear Grandma used to?

I was getting curious as to her vigil and watchful eyes that were guided downward. Continue walking and wondering if I should ask if I could help her or not (lest my blog has you assuming I'm an outgoing extrovert, let me dispel those ideas very quickly to say that I am anything but that!) I glanced in an unassuming way (introverts master this skill...) and looking into her little container, I concluded that she was gathering nuts of some kind.

The trees all over campus have nut-bearing fruit dropping all over this time of year. There is one tree just outside the music building that releases orange-sized fruit that crack open leaving nut or seed bare to the squirrels or feet that walk by. I've been paranoid that I'll be walking by one day, and one will drop on my head. ;) I recently discovered these huge things are containing walnuts.

via Pinterest

Several other trees have much smaller clusters of hardened fruit that drop also, and they drop in abundance. My head has been spared of these, too, and these are what the grandmotherly-lady was gathering.

Sitting out on the stone steps near the music building this afternoon, I chatted with my sister who was at the airport about to leave for Africa. While in conversation, I saw an elderly couple with that familiar downward gaze to the earth, searching for these little treasures. They must have scouted other places since their bag was getting full of these little round things.

At my feet I saw one of these little oval shaped shells crushed and halved. The fruit inside was still intact. My curiosity had been satisfied. They were pecans! I don't know why I never figured it out before. Memories of when I was a little girl came to mind. Mother-dear would keep a basket on the light blue "mountain-weave" tablecloth (like these) that draped our antique maple dining room table during the holidays. That basket was full of various nuts with two silver nutcrackers. Happy times...

via Pinterest

There was one unbroken lying on the ground. I picked it up and am saving it. (Does anyone know if I can plant it in the spring?)

Someday I hope to have time to gather nuts, and loved ones around the table to share the fruit of them by hearing that old-familiar sound of the shell releasing its treasure inside...

Do YOU gather nuts? How does the "drying" process work? or are they ready to eat now?

Monday, October 29, 2012


A mug of chamomile tea is brewing as I type this. Homework is done (a rarity before 8pm!) and I wanted to come over to say hello to all my 90+ readers. I tried journaling some deep thoughts earlier this evening, but the words won't come (so frustrating!) so I'll type a few random things here on the blog.

It is currently just two degrees above 40 right now with a forecasted wind chill of 16 tonight. With the wind and weather such as what we're having right now, I almost felt like I was back home! I kept my black peacoat coat and isotoner gloves on nearly all day. Obviously, I had to take them off when I had my violin lesson. :) Much to my often gratitude this time of year, that one particular window in the big room faces the south and the sun helps warm many a student. Of course playing the 1st movement of the Bruch violin concerto is bound to warm up anyone, too! ;)

Over the weekend I sold four more aprons to the shop owner in town. She was quite delighted with them, and loved the Tasha Tudor style ones her employee picked out a couple weeks ago, but decided to trade them out with two other half-aprons. Because I already took the listings for the Tasha Tudor aprons off of etsy, and never saved any of the pictures or info I listed, they may not be online for another six weeks or so. But they are once again available, for anyone who had their eye on one of them.

Has anyone seen Wuthering Heights, with the actress Tom Hardy? 2009 version? For several years now I've heard the name bounced around several times but never read the book or watched the movie up until a few weeks ago. A friend introduced to me her favorite version, and so we cuddled up with quilts and watched it on my laptop. Emily Bronte, the sister to Charlotte Bronte (who is known for her Jane Eyre) wrote Wuthering Heights in a similar fashion that borders creepy, melancholy, and romantic. There are some ::ahem:: romantic parts to be fast-forwarded, and if you can get past the modernized hairstyles and clothing, and like "darker" movies, it's a fun one to watch. Over Christmas break, I'm hoping to read the book. It's one of those movies where reading the book might fill in missing details or clear up confusions that weren't evident in watching it.

Have a lovely week, my friends!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Home Stretch

You know you're on the home stretch when your hands/wrists remain sore even after a good night of sleep (ie, lots of violin practice + HW on the computer) and your brain feels like it's starting to run out of space for more information.

A little over 6 weeks and the fall semester will be completed.

I can do this, through Christ who strengthens me.

A few verses from my Bible reading this morning that are so fitting:

"For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.

But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.

Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed."

Psalm 71:5, 14-16, 21-23

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Immersed in Literature

Say hello to my weekend.

I'm spending it with Dostoyevsky, Lu Xun, Pirandello, Tennyson, Browing, Baudelaire, and Cavafy. I have a test early next week. While I love reading and the lectures in World Lit, it remains to be the toughest class this semester.

When I met with the professor this week, she asked if I've looked into being an English minor. I'm going to take that as a compliment.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy News!

There is a new vintage-inspired tea shop and boutique that is opening its doors soon on The Square near my university. Yesterday the shopkeeper called me and asked about buying some aprons to display and sell in her new store.

Today after chatting with her, it looks as if some of the aprons in Peasant Cottage will find their way into an actual shop with possibly more that she wants me to sew. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined my work being sold like this.

For a fair warning to my friends and customers, she's looking at the aprons on Wednesday and is already planning to purchase a couple, so as always: first come first serve. Get it (or them!) while they're still there since I won't be able to re-stock the shop until December, and you know that I rarely make two of the same apron.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

My Saturday Morning

Mrs. C makes the best blueberry nut muffins in the world.
She also makes the best blueberry nut waffles in the world, and that is what I had for my Saturday morning breakfast.

And she gave me an extra recipe book that contains both of these recipes (and her delicious whole wheat pizza crust recipe). I know what I'll be making for my family over Christmas break!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Mid-Week Inspiration

This is the next piece I'm learning, but I'm not allowing myself to learn a note of it until this weekend since I'm performing Bartok's Roumanian Dances (all six of them) on Friday and don't want to become distracted. :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Outside Inside

It is a lovely Saturday morning. Grey skies, rain, and misty fog.

A perfect day for listening to music by John Rutter, sipping tea, reading, homework, and music practice.

What does your Saturday look like?

PS. Use the code SHIPFREE to receive free shipping on any order in Peasant Cottage today!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


On a general basis, I try not to make a post on blogs or links to blogs. Even the ones that I have listed on the side, as wonderful as they may be, are not what I could always endorse. There is alot like that out in the internet, media, literature, the arts (and life?) in general. An older woman once told my sisters and I, "eat the watermelon, but spit out the seeds."

Now that the introduction has been made, :) I'd like to share two blogs with you that recently posted on the topic of beauty.

Beauty. What is it, anyway? Certainly in a world such as ours today, it can mean wide variety of things.

Last week author and blog writer posted an excellent post on this very topic. After reading it, I sat silence for quiet awhile, and wondered what my life would have looked like if only words of grace were spoken to me instead of the other things said to me and about me said behind my back but well within hearing range.

Being a reserved and quiet natured sort of person, I generally don't struggle with letting words slip out of "Wow, you've really been eating the sugar haven't you!" or "She certainly takes after her mother's flat-as-a-board genes" but on the flip side, the article challenged me to encourage my sisters, my friends, and even my little friends with words that speak grace: to speak words that build up, encourage, and give glory to God at the same time. Sometimes it's the words left unsaid that can wound, too. I speak from experience on both sides of the coin.

The other link I wanted to mention was this one on Reclaiming Beauty. Two sisters are hosting the webinar on this very topic and looking at their index of topics to cover, it looks like it would be interesting and most likely helpful in some aspects. If you can't afford the webinar (like me!) they are offer the first session for free, and it starts next week. More details are here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Peck of Peppers

The year in which Cheri's garden decided to produce peppers (orange and yellow bell peppers, and mini multi-colored sweet peppers were planted) was the year that Cheri was away in college.
In previous years I was lucky if my plant grew 8 inches, and VERY lucky if it produced a pepper (though it ended rotting on the plant anyway). And these were plants from a greenhouse that I tried growing!
Must be this year's success is due to saving/drying my own seeds, and God's good, good blessing.

My family says they go out every day to pick several, and they taste amazing.

They get heirloom tomatoes every day, too, along with purple bush beans still growing, the raspberries (you can see them in the top of the picture if you click on it) in abundance, and the herbs still flourishing. Needless to say, I'm trying not be envious that they get to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

The River of His Pleasures

I began the weekend yesterday afternoon by wading/swimming through this creek and sitting on top of these waterfalls, as well as observing various kinds of water bugs and trying to catch minnows. It was perfect.

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.
Psalm 36:7-9

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A Car Show in June

Every year our church has a Car and Motorcycle show on Father's Day as sort of an outreach ministry to the community. If you like old cars (or expensive ones!) it is a great afternoon to look around and talk to proud owners about their cars.

While I know I normally will talk about sewing, gardening, and recipes, and rightly so since I am a girl, but I must say that I do love old cars. One of my dreams is to ride in one someday, and not just in Michigan's Greenfield Village, but out on the real road. Anything from a Model T to 1940s would suit me fine. :)

Anyway, these are a few pictures my sister and I took that afternoon:

Reflections in a hub cap

Probably my favorite with the striking red interior
Hello. :)

Fancy logos
If you were bored to death with cars, forgive my vintage-car-love and wait patiently for an upcoming post that suits to the usual standards of the blog. ;)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Bright Hope

"Strength for today,
And bright hope for tomorrow.
Blessings all mine,
With ten thousand beside!
Great is Thy faithfulness!"

[My lens has been fogging up from all the humidity in the air, but the evening light here is so lovely!]

The words ring true for me these last few weeks. It would seem as if heaven decided to open up above and pour out the richest of blessings to me. I'm so grateful...

  • Musician's gathering at the coffee shop for laughs, discussion, and cultural experiences
  • Tangerine colored sun settings in the western horizon that cast a peach glow across the skies while lighting the clouds a lovely lilac color above the rich green meadows and the purple mountains
  • Phone chats with my sister
  • Jeremiah 33:3, Psalms 31:19
  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes (they haven't been advertised yet, but here in a mountain town of GA, they've been available since early this week!)
  • Mozart in orchestra (among a few other composers)
  • My last class today finished at 2:50pm, and I have a three day weekend ahead of me. Yay! :)
ETA: Use SHIPFREE when checking out from Peasant Cottage to receive free shipping this weekend!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Me? Win?

This summer I happened upon a blog called "Dressed Her Days Vintage."
It was a charming read of vintage dressing and styling, (a recent post was on cranberry red lipstick - imagine the fun!) and the owner of this lovely blog had a giveaway in the works of four patterns she was willing to part with. All one had to do was pick a favorite and tell her so (and probably subscribe to her blog, but who wouldn't want to?!).
I spotted a gorgeous evening wear dress pattern from 1936. The 30s fashions intrigue me with their cuts, their pleats, their collars, and the overall distinguished feminine appearance.

So I entered. Just like the scores of giveaways I've entered in before with knowing that I was probably wasting my time. In fact, in the last year or two I've completely given up on entering giveaways all together!

I actually forgot about it, until a couple days before leaving for college. I visited her blog to see who the winners were, trying to not be envious of the winner who wanted the 1936 dress pattern as much as I did. Scrolling down to see the usual unfamiliar names listed, my eyes got big. Really big.

Cheri, of, 1936 dress pattern

Surely there was a mistake. Someone else has a similar blog name to mine. But if there was a similar blog to mine, they surely couldn't own my name and my not-so-widely-used spelling of it! It had to be!

Within minutes I received a personal e-mail saying that I had indeed won the pattern. I was and still am completely delighted since I've never won any giveaway in my life before. :) With being in college now, the making of a dress will have to wait until December. But that should give me enough time to decide what fabric to use. Any ideas?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

For Rachel

Oh the sorrows of being a college student. Gratefully, I haven't had to endure very many of them but just one every year.

Last year, a very dear friend had asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, and if I couldn't be that, if I could at least come up for the weekend? Her wedding date was just a week or so after the fall semester started and there was absolutely no way that I could leave school. It was pure torture for me not to be there. 

This year it is happening again.

My friend Rachel, who I have known for just about half of my life time, is getting married next month. I can't say that when I first met her I was to sure of her (the feeling was probably mutual, but I've never asked) ;) but as we've grown older, matured, (we have, haven't we?) called up, or written to apologize for being self-centered, have prayed for each other and together, bounce off sewing ideas or patterns with one another, and have grown in Christ: I am so fortunate to be blessed with a loyal friend like Rachel.  I think she is the only close friend of mine who has put up with me the longest. ;P

Needless to say, this past weekend was her bridal shower, and since I'm obviously in college I had to have my family be the bearer of the gift.

I chose to make the Emmeline Apron for her, that way if she didn't like one fabric, she could turn it around and wear the other side (with hopes that the other would suit). Watching the pins she'd put up on Pinterest aided me in color choices, though I never had a concrete idea of her kitchen colors.

Fabric: "Caitlin Stripe" by The Alexander Henry Fabrics Collection

With black ties and neck strap, I figured that it would make up for any color deficiencies in the apron that may not be "her color." She has Diana Berry's gorgeous "black tresses" you see, so black looks well on her.

Fabric: "Covent Garden" Style #4071 by Benartex

Every new bride will need recipe cards, right? I'm hoping so, as I picked up a packet of them the last time I was in Anthropologie. They seemed to match the apron quite well and the visual appeal is much greater than that of a standard white '3 by 5' or '4 by 6' card.

Anne Shirley said when her kindred spirit got married, "Diana was the bride of my dreams" and when the pictures start pouring in of my friends's wedding that will be in a few weeks, I'm sure I'll be saying the same thing of her wedding... Much love to you, my dear friend!

I think I'll go call my one last single friend and make her promise me to not get married when I'm in college! :P

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rambles of PG Tips and Audrey Hepburn

With school not starting until Monday, the last couple of days have been spent in both preparation (it is SO wonderful to have my bow rehaired!!) and relaxation.

This morning I woke up to grey skies and heavy rain. Still in my pajamas, I plopped myself on the couch and had my devotions, then did some journaling while enjoying a steaming cup of PG Tips tea.

(A week or so before I left for GA, I stopped off at a favorite kitchen store that carries alot of European specialties, including an aisle full of teas and tea related things. Carrying mostly loose leaf teas, that is where I buy my Twinings Earl Grey tea and now I buy my loose leaf PG Tips there, too.)

To some of my friends great dismay, I have never jumped on the bandwagon of being obsessed with Audrey Hepburn. Yes I like classy styles and I've heard she was a lady of class, but "I'm just not into her." My friends would then ask, "Well, what movies have you seen her in then?" My reply, "None whatsoever." Can you picture them all fainting now? :)

No, actually none of them have fainted. ::winks:: My friend is making sure that I get a taste of Audrey Hepburn by introducing me to "My Fair Lady" this weekend. Yesterday we only got into about 30 minutes of it, and today I think we're going to finish the rest.

So, what is your favorite movie with Audrey Hepburn? and why?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cruzin' down south

This week I traveled down south for my sophomore year of college studying violin. The Lord gave me safe travels and gave me picturesque scenery.

I'm back in the state of southern accents, high humidity, and peaches. Greetings to all and any readers nearby!