follow along with
m17 m19
provence linen
very tall
DIY Candle Holders
"We are thankful for" placecard
m28 m6
20" wheat
m9 m13
bread board
creamware platter set
pork tenderloin
pork roast with apples &

Saturday, November 21, 2015

How to Make The Prettiest Pie Crust | Pie Crust Recipe | Plus... Chocolate Meringue Pie Recipe


This is only not a recipe, but a tutorial on making a pretty pie... a step-by-step guide to crimping a pretty pie crust.  After all, most pies taste great, but a really pretty pie can put it over the top!

The Easiest & Flakiest
Pie Crust Recipe

2 pie crusts

18 tablespoons cold butter (2 sticks + 2 tablespoons)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

In a food processor with the steel blade, add flour, salt and sugar.  Cut butter into small pieces, then add it too the food processor.  Pulse until the mixture is crumbly.  Slowly pour in water until the mixture begins to form a ball or come together as dough.

Dump it out onto a board and form it into two disks.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Remove from the refrigerator, unwrap and place it on a well floured board.  Roll it out with a rolling pin, moving the dough in between each roll to form a circle.

Fold it into quarters.

Put it into the pie plate with the point of the fold in the center.  Unfold.

Fold under the edges to create a nice 'bump' around the edge.

Pinch the edge between your thumb and forefinger.  Move along the edge, all the way around.

Use pie weights when baking if you are "Blind Baking" the shell, or baking the shell before it is filled like you would for a cream pie, like chocolate, banana or a lemon meringue.   These pie weights were my Granny's...  they probably filled 100's of lemon meringue pie shells.

Oops.  I forgot to prick the bottom before the pie weights went in!

This is the crust after it was baked, then filled with chocolate custard.  I used my friend (and cousin-in-law's) Lorin's recipe.  Lorin made this for my family and it was so good, I begged her for the recipe.  Here it is!

Chocolate Custard Filling:
1 cup sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
2 Cups milk
2 ounces unsweetened choc/or cocoa conversion
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
I tsp vanilla
2 Tbs butter

Combine sugar,cornstarch, chocolate and salt: gradually add milk. Cook and stir over medium high heat till bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir moderate amount of mixture into yolks: immediately return to hot mixture and cook 2 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat add butter and vanilla. Pour into shell.

Top it with mernigue :

4 egg whites
6 tblsp. Granulated sugar
¼ tsp. cream of tarter
½ tsp. vanilla

With your mixer on high speed beat egg whites, cream of tarter and vanilla. Gradually add in sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Top pie with meringue and bake at 350 until golden.

 Post toast.

Toasted meringue cloud!

Here is the easy to pin strip!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Our Thanksgiving Menu + Cooking Schedule +Planning Worksheets

This is a post I share every year, and each year I update it with some of the new recipes I've added  - Hello, Kale Salad and Petite Pecan Pies.  I've also included the link to my Thanksgiving Planning Worksheets (below) to help you with your scheduling for the week... it is "go" time for those of us hosting!
Somethings aren't changing, like the BEST Turkey recipe that starts with a bottle of white wine and a pound of butter : )  I'm adding  a new side dish - Sausage & Brie Stuffed Mushrooms.  Instead of the Baked Brie, I'm making an old fashioned relish tray.  We'll be featuring some homemade pickled vegetables, bread and butter pickles, olives, etc.  All of that yummy salty briny goodness goes great with a glass of mulled wine before dinner, without filling up.

My sister and her family are staying here the night before Thanksgiving so we will begin our day with parade watching and breakfast - all made in advance so the kitchen can concentrate on making the Thanksgiving meal the morning of.  We will be eating at 1pm this year, so the times have been changed to reflect that.  Hope you enjoy and it helps you prepare for the big day.

I'll be working on my table setting early next week, so I'll be sure to share that, too.

We have a busy week ahead since we are hosting Thanksgiving at the new house.   I'm still hunting for dining room chairs... tiny detail, right?  I'm hoping to find an eclectic mix of six old windsor chairs to mix with our six upholstered. We also need to make some teachers' gifts for school, get the house ready for overnight guests and plan details for a holiday packed weekend.   Would love to hear about what recipes are your favorites or new ones you are trying.  This weekend marks the start of the most wonderful time of the year - and I am so glad to be in the thick of it!

Here is a link to download my Thanksgiving Worksheets.  They will help you go on autopilot for the day so you can enjoy yourself and know that everything will be perfectly timed... or at least most things.   You will be prompted to add your email before the lists download, just FYI.  This adds you to my email list so you can stay updated on new posts and specials I have for the store.  

Baked Brie with Caramelized Pecans in Puff Pastry served with Apples 

Not making this this year, but have every year before.

Kale, Pumpkin Seed, Apple & Cranberry Salad

Always nice to have something fresh and crunchy in addition to such an indulgent meal.


Thanksgiving Planner | Traditional Herb Stuffing Recipe | Sage & Thyme Dressing Recipe

 The Best Classic Mashed Potatoes | Potato Ricer

Stuffed Mushrooms

This photo is of The Pioneer Woman's Brie Stuffed, but I think I'm going to combine that recipe with Ina's Sausage Stuffed.

Holidays | Entertaining | Thanksgiving Planner | Countdown Day 9 | Roasted Turkey & Gravy Recipes

One thing that I highly recommend, is trying the Turkey recipe I have posted from Martha Stewart.  We stared using this method a couple of years ago and everyone goes crazy over it.  You stuff the bird with lemon, garlic, thyme, and sage, then baste it with a mixture of a bottle of chardonnay and 4 sticks of butter.  It makes the most unbelievable pan drippings for gravy.  Turkey is usually a little bland, but this recipe makes it amazing.


Pecan Tart | A New Twist on a Classic Pecan Pie Recipe


Chocolate Cream Tart with Pecan Shortbread Crust

 Thanksgiving Table Setting | DIY Flower Pumpkin Centerpiece, Woodland China, Hemstitch Linens, Pewter Flatware & Rustic Glassware

Enjoy this week of planning - my favorite part of Thanksgiving... getting everything ready!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Heirloom Pumpkin & Gold Candles on Sale! + 20% Off All Thanksgiving!

Heirloom Pumpkin & Gold Candles on Sale! + 20% Off All Thanksgiving!
You've got your menu set, but what about the table? Candles are always the answer. These colors are my favorite to use for Thanksgiving - they are warm and vibrant, yet they have such natural, muted looking colors.
Heirloom Pumpkin and Gold candles are both on sale today in every size from 6" ($4) to 18" ($10) tall! They make a great hostess gift, especially if you craft them into an instant centerpiece or mantle display : )
Everything from linens, to wheat bundles for Thanksgiving are
20% Off!

To get 20% Off Thanksgiving Products today - use the code : Thankful20 at checkout.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sharing this Thanksgiving | Gift Cards for Giving!

When your home is sparkling with beautiful holiday decorations and brimming with love and special moments with your family, it is easy to think you are doing everything right during the Holiday season.   Your table is bountiful, your family is happy - it all feels good.  However, if we forget to remember or neighbors and we forget to share, then we are missing out on the best part.

We all love those warm and fuzzy moments during the holidays.  For me, I love pulling though Starbucks on a blustery day and getting a peppermint mocha while I listen to Christmas music makes me just feel good.  Baking with Emma (while we listen to Christmas music... is there a theme, here?) gives me warm fuzzies just thinking about it.  Buying gifts and wrapping them beautifully - my favorite part of the Christmas season.  All of these moments don't compare to the gift of joy you give to yourself when you spend your holiday sharing, giving and loving our struggling neighbors.

During this season of cozy, warm snuggly moments, give freely and openly.

We are living in the most abundant society ever known.  We have investment accounts and savings accounts and insurance policies - all just in case.  All of this is to make us feel safe and secure.   In a society that concentrates on self, there is an unwarranted fear of not having enough.  From the time we are little, saving and keeping are engrained in our minds of the model of responsible living.

Not sharing your gifts deprives you from whole-heartedly enjoying the real joy of life - giving freely.

Give with a free heart, give without fear.  What we have been given is given to us with the responsibility of using it to help others.  We are merely the stewards of the gifts we've been given.

"No one ever becomes poor by giving." - Anne Frank

When I wonder how much is enough to give, I think about how much I spent the last time I went to target or what I spent on my last blouse or sweater - my last "feel good" splurge.

It is always weighing on my mind that I don't do enough to share and give.  I think, do I need to take a day every week to volunteer?  What are my best gifts to share?  Where could I volunteer that my best gifts could be used?  But then I remember I have this little store and I have this little blog.  This is what I do best.  This is my ticket to giving and sharing - this is my way to multiply my efforts.

Gift Cards for Giving :  You give, I give!

I'm partnering with Harvesters (amazing food bank that creates 3 meals for every $1 donated) this Thanksgiving to help them feed families, children, seniors, veterans - people.  I'm matching your donation with a Everyday Occasions gift card equaling 50% of what you give*.  That means, if you donate $100 to Harvesters, I will send you an e-gift card for $50 by the next morning.

*I have set a total limit of gift cards to $1,000, meaning $2,000 total raised for Harvesters.  I almost did 100% rewards ($100=$100), but I wanted to give you some of the pleasure of giving, too.  This way, we both give as much as we get... and we can raise even more money this way! : )  

That means that this little store and this little blog can come together and provide 6,000 meals this Holiday season.  Wow.

Here's what you need to do :

1.  Make a donation to Harvesters.  This is a link to our Harvesters' campaign :

2.  Forward me the email confirmation from your donation including your donation amount.

3.  I will send you an email gift card code for Everyday Occasions in the amount of 50% of your donation.  ($100 donation = $50 gift card)

Harvesters is an organization that services families who are food insecure my local region.   They can stretch a dollar!  Each $1 donated creates 3 meals.  Unbelievable!   Learn more about the organization at

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Holiday Collection | Pillows, Cookies, Candles, Linens, Stockings, Ribbons & Tags

The 2015 Holiday Collection

This is what I want for Christmas :

I want our Holiday to be spent baking special cookies, candlelit dinners at our new dining table, and evenings snuggled on the sofa watching favorite Christmas movies.

I want my kitchen to smell like Gingerbread and our family room to smell like a freshly cut fir tree.

I want our home to feel like Christmas.  I want traditional decorations that remind us of simpler times, but fun and festive touches that will delight Emma.

I want to spend less time bustling and more time setting pretty Holiday tables with lights and filling window boxes with fresh greens.

I want to make bountiful baskets full of homemade treats for our friends and neighbors that look like they came from the fanciest department store in town.

I want to share and give as much as possible.

I hope that you find something in this collection that will help you create special moments and memories with your loved ones and that will help you to slowdown and remember the Spirit of the Season.

Joy & Peace,


Christmas Linens

I love simple Christmas tables - a festive red and white linen with fresh greens and candles going down the center... and maybe a couple of cloved oranges.  That is simple, right?  And some magnolia leaves tucked in.  I've also discovered my new favorite way to decorate in my dining room - all coming next week : )

I've stocked the store with some favorites from last year and new designs from my European linen house.  You'll find coordinating Tablecloths, Napkins & Tea Towels in a couple of different patterns.

We have a new dining room table to share next week (just delivered!) and I'll be setting a table with these new favorite linens.

These Tuscany Red & Cream Linens are where I'm going to start with my table.

Classic Stripe Napkins

I love these!  I think they are the perfect thing for our everyday dinners and brunches during the holidays.  There is something so cheerful and classic about this pattern - red and natural linen stripes.  
100% Linen made in Europe
18" Pillow Cases also available in Classic Red Stripes.

$34 Set of 4

 Gingham Napkins

Gingham is the perfect solution to almost every occasion.  It lends itself to be casual, but can be dressed up when you tuck in fresh greens and get out the good plates.  
100% linen - made in Europe
Set of 4
Tea Towels are also available in this print.

$38 Set of 4

Christmas Linen Tea Towel Collection

You all know how much I love linen tea towels.  Once you've added a couple to your collection, you'll know why, too.  They are a pleasure to use and display in your kitchen.  Just this small touch will bring your kitchen right into the Christmas season : )
100% Linen, made in Europe
Set of 2
Patterns Available (listed from top to bottom): 
Gingham Red & Natural
Tuscany Red & Cream
Holiday Ticking Stripe

Red & White Transferware

You recognize these from the Thanksgiving collection.  I've added a red version for the Holiday Collection.  I've already planted mine with Amaryllis and Paperwhites - DIY tips coming later!  Of course, they will look great on your dining table, but just as great with a ribbon to give as a gift.

Hooked Pillow & Stocking Collection

Last year right after I unveiled the new Holiday Collection, we took off for our annual trip back to New England.  I spotted this collection of hooked pillows and stockings at a home design store in Concord, Ma.  It turns out that they are made just up the road in Vermont.  I kept them in my notes as a must for our new home.
These are so beautifully made - and very traditional.  They have a lush velvet backing and come with insert included.
*These are special ordered and will be ready to ship Monday, 11/23.

Along with the hooked pillows, I've included these linen pillows that match the kitchen and dining room linens.  I think they look great paired with the hooked pillows and it will help tie your family room to the rest of the house.
This 18" Snowflake is definitely one of my favorites!

The pillows from the Hooked Collection come with an insert.
This is called the "Popcorn Tree" - isn't that so sweet?  I can remember doing popcorn on our tree only one year when I was younger.  Maybe it is a tradition we should bring back in the new house?  Emma would love... but then again, so would Mr. Darcy.

The pillows also have a lush velvet backing that makes them comfy to lounge on, too.

The same company makes these charming stockings!  I am just obsessed.  They are very reasonable at $38 each and have the same lush velvet backing as the pillows.   There are a couple more patterns available in my store, too.  Seriously, that wellie boot?!  I think that might need to hang on one of my pegs in the mudroom.

*These are special ordered and will be ready to ship Monday, 11/23.

These Fleur de Lys Tumblers have been a staple in my kitchen for years and were a best selling product when I added to the store last spring.  Last season I debuted my Autumn Harvest candle to be the first poured into this tumbler.  This season, I'm bringing my favorite scents of the season.  This Mulled Holiday is what I will be lighting in my kitchen each morning.  It is full of the scent of citrus, clove, spice and poached fruits.
After you use it, it can be cleaned and used as a vase for flowers (my favorite) or as a drinking glass.  It is packaged in a kraft paper box, ready for gifting.
8 oz. Candle
French Tumbler Holiday Candle - Fraser Fir

This Fraser Fir candle is what we'll light in our family room in the evening, and Mike has already tagged one for his study.  It is fresh and fragrant.

Ribbon & Gift Wrap Collection >

Of course, I've restocked all of my satin and grosgrain ribbons.  It is the perfect time of year to have 50+ yards of beautiful double-faced satin at your disposal ; )

4" Wide Red Satin  (above)

Every year I try to buy enough of this super luxurious 4" Wide Red Satin, and every year it is the first to go!  I love using it on wreaths - inside and out.

Red & White Cotton Ribbon

Last year's favorite ribbon was this Cotton Red & White Ribbon.  It is very special - a little goes a long way.

These tags just make me smile, they make my heart warm.  I often wonder about the disconnect between the actual Christmas story and Santa traditions.  Then, I see something like this.  I guess the two stories do have something in common: The impossible becomes impossible.  If the vision of reindeer flying through the sky isn't Nature singing for Joy, then I'm not sure what could be : )
Set of 20 
Like most of you (I'd venture to guess) I'm a fan of old fashioned traditions.   This tag is perfect for those of us who love to be taken back to the "days of old" during the Christmas season.  It truly is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
Set of 20

All is Merry & Bright

Since we live in the preschool world, the holidays for us are summed up in this phrase, "All is Merry & Bright."  And what a way it is to spend the Christmas season!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

It is not the Christmas season until I hear Judy Garland singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  In fact, I'm playing it right now to put me in the Christmas spirit : )   What I love about this song is that it wishes you a Merry "Little" Christmas.  The vision of that simple, little Christmas sparks something in me that I yearn for.  In a season of hustle, bustle and more is more, tie this tag on a homemade baked goodie for your neighbors to ensure that you (and they) have a Merry "Little" Christmas filled with love and the season's purest pleasures.
Warm Graphite printing on Cream Cardstock
Set of 20 Tags

Holiday Baking

Ahhh.  It doesn't get better than those two words.  Especially, because I'll be spending lots of baking time with Emma - and you can be sure she'll be sporting this adorable Red and White Gingham Child's Apron.

Child's Baking Set & Apron

I will admit, sometimes I just buy things for the store that I want.  This set is so cute and charming - perfect for the budding bakers in your life.  

Are you starting a cookie decorating tradition with your nieces, nephews, kids or grandkids?  You should.  These aprons will grow with them from 2 to 12.  I really wish it came in my size, too... I might cheat and tie it around my waste as a half apron : )

Includes :
Red Gingham Apron, Mini Rolling Pin, Mini Whisk, Mini Rubber Scraper, & Mini Pastry Brush
If this is a gift, I also recommend including a Holiday Copper Cookie Cutter for them to keep and use year after year.

Each Christmas I release a new Copper Cookie Cutters collection - my favorite tradition.  I've kept some of my favorites from years past including the Reindeer, Snowflake, Mitten & Fir Tree.  I've also added new designs this year - Gingerbread Houses, Candy Canes & Christmas Light Bulb.  
Christmas Lights Cookie Cutter >

I love these Lights!  I'm freezing these cookies for us to get out after Thanksgiving for the Plaza lighting ceremony.  The girls will love having their very own sparkling Christmas Lights to snack on while we make our way down.

Mitten Copper Cookie Cutters >
Candy Cane Copper Cookie Cutter >

Gingerbread House Copper Cookie Cutter Set - 2 Sizes

How fun are these Gingerbread House Cookies?  They are much easier than actually constructing a house made of gingerbread, and all of the fun of decorating one.  Emma will love helping with this - maybe even a great idea for her preschool class.

Of course, all our favorite baking and packaging supplies have been restocked, too, including Wooden Baking Baskets and Cookie Boxes!

Happy early Christmas browsing!  I hope you find something that will make your Holiday Season a little more special for your family : )

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