Monday, September 19, 2011

Something for the HP fan and the gardener

I ran across this fun little article through a link from Design*Sponge and thought I'd share it.  Click here to read about the plants in HP and their possible connections to plant-lore and modern plants.


I wanted to take a moment to say I'm still here and still kicking.  I had a nasty stomach bug thing the last week and a half, so blogging was put on hold so I could focus on things like getting through the day, eating, drinking water, the basics.  I'm feeling nearly back to my old self again, though, so I am full of gratefulness this morning.  I also accidentally missed my dentist appointment (thought it was at 10:30 when it was at 8:30), so I'm also surprised to have a few extra hours on my hands!  Lucky me :)  I plan on spending this beautiful late summer day doing a little gardening, laundry, baking, and some sewing with Steph.

I hope you all are having a wonderful Monday!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wanted: Love Songs

Hi friends!

I need your help!  A goal of mine this past year has been to develop my music business.  One of the things I need to do is to compile a list of good love songs that can be used at weddings.  What are your favorites?  Classic, contemporary, oldies, newbies (ha, I almost wrote newdies...not quite the same).  You don't have to give only one...give them all to me!  If they have pretty piano parts, then that is a plus!  (But not necessary.)

Thanks!  Looking forward to hearing your faves from each one of you, whether you're friend, family, fellow blogger, or blog-hopper.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Caramel Sauce

I am so excited about this caramel sauce recipe.  Earlier in the summer I had tried two separate recipes, but both failed.  One was Kelly's recipe, and while I'm sure it would have been good had I followed the directions, it still tasted a little too brown-sugary for me.  The other used corn syrup, which I didn't much like either.  The favorite one came from Cook's Illustrated (of course, right?) and is a winner in my book!  It's a bit more complicated than others I have tried, but it's worth it, and if you follow the directions to a T, it should work out just fine.

Salted Caramel Sauce

1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 t vanilla
2 T cold, unsalted butter
1 t fleur de sel (or sea salt)

Add water to saucepan and add in 2 cups sugar.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Once it is boiling, uncover and insert a candy thermometer.  Continue cooking until the mixture starts to have some color and reaches 300 degrees F, about 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and cook another five minutes, until the color becomes amber and registers 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, pour the cream in a small saucepan, add the vanilla, and bring to a simmer.  Once the sugar mixture is ready, take it off the heat, and add in 1/4 cup of the cream/vanilla mixture.  It will bubble like mad!  Once it subsides, add in the rest of the cream, stir.  Add in butter and salt, whisk to incorporate.  Get ready to be whisked away to caramel heaven!

One Picture of Me

Thanks for reading, friends!  And thanks for hosting, Steph!

10 Secrets
9 Loves
8 Fears
7 Wants
6 Places
5 Foods
4 Reads
3 Films
2 Songs

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Two Songs

1.  "Come Away with Me" by Norah Jones - This is my hub's and my song, but even before he and I loved it together, we each loved it separately.  The first time I heard it was in Visalia Coffee Company, and I had to immediately find out who the singer was.  He tells me he used to listen to it and think of me :)

2.  "Claire de Lune" by Debussy - Yes, I know this is a piano piece and not a "song," but it's my favorite.  It was the first truly difficult piece I had to spend time to learn, and from that point on I was a fan of the soft, beautiful sounds of Debussy and others like him.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Three Films

1.  BBC's Pride & Prejudice - It's more like 6 films in one, but it's all one story, so I'm going to say it counts :)

2.  You've Got Mail - For the longest time, this was my go-to for a feel-good movie.  I just love Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.  My poor hubby has had to watch this dozens of times.  He also made his way through the whole of #1.  Yes, he's a keeper.

3.  Little Women - I have three sisters, and I always wanted to be a writer when I was little (like Jo), so when I first saw this movie, I fell in love.  In fact, I remember watching the movie that evening, going straight to my room, and picking up a pencil and paper to write my story of my sisters and me.  I didn't get too far, but it's a clear memory for me.

This was hard!  There are so many more that I love!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Four Books

This is so hard.  Even though I shared with you that I am not as big of a reader as people assume, it doesn't mean I don't love books.  So, here are my top four:

1.  Harry Potter - The whole series is awesome, and it's hard to separate one book out of the entire story, but it would have to be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  It's incredible.

2.  Jane Eyre - An absolutely beautiful story of love and redemption

3.  To Kill a Mockingbird - It saddens me that Harper Lee only wrote this one novel, but I am so glad at least this one came to be.  It actually was quite a long process for her and the manuscript went through a huge transformation before it was published, but it is beautiful, one of the best American novels.

4.  Pride and Prejudice - I hesitate to put this on here because I know it seems cliche, but it truly is a favorite.  I don't often read books more than once, and this one I have read multiple times.  I love Austen's humor and wit and her ability to say so much with a seemingly obvious story.

Poor Shakespeare deserves to be on this list because King Lear has one of the most beautiful forgiveness scenes I know, but I wasn't sure if it is truly a book.  Maybe we need to add a drama day.  And it's true that Twilight didn't make the list.  It's not that I don't love Twilight; it's just the above authors are better than Meyer.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Five Foods

1.  New York pizza
2.  Italian food in general - I love the cheeses, the sauces, the spicy meats, the herbs, the comfort, the layers of flavor
3.  A thick, gooey, fudgey dark chocolate cake
4.  Vanilla custard
5.  French fries

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Meet in the Middle

Last weekend we were lucky ones and got to spend the day with JK since they were visiting Kelly's parents in Bakersfield.  We packed a lot in our little time - sushi for lunch (delicious!), ice cream, browsing at Williams-Sonoma, a viewing of Harry Potter, and Rubio's for dinner.  As great as it always is to see our friends, I end up just missing them more once we leave!  

Here are just a few pictures.  I wish I had a really good one of Anna.  We gave her a book and Hello Kitty stickers for her birthday.  I love that she's at the age when she'll remember that the book is from Rob and Can...although I think she may have been more into the stickers.  Honestly, I can't blame her.  I love stickers, too.
Me, Kelly, and Nick
Robby and John

Many Happy Birthdays

August is our birthday month here at the Feely's Fresh Nest.  Two parents, two sisters, and a sister-in-law all have birthdays in August, so every weekend is taken up with celebrating.

Camille turned 22 on August 14!

My Daddy-O celebrated his big day on August 21st.
(He turned 58!  You thought I wasn't going to say, huh?)
Chels turned 27 on August 30!  She is the best present opener ever.  Just look at that face over a simple candle!

And Debbie celebrated a fabulous birthday on the last day of August.  She's wearing the gift we gave her, a beautiful "Infinity Scarf" made by Steph.
Debbie, you can share your years in the comments, if you'd like :)
Deb's big day was on August 15, but we didn't get to see her.  Hope all of you had fantastic birthdays!  To many, many more!

Six Places

Places I Love:

1.  My home, especially our backyard, which just can't be beat on cool fall mornings and spring evenings

2.  New York - I've been to New York three times, but the trip last summer was my only "real" trip to New York, where I got to spend more than a day.  This is an amazing city, and a week just wasn't enough.  We are planning to go back soon!

3.  Laguna Beach - This is where Robby and I were engaged and where we spent most of our honeymoon.  I love this place.  I've never been to Hawaii, but I'm pretty sure this is as good as it can possibly get on the West Coast.

Places I Want to Go:

4.  Holland - We are starting to save to go here.  My sister will be living there within the next year, so I'm looking forward to this destination!  Plus, I am part Dutch.  I'd love to see where my dad's family came from.

5.  Ireland - Every time I see a picture or watch a movie set in Ireland, I'm amazing.  I need to see this place someday.

6.  Italy - I must must must have real Italian pizza!