Tuesday, September 16, 2014

a blog tour . . .



If you like to visit lots of blogs then you've probably seen this series featured around the web.

I've been invited a few times already by a few great women, but regretfully had to decline because "life" was too busy at that time, and I couldn't add another project to my plate.

And then recently my friend Katherine, author of Katherine's Corner, invited me to join the tour. With the busyness of back-to-school behind me, I thought I would join in on the fun too. 




This tour is a wonderful way to get to know more about the bloggers you follow . . . and learn about a few you might not know yet.


meet Katherine of Katherine's Corner

Katherine is a sweet & positive woman in blog land, that almost everyone knows.  She's the author of a website that's dedicated to making friendships, sharing recipes & crafts printables, and hosting giveaways.


  

      


You might remember when she invited me to be a Featured Guest on her blog earlier this year. I shared my favorite Fluffy Pancake recipe and Sunday family tradition, here.  

Always gracious and positive, she welcomes everyone to her site with beautiful photos and inspiration.

And if you, or someone you know, suffers from migraines, she has a wealth of information and migraine safe foods and recipes just for YOU.

Be sure to stop by and say Hi, here! 



As part of the tour, I'm invited to answer a few questions . . .

what am I working on now
Hello, Fall!
Like most people, I'm head-over-heels for this colorful season! 

I LOVE the cooler temperatures and all that comes along with it . . . cozy blankets, comfort foods,  roasted butternut squash, pumpkin-everything, spiced cider, and drives to the beach to watch the rain.

With all those wonderful things in mind, here are posts that I'm working on right now . . .

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
apple & cranberry brown sugar cookies 
home-made chicken stock 
early Fall decorating 
APPLES & PUMPKINS
butternut squash pizza 
Autumn fallen salad
WITH HONEY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
cocoa-streusel mini cakes
pumpkin quesadillas
TOPPED WITH BLACK BEAN, CRANBERRY & SWEET POTATO SALSA
pumpkin spice & white chocolate mug cakes
THE MAKINGS OF A COZY FALL EVENING
.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .










how does my work differ from others in its genre  

It's hard to find two blogs that are the same . . . and that's a good thing. 

We're all unique and bring our own thoughts to posts that we share with our readers. 

For me, I enjoy sharing pieces of our home life through what I'm baking and cooking . . . and simple decorating and entertaining ideas.  

Perhaps my favorite way to share my inspirations with you is through photos
I LOVE photography . . . and take upwards of 150+ photos a day. It might sound a little extreme, but I have 3 young children who I enjoy photographing . . . and I find beauty in darn near everything I see. So it is through my photos that I share our home life with you, in hopes that you find inspiration in what you see. 










why do I write what I do
  
Simply Suzannes at Home  is a 'personal' journal that I hope to publish into a book one day for my daughters. 

It's where I share my favorite recipes, our family traditions, easy entertaining ideas, decorating, and seasonal inspirations with friends, family, and readers (like you).  

I find so many of my favorites . . . my passions . . . right here at Home.  And I hope that our daughters can see through my posts and photos, that their Mommy enjoyed home life . . . baking, cooking, crafting, and entertaining. Perhaps they'll feel inspired to do the same with their families one day. 


&  PANCAKES, our Sunday morning tradition  & 


how does my writing process work

For me, it begins with photos. Taking photos is my favorite part of the whole process!

I create folders on my desktop with the photos that I've taken during the week - of recipes, crafts, entertaining, or decorating ideas that I want to share with you. Sometimes I jot my recipes and ideas down in my little brown book.

And it's when my little ones are napping, that I enjoy a cup of my favorite seasonal drink . . . and share my thoughts and recipes behind the photos. I try to share my posts within 5-7 of photographing and writing them.




my featured bloggers
Ok . . . First off, I think these girls are amazing. You can feel it when you read their posts and comments . . . and often see it in their photography. Their passion for life, food, and painting/refinishing is genuine . . . and therefore, beautiful. 

LIFE
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
I LOVE her blog's tagline . . .
My style follows my life: relaxed and well-worn, casual and classic, 
keeping things simple so there's room to enjoy the meaningful.
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
And Nicki is just that.
I look forward to reading her posts because of the relaxed nature of her writing, 
her simple & thoughtful posts, and beautiful photography. 
.     .     .     .     .     .     .    
Nicki is genuine, and I appreciate that most about her;
and when I visit her blog ~ I feel like I'm visiting a long-time friend.
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
Nicki's words from one of my favorite posts
 The Relationship between Work and Play
When my days feel like drudgery, I need that reminder, that attitude change, to just play.
To think of my housework as nesting, my yard work as gardening, my childcare as teaching, and my writing as storytelling. With this attitude, my challenges are puzzles to be solved, and my struggles are merely obstacles in a game.
.     .     .     .     .     .     .



FOOD
Gloria of Simply Gloria

.     .     .     .     .     .     .
Simply Gloria is a personal memoir and a lifestyle blog where she shares her love of 
food, DIY, crafts, family, and real life
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
Gloria is another amazing woman! 
First of all, have you seen what she makes in her kitchen!?! 
And then she photographs it for the world to see . . . and her photos are perfection.
But what I love most about her is that I can feel how much she loves and adores her 3 sons . . .
and being a mom too, I appreciate her sincerity so much.
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
And if you ever want to be taken to another world, visit her Instagram.
I'm not sure how to describe her photos . . . you just have to see them for yourself.
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
Gloria is probably best know for her food though.
So be sure and check out her incredible EATS index here!
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
Gloria's words from About Gloria . . .
So to sum it all up . . .  I am an idealist and impractical, imaginative and sensitive,
compassionate and kind, selfless and unworldly, intuitive and sympathetic, dreamy and generous.
.     .     .     .     .     .     .



CREATE
Sharon of Elizabeth & Co
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
I love Elizabeth & Co's tagline, too . . . 
Take a deep breath, you're home!
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
There is a darling home in Maryland that belongs to the girls of Elizabeth & Co
and Sharon is one of them. She's the voice and words behind the Elizabeth & Co blog
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
 Sharon is an incredibly talented painter and transforms vintage furniture into beautiful pieces . . . and then sells them in her shop! You can see some of them here.
She breathes new life into the old . . . and her passion for what she does is infectious.
Her genuine kindness and support have always been appreciated. 
Sharon inspires me to transform my beloved pieces into something new!
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
One of my favorite features of her website is her seasonal Garden parties.
If you follow me, then you know that I LOVE flowers, so it's always a treat when she hosts these gatherings! I enjoy the opportunity to see gardens and flowers from all over the world.
.     .     .     .     .     .     .
Sharon's words from About me . . .
I love all things related to creating a warm and welcoming home.
My home is my haven, my sanctuary, my safe place to land. And it's a total work in progress!
I team up with the girls to host occasional vintage tag slaes.
We love refreshing, reusing and repurposing vintage treasures.
Transforming vintage furniture is our specialty.
.     .     .     .     .     .     .






I hope you enjoyed my blog land tour!

Thanks so much for coming by!




LET'S STAY in touch!












Thursday, September 11, 2014

cinnamon sugar cookies . . . and apples, apples, apples for Teacher!



WARNING . . . There are alot of photos of apples!

I like to send a "Welcome back!" gift with my kids on their first day of school to give to their teachers.

Last year, I sent a big bag of home-made chewy chocolate chip and toffee cookies.

And this year, we baked cinnamon sugar cookies in the shape of apples!







I bought several varieties of apples at the Farmer's Market earlier in the week . . . Gala, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious.








The kids had no idea that there are so many varieties. We even had an apple taste-testing!

Pink Lady and Granny Smith were our favorite!

We decorated our cookies based on the apples we brought home from the Market.

And these were the home-made APPLES our 5- and-6-year old brought their teachers on the first day of school . . .








I packaged them in clear cellophane bags and then tied them with rustic rope. We carefully placed them in a simple brown gift bag cushioned with brown shredded paper.  They were darling!

Here are the kids' interpretations of the apples. They did a great job!


Braeburn 


Golden Delicious & Granny Smith 


Gala


Pink Lady
Did you notice the pink sanding sugar?
This was the girls' favorite apple!



I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe, and added cinnamon and a little nutmeg to give the dough warm hints of Fall. These spices were a great addition!



cinnamon sugar cookies
.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .   
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (1 ½  sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 egg, room temperature
 powder sugar (instead of flour) for rolling out dough
.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .    

Preparation
To make the cookies, in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt . . . set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and egg. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix until just combined.

Form the dough into a flattened ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or as long as overnight.

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 

On a lightly floured powder sugar surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart, and bake until just golden around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies from the pans and let cool completely.

Makes 10 to 20 cookies, depending on cutter size.






Sugar Cookie GLAZE
2 ¼  cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Combine ingredients and mix until smooth
Using a small paint brush (or the tip of your finger), spread on top of cookies
Sprinkle sanding sugar on top of GLAZE when it's wet

The secret to a 'clean' sugar edge is not letting the glaze drip down the sides of the cookie.
A thick glaze is also key.
After the glaze has been mixed, add 1 Tablespoon of confectioners' sugar at a time, 
until you get the desired consistency.
Have fun!








LET'S STAY in touch!







LET'S STAY in touch!









Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, It's Overflowing, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations, Home Stories, StoneGableAn Extraordinary Day, I'm Not a Trophy Wife, Between Naps on the Front Porch, Rustic Refined,  Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Elizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleThe Recipe CriticOur Home Away From HomeJanine HuldieCarolyn's Homework,  Fluster Buster   Kitchen Meets Girl,  Craftie Allie,  Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to Yours, I'm Not a Trophy Wife,  Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrowThe Freshman Cook,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid Simple,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, Pure Grace Farms A Dish of Daily Life, Bacon Time, Sunflower Supper Club, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaOne More Time Events, 3 Little Greenwoods














Monday, September 8, 2014

back to school . . .



Summer is officially over for us.

               I shared my thoughts about it recently, here.

                                           We traded our flip flops, beach towels, and sunblock  . . . . 




               . . . .  for new backpacks, lunch boxes, school clothes, and 'real' shoes.


 


Our 5- and-6-year old started school last Thursday. 

I was so proud of them both. They did great! 

Our oldest daughter had a rough time when she started Kindergarten last year. Crocodile tears every day, for weeks . . . as well as many sleepless nights; but not this year.  

I smiled (and choked back big tears!) as I watched her walk to the 1st grade line with confidence, bouncing curls and all. 

And for our little guy, he joined his new Kindergarten classmates with a smile. I could sense a little apprehension in his eyes, but he was so brave as he followed the teacher to his new classroom.





I managed to hold it together until I got to my car, and then tears streamed down my face all the way home.  Last week was rough for me. I missed them like crazy (and still do). 

I love spending time with my kids . . . teaching them, cooking & baking with them, dreaming up fun craft projects. We discovered the library recently . . . and all the family activities they offer. It's so fun taking them to check out books. Do you remember doing that as a child, too? I noticed that all our books are about pumpkins and Halloween (fun!).





The house was quiet this morning, except for the pitter patter of our little Lauren Jane's feet. 

Without her older siblings to keep up with every minute of every hour, she was my sidekick. 

She had me all to herself, which is new for her and me. 

As much as I miss our big Kindergartner and First Grader, I know that time apart allows for a new kind of growth and a greater appreciation for one another . . . for me and for them. 

Sometimes this 'growing up thing' is hard, even for Mommies like me.


~ an apple for Teacher ~



LET'S STAY in touch!








Sharing with . . . .

Stephanie Lynn, It's Overflowing, Twelve O Eight, Carrie This Home, Cooking for the Seven Dwarves, Huckleberry Love, Dwellings, Smart Party Planning,  The Dedicated HouseMod Vintage LifeLori's Culinary Creations, Home Stories, StoneGableAn Extraordinary Day, I'm Not a Trophy Wife, Between Naps on the Front Porch, Rustic Refined,  Tumbleweed ContessaA Stroll Thru Life,Elizabeth & Co,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern StyleThe Recipe CriticOur Home Away From HomeJanine HuldieCarolyn's Homework,  Fluster Buster   Kitchen Meets Girl,  Craftie Allie,  Wednesday morning The Blissful Bee,  The Newlywed Pilgrimage Chic California, Lamberts LatelyLive Laugh RoweSweet Bella Roos, The Charm of Home, From My Front Porch to Yours, I'm Not a Trophy Wife,  Delightsome Life.Posed PerfectionKatherine's CornerNancherrowThe Freshman Cook,  Jann OlsonHome  Maid Simple,  Rooted in ThymeEveryday Enchanted Home, Pure Grace Farms A Dish of Daily Life, Bacon Time, Sunflower Supper Club, Tater Tots and Jello,  Cooking with CurlsMade from PinterestSimply GloriaOne More Time Events, 3 Little Greenwoods






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