28 December, 2011


Ohhh my poor blog. I have neglected it so over the last month.

I have been busy with food preparations, party planning, time with friends, and business old and new. My thoughts have wandered to this space more times than I can count, and I just haven't made the time to sit down and post lately... something I hope to remedy in the new year.

V has his vacation time right now, until the first week in January, so we've also been spending loads of time together. It's been really bittersweet to be disconnected, but around this time of the year, it becomes necessary. Time to think, plan, and recharge, ready to face the new year head on!

For now, I think I will continue to relish the quiet times spent near my husband playing board games, reading so many books, and making plans for 2012! Happy New Year, friends and I'll see you again in a few days!

12 December, 2011

Wax & Pine Cone Firestarters: A Tutorial

Last winter, we lived in a cold, cold little cottage. We bought a wood stove and things were much better after that. It's a wonderful thing, a good wood burning stove, but sometimes getting it started can be a pain. As with any fire, you have to start small.
Unfortunately for us, winter was a surprisingly humid season so all of our kindling and yes, even the matches had a hint of dampness that made our fire starting especially difficult. Balls of paper would merely smolder and blacken the tiny bits of sawdust and kindling above it and often, I found myself fiddling with the fire for up to twenty minutes using scads and scads of matches.
Occasionally, we had some leftover wax from tea lights which was helpful in producing a flame that lasted more than 10 seconds before being snuffed out. The thing was, if something could just burn for more than a few seconds at a time, our fire making would have gone a lot smoother.
How I wish that Winter 2011 Shannon knew Winter 2010 Shannon. Some things have changed for us, and A.) this winter so far isn't nearly as biting cold as the last, and B.) we (sadly) no longer have a wood stove but that doesn't stop me from making these cool things anyway!

These fire starters would have saved me hours spent kneeling on the floor with a face full of smoke last winter. They're so easy to make, albeit a bit time-consuming waiting for the wax to melt... but the time spent in the kitchen making these will save you lots of time in front of your wood stove. Also, they're great to give to a friend who has a wood stove! Hooray for easy hand made Christmas gifts!

10 December, 2011

Getting into the Christmas Spirit: Part Two

This post is a continuation of my previous one, "Getting into the Christmas Spirit: Part One".

My contribution to our new traditions has certainly been more about decorations than anything else.
Aside from the village, a decoration that has been with me for ages is this sweet little ceramic angel.

09 December, 2011

Getting into the Christmas Spirit: Part One

I will be the first to admit that up until December first, I am a Scrooge. Christmas decor in the grocery stores in October is ridiculous to me, Christmas music on November the 10th sends me into a fit of inner frustration, and don't even get me started on Christmas trees up before Thanksgiving.

My opinion is - that in the last three months of the year, there are three very fun holidays, each designated with its very own special month. What's better is that each holiday is at the end of each month. Halloween, October 31st. Thanksgiving, the last Thursday of November. Christmas, December 25th. We get an entire month to enjoy each holiday on it's own, but it seems to me that Christmas - or should I say "End-Of-December-Consumerism" is bursting at the seams wanting to be noticed now, Now, NOW!!!

*steps off of soapbox I didn't even realize I stood up on* "How did I get up here?"

But enough about that. This post isn't on Scrooge (me) before the holidays. This post is about Debbie Downer (also me) getting into the Christmas Spirit!

02 December, 2011

Freebie Fridays

Giving Thanks

Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned been away. It has been nearly two weeks since my last post... my goodness! Has it really been that long?!

Things in the Spirited household have been neither terribly busy, nor stagnant, but just enough, if you know what I mean. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast-cum-game night with a few friends. It was my first time in several years making pumpkin pie, and my first ever time making it from absolute scratch - including roasting a pumpkin.

my pies before going in the oven


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