Inspired by Life

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pancakes & Fruit

Use a basic pancake recipe, and load it with your choice of toppings for a scrumptious breakfast!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Perfume Collector

Just finished my second book of the year - The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro. Intriguing, compelling, mysterious, well-written book that is filled with beautiful language and descriptions of a world only imagined in this day and age. The plot is obvious right from the start but that is not a deterrent. An inheritance from a stranger, an abandoned perfume store in Paris, exquisite perfumes that hold a secret and described in the most sensuous language, The Perfume Collector is about the journey of one woman trying to make amends and another woman's journey of self-discovery.

Tessaro glides from one timeline in the 1920's with Eva to another in the 1950's with Grace, and does so beautifully, weaving the two lives together until the end when all is revealed and the tapestry is complete. The storyline is held together with the silvery thread of the history of perfume. the characters develop right before your eyes, and it is a tale of passion and possibilities. Being both an Anglophile and a Francophile, I enjoyed this book that bridged both countries and brought with it an elegance beyond compare.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Dinner w/ the Tuttles

I love this family. Let me tell you why. The handsome teenager on my left - Jesse Tuttle - is now seventeen years old and will turn 18 in one month. I held him in my arms when he was just a few days old when he came home from the hospital in Singapore. Stewart & Leti Tuttle have known me since I was Jesse's age when we lived in India.

They have traveled far and wide across the globe, and we have somehow managed to live in the same area - 30 minutes away from each other - after 17 years! How awesome is that? They are a fun-loving, sweet family, who will be our lifelong friends, no matter where in the world we live.

Aaron and I enjoyed a delicious dinner made by Leti and Stewart, chatted with Jesse before he took off to hang our with his friends, teased David about having his face stuck in his iPad, reading the whole time (I can relate to this), and loved watching Rachel keep trying to escape to her bedroom to watch her favorite shows. We had some delectable dessert, settled into cozy chairs and talked away, sharing stories of our lives, and laughing hard for hours.

Just like an evening with family ought to be.

#365Photos - Day 4 - Memory Foam Body Pillow

This pregnant mama is thankful for this memory foam body pillow!

Friday, January 3, 2014

#365Photos - Day 3 - Cheese Fondue

Yummy cheese fondue. We spent New Years' Eve with some friends - the Larsens and the Gustafsons - who had planned a delicious fondue three course meal. We started out with this cheese fondue, moved on to hot pot with chicken, beef, and shrimp, and polished it off with a chocolate fondue. yes, I know you wish you were there too! We also played Trivial Pursuit Team in which the boys ended up with a question about breast implants and lost that round, and the girls ended up with Superbowl something or other, and guessed every single one correctly and won the game. Yeah!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

#365Photos - Day 2 - January Reading Pile

My reading pile for the month of January. Saying "I love to read" is a gross understatement.

The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag

Just finished my first book of the year - The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag - A Flavia de Luce mystery. Loved it! Flavia, an eleven-year old, whose passion for chemistry and genius for solving murders, leads her this time to a world of puppets and poisoned chocolates. It is set within a month or so of the previous (first) book in the series, so it is easy to pick up the pieces in the beginning. I love Flavia's sense of humor along with her curiosity. her penchant for solving murders leaves the police taking notes about how to conduct investigations. Alan Bradley serves up yet another wonderfully juicy mystery to bite into. A fun read! If you haven't been introduced to Flavia yet, start with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and keep on reading!

Cranberry Streusel Bars

Happy New Year!!! Hope your holidays were filled with fun, food, friends, family, and some wonderful memories :) I have lots of fun, family pics taken during our brief but fabulous vacation with our family in Nebraska - so keep checking back for those.

This week, I decided that I would go through my Pinterest account and do some organizing :) How many of us pin recipes like crazy only to have them languishing on our boards, tempting us but not enough to actually make them? So, I am going through several recipes this week, trying them out and either discarding or keeping them.

The first of such experiments happens to be this easy to make Cranberry Streusel Bar recipe from Mrs. Happy Homemaker. These bars are tasty (I am chomping on one right now), look pretty, and will impress your guests to no end. And, if you don't serve them or give them away quickly, you will definitely eat them all, with no regrets whatsoever. Read on for the recipe.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

#365photos - Day 1 - Paisley Flannel Sheets

Paisley flannel sheets that keep us warm each night. I love the colors and the patterns!