Sunday, August 25, 2013

Children have more need of models than of critics

Children have more need of models than of critics.

— Joseph Joubert

Artist Unknown
Follow my page Graceful Moments, where I share the light on Unity.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fall Reading, Family Time & Apple Cake

Getting ready for the Fall season in Florida is different than I imagined. It's still so hot during the day, it's like a continued summer break. Last Fall, we had the opportunity to travel to New England. It was such a lovely time to visit, the trees were golden and the Cape had lot's of stores decorated with pumpkins and mums. It was picturesque.
Sometime over the past year or so I heard about Susan Branch, the watercolor artist and author on Martha's Vineyard. She has a quaint life, and has just finished her latest book 'A Fine Romance'. As a treat, I bought Susan's first book, Heart of The Home and it's just arrived, there's lot's of recipes I hope to try this Fall.
Heart of the Home by Susan Branch

Here's a list of fun family things to do this Fall:
F a l l
Here's a recipe, I'm going to be trying out this Fall.
Apple Cardamom Cakes

Mom's Tupp Apple Cake via Tartelette

Notes: if you do not intend to make a gluten free cake, replace all the gluten free flours (rice, tapioca, sorghum) with 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour.
The cake bakes in two separate times: first for 10 minutes, the remove it from the oven to add the cream topping and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
I added cardamom just because it reminds me even more of my mom but you can skip that part or add cinnamon instead.

For the cake:
1/2 cup (80gr) sweet brown rice flour
1/4 cup (30gr) tapioca flour
1/2 cup (65gr) sorghum flour
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon (5gr) baking powder
3/4 cup (190ml) whole milk
1/3 cup (80ml) oil
1 egg
2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I like Granny Smith but any kind will do here)

For the topping:
5 1/2 tablespoons(80gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray or butter the inside of a 9-inch round baking pan or several 3 to 4-inch baking pans if you want smaller cakes. Place them on a baking sheet and set aside.
In large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cardamom, salt and baking powder. Reserve. In another large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil and egg until just blended.
Slowly pour the liquids over the dry ingredients, whisking well to make sure that everything is well incorporated, about 40 to 50 strokes.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and arrange the apple slices on top in a circular pattern.

Prepare the topping:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Reserve

Bake the cake(s) in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the cake(s) from the oven and spread the creamy butter topping over the top(s). Bake an additional 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean.

You can keep up with my Fall pins, and I'd love to hear your Fall traditions.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back to School: Milk and Cookies Party

Welcome to my bloggy milk and cookies party.
With the summer coming to a close, and the fresh start of a new school year, what's a better way to celebrate than an old fashioned milk and cookies party, with neighbors and school friends.
Milk & chocolate chip cookie cupcakes
Serve muffins with mini cookies and milk bottles on top, homemade cookies and milk. You can decorate with apples, and have some cut up as a healthy snack.
Back to school milk & cookie party
For entertainment, bring out the board games. Games like scrabble (or words with friends) will help refresh the memory of words forgotten over summer break.
Scrabble cookies
Happy school year to you!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

High hearts are never long without hearing some new call

High hearts are never long without hearing some new call, some distant clarion of God, even in their dreams; and soon they are observed to break up the camp of ease, and start on some fresh march of faithful service. And, looking higher still, we find those who never wait till their moral work accumulates, and who reward resolution with no rest; with whom, therefore the alternation is instantaneous and constant; who do the good only to see the better, and see the better only to achieve it; who are too meek for transport, too faithful for remorse, too earnest for repose; whose worship is action, and whose action ceaseless aspiration.

— James Martineau (Unitarian, clergy, theologian)

Artist Unknown
Follow my page Graceful Moments, where I share the light on Unity.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sentimental Saturday: Sleepless in Seattle Houseboat

Remember Sam and Annie in the 1993 movie Sleepless in Seattle?

Happy ending: The couple are brought together at the Empire State Building with Sam's son Jonah (near right)

Jim and Loretta bought the houseboat featured in the romantic comedy in 1993, and married six months later.

Still Sleepless: Loretta and Jim Healy bought the four-bedroom floating home in 1993 and say that they have been happy there for the past 20 years

Twenty romantic years on, they still live an idyllic life on the Seattle houseboat. Here it is today!

Present day: The iconic houseboat 20 years later

It's one of my all time favorite sentimental movies. Not to mention Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are two of my favourite actors, here's a movie trailer.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Heaven is a Place on Earth

I often ask myself, why I reminisce so much.
Is it looking at the past with nostalgia?
A glimpse of the future with trepidation?
Or is it hope that our dreams will somehow stitch themselves together?
Nowadays, everyone has an opinion on who to blame, what they would do, where it all went wrong, and when things changed.
Instead, why don't we "be the change" as Gandhi once said.
I hate to tell the makers of journals, prints, jewelry, and about a million pins this, but Gandhi never said that. He said similar things, but a paraphrase is not the same as a quote.
Most likely, because that would take work, an act of effort on our parts...and what the hey, it's easier to form an opinion than to practice what we preach.
'What would heaven on earth look like to you'?
By writing a private journal, you can formulate your thoughts. Do research, cross past thoughts out, and re-write, almost as if your a student in college...because after all, we forget, we're students our whole lives.

Those of us in America (as well as other first world countries) are born more fortunate than those in third world countries. We are blessed with a lot of basic needs.

Remember the video by Micheal Jackson, 'We are the World'? It's one of my favorites, listen to the lyrics closely.  

Although, we can't save the world, we can give our most precious gift, our hearts. A second favorite, is the Christmas song, 'Do they know it's Christmas time again'.

The gift we get in return from other countries is an opportunity to see how different cultures work, have developed and what does work as opposed to what doesn't work.

In America, serving God, and the middle class family is what we all strive for. The American dream! Somehow, it's slowly slipping away, and thus nostalgia sets in.

What we do have to remember, is that along with 'the way we were' a lot of progression has occurred. And regardless of wealth, race, gender, or orientation an ideal is that we learn to love.

Love, you see, is blind (no pun intended).
Love is blind

Once we give love, we can recieve love. That's the first step to heaven on earth.
Then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways, for you, you only, know the hearts of the children of mankind.
- 2 Chronicles 6:30

Selling Spelling Manor

Oh my goodness. I've been wanting to watch this special that was featured on HGTV for years, and I finally found the whole version, without commercials.
Grab a cup of tea, and give me a high five!

I love Candy. She's so poised, graceful and looks so modern for someone whose now sixty-seven years of age.


It seems like Candy was ready to downsize and both her children mention in the video that the 56,000 square foot home was a lot of maintenance, but it would have been nice to become a museum of sorts. They could have done tours, and decorated the home for the Holiday's and done a once a year charity gala. I'm thinking along the lines of Graceland.

What do you think?

I'll be following her new journey with her show The Manor in The Sky!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Second Ever Menu Monday

Today, I'm linking up with Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill
Lately, I've not been doing so well with menu planning, my mind has just been so consumed with other things. But on a whim, I have been getting back into my Menu Monday routine.
On Mondays, I print out the weeks menu planner, and write down meals that would fit in and around our weeks schedule. I take some time on my delicious Pinterest board, to see if I've pinned any new recipe ideas, that I'd like to try for the week also.
I found this planner to be useful.
free meal planning printable
Then I compile my grocery list {here's the one I used} from my meal planner, taking into account what we already may have. During this process, I clean out the fridge of anything that has perished.

Here are this weeks dinners

Taco Salad
Lettuce, minced beef in taco seasoning, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream. We've also added black eyed peas in the past.

We're going to the beach, so we'll get Chic-Fil-A for lunch
Chicken Kabobs with green peppers over a wild rice.
Lunch at Panera and then a movie date to see Meet the Millers
I'm going to try the Asparagus tart recipe for the first time

and make my Strawberry pie recipe.
 Baked potatoes with sour cream and bacon bits served with creamy tomato soup

Broccoli soup
 Cream of broccoli, and cream of celery, water, on one stove top. On the other suttee broccoli, onion, garlic and carrots. Mix together and serve.
Broccoli lovers need only apply.
Roast Pork with Rosemary and gravy
Side dishes: roasted baby potatoes, asparagus, and oven baked broccoli bake


Sunday, August 11, 2013

From all that dwell below the skies, Let songs of hope and faith arise

From all that dwell below the skies
Let songs of hope and faith arise;
Let peace, good will, on earth be sung
Through every land by every tongue.
— adapted from words by Isaac Watts
sung to the tune “Old Hundredth

Art by Vladimir Volegov
Follow my page Graceful Moments, where I share the light on Unity.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sentimental Tea Party

You're welcome to have a seat, and pour yourself a cup of tea as we talk about weddings this sentimental Saturday.
pretty pastels
This day, twenty-eight years ago was my parents wedding day in South Africa.
August 10th, 1985
They were twenty-seven and twenty-four.

 Left to right: My paternal Granny, my Dad, my Mom, my paternal Grandpa, my maternal Nana
Front: bridesmaids Amanda and Michelle
They were married by a Evangelical Pastor who was one of my dad's best friends at the time.  My mom called the church 'happy-clappy' because the congregation would stand up and sing with so much enthusiasm.

My Nana flew out from England for the wedding, and helped my mom make the wedding cake, and with wedding planning. My mom wore a tea-length dress, and peep toe shoes, very similar to my wedding dress and shoes.

After the ceremony, they had a reception at the boat club, and they spent their honeymoon in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe...and that is how I became the honeymoon baby.
 My Dad with Amanda and Michelle

Weddings were so different back then, and even more so in my grandparents generation. I remember my Nana sharing a story about how my Grandad took her on a honeymoon in a motorcycle and was during 1950's.

Ha ha!

I encourage you to invite your parents, and grandparents to a sentimental tea, and ask them to tell you about their wedding stories.
Outdoor wedding decor. Family portraits in eclectic frames on tree trunk. Rustic romance.

Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, August 9, 2013

THIRD EVER 5 on Friday

I'm linking up for my third ever 5 on Friday.
I got married last Wednesday on July 31st, 2013.
We had a dock wedding, you can see more pictures here.
We cut our cake on Venice Beach, in Florida.
It was such a memorable beach day. We're about 20 minutes away from this beach, and we have a tradition of going to Chic-Fil-A and getting a chicken salad sarnie and sweet tea every time. This time we had cake for dessert, and watched the sunset over The Gulf.
Making memories!
Well, I'm all about chocolate cake, so I had the smallest slither of the cake, and sure enough after a few days...I opened the fridge and my newly wedded hubby had finished all but one small slice.
Ha ha.
I have booked my trip to Europe in September!
I'll be staying with my mum and sister in England for about fifteen days, in the countryside home I grew up in. We're planning on visiting some stately homes. We did that a lot when I was growing up. Apparently, the Diana, Princess of Wales exhibition at Althorp is about to close next year. But I'll be there two weeks late for this year...
They open from Diana's birthday, July 1st until the date she died, August 31st.
Althorp Estate
I'd probably be in tatters anyway.
But, I'll see old high school friends, and then take a trip with my sister to Germany, for my dad's memorial service. He died in May, a week before my birthday after a two and a half year battle with pancreatic cancer.
 I volunteered with children whose parents are going through cancer for about two years. It was so absorbing, and those children melted my heart. So when I saw this adorable girl, made me really reflect.
Call someone you miss today,
or send a letter to grandma...
Tell someone intentionally, that you love them.
Because, after all life is about making memories, and that's the only thing you can leave behind that's worth anything.
A toddler who has more than 100 blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant before her first birthday is back at home after an amazing recovery. Please pray for baby Ava Maye Riley-Maher.
Here's a recipe I had to share:
Pancakes made in muffin tins. Only fill the tin 1/2 full and it will create the crater when it bakes. Fill with fresh berries.

Pancakes made in muffin tins. Only fill the tin 1/2 full and it will create the crater when it bakes. Fill with fresh berries.


Have a happy weekend y'all.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Charming Colonials

Lately, I've been obsessed with charming colonial architecture. One of the most popular being the home of George and Nina Banks in the movie Father of the Bride.
Father of the Bride House
Here's a floor plan of the Bank's home, but in the movie it was reversed. The dining room was on the right, and the living room on the left.
Floor 1
Floor 2


The following description of Colonial architecture was published in 1928 by in the Home Builders Catalog:
"The Colonial architecture is more closely associated with American history and traditions than any other type of architecture. A brief review of the famous dwellings to which Americans look with pride will show them to one Colonial style or another. So closely has the Colonial home been interwoven with American Life that it is only within recent years that a family of culture would consider anything else. Nor must we think that all houses looked alike, for in its wide and extensive use different kinds of Colonial houses developed. Colonial houses flourished in New England, in New York, in Virginia and the South and in the North under diverse climates and conditions. As necessity is the mother of architecture, it was inevitable that Colonial architecture should develop along various lines.
"Notwithstanding the close association of Colonial architecture with American home life and the fact that it has taken on various forms, it has one common and foreign source. The style was directly borrowed by the American Colonists from Georgian England, whose architects in turn looked to Greek and Roman models for their inspiration. Knowing this ancestry, it is not difficult to understand the emphasis upon horizontal lines, the simple division of interior space, the application of Classic orders, the comfortable impression of compactness and the exceeding economy of the style. The use of flat pilasters and columns which are part and parcel of the Southern Colonial style have also obviously their Classic models. Nor was it a simple task to adapt the cold, monumental architecture of the Greek and Roman public buildings to home use. We have to thank the particular genius of Englishmen of the Georgian period for making this style flexible and warm and at the same time retentive of all its ancestry. One has only to look at the old Georgian houses to ascertain this.
"While the American colonists copied the Georgian style in general, they were not content to leave it untouched, and many of the delightful features of Colonial architecture are their innovations. Such indispensable accessories as brass knockers, cut glass door knobs and old gilt mirrors topped with their bold eagles were the devices of our forefathers. The double twist in the newel post, the dark mahogany hand rail and the frequent application of shutters are also American in origin. A comparison of New England and Southern Colonial homes with the pure Georgian houses will help to convey the extent which Americans have altered, and in some ways refined upon their original English models. Excepting the architectural principles themselves there is very little of the old English houses in either New England or Southern Colonial homes.

"As has been pointed out, local conditions play a tremendously important part in the shaping of an architectural style. Thus we see two different styles of Colonial architecture in New England and in Virginia and the South which are designated as New England Colonial and Southern Colonial. The difference in climate shows it effect upon the height of ceilings, high ceilings being required in the South because of the heat. The local supply of material accounts for the fact that New England Colonial homes are almost invariably built of wood siding, while the discovery of excellent beds of clay in Virginia caused brick to become popular there.
"The Southern planter, being the wealthier man, indulged in the use of Classic orders with greater profuseness, as is evidenced by the colonnade which extended through two stories, an outstanding characteristic of the Southern Colonial home. He was also able to place the kitchen and servants’ quarters in adjoining structures, thus permitting retention of the fourfold division of rooms on the first floor. The practical New Englander, on the other hand, converted one entire side of the first floor into a large living room and had to refrain from the privacy of outbuildings because of the much higher fuel consumption. Other necessities caused other distinctions in style, so that we have come to look upon the Southern Colonial and New England Colonial as two different types of architecture altogether.
"In spite of these outward differences, the essence of classic architecture is retained in both. The emphasis upon horizontal lines, the economic use of space, there being no cozy corners or nooks, the simple dignity withal are seen in both. Because of its simplicity and subsequent economy and because it is a type of architecture proven by our countrymen, it deserves serious consideration from the prospective home builder. He may be sure that he will never tire of his Colonial home, that its charm will be lasting and that it will mellow with age. And what a cultural environment it provides for the raising of a family."
Published in 1928 By Home Builders Catalog Co., 1315-1321 Congress St., CHICAGO
love any house that reminds me of "Father of the Bride."

Monday, August 5, 2013

Courage and Pinterest My Dears

Thought this quote was really thoughtful enough to share.
Yay, more Oprah!
One of the bestest ways for me to feel uplifted, or motivated is to catch up with my Pinterest pins, there's so many quotes, recipes and design ideas that looking at my pins puts me in a happy place.
If you like tea parties, the beach, picnics etc. follow my pins here my dears.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Married My Sweetheart

Hello darlings.
Last Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 I got married to my longtime sweetheart.
We were married on our dock in Port Charlotte, with the water all around us.
Followed by a delicious Southern style dinner and cut our cake on the beautiful Venice beach.
I wore a vintage inspired dress, and cream peep toe shoes with my collection of vintage style jewelry.
I really enjoyed doing all the flower arranging. We had cream peonies, cream hydrangeas, baby yellow roses, blush roses, lavender and wildflowers.
It was so pretty.
I'll add more photos, when I can. We have some of our cake, candlelight dinner and sunset pictures.
Have a delightful start to your week!
I'm linking with Alderberry Hill for Make the Scene Monday #86 

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