The Farmhouse Kitchen {Pumpkin Doughnuts}

These doughnuts are very easy to make and taste delicious.  
They are tender and fluffy inside.
And have just the right amount of sweetness.  


The Farmhouse Kitchen {Pumpkin Scones}

The Weather Man™ loves Starbucks.
Particularly the contents of the pastry/baked goods counter.

A few weeks ago, I ran across a "copycat recipe" for Starbucks Pumpkin Scones.
Between the pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin ales, maybe you are tiring of the everyone's favorite seasonal flavor.
Not me.
I'm just getting cranked up.


Shall We Catch Up?

Happy Fall!
{Seriously, who thought this one could pen a post 
after not seeing you for months and not throw in a heartfelt "y'all"? }

I have missed you.  
I hope the same is true on your end.

Between the wedding planning and the parties and the showers and the family traditions and the newlywed life...folks, buckle up...
Because I have a lot to say.


Bridal Shower Brunch at the Farm

The past weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a bridal shower brunch.

And, when I say "I had the pleasure", I mean that I wholeheartedly enjoyed planning every detail of the day.

The guest of honor loves hydrangeas.

It just so happens that my future mother-in-law has some serious hydrangeas.
{If I were looking for reasons why marrying The Weather Man™  would be a good idea, access to his mother's hydrangea blooms would rank pretty high on the list.*}
Perhaps it already does...


The Farmhouse Kitchen: {Strawberry Shortcake}

It is strawberry season in my corner of the world.

There are few foods I love more than vine ripened fresh strawberries.

My favorite way to enjoy them is plain.

Just the way God prepared them.

My second favorite way is in old fashioned shortcakes.


Saturday {New Line from Kate Spade and Vineyard Visit}

As I'm sure many of you know, the kate spade new york family grew by one last month, with the launching of Kate Spade Saturday.

The items offered in the line are a bit more causal than the pieces from kate spade new york.  
They are also substantially cheaper.  

The US based online store, Saturday.com, went live in March 2013.  

Of course, I combed the website upon activation, but didn't get excited about too much.
I'm a big fan of the classic, traditional, somewhat preppy aesthetic of the original clothing line.


Notes from the Garden

Springtime brings with it lots of activity to the farm.

And lots of beauty.

And lots of work.

Longer days mean more sunlight for getting things done.


Tuesday's Tip: {Personalized Wine Glasses}

One of my very best friends is getting married.
Her engagement party was Saturday night. 

Although gifts at an engagement party are not obligatory, I wanted to give the couple a little something.  
Because I am so excited for them.
And, so excited to be celebrating this life event with them.


Saturday Shopping: Splurge vs. Steal, A Stool

If you've read any of my "What I Wore" posts, then you know that I love a bargain, and I don't shy away from money-saving moves.

One of my favorite pieces in my home is an old drop leaf table.
It is covered with chippy white paint.
I paid $20.00  for it, as is. 

It used to live in the farmhouse guest bedroom, as a {rather large} bedside table.   
It is now in my living room in front of the big, double windows overlooking the front lawn.   

Because it was so inexpensive, I have no qualms about dragging it out of doors whenever I entertain there.

Here it is last Spring, just waiting for The Farmer's birthday cake.


I have been looking for a stool...or a small ottoman...or a pouf...small enough to store underneath the table, to use as extra seating in my living room.


Friday at the Farm: {Itty Bitty Little Biddies}

The newest additions arrived this week.

Little Rhode Island Reds.

Baby hens are called "biddies".

The biddies are staying in their own special, custom built house.
Where they are safe.
And warm.


Guest Posting at You May Be Wandering ~ Part II

I am pleased to be guest posting over You May Be Wandering  again today.

I hope you will wander along with me as I share some of my favorite places, tastes, and moments from our recent Tuscan adventure.

I am completely enamored with Sandy's blog.
If you haven't already, take a moment to check it out, and you'll see why.
When I first started blogging, I often read that the most rewarding part of writing a blog is the people you meet.
  I am finding that to be true.


"Wandering" From Farm To Farm

Today, I am so excited to let you know that I am guest posting over at
You May Be Wandering.

Please join me as I share my experience with another farmhouse.

One located in southern Tuscany. 


Do yourself a favor and check out her blog while you're there.

You'll love it.

It is gorgeous, and full of all kinds of tips and tricks for travelling. 
But, it's more than that. 
She is witty, has brilliant ideas, and her enthusiasm for the world around her
 really does shine through her writing.

Ciao, Farm Filers.


A Farm Weekend: {Potato Planting & Spring Calves}

What a gorgeous weekend full of springtime weather, family, friends, good food, and worship!   

The Weather Man™  helped get the weekend started off on the right foot by sending me this lovely Easter bouquet last Thursday.  

The potatoes were planted in the garden.

For those of you who don't know...to grow a potato, you plant a potato.

How To Plant Potatoes


Happy Easter

It has been a busy and wonderful weekend at the farm.

I can't wait to share details with you.  

But, for now, I'd like to wish you and your families a wonderful Easter.

"You ask me how I know He lives?  He lives within my heart."
                                                                                        ~Alfred H. Ackley


For the Love of {Eggs}

Earlier this week, I shared a tutorial for making your own natural egg dyes.

I received several inquiries about the eggs I used.

I'll admit that I love having my own egg supply.

And, knowing...

Knowing that the chickens haven't received any antibiotics or hormones...

Knowing what they eat...

Knowing that they are free to roam in the fresh air and sunshine...

Knowing their names.

Why would I go through so much trouble to have healthy, sustainable, natural, eggs, only to dunk them in a cup of poison?

That is why I explored how to make natural egg dyes.


All-Natural Easter Egg Dye {DIY}

Yesterday, I shared a recipe for making egg dyes using natural ingredients.

I used ingredients I had in my kitchen.

All dyes were plant based.

For recipe and instructions, read here.

I received several questions about the individual colors.


Farm Fresh Easter Eggs {Natural Egg Dye Recipe}

One of the best things about farm living is having fresh eggs.

Within yards of the house.

I decided to color some eggs using dyes made from items found in my kitchen.

No artificial colors.


Friday at the Farm: {Early Spring Heirlooms}

"The deep roots never doubt that Spring will come."
                                                                                                   -Marty Rubin

These flowers are always the first sign of Spring at the farm.

The sunny yellow hue an appropriate harbinger of the sunny days to come.


Eye Candy: {Prentice Hicks Glass}

A few weeks ago, I mused about the {relatively new} tradition of bridal/wedding registries.

So far, we have registered at one store.*  

I mentioned that occasionally I like to give gifts that aren't on the registry, so I thought I'd share one of my favorites.

Prentice Hicks Glass  

Each piece of glass is a work of art... that can be used in everyday life. 


Monday Musings: {The Wedding Theme}

I know there are women who have had their weddings planned in their heads for years...

Who have clipped and saved photos {and the modern version...pinned images...}

Who had the notebook under their beds just sitting on 'go' when the proposal came...

I am not one of those women. 


The First Blog Mention

My little newbie blog received its first mention by an established blog this past week.

All thanks to Sandy, over at You May Be Wandering.

Her blog is gorgeous, and full of all kinds of tips and tricks for travelling. 
But, it's more than that. 
She is witty, has brilliant ideas, and her enthusiasm for the world around her really does come through her writing.  

This photograph started it all:

Dome of St. Peter's Basilica, from inside Vatican


What I Wore to Work {+ shopping tips}

Do you ever buy a piece of clothing, and later think to yourself,

"I wish I would've bought two or four of these..."?

Because that piece becomes a go-to favorite, and you know you'll actually be sad when it is ruined, torn, stained, worn out, or otherwise out of commission? 

That happened to me with this blouse.

It is from the Brooks Bothers Factory Store. 

Machine washable.



Monday Musings: Guard Donkeys

Meet Stella.

Guardian Donkey.

Donkeys and coyotes are natural enemies.

I have realized that this little law of nature is not widely known outside of cattlemen and farming circles.


How I Proposed...To My Bridesmaids

I decided to use handwritten notes to ask the special ladies in my life to be bridesmaids.

{ If you're new to the blog, see Tuesday's post here about the handmade cards.}

I was given a bit of an inferiority complex by the "short film" brides, so I jazzed up the cards to make them more like gifts.

I included a few other girly touches like a gingham ribbon.


Bridesmaid Proposals

Did you know there is a wedding trend known as "bridesmaid proposals"...
basically, a proposal to those ladies in your life...
to ask them to be bridesmaids in a creative and special way?

I did not.  I do now.

I have been an attendant in eight weddings.  The latest was a few years ago.

Apparently this trend emerged somewhere in the interim?

I suppose it makes sense, women love this sort of thing.

And bridesmaids typically spend lots of time and money to make sure the bride's day {and general bridal experience} is as special as possible.

I have read about brides "proposing" using videos and short films, grand gestures, etc.

I took a much simpler approach.


How To: {Simple Gift Wrap}

As we all know, presentation is important.

Even the smallest gift deserves to be dressed up.

I try to keep a few items on hand, so a small package can be wrapped at a moment's notice...

a hostess gift...

a last minute birthday treat...

a shower gift when you didn't receive much notice...

Which is exactly what happened to me recently.

Luckily, I had three key items on hand.


Monday Musings: {The Bridal Registry}

I read somewhere that the newly engaged can't register too soon.  The article said that a future bride should register as soon as she feels like it, because people will send gifts earlier than imagined.

We haven't registered.

 I don't even know where to begin.
{perhaps with a wedding date...?}

Much to my surprise, we have already received a thoughtful, fantastic gift.


Homemade Honey Hair Treatment

I received several messages in response to earlier posts discussing  the use of raw honey as part of a skin care regimen.

One reader shared with me that she uses honey as a hair treatment.

It was my turn to be intrigued.


Friday at the Farm: {The First Wedding Gift}

Our first wedding gift arrived in yesterday's post.


And, so exciting.

For those of you who are new here, I became engaged a little over two weeks ago.

{The official blog announcement can be found here, if you missed it.}


Monday Musings: {The Seed Catalog & A Challenge}

"Growing food was the first activity that gave us enough propsperity to stay in one place, form complex social groups, tell our stories, and build our cities."
                                                                                           -Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

It's cold out this time of year.

Windy. Icy. Snowy. Grey.

It's easy to grow weary of the short days and early darkness.

The earliest spring bulbs are starting to poke through.

Spring is so close you can almost smell it.

Then, it arrives...the beacon of hope that every gardener anticipates.

The seed catalog.


Sunday Snapshot: {Love}

"Why do farmers farm, given their economic diversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming?

And always the answer is: 'Love.  They must do it for love.'  Farmers farm for the love of farming.  They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants.  They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors.  They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable.  They love to live where they work and to work where they live.  If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children."  

                                  -Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food


DIY: {Sweets & Paper}


For Valentine's Day, I made homemade chocolate truffles.

Sounds impressive.

They were simple. 

(much like this cheese danish recipe I shared earlier this week.)  


The Farmhouse Kitchen: {Easy Cheese Danishes}

Have you ever prepared a dish where the end result looks like it must have taken much longer to make, or required much more skill, than it actually did?

Add these danishes to that list.  

They are quick, easy, and yummy.  

And even if you aren't much for cooking, you can make these danishes.  


Monday Musings: Raw Honey Skincare Regimen, Part II

My lips stay dry and chapped this time of year.

I have found a perfect solution. 

A natural solution.  

I exfoliate them twice a week, using the following recipe.


Sunday Snapshot

"Good farmers, who take seriously their duties as stewards of Creation and of their land's inheritors, contribute to the welfare of society in more ways than society usually acknowledges, or even knows.  These farms produce valuable goods, of course; but they also conserve soil, they conserve water, they conserve wildlife, they conserve open space, they conserve scenery."  

                                         - Wendell Berry


Friday at the Farm: Garden Prep

When it comes to vegetable gardens, my mantra is go big or go home.

If I'm going to take the time to tend to one tomato plant, I'm just as happy to tend to a dozen.

Or two dozen.

In preparation for Spring, the garden plot has been plowed.


A Valentine's Day Gift Idea

If the man in your life likes gifts of the practical sort, I have an idea for you.  

Eddie Bauer shearling driving moccasins


What I Wore to Work (+ shopping tips)

I work in a very traditional, conservative environment.

Regarding my work wardrobe, my goals are:

To look nice and professional;

To be stylish, yet classic; and

To not spend my entire salary on clothing. 


Here are a few shots of an outfit I recently wore to work.    


Monday Musings: An Icing Set

I am planning to make homemade delights to give as Valentine's Day treats this year.*  

While not giving away too many secrets to those who may be recipients, I will say that these delights involve icing. 

When we were growing up, Mama was quite the cake decorator.  

I am borrowing her icing set.  

As many of you probably know, Ateco is still a leader in the field of cake decorating tools.

Many of their products are still made in the U.S.A.

Here is a peek inside:


Sunday Snapshot

"There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you.... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself."

                                                                   - Ruth Stout on Winter                                   


What I'm Wearing: A Wintry Frock

Is there anything that makes you feel more like a lady than the perfect dress?

Especially, the perfect cocktail dress?

I have been on a hunt for a black lace cocktail dress.  While I have found several contenders, they were all outside of the budget I had set for myself.

My obsession interest started around mid-November.

I believe it directly correlates to all the hype surrounding the film, Anna Karenina.  The film was released to select screens (read: nowhere nearby) at that time.

Have you seen these costumes?  Swoon.  Worthy.

Perhaps you're wondering how my mind translated the above images  into:

I have no idea.  I don't understand the workings of the human brain. 

What I do know is that I found the dress.


It is also available in teal and deep coral.

I am shorter than this model.  The under layer hits right above my knee, the lace just covering the knee...so,  the dress is a bit more conservative on me.  Which is my style.  

It is by Blaque Label, and my first purchase from that company. 

For a dress this well made, it is a great price point.  

I get a lot of mileage out a black cocktail dresses, so I think this one is a good value.  I love the high neck.   And the detailing is beautiful. Some reviewers on the site complained that the shell is polyester and, therefore, sub-par.  In this case, I think you get what you pay for.  This dress does not cost $400.00+.

Here are a few details:

The hem. 

Blaque Label's website includes a Press Blog, so if you're interested, you can see how others (read: those more famous than this author) have styled the dress. 

 Including this gal, who took a more avant-garde approach:

I plan to make full use of the included slip.  

I will be wearing the frock to a party celebrating the local historic preservation society in the town where I labor.  The guest of honor is photographer Ben Martin.

While working for TIME Magazine, he captured this image of the Kennedy family, which was cleverly incorporated into the invitation.

He has had an amazing career.  Do look him up if you aren't familiar.

Although the event will take place at the historic depot, I doubt I will hop a train back to St. Petersburg at the conclusion of the party, nor will Count Vronsky whisk me away for a sleigh ride...I also doubt this dress will inspire two Russian nobles to fight for my attention.*

Have any of you seen the film, Anna Karenina?  Or read the novel?  I am currently making my way through the novel at the approximate speed of smell.

I think it deserves to be savored. 

Wishing you the loveliest of weekends...

*Although I haven't finished the book, I do know (roughly) how it ends, so I'm not really all that jealous of AK. 

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