Monday, August 29, 2011

Peach Blueberry Crisp {+ Funny Things My Kids Say}

Fruit crisps are my new go-to dessert (a couple years ago it was popcorn cake... must look that recipe up again). Most people really like them, they are quick & easy, and I usually have the ingredients on hand to make one sort or the other. I made a couple apple crisps recently - one to serve at home, a few days later one to take to my in-laws. So the next week I decided to change it up with some fresh peaches. Then I bought some organic blueberries at a farmer's market and decided to throw them in too. It turned out wonderfully.

The original recipe is for Apple Crisp from the Junior League of St. Louis' cookbook, p.231. All you do is mix together about:

4 cups of fresh peeled and sliced apples (or here I used peaches and blueberries)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

That all goes in an 8 x 8 in baking pan. For the topping, mix together (with a spoon or your hands):

3/4 c flour
1 c sugar
1/3 c softened butter

Spread the crumbly topping over the fruit and bake uncovered at 400 for about 40-50 minutes.

It is really great with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, or as my family likes it - both.

On an unrelated note, the other night someone asked what kind of fish were in fish sticks, and without skipping a beat my six-year-old replied: "The ones that are easily tricked." Children are just so funny and clever. Mine keep me laughing and smiling all day (when I'm not exhausted, exasperated, or cleaning up some mess).

Here is another recent exchange:

Me: (hands 6 yr old plate of food)
6 yr old : "Thank you, waitress."
Me: (shakes head no)
6 yr old: "At least I didn't call you waitER."
8 yr old: "Call her Mommy."
6 yr old: "But I'll pay you."
8 yr old: "That would make her seem like even more of a waitress."

I hope everyone is starting out a great week. I have a busy couple weeks ahead but will try to get a few Italy and shopping posts up before too long.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cooking and Shopping

I've been writing a lot about our summer travels lately (Italy is up next) but there's been some cooking and shopping going on around here too... here's a little update:

I made my first spag bol last night! Well, I've made spaghetti bolognese before but never from a recipe called "Spag Bol" and never calling it "spag bol". This was all inspired by Faux Fuchsia's post here because I didn't even know what spag bol was until I read her post. (She's really fun - you should follow her if you don't already.) My husband had seconds, which he, well, doesn't usually do. The children liked it too, including my six-year-old son who doesn't really go for tomato based sauces. It probably helped that it's rather British - he's become enamored with the UK ever since a wonderful blog/twitter friend sent me several links to the masses of Ben 10 merchandise that is available over there (thank you so much Juliet!).

(I used vegetable broth instead of beef broth and made a separate little batch without the beef for my vegetarian.)

I also made a really good Peach Blueberry Crisp the other day, adapting a recipe for Apple Crisp from one of my fav cookbooks - St. Louis Days St. Louis Nights by the SL Junior League. I bought it a long time ago when I was in JLSL and I hope it is still in print because it is fabulous. I'm going to get that posted in the next week or two.

In shopping news, there was a very exciting delivery from L.K. Bennett at my door not too long ago. I shopped the new Atlanta store in July and had the best time - finding three great pairs of shoes and having them shipped (suitcases too full by this time). That expedition and the shoes deserve their very own post so that will be coming up too.

Our family room has been needing some freshening up... kids and dog can be hard on the cushions. Luckily, the colors of Pottery Barn's Fall collection coordinate perfectly with the older fabrics and furniture we have. Here are the Penelope Kalamakri and Josie Kalamakri fitting right in. I have a Pineapple Bird on the way too (getting monogrammed).

I haven't forgotten about Target. When we got back to the states I found these in Florida:

Merona Collection Eden Skirt
(I bought the tunic in this print too.)

And this in Georgia:

I'm SO excited for the Missoni collaboration coming out next month... having flashbacks to Liberty of London for Target. Anyone else??!!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Orangery, Helsingor & The Sea {Denmark Wrap-Up}

We managed to fit in quite a bit of sightseeing in Denmark between visits with family and friends. We knew we wouldn't have time for Legoland or Bakken this trip... and we didn't make it to Tivoli this time as planned... but we definitely made it up to the kids later with a spontaneous stop at Rainbow Magicland outside Rome.

Here's a wrap-up of the Danish part of our trip:

Fredensborg palace (official residence of the Danish royal family)

beautiful gardens behind the palace - we took a tour of the kitchen garden also

outside the Orangery at Fredensborg (Crown Prince Frederik's 40th birthday was celebrated here in 2008... see pics here; love Princess Mary's cherry-red dress)

inside the Orangery

the whole arrangement was just filled with beautiful sights

must have a stop for ice cream outside the palace - note the "Royal Twins" in honor of the new prince and princess born on January 8th of this year
(I had a Slotsis.)

"To go or not to go..." is the question at the restaurant at Kronborg Castle (Hamlet's castle) in Helsingor

a beautiful spot for lunch

Danish open-faced sandwiches

path into the Renaissance castle

the famous statue of Holger underneath the castle - legend says if Denmark is threatened he will awake from his slumber and protect the country
(don't know if you can tell, but my children are ready to bolt out of the room)

inside Kronborg

Kronborg's Lego and art room for children

playing at the beach in Southwest Zealand

a beautiful day for a walk along a Danish beach


Monday, August 22, 2011

Brushes: What I Use {Real Techniques, MAC, Sephora}

Sometime before our summer vacation I had a nice long talk with a good friend in another state I hadn't spoken with in a while. When the conversation turned to make-up, we both stated our recent realization: It's. All. About. The. Brushes.

In all the years I've been playing around with cosmetics, I never really gave much thought to brushes. I've had a nice Cargo blush brush for years, but beyond that I'd just used whatever kind of seemed right from the drugstore, or what came with the makeup. How this happened, I don't know. But my recent viewings of fabulous make-up tutorials by Pixiwoo and Raychel Wade (check them out on youtube if you haven't already) have changed all that.

At the beginning of the summer, I bought the Real Techniques Travel Essentials set after hearing the multi-task brush mentioned in a Pixiwoo video (it's Samantha Chapman of Pixiwoo's brand). I switched out the foundation brush and eyeshadow brush for others that I already really liked, but kept the multi-task in and really loved using the travel case during our travels in Europe and on the East Coast. I actually still keep the brushes in the case here at home, propped in the standing triangle on my bathroom counter at the ready.

Besides the Real Techniques multi-task (for bronzer and blush), here is what I'm using:

Sephora Professionnel lip - levres retractable #60
MAC #266 (eyeliner)
MAC #217 (eyeshadow)
Sephora Professionnel mineral powder - poudre minerale #45 (the description says this is for loose powder, but a sales associate recommended this to me for use with liquid foundation and I love it)

The look I'm wearing almost daily right now (and wore throughout our summer travels) is adapted from this Pixiwoo video (usually minus the black eyeliner or with just a bit) ...using the brushes above and Chanel foundation, Urban Decay Baked Bronzer in Toasted, MAC Shale eyeshadow, and Makeup Forever Smoky Lash mascara. I change up lipsticks and glosses quite a bit.

I'd love to hear of favorite make-up tutorial videos!


Sunday, August 21, 2011


Trelleborg is the site of an old Viking fortress (dated to about 980 AD) which covers about 15 acres and possibly housed 500-800 Vikings, just outside of Slagelse, Denmark. Although the site had been known about for ages, excavation only really began in 1933 when a motorcycle club began making plans to turn the circular rampart into a raceway. There is a museum with artifacts and skeletons, a gift shop, and games and activities for children. The large, open, grassy fields and picnic tables also make it a great place to take the kids.

If interested, you can read more about it here, and the museum's website is here. One thing I will tell you, though, that I haven't seen mentioned, is there were quite a lot of sheep roaming the grounds. When there are quite a lot of sheep, there is quite a lot of sheep poo. So if you go through that little wooden gate any time soon, be prepared to tip-toe and dodge your way through with e v e r y s t e p . Also, they don't want you to try to pet the sheep - they run away anyway if you get anywhere near.

old Viking games

site of the fortress (mind your step)

learning to shoot like a Viking

a reconstruction of one of the long houses (now thought to be not quite accurate, but still pretty cool)

more reconstructions

we happily discovered Ben 10 ice cream in the gift shop

I wore my Stuart Weitzman Donuts because of course I had to have my only gladiators along for a trip that included Rome, and they are insanely comforable. Luckily, they also clean up quite easily with Lysol wipes.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Copenhagen {City Sights & Some Shopping}

Modalu "Pippa" on arm, ready to shop Stroget

a cappuccino sitting outside at Cafe Europa...

...and breakfast

the menu

the bakery at Illum (for pastries after breakfast, of course)

walking toward the harbor

I liked these doors

oranges, apples, limes + pineapple

Copenhagen is definitely the place to fill in your Christmas plate collection

sunglass display at Illum

inside one of my favorite department stores

shopping the Wheat (one of our faves) collection with my eight-year-old

what she chose

one of Duchess Kate's dresses at the Reiss boutique inside Illum (they told me they often have pieces that are sold out elsewhere)

my Reiss purchase

some new Zara for my girls

(and for me)

my son preferred the Lego store

I have some pics from the old Viking fortress at Trelleborg in Slagelse I'll post next... and I have some Target buys & a brush review I'll try to get up before Italy pics.

Happy Thursday!