Monday, December 31, 2007

Auld Lang Syne and Happy New Year!!


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The song, "Auld Lang Syne," is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English- speaking country in the world to bring in the New Year. In spite of the popularity of 'Auld Lang Syne', it has aptly been described as the song that nobody knows. Even in Scotland, hardly a gathering sings it correctly, without some members of the party butchering the words.
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Written by Robert Burns in 1741, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."
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Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns
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Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
'Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
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For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne
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We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pou'd the gowans fine;
we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin' auld lang syne _
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We two hae paidled i' the burn,_
Frae mornin' sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne
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And here's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne
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Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
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For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne
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By the way -
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The kiss shared at the stroke of midnight in the United States is derived from masked balls that have been common throughout history. As tradition has it, the masks symbolize evil spirits from the old year and the kiss is the purification into the new year.
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Whatever the reason - is it not the most romantic thing ever!!
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Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas

Holiday Wishes!!



It's that time of year when the world falls in love - every song you hear seems to say -
"Merry Christmas, may your New Year dreams come true!!"
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I'll be back in 2008!!
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From our house to yours - happy holiday wishes to all!!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Winter Sculpture


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I discovered these unusual snow globes and sculptures courtesy of Blosem's blog. I think they are the most lovely pieces of art and apropos to the coming winter season.
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Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz's work usually involves bizarre fairy-tale like images trapped in snow globes. The couple -Muñoz from Spain and Martin from VA- currently they reside in PA.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Suede DX Coasting Bikes

One of my favorite Christmas memories was waking up to a shiny red and white bike on Christmas morning - thank you Santa!!





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I love the style of these Suede DX Coasting Bikes by Shimano.

SUEDE COASTING w SERIES - The Suede Coasting W marries Giant’s much-admired Suede bike with Shimano’s 3-speed automatic-shifting Coasting technology. Meant for women who prefer relaxing travel—those for whom the journey is as important as the destination. Meander at will.
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It retails at about $700.00 to $800.00 but there are more in the "Suede" series that are priced lower - anywhere from $380.00 and up. One other thing - these particular bikes are designed just for women!!
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http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/news/12051/
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http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/news/12162/

P.S. Using a bicycle to commute one way 4 days per week for 4 miles saves 54 gallons of gas a year!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Spices of India and Beyond


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There are some spices that are just extremely hard to find. We have a wonderful restaurant near our home - Pamposh -that serves the most amazing Indian food. I crave items from their menu and often think to myself that maybe I should try to learn how to cook some of my favorite dishes. After looking up the recipes though... not only was I completely unsure that I could pull that off - I also wondered - where will I find those spices? Spices I've never even heard of? Enter Martha's secret sources and Nirmala's Kitchen . This also goes with the cookbook I would like for Christmas, "Where Flavor Was Born: Recipes and Culinary Travels Along the Indian Ocean Spice Route by Andreas Viestad" of New Scandinavian Cooking fame. One of my New Years Resolutions is to broaden my cooking repertoire and try to learn to make something new like Vegetable Korma or perhaps Dal Makhani and I would also like to try my hand at the Organic Flat bread Mix - Indian Naan. _

One other thing worth noting - Nirmala's Kitchen sells spices from all over the world along with grains, salts, sauces, etc. Well worth checking out no matter what recipe and continent your next meal originates from.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Martha's Berry Little Cocktail


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Have yourself a Berry Little Cocktail. Stir up this light, bright drink with the tang of citrus and a splash of Champagne to add a festive fizz to your holiday bash. This delicious holiday spirit comes is adapted from Blueprint Magazine, November/December 2007.
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Ingredients
Serves 1
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 ounce ruby red grapefruit vodka, such as Charbay, chilled
2 ounces champagne, chilled
1 ounce cranberry juice, chilled
1 ounce black currant juice or blackberry puree, chilled
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Directions
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, dissolve sugar into 1 1/2 cups water. Add cranberries and simmer until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain, discarding liquid, and place cranberries on a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer and chill at least 2 hours.
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Mix together vodka, Champagne, cranberry, and currant juice in a Champagne glass. Garnish with a skewer of 4 or 5 frozen cranberries. Reserve remaining cranberries for another drink.
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(Photo Courtesy of Jupiter Images)
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I am going to make this for my sister when she arrives with my two beautiful nieces from Portland, Oregon for holiday vacation.
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Can't wait to see you Sta!! Get ready to party down babe!

Friday, December 14, 2007

To Kill a Mockingbird - Title Sequence by Stephen Frankfurt

Such a creative and beautiful opening to a film.

Gregory Peck - Atticus Finch

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I've always had a crush on Gregory Peck. This is probably due to the fact that I saw him in "To Kill a Mockingbird" when I was a young girl and thought he really was Atticus Finch (the perfect man). I love that movie and have required that all my kids watch it (3 so far) and appreciate the value of tolerance and how ugly prejudice can be. It also shows how a gentle man of great conviction is never to be underestimated.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mirrored Furniture

Adding a little sparkle and glamour. Here are some mirrored vanity pieces I think are amazing from Graham and Green.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

L'OCCITANE en Provence



"My favorite make-up, and skin care source L'OCCITANE en Provence"

Here is the rundown on the company.

Natural Products _

We carefully select our plant ingredients and control both their quality and origin. We follow the principles of phytotherapy and aromatherapy, use no animal products (except for beehive products: honey, royal jelly and propolis) and test our products under medical supervision. We strive to use natural ingredients in all our product formulas. We prefer to use plant oils in our face care formulas rather than mineral oils. We limit the use of silicones, chemical sunscreens, paraben preservatives and also offer Ecocert-certified organic formulas.
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The Environment _

Our active ingredients are of plant origin and, as far as possible, derived from organic agriculture. Both our products and the materials used in our stores are designed to respect the environment. We limit the use of packing material and the cardboard, paper and wood that we use comes from sustainably managed forests. Our production factory also sorts and recycles its waste and limits its energy consumption.
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Respect

For 30 years we have chosen not to test our products on animals. We have also been committed to supporting traditional production methods by using AOC (controlled origin label) ingredients certified by Ecocert and through co-development (Shea Butter in Burkina Faso). _

Pretty impressive and the products are wonderful!! Here are some of my favs. I use their line for sensitive skin.


__Honey Face Cream


__Honey & Lemon Delightful Cream


__Honey Comfort Cleansing Fluid


__Honey Floral Cleansing Jelly


__Shea Butter Gentle Face Buff

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Table Top Trees

I think these are a cute addition to your large Christmas tree or just by themselves. I love the feather trees but also love the live seedlings in the serving dishes as a green alternative.
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Monday, December 10, 2007

Red Envelope


(gianna rose snowflake guest soaps )______________ (bedside carafes )
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(graphite writing sculptures )___________________ (lumen candle )
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Some ideas for hostess - teacher - or last minute gifts at this busy time of the year from Red Envelope.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Beautiful Photos

I am so taken with Janne Peters photography. Despite the fact these photos are all white - the layers and beauty of each object stand out in perfect simplicity.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Snowman and Walking In The Air


My youngest son loves this book and movie!! He thinks the red haired boy is him - since he has red hair too!! I love the song "Walking In The Air" and play it over and over each Christmas.
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As stated on Wikipedia.

The Snowman is a children's book by English author Raymond Briggs, published in 1978. In 1982, this book was turned into a 26-minute animated movie by Dianne Jackson The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short in 1983. The cartoon version was scored by Howard Blake who wrote both music and lyrics of the song "Walking in the Air" and also composed and conducted the complete orchestral score for the film with his own orchestra, The Sinfonia of London. The book and film have no words, instead telling the story through picture, action and music. This adds to their charm, as well as making them easy to publish in other languages. The film's one song, "Walking in the Air," was written specially for it and performed by a St Paul's Cathedral choirboy, Peter Auty.
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