Witches Tea Party is here!

 Welcome to my tea party!

We're having an early snowstorm here in New England!  Won't you come in and sit by the fire?  The tea is almost ready...

Ah, that's better ~ it's nice and warm inside.  Today we will be enjoying a relaxing afternoon pot of tea and a special chant for peace...


1 tablespoon English breakfast tea
1 teaspoon elder flower
2 teaspoon rose hips
1 teaspoon chamomile
2 teaspoon hops
1 teaspoon valerian

"Show us the charm of flowers, sing us the spell of peace"

 I'm so glad you stopped by ~ don't forget to visit the other tea parties!

Mexican Hot Cocoa!

If you've never tasted Mexican hot cocoa, you're in for a serious treat.  Even if you have, this recipe is the best I've tried, so get ready to take your cocoa to the next level!

The secret is chili powder & cinnamon.  They complement the cocoa to perfection and give it a spicy kick.  If this doesn't warm you up on a cool night, nothing will!  Thick, rich, and sinfully decadent, it's best to share it with someone special...  ;-)

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious.

  • 2 cups reduced-fat (2 percent) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 10 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 dried red chile
  • 2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Whisk evaporated milk, whole milk, liqueur, vanilla, sugar, cocoa, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and chili powder in a heavy saucepan. Add 2 of the cinnamon sticks and chile and cook gently over medium-low heat until warm. Add chocolate and cook, whisking until melted. Gently bring to a high simmer; reduce heat and simmer until liquid thickens and reduces slightly, whisking often, 10 minutes. Combine heavy cream with remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and beat until peaks form. Ladle 1/3 cup hot cocoa into each of 8 teacups; top with 1 tablespoon whipped cream and garnish with a cinnamon stick. 


A poem close to my heart

[somewhere i have never travelled]

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

e.e. cummings

I love you, George...


I love intimate spaces.  One of the (many) benefits of having a small cottage is that little decorative vignettes don't seem out of place.  When I lived in a large home, I had to decorate in bold strokes - huge artwork, overscaled furniture, etc.  Now that I'm living cozier, I can revisit my love of "downscaled" decorating.  And, truthfully, it doesn't feel like decorating per se, but rather a visual extension of my true self.  And isn't that the the best part of having a home - creating a haven that reflects the soul?

Below are little pockets of my home that make me smile...
Mikko wanted in on the photo shoot!
my bed ~ I love to create wild color combos with pillows
My nightstand ~ the gorgeous stained glass lamp was made by my talented mother!  Visit her website here
One of my bathroom shelves ~ I found the tray at a consignment shop
...these bottles sit on the shelf above the previous photo ~ more thrift shop finds
In my bedroom hangs a gorgeous piece of art generously given to me by my blogger friend, Angela of Pennystamper
In the bedroom again ~ books, art, and perfume...my idea of heaven
An adorable little hand towel I found which is draped over a flea-market-find mirror (bedroom)

In the bathroom, to the right of the sink.  My mom made the stained glass night light!

Cemetary walk, anyone?

It was one of those perfect New England autumn days today - warm, crisp air, bright sunshine, crunchy leaves underfoot.  Swell time for a cemetary walk, wouldn't you say?  Now, I've always thought of cemetaries as creepy places - still do - but on a pretty day like today, it seemed harmless enough (I might think twice under a full moon!). 

I've lived in this hamlet for almost nine years, but this was my first visit to the local cemetary.  It sits (as many old New England cemetaries do) behind the local church.  I was the only visitor this afternoon, so I took my time and really explored.  It was interesting looking at the headstones; some were simply made, others quite elaborate with impressive craftsmanship.  I wondered what the faces, personalities, and lives were like of the people who passed on so long ago...

It was an oddly meditative place, encouraging me to pause and reflect on my own mortality,  reminding me to drink in each day, each moment.  I must say, I enjoyed my time there.  And since it's only a five minute walk from my cottage, I'll be back.

pointing toward heaven?

I really like this one - looks like the trees are offering protection
wonder what is the significance of the hand and plant?
chain fence...hmm...are they keeping people out?  or in?

an especially pretty headstone

the detail on this one is beautiful

October Mix feat. Ragin Ravin

October Mix feat. Ragin Ravin by MIXT

It's time to do a little momma braggin'!  My son, Nate - aka Ragin Ravin - is a talented electronic musician (and DJ/producer), and this is his latest mix.  He also works for a promotion company, so if you're a musician who needs representation, contact him hereYou can also listen to more tracks on Soundcloud.
(this is a tad hard-core, so you might want to turn your speakers down or up, depending on your taste in music!)  ;-)


Yes, it's that time...

Halloween is just around the corner, and I'm getting into the spirit!  I'm hosting a Witches Party on October 29th, and I spent some time today creating decorations...
Found these Martha Stewart (I know, I know) labels and couldn't resist.  I washed the labels off of some wine bottles and replaced them with these...I think they look great!

  Bought this blank metal frame (there's a raven on the top that I didn't get in the photo), and I decorated it with some stickers.
I also found a fabulous witch's hat and broom...will post those later!  Are you doing anything special this Halloween?


Angela Kennedy ~ Pennystamper

One of the wonderful things about blogging is the opportunity to discover so many talented, kind people...Angela Kennedy of Pennystamper is one of them.  She's a mixed media/digital artist whose work I've long admired, so I thought I'd share her talent with you!  Do visit her blog...