Feeling It

December 10, 2017

There’s still time to start feeling it…that holiday spirit. If you’re overwhelmed and you’d just like the holidays behind you, it might be time to adjust your thinking. Doing something nice for someone else everyday will have that smile you put on their face coming right back to ya…multiplied. The gesture needn’t be large. The greatest reward can come from something as simple as opening a door, paying for someone’s morning coffee, simply paying a compliment or offering a kind word. With only two weeks until Christmas, you might find the benefits reaped will have you wanting to continue this exercise right into the New Year. Start like I did, and pass out a pocketful of candy canes today.

photo: gp  https://simplequietmodern.com/2013/12/10/candy-candy-canes/

 

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Getting Started

December 7, 2017

Like it or not, it’s the holidays. Get out that pen and pad and start that list. Committing to paper will organize and simplify the tasks of shopping, decorating, cooking and entertaining, while every slash through an item accomplished will bring you that much closer to a Merry Christmas. Start with your personal traditions, add or subtract as you go, and keep your eyes and ears open for new inspiration and simple solutions. Three weeks to go…better get started.

From the top:

You can’t beat free. The last of my yard clean- up yielded perfect white pine cones to fill up a bowl or  adorn a wrapped package. An added bonus…several birds nests to add to the mix.

Quince. A pot of Quince Paste simmering on the stove while decorating the house…a little holiday multi tasking. https://simplequietmodern.com/2012/12/14/small-plates/

An edited selection of vintage tree ornaments sets the color story. Have I mentioned I’m still into pink? The addition of more pink…flowers, wrapping or even the blush of a champagne cocktail can only help with an additional rosy glow.

If they were put away neatly you wouldn’t have a tangled mess. That said, a few lights are in order.

The addition of loose woven cotton metallic ribbon, also in pink, or maybe a simple spattered spritz of rose gold paint will elevate the simplequietmodern wrapping of newsprint or kraft paper. Ribbon photo: https://www.shopangelaliguori.com/products/metallic-loose-weave-wood-spool

A few more ideas can be found here: https://simplequietmodern.com/2014/12/09/low-cost-no-cost/

photos (except where noted): gp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making the Cut

November 29, 2017

Well, it’s time to cull through the stack of Christmas cookie recipes, hold some auditions and see who makes the cut. Sounds brutal, but editing to one selection keeps things simple while still keeping the holiday festive. Espresso Hazelnut Cookies, classic Shortbread and Walnut Horns are being edged out by a twist on last year’s selection…the Chewy Molasses Cookie. By pressing a thumbprint into the center of the cookies while they’re still warm from the oven and filling them with 1/2 teaspoon of raspberry preserves…well, they were simply the hands down winner.

Chewy Molasses Thumbprint Cookies. Chewy, spicy with a little extra Christmas magic.

Photos: gp

 

 

Give Thanks

November 23, 2017

What a year so far. Terror, uncertainty…for some, unbelievable grief and sadness. Still, we set this day aside to give thanks and give thanks we will. With maybe an additional prayer that moving forward we lead by example, think before we speak and most importantly, simply do the right thing. Happy Thanksgiving.

Photo: gp

 

Setting the Table

November 18, 2017

And, what a table! In any configuration. As we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving let’s also continue to celebrate the design genius of Florence Knoll. Specifically the dining table group designed in 1961. Simple and elegant in proportion, these tables include shapes, sizes and finishes to perfectly anchor any space and satisfy every taste. Round, square, rectangular or oval…surfaces in laminate, wood or stone, sizing to seat four to ten…the options seem endless. What Thanksgiving feast wouldn’t  look even better on any one of them?

 

 

Photos: https://www.knoll.com/shop/by-designer/florence-knoll

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chop Chop

November 12, 2017

Whether it’s prepping Thanksgiving dinner or simply assembling a turkey sandwich the next day there’ll be plenty of slicing and dicing going on. Why not pair your favorite chefs knife with this solid walnut Greenware cutting board by Jose’ Reguerio. Having the right tools makes any undertaking easier. Having beautiful tools simply elevates the experience to a new level.

Also available in solid Maple. Photos: http://joseregueiro.com/greenware/

 

Turning Back the Clock

November 6, 2017

Daylight Saving Time just messes with me. The simple act of turning the clocks back each Fall seems simple enough, but the darkness that descends is just too much too early. It’s as if there is no longer a difference between AM and PM…it’s all the same…dark. Maybe that’s why breakfast for dinner is popular with so many. While pancakes or eggs might satisfy some, it’s not as comforting as I’d like after a long day. Enter the perfect mash-up of breakfast and supper…Pasta Carbonara. A simple combination of a few pantry staples; bacon and eggs, half and half, Parmesan and Italian parsley tossed with hot spaghetti has dinner on the table in as little time as it takes the pasta to cook. Now we’re talking. I’m feeling better about the time change already.

I tweeked this already simple recipe from Everyday Food, https://www.marthastewart.com/341240/spaghetti-carbonara, by using the great smoky Black Forest bacon from Whole Foods Market and halving the amount then adding a handful of coarsely chopped Italian parsley. Guess what just moved up into my Fall and Winter recipe rotation?

photos: gp