Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mid-September and the Mid-Autumn Festival

I'm trying to wait until October to start decorating for autumn. I like enjoying each season in its own time, and with it 78 degrees here today, it's still summer to me. Still, I couldn't resist this tricolor planter of mums! I had to splurge on it. It was nearly $30, and I bought it instead of going to a movie and spending money on a drink and popcorn. (There wasn't anything I wanted to see this week anyway!)

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Are any of your friends celebrating the mid-autumn festival? Wish them a festive one!
  • I'm doing a load of towels to get a little ahead of the laundry before the weekend starts. Can't hurt, can only help!
  • As the evenings are growing colder, I feel more like cuddling up in bed reading more substantial material than my backyard "beach reads" I indulged in. Do you have anything good picked out to order at the library or from your favorite bookstore?
  • Let's spend just a tiny bit of time today on our area rugs and throw rugs. I'm going to vacuum all of mine that can't be laundered, wash the ones that can, sweep under them, shake out the little rubber non-skid mats I have under them, and hose off the welcome mat by my front door. These mats are important, as they trap dirt that might otherwise end up on my floors and carpets!
  • Have you made a little bit of time the last couple evenings for yourself, to read the book by your bedside table? Or are you just dropping into bed exhausted and ready for sleep?
  • Do you have your social plans set for the weekend? Need to make any plans, RSVP to anything, invite anyone to something fun?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Yardwork

This weekend might very well be the last of our nice weather for eating and working outdoors, for months to come. (I live in Seattle). I'll retain my hope that we have lots of warm sunny days all the way through into late October like we did the last couple years. But meanwhile, I want to get some of my yardwork (lawn mowing, weeding, planting fall flowers in my flowerbeds) done while it's still nice. Tonight I'll mow, sweep the front walkway, pull weeds from driveway cracks, scrape moss off the steps, and tidy everything up as best I can until I get sick of it and flee indoors to nicer pursuits. (I'm really not a yardwork person!)

In my back yard, I'm moving outdoor furniture around so I can water parts of the lawn without soaking my furniture.

When I get inside, I want to research why the mid-autumn festival is taking place right now, despite it not being even autumn yet. I think it has something to do with the lunar calendar and tonight's nearly full moon. (The Harvest Full Moon rises September 16, 2016).

Do you have any yard work to do this week or weekend, or are you a lucky apartment or condo dweller where that's taken care of for you? :)

LOVELY BLOGS: Well Plated

Erin writes, "I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Here, you'll find lightened up comfort foods, weeknight meal ideas, and a few soulful sweets." She blogs from Milwaukee.

Recent posts I've enjoyed here include Apple Oatmeal Cookies; Pumpkin Pasta Sauce; Crockpot Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs; and Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler.

This is the perfect recipe blog for cooking inspiration as we transition into autumn! Take a look.

http://www.wellplated.com/

LOVELY BOOKS: Birthday Cakes

I have a bit of an obsession with cake decorating books, though my own personal cake decorating skills are not quite up to the task of creating any of the lovely things pictured in them. This one is by Britain’s leading baker and cake designer, Fiona Cairns. The cakes are categorized by the type of party you might throw. For example, the Vampire Party has recipes for vampire cupcakes, black cookies, a crystal skull, a strawberry and elderflower cake, a jewel box, and then, inexplicably, robots. There's recipes for cakes for a Vintage Tea Party, including Earl Grey tea cupcakes, and tiny rose and violet creams. The other party themes include Alice in Wonderland, Glamping, and a Gardener's Delight party. I love envisioning theme parties I might throw!

Birthday Cakes, on Amazon

LOVELY BOOKS: Fairy's Album

Here's a charming vintage book you can read online. (Peek at the first page, this was a Christmas gift given way back in 1892!) It features "rhymes of fairyland" and simple, adorable illustrations. I hope you enjoy paging through it.

The Fairy's Album, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY FOOD: Apple Cider Cupcake Mix

Though I shudder to think about what chemicals created the color, I love the hue on these apple cider cupcakes! I also rely heavily on box mixes with my busy life. Today before I go out to dinner, I plan to bake a batch of miniature loaves in my new Wilton mini loaf pan. They'll create tiny loaves that are just three or four bites. They'll technically be "cupcake loaves" and I'm delighted to do something different than just trendy round cupcakes! I'll drop off a couple at the neighbors' and gift one or two to my cousin. Later tonight when I'm watching Netflix and drinking my caramel hot black tea, I bet I'll be nibbling on a little apple cider loaf!

Apple Cider Cupcake Mix, on Amazon

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Apple Cinnamon Muffins (Brown Eyed Baker)

Building a 13th Century Castle in the 21st Century (The Atlantic)

Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms and Collards (Country Living)

Ginger Bourbon Smash (Baking Bites)

How to Dry Herbs (101 Cookbooks)

Mom's Italian Cream Cake (Bake at 350)

Orzo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower (Annie's Eats)

Roasted Mushrooms and Creamy Polenta (Alexandra Cooks)

See a Harvest Moon Eclipse, The Last Until 2024

Tomato Soup (Bakers Royale)

Two Millenniums of Chinese Tradition Come to Life at Mid-Autumn Festivals (LA Times)

Wild Mushroom Ragu with Creamy Polenta (Connoisseurus Veg)


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