Monday, November 30, 2009

mad, and i mean mad! hungry

after feeding everyone in the fergusandme family constantly for the entire food-laden thanksgiving weekend, i have decided that i probably need some new recipes.  while i'm great at baking (thanks mom, and nigella, and occasionally martha) i don't like to touch raw meat, so my actual cooking repertoire is quite limited.  but in my december issue of martha's Living mag, i found some excerpted recipes from the above book, written by lucinda scala quinn, martha's longtime foodie editor.  and i must say, they looked yummy.  so, i will be venturing out later with my B&N coupon in hand to pick up a copy -- mad hungry, cooking for men and boys sounds like just what i need (although caroline and i seem to get v. hungry too . . . !) stay tuned for recipe commentary!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

sodastream, seventies thrift, redux

when i was little in scotland, we didn't have Coke or Fanta so much, or even Irn Bru ~ what we had was a soda stream, a magical contraption that would carbonate water, and then we could add sickly sweet syrups to our heart's content

ahh. . . . those were the days, the seventies.  funnily enough, though, i've recently been thinking about the soda stream as we've stopped buying cases of water in favor of the more earth friendly option of refilling bpa-free water bottles (makes a huge difference when there are six of you, even though we always recycled the disposable bottles -)

And i happen to love carbonated beverages, especially ones with just a little bit of flavor.  And since we don't live within range of a cool old-timey seltzer delivery service, we've been pretty much stuck with buying the occasional bottle of pellegrino at the store.  but no more! the soda stream is an ideal solution, and it will be going on my christmas list, for sure!

Friday, November 20, 2009

new bags from johnnie boden

found in today's otherwise boring inbox:  a spring preview at 20% off from johnnie boden (here's the catch ~ order now, get in january . . . i'm guessing this is an inventory control effort . . . but, whatever).  so, i went to the site and i was busily checking out the usual extremely cute but highly predictable little boys' shirts in various iterations, you know, t-shirt with dog on skateboard, t-shirt with friendly monster appliqued on, layered t-shirt with pteranodon, etc., etc. (i buy a bunch for teddy every season; they ARE fun, impossible to destroy, comfy, and BRITISH, and, maybe more to the point, are eminently resellable on eBay -- our oldest boy becomes VERY entrepreneurial when he runs low on cash!) when i found my mouse wandering on over to the girls' and women's offerings.  always dangerous, i know! so, anyway, i'll be placing my order for the usual stuff, but i found myself v. v. tempted by a few gorgeous bags  . . . the sad part is, not available till january.  ah well, they'll be a welcome bright spot in the grey days after the holidays, no?!

from miniboden, and only $24


completely adorable, could see this as a decor piece, even . . . one track mind, i guess!


possibly an impractical "shopper", but WOW!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

some little things

when we were in england a few weeks ago, we stayed at the old parsonage at iffley, near oxford . . . you can see it here; you can even rent it for a holiday, like we did . . . and of course there were lots of lovely things to photograph.  we'll do interiors later, but outside, the pretty garden swept down to the Thames (it's called the Isis in Oxford -- have you ever watched inspector morse or the newer inspector lewis on PBS?  it seems there are so many murders in oxford for such a small city!!!)  so alec, our fourteen year old, took the photos above in the garden . . . aren't they pretty?  they really evoke the quiet english garden, like this poem, i think ~


There's nothing very beautiful and nothing very gay   
About the rush of faces in the town by day;  
But a light tan cow in a pale green mead,  
That is very beautiful, beautiful indeed…  
And the soft March wind and the low March mist          
Are better than kisses in a dark street kissed…  
The fragrance of the forest when it wakes at dawn,  
The fragrance of a trim green village lawn,  
The hearing of the murmur of the rain at play—  
These things are beautiful, beautiful as day!  
And I shan't stand waiting for love or scorn  
When the feast is laid for a day new-born…  
Oh, better let the little things I loved when little  
Return when the heart finds the great things brittle;  
And better is a temple made of bark and thong  
Than a tall stone temple that may stand too long.

little things 
orrick johns

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a tribute to family togetherness in the good ol' days~

polaroids are great, aren't they? . . . 

and you thought your family had issues!

everyone's new favorite 

via a cup of jo

 where to go:
*for funny holiday presents 
*for a laugh if family togetherness isn't quite living up to the memories this holiday season.


inca kids; fair trade goodies, perfect for gifting

How's that holiday shopping coming??  it's kind of a minefield this year, we think.  In the fergusandme family, we're a big bit concerned about over-consumption, buying throwaway "stuff" year after year made in who-knows-where, and in that act possibly hurting or exposing the most vulnerable people on our planet to who-knows-how horrible situations  . . . (okay, we're not all completely virtuous: one or two of us still have a list for Santa chock full of toys, toys, toys . . .more on this later~)

So, what to do?  We're buying vintage, or just old, and making some special things.  We're trying to have every gift be considered, and meaningful, of course.  And we're seeking out fair trade merchants, vendors concerned about who's making their products.  So here's the first in what we hope will be a series of suggestions, vetted for cuteness and coolness by our crack team of hard-to-please kids., a project member of the Fair Trade Federation, offers adorable and unique handmade Peruvian art, created with natural materials and traditional techniques, and even better, every purchase supports a struggling family.  Now that's a gift we can live with.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

hello again ~

we've been in Bath, in England, for the lovely wedding of my darling not so little brother and his perfectly adorable, beautiful wife . . . it was such a special day.