Friday’s Foto Felicity

Just a reminder that tomorrow begins the 31 Days of Autumnal Inspiration around here. I know I don’t usually blog on the weekends, but I look forward to seeing you then! Now on to the picture and quote for today:

 

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Do You Use Cloth Napkins?

It’s becoming a rare occurrence to find a table set with cloth napkins these days – unless you’re at a restaurant of course! Do you hesitate to use them because of the hassle of caring for them? It could be easier than you think!As soon as your company leaves (or if your laundry is close to your kitchen you could even do this as soon as you clear the table), throw your cloth napkins -and tablecloth if you used one- into your washing machine and let it fill with soap and cold water. No pre-treatment should be necessary. Leave the lid open so the cycle doesn’t start.

Leave it open and soaking overnight. When you get up in the morning, simply close the lid and let it run its course. Dry as usual, iron, fold, and store. –

Letting them soak so soon after a meal has always kept any stains from settling into my napkins…even red wine or lipstick.

Since using this method, I’ve yet to have to scrub, tend to, or even use a stain remover after any dinner party, yet they are all as crisp and white as ever!

Fall Friendship Swap Partners Announced!

Hello Peaches!

Today’s the day you’ve all been waiting for (well the day those of you participating in the FFS have been waiting for anyway 😉 )!!! The announcement of your official FFS partner! Woohoo!!! I’m in the process of e-mailing each of you personally, but I’ve got a lot of e-mails to send – so it may take me a few days. 🙂 Patience is appreciated!

Now once you hear from me, you girls need to contact your partner via e-mail to get their snail mail address. It would also be very kind if you ask if they have any major aversions (for example, the smell of cinnamon will give me an instant headache, sad to say!) or allergies (if you plan to send some yummy fall goodies) before you send a collection of fall-in-a-box fabulousness off in their direction. Please aim to send your boxes no later than October 15th. Then once you’ve received yours, everybody come back here and tell me how much you love ’em, k?!

Drumroll please….

This year our 2011 Fall Friendship Swap Partners are:

Stephanie and Kym
Bobbi and Susan
Cindi and Ann
Noelle and Mippy
Carrie and Renee
Sally and Tammy
Aliesha and Amber
Amanda and Rowe
Angie and Joelle
Lisa and Coupon Loving Chicks
Happy Gramma and Barbie
Angela and Shannon
Lark and Lauren
Anne and Jennifer
Emily and Kelsea
Andrea and Jocelyn

Ahhhh….just thinking about all those boxes of fall happiness flying across the country makes me smile!

 

Cherry and Rosemary Focaccia

If you are looking for variety in the bread offerings that grace your dinnertime table, might I suggest Cherry Rosemary Focaccia? Different, sweet, savory, and surprisingly versatile, you can make the majority of this bread in your bread machine!

For the Focaccia:

1 cup lukewarm water
2 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
4 t heaping vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 t active dry yeast

Place ingredients in recommended order on the dough cycle of your bread machine. Once the cycle is complete, pat dough into a 9×13 rectangle or a more organic shape on your pizza stone. Use your fingers to dimple the dough every inch or two. Let rest for 20 minutes or so while you preheat your oven to 400.For the Topping:

2 T olive oil
2 cups cherries pitted, halved
2 T sanding sugar (or coarse natural)
2 T chopped fresh rosemary

Brush dough with 2 T olive oil, scatter cherries on top and sprinkle with sugar and rosemary. Bake in lower third of oven, until bottom is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.As always, you can find a printable version, along with all my other recipes on Victuals. Click HERE to go right to this recipe.

Update Show

I’ve always loved update shows, don’t you? When you learn about a guest who embarks on an exciting journey, and then a year later they do an update show where you find out what’s been happening to them for the past 12 months.-

Well, I don’t know if this constitutes “exciting”, but here are some updates on a few summer posts that I thought warranted some updating (along with a few summer photos you haven’t yet seen)!

First up: My Summer Fun List – originally posted HERE.

Go swimming Several times! They were all enjoyable!
Exercise on a regular basis Think I did pretty good with this one. Mostly thanks to yoga and WholyFit
Go on a picnic double date Yup. Enjoyed several single ones too. Oh how I love picnic-ing!Make up a treasure hunt date Dropped the ball on this one…
Write 5 “snail mail” letters to friends I sure enjoyed writing them, and I hope my friends enjoyed getting them 🙂
Have cut flowers in the house at all times I think a room seems so much more inviting with fresh flowers in it, don’t you? When the flowers weren’t blooming, I cut THESE!
Host brunch club as often as time and weather allows We so enjoyed this new addition to our summer traditions list! Weather held through July…can’t wait for next year!
Officially open our B&B We decided that this just isn’t happening with things such as they are. But we are trying to do something about that! It’s currently in the hands of the bank and Providence!
Hold first marriage “refresh” See answer above.Have a Harry Potter party and go see the movie We had such a fun day having friends over for lunch and to watch HP 7.1, then we all drove over to the theatre together and watched 7.2. No. We didn’t dress up. But I kinda wanted to.
Go on a small vacation We enjoyed time at both Keswick Hall and Natural Tunnel State Park this summer.
Work on plans for fall vacation (early!) Done. Excited! Mystic Seaport, here we come!
Go over Christmas gift list to review how it’s coming Yup. Decided on a gift exchange with hubby’s side of the family, and with my side we’re saving our gift money to go on a little family trip early next year.
Decide on a design for handmade Christmas cards and GET STARTED! Wellll…I didn’t do much stamping of any sort this summer. So, no design yet.
Make a new friend So happy I get to cross this one off! Met two sweet new couples, and a new blog friend. Looking forward to seeing where these relationships go!
Try to spend some regular time writing Wasn’t real consistent with this one. Some days good, some days bad.Relax and go with the flow!  Tried to live more spontaneously this summer…and it was kinda fun 🙂

Update #2: “Foundations”

Remember THIS post? I was desperate for some double duty under things to make it through the summer months and my sundress collection in particular. Well, sad to say, I didn’t find the answer to all my troubles (if only….), BUT I did find a couple of good consolation pieces to soothe my need for some modesty coverage yet without adding unnecessary hot, sticky, bulky layers into the bargain. You can see the finds that have made my summer a little more bearable and a little less bare-able HERE and HERE.
Update #3: SYTYCD – The Results

Ok. Early on in the season, I told you about how I always begin a season of “So You Think You Can Dance”, and  I predicted that Melanie would win. Well, guess what??!!! SHE DID!!! And guess what else????!!! We’re going to see her and the rest of the SYTYCD crew on tour this fall! Can’t wait!!So that concludes our update show ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us today!

31 Days – The Countdown…

Hello Peaches! So much fallish excitement going on around here, I can hardly stand it (cue choir of angels singing)! Of course, we have the Fall Friendship Swap still going on (you have until the weekend to sign up, so get your rear in gear if you haven’t already!),

aaaaaand….

today I’m excited to announce my very first 31 series:

That’s right! I’m linking up with The Nester come October 1st, and bringing you (so help me) 31 Days of Fall-ness! Could there be anything better to blog about for a whole month??? I know.

What to expect? Well, I plan to share my favorite fall recipes and treats, fall entertaining ideas, home decorating fall-style, what myhome looks like this fall, of course continuing some fall “fotos” and quotes on Fridays, “The Pick of the Patch” – where I’ll share some of my favorite fall-themed blog posts I’ve found from around the web, a fall giveaway or two, and well, you get the picture!

A little sneaky peeky at my fall decorations...

Let’s celebrate this coziest of seasons together, shall we? I can’t wait!!!!