December’s Saturday Ponderings . . .

Dec 14, 2019

To wake up on a Saturday morning, the mind gently becoming conscious after a deeply pleasant and restful slumber, not yet knowing which day it is is to wake up to a wonderful gift.

While I had hoped today would be full of falling snow, it appears the weather pattern has shifted and such a wintery scene is not to be; however, it is Saturday and all is well. 🙂

Last month, I shared 14 ponderings on a random Saturday morning, and so it goes again that I am letting my mind wander and dance about. Shall we see what it’s entertaining?

1.Cosmic Crisps!

A new apple, yep, a new apple has been born! The Cosmic Crisp! Naturally bursting with sweet flavor (no GMOs here) and bred from Enterprise and Honeycrisp apples in Washington State University’s tree fruit breeding program, this new apple first became available to ship from Washington state on December 1st.

I learned of the apple’s “birth” (it took 20 years to come to fruition – pun intended) from a conversation with colleagues this week who spoke highly of the Cosmo Crisp’s flavor, and upon doing my Friday market shopping, I came across them (see above) and picked one up to try. Yep, firm, sweet and very crisp and crunchy. I made mine into a rustic apple tart (see below) and the sweetness and fruit forward flavor was pronounced and unique. Certainly an apple to bake with, but also one to enjoy as a snack. The price point is a bit high for me to buy many, so hopefully that will fall in time, but I would recommend picking one up if you see them in the shops here in the Pacific Northwest.

2. When the contractor calls out of the blue, say, “Yes! When do you want to meet?”

Somewhat out of the blue, my contractor called me yesterday and asked me what time we had scheduled to meet so he could take measurements. The beauty and gift was that we had not set a time or date, but it clearly had been set in his mind as that particular day, so I made it work, and I am sooooo glad that I did!

The first project I want to tend to in my home is to install bookshelves as I shared in this post, and it may just come to be complete before spring arrives. A happy dance is being choreographed and performed now and for many days to come! (A note about contractors in Bend: They are in extremely high demand and fitting small projects such as these into their schedule is next-to-impossible, but I am extremely grateful for my contractor’s patience and interest in my projects, phew!). Below is an image that I am drawing some inspiration from for my build-in shelves in my living room.

~from @sabbeinteriordesign~

3. Wrapping up holiday shopping this weekend. How is yours going?

Thankfully, we still have two weekends before Christmas, but shipping time is dwindling, so I am going to be out and about today and hoping a few items arrive today via post so that I can ship them out to their holiday homes.

4. Sales to Shop for you or someone on your list

Many sales are still offering wonderful savings and likely will be up until the end of the year. For example, J.Crew currently is offering 40% off nearly everything with promo code GIFTED, and the beautiful cashmere camel classic sweater below is 60% off at Theory, one of my go-to designers for staples in my capsule wardrobe.

~more colors available~

5. Gearing up for a creative holiday break and I cannot wait!

Beginning Monday December 23 through Tuesday December 31st, TSLL will be taking its annual vacation, but while “new” content will not be shared, nor will a weekly TSLL newsletter go out, there will be a new post of the Top Posts of 2019 every day during the break as well as a celebration of TSLL’s 10th Anniversary (I cannot believe so many years have already passed!). The first new podcast episode of 2020 (now that is a fun number to type!) will be on Monday January 6th (I had previously considered airing a new episode on January 1st, but I am letting myself take a breath as I will be on holiday), but there will be a new post to kick off the new year on the first day of 2020, so be sure to stop by.

During the break I am looking forward to organizing and planning blog and podcast projects, as well as beginning to customize the first room in my home – the Mud Room.

A few ideas are shared below, but as we all know, the final look may look slightly or significantly different. I will share more pictures and details as the work progresses. It has been five or six years since I have hung wallpaper, so I need to refresh my memory.

6. Holiday baking is always a fun activity, and sharing the creations even more so.

I made these quadruple chocolate cookies with all the chips, and as you will see from the recipe (which I shared many years ago – 2011!) I have yet to snap a decent photo. Honestly, each time I make them (I only make them during the hoildays as they are quite addictive) and they are either eaten or delivered quickly as they are extremely delicious and always a hit. (Note to self: maybe make one more batch, just to take a photo and share :))

UPDATE! I followed my previous note and made the cookies today! Here is one pic and the rest can be found with the recipe’s post. 🙂

7. Picked up my tree permit ($5) this week and am looking forward to going hunting for it this weekend!

Who knows what we will find (the boys are coming too), but the goal is by the end of this weekend to have my first tree up in my new house (if all goes well, there will be pics shared on Instagram – stay tuned).

8. Freshly laundered sheets on Friday

I happened to change my bed linens Friday morning (usually I do so over the weekend) and slipped into freshly laundered and gently spritzed with lavender linen sheets Friday night and oh my, was it a treat I may try to give myself each week (the pic below is an old pic from my previous home but includes the linens I love sleeping in).

~View the recipe for my linen lavender spritz here, scroll to point #6.

9. Finally began reading this book, and already enjoying immensely – a strong and unique narrative voice. Looking forward to reading a chapter or two each evening.

10. The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition just began this past Thursday on ABC

Granted, the beloved hosts Sandi and Noel as well as judge Prue Leith are not in this series, but the same structure is followed and the American bakers are in England baking. On the first episode, two episodes essentially aired – bread and cake week (two hours worth) – and so far, while in my opinion, not comparable to the original, the series is and will be a fun holiday show to watch over the next few weeks.

11. A new Instagram Account I am following for the decor inspiration (especially the kitchen), located in England!

12. A classical symphony I recently added to my playlist and am thoroughly enjoying (be sure to listen to all three parts)

Mendelssohn’s Spring Symphony No. 2 in D Major

Now to the weekend! I am off to wake the boys up, bundle up and try to find our tree! If you need to catch up on this week’s This & That post, have a look here and bonne journée!

17 thoughts on “December’s Saturday Ponderings . . .

  1. Hi Shannon – I have been following you for quite a few years (before you moved to Bend), and I am thrilled for all of your successes! Congratulations!

    Can you tell me where that darling potential Mud Room bench can be found?

    Thanks, and have a Merry Christmas!

  2. You paid too much for Cosmic Crisp! They are $2.99 a lb at HyVee and Whole Foods in Kansas City MO. I had my first on Wednesday and they are the juiciest! They were a rave at our Wine Wednesday.

    1. That is the price they made available here in Bend. 🙂 As I said, they are marked up as they are new. If I could have picked them up in MO, I would have, but that would have been one expensive apple. ?

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