1st Anniversary of A Farmhouse Revisited

November/December marks the one year anniversary of our blog! What started out as a need for a little distraction from the day-to-day stressors has turned into a full-fledged fun hobby of mine. I’m still a newbie at this, but I’m having a ball learning how to do things on the blog and adding new gadgets etc. I’m hoping to be able to expand my repertoire of skills so I can make it the best it can be. There are so many great blogs out there and they have inspired me to really work at this.

One thing I’m hoping to finally add is more information on what Larry and I have planned for the house in terms of projects, as well as more recipes etc. I think I was actually putting it off because I want to add pictures etc with those topics and I’m just slow – I’ll admit it.

What I learned this year is that all of this blog-learning business definitely had a steep learning curve! I was originally thinking I’d be able to knock out posts after posts on a daily/weekly basis, but life (work/home) tends to get in the way. :) So I’ve learned to pace myself and in doing so I think I was able to pick up the pace a bit, plus I’m getting a little more techy and maybe just more comfortable in general with learning new things. It’s funny, as a kid, I’d be all over this, but learning new things as an adult, you realize your limitations and sometimes that can be frustrating. But I suppose when you just throw caution to the wind and just relax and have fun with these little projects/hobbies…well it all falls into place.

So I hope you continue to enjoy what we are sharing. We love to have comments and suggested on our projects etc, so please keep the comments coming!

Thanks & Happy Holidays!

Ladies Night Out on the Square – December 3rd

For the past 4 years Mom and I have taken part in the Ladies Night Out on the Woodstock Square in Woodstock, IL. Woodstock, for the non-locals reading this, is where they filmed the movie Groundhog Day - completely cute town with so much charm. Ladies Night Out basically it’s a night out just for women to shop, eat and enjoy themselves and presumably do a LOT of shopping. The merchants typically have specials, and appetizers and wine tastings etc. We’d been going every year except for last year when I believe the area was just pummeled with snow and cold – so Ladies Night Out went out the window!

The event always seems to draw a nice crowd, but I swear this year was a banner year – there were a ton of people on the square. It was really nice to see everyone just having a nice time.

As an added bonus several of the stores in Crystal Lake had open houses that night, including my favorite, The Perfect Pear (more on that in the next post), so Mom and I bolted to downtown Crystal Lake first, then headed to Woodstock for some shopping and dinner and then back to Crystal Lake to do a little more shopping before everything closed.

So we headed to Woodstock, parked and shopped in high gear because we were starved.

We went to dinner at Le Petite Creperie (www.lapetitecreperie.net). We've actually gone there a couple of times for this night - it's this great french bistro right on the square - I think the owners even have a vineyard in the area - fabulous food. Mom had swordfish and I had Coq a vin - so good!

One of my favorite spots on the square is Cobblestones on the Square (www.cobblestonesonthesquare.com)- a bevy of womderful finds: ice cream, candy, gourmet food, housewares, wine, candles, clothes etc. Love it!

After dinner we stolled around a little more, but then headed back to Crystal Lake to do a little more shopping - a whirlwind night and we were probably a littl eworse for the wear but so much fun!

Turkey, Football & Great Conversation - November 27th

Thanksgiving always seems to come up on me, but this year I was prepared. You should have seen me…I was a planning/decorating/cooking/baking whirling dervish!

Unfortunately, after all the whirling I was doing, by the time the turkey was ready and I was actually ready to entertain, I was exhausted! Actually my downfall was due to me running around on Wednesday looking for water goblets – never found the right kind – and paid the price for running around like a chicken with its head cut off!

We had Mom and Dad V and our cousin Eric (who’s a senior at the University of Notre Dame) for the festivities. They arrived early so Mom and I could work on the food prep. Thankfully, there was football on and I could “kick” the guys out of the room – too many people/cooks in the kitchen and you’re asking for trouble! :)

Honestly, the day/evening was just perfect – great conversation and yummy food. Mom made green beans with onions, butternut squash, her wonderful cranberry relish, and fabulous apple and pumpkin pies. I made the turkey, gravy, stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, mini pumpkin cheesecake and some quick appetizers.

Of course we always plan for leftovers, because the Vassallo side of the family (me too!) love to make sandwiches the next day with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Larry and I love to entertain (OK maybe I like it a little more than him, but I think Larry still loves it) and our little Thanksgiving was just a wonderful day at the May household. On top of that, you can’t beat the fact that we had a long weekend, which Larry and I used to head to Madison for Friday, Saturday and Sunday – what a great weekend!

A note about the centerpiece: This was very simple to do...found a fantastic vase at TJMaxx for just $10 (and it was huge!). I put some mixed nuts in the base and then placed a plastic cup filled with water in the center. Place the nuts around the cup to disguise the cup and fill the cup with flowers and twigs - very simple and I think pretty elegant. Voila!