January 2021 – Travel

Hi there!

Welcome to this year’s 365 photo today challenge. You can check out this link if you care to join. It is a great group!

This week the theme is ‘Travel.’ I love to travel, but like the rest of the world, we are in lockdown! That fact and dark, gloomy, grey weather has also made it difficult to find inspiration. However, I suppose that is the point, to be challenged, right?!

So here we go!

January 10 – Feather – I have to travel into our small town to pick up groceries and decided to stop at the local harbour to find some of my favourite feathered friends. I was not disappointed. There is quite a population of Mallard ducks here, as I suspect the locals are feeding them. As a bonus, I found this pretty feather on my way back to the car!

January 11 – Open-Hearted – We usually take an annual vacation on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Due to COVID, we did not go this year. When there, I enjoy going for a walk along the water’s edge in the early mornings, and I like to collect seashells and coral on my way. I save them and enjoy the memories they bring. For this photo, I laid them out in a heart shape on a black t-shirt and took a picture using my ‘Hipstamatic’ App. I like the ‘first frame of the film’ effect in this shot.

I ‘heart’ the seaside

January 12 – Prompt Free Day – I only had to travel a short distance to a local conservation area with trails. I love walking in the mornings. The world is so quiet. We had a light dusting of snow overnight, and it was a winter wonderland. There is a picnic pavilion near a little pond where I often sit and meditate, enjoying nature’s sights & sounds.

January 13 – Outside – The prompt today was to look for texture. I travelled to the end of my driveway. There was more light snow overnight, but it was melting quickly. I hurried out to capture the snow and the melting droplets; I think tree trunks’ in the background added to this photo’s interest.

January 14 – Effortless – There is a popular provincial park near my home. It is very crowded in the summertime; often, the gates close before noon as it is full. It is effortless to get to and enjoy in the off-season. It is my favourite time of year here. This photo is of the Dunes Beach area. I was all alone but saw evidence of lots of wildlife; tracks of deer, raccoons and even, what I believe was an otter.

January 15 – Crisp – Here is another pretty attraction in our area. It is Lake on the Mountain. I was happy to see the sun trying to break through the dreariness. The sunshine wasn’t ultimately successful, but I’m pleased with the photo. There are tracks here too; raccoons and otters. Click on this link to learn more about this interesting phenomenon.

January 16 – Kindness – I stayed in due to rain all day. My husband said he would go for groceries and returned home with this beautiful bouquet as well as the groceries. How kind!

Next week’s photo theme is RED so stay tuned. Thank you for visiting. Continue to stay safe and stay well!

Connie 🙂

Sour Cream Banana Bread

Today’s adventure is in the kitchen!

Welcome to 2021!

I have been taking a break from baking since Christmas. I over-indulged in December and need to get back to my regular diet & routine.

I had a few bananas lying about that were entirely black—a perfect excuse for Banana Bread.

I have been following Mel’s Kitchen Cafe blog for many years now and love her easy recipes. This particular recipe was on her “top 10 recipes of 2020”. It doesn’t disappoint. Here is the link if you want to check her blog out yourself!

I have tried many different recipes for Banana Bread over the years, but this is my favourite. I love it plain, with or without nuts and even with chocolate chips on occasion. However, today I am making the plain version.

As usual, I gather, prepare & measure all the ingredients.

We start by mixing the wet ingredients in a large bowl, then adding the dry ingredients and mixing only until just blended.

Pour into your prepared loaf pan and bake.

After approximately an hour, you end up with this lovely loaf! It is VERY yummy!

Here is a link to the recipe if you would like to make your own!

I would love it if you let me know if you made them too!

Happy cooking, Connie 🙂

January 2021 – All About Me

Hello again! 

Welcome to this year’s 365 photo today challenge. I continue to participate in the 365 Picture Today group. You can check out this link if you care to join.

This week the prompts are ‘All About Me.’ This assignment is the most challenging for me. I am not at all comfortable in front of the camera, but it is also essential. If nothing else, our families with being grateful for the memories. 

So here we go!

January 3 – Opportunity – This is my opportunity to introduce myself! (Hello!!) I am in my backyard, which is like a park. I love to be outside in the fresh air, hiking, walking, taking photos and generally enjoying the scenery. 

January 4 – Breakfast – For breakfast on this day, I’m having a slice of fresh sourdough bread, toasted with some incredibly yummy apricot preserves, a gift from a dear friend.

January 5 – Relinquish – I believe that it is time to relinquish my flip flops for something a little more appropriate for the snow! Brrr! It’s incredible what we will do for our photo-a-day projects.

January 6 – Letters – Today is all about ‘letters.’ (Think words, phrases & quotations). Anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE my morning cup of coffee. I found the perfect quote for the photo.

January 7 – Open – Some days get away from me. I seemed to be puttering around the house all day and at dinnertime realized I had not yet taken today’s photo. So, of course, I had to open a bottle of wine! It was delicious!

January 8 – Home – (‘Where I Stand’ is a monthly prompt that we will repeat throughout the year. The idea is to include your feet, either taking the photo looking down or putting your camera on a tripod and taking a picture of just your lower half.) Today, I am on my back deck, in my winter boots and blue jeans, my usual attire. 

January 9 – Fascinating – (Welcome to our first Quarterly Challenge! This will be picture #1 in a series of 4 pictures to be taken in the same spot seasonally!) I find Mother Nature fascinating. The sun is trying to shine through the light cloud cover. I am at Macauley Museum in our town. I love living where there are four distinct seasons. I look forward to the completion of this assignment later in the year.

Thank you for visiting. Continue to stay safe and stay well!

Connie 🙂

Holiday Quilting

Today’s adventure is in my quilting room.

I was not very productive on the quilting front last year. My sewing room and den currently a storage rooms, while our never-ending renovation has been in progress (or non-progress) for most of the 2020.

However, I did manage to shuffle some boxes around and make a little, tiny space to work on a small project. I planned to make a pair of Christmas themed pillow covers for my love seat.

During the Black Friday Sales, I found some pretty charm squares (5″ squares) in a lovely Christmas collection on sale. It is called ‘The Christmas Card.’ I like the small pattern and muted colours. I found a charm pack of cream-coloured squares that would work well with the collection in my stash.

I paired up squares and made them into half-square triangle blocks and arranged them into a lovely setting. They didn’t take long to put together. I quilted them in a simple pattern and made envelope-styled back.

Ta-Da!

I am delighted with the result and even happier that I managed some quality quilting time. As a bonus, I still have plenty of this fabric left and can plan some fun projects for next year!

The never-ending renovation is slowly plodding along and, with any luck, should be finished soon. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! I eagerly await the day when my sewing/quilting room is back to normal. There are several unfinished projects patiently waiting for me.

What are you working on these days?

Thanks for visiting, Connie

January 2021

Hello there! It’s a new year, and I hope, for all our sake, that it is a better one than the last one!

Welcome to this year’s 365 photo today challenge. You can check out this link if you care to join. It is a great group!

Today’s post will be a short one, but we will get back into the swing of things next week.

Now, on to the last few photos!

January 1 – Start – It is a new year full of so much hope and promise, but nothing happens until I have had my coffee! Not a glamorous photo, but it is my reality.

January 2 – Helpful – I awoke to no power in the house! Hubby is helpful by driving into town for cups of coffee. The power company’s ‘outage map’ helps determine how long we will wait to restore power. This view from my front porch is beautiful, though! Don’t you agree?

As always, thank you for visiting. Continue to stay safe and stay well!

Connie 🙂

Photo-a-day – December 27 to December 31, 2020

Photo-a-day – December 27 to December 31, 2020

Hello there! Thanks for visiting!

Welcome back to this year’s photo-a-day challenge. Today’s post is to wind-up 2020. I decided to join again for 2021. Follow this link if you would like to join. It is a great group!

It has been quite a year, hasn’t it. I believe following the Photo-a-Day prompts has given me, personally, something positive to look forward to each day.

Now, on to the last few photos!

December 27 – Fruitcake Day – I am of German heritage, and we make ‘Stollen’ instead of fruitcake. It is slightly similar, as it has lots of fruit in it, though it is lighter, more like a slightly sweet bread. This photo is of the last slice of this year’s batch.

December 28 – Card Playing Day – I am not a big card or game player but do own a deck of cards, just in case!

December 29 – Tick Tock Day – This day reminds us to complete any unfinished business that needs addressing before the end of the year. I love this clock tower in our town. I love hearing the hours chime as I go about my daily business. (Yes, the clock tower is crooked and leaning! It is part of its charm!)

December 30 – Falling Needles Family Fest – We don’t have a real tree. Therefore, there are no falling needles. However, it snowed overnight, and it looks so pretty on the evergreen trees down the road.

December 31 – New Year’s Eve – As the sun sets on the last day of this stressful year, we can only pray that 2021 holds the promise of better times to come. May you all be blessed the excellent health & happiness for the new year!

December At-a-Glance – I love the look of all the photos together.

So that completes 2020. I am looking forward to 2021 – I am sending positive vibes into the universe. Join me, and perhaps it will happen!

I thought it would be nice to share all the collages in a gallery.

Happy New Year! Thank you for visiting. Stay safe & stay well!

Connie 🙂

Gingerbread Loaf

Today’s adventure is in the kitchen! 

This adventure was just before Christmas! Requests for this recipe came in after my photo prompt for December 22 (Date Nut Day). I made Gingerbread Mini Loaves instead, in keeping with the holiday spirit!

This is a copy-cat recipe of Starbuck’s famous Ginger Loaf. It is also a versatile recipe can be made into a single loaf, six mini loaves or twelve muffins, whatever your needs are.

I first gather all the ingredients together. It helps me stay organized. I also like to gather all the tools & equipment needed. It is just more efficient. Then preheat your oven and grease your baking pans.

You start by creaming the butter & sugar together. Add the egg and vanilla and stir to combine. Then blend in the applesauce.

Sift together the dry ingredients; add to the wet ingredients slowly and stir until just incorporated. 

Then add the batter to your prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Note: Baking times are approximate here as ovens can vary greatly. 

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

The holidays are a time for excess, so instead of frosting, I dusted them lightly with icing sugar. They were still delicious, and even hubby (of the famous sweet-tooth) didn’t miss the extra sweetness. 

Here is the recipe if you would like to make your own!

I would love it if you let me know if you made them too! 

Happy cooking, Connie 🙂

Photo-a-day – December 20 to December 26, 2020

Hello again! Thanks for visiting! 

Welcome back to this year’s photo-a-day challenge. I continue to following along with 365 Picture Today, though there are days where I share a photo that is not following the prompt. Check out this link if you want to join along. The 2021 sign up page is here. Only those that are signed up will get the 2021 daily prompt emails.

Christmas has come and gone. It looked a little different, but it was still enjoyable. We had an intimate dinner for two at home but made and received many phone calls & emails from family & friends throughout the holidays. There were lots of sharing of photos online. My grandchildren are as cute as a button! That aside, I can’t wait to see them all in person again. Hopefully, sooner rather than later!

Now, on to this week’s photos! (Click on any image to see a larger view):

December 20 – International Human Solidarity Day – Our shared interest in photography binds this group together. So in that unified spirit, let’s share something interesting from our day. This photo is a happy accident. I was playing with the settings on my camera, and this is the photo that resulted. The problem is that I don’t know how I achieved this. I love how the berries stand out on the bush. I’ll have to try and re-create this soon.

December 21 – Winter Solstice / Macro Monday – It is the shortest day and longest night of the year. I went for an early morning walk and saw these lovely frost-covered oak leaves. I certainly am looking forward to the days getting longer now!

December 22 – Date Nut Bread Day – I love Date Nut Bread, but I opted to make some delicious Gingerbread Loaves for the week before Christmas. Perfect to accompany a cup of tea or cocoa!

December 23 – Roots Day / Colour Gold – Sharing a bit of my heritage: My mother loved Christmas; she always made it special, mostly when times were difficult. After she passed, I became the owner of her precious ornaments. This particular ornament is made of the most delicate glass. It makes me smile when I see it every year, and often I get lost in the best memories.

December 24 – Christmas Eve – The tree is decorated; the food is prepared; packages are wrapped; we are ready for Christmas. Whatever you are doing, no matter how different your celebrations are this year, let’s focus on the positive, enjoy and be grateful!

December 25 – Christmas Day – Merry Christmas from my house to yours! The table is set; let the cooking begin. This year is a much smaller, quiet celebration for just the two of us. 

December 26 – Boxing Day – What a difference a day makes! After two full days of rain, we awoke to a winter wonderland. This photo is the view from my ‘snow & ice’ covered living room window. 

So that completes another week. I hope that everyone had a grand Christmas celebration. Remember to stay safe!

Thank you for visiting. Stay well!

Connie 🙂

Merry Christmas

I am taking a few days away from my blog to celebrate Christmas with my husband.

This year, our celebration will include an intimate dinner for two and some quality FaceTime with our daughters & their families. This is not the type of holiday we are used to, but hopefully we can visit in person soon!

I hope that you and your loved ones are celebrating in the best way you are able this year!

Be safe and be merry; and I’ll see you soon!

Connie

Photo-a-day – December 13 to December 19, 2020

Hello again! Thanks for visiting! 

Welcome back to this year’s photo-a-day challenge. I continue to following along with 365 Picture Today, though there are days where I share a photo that is not following the prompt. Check out this link if you want to join along. The 2021 sign up page is here. Only those that are signed up will get the 2021 daily prompt emails.

Christmas is a week away though it will be different this year. We have already sent gifts to our children & grandchildren. Christmas dinner preparation is much lighter this year as it will only be the two of us. Decorating the house is also on a smaller scale. Another total lock-down will begin on December 26. I am trying to be patient and calm, in equal measure. “This too shall end,” though no one knows when and how things will look when the dust settles. 

Picture Today has been a fantastic project to keep the mind creatively occupied during these unsettled times. December’s prompts are particularly festive! So enjoy!

Now, on to this week’s photos! (Click on any image to see a larger view):

December 13 – Cocoa Day – We had several freezing days in a row, and a big cup of cocoa with marshmallows was just the ticket to warming up after my walk. On this day, I served it in my holiday mug from Starbucks. Very festive indeed!

December 14 – Prompt Free Day – I still like to stroll our Main Street, but I usually make sure to go out very early before it gets busy. The planters look great. There are hanging baskets of seasonal greenery hanging from the lamp posts too. All the shops have decorated their windows; there is so much to see. You can see the theatre, the library & armoury, which now houses shops in this photo.

December 15 – Wear Your Pearls Day – Today’s prompt is looking for a little holiday bokeh. My Christmas tree lights in the very early morning look like pearls, don’t they?

December 16 – Chocolate Covered Anything Day – I made a batch of Saltine Toffee yesterday. My hubby calls it Christmas Crack because he can’t stop eating it! If you want the recipe, click on this link to go to my recipe post.

December 17 – Off Prompt Day – This was the view along the road as I was going about my errands. Though there isn’t very much snow, it is still very wintery.

December 18 – Arabic Script Day – I love the look of the Arabic written language. I found a website that will convert a word or short phrase. “May Pease Be Upon You”

December 19 – Hard Candy Day – I don’t eat a lot of candy, but we always have a few candy canes in the house for the holidays. I like to use mine as a stir stick for my hot chocolate!

So that completes another week. What have you been up to? Are you ready for the holiday season, however that may look for you this year? With the new lock-downs and restrictions, please be safe, everyone!

Thank you for visiting. Stay well!

Connie 🙂