Sunday, January 31, 2016

Kind Gestures~and Je T'aime~

In just a few short hours..February will be upon us..
I don't know about you..but January flew by.Very  easy winter so far,knock on wood.
Rain expected tonight..

Truly ..the Littles inspire me for Vday,and my daughter inspires me for February.

If I was on my own..or even just the two of us..February would not have the same meanings.
I am easily influenced by outside influences;)

I saw a floral arrangement on Martha Stewart..a BEAUTIFUL arrangement in a birch bark pot..
we snowshoe and X-country ski..I didn't even see where to buy it or what to do...instructions as to how to make a birch bark pot.

I Pinned her pic.

 And we snowshoed again..because this keeps happening;)So beautiful.

 I know..I should have straightened the above pic..I love my neighbors homes..on both sides..and like both my neighbors..lucky me.

I am way behind because I am gathering birch bark and taking pics..never a dull moment~
 He's thinking..OMG now what's she doing~
Going anywhere out of the ordinary and even the ordinary..I love taking I am always far behind~

The first day I came home w/ thick bark from a dead tree.. ..dead because it is snapped in half laying across the lay of the land..
I soaked the bark..rolled the bark..hoped..made a mess everywhere ..even of my nails.. not acrylic..mine.But I like them and take care of them;)Mostly in winter..
Threw my first efforts away..the next time..I only peeled off the thin outer layer and came home w/ a pocket stuffed of thin bark..and le tour was joué~
I glued the bark over a diced tomato can;) And used oil paint that was in my palette that day to inscribe my heart w/ my alphabet boys initials.

I added a primula..because I love primulas..and it made my heart sing.
The whole thing.

 Another thing that made my heart sing..

..just before Christmas..I received a surprise package..unexpected..such cute things inside:)
I have shared some..not this yet.. cookie stamp..a set of 3 rubber heads that fit on a lovely wooden base..I am a cookie cutter lover.
I have a few of these..but none as quirky and fun as this set of three..
I truly believe what that stamp says:"Damn it feels good to be a baker"..

some days..baking is all the therapy I crave~♥

Cute n'est-ce -pas?

Terry lives in NY..we "met" through Gardenbuddies and found each other again..

we share Pins and new recipes and ideas..and Littles stories;)

how she knew I would like this I have no idea..;)..but I DO:)

I used this recipe..for the shortbread stamps..and used a half recipe..this is when a scale is of the utmost importance in a kitchen..
I love them..not too sweet at all and a lovely shortbread crispness/flakiness..and it stamps well..I did chill the stamped cookies in the screened in porch first.
The next day..even flakier..keeper recipe !!
Really..and who doesn't have a stick of butter,some flour,a wee bit of icing sugar and rice flour hanging around?:)

Do you see 2 bee stamped cookies?Plain old Michael's $1.50 in Canada $1.07 in the US..
I had seen cookie stamps hand made..from France..and they looked like my ink stamps..
use new ones only and use them only for food. adorable can bags be?
at our Winner's and Home Sense..always bags at the cash..$1.49..perfect gift wrapping no?
I could not resist 3 for 3 girls I know...Saw it ,loved it,bought it~pink and grey and polka dots on sides.

And what about cupcake Dollar store gift bags?

Things that are cheap and cheerful and cute.
I love packaging up something in special ways.
I have received gifts wrapped in fabric:) I have received plain paper w/ an old ribbon:)I love them ALL.

Speaking of Love..this was The movie when I was a teen..
Watching the trailer brought back so many memories..such a different never even thought of growing older..having grandchildren..losing people you love..
it really does fly many people used to say that and I would think:"yeah,yeah.yeah"..and did.
Who can forget gorgeous natural Ali McGraw? And she still is..
and the name Oliver..I adored it when she would call him by name..I was infatuated with that name..little did I know that some almost 50 yrs later I would have a Little by than name♥
That's a love story:)xox

P.S. Did you see the movie..About Time?Not the best link I think..but I LOVED the movie..Jacques..not as much as I did..
I even loved the music..

If you could go back in time and change one you have one? Or two?

I am sure we have many..but my most recent came to mind..

the next morning..after I listened to the soundtrack before sleep on Spotify the night before..

Jacques said..;'I know which moment you would pick.'
He was spot on.~

I have a little idea up my sleeve for those cute miniature cupcake chocolates..that I did not make......


La Recette de "shortbread"  
From Roti and Rice (adapted version)

1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup rice flour
2 sticks  salted butter softened
1/2 cup icing sugar

1.Combine flour and rice flour in a bowl
2.In a larger bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3.Sift in flour mixture..combine w/ pastry blender until dough comes together..form a ball wrap and chill 15 minutes.

4.Place dough on parchment paper and roll out..cut with desired cookie cutters..when I make stamped cookies..I use the stamp..then cut around with a larger cookie cutter

5.Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for ap 20 mins..transfer to a wite

Refer to her recipe and instructions for a more detailed version:)~
And don't hesitate to make som of these just for you:)

Half a recipe..makes keep you happy and feeling..not guilty;)

I still remember the felling of Valentine cards  in my hands..when I was a child..I love feeling that feeling all over again..

I wish I had many wishes..

maybe that's my new middle name;).


  1. Such a lovely post from the heart. Pouring out the love you have for your family & friends. What a lovely bark covered pot you have made, just right for the pretty primulas. We have never been followers of the valentine celebration. but seeing your lovely pictures and reading your post I feel I might have missed something. love your pictures,

    1. Good morning!As I said..just Jacques and I after 42 yrs..would not be huge is so commercial..but the boys..well when in my life will I truly love this much again?
      They are probably not even into it;)LOL..I will see..I got their furry friends agaian this yr..that too will be a thing of the past soon I think.

  2. A wish is a prayer I read once. Love all the kitchen stuff and I too seem to have a thing for bags. Have them in stacks for something someday. Lucky you with the neighbors. It seems in the US, neighbors have lost that community feeling. Most hardly know one another. Maybe I am wrong, but I have asked if they know their neighbors and they say no. On the farm too, we don't know most of the neighbors. It is a shame. Maybe everyone is too busy. Love birch bark too. I always wanted one of those birch bark miniature canoes made by the indians. Your name is wish, mine must be want.

    1. I read that too:)
      My real middle name is What if? And if has happened more than once!!
      My good friend neighbor across the street moved..
      My daughter is a're right..great street!
      I think we all like to keep our own space though ..don't you?

  3. What a lovely post and your photo's are stunning. You take such wonderful pictures.
    I love decorating the cookies.
    I know all of my neighbors as there are only 13 of us on this street. Most are very nice and we help one another. A couple are not very friendly.
    Have a great week. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  4. I'm a huge fan of birch bark anything, and love what you made. I'm always way behind Joe because I stop and smell the roses, and he is very focused. LOL
    I will try the recipe for the stamped cookies.
    I just looked at the stamped cookies on the internet...beeutiful.

    I'd say Terry knows you pretty well :-) Cute cutter.

    1. It was such a surprise Debbie..a fun one.
      I think you cannot go wrong w/ these..stick them outside if there is no room in the fridge..cause I do chill before baking..

  5. I am so glad you enjoyed the stamper. It is as if they made it just for you. And thanks for featuring those embossed heart cookie cutters. I had forgotten I had bought them after you posted them last year! The bags are adorable. And the birch vase you made is perfect. I had to laugh at you writing OMG where is she now. As always an enjoyable and inspiring post.

      PS..the back of my birch bark missing bark..;)I have to go back!Press hard w/ the hearts..

  6. Absolutely do NOT straighten it...its perfect exactly the way it is.
    Yr eye knows this.
    I'm sending you a ticket.
    Come speak French to me. I'm giving up on learning from Fr. etflix(Fr. Subtitles on Fr. Films)
    I'd rather have a Canadian accent :)

    1. And I would rather have a Parisian accent..I firmly believe people w/ British accents..are more attractive..and people w/ Parisian accents also..I don't know must be personal because Jacques says it does not change a person's looks..he's probably right..but the charm elevates and to me that's attractive.
      Netflix..French movies..they talk fast..think of it as speedtalking.
      You're so funny!Love that.

  7. I've wanted to try stamping shortbread forever...I'm inspired Monique!

    1. Good..this recipe works..chill your cut out cookies before baking.
      Thanks Sue!

  8. I am very impressed with your bark pot Monique. How fabulous that you figured out how to make it on your own. You are our Martha Stewart. And your stamp cookies, ooh, la, la. Very French.

    1. Pssst..I am missing a bit of bark at the back:) Next outing!

      You're so nice Sam.Fort Myers is lucky.

  9. I think the little candy heart says it a ll, "you rock". Each post is so lovely and inspiring. Hope the winter continues to be an easy one.

    1. One says Text Me..I don't even have a ohone that texts..
      A dinosaur.
      Thanks Karen..a theme is fun:)

    2. My husband calls us dinosaurs all the time. :D

    3. It's just not important anymore..:)

  10. Oh, I remember the movie Love Story! It was the quintessential movie of that time I think.

    1. I think so too..I loved it..I can still feel how I felt!

  11. Pretty, pretty, pretty...

  12. What an adorable idea for a pot wrapper, Monique! Did you make something before out of birch? I feel I'm having déjà vu but perhaps I saw it on Pinterest also :) I have a piece of birch that Mack and I found last fall in our yard. Too stiff I think :( Such a great idea. You find the best things at your dollar store! The bags are so cute! Terry, did such a perfect job gifting you! Terry, if you read this, I saw your comment about the new grandson - thank you ! I haven't seen Love Story in ages! Not sure I'd could watch it either. I'd probably cry my eyes out all over again :) I love that Ryan O'Neal shows up occasionally as Temperance Brennan's father in the TV series 'Bones'. February 1st - can you believe it?? Pretty nice winter here so far too - it seems it's flying by tolerably :)

    1. First try at birch must have seen my Pin..of MS..I follow you..
      It's 80 F in the full sun on our upper deck..I went to the post is like Spring..unebelievable Feb 1rst.It's probably more like 50F real temp..but that gallery gets the most sun..and warmth..I should watch Bones..

      Did you see that program about Farrah and Ryan..and her final days etc?
      I loved Farrah..I wore my hair like that ..because of her..I think she was a fab actress later on..and under appreciated.
      It's amazing how when we find things w/ Littles.they are even more "treasures"~
      Lucky get to start all over again:)

    2. I'll bet that's where I saw it - I follow you too :) I do love the idea! I tried to do Farrah hair but my hair was never full enough. There were lots of things about Farrah that I envied :) Certainly not her later life, though. So sad. Yes, very under appreciated. I did not see the final days program. Again, I shy away from thing I fear will be too sad. Yes, I do feel very lucky ♥

    3. Me too..her bathing suit shot;)LOL ..the things that were important back then.
      I love a good cry movies only.;)

    4. Susan I am sure you are busy busy with the new guy in your life and loving it. I'm going to be a grandma again to another girl. I was helping wash the baby clothes and was struck at how tiny they are. Can't wait to meet this little one.

  13. What a sweet post! Loved LOVE STORY and what a love story!! They were beautiful people! Love that you have your precious love story! What a great and fun thing to do with bark! You always amaze me! Oh, about paper products, I could never have enough!

  14. Very cute post with plenty of things to share with us. Love Story was such a charming movie. Flower arrangements are so pretty and add brightness to our homes.. You are quite the baker Monique. Love seeing what you are baking and your newest little cutters or pans.

  15. This a love post!! Really lovely and sweet Monique !! Love story was amazing!!
    Hugssss and love <3 <3 <3

  16. When I saw Love Story...with my friend, who became my SIL....we cried and cried and cried....
    Wasn't Ryan O'Neil a doll?
    Love those bags....beautiful♥️
    That shortbread sounds so easy...Miss V called mine "bread cookies" :o)
    Your photos are always...don't ever change your is Bonne!
    Enjoy your evening....and Downton!
    Linda :o)

    1. I just watched Downton and the dinner scene..quite the drama..happy for Edith..
      Wish Branson would marry Mary!
      The shortbread is need some fun cut outs..will send you cheap and cheerful EBay ideas..Oli used to love doing them..
      Ryan was gorgeous..

    2. I keep thinking the same about Branson and Mary!
      Edith is one of my favourites....I hope she gets her man!
      Thanks for the links!

    3. Jacques said you never marry your wife's sister ?
      We shall see:)

    4. You ok over there?
      Not sick I hope?

  17. I remember Love story, I've read the book and saw the movie many times. The snow is so beautiful where you are you are so lucky to be able to move around in it. Your cookies are adorable. Take care!

    1. It is melting..very unusual for this time of year..the cookies are easy..and lovely!

  18. I loved that movie! The music is classic and Ali MacGraw. OMG> But your photos and February? You make me excited!

    1. You now..I was looking at your food yesterday..and it's always plated so colorfully on tasteful potter..I find they all reflect the artist in you..
      I wish your posts would come to me.

  19. My January disappeared as well and I am determined to slow February down. And to bake. A lot. I've been wanting to make my own cookie cutters from my own designs. Have yet to figure out how to do it :-) And yes, I LOVED About Time.

    1. Wasnt'it is such a good movie showing what really is important?
      I hope you do make cookie cutters:)

  20. Oh Monique, so much to love here. Bees. On cookies. I am in utter love. I love bees on anything. Everything you do is so beautiful. All of your cookies are very tasty. I will have to try the cookie recipe. It looks great. I will have to find rice flour. I wonder if it is the same thing as ground rice? The Birchbark pot, so sweet. I Love it. Love Story. I love it. Who didn't want that kind of love for their lives way back when. Some of us got lucky the first time around, others well . . . meh! Got there in the end and that's what counts! I will have to look for the About Time movie. Is it on Netflix I wonder? I am so surprised at just how quickly January disappeared. I hope it doesn't happen with the rest of the year! xoxo

    1. I can recall so many feelings of being young when remembering Love Story..I think it's best we cannot predict the future..
      we did see About Time on Netflix..but I have discovered the US one is maybe the UK one is different also.
      I know you would like the movie.I know:)
      Asian stores often carry rice flour..there is a difference I just Googled..rice flour is much more finely ground..I hope you have an asian store?I just checked Amazon UK and they have it:)
      I am happy I am not 17

    2. Oh, for sure. I would not be 17 again for anything, however I would love to have the body and hair now that I had then! tee hee! I will check Amazon UK! Thanks! xo

  21. Cookie stamps are amazing things! As for me, it's the greatest fun to stamp cookie with family or friends or alone, but for them. I really like pot for flowers you did from bark.

  22. Monique,
    I love February too! I remember exchanging Valentine cards in Elementary School and being so excited to open them up from all my friends. It seemed like everyone would draw something extra on the card, so special. To be young again. Your flowers in the bark container are so pretty and the stamped cookies are darling.
    Happy Baking: )

    1. Yu could fill sooooooooo many containers..cute memories we have of being kids..happy for that:)

  23. Your gorgeous photos always amaze me - it looks like you live in the most beautiful spot in the world. I need a cookie stamp! Adorable :)

    1. Well's feezing rain and not quite heavenly;) Yesterday..yes!

  24. Love it all! The birch bark plant holder, your cookie stamp, the view from your window, the recipe for your short bread cookies.
    Oh, and those lasagna roll ups! My mouth is watering - can't wait to try those. Thanks, Monique. xo

  25. Love your birch bark plant holder. I remember peeling bark from birch trees when I grew up in Michigan. Love, love short bread in any form. Your stamps and cookies are amazing. Another inspiring post Monique.

    1. Thanks Penny..I can say the same after making your potatoes!

  26. Bonsoir ma chère Nana,

    Il est tellement agréable de te lire et d'admirer tes photos... Chez moi, cette année l'hiver est doux et il swingue avec le printemps car beaucoup de fleurs sont déjà arrivées et ce depuis Noël !! Notamment les violettes, les pâquerettes, les jonquilles, les cognassiers du Japon et les primevères que tu as magnifiquement mises en valeur avec ce tronc de bouleau.
    Cet après-midi j'ai fait de la pâtisserie en réalisant des petits biscuits variés. La prochaine fois, je vais tester ta recette !

    Un grand merci pour ton très gentil commentaire.

    Gros bisous ♡

  27. Your vase turned out beautiful. And made with such love and care! Those snow pics are amazing, we had a little but nothing like that!

    1. It is all melting! I did Spring cleaning for few hours..the cake pan..area..the ceramic..area..and plastic containers area..

  28. There are many moments I would change, and many that I wouldn' I work accepting them all! I will see that movie. Je t'aime, it is the theme I am using for my French class with the school group today! And kindness, "only kindness matters," sang Jewel...