Friday, September 30, 2011

Witches Tea Party

For those of you who had fun at Frosted Petunia's Practical Magic Party, you'll be happy to know there's another party on the horizon ~ a Witches Tea Party!  Open to all bloggers, we'll be partying from Oct. 29-30.  Click on the image below for more info, and join the fun!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Smell Of Autumn & Apple Pie

For those of you who have popped over to visit my fragrance blog, The Scented Journey, you know about my love of scents - it's been a passion (obsession??) since childhood.  I grew up in New England (and still live here!), and for me, there is no season that evokes more scent memories than autumn.  In this post, I will celebrate some of my favorite ways to welcome the season through the sense of smell!

Tom Ford's Black Orchid

I have to start with one of my favorite perfumes (and now my signature scent), Tom Ford's Black Orchid.  This magnificent fragrance is everything autumn to me...a stroll though a slightly damp forest, leaves crunching underneath your feet...the smell of sweet woodsmoke...burning incense...something delicious cooking in the kitchen.  A woodland witch would wear this well!  It is simply magical, and unlike any other fragrance in the world.  Love it or hate it, you must try it at least once!

Official notes:

Bergamot, Citrus, Mandarin, Black Gardenia, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Lotus Wood, Orchid, Spicy Floral Accord, Orchid (Tom Ford Black Accord), Patchouli, Sandalwood, Incense, Vanilla.



Pacifica's Tibetan Mountain Temple candle

This is one of the most amazing candles for fall I've ever smelled, and if you love ginger and vetiver, it's a must have.  It's spicy, yet fresh at the same time.  It also comes in a perfume spritz (have it - love it!), soap, and body butter.  How the website describes it:

This grounded, alluring fragrance was one of my first and most ethereal blends. Vetiver, with a smokey, resinous scent, is reminiscent of the fragrant smoke of incense burnt throughout the temples and sacred spaces in Asia. Patchouli is subtle, but deep. Ginger and orange zest lighten the burning intensity of the blend. This is an homage to the Tibetan people and their struggle and a thank you to the Dalai Lama for all that he has done for our world.
Buy it here:  Pacifica

Kyoto Autumn Leaves by Kyo-nishiki 

Is incense your thing?  Then you just might love Kyoto's Autumn Leaves.  It's a woodsy, cinnamon-y incense that smells delightful when you've got the fire roaring!  

Buy it here: Autumn Leaves



The Big, Bad Sour Cream Apple Pie!!

This apple pie recipe will send you to heaven!  I've made this for years, and it never fails to make people swoon.  The sour cream balances the sweetness of the crisp-like topping.  I always use Macintosh or Cortland apples, add some walnuts to the topping, and use extra cinnamon.  Pretty darn good for breakfast, too.  Let me know what you think if you make it! 
(Recipe from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups diced apples
  •  
  • Topping:
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter, diced

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Press the pie crust into and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, and salt. Mix in the sour cream, egg and vanilla until smooth. Add apples, and stir to coat. Scrape the mixture into the pie shell.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 30 minutes more.
  4. While the pie is baking, prepare the topping in a medium bowl. Stir together 1/3 cup of flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  5. After the 30 minute bake time has passed, cover the top of the pie with the crumb topping, and continue to bake for 15 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned and apples are tender. Allow the pie to cool, then refrigerate until chilled before serving. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's Finally Here!

The day is finally here...the Practical Magic blog party has begun!  Click on the link on the right sidebar to visit all of the other blogs participating in the fun! Here is my small tribute to one of my favorite books/movies...


Aaaah, that letter!  Love - in all its forms - is really what the story is all about...

Sally Owens: [Sally's letter to Gillian] Sometimes I feel like there's a hole inside of me, an emptiness that at times seems to burn. I think if you lifted my heart to your ear, you could probably hear the ocean. The moon tonight, there's a circle around it. Sign of trouble not far behind. I have this dream of being whole. Of not going to sleep each night, wanting. But still sometimes, when the wind is warm or the crickets sing... I dream of a love that even time will lie down and be still for. I just want someone to love me. I want to be seen. I don't know. Maybe I had my happiness. I don't want to believe it but, there is no man, Gilly. Only that moon.

Sally Owens: Can love really travel back in time and heal a broken heart? Was it our joined hands that finally lifted Maria's curse? I'd like to think so. But there are some things I know for certain: always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can.

 

Gillian Owens: You ever put your arms out and spin really, really fast?
Antonia Owens: She does it all the time.
Gillian Owens: She does? Well, that's what love is like. It makes your heart race. It turns the world upside down. But if you're not careful, if you don't keep your eyes on something still, you can lose your balance. You can't see what's happening to the people around you. You can't see that you're about to fall.
Gary Hallet: Did you or your sister kill James Angelov?
Sally Owens: Yeah, a couple of times.


The Aunts always knew when to wipe a tear...and when to party!!

Sally Owens: And I don't want them dancing naked under the full moon!
Aunt Jet Owens: No, of course. The nudity is entirely optional. As you well remember!


Sally Owens: All I want is a normal life.
Aunt Frances Owens: My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage!


Midnight Margaritas!

Aunt Frances Owens: Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog.
Aunt Jet Owens: Adder's fork and blindworm's sting,
Aunt Frances Owens: Barbados lime is just the thing.
Aunt Jet Owens: Cragged salt like a sailor's stubble!
Aunt Frances Owens: Flip the switch and let the cauldron bubble!

And oh, how many times I've swooned over THAT HOUSE!





And of course...to Sandra and Nicole...the perfect witchy sisters!

Add a little Practical Magic to your day today!
xx
Barbara

Friday, September 23, 2011

Painted Glassware...

I have a "thing" for painted glassware, and I wanted to share with you my latest Etsy find, Judi Painted It.  You can buy her glasses as is, or she will work with you to create a custom order.  Below are some of my favorites!  Find her shop here.







Sunday, September 18, 2011

And the winner of the giveaway is.......

Angela Kennedy!!  Congratulations!  Very excited that the winner was also one of my blog buddies!  Angela gets to choose a necklace or pair of earrings of her choice. :)  Contact me through my website, let me know which item you would like, and your mailing address.

Thanks to everyone who participated!  I will be having more giveaways periodically!
xx 
Barbara

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pacifica ~ Gypsy Spirit Collection

If you haven't heard of Pacifica's products yet, you should check them out! They are a fragrance company based in Oregon, and sell wonderful, natural smelling perfumes at very reasonable prices. Check out their Gypsy Spirit Value Collection

Mix and match these gorgeous scents to create a signature fragrance!  Tibetan Mountain Temple is one of my favorites.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm having a giveaway!

How'd you like some free jewelry? :)  I'm having a giveaway!  All you have to do is "like" my Ophelia's Adornments page on Facebook, and you'll be eligible to win a free necklace or pair of earrings of your choice!  Find the link here.

Introducing the latest pendant necklaces...








In Remembrance

I remember all too clearly that horrible day.  It was, ironically, a perfect September morning - crisp air, brilliant sunshine.  Everyone was going about their normal business, unaware that the world would soon change forever.  I was on my way to teach a ballet class at the prep school where I worked when I heard the news. Some of the students had family who worked in the Twin Towers.  So sad, so tragic...my heart goes out to all those who were lost and their loved ones today.

We just never know when our lives will be turned upside down, do we?  It's a reminder to live each day as if it were our last.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Tribute To Brown

September is here, and it's the perfect month to pay tribute to one of my favorite colors - brown!  Whether it's found in a cozy scarf, a soft leather chair, a piece of rich chocolate, or a cup of delicious cocoa, brown is both warm and comforting and sensual and exotic.  I'm probably genetically programmed to like it; my eyes and hair are brown, too. ;-)  Have a fabulous weekend!






I really think Cameron should go back to brunette!  Stunning!  Her blue eyes really pop with brown hair.