comments: 139

















On yesterday's menu we had butternut squash soup from the book. It was awful. It was a lot of work and ultimately tasted raw and boring and made me mad. Don't make it.

Earlier this week, however, we made Cat's suggestion, Honey Sesame Chicken, which, everyone, including Amelia, agreed was delicious. So I think I've made four things now and three of them have been good so I am pretty psyched. I know, I'm still talking about this! What's really tricky is that every single time I have put a bunch of stuff into the crock pot and turned it on, I have looked at it and said, "Gross." Because it really does not look like it's going to work. So far, 75% of the time it has. The other 25% of the time, you're hungry and mad. But I will keep trying, because the schedule is just too tempting. IT works great. Just gotta keep trying to find those seven or eight recipes I can rely on. . . . The Honey Sesame Chicken stays.

I've been something steaming hot to drink every afternoon. Today I made hot chocolate. But usually I make tea. Some people asked what my little hot-pot thing was in a photo a few posts ago. It is this little milk frother/steamer. It is awesome. It holds 12 ounces of milk, and you can froth it or just spin and heat it. Much, much better than the microwave or the stove. I've been obsessed with the chai from Townshends lately. My favorite is the Masala Chai. What I do is pour 6 ounces of milk and 6 ounces of water into the little pot (with the flat disk, so it doesn't froth), add 1 and a half tablespoons of tea, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Then I press the button with the three plumes of steam coming up (that means "make it hot"; two plumes mean "make it kinda hot"). That takes about six minutes, so I leave the tea to steep in it for two more minutes while it's still on the hot plate, and then I strain it (I use this strainer). It is so yummy. They have about ten different chais there and I am working my way through them all. So far I have tried the Kashmiri chai, the Bond Street chai, and the Pumpkin Spice. Masala is my favorite.

My girl is so sweet. She napped today for quite a while while I played with the dog and read. I've never seen anyone who wakes up happier than she does. All sleepy and drowsy and fuzzy and smiley. Oh my gosh I love her so much.

What I also love about these November days is that they are already playing Christmas movies. MY FAVORITE GENRE. I watch Christmas movies every day, from the minute they start playing them. I should make a list of my favorites. I will. But someone asked me which Netflix documentaries I have watched and these are the ones I can remember (though I swear there were more that they have taken off of streaming and just made DVDs now?):

You've Been Trumped — Trump builds a golf course in Scotland. Ugh. This guy.
First Circle — Three families in the foster care system. Heartbreaking. Discouraging.
Park Avenue — Disparity of wealth in the U.S. Depressing. Discouraging.
Somewhere Between — Adoptees from China. Very moving. I cried.
Fatherhood Dreams — Gay men who are fathers. Very moving. I cried.
First Position — Young ballet dancers in competition. LOVE.
No Impact Man — NYC couple with toddler give up electricity and more for a year. (I think this one is only on DVD now, but it was good.)
Nursery University — I don't even know what to say!

I love documentaries. I like that the Netflix thing suggests ones to watch, too. I need that. What are your favorites?

Today it's freezing! Frost! Excited! Can't wait to go out.


Amelia gets cuter everyday...I adore her haircut and her little barrettes.

I'm so excited about Christmas movies starting - the week after Thanksgiving is my favorite time, when all the ones I like are on. A Christmas Stranger is my old one with Olivia Newton John.

Happy start of the Holidays!

You need to watch Monica and David on Netflix. It's a documentary about a young married couple who both have Down Syndrome. It's beautiful. Your hot drinks sound wonderful. I just made myself a cup of (instant Swiss Miss) cocoa a few minutes ago.

A child who wakes from nap happy! A miracle, by my old standards! Hilary always woke grumpy and disheveled, but her brother was like Mimi ... delicious - you could just bite him.
I know that you have heard it many times, but I want to add my voice. Your images and stories transport me to that magical time of early motherhood. Dreamy, fleeting.
Thank you.

Great documentaries: Blackfish and Forks over Knives. Enlightening.

Another wonderful post....your blog is a like a breath of fresh domestic air. Such a pleasant homey feeling in your words, and seeing your precious ,beautiful little one always brings a smile :) Blessings

One born every minute is an English documentary about childbirth. It gets me every time. As a 29 year old with a phobia of labour and a huge fear/fascination for having children I can only recommend it! I still don't know where I stand on the whole parenting issue though. My boyfriend doesn't want to adopt...

So happy whenever I see a post from you. We have a Panera bread place nearish to us and today after school I'm taking my 7 yr old little girl to go have their Hot Chocolate which has CHOC CHIP MARSHMALLOWS and whipped cream with a caramel drizzle on top. Does that sound over the top or what???

Puppers: Be still my heart! Love that quizzical ear.
Amelia: Rise and shine! What a sweetie.
Bad soup... dinner tragedies, especially one that you worked for and anticipated all day... that's something to cry over. Sorry.
Documentaries... I am so in love with Victorian Farm House, and Edwardian Farm House, and Victorian Pharmacy. We run them on our TV from Youtube. Love, love, love 'em. And then there is also Ken Burns... pick a topic! Civil War is devastating, fascinating, too, but so much pain. Loving Jazz... what a rich history, and those great narrative voices. I can fold a heap of laundry while watching, and even though I miss seeing some of the images, the narration makes it like listening to a good radio show.

Are you reading KALEVALA? Wow! It is a book of ancient Finnish poetry, part of our national history and very deeply respected and appreciated here in Finland. It must have been very hard to translate it.

Drinking vanilla chai as I read this morning. Your little milk frother sounds great, but do I really need another kitchen gadget? That's a hard one.

My Little Miss has not been waking happy these days. I hear her wake with a whimper, then she stands in her bed and cries until I come. I think it's just to say "I'm up, come get me" because the moment I walk into the room those cries turn to "moooo" and "woof woof". We're very into animal sounds.

Have a lovely day.

I recommend Vegecated, streaming on Netflix. Everyone should watch it, very balanced view of food choices. Excellent.

The thing about crockpots is that the newer ones cook too fast/hot and usually end up making all the food mushy/taste scorched/taste exactly the same as the last dish (mushy and scorched and otherwise tasteless). If you can lay your hands on an older model, that's the best. Otherwise, my absolute FAVE crockpot cookbook is "Slow Cooker Comfort Food" by Judith Finlayson. Yes, it is a cookbook that requires some pre-browning, etc., but this step also makes the food tastier at the end (read: NOT mushy and scorched/tasteless tasting). Also, the ingredients are all fairly easy to find and good for you, too (no canned soup or weird mix ingredients). Every single recipe I've tried from this book has been AWESOME...I use it at least once a week.

Standard favorites in the crock pot: your favorite chili recipe (just cook it all day in the crockpot); a whole stewing chicken (cover with water and veggies/salt/herbs as you would flavor a broth)...this ends up with cooked meat for any recipe plus the bonus of easy peasy chicken broth for soups, etc.; and roasts...again, cover with water and herbs, etc. and have moist roast for supper with leftover cooked meat and beef broth for other uses.

I checked out the Test Kitchen cookbook you bought from the library and didn't love it...the recipes I tried tasted, well, mushy and scorched...and as if all the ingredients just blend together into one tasteless mush (except for the scorchy taste...:))

Good luck...once you find a few keeper recipes and really get to know your crockpot, it's hard NOT to keep singing the virtues of it all! :)

Cheers from Nova Scotia.


here's a documentary i've watched the trailer for and want to view with my husband:

living on one dollar a day

Beautiful photos. One shoe on, one shoe off. Such lovely wooden toys she has, especially the heart, it looks so tactile. I love the picture of her sleeping. Utterly adorable. For wildlife documentaries, as a hard and fast rule, anything with Sir David Attenborough is always wonderful. His passion for nature is infectious, and anything he is involved with is fascinating.

Pretty much once late November arrives, I only think about Christmas! I would love to see your list of movies. My all time favorite is National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Reminds me so much of my family and really the way Christmas should be!

That girl of yours is such a beauty. She seriously makes me smile in every post.

I know I've watched some wonderful documentaries in the last year and for some reason I can't think of a single one just now!

The one time my daughter woke up smiling from her nap, I grabbed the camera. Nothing less than miraculous.

I've missed seeing your beautiful puppy! Lovely shot of those short legs and sweet brown eyes!

If you haven't seen it already, you must, MUST watch 'How To Die In Oregon.' A very tough subject, but it was such a beautiful film, and made me feel so profoundly proud to be an Oregonian. It's the first film I have seen in a long time that made me call and text friends to ask if they had seen it. And it is streaming on Netflix.

Alicia, Amelia is SO beautiful! I love her little dresses and leggings showing off those chubby legs! Cherish every moment!

I watched First Position on Netfliks and I really liked it as well! If you ever get a chance, Fame High on Netfliks is also pretty good. Thank you for sharing about your crockpot adventures. =) I have one but never use it. I think you are inspiring me to use it. =) Happy Thursday!

Documentary on Netflix: Cow Man, old-school dairy farmer in England. Sweetest man you've ever seen.

Thank you for the Chi ideas, can't wait to try them. I have also been craving a hot brew more substantial than my usual mint tea, this might just do it! I have been watching as many documentaries on JFK as I can find. I don't have Netflix but PBS(our public TV station in Pitts. PA)has some great shows from Ken Burns and Rick Sebak are some of my favorite, but it's hard to watch anything w/ a man and his clicker next to you, I never get to see anything all the way through! Love the little Alice a Paris dress and the little bow barrett, so cute! Have you made it to Anthropologie yet to see the Vintage Tea Party books? Clover is a sweetheart!

Oh, the frustration of a failed slow cooker meal...I HATE that (and can relate, regrettably.) Have you tried chicken stew and dumplings in your slow cooker yet? Lately I've been warming apple cider with cinnamon sticks on low in my slow cooker, and taking little dips here and there...a hot mug throughout the whole day, and the house smells divine :)Sweet little A just keeps getting more darling!


Thanks to Melissa for mentioning the hot chocolate at Panera's. We'll have to try it.....sounds delicious and decadent! And Alicia, I just love how honest you are, looking into the crockpot when getting ready to turn on and thinking Gross! Keep those keepers coming, please. I, too, need crockpot encouragement. Hallmark Christmas movies: I. Am. Addicted. I can never remember the titles, but they just get me. Stay warm and enjoy these days. Thank you for such wonderful posts and pics. I really look forward to them!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.