Days of Roses

comments: 30













So many days! I've been loving them all. This is the last week of fifth grade — and elementary school — for Amelia. I have so many feelings about this but there really hasn't been much time to feel them, to be honest! The past couple of months have been filled with field trips and ballet performances and parties and dinners and birthdays and school musicals and so many fun times with friends and neighbors and teachers and kids that I've lost track. What a lovely problem to have. I couldn't be more grateful for our time at our little neighborhood school. Middle school is next year. 

That hasn't really sunk in, to be honest. But we have a long, lazy summer ahead and I'm so grateful for that, too.

When I've been home, in between driving to the many events that comprise Miss Amelia's busy schedule, I've been working on my cookbook. Shopping, cooking, cleaning, baking, cleaning, writing, photographing, Photoshopping, writing more, re-baking, researching. Working a cookbook is both thrilling and, not gonna lie, a ton of work. I got a new Mac computer monitor on Facebook Marketplace and it has been amazing compared to the crappy one I'd had before. That and redecorating our kitchen has just been so, so inspiring. (We also had to get a new refrigerator, which was mercifully not the horrendous installation experience I was fearing [as it was fifteen years ago when we got our old "new" one], and it has been an absolute delight. (In case you are interested, this is the one I got — very simple, as I did not want an ice maker or water dispenser, as those were the only things to ever and consistently break on our old fridge, ultimately requiring us to get a new one. And by the way, this fridge comes with the option for either stainless steel handles or antique brass handles, which is pretty unique. We are using the brass to match all the other new hardware we got for the cabinets.)

Anyway, my gosh, I love the new fridge. I am truly planning to give you a tour of the newly refreshed kitchen, I swear. But I have been spending literally every working minute on the cookbook so that I can get the rough recipe drafts finished so that I can start passing a rough draft of the book around to my friends to do some recipe testing for me! Gah! I know that that is going to take some time! (If any of you want to test recipes for me, let me know and if I need more testers I will reach out.) So far the book is more than 200 pages with over 90 recipes. Some have required me to really work on the development to get it just right (like these chocolate chip cookies — I've been trying to recreate my high-school cafeteria cookies, which were the best!). I have been enjoying all of it, but it really is a huge project, and I've been just putting my head down and digging into the work rather than talking about it a lot. I am learning a lot but also looking forward to getting to the next phase of this project, when all the recipes have been chosen and written and photographed, at least.

One day last week I actually read an entire book. I keep talking about it because I'm pretty sure it's the first time I've ever in my life read an entire book in one day. It was so exciting. It was a rainy Sunday and we had nothing to do for once, and by about 2 p.m. that afternoon I thought, "Oh man, I'm gonna do it! I'm really gonna do it!" And then I did! (And everyone let me just sit there and read, which is the second-biggest miracle.) The book was the delightful Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I laughed out loud several times, which is always fun. I've been having a really hard time finishing books lately so it was nice to just actually plow through something. Now I'm reading the second one, and it is super fun, too. I heard that they are going to make a movie of this. My neighbor and I were trying to think of actors we thought would play these characters. I thought Helen Mirren for Elizabeth and Anne Reid for Joyce. Then I looked up who was actually chosen, haha! That's gonna be a great cast! 


Barbara Bononno says: June 11, 2024 at 01:58 PM

Thanks for the update and gorgeous photos! Amelia is beautiful - enjoy your summer, can't wait for a kitchen tour. In the market for a new fridge....

Jean Stein says: June 11, 2024 at 06:27 PM

Glad you're back, I've missed your posts -- it's like hearing from a good friend. I'm a happy recipe tester, 75-years old and cooking for one or two or appetizers for my ladies' drinks afternoons. Just send me what you've got, and I promise to use local Michigan-grown produce and faithfully follow your advice.

How fun! If you end up needing more recipe testers I would love to help!

Constance Ward says: June 11, 2024 at 11:48 PM

Welcome back-you’ve been missed! With such a busy, exciting and fun life, I’m surprised and very grateful you do find time for updates. Thank you😊. I would love to test some of your recipes at altitude. 5500 feet in Salt Lake City Utah. Can’t wait for your cookbook. Thank you again.

Hello, if you would like a recipe tester in the UK (and comments on what ingredient substitutions might be needed here) I am happy to help.

So excited to hear about your cookbook process! My kids and I would love to test recipes, mostly because I am struggling with chef's block and need to get out of the "grilled protien + salad" rut I'm in. The book looks right up my alley. Remembering it for our July vacation...

If you’d like an Australian recipe tester count me in!!!

I so enjoyed your update! The kitchen sounds so lovely and good timing while you are working on your cookbook! If you still need testers for recipes, I would love to do so.
I read Thursday Murder Club last month- I was on a plane flight and was laughing outloud as well. Such clever humor.

Angela Pereira says: June 12, 2024 at 07:08 AM

I would love to be a recipe tester!

Lynda Burke says: June 12, 2024 at 09:26 AM

I just swoon over everything you do. I would love to be a tester too. I'm Italian so that ups my foodie sensibilities.

Marilyn Lynch says: June 12, 2024 at 02:01 PM

I’d be happy to test a recipe for you, but we don’t eat meat, so it would have to be something without beef, pork, etc. (we do eat chicken). Glad you’re posting again. I so enjoy your blog. You may remember me. Several years ago I sent you a jar of buttons. I have tons more buttons if you ever want more. Warmest regards to you and your lovely family.

Ooooh I do love a new post ... all that knitting! I'm so excited for your cookbook!

Those chocolate chip cookies look amazing, just AMAZING! So excited for your cookbook!

Yay! So happy to see a post from you. You always inspire me! Love all the knitting pictures.

So nice to see an update on your blog this morning ... it's delightful to see where you are in your creative and mothering process. The 5th grade was my favorite time with my kids, lots of memories reading your post.
I'd be happy to test any recipes out!

Jennifer Anderson says: June 13, 2024 at 12:20 PM

What exciting times! Congratulations on the kitchen refresh and moving from fifth to middle school. Such a meaningful transition.

I would be so happy to test recipes. I love cooking and my 19-year old daughter loves baking. The rest of the family are happy to try new things and have a wide palate. Shout out if you need more testers and I'd be happy to help!

I will totally test for you, neighbor! (Laurelhurst-ish)

I just finished The Thursday Murder Club, too! I love how the author balances both humor and poignancy.

The Thursday Murder Club books are just the best. Beautifully written and just cosy enough without being twee. I'm currently reading the most recent one and trying so hard to make it last, but itching to just curl up under a quilt with tea and finish it. (Hasten to add the weather in the UK is hatefully cold and wet at the moment. We need some sunny days.

The kitchen renovation sounds wonderful!! Whau! Middle school already? It was a long time ago when my daughter was in middle school. I remember that friends was very important then. Sounds like you're working hard on your book!! Like always, your photos are gorgeous, I love them!!

Ah! All of your activities sound delightful:) I miss the bust days of children. I'd be happy to test out a recipe!

My daughters and I would be happy to test a recipe for you, if you need some extras. Love those Thursday Murder Club books!

Caroline says: June 17, 2024 at 02:51 AM

Oh, The Thursday Murder Club series is just SO GOOD. The perfect choice if you're struggling to concentrate on reading. I'm looking forward to reading the third and fourth books in the series this summer.
And I'm so excited for your recipe book! I would love to do some testing for you if you'd like any UK testers to help out? I run a small community café in my town and I'm sure our customers would be more than happy to help out with taste-testing too!

Giggling that the fridge is called "espresso bottom"

Oh and I didn't see this until just now, but I would totally recipe test for you.

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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