Still Here, Still Shopping

Every blogger has a post that says ‘I should post more.’ Personally, I’m thinking about making it a standard disclaimer at the beginning of ALL my posts.

Life gets hectic around here at this time of year, as it does pretty much everywhere. So this is mostly just a quick note to say that I’m here, and to point you to my annual lifesaver during this season: my holiday organization guide. (There’s a link in the header of this website at all times, should you feel you need to come back and get prepared in, say, July.) My holiday shopping organization spreadsheet is a free download, and I’ve got some shopping tips and links in there, too.

As our group of family and friends keeps growing (at last count, we’re seating twenty-four for Thanksgiving!), my determination to remain the Best Gift-Giver stays strong. The spreadsheet is a vital tool in my quest for True Holiday Domination. Even if you’re not quite as weird about the holidays as I am, getting organized is always a good idea. Having a spreadsheet helps you plan and budget for an efficient and easy shopping season. Then you have more time to eat cookies. And isn’t that what the spirit of the season is really about?


Home Sweet Home: Perfect Roast Chicken

The first meal I cook in any new kitchen is roast chicken. It’s a genetic thing, I can’t escape it. A house is not a home until a roast chicken has been made and consumed therein.

Which is to say, we have moved. And I have made roast chicken. So we live here now.


(Confession: This picture is actually of the roast chicken I made when we finished renovating the kitchen in our old house – the first meal I cooked in that new kitchen, of course. I was not organized enough to take a picture of the chicken I made here in the new house, but rest assured it looked very similar. And was delicious.)

Moving was chaotic, as moving always is. A snafu with the utility company wound up forcing us to postpone our move by a week literally the day before we were to move – there were many panicked phone calls to movers and childcare and the like. Fortunately, it all worked out – we moved out of our old house and into the new one, and spent a hectic week or so cleaning and touching up paint and getting the last projects done at the old house once it was empty. Then our renter moved in, paid her rent, and we took some deep breaths and turned our attention to unpacking the first priority: the kitchen. (Although we did find a fantastic Italian takeout place five minutes away. New York style pizza and fresh pasta, be still my heart!)

With roast chicken in hand (or in fridge, as the case may be) and a few more rooms unpacked, we’re starting to finally settle in. The babies’ room is nearly done – just a few pieces of artwork to hang and it’ll be even better than their old room. The office is finally unpacked, thank goodness, as I need to get back to writing Duncan’s story – I left the poor Earl of Kilgoran deep in an argument with a very pretty witch the day before we made an offer on this house and haven’t written a word since! More on that at a later date, I suspect.

In the meantime, if you’re needing some comfort or just a way to feel like you belong, here’s my roast chicken. Loosely based on Ina’s, of course.

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