Friday, November 30, 2012

Farewell, November

Just a few recent Instagrams

I feel like I say this every month, but can you believe tomorrow is already December?! November has really flown by. I read once that after the age of 19, the synapse connections in your brain stop renewing themselves, so your perception of time seems to pass more quickly as you grow older. I guess I shouldn't be surprised with the coming of ever month (it's science, after all) but I always am.

I have lots of exciting things in store for Gathered Heart this December, including a 12 Days of Christmas Cookies guest post series and (fingers crossed) a redesign before January. Not to mention that Christmas is right around the corner!

Lots and lots of good things in store.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Silver & Gold

Okay, I know I'm breaking the cardinal Holiday rule by talking about Christmas before Thanksgiving... but I just can't help it. This morning, as I was working on my Christmas Spotify playlist, I discovered Sufjan Stevens' new Christmas collection: Silver & Gold.

The collection, divided into five EPs, is an interesting compilation of traditional carols and original songs that feature a mix of banjo, piano, flute, and many other instruments blended with experimental electronic beats. In typical Sufjan fashion, the songs swing from angelic carols to songs that deal with topics of holiday consumerism and greed.

If you're looking for a nontraditional mix of Christmas music, I suggest adding Silver & Gold to your playlist. My favorites so far are "The Midnight Clear," "Angels We Have Heard on High," and a particularly beautiful rendition of "Let it Snow!" So good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holiday Love

  Photo by Haley Sheffield, quote by Abby Mallet, via her comment on Kate's post

I wasn't kidding in my last post: Michigan winter has arrived, and I think it's here to stay for a while. After a bizarrely warm weekend in the 70s, the temperature has dropped to a high of 36 today and doesn't break out of the 40s all week. Yesterday, it snowed - big fat flurries that fell from the sky. The wind has a bitter edge that I haven't felt in nearly a year, leaving any exposed patch of skin red and icy cold. Oh winter.

I can't say that I love the cold, but the holiday season and all the little family traditions make the chill bearable. Sipping chai under a blanket with Christopher. Mom's pumpkin pie. Sitting in front of my parents' fireplace. Christmas morning. Family game night on New Years. Those memories, that love... they really do sustain you until spring.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Harvest Treats

I don't know about you, but I think Michigan has transitioned into winter. The trees are bare-boned and every morning the front yard sparkles with frost (as well as my car windows. Ugh.) As beautiful and as poignant as the changing seasons are, I always feel a little cheated when it comes to fall in the midwest. We have maybe six weeks in September and October of sunny days filtered through bright, fiery leaves, leaving the rest of the season filled with cold, foggy, gray-scale days.

Even though the days are drawing closer to winter, I'm not quite ready to give fall up (I never am.) I find myself wanting to whip up some pumpkin or apple treats, the kind that can fill an entire house with warmth and spice. So of course, I thought I would share are a few of the baked goods that have recently caught my eye.
Chai-iced pumpkin cookies. Do I really need to say more?

Hello, apple cider pancakes with cinnamon sugar topping... you look perfect for a chilly fall morning.

I made this quick and easy apple tart last year and it was gone in half an hour, if that. Ree Drummond isn't kidding: it's easy and it's tasty.

Pumpkin pie toffee cheesecake. Genius. This would be a welcomed guest at Thanksgiving.

 This apple cranberry crumble would also be a welcomed guest at Thanksgiving, and it's Weight Watchers friendly for those minding their holiday waistline.

 Nothing is better than a warm cinnamon roll, fresh from the oven. Unless, of course, it's a pumpkin cinnamon roll with caramel frosting.

And of course, I couldn't end this round-up without a treat from Joy the Baker. The cinnamon sugar apple skillet cake she shared earlier this week looks like I would eat half of the pan in one sitting.  

Aside from a simple apple crisp, I haven't done too much baking this fall. I plan on fixing that this weekend, possibly with a batch of those chai-iced pumpkin cookies. Or that apple skillet cake. Or maybe both. Have you done much baking this fall?

Monday, November 5, 2012

House of Maryanne Vintage


I'm super in love with these 1960s inspired looks from House of Maryanne's fall look book, True Prep. Every fall, I always dream about all the stylish outfits I'll wear, but I almost always end up wearing my favorite yellow cardigan and worn leather boots every week. Maybe I need to remedy that with an oxblood capelet. Who am I kidding, I would never really wear a capelet. That lacy white dress is another story, though... 

via One Sheepish Girl

Friday, November 2, 2012

The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

Today is cold and gray, the type of day that begs to be spent indoors with a book, cozy blanket, and the Postal Service on repeat.

It's actually been cold and gray all week in Michigan, thanks to Hurricane Sandy. It sure puts a damper on my spirits, but I can't imagine what people on the east coast are going through. Sending all my thoughts and prayers to you, East Coast.