to me there is no better snack than nachos. lucy taught me how to make them best in the oven with tex mex spice but this recipe will do in a pinch. a tasty, tasty pinch.

sprinkle nacho chips with salt, pepper, grated cheese and roasted red peppers. put in the oven at 350 until the cheese is bubbly and looks delicious.

top with chopped cilantro and serve with sour cream and salsa.

enjoy with a cold beer and warm company.

YUM! i sometimes scrape the cheese off the bottom of the pan which is delicious and helps with clean up.

the woods make jeremy happy. so do the holidays, his very warm boots and that hat.

we had a contest to see who could pick up the biggest sheet of ice without it breaking and jeremy won. the prize was getting to punch the ice into a thousand pieces right after this photo was taken.

life life everywhere. even peaking through the winter snow.

this tree has many layers of old bark covering new bark and if i was friends with this tree i would buy it a spa gift card for a body scrub and a facial.

after our walk we loaded up the toboggan with wood from the wood shed to make a fire and warm our toes.

repeat repeat repeat.

look at this christmas present! what a nicely shaped head! aw madelyn slept through most of christmas but i think she still enjoyed the parts she was awake for. especially that time when i sang her that song and she ralphed on my knee. that's the spirit kiddo!

she's still amazing. and still so new.

like children, it is very hard to pick favourites with christmas gifts from jeremy but if i was forced to pick by means of good spirited torture, i'd pick this necklace. it's a helicopter key painted in silver and i adore it.

i've worn it every day since the day it became mine and when i look at it i think about nature and jeremy and those are my two favourite all time things.

mincemeat is a family tradition! my grandpa used to come over christmas morning for a mincemeat tart and a cup of black coffee. they taste best warmed, with a dollop of whip cream and frank sinatra singing christmas carols in the background.

my new slipper socks came with a note 'to my wife' which is how i knew they were for me. i'm a christmas wife! that's like a christmas elf but with pantyhose.

one time steph and me wanted to get matching pairs of these but for now she can borrow the left one next time she visits.

jeremy likes this comic called scary go round and commissioned the artist to do a drawing of me in my yellow dress making lemonade isn't it AWESOME?! this cartoon version of me is a bit better endowed but thanks to the artist for taking that liberty. also when jer sent him the photo he said 'she has a lovely face it would be a pleasure to draw her' and so now i have factored this person into our will.

so special! i've never in my life received such fabulous gifts. jeremy knows me inside/out. and outside/in in backwards world.

this was the last gift i opened and it was a BOX of beautiful clothes. that grey dress is getting it's own post and that bit of morning yellow in the corner is the sweetest, softest sweater that ever there was.

thank you isn't enough for these thoughtful, special, amazingly generous gifts. that you're my husband is a grey dress gift every day.

there's animals here in the country house. a cat and a big brown dog. there's a fireplace and a rolling hill out back and i use the binoculars every morning to look closely at the woodpecker at the feeder.

i wonder if he knows it's christmas. i wonder if he has a tiny new years eve hat for later.


HI! HAPPY CHRISTMAS! we've just been over here having the nicest little holiday. i know you have too i felt your merry vibes.

phil bought us hot chocolate and marshmallows from william sonoma and he left the price sticker on and we both thought he'd lost his british marbles to pay that much for hot chocolate and marshmallows but now that i've had some, i'd pay double.

it's chocolate shavings that you whisk in heated milk and it's like liquid gold if gold tasted like chocolate which it should if it wants to go anywhere in life. MMMM! we added in a shot of irish cream and then we died and went to heaven.

chocolate hand-made marshmallows. magic words.

cheers from the country house! we bought that pineapple in the background to remember fondly where we were last christmas but honestly, there isn't anywhere i'd rather be than here.


although it's been said many times many ways


i wish you all a season full of joy and holiday treats. nuts and bolts in particular go nicely with joy.


for christmas this year we're giving cavities

it's the festive thing to do!

to make these indulgent delights mix graham wafers into melted butter, press firmly into a glass baking dish, layer with chocolate chips walnuts and coconut, blanket in condensed milk, decorate with hershey's kisses then bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

if you need any more specifics just email me. i'll respond when i come out of my sugar coma.

it's hard to take pictures of your new dress by yourself

we stopped at urban outfitters on the way to a christmas party to get in from the cold and ogle the merchandise and this dress saw me right away and waved it's little peaked sleeve and the rest is history.

it's so flowy and sweet! i want to take it on a date and offer it a bon-bon.

i feel it's important for a girl to have a new frock for the holidays. or at the very least one of those paper plate hats with streamers on top.

the sunrise sure looks prettier when it's your first day of holidays

hurry up and meet me, jer!

i'm so excited for christmas and our second honeymoon!

because you have one more day to go but mostly because you're my husband and i love you i am going to make you a special dinner of roast vegetables tonight! let's even use napkins.


well since you asked so nicely

if it's sunday and you're walking down the road with jeremy and a sign says this to you, you always should listen to the sign.

the best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to here

i think i might even love elf as much as labyrinth which is crazy sounding i know but it's so good!! every time i watch it i find it funnier and funnier and it makes me feel real nice inside.

cotton headed ninny muggins!

i love the narwhal part and the mail room part and i love all the parts with santa. and the part where he's waving at the guy trying to hail a cab makes me laugh for ten minutes.

i recommend watching it over the holidays two times with some pop tarts covered in maple syrup.

i'm learning to play the harmonica

so far i can play:

oh susanna
michael row the boat ashore
amazing grace
and the rose by better midler

i don't yet hold it like you're supposed to and sometimes i put my fingers over the holes so it's easier for the air to get where it's going but i think i'm getting better and the downstairs neighbours haven't complained so success all around!

you can listen to
my sweet stylings here. get ready for a duet with jer on his ukulele in the new year and concert listings shortly after that.

we love your visits

to celebrate the season, enjoy a cold pint in a warm pub with your husband and jared.

serve generously with a side of sweet potato fries.

joyful and triumphant

the time for holiday parties has arrived! we had my work one thursday night and chad and ryan's last night and one with jenn cairns at our house on sunday and the line between each blurs together like a perfectly whipped meringue.


i love santa claus and baked goods and skipping around the house singing little drummer boy. i love wrapping jeremy's christmas presents and thinking about him opening them and how hard it will be keeping the contents a secret until after the bow comes off.

it was secret santa at work all week and my favourite part was confessing to my secret santa that it was me who hung the christmas balls from the ceiling over her desk. i had to use a ladder.

i snagged someone's baby at the thursday party realizing after doing so that i didn't really know the mom and didn't really ask permission but it was cool cause everyone was passing around food and drinks and adorable babes in red jumpers.

it's just that kind of season.


not the kind of bark a tree wears

cranberry pistachio bark is easy to make and lovely to look at.

wrapped in parchment paper and adorned with a bow it makes a perfect holiday gift for jared to take back home to chicago or eat on the plane before he lands.

make sure you sample at least two pieces for quality control.

sunday school

did you know that stars are actually suns or that our sun is a star or however you want to look at it but basically stars aren't twinkling little things with people fishing off the side of them they are massive and so far away and could quite possibly have little earths and other planets revolving around them as we do our star/sun.

betelgeuse is one of the biggest stars we know of and if earth is a raisin and our sun is a grape than this thing is the giant apple tourist attraction at that pie place off the highway - it's MASSIVE.

it's actually shrunk in size 15% since the early nineties which is probably because it's millions of years old and didn't drink enough milk in its youth.

betelgeuse can be seen in the night sky on the right shoulder of the constellation orion, one of the most easily recognizable star systems from almost anywhere in the world. especially easy to recognize in the planetarium at the science centre when the guy uses his red laser pointer.

why is space so amazing? clearly i am someone who is awed by items big and small but space has always been the kicker for me. i love to think about the sheer size of it and my small size in comparison and how important i am despite my almost inconsequential measurements.

betelgeuse could die in our lifetime causing an explosion visible even in daylight. i hope i'm alerted in advance so there's time to throw a goodbye party.

shine on you crazy star! shine on until you explode and i can have people over to celebrate it.


the art of mushroom caving

sometimes when you inspect something ordinary you notice all the extraordinary things about it and are humbled by how it's slipped past you all this time.

like the inside of a mushroom.

it looks like a cave, so perfectly hallowed out, with a ceiling of stalactites and a column in the middle to keep it all in shape. i imagine tiny explorers finding hieroglyphics carved into the spongy walls that say things like 'i was here' but in squares and triangles instead of letters.

i'd like to put a note inside a mushroom, something profound and vague, so it should be found by a tiny explorer and studied by tiny theorists for years to come.

where did this mushroom message come from? what is meant by it and what does it mean for our civilization of tiny people who value the exploration of the inside of mushroom caves?

sometimes i think the most important thing in life, is to have something bigger than ourselves to ponder on.

lunchables shmunchables

one of the tasty benefits of being mrs sorrell is a lunch sized ramekin of mushroom pot pie!

i took this to work and warmed it in the microwave and paraded it around on a little office tour.

give a wave, pot pie! now a bow! and when that's all through i'll eat you up, every last crumb, and wish there was more at the end.

lily got me this christmas card four years ago


it gets me every time.