Snowy Garden

Here are a few more pictures from my walk in the winter wonderland that was the Missouri Botanical Garden on Sunday. While the garden is beautiful in the spring with all the flowers blooming, I think this might be my favorite way to see it, covered in snow!

The English Woodland Garden–January, Part Two

I know I just shared a picture of this year’s “MoBot Through the Year” location last week, but St. Louis was lucky enough to be blanketed with 10 inches of snow this weekend, so of course I have to share another, this time including a frosty white blanket:

Sartorial Saturday–Magically Made

I’ve had the Celestina Reversible Capelet from Pinup Girl Clothing’s Magically Made collection since September, but between the broken ankle and all of my festive fashions, I haven’t really had a chance to share it…until now!

I love the shape of the cape, even from the back:

It’s easy to accessorize with my Hufflepuff pin from Universal, and my Duchess bangles from Splendette:

The best part is the fact that the caplet is reversible, so it’s really like having two pieces! Even just unbuttoning it gives the outfit a totally different look:

And completely reversing it is even more fantastic!

Just for fun, some pictures with Nymphadora Tonks’ wand..she’s my favorite Hufflepuff!

I’m so glad I was finally able to add a cape to my wardrobe, and one that makes me feel like Minerva McGonagall is even more amazing than I could have dreamed!

2018-19 School Year–Week Nineteen

We’re back to work after our Christmas break!

We started a whole bunch of new stuff this week. Turkey and Bunny had the most new material to cover. They got to work with applications using percents in math, which is a very practical, real-life topic. They learned about the succession to Muhammad and the Rashidun Caliphate in history. They were introduced to stoichiometry in chemistry. They also started reading The Scarlet Letter.

Ladybug practiced finding perimeter, area, and volume in math. She started a literature study of King of the Wind. In science, she read about mules, burros, and donkeys. She learned about Genghis and Kublai Khan in history.

Chickadee probably had the easiest week. She finished her second I Can Read It book. She worked on putting dollars and cents together in math. We also started reading a new book in the Grandma’s Attic Series: (Sixteen And) Away from Home. We also enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather earlier this week (a stark contrast to the winter storm warning and predicted 9-12 inches of snow we have right now), and took a walk around the Missouri Botanical Garden.

I have a few more fun field trips planned for next week…stay tuned!

The English Woodland Garden–January

I won’t lie…I had a really difficult time selecting a location for my monthly photo series at the Missouri Botanical Garden this year, the fifth year I will have undertaken this project. There are just so many beautiful spots! Originally, I was thinking about either the Chinese Garden or the Ottoman Garden, but when I asked the Garden what they thought on Twitter, they suggested the English Woodland Garden in addition to those two. So yesterday, I took a walk through the English Woodland Garden, and I decided it really is the perfect spot. It’s very different from the locations I’ve done so far, because there are no structures in the shot. It also includes flowing water, which is different…while I’ve had reflecting pools in two of my photo series (in front of the Climatron and the Linnean House), and the big lake in the Japanese Garden in a third, I’ve never included a stream before.

I’m really excited about photographing this spot…I can’t wait to see how it changes throughout the year!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: HAM!

I have a confession to make. I’m not really into ham. I mean, it’s fine for sandwiches…I don’t hate it or anything. But I’ve never really considered it to be special enough for a holiday like Christmas or Easter (even though Ryan suggests it almost every year), which is why it’s almost unheard of for a ham to make an appearance at our holiday table.

But this year, I was wanting to try something different, and I also wanted something that wouldn’t be too much work for me, because I knew that by the time our fancy Christmas dinner rolled around, my injured ankle and I would be pretty worn out (spoilers: I was right…I didn’t even decorate the table or use the china). So I decided to order a Compart Family Farms Cherry Smoked Duroc Bone-In Ham from our favorite local restaurant, Beast Craft BBQ.

So, yeah, I’ve changed my mind about ham for the holidays. This was truly the most delicious ham any of us ever tasted. The flavor from the smoke was just right…not overpowering, but definitely noticeable. The meat was so tender, and even though we didn’t really know what we were doing carving it, it cut so easily. And there was so much meat…we had ham dinners two nights, plus ham sandwiches for lunches, and I used the bone to make a great pot of bean soup, which fed us for another two dinners…and I’ve still got a bag of ham left in the freezer for a pasta dish I’m going to make next week! (Did I mention that there were nine of us, including four adults and three teenagers with big appetites, at Christmas dinner?) So even though it was a little expensive up front, we definitely got our money’s worth!

Here ends another happy tale of a delicious meal from Beast Craft BBQ. I’m always looking forward to seeing what they’re going to come up with next (I can’t wait to check out Beast Butcher & Block when it opens in the city this year!), and wondering what new menu item I might try in the future (right now, I can’t stop thinking about the #beercheesesteak, which includes bread browned in Wagyu tallow…pretty sure I’m going to have to eat that at some point!). We’ve been eating at Beast for four years now(!!!)…pretty much since they first opened, and I can still honestly say that everything we’ve tried (which has been a lot of stuff!) has been excellent!

A Markel Family Epiphany

Epiphany has always been a festive day in our house, because it’s Ryan’s birthday. But for the last few years, it’s been an extra big deal, because Epiphany is the biggest day of the year for the children’s choir. This year was a little different because the holiday fell on a Sunday, so instead of the usual evening Divine Service, Epiphany was observed as part of the regular Sunday morning Divine Service, and the adult choir sang with the children on Mendelssohn’s “There Shall a Star.” Ryan even got to be part of the trio in the first part!

There is always a reception after the Epiphany service, but it was different this year, because it was a brunch reception instead of an evening one. The ladies did a wonderful job of decorating the church basement and putting everything together! As for me, my annual contribution is baklava (my signature dish, apparently), and I added in a more brunch-appropriate coffee cake, as well.

We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon at home following the service. Ryan picked chili for his birthday dinner, and it made the house smell amazing for several hours!

He also picked a Guinness cake for dessert, which is definitely our family’s favorite!

So this Epiphany was a little different from normal, but all the basic elements were there…a church celebration and a birthday celebration. It’s a fun way to say goodbye to Christmas!