"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke

Monday, January 3, 2011

A good book and a cookie.....

Does the start of a new year bring your thoughts to decluttering? It does for me each year. I love reading! I love having books in rooms all over the house. But even with a wall of books, I need more space for them. I decided this year that I will go to one shelf and start reading the books on that shelf before moving on to the next shelf. I am not going to order any new books until I have finished the books on the shelf and passed them on to others to read. I pulled half the books from my top shelf and this is the stack I am going to start my personal reading challenge with...

Included among them are a few children's classics that I had been wanting to read. I do not read fast as I spend most of my time with needle and thread but I am placing these in my book tray and setting myself the goal of finishing these up by spring.

Reading in 2010 was hampered with our busy move but here is my reading list from last year:


  • The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson
  • Bread Alone by Judith Ryan Hendricks
  • Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
  • Dark Harvest by Karen Harper
  • The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  • Folly by Alan Titchmarsh
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Shadow of an Angel by Mignon F. Ballard
  • Summer's Child by Luanne Rice
  • Flower Fables by Louisa M. Alcott
  • Jane and the Wandering Eye by Stephanie Barron
  • Emily's Ghost byDenise Giardina
  • Rebecca's Quilt by Fran Smith
  • Jane and the Man of the Cloth by Stephanie Barron
  • Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron
  • The Quilt by T. Davis Bunn (reread)
  • Mariner's Compass by Earlene Fowler (reread)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
  • The Long Way Home by Jessica Blair
  • The Letter by Richard Paul Evans

We spent the days around the holidays working on hanging things around the house. There are many little jobs still not done. This weekend, Jos hung some picture racks for me to use to stand my speculaas cookie molds on. We painted the kitchen walls in an olive green which works really nicely with the wooden cookie forms.

I hung all but two of my molds which we have decided to sell in the spring. Jos loves going to flea markets up north and sell things so we have been decluttering throughout the house looking for things for him to take along.

Speculaas cookies are a delicious spice cookie here in Holland and they are almost always what I have in my cookie jar. Nothing tastes better with a cup of hot tea! I love to dunk too. *grins*

Are you weighing in some goals for 2011?


Elizabethd said...

I hope you enjoy 'The Guernsey literary and potato peel society' as much as I did, it is a very readable book.
I have a Dutch friend here and we often enjoy a speculaas biscuit together with our coffee!

Nancy said...

Your molds look really nice where you hung them. Yep, the cookies are really yummy.
Looks like you have some reading ahead of you. I will soon be going on a book hunt, but today a friend gave me a book about a Mennonite girl. New author for me. Happy reading when you get time.
Love you, Mom

Jackie's Stitches said...

Love seeing your cookies molds. I've never seen anything like them. They really do look good against the wall color. It must be hard for you to part with 2 of them.

Are you on goodreads? I use that site to track my reading. Of course, I always end up finding more books I'd like to read!

Susan in SC said...

No goals for me in 2011. Not that I won't have goals, I just have not thought about putting anything in writing!

Saskia said...

The molds look good on the picture racks! I have to many goals for this year, so it's a good thing there are 361 day's left...

Jenny said...

Oh Heidi, I feel like I am looking at my own book shelves when seeing the books thet you want to read. The Wedding Ring quilt book is one of my favorites by Emilie Richards,and The Dolls House is one of my most treasured childhood books. The molds in your kitchen look lovely and the cookies sound delicious. I am drinking a cup of tea as I write this, so now of course I am off to the kitchen for a cookie...grins....My daughters favorite childhood book was If You Give a Mouse a Cookie....we always change the words around our house....If you give Mom a cookie she is going to ask for a cup of tea.....It is raining here in Ca. again today so curling up with a good book later sounds wonderful....or maybe I will start hand quilting my quilt....

Deborah said...

I love your collection of cookie molds. I have enjoyed many books by E. Richardson. Hope you do as well.

angelasweby said...

What a tantalizing pile of books Heidi. I love looking at other people's books, it is like reading a biography :>)
I love Ruer Godden's The Dolls House, it's one of my favourites but i have never heard of Apricots at Midnight. I love the sound of the Ann Rinaldi books too. There's months of anticipated excitement in your stack of books.
I remember your beautiful biscuit moulds so well. They look lovely and very comfortable in their new home :>)
Angela xx

DonnaTN said...

Your molds look nice against the green wall. You have a good list of books. I have read several of them and enjoyed them.

Simple Home said...

I need to do the same thing and read through some of my books. Rereading old favorites is also something I like doing.
Those cookie molds are incredible!
Happy New Year my friend!

Ginny said...

I was curious about the cookies, so I looked up a recipe. One person said these are the same as the windmill cookies sold here in the States. (http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/speculaas/Detail.aspx) Is that right? If so, I love those cookies and when I am buying bulk cookies from the expensive grocery store in town, I'll always get some of those. I love how you've decorated with your molds; I especially like the heart one you have hanging on the wall.

Tracy said...

Happy New Year, Heidi! Reading is a great way to begin a new year. I'm drawing up a to-read list now, much of it is non-fiction for the beginning of 2011. Thanks for stopping by my place. As you know Live Slow--Live Well is my guideline for the new year--I'm excited! Wishing you & yours all the very best of health, happiness, peace & joy in 2011! ((HUGS))

Kathy A. said...

Wow, those speculaas molds are amazing. I've never seen anything like them. They make a wonderful wall display in our new home.
They sell something like them here and I kinda like them. LOL

Brigitte said...

I love the look of your molds very much. My grandma used to have some of those too but after my grandparents' death they had vanished somehow.
I regularly declutter my book shelves. I started that a couple of years ago when space got denser and denser. I give books away as soon as I have read them but unfortunately I also swap and buy books so my shelves are still packed but not as much as they were years ago. A small success, lol.

hazel c UK said...

Such a lovely selection of books to read Heidi but it would take me all year for I am a slow reader and only read at night.

Like Angela I remember your molds very much.

Love Haze

Terri said...

What are the molds for, Heidi?

ahomespunyear said...

It's good to catch up with you again, now that we're back into blogging...will be back to read more.
Wishing you a very happy New Year!
Margaret and Noreen

Stacy said...

Yes, I always want to start cleaning, decluttering and reorganizing when the new year comes along but this year I resisted the urge and only stuck to my normal cleaning routine. I am saving the other two activities for the spring. Growing up my favorite cookies were speculaas (we were very lucky to have three stores that sold imported Dutch baked goods in southern California). Then I moved on to stroopwafels which were my faves for too many years. Now I can't get enough of gevulde roomboter koekjes. Yummy:) Happy reading and stitching in 2011! p.s. I love the molds.