Sunday, February 17, 2013

Burlap, Bananas and the Dowager Countess: A Weekend Review

As part of my challenge to myself to try new things in 2013, I tested out a new recipe this weekend. It was for Banana Oatmeal Muffins, Pinterest-inspired, of course. I always like discovering recipes that use ingredients that I already have on hand so that I don't have to make a grocery store run. I added both chopped walnuts and some dark chocolate chips as the recipe author suggested and they turned out great. Since the muffins don't use flour or sugar they are a bit healthier than standard muffins. I'll classify this recipe as a definite keeper.

I also got my craft on this weekend by revamping the wreath on my front door. I try to change out my wreath with the seasons; after Christmas I hung a grapevine wreath decorated with some crystal and turquoise "berries" and a large silver snowflake (to represent all the snow that we don't get down here). After a few days of springlike temperatures I was ready to change things up a bit so I re-used the wreath. I made a trip to Hobby Lobby (I could happily spend all day in there but managed to get out in about an hour) where I purchased some burlap, yellow chevron ribbon and a small picture frame.

At home, I printed out a blue "W" to fit in the frame and tied it with some blue polka dot ribbon that I already had. A few minutes later my "new" wreath was ready for hanging. Here's the result:

I'm quite pleased with it. I can easily change out the letter in the picture frame throughout the seasons, perhaps print my initial in different colors or add an appropriate picture (like a pumpkin for the fall). Of course, now that I've put the spring treatment on my wreath today is one of the coldest days yet. It figures.

In other weekend news, I am simultaneously excited and sad about tonight's season finale of "Downton Abbey". After hearing so many people (including my sister) rave about it, I started watching "Downton" back in the fall (thanks, Netflix!) and got caught up on the first two seasons so that I could watch season 3 as it aired on PBS.

Those who know my love of wit won't be at all surprised to learn that my favorite character is the Dowager Countess, played by the incredible Dame Maggie Smith. She has the absolute best one-liners in the show and is one of the main reasons I watch, just to hear what she says next. Who can resist loving someone with bon mots like these?

Unfortunately I've accidentally stumbled across a couple of spoilers this season, one of which has already come to fruition a few episodes back, and the other of which should happen tonight. Still, that doesn't spoil my excitement over tonight, although I am sad that this season has flown by so quickly and I'll have to wait a while for new episodes.

We've got a big conference coming up at work next week so I know that this week will be slam-packed getting ready for it. I can't think of a better way to wind up the weekend and prepare for the craziness ahead than by curling up on my couch tonight and transporting myself mentally to the English countryside. Happy weekend, everyone!

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