Plenty of Pesto: Fresh & Freeze

Here’s what we’ve learned about cooking: the food world at large does not seem to adhere to dictionary definitions, exact numbers, or strict rules. Generally, we, here at Rambling House, are fans of timelines, schedules, and lists. But there is also a large part of us that craves creativity, which is where cooking comes in. Cooking is a sensual and sensory act, which is why there should be no strict rules.

An example: the dictionary definition for pesto is: pes·to [pes-toh] noun. Italian Cookery. A sauce typically made with basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and grated Parmesan blended together and served hot or cold over pasta, fish, or meat.

Our Rambling House | Pesto Variations | Fresh & Freeze Tips

Yet, most people we know leave out or swap at least one of those ingredients on a regular basis. For example, EatingWell’s Roasted Tomato & Almond PestoThe Kitchn’s Spinach Pesto, or Smitten Kitchen’s Walnut Pesto: all delicious and easy to create, but lacking many of the ingredients of a defined or “correct” pesto.

We’ve got nothing against the classic pesto, don’t get us wrong. But more often than not, swapping happens. Partially for practicality, as pine nuts alone are extremely expensive and winter in New England is not exactly prime for fresh herbs. Ingredients are also subject to change due to whims of what is in season, what would go well with other foods, and, of course, what we’re most in the mood to eat. We love pesto because it’s so darn versatile. You can use it for so many things, and it is a great way to use up produce. That’s how our recipe for spinach pesto was born: in our kitchen, off the cuff, because there was a bag of spinach on its way out, lurking in the back of the refrigerator.

And we’ve had similar experiences with other pesto variations. An abundance of carrots in the fridge led way to a yummy quinoa and carrot-almond pesto dinner. A hatred of mayonnaise prompted the developing of different herb pesto recipes that go well with tuna for a quick tuna-melt. These simple blender sauces are also delicious tossed with some roasted zucchini, mushrooms, and potatoes as a quick supper. Really, the possibilities are endless.

Best part? If the pesto you make doesn’t include cheese, you can freeze it, making use of herbs and veggies when they’re in season (aka fresher and cheaper). Just pour the pesto into an ice cube tray, and you’ve got just the right amount of pesto on hand at any time! (Note: Some people freeze pesto with cheese so, by all means, give it a shot. We just prefer to freeze it without, and stir the freshly-grated cheese into the final dish instead.)

Our basic rule of thumb is as follows:

Pesto = Olive oil + veggie/herb + garlic +seasoning to taste

Our Rambling House | Pesto Variations | Fresh & Freeze Tips

It really is just that easy. Sometimes you end up with weird combos (for example, an unappetizing and bizarrely-colored Carrot Avocado Pesto), but more often than not, the results have been quick, easy, and delicious.

Here are some of the combinations we’ve come up with. Be bold in your flavor combinations, and have fun!

Plenty of Pesto

Unless otherwise noted, all you do is prep your ingredients, throw them in a blender, and spin til smooth. Add more or less olive oil depending on how thick you want your pesto. These recipes all yield a little less than one cup of pesto.

TIP: If you aren’t down with the pungent flavor of raw garlic, try this blanching technique and use those cloves. Blanching will mellow their flavor.

TIP: The nuts break down better and lend more flavor to the pesto if you slightly toast them and then allow them to cool before adding them to the blender. Be careful, though, burned almonds are no fun!

Our Rambling House | Pesto Variations | Fresh & Freeze Tips

Spinach Avocado Pesto

1/2 Avocado + 3 ounces Basil or Spinach + 1 peeled clove Garlic + 3 tablespoon Pecorino Romano + pinch of salt

Zesty Basil & Cilantro Pesto

1/2 cup fresh Basil + 1/2 cup fresh Cilantro + 1 small lime’s worth Lime Zest & Juice + 2 tablespoons almonds+ 4 tablespoons Olive Oil + pinch of salt

Peas & Cheese Pesto 

1/2 cup cooked and cooled Peas + 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan + 1 small clove Garlic + 1 tablespoon Walnuts + 2 tablespoon Olive Oil +pinch of salt

Tomato Almond Pesto 

1 cup grape tomatoes + 1/4 cup Almonds + 1 clove Garlic + 1 tablespoons grated Parmesan + 2 tablespoons Olive Oil + 1 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar

Our Rambling House | Pesto Variations | Fresh & Freeze Tips


St. Paddy’s Day: Our Rambling House

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s day, we’d like to share with you our namesake.

A traditional Irish “Rambling House” is a family home where locals and passersby gather to share in good conversation, storytelling, and song and dance. It’s about community, togetherness, and sharing. It’s about tradition. Two of our Ramblers have a Rambling House in their own family: Coosane. Coosane is a home nestled into the foot of a mountain in Co. Kerry, Ireland; it is where their grandfather grew up listening to stories (or “yarns”) being spun, songs played, debates had, and gossip shared. Today, we decide to share with you this special place.

Our Rambling House | Co. Kerry, Ireland | Erin Gleeson Photo

Coosane, the Rambling House

Our Rambling House | Co. Kerry, Ireland | Erin Gleeson Photo

Rover, watching over the house

Our Rambling House | Co. Kerry, Ireland | Erin Gleeson Photo

Blackthorn Cane

Our Rambling House | Co. Kerry, Ireland | Erin Gleeson Photo

Our Rambling House | Co. Kerry, Ireland | Erin Gleeson Photo

Our Rambling House | Co. Kerry, Ireland | Erin Gleeson Photo

Our Rambling House | Co. Kerry, Ireland | Erin Gleeson Photo

Our Rambling House | Co. Kerry, Ireland | Erin Gleeson PhotoOur Rambling House | Co. Kerry, Ireland | Erin Gleeson PhotoOur Rambling House | Co. Kerry, Ireland | Erin Gleeson PhotoOur Rambling House | Co. Kerry, Ireland | Erin Gleeson Photo

Friday Fave: Mary Costa Photography

We decided to switch things up on our Friday Favorites this week, by showcasing our favorite Los Angeles based photographer, Mary Costa. We believe that some of the best work comes from collaborations, and we loved collaborating with Mary. Not only does she have a great talent, but she is a colorful, warm, accommodating, and all-around fun person to work with. This isn’t quite seasonal, but take a look at the Autumn Styled-Shoot that we put together with Mary and our wonderful models. All hair, headpieces, specialty tables, and decor were styled by Rambling House. Makeup, Florals & Photography were done by the marvelous Mary Costa of Mary Costa Photography.

Rambling House Stying |Mary Costa Photography | Pumpkin Shoot

Rambling House Stying |Mary Costa Photography | Pumpkin Shoot

Rambling House Stying |Mary Costa Photography | Pumpkin Shoot

Rambling House Stying |Mary Costa Photography | Pumpkin Shoot

Rambling House Stying |Mary Costa Photography | Pumpkin Shoot

Rambling House Stying |Mary Costa Photography | Pumpkin Shoot

Rambling House Stying |Mary Costa Photography | Pumpkin Shoot

Rambling House Stying |Mary Costa Photography | Pumpkin Shoot

Rambling House Stying |Mary Costa Photography | Pumpkin Shoot

Keep Collaborating!

DIY Gourmet Popcorn Bar

Our Gourmet Popcorn bar for the Oscars Viewing was a hit! This specialty table is great for movie marathons or viewing parties. As promised, here are the correlating recipes. We didn’t bother with the chocolate peanut butter popcorn, as it’s as simple as melt, mix & drizzle! Enjoy!

Blood Orange Sorbet || Champagne Cocktail

Our Rambling House | Blood Orange Sorbet Champagne Cocktails

  •  ¼ cup orange sorbet, softened (we let it sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes)
  • 1 shot (1.5 ounces) cranberry juice concentrate, chilled
  • Champagne to fill glass, chilled

Method: Fill the bottom of a champagne flute with ¼ cup blood orange sorbet. Over the sorbet, pour your shot of cranberry juice. Finally, top the concoction with chilled champagne. Cheers!


Confetti Popcorn Bars

Our Rambling House | Confetti Popcorn Bars

  • 4 Cups Popped Corn
  • 2 Cups Marshmallows
  • ½ Cup White Chocolate Chips
  • ¼ Cup Rainbow Sprinkles
  • A Dash of Cinnamon
  • A Dash of Nutmeg


  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Once the butter is completely melted add the marshmallows and stir until they start to get gooey.
  2. Add the white chocolate chips and keep stirring until everything is melted and smooth.
  3. Combine popcorn, cinnamon, and nutmeg into white chocolate marshmallow mixture, and stir rapidly for a minute.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the sprinkles. Continue to stir until the popcorn seems uniformly coated with the white chocolate mixture.
  5. Allow to mixture to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, press into a medium pan that has been coated with non-stick spray or coconut oil.
  6. Let cool completely, and then cut into squares.

Cheddar Rosemary Popcorn with Apples and Walnuts

Our Rambling House | Trail Mix Popcorn

  • 7-8 Cups Popped Corn
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 tsp Rosemary Leaves, minced
  • 1/4 cup Dried Apples, diced
  • 1/4 cup Cheddar Cheese, finely shredded (we suggest an apple-wood smoked cheddar)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl combine butter, rosemary, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl toss popcorn with rosemary butter. Add the dried apples and walnuts and toss to combine.
  4. Spread popcorn mixture on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the cheese.
  5. Bake the popcorn for about 5 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning the popcorn or nuts.
  6. Remove from the oven when the cheese is melted. Garnish with additional fresh rosemary and serve.

Monday Musing: Spring Resolutions

By March, most New Year’s Resolutions are wearing thin, or have even been MIA for a few months. We’re personally fans of the Spring Resolution. A Spring Resolution is a goal that can be worked on with your newfound seasonal energy and, when made in March, they act as bright bits of bait to pull you through the dreariest part of winter. This spring, we are looking to better ourselves as individuals and as members of our community. Here are 5 of our Spring Resolutions:

1)   Engage in Conversation

How often do you avert eye contact in public, or ask a co-worker, “how are you?” and not wait around for the answer? Spring Resolution 1: Engage in more than a “hello” with at least one stranger or acquaintance per day. There is so much to be gained from conversation—human beings are interesting creatures with stories to be told, advice to be given, and knowledge to be shared. Best-case scenario, you make a new friend. Worst-case scenario, you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone.  You’ll find that people will generally be very receptive to your efforts.

Our Rambling House | Conversation

2)   Support Local Farmers and Artisans

We’re already all about this at Rambling House but, in our personal lives, we do find that frugality often wins out over supporting local. Spring Resolution 2: We’re letting springtime be a reminder to grab lunch at the local farm-stand instead of the Dunkin Donuts around the corner, or to invest a bit in a jar of local raw honey instead of a honey bear from the grocery store. Start small, and add on when we can. We’re also always looking to be frugal and farm-supportive by following the u-pick seasons, starting in May and extending out through until October: Strawberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches, raspberries, apples and more!

Our Rambling House | Support Local Farms

3)   Have More “Adventures”

Owning a business means that it’s not exactly easy to throw a bindle over your shoulder and trek off into the sunset. We’re looking to make the most of our surroundings for the time being. Spring Resolution 3: book camping weekends, make a list of mountains to hike, attend music and art festivals, go to those museums that we haven’t gotten around to yet (and visit the ones we already love), hop in the car and taking advantage of the fact that our friends live in interesting places, and even venture out for the simple things, like going for an early morning magic-hour drive/photo adventure, picnicking in deer fields, and hosting dinner parties.

Our Rambling House | View from Rattlesnake Cliffs

4)   Give Back

It’s not necessarily easy to donate to every cause that means something to you. However, it’s simple enough to choose a cause or two and provide what you can, when you can. Spring Resolution 4: Work toward actions that make a difference. Whether it’s volunteering our time, putting aside some money to donate funds or items to a meaningful organization, or participating in a fundraiser or community-service event, we’re looking to be better members of our community and of our world—and we’re looking to make philanthropy an active part of our lives, rather than a rare occasion of charity.

Our Rambling House | Give Back

5)   Be More Happy-Active

Yes, exercise is important. However, we’re not talking “go to the gym, get beach-ready abs, go for a daily run” active, we’re talking about going one step deeper into healthy. Spring Resolution 5: Be active, be outside, and be a bit freer with our movement. When’s the last time you moved around outside of the gym, class, or scheduled exercise routine? Some of our most energizing moments are involved in playing a game of tag with a group of 6 year olds, hopping into a spontaneous dance-break while cleaning, or chasing chickens into the barn at night…and we don’t do nearly enough of it! The gym burns calories, but taking wood walks with the dogs before work or going for a post-work bicycle ride on the local trails actually makes us feel healthy. Here’s what we think: more early morning dog jaunts, mid-day stretches, and evening strolls.

Our Rambling House | Happy Active

The Ramblers’ Oscars Viewing Party

For our latest Style & Host event, we watched the Oscars with a bit of glam ourselves! Our Oscar’s party was complete with champagne cocktails and a gourmet popcorn bar. We took our design cues from old Hollywood: lots of black and white with hints of gold. These elegant colors create a great backdrop for the menu, and lend the evening a touch of sophistication—even if your movie night or award’s show viewing is happening on the couch in your slippers and a blanket. Movie nights are a great way to bring friends together in a laid-back way, and your guests will be ever-so-impressed by your efforts to glam it up. Pick a theme and watch a slew of spaghetti westerns, black and white films, or classic gangster movies. Then get inspired by these images, pop some corn and a bottle of champagne, and get ready to entertain in style!

Stay tuned for our recipes on Wednesday: Cheddar Rosemary Trail Mix Popcorn, Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle Popcorn, and our signature Red Carpet Champagne Cocktail!

Our Rambling House | Gourmet Popcorn Bar | Oscars Party

Cheddar Rosemary & Peanut Butter Chocolate Drizzle Popcorn, Confetti Popcorn Squares & Red Carpet Champagne Cocktails

Our Rambling House | Gourmet Popcorn Bar | Oscars Party

Confetti Popcorn Squares in our classiest porcelain hedgehogs!

Our Rambling House | Gourmet Popcorn Bar | Oscars Party

Cheddar Rosemary Trail Mix Popcorn

Our Rambling House | Gourmet Popcorn Bar | Oscars Party

A good party needs a pop of color!


Our Rambling House | Oscars Viewing Party | "Red Carpet" Champagne Cocktails  Blood Orange Sorbet Champagne Cocktails

Friday Five: Happy Drinks & Change

It’s cold, but it’s Friday…and that’s all that matters. When we aren’t cooking and baking, or feeding goats and fending off evil roosters, we’re curating new interests and harboring questionable habits for old ones. Here’s a quick look at what we’ve been into this week!

Erin’s Week in Favorites

Our Rambling House | Friday Favorites1. Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I tend to make Spring Resolutions. This year especially, I’m looking at springtime as an opportunity to grow as a person. I love the website MeYou Health, which has a Daily Challenge emailed to you every morning. Yesterday, I was challenged to not discuss stressful work topics 2 hours before I go to bed…which is hard when you run a business and live with your business partner!

2. I know this has been around for a while, but Humans of New York is actually what sparked this year’s Spring Resolutions. HONY has inspired my resolution, “Engage in conversation with at least one stranger or acquaintance a day.” I find myself averting eye contact when I’m out getting coffee, or asking a coworker how they are and not waiting around for the answer. There are interesting people in the world, and I’d like to meet them.

3. I don’t have as much of an opportunity to spend every day traveling to a new place, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be inspired by someone who can! This vlogger, Fun For Louis, documents his adventures around the world and has a great Carpe Diem attitude that I find infectious.

4. I’ve spent too much time this week in front of a computer screen, custom “building” bicycles…especially for someone who can’t afford one right now. I love the step-through style. One of my goals this spring is to spend more time on my city’s many bike paths.

5. This week I was reminded of how amazing of an experience CouchSurfing was. I received an email this week from a Parisian friend, who includes me in all of her email updates about her first daughter. The real special part about this is that I only met Marie and her partner, Maxime, once, when they hosted a friend and me for a week. They were warm, welcoming, and interesting hosts and they offered us an unforgettable experience.

Jillian’s Week in Favorites

Our Rambling House | Friday Favorites

1. Teagan White has the most wonderful illustrations, and my favorites are in her “children” collection. I love the stories that they conjure up in my mind, and the delicate way she portrays woodland creatures.


2. This tasty pick-me-up, “Happy Drink,” has been saving me lately. It is coffee (a mid-day given for me), coconut milk (delicious, healthy for you, fat), and cocoa powder (full of good mood boosters and antioxidants). Cheers!


3. I realized recently while mid-down dog that I do not clean my yoga mat often enough. I spend so much time trying to stave off germs in the winter: how did I miss this crucial area in my life? Luckily a quick search led me to this super simple cleaner that I could make with everything I already had laying around.


4. You know how sometimes you find a song that you can’t stop listening to, humming, or singing loudly in the car? Emmylou, by First Aid Kit (along with the rest of their music), is sweet, folky, nostalgic, with just the right amount of twang to make me happy.


5. Kendie Everyday. I love this girl. I mean, we’ve never met, but I know we’d be fast friends. She funny, a little awkward, and honest. I love her style, and I love that unlike a lot of other style blogs I follow, hers is accessible and applicable to my life.



Handmade Teabags & Custom Blends

In the theme of wabi-sabi, we decided to delve into the world of custom blend teas. Yes, it’s easier to pull a teabag from the box or scoop out your favorite loose-leaf blend, but why not try being a tea mixologist? One of the Ramblers recently happened upon a particular blend from Teatotaller Tea House that she just couldn’t get enough of. It was fresh, light, and crisp, but had just enough of a hint of vanilla to add a warm note. Its name was Lady Jasmine, and she had to have more of it. This blend inspired a fruity take, The Pink Lady. We also tried out a few other custom blends using a range of green teas with fruity compliments for a too-deep-in-winter pick me up.

 Our Rambling House Blends

The Pink Lady Tea | Our Rambling House

The Pink Lady

  1/3 heaping teaspoon Jasmine Pearls

  1/3 heaping teaspoon Dragonwell Green

  1/3 heaping teaspoon Raspberry Blend (we used Raspberry Patch from Adagio Teas)

… … …

Citrus Monkey Tea | Our Rambling House |

Citrus Monkey

½ heaping teaspoon White Monkey

¼ heaping teaspoon Citron Green

¼ heaping teaspoon Blood Orange

… … …

Sterling Mint Tea | Custom Blend Tea | Our Rambling House

Sterling Mint

½ teaspoon Silver Sprout

½  teaspoon Peppermint & Green Blend (we used Adagio’s Casablanca Twist, a combination of darjeeling sungma and peppermint tea)

A sprinkle of a Raspberry Blend (we used Raspberry Patch from Adagio Teas)


The Handmade Teabags

What You’ll Need:

  • A pair of scissors (allow 20 minutes to search for scissors and convince yourself that someone is taking and hiding them)
  • Coffee Filters
  • Thread & Needle
  • Paper
  • Stapler
  • Desired Tea Blends

DIY Teabags | Our Rambling House | | Our Rambling House

Custom Blend Teas | Our Rambling House | | Our Rambling House

1. Using a sealed edge of the coffee filter as the bottom of the tea bag, cut your desired tea bag shape (we tried a classic tea bag shape and an alternative cloud shape). Be sure that your teabag will be large enough to hold the entire tea blend.

2. Using needle and thread, sew up one side of your teabag. Allow room to fill the bag with tea.

DIY Tea Bag | Our Rambling House | www.ourramblinghouse.com3. Fill your teabag with your desired blend. You may need to manually grind the tea a bit, into a finer blend, in order to fit it into an unconventional shape.

4. Aligning the sides (they will bunch and become off-balanced) sew and close the rest of the teabag. Knot your thread and cut off the excess thread.

5. Cut a piece of your favorite printed paper, with the dimensions of about 1×2.5 inches. Fold this rectangle in half.

6. Pull and loop a piece of thread through the top of your teabag, so that you have about 4-6 inches hanging from the bag. Feed the thread into your folded tag and staple it shut.

DIY Tea Bags | Our Rambling House7. Put on your kettle to boil. When brewing green tea (or white) don’t use boiling water. Boiling water will cook the leaves, ruining the flavor. Cut the heat before your kettle starts rumbling.

8. For a more balanced and less bitter tea, only steep 1-3 minutes (the lower the temperature, the longer you can steep a green tea). You can always taste test your tea while it’s steeping—you want to judge off of flavor, not color.

9. Enjoy a cup of tea with a friend or a good book.

10. Don’t forget to store your new tea blends in a tightly sealed, opaque container—tea has a long shelf life, but avoid exposure to light to keep it fresh.

DIY Tea Bags | Custom Blend Tea | Our Rambling House

DIY Tea Bags | Custom Blend Tea | Our Rambling House

DIY Tea Bags | Custom Blend Tea | Our Rambling House

Our Mantra: Wabi Sabi

Our cozy home is next to a field at the edge of the woods, surrounded by crooked barns and braying animals. Our commute to work is a stroll down a dirt path, which changes its scenery with the seasons. We find ourselves more often in muck boots than suede booties. We pick what we’d like from the herb garden and dry the rest for winter. Our clan of Indian Runner ducks congregate and converse at our kitchen window when they’re ready to be let in for the night. Though we’re busy, and bustling, and constantly have our hands in something, it’s a simple life. That’s okay with us, though, because we find that the best way to live is to live simply.

Living Simply | Wabi Sabi |Our Rambling House

This isn’t always an easy task, to live simply in this day and age. But, when we get caught up going to Target for shampoo and end up leaving with a basket full of unnecessary goods, when we lust after Anthropologie sundresses and kitchen knick-knacks, when we find ourselves buried in the-grass-is-always-greener Facebook feeds, we try our best to repeat our mantra: Wabi Sabi.

Wabi Sabi is a Japanese view of life. It is a phrase which reflects a sense of transience, beauty in imperfection, and the wisdom of nature; it venerates authenticity. Wabi—stemming from “wa”—simply means harmony, peace, and balance. Sabi, on its own, means “the blossom of time” and represents fleeting beauty. It’s an expression of a transient moment and is noted for the beauty in its authenticity. Western views are deeply Hellenic, valuing permanence, perfection, analysis, and opulence—wabi-sabi is opposed to this lifestyle.

Living Simply | Wabi Sabi |Our Rambling House

So, we constantly remind ourselves to appreciate solitude, to see the beauty in nature, to value simplicity and imperfection and the aging of things. In doing this, the need for extra, the need for the unnecessary, seems to float away. We make our own household products. We grow our own gardens, we hang our laundry on the line, and we enjoy evenings outside on the patio. We go for quiet, aimless walks in the woods. We put that miscellaneous item in our shopping cart back on the shelf.

In their evolution, wabi and sabi have been stretched out and shrunken down to express a wide array of sentiments and sensations. It would seem that their definitions are quite open to individual interpretation. The Japanese tea masters use wabi-sabi to express the beauty in the bowls, tools, gardens, and ceremonies; for them, they stand to describe something almost intangible, but very real. Japanese scholar and founder of the Japanese folkcraft movement, Muneyoshi Yanagi, defined wabi-sabi as, “a mirror reflecting inner nature.” Matsuo Bashō, inventor of the haiku, used the words to express all of the “lovely lonely moments” and “lovely lonely places” he encountered in life.

Living Simply | Wabi Sabi |Our Rambling House

What everyone can agree on is that wabi-sabi embodies naturalness, simplicity, imperfection, and incompleteness. It is impermanent, modest, and authentic. Wabi-sabi is humble, unconventional, multi-dimensional, and sensational. It is an enigma; it is elusive. The phrase remains untangled from lofty intellect, ego, and material attachments. The fact that it evades definition makes it special and personal. When asked about wabi-sabi, the Japanese will tell you it is difficult to explain; they will claim to “understand the feeling” of the word.

So, decide what Wabi Sabi means to you, and find yourself repeating it when the going starts getting away.

From ours to yours, have a happy, simple Monday.

Living Simply | Wabi Sabi |Our Rambling House

The Ramblers

Friday Five: Colds, Bites & Lots of Tea

Happy, Happy Friday, Folks! When we aren’t cooking and baking, or feeding goats and fending off evil roosters, we’re curating new interests and harboring questionable habits for old ones. Here’s a quick look at what we’ve been into this week!


Erin’s Week in Favorites

Our Rambling House | Friday Five1. I’m often visiting friends in Portsmouth, NH, and one place we love to spend time at is Book & Bar, a discounted bookstore and coffee/brew shop. I’m joining a few friends on a visit there in the next couple of days and there’s no doubt I’ll be there, sipping on some Lady Jasmine Tea (origin: Teatotaller Teahouse) and sifting through the shelves.

2. Today is Anaïs Nin‘s birthday! She’s my very favorite writer, and I think I will channel my inner Nin (My Ninner Me?) today–maybe more of her attitude than her erotica, but you get what I mean. Celebrate your Ninner-You while remembering these wise words: “Good things come to those who hustle.”

3. Ah, the end of winter. That’s when all the colds you hadn’t come down with yet come out to play, right? I’ll be drinking many, many cups of this homemade tea (starring local honey, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, lemon and, if the mood strikes, a splash of whiskey) this weekend to fend off the oncoming snot-storm (another beautifully coined term. You’re welcome).

4. Josh. Ritter. He has a show looming in the near future that I simply cannot wait for. It’ll be my first Josh Ritter concert, which I’ve been meaning to get to since I was a junior in High School. Here’s to checking that one off the list.

5. Getting bit by the travel bug is like getting bit by a tick…you’ll probably contract something that isn’t just going to go away. Well, I have both lyme disease and travel disease. It looks like my next big trip may be Norway, or so I decided this week.


Jillian’s Week in Favorites

Our Rambling House | Friday Favorites

1. 3191 Quarterly is written and photographed by two friends, one living in Oregon and the other living in Maine. The namesake is inspired by the distance between their two homes. The magazine is full of diptych images juxtaposing the seasons and landscapes of their two homes, and the images and writing is all so soothingly soft and serene.

2. Erin showed The Kings of Summer a few weeks ago, and it has been on my mind ever since. I’m a sucker for a good coming of age tale, and this one feels so honest and pure—and a killer soundtrack to boot. The movie is beautifully shot and the story left me with such cozy, nostalgic, feel-good thoughts.

3. I love Beck, “Morning Phase.” Thank you, NPR, for yet another wonderful First Listen. I’m a fan of all things Beck, but this latest album of his is already my favorite. It’s smooth and slow and feels just like a perfect Sunday morning.

4. #TheoandBeau. Okay. There was a time in my life, not that long ago, when babies and cute animals were just not appealing to me. I am a changed woman. This dog, and the way he cares for the little boy he lives with is quite possibly the sweetest relationship I have ever seen photographed. I completely fall apart and melt at each new photo. I’ve gone soft…and I think I’m okay with it.

5. I’m one of those people who just seem to get a cold around Thanksgiving and not get rid of it until sometime in May. This winter I’ve received a few different amazing DIY Get Well Kits, and each time I have been so very touched by the kindness that went into such a simple, useful, and thoughtful gift. Make a few up to give to friends the next time they’re sick!