Friday Things



1. In the week between Christmas and New Year’s, we more than made up for our lack of snow accumulation in Pittsburgh last year. We had two significant snowfalls within four days, and I couldn’t have been happier. There’s nothing more relaxing that watching the snow fall quietly to the ground, and then enjoying the pristine white view for days to come. I hope we have more days like this!

2. Right after Thanksgiving, my mom and I sat down and made a list of all the holiday recipes we had hoped to make before Christmas. We fell far, far short of our goal. We only ended up making about one-fourth of the the recipes on the list. Although, to be fair, a couple were made more than once 😉  How did you fare with your holiday baking list? Do you have any secrets for getting everything done?

3. The day after our first snowfall, I saw two buck prancing through my Chief Culinary Consultant’s backyard. Luckily, they were slow enough that I was able to grab one good shot of the larger one. I grew up having deer pass through my backyard, but I’ve never seen a buck, and never so close to the house! Such a beautiful animal…



4. I see an awful lot of New Year’s resolutions floating around the web. Please tell me I’m not the only one who hasn’t made them. Maybe I should set “goals” – that seems like something that could be more doable. I do this this approach that Ree took, using the letters of the word to define broader objectives and then more actionable goals. Although the words “goals”, “objectives” and “actionable” give me nightmares about my previous corporate, cubicle life. I’m not sure I could do that either. I need to work on this.

5. If you have made some New Year’s resolutions and they have anything to do with adopting a healthier lifestyle, check out The Healthy Living Manifesto. I’d imagine that adopting any number of these could help you work toward your goal (more detailed information on each one in link)…


6. Last year, I posted my 2012 Foodie Resolutions. While I didn’t do a separate post this year, there are definitely some kitchen and food-related tasks that I hope to accomplish in 2013:

  • Make sourdough bread.
  • Expand on my canning experience and begin preserving seasonal fruits and vegetables.
  • Make fresh, homemade pasta and sauce and keep in the freezer for easy dinners.
  • Master sfogliatelle once and for all!
  • Continue experimenting with more ethnic dishes.

What about you? Do you have any food or kitchen-related goals for this year?

7. I have been craving a new pair of boots and Mom-Santa generously gifted me with a Nordstrom gift card for such a purchase. I’ve been eyeing up Sorel boots for the winter, but can’t decide between the Tofino Boot (on the left) or the Joan of Arctic Boot (on the right). Do any of you have either pair? Reviews? I like the Tofino, they would match my new winter jacket, although the Joan of Arc boots look more heavy duty, but have heard they can be a little clunky. I have short legs, so that plays into my decision as well. If you have either pair or have tried them on (neither were in stock at my local Nordstrom the other day), I’d love to hear your thoughts!


8. The NHL is still locked out, and I’ve been missing my hockey fix. As part of my Christmas gift, Chief Culinary Consultant-Santa gifted me with tickets to the Three Rivers Classic, which was a college hockey tournament held over the holidays at Consol Energy Center here in Pittsburgh. We got to watch a double-header of Robert Morris University vs. Penn State and Miami University vs. Ohio State. It was great to watch some hockey at the arena, get my token souvenir cup, and even better that the hometown team, Robert Morris, ended up winning the entire tournament!


9. I’ve really fallen off of the reading wagon, and badly. I’m hoping to do more reading in the coming months, although I haven’t checked out any fiction books in a long, long time. What was the best book you read in 2012? I’m going to start a to-read list!

10. TGIF! I hope you’re all recovered from any New Year’s Eve shenanigans!

Elephant face plant


68 Responses to “Friday Things”

  1. Sarah L on January 4, 2013 at 1:45 am

    I’ve had my Joan of Arctic boots for three years. They are heavier and can be clunky if you’re not used to them BUT they are warm as all get out. Never ever have cold feet at all and manage to drive in them and wear them all about in winter after getting used to them.


  2. Sarah on January 4, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Hi Michelle,
    I have the Joan of Arctic boots and absolutely love them. I bought them last season (in Australia) and they are so warm and comfy. I just wasn’t a fan of the quilting look on the Tofino. I find they are quite wide, but a thick pair of socks help. I don’t think they are too tall either, but they are a little clunky. I adjusted pretty quickly to them though. I wore them for our whole winter – snow and rain – and never had any trouble. It’s best to try both on though! Good luck 🙂
    Sarah x


  3. Karyn on January 4, 2013 at 2:52 am

    I also have the Joan of Arctic, which Santa bestowed upon me just a few weeks ago. They are on the cumbersome side, but I think they are amazing. So warm and they look great with skinny jeans tucked into them. I walked around NYC all weekend in the cold wintry mix and not once did my feet even feel a breeze. And they weren’t stuffy or constricting either- my feet could still breathe and didn’t hurt at all after a ton of walking. They do restrict ankle movement a bit, though, which is something I noticed while driving. However, they’re snow/rain boots- not driving loafers 🙂 I definitely recommend them!!

    Oh and I absolutely LOVE your blog- I read it almost everyday! Keep the recipes coming… My New Year’s resolution is going to require a lot of cooking and smart eating. Happy New Year!


  4. LJ Dubois on January 4, 2013 at 3:37 am

    My daughter and I both have Sorel boots and LOVE them! Our feet are never cold when we are shoveling snow here in New England, and they even keep our legs warm when we are doing outside stuff (why it is that the day we have to take down all our exterior Christmas lights and decos, the wind chill factor always dips below zero?) Have fun looking for your new boots and Happy Winter!


    PS Does Einstein have snow boots? ~_+


    • Michelle on January 5th, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Haha! Einstein does not have snow boots, but my mom did buy him a rain slicker a few years ago 😉


  5. Sally - only gluten free baking on January 4, 2013 at 3:57 am

    I love the healthy living manifesto, particularly no. 5 pick exercise you enjoy, I’ve recently found that is the only way I’ll ever exercise, and the two regarding getting rid of negativity and negative people. I wish I had a reason to buy those boots, but not in Aus, I only need to wear socks 3 months a year at most. I always enjoy reading your Friday things, have a good weekend.


  6. Ellen on January 4, 2013 at 4:03 am

    You are not alone in lacking resolutions! Not only did I run out of time to make most of the holiday stuff I also am still formulating my plans for 2013. And at this rate my “holiday” cards are gonna be “happy summer” ones…
    Love seeing the snow-living in LA is great but I grew up with snow and miss it!


  7. Betsy C. on January 4, 2013 at 4:04 am

    I had the Joan of Arctic when I lived in Northern New York and I HATED them. They are really heavy and there is a spot that would always hurt the top of my foot and give me blisters on my heel if I wore the wrong socks (basically where the rubber stops and suede begins, there is a really hard, unlined ridge. I suffered through them for two seasons since they were not returnable where I bought them (stupid, I know). I do not recommend them!


  8. Chris on January 4, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Best book I read last year was Gone Girl. Then proceeded to read all of Gillian Flynn’s books(just 2 others). Dark, but great. Paris Wife great also.
    I have Joan of Arctic boots & love them. They are a little clunky, but I got used to it. They are WARM & cute! Love your blog.


  9. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on January 4, 2013 at 7:35 am

    I like the Joan of Arctic Boot! Love the photo with the deer. The snow fall is so pretty, that is one thing I miss about living in Buffalo, but honestly I don’t miss the snow!! Or the cold!! Have a great weekend!!


  10. Mary Morgan on January 4, 2013 at 7:44 am

    The best book I read recently was “Peaches for Father Francis” by the same author of Chocolat. Although I didn’t read Chocolat, I did see the movie, so I was able to read this book and not feel lost. I highly recommend it!


  11. Brenda on January 4, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I had the exact same boot dilemma 2 weeks ago! I ended up going with the Tofino boots in Dove, and I’m so happy I did. I hate snow boots, and think they look awful, plus, they’re awkward to walk in. After moving to Pittsburgh 2 years ago from Hawaii, I was in complete denial and didn’t think I needed snow boots. I really didn’t since the winters here have been pretty mild … until the day after Christmas when I was walking through 6 inches of snow in flats. These boots actually look really cute with skinny jeans! Besides that, they’re warm and comfy. Bonus: they’re almost as narrow as a regular shoe, so they’re easier to walk and drive in – not awkward at all! Good luck with your decision. Love your blog!


  12. Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks on January 4, 2013 at 8:05 am

    No resolutions for me, so you’re not alone! I just bought the Joan of Arctic boot last week, and they are still sitting in the box unworn. I’m still not sure about them as I feel they are a bit clunky, and I have read about people complaining about blisters on the heel. I really like the tofinos, I might have to give them a try!


  13. Tonya on January 4, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Hey – I’ve never tried Sorrel boots, but 2 years ago I got the Ugg Adirondack in black & gray and I would highly recommend them. I don’t wear socks with them & my feet have never gotten cold. They can be pretty stylish when worn with skinny jeans and the tops turned down. It looks like they make a tall Adirondack as well. Check them out!
    Reading – I read all of Kate Morton’s novels this year & really enjoyed them. Start with the House at Riverton, her first. They kept me glued to each page. Good, clean story with lots of twists & turns! Happy New Year!


  14. Jaime F. on January 4, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Hi! I have the Joan of Arc boots, as does my officemate, and we both love them! They are admittedly a little heavy, but they are so great for trekking through snow and roomy enough to allow space for heavy socks. They’re also really warm! My feet have never been cold in them, and I hail from Wisconsin 🙂 Good luck in your decision! Happy New Year!


  15. Linnea Logie on January 4, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I bought my mom the Tofino boots for Christmas, and she LOVES them! Highly recommend!


  16. jane weichert on January 4, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I don’t need boots where I live in AZ. Enjoy your recipes. I enjoyed Gone Girl this year. Also The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.


  17. Stephanie on January 4, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Great books I’ve read (if you are into love stories):
    Anything by Julie James (she writes smart legal romance)–I really liked “About That Night,” but you have to read “A Lot Like Love” too to understand everything. ALLL was the first book, ATN the second. I read them backward, but obviously it doesn’t matter 🙂
    I also liked “Hopeless,” …it’s about a teenager who discovers that she’s not who she thought she was. It got great reviews which is why I bought it. It verges into teeny-bopper land in some respects, but overall the plot is great.
    My final recommendation is for the author Sarah MacLean. I don’t know what kinds of books you (or your fans) like, but I love historical romance and she’s always a perfect 10. Her newest book will be out in a few weeks and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for it!
    Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂 Steph 🙂


  18. Karen@Mignardise on January 4, 2013 at 8:54 am

    My favorite book of the year was “Rules of Civility”. I work in a bookstore part-time and I recommend this book often. Everyone has loved it. I also enjoyed “The Art of Fielding” and if you like John Irving, try his latest, “In One Person”. I’m on a search for the perfect pair of boots too. Just ordered 2 pairs from Zappos but I’m thinking I might just go with a shearling lined pair of LL Bean boots. You’re so lucky to get that gorgeous photo of the buck!
    Happy new year to you from Mignardise!


  19. Kelli on January 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

    I live in Iowa-cold & super long winters. I really wanted the Joan of Arc too, but thought they were too chunky when on (I’m 5’10”), so I got the shorter Tivoli style instead. Really warm/waterprooff & super easy to slip on and off! Best book I read in 2012 was “Unbroken”, one of my top reads ever! “Gone Girl” was another great read this year or the author’s other 2 books were good too!


  20. Melanie on January 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I love newly fallen snow too, but unfortunately we don’t get as much down here in KY as when we were in OH. The hockey games sound like a good time, but I would have been rooting for OSU. Go bucks!!!
    I never do New Years Resolutions either. I like to set some goals though and some of mine for 2013 are: Master macarons, utilize the sourdough starter in my fridge more, donate more of my time to a worthy cause, and start taking sewing classes.
    I love the elephant picture!! I hope the poor little guy is OK:)


  21. Terri on January 4, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Please, please stop with the wishing for more snow!! If we never get another flake in Pittsburgh this winter I will be a happy camper. Your perspective on snow is different when your daily work commute is 45 minutes plus each way and involves both parkways. On the holiday baking front I made pretty much what I planned but had to add another cookie after the recipe I submitted was featured in the Post-Gazette holiday cookie article and everyone I knew asked for them. However that does not mean I used up all the baking supplies that somehow made their way into my shopping cart during November and December 🙂


  22. Lauren on January 4, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I’m having the same dilemma between these two boots. I did try on the Joan of Arctic boot and it was clunky, I also didn’t like that they don’t come in half sizes. So I’m still debating! You’ll have to let us know which one you end up buying.


  23. Jillian on January 4, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I’ve had the Joan of Arc boots for a few years and they are bit bulky but I love them. I was a diehard Ugg wearer prior and I have to say I love them both. Uggs are great for running to the store and they are easy to slip on. However, the Joan of Arc boots are much sturdier. They do get more comfortable as you break them in, but I highly suggest trying on the pair you buy because some of the boots tend to dig into your ankles. Yes, it’s annoying but different pairs seem to fit differently! They will most definitely keep your feet warm and dry and you’ll look good in the process! I highly recommend if you’re looking for a more durable but fashionable boot.


  24. Becky on January 4, 2013 at 9:50 am

    I want to learn to bake nice french crusty baguettes at home. That is my culinary resolution. It is so hard to find good baguettes in stores so I decided I need to learn to make my own.


  25. Jennifer on January 4, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I, too, have the Joan of Arctic Sorel’s and although they can be classified as a lil clunky…… I LOVE them!!! Very warm and waterproof and I can drive in them just fine. I highly recommend them!


  26. Sherry on January 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Gone Girl is an excellent book, but the very best book that I read last year is Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
    That snow is SO beautiful. I miss it so much since I moved south!
    I can’t thank you enough for your sugar cookies with royal icing tutorial. My cookies for my Very Hungry Caterpillar party were amazing. (Sorry, I can’t figure out how to post a picture.)


  27. Dana on January 4, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I had two resolutions…1) to be more organized which, sadly, is already broken, as I figured it would be. The other is to remain calm. So far, so good on that front! And I need to lose the 8 pounds I put on over the holidays, but that’s not really a resolution, it’s a must.
    I really want to read Gone Girl and Unbroken. I didn’t read many books in 2012…just tried to keep up with my magazine subscriptions. Since I sifted through those, I figure I’m ready for some actual reading now. It must be the weather…
    Happy Friday!


  28. Ericka on January 4, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I had the same debate and ordered both to compare – I ended up going with the JOA’s. Both had their ups/downs – the biggest thing that swayed my decision was that the “fur” on the top of the Tofino’s felt very fake compared to the JOA’s and was not colored as nicely. I will say though, the JOA’s are a bit heavy/clunky and the lack of 1/2 sizes is a miss. I find that I’m having the heel rubbing problem that others describe, but wool socks are comfy and mostly eliminate the issue. The JOA’s are very warm, look great with skinny jeans and are soft and cozy. I’m only disappointed that Chicago hasn’t gotten the snow to make them quite “necessary” yet! Bottom line – if you’re looking for a boot to throw on and run errands, the Tofino (with its lighter feel and sneaker fit) is probably the better idea. If you’re going for style or serious winter warmth, I’d go JOA 🙂


  29. Abigail on January 4, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I haven’t made any resolutions either. I don’t like making resolutions because it seems to make them easier to break but I’m always looking to better myself. I hope you had a wonderful time bringing in the new year!


  30. Paula on January 4, 2013 at 11:10 am

    My favorite book was The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng


  31. Bee on January 4, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Here are my picks in each category that I read in the last year.
    Best Nonfiction-Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
    Best Fiction- Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran and the first book in the Game of Thrones series by George Martin.


  32. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite on January 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Great snowy photos!

    I haven’t made resolutions. I’m so over doing that. This year, I want to slow down a bit. That is my one goal. I always feels like life is moving so quickly and so I want to be sure to take time to savor things and time!

    I have the Joan of Arctic boots! They are adorable. Definitely a little clunky, but super cute, warm and protective!


  33. Heidi on January 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Good Morning Michelle,
    First of all, I look forward to opening your mail every morning. Being an Italian girl as well, I would love to master the art of making Sfogliatelle.
    They are the best! Have you ever had a Lobster Tail ( pastry)? Yum!


    • Michelle on January 5th, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      I have not had a Lobster Tail, but have heard about them. I believe they have more of a pastry cream inside?


  34. Anne Weber-Falk on January 4, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Iowagirleats tried on the Joan of Arctic boots and did not like how they felt. She was very disappointed about this and was going to try something else. You will have to bring socks that you plan to wear with them and try them on. Be sure to walk and run around a bit too because if they are heavy in the store they will feel even heavier when you are out and about in the snow.


  35. Julie @Savvy Eats on January 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Ha, I love that last photo!


  36. Cecilia on January 4, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    I actually had your exact same dilemma when I went into Little’s Shoes in Squirrel Hill (I live in Pittsburgh, too!) to pick out a set of winter boots. I originally thought that I would like the Joan of Arc boots, but they were SOOO big and clunky and heavy and made me walk all “thunk thunk thunk.” So I tried on the Tofino boots and they were a perfect mix of heavy duty (all Sorel boots are waterproof) and wearable…and so cute to boot haha. I’ve had them for about a month now, and not only are they winter Pittsburgh-proof but I’ve also gotten a ton of compliments on them! I bought them in red, and when I got them Little’s Shoes was having a $99 boots sale which may be still going on.


  37. Cecilia on January 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Oops, Joan of Arctic boots!


  38. b. on January 4, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    my two favorite books of 2012 were ‘room’ and ‘gone girl’…i highly recommend them both!
    i, too, am a big fan of sorel boots and, as others have noted, they can be a bit clunky at first, but they just end up making you feel more powerful and in control on snow and ice…


  39. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on January 4, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I actually posted a Cooking Bucket List on my blog as a sort of “resolution”… I know I won’t make all of them this year, but I’ve been meaning to write out all the things I’ve been wanting to make from scratch (like cheese, beer, homemade bagels, etc)…Pasta is also on my list!


  40. Agos on January 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Well, if you’re into medieval/fantasy, A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) is a must must must read. It’s not finished yet, but with 5 books about 800 pages each, it’ll keep you entertained for most of the year.
    And by the way, do cupcakes count as bright colored food?


    • Holly on January 4th, 2013 at 5:57 pm



    • Michelle on January 5th, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      I love Game of Thrones on HBO, so I just might like the books, too! Thanks for the recommendation. Also, cupcakes totally count as a bright-colored food 😉


  41. Colleen on January 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Love this post! Our family LOVES sfogliatelle but I have never thought of making it. Do post it if you have success. I found some delicious apricot filled sfogliatelle at an Italian Market in MN called Buon Giorno. It was our Christmas morning present opening treat!

    I grew up with Sorel boots in MN. I have had the Joan of Arctic boots for a few years and love them. People in MN wear them with everything from jeans to skirts:)


  42. RileysMomma on January 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    i’m not sure if you read young adult fiction or not, but the biggest standout for me (and recommended by a coworker as well as my friend the book store manager) was ‘sea of tranquility’ by katja millay. it’s only available in e-book right now, but i believe it’s due out in paperback this spring. so, so good. loved it. devoured it. can’t recommend it enough.


  43. Kelly on January 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I have the Joan of Arctic boot and think they are great! Yes, they are a bit more heavy duty but I get complimented on them all the time. I live in Minnesota so trekking through snow is something I have to do a lot of and these haven’t let me down. Also if you’d like to save your Nordstroms gift card for something else you should try That’s where I bought mine for $80.00 instead of $150.00 just because it was last year’s color!


  44. stacym on January 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    I think I just saw the Joan of Arc boots on on sale and extra 40% off. For sure the Cate ones were on there cuz I have been checking those ones out. Gone Girl was just plain crazy, it totally sucks you in though. I read it a few months ago and I still think about it. Usually, I barely give books a thought after I’m done reading them. I had one recipe left to bake for Christmas and never got them done. Otherwise we did really well this year for a change.


  45. Stephanie N. on January 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I have the Joan of Arctic boots, and I love them. They are super warm, but I can see how people may think they are clunky. I got mine from Piperlime last year. I really got my first good use of them these past couple of weeks, and I did not have any issues with blisters. I would read some online reviews, though, b/c I did see that a lot of people had issues with the heels/ankles. You may want to check out Pajar boots, too, b/c they have some cute styles. Esp. if you’re looking for “boots with the fur.”
    Unfortunately, I am currently in corporate cubicle life (and would love to get out of it at some point!), so I totally feel you on the goals. I don’t do goals or resolutions. Life is life. If I get to a point where I feel like I need to make a change, I don’t wait for a new year to roll around!
    Looking forward to some great recipes this coming year! Thanks for your fantastic blog!


  46. Maria on January 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    No resolutions for me….read Defending Jacob – I thought it was a lot better than Gone Girl. I may be alone in saying this, but I wasn’t too impressed with Gone Girl (my opinion.) Also enjoyed The Kitchen House and The Language of Flowers. Please master the sfogliatelle, it’s my ultimate favorite Italian dessert. When I was in Italy, I actually had one hot right out of the oven of a local bakery – it was to die for! I did see Alex (from Food Network) make them but the reviews weren’t good, so I didn’t attempt. Please keep the snow there, I rather a mild New England winter like me had last year 🙂


  47. Courtney on January 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    No resolutions for me, though I did think of you today when I tried a macaroon and a chocolate cookie at lunch today. Does one of each kind count as “everything in moderation?”
    I really enjoyed reading Anita Shreve’ s books All He Ever Wanted, Sea Glass, and Fortunes Rocks.


  48. Melanie on January 4, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    I made sfogliatelle once last winter–it was a bit of an undertaking in terms of time but not very difficult in execution! Couldn’t find semolina for the filling but read that cream of wheat was a sub and it worked shockingly well. Also makes me want to eat Cream of Wheat with ricotta, cinnamon, and orange peel for breakfast…

    Anyway, some advice–
    –Use a pasta roller to roll out the dough–you want it almost as thin as phyllo (for me it was the thinnest setting on the roller, 2 settings thinner than I’d use for ravioli). While this does limit you in terms of the width of roll, that doesn’t actually affect the final shape of the sfogliatelle (since you’re just cutting slices from it). I think my final dough pieces were about 6 feet long (whatever the length of the kitchen island). The longer the pieces/the more you add, the wider your shell will be.
    –The thicker the butter layer, the better the shape of the final shell (layers are more pronounced).
    –Take your thin slices of rolled dough and push your hand through them, thinking of the dough as a collapsible cup that you’re “un-collapsing.” Use a wooden spoon handle to push out the center of the roll if your hands aren’t small enough.
    –Don’t be OCD about trying to seal them. The filling is dry enough that it won’t leak out, and many bakeries actually leave them open.

    Good luck with your baking adventures!


    • Michelle on January 5th, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      Hi Melanie, Thank you so much for the tips on making sfogliatelle. Do you by any chance have a link to the recipe you used?


      • Melanie on January 5th, 2013 at 9:50 pm

        Unfortunately the recipe I used was from a book, called Naples at Table: Cooking in Campania. Google Books will let you see the description (page 383) but not the actual recipe (on 384, of course). If you are interested in doing some Southern Italian cooking and baking, though, it’s a great resource!


  49. Laura Dembowski on January 5, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Ready Player One is the best book I read in 2012 and maybe ever. I just started Gone Girl and am already hooked. I don’t set New Year’s resolutions but have used the opportunity of the New Year to push myself to work hard and make things happen for my blog this year.


  50. Melanie on January 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

    The best book I read last year, hands down, was _Bungalow_ by Sarah Jio. It was a deeply satisfying story, and one of those books that you just can’t put down until you know how it ends. Loved it, and everyone I’ve recommended or given it to feels the same way. Jio has a new book out that I’m using as a carrot to get some must-do tasks out of the way. I can’t wait to have the chance to read it!


  51. Taryn on January 5, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I have the Joan of Arc boots, got them last year, and I love them. They are big, massive boots – I wear a size 10, and they make my feet look giant, but when it’s 0 degrees I don’t care! They keep me nice and warm. I would say they are a bit clunky, but not horribly so. I’d definitely recommend them!


  52. Cherissa on January 5, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Have you been to SF? If not, a trip here would truly inspire your Sourdough Bread journey! We are so lucky to have the best sourdough! As for books…if you haven’t read “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon, you really should. It’s a terrific fiction series! My favorite! There are 8 books, I have read them all multiple times and listened to the audio books too! The audio books are great for a road trip- even my husband enjoyed it! Now that is sayin something! 😉


    • Michelle on January 5th, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      Hi Cherissa, I’ve never been to San Francisco, but I do hear it’s the bread capital! Thanks so much for the book recommendation!


  53. Cherissa on January 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    You bet! If you ever make it out to San Francisco (it’s gorgeous here… So you definitely should! 😉 ) you should go to Boudin Sourdugh at Pier 39… They are still using the sourdough starter that originated during the Gold Rush! On a totally nerdy note: I was so excited you replied to my post. My husband was laughing at me! You’re like a celebrity- a baking superstar, really- in our house! Just made the choc chip cookies bars with the layer of salted caramel… AMAZING! There’s nothing wrong with dessert before dinner, right?!


  54. Joanne on January 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I, too, bought the Joan of Arctics (from amazon) and returned them because they felt too heavy and clunky. I got the Tofinos next and, for me, they are perfect. I live near Denver and they are great for walking kids to school in the snow and running errands about town. I think the Joan of Arctics are warmer – my feet can get a little bit cold in Tofinos on a long walk if it’s really cold outside. So, for me, if I needed a super-warm boot for trekking through snow, I’d go with Joan of Arctics. For less intense applications, the Tofino is lighter and more comfy .


  55. Brenda on January 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Cutting for Stone was the best book that I’ve read this year.


  56. Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up on January 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    I have to agree that canning and sourdough bread are on my 2013 to do list.


  57. Theresa on January 6, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    If you master sfoglietelle you will be my hero of 2013 – especially if I can follow in your footsteps and do it myself!! So far everything I have tried of yours has been amazing, so I can’t wait to see this! =]


  58. Andrea on January 7, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I just bought the Tofino boots! Haven’t worn them yet, but ended up paying under $50 for them at the Columbia Outlet in Washington PA! Great deal!


    • Michelle on January 7th, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      Oooh, that is a great deal! I was there the weekend after Thanksgiving, I’ll have to remember to keep an eye out for sales!


  59. lisabella on January 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Hockey’s back!!!!!!!!!! (yes, it required that amount of exclamation marks)
    I don’t do resolutions. I think they’re silly. I made a few goals and that’s it. Nothing to do with eating healthy, losing weight, or anything like that. I think it puts too much stress on a person!


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