Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Winter 2019 Pusheen Box & Holiday Soup

This time of year always ends up being very very busy, but with Thanksgiving being a week late, I feel like I'm really behind, rushing, and a little overwhelmed. So I didn't have time to take a video to share with you the Pusheen Winter 2019 unboxing, but here is what was included. (Read further down and I've included a super easy vegetarian Holiday Soup recipe perfect for this time of year when you don't have time!)

Looking at the outside of the Pusheen box you would think that it would be Christmas themed. Well you're wrong! It's all about baking!



Some of the items are useful, but I have questions about the mini vaccuum. Lol.

1. Small silicone Pusheen Spatula. I like the smaller sizes because they are great for getting things out of cans.


2. Pusheen shaped Cooling Rack. While the idea behind this is cute, it's really small and feels cheaply made. I'd use it more for displaying cookies and cupcakes.


3. Measuring Spoons are always good to have. These will be useful.


4. Pusheen Cupcake Liners. I love the color, but Pusheen is really hard to see on them. Maybe once they are baked it will be better?


5. Pot Holder. How did they know I always set mine on fire?! This will come in HANDy.


6. Recipe Cards. I've been using index cards for years, so these will be a nice upgrade!


7. Sweatshirt with a yellow on yellow embossed Baker Pusheen. I love my Pusheen sweatshirts. I like that this one isn't for a specific holiday and can be worn year round. I have an autumn one, Christmas, and bat hoodie.


8. Mini Vacuum. Not sure how I feel about this yet. I'll have to see it in action.


9. Vinyl Cupcake Pusheen.


Thanks for reading and if you got this far, here's a soup recipe....


Holiday Soup

28 oz. vegetable broth (you can use chicken too)
9 oz. cheese tortellini (or tortellini of your choice)
1 can 15 oz. white kidney beans (or cannellini beans or chickpeas), rinsed and drained
1 can 14 oz.  Italian diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 cups fresh baby spinach
3 Tbsp fresh basil, minced (I used 2 Tbsp dry)
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

~In a pot bring broth to a boil, add tortellini. Reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
~Stir in beans, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Return to a simmer 5 minutes, or until tortellini are tender.
~Stir in spinach and basil, cook until spinach is wilted.
~Top with cheese.

Takes about 20 minutes, serves about 6.

Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 2, 2019

Lolly Willowes: A Great Book for Witches

I recently discovered Laura aka Lolly Willowes and if you like witches or being an independent woman I suggest reading about her! Lolly Willowes is a character from the book Lolly Willowes or The Loving Huntsmen written in 1926 by Sylvia Townsend Warner, but the story takes place at the turn of the century and follows her discovering the witch life.


A little background is that Lolly's in her mid twenties, unmarried and living with her father. Her hobbies include studying herbs and plants. When he dies, her world is pushed in an unexpected direction. She goes to live with her brothers family, as was the norm of a spinster. In her new abode the family is religious, conservative, and quite boring. Always trying to set her up with various suitors, she has obligations, and duties to be "Aunt Lolly", but she couldn't be less interested. Lolly finds the daily monotony draining and one day while out on a walk decides to move to the country by herself to escape the drudgery. (The book was written by a woman and her characters feelings still resonate today with many women ~ myself included.)


Page one. The type is small, the book is small and short at 250 pages, and it doesn't have chapters, so you can really stop and start anywhere when taking a break from reading. This makes it great for travel.

Lolly moves in with another woman, truly enjoys her solitude and the countryside. She makes friends with the towns folk and feels like this is where she belongs. Meanwhile her family visits and can't relate to her and how she could ever be happy there. I think they secretly resent her for doing what she wants to do with her life and not being confined to societal norms.

One day while out on a walk she thinks she may have summoned a force ~ possibly the Devil ~ and she makes a pact with him. When she gets back to her room there's a kitten waiting for her. She has no idea how it got in, but it scratches her and now it's official she made a blood pact with the Devil. She names him Vinegar and he sounds like the cutest thing in the world.


Her housemate takes her out for a walk when neither of them can sleep and they end up in a field where the other towns folk are dancing and carousing. They are celebrating the Sabbath. Lolly is put off and uncomfortable. This was all so unexpected. Her inner witch has been awakened but she's scared by it.

Her nephew marries a girl from her countryside town, Lolly sees them off via taxi and ends up waiting for a late train to get home. While taking a walk to find a place to rest while the train comes, she stumbles upon a grassy area with a groundskeeper. He introduces himself as the Devil and he knows her. He tells her "women are sticks of dynamite" and "all women are witches even if they never do anything with their witchcraft". I feel that this is an empowering statement that women need to hear more often. Lolly finally has her freedom, but the cost is forever tied to Vinegar and the Devil.

I know that not all witches make pacts with the devil, but as of late that seems to be a common theme with the popularity of witchcraft and witch style. Take for example Sabrina. This book doesn't portray the devil as "bad", but just an alternative option for your lifestyle, after all he IS the "Loving Huntsmen". I like that.