November 11, 2014

Lion House Wassail

While we may not have gathered "feets and feets" of snow, enough stuck around to blanket rooftops, powder trees, and strand my parents in Colorado Springs! I always forget they're actually about 2000 feet higher over there, which makes storms worse. The forecast called for "a small possibility of flurries" today, but it's been flurry-ing ever since I woke up! So festive! It seems to have refreshed me, I'm more motivated than I've been in weeks! I am also a complete dingbat. I shall explain. 

First of all, it's long past time to show you the before and after of our ridiculously drawn-out spring project, replacing the bay window and installing french doors! Yeah, it was quite a battle... but we learned a lot and are finally thrilled with the result! First up: The Bay!

Interior Before:

Interior after! A grill between the panes, which I adore, and you may not be able to tell, but it's actually deeper and wider than before! I know my pictures aren't awesome, but you should be able to get the idea.

Exterior Before:

 And After! Much nicer. And all the seals intact, hooray! I can sit in my couch without freezing now!

Next, the French Doors! This is their Before shot, the panel on the left didn't move, basically just a giant window. The right side opened, and was the source of our massive heating bills and insidious drafts. We once stood in front of it and watched snow blow in around the sides. *Shudder*

And After!! Aren't they gorgeous?! I love them so much! We used them so often during the summer, opening both doors to the backyard as the evenings cooled off; it was heavenly. And no snow! Functional seals, hurrah!

And now for my dingbat moment. I've been taking pictures for months on the table in front of the French doors, thinking that all indirect natural light is created equal. Turns out it's not. It may be natural, but the back is always in shadow and my photos are always grey. I finally decided, just for the heck of it, to try taking pictures in my South-facing bay. 
I can't believe I didn't try this sooner! I just scoot the couch for a minute and it's basically a ready-made studio! No awkward furniture in the background or off to the sides, no awkward empty angles, I just need a reflector for the house side, and it's perfect! The light is so much better! Anyway, I hope you enjoy the results of my new studio as much as I do! :)

And, in honor of our very first snow of the season, I'm thrilled to finally share one of my favorite recipes of all time. A childhood favorite that has become a holiday season must in our family!
Lion House Wassail (adapted from Christmas Recipes from the Lion House Cookbook)
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cups orange juice (I prefer no pulp, less messy)
1 cup apple juice or cider (not spiced)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
4 allspice berries

Heat the water and sugar on low in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and let steep on low for about 30 minutes. Remove the solid spices. Serve warm and reheat leftovers! (After you remove the spices you can keep this warmed in a slow-cooker for guests or family or just a delicious smelling house! Double for larger groups)
Seriously people, this stuff smells a-mazing. Forget all those simmering house scents on Pinterest and just whisk together a batch of this! AND you can drink it! It's a must for chilly holiday parties or just a cozy evening at home.
Tangy orange, rich sweet apple, just a teeny bite from the lemon and spices to warm you through. The Holidays in a glass, truly! Make me want to go caroling... :)

Shared at Foodie Friday and The Scoop


  1. Your new window & door look great! Weather-proofing is always a plus too!

    1. Thank you so much Marty!! I'm in love with their looks, but we definitely bought them for the weather-proofing. Our heating bill last winter was obscene. I have hope for this year. :)

  2. That looks like an amazing drink for the holidays!

    1. It is our favorite Barbara! Thanks for visiting :)

  3. Love the new windows and door. That's my style too! Well done. and I am going to have to try the Wassail. It looks and sounds delicious, and if it smells even half as delicious as you make it sound, that will be pretty wonderful! xxoo

    1. I know you'll love it Marie! The holidays in a glass :) It will keep you warm and festive on those icy winter nights!


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