A Scientist in the House
Top Five: Best of My Fall Reading 2020

Dark Mornings

It's so dark when I wake up these days!
Cold, too.
It's hard enough to get out of bed in the morning, but the dark makes it so much harder.

But, y'know. . . twinkle lights help.

As much as I miss the daylight (and I do miss the daylight), sitting in the magical glow of my twinkle lights in the morning, sipping my coffee and beginning the day . . . just isn't all that bad. Mornings just seem more gentle and peace-filled when the twinkle lights are turned on.

It's Monday. Turn on some twinkle lights, and let's . . . 


On Mondays, I usually share a few tidbits and miscellaneous things I discovered over the weekend. A little of this, some of that. Things to amuse, amaze, entertain, or inform. Maybe even something to rev you up! 

This week, I've got some holiday inspiration for you. So. Let's get to it!


"Winter is a season of recovery and preparation."
            -- Paul Theroux

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Recovery . . . because it's been such a long and hard year.
Preparation . . . for whatever comes next. 

When I found that quote last week, I thought it was perfect for how I feel about the approaching winter. Rather than dread its arrival, I'm trying to embrace it as an opportunity to reflect and figure out how to move on.



This week, it's all about inspiration for the holidays. 

I know that for most of us, the Chanukah/Christmas/New Year's holidays look very, very different this year. We're celebrating in isolation. We're not traveling. There are no parties, concerts, parades, or celebrations. Things are quiet. Really, really quiet. 

But that doesn't mean we can't have any fun!



Try this charming antipasto wreath for your next Friday Night Snacks or holiday home happy hour. It's festive AND tasty! Practice making it for yourself to enjoy at home this year -- so you'll have perfected it for next year . . . when you can take it to a gathering with your family and friends.


Have you always been curious about making your own homemade Irish Cream? Maybe this is the year to give it a try (using this quick and easy recipe from Smitten Kitchen). Next year, when it'll be safe to share food with our friends again, you'll be all ready to give the gift of tasty, festive beverages, having tested it out this year.

Be Merry

Just because we're isolating ourselves for the holidays doesn't mean we won't be giving gifts. Are you stymied trying to figure out how to deliver gifts while still practicing appropriate social distancing? Are you looking for some creative ways to bring the gift-giving magic to a pandemic holiday? Well, check out these suggestions for "doing gifts" in 2020.

Deck the Halls

Finally, I'll leave you with . . . Claus Dalby. Claus is the "Danish Martha Stewart" -- only he's a lot more charming AND he does his own stunts. I started following Claus on Instagram over the summer. His garden design work and his photography are simply stunning. Over the last few weeks, he's been posting his holiday creations -- flower arrangements, wreaths, gift-wrapping -- all with Claus' unique flair and Scandinavian style. Just wonderful stuff. Spend some time in Claus' world . . . and be inspired! (Next year I'm definitely going to try making one of his wreaths. They are amazing.)


And that's it for me on this dark Monday morning!
Here's to a good Monday -- and a great week -- for all of us.


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I like that antipasto wreath! What a fun idea for Friday night snacks! (and thank you for the heads up to Claus... he is wonderful!)


Oh I took a peek at Claus' IG account and he has some very cool stuff! Thanks for the link. And that antipasto wreath is great!!


I've made that antipasto wreath before, it's super cute! Thank you for the link to Claus, he's awesome!


So happy to be introduced to Claus! He's a bundle of some of my favorite things. Thank you :) And you summed up perfectly why winter is a sacred season for me. It's my 'interior' time, without the pull to the outside--literally + figuratively. I don't know if it's from growing up in 'lake effect' weather or what--but when our winters are too mild in Colorado, I go into spring with a deficiency. It happened a few years ago, and I felt 'off' for months! It makes me wonder if I could ever be a snowbird.


Thank you for the link to Claus! Your description of him is perfect and I look forward to exploring his photos & videos!


I don't have all the ingredients for the homemade Bailey's but condensed milk and heavy cream are on my list. I will definitely be making this after my next trip to the grocery store. It's probably a good thing I don't have everything because I'd be drinking all afternoon. Thanks also for introducing me to Claus!


wishing you a very good week. It is snowing here right now and that is making me VERY happy.

Kim in Oregon

Everything is better with twinkle lights.


Twinkle lights and whipped cream on the coffee is a great start for Monday. Claus is a great find. Thanks.


Drinking all afternoon...so funny. Really made m laugh. Will have to make a wreath this year. They seem to be big. Maybe the antipasto one? Chloe


Claus is charming! I feel like we should get him to read a Fredrick Backman book to us!

Love the antipasto wreath -- and I do have some rather large sprigs of rosemary!


oh my goodness ... CLAUS!! I've been eyeing the holly and magnolias on all my walks and wondering just how I might take some clippings to have some seasonal greenery inside. Now he's making me want to think a bit more broadly. hummmm... I wonder just how brave I can be with my gardening shears on a walk?!


That antipasto wreath would be fun for our Christmas Eve get together (for 2). Now I have a good reason to call the Italian deli for a pick up order! Thank you!


Oh I love Claus! Thank you for introducing him! The vase he used for the bouquet was stunning and twinkle lights on the wreath are perfection!


Uh-oh, no Tuesday post. All is still well? Thinking positively: Re twinkle lights. I was perusing past Christmas blog posts around the Internet and clicked on a link for “fairy lights.” Amazon firmly told me they are out of stock and may or may not ever return. Why am I always late to the party.

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