Monday, April 30, 2012

what i consider fun

We dream...
and when we dream
we make a mess.

Kitchen dreams...

of one day opening
our very own

Each of my boys
with the exception of reluctant
still working on him, Joe...
enjoys cooking.

Jacob is my Italian chef,
Joshua enjoys everyday practical food,
with James...
it's all about the bakery.

So on a recent tortilla
dinner night
I knew James would join me
in the process...
rolling out the dough
while I manned the griddle
and chopped veggies.


at him


I think it
wise to encourage
his specific love
of the sweet

Dinner's ready...
 do we have a dream to
makes for lively dinner table

good times.
good company.
good food.
dishes done.

my idea of a fun night.

Friday, April 27, 2012

this moment

Joining Soule Mama and Friends
in this Friday ritual.
A single photo that tells of
a simple, wonderful, extraordinary
moment from my week.

Have a moment-filled weekend.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Lovely lilacs.
Is there really any need to say more?

There's just something about them
that triggers a nostalgic response
in people.
Myself included.

Beautiful smelling moments...
memories from childhood.

Lovely lilacs.

This bunch was given as a gift from
my garden
to the wonderful ladies at
for their patience and

The vase is none other
than one of my Repurposed Candle Tins
all dressed up in an Amy Butler fabric

After the candle has burned its last...
another life awaits.
The life of a vase
this time.

Oh, how I wish you could put
your nose up close
for a sniff.

Then close your eyes as your
mind takes you to a
sweet memory.

A lovely lilac memory.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

yoga toes

On a visit to see
soule mama
I noticed a sidebar advertisement
a footprint graphic
reminiscent of the old
hang-ten graphic
from years ago.
What ever happened to them?

inspiration struck.
I never question that!

It has been a while since
I've worked on altering t-shirts.
A little rusty.

Sometimes you have to wait for it
to happen...
that is.

After creating the image
I saw in my minds eye
and making stencils to reflect that...

it became a question of

much nicer.
Appealing to the symmetrical
in me.

Do the smelly chemistry...
for this finished result.

yoga toes.

The ladies at
Harmony in Life
are going to
love it!

I know them well.

Make sure they know me...
the t-shirt artist...

As much as I would love to
make enough stock
for the shop
I can't.
I must wait for it.
I'm never happy with the
forced result.

Speaking of yoga toes...
Harmony now carries

I've always wanted to try
these babies out.

With little grippers
on each toe

you never slip and slide around
but stay in the pose
you are meant to be in.

After taking them to the mat
 I can vouch for
they work!

Plus it feels like your
feet are getting a gentle massage
with each and every step.

Be nice to your feet.
Get your yoga toes on.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

old school repurposing

is a good thing.
(Thanks Martha.)

It is most definitely
a new way of thinking.

The contrary...
it is embracing a way of life
that saw our great grandparents
and parents through
difficult times.

Or simply...

their way of thinking...
being frugal.
Before it was hip to do so.

Enter a new generation.
One that will often times pay big bucks
at fancy food chains
(aka Fresh Market)
to find others that embrace an

I could plant my own
strawberry patch out back...
pamper them...keep them
free from pesticides
and fertilizers.

I can buy three packages
for $10.

My first time at this market...
so that is what I did.

Super ripe...
smelling sweet...
I just read a list of must buy it organic
and strawberries topped the list
(all thin skinned fruits and veggies)

Now what?
Slice and eat...
Did that.
Still have 2 1/2 cartons left.

Refusing to watch them go bad
I got my frugal grandma on.

Enter Sure Jell.

Wash canning jars.
Dedicate an hour to this old craft.
I always follow the freezer method.

Wash berries...
chop/crush berries
with recommended potato masher
(don't own one)
or food processor BUT be careful
not to go too crazy
you want chunks.
(impossible for me)

use a handy dandy
pastry knife.

Thanks to mom
who purchased this for me
YEARS ago.
It can mash avocados...
chop eggs for egg salad...
today, crush strawberries...

 doing its job of
blending pie dough


Add sugar per package
2 cups berries...4 cups sugar...
warning that if you don't measure
carefully the jam
won't set.

So I now have sugary jam...
in pretty jars.

I know it will be good
because I've made
it before.
I just forgot how much sugar
it called for.

But with more strawberries
to be used I headed
to Kroger for more pectin...
reduced sugar recipe.

this recipe calls for
4 cups crushed berries...3 cups sugar.
I only had 2 cups left...
I did the unthinkable and
altered the recipe...
ignoring warnings.

Which meant I had to figure out
how to cut the pectin in half.
First measured contents=1/3 cup
(in case you are wondering)
got on to find what the
equivalent is in Tablespoons=5.

Needed 2 1/2 Tb.

Sure I could toss the rest
but the great grandma in me
found a more palatable

I made this funnel
using a pop bottle top
from the recycling bin...
the rest of the bottle went back to recycling.
Now I have
a kitchen funnel
and a labelled spice jar with
an explanation for the me of the future
who won't know what the heck that
powdery stuff 
is in that jar.

At home with various
spices I have accumulated...
sitting on the shelf
of a spice rack I found at
a Goodwill in Manistee MI.

My sweet mom...
who started this strange behavior
of mine...
was over for lunch yesterday
and commented on my little
kitchen corner...saying...

"All those reds look so pretty together."

Don't you just love moms
who see beyond the mess
to the beauty of it all?

Back to repurposing...
I ask you...
a new fangled concept
old school thinking known as
"make do with what you have?"

I think you know my answer.

Thanks to all the women in my life
past and present
were the founders
of the movement.

Friday, April 20, 2012

this moment


blog sharing with soule mama
and friends...
one moment...
a simple fur flying extraordinary moment
that begged to be shared...
enjoy your moment-filled weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

what's for dinner

As the
Whole Food Kitchen
comes to its final week
I reflect on the continuing
journey that I
and therefore my family
have embarked on.

My student binder
is fat with

Enjoyment and meal planning
have merged
as I finger through
the pages
deciding what new and exciting
meals I want to try
each week.

When you are trying ingredients
for the very first time

Trying with confidence
since each attempt
has yielded
such amazing results.

There hasn't been a recipe
that I haven't loved.

Case in point...

Sun-dried tomatoes.
Re-hydrates in boiling water
for a brief minute...
adds such an amazing flavor to
the dish.

Fresh Wheatberry Salad.


Another virgin grain that has been
introduced around these parts.
It was love at first bite.

Mixed and mingled well
with the sweet onion
and parsley.

Tossed with an easy
balsamic vinaigrette
sitting atop fresh baby spinach.

I will confess
that my over zealousness
has been off-putting
at times with
my boys.

But I shall stay the course...
when a body feels this good
you just know...

you are doing something

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Ever notice how certain
words just roll off
the tongue
tickle your senses?

Case in point...

"You need to play this

Well, like you
I loved the word
I had no idea what it meant.

Loved it so much in fact,
I asked the person to repeat it.

Not for clarity,
mind you...
but for the mere pleasure
of hearing it said...


I found it means
to play notes of a chord
in succession.

"I will try that," I said with a
cheeky grin.

Before I did...
I went home and had to
first search
for this new...strange...yet wonderful

I went to a most
remarkable site
to hear it pronounced
by a
tall, dark,
(or so the eye of my imagination saw)
intense brown, dreamy-eyed...


love it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

downtown saturdays

usually the fourth saturday of the month...
but when another group
asked us to switch
it became the second saturday.
the saturday my church family heads to
downtown toledo to
feed God's flock.
people...just like me...
who need a little help.
so we help where we can...
with hunger.

lutheran's love the


well do we have a casserole
(or brat)
for you!

since we made the trip...
and we held a few friends hostage
(I carried the keys)
we had to make a stop
at the farmers market.

i needed my honey fix!

not just any ol' honey
local honey
thank you very much

supporting the local economy.

small business owners
and operators
own a corner of my heart...
i am one after all.

i know how to crochet
but when the dishrag is
this cute and colorful
and i'm low on yarn stock...well
i will take three

now my kitchen
towel drawer
is replenished...

i love all the market has to offer
even the unusual jewelry.

not just any jewelry...but
earth grrrl
(said with a growl)
again tugs at my heart...
leather belts.

embellished artistically

by the earth grrrl herself...
ila aki
such a cool name
for a cool gir-r-rl.

this cuff is going to look

with my summer wardrobe...
playing my guitar...
whenever i feel like it.
its that kind of cool.

i even talked my sis into getting one
that caught her eye...
with a little charm
that simply said

i probably would have snatched it up
but it wasn't available
when i found
there's always the borrow.

next stop...
the driver wants to see what's
new at
swan creek candle company
maybe more candles...
whaddya think?

sniff testing
settled with cilantro clementine
for my newest kitchen

fresh clean and citrus-y
love it!

yes...i do make candles
but i 'em and
can never have enough.

at the check out my sis saw this
and knew it was one of my
favorites that i passed on
last trip
(we all need our little reminders)

naked bee
hand and body lotion
in the best scent ever...
orange blossom honey.
it is
with "all the good stuff,
none of the bad"

a perfect way to
sum-up my day...
thanks to all for joining me
whether you wanted to or not!