Sunday, November 10, 2013

MY Fall Wreath

I know, it's not your normal Fall wreath.  I have had this particular striped pattern and color on my brain.  I love the charcoal and the blue together.  I love the blue and the orange together.  So, there you have it, I made this wreath.  I didn't make a tutorial.  There are plenty out there.  The 16" foam form is wrapped in yarn and hot glued on the back.  I used a total of 1 skein (they were 210 yard skeins), and 8- 8x10 felt pieces.  **By the way, I'm sure my mom would be prr...etty proud of me for using that word-skein.  Yep, pretty proud.**  I just made the flowers from all of the different tutorials I have viewed over the years.  There are a TON out there!  I did, however, find this great guide (, after making this wreath, and look-it pretty much looks like my wreath, only different colors.  Know that I did not copy her idea, I guess it just made sense. 

No matter what you do with the things you put on your wall or your door, they should make you absolutely happy, or you just shouldn't put them there.  This wreath, it makes me happy.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Creating a New Normal

Creating a New Normal

We recently moved a very long way from anywhere we consider home.  As I stood in my kitchen today, pondering how to redefine how it is that I exist in this new life, a sudden feeling of panic overwhelmed me.  I didn't want a new sense of normal.  I was fine with the old normal.  I was happy with the job that I had, the friends that I left, the distance to my family.  The friends I would normally go to to help me make everything ok are over 3,000 miles away and a phone call, text, or email are just not the same.  I am tired of redefining my sense of normalcy.  As all of these feelings washed over me and spilled over my lower lids I turned to something that is normal for me.  I found something to create there, in my kitchen.

So, here you go.  Here is my creation today.  I wanted some schmear from Einstein Bagels.  You know, the sundried tomato schmear.  It tastes like a pizza right there on my bagel.  I will go get bagels just to have this cream cheese spread in my fridge.  I put it on nearly anything I can.  Oh, and these beautiful sourdough crisps that Costco carries?  Forget about it!  I am pretty sure there is an Einstein's here in our city, but I certainly didn't have the energy to go find it.  I had ingredients to make something pretty close.  It satisfied me for the time being and focused my mind on something other than my woes.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What's for Dinner?

I know my posting is sporadic...the thing is I have a cache of photos stored up on my hard drive waiting for me to get around to posting with recipes.  I have ideas, I have plans...then, other things just happen to take the top seat on the priority list.  The things that I enjoy just have to take a back seat sometimes.  However, when the snow on the ground is turning grey and it just doesn't seem to be going anywhere and I'm tired of the inversion and want to feel something akin to joy...I just stick up my chin and grin and say....oh, wait, wrong show.  Ha!  Anyway, I do something to make me happy, like adjust a recipe that looks really good.  So, I take a recipe I think will be good and I make it awesome (yes, yes, in my opinion, I make it try it and let me know)!

Such is this Chicken Tortilla Soup.  I have longed for such a soup.  Rich, hardy, earthy, but smooth in texture.  Chunks of chicken float in this soup and a nice bite of spice lingers just long enough to make me say, that's a medium spice and my nose runs just ever so slightly.  Add in an extra spritz of lime, a finger full of shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream and some crunchy tortilla chips, and you have a WINNER, folks!  Give it a try, I think you'll like it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Breaking In...

So, I have a new tool in my kitchen.  Well, it's not necessarily a new to my kitchen item, it is NEW, though.  

Look at it!  


Isn't it magnificent?  

I have researched and studied over the years, trying to decide what kind of cutting board I should have, what size I would really use, how much money I should spend...A QUALITY cutting board has become a necessity for me.  I love watching the cooking shows and have dreamed of that black walnut sitting on my counter.  I have heard my knife sing as it cuts across the surface of it in my sleep.  I know, obsessive, but it's true.  I knew no other board would do.  I knew I wanted an end grain cutting board, but didn't feel like I could justify paying what a walnut cutting board would cost in the size I felt I would need.  I mean, really, $300-400 for a slab of wood?  Granted, it would last my lifetime if treated properly.  It just didn't feel right, so I have watched for sales, scoured websites, looked in every kitchen store I have ever been in and have never been able to bring myself to purchase one.  I DO feel you get what you pay for and that setting yourself up with quality tools will help you to actually get yourself into the kitchen, so I have not been able to let it go.  I DO NOT own every gadget out there.  I own quality tools that multitask.  So, how to solve the disparity between what I really need, what I really want, and what I can afford?  UGH!

 Imagine my utter joy when I came across John Loftis and Lone Star Artisans:  I swear that my heart stopped as I perused the pages of his website, seeing quality cutting boards for *gasp* affordable prices.  I did not see the large board I wanted, but did find a custom build feature.  I quickly put in my specs and sent off my inquiry.  I had a reply from John in 24 hours.  He was so wonderful to work with and I had the board of my dreams in about 3 weeks' time.  I tell you, the heavens sang as I opened that box.  I unwrapped the bubble wrap to find fresh oil soaking the paper it was wrapped in, knowing it had been freshly treated.  I couldn't wait to try out my board!  I had an epiphany as I looked in my frig and came up with what you see below.  It is inspired by the ingredients in my frig.  It is truly a dish I just came up with off the top of my head-a near first for me.
The board was fabulous to use...I have nothing else to say.  GET YOURSELF A FABULOUS CUTTING BOARD!  If you don't want a cutting board, check out the other things John and the other artisans make at  I have NO doubt it will be top quality and your service will be top notch!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

He calls it being independent...

 Independent...Do What Makes You YOU...
One of my most favorite relationship counselors (blegh...sorry if it's a dirty word!), Matt Townsend, had a spot on Studio 5 the other day where he talked about the idea that our goal in life should possibly be "Independence first, Interdependence forever!" I guess I look at life that way, I just say it differently. I like to think we should know who we are as individuals FIRST, then it will be easier to figure out how to be with the one we want to spend the rest of our lives (depending on your point of view, maybe longer). I like to think of it as finding ways to enhance the person I am by doing things that ultimately make my heart sing and bring a smile to my face, well, because they do-not because someone else guilted me into it or because it makes someone else happy to think I do those things. That way I can be happy just for me and no one else has to take responsibility for the well being of me. I get to take full responsibility.

If you like to hear what Matt has to say, check him out on Facebook, you can also find his business website from there; he really does have some fabulous thoughts and I love listening to his common sense suggestions, especially where communicating with the opposite sex is involved. (By the way, I wasn't prompted or paid to advertise for him.  He makes me laugh and I think he has some great advice to share.  I think he's worth anyone checking out.)  Here is the link to his spot I referred to during Studio 5:

SO, that little intro brings me to why I created this fabulous Easter wreath.  Don't think I'm taking full credit for the idea.  I did, OF COURSE, see the idea on Pinterest.  It was taken from the blog "Dimples and Tangles", search around the page to find my inspiration here:
It's pretty self-explanatory.  All I can say is that it MAKES ME SMILE!  The colors, the shapes...I took the frame from Big Lots, the eggs are from Target, the ribbon from JoAnn Fabric, and the paint is Lagoon from Rustoleum.  Feel free to steal it and smile every time you open and unlock your door.  If you don't, just drop by my can smile at mine.  ;)


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lost Love...New Love!

Have you ever just stopped loving an accessory?  Maybe it's a pair of earrings, a purse, a pair of shoes?  It isn't that you didn't love looking down at your feet every time you put them on.  And you KNOW you looked twice in a mirror every time you put those earrings on when you first bought them.  Now, though, you don't even give them a second glance.  It's not that you've been offended or hurt by them, you've just outgrown them.  They just don't fit in anymore.

We have many systems in our family that have gone by the wayside just like that.  Schedules, calendars, job charts, chore charts, you name it, I've made them, decorated them, and discarded them.  They were useful while they lasted.  Maybe we just get bored easily or I just like the motivation my kids have when the brand new chart goes up.  No matter...we are onto a new chore chart.  Check out what I did with it!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Valentines Subway Art

I L-O-V-E subway art!  That's why it's perfect for Valentine'sDay!  I like to create it and make it pop off of the paper.  (Tough to see in this photo, but it really is 3-D.)  My version of subway art includes finding fantastic paper...insert Echo Park's Truly Yours line!  It's fabulous!  I will be teaching a class to show you how to do this very type of subway art at the Heartland Paper in Bountiful on February 1st.  You can find the details on their blog  just give them a call to reserve a spot in the class.  I'd love to see you there!