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:  http://www.lonestarartisans.com/.  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 http://www.lonestarartisans.com/  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: http://studio5.ksl.com/?nid=71&sid=19644142

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:  http://dimplesandtangles.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-11-27T14:32:00-06:00&max-results=7
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 place...you 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 http://heartlandpaperandalittlemore.blogspot.com/p/page-club.html  just give them a call to reserve a spot in the class.  I'd love to see you there!

Monday, January 9, 2012

I had planned on posting some sort of cooking fun last week when my DS shared his stomach flu with me. You know, the older I get, the longer it takes me to get over those "little" viruses. Whew! 5 days later and I am still feeling some nausea. At least I am not throwing up! Anyway...here's what we had for dinner tonight! Parmesan Chicken Bake. It's a lovely treat. Don't get me wrong, I still love a nice plate of Chicken Parm, but I didn't have to do all the work to prepare it. I'll save that for a treat when I go pay someone to feed me (which isn't often). Try it out sometime!

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Version of Subway Art

It's all the rage and I happen to LOVE it! 

I don't know about you, but I DESPISE cleaning up after the holidays.  I LOVE to put up the decorations, turn on the music, start baking, attend parties, give gifts, look at lights, share warm thoughts....then, the dreaded clean up.  It really doesn't take any longer to take things down than it does to set it up, so why do I put it off so long?  I am not trying to prolong the season.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I really did.  I am ready to move on.  I just hate to take stuff down.  I don't like to clean up after dinner, either.  I have a friend who promised me that if anything ever happens to our DH's (heaven forbid), she would be happy to move in with me.  I will cook, she'll clean the bathrooms, do the laundry, and clean up after dinner.  Where do I sign?  If you want to clean, I'll cook for you ANY DAY!!!  I'll decorate for your holidays if you clean up after mine.  Any takers?  OK, I won't wait for the hands to raise, I'll just go put away the Christmas decorations.  It was a lovely month, wasn't it?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The New Year...finding joy in 2012!

So, with a new year comes a fresh start, right?  I can hardly believe that nearly a year ago we were planning to move to New Orleans.  In fact, I look at the first and only post I had last year and am astounded at how quickly the last 9 months have gone by.  We did not move to LA, we did not get to return to having Dad take over as the primary financial support.  We did, however, sell the house and move to Clearfield, UT.  We struggled to find some jobs that would take care of us while DH gathers more hours as a helo pilot while awaiting someone to hire him to fly.  The Lord is always looking out for us, though, as we were able to take care of ourselves, procure a place to live, feed ourselves, and still have a decent Christmas.  We have healthy bodies, happy children, and enjoy being together.  I am working to find some balance in my life, making sure that I spend my energies in ways that return to me what it is that brings to me the greatest joy possible.  So it is that I am returning to this blog site, setting up pages.  I desire to create and I think I will find joy in sharing.  May you find joy in what I create.  If you don't, may you find joy somewhere else.  We all have our own tastes.