Sunday, February 28, 2010

Keeping a Family Organized

With Steve home, we have had to be really careful about filling each other in on appointments and plans that we make. While he was in Afghanistan it was just me...I didn't have to check with anyone...but now it is important to have good communication to avoid over scheduling.

We decided to keep things simple.

On the back of our pantry door in our kitchen, we hung a large, blank calendar. I know for me, out of sight...out of mind, so it had to be placed somewhere I will see it daily.

I made sure to attach a pencil and eraser to pretty ribbon so that we always have something to write with.

It is hung on a thin board that we screwed metal clips to. Then we screwed the strip to the door.

We shall see how it all works! I might still forget to look at it!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Even in the winter...maybe more so in the winter...I really crave a cold glass of water first thing in the morning.
I love the how I can feel it winding through my body...refreshing, life affirming...
I drink a lot of water throughout the day but I really treasure that first, crisp glass of the day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pretty Bowls

I use small bowls all the time...we like to dip, while making recipes, for side items...
and recently I decided they should be pretty...not just utilitarian.

I had been using small round, glass bowls but picked up a bunch of new ones at a national chain store. Each was under $3 and I purchased styles that made me smile.

They don't match but they all make me happy. I even dedicated a special drawer for them!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I am a Visual Person

When I saw this black and white drawer liner paper I knew I had to buy it!

Oh sure, I looked at all of the others...looked at the prices...compared the lengths...went back and forth in my head as to what I "should" buy and what I "wanted" to buy.

From the picture, you can see the direction I went.

Even though small slivers of it show...they make me happy and excite me.
Definitely worth the extra few dollars.

I think it's important to treat yourself to things that make you smile...even if this time it was only graphic drawer liner.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Now I See

Before changing my diet several years ago there were many things that I didn't really see.
Sure, I always thought flowers were beautiful but I kind of took them for granted...ignoring the true miracle that they are.
Same thing for animals, landscapes and more.
Eating cleaner and consciously has effected every aspect of my life including my appreciation for nature and all of the gifts it offers.
I feel a deeper connection to the world and for that I am eternally grateful.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

I wish you a wonderful year full of health and happiness...
I love you and can't wait to see you in a few weeks.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh...Now What to Cook?

With our collection of recipes growing rapidly, I needed a simple way to keep them organized and accessible.
I have tried traditional recipe cards and boxes in the past and found them too small and limiting.
What I decided to do is have two with "recipes to try" and one with recipes we have tried and liked. I just hole punch sheets I print off the computer and insert them into the binder. As we try the recipes I either move them to the other binder or to the trash...depending on how they went over!
It is simple...easy to customize and large enough for me to make notes.
I also added some blank paper and plastic sleeves to the back for additional items.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Good With the Bad

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.

- Anne Bradstreet

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kitchen Equipment Fear!

Ok, so I purchased this amazing raw dessert recipe e-book...filled with beautiful ideas.

Of course I had to run right out and buy the special removable bottom, tart pan with the fluted edge. Now I have the tools, the ingredients and I am scared to try the recipe!

Crazy, I know...but it definitely stems from not wanting to fail...and old tape in my head.

If I am not sure I can do it well...why try at all?
So my new pan is sitting there...and the recipe book is sitting there...and my family has no raw, healthy dessert!

I thought maybe writing about it would help...and it did. It made me laugh.

Look for a post sometime in the near future...good or bad...of a fluted, raw, living dessert!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Personal Place Mats

So my husband has spent the last year in Afghanistan...which now seems like a big blur.

One thing he did bring home were some laminated maps for us to use as daily place mats.
I like looking at them...and began thinking about other applications for this.

Maybe picking up maps while on vacations and having them laminated when you get home. It could be a nice daily reminder of a special trip.

Also, for parties you could laminate copies of photographs...birth certificates...newspaper cards...comic books...and on and on.

The images could support a theme.

It would also be fun to make special annual Birthday or holiday place mats for children...creating a collection they could pass down to their kids.

You could write a special message to you child that they would see each time they used their mat. You could make seasonal place mats as a wintertime, indoor, craft activity.

Most office supply stores can laminate in multiple sizes...just make sure your designs aren't layered too thick as the laminate can pull apart.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Investment Kitchen Tools

Slowly but surely I have been upgrading some of our kitchen appliances to keep up with our growing love of creating raw and vegan entrees and desserts.

We have been stretching out our purchases as our education and needs changed and because most are quite expensive!

The new specialized products have been well worth the wait but I also feel a bigger responsibility to care for them than say my old $30 blender.

There is one thing I have done to keep the manuals for these appliances clean and handy. I included some plastic sleeves in the back of my recipe notebook and slipped each manual in a sleeve.

That way the are within reach and easy to find.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

Love is a symbol of eternity.

It wipes out all sense of time,
destroying all memory of a beginning
and all fear of an end.

~Author Unknown

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Red Sauce Fix Up

I recently made some pasta for my family and did a little alteration to the store bought red sauce.
My son doesn’t like chunks of tomato in his sauce so I decided to blend it to make it smooth. While I was at it, I thought it was a good opportunity to add some nutrition.

I peeled and rough cut two raw zucchinis and threw them in the blender too. I added some fresh garlic and some more herbs. Once blended it was smooth and creamy and pretty pinkish-red color. It almost looked like a Vodka Sauce.

Because he is really open to eating healthy foods (if they taste good) I told him about my additions. He thought it was so cool because he didn’t taste the zucchini but still got all of the nutritional benefits.

He isn’t a fan of zucchini on it’s own, so this was a great way to get him to eat…and most importantly, enjoy it!

Friday, February 12, 2010

For the Love of Lace - More Sparkle!

I am a firm believer that you can't have enough sparkle.
So I made these sequined appliques...and while they were very pretty, they looked ordinary. Like I could have purchased them at a store, not that I crafted them by hand.

Then I found it.

When I was a little girl, I had a Madame Alexander Doll...Sleeping Beauty I think...and she had what I thought was the most beautiful sparkly yellow ball gown. When I found this pale gold tulle sprinkled with tiny metallic flecks I HAD to have it! It reminded me of that special treasure.

So I basted the tulle behind each applique and cut around leaving a thin edge. I think it made the appliques more interesting and hand crafted looking. Plus the little gold flecks look positively fairy like agains the dress fabric.

Now I just need to decide how and where I want to apply them to my dress...

More to come...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

For the Love of Lace - Part 4 - Sparkle!!

So I have the dress...I have the's tea dyed to the perfect for the sparkle.
I LOVE sequined, beaded, bridal lace. It just makes me happy. But it can be really expensive.

I went to some local stores to find clear bridal looking sequins to embellish my appliques ...but I couldn't find any that weren't in colors.

I found some online that were bridal crystal clear...and ordered them.

All I had to do was sew the sequins following the lace shapes...accenting the flowers and stems. It was very simple and was a fun project to do while watching TV.

Above are some of the sequined appliques...waiting to be added to my dress.
I will post pictures of the finished dress as soon as it is done!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gifts...When we Listen

About 5 or 6 years ago we stepped into the pool of "raw foods" and I am feeling particularly grateful today.

Yesterday I wasn't feeling well...a stomach ache and head ache...neither of which I get often.

The blessing is that as I was on my way home, my body actually spoke to me - loudly - and asked for some specific foods. Almost like it knew what it needed to heal.

The ultra cool thing is, it wasn't a couple of bags of cookies I wanted to curl up with (like it might have been in the past) was a fresh juice.

Specifically a beet, cabbage, cucumber, ginger, apple and cantaloupe juice made with love by my husband.

Soothing, beautiful to look at and nourishing for my body.

For the Love of Lace - Part 3 - A Cup of Tea?

My cousins came to visit the other day and as they walked in I was cooking something up on my stove.

I have blogged about finding some pretty lace for a party dress of mine...and while it was a good find...the color was a bit off.

Too white.

I had an idea but I wasn't sure it would work.

I boiled some water, tied together about 6 tea bags and and brewed some tea in a small sauce pan. Once the water turned "tea" color I dropped a piece of my cut lace in the pot. I checked it often to monitor the color change.

Voila! Champagne colored more bridal white.
I did the rest and then laid the appliques out on a sheet of paper towels to dry for a bit.

After about 45 minutes I rinsed all of the appliques in a they all smelled like chai tea! I laid them out again and let them dry completely.

Once dry they were the most perfect warm, antique color...yea!

so NOW...what about the sparkle?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

For the Love of Lace - Part 2 - Finding the Lace

So, my first thought was that I wanted to find some cool, beaded/sequined, lace appliques to embellish my party dress.

Some that weren't too expensive and that I could combine to create an interesting focal piece.

I searched online and all of our local fabric no avail. I did find some online but the selection was slim and they were very expensive. The local stores only had small appliques and not a big choice as far as color or design.

I took a short trip to a fabric and trim factory in hopes of finding something. They had beaded lace trim but again they were SO expensive!

Then I found an embroidered lace, wide trim that had a pretty pattern. It was a specific type of lace called Alencon, I believe. It is sort of embroidered which gives it texture and has large clusters connected with a fine netting.

While I studied the pattern, I realized that I could cut out some of the larger shapes and create my own appliques.

The price was good so I bought about a yard not really sure if it would work.

The picture above isn't the exact piece I purchased but is the same idea. I had already cut mine up before I decided to blog about this!

So I cut out the larger shapes in all different configurations...some small individual flowers, some with the stems, some that I would have plenty to choose from when combining them on my dress.

If needed I could add a bit of Fray Check to the cut ends to prevent unraveling.

Now what about the color? be continued

Monday, February 8, 2010

For the Love of Lace - Part 1 - The Dress

I recently stumbled on a really pretty party dress.

Spaghetti straps, short, flirty A-line skirt, low cut a matte, brushed, antique gold color.
It is made well...a designer name... and I got a smokin deal at a national discount store.

For me, it is the PERFECT blank canvas.
I decided I wanted to add some lace...sort of sparkly, bridal lace...and really customize it.

I was looking forward to having a small fun project and to having a unique dress for our next special occasion.

In this series of posts I will document my dress embellishing journey!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday in the Kitchen

I have become very fond of cooking...or "un-cooking" raw entrees and desserts on Sundays.
Getting ready for the week.

Trying new recipes, exploring new ingredients...flipping through our book selection.
It has become a family activity and one of our favorite ways to spend time together.

We learn about healthy eating and try new has opened up our children's diets to unusual and normally excepted items.

It's a good thing...all around!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Creative Chip

We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant the other night and Logan found a chip that looked like a profile of our "pointy shaped" dog.

We have a Miniature American Eskimo and this chip actually looked like her from the side!

It made us laugh.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Get Silly

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.
~Samuel Butler

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Now What?

So, he went from the ARMY, to being a cop...SWAT, Recovery Diver, Detective, Bomb personal security, then to Afghanistan.

Now he is home...where does he go from here?

Only time will tell...should be an interesting ride.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

He's Back!

Steve returned home last Tuesday from his year in Afghanistan.
Home for good! I might be a wee bit distracted.