Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Date Nut Torte

Last week, my parents had a dinner party and out of selfishly wanting to be able to have something sweet, my husband and I offered to make dessert.

We whipped up this Date Nut Torte...a raw, whole food, yummy treat.

We topped it with a drizzle of homemade raw/vegan caramel and chocolate sauce...and for everyone else, a small scoop of (conventional) vanilla ice cream.
(we made some raw/vegan vanilla, chocolate chip ice cream for us to pair it with)

Everyone loved it and had no idea that it was so healthy!
I love being able to show people that you can have delicious food without compromising your health.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another World Mural

A clever application on an empty expanse of wall in a strip mall.
I have always loved this scene...somewhere exotic I would like to visit.
What a difference a little paint...and some talent...can make!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Raw Chocolate...Yummy!

I choose not to partake in conventional dessert...loaded with fat, dairy, refined sugars, bad oils, etc...but I do enjoy raw, live treats, made with real food.

A raw foods chef and teacher (Kristen Suzanne) turned me on to these beautiful raw chocolate bars and I wanted to pass along the gift.

I tried the caramel...which I LOVED
and the maca...which I really liked

I think you can get them at Whole Foods. I found mine at a local natural foods market while visiting my parents in Palm Desert, CA.

I visited their website and was really inspired by their mission and story. Check it out...


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rabbit Food

This made me smile...why waste time with a knife and fork?!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I Am...

My son's class hosted an "Author's Corner Cafe" recently featuring a variety of writing projects done by the students.

This project was my favorite.

They all wrote "I Am" poems that were mounted on their silhouettes. His is the one all the way to the left...with the huge hair!

below is his poem...

I think it is so important for children to find multiple ways to express themselves. I thought this was a beautiful expression of him. (he is 10)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Juiced Art

My husband made a fresh juice the other day and snapped this picture because he thought the the way the fruits and veggies layered was really cool.

I is really cool.

It reminds me of a semi-precious stone...I forget what it is called...watermelon "something".
Watermelon quartz? Watermelon agate?

I am not sure...but it is very pretty.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Don't Forget the Streamers!

Never underestimate the supreme festive power of child hung, crepe paper streamers!

I took this picture while setting up for my son's first all school dance. Some white lights and colorful streamers and the lodge was transformed!

I had completely forgotten about the simple streamer. Inexpensive, easy to find and able to coordinate with almost any color.

Hand a roll to a child and watch what they do....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Quick Fix for Chairs

We inherited these two beautiful, antique captain's chairs from my parents. They get a ton of use and the seat fabric was starting to show the wear. My mom had originally had the fabric professionally laminated because they were being used in the kitchen but over time the lamination has begun to dry and crack. The fabric underneath was exposed and tearing.

I decided to do a quick fix and since I am not an upholsterer I wanted to leave the existing upholstery in tact.

I purchased some thick, camel colored, ultra sued type fabric that was on sale. I applied that first to protect the chairs and to camouflage the cracked laminate.

Then I applied a cotton zebra striped fabric over that base.
I didn't touch the backs or arms because they are in good condition...and I liked the mix of fabrics.

Below are the finished chairs.
Now granted this might not be a permanent fix but for now it worked perfect!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Beauty at Grezzo

We spent Valentine's Day at one of our favorite restaurants in Boston...Grezzo.
It is in the north end section but it is surprisingly not is raw-vegan.

The tables were speckled with rose petals and a few even made it into our drinks.

A very special and romantic touch, I thought!

Monday, March 22, 2010


"Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in?

I think that's how dogs spend their lives."

- Sue Murphy

Sunday, March 21, 2010


On a recent day trip to the Cape, I had hoped to take some inspiring pictures as blog fuel.

Alas, nothing inspired me to photograph but we did stumble on a wonderful Inn where we shared a true New England lunch.

Called The Orleans Orleans, Cape Cod, MA...we had a beautiful view of the water, friendly service and many forms of delicious seafood.

I would highly recommend it if you are ever in the area and in need of sustenance!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Every Little Bit Helps!

This month, my small, local health food market started a rewards program!!!

It's the little things.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life:
music and cats.
- Albert Schweitzer

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Are you Wearing Green Today?

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Gift

You don't choose your family.
They are God's gift to you,
as you are to them.

~Desmond Tutu

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's OK Not to eat Birthday Cake

So many ways.

The other day was my Birthday and a lovely teacher had this very thoughtful spread set up when I walked in.

They all know about my many food allergies and my personal choice not to eat conventional desserts so they gave me something I love...fresh fruit!

You know what? It was still my Birthday, I still got a year older, I still celebrated with my family and friends and I didn't eat cake...imagine that .

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Veggies - A Cut Above

This is a variation on a simple way to serve veggies and dip for your next party.

I use a large oval, glass baking dish as my base container. This time I lined the bottom of the baking dish with a coordinating, colorful napkin. You could also leave the dish exposed and fill it with streamers, holiday ornaments, glitter, tissue paper...the options are endless.

Then I find glasses in a variety of heights and widths. I have bought a few individual glasses at the dollar store to supplement what I already have.

I like to cut the veggies long and ragged and have them be sort of organic in shape as opposed to symmetrical.

You can fill tall glasses with long carrots, celery and even bread sticks. Medium glasses are great for bell peppers sliced lengthwise and strips of jicama. Short glasses work well for shorter cut veggies and olives. Specialty glasses like Martini and Margarita are perfect for dips, sliced cucumbers and marinated items.

I think it makes a pretty presentation and I like how little of the landscape the whole collection takes up. When entertaining, sometimes space can be tight.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Inner Peace

Never continue in a job you don't enjoy.
If you're happy in what you're doing,

you'll like yourself,
you'll have inner peace.

And if you have that,
along with physical health,
you'll have more success than you could possibly have imagined.

- Roger Caras

Friday, March 12, 2010

If You Play, You Have to Pay

This is what happens when you get chili on your head by digging in the trash.

Live and learn.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Good Food Choices

I was out to lunch with my husband the other day and my addict brain just wanted something bad for me. Something I shouldn't eat because of my food allergies.

I wanted something creamy, cheesy, dairy...but thank God my sane section of brain (small as it is) actually did the ordering and I got this salad. No allergens.

Before it came, I was feeling sorry for myself but then it arrived and I tasted the was delicious!

I was grateful for a moment of sanity and the best part is, there was nothing in it to give me a physical reaction! woohoo!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Frost Your Cupcakes!

I learned this pun intended...a long time ago and it has been very useful.

If you don't have fancy frosting tools and tips or if you simply don't want to get them all out and have to clean them you can try this simple trick.

Take a sandwich size ziptop baggie and snip a tiny triangle off of one of the bottom corners. Be sure the bottom is flat and that it doesn't have a gusset. I have made that mistake before and ended up with two streams of frosting! aghh!

This part takes a little finesse...while loosely holding the cut bag end in one hand, with a spoon, neatly scoop a bunch of frosting into the baggie through the open end. Then seal the top and carefully twist the top section of the baggie to force the frosting down towards the cut tip.

That's it. Instant frosting tool.
Not fancy and a little more homemade looking but still tasty!

I think the frosting is the BEST part of the cupcake anyway.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Notice Purple

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere
and don't notice it.

- Alice Walker

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quest Gate Gods

I have written before about how much I love my son's school.

He is in a Montessori program and I am thrilled and amazed everyday by the beautiful, nurturing, integrative education he is receiving.

So they have this big study of China going on and as part of the study they celebrated the Chinese New Year. This is just one of the components of that celebration. The children created Gate Gods that keep the evil spirits away.

They were group projects and several children worked on each piece of artwork.

This was one in progress that my son was part of...I just thought they were so beautiful. They were colorful, filled with rich patterns and had lots of personality.

For their celebration, they also created paper lanterns, dragons and money bags.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

All Set to Party

Layers and levels...
That is what I think about when I set a buffet table for a party.

I love to mix fabrics, napkins and table cloths...patterns, colors, styles, textures.
I find that if I buy what I love...things that get me all works together.

I pull out sturdy storage items to use as risers under the boxes, books, upside down plastic bins, a computer box, etc...

This time I used a vintage platter to group small bowls of chili toppings.I also included a garden lantern with a flame-less candle...not so much for the light but more for the feeling it gave the whole look.
When setting up for your next party, look around your house and see what you might have that can create visual interest...levels, color, coordination...souvenirs, mementos, pictures, collections.
Candles and fresh flowers are always a nice addition to.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Faux Homes

We were in Boston's North End on Valentine's Day and this building made me do a double take.

The windows were boarded up and had photographs portraying lived in rooms pasted over them.

I thought it was so clever! They were really well done.

The streets are very narrow and due to the angle I had to take this picture from, it doesn't really do these deceptions justice.

The Windows were all the same but the interiors were different. Very creative and whimsical.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Snow Kitty

This made me I wanted to share it.

A student at my son's school snow sculpted this tiny cute!

I walked out of the front office and there it was, just sitting on the bench...whiskers and all.

It was about 8 inches long.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

- Reinhold Niebuhr

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Our "Thank You" Party

So many people helped us throughout this last year that Steve was in Afghanistan and we wanted to have a party to thank them all for their support.

When I was deciding on the decor, I thought it would be fun and interesting to use mementos and souvenirs he brought home with him. It gave the party an exotic feel and everyone got to see some treasures from another culture. I included scarves and textiles, layered with my table existing cloths as the foundation.

The party was a lot of fun and even included a surprise wedding vow renewal for us!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Furminator and an American Eskimo

I could knit a sweater out of what comes off of our Miniature American Eskimo when she is brushed!

I won't...but I could.

This breed does an amazing job of keeping themselves clean...a daily process like a cat...but then there is all that hair.

I liked the idea of the is a comb/brush kind of thing that makes all kinds of grooming promises. I saw it at the checkout counter of my local pet food store but I thought it was expensive and I already had a regular brush.

Don't know why but one day I decided to buy it.

Oh my goodness! It was like the hair jumped off of her before the brush/comb combination even got to it. When you are in the process, it almost looks like a waterfall of hair just flowing away from her body!

She has a thick undercoat and it totally tackled that.

You do have to be careful not to push too hard or scrape the skin as it is a bit sharp. Mounds and mounds of loose hair came off. I was covered in white...and of course I was wearing black.

I love it and so does she!

Monday, March 1, 2010

My 42nd Birthday

With all of my food allergies and personal food choices, it can be difficult for me to eat out.

For my birthday, however, we decided to take the whole brood to a Vegetarian Cafe that has many options for me and our youngest son.

The two older ones are open to eating healthy things we make at home but had never been to a full Veg place.

Surprisingly they loved their food. We ordered lots of different items and shared.

I had a wonderful Birthday surrounded by my family.

It just goes to show you, if you choose to make changes in your life, you can stick to what's important to you and still celebrate, travel, go to parties, have Birthdays, etc.... Everything is a choice. You have control over those choices you make. It is within your power.

Be good to yourself.

Looking forward to a good year.