Friday, April 30, 2010

S is for Superheroes

The wonderful art teacher at my son’s school recently did a great “Superhero” project with the Lower Elementary class (1st, 2nd and 3rd grades). I thought it had great meaning...

Check out this link to her blog.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

R is for Raw Ice Cream

After giving up conventional desserts about 7 years ago and then more recently putting down dairy products, I just figured my ice cream days were over.

Then I discovered raw ice cream! Yea!

By adding a few extra natural ingredients, you can turn almost any smoothie into creamy, delicious, decadent raw ice cream.

The best thing would be to google “raw ice cream recipes” for specifics…but most of them simply add coconut oil and young coconut meat to a fruit smoothie type thing.

Throw it all in the blender and blend till smooth. Then you chill it in a bowl in the fridge. Later you can add things like vegan chocolate chips, fruit or nuts.

An ice cream maker isn’t imperative but it does help with the consistency when freezing. I picked up an “out of the box” Cuisinart model for about $30 at a national bed and bath store. I just load the chilled mix into the frozen bowl, turn on and wait about 30 minutes.

Just think, in the time it takes to clean up the kitchen after dinner, you could have a custom blended, healthy raw treat that you feel good about putting in yourself and your family!

I store the bowl from the ice cream maker in the freezer
so that it alway ready to go!
If you put it in a plastic bag
it won't get frostbite.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Q is for Quest Montessori

Someone we know has always referred to it as “Having drank the coolaide”…

Quest Montessori has been a huge blessing in our lives. My son started Montessori in preschool and is now a 4th year…which is the equivalent of a fourth grader. The classrooms are multi-aged so they don’t go by the traditional school grades.

Through these last 6 years, I have witnessed the infusion of character, compassion, strength, personal responsibility and self awareness the Montessori method has given Logan. This, mixed with a support for curiosity, exploration and an eagerness to learn, creates a beautiful, well rounded human being.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

P is for Pigs

My son loves pigs and it all started from a series of nicknames his best friends at school gave him…
follow this…

His name is Logan

Which they stretched into Lo-guinea-an

Which then got shortened into just guinea
(we are Italian so I was a bit alarmed about this one until I learned the origin)

Then it went to guinea pig

Then just to pig

So there you have it.
Now all of his closest friends just call him pig and he loves it.
And he loves pigs.

Monday, April 26, 2010

O is for Organization

I don’t think I would ever be described as organized…not by anyone that really knows me.

I like the thought of organization…I even feel better in an organized environment, but it seems to elude me.

Over the past several years I have begun a process of simplifying which does help me stay a bit more organized but I still want more.

Sometimes I see pictures of those homes where they have like one table…with one item on it…and everything is sleek and clean and maybe even all white…and I think “ I want that”…. then I look around my house and realize how far away I am.

So, for now, things are the way they are…and the way they are supposed to be, I guess.

When the time is right, if the time is right, things will change. Until then, this is where I am supposed to be.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

N is for Nilak

The many faces of our “Eskie”

Saturday, April 24, 2010

M is for Maria Montessori

“An educational method that shall have liberty as its basis must intervene to help the child to a conquest of liberty.

That is to say, his training must be such as shall help him to diminish as much as possible the social bonds which limit his activity.”

- Maria Montessori

Friday, April 23, 2010

L is for LOVE


Thursday, April 22, 2010

K is for Kayak

My son’s school is building a beautiful wood plank, two person kayak to be raffled off as a fundraiser for their new school.

It has been an amazing project, lead by one of our parents.

It was done on a “drop in” basis where kids could stay after school and lend a hand. They got to use power tools and help with sanding and cutting.

It is a wonderful work of art that they will all sign before the final sealer.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

J is for Jamie

Jaime is the best sister-in-law anyone could ask for! She has become the home away from home for our American Eskimo - Nilak.

It is such a gift that we can have the freedom to visit my parents and not have to worry about our family pet. The great thing is that they have a Cairn Terrier named Ozzie and the two dogs LOVE each other!

Ozzie gets tons of exercise and Nilak doesn’t have to be in a kennel…win/win.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I is for IPOD

Christmas 2008, my husband surprised me with an IPOD Touch. It wasn’t anything I asked for…I didn’t even know what it was…but nevertheless a thoughtful gift.

Four weeks later he was leaving to begin his year in Afghanistan and I decided that it would be better served by him having it while he was gone…so I kind of gave it back to him (in a nice way).

He took it and used it every day…sometimes it was the only way we could keep in touch and communicate.

Then last November a package came in the mail. I opened it and it was from the

Apple Store. A shiny, new IPOD Touch…with an inscription on the back from a song that has meaning to us…”Lucky I’m in love with my best friend.”

I am just beginning to learn all that it can do…it is actually pretty cool. My son loves to play games on it and I enjoy having a digital photo album with me wherever I go.

Monday, April 19, 2010

H is for Hair

My daughter was recently in a high school production of one of my favorite musicals…HAIR.

It was fabulous. The sets and costumes were perfect...fluid, natural, colorful.
I felt that the production and staging were very professional.

It made me want to go home and drape some tie-dyed fabric somewhere!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

G is for Grandparents

We recently visited my parents in California and I feel so grateful that my children have them in their lives.

With the exception of one, all of my Grandparents died before I was born. My one Grandma did live to meet me but I was under 2 when she passed away.

I never had the joy of that kind of relationship. I see it with my children though. My parents are fantastic Grandparents. They shower love and affection.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

F is for First Dance

How fun it was to help set up for my son’s first “All School Dance”.

Crape paper streamers, colorful balloons, lemonade, music…they all had a BLAST!

Friday, April 16, 2010

E is for Example

One of my favorite quotes is

“The life you live, is the lesson you teach”.

I have come to use that as my mantra. The example I want to set for my children is all about taking care of yourself, being good to others and giving back.

We try and live that to the best of our ability.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

D is for Dips

I love dip…in fact, my whole family loves dip. All dips…sweet, savory, spicy.

We just love to dip.

On our recent trip we decided to make and bring a favorite dip to enjoy on the plane. Since finding out about my food allergies over a year ago, I have had to give up most dairy…which was not easy for me. I have always been a cheese lover…to the point of addictive and unhealthy. So it doesn’t really surprise me that I developed a sensitivity to it.

Anyway, not long ago, I found a recipe (actually two) for vegan nacho cheese dips. I tried both and was thrilled. They are similar but with one being mild and one having more kick.

My whole family eats them now. We pour them on tacos, we spread them on

sandwiches and of course, we dip!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

C is for Clouds

These were some that my son noticed out the airplane window on our recent trip.
I love that he appreciates nature’s beauty.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

B is for Baking for our Trip

We recently traveled to visit my parents in California. It’s a long day of flying from Rhode Island. Because of personal food choices and food allergies, there is rarely anything my son and I can eat in airports or on the plane. This trip I decided to plan ahead and do a little baking so that we would be able to have yummy treats that were safe for us to eat.

We made a vegan and wheat free carrot cake (from a mix) and some homemade vegan frosting. I cut the frosted cake into individual slices and wrapped them in plastic. We refrigerated them overnight and put them in a little soft cooler the day of the trip.

How wonderful it was…mid flight…to open and enjoy fresh, healthy, delicious food that we made.

I don’t know why I never did this before. It seems so obvious and simple. We also brought some homemade, vegan cheddar cheese spread with our favorite chips.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A is for Assassin’s Creed

For those of not familiar with this…it is a popular video game.

Now, I am not a huge fan of video games…in fact I often complain about them being played too
much in my house…but the other day, my husband was playing this one called
Assassin’s Creed and I was really intrigued by the graphics.

His character was roaming through Italy…Florence, I think…and the detail of the
architecture and landscapes was amazing. As he moved the character you could see
all sides of the buildings…he could go inside and on top too.

It was actually kind of fun to watch him play, although I was reluctant to share
that information for fear he would have license to play more!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

From A to Z by Me

Recently, I was looking for a fun challenge for myself regarding my daily blog posts. I wanted some kind of "short run" theme like I have seen other bloggers do.

After thinking about it for a little while I decided to focus on letters of the alphabet.

I made a list of topics and ideas for each corresponding letter, so here goes...
check back tomorrow for the first in the series

From A to me

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pretty Things

As I get older I am realizing how important it is for me to surround myself with things I like to look at.
Even simple my carry-on bag for trips. The colorful dots are cheery and make me feel good.

Things don't have to be expensive...they just have to be right for you!

Friday, April 9, 2010


Love is a friendship set to music.

E. Joseph Cossman

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yearbook Time!

A personal expression of my beautiful child. It was time for the students to design their individual yearbook pages and this is Logan's creation.

He gives me ideas of what he wants...then I help him get all the components....then he assembles it as he sees fit.

I love it. It shows where he is right now. What is important to him...what he finds enjoyable.

It is really fun to look back at previous years and see the growth and progression!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Yellow Tomatoes

...mmmm...yummy and so pretty!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vegan Caesar...Enjoy!

We were at a veg cafe while visiting my parents a couple of weeks ago and they had this recipe in their newsletter menu. We tried it the other night and LOVED it!!

Thought I would pass it along.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Functional Beauty

We stumbled on this contemporary wire trellis, attached to a wall...waiting for the bougainvillea vines to wind their way up.

I thought it looked really cool on it's a garden sculpture.
Got me thinking about where I could do something like this in our own garden.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

...and Happy Spring!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Picture It

Taking pictures is a wonderful creative outlet for me. I enjoy all aspects of it - finding something that I like, selecting an interesting angle, figuring out the right setting and even the cropping and editing on my computer.

For me, it's kind of like painting without paint.

Composition, balance, color, light...
so much fun!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Eats - Palm Greens Cafe

A great find on our recent trip to visit my parents.

When we travel, I always google the area for new healthy restaurants and cafes...places we can eat with our personal food choices and multiple food allergies.

I have spent many, many years in Palm Desert and Palm Springs but this was a new find for me.

Lunch at The Palm Greens Cafe was such a treat that we went back two days later for dinner!

There were many organic/vegan/vegetarian/gluten and dairy free options...from stir-frys to wraps to blueberry pancakes. I was even able to have have pizza! The best part was an amazing vegan ranch dressing that would fool anyone.

If you are ever in the area...I highly recommend it. It is a small unassuming place and the food was really good.

Palm Greens Cafe
A Natural Alternative
611 South Palm Canyon Drive, #6
Palm Springs, California

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hot Glue Lamp Trick

I wanted to pass along a really simple tip that can be used to transform an outdated home accessory or piece of furniture.

This is one of a pair of ginger jar lamps that needed a little update.

They started out white with a smooth black harlequin pattern and I refinished them so that they would look like antique silver with a decorative, raised scroll pattern.

I had this idea but wasn't sure if it would work. I used a hot glue gun and free handed the scroll pattern. It didn't matter if it was a bit messy because I wanted an old look anyway. Once the glue dried I coated the entire lamp with a primer that I tinted gray.

I used a bonding primer so that it would adhere to the smooth jars. Then I painted them with a metallic silver paint and washed some black paint into the crevices to age them.

These are in a low traffic area but if they were going to get more wear I would have finished with a water based polyurethane for added protection.

I use water based paints and work in layers...being careful not to wipe of the previous layer.
If you didn't want to freehand you could actually draw a pattern before applying the glue because you are going to paint over the whole thing anyway.

I think this would work well on a piece of accent furniture too...maybe painted like a wood pattern over the top?