Archive for the ‘creativity’ Category

Spring Cometh and Daylight Savings Time

March 9th, 2017

I am sure I’m not the only one who feels solar powered at times.   This morning I woke up to fog, but within a few hours it had burned off and it was an absolutely gorgeous Spring day.   It was a little windy- and for some probably a little too chilly, but for me-   perfect!   I felt as though I was plugged into the sun and my batteries were charging away.

Even JJ was feeling the energy from the sun as he was definitely showing a case of Spring fever.   SO much so that it was difficult for me to get him to sit still long enough to pose for a photo in the crocus- but he did- and I was a happy pup owner.

This coming Sunday-   the clocks in the United States spring forward one hour.   Giving an extra hour of daylight.   Don’t forget to set your clock forward an hour late Saturday night before bed, so you won’t be late to any Sunday appointments, or even work on Monday- if you happen to forget to spring forward all together.

Christmas- Southern Living Style

December 15th, 2016

It has been a hustle and bustle kind of week.    I’d love to say that I’ve got everything together- have the tree up and it’s looking festive in here, but I’d be lying.    We have the tree, but it’s yet to be brought in and decorated.    We DO have the lights and decorations out-    so that’s a step in the right direction, but I’ve been swamped with work this week.   I’m grateful- oh so grateful, but I’ve been baking my  heart out-  with more in the works.

img_2300Thankfully, I’m a little ahead of schedule after running behind schedule earlier in the week, so that is a huge plus!  Tonight I took some time and finally cracked open my Christmas with Southern Living book that I’d ordered but not taken the time to look at yet.

I’ve also been itching for the Bake from Scratch holiday issue, so was able to browse it a little as well.  Both are favorites, but I’m one of those people who will leave a cookbook sitting for months if I can’t stop and fully savor each and every page.

I know it may sound silly, but it’s true.  There’s something almost ritualistic about it.   Pure enjoyment and focused on the season at hand.

I’ve seen several recipes that I want to make for our own holiday table, including my grandmas praline recipe that I improved a couple of years ago, plus divinity.    My dearest great aunt sent me a gallon of pecans that she’s picked up from her orchard and shelled.     It was an amazing gift, and something that makes me want to create something special with the fresh pecans that I know were sent with much love.

I want whatever I make with some of them to be made with love and deliberation, but also something that the flavor of the pecans will shine through.

What would you suggest?   I’ll be sure to share what I decide to make, but as for now- I’ve got some relaxing to do as tomorrow a villiage of gingerbread men await my services.

The Missing Pieces

November 21st, 2016

As a storm rages outside-   minimal hurricane force winds, rain and the occasional hail –  I’m tucked away comfortably behind the laptop, a very content Mister Mistoffelees beside me.    For quite some time now, I’ve had this ebb and flow of feeling discombobulated.   I ‘feel’ good-  but I seem to have this consistent inability to land on any one thought for a very long period of time, before my head races off to something else.

Something has been not exactly right- but I haven’t been able to piece together what is keeping my thought process so busy.    I don’t watch the news, haven’t for years.  I am not using Facebook at the moment outside of my business page, but what could it be?

I have daily contact with my parents, regular contact with most of my favorite people-   yet, while I feel content in many areas of my life-  I still feel as though my head is a constant spinning of thoughts and ideas that never seem to come to a standstill.

Then, a few days ago it hit me.  A dear friend mentioned a few struggles she was having, and another friend suggested she ‘write it out’.   I immediately chimed in at how helpful it is for me-   and how ‘writing it out’ had helped me through numerous obstacles in life.  I even suggested she check out 750 words if she wanted to have a purging of emotions without anyone reading it outside of her.      That had been particularly helpful to me years ago when I went through a very difficult struggle dealing with the expectations of a few others.

It didn’t hit me at that moment, but as I was having a cup of tea yesterday-   I realized the one thing that I wasn’t doing now that I’d done for as long a I could remember-   I’d stopped writing.

I have always loved writing for as long as I can remember.    Long before computer days,  I would write my deepest thoughts in my diary.  Long before all the constant distractions of the digital world.   Before blogs were a ‘thing’-  I had a blog.    It was back in 2003-2004 when it first came to be.   It was a wonderful outlet to share about my life, and at the same time-   connect with others who were also doing the same thing.     In that time- some of us formed friendships that I still have to this day.

The missing pieces- have been that I’m not ‘writing it out’.     The good-  The bad- the ugly- the beautiful.    Foodie ideas, photography ideas, life ideas-   how to be a better me ideas-   and the list goes on.     SO much has been spinning in my head-   bouncing from one list to another- as one gets checked off- always five more things waiting to jump on a list.

The missing pieces–  writing it out..      As Glenda the Good Witch once said to Dorothy-   You’ve had the power all along ..  and so have I.

I am excited to see where this new realization takes me.  My head feels lighter already!

When Summer Gives Way to Fall

September 21st, 2016

Life continues forward at quite a busy pace (as I know it is for all of us).   We finished Whole 30 and that evening I went out and got some amazing sushi take out.    I rarely eat rice, in fact- sushi is my exception, or unless I’m at someone else’s home and they make rice.   I don’t even keep rice in the house- Quinoa yes, rice, nope.

We had some REALLY warm temperatures for our area last week to the point of I was watching the weather like a hawk, counting down until the daytime highs were around 70.    I was over the moon when that day finally arrived and I’ve been enjoying them ever since.img_9348   I guess it’s ‘safe’ to say that we are kissing summer goodbye for 2016 and on the threshold of leaping into Fall.

Since some of the summer fruits are still amazing-  I made myself a bowl of Greek yogurt this morning with fresh fruit.  As you can see, I’m still playing with my food, but I believe starting the day with happy colors sets the tone for the entire day.    I couldn’t eat this without smiling, so it definitely did it’s job, in addition to nourishing my body.   Add a fresh cup of coffee and it was pure bliss.

It was also very simple to make-    Greek yogurt- strawberry puree that I made from fresh strawberries an did a reduction on the stoves, blueberries, mango and a little Kashi granola.    It was done and ready to eat in less than five minutes and that includes the peeling of the mango.

As the last of the summer fruit makes its way out to give way to Fall, I find myself thinking more and more about steel cut oats and other delicious Fall eats-    What about you?  What is your favorite Fall breakfast?

 

Happy “Almost” Weekend

July 14th, 2016

Birthday month continues to bring new days and new adventures. I had an amazing birthday with my favorite guy and the company of a few friends. Granted, the month isn’t over yet, and things continue to blossom.

I feel a good energized buzz from things happening around me, and today came up with a business idea that I can not wait to continue planning and see where it leads. I am excited!

Tomorrow night I’ll be kicking off the weekend at the beach with dinner and a great friend. In my book it doesn’t get better than dinner, beach, and good company. Celebration month rolls on! Saturday will bring a day out and about with my favorite guy- and hopefully some planning on some home projects we have going on.

What about you- How is your weekend shaping up?

I also created a list for 49 things I plan to do in my 49th year- If you are interested- check it out on Bliss to the Nth Degree.

Happy ‘almost’ weekend!

Celebrations

June 29th, 2016

This past week was somewhat of a blur.   I spent it doing all the pre-measuring of the dry ingredients for the what ended up being around 200 IMG_5848cupcakes & a small cake for two separate events.

Both were celebrations-  one a wedding.   A couple starting their lives together, a new chapter in their life journey.  The other, celebrating 25 years of life, love and friendship together.     I was deeply honored to be able to play a small part in their special day.

The joy and smiles on their faces is why I do what I do.

This week, I decided to take a week to ‘rest’, but as it is, I haven’t done much of that.  There was so much that needed to be done that hadn’t been attended to since we returned from vacation, that I’ve spent most of my days and some evenings doing that.

Two days of gardening and planting flowers and herbs, but we’ve created yet another beautiful space to relax and enjoy!     This weekend will bring a visit from a friend, plus more baking & hopefully some great weather to enjoy along the way.

This afternoon, I’m working on some household organizing.   I’m parting with things that no longer bring me joy, or serve no real purpose & working on a better organization style with my business supplies.  I can’t wait to see it all done.  It’s going to be great!

What does your week look like so far?  Whatever it is- I hope you are filled with joy.

One Step Closer

March 2nd, 2016

For quite some time now (more than I care to admit, actually),  we’ve been ‘talking’ about doing some home improvements.    We bought this place 11 years ago, and it was a complete mess.   We pretty  much gutted it and proceeded to redo everything.   It was a huge project & admittedly at some point into the five week mark, we got tired of dealing with things and finished somewhat haphazardly on a few things.

Fast-forward to two years ago when we started the talks on finally investing some time and money into getting some new household projects started.   New paint on the walls, new doors, new paint on all the trim.  One week led into another, into another and the next thing you know we were tapping at the heels of 2016.

IMG_0573I finally sat down with Marcel and gave him the gentle nudge he needed, and we decided that this would be the year.    As I may have mentioned before, we have been making progress.   We actually had someone come in and do the painting in the living room, but Marcel felt compelled to do the rest of the walls himself & and I was all for that.    Since then he’s completed both hallways and I’m happy to say they look great.

I’ll admit, once I had everything off the walls in the living room, I decided it was time for something else.  I wasn’t sure what that something was.   Rather than force myself to decide what I wanted, I decided to give myself to let it sink in for a while, with the belief that the inspiration would come.

Several days later it did, when I remembered that I had a wooden window frame with glass intact in our shed.   A friend had it in her home, a score from places unknown, but I loved it.   When she and her family decided to move, she offered it to me.   I didn’t have to think about it, I knew I wanted it and said an immediate YES!   Since then, it’s been in the shed.     I couldn’t figure out where I wanted to hang it or how I wanted it to be displayed, so again-  I left it to sit and wait until the inspiration struck.

Well it finally did-  and I decided to use the window for the wall behind the sofa-   I also have a large shelf (also tucked away in the shed, and awaiting inspiration), that I will hang right below it.     I wanted something with a pop of color, but what color?    I did some browsing the Annie Sloan chalk paint colors and finally decided on the Burgundy.  Originally I thought ‘nah’ with that color, but after looking at finished projects done using that particular chalk paint color and seeing that it was more of a ‘cranberry’ color than an actual burgundy, I took the plunge and ordered it.

Today, the mail came and brought with him a delivery of the Annie Sloan Cranberry chalk paint.   I can’t tell you how excited I was opening the box and knowing that it would be the beginning of something beautiful (at least that’s how I am envisioning it).    I can’t wait to get started, as this is my project to work on.     I’ll definitely be showing a before and after.     I didn’t order it today, but already have on hand the Annie Sloan light and dark wax.   I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to use the dark wax on this piece, I’ll wait and see how the inspiration flows and if I feel it needs it when the time comes.

I’ll be so happy not to have ‘naked’ walls.

 

On the Eve of the New Year

December 31st, 2015

On the heels of the new year- I find myself thinking and reflecting on the year that has passed.     It has been one of loss and heartache for people I love dearly, but through it all love has prevailed-  family and friendship above all-    Resilience and the beauty of the human spirit shines through.

It has also been one of many wonderful adventures-  with family and friends.   The trip to Italy with my parents and Marcel- one of the high points-  Experiencing Lake Como, the people, the culture and everything in between was pure bliss-    To be able to share that with three of the people I love most in the world leaves me so grateful.

Yesterday I finished Brene Brown’s book-  Rising Strong.   I read it in two days, and it came at the perfect time.   Ironically, I had started it during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, read the first chapter, and while I loved it-  knew that I was too distracted with ‘life’ to fully take the time to soak it in.    My intent was to grab a chapter here and there as time allowed, but what actually happened was much better.    I put the book on the coffee table and there it sat until Christmas had passed and all of my orders and work had been completed for the year.   One afternoon this week I took advantage of the sunshine and mild temps, made myself a cup of Chai tea and spent most of the afternoon reading.    I read half of the book in one afternoon, and yesterday I finished the other half.

I read every page- no, more accurately I soaked up each and every page as though I were a sponge soaking up spilled liquid.  I used my pen to highlight passages that really spoke to me (and there were many)!

It’s a rare day that I order a physical book these days,  choosing to save space and trees by ordering most everything for the Kindle.   This book was an exception, as I wanted to be able to pick it up and reference my favorite parts- and the notes I wrote within the margins.        This book was HUGE for me in terms of putting into perspective what I’d already been learning over the course of the year-   and I’m grateful.

Saturday, I’ll be spending the day in a city I’ve never explored with a few dear friends.   I’m looking forward to the time with them, plus seeing and experiencing something new.

I should arrive home to a couple of things (outside of the fur babies, JJ and Mister M- and Marcel)   1- Elizabeth  Gilberts new book Big Magic (which will be my next read)   2-  The card I sent myself with a list of the 25 things I want more of in my life for the new year.   I write them down, but I love mail- and I loved the idea of receiving that gift- and being able to put it away- and at the end of the year pull it out and review it!

Time to enjoy some time with my favorite guy- but I leave you with these last words for 2015:

 

Do more than belong: participate. – Do more than care: help.
Do more than believe: practice. – Do more than be fair: be kind.
Do more than forgive: forget. – Do more than dream: work.
~William Arthur Ward

 

 

Coloring for Grown-Ups

September 14th, 2015

coloringYesterday-  when I ‘should’ have been working on checking things off my ‘to do’ list-  I decided to take a little break and do some coloring.

Adult coloring books are all the rage right now, and are cited for how they can bring total relaxation and can be really good for stress.    Even though I wasn’t feeling stressed, I was definitely having the urge to tune in to the colors and unplug from everything else.

I love that these coloring books happen to be coloring cards-  so that when I’m done coloring it-  I can write a note on the back-  add an address and send to someone in hopes of brightening their day.

Have you tried coloring, and if so, does it relax you?

Happy Birthday to ME!

July 14th, 2015

birthdayMost of you know- I celebrate my birthday the entire month of July.  After all,  why should I choose one day to celebrate the day of my birth, when the entire month seems like so much more fun?

This year-  I made my own birthday cake.  I tried out a new technique (painting on buttercream)- and I shared the results with some of my friends and family.

One of my girlfriends spent the night with me on the eve of my birthday- and guess what I had for breakfast on my birthday morning?  YES- you guessed it!  This slice of cake-  with a cup of coffee in an adorable Blonde Amsterdam mug that another friend had given me as a gift.

The month thus far as been magical on so many levels, but mostly because of the people I surround myself with.   They are absolutely amazing, and I am very grateful.

I’m at a threshold in my life, and one that is about to catapult me into orbit of blessings and great things.  I can feel it-  and I am filled with gratitude for everything that I’m going to receive, and for everyone who is coming into my life.

I have so much I want to share about this new chapter in my life, but right now I’ve got a few other things I must get accomplished first. After all- it’s still July and there’s much celebrating to be done.

 

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