Archive for the ‘Things I love’ Category

Finally- Apple Event

September 1st, 2017

If you know me in my every day life-   then you know that I’ve forgone renewing my cell phone contract because I’ve been waiting for the September Apple event.    FINALLY, it has officially been announced for September 12th, where we can (hopefully) expect three new phones, one of which being the iPhone 8.    I can’t wait.

An iPhone was my first smart phone and while my other half prefers an Android phone-  I do not.    I always do all of his tech work, plus I’m also my parents tech person, so I was thrilled when they decided to go iPhone and I  have been waiting for this event.

I went back and forth on whether to grab the iPhone 7 Plus when my contract expired, because I really wanted it for my London birthday trip, but in the end-  I decided to opt with keeping the 6 that I have and waiting, albeit no so patiently.

I’ve read the rumor pages and I’m curious.    Which one will I end up with?  That remains to be seen, but to say I’m excited is the understatement of the year.    Yes-  I know-  I’m a tech geek- and guess what?  I love it!

Home Improvements and Other Rambles

June 27th, 2017

Hi y’all- Long time no talk. Despite my absence here on this little space, I’ve been thinking of it- That counts right? I thought so. Life has been rolling along full speed ahead and while I would love to say that I have a perfect life balance for blogging, home and social life- I would be lying if I said I did.

Lately we’ve been all about home improvements, finally getting the living room completed and working on the guest room since we’re having my best friend since my teenage years visiting soon. To say I’m excited is probably the understatement of the year. I’ve been drooling over antique bedroom furniture from Laurel Crown & finally made a few purchases here and there. Now to finish pulling the room together. I have a week to do so. That’s plenty of time, right? Nothing like a ticking clock to shift things into high gear.

In the Midst of Home Improvements

December 28th, 2016

Marcel and I spent a ‘bit’ of time doing home improvements this year. Truth is- we didn’t get nearly everything done and over the past few days we’ve been making plans as to what we want to do for next year. More painting, plus I still have art work to be framed. New window treatments – all things that are on the list to be done, plus a few industrial lighting fixtures from warehouselighting.com. Marcel loves the industrial look and even though I don’t want to totally go to that look, I do think a little lighting would be perfect with what we have planned.

Now to get that ‘to do’ list done. 2017 is going to be the year of the lists- There will be lists for everything that needs to be done. What about you? Do lists help you get things done?

…Another Sunday, Another Fall Dinner Al Fresco

October 23rd, 2016

I was reading last weeks post and realized that I had dinner outside last Sunday.   I had forgotten about doing that, and wouldn’t you know-  today is another gorgeous day, with another dinner outside.    The temperatures  have dropped a little since then, but it didn’t matter, because I took a huge bowl of Kale, Lentil and Sausage soup outside and ate while watching the sun set.

I don’t know how to describe how I feel this time of the year-   but it’s pure bliss.    Ironically, magical things have been happening, which has added to the joy of the season.

I spent the afternoon in the kitchen, whipping up some cookie dough for a cookie order I have this week.   Since Royal icing cookies are a little bit of a process, plus I like the flavor of cookie dough after it has a chance to marry the flavors, I’ll bake them tomorrow, then decorate them on Tuesday. I am looking forward to it.

I also made two batches of the famed Southern Charm Cupcakes Fleur de Sel Caramels, that will be sent to some great people later in the week.

What about you?  How are you kicking off your week?

Simple Beauty

July 20th, 2016

IMG_6792 (1)One of the things on my ’49 Things to do in My 49th Year’ list was to plan monthly ‘themed’ photo excursions. I’ve had a love for photography long before the digital days & thought it would be a fun way to tap into learning some new techniques, but also inspire me to spend more time with my camera, be it my phone camera (which I tend to carry everywhere) or my faithful Nikon.

My first themed photo adventure was somewhat spontaneous and I didn’t think of grabbing my Nikon before we left. Luckily, I do always have my iPhone with me, plus I have a love for Macro shots and nature- so the historical garden we visited provided the perfect setting.

The thing that challenges me about using my phone when I’m out shooting on a sunny day is that for the most part- I’m not sure how my photos are going to turn out.   I find the subject matter that I like, focus in on it- and take multiple shots hoping that at least one turns out ‘ok’.   Sometimes they all turn out, sometimes none of them turn out, but most often there is at least one that is usable.

With this particular image, I took three shots with my iPhone.  It was windy, so despite feeling there was no way I was going to get a clear shot (despite snapping between wind gusts), I took the shots anyway knowing I could delete what didn’t work.

When I got home and was looking through everything-  I loved how this one ended up being framed, plus the bonus of the bug in the flowers, something I hadn’t noticed on location.  That was the bonus.

I had a good time and already looking forward to the next themed outing-  but I still have a few weeks left on this months theme, so I’ll keep focusing in on those.

What simple beauty brings you joy?

Finding Pokemon

July 18th, 2016

To know me is to know that when new ‘tech’ things hit the market that get a lot of buzz- then my curiosity get the better of me and I want to know what the buzz is all about. Such was the case when the Pokemon Go app hit the market and the world erupted in more movement and gathering in spots to catch critters on the ‘Poke trail’.

Now, some of you are familiar with the original Pokemon. I am not one of those people. I don’t live under a rock, so I had heard of it ‘back in the day’, but it wasn’t something that interested me. Still, I couldn’t help but download this Pokemon Go app to see what all the hype was about.

I didn’t read tutorials, I didn’t read ‘about’ the game, so I really had no clue what the objective was, although because I’m somewhat tech savvy- I did figure out quickly that you wander around- and Pokemons appear and you capture then by tossing balls at them- It’s silly, but it has a charm about it. Good, innocent fun- as far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong there.

I’ve seen A LOT of people talking about how ridiculous they think it is that when there are so many serious issues happening globally that Pokemon would get all this attention that people could be focusing on other more serious issues.

My thoughts on that- I think the world needs to stop being so focused on what’s wrong- and take some time to chill- and have a little fun. Everyone has an opinion about what everyone is doing wrong these days- but no one seems to be focused on what anyone is doing right- THAT makes me sad.

When I see people playing Pokemon- I see smiles and laughter. I ran into two strangers the other day- They were 30 somethings and I’m clearly a late 40 something- and when they saw that my phone screen was opened to Pokemon- they immediately started talking to me- laughing and sharing about their game experience.

I had the same with my neighbor- whom I adore anyway, but I ran into her on the street and I had my game open- to see what was in the area- and Marcel said- Oh No- she’s doing Pokemon too! We laughed, chatted about the game and she said where she used to take her dog on 15 minute walks- she’s now taking him on 30+ minute walks- simply because she wants to see what kind of Pokemons she can find.

I’ve seen parents with their children out searching- It’s bringing people together, it”s positive and it is encouraging people to move more.

In my book- bring on more Pokemon!

Oops speaking of which- I just spotted one of those worm ones on Mister M. Gotta catch em all! Later!

Nordic Ware- How I Love Thee

March 29th, 2016

If you know me- then you know that baking is like second nature to me.    Flavor combinations, getting creative in the kitchen is something that I’ve always loved – from the time that mom let me do my thing in the kitchen.       I like to create and the kitchen is one of those spaces where I can do just that-   if it sounds good- I will try it, even if others may look at me as though I’ve lost my marbles- (which happens probably more than people realize, or if you know me in my everyday life- then you can probably ‘get it’).    I like to do things my style even if it means that it doesn’t follow the norm, but I digress- well, sort of.

Nordic Ware is one of my favorite brands for pans.  (No they didn’t pay me to say that- it’s the facts.)   Aside from the fact that they are made in the good ole  U S of A, their quality is second to none.    Le Creuset is another one of my favorites, but right now we’re talking Nordic Ware.

Most of you know, and some of you may not, that my business is also making life a little sweeter for others.   I have a small baking company, which feeds my passion to learn, to be challenged, to create, and to bring joy to others.    All things that are important to me.  Despite my love of pans and gorgeous cookware, I try to not be an impulse shopper when it comes to products, including baking tools, pans and the like.   What I do- is I make a list of things that I really want and I let it sit and percolate if you will.      Over time, I’ll realize that some things really were impulses and I scratch them off the list, while others linger.

The Nordic Ware Heritage pans were amongst the items that lingered, in this case for more than a year.     Last week, I decided to take the plunge and order the Heritage bunt pan, leaving the Heritage bundtlet pan behind.    Two days later, I caved and ordered those too.    I couldn’t help myself.    It’s been on the list for more than a year.   Some things you know you are meant to have.

The Heritage bundt pan arrived today and I will admit I felt joyous opening the box.   After I ooohed and ahhed over the pan, I immediately started thinking about cakes I wanted to bake and who I wanted to bake them for.    Plus how gorgeous and impressive they would be for my customers.

A new pan is a great muse for inspiration, especially when it’s Nordic Ware.     As far as that first cake— I’m still deciding, but a lemon-ginger-cardamon flavor combination is swimming in my head.      The big decision now is –   do I experiment now, or do I wait until my Whole 30 is complete, so I can enjoy the fruits of my labor?   Decisions, decisions!    Thank you Nordic Ware for making an amazing product.

Oh- and just as the Heritage fell of my ‘list’, now the new crown pan has made it to the list.   It is even more impressive than the Heritage-   What’s a girl to do?

Travel Time

March 24th, 2016

Today I went out on the quest for a new carry-on.    Mine bit the dust the last time it was used.  My mother-in-law borrowed it when she went to Rome, and when she returned, the handle for the trolley part no longer worked.    I had owned it for many years, and it has served me well.    A gift from my parents.    Now it’s time for something new, out of necessity.

My search today turned up a big zilch.   I want something that I know will last for a long time, so I’m considering Samsonite.   Marcel’s current carry-on is Samsonite and it’s served us very well.  It needs to be soft-sided and also needs to fit within regulations for carry-on baggage.   I would love it to be colored so it will be easy to recognize in the sea of black carry-ons, but that I can do without.   The important thing is finding something that I’m satisfied with, before our trip.

The countdown has officially begun, and I am so excited.   First, a carry-on, or packing could prove difficult.

Signs of Spring

March 19th, 2016

Since I was feeling so energized today- I wanted to cash in on that and take some time to get out and enjoy some walking.   I know ‘not’ exercising has only fed into me perpetuating no energy, but it was bad enough that I really couldn’t seem to push through and force myself, so I didn’t beat myself up, rather showed myself compassion and love- allowing me to give my body what it needed right then.

Now it seems to be business as usual and that makes me HAPPY!   IMG_1037It was a grey and cold day, but yet it felt so good to be out and about.    JJ even seems happier now that the daylight hours are longer.   I loved walking along and seeing signs of spring everywhere I looked.

I spotted these little flowers growing in a huge cluster in the middle of a wooded area, so I trekked off the beaten path and grabbed a few snaps of them.   Granted, they aren’t the best photos I’ve ever taken, but seeing nature come to life again brings me a lot of joy, which makes it all worth it in my eyes.

IMG_1038Seeing everything come to life again after Winter reminds me to pause and be even more observant of my surroundings, to see what gifts nature is giving us all to be discovered.     It will happen whether I (or you) notice, but it never ceases to amaze me the tiny gifts that surround us each and every day.

What have you taken the time to notice today?  If you can’t think of anything, it’s not too late to take a moment to pause for a moment, focus on the sounds around you, and really look.    What do you see?   I’m certain there’s a gift from nature waiting to be discovered.

Wisdom according to Yogi Tea

March 18th, 2016

This afternoon, while having some lounge time and a cup of chai tea- I read the ‘words of wisdom’ that Yogi tea has on their tea tags.   IMG_0988They are always a huge source of inspiration for me, and I’d recently thought that they needed some new wisdom, as I’d read all the ones that could be found in the chai I drink daily.    I couldn’t help but smile as I read the words: Our head bows and our heart is filled with love and joy.

I love those words.   I find so much comfort and truth in them.

Pressing pause, and taking some time out for ourselves is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves.   One thing I know for certain is that when I am feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, etc.   that taking a moment to pause-  (or sometimes more than a moment)- to let go of all the buzz around me and spend time in thoughts and prayer-   peace, love and joy rise in abundance.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend, spending time doing what YOU love and enjoy!

As for me-  weather permitting, I may take a cup of Yogi tea or a cup of coffee and start a painting project that I’ve got in the works.  I’m itching to get started.

Plus I’m on a scout for fruits, veggies, nuts, olives and avocados at the weekend Farmer’s Market.

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