Thursday, November 10, 2011

"In the Quiet"

Lately, honestly, I have found I haven't had much to say..but a great deal of thinking has been going on in this little (well not little, but you know what I mean) brain of mine..
Situations have presented themselves that have caused me to be quiet, to be still, to seek out the solace of my God and his words...
Learning from the lessons presented everyday..
Being purposeful in my words, my movements..

Then this morning I read a poignant blog post from the most beautiful Christy Tomlinson
entitled "Beautiful Heartbreaks"..
within her writing I was inspired, brought back to center, you know what I mean..
She finished her post with the beautiful video below and the words came...

Blessings and lessons to all..

"Beautiful Heartbreak-Hilary Weeks"

Friday, November 4, 2011

**A Few Little Goodies I spotted and Love"

Have been admittedly rather absent from my blog of late,
mainly because my Mr has had weddings the last couple of weekends and has been crazy busy on the post editing..
Beings we just share our one computer, it makes it a tad difficult to get a moment for posting when there are deadlines to be met on the photography front..
So I awoke early this morning to carve out a bit of time for a little "Fav Love" this morning...

Here we go!!

I am currently in the midst of crocheting an afghan and loving, loving, loving every minute of it..
But once I have completed this one, I do believe I will move on to this!!

I think it is just beautiful and I even love this mixture of colors..reminds me of a sweater I once had..
I found the tutorial here

Still puttering about my little art space in my world..
re-organizing galore and I came across this idea and I do believe I am going to use it indeed!!
How cute are these..oh I can think of a million ways to use these and a million designs to make when hanging on the wall..

I have always thought it quite a waste to dispose of all those toilet paper cardboard tubey things and the paper towel ones too..
And then I saw this...
Hmmmmmm...I do believe this must hit my project list..
I found the instructions here, look for the date listing of September 27th, 2011
How darn ingenius is this!!

I came across this idea and thought it such a great texture and background for my mixed media canvases
you can see it up close and personal here
Once at the site search "yarn prints" dated October 27th, 2011..

I am always looking for ways to use up scraps of anything, but I have to admit I have tons of scrapbooking paper scraps..I think these are soooooo darn cute and would be darling on my mantle..
Ohhhhh so many projects, so little time :-)

And lastly...I totally need a few new beauties for my closet...

I would be happy to start here..

Adorable, especially when someone else puts the outfit together..
Now I just have to hunt for this on a bargain budget..

Happy Friday

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Mama/Wife Love"

I, with overwhelming awe and pride must share a couple of recent photos taken by my amazingly gifted and talented daughter and husband.
From their October Wedding photo shoots..
I am posting just a couple of photos in hope that you will take a visit to their website and blog!


Brian and Stephanie (more to come)

Nick and Nikki

Two beautiful couples, two very gifted and dedicated photographers, two absolutely incredible days!!!

What can I say but, "they love love" and I love them!!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Food Love"

Its pretty obvious of late, beings that it is fall, that I have been in an all encompassing foodie mode..
Being in the kitchen, especially this time of year, is such a wonderful blessing for me. Total and complete contentment.
The search for new recipes to try and then of course the shopping for the freshest ingredients..
Once gathered, the donning of my beloved apron, the burning of my favorite candle (pumpkin pie mixed with a little sugar cookie)in my Scentsy pot, golden little lights that border my kitchen window on and filling my kitchen with their soft glow!!
These are the things that fill me with utter "JOY" and contentment!

So, having said these words and set the stage, here are a couple of recipes I will be trying this week..

Autumn Chop Salad..I actually think this will be on my Thanksgiving menu as well, should it be of course as wonderful tasting as it is beautiful to look at..

*6 to 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
*2 medium pears, chopped
*1 cup dried cranberries
*1 cup chopped pecans
*8 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
*4 to 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
*Poppy seed Salad Dressing (I like T. Marzetti)
*Balsamic Vinaigrette (I like Newman's Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette)

*On a large platter, combine the lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese. Drizzle generously with poppy seed dressing, followed by some of the balsamic vinaigrette. (I would estimate that I used about a cup of dressing: 70 percent poppy seed dressing and 30 percent balsamic vinaigrette) If you prefer your salad to have more dressing, feel free to experiment with the combination.

This absolute loveliness was sent to me by a recent acquaintance who is currently in the midst of a French cooking class (I am so envious..having just read "The School Of Essential Ingredients" even more so..

Coq Au Vin

I know it looks rather daunting, but then most things truly worth it can be challenging..but when taken in small pieces, not so much..don't be afraid :-)



Cut off the root end of each pearl onion and make an "x" with your knife in its place. Bring 2 to 3 cups of water to a boil and drop in the onions for 1 minute. Remove the onionsfrom the pot, allow them to cool, and then peel. You should be able to slide the onions right out of their skin. Set aside.

Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the chicken pieces, a few at a time, into a large (1 or 2-gallon) sealable plastic bag along with the flour. Shake to coat all of the pieces of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the bag to a metal rack. 

Add the 2 tablespoons of water to a large, 12-inch saute pan over medium heat along with the salt pork. Cover and cook until the water is gone, and then continue to cook until the salt pork cubes are golden brown and crispy, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the salt pork from the pan and set aside. 

In the same pan, using the remaining fat, add the pearl onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute until lightly brown, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside. Next, brown the chicken pieces on each side until golden brown, working in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan. Transfer the chicken into a 7 to 8-quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven. 

Add the mushrooms to the same 12-inch saute pan, adding the 1 tablespoon of butter if needed, and saute until they give up their liquid, approximately 5 minutes. Store the onions, mushrooms and pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

Pour off any remaining fat and deglaze the pan with approximately 1 cup of the wine. Pour this into the Dutch oven along with the chicken stock, tomato paste, quartered onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Add all of the remaining wine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

The next day, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 

Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is tender. Maintain a very gentle simmer and stir occasionally. 

Once the chicken is done, remove it to a heatproof container, cover, and place it in the oven to keep warm. Strain the sauce in a colander and remove the carrots, onion, celery, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf. Return the sauce to the pot, place over medium heat, and reduce by 1/3. Depending on how much liquid you actually began with, this should take 20 to 45 minutes. 

Once the sauce has thickened, add the pearl onions, mushrooms, and pork and cook for another 15 minutes or until the heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, remove from the heat, add the chicken and serve. Serve over egg noodles, if desired. 

Cook’s Note: If the sauce is not thick enough at the end of reducing, you may add a mixture of equal parts butter and flour kneaded together. Start with 1 tablespoon of each.Whisk this into the sauce for 4 to 5 minutes and repeat, if necessary. 

Well thats a couple for this week to excited!

Blessings and happy fall cooking to all..

Monday, October 24, 2011

"A Poignant Quote For Today"

I am in absolute adoration of this quote!!!
Probably because it makes me feel better about the way my beloved bible looks..
Its definitely well loved!

Each time I open its pages I find that I run my hand across the soft, smooth pages closing my eyes.  Its as if I can breathe in the wisdom, the comfort..and I feel grateful..

"A Bible thats falling apart usually belongs to someone that isn't"
Charles Spurgeon

I am comforted knowing that our Lord appreciates and loves my need for color :-)

Many blessings to you and yours..

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"My Fav's This Week"

First let me say that I absolutely adore Autumn time..

Beautiful warm sunny days, crisp nights,
surrounded by the incredible colors that signal a time for
Snuggly quilts and blankets
Sweaters, scarves, jammies and big warm socks..
Hot cocoa, Chai Tea, apple cider
Homemade soups, warm breads, yummy desserts..
Reading, art, quilting and crocheting..
Its all absolutely wonderful and peaceful and warm!

but there is one thing I'm not so fond of..
The Flu in all forms..!!!!
well for me anyway.. its always bronchitis
Its my thing...every darn year the nose starts up and then
boom right to the chest...ugh!

and that has been me and my mister for almost 2 weeks..
sneezing, wheezing, coughing..oh its been so much fun..eeeekkkk!
but I think, dare I say, that we may be turning a corner..
Finally...antibiotics are kicking in..
EmergenC empowering our bods..
Lots of beautiful Honeycrisp apples, delicious pears
orange juice, apple juice and tea homemade chicken soup,
and mega water..
The biggest problem for me though is..
tons of liquids as they say, a 54 year old bladder, and lots of coughing and sneezing...not so good (if you know what I mean)
Anyway I ramble..

So for the first time in days I finally feel good enough to sit down at the computer for a bit..
and here are the favs I found for this week

Loving feels like me to me when I was a little bit of a girl..
The swing in the backyard was a faithful friend and oh how I loved that squeaky sound when it moved back and forth, just me and the sky above!!!

Are these not the cutest toes?
confetti toes they are called..

and come on are these not beautiful...!!

The most darling idea I have seen in a long time..
Totally going to do this on my desk..
Its a dish drainer for heaven's creative is that?

A few more projects going on the list

wine bottles covered with yarn

Magazine page ornaments

And this pillow...I'm in heaven!

Ideas for my art room that I am still working on..
I was on a roll and then the germs did their thing..

And I can't say good-bye without sharing something new on the menu for this week

And something to think about this week..

Blessings and may the flu loose its directions to your house...


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"A Few Little Things To Start The Week"

Seriously adding these to my list of fall projects and gifts..!!
The tutorial can be found on this adorable blog

Shut up!!!

With the holidays soon to be upon us, I am in the process of gathering recipes for baked goods and ideas for gifting pretties!

These are both adorable..
First one comes from 

These are made out of Pringles containers!
Sooo cute..

And lastly, a little fall food for this week

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Lasagna
This recipe can be found at 

With mouth watering and stomach growling I now make my way to my awaiting bath and off to work!
Tonight looks like a yummy night indeed..


Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Here's to The Crazy Ones" They Live To Dream of What Most of Us Think is Out of Reach"

She's 14, who knows if she's crazy, or a misfit, a rebel or a troublemaker and who really cares.. She's not afraid to dream...and she's amazing!!!

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? We make tools for these kinds of people. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Think Different, Apple

May we all be sooo crazy!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"On A Recent Road Trip"

Not too long ago 4 girls set out on the road..
Many miles traveled in the company of that incredible safe place called friends..
Arriving to the open arms of Aunt Elaine and Uncle Bob..
Beautiful Corey on the far left, Aunt Elaine (our hostess with the mostest) in the hoodie,
Yours truly in the sunglasses (never without my shades) and Dena, my wonderful daughter's
Mommy in-law and one of my closest girl sisters!

On the beach in Northern California...
We sit..4 of us minus daughter behind the camera..
Soft sand in our feet,
Endless ocean, endless waves..
No words needed, we all stare ahead in awe..
Our eyes reminding us that what we are seeing is so much greater than ourselves!!

Thank you my very special friends for an incredibly special journey!

Blessings Always..

"Hmmm..Some New Projects To Ponder"

I happened upon this most lovely blog just the other day
and I have to say I have been in heaven ever since..!!!
What a beautiful blog, full of the prettiest colors greeting you upon arrival
and absolutely abounding with inspiration!!

Here are 3 projects I believe I will need to partake of during this winter nesting time..

I am aghast with sewing and fabric pleasure with this lovely and she has offered a tutorial on the much easier than it might appear to be..
but heavens to Betsy...the colors, the colors..
I am beside my little self!!

And these...I have no words...
they are a total must "make" !!!

And this...I must begin right away...I am already in possession of
everything needed...I am feeling this would be perfection for this upcoming Sunday!!

So there they are..winter projects I said, I am in heaven just contemplating!!

I leave you, on this bright and beautiful sunshiney fall day here in the amazing Northwest
with this cutie patootie from one of my favorite all time characters..

Oh how I wish I could, but I can hear it..
work is calling..!!

Blessings for a most wonderful day with maybe a "Nap or Two" for you!!!


Monday, October 10, 2011

"I Absolutely Adore This Girl"

Today is Monday and that means ITS MY DAY OFF and I'm so excited..
One of my very bestest girlie friends is coming to spend the day..

She is Carie and she is amazing!!!

Talented, gifted, incredibly intelligent and so so dedicated to whatever the cause..
She literally can juggle 100 balls in the air and never miss!
The absolute greatest multi-tasker of all time...well that I know personally anyway..!!

But she is more than that to me..
She is a blessing..
She is the most beautiful soul I have ever met..
She is a giver, she is a stayer, she is my angel!
She is that friend we all wish for, you know the ones that aren't afraid..
They don't scare away easily, if the goin gets tough they roll up their sleeves and do what needs to be done..
They aren't afraid of UGLY...ya know when life gets really ugly they stay the course..
They hold you up, they carry you, they get down on their knees in the trenches and help you see through the mud, help you crawl towards the light..
They let you be you, whatever that may be, no expectations, no judgements..
They get you, they want to get you, even if you aren't always the easiest, even if you
need them and I mean really, really need them..

Carie is that friend and has been all of these things for me and believe me there were times when it was not pretty..
I have laughed with her, cried with her, screamed with her,
giggled and been amazingly silly with her..
And I have broken into a million pieces with her and you know what?
She stood the course, she never left, she was never too busy! It was never too difficult..she didn't fall away not understanding, she worked hard to try to understand..and even if she couldn' matter..
And she has watched me move forward, steady as she goes, one foot in front of the other, celebrating right alongside..
 always in my thoughts are her favorite words of wisdom..
"Make it a Great Day"

And now I can truly say with all my heart "Life is Good, Life is Oh so Good"

So today we are spending the day together, she will be here in about an hour..
I woke up early so that I could make her this..

We will eat on and off all day...gab till we lose our voices and we always have to do a little sumpin sumpin...

So I am thinking we should do some painted pumpkins..maybe some like these, well not exactly like these, but you know what I mean...

inspired by the most beautiful and talented

or maybe some like these

Mostly I know that whatever we do, it will be wonderful...

Love you Doll...thank you!!

Blessings Always,

"A Beauty Of A Cake"

Had to totally show off the talents of my sweet little friend and daily companion at work
 Kristen and her Mr. Eric..

A cake made with love for his Mama..

Kristen was so kind as to send me pictures of each stage of their fun and yummy weekend project..
Can't let something like this go by without talking about it, now can I.. :-)
They are soooo adorable and so is the cake..

I believe the cake is white chocolate as well as dark chocolate, mixed together in a very magical way to make this..

Ok guys, I hope I explain this right..

One with white chocolate, one with dark chocolate, each dropping by cupfuls alternately, working very quickly to make the pattern..

This is after baking...
Sooooo darn pretty and amazing I say!

Like a cool is that!!!  And she said it is 
quite yummy indeed!

Now decorating start to finish..

I am over the top impressed!
Neither one of them has ever done anything like this before, truly proves the point that with determination and an open heart, not to mention a trusted, excited, enthusiastic someone beside you,
you can do and achieve anything..!

What a lucky Mommy Eric's Mom is..
Do I see a cute little bakery in your future??? :-)

Incredible job, you guys are amazing!

And just because I couldn't resist, had to throw in a pic of their baby Mugsy!!
A couple days before the "Cake Making Challenge" Kristen was enjoying a nice, relaxing, warm bubble bath and he just had to join in...what a smart puppy!
Now is this not the cutest picture and look at her little toes poking out of the water..
I swear this dog is a human in "Pug Disguise" Ha Ha!

Love and Hugs,
Miss Val