Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Light In the Dark {52 photos week 6}

 52 Photos Project


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday and Sunday Somethings {do,read,watch,eat}

DO:  PicMonkey FREE photo editor 
Have you been missing Piknik?  Maybe you have never spent any time editing your own photos on-line.  I had to switch from Picasa to iPhoto and have been so frustrated by that program.  Thankfully I was introduced to Picmonkey.  It is SO EASY to use.  And they just added a new collage feature which I used this morning to make my new header.  It has very few written instructions so don't be afraid to play around and see what your mouse can do.

READ:  Simple As That blog
My boys have only three half days left of school next week so I am in full-on summer planning mode.  Pinterest is a great help in finding printables for summer bucket lists and crafts for the kids.  That's how I came across this gorgeous blog. I think I'm in love! Be sure to check out her freebies for free downloads.

WATCH:  Lose Your "Buts" 
That's the title I gave to this awesome talk given by Joyce Meyer.  I like to listen to her while I fold laundry or do dishes.  It was one of those funny talks that was so convicting that a few minutes into it I realized that I was making a mental list of all the people I knew who "needed" to hear this when - WHAMO - she started talking about all the things I NEEDED to hear!  Ha ha.  Isn't that the way it goes?  I just loved every moment of her on-point examples. 

We made this last week and it was so delicious it will surely be a regular at our dinner table.  I also liked the step-by-step breakdown in the recipe instructions.  I may have to adopt that style when writing my own recipes.

Enjoy the holiday weekend and please thank a member of the military when you get the chance.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Small Success Thursday :: Little Bliss List

1.  I made my first batch of cinnamon rolls from scratch. Making it even better was that they were made with ultra-rich brioche dough. 


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pink Sunrise {week 5}

Pink is my second favorite color (right after green).  As I perused my past photographs, I found so many shades of my beloved pink ~ blushing camellias, magenta knock-out roses, bubblegum foxgloves ~ but these two early morning snaps seemed to capture each and every variety of pink in one amazing sunrise.  Even as I type this I have to laugh seeing the pinkness all around me ~ pink pen lying atop my journal, big bursting pink peonies (artificial) in a vase to my left, a mini pink vase of artificial pink rosebuds to my right, a bright pink Sharpie in my pen cup.  I guess when you have three sons and a husband one must find ways to pinkify!

52 Photos Project


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg :: a field trip


Last week I was able to accompany my 4th grade son, RW, on a field trip to historic Williamsburg, Virginia.  It was so much fun and so beautiful I had to share the photos with you as well.  Come along with us, back in time, to the early days of America.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Lighthouse :: a poem on motherhood

A recent trip to the beach prompted some poem-thoughts about motherhood in my spirit.  I am sharing the poem I wrote in full at Catholic Mothers Online today. 

It is called Lighthouse.   I hope it resonates with you in some way today.


Thursday, May 17, 2012


A few days ago I bumped along the highway in the back of a greyhound style bus full of fourth grade children.  We were on our way to Colonial Williamsburg for a "trip back in time" as eyewitnesses to early colonial life.  We arrived, myself a bit queasy, and began a quiet tour through empty cobblestone streets. After a stop at the carpenter's shop, the tailor's and the military magazine, we paused for lunch beneath a wooden-framed arbor covered in flowering vines.  
Against the white-washed wooden building next door was a patch of magenta foxgloves already six feet tall and glowing in the gentle sunshine.  I lifted my camera to get a shot when into my frame flew a fat fuzzy bumble bee.  His legs were heavy laden with golden pollen but he greedily gathered more.  Here he is upon liftoff ~ moving on to the next patch of old-time blooms.

52 Photos Project


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spanish Salad {salad social}

Summertime is the perfect season for simple suppers that require little effort and leave you feeling satisfied  yet light.  Salads for dinner meet these requirements and one of our family favorites is my Ensalada EspaƱola or Spanish Salad.  

While living as an exchange student in Sevilla, Spain way back in 1994, I fell in love with the salad Pilar, my "Spanish mother", often made for dinner.  Of course it tasted divine using Spanish olive oil and the highly flavorful canned tuna so readily available in Spain.  


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Brioche Caramel Buns {Baking With Julia & my own recipe}

This recipe was supposed to be called Pecan Sticky Buns.  I love pecans and buns but am not a fan of sticky.  So, I altered the recipe a bit here and there to wind up with an amazing combination of homemade brioche dough with the soft caramel topping from my mother-in-law's famous caramel roll recipe (the entire recipe can be found at the bottom of this post). 

There was an awful lot of butter (some of which I left out and found it to be no problem) in the recipe and so many steps that from start to bake I think almost five days went by.  The good news is that the dough didn't suffer one bit from waiting for me in the refrigerator all that time.  Plus, any dough that can be made in the mixer instantly becomes a favorite of mine.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Coffee :: Always a Good Idea

Did you have a nice Mother's Day?  My sweet sister gifted me with a wooden sign saying "COFFEE Always A Good Idea" which could be a motto for our little family of three (my mom, sister and me).  We are the kind of girls who think coffee goes well with sunrise, breakfast, afternoon snack and after dinner dessert.  Coffee is the best accompaniment to reading a magazine, cozying up with a novel, or sitting in the wingback chair chatting on the phone with a friend.  Coffee warms the hands, heart and conversation and tastes even better when shared.  If you didn't treat yourself to a cuppa on Mother's Day, maybe today you can find the time to do so.  (The espresso creation in the photo can be found here and the caramel drizzle recipe can be found here.)


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nature In My Own Backyard {PHFR}

Somehow nearly a week has passed since I posted on my blog. I guess when your little guy turns four and your sister and brother-in-law come for the weekend, blogging takes a bit of a backseat.  Today I wanted to post especially because my blogging friend, Elisa from Elisa Loves, is hosting a brand new link-up party she is calling a "Garden Party".  She writes:

After a long day, I steal a few minutes outside with my camera. All alone. Even though I don't live in a cabin in the woods on a lake, I can find peace in nature right here, in the middle of the city, in the neighborhood, in the garden, barefoot on the grass, among the daisies and the bumblebees.
Yay! Time for our very first Nature Walk "Garden Party". Take a stroll with me around the house.

So, I took a little stroll around my house and here are some PHFR sights I found.


Pansies in bloom on my deck.    I have never grown these before but I am a pansy convert.  Not only are they super easy and hardy, they smell wonderful.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gooey Caramel Sauce


The thing I love about this recipe is how simple it is. Trust me, you can make this and it is nearly foolproof.  It is delicious over ice cream or as a topping for your iced coffee.  I used it as a layer in the shortbread bars pictured above and it was fantastic.   I must warn you - it is so easy that you may find yourself making it often - and eating it right off the spoon!  It also makes a great gift.  Just pour it into canning jars and pass on the gooey goodness. 

1 cup light brown sugar
1 stick salted butter
2 Tbsp. light or dark corn syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream

1.Melt butter with brown sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat just until dissolved.
2.Add corn syrup and increase heat to medium high.  Allow mixture to bubble for 3 minutes, stirring often.
3.Add heavy cream, stir well and allow to bubble for another 3-4 minutes.
4.Remove from heat and pour into container to cool. Store in the refrigerator. Heat for 15 seconds in microwave before using.

Sharing here...
Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday
I'm Lovin' It @TidyMom
Weekend Bloggy Reading @Serenity Now
Nifty Thrifty Sunday


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Unfurling into Yoga :: part 2

Last week I wrote about my new beginning  Unfurling into Yoga and I just wanted to share an update about how the class went. 
As I opened the door to the studio, there stood a yoga instructor whom I had never seen before.  She introduced herself (in a beautiful British accent) as June.  She smiled so warmly that it felt like we were old friends.  She asked if I had ever done yoga before.  How fitting!  I mentioned that I was back after quite some time away due to an injury.
Throughout the class she shared her own struggles with certain poses saying how even after years and years of practice she has learned to accept her body for what it is able to do rather than focus on the way she cannot perfectly do certain poses.  
"Yoga is not a competition. 
You are only here to do what you can do today, in this moment. 
What you can do today you may not be able to do tomorrow.  
Learn to accept."

Can you even imagine how lovely those words sounded to me as I sought to find a new way of doing the old familiar poses?  My hamstrings were tight in forward bend but I chose to accept instead how great it felt to be in that room, with kindred spirits, just doing what my body could currently do. 
I thought of someone I know in the hospital who would give anything to be able to simply get out of that bed and stand, bend and stretch.  I offered my movements up for her and let go of perfection in favor of practice.  
I am making new beginning, letting the light shine in, unfurling my tender green shoots into an old practice.

{May :: Green}

52 Photos Project
{Week 2 :: Let the Sunshine In}


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars {Baking With Julia}

This week's baking assignment was Hungarian Shortbread from Baking With Julia.  The recipe called for preparing the dough and then freezing it in small portions.  After it has chilled for a time, it is grated into the baking pan.  I couldn't believe how easy it was to do.  The dough was so delicious on its own and my son couldn't help but sneak a bite here and there.

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