Sunday, July 21, 2013

Getting Ready

Since our 30th wedding anniversary is coming up next week, we decided to plan a little getaway trip.  I stress "little" because we are only going to be gone 2 nights.  We are going to go to Glenwood Springs and enjoy the big mineral springs pool.  Also there are some awesome sights to see nearby, such as Rifle Falls and Aspen where you can see Maroon Bells.  Not sure how much we will be able to squeeze into our trip, but we plan to enjoy ourselves.

In preparation for my trip I decided to buy myself a new duffle.  The rage is Vera Bradley, which I can't afford.  So I picked up a knock-off at Target made by Danielle Morgan.

 This is "Floral Delight" at Target for $29.99.

It seems strudy.  Before I bought it I put something heavy into it and lifted the bag.  It held up just fine.  It has a simple flap pocket in the front and an outside pocket on each side.  The interior is lined in pink cloth.  There are no zipper pockets on the inside, just plenty of space to pack.  And it colapses nicely for storage.  I am looking forward to using it along with a Vera Bradley cosmetic bag my dear friend Monique gave me for my birthday.  Thanks so much Monique!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cleaning can be Uplifting

This is how I am handling my cleaning!  In so doing I discovered that a baby bunny is living in our garage.  I leave the door wide open and that bunny will not leave.  So I made up a paper plate of greens along with a small dish of water.  She went for it right away.  She won't let me touch her, very fast is she.  She has been my little companion as I dive into boxes I have not opened since we moved from California.  Oh the things I am finding!  So many good memories of my boys.  Like Eric's stuffed kitty that looked like our first cat named Phyllis.  I found our old high school yearbooks, a paper I wrote in college.  Poems from a friend, old resumes from when Mark and I were fresh out of college and trying to start our careers.  Oh the memories!  So much life that has been lived...30 years...that's how long Mark and I have been married now.  So much to give thanks to God for.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Feeling Princess-Like

Here is Miss Daisy Mae looking very princess-like as she lounges in our living room.  She is our little princess.

Went to my local Whole Foods Market one evening and found these goodies.  The spray hand sanitizer by EO smells delightful and fits nicely in my purse.  The cute lip butters by Love & Toast I could not resist with flavors such as Green Tea Mint and Rose Sorbet.  And the body butter by Love & Toast was on sale (half price).  I picked The Salt n' is a very neutral scent and wonderfully full of shea butter (a natural sunscreen).  Don't know about you, but picking up a few girlie items always makes me feel like a princess.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer Cooking and Strawberry Lemonade

Okay, my experimenting in the kitchen continues.  I am into quick and easy, but tasty.  So here below are a few summer offerings.  First is International Quesadillas and last Strawberry Lemonade.

As I told one of my girlfriends "Never underestimate the power of a tortilla."  Especially the ones you can get at Costco in the refrigerated section.  You have to finish cooking them which I think makes them all the more yummy.  What I do with these tortillas is make international quesadillas.

American:  Cook tortilla a bit on both sides.  Remove from heat and spread with favorite BBQ sauce.  Return to pan and add cheddar cheese and some chopped chicken (I usually boil chicken tenders, chopped them up and store them in their juice from boiling).  Fold tortilla over and flip to cook other side and melt cheese.

Italian:  Do the same as above only spread the tortilla with pesto.  Use shredded Italian cheese (available at local grocer) and add meat of your choice (mine is chicken of course).

Mexican:  I cook the tortilla a bit then add a shredded Mexican blend cheese that I find at my local grocer.  I then add chopped chicken.  Cook till cheese is melted.  To serve I spread on my homemade pico de gallo sauce, and top with fresh avocado slices (guacamole).  Yum!

These are fast, easy, won't heat up you kitchen and are delicious.  Serve with fruit or a salad and you have a nice summer meal.  I bet you can think of some more ideas of your own.

Below is my version of homemade strawberry lemonade.  Really, it is semi-homemade.  This recipe came to me in a pinch when I was expecting company and did not have enough lemonade to go around.  So I improvised.

Improvised Strawberry Lemonade

I first used half a calm shell of strawberries.  Washed them and cut the tops off.  Sliced them thinly into a storage container.  Added a few squeezes of lemon, some grated lemon peel and sugar.  Close up the container and shake to mix.  Let sit at room temp to mix flavors and create a juice.

When it was time to get the lemonade together.  I used these products:

I got out a pretty pitcher and poured half a bottle of Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade into the pitcher (as that is all I had left).  I then added the storage container of strawberries with their juice.  Humpf...still not enough lemonade.  So I mixed one packet of True Lemon lemonade with a cup of water and added that into the pitcher.  Since True Lemon is sweetened with Stevia it helps lower the calorie content of the lemonde.  Let me tell you, everyone loved it and the pitcher was empty in no time.


Friday, July 12, 2013

The concept of "Chillin"

I've been reading about "relaxation" and I really need to go there.  I have been through so many trials in the past year.  It has become necessary for me to have a "time-out".  I think about my favorite prophet Elijah.  After his big battle with the worshipers of Baal and the Lord setting fire to that wet alter, Jezebel really got angry about all that God did and took it out on Elijah.  So Elijah, who had become weary, ran for his life out into the wilderness.  The Lord brought sleep to Elijah's tired body and even woke him with an angel and made him eat and drink.  Then the Lord had him journey to a cave and there the Lord came to him and dealt with his heart.  The Lord is that still small voice, gentle and reassuring.  Afterward the Lord gave Elijah a new assignment.  I like to look at this story and see that this is how the Lord deals with us as well.  We go through times where He uses us in a great way and then He allows us a time of refreshment and deals with our heart.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer, Gardens and Salad

I visited with my doctor and she said I am looking at a lazy summer.  She said I probably won't be feeling myself till Fall.  After she said that, I felt that order for a lazy summer was coming from the Lord.  Well, my summer does indeed look like it is going to be a lazy one.  The Lord has put the reigns on as most of my girlfriends are going places so I have no one to play with.  On top of that, my strength is not entirely back.  It feels good to have this free time to be lazy. 

I did have a girlfriend come stay with me for a few days while Mark was away in Germany on business.  That was a very fun time.  One day we did some gardening together.  Gardening with a friend is really fun.  We cleaned up my back deck and made a potted garden.  My deck turned into a little paradise and we had some meals out there with the awesome view.  Fun!

We also visited the Denver Botanical Gardens during her stay.  Here below are pictures from the gardens.

 This pic works well as wallpaper for your computer.

Loved these pale pink cabbage roses.

Another fun thing about summer is fruit and salad.  Since I still have to watch what I eat I have been trying to be creative in the kitchen.  Below is a summer salad recipe made up by yours truly.  You may like to try it out and tweek it to your taste. 

Nectarine Salad
Organic Mixed Greens
Ripe nectarines
Balsamic vinegar
Glazed chopped pecans (found in the produce section of my grocery store)
Crumbled Feta cheese
Brianna's vinaigrette dressing (or extra virgin olive oil)
Slices of roasted turkey, chopped

I make this salad for lunch.  What I usually do is slice up a nectarine or two and put the slices in a plastic storage container with a couple splashes of balsamic vinegar.  I shake the container so the vinegar coats the nectarines.  I let them sit at room temp to marinate.  I then go and do my chores or run errands.  When it is time for lunch I make the salad.  First, I load a salad dish with greens, sprinkle on the Feta, then chop up the turkey and put that on.  Next I spoon the nectarines on top and then sprinkle on the glazed pecans.  Then I drizzle on either Brianna's dressing or just plain olive oil.  If I use plain olive oil I salt and pepper the salad.  The taste of the glazed pecan & nectarine together is heaven.  You can also do this salad with strawberries instead of the nectarines.  Either way it is yummy.  Enjoy!!