"All of us are watchers of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway, but few are observers.
Everyone is looking not many are seeing." Peter Leschak

Monday, May 28, 2012

Gratitude Monday

I almost let this Monday pass by without posting.  It is Memorial Day and my husbands 77 and 80 year old aunts are visiting.  They drove all the way from Arizona.  I'm grateful they had a safe trip and we've had a nice visit with them.

I am reminded this Memorial Day of all the soldiers who have died for the country I live in.  I'm grateful for their bravery and courage and for all the soldiers who are still fighting.  I hope that one day we can all  live in peace.  I saw a quote on pinterest that said "Home of the Free, Because of the Brave."  Of course it was in a really cute font in red, white and blue, but I haven't quite figured out all of the short cuts to pasting images on my blog.  For now, I'm just grateful I took the time to write these few sentences. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Summer Themes

Memorial weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer.   According to the calendar year June 20 is the official first day of summer, but I prefer to use Memorial Weekend as my starting point.  A good friend of mine declares a theme for herself ever summer.  Some past themes have been the summer of flip flops, sundresses and ice cream in which she had a blast eating, but gained 20 pounds.  Her theme this year is the honey badger.  Many people are familiar with the honey badger from his you tube video  www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg   Warning, if you are offended by profanity don't click on the link.  However, it's pretty funny.

I've decided to pick a theme this summer as well.  My theme is create.  I love to gather ideas on decorating, recipes, crafts, travel, beauty, fitness, etc.  I often spend more time researching and gathering ideas (i.e. pinterest) than I do making them.  So I am declaring the Summer of 2012-
  • photos
  • scrapbook pages
  • cocktails
  • new recipes
  • blog posts
  • tablescapes
  • small parties
  • beautiful spaces
  • fun memories
  • a positive outlook on life
  • a positive self image
  • a unique sense of style 
What will your theme be this summer?

"As we become purer channels for God's light, we develop an appetite for the sweetness that is possible in this world. A miracle worker is not geared toward fighting the world that is, but toward creating the world that could be. "        Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sur La Table

I just love their shopping bag!

Sur La Table is a store full of all sorts of culinary gadgets you never knew you needed.  They have the usual table linens, cookware, bake ware, etc. but all sorts of other fun things to have on hand for entertaining.  I found a few new treasures on a recent shopping trip with some friends.  It was my first visit to the Kansas City store, but I have been to one in another city.  You can also order items by catalog or on line.

I am a sucker for kitchen gadgets.  Two that I was unable to pass up are the candle carver and rattan pedestal.  The candle carver says it easily carves a hole for a tea light candle in seconds.  You can use it to carve holes in pumpkins, apples, squash, etc.  I have seen pictures in magazines where people have done this, but never really thought about what they used to carve the hole.  Mostly likely they simply used a kitchen knife, but if this makes the carving easier I'm all for it.  I just need to remember to use it instead of it simply taking up valuable space in my drawers.

The rattan pedestal is simply a pedestal to set things on top of for height.  You can never have too many things to help you create height especially if you are setting up a buffet table.  It is nice to have things set out at varying heights.  I bought it to set my glass drink dispenser on.  It will be easier for people to fill their drinks that way instead of placing it at the end of a counter.

I'll post pictures in the future of me actually using these items until then have fun exploring Sur La Table.   www.surlatable.com

Monday, May 21, 2012

Gratitude Monday

I'm grateful that inspiration can be found everywhere not just on pinterest, but in the little things that make up our everyday life.  I'm going to do a better job of posting the little things I'm referring to by taking more photos and posting images of them this summer.  One of the things I'm grateful for are sea shells.  They are treasures from the depths of the ocean each unique in their own way.  The sound of crashing waves is one of the most calming sounds to me.  I'm also grateful for lunch dates with friends, shopping and catching up on each others lives.  I'm grateful I don't have to cook dinner much this week.  I love to collect recipes and the idea of cooking.  On the health front, I'm grateful my allergies are getting better and my eye is no longer swollen.  It finally looks as if the Sandman has stopped paying me a visit.  For those of you who never grew up with the Sandman.  He is a fairy tale character who sprinkled sand in children's eyes to get them to go to sleep.  As an adult I can't say that is much of a problem for me anymore. 

Friday, May 18, 2012


It's that time of year when commencement activities are underway.  Students are graduating from high school and college and starting a new chapter in their lives.  Thankfully I've already done both, but I still feel as if I'm a student.  I still have a lot of life skills to learn.  I'm always reading some type of self help book or article in a magazine. Lately I've been needing to learn how to live with allergies and temporary setbacks.  My allergies have run the course from stuffy nose and sore throat to currently swollen and itchy eyes.  I get very frustrated with being tired all the time, having a dry mouth from all of the antihistamines, and currently looking like a bee stung my eye lid.

I try to look at most situations as teaching moments.  I've been having a pity party for myself this last month.   It's starting to wear on me so I can only imagine how my friends and family feel.  I've tried to think about people who live with far worse medical or physical conditions, many which aren't temporary.  I've been very blessed health wise, and I need to focus on the positive.   My ailments are temporary and treatable. Even though my eyes might get red and swollen I can still see.  Maybe my lesson in all of this is to be less vain, not to take my health for granted and to be more understanding and a better care giver when my family has health issues.  I'm ready to start a new chapter and put these ailments behind me.  Let the commencement begin!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Desperate Housewives

The final show of the series Desperate Housewives aired last Sunday.  I have been watching the show since it began in 2004.  There were times I thought about giving it up, but then it just became part of my Sunday night ritual.  The characters on the show had their little quirks and unique personalities and shared a close friendship.  They had their ups and downs and were often quite scandalous. In the end they were there for each other not just as neighbors, but as good friends.   Gabby's selfish ways sometimes helped me to see where I could be acting selfish in my own life.  Perfectionist Bree sometimes brought to light my own need to be perfect at times.  Last night though Lynette really struck a chord with me.  She was the stressed out stay at home Mom who was a former business woman and very ambitious.  She was a good mother, but struggled with her role at times.  She complained a lot and liked to be in control.  I saw a little of myself in Lynette.  She didn't realize how much she missed and relied on her husband Tom until they separated.  They reconciled in the end, but she almost blew it by accepting a job in NY and letting other peoples opinions influence her. Tom felt like she would never be happy just loving him.  She was always looking for the next thing to fill a void in her heart instead of letting him fill it with his love.   I often overlook the fact that what my heart needs it already has. I am loved by God, a kind and loving husband, my children, family and friends.  That is where the real joy lies.  That alone is reason to be joyful.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gratitude Monday

Since it's the day after Mother's Day I'll start off by saying I'm grateful I'm a mother of two healthy children.  It can be the most stressful role in life. but also the most rewarding.  I brought my daughter into this world 13 years ago today.  She makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs sometimes, but I wouldn't change a thing about her. However, I'd be grateful if she kept her room neater.  I'm just saying! (which is a phrase she likes to use) Truth be told she probably got it from me.

I'm also grateful that my mother and mother-in-law are still living and that we're able to spend time with them at least a few times a year.   My parents are currently in Costa Rica and I'm grateful my Dad sent me an email to say they were doing okay.  It has been quite the adventure for them.  I'm happy he has been able to experience some of the things he wanted to do like zip lining.  I'm also grateful my mother didn't have a heart attack after taking a 2 1/2 mile hike and walking across hanging bridges. That is truly a miracle.

I'm grateful I finally got my flowers planted and my patio cleaned off with my husbands help yesterday.  I'm ready for summer and sipping cocktails on my patio with friends.  I'm grateful for the endless supply of recipes that are on pinterest.  Can you tell I'm just slightly addicted to that website?  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sweet 13

The Candy Bar

The Dessert Table

I had a surprise birthday party for my daughter this week.  The planning, shopping, crafting and baking has occupied my thoughts and time for the past several weeks.  I am happy I can move on to other things now.  I'm finding I really enjoy the planning process of things, but not the actual execution of them.  Many of my ideas and recipes I found on the website pinterest or I got from Tori Spellings new book Celebratori.  I also wouldn't have been able to decorate and set up my dessert and candy table without the help of my friend.  She helps to keep me on task and has a good eye for staging things.  I also wish I could take credit for the cake, but I'm not nearly patient enough for cake decorating.  My talented friend and neighbor made it. It was also inspired by an image from pinterest.

My daughter loves sweets and the color turquoise so that was my theme.  She and her friends are into looking at the many hairstyling tips on pinterest like waterfall braids, etc. A good family friend that is a hair stylist and her friend braided and curled the girls hair.  They had a choice of styles from pinterest.  I also had a make up station set up for the girls and a photo booth.

I wasn't quite sure the girls would appreciate all of the little details I put into the party.  I made sugar scrubs as a take home gift and they drank  pink lemonade out of little mason jars rimmed with sugar.
Several of the girls took pictures of the decorations and one posted her photos on instagram.  My daughter came home from school the next day and said everyone loved the decorations and we got 33 likes.  I guess that's how today's generation shows their appreciation.  It made me feel like the extra effort was well spent.  I sometimes have to remind myself I am doing things out of love and because I enjoy the creative process.  Not everyone notices the little details, but it sure feels great when they do!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Gratitude Monday

I'm grateful for a clean house, a good nights sleep without having to get up and go to the bathroom, friends who I can discuss my anxieties with and help put me at ease by looking at things from a different perspective and friends who share their talents with me.

I'm also extremely grateful we didn't have a tornado touch down in our town last night.  The tornado sirens went off and there were some funnel clouds, but they never touched land.  It's that time of year in Kansas when the weather can be very unpredictable.  I'm thankful for the technology meteorologists have access to that can help them predict storms approaching.  Unfortunately, I don't always react to the warnings as urgently as I should.  Some people in my town like to look outside the window or stand on their front porch and take pictures.  I wish I had one to share with you, but I'm not one of those people.

 "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Clinton Kelly's Sandwich

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I like to watch the show The Chew every now and then while I'm eating lunch.  I really like the mix of hosts Mario Batali, Clinton Kelly, Michael Symon, Daphne Oz and Carla Hall.  They each bring something different to the table.  Clinton Kelly shared one of his favorite sandwiches that he likes to pack for a picnic lunch.   I decided to try it out on my family last weekend and everyone loved it.  
The ingredients are: a good loaf of baguette bread, roast beef (I love Boars Head.  It's pricey, but worth it.), cheddar cheese and mango chutney.  Pair it with a dill pickle from the deli and pretend your in Napa Valley overlooking vineyards.  The perfect lunch!  What is one of your favorite sandwiches?