Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Project 365 - Week 29


Project 365 - One photo a day for a year. Kind of like a photographic journal of my entire year!

Day 197 - You never know what you are going to see when you take a drive in the country. We saw this cute mailbox while we were on our way to the yard refuse dump.

Day 198 - Look what arrived in my mail today! I get one half of the cupcake necklace, and Elyse (my daughter) gets the other half, because we are "healthy lifestyle" partners. As for the poptarts, well, if I can't eat them, I might as well wear them. Got them from Scrumptious Doodles. I LOVE her shop!

Day 199 - Leftovers from Noodles & Company always make for a great lunch the next day.

Day 200 - Brian is rebuilding the back steps.

Day 201 - Baby Paige stopped by for a surprise visit. Of course she was accompanied by her mommy and daddy. Added a big bright spot to my day!

Day 202 - Instead of seeing a coyote in my backyard, I saw this cute little guy today! He was also with another fawn and mom but they were behind the pool.

Day 203 - Burning a stump so we can bury it and cover with dirt and grass.

For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Destination Weddings


It seems like there is a crazy trend brewing in the form of destination weddings. I'm seeing so much of this lately and it has reminded me of our own destination wedding in 2010 when my daughter and her husband Mike got married by a real mountain man at Yosemite National Park.

Their decision to do this was in the midst of wedding planning at home. It was so frustrating as far as details, guest list, locations etc. Thus, in an extremely short amount of time, a destination wedding was being planned.

Brian and I spent a couple days with Elyse and Mike in San Francisco before heading to Yosemite. We picked up my mom from the airport before heading to Yosemite. We met the rest of the family and her friends at Yosemite. There are no planes that land anywhere close to that area so we took the seven hour drive from San Francisco.

Yosemite National Park was amazing! It was by far the most beautiful place I had ever been. The mountains, waterfalls, streams, just beautiful! Sometimes I felt a little disconnected because there was no cell service for a good five hours into the park. But it was worth it not to have to see cell towers in front of the mountains.

We rented the chalet we stayed in along with Mom, the bride and groom, and her two girlfriends. It was a cute home tucked into a mountain. I wish we had a couple more days to just hang there and sit on the porch overlooking the view.

The wedding was beautiful, right under Bridal Veil Falls. We held the small reception in the dining room at one of the hotels (I think there were only two) in the park. Once we got home we had a cookout/pool party style reception for family and friends that didn't make the trip.

I suppose that destination weddings are bittersweet. For those who can make the trip, they are the best! But unfortunately only a few people can usually go so not everyone can be there. It was a trip I will never forget.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Project 365 - Week 28


Project 365 - One photo a day for a year. Kind of like a photographic journal of my entire year!

Day 190 - Babysitting baby Paige! Once again she was an angel for her Nana. She loves to pull every single toy out of her toy basket one at a time. Love her!

Day 191 - Another favorite green bean recipe. So delicious!

Day 192 - Love my healthy version of a pizza. Reduced fat Ranch dressing for the sauce, then top with small tomato pieces and cooked broccoli florets. Top off with some low fat or fat free mozzarella. Guilt free and delicious!

Day 193 - First time I've used my Clover seam presser. Worked great and saved me a lot of time.

Day 194 - Punkie taking over daddy's chair.

Day 195 - Microwave is finally fixed! Brian took the other one back to work and I have my counter space back.

Day 196 - Spent the day shopping at the Lighthouse Outlet Mall with my step-mom. We had a great time! Of course Carters was our first stop where we picked up a few little items for baby Paige. I even signed up for the grandma club where grandmas get a discount on Wednesdays!

For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Green Beans - Two Ways


Parmesan Green Beans
1 pound green beans, washed & trimmed
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder, or 2 minced cloves
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Drop green beans into rapidly boiling water for about 5 minutes, just to soften slightly.

Mix all ingredients except the Parmesan cheese in a cast iron skillet. Let set for 10 minutes

Cook on high heat until heated thoroughly, about 10 to 15 minutes. You want them to still be crisp, yet tender.

Remove beans from heat, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


Green Beans and Sun Dried Tomatoes
1 1/2 # green beans, washed trimmed
1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes
2 T oil
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 t dried basil
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Place tomatoes in small bow. Pour boiling water to cover and let stand a few minutes. Drain, blot dry. Slit into 1/4" strips.

Cook green beans in 2 qts boiling water until barely tender, about 4 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse under cold water. Blot dry and cut diagonally into 2" lengths.

In a 12" skillet, heat oil over low heat. Add onions and cook stirring frequently until barely softened, about 5 minutes.

Add beans & tomatoes, continue cooking, stirring constantly until beans are heated through abut 5 minutes.

Stir in basil. Season with salt & pepper. Can be served at room temperature.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Project 365 - Week 27


Project 365 - One photo a day for a year. Kind of like a photographic journal of my entire year!

Day 183 - Our new thermostat that came with the new furnace. Not exciting but I couldn't think of a good picture for today. It happens.

Day 184 - Brian is repainting the back steps and the doors to the house.

Day 185 - Great grandma and grandpa met Baby Paige for the first time on the fourth of July. They are here visiting from Florida.

Day 186 - Cleaning out my closets. These are just a couple of my favorite purses. I'm hoping to donate about half of them.

Day 187 - Just added this standing workstation to my studio.

Day 188 - More things that seem to fall into my shopping cart.

Day 189 - Now that we have a coyote visitor to the yard again, Bubba needs to stay on a cable when we are outside so he doesn't challenge it, and we can grab him quickly. Baby Paige had so much fun with the cable.

For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Finding Balance - Difficult, But Possible


One of the things I have always struggled with was finding balance in my life. How much time and energy to put into business, home, chores, family, leisure, etc. Striking the perfect balance has never been my strong suit. But I do believe I'm getting closer!

Over the past several months, along with working on creating a healthier me, I've been working on balancing all the areas of my life. The most important thing is family. That goes without saying, however, sometimes I'd find myself so wrapped up in my business that I didn't spend as much time with them as I should have. This is especially true with my husband. Sometimes when you live with someone, you tend to think that togetherness is existing together, but it's really more than that. We are spending more time doing things together such as walking, watching movies, hanging out and talking. 

It's been nice to bring my healthy lifestyle to the front as well. I've missed that! This business kept me a lot more inactive than I should have been. That's why I make it a point to get my power-walks in everyday, with my husband when he's not working days. If he's working, I'll walk alone, with my audio books, or hop on the elliptical. I've also added this great standing workstation to my studio, which has added almost 3000 steps to my days! I spend less time on the computer because I don't get all comfy sitting down. I do what I have to do, and get off the computer.

The hardest thing to do was to lighten up on my business. I still work hard at it, don't get me wrong, but I was working at it almost every waking moment! Unless I had another commitment, I was in the studio, or at the computer. And when I was somewhere else, all I could think about was what I could be accomplishing back at the studio. It is so freeing now to put that all aside and ENJOY my time away. When I take long weekends and trips, I take my traveling laptop only to check and respond to customer emails if needed. And of course I check the home surveillance cameras. I like to peek in on Punkie. That's it. I really ENJOY my trips! Next one is in the fall when I visit my daughter. And I best get my butt in shape because she has some serious hiking planned!

So it it's not about giving anything up, it's about making compromises and finding time for the most important things in your life such as the people you love, including yourself. If I don't take care of myself and my family, what good is anything else?

Now about the turtle. The hubster and I met his cute little guy on our power walk this morning. He was already on the grass so I didn't have to move him out of the road.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Standing Workstation



As many of my blogging friends and Internet business owners know, one of the hazards of the job is too much time sitting on your butt! Unfortunately, spending hours at the computer is needed for editing photos, blogging, listing items, promoting items, and some of us even have to do the actual designing and publishing on the computer. This means that we are not moving enough, and not moving enough is very very dangerous to your health. Even though I try to get up once every fifteen minutes to get the blood moving, it's really not enough.

Most recently I've added a standing workstation to my studio. The hubster built me this wooden stand a few years back for something else, but as you can see, it makes a perfect standing workstation. It's big enough for my laptop and papers for reading from, or taking notes, and it's the perfect height. When I need to use my table for a sewing or craft project, I just slip it under the skirted table and it's out of the way. I really love working this way, it's more comfortable. It's also easier than getting up after sitting for a while due to pain in my knees. I'm also finding myself swaying and moving around which is better than sitting still.

I did a lot of research on this, and one of the articles that I read was very enlightening. It was written by the Smithsonian Institute. If you read this article and you are one of the many people that spend many hours at the computer, you might consider this option as well. If you use a laptop, You can find about anything to raise it to a comfortable standing height.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Project 365 - Week 26


Project 365 - One photo a day for a year. Kind of like a photographic journal of my entire year!

Day 176 - Babysitting Paige! She was such a good girl for her Nana.

Day 177 - My adorable assistant Punkie, helping out in the studio.

Day 178 - Dinner with Brian's brothers. Brian made his excellent roast beef sandwiches.

Day 179 - A day of lots of computer work.

Day 180 - Lunch at Steak and Shake with the family. Their grilled chicken salads are the best!

Day 181 - Paige's mommy took this picture but it had to be my photo of the day because there is no way that I could possibly take a better one! She was wishing her Daddy a happy birthday.

Day 182 - Hello July!

For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Get Ready for Some Cuteness!


What a storm we had last night! We lost Internet for 18 hours but we didn't lose power. Every other year we would have lost power by this time, several times, and for long periods of time. But the year we have a whole house generator installed, we never lost it.

I put this cute little picture together of my beautiful granddaughter who I refer to lovingly as Baby Paige. Can you stand the cuteness?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cakes and Cupcakes that Will AMAZE You!


One of the things that I've added to my bucket list is to treat myself or someone else with one of those spectacular cakes or cupcake displays for a party. I'm talking about those cakes that make you say WOW! I'm talking about the cakes that you really have a difficult time eating because they are so beautiful. It's also one of those cakes that there is no way in this world that I'm going to attempt to make myself. Below is an example of some that I have on my Pinterest Board.






If you want to see some more beautiful masterpieces, stop by my Pinterest Cake Board or just type "cakes" into the search at Pinterest.
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