Saturday, February 28, 2015

need a break?

If you are like me and live in a part of the world where it is not only winter but cold and have been blessed with snow on the ground for almost two weeks, then the following shares will be very welcome to you too.  I almost feel like I am shopping for warmer winter climates to retire to.  Sounds very romantic since we got another inch and a half of snow last night.  Although the snow last night was beautiful in all it's floatiness I'm ready to not have layer my clothing two and three times and let the kids play outside for more than ten minutes.  Enjoy these links and few pics. is a blog based in Florida that shows birds and wildlife photos.  I love popping by and staring at the beautiful wildlife and photography this blogger shares.  Not to mention the warm climate there right now.  Makes me drool a little. is a blog I have followed for a few years now.  She is based in Australia and incase you didn't know it is summer there right now.  I get completely envious of her garden produce pics, sweet baby girl outside in the garden pics and her canning pictures.  Makes me long to feel the warm sun on my shoulders.

A California based blog from Jessica Wilson who actually got me in to posting pictures online to begin with in 2009... although she doesn't know that.  I was so inspired by all of her shots on flickr
that I just had to try and add my views of the world too.  That then led to her blogs.  By this violets in this shot it looks like spring has spring in her part of the world and it for sure looks warmer and very colorful.  I admire her for that!

Our cruise in February of 2008.  Shaun didn't believe me that it would possibly be in the upper 80s lower 90s while we were there.  He said "it's February... it's 20 degrees here... it's cold everywhere."  Oh if I could pop back in time just for a day to that cruise boat!

Where do you find warmer climates on the web to drool over?

Friday, February 27, 2015

lovin right now

AAAAHHHH Loving right now.  As I type at my kitchen table that my Granddaddy built for me, all I have to do to see what I am lovin right now is look towards my right into my kitchen.  

I bought a new skillet the other day.  I am one gal who can flat wear out a skillet in a matter of months.  Mom says it may be because of cooking at too high a temperature :) or maybe it's just because I use them every single morning and clean them afterwards.  I have always had Teflon skillets and I'm pretty sure we digested some Teflon before I got rid of my last ones!  Shaun and I were in the skillet aisle at WalMart and he pointed out the ceramic ones.  I read about one or two and decided to give one a whirl.  So far I adore it!  Nothing has stuck.  I've made sausage, bacon, gravy, browned deer meat. It's actually 12 inches and I have browned sausage and fried eggs at the same time!  If you are in the market for a new skillet yourself, I absolutely urge you to give a ceramic one a try.

Ah my rye bread, seeded.  I love caraway seeds and actually am going to grow some on the herb wall this summer.  When I bake my own bread using caraway it transforms the smell and feel of my home in a beautiful way.  I really like having Pepperidge Farms Jewish Rye on hand too.  I like it plain (and by plain I mean I stand at the counter and eat a piece with nothing on it!) or toasted with lettuces and tuna salad or toasted and used for sopping up tomato sauce.  

I am utterly hooked on avocados right now.  Just plain old, peeled and sliced avocado.  And they are so good for you too.  I made a black bean soup last Monday and had diced avocado on the side.  YUM!

True story.... Saturday morning I did about 40 minutes worth of yoga and then felt the urge to take it to the treadmill in the basement for a gentle walk.  Between practices and during my walk all I could think about were these chips.  Devil on the left shoulder saying "Laurie.... some of those jalapeno chips would sure be good right now".  the whole time.  So.. what did I do as soon as my workout was over?  Finished off the open bag of chips.  Yeah... I'm really gonna last through the 108 day yoga program... NOT!  I am too weak.  Especially with a bag of these chips around.  The label says that they are "HOT!" but I have a soft spot when it comes to hot and these don't rate real high on my hot rating.  Addictive rating... now that's a different story!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

dc craft room

In the three years of running my child care business in the house trailer at the front of our property there have been subtle changes.  Changes in seasons, changes in ages of kids that I accept, changes in decor, but truly one of the rooms has been transformed a couple of times.  It's the master bedroom of the house which is the biggest room other than the main play room.  At first I designated it as the nursery, obviously, for younger children or babies.  I have since decided that I prefer to have a different age group and realize how difficult daily life here can be when you add a baby to a few preschoolers.  So the room made a change when I took out the changing table and baby bed.

The room then sat in a sort of transition stage where the school age kids spent a little time.  I moved in some books, a bean bag, a table, and the tv/vcr combo for quiet time.  The room felt unused after a time.  Especially after I didn't have school age kids anymore.  So early 2014 I decided to make it our full time craft room.  We had more room and I could store supplies in there.  We used it a couple of times a week but still used the main eating table for projects too.  

This winter I decided to let it go... to give the kids the reign of the room so to speak.  I put in easy craft supplies, scissors, glue sticks, their journals and a gate on the door for privacy from the smaller ones who aren't quite ready to be turned loose.  I have two book shelves in the room.  One set of shelves houses puzzles, seasonal and educational games with numbers and letters, and the other set of shelves are the supplies.  I fill the baskets with cardboard tubes from paper towel and toilet paper rolls, styrofoam cups, cardboard, plastic bowls and even cereal boxes.  They have yarn, stickers and even their own roll of masking tape.  I have a good time coming across items, silently putting them on the shelves in the mornings and seeing what their minds come up with.  And boy do they ever come up with some stuff!  From airplanes to robots to thoughtful drawings, their minds are free to make whatever they can come up with in their craft room.  We still use it too for crafts that I come up with for them but on a daily basis.. it's their room.

BTW Our craft room does take donations!  We are getting low on scrap paper and are always looking for new, recycled supplies!

Talk about sparking creativity!  Check out this robot made with no help whatsoever from me.

I like this action shot of my kitchen helper.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

On The Menu

Here we have some vegan recipes that I have come across simply by going to Pinterest and typing in "vegan breakfast".  Truth is, I am being urged (by no one but myself) to actually do the 108 day, The Ultimate Yogi program.  The program not only consists of daily yoga and meditation but also a big change in diet, for me anyway.  Lots of juices, no processed foods (which I try my best to stay away from already), vegan, raw, and no alcohol.  It would be tough until I got the hang of it.  But this morning I wondered... what to vegans eat for breakfast?  I eat pretty healthy and switch my breakfasts from my berry-beet smoothie, my favorite green smoothie, over night oats and rye toast with almond butter, banana and flax seed.  Sounds like I would do ok I reckon.  As I was browsing, I found a few recipes I'd like to have a go with.  I actually tried making the 3 ingredient biscuits Sunday morning and not sure if the one container that I used to keep self-rising flour in still contained SR or not, I used it anyway and turns out it wasn't SR flour.  Not sure what it was actually.  Tasted pretty salty and smelled like play dough.  My fault.  Worth a try though!

3-Ingredient Coconut Oil Biscuits | #breakfast #vegan
Photo and recipe from:            

Photo and recipe credit: diary of a mad crafter... obvi                             

Photo and recipe from:  
These burritos remind me of a lunch variety of burritos that I made for myself to eat on the trails four wheeling.  I actually haven't eating any lunch meat (processed) in over a year and didn't want to spoil that being in a pinch for picnic food.  So I made "make ahead lunch wraps", ate them cold and truthfully enjoyed the heck out of them.  This version has tofu which I will admit I have never tried and am a hesitant to do so.  I'm not real sure what tofu is exactly and since we mentioned processed.... it sounds like tofu would have to be processed somehow.  I've often stared at it at the grocery store with a difficult look on my face wondering... soft? firm? what am I going to make with it? will Shaun come near it?  So I wind up leaving it there.

Do you have any vegan breakfast ideas or suggestions? Lemme have em please!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

In Memory

Bless. I am saddened to report that our dear sweet Cotton Bottom is no longer with us.  Apparently, and it doesn't surprise me with snow on the ground for a week now, that something, a possum I expect, was pretty hungry last night and found it's way to our girl.  Cotton was the only chicken we have had for over a year now and was one of the finest layers I have ever met.  Not to mention one who laid the biggest eggs I'd ever seen.  Although I admit I don't get attached in my heart to our strictly outdoor animals around here simply because they are more vulnerable to hungry wildlife when we aren't looking.  It's just part of having them and I have to understand that.  I am sad but more in a smile way for the way she was and her personality than a sad and crying way.  When you have farm animals it just is that way.  I enjoyed taking care of her and getting to know her as our lone chicken for so long.  However, this does open up the possibility of getting a larger flock.  I didn't want to introduce new chickens and was protective of her because when you mix new chickens in with existing chickens they can tend to bully especially if they are already familiar with each other and I liked her and respected her enough to not want to expose her to that.

She actually spent the night in the shop two of the coldest nights and days this past week with the warmth of the heater and Miss Kitty's company and she had her usual appetite back from where she had molted during January.  We have been blessed with a couple of really sweet chickens during the last several years of raising hens and she was for sure a sweet soul.  I would carry her around and she would talk to me in her own way.  She loved bathing in the loose garden soil and when we'd take a walk along side the shop lifting rocks and looking for worms.  Ok.. now I'm getting emotional... a little.  Enough said.  Cotton Bottom will for sure be missed.

I used this picture in the calendar I made for my family this year and it brought home a ribbon in the county fair in 2014.

Shaun recently let her out to roam for a couple of hours only to find that he couldn't find her when it was time to put her up.  Oddly enough he could find Kate either.  Turns out they were both taking a nap in Kate's dog house.  How sweet.

Friday, February 20, 2015


I love putting together my library lists and sharing them with you!  I am constantly around the web looking for new books that interest me and requesting them from my library.  

I have been on the list for The Blender Girl by Tess Masters for weeks now.  I adore my Vitamix and having a good smoothie for breakfast and am always looking for variations and new combinations to try.  This book also promises meals and desserts!  Only eleven people in front of me in line to get it now!

One of my very favorite and go to baking cookbooks is Back in the Day Bakery cookbook by Cheryl and Griffith Day from their bakery in Georgia.  This is their newest cookbook and I can't wait to get my hands on it!  I'm second in line with this one but the library doesn't actually have it yet.  If they order more than one copy I will be sure to get a brand spanking new on to look at!  Woo Hoo!

I have been a big fan of the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley.  He puts out a new book in this series each January.  This is the newest one and I actually got it faster than I thought.  I read it in about ten days which is fast for me.  It says something about a fast and easy read if I take it to the day care and opt for reading instead of internet surfing during nap time.  I really enjoyed this book just as much as the others.

The Book of Life on dvd is on hold at the request of one of my kiddos at the library.  I will be picking it up for nap time watching next week. 

And a few pictures of books that I like.

Photo found on:                       

Books from our outing at Miss Lucille's.

Found on   

This is my cookbook collection before I moved residence and decided I had too many.

Happy Birthday Marty!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Around Here

Around Here... it's been cold... icy... and snowy... finally!  Not the cold.. I could do without that.  But if it's gonna be cold it might as well snow.  It's Wednesday and I finally have kids arriving at the day care.  I was honestly ready to come back to work after five days off.  Here's a few pics from around here.

This is chicken salad.  Not like the chicken salad that goes on croissants.  This salad is for the chicken!  Since she has finished molting and is looking a lot healthier her appetite has become a lot healthier too.  This sis really mainly scraps of lettuce, spinach and wheat grass with chopped tomato, blueberries, kidney beans and torn whole grain bread ends.  She's been gobbling it up!  Today I included brown rice for her.  Shaun said "all this needs is a little salad dressing."

I was getting all set up to read in front of our warm gas logs that ran for a whole minute before cutting off.  My awesome brother-in-law came over and fixed them for us.  A broken source of alternate heat is not good is the electricity goes off.

Believe me... as pitiful as she looks she did this to herself.  Her whole back is covered in ice and snow from tossing toys around and diving for them.  I think her hair under her chin looks like a catfish.  She had a thawing out in the warm shop before coming back in the house.

I bit of snow falling.  Not as much as they were predicting but enough to play in.

Play hardly ever ceases with this girl.

Put cruising around.

Looking for a barn for my fair picture this year.  I think this is a good one.  For sure a unique one.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

On The Menu

I've heard that an open bottle of wine doesn't have a very long shelf life.  Especially when you over indulged with the first bottle and thought a second bottle would be a good idea.  Turns out the next day... it wasn't such a good idea.  I keep mine corked and in the fridge and usually don't finish a bottle in a glass but prefer to use wine in recipes.  I will never get tired of the way cooking with wine makes my house smell.  Lucky for me The Pioneer Woman just happened to post a recipe on facebook from 2009 for short ribs that uses two cups of dry red wine.  Bingo!  A use for the rest that second bottle cause I shore ain't gonna touch it otherwise for a while!  I seriously just spelled the same way that I talk.  I love it! Here's a pic and a link to her recipe and a few more.  The chicken with tomatoes and garlic is absolutely one of my favorite recipes to make.  I have thighs in the fridge right now for this very reason.

Photo and recipe credit:      

and my favorite.

Photo and recipe credit:      

Photo and recipe credit:      

And here's a fantastic recipe using white wine that I've made a bunch.

Photo and recipe credit:                        

And now a few of my own.

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Valentine For Him

Since my Valentine is so sweet, I feel he deserves some comfort.  He needs new house shoes so I picked out some good warm ones.  He mentions the electric blanket that he loved until Dottie chewed the cord in two when she was little.  Although, if I go with the blanket I think it would be better to get a throw instead of a queen size.  I don't think I would enjoy the heat on my side of the bed.  I get too hot at night for that, oh and this is about him not me.  I also am thinking of getting him a pair of sweat pants for lounge wear.  He has one pair of flannel pants and for comfort's sake I think he will enjoy an alternate to the flannel.  

We are planning a quiet evening at home with a couple of steaks and potatoes with brownies and ice cream smothered in chocolate sauce for dessert.  Using this recipe for the sauce of course!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

DC Decor

After cutting out and stitching my felt heart garland for February I had a thought for March.  Clovers, of course, came to mind but also gold coins, pots of gold and leprechaun boots.  I got busy goodling (that's one of my Mom's words... like when you goodle around in your purse to find your keys) through my felt stash for green felt.  I found I had just enough for one whole garland and some to add to the second garland.  I really love these and like the fact that despite being precious I can use them year after year.  My thoughts have already wandered towards April and Easter... I'm way ahead of you!

This is my day care journal where I store ideas and templates.  I make little pockets taped to pages for my cut outs.

I always seem to make too much glitter glue.  I can't wait until summer to see these beauties sparkling in the sunshine on the day care clothesline.