Tag Archives: life

SeaScape…

They call this time of year the dog days of summer.  I live on the Texas Gulf Coast where the temperatures in August are well over 100 and if it were any more humid it would be raining. But even on the most brutal of summer days relief can be found where the road meets the water…the salty sea breeze, crashing waves, the call of the seagulls, children and dogs playing in the surf, an aged couple walking hand in hand…and before you know it your enjoying a SeaScape.

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the first blank page…

Today, is the first blank page of a 365 page book... What will this book say about your life a year from now?

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2015...is here and with it comes opportunities for each of us to make a difference in our little piece of the world.  Some opportunities will present themselves in what appears to be small inconsequential moments; a warm smile offered to a passing stranger, holding the door open for a woman wrangling an active group of little’s, or paying for a cup of coffee for a total stranger.  Some opportunities will present themselves in ways that have the ability to impact someones world and change the quality of their life; giving warm clothes and blankets to a homeless shelter, helping raise money to build water wells in under developed countries, adopting a less fortunate family for Christmas.  I believe that when we give with a joyful heart our hearts are filled with joy and our life is better for it.

The bible tells us that God’s mercies are new every morning, Lamentations 3:22-23.  There is no need to wait until the beginning of a new year to make changes in our life or the lives of those around us. However, we embrace the opportunity to do just this every January 1st.   We make lists of resolutions; being more organized, eating healthier, getting more exercise, read our bible everyday, drink less, quit smoking, learn a foreign language, wake up earlier, get more sleep, visit family, and on and on and on!

Sure, today is the 1st day of the new year and there is no time like now to make a change for the better.  So DO IT!  Choose one thing to change today…Turn off the TV and read a book. Get up off the couch and go for a walk. Throw out all of the Christmas sweets and replace it with healthy snacks; fresh fruits, veggies and nuts.  Start today…it’s the first day of the rest of your life. Then tomorrow do the same thing…choose one thing to change and just DO IT!

Every day of our life is the 1st day of the rest of our life. We don’t have to wait…we can make the change now. If you didn’t start yesterday then today is the day.  No need to make a resolution…just make a change and live the life you’ve imagined. What will you write on the blank page today?

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2014 in Review: Jackson Hole Wyoming…Food Lovers Paradise!

Looking back over the trips we took in 2014 I have to say that Jackson Hole Wyoming exceeded all of our expectations! The people were friendly, the scenery was breathtaking, the hotel accommodations were spectacular. But the food was the big surprise...

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Jackson Hole Wyoming was an unexpected food lovers paradise…When we arrived in Jackson Hole, our room wasn’t quite ready so we stopped into the W0rt Hotel’s bar for an appetizer.  We ordered a burger and some fries…a Kobe burger and Portobello fries. The fries were the surprise…Tempura fried, tossed in truffle oil, red pepper flakes, Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh parsley.

IMG_6618After we finished this surprisingly delicious afternoon snack we decided to walk down to Persephone Bakery and pick up the anniversary cake I pre-ordered before we arrived in Jackson Hole. It was a delicious 6 layer red velvet cake covered in cream cheese icing…just like the one we had at our wedding reception 25 years ago.

DSC02138We were blown away by the quality of the food we experienced in Jackson Hole.  Even breakfast in our room was one for the books. The rooms at the Wort Hotel are beautifully appointed. The attention to detail and the finer touches that surround you with the feeling of true Western Hospitality could make cold cereal seem like a foodies’ dream come true.

DSC02149Our anniversary dinner was a special treat. We were seated at the Chef’s Table at the Wild Sage Restaurant.  The place was really small, only a few tables so taking pictures of our food felt a little awkward. But I did manage to snap a pic of the Chef’s in action and the dessert the Chef sent to our table.

IMG_6652We enjoyed seared Foie Gras, bison rib eye and Wagyu Beef Tenderloin…

IMG_6654One of the last meals we enjoyed while in Jackson Hole was at Snake River Grill…the highlight of that meal was the Bacon wrapped Chorizo Stuffed Dates.  It’s been 10 months since we ate at SRG and I am still dreaming about that appetizer…I have even attempted to recreate it for friends.

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Of course Jackson Hole has it’s fair share of places that offer pastries, ice cream, coffee and breads.  But just across the street from our hotel was a very special chocolate shoppe.  Atelier Ortega’s Coco Love…offered a selection of chocolates that were the perfectly sweet ending to an incredible vacation.

DSC02238Jackson Hole, Wyoming is a foodies’ paradise.  Getting there may be a bit of a challenge, but once you’re there you will be hard pressed to decide where to eat first…we were there for 5 days and ate out every single meal and didn’t scratch the surface of all the incredible places there are to choose from in and around town.   Now we know that Jackson Hole offers everything you could want in a vacation destination!

 

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Merry Christmas from Texas…

Our place all lit up for the Christmas Eve festivities

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Our Texas inspired photo booth…

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from our family to yours…Merry Christmas Y’all!

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“Splash” Christmas Decorating…

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Over the years I have gone from having very little in the way of Christmas decorations to having an over abundance of Christmas decorations.  For years I felt somehow obligated to display every single decoration I had in my possession…at times our house looked like there was a Christmas explosion.  I would like to think that I was doing it for my husband and my son, but really as much as they enjoy Christmas, fewer decorations would not have dampened their Christmas spirit.

I have to say that last year I cut back a little… I didn’t put ALL of the decorations out  but there was still an overwhelming amount spread throughout the house.  So much so that a couple of months ago I realized that there were still a few pieces hanging out in plain view…well not in the main living area, but in rooms that I do go into from time to time. Namely the game room! Oops…sorry honey!

This year, I am embracing a new style of decorating. I am not quite ready to embrace a minimalist approach. However, I am embracing the idea of Splash decorating…I don’t think that’s a real style of decorating but it’s the best description I can come up with for this post.

I do love decorating for Christmas…I enjoy the sparkle and shine that the decorations bring into the house during a time of year when the local flora and fauna are made up of browns and greys. Also, we host our annual family Christmas gathering and gift exchange. This event in itself requires a festive atmosphere…

My idea for this year is to splash a little bit of Christmas in every room in the house…A simple grapevine twisted into the word Noel and accented with tiny points of light set on the buffet. A beautiful floral arrangement placed on the dining room table surrounded by a cluster of trees made from a variety of natural materials.

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A collection of brightly colored mercury glass cone shaped Christmas trees arranged in the master bedroom on the dresser accented by my collection of vintage brooches, ladies gloves and handbags.

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The guest room is getting a simple pillow update…the cutest silver fox pillows from Home Goods.

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The kitchen gets a little splash of color with a collection of red and white Christmas tins that draw your eye up to the top of the kitchen cabinets.

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The dessert buffet table is laid out with the Christmas dishes given to me by my Mom some 20 years ago when our son was little.  I have lined the window with a collection of bottle brush trees that tie in with the Christmas trees on the dishes…

DSC03515What is your Christmas decorating style?  Do you pull out all the stops and go all Griswold on Christmas? Or are you more reserved when it comes to decorating for the Christmas Holiday?

I will admit that I am not quite done with putting out the decorations. However, the rest of the decor will be focused on our outdoor entertaining area…

 

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Crack…My go to no bake dessert recipe…

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I have one recipe that is my all time go to dessert recipe…The ingredients always seem to be available in my pantry.  When ever I make it and take it to a party, I am asked for the recipe…and yes I can rattle it off with no problem.  The recipe is a family hand me down…but if you look it up on the internet you will find dozens of variations on the original.  It is known by a variety of names; peanut butter clusters, trash, white trash and crack.

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Ingredients:

2 cups Honey Nut Cheerios
1 cup Chunky Peanut Butter
1 cup Mini Marshmallows
1 pkg Almond Bark

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Directions:

Combine Cheerios and mini marshmallows in a large bowl. Coarsely chop white bark, place in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1-1 1/2 minutes stirring once.  Stir in chunky peanut butter until mixture is smooth.  Pour over dry mixture and stir until cereal is completely coated.  Working quickly, use two teaspoons…scoop a rounded teaspoon of mixture, use second spoon to help drop the sticky mixture onto wax paper.  Allow clusters to dry before storing in an airtight container.

DSC03439Do you have a go to dessert recipe? Have you written a post on your blog about this dessert? Share your link in the comments section and join our virtual no bake dessert party!

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Busy…the new four letter word!

Lately, when asked how am I doing? My response has been a four letter word…Busy!

Sometimes life just takes over…and busyness begets busyness.  I like being busy! Being busy at work makes the day go by faster. Keeping my hands busy keeps me from snacking.  Reading a good book quiets my mind and helps me to forget about what I should be busy doing. I do not enjoy being busy for the sake of being busy...However, sometimes busyness takes over and takes on a life of its own.

When given an option I would choose a quite evening spent with my best friend, my husband, in front of our outdoor fireplace.  I would choose a slower paced drive across the country over rushing through an airport to catch a flight.  I would choose relaxing in a hammock under the oak trees over a crowded street fair.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy street fairs or traveling via the friendly skies. It’s just that life is busy enough all on its own…the daily grind of being plugged in and connected 24/7 promotes busyness.  That comment alone could get me on my soap box for hours…but that would just add busyness to my day.

When I started writing I felt compelled to write every day for the sake of writing. I put unnecessary pressure on myself.  Then when I couldn’t keep up the pace I felt guilty.  My love of writing became a chore of busyness.  It lost its shiny new luster, all because of the need to be busy about the business of writing.

I have friends that are so busy running their kids from one activity to the next, arranging after school activities and summer camp programs that they need a personal assistant to keep the calendars organized. I have friends who have traded their busy work life for a busier retired life.

I wonder if being about the business of being busy is really worth the toll it takes on our health and well-being. I wonder what effect it has on our relationships.  I guess that would depend on who you ask…

At some point you come to a time and place in your life where quality becomes more important than quantity.  Can you have both? I am sure some people can and do and their life is full and complete.  I am not one of those individuals…I prefer smaller more intimate settings, dinner parties of 12 or less, lunch ordered from a menu not from a buffet line, food eaten on a real plate and my drink in a real glass, not out of a paper sack or in a foam container.

When did busy become a four letter word?

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