Sunday, January 27, 2013

This will be the week...

Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see --Mark Twain

This will be the week that I will live in kindness. 

This will be the week that I will forgive myself for not accomplishing everything on the list.

This will be the week that I remember how many wonderful people I have in my life. 

To be inspired by the kindness of strangers, please visit I Believe In Strangers. It's a website dedicated to stories of kindness, and I'm not going to lie I was crying like a baby by story number 3. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Photo Friday

This week has been FULL. I am looking forward to a fun-filled Friday and Saturday with friends. Tomorrow we are taking the kids to Legoland, and then the Mister and I are driving into the city to see friends we haven't seen in a LONG while. Today I'm going to bake cookies, and spend some time in my studio while the kids are at school.

Enjoy your weekend!

I have a tutorial for those star ornaments on The Pagan Village if you have a hankering for some craft time.

Monday, January 21, 2013


"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." -Maya Angelou

Have you ever started a project with an idea of the finished product, only to have the idea evolve and change as you work? This is a regular occurrence for me. When I was a teenager I found it infuriating. Now I roll with it. My brain and the universe have reached some kind of agreement wherein the universe provides a constant stream of inspiration and my brain mashes it all together and stirs it up and then provides me with what I need as I work.
The biggest, hardest lesson is this: if you don't work, the ideas don't come.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cookies for breakfast!

Sometimes I like to shake things up a bit. Sometimes I like cookies in the morning.  I want my kids to eat breakfast, and some mornings a bowl of cereal isn't going to cut it. I took a recipe out of one of my favorite cookbooks and tweaked it enough to make this a cookie worthy of the breakfast table, or the tea tray, or straight off of the cooling rack with a cup of coffee.

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie
Allergen warning: contains eggs, butter, almonds, and wheat.
Makes about 24 cookies
112 calories per cookie

4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup Splenda (or white sugar if you don't do Splenda)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground almond meal
2 rounded teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup rough-chopped banana chips

Preheat the oven to 325. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or foil).

Pop the butter and coconut oil into the microwave together for 10-15 seconds, so that everything is nice and soft. Then plop that into a large bowl and cream it together with the Splenda and the brown sugar. You want it to be light and fluffy before you add that egg. Once the egg is good and mixed in, you can add the vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix your flour, almond meal, salt, baking soda. Stir those up good and then add your oats, cranberries, and banana chips.

Mix your dry stuff into your wet stuff. Mix it really well--it pulls together in a sticky, oaty, cinnamonny mess. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto your prepared baking sheets and bake for 20-22 minutes. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack. They crisp as they cool.

Thoughts that occurred to me:
What's with the allergen warning? My life is filled with people who have all kinds of dietary restrictions. I'm a label-reader.

You can make the recipe dairy-free by using only coconut oil. The butter flavor will be gone, but the texture will be much the same.

Baking with Splenda...sometimes your baked goods You don't have to use it, and when I make cookies for the sake of cookies I use real sugar. But I was going for a lower-sugar, low-cal breakfast cookie.

Why whole wheat flour? It's really good for you, and I like the way it tastes.

Why almond meal/what is almond meal? Almond meal is ground almonds. Almonds are good for you, and so tasty!

Dried cranberries not your thing? Use raisins, chopped dried apricots, dried cherries or dried blueberries. I almost put coconut flakes in there but decided against it at the last minute.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Today is my little brother's birthday. And not to brag, but he is the coolest little brother of all time.

Here's to you, Jono! Amazing musician, superfun uncle, and the best friend a sister could ask for. We love you to the moon and back!

Check out his band's newest EP on bandcamp!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Quote of the week

Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have a fondness for Emerson. He was an American essayist and poet who was born in 1803 and died in 1882. He believed in the divinity of nature and the equality of all people. He influenced Whitman and Thoreau. If you want to read more of his work you can go here.

I had planned on spending this week outdoors doing outdoorsy things, but when I woke up this morning it was 12 degrees. If it can crawl above 20, I'll bundle up and brave the chill. I was hoping to introduce the kids to geocaching this week. I've looked and there are 3 caches within walking distance of the house. This is all part of my grand plan to spend more time outside with them. Lately we have gotten lazy and have spent more time indoors than I care to admit.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Photo Friday!

Well how do?!
Happy Friday to you! The above collage is our December holiday round-up, as seen through the lens of my new camera (Thanks Mom and Dad!) There was music and my baby niece and gobs of family. It was the best.

If you're looking for an easy weekend project, I have a polymer clay pendant tutorial up over on The Pagan Village.

Coming up next week on the blog: silhouette portraits, some Emerson, and more fun with MY NEW CAMERA. I'm still getting used to having a "for real" camera again--and looking for any tips to help me get back into the swing of taking pictures. Have you done a photo challenge before? Did you enjoy it? 

Monday, January 07, 2013

Quote of the Week

The body heals with play,
The mind heals with laughter,
And the spirit heals with joy.

Happy brand new week to you!
This week I am aiming for more play and more laughter. My kids are back in school after winter break (yay/boo!), my mother in law has come to visit (yay!), and I'm in tech rehearsals all week ( I'm assistant light designer, so there's note taking and cue fixing to be done). In short: 2013 has hit the ground running.

What are you up to this week?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Welcome 2013!

A while ago, I decided that I wasn't going to make resolutions any more. Instead I make goals. In the past this has included things like learn how to make creme brule and how to open champagne bottles. Last year I made A LOT of goals, and I accomplished most of them but I was feeling burned out by November.

This year I have limited myself to five goals that I can stretch out over the year.
1. Make art every day ( for at least 10 minutes)
2. Become more comfortable with photography. ( Ideally, I'd like to get to the point where having a camera in my hand feels natural)
3. Enter a reader challenge in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine
4. Make time to play outside with the kids
5. Continue with belly dance and bicycling

What are your goals for 2013?