Monday, September 28, 2009

Handmade Gifts from My Florida Baby!

This past week , Ray and I were able to visit our wonderful family in Florida! My daughter Christina her husband Suj and the sweetest little guy ever, my grandson Kavi! It was a fantastic time with them and Kavi delighted us with his loving and playful ways! One Kavi highlight was him dancing perfectly on beat with arm movements and everything to Matisyahu's "One Day". Now Kavi is only 19 months old and he even hummed along to the "OH OH OH OH's"! Such joy!!!
Christina gave me my birthday gifts this trip and I have posted the photos for you to drool over! Two cheerful and fall looking pillow covers made with fabric she bought on etsy, a fabric clutch purse she made from re-purposed fabric, and an anchor necklace that was beautifully made and packaged!
Stina has and to display all her handmade goodies!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn Spice

Have you ever met anyone who hates fall? Well I feel sorry for them if they do, because it is a refreshing and beautiful time of the year! I think that we were created to enjoy the colors and the crispness in the air during this season! I love, love, love the items in this spotlight and I hope you do too!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Two Coffee Shops and One Beautiful Lake to Go Please!

Saturday was my birthday, and I was feeling a little blue and blah , missing my daughter Christina and Suj her husband and my adorable grandson Kavi. I couldn't decide what to do that day, wondering about driving to my favorite Indian restaurant in Birmingham or just nothing special, when I had an urge to have Zaxby's for lunch! There is one about 20 minutes away in Boaz, an area that Ray (my hubby) does a lot of work in. Jenny my youngest daughter and Rachel who is like a third daughter, Ray and me drove up together to have some "a step up from fast food" chicken. Ray told me before we left that there was a coffee shop in Boaz also and I didn't have much hope about it ( coffee in these here parts is just too weak for my taste)but there was an actual website for the place AND they said it was "Seattle Style"!
Well, after Zaxby's we headed to Jamoka's and found that the coffee was good AND the place was cute! Ah...looks like this birthday isn't a total loss after all!
We then took a ride about 8 miles further to show the girls an area that they had never been in before called Lake Guntersville. Even when we still lived in Florida, we knew people who had a cabin there or had vacationed there before. Fishing is the big thing there with a huge lake that the road goes right through the middle of. The Tennessee River also winds all through that region so the drive is very picturesque.
We got out of the car for a bit right on the shore of the Lake in an attempt to make a happy birthday phone video to send to Rachel's mom (her birthday same day as mine!)and there was a little rain falling on us, but it was peaceful and lovely to look at.
On the way back home we ended up seeing ANOTHER coffee shop named "Percaso's" and thought we would be really decadent and try the coffee there too! And it was also cute and my coffee was nice and strong!
Now, it would have been a perfect day if Kavi, Stina ans Suj were with us too! Kavi would have had fun running on the shore of the Lake, Stina and Suj would have loved the mountains and water views and Stina would especially have loved the coffees!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Etsy Smorgasborg

Just a little taste of the variety of things in my etsy shop,

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Better Put that Healthy Sweets Thing On Hold!

Yesterday, before dinner I was pleasantly surprised by our neighbors, Jenn, Andy and their sweet little girl Afton with a gorgeous and delicious cake made for my birthday! I had seen this cake in a cookbook that Jenn got for her birthday, it was called "Triple Fat Pants Cake"! I thought that name was sooo funny and the cake looked scrumptious! So Jenn made this sweet treasure with a brownie base, homemade vanilla butter cream frosting with homemade chocolate chip cookies on top! Need I say more?

My birthday is this weekend and it is also the birthday of another sweet little girl neighbor, Sophia! Sophia's grandma is my good friend Nancy from Florida who has been on a baking trend and will be visiting this weekend, sooo I will try to put the fruit of self control in effect!

The cake was "to die for"! Thanks Jenn so much!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Any Healthy Not Gonna Kill Ya Sweets Out There?

I think that my mother subliminally planted a love for desserts and sweets into my brain. When I was a teenager I lost a bunch of weight by becoming more active and being out with my friends instead of staying home and noshing all day. My mom noticed my weight loss of course and sternly told me that I shouldn't give up eating sweets and that I would be fine if I just ate different sweets each day instead of the same ones! At that time my mom received weekly alimony checks from my father and when the mail came she promptly went around the corner to the bakery and stocked up on pastries, danishes and cookies. (I have mentioned before that my mom had some mental issues, she passed away in 1998)
I know that all things in moderation are fine, but as I am getting older and my metabolism is slowing down I can't help but think that my "need for sweet" is part of what is keeping some extra baggage on my body if you know what I mean!
I have been trying to use my exercise bike 5 times and week and just started doing "Walk Away The Pounds" aerobics again last night. And, I love healthier foods, veggies, grilled meats, salads, fruit, whole grains, etc.
I have been making fruit smoothies lately as an alternative to ice cream and I make sure to measure what I'm drinking, using skim milk and TRUVIA instead of sugar, but I need to have something that doesn't require a small appliance to make!
So, if anyone has any recipes for healthy cookies, muffins or anything, please comment with your ideas! I need, I need, I want, I want!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Some New Cozy Things For my Etsy Shop

This cowl is made by crocheting with two yarns, one blue and one green and comes with a crocheted flower pin!

This cowl comes with a detachable flower pin that can be used to tighten the fit around the neck or to wear separately to liven up a jacket or sweater!

This big and chunky cowl is made from a wool blend and can be adjusted by using the toggle button to tighten the fit around the neck!

This neck warmer can be worn this way, or to the side or with the tie in back, deepending on the look and how much shielding from the wind you want!
More winter goodies to be posted in my etsy shop in the days ahead!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

From Russia With Love

I love these little dolls and would love to start a collection of them! I already have one set of stacking dolls , one stuffed doll and a little pouch I use for my camera!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My New Teacup and Custom Kitchen Towels!

A few days ago I was in Anthropologie in Birmingham with my husband Ray, friend Jane and her daughter Rachel when unbeknownst to me, Jane was buying me an adorable teacup and saucer that I had been eying! I love this store's kitchen ware because it is so unique, not like your average Walmart or Target fare but a little more interesting and colorful. Last night she presented me with this little treasure while at the same time I also received a custom order of two kitchen towels from my daughter Christina I had requested she make me embellished kitchen towels with the gorgeous vintage kitchen fabric that she had ordered because it was the exact color theme and design that I have in my kitchen!
The great thing is that these two things totally matched each other as you can see from the pictures! I guess it was destined to be so, neither party of course knowing that I would be getting such coordinating goodies!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Some New Foodie Finds....

A good friend of our family has been visiting her daughter Rachel who lives with us these past few days. Jane is a great hippie girl nurse from Spokane Washington, the mecca for healthy organic foods, and she has introduced us to a few delicious things since she has been here! The first thing was Kefir Cheese which I had never heard of before, but she discovered it was sold in our local International Super Market and brought it to our house to make some pita bread, tomato,cucumber, onion, and avocado sandwiches. She spooned the Kefir Cheese on it with some fresh ground pepper and salt and it was scrumptious! The consistency of the cheese was thicker than sour cream, tart and rich tasting and perfectly accented the flavors of the veggies.

"Kefir has antimutagenic and antioxidant properties, and can possibly be used to prevent mutagenic and oxidative damage in the human body [4]. One can change the nutrient content by simply fermenting for shorter or longer periods. Both stages have different health benefits. For instance, kefir over-ripened (which increases the sour taste) significantly increases folic acid content.[5] Kefir also aids in lactose digestion as a catalyst, making it more suitable than other dairy products for those who are lactose intolerant.[6] The kefiran in kefir has been shown to suppress an increase in blood pressure and reduce serum cholesterol levels in rats.[7]"


The second fun food thing was Agave Nectar, a natural substitute for sugar which can be used to sweeten hot or cold beverages and in baking.

"One of the most health-promoting properties of agave nectar is its favorable glycemic profile. Its sweetness comes primarily from a complex form of fructose called inulin. Fructose is the sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. The carbohydrate in agave nectar has a low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without the unpleasant "sugar rush" and unhealthful blood sugar spike caused by many other sugars. Agave nectar is a delicious natural sweetener that can be used moderately - by dieters, some diabetics, and health conscious cooks - to replace high-glycemic and refined sugars. "

It tasted sweet like honey but with a milder taste.

The third fun food was All Natural Brown Cow Maple Yogurt with Cream Top! All I can say is "party in my tummy!"

"Today, we still make our yogurt in small batches, using only the freshest, most wholesome natural ingredients, including milk from local dairy farms here in Northern California.

So why buy Brown Cow now? Simply put, it’s a product you can feel good about. We start by using milk from carefully selected local herds whose cows are noted for their rich, high protein milk. These family farmers have pledged not to treat their cows with rBGH, artificial bovine growth hormone. In addition to supporting local family farms, we also work to support the environment by donating 10 percent of our annual profits to environmental causes.

Most important, however, is the taste! To make a genuinely natural yogurt, we never use preservatives or artificial ingredients. Even though people know us best for our original Cream Top yogurt, rest assured every batch of all of our super-premium yogurts adheres to special recipes and is given meticulous attention. The end result is a wide selection of rich, creamy and positively delicious—and entirely healthy—yogurts."

The Maple flavor was reaally really good!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fun Fall Fashion!

Every Fall since I was a pre-teen I have looked forward to the extra chunky September Fashion magazines! I have always lived a thrifty life so it wasn't all the designer clothes that drew me in, but just for looking for inspiration for cheaper versions with similar styles, colors and textures.
Have you ever noticed how every September, different shades of purple come into vogue? I have noticed, and I always crave something in that color family as soon as the first cool breeze arrives! This year I have already gotten one purple plaid shirt from Target, one purple plaid Miley Cyrus (I know I'm too old to admit that but it fit so I had to get it!), and I ordered two from Faith21 (Forever21 plus size). That may seem like a lot, but it is my birthday month and I traditionally ask my husband to let me just get some shirts and stuff for the occasion that I pick out myself.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Leave it to Etsy...Some Fall Themed Jewlery

Goldenrod Blossoms

Moonlight Leaf

Deery Lou necklace
I found these lovely things on an etsy search and I just love the autumnal feeling I get from them! Fall is coming and like many of you, I can hardly wait! It is my favorite time of year as it seems as if an artist's paintbrush adorns nature with the most cheerful and brilliant colors!