Friday, November 30, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. hot tea
2. Charlie Brown Christmas
3. Christmas music
4. lists
5. ideas - from dinner ideas, art ideas, things to work on ideas - lot so of ideas floating around my head right now

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Memory Jars

Last year for Christmas I made probably about 24 Memory Jars. I have had really good feedback from everyone I gave them too and they all seem to love them and are enjoying capturing memories. The idea is taking little slips of paper and writing down a memory and stuffing them in the jar. At the end of the year, you and your loved ones pull them out to celebrate the end of the year and share in those moments were created throughout the year.

I found the idea on Pinterest, but it was just a plain jar with scraps of paper. I wanted it a little more personalized for the people I was giving them too. I looked through all my craft supplies and gathered paper, beads, stickers, tags, charms, ribbon, wire, clips, rubber stamps and anything else I could find for embellishments. I will say a scrapbooking roller adhesive saved me so much time and mess.  Like this one sold at Hobby Lobby.

Before wrapping I took miniature clothes pins and clipped together a bunch of little slips of paper that said things like: enjoying life, memories, celebrating, today..., and then just little clip art of hearts, snowflakes, tropical drinks with umbrellas, sea shells and so on - so that memories could be wrote on them, folded and stuffed in the jar.   I also clipped a little tag to a bundle of those slips that said:
The Memory Jar
A family gathering, an afternoon with a good friend, just a moment in the day that made you smile or feel good... memories that mean a great deal to us, but maybe get lost with the passage of time. The memory jar holds onto those memories for us. Throughout the year, write down just a few words about that special moment in time on a piece of paper and stick it in the jar. Then - this time next year - open the memory jar and pull out your special memories to enjoy with your loved ones.

You can download the slips and the tag that I used in my jars here:  Memory Jar Slips  and  Memory Jar Tags

They are a fun gift to make - easy and inexpensive. You can give them to not only family, but friends, teachers, neighbors, clergy, and so many others.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Desire Map

Danielle LaPorte is always inspiring to me. The Desire Map trailer hits it for me on so many levels because it is speaking to me. The not being good enough or worthy is something, I still struggle even though I have identified it so so long ago.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Safe & Sound

Again from The Hunger Games

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Inner Peace

me holding leaves
"When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us. When our community is in a state of peace, it can share that peace with neighboring communities and so on. When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to de­velop inner happiness and peace." - Dalai Lama

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gratitude Friday

on our way to Arches on along the Colorado River
I am thankful for...
1. Tammy being here to spend Thanksgiving with us
2.  being able to see an amazing couple get married and help capture their day for them
3. turkey dinner - it is my favorite and it was so good.
4. Tammy's broccoli and cauliflower casserole that was perfect and tasted delish!
5. the extra side of that is in the freezer for Michael and I to enjoy later
6. the turkey turning out perfect this year
7. a decorated tree - that Tammy helped us put up
8. a fabulous day at Arches National Park
9. getting a chance to dance with my love

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Key

"I learned that sometimes stopping is the key to going. Letting go is the key to becoming. Breathing is the key to living. (Literally and metaphorically.) And, celebrating where you are right now is the key to happiness." From Tiny Buddha - The Difference Between Fulfillment and Achievement

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Big Bang Theory Flash Mob

Michael and I both love the Big Bang Theory...and this is just fun and cool of them to do.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I am not a big country fan, but this is the song Michael and I danced to at a wedding this past weekend. Oddly enough I do know all the lyrics to it though - as every time Michael and I have heard it we look to each other and sing.  The lyrics really do fit us good though. As we both get that look on our face where....we are amazed by each other. We see the love give our world new colors daily.

Lyrics - Amazed by Lonestar
Every time our eyes meet
This feeling inside me
Is almost more than I can take
Baby when you touch me
I can feel how much you love me
And it just blows me away
I've never been this close to anyone or anything
I can hear your thoughts
I can see your dreams

I don't know how you do what you do
I'm so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby I'm amazed by you

The smell of your skin
The taste of your kiss
The way you whisper in the dark
Your hair all around me
Baby you surround me
You touch every place in my heart
Oh it feels like the first time every time
I wanna spend the whole night in your eyes

I don't know how you do what you do
I'm so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby I'm amazed by you

Every little thing that you do
I'm so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Oh, every little thing that you do
Baby I'm amazed by you

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gratitude Friday

Goulash with Potato Dumplings - the dinner I mention in my post
I am thankful...
1. fir Michael doing the job he does and doing it with compassion. He has a job of service that not everyone could do and he gives it his all helping those that feel there is no more hope left in the world for them. He gives so completely to each person...never giving up until there is no stone unturned. In the end I know even if it doesn't always turn out in the ways he and the person want - the person knows they had someone really fighting for them, looking out for them, and it makes all the difference in their world. I am so proud him and the work he does. I love you Michael!
2.  for dinner turning out on Saturday. I made a new recipe and it turned out pretty good. (recipe to come a little later)
3. for it being a good Saturday....lots of movie watching with Michael and relaxing after just a few little chores.
4.  for Creative Live and Sal Cincotta for doing the Wedding Photography Boot Camp. Sal and Taylor Cincotta are amazing and so generous with their knowledge and time. Although it is an area I am not wanting to go, it was still very interesting and useful as Michael and I were asked to do video and now are doing video and photography for his cousin's wedding.  Thankfully we also will be joined by our friend Tammy from Chicago and she will be doing the main photography with us doing backup photography and all of the video. 
5.for those who currently serve and have served in the military. As the President said to truly honor them we must do more. I believe we never do enough for those that serve and their families and they do deserve our gratitude not only in words, but actions
6.  for getting quite a bit accomplished this week
7. for mid-day dates with my love on Wednesday. We have had a super busy week, but decided to take a little us time. It was well needed and worth it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Host

The Host (The Host, #1)The Host by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I liked Twilight series and can't wait to see the movies. It is geared for young adults, but I was one of the many adults that enjoyed it. I was worried Meyers wouldn't really capture an adult audience, but this story and how it is told is an amazing read.  If you weren't a fan of Twilight I say still pick this up, because this was such a better story than Twilight. This book just pulled me and captured my attention on so many levels for me. 

I read this book in two nights.  I probably could have finished it in one night if I had started it a little earlier in the evening.   It was a little slow and hard to follow at first, but then I was sucked into the story and didn't want to put it down.  It made me laugh, cry and really feel for all the characters.

Wanderer is kind and smart. She is emotionally and mentally strong. With a big heart...she doesn't want to hurt anyone.  She thinks of others first.  While she was the character that I liked the most, there are other characters great characters. Melanie is strong and tough - both physically and emotionally.  She is most like the average human. If in the same situation they would act like her. Ian was another character I enjoyed also-  almost more then any of the other males.  He was able to see what the group was doing to Wanda. He changed and saw beyond the human's fears.

I felt the characters were developed well.  They suffer and their core ethics and morality are tested, but provide emotional release and show those better parts of ourselves. Love conquers all --- even across species. That isn't exactly a new theme, but Meyer really tells  great story  bringing  the situation to life - transporting us through it.

View all my reviews

Now the movie will be coming out in March and they released a trailer yesterday....looks pretty good to me. Can't wait to see it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Turkey Tetrazzini

Thanksgiving is almost here and one of my favorite ways to use up leftovers is making Turkey Tetrazzini.


  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers (I did mixture of yellow, green and red)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil or butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups white button mushrooms, ends trimmed, sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups  low-sodium chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 cups half and half
  • 12 ounces spaghetti noodles
  • 1 pound cubed or bite-size roast turkey
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 cups potato chips, crushed 


Saute the onions and bell peppers in olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over high heat until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the mushrooms, spices, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and have released their liquid, about 6 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons butter.  Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and chicken stock and cook, stirring, until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Add the half and half and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and very flavorful, 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti noodles until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Spray a 9 by 13-inch casserole or baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
When the sauce has thickened, add the noodles, turkey, and Parmesan to the skillet and stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared casserole and top with the potato chips. Bake uncovered until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.  Serves 8.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kingdom Come

Tammy gave me the last 2 books to The Hunger Games trilogy for my birthday.  This is a song that was in the movie.  I loved the books and the movie. I can't wait for the last 2 movies.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Desire Map Poem

Danielle LaPorte is launching a new project - The Desire Map. I can't wait to read, join, jump and be a part of it when it comes out. But here is a video poem by her. It is hitting many things I am working on and have been working for a long time. Looks like it is going to be very interesting and very helpful.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Gratitude Friday

me standing in leaves
I am thankful...
1. for a beautiful day - Saturday. We took a day trip with friends to Moab and had a very nice time with them last weekend
2. that one of my Grandma's is about to be settled in closer to family
3.  for all those that came before me to fight for our civil rights and made it possible for me express my beliefs through the voting process
4. that President Obama won 
5.  for the potato soup that simmered in the crockpot on Tuesday and made the house smell so good
6. for hot tea warming me up when I feel so cold today
7.for finding I had $20 left on an Amazon gift card, so I could order a few more books on my wishlist
8.for the resellers on Amazon so that I don't feel I am chopping down another tree with the 5 books I ordered
9.  for having power. I have done laundry, used the microwave, the dishwasher, and the bread machine. Thankful we have power to all the appliances that we use everyday such as the fridge, computers and chargers for all the various devices. I am thinking of friends today in NJ who don't have power and hoping they get their power back soon.
10.  for the many cheerleaders I have in my life that cheer me on for things that I do in my life and things that are coming. You all give me so much help in being able to go forward confidently!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Living in Pain

"If we spent one third of the energy that we spend on chasing happiness…on getting better at being in pain…our experience of being alive would dramatically expand." Chela Davison from a blog post on Pain: A Love Story

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

President Thanking Staff

Just love how real and genuine his feelings and emotions are in this video.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Right Now

fall leaves in GJ
I collected this quote recently that I really need to read often....

"The point is that our true nature is not some ideal that we have to live up to. It's who we are right now, and that's what we can make friends with and celebrate."  Pema Chordon


Friday, November 02, 2012

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for....
1.  I am thankful for donating some items that we had hanging around here that might help families in need
2.  naps 
3. homemade milk shake in the middle of the day
4. good doctor visits this past week the hopefully make me on the road to less pain
5. breakfast for dinner
6. hot tea
7. library books