Thursday, July 20, 2017


I've always loved shopping secondhand, mostly for the deals but also I like the feeling of recycling and reusing.  I was a big Good Will shopper and gave frequent donations but unfortunately they closed their store in my town.

On Tuesday one of my favorite blogs, Reading My Tea Leaves, wrote a post about the company Thredup, an online secondhand clothing store.  The company offered an extra 40% discount to the first 100 readers from her blog who placed an order.

I ordered a JCrew tunic, a pair of Lands'End Shorts, a Basic Editions skirt and a Studio West skirt, all for just over $23 with the discount.  My package came today and everything looks great!

Thredup will also buy your clothing.  I tried to order a Clean Out Kit today but unfortunately they aren't sending out any kits till after July.  It seems they're a bit overwhelmed with clean out bags at the moment.  So I'll have to wait and see how that end of the business works.  But for now, I'm super pleased.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lessons I'm Grateful For: A Book Recommendation.

I recently finished reading The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying.  The book was written by a young wife and mother, Nina Riggs, while dying of breast cancer.  I don't write very often about the books I read, even though reading is a huge part of my life.  But Nina's book is something I find myself thinking about every day.  

I am a person who is sometimes overly consumed with mortality.  This book for me has been a lesson on dying.  For years I've kept a common book.  I've copied down more of Nina's words than I have from any other source before.  Her courage, grace, and insight are not easily forgotten, nor should they be.  

Not often, but there are times when emotions are too strong for me to write about, knowing I won't find words that will do them justice.  Yet she wrote, leaving a legacy for her husband and two young sons (ten and six).  Nina died February of this year.  She was 39.

The truth of it is, I hope I never go a day without thinking of Nina's book.  To be honest, I had a healthy fear of death and now she's changed how I feel about it.   She's given me important lessons on living and dying.  Lessons that were delivered with humor, love, and hope.  Because, "Dying isn't the end of the world."

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Amelia's First Book

This is my 12th book.  I must say, it's getting more difficult to come up with ideas.  

Here Comes the Sun, seemed the perfect choice for this little spark of sunshine.

Now, back to work.  Sophia turns one in August and Rowen turns two in October!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Friday Brunches

Our daughters, both teachers, are enjoying their summers home with their small children.  Our oldest daughter was lamenting the days gone when we used to spend time together (before children), going out for lunch or going to museums and other such outings.  So she came up with a plan.

Every Friday morning this summer either she, her sister, or her father and I host a brunch for the four adults and three little ones.  I love it.  I don't know which I enjoy more, watching our daughters sharing the bond they have as sisters, or their children bonding as cousins.  Either way, Grandpa and I are just happy to be included.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Weekend Cooking

I realize the title of this post doesn't quite match up with the date of the post.  But here's to cooking on the weekends.

If you're in the mood for that wonderful yeasty taste of homemade bread, and you're grilling this weekend, I have the recipe for you.

Last Saturday I made grilled flat bread.  I followed this recipe from Food52.  If you haven't been on their website, and your're a foodie, I highly recommend you visit.  I get their email updates and follow their Facebook page.

This is the simplest yeast bread I've ever made.  I made it on the indoor grill so Paul didn't have to mess with it while he had a grill full of meat.  But really, it's so simple to do it wouldn't have mattered.  It's a great way to have fresh bread in the summer time.

Also, last weekend I noticed the stores had pickling cucumbers in the produce section so I was able to make both sweet and dill pickles, two of my favorite things about summer.

When I was younger I canned old fashioned hot water bath pickles.  Then one day it dawned on me that refrigerator pickles would be so much easier.  Not only are they easier, they're so much better. The pickles stay really crisp. The only problem, well two problems are waiting two days to eat them and keeping up with demand.  I can't wait for the farmers' markets to have the minis available.

You can find the sweet pickle recipe here.  I add sliced sweet mini red peppers and mustard seed to this recipe.

The dill pickle recipe is here.  My first jalapeno was ready so I picked and sliced it and added it to the jar.  I wish I would have had two ready to pick, one isn't quite hot enough.  Next batch I will add two.

Summer is such a great time for cooking and eating!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bulldog for Baby

I just finished knitting this little bulldog for our granddaughter, Amelia.

The pattern is in the book, Knit Your Own Dog.  I found a copy at the library.

The bulldog is a little bit of a challenge.  Those wrinkles and folds take some maneuvering.


Amelia lives in a house with two English bulldogs, Frank and Beans, roughly the same age she is.  
 She turned one yesterday. 

Now on to making her book.  I have one week till her party.  I'm always working up to the last minute on gifts.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Weekend Cooking

I enjoy cooking, when I'm trying out new recipes that is.  This past weekend I tried out a few.

Last week we picked, pitted and froze 24 and 3/4 quarts of sour cherries.  Yesterday morning I made cherry turnovers.  I used the recipe from The Vanilla Bean Blog.  Since I was pressed for time I used frozen puff pastry.  Delicious!! 

You can find the recipe here.

I also tried two other amazing recipes this weekend.

I made this awesome sauce for fish.  I think it's by far the best fish I've ever made, simple, fast and wonderful.  

I did substitute cod fillets for the tilapia.  The recipe is here.

And finally, I had some sirloins in the freezer so I thought I would fancy them up a little by adding some crab meat and an indulgent sauce. I made this Steak Jalisco.  I think next time I will omit adding the lime juice at the end.  

The recipe is here.

I usually try a new recipe at least once a week.  My husband is tolerant of this hobby.  When he doesn't like something he'll say, "So, what do you think?"  I know then I won't be making that dish again. 

These recipes got three thumbs up.