Monday, January 31, 2011

Want to keep your dishes...

I thought these were a brilliant wedding gift idea...

I hope they call me on a Mission...

available HERE...

peg dolls, doll, little peg people. peggies, wedding cake toppers, cake toppers, cupcake toppers, birthday, decorations, painted, anniversary, available in love boxes shop...

Sarah's Tomato Basil Soup...

I didn't know I liked Tomato Soup. I think I had one can of Campbell's as a kid and turned my nose up at it forever after (Campbell's Bean & Bacon is still a go to favorite though). Then, my friend Sarah made this soup for lunch. It tastes like you are pouring summer down your throat. I ate every bit and was tempted to lick the dish. You will LOVE this soup. c and I are making it this week.

5 strips of Bacon (I think you could use 2 T olive oil instead...)
1 rib celery chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded & diced
1/2 green pepper, seeded & diced
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup half-and-half

Cook bacon, and drain all but 1 T of drippings. Add celery, onion and carrot - cook 2 minutes. Add peppers, garlic and half of the basil. Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add bouillon cubes and stir to dissolve. Blend soup in batches, return to pot and add half-and-half (or milk - which I used) and remaining basil. Simmer for 45 minutes.

Taste and adjust (my favorite part :) - add salt and pepper and maybe sugar..and maybe more milk. I think I added about 2 t. sugar and probably some pepper....also, I did everything the day before and just the final step (milk/more basil) before lunch. I really think it makes the chopping manageable and when cooking with this many vegetables, it probably helps the flavors "marry."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Jade's Beautiful Dress...

I loves painting this dress. I'm showing the photos a bit darker than they really are so you can see the detail better.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Angel & Ballerina...

These aren't finished yet, they still need the finish :)

But, I like how they are turning out.

Big and little sister. The white one was an Angel in the

Nutcracker... The little one is wearing a bear ears hairdo. .. I love bear ears on the littles.

peg dolls, doll, little peg people. peggies, wedding cake toppers, cake toppers, cupcake toppers, birthday, decorations, painted, anniversary, available in love boxes shop...

Guilty treat...

I'm not much of a french fry person... but, these are sweet potato fries.. Mmmm...
The girls and I try to share them 3 ways, but you have to be fast and use your elbows!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Your Refined Heavenly Home...

That's what I want. To be surrounded by real beauty; good music, great art, the best books and most importantly of all, a spirit of peace and love.

I love this BYU Devotional talk by Douglas L. Callister sent to by my sister Jackie. Beautiful.

Here is a favorite quote: The nearer we get to God, the more easily our spirits are touched by refined and beautiful things.

More Fairies...

Fairies, fairies, fairies...

peg dolls, doll, little peg people. peggies, wedding cake toppers, cake toppers, cupcake toppers, birthday, decorations, painted, anniversary, available in love boxes shop...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Complete Faith

Today my friend Jen taught our Relief Society lesson. She did a beautiful job with all of it, but my favorite part was when she talked about this scripture. I learned a lot from her.

1 Nephi 18:24 And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance.

There were no backup seeds and no backup plan. So, if you read the story of the travels and trials of Nephi's family, then you know that when they planted all of their seeds in the ground, in the place they had been directed to by the Lord, holding nothing back for another year or another place, they had put ALL of their faith in the Lord for which they... "were blessed in abundance." Inspiring to say the least.

Peter Pan at BYU...

On the right... is my cousin Jillian practicing her flying for her performance as Wendy Darling in BYU's production of Peter Pan. Go! It runs just one more week until Jan. 29th. Everyone over the age of 2 is welcome and it is pure sugar for the little ones. They just love it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Carl Heinrich Bloch...

I can't wait to see this exhibit. This is my favorite painting, Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
See more HERE...

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Secret of Kells...

Brilliant and wonderful. I can't wait to watch it again. Don't miss this one. Read about The Book of Kells HERE...

Chicago Peace Rose Postcards....

All the flowers of all the tomorrows are found in the seeds of today... ~Indian Proverb
This postcard will also be available at very reasonable cost for teacher appreciation gifts.
They come in a package of 10. And, for teacher appreciation, I will add a cello bag, pen and ribbon. $4 for 1 set $3.50 for multiple sets.
LOVe BoXEs SHoP...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Grilled Chicken & Asparagus Pasta...

I made this for dinner tonight. Delish. I love capers and next time I will add a few to the sauce. Yum.

Teacher Appreciation Postcards...

Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity. ~Aristotle
This postcard will be available at very reasonable cost for teacher appreciation gifts.
In order to get them as shown in the bottom photo, you will have to message me the number you would like.
They come in a package of 10. And, for teacher appreciation, I will add a cello bag, pen and ribbon. $4 for 1 set $3.50 for multiple sets.


Flourless-chocolate-cake-chocolate-ganache covered-chocolate-heaven. Yep.
Gourmandise: a favorite little French Bistro with a neighborly, friendly atmosphere
250 South 300 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84111(801) 328-3330
Tip: Open late (until 11) for after the Symphony!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marvelous Marinara...

This recipe was a little involved for me, since my idea of marinara is opening a jar and warming it. However, after tasting this, it didn't seem as involved after all. I'm anxious to give it another try next week. I got the basic recipe from the Lion House Lite Cookbook, but I tweaked it a lot and I'm going to tweak some more. This is what I'm going to do next time:

4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 C chopped zucchini steamed
3 carrots chopped steamed
1 med. green bell pepper
1 2 1/4 oz can sliced ripe olives, drained
1/2 C hot water
2 tsp. beef bouillon granules
5 fresh white mushrooms
1 14 1/2 oz can stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 heaping T brown sugar
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 squeeze lemon
1/3 C chopped onion
1/2 C chopped celery

Heat oil in a large saucepan; add celery & onion until onion is translucent. In a blender, toss steamed carrots and zucchini, olives, green pepper, garlic, mushrooms and stewed tomatoes. Blend until pureed. Pour whole deal in sauce pot with onions & celery. Add the other tomato products and spices. Dissolve bouillon in hot water and add to sauce. Bring it to a boil then cover simmer and stir occasionally for 1 hour. Pour over pasta and serve. (Save some to make lasagna later in the week :)

Goodbye Mr. Chips (the musical)...

OK, the music is pretty sorry. C (resident music critic) was miserable every time they opened their mouths to sing. It happens that something can seem pretty great when you're 12. (little c liked it!) Still, I love O'Toole's Mr. Chips. Who doesn't love an inspiring teacher show? Truly, a good teacher gives a gift beyond price. I wish I'd learned the classics from a Mr. Chips!
Anyway, the battle of the Mr. Chips is on... Next the 1939 Mr. Chips. We'll see how good he really is... stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pretty Flowers...

I love vintagey looking things. I saw some pretty dish towels on Design Mom and found these sheets in the Garage Sale section. I love these colors together. They are a favorite combination.

Potato Corn Chowder...

Comfort food for cold nights. This is easy & delicious.
I have a little sea salt at the table,
but you could add salt to the soup if you wished.

2 stalks celery finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
1 14.5 oz can low-sodium chicken broth
2 3/4 cup 2% milk
1/8 tsp pepper
4 golden potatoes peeled & cubed
1 can cream-style corn
3/4 grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 squeeze of lemon juice
1 T butter 1 T flour for roux

Saute onion and celery for about 3 min. until tender.
Add chicken broth, milk, roux & pepper. Stir on low until
roux is incorporated. Add potatoes, creamed corn & lemon juice.
Stirring, bring to a boil until soup thickens. Add cheese. Serve
Makes 6 servings.

Tip: I pre-soften potatoes in the microwave using a potato bag... makes it fast.

Friday, January 14, 2011

7 Favorites: A list for Golda...

1. Favorite piece of jewelry or hair accessories ~My silver heart necklace from Mexico here...
2. Most important favorite thing - ~My library of books
3. Favorite Make-up - pink blush
4. Favorite article of clothing - ~Pink Tee Shirts!
5. Favorite drink - ~Diet Coke w/ big lemon wedge and pebble ice
6. Favorite smelly thing - ~Peppermint anything
7. Favorite food - ~Chocolate

I am supposed to pass this a long to 6 people, but I've been so blog lazy that I don't know if I have reader anymore, so if you want to participate, jump in. Let me know so I can visit and read :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


The things I've been painting this week...

peg dolls, doll, little peg people. peggies, wedding cake toppers, cake toppers, cupcake toppers, birthday, decorations, painted, anniversary, available in love boxes shop...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bye Bye Birdie...

Craig and I had a conversation about making little c culturally literate... at least going backwards where some of this stuff had some talent and staying power. It was fun to show this to the girls tonight. It is a very silly show, but it has lots of pretty clothes in fun colors... and, I love Dick Van Dyke. He is a great talent.

Even More Postcards in ThE SHoP...

$4.00 for Package of 10 Presented as Shown...
find them here...

Sunshine Shawl...

I love this shop on Etsy...
This is wearable art! Beautiful!

Aqua & Green Treasury & Others...

Recently... I've loved creating these...





Tuesday, January 11, 2011

American Girl Magazine...

The arrival of this magazine in the mail is a moment of bliss at our house. It is filled with imaginative fun, with projects, recipes and ideas that are age appropriate. One of our favorite sections is where we are introduced to other girls the same age as c across the country. They tell a little bit about themselves, their interests and a typical day. It's a whole new world. Life it is different for every girl and yet the same.
Because I've found other news, blogs and creative instruction online, I have dropped all of our own subscriptions with the exception of Business Week (with which I'm currently not impressed). This is literally the only subscription left. Worthwhile.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew...

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups beef broth
3 potatoes, diced
4 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and celery.
Cover, and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.

This recipes is from Allrecipes... I used it with Corrines more savory suggestions. Which are:
1. Increase flour to 1/3 cup and substitute seasoned salt for regular salt. Put flour mixture into gallon-sized, zippered bag. Shake beef in bag to coat. Sauté coated beef in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil until browned. Add chopped onion to beef to sauté and soften. Transfer to slow cooker.
2. Mix beef broth (I used Swanson's Certified Organic in aseptic carton) with 1 TABLEspoon Worcestershire and ½ cup red wine. Pour into hot skillet to deglaze, then pour over beef and onions in cooker.
3. Add remaining ingredients with these additions: increase garlic to 2 cloves minced, 2 bay leaves; add 1 packet McCormick's Beef Stew Seasoning.

I had straight hair...

for a couple of days.. It was fun.

Back to normal... :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Oh Good! My bird is here...

Oh good. My bird is here. He cleans all the bugs from around the windows outside, working his way around the house. Works for food too. Love him. If you don't have a bird, you must get one...

My bird is kinda different looking. I don't know what sort he is. He is light brown with smallish darker brown spots and has a very long beak which helps him in his work. He comes every day while I'm here typing away. I know he's here when he begins tapping around the back doors. Sometimes if I'm very quiet I can see him for just a second. Then he comes and sits on the climbing rose which scrapes, not in an unpleasant way, across the window next to my desk.

If I try to peak at him though these blinds, he flies away, so I don't interrupt. He does not want accolades. He's very humble, humble and efficient. I would like to give him a name, but haven't thought of any that fit. We get a lot of birds around my place, but he's my favorite. Pancake, our dog, has never been up in time to meet him. Pancake is a night owl. It drives us crazy. He keeps everyone up past their bedtime, but that's another story altogether.

Once a whole congregation of geese gathered for a loud conference on my roof. Boy was that loud! It scared me until I figured out who they were. They must have been making plans to clean out the ponds. The aquatic vegetation can get quite overgrown and we have to have large groups of geese fly in to take care of the situation when it arises. They are very organized about the whole operation. They always send in the appropriate number flying in a V shaped formation. They disturbed Pancake during his nap and it was a long time before he'd pipe down about it.

We get many robins. I think they are curious birds because they come to watch on a fence post while you plant the garden or read a book in the swings. I like them, they just keep one company. Baby l loves to hop after them and they never mind a little baby sitting.

I loathe the magpies, crows and California gulls, (see the following incident but we must have a clean up crew on hand. But, never feed them! They are very dirty and it only encourages their bad behavior.
The seagulls actually poop on the sidewalk at The Church. It's not attractive and last summer it caused a lot of gossip and frankly quite a great scandal. The crows are just creepy and there are always so many. My neighbor Jake and I think they might dive bomb us one of these days and we prefer to stay in when they are out. I don't know about Jake, but I'd rather visit with birds on more of a one on one basis. Pancake is secretly afraid of them but walks bravely down the sidewalk as if they're not there just to show how brave he is. We know better...

Bluebirds are my great love! I used to see them on my walks in the morning almost every day. Bluebirds are terribly shy, so you see just a flash of heavenly shades of turquoise. It's very good luck. I am anxious to see them again in the spring. Their only job is to be beautiful.

We have a few other friends that we love. Our neighbor Tiger the cat is codependent on his family, very weird for a cat. He cries for his people if he's not with them. He's orange and very cute. He once sat for a portrait with Pancake which was entered in the Reflections contest. Tiger is the only cat Pancake enjoys an association with. Pancake says Tiger is such a good cat, he's really almost a dog.

Katie the dog is one of our favorite neighbors. She has the lovable face of a teddy bear. She reminds me of the nursemaid in Peter Pan. She is as big as a Buick and will sit on your feet so that you can't move and must continue to pet her. She is sweet, but not gentle, a very enthusiastic greeter. Once my daughter and I were on our way to lessons, c opened the car door to say hello and I instantly had a face and lap full of dog. Our car is too small for Katie we decided. Katie walks 2 miles everyday, which is exhausting, so the only thing you can really hire her for is holding down rugs that could blow away in a slight breeze or similar chore because she really needs to nap the rest of the day.

Our next door dog Bella is so elegant, but she isn't interested in any of the trappings of posh society. She is always on duty. She marches the length of the fence and back again hour after hour. It seems the mice are always planning an attack and Bella is no nonsense. They will never outsmart her. She will discover them in their devious planning every time. She gives dogs five times her size their marching orders, but is always appropriately polite to those who outrank her.

Peeka used to be the neighborhood greeter, but she so old and has such terrible allergies these days. You should hear her sneeze!

We have a good mouser that often pays a working visit. She is disinterested, black, sophisticated and arrogant. She knows how good she is. We suspect that she once lived in the city. She is willing to make a daily inspection for bartered porch naps in the afternoon sun. Pancake doesn't like her, and complains under his breath every time she comes. He swears that she sticks her tongue out at him. We tell him to keep quiet and ignore his protests since her work is so very important. Without her, we'd simply have to relocate.

I am so grateful for good service. It's encouraging that one can still get such good and useful help these days.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Incident...

I'm a Walter Matthau fan and this movie is a little gem. There are some historical inaccuracies in it, but other than that, it's really a great little film. It reminds me of 12 Angry Men, a movie I love.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Marjorie's Wisdom...

‎"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow what a ride!"
— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Thursday, January 06, 2011

New Postcards...

I argue thee that love is life. And life hath immortality.
~Emily Dickinson
Where there is great love, There are always miracles. ~Willa Cather

These postcards were created on my own without the help of a graphic designer this time, so they are a deal at $5.00 for a set of 10
Available HERE...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Guardian Angels for Sale...

peg dolls, doll, little peg people. peggies, wedding cake toppers, cake toppers, cupcake toppers, birthday, decorations, painted, anniversary, available in love boxes shop...