Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cherries in the Snow

I've been wearing Revlon nail enamel on my toes in the color called Cherries in the Snow for the past two weeks, and I can't believe how good it still looks!  Guess the OPI Start to Finish base coat was a good idea.  :-)

I love this color!  I usually stick with more muted, neutral or brownish hues, but I like the way this red really pops, even when I wear my new shoes from Target.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hump Day Hobbies

Baking counts as a hobby, doesn't it?  (Just say yes and go along with me on this, okay?)  Today I've got the most delectable recipe for banana flax bread to share.  But first things first:

By way of background, I've been friends with a wonderful woman named Gretchen for the past 11 years.  Gretchen lives in Tarrytown, New York.  We met online (shocking, I know!) when we were both fans of a TV show called "Due South" which was made in Canada in the mid 1990s and ran in reruns on TNT in the late 1990s (that's when I started watching).  We loved the show and its star, Paul Gross.  Gretchen and I planned to meet each other in person and go see Paul Gross play Hamlet on stage at the Stratford Theater Festival in Stratford, Ontario in 2000.  Sadly, Gretchen had a loss in her family and wasn't able to go.  (I got to go and see him and he was fabulous!!)  We really wanted to meet face to face, so I arranged to go visit her in New York later that year.  We became close friends, and ever since, we've tried to get together for a girls' trip every year. 

Gretchen and me in Durham, NC - September 2010
We've gone back to Stratford 5 or 6 times since 2002.  We always stay at the beautiful Avery House Bed & Breakfast in Stratford.  The two ladies that run it, Judy and Sue, remember us and make us feel at home.  During our visit there this past June, Sue was kind enough to share this recipe with us:

Banana Flax Bread

1/2 cup butter
1/2 - 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup flax meal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups mashed bananas (2 large or 3 small bananas)
1/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk

Cream butter and brown sugar together until light and creamy.  Add egg.  Mix together dry ingredients.  Mix together bananas and yogurt.  Add alternately to butter.  Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes for a loaf or 15-20 minutes for 12 muffins.

This recipe doubles and freezes well. 

Weeknight Tacos

While perusing Taylor Marie's fun Bows and Brownies blog earlier this week, I spotted a post about the delicious-looking tacos you see below.  I couldn't resist trying them for dinner last night.  My husband Bill gave the thumbs up sign so high, he nearly reached the ceiling!  That's how good these are.  They're quick and easy and very, very yummy.  And healthy on top of that!  You use lean ground beef along with green pepper and onion then smother it with a fabulous Greek yogurt sauce with spices and mild green chiles.  What's not to love?

Trust me.  Do your tummy a favor and fix these for dinner this week!  Thanks, Taylor Marie!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I've been eyeing these shoes at Target for the past month or so.  Well, lucky for me, they were on clearance in my size for $9.98 last night.  Score!!!  I'm wearing them at work today and they're comfy and cute.  Go, me!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hump Day Hobbies

So here's one of the goals I have for my little blog:  every Wednesday, I want to do something creative.  Tonight, I made a card:

I think it came out kind of cute!  I used Stampin' Up! cardstock in Not Quite Navy and Whisper White, with Stampin' Up! Classic Ink in Not Quite Navy, Old Olive and Baja Breeze.  The stamp set used is "Going Retro" by Unity Stamp Company (via Archiver's), and the bling is Close To My Heart's Bitty Sparkles.  It's just a simple card, but I like the way it turned out.  Hope you got to do something creative today too!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bathing Beauties

Even though the temperature is nearing 100, that's not stopping these girls from coming out to sunbathe!


The beautiful orange gladiola is from the neighbor's yard (shh...don't tell them I stole a picture!) and the honeysuckle is from my back fence.  I wish you could smell its sweet aroma.  We had honeysuckle in the yard of the house I grew up in, so everytime I smell my honeysuckle vine it reminds me of home.

Friday, July 15, 2011

"If I had a nickel for every chocolate chip cookie I've made over the years, I'd be rich!"

My mom Betty (the pretty lady on the left) is the world's best chocolate chip cookie maker, hands down.  She's been perfecting them since I was a little tyke (middle).  She's a wonderful all-around cook, just like my Grandma Sherman (right), but her baking skills are seriously second to none!

I truly believe she's made an average of three batches every week since I was born!  Since I am now 39, that puts her total (including some extra batches for school bake sales, visiting teaching appointments, parties, potlucks, etc.) close to 350,000 cookies!

I love my mom for teaching me by example that kindness goes a long, long way.  To this day she shares her scrumptious cookies with every neighbor, friend, relative and mail carrier she knows.  Perfect strangers share their life stories with my mom because they can tell without even knowing her what a sweet and kind spirit she has.  I'm so privileged to have her as my mom.  I hope I can measure up to her example in some small way.

I love you, Mom.  (And thanks for the chocolate chip cookie recipe!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Heart Ina

I fixed one of my all-time favorite side dishes for dinner tonight:  baked potatoes with yogurt and sour cream.  I'm a devoted fan of Ina Garten a/k/a The Barefoot Contessa on Food Network.  I'd give my left arm to actually know her.  Well, almost.  Alas, she's in the Hamptons, and I'm in the sticks!  So the next best thing is making one of her delicious recipes.  My husband raves about this one every time I make it.  :-)

Here goes...

I've been wanting to try a blog of my own for the past month or so.  And today, I'm taking the plunge!  I've been following some style blogs and some everyday-life blogs and really enjoying them. I don't know exactly what this blog will turn into.  Let's see, shall we?