sweet tooth fix

Every now and then I get a mighty strong hankering to curb my sweet tooth.

Yes, even folks that don’t eat sugar get a hankering for something sinful and sweet.

These little beauties fill the bill.  Easy, quick, makes enough for another few days, no baking, zero guilt and SO GOOD, you lick the spatula clean!

20151015_163635I call them Penny Blossoms.  Get out your favorite big bowl and magic wand (wooden spoon will work).

Combine 1 cup of gluten-free oats, 1/4 cup chopped almonds, 1/4 cup ground flax seeds, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder (I use Fry’s) and some sea salt. (side note:  I have been know to add a teaspoon of espresso powder as well.)  Swirl together.

Melt 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons almond butter over medium heat.  Once all melty (yes, that is a fancy word) remove from heat and 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract &  1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon raw honey.  I happen to have the good fortune of using Befuddled Farms Honey.  So sweet and smooth and lovely.  I am so grateful to use such a fine quality product.   Here is a word to the wise, (seek out a local bee farmer, your world just got instantly sweeter.)

I encourage you to check out Befuddled Farms face book page.  You will “bee” happy that you did!https://www.facebook.com/beefuddledFarms

Okay, back to the “how to”.   Once the mixture has cooled slightly, pour it over the oat mixture & mix well with a spoon.  At this point you can toss in raisins, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds or chocolate chips etc..  Totally up to you.  Roll the mixture into small bite-sized balls. Please make a couple big, fat, lovely ones.  One of these gems will be perfect on your way to a bubble bath, when you really need a sweet tooth fix.20151015_165425-1

Keep in a covered glass container in the refrigerator.

Save for dessert or grab one on your way to fold laundry. Or grab one on your way to work.  You might consider nibbling one while studying.  Pick out the perfect one to sample while you go to face book and look up Befuddled Farms.   There is somethings really satisfying about eating a Penny Blossom while riding your stationary bike while reading a murder mystery.   Certainly all good choices.

Ah, fancy gold star for me, the sweet tooth is conquered, for today.

step into a dream

Sometimes it is easier for me to write with someone in mind. Today, I am writing to a beautiful, smarty pants, charming, “joyful” hair girl I know.

She has a dream of traveling to Paris.  Instead of being the weird wife of a fellow co-worker, I want to be an uplifting, encouraging, human being nudging her towards that goal.  I want to push her just far enough that she can actually see and feel her dream coming alive. I want to be part of that magic.

Yes, she has an envelope that she “feeds” when she can.  Yes, she has pictures of the Eifel tower to gently remind her.

I want her to buy a Barret, a stripy black and white shirt.  I want her to buy a loaf of really quality French bread and excellent cheese and go on a picnic with her boyfriend and dream about Paris.  I want her to bathe herself in the beautiful pieces of art that were created and shown in Paris.

Actually, I want to shove her to jump in with both feet. I want her to write down her goal/dream.  I want her to see it every single day on the refrigerator. See a note every day on her mirror.  I want her to plaster her desk area with beautiful lovely pictures of Paris.

I want to gently nudge her to take in the “intimate impressionism” exhibit that is now at the Seattle Art Museum.


Last night was date night!!  I know, weird timing?  Smack dab in the middle of a work week.  Take time out, put on a cute sassy pencil skirt and head to the museum with Mr. Right.

This particular exhibit is on loan from the National Gallery of Art.  They call it “everyday moments of lasting beauty”.

We were treated to a selection of art on a personal and intimate scale.  Most often grand oversized paintings, painted to be seen at public exhibitions, these gems were on a smaller scale, yet the same breath-taking moments happened.  In the most lovely of ways. I giggled at one (and bought a post card to share) and slipped by one or two that were not to my liking.

We gazed upon works by Monet, Degas, Renior, Sisley, Vuillard, Van Gogh and more.

As you know, the first impressionist exhibition when the group was given this name, took place in 1874 and included 30 artists and 165 works of art.  For Sale!  They had to stay until the end of the exhibit, however, all were available.

This group of mostly friends, helped each other.  They encouraged one another.  They painted each others portraits, they painted out in the air, together.  They ate together, pooling what funds they had.  They shared and painted over canvases and when money was scarce, they painted on cardboard. They shared and lifted up each others dreams.

Instead of being hurt and crushed by a nasty and critical review meant to discredit their work, the critic Leroy, instead invented their identity. The Impressionists.

We each chose our favorite piece from this exhibition.picking flowers, RenoirIt was a surreal feeling of being surround with such treasures.  You could almost feel yourself silently slipping into their gardens and sitting behind artist as they created.  When you really paused a moment to look deep into the layers of paint, you could imagine the oil smell.  You could feel the draft in the room.

We chose postcards to send to our grands. flower beds by van gogh

We talked about places we had visited that were depicted in some of the paintings.

Over dinner, in the big city, we discussed the pieces even further.

Driving home we talked about brush strokes and some of the frames. We talked about color.

I talked about the “Porcelain” room at the Museum.  Bar none, my favorite room in the museum (permanent display).

This morning in our notes and card to each other, you guessed it, we discussed art.

Here’s the thing, art and artists have a way of evoking emotion.  Passion, dreams, hope, pure beauty.  This unique group of people helped each other thrive. At times, it was not easy.  It took years and years for some to sell their works.  However, there was strength in their coming together. Strength in all having a vision, a dream. There is great strength in others seeing your dream as something that is attainable.

Instead of being singled out for being wildly “independents” & “intransigents” they were a group with value.

One of my favorite pieces in this collection is “Argenteuil” by Claude Monet.  I adored the slips of light that filtered through the trees.  However this painting was extremely discomforting to many in 1872 , because it’s swiftly applied, visible brushstrokes made it seem unfinished to tradition-minded art critics.

After he had returned from the municipal exhibition in Rouen, and until the end of 1872, the most important part of Monet's artistic output took place in Argenteuil. Most of his work was done on the right bank of the Seine, the Argenteuil side, painted facing the setting sun beyond the trees of the promenade. The road and rail bridges, the Seine, the sky of Ile-de-France, and the promenade's trees would become the key subjects in Monet's work in Argenteuil, forming the most distinctive motifs of this highpoint of Impressionist painting. Here, the painter focuses his attention on the physical features, especially the promenade and the river, but typically at the same time he suggests a human presence through small details.

Instead of one person having a dream of travelling to Paris, collectively as kind humans we need to jump in and lift up that dream. Maybe skip a coffee drink and share the money for the dream envelope?  Maybe share a favorite artist that walked in the very city she wants to discover?  How about sending her a postcard with a stunning view of a landmark that she will one day explore.

Dreams and goals are attainable.  Dreaming together brings more strength to the goal.

“Paris is always a good idea”  ~ Audrey Hepburn

Here’s to you and your dream!  May you surround yourself with all that is Paris and by doing that, you are one step closer to being there.

I want to be part of the dream.  I look forward to the day, when you want to sit down with coffee and share pictures of your travels.

Have Dreams, Will Travel.

Grand #3

There once was a little boy named Cooper.  Today, our family celebrates his FIRST birthday!

We have been plotting and planning.  The day has arrived.  We have all said, we can’t believe how quick the year has flown by.

Cooper has a curious and adventurous spirit.

He loves to go on hikes.

Camping was so much fun.

Walking on the beach.

Going to Hockey games.

Feeding his dog treats.

Figuring out how things work.

We knew we had to make something perfect for him.  20150927_171828-1

So we bought sandpaper, stain, varnish and gadgets and locks and things kids would like to figure out.

20150928_080836We cut out letters from sandpaper and glued it on.  To help save his parents hardwood floors, we put little felt circles on the back corners.

Papa used his drill and screw driver.20150928_080746-1

Then we wrapped it up in silly paper.  Of course we got him other things to show him that we love him.

Heck, we love that kiddo every single day.

Today, well today we celebrate!

Happy Birthday, Cooper Troy. imagejpeg_0 (5)

You are loved beyond imagine.