product review, travel, vacation, vacation tip

2 travel goodies

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N….in the summer time…..  can’t get that song to stop looping in my noggin.

Vacation is exciting and different and wonderful.  However……  by the sheer fact of the exciting and different part….our  “normal” comfortable routine is mixed up patty whacked.   Today, I wanted to share two things that might make your next trip a bit easier and happier.

I found a lush creature comfort that I knew I wanted to share.  (Side note:  don’t you just slump in your chair and throw your arms up when someone says, “Oh, I’ve been using that for two years now, you didn’t know?”  Urgh.)button scarf

Right, this minute, as I type, my lush, dreamy soft, Scarf/Poncho/Wrap is rolled up and stored in my carry on satchel for use next trip.

The store that I purchased it from is called Lace & Grace.  Quick service and quite a large variety of items.

http://www.graceandlace.com/

These are my own opinions & sadly, no, I was not paid to endorse my new favorite travel items.

First the details.  It is huge and yet manageable. Excellent quality, reversible with substantial buttons and rich saturated colors.   The fabric is soft, you sort of want to pet it, but that would be weird.  By the way, this company has several colors and patterns to choose from.

I have a tendency to get cold on the airplane.  Out came the scarf.  I had it rolled up inside my carry on bag, easy to get to.  button scarf, lace and graceI wore it like a poncho so it covered my shoulders and kept the chill at bay.   It looks great with jeans and a t-shirt, however, I did wear it one evening with bold jewelry and as a scarf, it looked rather fetching, if I do say so myself.

Next option,  I just buttoned only one of the buttons, turned it a couple times and wore it as a scarf through the airport as we caught our next flight.

During the driving….. Mr. Right logged 1,873 miles during this vacation…… I folded the scarf/poncho/shawl over my legs and was nice and cozy without blasting the heater.

I must say this garment construction is beautiful and the reverse color of soft gray and white herringbone complemented several outfits.

Overall, extremely pleased with this piece.

Next:

berkey water bottle

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other best travel piece is my Berkey travel Water Bottle.   http://www.getberkey.com/

It has the filter right inside.  I pack it empty in my carry on and once past airport security, I can fill it up using a water fountain or any tap water.  (Note:  It does not filter out fluoride. I keep a list of bottled waters sans fluoride and when available I purchase those. Then I pour those into my bottle. )  Travel choices are not perfect, we do what we can.

When not traveling, I store this item alongside my travel satchel and suitcases.  A quality product that works very well.  I can’t imagine traveling without one.  I highly recommend.

I hope these gentle suggestions will make your next trip ( you are planning your next adventure, right?) a bit smoother.

In this together, friends.

Just sharing the goodness.

Chat soon.

 

 

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garden, gardening, haPPY, vegetables

we struck GOLD

Oh, glory be!  After months of remembering to water and fuss and crossing of fingers…….the time had come to get a little dirt under those finger nails.

The great backyard potato harvest of 2017.

We struck Gold! Yukon Gold that is.

I will let pictures tell the story.  I am off to start the water to boiling.  I foresee glorious mashed taters on my dinner plate tonight!!!

 

 

Just a little potato humor.  You’re welcome.  🙂

On with the show!

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I predict a whole bunch of crispy, wonderful home-made potato chips in our future!

How did your garden grow this year?

Chat soon.

 

 

beauty, before and after

“new” kitchen

Hello, friends!

Today, I share pictures of our Before and After kitchen.  Beautiful, bright, spit spot clean, refreshed,  kitchen happiness.

This is not a 60 minute make over television show.  Real life time is more like a few weeks, several trips to the hardware store, waiting for handles to be shipped, an envelope full of home repair money, and one heck of a lot of elbow grease.
The process seems simple enough. Scrub, sand, prime, paint X two coats of Sherwin Williams Alabaster White, new hardware, clean absolutely everything behind those cupboards and inside those drawers.
I am so happy with the results!  Every thing is so bright and clean and the handles feel substantial.
Next up, goodbye microwave and new hood in its place.  Hello, back splash of color.   Yes, it’s time to add in some gorgeous saturated color. 
For now, I am going to cook and bake and fuss in my new bright, happy place.
First, I will insert one picture from the real estate company.  This was the kitchen picture before we purchased this house.  ….mind swirling………………blank canvas……..oh, the possibilities!before kitchen
Nice Before picture.
Here are the After pictures.
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I am going to take a couple weeks off from painting.  Clean my brushes well,  fold up the drop cloth put away saw horses and tables in the garage.  Next on the list?  Amazing Gray paint going up in the hallway and laundry room!

For now, I am trading paint under my fingernails for dirt.

I am headed out to the garden to harvest the fruits of our summer labor.

Chat soon.

 

cross stitch, haPPY

bee happy

Two weeks ago today, I fell in love with a piece of 28 count linen in a beautiful color called, Buttermilk. (fyi, 28 count means that there are 28 threads per inch)20170727_153913-1_resized

I adore this pattern.  It was a quick, happy stitch.  The designer’s name is Annie Blecher and she is Annie Beez Folk Art.   I had a hiccup mid-week, as I ran out of that lush gold color.  52 cents later, I was back in business.

Sharing/teaching is a beautiful, happy thing.

Sometimes in the work place, folks don’t want to share information?  They feel puffed up and important by not sharing knowledge.  The “I know something you don’t know” game is very uninspired and sad.

Sharing makes you feel wonderful & it is very uplifting. Everything about it is HAPPY!

I am passing on the goodness, the happy.  Over the years, I have taught a couple of people how to cross stitch.  I am doing it again.  Next month, I am teaching two young tween girls the art of counted cross stitch.  Who know’s, it may be the beginning of a beautiful hobby they enjoy in which they pursue happiness for the rest of their lives?  I could have a hand in that!  How exciting and wonderful and uplifting!

Hobbies help our souls and mental health.  Yes, certain days our hobbies can aggravate the tar out of us, yet, for the most part, they help us create our own  “HAPPY”.

One of the things mental health counselors often ask right off the bat?  What are your hobbies?  (no, sorry, watching television is not a hobby)   Side note: I understand having a hobby will not “fix, cure” all mental health issues.  However, for me and many others, having a hobby brings us great personal joy and balance as we navigate life. 

Helping to cultivate a hobby is a beautiful gift. Both the student and the teacher garner so much happy.   We all benefit.   Our neighborhood, our world, heck our workplace is better when we are kind and share what we know.

For the class, I have gathered both pattern and fabric.  We will be starting with 14 count Aida cloth. (You guessed it, that is 14 threads per inch.  You are catching on. )  Each kit I make up will have the called for threads and of course a needle.  20170728_074813_resized (1)

Part of the lesson will also include a baking break.  Girls who stitch NEED to take a break to bake Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I thought everyone knew that!

I will give a gentle suggestion/life lesson:  After baking, we need to wash our hands (no one wants chocolate on their white Aida cloth, no one)

Love to hear about your hobbies.  I would appreciate hearing how you fit in and find time to make your hobby a priority.  Love to hear about you sharing.

I would really enjoy hearing about you sharing and teaching your hobby to someone else. Have you passed on the Happy?

In this together friends, here’s to our mental, happy health!

chat soon

 

 

 

 

 

before and after, fresh berries

door, floor & more

When I type a blog post, I am usually sitting at a table like any normal/sane/non-obsessed with a new door person.

Not today.

Today, I am sitting cross-legged on the floor, being grateful.  Still in my jammies, a cup of hot coffee with extra homemade cashew cream.  As background music for the little camp I have set up, I chose piano.   Sweet Liberty is snoozing beside me, taking a morning nap.  It is only, 7:14 am and she is quite happy to hit the snooze button.

20170725_165021-1_resizedI just noticed that my right thumb is bluish, purple stained color.  Oh, I guess it is from picking blueberries yesterday?  Goodness, this has been a prolific year for them.

I am in our master bedroom, sitting in front of the closed bathroom door.

Just goofing off on the internet.  I am actually looking for Christmas gift ideas.  My July 25th, “Christmas in July”, has spilled over into today.  Doesn’t everyone shop for and create on the 25th of the month?

Why am I sitting here, you ask?

The thrill of a wonderful Before and After, of course.  20170702_110956_resized

Before… we had a 1990’s oak finish, blah bathroom door with a very inexpensive mirror GLUED to it.  I don’t need to expand in detail about how much I did not care for that design feature.

After…Now we have a substantial, beautiful spa door with Rain glass.    Together we measured (3 times), crossed our fingers and ordered the door. It fits like it was made for it!  Mr. Right did an exceptional job installing the handle and the hinges.

We like it so much, we started another envelope to save up for a door just like it for the main bathroom.  Who really can be giddy & grateful over a bathroom door?  Me! Me!

 

I might sit here all day long, glancing up now and then to smile.

I might paint my toenails here.  It seems like a great place to read my library book.  I already know I can drink beverages here.  I can sew felt food by hand.  Not quite sure how I’m going to cook real food for dinner or start the washing machine from here……..

Just sharing goodness from my little indoor camp site.

I’ll be here all day.  Just whistle if you need me.

Just sharing the goodness,

In this together friends,

Chat soon.

 

bath, book review, books, flourish, summer, summer reading

summer reads

20170713_085830-1_resizedI am on my third check out of Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison.  No, not renewal, actual go to the library and check out the book again.

Do you do the same?  Do you review, thumb through, try a 20170713_091025-1_resizedrecipe or two and start to decide on how many stars you will be giving a book?

I happen to have a tendency to collect, buy, wish for, way, way too many cookbooks. Getting in the habit of checking them out first, before I buy has been a delightful option. So, last night, I dashed to the library and checked this beauty out once again.  Third time’s a charm.  I am buying this book of hers for my own.  Side note, I love it when I see that box from Amazon on my doorstep.  A little shiver goes up my spine.

Deborah Madison is a tremendous author and founding chef of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco.  We had the insight and good fortune of planning for and indulging in one of the most memorable meals of our lives at that glorious restaurant.    May I gently suggest you jot it down on your bucket list?  That meal, that view, that moment in time was honestly, one of the best of our lives.  

So today, I have some raspberries calling my name.  My crystal balls tells me there is a tart in the dreaming stage.  By tonight it will grace our table.

In the summer months, most days, I forgo the hour study on health and wellness in the morning and spend my morning, afternoon sitting in the sunshine and evening reading times with glorious summer reads.  Steamy, action packed, romance, mystery,  cookbooks, travel, adventure, can’t put down kind of books.

20170712_205630_resizedAs I have previously written about, I have only (so far) lost one book in the bubbling, swirling, frothy bath.  (yes, you can laugh).  I try to be much more careful.  Somehow magically, time flies and my cares & worries take a back seat, while I indulge in an excellent summer read. Before the water turned cold for the third time, I managed to zip through 145 pages of the latest Stuart Woods book,  Indecent Exposure.20170712_210015-1_resized

Summer time reading is where I get to indulge like a school girl free to read what she stumbles upon.  Pure entertainment to allow my mind skip and tumble and dance for fun.

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts is a 466-page turner that you will finish on a long20170712_081059_resized weekend.  Horses, high-end resort, intrigue, mystery,, sadness and romance……all rolled together easily transport you to a family in Montana and that beautiful big sky country.

Bread baking has tickled my fancy yet again.  I love to bake bread.  I go through phases where it is not on my “to-do” list all the time.  That yeasty smell has drawn me in again and I have purchased a few new books.

20170711_070636-1_resized_1We had the insight and good fortune to visit Ken Forkish’s bakery while visiting Portland, Oregon.  I have had his books on my wish list since the very moment I bit into the most heavenly piece of bread I have tasted in ages.  Before I even swallowed that first bite, I knew in my heart, I had to learn everything I could from this genius baker.  He has some quick videos on YouTube to help with the techniques which has made the baking so smooth.  Money well spent on these two beauties.

Not a book, however, one of the best documentaries we have watched in a long time was “What the Health” free on Netflix.  I would love, love, love to discuss this with anyone.  However, I am fully aware that it is not everyone’s cup of tea.  I just needed to share it, in case you were looking to improve your or your loved one’s health.  There.  Now, I shared, so I don’t have to worry and fret that I forgot to tell you.  Well worth your time to watch.

As the middle of July is knocking on the door, there is still plenty time to indulge in summer reads.

I know it is not a passion of some folks.  Just thought I would share some suggestions in the hopes that you will share what you are reading.

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

reading

 

before and after, haPPY

stick em up!

The before and after is a glorious moment in time.

Sure, sure it takes months of talking, planning, saving.  It takes a week or more for the actual work.  Then the drama of trying to remember to take the pictures.  haha

Laundry room cabinets have been cleaned, sanded, primed and painted.  New handles have been put on.  The extra nice cabinet stoppers have been put on.  The hinges have been cooked overnight in the slow cooker with water and a Tablespoon of Dawn dish soap, scrubbed, cleaned,  primed and painted.

 

 

Then one of the nicest little details……………. inside the cabinet doors I put up Post-It note display boards.  They are sticky like a post-it note.  (Staples on line or amazon.com) That way, I can stick up post cards,  pictures, jokes, fortunes, notes and grand kiddo art!  While keeping the outside looking pretty, the inside is full of life and goodness!  Years ago, I use to tape up all the kids’ art inside the cupboard doors.  When you looked at the kitchen, it looked neat and tidy, when you opened a cupboard it was full of art and color and goodness!

Here are the pictures.  Goodbye strange, orange hue oak cabinet color.  Hello beautiful, clean, bright,  (Sherwin Williams) Alabaster White cabinets.    Every single time I walk by the laundry room, I smile.  A girl can’t ask for much more than that.