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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

table complete!

There she is, folks!

And here is the whole ensemble. I only bought the pillow for $10 on Etsy and the paint from Benjamin Moore, my biggest splurge, for $20. This is much more cheerful, I'd say, and I am happy with it. I don't know if I am happier about the way it looks, or that I actually finished it. ;)

Come to think of it, I must really like coral and yellow because I wore this for my b-day last week.
You don't get an ironed shirt, sorry! :)
Have a great day!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cookie Monster

While I am waiting for the coral reef paint to dry, I want to talk cookies. I am admittedly a Cookie Monster, as I think I have mentioned and those that know me well can tell you. And, is it me, or is it extremely difficult to buy a delicious chocolate chip cookie? I am not just talking acceptable. But, chewy, buttery, simple, not to choclate-y delicious!?

So, after searching and being incredibly picky, I found a recipe that I make often so I have them on hand. I wasn't kidding!;) This recipe is from Barbara Fairchild's the bon appetit fast easy fresh cookbook. I did finagle it a little because I really like my cookies to taste vanilla-y. I would not post this recipe unless I fully believed in it. And let me just add a little tip - take the cookies out when the edges are slightly tan ( and the tops aren't too wet). This is what makes them chewy. And, depending on where you live, if the batter is soupy, add more flour or put it in the fridge for a little before baking so they don't get too flat ( and so, not chewy). Lastly, once they cool, you can store them in a freezer bag in the freezer for long-lasting freshness for the cookie monster within. :)

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c packed light brown sugar

add in:
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1/2 c shortening
1 T greek yogurt
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs

Mix with your hand. Its the best way.
Fold in:
1/4 c. mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c milk chocolate chips

Bake at 350. If you make them giant using 1/4 c to drop, its 14 min. If you make them regular, check after 10.

Bon apetit! And tell me these aren't the best chocolate chip cookies of your life! :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Soaking Up Some Sun

I'll be with this guy getting some sun today. :) This week I am going to show you my transformation of this:
Have a wonderful Sunday, friends!

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Time

Conscience. You know, that tiny voice inside you telling you not to sneak a cookie when you were a kid; not to say something mean about that girl when you were a teenager. That voice that tells you something different than you want to hear at the moment. The voice that can grow weaker and weaker until it is all but drowned in louder music, another movie, another drink, more clothes, or another car.
What happens to a person whose conscience is dead? They would be someone who uses others, with no thought of the other's rights as a person. The person with a dead conscience would not be hindered by any degree of remorse because they have squelched that voice telling them that everything doesn't exists to serve them and increase their power. They are the Hitlers, the ones that shock us.
And what happens to a nation when the freedom of the Church's conscience, that small voice in our society that says maybe something is wrong with our utilitarian way of thinking, is squelched? Well, we will all be at the disposal of the powerful and what they deem is necessary for the sake of progress. You get things like human experimentation and annihilation; scientists forced to  choose between their lives and doing unimaginable experiments  on human beings. 
Impossible?  It has happened before. It is time to be shocked.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

When in Doubt, Do Something

I recently heard of a friend's husband getting diagnosed with cancer. Aggh. What is one to do? I think often, we hold back because we don't want to infringe. After all, it is so personal.

I will relate a story of a friend of mine ( for real, I am in it, too;). My husband's father passed away from cancer a month or so after I was treated for my own cancer ( I hope I am getting the dates right). It was a rough time. My friend, Isabel, called me on the day of the funeral and said she had dinner for us and when can she drop it off? WHAT COMPANIONSHIP! She did not ask, "what can I do?" ( Often, we don't want to put people out of their way) She did. And it was very welcome, indeed.

I learned a powerful lesson that day. When in doubt, do something. It can be as small as sending a real card, sending the kids coloring books, making cookies or buying a special loaf of bread from a bakery. But there is something about the human touch factor that eases pain and makes suffering bearable.

So, today, on this weekend of Irish celebrations, is there someone you know who could use a little human touch? Do it. The surprise will not be unwelcome.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tropical Textures

I was driving listening to a local latin station with the ocean in my view and was appreciating this tropical home. Everything is different! I am not usually big on horticulture, but some of these plants have such interesting textures. They beg to be touched ( except for the ones that have spikes and there are quite a few of them)! They are influential. It is amazing what environment does for one- for both good and bad, depending. That is as deep as I will go with that thought ;)haha! and leave you with some pictures from around town.

and last but not least...

Have a good weekend, friends!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Man's Quest

Pause a minute. Don't think about what you need to do today, and consider rather, what all of your actions are really aiming toward. Is it not happiness? I am sure that it is. And is its fulfillment not found in God?

If you say yes, you believe and trust that God is Good, and therefore, your happiness awaits. If you are not sure, lets consider something. What is your favorite thing in the world? Guess what!? It was created by God. And as He created it, how much more awesome must He be?

I don't usually go so blatantly spiritual here with you all, but it is Lent, and as you probably guessed I am Catholic, and, I just got back from a weekend retreat! What bliss! But having that happy time with God has deepened the purpose behind what I need to do today, now that I am back.

I truly believe no matter how much our society and world seems to want to shut God out of life, it is truly thirsting for no other than He. Lets have some fun and look at some examples.

Remember my post about Paul Simon's Born at the Right Time? Some of the lyrics are: "down among the reeds and rushes, a baby boy was found. His eyes as clear as centuries, his silken hair was brown." Does one not immediately recall Moses found in the stream? And the use of the term centuries expresses that awareness of the eternal.

I just finished reading Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. The author converted to Catholicism at some point in his life, and in this novel, he lays before one the clear quest for meaning in each of his characters. His Sebastian reminds me of the speaker of Coldplay's Viva la Vida. You see, although Sebastian did not literally "rule the world," he certainly had all of its luxuries at his fingertips, and yet he ends up being a gardener ( a noble profession!) at a monastery and lives without any luxuries whatsoever. He in some way "sweeps the streets he used to own," but that is where he finds God, or rather, stops running from him. And while we are at it, lets look at some more lyrics from this song: "Missionaries in a foreign field"..." Roman calvary choirs ( not chorus) are singing"..."I know some reason I can't explain, I know St. Peter will call my name." I also believe the music itself was written to draw one's heart to greater things.

Clearly, God is in the hearts and minds of men, regardless of whether they are particularly religious or not. (I don't know these men personally so I could not tell you.) But, that makes sense. After all, He has created each one, counted the hairs on our heads, and it is hard not to feel that type of closeness awaiting.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Is some music better than others? I have to say yes. Don't get me wrong. I posted on Paul Simon and appreciate good music in all genres. But, some music actually makes the soul soar. 

I don't love any and all Opera. But, THIS is unbeatable. If you don't like opera, this is a great introduction. It is long, but give it a chance, and listen to it a few times. The recording of the background music is a bit fuzzy and warped ( It is the best version I could find on You Tube of his voice). But, Luciano brings the music to life with his power, clarity, and storytelling ability ( like anyone who actually masters an instrument, his voice is so capable of changing it's tone- think not flat).
Let it take you in. 
Happy Sunday!