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July 2011

June 2011

Outdoor Livingroom

June garden 2 

In WA, we get soo much rain and gray weather, that whenever the sun comes out, you want to make the most of it!! We hang outside as much as we can in the summer. Which this summer, so far, is not a lot.

June garden 3 

So I tend to think of my yard as an extension of my house. I tried moving the gazebo to a new spot. We will see how we like it. I have my little outdoor kitchen with a work table and a galvenized sink. And on the other side of the yard is our grill.

June garden 4 

I blinged up the gazebo with pieces of fabric tied around the outside, it makes a colorful bunting. And the large paper flowers from my Marie Claire Christmas, look fun hanging inside the gazebo.

June garden 1 

David and I like to eat dinner in here, when we can.

June garden 6 

My garden is slowly coming along. My climbing beans are starting to come up. I love my wheelbarrow full of different types of basil. You can not see it but I have a row of large pots filled with different types of herbs. It is like having my own little herb shop and inspires me to cook. Are you using your yard to your full potential?? We are not yet but we are getting there xoxo

June garden 

A Corner Of My Home

Ivy window 

The internet is an amazing place. It has opened up a whole new world to me. I have met so many kindred spirits who I laugh, celebrate and grieve with. Through blogs I have gotten to know people, their family and the details to their day to day life. It is unlike the type of intimacies I have with my non-internet friends. But all can be not as it appears. I do have to say though, most people I have met in real life are just like I thought they would be but some are not  :-o

It is a bit shocking when someone is not the giving, open, conscientious person I thought they would be. It can make me feel like everyone on-line is fake. I realize we all want to put out our best. Plus blogging is a diary of how we see the world and ourselves. Our view of ourselves is usually skewed. I do not know about you but I do not like to look at my weaknesses. Like when my girls told me this morning I am becoming overly sensitive to things (to which I want to cry and blame it on peri-menopause ;-P but I did not ). By the way I asked what my biggest shortcoming was, they did not offers this information on their own.

This has me thinking about my blog, about you readers. Have I given you a skewed, unrealistic view of myself? Of my life? I hope not! I am pretty transparent person. It actually is one of my faults (but I am learning when and where to be transparent). I do LOVE being a homemaker and a mother. I do love to cook from scratch, putter around my house and creating. But I am not perfect! I tend to want to hide in my library and write. I love cooking but I love going out and have someone cook for me too. I like a clean house but I HATE cleaning it. I have very messy corners in my home and still to this day, struggle with keeping all of my house clean (it seems to rotate, I get one area all tidy and another falls apart). I love people but I love my privacy too. I talk too much, I am loud and not everyone considers me a sweet person ;- )

So please do not think I live a perfect home, with a perfect family, always smiling. Well actually I am mostly smiling, unless I am crying but never yelling. Hopefully, I am being real about who I am on this blog because I do not want you to meet me someday and walk away going, gosh, what a disaster! She is not who I thought she was at all !!!

 Ivy window 202

PS. To prove what a terrible housekeeper I am (and keeping things real), I am posting these pictures. I noticed the other day some ivy in the window of my little cedar closet. After closer inspection, akkk, it was growing through the side wall, INSIDE my house (Plus look at the cobwebs). I mean how long have I had ivy growing IN my house? The joys of living in a old home and a messy closet xoxo

Second image by Auberne`

Toasted Brown Rice Salad w/ Mango Dressing

Toasted rice salad 

One of my cooking tricks (as I have written about before), is to take ordinary food and find an easy way to take it to another level. This salad is an example of that. I love brown rice and like to have extra cooked rice on-hand for things like salads. Grain salads are so healthy and filling. Perfect for lunch!

Well I have been playing with toasting my grains ;-o    It is so easy, only takes a minute or two and added more depth of flavor to the grain. This refreshing, crunchy salad with a sweet mango dressing was a big hit with my hubby. I served it witha grilled steak, a fruity zin and rosemary crackers. Really you could add any veggie or dressing you like. Try toasting your brown rice (I am not sure if this would work with white rice) before you cook it and see what you think xoxo


Toasted Brown Rice Salad w/ Mango Dressing

1 cup brown rice, uncooked

half cucumber, diced

1 ripe tomatoes, diced

1/8 cup sliced green onions or chives (I used chives, including the flowers)

6 basil leaves, torn into small pieces

1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

mango dressing*

In a heavy dry pan, toasted uncooked rice by pouring the rice in pan and setting it on a med/high heat. Wait until you start to smell the rice brown, then stir every few seconds to brown all the rice and keep it from burning. When browned, cook the rice the way you like to. (I bake it in the oven, with 2 cups of water, covered @400°F for 1 hour.)

When rice is cooked, set it off to the side for 30 minutes, leave covered. Then toss rice with 3 TBL. olive oil, to help keep it moist.

Toss cooked rice with the rest of the ingedents. Enjoy!


Mango Dressing

1 mango, cubed and purred, including the flesh of the pit. I just do this with my hands, mashing it up and squeezing the juice and flesh off the pit.

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice of one lemon

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or crushed

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together and then adjust to your liking.



Things I Love


Sweet Land, thanks to Heather (thank you xoxo) I found out about this wonderful movie. It really touched me. If you have netflix, it is on instant watch right now. Check it out!

(just to give you heads up there is one scene where you can see her bum but it is not sexual. There are no sex scenes in this movie)

Hobo Wedding, this is the sweetest wedding I have ever seen. Thank you LaVonne for sharing it.

These volcano cookies, are amazing. I know the recipe sounds weird but it works, I promise!

Bookshevles Made From Pallets

Make a Doily Lamp

Plant a tea garden or a cocktail garden!! or both ;-)

Andrea's lace cupcake liners, so easy

Make your own appliques for furniture, check out Katty's blog, she has lots of wonderful ideas. She is quite brillant!!

Image above is how I picture Wren picking lavender in the field she and Devlin planted at Bay Farm. Image from

Hanging Out On The Beach

Beach 6 2011 101 

Well our staycation has ended and I was hoping life would be calmer but two trips to the ER did not help. That makes 3 visits in 3 weeks (one for me). Chloe seems better (I think, it is kind of early to tell). Anything serious has been ruled out and I am hoping it is just a stomach bug, but I am not sure. Bare with me a bit longer and I will post a yummy recipe soon xoxox

PS, we were able to have a wonderful and sunny day (that is rare around here this time of year) on the beach and find some wonderful beach glass!!

Beach 6 2011 303 

We Interrupt This Message

Columbine 2 

Good day dear readers,

I am going to take an unplanned blog break for a week. We have had some family health issues. This has been a tough month. Could you please keep Chloe in your prayers (and her mama). David has the week off, so I am hoping all drama has ended and we will have a week to recuperate and decompress, so I can come back happy and with some inspiring ideas for you.


I wrote on FB yesterday, happy start of summer. I know summer does not start until the July 21st. but the beginning of June always means summer time to me. I am hoping we can enjoy homemade ice cream sandwiches, shell hunting on the beach, a good mystery, rum mango slushy’s, sun dresses, grilled corn on the cob with roasted garlic butter and naps in a hammock. I am praying for you, dear readers who are affected in way by these terrible tornadoes and flooding. Hopefully in a week, life will be sunnier for all of us xoxoxo