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Storybook Woods

P O Box 288

Keyport, WA


Wren Bay reviews

Bernideens Tea Time

Tarnished and Tattered              Rosie's Ramblings

Sis Boom                                        Nanas House

Fox Tales                                        Frugal Luxuries

Homespun Living                        The Pleasures of Homemaking

Lazy Bee Farm                             Coffee, Tea, Books & Me

Lavender and Pearls                  Gracious Hospitality

The Blessed Hearth                    Life of the Unemployed

Life in Every Breath                    Cherished Hearts at Home

 Gumbo Lily                                  Sweet Felicity

Changed By Love                      Creekside Cottage

10 year anniversary


It is my 10-year anniversary of reversing my pre-diabetes and losing 100 pounds. When I started this path I thought my food writing career was over. I was very depressed and overwhelmed but I found a new way to live and enjoy food. I have learned a few things over the years but first I want to address how much weight I loss because you will see I have mentioned different weights over the years. This is because I had not weighed myself in a long time and then I didn't even start to weighing myself until a year after I started this journey. Honestly I don't think I wanted to admit to myself how much weight I had gained, however because of several factors I now think I have loss around 100 pounds (my husband thinks it's more). Really the number doesn't matter. It is only a tool to let me know how my health is doing.       


So what have I learned in 10 years? Basically, all the choices I made that first 6 months I will need to keep making the rest of my life. Even though I am not pre-diabetic anymore, I will always be insulin sensitive. My body always wants to go right back to where I was when I started this journey. It is sad I can't eat carbs (only small treats now and then). All the things I have shared over the years are still true for me. This is what I have learned but let me say, just because this works for me doesn't mean it will work for you.    

1: Sleep is the most important thing you can do for your health.  

2: Eat a very low-carb diet. 70% low-carb veggies, 10% protein, 10% healthy fats, 10% extras. No potatoes, bread, pasta, brown rice, ect.  

3: Drink lots of water. If you can stand a bit of raw apple cider vinegar in your water all the better.   

4: Plan your treats. Don't give into last minute craving. Also eat extra good the day before and after you have a treat. I have one treat a week. 

5: Exercise is important to support your health but you can NOT exercise your way out of an unhealthy diet. So make your diet your priority. 

6: Your weight is only a tool to help you get healthy, not the goal. Too much focus on weight can actually undermine your health.  


If you read my Bloom posts  I talk all about my journey. I will take a moment to pat myself on the back because really I am a lazy person with no follow through but I have worked so hard these past 10 years. I will NOT go back to that girl I was before! I know now that saying no to my cravings won't kill me. I know now feeling healthy is so much more satisfying than a doughnut. I know now I am much stronger than I thought I was and that is priceless xox            

Low-carb Granola base


Hi everyone ❤

It's been a while since I have posted. Do you realize I have been blogging 14 years. Wow, a lot has changed!!! I mostly share on FB/Instastagram. I have been sharing different versions of low-carb granola I am making and someone asked to share a recipe. Since I do a different flavor profile each week I made a base recipe that you can change out and add any flavorings you want. I will be honest I really do not measure when I make this, so these are just to give you an idea of amounts. But play with it and suit your pallet.

And yes, I am still doing low carb and have not gained my 75 pounds back, even though it has been 7+ years. It works for me. Make sure to read the notes under the recipe xox


Low-carb Granola Base recipe 

Dry ingredients 
2 cups assorted nuts, usually 1/4 cup each nut 
1/8 cup each chia, sesame, and flax seeds 
1/4 cup almond flour 
3/4 cup coconut flakes
Wet ingredients 
2 egg whites
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup melted, cooled coconut oil 
1/2 cup sweetener, I used monkfruit 
1/8 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp pink salt
I add fruit (usually I use freeze dried berries) when I pull granola out of oven. 
Pre-heat oven 325°F
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl and then toss with dry ingredients. If dry ingredients don't look completely coated, add a bit more oil. 
Cover jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spread out granola. Bake 20-25 minutes. Stir granola every 5 minutes because those nuts burn fast. Let it fully cool on pan before enjoying!
I use a combo of egg whites and flax seeds because I like the texture but feel free to use 3 egg white or about 1/2 cup of flax seeds. But if you only use flax seeds I would make a slurry. Mix the flax with a bit of water, stir and let the mixture sit 10 minutes to thicken.
If you leave out the coconut flakes, add some more nuts to make up for them. Also if you use ground coconut, use less because it is more compacted. I would use 1/3 cup. Of course everything I use is unsweetened. 
Some flavors I have made so far:
Coco nibs/coffee/mix berry
Strawberry/lemon/pistachio, Raspberry/dark chocolate chip (which was my favorite so far). If you have any questions feel free to ask!!

Bloom, 5 yr anniversary

Me storybook woods

    Hi everyone, well it is my five-year anniversary since I discovered I had some huge health problems and was pre-diabetic! In the past 5 years I've lost 50 or so pounds (I never weighed myself and actually I did not weigh myself for the first year that I went through these diet changes), so I'm making a "guess" on my weight loss. I've eliminated my pre-diabetes merely through diet and lifestyle changes. Of course I feel a million times better. And I am proud to say that I'm still as committed and motivated to keep making the changes that I need to make, as I was 5 years ago. Although I'm not as terrified as I was 5 years ago ;-)



    I've been going around and around on what I've learned in these past five years that I could share to help others. Honestly I probably could write a book here but I really want to narrow down the points that I think are really important. I will say these past 5 years have been years of intense change, intense growth and a huge amount of faith. I've learned that you can do things you never thought you could do, it's just a matter of changing your mindset. 

Bloom three year Storybook Woods

So here is what I have learned in the past five years

  1. It has to be about making healthy changes, not losing weight. Of course you will loose weight when you change your diet BUT your weight will go up and down, you might not lose what you deemed you want, you might not lose as fast as you want, etc. So do not focus on a number, focus on healthy choices. I am actually glad I did not weigh myself that first year. I never expected to lose the kind of weight I did, so I was just focused on doing the work I needed to do. 
  2. Exercise is very important for your health but as far as weight loss goes (for me anyways) diet is everything. I say 80% diet, 20% exercise. 
  3. Low-carb, paleo, wholefood 30, etc. is NOT a meat-fest. As a matter of fact if you eat too much protein your body can't assimilate it and it turns into sugar. Protein and fat are really import to our health but you have to focus on vegetable, (& I do not mean potatoes and corn). I still keep my plate 70% veggies (a lot of greens) 10% protein, 10% fat and 10% everything else. I HATED cauliflower when I started this and now eat it 4-5 times a week. I drink vinegar water now. Heck I drink fresh celery juice every morning and I do not have dessert every day. I was not this girl 5 years ago!!
  4. Sleep is everything. That and distressing. Lack of sleep and stress throws your hormones and leptin so out of whack, it can make it almost impossible to lose weight. So focus on your sleep and finding ways to let your stress go and soothe yourself. Which by the way, find ways to treat yourself that does not involve food. This was a biggie for me. I didn't realize how much I used food (especially sugar) to calm myself until I gave it up. Boy was that hard. Fresh flowers became a big treat for me. At-home facials and skincare (Korean 10 steps) has been my treat lately. 
  5. Water. Drink water. Did I say drink water? Drink WATER . Water, enough said. 
  6. Take the time to find out what your trigger foods are. At first it seems everything is a trigger food but in time you will learn you live without certain food and there are some foods you cannot control yourself around. For me bread, really good fresh bread, is my trigger food. So I only have 2-3 times a year (& really enjoy the heck out of it when I do).
  7. Plan your treats. I tend to have mine on the weekends. I try not to give into last minute cravings. Also I have 1 treat, not a whole day of treats. Lastly I make sure I eat really good the day before and after I have a treat. 
  8. Don't stop. You're going to have setbacks, you're going to have days when you feel like a failure, you're going to have days when you are not motivated but just keep going. Keep pushing against that wall. Focus on the long term, not today. This is a marathon, not a sprint. 


    If you want to read my 5 yr journey check out my Bloom posts. I have to say that I am really proud of myself because I have maintain this weight loss/lifestyle. That is success in itself. If that's all I ever do is just maintain I will consider that I've won the day. It should be very interesting to see what the next 5 Years bring!

Detox Mustard Bath Mix



     Happy winter, sorry I have not written. Life speeds by faster then I can keep up. I did have a Christmas Theme and it might have been my favorite. I guess I should post something about it :-O LOL. A lot of my focus has been my health, trying to be in the moment and being available to my family/friends, but still be true to me. No DRAMA is my theme!! I have been meaning to post this recipe for a while. This came about when I was working out hard and having lots of sore muscles. Plus I have been doing a veggie detox on and off. I wanted to make a soak for my bath that addressed sore muscles, stress and detoxing. I love this stuff and keep a double batches by my bath. I also made jars of this as Christmas gifts for everyone. It's simple and it feels wonderful in a long, hot bath!!


Detox Mustard Bath Mix

1 cup dried ground yellow mustard

1 cup finely ground oats or oat flour

2 cups Epsom salt

1½ baking soda

4-6 drops lemon oil

1-3 TBL rose water or 4 drops of rose oil

4-6 drops lavender oil


Sift the first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl. Made sure you a big bowl, so you have plenty of room to work in. Next sprinkle in the rose water, lemon and lavender. I start by using a whisk to mix. I smell and add more oil if wanted. Next I use my hands to finish mixing. I feel for large clumps and mash them with my fingers. Once I feel like it is fairly mixed I transfer the mixture to a large glass jar.

I have a pretty big bath tub, so I use 2 cups. If you have a small tub try 1 1/2 cup but use a good amount to really get the benefits. After bath rinse yourself and the tub with cool water. 



Mango, Feta Slaw w/ Mango Lime Honey Vinaigrette, low-carb, nut free, vegan


  Mango feta slaw Storybook Woods


  Whenever I make something my family raves over, ask me to make again, you know I have to share it with you ;-)  My whole family has gone low-carb now (for different reasons: health, skin issues, weight loss. Nobody is pre-diabetic like I was!). Well that means LOTS of salads for dinner, since we all tend to like our veggies raw. But everyone has different work schedules, hours, one works the night shift and that makes makes things a bit more complicated for me. I want a salad that can hold up for a couple of hours, I want one that is filling and of course delicious, as well as nutritious. So I have been playing a lot with slaw's for a couple of reasons

  1. They hold up well!
  2. They are filling. I have to feed 5 adults who eat a LOT!! If there is no meat or bread, I need filling veggies.
  3. They are cheap. It's the blingy stuff that adds up!
  4. All that fiber is fab for your gut!!

     I gave amounts for the slaw but really I never measure, I just wanted to give you an idea of amounts. So throw the amounts out the window and use what you have, use what you love. Just a note it is important to use a soft, ripe mango so you have juice/pulp for the vinaigrette. Plus the added sweetness works well with the salad. Fresh herbs such as basil would be delish with this salad too. 



Mango, Feta Slaw w/ Mango Lime Honey Vinaigrette


6-8 cups slaw (mixture of raw chopped cabbage, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc.)

½ red onion, small cubes

1 cucumber, cubed

½ cup yellow bell pepper, cubed

3 TBL finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 ripe mango, cubed (save pit and skin for vinaigrette)

optional, ¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled


Add all ingredients to large bowl. Make vinaigrette. Toss all together and enjoy!



Mango, Feta Slaw w/ Mango Lime Honey Vinaigrette


pit and skins from the mango

1 lime, juiced (you can use zest too)

½ cup olive oil

1 tsp. honey

1 garlic clove, minced

salt and pepper to taste


Rub off as much juice and fresh from the pit and inside of skin of the mango into a bowl. Add all other ingredient and blend together. You can use a blender or hand-blender (that is what I use) If you do not have a blender, just whisk together (just try to really break up that pulp with your fingers before blending).



30th Wedding Anniversary

Wedding Storybook Woods

     Hi everyone, just thought I would share it is David and I 30th wedding anniversary. I have been reflecting on the past 30 years. I was scared to get married, both of our parents had been divorced and so may people made marriage sound so difficult. Well I wish I had not been so scared because it been great. Fantastic even! Plus it gets better and better. I can truly say I have never had a day where I thought about divorcing David. Sure we don't always get alone but its usually a misunderstanding because we have such different temperaments. I think the reason David and I work, is because we are best friend. We respect each other and always have each others back. I never fear David won't be there for me. He is my rock and I am his light. 


Wedding Ring Storybook Woods


     I also wanted to share I got a new wedding ring. Well a revamp of my wedding ring. For the past 8 years I have been living with cheap rings, waiting for a new ring. I originally had an oval 1 cart spinel but lost the stone (broke my heart). So I went to Goldmine Design Jewelers in Seattle and Mary worked with my original band. She widened my band and added a 3 cart ruby. Isn't beautiful? Thank you Mary, you were a joy to work with. I will be getting a new band too but I am still trying to decide what I want, because I am so picky ;-) 


Us Storybook Woods

 (this photo was taken in the first 6 months of us dating)

    I wanted to marry David for a bunch of reasons but really there was one main reason and it is still why I love him. He likes me!!! I am an odd duck and do not get alone with everyone. I get lost in ideas, lost in my head and can float around (so to speak) with all that in going on in my brain. I am picky, emotional, clumsy, private and flighty. In spite of all that David likes me and would not change a hair on my head. He understands me (most of the time) even though we are opposites. All that I am not, he is. David strives so hard to make me happy, to give me the life I dream about. I strive to chase away David's dark corners, to be his biggest cheerleader and to love him unconditionally. I am always on the lookout for new beer for him to try and he buys me several bouquets of flowers every paycheck. We lift each other up and I am so blessed he has wanted me the last 30 years. I cannot wait to see what the 30 bring us my love xox


Bloom, 4ry Check In

Failure storybookwoods

If you are new to me and my blog, four years ago I found out I was pre-diabetic. I immediately went on a super low-carb/paleo/keto diet and started exercising. I lost 54 pounds and have kept it off (well mostly). I have also made my pre-diabetes go away without medication. This is my yearly check in to share how my path is going.


    Year 4. Well I will confess this last year has been challenging. Pretty much after my 3yr anniversary my peri-menopause really kicked up it heals. In a short time I gained 10 pounds, even though I was exercising and eating as I always do. I have to say it's really hard to have you body just go up in weight while still eating right and exercising. I felt depressed, I had a pity party and then a talk with myself. I have been able to loose 8 of the 10 pounds and am gaining a lot of muscles ;-) 

    Also I traveled this last summer (which I rarely do), it was a great challenge for me because I was with a group of people and could not just eat wherever I wanted. You see if I eat too many carbs now (like let's say more than 10 taco chips) I get really sick. Living in the bathroom :-O So this was my first time trying to juggle my body's needs and being with others who do not eat the same as me. I was frustrated I could not just set my diet aside and just have a fun trip.



    As you can see this past year has not been as easy for me. But you know what, I just kept on doing what I do. So what if I gain 10 pounds? Do I stop doing what I do? NO! I have worked too hard to give up now. I have made some changes in my diet to support my body. I use to work out once a week for 1 ½ hours. Now I work out 3 times a week for 50 minutes. Half strengths training/half walking (as fast as I can). I am seeing the results. I also think it took time for my hormones to get in balance again. Therefore my body is now working more efficiently.


So what have I learned this past year?

First, our bodies change and that can affect how you lose or gain weight.

Second, gaining weight is not a failure. It is just a pause, you readjust and keep going.

Lastly, numbers do not count. All I can do is the best I can. I cannot let the scale dictate my thoughts or actions. Weight will go up and down throughout your life but you do not give up. This life-style change is about being healthy, not skinny. So even though I have had moments this past year where I felt like a failure, I have kept pushing through. Let's see where next year, my 5 year mark, puts me. Thank you for letting me share.




Aloe, Lavender-Rose Face Spray

  Aloe  Lavender-Rose Face Spray 1 Storybook Woods

    I have been making bottles of this for all my friends (because that's how much I love this stuff), so I thought I should share it with you. This all started because last summer was looking for a good moisturizer for my body and thought I would try aloe vera. And found I LOVED it for my skin. It did not leave a sticky reside, like lotion can. Easy to spread on my body and I liked how it makes my skin feel. Since hitting 50 I am have more and more issue with dry skin. Plus I have always had very sensitive skin, even in my youth and moisturizers do not always work for me. I found aloe heals as well as adding moisture and that is a win/win combo for me.

  Aloe  Lavender-Rose Face Spray 3 Storybook Woods

    Then I decided to try to make a face spray and came up with this combo. I just spray it on my face liberally a couple of times a day. Only at night before bed do I use a heavier moisturizer. But this spray has become so much more, I will list all the ways I use it.

1. I spray it on before putting my make-up.

2. I spray it on after I put on my make-up as a setting spray. It sort of melts all the layers together and gives me a more natural looks without melting my make-up off. I love having looking dewy skin.

3. I use it as a detangler for my hair.

4. I use it on my dry ends of my long hair. I only wash my hair ever 4 days, so I spray the ends with this to help keep them from drying out.

5. I also spray my ends to help plump up my curls and give them more bounce.

6. I also use this spray as a hand sanitizer when I travel. The lavender works great for this.


If you research each of the ingredient you will see there is many properties for your skin and hair. So you can see why I love this face spray. Please give it a try and tweak it to your liking!!


A note about the aloe. Initially I went to use the aloe I had bought at the drug store and realized it had fragrance, thickeners and more. I wanted as clean a product as I could find with as much aloe in it. I purchased cold-pressed aloe which is 99% aloe/1% thickener and really love it. It is watery but I find that's better to rub in my skin and not have any leftover slipperiness on me. I encourage you to try and get the best an aloe for the healthiest results.

Aloe Vera  Lavender  Rose Face Spray1 Storybook Woods

Aloe, Lavender-Rose Face Spray

Makes about ⅓ cup


1 small spray bottle

2 TBL rose water or 2 drops of rose oil

2 TBL Aloe Vera Gel

1 small drop glycerin

2 drops lavender oil

1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar

Green tea, about 6 TBL


Add the first 5 ingredients to a small spray bottle, then green tea to fill. Leave a small gap at top. Shake well every time you use. Store in refrigerator.

Aloe  Lavender-Rose Face Spray Storybook Woods

A Natural Christmas

  NCcup1 Storybook Woods

    Well this is embarrassing :-O I have not posted Christmas my theme yet (and Christmas is long gone). Life has been a bit crazy for me. Plus this theme has to be done more last minute, so I did not have the time to do photos ahead. But I will share now and hope it inspires you for next year. This years theme, a Nature Christmas. I use traditional colors with lots of plants, greens and foliage. I made a video on FB giving you a tour, check it out!

  NCwhikbarCollg Storybook Woods

     We could not decide between a coca bar or whiskey, so we did both ;-)

Natrulchr6 Storybook Woods

    LOL, it was  not until after Christmas the my mother pointed out my little bouquet garni message might be for the wrong season. Akk, life with a dyslexic. Never even dawned on me :-O

Natural Christmas Storybook Woods1 Collage

    I loved this years them but it was hard because something I could not do until last minute. Plus I killed 3 plants, haha. I never realized what a black thumb I have. Thank you for letting me share and sorry I am so behind the times xox

Menue1 storybook woods

  Menue2 storybook woods

Health Friendly Holiday Treats

Pfugde Storybook Woods


  Hello everyone. I have been busy decorating and cooking. I am not quite ready to share this years theme but soon. I am busy making treats; cookies, candy, etc. It is hard at this time of year to go sugar free but over the years I have discovered I can make healthy version of what I love. I have compiled a list of thing I love to make. I thought it might be helpful for you too. Just to let you know I primarily use xylitol, stevia and coconut sugar. These are low on the glycemic level and my body/blood sugar does well on them but use what works for you.

My number one favorite treat is this No-Sugar Fudge. You can make it without peppermint. I have had it plain or with coffee or nuts added. It is yummy and so simple. You can also make it vegan with coconut milk and oil. 

My second favorite is a recipe of mine, Grain-Free Snowball cookies. We have loved this for a long time. 

Another favorite cookies is Rosemary Shortbread!

Orange and chocolate are a wonderful combo in this Orange Chocolate Cookie-dough Bark

Cafe Cookies are great because you can keep a log of dough in the freezer and bake off a few slices at a time. 

Keto Caramel Sauce, do I need to say more!

Raw Sesame Truffles

And lastly, I just love chocolate disks with toppings of nuts and dried fruit. Just melt a bit of chocolate, paint small circles on parchment and top with toppings. Pop in freezer and they can be enjoyed 15 minutes later.

Do you have a healthy Christmas treat you enjoy? I would love to hear about it!


Bulletproof Coffee

   Javgrnd22 Storybook Woods

    So one of the ways I have kept my 50# off for these three and half years is by eating a good amount of healthy fat. Yes, you heard me, eating fat has kept my weight down. Crazy I know but true. Of course I am talking healthy fats and I still eat way more low-carb veggies, than anything else but health fat has a real place in my diet. One reason is, fat helps my body deal with carbs. If I eat something like bread, I make sure it has a good amount of butter to help my insulin sensitive body, because that is what a pre-diabetic is. Although I have healthy insulin levels now because of my diet. I am not pre-diabetic anymore, yeah! But trust me, if I went back to all my old, my bad behaviors, I would become pre-diabetic and eventfully diabetic. So I always need to be mindful of what I eat and how much sugar I put in my system. So fats help my body regulate and digest sugars.

   And that brings me to bulletproof coffee. I am not going to get in a discussion if coffee is healthy or not and that is not why I drink this. I drink bulletproof coffee as a fat bomb. It sustains me on days where I am running around, it is a great substitute on mornings when I cannot eat another egg :-O  and it is a great on days where I eat lots of carbs. Plus it taste AMAZING!

    There is a lot of versions and information on the net about bulletproof coffee but I was asked to share how I do it. So were it is, but I want to say always listen to YOUR body. Keep trying to find what works for you, what makes you feel good, what helps support you system and what gives you joy. Bulletproof coffee does all that for me.

  Bulletproof coffee1 Storybook Woods


Bulletproof Coffee

Makes 1 mug


1 cup hot coffee

1 TBL grass-fed butter

1 TBL MCT oil or coconut oil

¼ of cup or more of fresh coconut cream or raw cream

As your making your coffee, put butter, oil and cream to a tall mug or tall container. Heat cream/butter/oil in microwave for 33 seconds. Just enough to take the chill off so you don't cool down your coffee. Pour hot coffee over cream and with a hand blender or frother blend a few seconds to make it frothy. Then enjoy.


  Bulletproof coffee3 Storybook Woods


Add in and extras

I like a few drops of chocolate stevia to this. You are suppose to drink bulletproof with no sweetener but I am not there yet. I have to add a tiny bit 0f sweetener for me. Eventually I will get use to it and will be able to drink it unsweetened. You have to start somewhere.

You can also grate some really dark chocolate in it.

I add maca powder to it. It gives it a smoky flavor, yumm. Also helps me with blood pressure and hormone issues.

Here is a list of more add-inns to inspire you. 

I you don't like coffee, you can make a coco or a tea version of this. I LOVE my earl grey tea this way. Like a super creamy tea!



I like to take my time and make the best cup of coffee I can. So I use Javapress to hand grind my beans and Aeropress to make my cup coffee. I only make a cup at a time.  I LOVE both these products and really recommend them.

I drink decafe and for you local friends I am loving whole beans from Viking Brew in downtown Poulsbo.

Don't use canned coconut cream, unless it is all you can get your hands on. Fresh coconut cream is so much better. If you're lucky enough to live somewhere where you can get raw milk/cream like me count your blessings!

Make sure not to skip the frothing part. The first time I made bulletproof, I did not and thought the coffee was so-so. I told my friend, who proceeded to shake her head (like I was an idiot because I was) and told me to make it again and froth it. SOOOO much better. I love my blender stick for this but you can throw it all into a blender too or use a frother.


PS. I am not paid for any of my recommendations. This is just what I use in my life and love.


Bulletproof coffee2 Storybook Woods



Things I Love

  Javgrnd22 Storybook Woods

Javapresse  I have been getting into bulletproof coffee lately (I will write more about this later) so I got a Javapresse hand-grinder for my coffee, and wow, great product. First off they have the best customer service I have EVER had, sent me a new one (no questions asked) when I had problems with the one I bought. Great website full of helpful info and they have quickly answered any questions I may have. Well done Javapresse!


Coils Oil2

Oil Cleansing. Now that I am in my 50's I am starting to deal with dry, dull looking skin. I don't want to look 20, but just maintain what I already have (thank you mom for my lovely skin ;-) Oil cleaning has really become my friend. I put it on when I get in my bath and just enjoy. I add some essential oils too, so it feels like a real spa treatment. I have been using this castor oil (I use on my hair too) and love it. Great product, great company. By the way I make small batches of the oil using half avocado oil, half MCT oil and a dash of castor oil. I just eyeball it. 



2-Minute Low Carb English Muffin   I miss tea and toast. It was a fav of mine on cold, rainy days before I started doing low-carb. Well, this recipe has brought back my love of tea and toast. It is simple (which I love), easy and quick to make. I like that I can just whip up toast and tea when the mood strikes. Make sure have have to good butter on-hand to have with your toast, it makes all the difference. Check out the recipe and video. 



DIY Canvas Clutch   I am keeping my eye out for old paintings, so I can whip myself up a clutch or tote. How charming are these?




The Grommet,  Looking for a gift for the grill'er in your life? Check out the grommet. I bought this for hubby and he LOVES it. "This innovative, bristle-free brush is a smarter way to clean your grill. The double helix design has two continuous springs to get the grease and food particles off the grill grates. No rough edges to cut you, and no need to worry about metal bristles falling out and getting in your food." Made in the USA, well built and works fantastic!



Their Finest  I really loved this movie (and cried my eyes out). A beautiful look at a part of WW11 I did not know much about. I will tell you there is a small, quick scene you would not want your children to watch. So check out the movie on your own first.


    Lastly I will leave you with these wise words ;-) 

PS. I was not paid for any of these recommendations. It is just things I have used and loved!!


Whipped Feta Salad

Whipped feta salad 1 Storybook Woods

    I eat a LOT of salads, at lest one a day. So I am always looking for ways to bling it up. I made David this Whipped Feta Salad for Father's day and it was a big hit. Now I am making whipped feta all the time. It is easy to make, keeps a good week in a air tight container and great with veggies. Check it out!

Whipped feta salad 2 Storybook Woods

Whipped Feta Salad

whipped feta

Greens tossed in a vinaigrette

cherry tomatoes, avocado and pistachio nuts to garnish


Simply spread some whipped feta on your plate, dress your greens and add garnishes. Very simple to make.  


Whipped Feta

1 cup (8oz) feta cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup (3oz) whipped cream cheese, at room temperature, see notes


In a food processor crumble feta into tiny piece. Add cream cheese. Run processor until smooth and fluffy. Takes about 3-4 minutes. Store in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Keeps about a week refrigerated.


Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup oil, I like a good olive oil

3 TBL Balsamic Vinaigrette 

1 TBL honey (optional)

1 garlic clove, finely minced

salt and pepper to taste


Put all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Taste and adjust to your liking



  1. Instead of cream cheese you can also use, sour cream or mascrapone.
  2. My Strawberry Infused Balsamic is wonderful in this salad!
  3. Great as a crudites with raw veggies.

Library Finished

Libredo1 Storybook Woods

     Ha! Well after living here what ... 15 years, we finally finished a room. Our library is done and I am loving it!

Libfir22 Storybook Woods


Libfir11 Storybook Woods

     My in-laws were selling their fake fireplace and I have been coveting it for years, so we snapped it up. I will be honest, the pretties on the mantle will go. A biggg flat-screen TV will be on the mantel instead, but I had to make it pretty for the photos ;-)

Libredo33 Storybook Woods

     We purchased two leather chairs (my first barko-leather furniture. my husband is over the moon). I know everything looks really orange in these photos, but it doesn't in real life. Much more like earl grey tea with milk in it. Well, except my desk which is a dark tangerine color.

Libary Collage

     It is small but I was able to come up with a whiskey/port bar. Every library needs one of those right?

Libfir33 Storybook Woods

    There is even room for elkzilla, as I like to call him. My husbands pride and joy. The things you do to make your man happy. There is a LOT crammed in this room, but I tried to create some space too and it all seems to work. Very cozy on a winter day.

Desklib Storybook Woods

    My favorite thing in the room, is my little desk. It is on old table left by the last owners, shoved in the corner of basement, deemed junk. I adore this table, peeling paint and all. The acrylic chair works great without add more weight to the room. I have a beautiful view of my roses as I write this. So books for me, flat screen for him. This room is prefect for both of us. Thank you for letting me share. One room down, six more to go!

Review of Breville Smart Oven Air

Coutoven1 Storybook Woods


    We purchased a Breville Smart Oven Air and told my FB'ers I would write a review. Thought I would post it here. First let me say, I was looking for a second oven but putting in a wall oven meant a good $1000 and taking out half my cabinet.  So $400, seemed a good deal compared to the price of a second wall oven. I was interested in this oven because it is the biggest counter oven I could get. I have plenty of counter space, so I want to get the most out of it as possible.

Coutoven2 Storybook Woods

    This oven has 13 preset functions: Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookies, Proof, Air-Fry, Dehydrate, Reheat, Warm and Slow Cook. It comes with 2 oven racks, 13" nonstick pizza pan, 2 heavy-duty oven racks, broil rack, enamel baking pan and air-fry/dehydrate basket. I was a bit nervous this would be a wasted purchase, but I had two ovens before and know how nice it is to have two. I have to say I am beyond thrilled with this oven. Actually I have only used my other oven once since I bought the Breville a month ago. This oven is veryyy accurate and efficient. For example if I roast tomatoes in my oven it would take 1 hour, in the Breville set on super convection, it takes 25 minutes. The airfry setting really works well for roasting veggies. The slow cooker works beautifully. Really I do not have one complaint. As you can see in the photo below. I am cooking potatoes, garlic and tomatoes all at once. I do not know if this would work for a large family, but really for the 4 of us it has been fine for most things.

Coutoven0 Storybook Woods


    So I think it is a value, I paid $400 and am thrilled with my purchase. This is my review of the Breville Smart Oven Air. By the way I was not paid for this review, just to let you know ;-) Also do you love the little shelf David made to hold my spice jars. Painting the walls with chalk paint and adding the shelf, really finishes the space off don't you think!