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December 2014

Bloom, A Detox Plan


    Well after 11 months of eating really low carb, I was wondering how I should handle the holidays. I decided to eat what I wanted but in moderation. Actually if I eat too much carbs now I get really sick (which is interesting because I was not like that before I started this whole thing). I had treats this holiday because I did not want to feel deprived. In my opinion feeling deprived undermine long term health goals. So I enjoyed my homemade popovers but had a bigger helping of salad. Having said that over the month my starch/sugar carvings have been creeping up and up. I have been waking up in the middle of the night this past week wanting cookies (which I normally never do). So I need to detox but first I need a plan.

    I would like to acknowledge that it is NOT easy detoxing. Cravings are a strong thing and do not feel bad about your cravings.  Do not feel bad if you feel unhinged, out of control and crazy woman when you cut out sugar or bread. That first week, 11 months ago, I cut out sugar was awful with a capital A. I was soooo grumpy, could not sleep and nothing made me happy. The good new is it does get better and in time (but not right away) you even loose a lot of those cravings. Heck if I can do it (I have NO self control. As a girl I would unwrap my Christmas gifts, look at them, re-wrap them and no one was the wiser on Christmas day because I could not wait) you can do it!

    Now I could just cut everything out at once but I plan to break it up in 2 parts. First I am cutting out starches, like bread and potatoes. I am not craving them as much as I do sugar. So I will will deal with the smaller hill, so too speak, first. After a week, if my cravings are still really bad then I will wait another week before tackling sugar. Next I will then cut out all sweeteners (including most fruit). Which will be really hard for me. I do have one treat I allow myself that is 90% chocolate. When I think I am going to buckle and cave in, I take a nibble of really dark chocolate and that seems to help. After about 2 weeks of feeling really bad and grumpy, I will start to feel better. The cravings will calm down and the sun will come out!!

    So I encourage you to own your health and make changes in a way that works for you. Detoxing all at once might be best but feel free to break it down if it seems too overwhelming. I found as I succeeded in one area, I felt more confident as I moved to another. Really if I can conquer my sugar cravings, then everything else seems easy after that. Look at what you really crave. It is probably what you should NOT be eating. Everyday is a new start, a new choices. If you messed up yesterday, you can do better today. Remember a hill is climbed one step at a time, not all at once xox


Some tips to help you detox

  • Drink LOTS of water. If you can handle a tsp. or two of raw cider vinegar in your water, that really helps too.
  • Make sure you have nothing big happening in your life those first few days, like a Dr appointment or visitors.
  • Find something non-food to pamper yourself. For me it is flowers. I buy myself fresh flowers every week.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Read. This seems counterproductive but reading about cooking makes me feel better (I know I am weird). Do what works for you!
  • Deep breathing exercises really help. And long bubble baths too!
  • Keep a journal. Write down why you are doing this, so in weak moments you can remind yourself why you started this whole thing.
  • Tell your family what you are going to do. Tell them to be patient with you. Tell them you need their help. Ask them to hid their candy. Let them know you will not be cooking treats for a bit. Do not feel bad doing what you need to for you and including them in this. I made my girls make the bread for a while. I just could not do it.

You can read about my whole lifestyle change journey here !

PS if you have not, you should check out 21 day sugar detox

Christmas Glimpses of My Home

Shoe village1

    Happy Christmas eve! Thought I would share some random photos of my home!

Shoe village3

    This hanging frame is my second favorite thing I did this Christmas. It is in my little entry-way room. Thank goodness for fishing line. I love the stuff!


Chuch corner1

    Isn't this antique yarn holder amazing? A good friend let me barrow it for Christmas. This and covering all the pillows with wool fabric and antique crochet lace really added to our Chruchmouse yarn theme!




Churchmouse Green Village

ChurchM village20

    I have to say out of all the projects we did for this years theme,Churchmouse Yarn & Tea, this is my favorite. I guess because it came out just as I pictured in my head. I wanted to do a table-top village bit something with real plants and moss. Plus remember no glitter, fake trees or plastic building. This is what I did.

ChurchM village3

    I took a large, very heavy silver tray and lined it with heavy plastic.

ChurchM village4

    Then I dug up some dirt from my raised beds (I had to watch for earth worms. I did NOT want them on my village :-O)

ChurchM village5 insta

    I collected from my garden lots of moss and small plant starts. I found laurel, holly and wild violet. I mound the dirt up around the plants. Also more dirt in the back, so those buildings would be higher than the ones in the front. I covered everything in fresh moss (again watching for bugs and worms as I pulled off sheets of moss from my old stone walls).

ChurchM village6

ChurchM village7

    I borrowed my mothers charming little houses and all the sheep from our 2 nativity sets. Poor baby Jesus does not have any sheep this year. Evey day I give the whole thing a good spritzing down of water and a little extra water for the plants. It have been a week and I think it will last for the next week until Christmas.

ChurchM village8

ChurchM village1

PS, I went to water my village yesterday, as I do every day and noticed the violet is blooming. How cool is that!!


Churchmouse violet

Churchmouse Christmas Menu

  Christmas menu

    Since our Christmas theme has a Scottish feel, I used that to inspire our Christmas dinner. This is a great menu too because many of the dish (or part of the dish) can be made ahead of time. I will be poaching the salmon ahead, making the custard and herb cheese, as well at the dill sauce a day or two before.

    For Christmas morning I am planning on making scotch eggs, fruit and cheese platter, scrambled eggs (we like our pastured eggs), whiskey bacon, sour cherry/lemon zest scones. And who knows what else.

    For Christmas Eve, we are going a totally different direction. Tamales, taco salad, beer/bacon drunk beans, cabbage salad  w/ lime/cream dressing. All the cookies and candies we have made or have been given. Plus Christmas sangria!!

Churchmouse Tartan Garland

Churchm gardland  

    Last year Churchmouse yarn shop  had wonderful paper and tartan plaid cones filled with balls of yarn. We wanted to recreate these. Normally we make a wreath for this mirror but a garland worked better.  

Churchm gardland1

    First we made cones from roofing paper (I LOVE this stuff. Everyone should own a roll of it). Then covered it with plaid fabric, velvet ribbon and old mother-of-pearl buttons.

Churchm gardland5

    The only change we made was to added pine and holly from our garden. I actually pinned each cone to the ribbon with a straight pin. I found it easiest to arrange the cones on the ribbon and you cannot see the pins. I am really happy how this garland turned out!!

Churchm gardland6

Churchm gardland4

Churchmouse Gingermen


    As we made a list of what we wanted make for our Churchmouse theme, we had to make felted gingermen (here is the ravelry page for the pattern). You knit a round, then felt it and creat a fabric of sorts that you use to make you gingermen/woman! These were fun to make. Cutting them out I would say was the hardest part.

Ginger tree1


    We also hung tea bags, which I have to say look really cool at night with the twinkle lights making them glow. We tore tartan plaid fabric into strips and ties them on for bows. Lastly we used left over cones (which I will share about next) as tree toppers. These trees turned out really sweet!



Ginger tree3

Churctre insta

A Churchmouse Christmas


    Our theme this year is ... TaaaDaaa, A Churchmouse Christmas! Which will probably does not mean much to many of you ;-) On Bainbridge Island is the most charming yarn and tea shop ever. This is the kind of store you walk in and all cares fall off of you. The kind of store you wish would rent you a cot in the corner for the weekend. Full of beautiful wool yarns, Emma Bridgewater ceramics, French linen for embroidery and needlepoint, Smith tea, transferware, English antiques and much more. We are forever inspired by Churchmouse and decided to make it our Christmas theme this year.


    We assembled a list of what we thought encompassed the shop. Along with past years ideas from the shops Christmas decor this is what we came up with.

Tartan plaid, in soft muted shades of brown, moss green, red, blue and black

Velvet trim

whiskey/port station

antique silver and chrystal

deer antlers, transferware, English china

live greenery, plants and white flowers

wool and knitted items (we threw in antique crochet too, as in trying to use what we already had).


(no glitter, bright colors, plastic, wire rimmed ribbon. Only real stuff)


    Today I am sharing our whisky/port bar for it was the first thing we set up. Last year the Churchmouse had a beautiful Christmas window display. There was an antique English table with chrystal decanters of whiskey (well we are guessing it was whiskey ;-)  I pulled out my beige crochet tablecloth made by my great grandmother and ran a length of wool fabric as a runner. Stole bits and bobs from the bar in the library. Cut some greens and add some bone spoons. Just before Christmas, I will cut some holly from our holly tree. Even though there is very little red and a lot of brown, it still feels quite festive. Next I will share the little trees and our gingermen we made!

ps. sorry for the quality of photos. It has been so black and rainy. Makes it hard to get good photos. If the sun comes out. I will share better ones!!




Encouraging Thoughts


I confess I am a Christmas girl. I love everything about it, the good and the bad. I hear all about the commercialization and pressure of Christmas. And it is true but I think it is about what one focuses on, where we put our eyes. I encourage all of us to focus on the joy, the love, the little things that makes Christmas so special: candy canes, a child's excitement, fresh holly, twinkle lights, the birth of Christ.

It is time to put your Jolly on!!!

1.Elf  2.Gingerbread House   3.Candy Cane Tree

ps. I will be taking a week off while I get my house ready for Christmas but I will be back. I cannot wait to share this years theme!