Lazy Girly Weekend

My boys took off for a manly man weekend in the city, so us girls had a quiet, peaceful weekend home together.  I love my boys....BUT....it was nice not having all of that boy energy busting through the walls.  

So....with my house clean, laundry running softly in the background, two little girls playing quietly, and some real peace and quiet in the house, it's the pefect recipe for:  recipes.  That's right.  These recipe books are kind of like little friends, just waiting for a turn to be useful and please the family, and I never get time to just sit and drool, I mean look, at them.  If my family knew what was good for them, they would FIND time for me to sit and drool, I mean look, at these cookbooks--they would be beneficiaries of not only a happy mommy, but some delish food.  What is wrong with them?! 

One of my prized posessions - a personal gift from my Sweetheart.  Oh, how I love this book.
And the Triple Chocolate Truffle Cake.  I posted it here - but it's always fun for me to visit the actual recipe.

 ...mmmm....these cookies are a major winner, too....

 ...haven't made this cake yet...definitely going to have to do this soon.

 ...oh, seriously...it's so cold right now - maybe I want THIS instead...

Switching gears to some serious comfort food.  I'm no longer a Martha fan...I became disenchanted with her years ago...but she/her staff continue to put out some amazing stuff.  This book below has been my favorite for the past 12 years - it's timeless and wonderful.  

This cookbook has been so loved, in fact, that I need another copy of it since this one is looking a bit grimy.  {I can sense Martha wincing at this image...she would never let her book fall into disaray like this....}

Every recipe, every image conjures up homey comfort.  Just what a good cookbook should do.

Our family's favorite soup--Summer Corn Chowder

Oh, some Boston Cream Pie.  I could use a sliver...or two...or three right now.

Our all-time, award-winning favorite:  Chicken Potpie.  I've made this dish dozens upon dozens of times, changing it up a little, and even cheating sometimes...yet it always comes out amazing.  

...friggin' DELISH...

Speaking of delish....!!!  She's scrumptious!!  

She also shares my love of cooking - and tasting.  

Here's to a girl's weekend of peaceful splendor.  And crepes.  (they were mind-numbing good)



Little Details

Sometimes, a little bit of detail can brighten up any space.

In this case, some bright, happy, cheerful blooms!

Such a simple thing to brighten up a dull winter day.  Even in this beautiful, sunny place, a splash of colorful flowers like this is just the thing to perk things up a bit!

Also....joining my Katie Daisy collection.....
...is this new piece.  {gasp!!}  It's PERFECT!!

It's amazing how a beautiful piece of art can brighten up a little space.

This happy creation is right above our dining table, first thing to greet us in the morning.  Right next to my sunflower pictures from Michigan.  

This one (below) is in my daughter's room.  A $5.00 frame & some spray paint is all it needed to burst into splendor.  I can't say enough how much I LOVE this piece!!!

Here is Katie Daisy's shop, The Wheatfield, where I am looking forward to purchasing more art.  LOVE her.  

{These two are ordered & on the way.....squeal!....}

...and this one is next...


Christmas Garland

Finally finished it - just in time to put it away.  yesssssss.  Hey, at least I'll have something new to hang up next year.  That's my goal - at least one new Christmas project each year.  By the end of Thanksgiving, I'm usually ready to work on something festivy & fun, which is when I started this.

It's Christmas cookies with sprinkles!  The original and amazingly adorable inspiration {found here} came from Nana & Co., whom I absolutely adore.  {I liked her candy canes, too, but I didn't have the patience to make any}  Everything this Goddess of Creativity does makes me swoon. Page, after page, after page of her blog is loaded with the most beautiful creations.  I don't think she and I could ever be BFF's because she's just in a realm of creative awesomeness all her own.  I would probably giggle too loud, play with my hair too much, pass some nervous gas, let out an awkward snort or something....it would be bad.

But anyhooo...

I love this happy, cheery, cookiefull garland.  

I thought I saved a template...can't find it at the moment...I should have one somewhere...but it was created with Photoshop and, GET THIS, the cookie cutter tool. {funny, right?!}  There's a shape in the cookie cutter tool box that is a scallop circle.  So I just sized my circle & scallop circle on my piece of paper, printed it off on cardstock, cut them out, and traced my shapes on felt.  So easy it's disgusting.

I'll go find my template so I can share it...  


Happy 2013!!

Another New Year?!  {wahoo!}  I hope everyone had a marvelous Christmas season! It's truly my favorite time of the year, a little sad it's over, but I'm definitely looking forward to every upcoming phase of another year and all of it's surprises.  The winter sunrises, Valentines Day, Spring, Easter, kids' events, warmer weather, summertime fun, lazy days, taking trips, a new school year, Fall festivities, and another Thanksgiving and Christmas season.  Every bit of it is just as exciting to think about as it was last New Years!

Every time the New Year rolls around, it comes directly after the Christmas hustle and excitement, with it's own little burst of excitement.  Although I'm not a huge "resolution" fan, I definitely believe in recommitting to doing my best.

Part of doing my best is better balance - and part of that is getting back in touch with my creative side.  I've let it sit by the wayside for too long--I miss it, I need it, and I'm giddy about creating beautiful things!

My Christmas project - still waiting to be finished - maybe by the end of the day today! {woo hoo}

A chunky, creamy, dreamy blanket I've started.  It's working up fast....had to order more yarn.  Did you hear that?  I have to order yarn.  Not cool...but at least it's an option.  It'll be like Christmas all over again to get beautiful, creamy yarn in the mail. Like a little preseeeent. For meeeeee.

And speaking of presents for me....my Love Nugget was extra good to me this Christmas.  He's amazing, I know.  And, yes, it's true.  I've become a Canon girl.  I know, I know....I feel like I'm cheating on my Nikon...but it was time to upgrade from my sweet, little D40, and this hot little number is fierce!  We (I mean my husband) did a lot of research, hunting, comparing, and more research and we decided on this one. I'm madly/crazy in love with my 6D.  We took her for a little test-run on Saturday, you know, so the two of us could get acquainted a little.   

With the help of our Chariot of Fire, (the jeep) my Canon and I found some beautiful things to take pictures of.  

ahhhhh...a winter's day in the Arizona desert.  What's not to love?!  And...my favorite part...is the light that spills all over the place.  Light, light, light.  So much light....it's soul food for me. 

The mighty Saguaro.  Did you know that a saguaro cactus can live to be 150-200 years old?!  These beauties are slow growing, and they're exclusively here in the Sonoran Desert.  A 10-year-old plant might only be 1 1/2 inches tall...so one this size could have taken over a century to grow.  It's got to be at least 12-15 feet tall - I'm standing downhill, several yards back from this beauty, so it's hard to see in this photo how massive it is.  

This, my dear friends, is our back yard.  Don't hate me.

...fell in love with a windmill.  What's not to love about a desert ranch windmill?!  So tall, stalwart, doing her duty to bring water to animals, punctured by gunshot, yet still so beautiful. 

 Seriously, though, why do I love windmils so much?!  I love the shapes, colors, and functionality of them.  Maybe because it's sort of a symbol of the hard-working ranchers, homesteaders, and salt-of-the-earth people who help make this country so great.  I don't know....but I love them...
Stand tall, my friend.

Always, for as long as I can remember, after a long day out in the hills, the road home is always hauntingly beautiful.  Out in the desert hills it's wild and untame...and home is warm and comfortable.  It's always hard to leave the fun of being outdoors, but once those city lights come into view, there's comfort in knowing that our warm home waits to welcome back the business of our crazy little family!

Happy New Year, everyone!!!  
Wishing you the happiest adventures to come!!!