Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Very Proud Auntie!

So, last week I went home to California for the holidays. It could not have been a more perfect Christmas. The food was great...seeing my family was great, as always, and most of all getting to see my niece's new horse, CJ! I am such a proud Aunt. My niece, who's 12, has been riding horses for some time now. See, she's an English hunter/jumper equestrian rider and she has already acquired MANY ribbons. :) I think I'll be watching Paris in the Olympics one day. ;) Here are a few pictures of my beautiful niece, Paris and her new horse CJ.

She's a natural!

CJ has such great demeanor also. He's a very solid horse!

And I was even able to spend a little time grooming CJ with her while sis mucked out his stall, lol. Guess that's what mother's are for, huh? :) Thanks sis for taking a great picture of us!

More Christmas pictures to come as soon as I get a hold of 'em! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your families! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tis the season for sweets, sweets and more sweets!

I've already given up eating good this month especially with all these goodies! Coreena, Jim's oldest, and I cooked up a storm the other night. She had two parties for school and she wanted to bring alot of goodies to share. I didn't even take a picture of everything. I was too busy stuffing my face and kept forgetting to take pictures and kept forgetting to help too!

Aren't these adorable? Chocolate dipped pretzel sticks sprinkled with crushed candy cane.

Sugared walnuts and chocolate chip pumpkin bread.

Of course we can't forget peppermint bark!

I'm sure after that evening I gained ten pounds. *sigh* I did remember the sugared walnut recipe though! Very easy and very addicting. I warn you!


1 cup sugar
1/2 tbs cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt.
6 tbs half and half.
1 tbs vanilla extract
2-3 cups of whole walnuts
Boil to soft ball stage or 236 degrees all ingredients.. Once you have reached 236 degrees add 1 tbs vanilla extract and quickly mix in 2-3 cups of the whole walnuts. Spread them out on wax paper and cool.

See, you know me....easy is good. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tis the season....

I think I am back to blogging on a regular basis! :) The last three months I was attending a few classes at the local college including an herb class that I just love! So, much of my spare time was taken up by homework! My last piece of homework is for my herb class. I am currently working on a very large herb chart. I will be painting pictures of each herb I describe in the chart along with the botanical name, uses, etc. I hope it turns out good enough to frame later! I still have to turn it in before the start of winter session. In our last class the instructor brought us all the most delicious topping for vanilla ice cream...a sort of blueberry, orange and lavender compote! It was delicious! Different, I must admit but still VERY good. I'll include the recipe below if anyone is interested. :)

So, I am ready to start baking, crafting and enjoying the holidays!

Until then...a little cozy picture for your enjoyment. I've dressed the townhome with a little holiday cheer. Emma is certainly enjoying laying on the cozy couch by the fire. :)

Here's that delicious ice cream topping recipe! Enjoy! It's so easy to make.

Blueberry Lavender Ice Cream Topping

1 1/2 lbs frozen blueberries
20 stalks of lavender if you still have fresh lavender around - just need the tops of each stalk (the lavender buds) - this can be optional if you don't have access to fresh lavender buds
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of orange flavored liqueur

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add sugar and dissolve. Add orange liqueur and bring to a boil again. Add blueberry and lavender buds and return to a boil. Put in refrigerator until cold and serve over ice cream!

How easy is that? :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Don't you wish life was this easy?

Although there are a couple of kit kats that I know of that seem to be gaining weight! Now where's that laser light? Lookout guys, here comes drill sergeant mommy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone in blog-land has a wonderful, cozy, warm and thankful Thanksgiving. As I've grown older I've come to learn Thanksgiving is not just about the turkey, good food and family but remembering to be thankful for what we have. I'm so thankful for my family and friends, a warm house, the love I get from my fur babies and just being alive, happy and well! Sometimes the holidays can bring out the negative in us but life is too short to waste time dwelling on the negatives in life. Just remember, every minute is a minute you will never get back, so enjoy life and make the most of what you DO have.

I'm baking a turkey, my mom's cranberry relish and the stuffing to bring to my best friend's house that will be full of family and friends. I think my turkey is going to be joined by two prime rib roasts and tons and tons of sides and desserts. Yay! We even have snow on the ground still!

Although I wish I were in California with my family, I am thankful I have my family here in Oregon to enjoy with. :) Anyway, I will be home for Christmas so I'm definitely looking forward to that!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quincy, the lookout boy

Quincy's favorite place to sit is by the window. He's so curious about the neighbors and why everyone goes in and out of their garages all the time. He wanted to let me know that all the leaves have fallen from the trees and he senses a cold winter around the corner. He's a very good meteorologist you know. He tells me we're supposed to get some flurries this weekend...burrrrr!

Mom, somebody's gotta tell the neighbors snow is coming!

Well I'm fine....I have my winter coat on.

Close that window silly boy! I'm an old lady...I can't take the cold that well anymore! Sheesh! Mom can we throw him out in the cold? Please?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Having some fun before it gets too cold!

First of all, I want to apologize for the lack of posting lately. I miss posting and I miss my creative spark but I promise, it will all return very soon! In the meantime, my girlfriend Deb and I got a nice ride in last weekend on a rare day that it did not rain. :) You know I always find time for riding. :)

Riding bareback on my boy, Ari! Don't you love his little broomstick tail? Lol! Mind you the bareback riding was done in a small area by the trailer so don't attempt this unless you KNOW your horse!

Deb, Ari's real mom, riding bareback on Magic! Magic is a big boy....probably almost 17 hands now.

I think I've finally adjusted to the time change. When do we spring forward again? ;)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A one hour difference really does make a difference!

And it's made us all want to do this.

Is it just me or did you get affected by the time change too? I know it's only an hour but getting darker earlier makes me feel like I need to get to bed by 7 p.m.! Ugh.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Life has been crazy busy lately!

So my girlfriend, Susan and I decided we definitely need these for this winter. Okay, go ahead and laugh. Lol! That day we baked tons of pumpkin bread and these comforting things just topped the evening off!

We got them here if you're interested. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quincy's Favorite Halloween Show Is...

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown special. You can see why. His fur is as orange as the pumpkin he sits by. Quincy is convinced the Great Pumpkin exists...and he sits and waits for him every year.

I know he's coming....

You can go back in mom. I'll keep watch and let you know when he arrives!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Investigating the Old Wheeler Hotel

Our paranormal research team (Paranormal Research of Oregon Foundation) has just landed another investigation! I'm so excited. It will take place next Saturday evening at the Old Wheeler Hotel, a quaint little hotel on the Oregon Coast in Wheeler, Oregon. The hotel was a brothel and pool hall at the turn of the century before becoming a rheumatoid arthritis clinic in the 50's. I interviewed the owners last week and made reservations for our team yesterday! The spirits are said to be very friendly. In fact, in one room the spirit likes to give foot massages and caress your face. Yea, I booked myself in that room. LOL!

Old Wheeler Hotel today.

Circa 1914.

Circa 1950 when it was a rheumatoid arthritis clinic.

You can read more about the history here. I can't tell you how excited our group is. Katie, the current owner has been so accommodating with our group in preparation of our upcoming investigation. Thank you, Katie if you are seeing this post! She tells us it's a very spiritually active hotel with consistent feedback from guests on their "ghostly" experiences.

So this is what I'm doing Halloween weekend. What are you doing? :)

P.S. Okay, I know the song was cheesy but I just had to. ;)

Monday, October 18, 2010

I know I brag about my boy....

But I had to show you these black and white's I took of Quincy recently.

Innocent looking huh? In all reality, a total brat but I love him. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What do you do with a six pound zucchini and so thankful for the rescue of Chilean miners!

You make LOTS and LOTS of zucchini bread. Different versions of them! Different shapes! Have you ever seen such a big zucchini? My best friend Susan got this from a friend of hers and we made twelve zucchini loaves. I made a few with chocolate chips in them. You know me, gotta have my chocolate fix!

And last, I am so happy that the Chilean miners have finally been rescued! I have been watching every minute of it, crying after each one comes up. *sigh* It just reminds us all to cherish what we have in our lives, kiss those we love everyday and remember, in the day to day of life that we take for granted, we never know when it can come close to being taken away from us. We are all blessed with the families and friends we have. Let's try to show it to them everyday for the rest of our lives. :) xoxo

Friday, October 1, 2010

My very first rose has bloomed....

Isn't she beautiful? She's called Tahitian Sunset and she smells wonderful!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies and Tear Jerking Movies

I know I've said this before but THIS is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. I'm constantly looking for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe and so I seem to always be on the quest. I stumbled upon this recipe today and decided to give it a go. OH MY GOODNESS!! So far, this is the best! I found it on this wonderful blog called Kaitlin in the Kitchen. Check her out. She has the most amazing, comforting, recipes I've seen. I guarantee you will bite into some soft, chewy goodness when it comes out of the oven!

I decided not to fix the whole batch of cookies and froze the rest of the batch. To do this you simply drop your dough on your cookie sheet as if you're going to pop it into the oven but instead you pop it into the freezer. You can freeze uncovered for an hour to overnight. Once crystals have started forming on the dough balls you can now drop them into a zip lock and freeze until you're ready to use!

Lemme tell you I am so glad I made these cookies tonight because I watched the movie Hachi, A Dog's Tale. I have never bawled so hard in my life!! I mean not just tears rolling down my face....but deep, emotional crying. It's a true story about a dog named Hachiko that took place in Shibuya, Japan. You can read more about the story here. It's a wonderful story of love and loyalty and I warn you a box of tissues isn't enough. :) I had to eat a couple of cookies afterwards while still crying, mind you.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Staying clean the less expensive way!

Okay, I really didn't know any other way to title this post or maybe the creative side of my vocabulary was on vacation today. Lol! This past week I had to buy a few things that I ran out of, hand soap, shower gel and lotion. Now I'm one of those gals that loves shopping at your fancy bath and body stores in the mall but with the economic crisis going on right now, I just couldn't justify spending a fortune on bath goodies. So, here are a few alternatives and places to go that offer less expensive products but still fancy enough to make you feel good and feel like you spent millions! :)

I bought this shower gel at my local TJ Maxx and aside from the beautiful, romantic design on the label, it smells so refreshing and, I kid you not, lathers JUST as well as any other you buy in a fancy store. I only spent $3.99 for this big bottle. Sorry for the bad lighting. Bathroom lighting is hard to work with.

This may sound familiar if you've gone to those fancy stores in the mall but, yes, it's a knock-off and might I add JUST as good as those other ones and for this humongous bottle I spent $5.99. I bought this at our local Fred Meyer.

Now I swear this hand soap is the best hand soap I have experienced or smelled. Yep, better than any of those you buy in the markets or, let's say it altogether, those fancy stores in the mall. I bought this at TJ Maxx also and spent only $3.99.

So, in these economic hard times, give these less expensive, but just as good, brands a chance. Great places to look are Ross, TJ Maxx, CVS, Fred Meyer and Marshalls. I'm sure these stores are booming with business right now. So, be smart, save money and enjoy great finds like these!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Man I thought my tomatoes were never going to turn red. I hear some homemade salsa calling my name very soon! My tomatoes kinda look like pumpkins. I have no clue what kind of tomatoes I have. My girlfriend, who is a master gardener, sent me home with these tomatoes that weren't doing to well...but the tag was gone so I have no clue what kind it is. Anyone know? :)

I still have babies popping up too!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This is what life is all about per Quincy.

Relaxing. He looks a little high though. Perhaps too much catnip? Lol!

Ah yes, the kitties are all still doing great. Mocha is even holding her own at almost 14 1/2 with her medical issues.

One little scare recently though. Emma somehow got out and spent the night in a bush only a few condos up from ours. My friend Bryan came and looked everywhere with me at midnight (after looking most of the evening) with no success. That night I had a dream that Emma came home with another cat friend! Arrgghhh!! I was so hoping that wouldn't be true. So the next morning I took another walk calling Emma's name out, combing the bushes and shrubs. All of a sudden, the cat that came home with Emma in my dream popped out of a bush to say hello. Yep, the cat looked exactly the same! We said our hellos and I continued on my way. "Emma!"...."Emma!"....and then a little high pitched squeaky meow came from a very low bush. Out crawled Emma, dusty from laying in the dirt and happy that her mommy found her. I carried her all the way home and let me tell you, she was one happy cat after she got in the door. Good thing mommy saved the day. Now I just have to figure out how the heck she got out. Sometimes the kitties are in the garage exploring and she may have slipped out when I was taking the trash out. Either that or Mocha shoved her out the door without me looking. See, Mocha has had this ongoing scheme of getting rid of Emma and Quincy.

Alls well that ends well, right Emma? She's fine..the food is still here. :)