Monday, December 23, 2013

White Christmas



Can you believe Christmas is in 2 days?
I'm not quite sure where the last few months have gone, but they have flown by.
We don't ever get a true white Christmas here in Southern California, 
so this year I decided to bring the "white" inside!

I just couldn't resist this white tree when I saw it.
I just love the way the teal and pink ornaments "pop" against the white, 
and the silver adds a festive sparkly touch.



It has a wonderful retro vibe that I'm loving.

Another "White" thing that we've been enjoying is these.
Sitting by the tree at night, cuddled up under a blanket with the fire going.
I'll just leave it at that and make you pop over and check out the link.
Yum!

I'm off school for my Winter Break, so if my plans go as I'm hoping, maybe I'm have some time to spend in the kitchen instead of having my nose buried in a textbook. 
And who knows, maybe I'll even have a blog post or two!

Wishing you all the the Merriest of Christmases...whether they be white or not!









Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gobble Gobble



Are you feeling it?
All that delicious food that has been consumed the last couple of days!

Oh my...bring on the treadmill!





I hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.
We enjoyed a lovely small gathering this year, with just our household family.
Cooking for 4 people was a breeze compared to 20!
It's just what I needed this year with my crazy school schedule.

The food was delicious and I think a new favorite was born.
When I went to mash the potatoes, I realized that we were out of butter!
Help!
Olive oil to the rescue.
It was delicious!!
So buttery, but without the butter.
A definite make again.

And now the Holiday season is officially here!
Our tree went up yesterday - a new (artificial) white one with multi colored lights.
So retro...I'm loving it!

Enjoy the rest of your Holiday weekend!!



*Serving spoon via Baby Puppy Designs on etsy*


Saturday, November 9, 2013

100 Best Fresh Soups




I recently won a lovely giveaway from
If you don't already follow Kelly's great blog, head on over and take a peek!
She always has lots of great ideas, recipes and crafts to share.

In my box of goodies was this awesome cookbook!



Just in time for those chilly nights that are upon us!

Tonight, a rare night that I actually have time to cook, 
I'm making Asian Lamb & Lemongrass soup!
I can taste it already!

Is it dinner time yet?


Sunday, October 27, 2013

I'm Still Here



I'm still here!
I have officially made it through anatomy! 
Well that is until we get to surgical procedures and then there will be plenty more where that came from!
I really enjoyed this module, the human body is truly amazing.
Now we are in microbiology.
Viruses and bacteria and pretty cool, but some of the other stuff...hmmm, not the most exciting things I've ever learned about, but it needs to be taught.

Other than school...
Actually there really isn't much other than school these days.

Cooking is almost non existent at the moment, there just aren't enough hours in the day.
Soup and a quick sandwich are becoming a staple around here.
This soup is a favorite at the moment.


A nice warm, gooey grilled cheese to go along with it and dinner is served!


I'm also hooked on Kamut Berries.
Kind of nutty, slightly chewy and very filling.



I make up a batch on the weekend and then use them all week long.
Tossed in salads with spinach, beets, feta and some pepitas - they make a wonderful lunch for school.
Served alongside chicken (usually rotisserie bought from the market these days), 
they make a wonderful quick meal along with some fresh veggies.


Have you tried them?

I'm truly loving school, but it has put a dent in how much time I can spend in the kitchen.
Do you have any quick and easy go to meals when you're pressed for time?

I'd love to hear about them!




Saturday, September 28, 2013

Brain Food




I'm almost a month into school and loving it!
The amount of information we are taking in, is incredible to me.
After 8 hours a day in the classroom, on average
I come home and study 2-3 hours more..some nights even longer, in preparation for the next day.

There are days my head is literally swimming with terms and words that are new to me, but somehow they are slowly, all being retained.
It's become apparent very quickly to a few who skipped studying, 
that you won't make it through if that's the path you choose.
Lessons learned!

Here a few things that are keeping me going...



I love that there is a tiny hint of sweetness to coconut water, 
but it's something sweet that I can feel good about.
It's in my backpack everyday!


We take so many notes, I had to find a way to make the really important parts stand out.
I'm absolutely loving these retractable highlighters.
They are bright, yet don't bleed through either my notebook paper or my textbooks.
I like the fact that there are no caps to lose either.






I need brain food throughout the day to keep my going and these are just a couple snacks that I'm loving and that are easy to carry with me.




A little crunch, a tad sweet, and they tide me over until my next break.
Tons of whole grain and protein too.



These are great!
I take some pretzels or some celery sticks and start dipping!!
They are perfectly portioned and peanut butter is filling and keeps me going.

These are a few things that are keeping my brain in working order these days.

What's your favorite brain food?








Friday, September 13, 2013

The First Weeks




I have officially survived the first 2 weeks of school!
It's been great, though honestly a little surreal. 
Sitting in a classroom for 8 hours a day, isn't something I've done in a very long time...
in what honestly feels like forever!

There are sixteen of us on this journey together.
A mix of male and female, young and older-ish...
well actually only one older-ish person and that would be me!
Yep, I guess I'm kinda the "mom" of the class.
But, hey I'm ok with that...with age comes wisdom. Right?

It's funny being around a group of twentysomes 
and a couple of thirtysomes, and their insatiable energy.
I find it refreshing.
Their youthfulness at times, makes me laugh.

As we settle into groups and friendships form, it's interesting to see the dynamics of the class.
I wonder when it's all said and done, where everyone will end up.
Will we all finish the program and make it through?
 Not only the academic portion, but also the grueling clinicals that are to come.


Our days consist of lectures and hands on.
Looking at all these strange surgical instruments and learning their names and uses.
When we finish the program, we will have learned almost 500!!
We are all still struggling with the first 40, so reaching that high number at this point is hard to fathom. 





We quiz every single day, and have exams every 5 days. 
So my nights, well they kind of look like this...
going over notes and flashcards


 with some help from the trusty textbooks!


Reading this much and learning all these new things is quite invigorating.
I am truly enjoying it.
It's good to know that I've still got plenty of room up there to learn new things.
(check back again in 6 months and see if I have any more room at that point!)

That's what I've been up to...what about you?






Saturday, August 31, 2013

A New Chapter




As a little girl I dreamt of becoming a doctor, a surgeon actually.
Perhaps, Trapper John MD might have had a little influence on my desire.
Do you remember that tv show?
I was in love with it growing up.

Sometimes as life goes though, another path finds us.
It's neither good nor bad, it's just life.

A certain path found me.
I became a wife and a mother.
Things that I wouldn't change for the world.
I love being a mom.
 It's a busy non stop job, but as you see your children grow, mature and become individuals, 
it makes your heart so full.


I've come to the point now where my children are grown enough that they don't need me 
24/7 for all the things they did when they were little.

While I may be a little old to start becoming a surgeon at my age, 
I'm certainly not to old to follow through on a dream.
An opportunity presented itself earlier this year for me to test and interview for a surgical tech program.
I figured why not give it a go.


Guess what?
I got accepted!!
I was in disbelief when the letter came in the mail, 
super excited but a little in shock.

This has been an emotional week as I said goodbye to my job with our local school district
where I've worked for many years. 
Saying goodbye to coworkers you've seen everyday for years was an odd feeling.
Those final hugs from my little munchkins, even harder.

Though bittersweet, I know that great things are to come.
I will be in school full time for the next year, and then there will be clinicals.
I'm sure my brain power is going to be tested to it's max as we study; 
anatomy, micro biology and pharmacology.
We need to learn over 400 types of instruments that are used in the operating room!
When the surgeon says "scalpel", you sure as heck better know what he's talking about!!


I won't be having too many complicated recipes to share here as my nose
 will likely be buried in a medical textbook instead of a recipe book!

As I settle into a routine of school, homework and my regular family life, 
my posts might be a little few and far between, but I'll still be around.

I'm excited to start this new chapter. 
I hope that you'll follow along on the journey with me.



Saturday, August 24, 2013

Power & Free



I love a clean house!
Who doesn't right?
Sometimes though finding the time and the right product to do a really good job can be a challenge.

So when I was asked to try out Lysol's new Power & Free line of cleaners,
I jumped at the chance to give them a try.  
I've always trusted Lysol products so I was eager to try out their newest line.


Lysol® Power & Free is a new cleaning formula that uses Hydrogen Peroxide to release thousands of microbubbles to penetrate and dissolve tough stains for a powerful clean without the harshness of bleach. 




According to Lysol: 
The Power & Free line kills 99.9% of viruses & bacteria
 and can be used on a variety of surfaces.
There is no bleach harshness and it leaves a fresh clean scent.

I was sent a container of the Lysol® Power & Free Multi-Purpose Wipes




They clean really well!
I love them for a quick clean up on the refrigerator door and handles or 
that splashed over spaghetti sauce on the stove.

We have a white laminate top desk in our kitchen area, and you can imagine 
with teenagers how dirty that can get!
These wipes instantly dissolve the dirt and in no time it's shiny and clean again.

I will say that while there is no "bleach" smell, they do have a rather strong scent.
It's not overpowering, and it does fade away fairly quickly, 
but if you are sensitive to cleaning smells, it's something to keep in mind.


I was also sent a bottle of the Multi-Purpose Cleaner in the Citrus scent.



The cleaner works great.  
I used it in my kitchen for cleaning the white porcelain sink and faucet,
 and it does a great job.
I also tried it in the bathrooms and was really impressed with the cleaning power.
The scent of the Muti-Purpose Cleaner is much lighter than the wipes.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Power & Free line of products,
 and they are definitely something that I would purchase.

It's a quality product from a company name that I trust, and they work great!

Have you tried Lysol's new Power & Free line of products yet?


I received samples of Lysol Power & Free to try out as part of a BzzAgent campaign.
Any opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wordless Wednesday








Freshly sharpened pencils.
New backpacks.
Shiny new tennis shoes.

It's the First Day of School!!


Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah!



I've been missing in action a little lately, but with good cause!
My husband and I managed to squeeze in a little Central California Coast getaway, 
before the rush of back to school and work are upon us.

What a time we had!
A little wine tasting, fantastic food, gorgeous scenery...we even got to go goat cheese tasting,
 and feed the goats on the farm!


And then we decided to get our brave on and go zip lining!
What a blast!!
The scenery was breathtaking zipping almost 100 feet above the ground.
You get to soar over the majestic oaks on Santa Margarita Ranch.
We saw deer and eagles, it was an awesome day.

was outstanding and if you're ever in the area, 
I'd highly recommend spending a day with them. 

Summer vacation is drawing to a close for us here in the West.  
School starts up next week.
There's always something a little bittersweet about saying goodbye to the summer holiday, 
but it also means new and exciting things are just up ahead.

Here's to Summer and all it's wonder!!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summers Bounty



We are enjoying Summer here in Southern California.
The sleepy mornings, the extra cup of coffee since we don't have to rush out the door
 to work and school.

We just came back from a few days up in the mountains which was just lovely!
Hiking, fishing, and of course S'mores!

The sunshine and warm temperatures have made my tomato plants go wild!



I've already made tons of pasta sauce, 
salsa is next and we've been enjoying fresh tomatoes on everything!


I'm enjoying Summer all around!

What about you...
what's your favorite part of Summer?


(You might remember Mr. Stripey from here)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Secret Meat Business



I'm always on the lookout for new cooking shows.
They're great for learning new techniques and inspiring you to get in the kitchen.
Recently I came across a show called 
hosted by Australian chef 

While the title of the show reads more like a mystery novel, I guarantee you it's not.
I love his style.
Simple, clean flavors, letting the ingredients speak for themselves.
His philosophy is also fantastic - nose to tail, not letting there be any waste.

Enter his cookbook "Meat".
Ok, actually not so simply enter his cookbook living in the USA.
It's not in print here and the price of copies online...let's just say I think I paid less for my first car!!
My husband did some digging around,
 and managed to find me a copy that didn't require us to mortgage our house.
Yay!!
So after many weeks of waiting for it to arrive from Australia...here it is!


I'm still reading through it as it's not just recipes, but chocked full of stories and how to's. 
For the less carnivorous people out there, it's also not just meat recipes, 
there are wonderful sides and salads too!

I decided on a grilled quail over a Greek salad as my first "make" from the book.

A wonderfully simple and aromatic marinade.



Fresh vegetables and herbs for the salad...and of course feta!




Then the quail gets thrown on the barbie!
(I just used my best Australian accent...could you tell?)




Those little birds cook up quick...we're talking just minutes and they are a beautiful caramel brown!




Then for the moment of truth!!!



Absolutely divine!

Fresh and bright. 
The acidity from the lemon and the richness of the olive oil were sublime. 
The slight gaminess from the quail balances everything out perfectly.
Every bite left you wanting another...which is just the way that it should be.

Secret?
I'll say his secret is that he knows how to cook!!
My taste buds can't wait to be tantalized again! 


Want to know more about Adrian...check out his website here.

If you're lucky enough to live in or visit Australia he has a top rated restaurant called
La Luna Bistro

I think I know where my next jet setting adventure is going to be!
Wink, wink!







Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th!




Happy 4th of July!


Independence Day Art Print via Modern Genes on etsy

Whatever your celebrations include - may they be happy and safe!



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mid Century Modern Delight...And Oh Yeah, Food Trucks!



I have a soft spot for Mid Century style.
I grew up in houses, 
both ours and my grandparents that were filled with many beautiful MCM pieces.
Of course at the time, I had no idea what they were, but I do now.
For me the style is reminiscent of a bygone era of class and distinction.
It's a happy, warm style.


Me - circa 1973
(I have almost the exact same chair in my living room today!)

My husband & and I have filled our home with some lovely finds over the years.
I love the pieces that will forever remain in style, 
and I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting pieces to add to our collection.


Our living room
Table  and  Credenza


That brings me to where I will be this weekend!



I'm so excited!
Booths filled with wonderful Mid Century treasures to peruse.
I'm drooling in anticipation. 

Then when I found out that the food truck scene is getting in on the action.
Woo hoo!

Who could ask for a better Sunday!!

And one more thing...proceeds go to help 

Food & Furniture (and don't forget the dogs)...that's where I'll be this Sunday!

If you're in the Los Angeles area, make sure to stop by.
For up to date vendor and food truck information stop by their
Facebook page.


Happy Weekend!!






Monday, June 24, 2013

Stakmore



I must share my fun weekend thrifty project!!

A visit to my local Goodwill turned up this rather sad looking chair.
$9.99, but red tags were half off so she was only $5!!
Yippee for me!




As you can see she was in a state of needing just a little tlc.


So some sanding...


A little Gorilla glue - I love this stuff!!
Some clamps for a couple hours.


A coat of primer.
I will say this stuff is ok, but not awesome, probably would choose a different brand next time.





She's from the Stakmore company, who have been making quality folding chairs since 1922.
I'm not sure how old this one is, but she's definitely been around for a while.


Remove the old foam and fabric, which was ripped and rather nasty.
Eeeeew!

Then thanks to a free sample size of
Hazy Dawn from Lowes

A new piece of foam
 and a half yard of HGTV Loose Leaf fabric in the Citrine color way.
She now looks like this!






I love the styling.
She's just mid century enough that she fits in with all  my other mid century pieces in the house, but adds a fresh pop of color and style.

Not bad, especially for a grand total of $15.

$5 - Chair
$3 - New piece of foam
$7 - fabric (with coupon and teacher discount at Joann)

Have you thrifted anything fun lately?


Linking up with A Living SpaceSir Thrift A Lot and Remnant.

Check them out for some great vintage thrifts that people have scored!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Where Have All The Blog Posts Gone?



It would appear that I've become somewhat of a blog hermit lately.
My posts seem to be few and far between.
I can assure you however, that I have been quite busy!

I've been up to my elbows in paint!



Giving our kitchen a fresh start for Summer.
I'm loving it!
It is replacing a rather dark green, and while the green was lovely, 
after 7 years it was time for a change.
Hopefully, if plans go well...I'll be done today!!



Now with those fresh walls and bright white trim,
I'm pondering these for the window behind my desk, which sits just off the kitchen.



What do you think?


And then I got to play nurse to my son who had all his wisdom teeth out.
Ouch!
Remember that??



He's been an awesome patient, 
and thank heavens for modern day medicine and lots of reruns on TV!

That's what I've been up to lately.
What about you?


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