About Me

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I am a multifaceted woman, living with intention and passion. I always see the glass as half full (ok, almost always). Currently into: jewelry design, glass beadmaking (aka lampworking), visual journaling, cooking and web design everything. Things that bring me great joy: my family, friends, Scrabble, British period pieces, Shabby Chic, Austin, TX, mini art tiles, autographed cookbooks, chocolate, Chianti, pedicures and beach glass. I don't "do" and/or dig: dishonesty, guilt, intolerance, unkindness, drama and goat cheese (it's a long story, but I love all the other cheeses!) So you now have a teeny tiny little picture of me, with a few warts thrown in. Welcome to my world!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fat Free Garage Sale

     Ok, so there is no such thing as a fat free garage sale, but I had another fat free day and a garage sale and wanted to talk about both. We spent yesterday afternoon and evening pulling things together and doing a partial set up for the garage sale and then got up about 7 a.m. to finish the set up and pricing. Then we opened at 7:45 a.m. and had the most perfect weather for our sale. We met some interesting people and sold lots of goodies. The Blue Angels even flew over a few times during their practice. My daughter's lemonade and rice krispy treat stand did very well too. But I am totally exhausted even though we ended at 3 p.m.  Tootsies are tuckered out! Tomorrow we'll get up early and do it again. I have to pull some more stuff out tonight for tomorrow since we sold a lot of the bigger things.

   And now onto my current Dr. sanctioned fat free eating plan. I met with the surgeon yesterday who is going to remove my gall bladder at the end of the month. I asked if I had to keep to the fat free eating plan and he said "yes." Soooo, I have to avoid fat of any kind until the end of the month and am trying to figure out how to do this without losing my mind! I've been trying some new things that are fat free that I had previously snubbed. Some are still worth snubbing, So here is a short list of what I really like in case you ever have a gall bladder attack and have to stay away from fat for a little while.

1.  Ball Park Franks Fat Free Smoked Turkey Hot Dogs
2.  Spartan Brand Caramel Rice Cakes
3.  Delmonte Dilled Green Beans in a Can
4.  Black Beans, several different brands
5.  Mott's Natural Apple Juice
6.  Snack Pack Fat Free Vanilla, Tapioca and Chocolate puddings
7.  Fat Free Cool Whip
8.  Swanson 100% Fat Free Chicken Broth
9.  Strawberry and regular Marshmallows
10.Hormel Vegetarian Chili
11.Kraft Fat Free Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slices(good enough, melts very nice over chili, scrambled eggs and baked potatoes.
12. Eggbeaters
13.Cannellini Beans
15. Snyders unsalted pretzels, they are fat free.

That's it so far, there are other things that I really don't care for, including fat free sour cream, fat free cottage cheese and Fat Free Saltine Crackers. I've also discovered some good combos from the above list. I like the dilled green beans with black beans and/or cannellini beans, they make a very satisfying warm or cold salad. The Eggbeaters on fat free english muffins with a slice of fat free cheese is also good. And then the vegetarian chili over a baked potato with a slice of fat free cheese in between makes a tasty dinner. I crumbled some fat free saltines on top and that made it better. So there you have it. If I find more things I like in the fat free world, I'll be sure to post them. I do so wish bleu cheese was fat free though...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Flowers and Mini Tiles

     My daughter Sophie and I took a break while doing dishes last night to pick flowers from our garden for the house. Since so many of the perennials are new, we didn't have as much to choose from, even though we have lots and lots of flowers now. This bouquet is made up of pink cosmos, a daisy with shredded looking leaves and whose name I cannot recall, baby's breath and some rose mallow. The Baby's Breath was so small last year and almost dead when I got it on clearance at Menards, but it came back this year and is quite big, I love it. I try to buy a couple sad looking perennials near the end of the season each year since they are so reasonable and if they don't take I won't cry about it. But they seem to do well if I work the soil well, add some compost and then get a wonderful surprise the following year. I almost pulled the Baby's Breath out this spring, to be honest, I couldn't remember if that is what it was. Thank goodness I followed my instincts and left it alone.
     I also took a photo of the mini tiles I collect that are peeking out from behind the flowers. They are waiting to be rehung on the wall since we took them all down when we painted, LAST year, lol! I have at least as many as you see here that are packed up. When I get them all back up on the wall, hopefully in our new "reading room," I'll take another photo. I collect mini tiles from places we visit if I can find them in the local galleries. Sometimes I don't find anything, so have to settle for shoes, beads or postcards. But love when I find a tile made by a local artist. I also buy some tiles I find on Etsy, since there are so many talented artists there too.  I'm going to Cleveland in mid-July and hope to find a new tile to add to the collection. I am particularly fond of rabbits, mermaids, flora and fauna, but I also like inspiring things and unique shapes.
     And did I mention that my 10 year old daughter beat the pants off myself, her father and her 16 year old brother at Monopoly tonight? No cheating and no helping at all!

Purging Monday

     Actually, I should say Saturday, Sunday and Monday since we have been tackling one room each day. Saturday was the living room, Sunday the dining room and today the kids and I tackled the pantry. Our pantry is also the laundry room and was in serious need of decluttering, purging, dusting and organizing. We went to town! And when my sweet hubby got home all tired from a hard day at work, he took the time to put up a new shelf that required a trip to the hardware store. We now have mountains of things for the garage sale that I am intent on hosting on Thursday and Friday. The tourists will be landing for the Cherry Festival and it is a perfect time to have a ginormous garage sale.
     Tomorrow we have the kitchen and back hall to overhaul. I actually got a couple cupboards in the kitchen started today, and thankfully it is a very small tunnel type of kitchen (though this is something I also lament about being so fond of the kitchen and cooking) so it isn't the massive job it could be. The back hall is another story. It is not a big space, but most of it is wasted. Our charming bunny "Stella" lives in it in his cage, but he only takes up a 2x2 foot space, the rest is basically all clutter, except for the recycling bins, of which there are two, that can easily be moved right into the garage which is adjacent to the back hall. My youngest daughter and I debated about all the things we could do with that little space and finally decided on turning it into a reading and game room. Yup. It will need a couple coats of paint, the bunny will have to move (the location is still tbd, but I just can't give the bunny almost the same amount of space that the kids have for their bedrooms) and we will need to relocate a book shelf or two, but it really has so much potential. It can be cozy and artsy with a mural or mosaic, some fun lighting and some pieces of art that really need to go up. I am  really psyched about this little project. I suppose I should take some before and after photos starting tomorrow.
     Speaking of photos, here is a photo of my daughters' new goldfish. I don't know why, but I felt like getting them some goldfish. One now lives in an old fashioned fish bowl in my youngest daughter's room and the other lives in a small tank that my kids bought for me one Mother's day in my older daughter's room. I did warn them that goldfish sometimes don't live very long but that we could afford to replace them, unless they started dying everyday or every other day. I have a really colorful curtain that looked quite cool behind the fish bowl, colorful, almost circus-like in the photo. Doesn't look like that without the fish bowl in front of it, lol, not at all! My son said he was content with the bunny and did not want a goldfish. But maybe he'll change his mind.
     And then there is my new Gall Bladder badge/patch. I'm feeling so much better, obviously, though the fat free diet is still a pain in my patootie. However, I can report that I must have lost at least five lbs since my brand spankin' new clam diggers are now so loose I have to roll the waist band. Yes I'm thrilled to have lost any weight, but bummed about not fitting into my cute new pants! Life is full of balance right?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sweet Saturday

     I love Saturdays. Although we usually spend a good part of the day keeping house, it feels so good to get something accomplished and then we also make time to play. Today we worked on straightening out and purging items from the living/family room. It is a small space, so any real clutter is just not cool. I also set up a new visual journal work space in the same room right under the big picture window. I've been spreading out on the sofa for the last few weeks, so I needed to do something. And there is actually room after the room was decluttered! I'm just thrilled to have a little spot to play. We also spent some time weeding the flower garden in front of the house. It is looking so lovely, really filling in nicely with all the wonderful weather and extra rain we have had. The weeds have also been trying to get a foot hold, but we pulled a lot of them out today. I try to spend a few minutes each day pulling a few weeds to stay on top of it, but with all the rains, they are just going wild!  And I finished reading two books today, "Jane Austen in Scarsdale," and "Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art." Both were excellent books. I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen, so the modernization of "Persuasion" was just for pleasure. "Creative Time and Space" was like a play date with other artists, learning about how they find the time and create space to work.
     I usually do some big cooking in the kitchen on Saturdays, but with my current fat free diet restriction, I am trying to stay out of the place. I'm really missing cheese, butter and good chocolate right now, but I know it is temporary and I most certainly do not want to have another gall bladder attack before my surgery. I think I'll pick up some fat free cottage cheese tomorrow and see if it will satisfy my cheese cravings.
     And then to wrap up the day we are watching "Paulie," such an adorable movie, I think it is one of my top five family movies, we just love it. Like I said, "Sweet Saturday!"