30 April 2013

The Inevitable Diet

8 Weight Watcher Points
I have always been a yo-yo dieter. Lately, my post-menopausal nervous system has periodically had me on the anxiety diet. Not my favorite way to lose weigh, to say the least, but effective.
Two years ago LL and I added Weight Watchers to our ongoing speed walking dates. We both were quite successful. Then, last spring we again began going to WW meetings, but soon dropped out...
So, this is Day 3 of my 3-month WW online commitment. LL is working up to starting to attend meetings again. We each have to do this within our own timeline. I believe she'll go to a meeting soon, because another friend has begun joining us occasionally on our walks. BS has lost almost 20 lbs. on WW since January. Inspirational.
Isn't Jennifer Hudson the best spokesperson ever! She's gorgeous and so talented.
I'm always an inspired cook when I'm seriously dieting. The poached egg mélange pictured above is today's breakfast-brunch. 8 points is alot, but this is loaded with good stuff and tasty (filling) enough that I was able to skip the bread. I always need bread with eggs.
1 T. Olive oil
4 Mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 cup Sweet onions, thickly sliced
2 cups Spinach
Salt + Pepper
2 Eggs
  1. Heat olive oil in sauté pan or wok, over high flame
  2. Stir-fry onions until slightly opaque
  3. Add mushroom and stir-fry with onions.
  4. When mushroom and onions just begin to carmelize, stir in spinach until wilted.
  5. Salt and pepper vegetables, to taste
  6. Drain vegetable mixture in a colander while preparing eggs.
  7. Return vegetables to the still warm sauté pan
  8. Place eggs in silicone poachers, sprayed with Pam, then microwave for 60 - 70 seconds.
  9. Remove vegetables to a serving plate
  10. Arrange eggs over vegetable mixture. Enjoy!

29 April 2013

Good Morning

Enjoying the Colorado sunshine.

28 April 2013


Sorting laundry has been a messy deal around here. Our mudroom-laundry room-garage entrance is narrow, and it is CA and my primary entrance point. Our walk-in closet is adequate, but not roomy. So, laundry gets sorted on the bathroom floor. Yuk!
Hoping this will fit in our closet and also conveniently stow in the laundry room.

27 April 2013

iPad Dysfunction

Thank you Apple Care. My 2-year contract expired yesterday at midnight. I had issues to resolve today. $19.95 per issue. Except I called less than 24-hours after my contract expired. They are waiving the charge. I could have called over the past few weeks, but the issue reached critical mass tonight. I did not know when my 2 years were up, but knew I was approximately at the cut-off.
My iPad seems to be much healthier now.
This is my second in 2 years. The original stopped recharging last fall, so replacement was free under Apple Care. However, you can't extend the coverage. All you get is two years, point; period. Hm-m-m.

Makeover, Taylor Mill Edition

Almost ready to roll. Heading out sometime next week to bring some joy and light to JE's new house.

26 April 2013

Red Curry Chicken Sauce

I've adapted the Red Curry Soup recipe to a saucier consistency. Trial and error. Eventually, I concluded that canned unsweetened coconut milk is worth the extra calories as it is creamier and sweeter than the Trader Joe's version of drinkable coconut milk.

1 lb. Chicken breast, raw; 1" dice
2 T. Olive oil
1 med. Onion, diced medium
1 clove Garlic, diced finely
3 T. Red curry paste (hot, concentrate for sauces)
1/4 cup White raisins
1 cup Sweet potatoes, peeled and 1/2" dice
1-1/2 cups Muir Glen Organic diced tomatoes, drained
1 can Tomato sauce (8 oz)
3 cups Organic baby spinach
2 cups Coconut milk
1 cup Peas, fresh or frozen (thawed)
Jasmine Rice

  1. Heat olive oil in large sauté pan
  2. Stir fry chicken breast pieces, just until no longer raw
  3. Add a bit more olive oil, if necessary
  4. Sauté onions and garlic with chicken pieces
  5. Add potato pieces
  6. Stir in red curry paste for one minute
  7. Stir in raisins
  8. High simmer for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but solid
  9. Stir in spinach until begins to wilt
  10. Add tomatoes and tomato paste
  11. Stir in coconut milk
Simmer while you prepare rice (optional addition)

25 April 2013

Almost Right, Finally

Just need to get the media bits settled below the console table. 2 years into the redecorating process, ugh! It would have been easier to wipe the slate clean rather than re-purposing and reupholstering... Less money, too, I'll wager.

24 April 2013

Thrift Shopping

Lamp $9.50 from the thrift shop. Lampshade $24.95 Bed Bath and Beyond. Quite the find. Perfect.

Next Weekend


23 April 2013


I'm an excellent cookie baker. Really. Folks say... My mother-in-law taught me by example. In and near her small town, she's famously a gifted baker . She is the best pie maker. In our family, CA is second best. Makes me proud!
I have 5 or 6 fantastic recipes. I use real butter and high quality nuts, chocolate, etc.
I own 4 sizes of cookie scoops. These are imperative for consistent-sized cookies. Size is important. To ensure the perfect degree of golden brown and crisp or chewy.
These are two sizes on purpose. Although, the big ones are preferred by all.

Effective Communication

Convenience can kill communication. How many text messages do you remember? Now think of the last written love note you received. People are valuable. We should do whatever it takes to communicate!



21 April 2013

Reverse Osmosis

We're installing a water softener and a reverse osmosis system. No more purchasing bottled water for on-the-go hydration. No more lugging gallons and gallons of drinking water to support our daily, year-round iced tea habits.
So, we need to purchase to-go, reusable water bottles. They're pricey. These seem the best so far. But, why do we pay $5+ a bottle and have to carry blatant advertising embossed all over the bottle? Not like it's a designer label we want to flaunt.

20 April 2013

Red Curry Chicken Soup

Easy. Delicious.
MK got this recipe from a friend in Ft. Collins and made it for us upon our arrival there in January.
I've tweaked it a bit.
1 lb. Chicken beast, cut into 1" pieces
2 T. Olive oil
1 med. Onion, diced medium
1 clove Garlic, diced finely
2-3 T. Red curry paste (hot, concentrate for sauces)
3 cups Muir Glen Organic diced tomatoes
2 T. Tomato paste
3-4 cups Organic baby spinach
3 cups Coconut milk

1. Heat olive oil in large sauté pan
2. Sauté onions and garlic
3. Stir in red curry paste for one minute
4. Add tomatoes and tomato paste
5. High simmer for 10 minutes
6. Stir in spinach until begins to wilt
7. Stir in coconut milk
8. Simmer while you prepare rice (optional addition)

I'm going to try some yellow or green curry paste next time.

19 April 2013

Lucy Gets to be a Flower Girl

And, it involves wearing some red cowgirl boots! WOW and DOUBLE WOW!

18 April 2013

Color Ways: Photo Card Boutique

Do you know this site? It's so inspirational. Lovely.
These color ways are going to be helpful as JE and I work to reconcile her preferences with the existing cabinetry, woodwork, and paint colors (newly and perfectly done) that came with their new (to them) house.
A fantastic tool. Gets my creativity going...
More goodies:

16 April 2013

Someone Should Buy This

$149.00 at World Market. 5x8.
I love it, but it's not outdoor-rated. Needs to be inside in a neutral room. So, so pretty.
Just looked this up. It is an outdoor rug. Polyester. Who knew. Thinking... Screened porch.

15 April 2013

Chocolate Cravings

These are a peanut butter-chocoholic's dream come true. Kit Kats done better. With creamy layers of PB sandwiched between crispy wafers and smooth milk chocolate.
I think these were gone for a few years, but I've been buying them at our local WalMart for a couple of months.
You just have to take a small bite, then separate the layers with your tongue, to perfectly experience the peanut butter-y, creamy milk chocolate, and crunch.

13 April 2013

When Spring Finally Arrives

You need to subscribe to Souvenir, an online magazine.

11 April 2013


(This is so much cuter in real life. What's with the red jewelry overload?
The dress has fushia pink. Not even close to red. )
Our walk-in closet is snarling at us. Daily. Sometimes two or three times a day. There had been a strategy... But, seasons change (as do sizes) and the fat white hangars were fighting each other for space. I've been craving the sight and feel of new t-shirts, while the hanging bar displayed a couple of dozen.
I sometimes fantasize about a dozen white t-shirts and 5 or 6 pairs of crisp denim and/or black pants. A closet full of simple, quality, casual living. Maybe a dressy dress and a skirt or two. And, 3 or 4 crisp, no-iron menswear shirts in pink and blue and white.
But, first I have to weed and sort and divest.
In reality, I can't seem to edit to that optimum level, but yesterday and today I've made drastic progress. I've relentlessly sorted through three walk-in closets and our main coat closet. I emptied my 4-drawer dresser--tossing out sox, pj's, and fading underwear. Slacks, jeans, vests, and t-shirts were vanquished from their closet hideaways. Three pairs of shoes, a summer purse, and a black leather wallet were given walking papers. Exercise clothing has been exorcised.
All the better to fit in my recent shopping successes:
While at the beach in December I found a great print cotton skirt and medium grey t-shirt for afternoons with friends or just when I want to make a bit of effort for myself. My dark jean jacket is the perfect topper.
A few days ago I found a dressy-casual Anne Klein dress (above) for summer celebrations, a slippery black-cream-green flowy top to pair with black linen capris or slacks, and a perfect LBD.

Last night I ordered seven 3/4 length sleeved t-shirts from Talbots (30% off)--(3) white, (2) black, (1) fushia pink, and (1) bright lime. Some are v-neck and some ballet. 3/4 sleeves are my absolute favorite.
I ditched (2) white no-iron shirts and have my eye on a new pink and white striped, and also one or two white menswear, no-iron shirts.
Is there anything better than a fresh, bright white cotton shirt?! Well, maybe the perfect length, slimming dark wash or black jeans...
So, I'm feeling a bit smug. I haven't reached that much-fantasized level of simple dressing, but I now know what I own and what I need.
And, that's something to celebrate.

10 April 2013


All my little ones have had some cousin time this month. LG, KF, & NJ flew to Vienna, and then spent time with Slovak family in Bratislava and at the mountain cottage in Dovalovo.
JA, LE, & LC moved into their new house--complete with trampoline--just in time to host Emerson Sophia and Rhys.
Loving seeing family ties reinforced.

Time to Get It Done

After months of burying my head in the sand, I might be ready to finish what I started. Today I found this photo on Houzz, and it's the best idea I've seen to build some support into our very precariously perched peninsula countertop.
So, I emailed the Corian refurbishing guy--again. And, am trying to track down the electrician/handyman who usually helps us. My text bounced back. After those two guys are in-line, I can call the painters.
And, we may just have to barrel on through with refurbishing the master bathroom shower and wall tile. Just maybe.