Monday, April 14, 2014

The Simple and The Sweet

Spring has arrived, bringing us blossoms, dresses, and sandals and the delightful urge to begin planning summer camping and beach days. No big plans for Easter this year, just hoping for a relaxing weekend in the sun with lots of sleep and good coffee.

But back to Monday...keeping me excited about life on this fresh Monday evening is stuffing Easter eggs with jelly beans and sour grapefruits and melon gummies. I plan to deliver these simple and sweet gifts to my coworkers Friday to remind everyone spring has sprung!

1/2 jelly beans & 1/2 Sour Gummies
Jars stocked with spring colored candy

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Last week I made double chocolate banana bread, the most delicious banana bread in the entire universe. All my gratitude and blessings to Smitten Kitchen for once again introducing me to a recipe that I now can never live without. The combination of chocolate chips and cocoa powder are to die for. I also liked that this recipe called for melted butter instead of oil. Enjoy

My Tips for Double Chocolate Banana Bread:

1. Follow the recipe with patience and always lick the bowl
2. Skip the nutmeg
3. Cut the loaf into halves after it has cooled and after you have tasted your double chocolate banana breads deliciousness, wrap up one half in tin foil and deliver to a friend, coworker or neighbor.

p.s. If for some crazy reason this isn't looking like the banana bread you NEED to bake this week, maybe one of these three variations will suit you better, I highly doubt it. Enjoy




Monday, March 24, 2014

A Gnome Home

A Gnome Home situated perfectly at the base of a Cedar tree.

There once was a Gnome
He had the cutest little home
Where know one could ever find him

He kept to himself
Came out to get the mail
And to say hi to the neighborhood snail

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A picnic in the park

 January 4th, the first Saturday of the new year, was well spend at Tilden Park with Local Butcher Shop sandi's and Oscar Blues Pilsner. The weather was absolutely amazing and after a short hike we spread out a blanket for an afternoon picnic. Nothing beats relaxing in the sun and catching up with best friends.


A New Year

I love celebrating New Years staying up late, drinking champagne, being with friends and family, reflecting on the previous year, accomplishments, changes, relationships, views, places I have visited, I love it all.

Some of the rituals I incorporated into my new years this year included burning small pieces of paper with words representing things you want to leave behind for the new year, such as judgement or bad habits. I was lucky to do this at the Cheese Board Collective's annual New Years Eve party with a few of my closest friends and many others who are apart of the collective.

New Years Day began with a hangover, delicious home brewed coffee and playing around in the kitchen perfecting a black eyed pea chili recipe. To say the least, the chili turned out amazing.

New Years Day Black Eyed Chili:

2-3 cups black eyed peas - soaked overnight
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
6-7 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1tbsp cayenne pepper
2tbsp oregano
1tbsp chili powder
2tbsp cumin
2-3 Cans diced tomatoes (I was lucky enough to use some that had been freshly canned this summer!)
1 small can of tomato paste

Put the black eyed peas into a large pot with a little water and olive oil and place on low heat. Make sure the peas have been soaked over night and feel hydrated (the alternative is using 2-3 can of black eyed peas). Add in the other beans, the tomatoes and the garlic. Make sure the heat is at a low simmer. Add the spices, mix and keep on low heat for 1 hour, mixing every 15-20 minutes. Taste often and add spices to taste, and any additional salt and pepper desired. I ended up throwing a big bag of fresh spinach in at the end because we can always use more leafy greens in our diet! Since I was feeling easy (not lazy), a mixing up a Trader Joes Corn Bread premix did the trick in completing my lucky New Years Day Dinner - yum!




Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013

2013 has been a wonderful year, full of adventures, musical birthday celebrations, travel to south east asia, a new home, job and car, and of course and most importantly a circle of friends and family who have supported me in making 2013 a year of living every moment to the fullest.

After taking a break from blogging the past few months, I was discouraged to come back to my blog and see where I had left off. The first thing I noticed was my post count stating that I had posted 18 posts in 2013 -how freaking exciting! I know that they haven't been regular or organized or always complete (but now I have something to work on in 2014) but that is very impressive to me. I am looking forward to a new year filled with creativity. I plan to better documents my artistic endeavors and expand into new mediums including adding poetry and short story to my blog. 
Bagan, Myanmar in November 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Simple Leather Wallet




I have always had an eye for leather purses and wallets, really of all shapes and sizes. Inspired by a friend of a friends handmade leather wallet and her claims of how easy and simple it was to sew together. I promptly took a trip to the local leather shop, Leatherwise, to see what inexpensive scraps I could find to create something on my own.  I found myself in heaven. Leather Wise carries all types of leather and the selection of scraps was just what I needed.


Stitching together the wallet after pre 'poking' holes with the Awl

I ended up taking home two squares of leather and choose to begin with a very simple wallet. I needed to purchase a few tools for proper assembling including an Awl-to pre 'poke' holes in the leather, and a setter-to attach the front snap. I already had a large sewing needle and thick thread.

Finished product, top wallet lined with cotton print
 To add a pop of color my mom gave me the idea of lining the interior of one of the wallets with a cotton fabric. 
I am extremely happy with how these turned out and have plans for several more leather pieces, including a larger purse. These simple wallets have been very handy, to cary cash at the farmer's market and as a chic checkbook holder.

Close up of interior