Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Fall Favorite in Our House

A few weeks ago on a Friday night, my husband commented that Belgian waffles sounded really good for breakfast the next morning. At the same time we pointed at each other and exclaimed "pumpkin waffles!" About 30 minutes later we were on our way to Williams-Sonoma in the mall for a canister of the spiced pumpkin waffle mix.

How did we find out about this? My mom bought us this item last year and we loved the spicy pumpkin taste and the candied pecans in the mix. It is so delicious!

We timed it just right as the employee at Williams- Sonoma had not seen it yet and said they must have just received the shipment. Thank goodness they had it!

While the canister is a bit pricey at $15, it is well worth it for special fall mornings! And you can use the same mix to make pancakes.

Let me know if you try it! I think you'll like it!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Last Glimpse of Summer

Here are some photos that I took when we went to Cleveland in August. They remind me of the last glimpse of summer.

Sailboat race on Lake Erie.

Lots of interesting architecture in downtown Cleveland. This is a former department store that was based in Cleveland.

Dragon boat race at the Flats.

It's been a very long hot summer in Louisville. Our central air went out last week when we broke records with temps as high as 100. I have to admit that I am ready for fall!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What Brings YOU Joy?

I love to hear Lucinda Williams singing "you took my joooooooy, I want it back!" So what brings you joy? What makes you happy?

Here are some things that come to my mind:

MUSIC - Music can totally change my mood. If I am not having a good day, there are certain songs that will pick me back up! One of my favorite pick me up songs right now is by Bell X1 and the song is The Great Defector. I also love to listen to Dave Matthews Band Live at Piedmont Park. We have the concert recorded and watch it almost every weekend!

MY HUSBAND - My husband brings me lots of joy and happiness and I am not sure what I would do without him. We love the same things and also have time apart with our friends. A perfect balance. He is a wonderful man!

ART - I have a great appreciation for art and craft. I can't think of a better gift than something handcrafted. Especially from the state of Ky! My favorite place to shop for handcrafted items is Etsy.

Here is a great example of joy on Etsy. Cloudy with a Chance of Balloons by jewelkrug on etsy. $19.99 by Julie Kruger

PETS - Animals bring us so much joy and unconditional love!

Today I was away from the house for 8 hours (normal work day) and as soon as I pull into the driveway, I see my two kitties at the front window waiting for me. Do they sit there and wait for hours? Do they know the sound of my car?

Our older cat Tucker loves to sleep on my pillow at night. There is something about the purr of a cat in your ear that absolutely will melt the coldest heart!

ICE CREAM - How can ice cream NOT make you happy? I prefer the real stuff versus soft serve but really wouldn't turn any of it down. I would have to admit that the Baskin Robbins turtle pie has brought me lots of joy in the past! And probably a few pounds too.

CHOCOLATE - I don't really discriminate against any form of chocolate. It's all good and it certainly brings me lots of joy. A nice box of Godiva or See's Candies is one of life's greatest pleasures!

FRIENDS & FAMILY - How could we get through rough days without the love of our family and our best friends? One of the benefits of growing older is all the friends you accumulate along the way.

I feel very blessed! Sometimes it is good to slow down and think about your blessings in life. So what brings you joy? Blog about it!

“This post is part of SOYJOY‘s What brings you joy contest. Learn more here.”

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Few Creatures in My Back Yard

Mr. Frog hanging out in the pond, trying to stay cool.

I was watering my herbs last night when I found this beautiful little guy on my dill. On some of the photos you can see the drops of water on him. I hope he is the type of caterpillar that becomes a butterfly. He is beautiful!

Friendly grasshopper. I never realized their eyes were so interesting close up.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summertime Creations

The challenge this month from Artbeads was to create something with a summertime theme using glass beads, charms or pendants. My first thought was to do a charm bracelet with some shell or boating themed charms. However, I wanted to do a little something different.

I fell in love with the simplicity of the sand dollar sterling silver pendant. Artbeads has a great selection of pendants to choose from. Normally that is where I start with an idea for a necklace, with the pendant, because it is the focal point in the design. I liked the shades of green and blue in the glass pearls and added some Swarovski crystal for a little sparkle.

My favorite colors right now are orange, red and yellow. I like vibrant colors during the summer. In browsing the selection of glass beads it was hard to narrow it down! I selected a strand of big bright flower beads as they were not something I would ordinarily pick and I thought they might be fun to try. I combined them with some lemon yellow swirled beads I had in my inventory and thought they made a good combination. This is a fun piece to wear on a hot summer day!

My final piece uses one of my very favorite design elements - furnace glass beads. I just love these! I picked the bright citrus package with random beads, some solid and some striped. I really wanted the solid orange bead to stand out so I put in some big bold silver beads. The pinstripes on the other beads remind me of candy. I really like this bracelet!

As always, I really enjoy these challenges as they allow me to think outside my normal style and have have a lot of fun with it!

Disclosure: The sand dollar pendant and glass beads were kindly provided free of charge by Artbeads.com as part of their blogging program. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The post represents the personal opinion of the blog author.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Masonic Home Show in Shelbyville

I recently set up with other Bluegrass Etsy team members at the Masonic Home Show (Celebrating Life Through Art) organized by our friend Donna Williams. It was a hot, hot day. Between the chilled wine, some ice from the cooler and team member Carolyn's nifty misting fan, we managed to stay cool! Here are some pics of our booths that day. This is always a fun event because of the constant entertainment and live music. Not to mention the good food and the good company!

Handcrafted clutch purses & accessories from Toni Johnson of Vernon Ave.

My Creative Eye Studio booth featuring jewelry and greeting cards.

Awesome pieces created by Joey and Kelly Graves of Whimsy Beading.

Metalsmithing extraordinaire Carolyn Mallin of Fanciful Expressions.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rescue Kitties

Last month these amazing babies showed up at my husband's office out in Eminence, Ky which is a rural area. The four kitties were dumped there (our guess) and there were two pairs from two different litters. They seemed a little skittish but friendly. They were not feral cats at all. Each time the door opened they would sneak inside which isn't good for business and people were annoyed.

Knowing that they might be put down at a regular shelter, we knew we had to do something to help them out. All of the no kill shelters or organizations that we called said they could not take any more kittens at the time. My husband was able to borrow a large crate from a local shelter for several days. We set it up in our garage until we could figure out what to do next. We already have two cats and could not take any more. And we couldn't let the kittens around our two cats because our existing cats were not thrilled to see them in the garage.

We didn't have any baby shampoo or cat shampoo so we bathed them warm water with Aveda Shampure, clipped their nails and gave them a mini spa treatment. They really seemed to like it. And they smelled really nice!

Putting my marketing degree to use, I took cute pictures, gave them sweet names and made little fliers to help promote them. We posted their pictures on Facebook and told our friends and family. One day at work I mentioned our cat Tucker to a coworker and he said he was looking to get a kitten. That was wonderful to hear! At the same time, we had contacted the lady we knew at Shamrock (we worked with her to adopt the two we have) and she agreed to foster the kitties until they found homes.

It worked out that my coworker took the two small ones (Oreo and Pumpkin Spice) because he didn't want to break them up. I am so happy to report that they are doing great! They are spoiled rotten in their new home. And the best part is that I get regular doses of stories about their antics and pictures of them as they grow.

We are hoping that Isabella and Fiona find homes soon. They are beautiful orange, black and white calicos. They are currently at the Feeder's Supply in Middletown and I hear that someone is trying to decide between the two. I am excited that maybe at least one of them will go home with someone nice. I go up to see them on the weekends and sometimes on my lunch hour. I like to think that they remember me or know my voice, but they probably don't. They are just so happy to have someone to hold them and love on them.

So remember to spay and neuter your kitties so that we don't have to work so hard to be sure they find good homes. Ours will have a happy ending, but that is because we took an interest in them and because of great organizations like Shamrock.

To learn more about Shamrock or make a donation, please visit them here. Do it for the fur babies.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Trip to Stream Cliff Herb Farm

I recently took a trip to a little place called Stream Cliff Farm in Commiskey, Indiana. What a hidden jewel this is! I knew nothing about it until my friend Amy suggested that we take a trip there to celebrate our birthdays. It's about an hour or so from Louisville and well worth the trip if you have lunch at their quaint restaurant.

They have a wonderful selection of plants and herbs. And if you love to take photos, you will find lots of great spots to take pictures. There are gardens and water features, a little sanctuary area for weddings, craft classes, a winery, a restaurant, gift shops, some friendly goats and a baby donkey. We had quite the sampling of food in the restaurant and what is really cool is how they use the flowers on the plates as edible garnish and there are herbs (like lemon verbena) used in the lemonade and tea. Be sure to try the "bird seed pasta" if you go.

If you are looking for a nice place to visit in the country, give this place a try! It's worth the drive!