Thursday, February 26, 2015

"The Traveling Tote"

Did you ever read the teen novel "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"? Anne Brasheres wrote the novel over 12 years ago.  I read it because my high school students were talking about how much they enjoyed the book. 

Simply, it is about 4 girlfriends, all sharing a pair of jeans while they struggle with growing up, realize the importance of friendship, travel and search for love.

As you know,  I am a huge Mackenzie-Childs fan.  Last month they had a sale and I was browsing their website to see if anything caught my eye - as I was certain that I NEEDED something they had on sale!

This tote bag caught my eye:

I quickly pulled out my credit card and purchased it.  I HAD to have it!

  Remembering how much Debbie at Mountain Breaths loves MC Courtly Checks, I quickly sent her a text.  How could we ever live without this? 

And then I sent an email to Sarah at Hyacinths for the Soul because I thought she needed one, too!

Shortly thereafter, the tote bag was removed from their sale web page!  Lucky us!


Debbie, Sara and I have decided to take the theme of this novel and create a series we will call:


A few times a year we will each write a connected post about the places our tote bags have taken us.  They might include business trips, shopping adventures, weeklong vacations or simply every day escapades!

For now, mine is sitting by the fireplace with cozy throws rolled up and tucked inside!

So, stay tuned, and in a few months we will update you on our adventures!

Oh, and if you have one of these totes, please contact me and "jump on our silly ride"! 
You could purchase their replacement tote and join in on the fun:

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Another Book Table...

I recently bought an old black book table that needed to be "brought back to life".

These tables are getting harder to find and I think they are such a useful, dual purpose piece of furniture:

I painted in a creamy white chalk paint and stenciled, by dry brushing, a harlequin pattern in top:

I also stenciled a design on the book shelf….

…and on each side:

A quick and inexpensive update:

Sharing with:

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Black and White and Butter….

If one thing is positive about all the snow we are getting, it is that I have been busy painting checks.

This is a cute little silver plated butter dish:

Wooden Salt and Peppers:

Cute wooden candlesticks:

And I filled 2 orders of switch plates:

It certainly beats shoveling!

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Chicken, chicken, chicken….

Sometimes I just can't come up with a new way to prepare chicken.  But today was different!

I butterflied two chicken breasts to create a pocket in each:

In a small bowl I mixed 1/2 teaspoon of 2 spices,

2 T cheese, 1 T chopped green pepper, 1 T chopped tomato, 1 T chopped onion, 1 crushed garlic, 4 fresh basil leaves cut into ribbons and some fresh parsley.  I drizzled a bit of olive oil over all of it….

..and gave it a stir:

I stuffed each breast with 1/2 of the mixture:

I added a few more spices on the top of the breasts:

And then I threw them in the oven hoping for the best :-)

I served it with roasted asparagus and stuffing.  I like to use an ice cream scoop to serve stuffing - today I used a mini scoop:

I have to say it certainly was tasty!

and pretty!

I will make this again, for sure!

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentines Day

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” 

“Love is like the wind, you can't see it but you can feel it.” 

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” 

            JÁNOS ARANY

                    RICHARD BACH


Enjoy this special day!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Grandfather's Hunting Bow….

I have great memories of my Grandfather.  Mostly of the times I spent with him in Bridgeton Maine on Long Lake.  We went boating and swimming in the summer, hiking in the spring and skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.

Many, many years ago, probably in the 1960's, he gave my brother his wooden hunting bow.

My brother brought it home, and he and his best friend went hunting for rabbits.  The friend told my brother that his father would "skin the rabbit" and they would cook it and eat it.  So, "a-hunting" they went.

They used the bow and successfully got a rabbit, brought it home to the friends' father, and he refused to "skin and cook it".  My brother was so upset that they had killed the rabbit for no reason that he put the bow in his closet and never used it again!

When I cleared out my father's home, the bow ended up at my home, and I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it.  I had no idea what to do with it.  

One day I looked over into my dining area and thought to myself "hmmm, I wonder what it would look like hanging over the window?"  It has beautiful inlaid wood, so I polished it and reached for the hammer and nails.

And that is where it is hung.

 Reminding me daily of my grandfather.
 And most importantly, my brother's compassion for animals.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Tea, Hearts and Snow….

  We have had quite a bit of snow and it is cold here!  There is nothing like a cup of tea to take the chill away.

But a cup of tea alone is not too enjoyable without a sweet treat!

I made the cutest little shortbread cookies….

…and iced them in shades of pink...

My favorite creamer and sugar is an Indiana Harvest Grape Milk Glass set.  I also have a set of 4 tea cups and saucers and 22 dinner dishes.  Milk glass brings back childhood memories!

You can see the snow on the background - brrrr!

The recipe for these little treats can be found at Fresh Eggs Daily.

And if you are looking for more special treats to make, try Susan Branch's Sweets to the Sweet book:

A Valentine's day approaches, remember this:

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
Maya Angelou

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