Saturday, September 17, 2011

fall love

Getting ready for Fall!

cozy sweaters and tall brown boots


pumpkin spice lattes


waking up to crisp mornings and changing leaves


snuggling under blankets with my boys

what do you love about Fall?


Friday, September 2, 2011

finally friday

It's already the second week of school.  After a few growing pains the boys are finding a good rhythm in their classes.

And I'm already uninspired and unimaginative with their lunch box meals.  Does anyone else have this problem?  Please tell me I'm not the only one.

I love the idea of sending things like roasted miso eggplant or smashed sweet potatoes and goat cheese for the boys to eat. However, my boys would cry and complain and probably try to form a rebellion if I sent anything that remotely looked like the photo above.

Finding the house quiet after the constant energy that our Summer brought has left me feeling a little bit adrift.  So, I have decided to take an online art class.  I feel like it's time for me to be creative again.  :)

I also started reading Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman.  What a gift it has been.  I feel like it is my story.  Like those are my words, written by the hand of a stranger. If your interested you can read the first chapter here.

What does your Friday look like?  Do you have any fun plans for the holiday weekend?


Friday, August 5, 2011

After several years of a very tight budget which didn't allow for any home-improvements/repairs.  I am finally able to have a small decorating budget. Yay!

So many things need to be worked on in this 70 year old house that it's overwhelming to know where to start!

One of my husbands customers is a contractor and we have already talked with him about remodeling the bathrooms.  I will post pictures of before/after shots when we get started with everything.  Although I'm not sure if I want the "before" shots out there so to speak.  The interior is so shabby/ugly that it still amazes me that we have lived this way for three years. :)

One thing we want to do in the master bedroom is buy a smaller bed.  I LOVE our king bed but it is way too much for our tiny space!  Buying a new bed does get me excited about new linens, pillows, curtains...

I am loving these ikat panels from West Elm.
I love this repurposed night stand from IO Metro.  The photo doesn't do it is much cooler in person.

I love this quilt from Pottery Barn.

And I think a floor mirror would make the room look bigger. :)

I'd better slow down...I think I just spent my whole budget in one room!!

If you were doing some remodeling to your home which room would you tackle first?


Friday, July 29, 2011

summer fun

I don't remember a summer as fun as this one has been!

Our boys are at the perfect age. Long gone are the strollers, diaper bags, and changes of clothes.

If we want to go somewhere we just get in the car and go.

And we have been going...going...going this summer!

Thank goodness for all our generous friends who have a pool or a lake house.  We have managed to go swimming sometimes several times a week. :)

The boys a getting to be quite the little swimmers.  And my youngest has started jumping off the high dive!

I would say our theme for this summer is: water

Food is still front and center in our lives, but this little food blog has been much neglected.

What have you been up to this summer?


Thursday, June 2, 2011

frosting for the cause *a guest post*

Today I have whipped up a yummy batch of blueberry cupcakes with maple butter frosting.

I made them lovingly for those who have fought or are still fighting cancer.

I am sharing them for a wonderful cause which unites bakers from all over the US and Canada who want to help find a cure for cancer.

I you are interested in Frosting for the Cause I encourage you to check out their blog.  Read about the project and how you can help.

If you want my yummy recipe go here.

Have a great day!


Monday, May 23, 2011

graduation day!

Our youngest is graduating from Kindergarten tonight.

He woke us up at 6:45 this morning yelling "Graduation! Graduation! It's my graduation day!"

I love his joy and exuberance and passion for life...everything he does is with an exclamation mark!

I asked him what he wanted for graduation and he said a big chocolate cake!

So, I've been up to my elbows in chocolate today (not a bad place to be).

I have been  could eat this frosting with a spoon. :)

Chocolate Frosting:

1/2 c. butter melted
2/3 c. cocoa powder
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla

mix melted butter and cocoa powder together in a big mixing bowel. gradually add the sugar and milk alternating between the two until it's a good spreading consistency.  add the vanilla.  spread over a chocolate cake to indulge your kindergarten graduate!


Do you have any graduates at your house this year?


Monday, May 9, 2011

finding contentment

We have been in Small Town for three years this July.

Sometimes it feels like time is just flying when I think of my oldest turning 8 this summer, or my baby graduating from Kindergarten.

And sometimes it feels like time is when Spencer and I have a conversation about living in our tiny house for TWO MORE YEARS.

I want to get my things out of storage.  I want a dinning room table and more than one usable bathroom.

I want a laundry room like this:
(Better Homes and Gardens)

But, mainly I want to find contentment with my circumstances and blessings in the everyday.


mother's day blessings

My boys had a great Mother's Day planned for me.

Peach strudel from the fayetteville farmer's market and scrambled eggs and hot coffee started my day.

Then a hike and picnic lunch with the boys.

We finished off the day with a fire and roasted marshmallows in the backyard (of course I paired my marshmallow with some dark chocolate.

(have you seen these jumbo marshmallows? So good) :)

I'm so blessed to have such a great family!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

lovely date day

Yesterday Spencer and I went to a cooking class.

Before our youngest son left for school he asked if we were going on our wedding.

Uhh, you mean date?

Yes, are you going on your date today?

I could eat him up, I love him so. :)

Anyway, we went to the culinary school at Silver Dollar City (I DO hear you snickering behind your hand) :)

Before you's not all deep fried and smothered in gravy!  Check out the schedule here.

After that we stopped by a gourmet food store. Yum.

Before we went into the store I asked Spencer what the limit was.  He replied:  $200?  In the form of a question.

I hate being the voice of reason.

Anyway, we foraged through the store and found enough for a lovely supper of cheese, crackers, olive tapenade, smoked salmon, wine and dark, dark chocolate.

We rounded the day out by helping the boys write a haiku for their teachers for teacher's week.

And then we planted our little vegetable garden (more on that to come).

What a great day!


Monday, April 18, 2011

office space redesign

Spencer has been bringing a lot of work home and we have decided that we need a more practical office space than what we have right now.

Our living room and office area are combined and I think this corner desk would suit nicely.

I love using baskets as storage.

I love the slip-covered chair with the monogram.

I love the natural fiber jute rugs but think that I would like the softer feel of the chenille/jute.

I love the nautical architectural element of these lamps.

I think this piece would look great on the opposite wall to help balance everything out and I love the color but Spencer took one look and said I'm thinking the creme brulee color shown below.

Now all I need are window treatments, wall hangings, accent pieces etc...

I have to tell you that I'm not very good with the details.

Does anyone have any ideas?


photos from pottery barn and layla grayce

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rigatoni with Roasted Red Pepper and Black Olives

We had a great time visiting friends in Dallas over the weekend.  My only complaint is that it wasn't long enough.  But they will be coming here in a few months to stay with us.  Their oldest son will be starting college in the fall and he wants to look at the U of A.

It seems like just yesterday I was starting my first semester at the U of A.  College was so fun and exciting  and so full of possibilities! 

Luckily, I won't have to worry about college for my two for several more years.  The most pressing thought on their minds is what are we going to eat for supper!

Today was spent unpacking and putting away with very little thought to what I might feed my family.  It's times like this that I like to make simple, healthy meals with only 5 or 6 ingredients.

Rigatoni with Roasted Red Pepper and Black Olives
(inspired by this recipe)

1 Ib. Rigatoni pasta
3 c. garlic-flavored croutons (just buy your favorite)
1/4 c. slivered almonds, toasted
1 c. thinly sliced roasted red bell peppers
1/4 c. black olives, sliced
3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

 Add the pasta  to a big pot of boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl.
Place the croutons and the almonds in a food processor and pulse until it is combined and you have fine crumbs. Add the crouton mixture to the cooked pasta and stir until the pasta is well coated. Add the roasted red peppers, black olives and the olive oil. Toss and serve.



Thursday, April 7, 2011

zucchini gnocchi says I love you

I was on the computer the other night trying to find a recipe for strawberry trifle...different recipes kept catching my eye and I would click on them.

Before you know it I was sliding down a virtual rabbit hole and this is what I found at the other end:

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons and Parsley Brown Butter
(I would love to give credit but can't remember where I got it)

1 pound store bought gnocchi
2 Tbs butter
2 medium shallots
3 zucchini (cut into thin ribbons)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 c. chopped parsley

Put butter into large pan on medium heat.  when butter is melted add shallots and cook until they are soft and translucent then add zucchini ribbons, salt, and nutmeg. at this point I added a few Tbs. of water and put the lid on the pan to steam the zucchini this will take about 5-6 minutes.  add tomatoes and keep on heat until they start to burst (about 1-2 minutes).  add Parmesan and parsley and take off the heat.

In the meantime, get a large pot of boiling water ready for the gnocchi.  it will only take a few minutes for the pasta to cook. when they float to the top they are done.

Add gnocchi to the zucchini mixture and be prepared to wow your husband. :)  Spencer was so impressed with this dish that he couldn't stop talking about how delicious it was!



linky party

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Last week was so busy I didn't have time to sit down and write a post.

Wednesday we took our youngest to a pediatric dentist in fayetteville. Talk about cool!  It looked more like an amusement park than a dentist office. :)

After the dentist we had lunch at Meiji.

We love sushi and this place did not disappoint! 

This is a little about the philosophy of Meiji in Chef Darwin Beyer's own words:

Meiji is a small restaurant.  That allows me to focus on bringing you the highest quality food.  The fish at Meiji is sashimi-grade, and some of the freshest you'll find in Northwest Arkansas.  Our sauces are all made from scratch in our kitchen.  Vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers are purchased from local farms within a few miles of our front door.
I’m proud to offer fish selections that you won’t see at other local restaurants.  We cater to people who love sushi, but I also love to introduce sushi to those who are trying it for the first time. 
I invite you to try Meiji.  I hope you will find our atmosphere to be elegant without being stuffy, and the food to be the best you’ve ever tried.

Elegant without being stuffy...I love that!!

We all shared the spicy crab salad and the Shoyu Nama Ramen soup.  Spencer and I shared a couple different rolls and we got a bento box with salmon for our son. :)

The first roll we ate was the "Daikon" roll.  Daikon is a Japanese radish that is marinate and then cut very thinly so it can be used as the wrap for this roll.  It was filled with an assortment of fish ranging from tuna, salmon, and yellow tail, as well as several savory herbs and veggies. 

This roll is amazingly light and delicious and just bursting with flavor.

 Our second roll was the "Cobalt" roll.  This is a shrimp tempura and salmon combined with cucumber and avacado and topped with eel sauce.  I've had many eel sauces but this one takes the cake, but the real flavor kick of this roll is the fact that these are incredibly thin lemon slice between each piece of roll.  They are sliced with the rind still on them.  This seems strange until you take that first bite.  Then the bright, clean explosion of lemon hits you and blows you away. 

Everything was light and fresh and delicious.  They also had fresh wasabi (which was a first for me and I loved it)!  Not that regular intense green paste but actually fresh chopped wasabi that you could spoon on each bite and savor.

What a perfect day.  The only thing missing was our older son who had to go to school and did NOT understand why he had to miss all the fun!

Meiji  Japanese Cuisine is my favorite new restaurant.

Question of the Day:

Do you like sushi?  Where is your favorite place to eat out?


Friday, March 25, 2011

happy friday

I think I need a new tote for Spring.

Shhhhh, don't tell Spencer! :)

It's called the Shady Side Magazine tote and I think I'm in love.

For more inspiration go here.  And  for another reason to love Kate Spade check out the Support Japan Tote.

Happy Friday!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

dreaming of travel

Three more weeks until our trip to Dallas to visit our friends!!  I love to go on trips, don't you?

They live in Frisco TX and I have been online all mornings obsessing over where to stay, where to eat, and what to do.  I LOVE google. :)

I did take a lunch-time break to make a salad for myself.  I loaded it up with veggies and fried and egg for on top.  I made my homemade honey mustard dressing and also fried a circle of parmesan cheese.

Have you ever fried cheese before?

It's so easy!

Put a medium sized pan on medium heat and sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese into a circle cookie cutter (or just free form) onto your pan.  When it starts to bubble up and brown flip it over and let it brown on the other side.

Pretty. Easy. Yummy.


Monday, March 21, 2011

creamy orzo + green peas

I watch cooking channel way too much.

Cooking channel and Disney XD often fight for dominance at our house.

I won't tell you which one usually wins. :)

I made this creamy orzo after watching Kelsey's Creations.  She's a cute, spunky chef who is so tiny she doesn't look like she even eats food.  Sometimes genetics sucks.

I usually eat risotto as the main dish the day I make it.  Then, if I have any leftover I will add it to a salad the next day.

I love salads and try to eat salad as the main course for a least one meal a day.

Creamy orzo + green peas:

inspired by this recipe

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, diced
11/2 c. orzo
1/2 c. dry white wine (more to drink) ;)
3 c. vegetable stock
1 c. green peas
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. cashew cream
1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil

in a medium sized pan saute diced onion in olive oil until soft and translucent. add orzo and toast for about two minutes.  slowly add the vegetable broth, stirring and adding until the liquid is almost gone and the pasta is al dente (this should only take about 10-15 minutes).

take off the heat and add the remaining ingredients. add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, March 18, 2011

happy friday!!

you know what I like almost as much as I like food?

shopping. :)

everything I bought was from either Target or Loft and everything was on SALE.

it was a good shopping day!

Happy Friday everyone!!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

egg salad sandwiches

Hello Spring!

Hello sunshine and 70 degree weather!

Hello bike rides and long walks...we have missed you. :)

My husband brought home two dozen farm fresh eggs a few days ago.

I guess the chickens are enjoying this weather too and are producing eggs like crazy!!

Anyway, I have been trying to think of things I can make with eggs and yesterday I made this:

Egg Salad Sandwiches

6 hard boiled eggs (peeled and chopped)
1/4 c. mayo
1/4 c. chopped dill pickles
1 tsp. honey mustard
1/2 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground pepper
paprika to taste

I don't like a lot of flavors fighting for dominance in my egg salad.  I generally like to keeps things simple which is usually a fight with Spencer who's motto is more is better!

This made a perfectly delicious sandwich that the whole family loved.

Question of the Day:
What should I do with all of the eggs?  Anyone have any good recipes?


linky party

Monday, March 14, 2011

coconut corn soup

The rain is pounding down with a vengeance.  I was supposed to work at the hospital today but they called and told me to stay home because the census is low.

I was not looking forward to the hour commute on the dark, curvy roads in the pouring down rain!

Now, I can think of other what we are going to eat today. :)

I always like soup on a rainy day don't you?

Photo by:

Nearly Instant thai Coconut Corn Soup (not loving the title, but I wasn't consulted)
soup adapted from a recipe found in Vegan Express by Nava Atlas

1 tbls. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 to 5 scallions, thinly sliced
1 med red bell pepper
2 14 oz. cans light coconut milk
11/2 cups almond milk
1 16 oz. bag frozen corn
2 tsp. red curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
heat oil garlic and white part of scallions for 2-3 minutes. add all other ingredients except salt and pepper. bring to a rapid boil. then simmer for 5 minutes. salt and pepper. serve.

I love this vegan soup!


Question of the Day:
What is your favorite meal on a rainy day?


Linky Party

Friday, March 11, 2011

raspberry lemon cheesecake

the rich, decadent creaminess of the cheese.

the delicate infusion of raspberries.

the buttery, deliciousness of the shortbread crust.

want the recipe?

I'm hanging out with my friend Randi at eye see.

won't you join me?