Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Ventures and Old Friends

My friend, Nigel, is about to embark on a new venture. He's designing and hand crafting chairs, and they are gorgeous! Let me tell you a little bit about Nigel. I met Nige, and his beautiful wife, then girlfriend Aly, while volunteering in Peru. They are from New Zealand. The three of us were assigned to work in a boy's orphanage and we became fast friends. The kids loved them. Nigel and Aly stayed for many weeks in Peru volunteering and then returned to working as crew members on boats for many years. Nigel is no stranger to woodworking, just new to selling his work around the world. Check out his facebook page:


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ode to the Frittata!

Frittata. What is it you ask? It's the place where you put all of your leftovers...sort of.

Frittata, originally from Spain, is sort of like a quiche. But a frittata doesn't have milk or a crust, and the difference in the way a frittata is cooked gives it a different texture. Quiche tends to be lighter and fluffier, while a frittata is denser.

I love to make frittatas. They are so easy and delicious. I take whatever is leftover in my frigerator and throw it in a frying pan. Then I add 8 or so eggs that have been whisked. Cook on low right in the frying pan until it starts to form, then throw in the oven at 350 degrees. Cook until golden brown or all the egg on top is cooked. These are the usual suspects for my frittatas: onions, diced potatoes(sometimes sweet if it's a leftover) chicken, beef, ham, bacon, or sausage(or sometimes a mix of a few), garlic (minced or cloves), cheese, herbs like basil or rosemary.

When I'm going to someone's house or hosting brunch, and I want to be fancy, I use goat cheese, tomatoes, spinach, basil, garlic, potatoes, and chicken sausage(apple flavored).  I like to serve it a room temperature with a little Frank's Red Hot sauce.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Lost Art of Reading

We readers are a dying breed! Being a former Reading teacher of course I'm an advocate of reading. In fact, every year about this time, when summer vacation starts, I think to myself...will this be the year you buy that old ice cream truck, load it with books, and head across this beautiful country to give away books(I don't have kids so it would be do-able). I will do it someday. I always loved when I lived in Newport, RI every Wednesday, the Book Mobile would park across the street from my house. The Book Mobile was a truck from the Newport Library that you could check out books. How cool is that. So maybe that is where I should start. Locally. Since I live in a city that doesn't even have a book kills me! I think it's so important to model reading to the younger generation. I learned it from my parents.

My parents are very inspirational. They grew up during the Depression(I'm the youngest of five--an oooops baby, really, so I'm not as old and you might think ;-) )and they barely finished, what we'd call middle school. My parents had to quit school and go to work to help the family. By the time I was born, my father was a carpenter and my mom was a stay at home mom, but for as long as I remember, going to the library was a weekly event. When we got to the library, my dad would read the periodicals about finance(stocks mostly) because with five kids having a magazine subscription would have been frivolous. My mom would search out crime and romance novels. And I'd be reading Romona the Brave(is it weird that I want to see this movie?) or the latest Judy Blume. At home, my mom always had a book in her lap...ALWAYS. So we thought this was normal behavior. The reason I'm telling you all this is because of a conversation I had with one of my brothers yesterday. We were talking about cable television. I was griping at how expensive it was. He said, get rid of it! If we all went back to reading, they'd(the cable co) get it! He's right, of course, but to hear my burly-also a carpenter-high school educated-brother tout the importance of reading, it just furthered my conviction of how important it is to model this behavior, because that was my mother's influence, right there. I knew he was an avid reader because he'd read right along with his three children. And I knew when and if they struggled with a book, he was reading that same book right along side of them. He went on to say that he'd severely limited the amount of channels he was getting from the cable company, and how that didn't go over so well with the family at first, but they were coming along to the idea. So this is the reason for this blog today.

I wanted to share with you my favorite top 5 books of all time and I'm hoping you all respond with your faves, too!!

5. Fall on your Knees--Anne Marie Mac Donald
4. The Life of Pi--Yann MArtel
3. The Kite Runner--Khaled Hosseini
2. Five Quarters of an Orange--Joanne Harris
1. A Fine Balance--Rohinton Mistry

I love to share books with friends. The best way to find out about a good book is a recommendation from a fellow reader, but I have another tip: I put in one of the books I just mentioned above, into Amazon and it will provide a list of other books I might like. BUT even better than that, I read the reviews about one of the above mentioned books and I click on the people that wrote them to see what other books they liked. It's a bit stalker-ish, but a good way to find additional book!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bringing Sexy Back One Housecoat at a Time!

I don't profess to be a fashionista, but I have to make you aware of a fashion that is right around the corner. You'd want to know, right? You want to be on the forefront of fashion, right? This summer, it's all about the 60's inspired -in your mother's closet-walmart bought-bringing back the ya-ya sisterhood(with a lucky strike and a bourbon)-muumuu like-kind of HOUSECOAT. That's right! This little number has so many uses.
1. wearing around the house doing laundry
2. wearing around the house doing dishes
3. wearing around the house whilst dusting
4. wearing outside to take your dog out
5. wearing around the house to watch your stories
6. wearing around the yard whilst gardening
7. lounging in the backyard with your bourbon

If I could sew, I'd make them in all the hottest colors and patterns! They should be a staple in EVERY wardrobe!

On any given day this summer, including right now as I write this, I have on my housecoat. And here's the kicker for many of you, in the fall/winter I'll wear it with leggings! HA!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

SO I started using Bixbe with my Facebook Fanpage.

    Bixbe is free and it allows you to sell right from your facebook fanpage.

Treasury--The Gang!

So a few days ago I was whining(in a forum) a bit about how I'm never on the front page of ETSY . A handful of some very sweet people gave me some advice about networking. So I made a treasury of their beautiful items.

Since I'm lame and can't figure out how to do f10 and create a screenshot, I've included the link for you to check out. I'd like to highlight one seller here right now though. I know "they" say that the jewelry market is saturated on ETSY, but I can't stress enough how much I love to buy unique, interesting, one of a kind or one of a few pieces of jewelry. I often get invited to Silpada parties and I hate them. Expensive jewelry that everyone owns. You can literally pick it out as people wear it. I hate that. I'd much rather spend my money(even more money than Silpada) on something unique for me and for gifts. I'd like to share with you today the works
In particular I love this piece:
The colors are gorgeous and it's so different. Check out: www.involution.etsy.comand decide for yourself! SALE on 8x10 and 8x8

I was a vegan, well, for five weeks....

So after watching an episode of Dr Oz, my husband and I decided we'd try to eat vegan. (this was in the fall of 2009)Now, I don't mean the vegan where you eat bread, chips and pasta(not that there's anything wrong with that), but we both needed to lose weight. We spent every weekend shopping in Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and the local healthy grocer, Green Grocer in Portsmouth, RI. It was so much fun trying new things and spending the time together trying to change our lifestyle. At the end of five weeks, I had only lost three pounds. For me, no amount of beans, tofu, soy, etc was enough protein, and although I felt good in the beginning, I was becoming tired and lacked energy. But even though we now eat meat, cheese, eggs, etc, there are some things I noticed and products we still love that I want to share with you.

The first thing I noticed, and this was significant for me, but omitting dairy helped me to breathe better. I no longer had sinus congestion or that chronic "ah-hem" in my throat.

Also, eating several small portions throughout the day(vegan, vegetarian, or not)will jump start your metabolism.

Ok, now for the real reason I wanted to talk about this today. There are some great products/foods that we eat all the time even though I don't always follow the first two things I mentioned.
I've always been a fan of Kashi, but when I backslide it's not the first thing that I reach for, however; the Kashi Blueberry cereal is really really yummy(even for the non-dieter) I find myself eating it for a snack/dessert after dinner. It's a great fix for that sweet tooth you may have.

Another great product is  EVOL burritos. It's Love backwards! These are so tasty. They come in chicken and shredded beef. Both are excellent. 
We discovered these recently, after returning to eating meat. They are simple and easy to bring for work!

Speaking of burritos, for a vegetarian option, I love Cedar Lane's veggie and couscous!
Nutrition Facts
Low Fat Couscous and Vegetable Veggie Wraps  
Serving Size 1 wrap (170g) 
Servings per Container 1 

Amount Per Serving:
Calories  220     Calories from Fat  30 
% Daily Value*

% Daily Value*
Total Fat  3g

Total Carb.  36g
 Saturated Fat 0g

 Dietary Fiber 3g
 Trans Fat  0g

 Sugars 2g
Cholesterol  0mg

Sodium  580mg

Protein  14g

Vitamin A

Vitamin C


Lastly, Morning Star veggie breakfast sausages are delicious.
So anyway, even though we aren't vegan, we still love these foods. Some day we'll get out act together and make a permanent change for the better. Until then, everything in moderation! Happy eating, everyone!