Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Power of Color



The Power of Color, it is what keeps me going especially on this unexpected snowy, cold, dreary day. Stay positive, be creative, and surround yourself with bright colorful things.

It could be anything from a bouquet of fresh cut flowers or a big bowl of  fruit.  For me it’s a table full of colorful spools of thread.  When looking at the big picture, don’t forget about the little things…



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Herbs and Spices

This is the inside of my spice cupboard.  I like to put the spices in clear jars because of the beauty of their color and texture. Plus it’s more appealing to the eye, which makes me hungry. Flavor is very important to me, there’s nothing worse than bland food.  Never stick to just the basic spices, try creating your own. It’s fairly easy, plus there are a ton of great spice recipes online. I enjoy learning about what spices go good with what food, while trying to come up with my own spice blends. I make my own Taco Seasoning, Fajita Seasoning, Herb Blend, Blackened Seasoning and other various seasonings depending on what I’m eating.  Some dishes have been successful while others have left my mouth on fire and not edible.  At least it’s a good laugh and you know what not to do for next time.

Some of the herbs I use in my blends are grown right in my garden. Having fresh herbs available right outside my house is something I look forward to every year. The smell is amazing and nothing beats fresh herbs. When it gets later in the season I’ll then start to dry the majority of my herbs.  I grow several kinds of Basil, Dill, Oregano, Sage, Curry, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme, Marjoram, Chives, and Mint. I also grow Lavender, Lemon Balm, and German Chamomile, along with various vegetables. This year I’d like to expand my garden to include more herbs/flowers for cosmetic use.




Duck Eggs

Chicken eggs, Quail eggs, and now Duck eggs! The duck egg size and taste stood out as being the best between the three of them. They have a harder shell and when cracked open, the yolk stays firm unlike the others. The yolk is my favorite part of the egg so when I cut into it it had a different texture. It was thick, smooth, and creamy. Unlike the chicken egg’s yolk which is runny, the duck egg’s yolk coated everything on my plate. It made a perfect match with my fried ham.

Duck egg on left

I purchased the duck eggs at River Market Co-op in Stillwater, MN. They come in a carton of six for $4.99.  The lady that raises the ducks has her own farm called Living The Dream Farm. She has a pretty interesting and inspiring life journey. It’s definitely worth checking out her website.  You can also find more information about the duck eggs too.   http://ltdfarm.com/


Grapefruit Sugar Scrub and Coconut Body Oil

There’s one thing I love and that’s sugar scrubs! I love the texture and the little mini massage you get while rubbling your hands together. I am very guilty of neglecting my hands and feet while not giving them the attention that they deserve.  Spring is just around the corner and I can’t wait to ditch the socks and shoes! This is an excellent exfoliator and really easy to make. The best part, you can snack while you’re making it too because it’s food.

Ingredients:

1/8 cup grapefruit pieces (removed from peel and coarsely chopped)

(As for the Grapefruit that you didn’t use- Drizzle with Agave Sweetener and enjoy)

1/2 – 1 cup Cold-pressed Exra-Virgin Olive Oil

1/16 – 1/8 cup Organic cane sugar or whatever you have

*Combine sugar and grapefruit together until well mixed.  (I usually play around with the measurements adding a little bit at time until I get a mixture that I like. Sometimes I don’t use all of it.) Then add olive oil until you get the consistency that you like. Rub on hands and rinse with warm water.

*If you want to keep the scrub for later uses,  just keep it in a jar with a tight fitting lid. ( I like to use mason jars) Make sure you label what it is and the date you made it*

After scrub care:

Apply your favorite lotion or oil to moisturize the skin

I found a recipe online for a Coconut Body oil. I still need to experiment with it to give it a different smell, but so far it has really evened out the color of my skin. It has also been an excellent moisturizer to my dry skin. I put it on after I get out of the shower.

Coconut Body Oil

Organic unrefined Coconut oil, Jojoba Oil, Grape seed oil, Peppermint Oil



A Moment..


I woke up today and saw that the sun was finally shining after days of gloomy white & grey winter weather. Last year in September I quit my retail manager job of 2 years and decided that I wanted to work for myself. It has been something I’ve always wanted to do, but never knew where or what kind of business I had wanted.  It has been 5 months since that feeling of I can do this and sheer excitement took over my body. Just like anything, life’s ups and downs took over. Life shifted in a new direction and I finally started to make sense of what I have been wanting for my business. Over the months the feeling of being unemployed, overwhelmed, stressed, and confused about where my next steps where going to take me, started to decrease.  I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I never give up. Sometimes we hit rough patches in life, but they don’t stay forever. You simply work through them and make a decision to move forward. Today I decided to keep moving forward. I took my laptop and myself to the library to work on my business plan. When I got there, I came across a desk by the window in the library with 4 books sitting there. They were books on how to write a business plan, the part that I’ve been dreading to write, research and construct. I thought how weird and unexpected. Was it meant to be that those books were sitting there and I was headed in that direction? Or was it a sheer coincidence? I have come across moments like this in my life before. Today I took it as a sign to keep going. I figure timing was in my favor today.




Kites in the sky


Old San Juan, Fort San Felipe del Morro

It was a beautiful sunny day and extremely windy, but perfect for kite flying. It was San Juan’s 7th Annual Kite Flying Festival, so the whole place was packed with families flying all kinds of decorative kites. Everyone was happy, smiling, and excited. I’ve never seen so many kites so high in the sky. We decided to have a picnic in the grass and watch the kites.  It was fun to watch those who had no control over their kite, waiting for one to come crashing down. Being there brought me back to Easter when I was a child. My siblings and I would get kites and fly them out in the field next to our house. I loved it and haven’t done it in years. If the wind is right this year I just might have to buy a kite. How about you?



Puerto Rico

The best part of vacation to me, is food. I want to eat what the local people eat and experience their tradition as much as I can.

Hot & spicy vinegar sauce: Authentic local find. There were tons of used Bacardi bottles filled with this mixture to choose from. The best part, you could unscrew the cap to smell the aroma. Wasn’t quite sure how sanitary it was going to be, but couldn’t resist the fact that it was a  homemade recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rafa’s BBQ- local vendor. We got a whole rotisserie chicken (there were about 10 chickens cooking) and yellow rice with lentils/beans. The portion size was huge and cheap. The guy wacked the pieces with a huge knife. Everything fell off the bone. We spent the afternoon eating it at the beach.

 


I loved the small markets on the side of the road. The biggest avocados I’ve ever seen! I didn’t think they could get this big. The inside pit was larger than a kiwi. We mashed it up and ate it with plantain garlic chips.




I enjoyed looking at the variety of bananas to choose from. Plantains was by far my favorite type of banana. You eat it cooked in several different ways. I enjoyed Mofongo – garlic mashed plantains.








Lobster stuffed in a pastry dish with cream sauce -amazing. This was my favorite meal during the trip. The restaurant had several large and private small balconies that over looked the city Ponce, Puerto Rico. It was beautiful to see the city lit up all the way towards the ocean.






 

 

 

 

Chorizo with fried local cheeses in a wine/olive oil sauce and spices. Paired with a couple of medalla light beers.

 

 

 

 

 

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Peeling oranges for 50 cents each. On a 85 degree day it was quite refreshing. The guy used a peeling device to remove all of the peel from the orange. Then the tops were cut off to squeeze out juice and eat.


Shopping trip to the grocery store. I could of spent hours in there. All of their produce was fresh, colorful, and big.