Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day

HAPPY EARTH DAY!  As we celebrate the earth today...the earth is celebrating by showering us with more rain and snow... let's not dwell on that...let's talk about a DIY project!....:)

This vase was simply made with a found piece of circular birch bark (thank you earth!) placed over a vase or empty glass jar:

Voila!  Instant interesting natural vase....just fill with water and your favorite flowers

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Segrada Familia

This masterpiece by Antoni Gaudi, known as "God's Architect", is called Segrada Familia.  It is a Roman Catholic Cathedral in Barcelona, Spain.  It has been a work in progress with Gaudi dieing in 1926.  Construction continues and is scheduled to be complete in 2026.  There is nothing in the world quite like it.  I am fascinated and intrigued and hope to visit someday.  Gaudi designed the columns throughout to mirror trees and branches.  Which is such a human thing to do.   Have you ever been in a wooded area, surrounded by trees, only to experience a feeling of a holy place?  Of being in a living cathedral?    With the trees and branches reaching up towards the sky and clouds?..........

Friday, April 19, 2013

Spring Snow

Yes, I awoke this morning....April a snow covered winter wonderland!!  Spring where are you and when will you come visit?  (Alright, I admit,  it truly was beautiful!!)

Friday, April 12, 2013

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

White chocolate and macadamia nuts were made for each other!

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 350.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Cream butter and sugars together in a large bowl until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of bowl and beat thoroughly.  Stir in vanilla.  Combine flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate large bowl and stir to mix.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until the flour is just no longer visible.  Stir in the white chocolate and macadamias.  Scoop the dough with a 1/4 cup measure (or ice cream scoop) and drop onto the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between the cookies.  Press the cookies to 1/2-1/4 inch thickness with the palm of your hand.  Bake the cookies on center rack for 12-14 minutes for soft, chewy cookies or 15-17 minutes for crunchy.  


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Michael Bolton!

We were at a wonderful dinner and dance at the Grand Wailea Resort recently, and who should walk in unannounced for a surprise performance, none other than the FABULOUS MICHAEL BOLTON!!!
He was amazing!!  The crowd erupted with enthusiasm as he sang a special song, (When a Man Loves a Woman) in celebration of a landmark birthday :)!!  What a memorable evening....
We did get to go backstage and meet him. Uh-huh!!  He is really a nice guy...very handsome...petite and trim... (I felt like an Amazon woman next to him!)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Where Are You??

Dear Old Man Winter,
What have you done with Spring??  You know we love winter, but enough is enough!  Do you really have to send us 6+ more inches of snow?  I want to put away my winter coat and gloves....and wear a sleeveless top outside.  Thank you.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Bran Muffins, My Friends

All right, I admit to loving my bran muffins!  This is a pretty basic, healthy recipe which I can make first thing in the morning half asleep.  And your "constitution" will thank you!  This is a favorite recipe, and I always have them on hand as they freeze wonderfully.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups unprocessed wheat bran
3 Tbs. melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly spray muffin pans with non-stick spray or line with paper liners.
Combine dry ingredients.  In another bowl combine all the other ingredients, except the raisins, and mix well.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Do not over-mix.  Stir in the raisins and fill the prepared pan three-fourths full with batter. Sprinkle the tops with extra bran if you'd like.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Let the muffins cool slightly before removing from the pan.
(makes 12 muffins)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Maui, Paradise

This is pretty much where I was the past 3 weeks. On the beach, under an umbrella.  And it was pretty WONDERFUL!   I have never been so relaxed in my life.  AND I was in paradise with those I love most in the world!!  82 degrees and sunny most of the time.  Amazing beaches...delicious food and farmers markets.  Our accommodations were 5 star and varied....from a resort and spa, a super condo, and a farm in the mountains with an ocean view!!  Maui is an amazing island with many micro climates and so much to see and experience....which we did, and had a SPECTACULAR  time!!!

Of course, I didn't take enough photos...and didn't bring the charger for my camera (but that's another story!)

The freshest seafood

A Fabulous Mystery

This is one of the books taken with me on vacation and enjoyed on the beach with the sand on my feet and the surf in my ears.   Agatha Christie  is one of my favorite authors and after reading most of her books, this is my favorite story!!  I highly recommend it.  It is immensely entertaining in her manner of writing and has a completely surprising ending.  One of those stories that make a person dwell on the plot long after the book is finished.  If you enjoy mysteries and of course Agatha Christie...this is a MUST read.


Why is it always so WONDERFUL to come HOME...even after the most MARVELOUS  vacation??
Even when the weather has been gray and cold and mundane for weeks in Minnesota.....  And we have left for the paradise of Maui for 3 glorious weeks can it be I feel so HAPPY to be home??

I have never been so RELAXED in my life!!
The biggest decisions each day were:  What time to the beach?
What beverages to bring to the beach and where to have dinner??
Anyway, I'm happy to be home...back to real life...I missed you!!

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