Happy New Year's Peas...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve!!! This year we are finally participating in the old southern tradition to make Black-eyed Peas for good luck in the new year...oh, and if you add some greens you'll be rich too, lol.

In case you haven't heard of this tradition, and if you're interested, here's some history and info about this little legume...The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. Today, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for the New Year has evolved into a number of variations and embellishments of the luck and prosperity theme including:
  • Served with greens (collards, mustard or turnip greens, which varies regionally), the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money. In some areas cabbage is used in place of the greens.
  • Cornbread, often served with black-eyed peas and greens, represents gold.
  • For the best chance of luck every day in the year ahead, one must eat at least 365 black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. (ugg)
  • Adding a shiny penny or dime to the pot just before serving is another tradition practiced by some. When served, the person whose bowl contains the penny or dime receives the best luck for the New Year, unless of course, the recipient swallows the coin, which would be a rather unlucky way to start off the year. (ouch)
To sum it up..."Greens for riches, and 'Peas for peace and prosperity". Oh, and the hubby and I decided to start our own tradition by throwing in a kiss and a bottle of champagne or two for extra good luck. ;) So, I hope everyone enjoys the Full Blue Moon that won't happen again on NYE until 2028 and I wish you all a fun and safe New Year's Eve...

"Good luck everybody"!

Thank You...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's hard to believe that my humble, little blog has had 1,000 views since I started it five months ago...so, I wanted to sincerely thank all of you wonderful readers who take the time to stop by. THANK YOU!!! It means so much to someone like me who never thought I would post anything on the internet, yet alone some of my deepest "notions" along with other fun and eventful moments in my life. I appreciate every single one of you and hope you enjoy my posts throughout the next year as well!

On a side note...I chose the above picture because we had our first snow of the season here in Portland! I was SO happy...I love the snow, adore it actually. Especially in the Pacific Northwest. The way the snow blankets the pines is just beautiful...and so peaceful. The hubby and I took a walk with huge, fluffy snowflakes coming down all around us and it was like being in the middle of a winter wonderland. Have I mentioned how much I love it here? Ok, maybe once or twice. ;)

Thanks again, everyone!

New Beginnings...

Monday, December 28, 2009

I hope everyone had as beautiful of a holiday week as we did...now New Years is upon us and my heart is full of warmth. I'm looking forward to some new beginnings to this life which I'm already so grateful for. My heart feels just like the gorgeous photo above...a seedling that is ready to bloom into so much more, something just as beautiful as the last, but simply taking the next natural step. I'm very thankful to feel so full of pure, quiet love today.

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth - not going all the way, and not starting" ~ Buddha

(Image courtesy of David Eugene Photography)

And to All...

Friday, December 25, 2009


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I just wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful Holiday Season! Enjoy the love, laughter, good food, surprises, and life's little treasures that the holidays bring...oh, and don't forget a cookie or two, or three, or...well, you get the idea. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Welcome Winter...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Well, today is the "official" first day of winter and I'm very happy it's here. Winter brings many special gifts. What are your favorites? Here are some of mine...

Hot Cocoa
Christmas Trees
Cuddling up in a Warm Blanket
Roaring Fires
Snowball Fights
Mountain Tops covered in Snow
The Smell of Pine
Crisp, Fresh Air
Cozy Slippers
Warm Winter Coats
Curled up Kitties keeping Snug and Toasty
Snow Days
Holiday Lights and Celebrations
Fleece Sheets
Flannel Pajamas
...and the Sparkle of the Morning Frost

Happy Winter Solstice Everyone! Enjoy the shortest day of the year!

Duck, Duck...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

...goose! Ok, call me crazy but I'm in love...I saw this little guy on another blog (A Cup of Jo) and I love him. He's a crazy looking little striped footed goose and I love him. Sadly, they are currently all sold out of this adorable organic goose, but I'll be watching to see when he's back in stock. Ooooooooooooo...I just checked while I was writing this and he is back in stock!!! Ok, I think I may need to be my own secret Santa here and one cute little stuffed goose may now have a new home! (you never read this hubby...you are getting sleepy, very sleepy)

"Why Oregon" Series (post 2)...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Multnomah Falls - Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, OR

For post 2 in the "Why Oregon" series I chose the gorgeous 620 foot high Multnomah Falls which is the second highest year-round waterfall in the country. Since I decided to choose pics taken in the winter, the falls are partially frozen and you can't quite see the magnitude of them (and the pics only show each half of the falls). This amazing waterfall is just 30 miles outside of Portland and changes drastically with all the change of seasons. We've been there quite a few times now and there are several great hikes, including one that goes to the top of the falls, and approximately 77 waterfalls located in the surrounding area. Here are a few links with additional info and photo galleries...

Info about the lodge and the bridge...the Benson Bridge was built in 1914 and the Multnomah Falls Lodge was built in 1925.

The bridge puts you right in the middle of this spectacular waterfall, but be sure to wear something that can get "rained on" because you're up close and personal. The beautiful stone lodge is full of character and a great place to get warm and cozy, grab a beer or hot chocolate, and have some good food...all while enjoying the most amazing views at the base of the falls and two beautiful old stone fireplaces. We've been there for lunch and highly recommend it, but I've also been longing to go there for breakfast to try their specialty Oregon huckleberry pancakes ever since I saw them on the Food Network Channel. So, if you're ever visiting, definitely take the time to stop by and see the beautiful Multnomah Falls and don't forget to pick me up for breakfast on the way!

My New Favorite Thing...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I love, love, love to cuddle up in a warm, cozy bed when it's cold outside (or anytime really) and I've discovered my new favorite thing to be comfy and cozy...fleece sheets! It's like wrapping up in "one big soft cuddly warm comfy cozy giant blanket" (all one adjective, of course). I love them even more than flannel sheets now and as you can see so does that adorable little kitty up there. Try to find a luxurious, good quality, extra soft set and I promise you won't be disappointed.

So, this winter when it's beyond chilly outside, be sure to treat yourself to this soft and toasty pleasure...then snuggle up (grab a friend if you wish) and enjoy! ;) Make sure you take your socks off though (at the very least) to experience the soft, velvety feel...or even better yet...go completely "Au Naturel", wiggle around a little bit, and you will be in pure heaven!

Jumping for Joy...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I just finished my last final exam for the Fall term and I could not be happier!!! After completely overloading myself this term, I learned my lesson and should have a much easier time next term with one less class. I guess all the hard work and studying until 2am every night paid off though, because by some miracle I managed to get A's in all of my classes. WOO HOO! At least it was worth it! Well, here's to a beautiful three week break and some long needed rest and relaxation...oh, and some jumping of course!

O' Christmas Tree...

Monday, December 7, 2009

This was a wonderful weekend that ended in "The Great Christmas Tree Hunt". It all began Saturday night...first, we headed out to a Christmas party at the beautiful Ponzi Vineyards and afterwards we proceeded to downtown Portland for a nightcap at Portland City Grill, it's on the 30th floor and has the most amazing views of the city. Then on Sunday we headed out to Christmas Mountain Tree Farm...

We try a different tree farm every year because there are so many in Oregon (and many of them, this one included, are actually within 20 minutes of our house). Christmas Mountain Trees take you on a tractor-pulled wagon ride up the mountain which led to a beautiful vista overlooking the Columbia River and Mount St. Helens (the pic above gives you an idea and I added a link below with some more pics). It was a spectacular panoramic view amongst all the Christmas trees. http://www.christmasmountaintrees.com

The funny thing is, we found a gorgeous noble fir within five minutes, but of course that was just too easy, and I made the hubby hike around in the freezing cold for another hour and an half...only to lead us back to the very first tree we found, hehehe...sorry hubby. Somehow he was able to cut mr. noble down even though the poor guy practically had no feeling left in his fingers and off we went. It's a good thing I put a little extra whiskey in his eggnog and became a feisty, fiery redhead this weekend or he may not have forgiven me. ;)

Introducing the "Why Oregon" Series (post 1)...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Teardrop Pool (highest lake in Oregon) - Three Sisters, OR

I am thankful every single day for waking up in the gorgeous state of Oregon. So, I thought it would be nice to start a series highlighting different parts of the state. I haven't been to all of these places yet and this will give me even more motivation to take trips within our own state as often as we can. We always get drawn to the coast, but we have to remember how much natural beauty is out there to explore. Post 1 is the unbelievable Teardrop Lake in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area located in Sisters, OR. It's the highest lake in the state and clearly one of the most beautiful vantage points. It sits on South Sister Mountain and has a trail I look forward to hiking.

I hope you enjoy my series of "Why Oregon". I will try to include a web link with every location that has additional pictures and information and if you've never been to this amazing state before, hopefully this will give you some inspiration to visit and a sneak peak into the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Enjoy...

Welcome Christmas...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Well, it's official...the Christmas season doesn't begin for me until I watch Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and it's on tonight, so let the Christmas season begin! It's hard to believe that this beloved cartoon came out 43 years ago in 1966 (the book in 1957) and introduced the world to some of the best characters ever...the Grinch, Cindy Lou Who, the town of Whoville, the roast beast and let's not forget my favorite character...mr. cutie pie, Max the dog up there!!! This truly is my favorite Christmas story and I have adored it since I can remember breathing.

So, depending on if you're a grinch whose heart has grown three sizes that day or if you're as cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eel..."Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand" or "The three words that best describe you, are, and I quote: "Stink. Stank. Stunk". Regardless of which grinch you are, let's remember the moral of the story...

"Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"

Four Glorious Days...

A four day weekend should be required at least every other week. :) It was SO nice having time to actually breathe and get things done this weekend. It was also nice to relax, cook and spend time with the hubby and my three adorable kitties. My crazy fall school term is almost over (two weeks to go and I only had to sneak in one of my final exams over the weekend) and then I get a beautiful three week break. Ahhhhh. I learned my lesson this past term and I'm taking one less class in winter because I completely overloaded my current schedule (staying up doing homework every night until 1-2am = no fun) ...and this girl needs a little fun. ;)

So, I hope everyone got to enjoy a wonderfully long holiday weekend full of family, fun, good food and some much needed rest and relaxation. I know I did...and I'm anxiously awaiting the next one!

My Thankful Heart...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I am so grateful this Thanksgiving for so many things...my wonderful husband and my beautiful cats who truly are my family, heart, and soul. my health, my quiet mind, warmth, love that comes from many different places, breath, life, my home in the gorgeous pacific northwest, the lessons I learn every single day, awareness, ability, the gifts of opportunity and education we've been given this year, nature, time, the moments that will forever remain still in my heart, the moments here and now, and the moments yet to come. Thank you.

Have a Beautiful, Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Open YOUR Book...

Friday, November 20, 2009

I hope everyone adds a new chapter this weekend...


Thursday, November 12, 2009

A little quiet in the midst of what seemingly appears to be currently chaotic...

Girl About Town...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ok, now I simply adore Seattle a little bit more. See, when I said this trip was a little bit business and a little bit pleasure I forgot to mention that it was my hubby who gets to deal with the business and I get all the pleasure. Tomorrow we will explore Seattle together and celebrate his birthday, but today the poor guy has to sit in a CEU class all day and little ol' me gets to hit the town of Seattle! Now, I'm supposed to be doing homework, but it's a little tough considering my surroundings, don't you think? ;)

If you ever get the chance to stay in downtown Seattle, I highly recommend The Westin Hotel. I mean, just look at the view and the picture doesn't even do it justice. When you're standing at the window you can see for a million miles in all directions and the window is much wider than it looks in the pic. So, I'm here by my lonesome (yeah, I know...poor me right?) on the 26th floor with a panoramic view of the city and the waterfront...pretty amazing! Not to mention I'm in walking distance of Pike Place Market and just about everything else downtown. Can you tell I'm a bit excited?

Ok, enough rambling...it's time for this girl to hit the town! Watch out Seattle!

Simply Seattle...

Friday, November 6, 2009

There is something about Seattle that I simply adore...and we're headed there this weekend. Not only is it beautiful...green and lush, mountains, water, city, but Seattle has something special...full of art and character. I can't wait to be there this time of year when the leaves have fallen and there's a chill in the air.

Even though this trip is a little bit business and a little bit pleasure, I still couldn't be happier. With all the pressures of school and opening a business, this will be a beautiful escape. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend...

The Colors of Imagination...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcome to November...
What inspires your imagination?

Here are a few things that inspire mine:

rainy days
the ocean
a chill in the air
a creak in the floor
the moon
old creepy houses
the wind
...and long roads to nowhere

just to name a few

Happy All Hallows' Eve...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I hope everyone has a hauntingly frightful Halloween! ...don't forget to keep those jack o' lanterns lit, set your clocks back and don't do anything I wouldn't do.


Happy All Hallows' Eve Eve...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween Eve! I hope everyone enjoys this wonderful Eve of Halloween by watching at least one horror movie tonight. Now don't forget...remember to keep those jack o' lanterns lit until Halloween is over tomorrow or you will break the rules of Halloween...and if you break the rules of Halloween, little Sam up there may be knocking at your door...

Fall Breakfast Deliciousness...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I seem to have started a theme here lately with Fall inspired deliciousness! So, my fine friends, I have yet another one to share. Obviously, it's no secret that I love pumpkin. Well, I love almond butter too. So, I got the idea to put them together and it was absolute magic. I started off simply putting almond butter and pumpkin butter on a piece of toast one morning...and it's purely yummy just like this.
But, you can expand this idea into much more if you'd like...

1) Drizzle a small bit of maple syrup or honey over the top
(the real organic kind is the best, but any will do)
2) Sprinkle on some pecans or walnuts
3) Raisins
4) Apples
5) Cinnamon
6) Nutmeg
7) Toasted oats
8) Flax seeds if you're extra healthy

Or if you're really inspired and indulgent...make it into a fantastic french toast breakfast!
So, I just thought I would share another yummy Fall breakfast treat (or anytime treat really) for you to try. Grab a cup of tea or coffee, snuggle up by the fire, watch the leaves fall, and enjoy!

Naughty and Nice...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte..another delicious fall treat! I just had one and it's definitely a bit of "everything nice". Now maybe I'll go buy some more pumpkin ale, which is definitely a bit of "everything naughty", and the night will be complete. After all this homework I think I might just deserve a bit of naughty and nice. ;)

'Tis the Season...

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's been the season for a little while now, but Pumpkin Ale = Good stuff!!!

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

(or if you want to go Shakespeare..."Double, Double, Toil and Trouble")
In the glorious theme of October and Halloween, I simply adore these "wickedly witchy" shots that I found at http://afancifultwist.typepad.com ...and the shoes are just "witchy cool". Thank you "A Fanciful Twist"!

So, one oh-so-important question remains...

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?
I for one, will never tell...

Hot, Hot, Hot...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So, I thought I would share a super quick and easy recipe for one of my favorite treats...Hot Spinach Dip. I love the stuff! This recipe was actually inspired by a friend and has no real measurements so you'll have to bear with me (now, had I accidentally spelled it "bare with me" then I suddenly would have been asking you to get naked with me...and I wouldn't want to give you the wrong idea or anything, lol). Ok, back to the hot stuff...or maybe that's where I already was. ;)

A N Y W A Y...just throw a bunch of this stuff in an oven safe dish and go for it!

...but first, preheat oven to 425.

Back To Basics (No Measure) Spinach Dip

Fresh Spinach - fill up the oven safe dish with it
(it shrinks big time when baked)
Cream Cheese - big spoonful for a 1/2 bag of spinach
(or two for whole bag)
Parmesan Cheese - sprinkle in a bunch or a little
(adjust to your liking)
Ricotta Cheese - another big spoonful or twoish
(but less than cream cheese)
Heavy Cream - not too much, just enough to help blend other ingredients easily
Mayo - just a little bit...it works as a binder
(Best Foods brand works best for not breaking down in heat)
Garlic Powder - sprinkle to your liking
Onion Powder - sprinkle to your liking
Salt - just a dash
Pepper - dash or two

By the way, when I say "big spoonful" I mean BIG, HONKIN' 1/8 - 1/4 cupish spoonful (can you tell I'm not a chef?). Now, mix it all together. I never measure with this recipe...I just throw in the amounts that work best for my taste. Cover with foil and put in the preheated 425 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove foil, stir and put back in oven uncovered for another 5-10 minutes. Mix all the yummy brown bits off the side of the baking dish in with the dip and pour into serving bowl.

Serve with sourdough bread, tortilla chips, pita chips, pita bread, pumpernickel bread or anything that sounds good to you.


"Linus Knows What He's Taking About...

Monday, October 12, 2009

...Linus knows what he's doing."
- It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. 1966
(Wow, it's hard to believe that came out 43 years ago)

This weekend I did one of the things I love to do most in this world...go to a pumpkin patch! Hayrides and pumpkins and cider, oh my! Now, I have to admit, one of my favorite pumpkin patches of all time will always be Rombach's Farm in St. Louis, MO (hubby, I will take you there one day) but Oregon does have quite a few impressive ones with my favorite so far being The Plumper Pumpkin Patch. Their pumpkins are amazing (they truly are "plumper") and the view is beyond spectacular. So, I highly recommend that everyone take some time out to visit their own favorite pumpkin patch this season.

On a side note, when I chose the pics for this post I was inspired by vintage pumpkin photos. If you look real close the second and third one almost seem to tell a story...in the second photo it appears the scarecrow could quite possibly be passed out and the third one looks like what he might see after he hit that bottle one too many times. Don't you just love my warm and fuzzy interpretation of artistic pumpkin photos? Hmmm, maybe it's all the hard cider I've been drinking. ;)

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great weekend!

My Name is...and I Am a Perfectionholic...

Friday, October 9, 2009

I have a disease to which I feel there is no cure...well, obviously I do not feel that perfectionism literally has no cure or that it literally is a disease, but it might as well be. Actually, I guess if you break down the word "dis-ease" perfectionism is exactly that. Why is it that if I get a 96% on something I think I completely failed or if I get a 98% I hate myself for not getting 100? I can't even imagine getting a "B" in a class or I think I might just have to kill myself. And to think, these are just stupid grades...it doesn't even touch the surface of how I beat myself up in other areas of my life.

The worst part of it all...I'm 35 years old.

You would think I would be over this by now. I'm trying. I promise you I am. I'm trying with everything I have inside of me to be ok with achieving less than 100 percent(and I'm not just talking about grades). What's really funny about the whole thing is I know that I am FAR from perfect, yet I'm on an endless journey trying to be...and who the hell am I trying to prove it to? Actually, it's not even that I really want to be perfect, I just feel so terrible, worthless and empty if I fail or achieve less. What is "less" anyway? Every piece of reason and logic inside of me knows it's wrong and completely based out of fear and insecurity, but sometimes I just can't escape it.

Sadly, I know I'm not alone. Even though it makes you feel very alone at times. I know some of you can relate and being a perfectionist is so.....very.....tiring. So, to all you fellow perfectionists out there...please try and love yourself for who you truly are, know that you are wonderful, beautiful and "perfect" in every possible way. Know that getting a perfect score, looking perfect, being the perfect spouse, parent, child, etc. and simply just trying "to be" perfect in any way, shape, or form = feeling far from perfect. Here are some quotes to inspire...

"Once you accept the fact that you're not perfect, then you develop some confidence."
~Rosalynn Carter

"There are no perfect men/women in this world, only perfect intentions."
~Pen Densham

"When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target."
~George Fisher

"Unless I accept my faults I will most certainly doubt my virtues."
~Hugh Prather

"Nothing that is complete breathes."
~Antonio Porchia,Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

"You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out."
~Martha Graham

I couldn't have said it better myself...it's time to let the soul out and breathe.