Rockslides and Coloring

bloom with hope watercolor 2Marty was on the tractor last night working in the yard.

He makes me sooooo nervous on that thing that I cannot watch.   I seriously have anxiety attacks watching him.  It’s me – not him!  Such a Nervous Norman I am!  He is so handy and talented and such a hard worker, but the older we get, the more I worry about him.  Oh that little Marty McKinney!

He was moving some rocks around, and….  err… well… not to give it away… but…  if you read the title  – ’nuff said!  Tractor and driver in tact though, so all good – THIS time!

So to distract myself, I decided to color.

I have always loved coloring (and swinging).  I’d say they were two of my favorite childhood past times.  So I’ve been having fun lately playing with alcohol markers and amazed at how they blend and you can create so many effects.

Here is the card I created last night trying out a little watercolor background technique with one of the new Bloom with Hope flower stamps that I find simplistically stunning.

Here are a couple other flowers I had fun coloring and creating cards with.

blended bloomThis one is the SU Blended Bloom Stamp and I love the orange and purple together.

blended bloom hello honeyFor this one, I used the same Blended Bloom Stamp but made it in shades of yellow and blinged it up a little with liquid crystal effects and some dazzling diamonds glitter.  The ribbon is the new Hello Honey color I just love.

 

blended bloom in cloudsAnd another twist on it here.

A seriously addictive stamp to color.

And a GREAT stress reliever…

Just something to do in –  life in between.

Cheers and Hugs,

Jodi

White Reese Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

White Reese Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

 

Today is a VERY special day!   It’s the birthday of a very special girl…   Our sweet daughter-in-law.

Happy Birthday Colleen McKinney!  (Has a nice ring – huh?)

In honor of the first year we get to wish Colleen a happy birthday as our “daughter,” I had to make a special cookie – right?!

Well – Colleen’s favorite sweet treat is  (you’ll never believe it) White Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.IMG_7702 Did you even know they existed?  They are surprisingly pretty amazing!

So I used my trusty chocolate chip “base” cookie recipe  and tweaked it up by switching the chocolate chips for CHUNKS of White Reeses’s Peanut Butter Cups.

They turned out pretty yummy.

Pretty simple recipe that I know by heart:

White Reese Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Mix together:

1 lb softened butter (YEPPERS – you heard me right – I did say O N E   P O U N D – 4 sticks – 2 cups)

1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 -/2 cups white sugar

2-3 tsp vanilla (just pour some in)

4 eggs

Then add:

5 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp salt

Lots of chopped up White Reese Peanut Butter Cups (about 24 oz)

Drop by heaping tablespoons on baking stone, and bake at 375 for 9-11 min.

VOILA!     Enjoy!

With a cup of cold milk (traditional style)……..

Or a glass of red wine (Jodi style) …….

Or with a can of room temperature Mountain Dew ( COLLEEN STYLE!)

Love you sweetie!  xoxo  

Flower, Weed, Salad, Wish Maker

Does A N Y T H I N G  taste better than that first sip of morning coffee (especially with a hefty dash of Italian Sweet Cream)? Ahhhhh! (Oh Rob – I know you are with me!)

Well, not to me – especially when I wake up early – VERY early – like today at 4 am.

I actually love when I wake up early on my own (hate it when I HAVE to – like to catch one of those crazy early morning flights… of course that is when I want to sleep in and my alarm rudely interrupts that).  I love having  two or three hours of quiet, uninterrupted time to do whatever I want – as long as it is pretty quiet to not wake up dear, snoring hubby. And I don’t know about you, but the quieter I try to be, the noisier I am…. I drop, I trip, I bump into……. Oy Vey!

So this early morning, I decided to write my second blog post.

UntitledFor those of you that read to the end of my first blog post, I shared this photo that Marty (that’s dear hubby) took of me a week or so ago, and you may have wondered what the photo looked like that I took.  (Either that or you are still laughing at how silly I look!)  Well – here it is – not very earth shattering, but I swear that little bee atop that “dandelion beeflower” is looking right at me and saying, “DO YOU MIND?!”

Do you see it?  (Put your reading glass on if you are – err – in my generation and beyond).

Do you see how he/she (not sure how you tell girl bees from boy bees – that’ll be some Google research for another day) has his head cocked and those two black  eyes (almost wider than his head) are staring right at me?  (so humor me if I’m imaging it – k?)

It got me thinking about the little ole’ dandelion.  Such a despised “weed” to most.  But did you ever really think about the many attributes of those bright yellow, cheerful “flowers?”

Ok – so most of us want a beautiful, plush, green lawns, but after a long white and brown winter, isn’t it great to see the cheerful bright yellow color (if you think about it for simply what it is)?  When you look at one very closely – they are quite intricate – the flower AND the leaves.  Look at the delicate petals and the tiny curly spikes in between.   Quite beautiful up close and personal.

I’ll bet many of you can think back to picking some of these “flowers” as a child for your mom or grandma or recalling your child picking them for you.  It makes me smile to recall my boys playing outside and running to the door to give me a handful (often stemless) that I would put in a tiny glass or jar and float in some water on my kitchen window sill for days.

dandelion wishAnd then… a couple of weeks after that, those once bright and cheerful yellow flowers magically transform into “wish makers!”  Don’t lie.  I know e v e r y  o n e of  you has done it… picked one of those puffy globes after they turn to seed, and blown on it after making a wish (and spreading those lovely seeds all over the lawn so that they can create even more beautiful yellow flowers for next Spring!)

I hope some of your wishes have come true.

One of my favorite things about dandelions however, is the memory of my grandma (my former best buddy and pal and forever life mentor) foraging for those tender leaves in very early Spring – usually around Easter and served with Easter dinner.  She would head out with a bucket in hand, and what I recall as a screwdriver shaped tool (anybody know the technical term for that gardening tool?) and dig (often under snow) up the tender early shoots of dandelions (BEFORE they flower) to make a D-E-L-I-S-H salad!

I haven’t had it for years (I really need to remember early enough to go picking myself), but it always had a tangy vinaigrette type dressing and lots of fresh garlic and onions.  I especially love the bottom white part where all the leaves came together (closes to the root).  It was the sweetest and most tender part.  You can’t wait too long to harvest dandelion greens as they become quite bitter with age, but oh – if you get them at the right time – they are quite a delicacy!SONY DSC

I think foraging has become trendy lately.  I didn’t have a photo of my own to share of a dandelion salad, so I found this one at  Whole Eats & Whole Treats (where, by the way, there are some great recipes, but it looks like Zoe hasn’t written for a while.  I’ll be checking it out more.)

Flower?  Weed? Salad? Wish Maker?  The dandelion – my crazy random thoughts on life “in between.”

Well – the birds are beginning to chirp and dawn is breaking.  I think I will pour another cup of coffee and get ready for a walk before I begin my work day.

Thanks for checking back in.  Hope you will share your thoughts (and maybe even great recipes or memories).

Cheers and hugs,

Jodi

 

 

the first post – so how do I begin?

So I have a good idea what I want to write about… for the most part. My BFF’s oldest daughter told me I should start a “lifestyle” blog.  I guess she thinks my life is interesting….  or at least enough that one or two people might want to read about things I do….  (Hopefully I’ll have at least one subscriber – Jacyln Rae – hint hint!)

Or maybe she just thinks I would enjoy doing it, and that is enough.

Hmmm…. I think I like that…

You know…. that’s one of the perks of growing – err – older and wiser – you get to the point where you realize you can do things just because you want to. Yes – there are those things most of us HAVE to do – like paying bills, doing laundry, working – you get the gist – but what do you like to do in between all that?

That’s the real “living” part.

“Life in between” can mean so many things…

The main reason I titled this blog with it is because I want to share the things I choose to do in between the things I “have” to do.

It can also be a stage of life that is in between stages – and aren’t they all?!

Right now – I’m kind of in between the mom stage and the empty nester and grandma stage. And Oh I Can’t Wait to be a Grandma!  (No hint hint Jake and Colleen – whenever you are ready…  well – maybe a little hint hint)

I think I was born to “mother.”  And oh poor everyone around me that I “mother” – sorry! It’s just in my DNA – I want to nurture, I want to comfort, I want to make happy. Could be worst things -right?!  (clear throat)  But don’t ask my boys…

So anyway – the things I love to do “in between” the things I have to do – that’s what I want to share with you here.

French Macarons

I love to bake.  I love how it makes the house smell.  I love how it makes people feel when they bite into a buttery, chocolately, caramely yummy thing.  I love surprising someone with a special treat of something they love.  Here is a picture of my first attempt at French Macarons.  I was so excited these testy little buggers turned out.  Not sure I’ll ever make them again – so much work – so temperamental – and what if they don’t turn out the next time?  Was it beginner’s luck?  I’ll just believe I’ve MASTERED them….  and leave it at that….

I also love to decorate – my home that is.  And it’s not all about it being House and Garden perfect for those of you that know me and are thinking  “Jodi – you are NOT an interior decorator!”

My ultimate goal (in deocrating) is to create a place that is warm and welcoming.  A place where someone can just drop by (no formal invitations needed around here) and feel comfortable and welcomed and loved.  No shoes off in my house.  So what if the carpet has stains…  Those stains represent someone who I shared my home with or that spilled a drink or our dog who came in after a rainy spring day – so what…  I grew up in a house that was House and Garden perfect… that meant NO SHOES inside…  it meant that you could see sweeper marks in the carpet from the daily vacuum…. it meant that you could literally eat off the garage floor if you were so inclined because it was so clean….  and that’s all good…  Mom was an awesome “cleaner”…  but it’s not me.  I want comfort, warmth, welcoming.  I want my house to feel like your favorite worn slippers or most comfortable fleece hoodie or your “go to” black yoga pants.  That’s what trips my trigger.

Here’s a little peek at our home – and that’s my little buddy “Mikey” who is never far from my side.  After this LONG COLD winter, it was so nice to see the daffodils and grass recently.

signs of spring

And I also love to craft.  It’s been various things through the years…  I’ve tried knitting and crocheting and cross-stitching, tole painting, slate painting, wood crafts, and ceramics.  My most recent crafting obsession is papercrafting – stamping, coloring, cutting, punching, pasting, tying – anything with paper and ink.  I guess it feels comforting being that I (and so many of us) spend so much time on the computer.  It feels extra special to create and send a special handmade something to someone and hope they realize the time and love you put into it – just for them. Here’s a card I made for a very special cousin and friend – Oh Rob! (I’m sure you’ll hear more about him in coming posts). Oh how I love that guy – and his amazingly talented and loving wife and superhero to me, Joyce.  Rob’s “One Little Word” this year is “reflection,” so I wanted to create a birthday card acknowledging and celebrating “reflection.”

rob reflection birthday card 2014

And then – I love to photograph it all.  Dear hubby got me my first good camera for Christmas this year – and I think he might regret it….  I know my boys do…. but I just love taking photographs of crazy, silly, normal, everyday things.   Not a trained professional by any means – not even a class – haven’t even read the whole manual (sorry Patty – I will get there!) – just have fun with it and love seeing what it captures.  My BFF, Jill, honored me with the privilege of capturing  her daughter, Jackie’s bridal shower recently – oh what fun that was – and even allowed me to do a “photo shoot” with her in-laws (I think George and Alice are going to be more famous than all of us) for a work campaign.

Recently, while Marty (that’s the dear hubby’s name) was cutting grass, I was doing very important things like taking pictures of dandelions and bees on them….  and HE snapped this little gem with his phone while on the tractor…. Not flattering – but yep – that about sums it up.  The silly things I do in my life in between…..

Untitled

So we’ll see how this goes….  I now have my first post under my belt.

Cheers and hugs,

Jodi