Expressing in Abstract Watercolor

blue flower abstract watercolor card

Sometimes I just want to splash water and paint on paper.  Can anyone relate?

I have no subject in mind, don’t feel like sketching, just want to express….

color….   feelings….  heart…. love…. maybe a little bit of peace or beauty.

abstract purple watercolor flower card

These two cards were the result of that – done a week or so apart when I just needed to splash in paint puddles.

Not much talent at all involved here, but a great experience.  And… if my very un-educated expressions in watercolor inspire anyone to step outside their comfort zone and try – and then find the joy – my heart is filled.

These turned into note cards I needed to use recently to express sympathy to a few friends who lost loved ones.

I hope they feel the love, and it brings them a bit of peace.

Cheers & Hugs,

Caramel Stuffed Milky Way Cookies

Caramel Stuffed Milky Way Cookies

Can you even imagine…..

cookies with chopped up mini Milky Way bites…

and then….

stuffed with some ooey gooey caramel right in the middle?!

Caramel Stuffed Milky Way Cookies 3

Yep – that’s what I made last weekend when I needed a treat to take to a party.

I had the cookie dough ready with the chopped up Milky Way bites, when my oldest son texted me a photo of some caramel stuffed chocolate chip cookies with this message:

“Here is your next challenge.”

Well – I do love a challenge…

And I did happen to have a bag of caramels in the pantry…

Caramel Stuffed Milky Way Cookies 4

so why not?!  If caramel stuffed chocolate chip cookies are good, wouldn’t they be even more amazing with chopped up Milky Way bites?

And O. M. G.!

My youngest son said they are his new fave!  Woohoo!  Score!

Caramel Stuffed Milky Way Cookies 5jpg

Milky Way Caramel Stuffed Cookies

Ingredients:Caramel Stuffed Milky Way Cookies 2

4 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
5 cups all purpose flour
2 8-oz bags Milky Way Unwrapped Bites, chopped
1 bag of Kraft Caramels, unwrapped


With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until light and fluffy. Add baking soda and salt, and mix another minute. Gradually add flour and beat until well incorporated, but do not overbeat.

Fold in chopped Milky Way Bites. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With your hands, form a cookie dough ball about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  Push a small indentation in center with your thumb and place an unwrapped caramel.  Wrap dough around to enclose.  Place on baking stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool on baking stone for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy the chocolatey, caramely, ooey, gooey yumminess!

Cheers & Hugs,


Perfect Pairs Wedding Shower Gift

Perfect Pairs Wedding Shower Gift Basket

Yesterday I shared the beautiful celebration of this adorable and perfect pair,  Candace and C.J. at the bridal shower I attended for Candace this past weekend.

perfect pair wedding shower gift framed photo

And, as promised, here is the “Perfect Pair” gift basket I made as my gift for them.

perfect pair wedding shower gift chip and dip bowl

It was so much fun trying to think of perfect pairings to include in this gift basket.

perfect pair wedding shower gift chips and dip salsa

I am sure there are so many more pairs you can think of, and you can customize the gift for your “perfect pair.”

perfect pair wedding shower gift cutting board and knife

Some things are simply practical, and others I found on Candace’s gift registry.

perfect pair wedding shower gift salt and pepper

Does anything “pair” better than peanut butter and jelly?

perfect pair wedding shower gift peanut butter and jelly

A pair of gloves just made perfect sense.

perfect pair wedding shower gift pair of gloves

I also had fun creating all the pear/pair tags with a variety of watercolor wash colors…

perfect pair wedding shower gift fork and spoon

and thinking of little things that would make their home cozy and special.

perfect pair wedding shower gift candle and light

Pen and paper… will they scribble little love notes?  create shopping lists?  wish lists?

perfect pair wedding shower gift pen and paper

A fun bag or basket pulls it all together and adds to the fun and practicality of the gift.

Perfect Pairs Wedding Shower Gift

If you are looking for a fun and creative bridal shower gift, consider this idea for your perfect pear  pair!

pear purple watercolor

Cheers & Hugs,


Celebrating a Perfect Pair


This weekend brought the opportunity to celebrate a very special bride-to-be.


Beautiful Candace will be marrying her “perfect pair” C.J. in just a few weeks.


C.J. was my youngest son, Nick’s, “roomer” all through college, and this sweet couple has become part of our extended family.


We celebrated with some amazing and beautiful food,




refreshing, icy drinks,



and “silly” fun shower games.


It was great to see one of my favorite gals (and all time favorite “flower girl”), Grandma Susan!


It’s not hard to see where her family gets their beauty and joy from.


Momma Candi is celebrating her second “child’s” wedding this year!


It was such a joy to take photos of these beautiful girls…




…on such a beautiful day with such beautiful surroundings (though a teensy weensy beansy bit hot for this “menopausal momma!”)




What a privilege to capture such joy and beauty!





What a wonderful way to celebrate love!




These two cuties are going to make a “perfect pair!”


Check in tomorrow to see the “perfect pair” gift I made for these two cuties!

perfect pair wedding shower gift framed photo

Cheers & Hugs,

Let’s Get Beachy

PP258 Wetlands Beach Theme

This week’s theme at The Paper Players is to make a “Clean & Simple” Beach-Themed card, so for my #PP258 design team inspiration card, I used a watercolor abstract I had made when I was at the beach recently.

I stamped some cute little seagulls on it from the StampinUp Wetlands Stamp Set.  Then I simply added a black die-cut “hello” greeting, matted the scene in black, and put on a crumb cake card stock.  Voila – a clean and simple “Let’s Get Beachy” card.

PP258 Wetlands Beach Theme

Hope some of you will join us this week at The Paper Players with your interpretation of “Let’s Get Beachy!”

Cheers & Hugs,

Crockpot Chicken Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

chicken philly cheesesteak 2

Last week, I made some yummy chicken sandwiches: Chicken Philly Cheese Steaks, which were easy peasy and full of flavor.

Just imagine juicy, shredded chicken with ooey gooey melted cheese and sweet caramelized onions and peppers on a buttery, toasted bun.  Sound like heaven?

Crockpot meal to the rescue!

If you’re looking for an easy, satisfying dinner, lunch, picnic or party pleaser, look no further, and enjoy these yummy sammies.

I know we did!  We enjoyed ours with some fresh garlic green beans and a vinaigrette-based light cole slaw.  Do I have you hungry yet?

I found a recipe I tweaked every so slightly from

chicken philly cheesesteak

Crockpot Chicken Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Ingredients:chicken philly cheesesteak 2

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp each onion and garlic powder
  • Olive oil for sauteing
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced
  • 2 large red or orange or yellow bell peppers sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 buns
  • 8 slices Mozzarella or Provolone cheese (or your fave)
  • Pickled Jalapeno or Banana Peppers or Pickles to garnish
  • Hot sauce if you want to “zip” it up some more


Add the broth, mustard, Worcestershire, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and black pepper to a crockpot set on high and whisk together.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place on top of sauce in the crockpot.

In a skillet, saute the onion, peppers and garlic in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, cook, stirring occasionally for 5 – 7 minutes. Remove half the mixture and place on top of chicken in the crockpot and save the other half for serving.  You can store it in a small covered container in the refrigerator.

Cook the chicken mixture on low for 6 – 8 hours.

During the last hour shred the chicken with 2 forks right in the crockpot and let cook in the juice.

Reheat the onion, pepper and garlic mixture you set aside earlier.

Butter the insides of the buns and toast on a hot skillet until golden brown. Lay your choice of cheese down then top with chicken, some of the onion mixture and pickles or pickled peppers and hot sauce if you like.


Cheers & Hugs,


monochrome black and white leaves trees

Why do I get a little knot in my stomach
when the days grow a bit shorter,
the air a bit crisper,
the breeze a bit lighter.

It is gentle
and beautiful
and comfortable.

But my heart remembers
summer ending,
school beginning,
Autumn breezes bringing school buses
and schedules and new beginnings.

I recall old endings…

and I am melancholy.

Cheers & Hugs,

Lupines in Watercolor

lupine purple note card

Hubby asked if I could make a card for a friend the other day. 

lupine blue note card

I had seen some lupines done in a similar way with a stamp set to what I created here, but I wanted to try doing with watercolor in a variety of colors.

lupine pink note card

I wanted a torn look to the watercolor paper to give it just a little more personality, and I had fun trying different colors.  Hubby like the purple the best when I showed them all to him, so I added a “Thinking of You” sentiment and wrote a personal message inside.

lupine blue 2 note card

Also, after a bit of coaxing and prodding and urging, I decided to go ahead and open up an Etsy shop in case anyone would like to purchase some of my cards.  I have slowly started adding some of the things I have “in stock.”

I noticed many people sell prints of their watercolors, but I am featuring my original collection I have begun creating.

If you are looking for a special card, check out my ArtatLifeinBetween Etsy Shop.   I will continue to add and update.

Cheers & Hugs,

Guest Blogger Charlie: My New Home

It’s been so nice of many of you to ask how I have been doing at my new home, so Mom said I could write a guest post for our LifeInBetween friends.

charlie 1

It’s been 10 days since my new Mom and Dad drove me two VERY Loooooooong Hours in the truck to Mars from  my temporary home at the dog shelter in Ohio.  As my mom already shared, I threw up three times.  Seems I get a bit car sick, and I was EXTREMELY nervous too.

I was pretty shy at first.  There were so many new things to discover, and I wasn’t sure I trusted these people, but my Mom works from home most of the time, so she has been able to be with me A LOT, and I am really growing fond of her.

charlie 2

Dad has to leave most of the time during the day to go to his job, but when he comes home, boy is it fun to have both of them here!

There is A LOT to learn here.  My mom said it is for my best interest and safety to learn all of these rules, and it will make me a better dog, so I am trying very hard to make her happy.  Sometimes, however, I just can’t help myself…

charlie 5

I went to the doctor yesterday for my first check-up.  I really didn’t want to get in Mom’s car, but she turned the air conditioning on full blast in my face, laid a big blanket down on the seat (in case I threw up again – and to catch the unfortunate drool that I just couldn’t help).  Thankfully it was a short drive, and I didn’t throw up!  YAY!

Once there, however, I was a nervous wreck again!  I did NOT want to go in.  So many new smells, new people, things I just didn’t understand – nor did I want to!  But once again, Mom convinced me it was for my best interest, so in we went.

The doctor and his helpers were really nice.  They were patient with me.  They told my mom I was very handsome and very healthy, and that I am about a year old.  Dr. I liked my teeth and my coat and my ears.  He told her I need a lot of TLC because I am nervous.  I weigh 40.8 pounds.  Seems I lost a few pounds during this transition time, but I look pretty svelte if I do say so myself!

charlie 6

One of the ways my mom says she is trying to “help” me is with this stupid red “bizzer” collar I have to wear, and these horrifying orange flags around the edges of the yard.  We walk around and around and around the yard, but we don’t dare go near those flags.  Mom tells me we are in “Charlie’s yard.”  (yeah yeah – whatever!  I get it lady – you’ve said it a couple gazillion times).

charlie red flags

At first, though, I have to admit I really wanted to check out beyond “Charlie’s yard” a couple times.  Well – let me tell you, it is not something you want to do!  If there is one thing you take away from this post – I implore you – look out for orange flags everyone!

If I don’t have my “bizzer collar” on, it is exciting, because that means we are going for a walk BEYOND Charlie’s yard – YIPPEE!  Unfortunately, there are more rules to that, however, like we have to stop and stay off the street when these things called “cars” come zooming by, and I am not allowed to eat all the interesting things I find on the ground that mom says you really don’t want to hear about.  She says it is “YUCKY!”  I say it is “YUMMY!”  Sometimes she wins.  Sometimes I win.

My mom wants me to eventually be able to go out in the yard without a leash, but so far, I really can’t be trusted (as I have proven two times already).  So one of her “training techniques” is that she leaves a leash on me with a long rope attached, but she doesn’t hold onto it.  This way, if I do start to run or head out beyond the orange flags (NOT!), she can catch the long rope.  She knows I can run much faster than her (wink!), and I like to run!

charlie 3

Last night, we played in the yard and on the deck.  It was so nice out, and I played with some of my favorite toys.

I also like to relax on the chaise lounges when I get tired or to just chew on a bone or ball for a while.

charlie 4

I’m settling in nicely, and I hope to have lots of stories and adventures to share in future posts if Mom allows me.

After all, I’m one of the things she likes about “life in between.” 🙂

Cheers & Puppy Kisses,