Healthy Egg & Avocado Breakfast Sandwich

Breakfast Sandwich Egg tomato avacado

I didn’t used to be a big fan of breakfast, but I am beginning to enjoy it more and more.

One of my favorite new hot, healthy, protein and vitamin-rich go-to’s is this yummy breakfast sandwich.

Breakfast Sandwich Egg tomato avacado 2

A protein-rich fried egg topped with fresh and juicy, red-ripe Campari tomatoes and slices of nutrient-dense avocado sandwiched between a whole wheat English muffin is just the way to start my day.

When I don’t have ripe avocados, I love to use a slice of smoked gouda cheese or some crispy bacon.  Not nearly as healthy, but oh so yummy!

I’m already looking forward to my next breakfast!  How about you?

Healthy Egg and Avocado Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients:Breakfast Sandwich Egg tomato avacado

  • I large egg
  • 1 Campari tomato
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 whole wheat English muffin
  • butter, salt & pepper to taste

While English muffin is toasting, fry egg to your liking – sunny side up, over easy, over hard (my personal preference).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Place egg on lightly buttered toasted English muffin, top with slices of tomato and avocado.  Smoosh together, cut in half, and ENJOY!

Remember what we were always told as children….
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so here’s to breakfast!

Cheers & Hugs,

Dreaming of Spring

blue purple iris matted

Sometimes in the cold and slush,
the starkness and the blustery winds of Winter…

I dream of the warmth and beauty,
the colors and the gentle breezes of Spring.

blue purple iris watercolor

After a few long, cold, busy wintry days, it was nice to relax and loosen up and dream of blue and purple irises that will bloom in Spring…

and splash paint on paper

bringing them to life

with glimmers of hope

and the promise of renewal.

Cheers & Hugs,


There’s a New Bird in Town

breakfast bird wings

There’s a new bird in town visiting our backyard feeders these days.

The wintry colors and spots and the delicacy of the bird’s wings remind me that

life imitates art

and art imitates life….

that life is art…

and art is life.

breakfast bird chatter

What do you think these two were chatting about over breakfast?

breakfast bird

They are the new bird in town.  Looks to me like it could be the European Starling?

Any experts out there know?

They sure are bringing joy and beauty and artistic inspiration.

Cheers & Hugs,

A Valentine Landscape

Landscape marty valentine 2016

Landscapes in watercolor painting are a new challenge for me!

To date, my largest watercolors have been 5 x 7, and I’ve dabbled in trying to recreate the amazing abstract landscape art of Debi Riley in small card-sized pieces, but I really wanted to surprise hubby with an original landscape piece from me for Valentine’s Day this year.

No pressure!!  Right?!

Sheesh!  I had no idea what a challenge it was going to be!

Every evening after he went to bed for about a week, I tried again and again and again.  I started by watching some great tutorials by Shari Blaukopf on Craftsy.  She does gorgeous landscape sketches in pen, ink and watercolor.  I’m not the best at sketching….   Yet!   But I did learn a few pointers from Sheri about plein art and sketching.  The best thing I learned, however, was about some brushes she recommended that made such a difference in my painting!  The Raphael Squirrel Mop and Escoda Versatil are my first experience with professional brushes.  Oh the way the mop holds and spreads water and the precision point of the Escoda!  Up until now, I struggled with cheaper brushes not holding water enough to carry across a larger piece of paper or the flexibility of a large brush with a point to do large washes as well as small details. Shari also has a blog called The Sketchbook where she posts art every day from her hometown in Montreal.

I also watched some Youtube videos, and tried some landscapes from various artists there.  I especially enjoy watching Alan Owen, an artist from the UK with over 70 years of painting under his belt who shares so generously of his talent.

This was my best attempt (in 11″ x 14″), and though it is extremely far from what I intended, he loved it!  Phew!  I guess that is why they say love is blind.  Actually it is why love is so sweet.  He thinks it ranks up with some beautiful art he took me to see at a local exhibit in Cranberry.  I know it isn’t.  I know exactly what I’ve done wrong and want to improve.  I know what it took to produce some of the masterpieces we saw at that exhibit.  But to his sweet eyes, he saw art, he saw beauty, and I love him for it.

Maybe next year I can replace it with a better one, but this year, my Valentine said “This is just what I would like our backyard to look like!”  And if we squint really, really, REALLY hard, we can imagine that our little stream and woods do!  (wink wink!)

Cheers & Hugs,

Introducing McKinneyX2Designs

Mx2 log

I am so excited to share something my sweet daughter-in-law, Colleen and I have  been up to the past couple of weeks.  We started a little Etsy Shop together, and I could not be more proud of her and her beautiful work, so I wanted to share with all of you wonderful LifeinBetween friends.

Colleen takes reclaimed pallet wood and creates beautiful rustic home decor and signs.


She takes buttons and burlap and creates sweet little works of art (several have sold already for baby nurseries!  a little blue whale and a toy sailboat!)


She paints beautiful sayings and adds country charm to each piece she hand makes with love and such attention to quality and detail.


I’ve added a few of my favorite little watercolors that I’ve turned into prints and made into cards – selling them in singles and boxed sets.

whimsy owl set mx2

From our first sale, we got a Five Star Review:


Thank you, Maggie!

So I hope you don’t mind me sharing here and asking if you can help us spread the word.  Will you share with your friends and give us a “favorite” on Etsy,  a “like” and/or “share” on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram too?

And maybe you’ll even find something you like or a gift for someone you love.  Here is a little gallery of some of our products.

I look forward to hearing what you think, and we would appreciate any ideas for products, suggestions for promotion, and general feedback on what you like or don’t like about it.

Thanks for letting me share, and thanks in advance to those of you that are willing to help us out and spread the word and share with your friends.

Cheers & Hugs

Homemade & Healthy Blackberry Banana Oat Bars

Blackberry Banana Oat Bars

Are you looking for a really yummy treat to give to your sweet for Valentine’s Day that is not only super delish, but also healthy?

These amazing blackberry banana oat bars have NO sugar and NO flour!  How about that?

blackberry banana oat bar

They are packed full of wholesome, nutrient rich fruits and superfood ingredients, while tricking your brain and tummy into thinking you are eating something decadent.

Give them a try!  Heart healthy, hearty, and from the heart for your sweetheart!

Blackberry Banana Oat Bars

  • Servings: 12 squares
  • Print

(adapted from recipe found here)Blackberry Banana Oat Bars


Blackberry Chia Jam Filling:

2 cups fresh (or frozen) blackberries
2 1/2 Tbsp. honey (local if possible)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Banana Oat Crust:

2 ripe bananas
2 cups oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

To make the jam fruit filling, add blackberries and honey to a saucepan and boil over medium heat for about 10 minutes until fruit is mostly broken down and has released a lot of juice.  Add the other ingredients and boil for another 5 minutes until it thickens.   Allow to cool.

Next, make the crust. Blend up 1 cup of the oats into a fine powder (I used the Ninja).   Stir all ingredients together.

Spray an 8×8 baking stone or dish with Pam and then line with parchment paper.  Spread 2/3 of the oat crust mixture on the bottom of the pan. Spread jam fruit filling mixture evenly over crust. Use the rest of the oats to sprinkle over the top.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes until the oats are golden brown.

Cheers & Hugs,

Charlie: I love donuts!

Charlie donuts

I LOVE Donuts!   Have you guys ever tried them?

Here I am in one of my favorite napping spots on the love seat on my sherpa fleece blankie with my blueberry donut.

I just got this new flavor.  It’s quite delish and squeaky and fun!  These donuts can be found in a multitude of places throughout my home and yard.  Aren’t I the lucky one!?!!?!

I have already had two chocolate and one cherry donut, and I would really, really, Really, REALLY love this glazed one!  HINT HINT – will you please tell my Mom?  (or maybe our friends at ZippyPaws will see this and send me one for sharing the love!)  Paws crossed!!!

charlie donut

One of my favorite things in the entire world to do is play.  Play follows closely behind my other favorite things in the whole wide world: breakfast and dinner and walks.

Here are my favorite things to do with a donut:

  • Grab it first thing in the morning (after breakfast of course), and squeak it around the house to make sure everyone wakes up.  After all, it is a new day – an opportunity to play.
  • Bring it to my Mom and push it up against her leg while squeaking it so she will throw it and play fetch – especially when she is on conference calls for work.
  •  Bring it to Mom or Dad or Nick, but as soon as they bend down to grab it to “play fetch,” run away quickly to make them chase me.  It is also important to give a playful GRRRRRowl when I buzz past them – just to let them know who has it!
  • Carry it around with my nose sticking out of the hole and the top covering my eyes – just to show I can maneuver quite fine even when I can’t see where I am going.
  • Take it out the doggy door into the rain and snow so it gets nice and smelly and wet and even more delicious, and then bring it inside and lay on Mom and Dad’s bed with it under my chin.
  • Play tug with Mom or Dad or Nick until the say “Drop It!” (which they always say quite firmly and authoritative…) Dang!   Then I really have to let it go – because that is what a dog is supposed to do – right?
  • Chew on it and make it squeak at least 27,569 times (give or take) until you can break a tiny hole into it and rip it apart – destroy the squeaker and show it who is boss!
  • Sleep with it to assure nobody else gets it!

Donuts are wonderful!

I did, however, see and smell something different in the house the other day…..

IMG_8899My family was eating these donut-like things called  Paczki (pronounced punch-key – WHAAAT???!!) in honor of Fat Tuesday.  Sheesh  – any excuse for a sweet in this house!  Hey – they didn’t share…..  I wonder if they tasted as good as my donuts……?


Woofs & Wags,