After the Rain

After the Rain.

After the rain,
we walked at the park.

The grass was greener,
the air was fresh and clean.

The sun warmed,
and the blossoming trees popped

almost as if they were
smiling with the joy they knew I felt.

My heart swelled a wee bit more
like it so often does

in moments spent
with my grandie girls.

Mommy told Grandie Girl 1
about the time she spent playing ball on this field,

and asked her if she thought she
would want to do the same some day.

The sweet, high-pitched voice
in the miniature, but too-fast growing body,

responded so excitedly
and affirmatively

like she most always does,
wanting to be just like mommy.

And I smile at both of them with their muddy shoes
from the stop we made along the walk to float dandelions in the creek.

I steal a glance at Grandie Girl 2,
who is grinning and squealing with delight

as if to affirm her agreement
and wanting to be just like her big sister.

These are the moments…
the sweet precious moments.

After the rain.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Black Bean & Corn Salsa.

One of my favorite new healthy snacks is black bean and corn salsa.

It makes a wonderful “scoop” with tortilla chips.

It is also great all by itself as a salad or piled on top of a grilled chicken breast or fish.

It is light, healthy, crunchy, tangy, low-calorie, high-fiber, and absolutely DELISH too!

Here is how I make it, but you can surely tweak to your liking.  It would be great with a bit of fresh cilantro, which I didn’t have on hand when I made this batch on Sunday.  You could also switch it up with any other kind of bean you like or other veggies like cherry tomatoes or cucumbers.

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

  • Servings: approx. 3 cups
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or canned corn*
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste (approx. 2 Tbsp)

Directions:

Combine all  vegetables in a bowl.  Stir to combine.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar to taste.

Serve as a salsa for tortilla chips, as a salad, or as a topping for grilled chicken or fish.

Store well in airtight refrigerator container for several days.

*TIP:  When we buy fresh corn on the cob in the summer, we always buy a full dozen, though we never eat all of that for the two of us.  We cut the leftover off the cob, throw it in a Ziploc freezer bag, and toss it in the freezer for the winter months or times when fresh corn is not available.  It is so much better than canned corn.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

April Showers

April Showers Red Umbrella Watercolor 11x14

April Showers Red Umbrella Watercolor 11×14

April Showers.

We are expecting April showers today.
That’s okay, because they will be bringing May flowers.

The daffodils and hyacinths and forsythia are already painting a bright and beautiful Spring.

I woke up early yesterday and felt like painting, but didn’t know what to paint.  Scrolling through Pinterest, I found some lovely art done by Antigoni Tziora of Greece.  This artist uses oil, acrylic, and watercolor mediums to create romantic figurative work.  I tried recreating one in just watercolor, and this is what resulted.  I’d like to try more experimenting with this.  It was a fun practice to do.

Wishing you showers of joy, love, peace, and happiness!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Healing

Healing.

Healing
begins
with
gratitude,
compassion,
and
love.

 

At the urging of one of my besties, I watched a Netflix documentary called “HEAL.”  HEAL takes us on a scientific and spiritual journey where we discover that our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions have a huge impact on our health and ability to heal. The latest science reveals that we are not victims of unchangeable genes, nor should we buy into a scary prognosis. The fact is we have more control over our health and life than we have been taught to believe. This film will empower you with a new understanding of the miraculous nature of the human body and the extraordinary healer within us all. HEAL not only taps into the brilliant mind’s of leading scientists and spiritual teachers, but follows three people on actual high stakes healing journeys.

I was highly and very personally impacted by this film on many levels – emotional, physical, and spiritual.  I thought of friends struggling with cancer and chronic disease and the various issues I live with.  I thought of my childhood and how parental relationships have affected my life.  I thought about the power of prayer and my spiritual beliefs.  I will be thinking about this for a while, and I am so glad I watched it.

Have any of you seen it?  Would love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Seeing Silly Faces

Seeing Silly Faces.

Sometimes I feel like just splashing paint and seeing what happens.

I recently played with my Brusho Crystal Paint Powders, and this is what happened.

As I looked at the painting, faces just popped out at me, so I took a black micro pen and drew them in.

Sometimes we just need to be silly and have fun while creating.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Happy Retirement Candy-Gram


A Happy Retirement Candy-Gram.

A friend of ours recently retired.

Instead of just a card, I thought it would be fun to do a Candy-Gram.

It is fun to pick out a bunch of candy bars and try to make them into a message.

Great fun for special birthdays and holidays.

And the best part is – it’s a card and gift all in one!

Happy Retirement Bob!  We are so happy for you.  Enjoy the candy and enjoy your free time!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fluff Thumbprint Cookies

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fluff Thumbprint Cookies.

These cookies!
Ooooooh these cookies!

Imagine…. a peanut butter crinkle cookie loaded with a scoopful of sweet, heavenly, gooey, magical Marshmallow Fluff so that you taste it in every peanut-buttery bite.

When I saw these cookies featured on Cara Wong’s Instagram feed, I knew I had to make them.

Cara is a sweet lady who lives in McKinney, Texas with her comical, coffee-loving husband and best friend Joseph.  She loves to cook and bake almost as much as she loves her MeeMaw and Joseph.

I’ve become addicted to watching Cara’s daily adventures in search of the best coffee, burgers and meatloaf in town and daily experiments in baking and cooking.   The milkshake-sipping and singing visits with MeeMaw, Cara’s beloved grandma who played such an important role in raising Cara (much like my own Grandma) just warm my heart.  MeeMaw now lives in a memory care facility where Cara visits her regularly brightening both of their days almost as much as they do mine when they sing You are My Sunshine or Amazing Grace.

But I digress.

Back to these cookies…  these glorious nuggets of amazing deliciousness….

These may be my new personal favorite ever.

They are just such a unique combination that I cannot imagine anyone not liking.

Cara took MeeMaw’s old-fashioned peanut butter crinkle recipe and decided to try marshmallow filling.  She used Smuckers Marshmallow Topping (which I had never heard of).  I used a jar of Marshmallow Fluff, which I just happened to have on hand (who knows why?), and they turned out absolutely amazing!

Here is the recipe, shared by Cara, which I adjusted only by subbing Marshmallow Fluff for the Marshmallow topping.  I urge you to try these, and I can’t wait to hear what you think.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Fluff Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup additional granulated sugar for rolling balls in
  • 1 7.5 oz.  jar Marshmallow Fluff

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy.  Scrape bowl.  Add egg and vanilla extract, baking soda and salt.  Mix until well combined.  Add flour, and stir until well combined.

Roll dough into 1″ balls.  Roll balls in granulated sugar to coat.  Place on baking stone or ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake for approximately 9 minutes, until just beginning to brown.  Remove from oven, and use your thumb or a utensil to indent a “crater” for filling.  Allow to cool.

Heat up Marshmallow Fluff 10 seconds at a time just until you can stir.  No more than 20-30 seconds total.  Fill centers with Marshmallow Fluff.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi