The Best Things in Life

Abstract Gold Flower 8x10 Arches 140lb Hot Press

Abstract Gold Flower 8×10 Arches 140lb Hot Press

The Best Things in Life…
aren’t things.

The Best Things in Life are..

Hugs -real, authentic, tight bear hugs,

Family – and friends who are our chosen family,

Smiles – the kind where your eyes and cheeks and whole face smiles,

Laughter – from the belly that can’t be contained,

Happy memories – of cherished moments,

Love – the verb, the action, the undeniable, overwhelming choice and joy.

The Best Things in Life
aren’t things.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Daniel Smith Watercolors:  Quinacridone Gold, Perylene Green

Something about Sunflowers

Sunflower Loose Watercolor 11x14 on 140lb Fabriano Artistico

Sunflower Loose Watercolor 11×14 on 140lb Fabriano Artistico

There’s something about sunflowers
that draws me in artistically again and again.
I’ve painted several versions in the past year or so
since I’ve taken on this challenging and fun journey of watercolor.

I saw several loose and similar to this on Pinterest while perusing
and had the urge to paint sunflowers again.
There’s just something about sunflowers!

For this one, I wanted to work on creating lots of layers of greens from Prussian blue, so I created this little mixing tester sheet ahead of my painting to see what colors could be created from mixing it with yellows and browns.  Look at all of these amazing colors.

Daniel Smith Watercolors used:  Prussian Blue, Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow Light Hue, Raw Sienna

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

PS  This original painting, as well as prints and cards are available at our Etsy Shop:  McKinneyX2Designs

Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin.

It’s what’s for dinner!

If you are a pork fan, like I am fast becoming, this marinated tenderloin is a MUST try!

It turns out tender and juicy with a fresh citrusy herb flavor that pairs great with potatoes and fresh vegetables for a delicious, easy weeknight dinner.

Prepare and marinade the meat the night before, then all you have to do is throw it on the grill for 10-15 minutes for dinner.

Leftovers are great sliced thinly for sandwiches or tossed in a stir-fry.  Such a bonus to get a couple completely different meals from one easy recipe.

Hope you will give it a try, and hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

  • 4 Fresh Ripe Lemons, Juiced and Zest from one
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh Rosemary
  • 1  Tbsp chopped fresh Thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Pork Tenderloins (approx. 1 lb each)

Directions:

Make marinade by whisking together first 8 ingredients.  Pour into large Ziploc bag.  Add the pork tenderloins and coat.  Marinade overnight in refrigerator or at least 8 hours.

Preheat grill to 400 degrees F.   Place tenderloins on grill.  Discard excess marinade.  Grill 10-15 minutes or until meat reaches 135 degrees F.  Allow to rest 5-10 minutes.  Cut into thin slices to serve.

Enjoy with roasted new potatoes and steamed broccoli or your favorite vegetable.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

*Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

A Special Happy Birthday

Watercolor Birthday Card in Prussian Blue and Burnt Sienna

A Special Happy Birthday.

Every year on this day
is a very special day to me.

27 years ago
on a Saturday at 1:57 a.m.

a perfect and chubby 10 pound
baby boy blessed my life.

That sweet little boy
grew into an even sweeter man.

Thank you for the joy and happiness and love
you bring to my life.

May this year be the best…
until the next.

When I wish that it is the best,
like I feel being your mom.

Every year was the best – until the next,
and they still continue to be.

Happy Birthday NIck!

With so much love,
Mom

Snowstorm Stella & Perky Portulacas

Perky Portulacas in Pink & Orange – 8×10 Watercolor on Saunders 140 lb Cold Press

Snowstorm Stella & Perky Portulacas.

Last night
when all the talk was about Snowstorm Stella

that is supposed to be coming our way…
(could a snowstorm have a lovelier name?!)

I thought of my Grandma –
my Stella Star.

And as I painted what started out to possibly be poppies,
they seemed to emerge as perky portulacas.

When I think of Grandma,
I think of portulacas.

Grandma had a next door neighbor and best buddy
who grew the most amazing portulacas.

I remembered hot, lazy summer evenings
with Grandma and her friend and the talks we had.

I remember all the things I learned about life and love
from these special times.

So as I smiled at the snowstorm with the most beautiful name,
I fondly reminisced about my Grandma and portulacas.

And these wild and loose and crazy
pink and orange flowers grew on the page

With joy and happiness
and gratitude and love.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Watercolor Paint:  Daniel Smith Cadmium Orange, Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose, Daniel Smith Lemon Yellow, Daniel Smith Cobalt Blue

 

A Brunch & Bubbly Bridal Shower

I had the joy and privilege of hosting a Brunch & Bubbly Bridal Shower for my bright and bubbly daughter-in-law to be this past weekend.

I had fun decorating and preparing for our girly party!

Thanks to Matron of Honor and beautiful sister, Laura, and loving, gentle mom, Pat for co-hosting with me.

(And a super special thanks to my BFF Jill for taking all of these photos as well as helping with anything else needed while I was busy hosting.)

Liz was surrounded by the love of her Mom and three sisters…

and there is another beautiful girl on the way to add to this gang!

First things first – the Bubbly!

and a toast to the bride-to-be.

Friends and family attended.

Families mingled meeting and getting to know each other…

and several generations shared in the joy and love.

New moms and great grandmoms…

and moms with babies on the way,

and moms who get to share ❤ .

Then there was brunch.

Where we served a buffet of Chicken  Salad on Sliced Crostini, Crispy Veggies with Hummus, Fresh Fruit and Honey Walnut Brie, along with…

Mini BLTs served on Heart-shaped biscuits,

Loaded Deviled Eggs,

and a Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Candied Pecans.

Aunt Kathy made the MOST amazing cupcakes I’ve every tasted!  Strawberry Lemon with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting,

My friend, Pam who makes the most amazingly beautiful sugar cookiedoodles, made these gorgeous and delicious treats that we served along with my cookie pops.

The guests brought and shared amazing gifts for our newlyweds to be.

We played a few games.  Pretty simple ones really… Like guess the number of corks and gave away prizes when a timer went off during gift opening.

Some sweet and funny stories were shared when guests filled out a “Mad Lib” story…

and then chose to share with the group.

And then the groom-to-be (my son, Nick) arrived with flowers, smiles, and a tight hug.

Favors of Homemade Lavender Sugar Scrub were given to guests as a thank you before leaving.

A kiss and an “I love you” at the end of the day, but the beginning of a lifetime.  (with a little bit of sweet granddaughter drool on my shoulder)

It was a great day to celebrate a great young lady!

Love you Liz!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Thanks Jill!

Party Supplies:
Toasting Flutes for Mimosa Bar
Juice Carafes for Mimosa Bar
Tissue Paper Tassel Garland
Tissue Paper Pom Poms
Tissue Paper Honeycomb Balls