Saturday, January 24, 2015

oh January....

My computer is finally back from the shop and January is already coming to a close.  The fantastic program "Parenthood," one of my favorites, is also coming to a close.  A wonderfully written show about a family and the passing of time.  To say that watching it doesn't stir something in my soul would be a lie as this show captures the joys and sorrows that affect us all in life.

And speaking of life it has been a bit nuts around here.   Most days I'm running 5 kids this way and that so my creative time has been limited as I need to hit the pillow to get rest at the end of the day.
But in those moments where time just stops, just for that brief second, I'm able to see it.  Really see it...and I'm thankful for that.

Wishing you all some magical moments this weekend!

Linking up with.....The Enchanting Rose

Friday, January 9, 2015

change in the air...

Last weekend I took the beans to see the play Mary Poppins.... 

Winds from the east....Mist comin' in....Like somethin' was brewin', about to begin...Can't put me finger on what lies in store...

The change in the air is---------I'm going back to school for garden design!  

There is a Garden Design Certificate Program  at the Chicago Botanic Garden that I will be starting this spring.  I haven't taken classes since I finished my masters when I was in my twenties so to say that I'm nervous is an understatement.  But I'm also EXCITED!  One class at a things to learn...a challenge with 3 beans....yes!  But I am determined to cross that finish line!  I'm not sure where the road will take me on this journey, but I'm ready to grow!    

Here is to the road of life friends!  Any changes brewing by you???? 
Happy Making, Baking, and Growing!!!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

on the table....vegetable chili

When it is negative 25 degrees outside (with the wind chill) it's a good day for chili!  I learned how to make this chili from my older sister.  She came to my house when I was pregnant with bean number one and we made a giant pot.  This chili freezes fantastically so there is always some in the freezer.

Veggie Chili...
~2 cans of black beans
~2 cans of kidney beans
~1 bag of frozen corn
~2 red peppers
~2 green peppers
~3 green onions 
~1 small yellow onion
~2 jalapeƱos
~chili powder
~a pound and a half of ground turkey (or you can use beef)
~45 oz of caned diced tomatoes
~45 oz of canned tomato puree 

The first thing I do is pour all of the tomatoes in a big pot.  Next I slice up all the veggies (except the yellow onion) and heat the corn up in the microwave.  Make sure when you're chopping those jalapeƱos that you don't get any seeds in the mix!  Dump all the veggies in with your tomatoes and don't forget the beans.  Then slice up your yellow onion.  Add some olive oil to your pan and throw in your onions.  When the onions are looking a little colorful add your meat and season with chili powder.  Last pour your meat into the pot.  Cook your chili on low for 3-4 hours and there you have it!  

My sister, as some of you may know, is a photographer.  Her ability to capture the essence and beauty of the world around her is quite extraordinary.  

Can you tell I'm proud of her!?!  

And with the brutal cold outside today I reworked the mantle after taking all the Christmas decorations down.  I left the vintage candle sticks but added some jars of pinecones and some old books.

And then came a bit of lounging in the kitchen.  The beans love to cook with me so this a typical scene.

 End of the night fire with cookies and all is good. 

Stay warm friends and a happy week to you!  

Friday, January 2, 2015

January Design Ideas....

Hello folks!  I sure hope you all had a festive holiday!   We had a great Christmas with lots of loafing around and sleeping in.  It will be shocking when next week comes knocking and we are back to zipping around and scheduled activities.  I'm not sure I'm ready for that, but are we ever?!?  

With the date reading January 2nd now,  I've been thinking about what this year will look like.  No big resolutions to speak of.  Just simple everyday goals of this and thats to be a better me.  I must admit this time of year is usually the time when I start to feel the shift.  The...which way are we going kinda thing.   For now we are here,  taking in the days with 3 rambunctious beans though this quote always rings loudly in my head.....   

So in the event that we don't move to land and we are here in this suburban house for the long haul, there are some things that need to be addressed in the garden this year.  A huge challenge for any gardener is creating a sense of depth and privacy in their space.  Couple that with a small plot and surrounding neighbors and you're left with a challenging puzzle as for what to plant.  I'm still working on creating my screen against the back fence.  I lost both diablo ninebarks this past year.  So needless to say I'm in desperate need of reworking my backdrop along the back fence.  Below you can see some gaps and the fence glaring out at you.  This will be an ongoing saga this spring so please bear with me!  

Nice mass plantings and backdrop in a garden I visited this summer...

And here is some more garden inspiration.  It is a small east coast garden from Fine Gardening. 
{photos by James Salomon}  

Besides the fact that this garden is full and lush, I am thoroughly taken with the use of conifers in the space.  The endless layering in the background is a feast for the eyes and blocks the views of the neighbors.

Switching gears now to the creating department......I have done NOTHING in weeks!   But alas, my mojo started coming back this week!  It all began when I was tucking my bean girl in for the night.  I began to look around their room and knew it was time to really finish...I mean REALLY finish their space for them.  They deserve a special spot and I'm so excited to give that to them.

Here is a shot of what their room looked like....

And though it is not completely done yet, it is almost there.  Here is a design collage of some of the room's features.  The plan is to have their space finished by the end of the month!

I hope that 2015 is your year!  
That you reach and stretch for those dreams you never thought possible and they come true! 

And as always....Happy Making, Baking, and Growing!