Month: April 2014

Combatting the Boring Wall (Week 23)

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wallHere’s an equation for you. One bare wall + one home alarm panel = a boring and troublesome wall space!

But this is exactly the math I was working with this week. But with a little scavenging in my garage, some quick paint, and a little planning, this is one problem I can solve …  and WITHOUT math thank goodness 😉

This week’s creative project: Combatting the Boring Wall!

If at First You Don’t Succeed: Before I hang any groupings on a wall, I always like to lay out different scenarios on the floor (e.g. instead of playing Hammer n’ Nail Russian Roulette with my wall!). This was especially helpful since I was working around a fixed eye-sore…my home alarm panel, right dab in the center of my wall!

Eeny Meeny Miny Mo! To frame my oh-so-attractive alarm, I did a little digging in my garage. Using old frames for some woodcut prints, and a few more items left unhung since my recent move, the space was quickly filling up. I also found a cool old mirror at a yard sale for $2 and painted it a more neutral cream (More neutral than gold, you say? Yes, I say.). Et voila, for $2 and about 20mins, a boring wall becomes a conversation starter.

 

 

Bunny Cake! (Week 22)

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bunnysbs Spring is all around, trees are in full bloom, the air is warm, and the sun is bright. Bumblebees buzz this way and that, and the dog is begging to go on longer walks. I LOVE SPRINGTIME!

Spring also means the Easter holiday. I find this holiday reverent, reminding me of so much I have to be grateful for. In my faith tradition, this is a time of sober awareness, immense gratitude, and joyful celebration. This season, my recovery walk is sprinkled with its own reminders… Gratitude for serenity, awareness of entering new chapters, and humility for the powerful path I’ve taken.

Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, I look forward to spending a day with my family and my sweetest of sweet nieces, Ivy, who is a playful and precocious 2-and-a-half! Little Ivy, my creativity this week is for you 🙂

My creative project this week: a Bunny Cake!

I saw a simple guide on a Facebook site I love–Rethink & Reuse & Recycle (sited from this website). So, I went to town on a basic strawberry cake mix, subbing apple sauce for the called for veggie oil. I used easy ingredients for the decoration: simple Easter candy (the rest of which I’ve piled into Easter eggs for a Sunday hunt!), black gel icing for whiskers, colored sugar & sprinkles for ears and tie, and marshmallow bunny teeth.

Here’s my process in photos:

bunnyprepbunnythreebunnyclose

 

 

 

 

Happy Easter, friendly readers. May your holiday weekend be filled with good company, profound serenity, and reminders of your own gratitudes.

 

Going Green (Week 21)

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green20140408-103056.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spring air & sunshine have been calling my name. This week, I wanted to spruce up my front porch, which was looking really bare. I bought some plants, upcycled some old pots, & even planted a “rock garden” in a terrarium that has proven troublesome in successfully growing ANYthing living. It was a fun creative project that got me out of doors and into a healthy mindset for the day. Getting my fingers in soil whetted my appetite for spring!

Happy spring, y’all 🙂

Got Kale? (Week 20)

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20140404-212051.jpgThe answer is yes, I had a bunch of kale! This called for a kale-heavy recipe, so….Soup’s on!

I decided to try a new recipe I found to mimic a popular restaurant favorite. I’d say the end result was pretty close to the original, but I was happy to increase the kale ratio…so green & good! The recipe makes enough for 6-8 generous servings. I’ll be sharing some with friends tomorrow!

The tasty recipe: Italian Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

Ingredients:
One medium onion, diced
One pound mild or spicy Italian sausage, bulk, not links
16 cups of chopped fresh kale, stems removed (seems like a lot, but it will cook down)
Three medium potatoes, skins on, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into thin half-moon slices
2 TBS olive oil
12 cups of good chicken stock (not broth)
8 cups of water
1½ TBS kosher salt
1 TBS fresh ground pepper
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
½ cup heavy cream

Directions:
In large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and stir till slightly translucent. Add sausage and break apart with spoon while cooking, stirring till sausage is browned. Add kale in batches, stirring till wilted, until all is added. Add potatoes, stock, water, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about an hour and a half, till kale is completely soft and potatoes are falling apart. Add cream, stir and let simmer for 20 minutes.