Burlap and TV

Yesterday I had the opportunity of going with my daughter to a local TV station because her blog Tatertots and Jello.was featured one of their segments.  Of course it had snowed the night before so we loaded all the necessary equipment she needed into the car as the snow filled our shoes.  We  parked in the wrong garage and so arrived one minute later than planned and scrambled to get everything out onto the set before the show started.  Jen was the second segment.
It was her first time on TV and she was a little bit scared (or maybe a lot, really) but she did an awesome job and of course, as her mom I was very proud of her.  Here she is with the hosts of the show Brooke and Darrin
I forgot my camera again, but I took pics with hers the whole way through as she demonstrated how to make her original burlap wreaths.
You can find her tutorial for them here. If you want fun, creative, and inexpensive ideas for your home and family please check out her blog.  You can also learn our fate as we are both direction-challenged!
It was a fun experience for both of us!


Thursday Tablescape-Blue Hues

Thursday Tablescape
Today's tablescape pictures were taken as I was running through Bloomingdale's in San Francisco with my daughter and grandson.  The large ceramic vase held silver branches and these very tall laser rods of amazing blue hues.  They had some sort of light source so they were lit up.  The whole display table with it's blue and white dishes was stunning.  I wasn't able to photograph the tops of the laser rods but my guess is they were about 7 feet tall.  They reminded me of our grandson's power laser that he runs through the house wielding as a sword. I believe the chairs were covered in a very masculine stripe fabric that was reminiscent of men's suiting.
The individual place settings were so beautiful with their varying shaded of blue, crystal and lovely silverware.  I wish I had the names of each element on the table but as I said, it was a fast run through.  (I think my grandson had reached his very small limit of time to shop and we were headed for the car).  Perhaps this has given someone an idea to use on her own table another day.  I hope so.  To see more beautiful tables click here and go to Between Naps on the Porch.


Quick Lamp Redo

I am linking up for the first time today to Sew Much Ado for this very quick remake of my lamp base.
I have never liked the white base of this lamp. It was painted with a flat white paint.

So I got out my shoe polishes--mostly browns
I added shoe polish (while I watched the Olympics) until it was as dark as I liked. 
I let some of the white show through.

And I like it much better now. It goes better with the old round doily that was used for the shade.
This project took about 15 minutes!  To see more sewing and crafting ideas click here.


Simple Woman's Daybook


For Today…Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Outside my window... The air looks clear and the sun is just behind the mountains.  The snow in my yard is just on the edges. And although there is a chance of snow showers today I am confident it will probably melt.
I am wearing... a gray long-sleeved shirt and on top of that a dark maroon scoop neck warm top.  I have on gray jeans and my Uggs on my feet.  I am ready for another lovely cold day here in the west.

I am creating…little paper purses to give four friends this morning to illustrate the importance of using their money wisely.

I am going... to lunch with a friend then to the four neighbors with my lunch friend.  Tonight there is an Artisan Bread class I will be attending.  I will be going to a local TV station with my daughter on Thursday and begin my gym membership training with a personal trainer from the club on Friday.

I am reading... A town Like Alice by Nevile Shute that I obtained from the library this week.

I am hoping... that Spring comes early this year.
On my mind... how flowers brighten the day and lift my spirit.  I bought a bouquet from the grocery store with chartreuse spider mums, white roses and red carnations. (Probably left over from Valentines)  I immediately took the red carnations out and put them in their own vase with the baby's breath.  That vase is in my bedroom.  The others are on my kitchen table and I am enjoying them every day as I watch the roses come into bloom.  I think it is a lesson in patience--watching the flowers blooming and waiting for spring to come.
From the learning rooms…
studying the scriptures more intently.

Noticing that... we are in the last week of February and wondering where the month has gone.  Does time go by faster the older you get?
Pondering these words... "I often think in music.  I live my daydreams in music.  I see my life in terms of music"  Albert Einstein    I was so surprised when I read this quote.  I thought it would be from someone like Beethoven or Bach.  It would have been interesting to know Mr. Einstein and find out just how this music, which must have been such a part of him, how it influenced his great inventions and life.

From the kitchen…
I have a roast beef and also pork tenderloins that I will cook today.  I think the roast will be with the usual potatoes and carrots but I think I will make a mustard sauce for the tenderloins.  It makes me hungry just writing about it but I just had my oatmeal so I am not that hungry!

the house... since I vacuumed yesterday I just have to change the sheets and clean the guest bedroom from having a house guest last week.  I am trying to keep things tidier than I usually do.  It makes me feel good to have things picked up and in their own places.

One of my favorite things... finding a bargain!
A few plans for the rest of the week: making invitations for a church birthday party, the bread class, the TV show, and possibly a trip to my sister's.
From my picture journal...My beautiful granddaughter on her 14th Birthday which was Sunday.
If you would like to join us in The Simple Woman's Daybook, please see Peggy for details.


California Dreamin'

The Simple Woman's Daybook that I usually do on Mondays has been moved to Tuesdays so today I will show pictures of my recent trip to CA.  It has been a week since I got back and to be honest I have been a little depressed having come from Spring everywhere you look to very brown and gray here at home.  But, I will buck up and put on my happy face and pretend happiness!  Come with me as I show you what I saw.  I must show you the beautiful green hills first.
I think there is nothing as beautiful as the bright chartreuse color, especially after so much rain in CA, that the hills right next to the main roads and freeway get in northern California.  I was so busy there that I didn't take time to get out of the car to photograph so these pics are from inside the car. (Ignore the bottom half of pics)
There is a place along the road that someone many years ago planted hundreds of daffodil bulbs so that as you drive along the freeway there is this beautiful yellow roadside.  They were just beginning to spring up.
 It is so nice to be with friends that you haven't seen for a while and make new ones.  So, we had a Valentine party and made of course, valentines!
As well as a cute musical pin to wear and learned how to make a banner too.
I loved talking to and catching up on each one's life.
  The weather was beautiful and fun was had by all. 

 A beautiful lunch was served on red and white tablecloths and all enjoyed being together.  I have the best friends!  Thank you Vicki and Angela for the luncheons.
One day on our way down to Pebble Beach we stopped at Wal-Mart where this cute little family were in the parking lot with a line of people backed up next to their truck.
    We found out they were selling homemade tamales from the back of their pick-up truck!  Of course, we were on an adventure so we made this part of it too.  They were hot and so delicious!
 The ocean was many shades of blue and refreshing just to see.
I love the charming shops of Carmel with all it's little alley ways, cobblestones and 
dutch doors to the cute shops.

And no matter what time of year you go to Carmel there are beautiful flowers everywhere.
In planter boxes.
In pots.
Or hanging on the side of the wall, they are beautiful.

Even the animals have taken on color it seems as we saw this poodle happily walking down the street in a coat of Bubble Gum pink!
We drove through Berkeley on our way back to the airport and stopped at this open Market selling beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables and specialty ethnic foods.  We bought a wonderful "sandwich" made of very thin tortilla-like bread filled with a spinach mixture that was just delicious.  Another filling was a pumpkin pesto that was good too.

Thanks for reliving my trip to CA with me and I hope Spring comes soon to your part of the country just as I am looking forward to the first tulip emerging here in a couple of months.
  Have a wonderful week!


Olympic Fever

No one has asked me to answer any question about the Olympics but I feel I have watched so much of the televised Olympic Winter Games that I could easily give some very accurate and good ones.  I went to bed last night with a terrific headache and knew that I had Olympic overload for sure. I can't help it.  I get sucked in on it.  When I am straightening up my house in the morning I think, "I wonder if the Olympics are on!"  (P-l-e-a-s-e, what a question! Of course, someone is luging or skating at all hours of the day and night!)  So I turn it on and try to continue doing my work.  Somehow, I manage to turn it off hours later when I realize there is no food in the house.  I leave for the grocery store.  Later, that same thing happens when I have returned from necessary errands and before I know it, I have been sucked in and learned more than I ever needed to know about the lives of all the Russian, Norwegian and Chinese athletes, and their coaches and families I feel like I am participating in my own Olympic sport!  I have Olympic overload!  How about you?  How much Olympic TV time are you having?  Today I am limiting my Olympic viewing (unless, of course, the woman's Single Skating is on:)
I must restrain myself. 
I must restrain myself. 
I must restrain myself!


A Flip Book

Remember those Flip Books from our childhood, where you thumb through the pages quickly and watch the pictures magically turn into a sort of silent movie before your very eyes?  Today's post is just that.  Please indulge me as a grandmother today and play along. You will have to look at each picture very quickly and go to the next in order to get the effect but try to think of the flip book as you do.  I so enjoyed being with my newest grandson last week--touching his chubby soft white skin and hugging his adorable sweet body.  (He did keep looking at me as if to say, "Who is this lady that is still here everytime I wake up and keeps hanging around me?")  He adores his mom and dad and especially when his dad tickles him on his tummy:

Have a wonderful day and I hope you'll find something to be as enthusiastic about as this little one was this day!


Simple Woman's Daybook

Simple Woman's Daybook
For Today, February 15, 2010

Outside my window...beautiful dark blue and white mountains!

I am thinking...those mountains are going to look great soon as SPRING comes calling!

I am thankful for... a furnace that is working.  When I arrived home last night from California my house was 52 degrees!  Somehow my furnace had gone out!!  I am also thankful for my sweet son in law and his dad that came to my rescue and found the problem.  Heat at last.  (I don't do well without it!)

I am wearing...warm clothes of course, as usual.  Jeans, wool top and sweater (3 layers) .

I am remembering...what fun it was to be with my friends and have fun.

I am going...to get food, fill prescriptions, and sign up for gym membership. (Now the latter is in black and white, I am committed.  I have been dragging my feet on this since Christmas although it has been on my list every week.  It may take me until Friday to actually do it!)

I am currently reading...my mail that has been held while I was away.

I am hoping...to catch up on things that should have been done last week while I was away.

On my mind... try to get all the fake snow out of the containers on my mantel and put up SPRING with birds and green instead

Noticing that...little things around the house need attention.  Also laundry to do and bills to pay--the usual.

Pondering these words... "Your wings already exist.  All you have to do is fly"

From the kitchen...  feel like Old Mother Hubbard as mine is pretty bare today, hence the trip to the grocer.

Around the house...Just gathering up all the hearts and valentines, red and white and replacing them with GREEN;

One of my favorite things...FRIENDS and FAMILY

From my picture journal.

Spring is Coming!
What will you be doing this week?  I hope your week is perfect!


Cooking Under Pressure

I recently attended a Pressure Cooking Class and was impressed with the advancements in this time-honored way of cooking.
The seal has improved and is less likely to cause problems.
There is even an electric cooker with digital dial that lets you set it and almost forget it. Pressure Cookers cook the food under pressure in a short amount of time and are great for beans, meats like Pot Roast and Stew tenderize in them and various soups blend flavors like they were simmered for hours.

Our wonderful teacher had 3 cookers that morning with which she demonstrated 4 different recipes.She is showing us here how to use a portable butane stove with one as you might have to during a disaster with a power failure.
  She made a wonderful Lentil Soup in 20 minutes
Smashed/roasted potatoes in 7 minutes,  
Rigatoni in Sausage Sauce in 6 minutes, and Black Beans with Chorizo in 7 minutes.
She even made an amazing Artisan Parmesan Bread to eat with these foods. (The bread was not pressure cooked!) We were able to sample all of the dishes and they were each so delicious and cooked in just minutes.  It was nice getting a first hand look at and learn how to use these cookers.  I used my pressure cooker many years ago and remember making great soup with it and it cooking meat quickly.  I donated it when I moved two years ago but after attending this class I am seriously considering getting one of these new improved models.  Do any of you have and use a pressure cooker?  What is your favorite thing to make using one?
I am linking to Foodie Friday with this post.  To read wonderful recipes click here.
Pressure Cooker Beef Stew
1 1/2 lbs. stew meat, cut into cubes
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp oil
6 cups hot beef broth
1 chopped onion
8 carrots cut into pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into pieces
4 peeled and cubed potatoes
1 tsp Lawry Seasoning salt
1/4 tsp pepper1 (20 oz) can diced tomatoes
Coat meat with flour.  Heat oil in pressure cooker.  Brown meat in oil; stirring occasionally, Add hot beef broth, onion, and then stir.  Bring to boil. Put lid on and bring to high pressure for 15 minutes.  Quick release pressure.  Add rest of ingredients and bring to high pressure again for 5 more minutes. Release pressure. Enjoy!
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!