Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Some Good Ideas

My good friend, Pam, shared an email with me that contained some great ideas.  She thought I might like to pass them along to you.  I hope you find something you can use. 

When packing your lunch, keep a cut apple from turning brown by securing it with a rubber band.

Make an instant cupcake carrier by cutting crosses into a box lid.

Turn your muffin tin upside down, bake cookie dough over top and you'll have cookie bowls for ice cream or fruit.

Install a tension rod to hang your spray bottles.

Pump up the volume from your ipod or iphone by placing it in a concave bowl to amplify the sound.

Create a window box veggie garden using guttering.

Do you have any great tips to share? 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sperry Surprises

Sperry Top-Siders are not your boring boat shoe anymore.

These trendy designs by Milly for Sperry are featured everywhere. 

The Bahamas Boat Shoe is available in an extensive array of colors and patterns.

These pink searsucker shoes would be great with jeans or a white pencil skirt.

Obviously not a boat shoe but these black patent wedge sandals are Sperry brand as well.

I am impressed with this brand and will definitely check out the styles for a spring shoe purchase.  Do you own any boat shoes?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Musings

Happy Monday dear readers.  I hope you are rested and relaxed from the weekend.  I enjoyed a slower pace and some quality time with hubby that started with a nice dinner out at one of our favorite spots.

A delicious pomegranate cosmo

I booked several vacations for guests at our Bahamas house.  I wish I was there myself but in the meantime, I'm glad others can enjoy this idyllic spot.  I did spend some time planning vacations for hubby and me later in the year.  

Do you love shopping on  I do, and I did.  I had this book downloaded to my Kindle.  It is a prize winner and was made into a movie starring Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett.  I'll let you know how I like it when I finish reading.

Sunday night we had a dinner party to welcome some new neighbors.  A great way to end the weekend.

Have a pleasant Monday.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Last February Weekend

I've noticed this week that the sky is brighter when I open the blinds at 6:30 am...a sure sign that spring is on the way.  Mardi Gras has come and gone and Lent is underway.  

These little daffodils shoots are poking through my garden, a sure sign of spring.  But a few hours after this photo was taken, they were covered with several inches of snow.  

I signed up for my community garden plot this week and purchased seeds in anticipation of planting. 

I think I am rushing the season but I'll pretend spring is right around the corner.

Have a wonderful weekend.  See you on Monday.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Something's Affresh

I just tried this product and love it.  

Have you noticed a build up of mineral deposits in your dishwasher?  This may be due to the reduction of phosphates in dishwasher detergent.  If you have this problem or dishwasher odor, Affresh may be for you.  Just pop a tab in the dishwasher detergent tray and another in the bottom of your EMPTY dishwasher and run a regular cycle.  You'll open the door to a sparkling clean dishwasher that looks like a new appliance.
AND if your garbage disposal needs freshening...these tab will work there too.  Just follow the

Affresh also comes in a form to clean your washer as well as product for cleaning cooktops, stainless steel appliances and countertops.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rick Bayless's Pork Tinga

What's a tinga?  
It's a stew, and in this recipe, stewed pork, which is shredded and then mixed with chorizo and chipotle chilies.   

This is a hearty, flavorful Mexican dish that can be made ahead.  Make a large batch and feed a crowd.  Serve it the traditional way, on a crispy tostada or fill a soft flour tortilla.  Served with a cold beer, this is a great meal.

Traditional toppings for tinga are avocado, sliced onions and sour cream or cheese.

Chorizo, diced potatoes, shredded pork and onions ready for the  stew pot.

Stewing with smokey chipotles and tomatoes.

I had some grilled corn that I scraped off the cob and added to the tinga.  The recipe calls for potatoes.  I think the tinga would not miss a thing without the potatoes.  They could easily be replaced with a can of drained and rinsed black beans if you wish. 


  1. 1 1/4 pounds trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  2. 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  3. 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  4. 3 bay leaves
  5. 3/4 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  6. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  7. 1 large fresh chorizo, casing removed
  8. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  9. 1 garlic clove, minced
  10. One 28-ounce can peeled Italian tomatoes, chopped and drained
  11. 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded and minced, plus 4 teaspoons sauce
  12. Salt and sugar, for seasoning
  1. In a large saucepan, simmer the pork, marjoram, thyme and bay leaves in 4 cups of salted water, partially covered, until the meat is tender, 45 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate; let cool slightly, then tear it into smaller pieces. Skim the fat from the pork broth; reserve 1 1/2 cups.
  2. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
  3. In a medium, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the chorizo and stir over moderately low heat, breaking it up, until cooked through, 10 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the pork and onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until well-browned, 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and chorizo and cook for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, chipotle, adobo sauce and the 1 1/2 cups of pork broth; simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and a pinch of sugar and serve.
SERVE WITH Flour tortillas, sliced avocado, red onion and queso fresco.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Completely Loving Pleats

Are you embracing the pleat trend for spring?

Prada skirt
 I'm looking forward to a change from my routine pencil skirt.  This is a soft, feminine look.

Sewn down pleats

Knife pleats

Some suggestions from Elle Magazine on how to wear a pleated skirt.
How to Wear a Pleated Skirt

Maybe a dress is more to your liking.


Then all you need are some feminine pumps, a great bag and some statement earrings.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Inspiration

I hope you had the loveliest of weekends?  

It's a new day and a new week.  Make it special!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Friday

It has been gray most of the week here in Michigan.  Wouldn't this be lovely, cheerful wall art to chase away the dreary weather?  Have a delightfully joyous weekend.  See you Monday.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Simple Berry Gratin

I wanted a change from a yogurt parfait or smoothie for breakfast.  

I made a simple berry gratin.  

I placed some berries in a shallow, oven-safe bowl.

Next I made a topping for the berries, about 1/4 cup for the amount of berries shown above.    My topping was a mixture of part skim ricotta cheese and 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt sweetened with some powdered sugar.  Use what you have and like.  Maybe just ricotta sprinkled with brown sugar or try plain yogurt sweetened with maple syrup.  

Pop the dish under the broiler until the topping starts to bubble.  At this time you can sprinkle on some nuts or coconuts and then watch carefully to remove from the broiler just as the nuts are toasted.
Now you have a delicious, healthy breakfast with little trouble at all.  The berries are still firm and tasty and the topping is warm and yummy.  Nuts add a little crunch and goodness.  This would be just as good for dessert! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Welcome Color

I'm feeling a bit restless.  The winter landscape is gray.  My skin is pale.  Spring is too far off.  I'm craving color and a change of scenery.

Pantone has just released its Spring 2012 Fashion Color Report

This dress is an example of the picks of Cabaret (pink) and Solar Power (yellow).

My all-time favorite combo of turquoise and orange or Cockatoo and Tangerine Tango.

Color pick, Sweet Lilac and boots are an example of Pantone color Driftwood.

Kendra ScottExamples of greens and blues

What's your favorite color?


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