This week I offered to bring a dish for a dinner [that I was not attending].  I was happy to help, but it just so happened to fall on Tuesday, which is the day I coach my oldest son's soccer practice @ 5 and my youngest has basketball practice @ 6.  The dish was supposed to arrive warm @ 6pm.  Ha. [Tuesday also included 1 child's doctor's appointment, my own dental appointment, and 1 hour of volunteer time.  I know you have all had one of those days!]  I needed something quick and easy-but still delicious.  This is what I came up with:  semi homemade!

2 boxes of "gourmet' frozen mac and cheese

Bake the mac n 'cheese according to the directions.  [Since I was transporting elsewhere, I put the baked noodles in two aluminum bread pans.] Top with the amazing Beecher's Flagship Cheese [shredded] and crispy bacon-coarsely chopped.  Place back in oven for about 5 minutes to melt cheese and warm bacon.  Top with green onions and serve.  

This would be great for a mid-week meal.  Prepare the bacon ahead of time and this meal could be ready in about 30 minutes.   [We like that!]


outside my [fashion] comfort zone

Source: google.com via Denise on Pinterest

[pinned it]

[bought it]

 [wore it]

I stepped outside my fashion comfort zone.  Saw something on Pinterest that inspired me and went for it.  And you know what?  I am going to do it again. 


in my ear[buds]

I cannot get enough of this acoustic cover of Titanium by Collin McLoughllin.  The lyrics are striking when sung with only an acoustic guitar.  While the dance beat of the original song by David Guetta is great for a run, this arrangement is perfect on a foggy, cool Wednesday morning with a cup of coffee.  Enjoy. 


cup and saucer.

[a teacup of treasures]

I received a handful of beautiful teacups and saucers that once sat in my grandmother's hutch.  Not a matching set, but all gorgeous in their own right.  I unwrapped one and placed it on the bathroom counter today.  It is a lovely catch all for my earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.  It takes clutter and somehow makes it sweet.  So thrilled with how it looks!  {She would be pleased that it has found a home and a useful purpose.} 


I need that!

While I am still determined to learn how to use my big girl camera off manual mode, I do love snapping pictures with my phone.  I saw these little lenses and thought, "I need that!"

[phone lens series available through photojojo]

These little guys work on any smart phone.  They come as a set [or a la carte]....with a wide and macro lens, a fish eye lens, and a telephoto lens. 

The product description reads:
 How it works: each set comes with adhesive removable metal rings. The ring sticks to the back of your phone, and the Photojojo Lens attaches magnetically. Snap it on and off in an instant!

Although it is only late September, it is never too early to think about giving great gifts in December.  Wouldn't these be awesome in a stocking?  


the greatest things

My mother-in-law has The Greatest Things written in calligraphy and framed in her home.  I read them each and every time I am there.  Simply put and more true than ever.

The Greatest Things

The best day ....          Today
The greatest sin ....      Fear
The best gift  ....          Forgiveness
The meanest feeling ..  Jealousy
The greatest need ....    Common Sense
The most expensive indulgence.... Hate       
The greatest troublemaker ....  Talking too much
The greatest teacher  .....   One who makes you want to learn
The cleverest man  ....     One who does what he thinks is right
The worst bankrupt ...   The soul that has lost its enthusiasm
The cheapest, easiest, most stupid thing to do ....  Finding Fault
The best part of anyone's religion  ....   Gentleness and cheerfulness


this one went to the market.

We had the most beautiful Sunday in the Seattle area.  [smiles abound!]   Here is a quick peek into a perfect hour at our farmer's market.

farm fresh apples.  

jonboy.   the most delicious hand made caramels.

[food truck love. parfait.]
small batch.  made from scratch.

warm crisp made with our market apples.  
life is short.  eat dessert!


oh joy! make someone happy

I found the Oh Joy! blog and fell in love instantly.  Joy Cho is creative, fashionable, and fun! I was blown away by this video she made this week.  I dare you to watch it and not smile!

Are you inspired?  I was!  Happy Friday to all of you! 


nailed it.

Yep.  Fall is in the air.  Crisp and clean.  So, of course, with wardrobe changes come polish color changes. 

All the dark gray polishes continue to catch my eye.  So I gave my self a little at home pedicure tonight.  [Remember there is a secret weapon to at-home polish jobs.]  It is a dark neutral and will look great with some peep toe wedges or flats. 
deborah lippmann.  stormy weather created w/ Narcisco Rodriguez
However, I saw a friend today and she was sporting an equally excellent polish choice.  Nude. I loved how it was clean, simple and understated.  With peep toe flats, it looked fantastic.  It reminded me of something I read this summer about polish color.  Keep it Chic's take?  "Bare is best."  
[via keep it chic]
I actually love them both. equally.


something new.

Notice anything new?? -------------------------------------------->

Yes, yes.  It has happened.  After months of stiff arming my friends and ignoring amazingly intriguing pins on Facebook, I folded and joined Pinterest.  My husband was out of town over the long Labor Day weekend and I was looking for something to do.  My initial reation was "Oh no.  This is going to be a problem."

Here are just a few of my recent pins:

I think what I am loving most about Pinterest is that I am feeling creative again!  Somethings will sit on the "maybe someday" board, but others could happen in the not-so-distant future.  

Happy Pinning!

 we will never forget.


this place your home

With so much time on my hands these days, my fall focus is my home. [I am truly a housewife now-if I wasn't already before.] Small kids and the insane shuffle of life has left my home, well, disorganized.  It is usually hidden behind closet doors and inside drawers, but I can still feel it lurking.  Now is the time to conquer the "put it here for now" habit and it will be a hard one to break!

In the next few weeks I will have my ear buds in, jamming to some great tunes and reclaiming some space in our nooks and crannies.  I might be listening to "Home", by Phillip Phillips.  I love the message of the song.  It reminds me that house is a building..nothing more.  But a home holds your family, your heart, and is a soft place to fall.

What is your fall focus?

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found


quick pear crips

I have pears, freshly picked from an Eastern Washington orchard, and desperately want to use them before they go bad.  I came across this recipe for Quick Pear Ginger Crisps.  It took less than 15 minutes to prepare and most of that time was spent peeling the pears.  It calls for ginger snap cookies, walnuts, brown sugar and pears.  Other than the cookies and the walnuts, everything else is in your pantry. 

The recipe uses canned pears in heavy syrup, so I substituted 4 fresh pears, 1 Tb. all-purpose flour, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon.

Divide pears into ramekins and top with chopped ginger snaps, walnuts and brown sugar-with a dollop of butter on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

A scoop of vanilla bean ice cream when it is still warm perfects it!  I think the crunch of the cookies on top was my favorite part. 

**My version is actually gluten and dairy free [sans the ice cream, of course}  It is naturally dairy free and I used Pamela's Ginger Mini Snapz and gluten free flour. Believe me when I tell you, you can't tell the difference. 


just add light

Summer weather is lingering.  The warm days makes easing into fall so much easier.  However, the daylight fades quickly and makes it difficult to enjoy long evenings outdoors.  Problem solved-just add light.  I will admit to being astonished at the cost of many candles, but you can't beat their soft light.  That is why I love prayer candles.  As you can see, they cost just $1.99 and better yet can be purchased in the grocery store. Find the chipotle chiles in adobo sauce and look up.  There are green and red styles with a portrait of Jesus, but I go for the plain white ones!  They last forever and make a great table scape in any season.  Simple, white, and easy.  Buy three or five [or more if your table is really big] and mix them in with your nicer candle holders. 
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