Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Work

Fresh raspberries (from the new garden plants) on an Asian blue plate. It's  beautiful image. Or at least I think it is!

The blue and white plate. The ripe berries. A little patriotic. Certainly delicious and so very summery! The pairing looks thrown together in a wabi-sabi kind of beauty. It's also deceptively easy. Nothing worth having is ever easy - someone wise said that long ago. The proof of that is more apparent to me every day. 

Getting from planting to plate took effort. In some ways it is like a relationship - some may look effortless but all require work, care and tending to flourish. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Waste Not Banana Bread

I absolutely abhor waste. So, when the bananas start to look like this one - too brown, I click over to a favorite recipe for banana bread from Simply Recipes to whip up something yummy which will last for several days longer than the bananas would alone.

I promise  - this recipe is simple. Here's how....

Saturday, October 31, 2015

October 2015 Books

What happened the last few months? Oh, life. Work. Moving stuff into one house. I've had more yard sales than I care to think about as I've been downsizing from the move. And I've learned: 1) downsizing is a pain and 2) yard sales are great for "interruptible" reading - back issues of Southern Living, blog posts, etc. -  and not so good for reading books, and 3) I really miss vacation (Mexico or NOLA, both were good).


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Is it Kismet?

Naked Gypsy, Crushed Coral, Wildflower - Kismet Cosmetics
This is not a beauty blog by any means. But...I am a serial sharer. What I like. Ideas. Shortcuts. Happiness. And I'm also an experimenter. Sometimes it is food and recipes. Sometimes it is books. And, sometimes it is a bit of make up and skin care.  

The importance of self-care should not be under valued.  Good skin care. A nice perfume. A pretty lipstick. These things are pick-me-ups. 

"Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together." Elizabeth Taylor

Sunday, October 11, 2015

And Again, Please

The human male and I are currently plotting our next vacation - probably next spring. This April we took a trip to "paradise" aka Tulum, Mexico on the Maya Riviera for 9 days. It was a space and time to decompress. Something I didn't even know I needed.

As an adult, I'd never been on a vacation before. Vacation =  go somewhere exotic, do not work, do interesting things you've not done before, and do nothing. I learned several things.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Summer Fruits

This year, I haven't been in the garden or even out as much as some other years.  The season will move on without you. This I know.

But a garden is a place of hope. We plant for this year - but not this moment. Sometimes we even plant for next year, as with asparagus or raspberries. A garden is always filled with hope.

Produce Selfie!

Take-away - JalapeƱo or raspberry, the flavor is your choice, kind of like your attitude.

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Summer bounty

We have entered the "OMG the zucchini  is the size of cats!" phase of summer. (If you planted them, you know what I mean. You blink, and they are too big for most recipes.) We've all made enough zucchini bread, and we've all grilled enough zucchini. So, NOW WHAT DO you do with the zucchini?

I have answers.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 2015 Books

Another busy month and less book reading. The books seem to dwindle month by month. Let us hope the tide changes in July!

What happened?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

What We Leave Behind

This month has been tough. The original Bunny Haven Manor has a new caretaker. Someone else to watch over the flowers and bunnies. She's a gardener, so it will be okay. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Always a Peony

There is a phrase about roses - bud, bloom or blown, a rose is always a rose. We forget at times in our search for blooming perfection that what we see, even if not perfect, is still perfectly a rose.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 2015 Books

"Every lady needs a signature weapon."  It may be my favorite line from Waistcoats & Weaponry. I started that this month - and then got distracted.

Books are flowing from the original Bunny Haven Manor to Bunny Haven Manor East. Tiger Eyes, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Jacob I Have Loved, Wrinkle in Time. As they pass through my hands to the new space, I've remembered why I love them. For me the books that resonated most were about being different, not fitting in and succeeding in your own way. It's something to which I still aspire.

Take-away - We are shaped. By others. By our choices. How does what shaped you then resonate with you now?

May Extra - Basketball coaches like books too. This is Steve Kerr's reading list.

Posts also of potential interest...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Incredible Edible Egg

Asparagus and red pepper frittata
Breakfast should be easy. On the weekends, it should be sumptuous, but still easy. Eggs are always super easy plus nutritious. To upgrade your egg experience,  if you have cheese + vegetables, go with a fritatta!

You can Google "fritatta" and come up with any number of recipes.  The basics are this:
- Saute vegetables on a medium heat
- Add eggs at a medium low heat
- When the eggs are almost set, top with cheese and pop the pan in the oven on broil for about 6-8 minutes.

Frittatas are the original "use what you have" meal. You can vary out the cheese. You can vary out the vegetables. You can vary the spices or herbs you prefer in the eggs. You can add milk or not. Here's the one trick, use an oven-proof saute pan. 

My recipe - For the frittata above, I melted less than 1/2 a tablespoon of butter and sauteed 1 red pepper (washed and diced) and 1 bunch of asparagus (washed and snapped into 1 inch pieces) with salt+pepper. 5 eggs, whipped with a touch (less than 1/4 cup) of milk and salt+ pepper, that went in the pan while I lowered the heat and turned on the broiler. I had about a 1/2 cup of a 3 cheese mix (asiago, parmesan, and romano) which I then added on top just before popping in the broiler. In about 7 minutes, it was perfect. The cheese will be melty and the eggs dry and fluffy. We also had biscuits. (I cheated and used store bought.) This is Saturday morning at Bunny Haven Manor East.

Take-away - Sometimes you deserve a little luxury, even if you have to make it yourself.

Pretty: And I love this Instagram pic of individual frittatas! What a great "meal to go" idea.

Sound bonus: Ever heard the Incredible Edible Egg song?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 2015 books

This was definitely a reading month! Not only was there a lovely vacation late in the month, but also a bonus day off for Good Friday. Which meant I got a chance to read a number of books in April, including a bit of "mind-candy".

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Welcome to Paradise

Learning to slow down. Learning to accept. Learning to enjoy. 

Take-away - All experiences teach you. Are you paying attention. 

Mobile post

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The March 2015 Books That Weren't

It's been a month. I basically didn't read a book - except that February cookbook - for the better part of 7 weeks. Mostly for a good cause - lasik. Weird but true - my eyes had to "recover" from my contacts for 5 weeks before they'd even check me for lasik. And my glasses are not computer happy - so at the end of every workday my eyes were too tired to read.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


My heart greets the signs of spring with joy. 
Tiny though they may be (enlarged crocus)

Take-away - Keep watch for what makes your heart glad and rejoice. 
Mobile post....

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Here's Coco!

If you've reviewed The Herd page recently, you may have noticed the Herd has gotten a bit bigger. Her name is Coco, and she's been with us about a 6 weeks. True to any new family member, I can't imagine life without her!

On the right is how she looked when I first saw her at a Pet Refuge event. Purring. T.S. Elliot's kind of jellicle. Missing a front fang. Adorable. And needing brushed. (On the left is Day One at Bunny Haven Manor East after much brushing.) She decided in the first 5 minutes that this was her house and she was good with that. (She's much like Griffin.)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Beets! And Other Opportunities

Part of the healthy eating plan this week included beets. Many of my co-workers dreaded the thought. Not me! I love beets. My Russian grandmother's fabulous summer borscht was always a craveable favorite but there are many delicious ways to make beets. Roast them. Yum. Saute them. Yum. Make sugar from them! Double yum, even though I have not done that one personally, just had the results, Pioneer Sugar.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 2015 Books

What I bought - three fabulous new books....

Sarah Addison Allen of Garden Spells. I love the everyday magical reality of her books. I follow her on Twitter and noticed she tweeted about First Frost. Serendipitously, Lost Lake was on sale at the bookstore.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Crescent City

New Orleans is one of my favorite US cities - the music, the history, the food, the cultures! The Crescent City is beyond compare. Luckily, last fall, I had a work thing in New Orleans (NOLA), and we decided to make it a working vacation. We tacked on a few extra days and stayed through the weekend.

  • He loves NOLA (as do I*)
  • We really needed a break

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Raw Food - Why?

It's been a weird month.

As part of a commitment to healthier living, I'm taking part in a 10 week cleansing diet. The first week was raw food. After that, only "clean" foods - no chemicals, no preservatives, nothing that's not natural + limited wheat and dairy. None of that Semi-Homemade stuff. All made at home or with ingredients that can be seen.

Most of my meals looked like this (left image) for the first week. (Blackberries + water, "power greens", apple, walnut and a touch of flax.) I detoxed off the sugar and preservatives in my diet. It was tiring.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015 Books

The beginning of the year is a great time to evaluate the prior year. In 2014, I started noting what I read each month on this space and posting a piece on books the last day of the month. The aspirations were lofty; I used to read erudite books with some degree of regularity. The reasoning was also humble as I felt like I might not be reading "enough", and I wanted to have an honest record of what I read. What I found was, as always, a bit of self-revelation.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Spring Planning

It's arrived! One of the main sources of my covetous, material  longing -  The White Flower Farm catalog.

The catalogs arrive seasonally, ready for planning and planting the next season. Temptation by post. A gateway into the future. I've already got my shade garden picked out.

Take-away - a season to plan, a season to plant. All things have a time. What's it time to plan for in your life?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

All That Glitters

The winter holiday season can be a bit glittery. Lots of silver and gold. Prettily wrapped presents. It's a little superficial, but enjoyable to make your own bits of pretty whether they be presents or household decorations as the mother nature does her decorating outside with trees draped in icicles and sparkly frost.

A heaven of diamonds shines down through the night

To create the seasonal look in a house, sparkle and glitter are a prerequisite. Some sparkle we are given. Some we make. (And I did.) Some glitter we buy. 

The human male bought the tree at left as part of a fundraiser for Alzheimer's. It is decorated in gold and penguins with other birds as accents. The size is perfect for the limited floor space in our dual pet household. The tree has a special sparkle because it was created for a good cause.