Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Vegan Recipe: Breakfast Sandwich

This is the time of year that I need a hearty breakfast to face the cold mornings of Wyoming. Here is one of my favorite and very simple recipes.

Vegan sausage formed into patties
Extra firm tofu, sliced and cut into circles (I use a small cup to create the circle)
Vegan cheese (I prefer Daiya)
Whole wheat English muffin

1. Sear the tofu and sausage in a hot skillet, light olive oil will be needed. I often sprinkle the tofu with turmeric and garlic powder.
2. Place the party, tofu and cheese on the muffin, add lid.
3. Place in a 350F oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese has melted and muffin is toasted. Enjoy!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Decorating for Christmas

The moment Thanksgiving was done the girls began asking about Christmas. More specifically they have been begging to decorate for Christmas. Yesterday was that day.

Eric pulled the boxes of decorations and the tree from the storage space under the house. It is a dark and terrifying space that I refuse to enter. 

Out came our Christmas boxes to the delight of our children.

We turned on our holiday decorating records:

Eric assembled our "tree."

While the girls brought down all of the stuffed animals to watch the proceedings.

I set up the more delicate decorations around the house. Then it was time to decorate the tree.

For the record we do not teach the kids to believe in Santa, but somehow there are Santa hats. Whatever.

So I guess we are ready...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Quote: Flattery and Criticism

have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.

~Georgia O'Keeffe

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday is...

• Eric and I enjoying coffee his is in a gorgeous mug by Dandee Pattee.
•Watching the snow fall and feeling mighty thankful that our furnace is in working order after a day with inconsistent heat.
•Planning a new commissioned piece.
•Baking cupcakes to bring along for a birthday party.
•Planning to see a movie and enjoy dinner with the fam.
•Prep for a new quarter with my online teaching gig.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Phone Photo Friday: 11.27.15

Hello! How was your Thanksgiving? Your week? We have had a lovely week. Here is the week in review.

Eric and Elise

Eric at work in the studio.

Could she be any more adorable? Nope.

Family meal with Laura. She was back to give a presentation on her time volunteering overseas for an amazing program. This photo pretty much sums up life.

Sisters playing together.



The girls had dental appointments this week. I took Cordelia aside and asked her to set a good example for Elise who was having her first visit. Cordelia took this to mean, show Elise how comfortable you are with the whole thing. She ran in, kicked off her boots, hopped in the chair and popped on her shades.

She was very comfortable and took the opportunity to give Kylie the dental hygienist a personal comedy show. Throughout the course of both girls' appointments the staff kept peeping in and laughing, or even laughing from other rooms as they heard the nonsense that both of our girls were serving up.

Elise did so well. She took instruction like a boss and had no trouble.

Yesterday. Playing space cheetah and astronaut.

Thanksgiving dinner. My mom and the girls.

Our crew. Elise was opting not to wear her dress so she wouldn't spill food on it...

After dinner we had a family sledding break. It was very cold, but such fun!

Eric and Elise

Cordelia and me.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Kindness Bandit: One Month


I thought I had retired the Kindness Bandit. Originally my goal was to inspire others to be kind in their daily lives, to show them how simple acts of kindness were no trouble. Then I started to feel weird about it, like it could be misconstrued as bragging. I absolutely did not want to make it seem as though I was trying to do anything other than inspire. So I retired the Kindness Bandit. For years now I can say that I get a request for the Kindness Bandit at least once a week. Finally I have decided to resurrect the Kindness Bandit with the deep hope that you are as inspired as I am by the project. Please join me in a month long kindness project. I will report back once a week on my efforts and the efforts of others that I see.

Share in the comments or send me emails about what you are up to in your random acts of kindness.

Today I kicked off my month of Kindness Bandit while shoveling the snow from my driveway and sidewalk. I looked up and down the street and thought that it would be easy enough for me to shovel a little bit father. Before I knew it I had shoveled the houses to the left and right of me and one across the street for an elderly neighbor. The job took about half an hour and gave me a nice little arm work out too.  

Neighbor's walk

Work in progress

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Winter Alert

A winter storm is on the way. The girls keep peering out the window, waiting for the snow to start falling. It is already starting to fall a bit, but we have no accumulation as of yet and they (the wizards of Doppler) are predicting up to a foot of fresh snow. Today I will stock up at the store. I need to buy Elise some snow pants as she has finally outgrown her 18 months snow pants. How a giant like me has a petite child is an interesting study in genetics.  Cordelia is no giant either. I am thankful that these girls of mine will not have to suffer through cold ankles from pants that are never long enough or struggle to find boots that fit big feet but skinny calves (seriously this is impossible). Although they will never get the satisfaction of being able to reach the back of the top shelf at a grocery store. 


Where was I?

Oh yeah,  snow...winter is coming and all of that.

My plan today is to finish the last clean up out back. We have a few summer items still lingering on the back patio, reminding me that it will be many months until I can hammock again. I may buy a sled as we have no sleds and they are an important part of childhood. 

I am looking forward to four days with my husband and the girls. My family will be over for dinner tomorrow, but I feel no pressure about the meal. I am a pro at this point. I am looking forward to some forced quiet time to work on projects and enjoy our home. 

I love when storms coincide with home time, we won't have to worry about work or preschool or errands. We will just spend the next few days hanging out at home, eating good vegan food and enjoying the space heater.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Vegan Recipe: Chickpea, Tomato, Basil Salad

I am a fan of simple and satisfying recipes. This recipe is a snap to put together and feels fresh and healthy.

•2 cans of chickpeas, drained
• 1 package of grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
• 1/4 c fresh basil, chopped into bite sized pieces 
• 1/4 c apple cider vinegar (more if you like vinegar)
• pinch of sugar
*optional splash of olive oil, but I generally omit

1. Toss everything into a bowl.
2. Mix.
3. Serve.


Monday, November 23, 2015



I have been pretty bummed out by Facebook lately. Have you? I have seen a lot of hate filled posts from people whom I know to be kind and loving. I have seen posts that are totally uninformed, racist, and do not even get me started on the posts about hunting season. Each time I see a post that makes me feel sad or angry my first impulse is to fire off an "educational" response. I hold back. I ask myself if that is kind or helpful...it never is.

I have a person whom I am "friends" with who has inadvertently and unknowingly  become my personal litmus test. Every single post this person makes is aggravating in some form. Eric often tells me I should hide their posts. Instead I seek them out, willing myself to become a kinder person. I let myself feel the initial upset that comes with the post, but then I try to understand. I try to look with kindness at this person. Some days are more successful than others.

Compassion, kindness, empathy---all undervalued in our world. Often I find people looking down on those elements as being simple. I can assure you, as someone who is desperately trying to be kind, that there is nothing easy about the process. From the aggravated comments to outright harassment that color our lives it is a constant struggle. Some days it comes easily, forgiveness and understanding. Other days I tear into my own self and find myself to be sarcastic or rude with others, kindness is not simple. 

What is simple? Passing along hate and uneducated nonsense. I am just trying to keep my head down and be kind.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Quote: To Express

It is beautiful to express love and even more beautiful to feel it.
~Dejan Stojanovic

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Creeping in the Snow

Yesterday we received our first measurable snowfall. It is pretty late for snow, usually we have our first snowfall in October, or at least that has been our experience since moving to Wyoming.

With the first snowfall we are all reminded to slow waaaay down, so when you inevitably slide out of control it is so slow that you can make eye contact with the other drivers and sip your tea as you bump into a curb and hopefully not a car. Just kidding...kind of. Last year I slid out on a hill and had time to put on my flashers and shrug at other cars as I made a full rotation in super slow motion. 

Anyway, driving is the most obnoxious challenge that winter brings. We also deal with pretty intense wind gusts before we get a big snow storm. Once the storm passes we are often left with a beautiful calm.

Last night I came out of a hot bath and Elise called me to the window to look at the lavender sky. It was so beautiful.

After we put the girls to sleep I bundled up, wet hair and all, and went tromping out in the snow. It was just too beautiful to ignore.

The snow was powdery and sparkled in the light, reflecting the lights from the city. Forgive me, here in Wyoming we play fast and loose with the word "city."

I paused to write "Hi" on a windshield of a snow covered car parked along the curb. I continued on down the street listening to the crunch of the fresh snow under my boots. I stopped to take pictures of the snow on the trees and someone from their home shouted,"Hey technology!" I am assuming they were referring to the light of my phone. I was kind of annoyed and instead of taking the hint to put my phone away I was irritated that someone was shouting at me. So I turned around and stared at their house just long enough to be creepy. Then I continued on my way; laughing at my own immaturity. I also now realize that someone will probably be creeped out that I wrote in the snow on their car. Oh well. Sometimes you just have to be creepy.

Anyway it was a beautiful night and I enjoyed a solo walk and the frozen chunks of hair were also kind of fun. Happy creeping!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Phone Photo Friday: 11.20.15

We have had a very quiet and happy week at home! What a treat!

While at Goodwill looking for necessities Eric spotted and modeled a book on pumpkins....

The girls making their donation to the animal shelter.

Selfie with cat

Tiny feet.

We got to pig sit again!

Seriously though, look at her trotter and tail! 

Wearing my glasses

Selfie with pig.

Cordelia in the middle of a dramatic story while we waiting at the vet.

Elise and I listening to the very long and dramatic story at the vet.


And this chocolate situation.

These two.

Sisters who play together for hours.

Visits with my father after pre-school. I try to keep it brief as he is working, but the girls treasure their regular stops with my father who always has a fun idea.

First real snow today and Elise looked out the window and said,"Mom look! We are in a snow globe!"

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