Sunday, December 25, 2011

I got an IPad !

Oh my Santa was good to me. I got my IPad! And what was one of the first things I did? Downloaded Coolibah app and made these from pics I took in Texas.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


A small selection of my angels. I am a Pi Beta Phi and our symbol is an angel, so I have loved collecting angel ornaments of all sorts since college. Our alumni club had an ornament swap for years and lots of angels flew out from under that tree!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Love Snowmen

Over the years I have collected quite a few adorable snowmen ornaments.  Here are the ones hanging on my tree.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let it Snow!

Every year while we lived in Germany, the International School had a winter break, or 'ski break'.  The school organized a ski trip and we always signed up.  We went to Chamonix, France; Bad Hofgastein, Austria, and finally, Zermatt, Switzerland.  Might have that in the wrong order, but France was definitely first, where the kids learned to ski.

I found a photo of Jenni and me skating in Austria.  Just love the yellow and blue parka...ah, the early nineties fashion in Europe!  

Let it Snow!

Santa Ornaments

Here are the rest of my santas.  We'll move on to the snowmen tomorrow!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Ornament Day 2

Here is another Santa ornament.  This one is special because I bought it while we were in Germany, so it is not the American version of Santa, created by Clement Moore's famous poem, but the European Father Christmas.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Christmas Ornament Day 1

I have collected some lovely ornaments over the years.  I took photos of them on my new Christmas tree after decorating it and thought I would post some of them to my blog.  This one was handmade by a neighbor.  I went to a Christmas party several years ago and we had the usual ornament swap.  I was the lucky recipient of this pinecone Santa.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Did You Know?

Did you know we visited East Germany about six months after the Berlin Wall came down?  We were living in West Germany and drove over to a border town one afternoon.  It was definitely stepping back in time.  The shop windows looked like they had last been decorated about the time the Wall went up.  It was a beautiful, restful town, though.  On the way back home, as we drove through several modern towns in the West, the traffic and neon and noise was quite a jolt.

This memory surfaced when I decided to put this scanned photo of Jenni into a page I made for a scrapbooking challenge.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Canned Soup +

While we are on the subject of jazzing up plain food, let's talk about canned soup.  I love soup in the winter.  I occasionally make homemade soup, but it is not my thing.  I learned several years ago that canned soup was an excellent starting point.  Remember "soup starter"...freeze dried stuff in a package?  Well I use the canned soup as a starter.

First I choose a variety of soups when I have those nice "buy 4 cans, get $1.50 off".  I like soup that has tomatoes in it.  I don't choose those that have rice or pasta, since it is mushy.  I mostly choose southwest, santa fe, mexican flavors.

When you open that can of soup and pour it into a pan, you realize you are just paying for flavored broth.  There are maybe six chunks of chicken and a few bits of vegetables and maybe 2 dozen beans.  Nice for a snack.  Here is where I head for the pantry, fridge, and freezer.  Look at what is in that soup in the pan and add more of each; a can of tomatoes, a can of beans, some frozen corn, maybe some frozen spinach, leftovers from your fridge, a couple of frozen chicken pieces, some more broth.  You get the idea.  That can of soup is just a flavor base.  Plus, by adding all the extras, you have an actual meal without worrying about something else to go with it to fill you up.

If you have noticed, the varieties of the  "gourmet" flavor soups have expanded exponentially on the shelves recently, so you have a huge selection.  I still mostly choose the southwestern varieties.  Although the chicken corn chowder is really good.  With extra corn and chicken, of course.

Enjoy your winter soup!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Roasted Veggies +

I love roasted vegetables.  They are sweeter when roasted, they are healthy, their vitamins have not been diluted by water, and they cook by themselves.  Tonight I put my entire dinner in a 400 degree oven and 40 minutes later it was amazing!

I had a piece of steel head trout that was on special at the grocery.  It is a member of the salmon family, but I think it tastes better.  I rubbed it with olive oil and ground some of Trader Joes' Everyday Seasoning on top.  Into the oven.

Then I cut sweet potato "fries", tossed them in olive oil, salt, and coriander (my new fav) and into the oven they went.  The same with nice, fat asparagus spears.

When everything was nice and roasted and removed from the oven, I sprinkled demerara sugar over the hot sweet potato wedges.  I poured a tablespoon on white balsamic vinegar onto the foil lining of the asparagus and tossed the vegetable around in it for a little zing.

So sugar and vinegar were my + tonight.  It is also known as "umami".  At least my version of it.  Try it, you will be pleased.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Digital Procrastination

I have reached the point in the digital designs gifts I am making that the designing part (fun part) is over and I have to actually make the hybrid part.  I have ordered the gift books I made and they have been delivered.  Those projects are easy, somebody else actually turns them into books. What I really hate is when the end product is something that I have to make from the digital files saved on my computer.  I am at that point on two projects.

So I took a little escape today in the digiworld.  I love to scroll through all the kits and minikits on my computer, choose one, and make a quick page.  This is created from a free minikit called Whimsy by Designs by JMDT.  It was mostly pink, but I was in the mood for the peach so I changed the frame color.

I have been working on randomly (as usual) scanning photos from various boxes, and on my hard drive I had this cute picture of my daughter when we were living in Germany.  I desaturated it a bit so it would go with the subtle tones of the page.  

(This little exercise is called digital procrastination!!!)