Sunday, October 30, 2016

Barley Salad With Apples Dates and Parmesan

Those meals in a jar are so handy to have around. You can make a healthy meal ahead of time for those busy days when you don't have time to cook.

Here's What You Need

1/4 cup cooked barley
1 cup chopped apples
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons citrus dressing of your choice
1/4 cup finely chopped dates
1 cupe packed arugla
1/4 shaved parmesan cheese
1 mason jar

Here's What You Do

Pour the lemon juice over the apples and set aside. Place your dressing at the bottom of the jar. Then add the apples. Place the dates on top of that. Add the argula followed by the barley and top it off with the cheese.

Before you serve hold the jar upside down so that the dressing goes through the entire mixture.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Finding Some Creative Inspiration

We're always looking for new ways to inspire us. There has to be something that just drives us to become more creative. I've always found that one of the easiest way to do this is to visit a local art gallery or museum. Recently, I decided it was time for trip to a local gallery. I decided on the Krull Gallery at the local library. It's free, but it always has something a little interesting to see.

They were running an exhibit by Gregg Coffey and Joel Fremion. These visits often encourage me to try some different things. They encourage me to see colors differently. And most importantly they encourage me to create something of my own.

I liked the colors in this one. And I also liked that this piece by Coffey used a cow. I can never really decide whether I like artwork with cows in them or not. Sometimes I look at them and I love them, but other times I just can't stand cows in art work. I can't figure it out. But I loved the colors and I really liked that it had an Asian influence. And then one thing really caught my eye. He had added Hello Kitty to the piece. How could I not like this?
It's just a small addition, but I found it the second time I looked at it. It reminded me that I always need to look at things more carefully.  Your first impressions often overlook important things.

You can't see all the details from the photo I took. But he used maps in this one. And I liked the color scheme in this too.
I think this was my favorite piece by Coffey. I like the blues and yellows in it. And I really like the scare design on the left side of the painting.
Fremion's pieces required me to look more carefully. From a first glance you think it's a painting. It's just paint on a canvas. But there was something a little different about the paint. And then I realized, it's not paint. He used fabric to create his work. It put a whole new meaning into quilting.
As I looked at this picture. I wondered about the detail. I imagine he first had to sketch the work out. And then he had to begin finding fabric to fit in with his plan. And I thought this took a lot of planning. It wasn't whipped together in a couple of hours. I really like blues and the blue in this piece caught my eye. I thought this isn't a color I would have expected to see in, and I might not have picked it. But it looked good!

My visit encouraged me to take a look at some different color schemes. It reminded me that I can incorporate all sorts my daily life. And of course that anything that is worthwhile takes time to complete.

So how are you finding your creative inspiration recently?

Friday, October 28, 2016

Night Lights

This week's pictures show the world the way I saw it before I got my new glasses. I waited a little too long to get them. And while I knew that I needed those glasses, I didn't realize how blurry things were before I got the glasses. I thought how can I show the world how things looked to me before the new glasses. And I thought about night photos. If you don't hold still long enough the pictures turn out blurry. You can see what is there, but it isn't quite the way it is supposed to be. You know it, but you accept that things are just a little off.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Death Takes a Holiday

Murder mystery reader fans are going to be pleased. Lauren Carr has released a new book called Killer In The Band.

Book Description:

Summer of Love & Murder

Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.

The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.

Vacations Can Be Murder
By Lauren Carr

I was recently asked which was my favorite book that I wish I had written. As a writer and a lover of books, I found it impossible to come up with any one book. I love murder mysteries and every time I read a great thrilling murder mystery I so wish I had written it—especially when it involves travel to a great far away land.
To me, there is nothing like a thrilling murder mystery in an exotic location. And there is no better travel agent when it comes to a murder mystery vacation than Agatha Christie.  
One of the best was Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. This mystery revolved around a tour group that Agatha had sent up to a mountain top retreat. We had more than one dead body on that trip with a mysterious killer plucking off the vacationers one by one. That travel brochure wasn’t lying when it said “exciting” and “one to remember” … if you live through it.
I was barely a teenager when I read that book. I believe it was the first Agatha Christie I had read, but I could be wrong. With the death and elimination of each suspect, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how this writer was going to supply a killer with a reasonable explanation of not only who done it, but how.
The twist left me breathless and in awe of the Grand Dame of Mystery. It also left me striving to be even half as clever as she so that my readers could enjoy such a ride in my books.
Over the course of her writing career, Agatha Christie had sent all of her detectives on vacations and not one of them got away without a dead body turning up in their suitcase. In Murder on the Orient Express, Hercule Poirot took a trip on a train and ended up stranded in a snowstorm with a dead body and a car full of murder suspects.
In Death on the Nile, Agatha sent Poirot on a cruise on the Nile. Maybe she was trying to make up for fiasco on the train trip, and it happened again. Someone ended up dead and Poirot had to go to work. (I hate it when I go on vacation and end up having to work, don’t you?)
You would think after what her friend Hercule Poirot went through that Jane Marple would have told Agatha Christie, “Thanks, but no thanks” when she offered to send her on A Caribbean Mystery.  Next thing you know, people are getting hit on the head and being shot.
I don’t think it is so much Agatha Christie as it is mystery writers in general. Our detectives need vacations and nothing is more fun than having a dead body wash ashore at the beach. Our protagonists are not the type to quietly drink margaritas on the beach. If they were, would you want to read about them?
The fact of the matter is that mystery writers are incapable of planning vacations without someone, somewhere, somehow, getting shot, stabbed, poisoned, hit over the head, or thrown off a cliff or tall building or bridge. That’s why my husband insists on planning our vacations. The worst thing that can happen on his vacations is that we can die from boredom that comes from knowing that everyone is going to get home alive. What fun is there in that?

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

How To Raise A Smart Ass

Childrearing needs to be taken seriously, but not too seriously. Author Lucia Walinchus definitely looks at parenting with a healthy sense of humor in her book How To Raise A Smart Ass.

The Book

This book tells Lucia story from her first pregnancy. She tells about giving birth and nursing. She tells about her journey of having a second child. Then there are the stories of potty training and remodeling. You know all the things that parents go through. But she does it with a great sense of humor. She doesn't whine about the challenges of parenthood. She sees the humor.

What I Think

There were stories in this book that made me laugh out loud. She has recorded the stories that we all hear at family gatherings. I like that she doesn't hold back when she tells the stories. So often we hear about how perfect everyone's family is. But she isn't afraid to say hey we're real. I enjoyed this because it just felt really honest. Is this a book I want with me if I'm stranded on a desert island? Probably not! But it is one that I'm glad that I read because life is just full of fun moments.

Who Will Enjoy This Book

Anyone with children who wants to know that there really is no such thing as the perfect family. Anyone who enjoys humorous stories. And anyone who is thinking of children should read this book. It might prepare you for some of the things that will take place in your life.

The Author

Lucia Walinchus is a freelance writer. And in case you haven't figured it out, she is also the mother of three children. You can learn more about her through the links below.


I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, but the opinions expressed are all mine.


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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party 144

I'm in the midst of watching Finding Vivian Maier. It's made me think that none of us know the real capabilities of those around us. There are those who create craving fame. There are those who create because it's just part of what is going on in their brain. They just need to create. Vivian Maier was a person who just had to create.

Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party

@ Sew Crafty Angel


We are so excited to have so many amazing bloggers party with us.
Check out this weeks Featured linkups.

Thank you so much to all those who share your blog in our party. 

 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
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This weeks 
Featured Bloggers

DIY Reversible 2x4 Craft
Sunshine and a Summer breeze

I feel like when it comes to seasonal decor, I'm kind of a minimalist.
I honestly think I don't like a lot of knick-knacks and stuff because my boys already leave so much crap everywhere they go that it just looks like it's adding to the clutter...
Does anyone else have this problem??

Somewhat Simple

There’s just something so comforting about bread pudding. Apart from it being a great way to use bread that’s a little past its best AND super easy to make, you can go wild with flavor combinations and it just fills you with warmth as soon as you bite into a bit.

Candy Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Do you realize there are only two weeks until Halloween? Honestly, I could totally live without this holiday.  I could go on and on about why I don’t love it…but I’ll spare you {you’re welcome! }, and instead, I choose to make the most of it…with this recipe for Candy Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars! Need a way to use all that extra Halloween candy? Want dessert and don’t want to decide between cookies or a Reese’s {or snickers or twix}? Then today is your lucky day.

Pumpkin Nut Roll Recipe
Ann's Entitled Life

Bake a pumpkin nut roll for the holidays, special occasion or anytime. Your friends and family will love this beautiful and delicious pumpkin dessert – a fantastic alternative to pumpkin pie.

Painted Pumpkins: Fun Fall Crafts for Kids
Garden Therapy

Painting pumpkins is an easy project that will last a lot longer than a carved pumpkin, especially in climates that are still toasty warm in the fall. Sketch some silly faces or favourite things and get crafty! This DIY shows you how to prep, paint, and seal painted pumpkins so they will weather the, well, weather.


Pumpkin Spice Latte hot drinks are the best during the fall and winter seasons. Don’t you just enjoy the fall season and making pumpkin recipes? From the warm colors, to the spiced scents and the cool air that gives us a break from the summer heat. It can all be so wonderful, however, I believe that the number one area we tend to fall for this season are the recipes, and this one definitely does not fall short. Pumpkin spiced lattes have warmed our bodies and taste buds with their warm rich sweet pumpkin and cinnamon flavors, that taste like autumn in a cup.

This apple cheesecake recipe is a new twist on an old favorite or actually, an entirely new way to enjoy both a caramel apple and an apple pie, right? We love the single serving sizes and also the fact that you can make individual portions to serve as many or as few as needed. These are darling desserts for parties too and they will definitely make a fun statement on your party table.

Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments -- anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly.  Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..
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