Birthday Celebration!

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Every year I make a cake for my sister – and this year was no different! Except this time I asked my SIL for some help with decorations! She has everything you could possibly think of to make awesome cakes (and some things I didn’t know even existed) … I just needed something simple for a beginner like me! ;-) So thank you Solveig for the quick lesson and goodies to make my sister’s cake the best one I’ve created thus far!!

Julie loves my handmade jewelry and I’m always trying to come up with something new for her! I thought she would look beautiful in copper so I’m very happy with the final results of her pendant and earrings! I was right – she looks beautiful in copper!! So Happy Birthday to my beautiful sister Julie! I hope her year is full of joy and wonderful things! Love you sis!! -Melinda

  

New work

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I am working on a new piece that could be for ARTrails. Usually I work up to a certain point …. wait …. move a few things around …. wait …. and then make a final decision. An artist friend of mine showed me some of her 3d work – coming out of a frame! It was cool b/c it can hang on the wall … which is not the case with 3d work most of the time. Especially with dolls – they tend not to look good ‘hanging’ off the wall (unless they are flat). So – with her encouragement – thanks Joan! – I picked up a shadowbox and scaled a doll to fit within …. I have two more boxes to play with and can’t wait to get started! I haven’t been too inspired lately and this was just what I needed!

In the past year I have been playing with painting directly on cloth with acrylics – I liked the outcome but it was a rough surface – making it difficult to work with pencils for the faces. I’ve also been experimenting with paperclay – even that is toothy after sanding.  So I finally picked up some gesso …. yep! it’s wonderful on cloth!!! This little lady I’m working on right now is my first attempt on cloth with just the gesso as a primer! Two coats with a sanding in between …. smooth baby!! My pencils flowed and my acrylic paints worked beautifully! She feels so soft even with all the paint on her!

So now I’m working details .. maybe some additional washes of color and shadowing. Still need to finish her boots. Lots to do! The shadowbox is her hangout and I’m working on her ‘story’ to go with the wings! I’ll try to remember and post soon ;-) 

Gluten free breads, pancakes, pizza crust …..

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Ok, so I am doing my research … why not start with a company I’m already familiar with — Bob’s Red Mill. I’ve only just scratched the surface of the site! I’ve used Bob’s black beans, red lentils, quinoa, gf flour and a couple other things – all very good! And yes – there is a pancake mix!!! ;-)

Here is a link to the site: Bob’s Red Mill

I’m going to try the pancakes as soon as I get some mix! I will be using amber agave for syrup! In the meantime – I’m going to create my wishlist on Bob’s site! There are cookbooks, groups of mixes, …. I’d love to try it all!!! Shop-n-Kart carries the Bob’s Red Mill brand so I will begin there! During my detox I was so focused on specific things I didn’t look at the HUGE selection right under my nose! Love that I can shop local!!

 

A new challenge – healthy pancakes!

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We love pancakes with syrup at our house! Only now after eating whole foods and no sugar, gluten or dairy for an entire month, I want to continue eating healthy and what is good for my body (I can’t tolerate dairy very well and from what I discovered during the detox – gluten is another one!) So I am searching for some new ways to bake, cook, etc. There must be a wonderful recipe for gluten free, and possibly even dairy free pancakes!! I have the amber agave to replace regular syrup ….

I need to get the name of that cookbook again from my stamping friend! …

Soooooo, I had my first cup of coffee this morning … not exactly what I was expecting … didn’t taste good or smell good. I ended up making a fruit smoothie for everyone and then we had some red lentil soup for lunch (and my dinner). I ended up drinking tea and water the rest of the day. I feel kind of in limbo …. not really sure what direction to go! I don’t want to eat the things I was eating before and I want to explore some new things beyond the last four weeks. So I think I will just slowly build up new recipes.

I didn’t look up any recipes for pancakes … yet. I will get there! My rehearsals are winding up as we prepare for opening weekend in 2 weeks! Lots of details to finish up and costumes to finalize! It’s a crazy time at the theatre! I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Day 28 Whole Living Detox 2012

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… and so the journey ends! At least this one. Today was my last day of the detox and I am so happy I have done it! I feel renewed. I am ready to conquer the world … ok, maybe that was just the gladiator costume at the playhouse inspiring me …. but really – I am a new person! I am more calm, happier and focused again! Can’t say enough good things about this 28 day detox!

No, I did not like all the recipes and will not revisit a few – but overall – loved the food, loved the new ways of cooking (for me) and the wonderful new habits I have developed! There were definitely days I was not inspired and not feeling like prepping and cooking my food …. but they were few and far between! This whole experience also helped me reorganize the kitchen. I still have a ways to go … not enough counter space due to all the fruits and veggies I don’t put in the fridge – but I will be working on finding storage solutions. I even have three little pots ready to use for some fresh chives, parsley and basil!!!!

I’ve decided I am tired of white dishes … so when I am able to afford it – I’d like to get some colorful fun dishes to further enhance my eating experience!! So what to write about now? …. I’d like to continue to post new recipes and share what I learn about eating with whole foods! I think I’m ready to start an exercise routine (*gasp – I know … me — exercising…. but if I can give up coffee … ANYTHING is possible!)

Wow! I did it!!!

Day 27 Whole Living Detox 2012

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Only one more “official” day of this detox! Wow! Just in case someone is thinking I am now a pro in the kitchen – let me tell you a little story from this afternoon’s prep for lunch! My quinoa was cooking and I had all my veggies prepped and ready, eggs waiting in the bowl … just needed to saute a bit of garlic in some olive oil! No problem – olive oil and pressed garlic in the pan – heat on …. wait – I think maybe I’d like some more garlic! After all, I am making this for three of us and the recipe only serves 2. So I fumble around a bit and get some more cloves of garlic ready to press …. into the pan! Lookin’ good! The spinach is next … it goes directly in the pan and then a lid on to “steam” the leaves. But wait! My spinach needs to be “rinsed spinach” and mine was dry …. better rinse it …. Ok – rinsed and tossed it into the pan – almost – WTH?!? ….what happened to my beautiful sauteed garlic? Someone or something must have thrown some blackened tar in the pan …. Yep – I burned the garlic – beyond even “Cajun Style” …. burnt baby!!! It had become another substance entirely!!!! Aaaaah, so I turned on the hot water in the sink, set down my dripping wet spinach and the heat on the stove – scraped out the black garlic – and started over!!! Just goes to show you that once that silly olive oil heats up – only takes a few seconds to go from beautiful to burnt! It all ended well – I mean – I didn’t burn down the house or try and feed my children “cajun crispy” garlic! Note to myself: sloooooow down a bit!

A friend of mine tells me there is a cookbook available with tons of very similar cooking in it! I will share that or maybe she will see this and share ;-) I can’t remember the name of it! I’m very interested in looking at what’s in it!

-evening-

Great day today! We got to enjoy some puppets at Centralia Ballet Academy this morning and then help out with the Carnival of Animals Ballet night! Lots of fun pictures to edit and the kids were excited to eat some pizza! ;-) I had some strawberries and then made myself a spicy black bean salad for dinner! Feeling good and ready to venture out on my own now! I will try to remember to cook at a lower heat with my garlic and not get in a hurry! (That’s usually when I mess something up) …. so, until tomorrow- good night!

Day 26 Whole Living Detox 2012

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This whole day was a blur! We had avocado smoothies this morning before my stamp club meeting. I picked up some almond/coconut milk blend at the grocery store and added that …. really yummy! My smoothie lasted me until we got home – then I had leftover rice noodles with broccoli pesto! We jetted out once again to rehearsal and just got home! So we were gone from 3pm until 8:30pm. I was starting to get a bit hungry but not ravenous! Thank goodness for leftovers! I had the last of my scrambled tofu. In case anyone is wondering if my poor children ate anything today …. they were treated to lunch with their nana today (Thanks Mom!!) and had some snacks at Santa Lucia’s 6th Anniversary party!  (Happy Anniversary!!)

I am tired … it has been a long day … but it’s a good tired! It’s the kind of tired where I can go to bed and actually fall asleep and stay asleep! I had so much trouble falling asleep before this all began and waking up totally unrested – such a difference now!

Looks like tomorrow I will need to put together some more meals to get me through the day! No worries! I have beans cooked and ready to go! My veggies are organized … my kitchen – *uhm* relatively clean (if you ignore the costume stuff all over the kitchen table) and a whole host of recipes to choose from!

Until tomorrow – good night!