7/26/13

What's For Dinner?

Hey everyone!  I don't do many posts about cooking, and really it's only because I generally forget to take pictures!  Well, last night as I started prepping for our meal, I had my iPad handy and started taking some shots.  We do mostly low-carb meals around here (with an occasional splurge, of course), so I thought I'd share one of our faves.  

The Menu:
Spaghetti Squash 
Marinara Sauce w/TVP (instead of beef)
Fresh Green Beans 

It's just too hot to stand over a hot stove making this sauce from scratch, so I used Bertolli's, which I think is really quite good.  To the sauce, I added some TVP.

TVP is Textured Vegetable Protein, which is low-carb, zero fat, & high protein.  It comes in a package like this, and I buy mine at Sprouts, but I've seen at Whole Foods, too.  It's also inexpensive if you are watching your pennies.

I store mine in one of these jars.  TVP is one of those things that takes on the flavors of whatever it is combined with and really does have the texture of finely ground beef.  Truly, I have not lost my mind.  Even "Mr. Skeptical" (aka "The Man") thinks it's great.

I love squash and spaghetti squash is one of my our favorites.  It's so much healthier for us than pasta.

Usually I make a big green salad to go with this meal, but I had some fresh green beans to use instead.  We like them kind of crispy-tender, so I sauteed them with some sliced onion and finely chopped garlic in olive oil & a tab of butter.  I love it when the onions get all glazed and golden.

Topped our "spaghetti" with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and we enjoyed a wonderfully delicious, albeit low-carb dinner.

So tell me, have you ever used TVP before or substituted spaghetti squash for pasta?  

Thanks for stopping by.  
Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!

I'm linking this post to Laura's Fun Fall Foods Linky Party.

7/22/13

Some Pretties!

Hey everyone and happy Monday!  Just a quick little post to share two of my sweeties and something  that is actually "basking" in our desert-monsoon heat.  We spent the afternoon and had dinner with our son & family.  These two little cherubs love iPads and seeing themselves on the screen.  The only problem is that Nana doesn't have long enough arms to reach around them when they are on my lap to get a good pic, but this one is pretty cute anyway!

Little Miss and Littlest Miss.  We had a lengthy discussion about little teeth and big teeth......well, you just never know what's going to pop into those sweet little heads!

This is a Yellow Trumpet Flower bush, and we have two of these in our front yard.  They are one of those great "drought-tolerant" shrubs that is prolific here in our desert.  Well, I hadn't really thought about clipping any of the flowers until The Man announced that he needed to get out and trim (that means almost to the ground) those bushes, so I grabbed my clippers and......

Cut a nice bouquet.  I don't think they will last very long inside, but I'll enjoy them for whatever time I get -- they seem so wispy and delicate for surviving so well here in the desert.

Yep, they are making me smile!

Hope y'all have a great day!


7/21/13

Buttons, Bunting, and Cute Labels!

Hey everyone!  Hope you've had a great weekend.  As is typical for me during our "hot season," I've been busy working on inside projects, mainly in my craft-sewing room.  If you've followed me for awhile, y'all know how much I love my "Momma Cave" and that I spend lots of time in this space.  Because of that, I am always tweaking, rearranging, and looking at ways to simply make it cuter.  The rest of my home is rather eclectically-traditional with a hint of Tuscan (my style just doesn't fit into a "particular" category....sigh), but there are no limitations in my "cave."  I'm still very happy with the latest furniture arrangement, which you can see HERE, so I've been simply adding to the "cuteness" factor and just a bit of tweaking in how I store my supplies/tools.  Would you like to see?  Really?  Well, okay, come on in!


With 10' ceilings, there is plenty of opportunity to add cuteness!

7/19/13

Celebrating Summer....Hmmmm...Not So Much!

Hey, everyone!  Can't believe we are closing in on the end of July, can you?  That may be a sad thing to some of you, but I'm truly giggling over it.  While most of you are enjoy patios, decks, and backyards that are all green and lush with flowers abloom all over, we in the AZ desert are sequestered inside peeking through the sun screened windows at all the dry and crispy things that once were things of beauty......sigh. 

Our outdoor days will come again;  we will move the patio furniture out of storage, fill pots with pretty blooms, fold and put away the windshield cover & stop carrying an 
oven-mitt in our purses!  Yep, now is the time of year that "Zonies" start counting down the days weeks until we can once again eat meals on the patio and do some star-gazing over a glass of wine.  Until then, you might find me roaming the aisles of Hob Lob, soaking in some Fall colors!









Hmmm......
 Pumpkin Pie candle,
                       anyone?






7/18/13

Can You Read It?

Hey everyone!  Maybe it's just me with older eyes, but I find some blog posts to be very difficult to read -- like too small, or too fancy a font, or too light a color & sometimes all the above.  That being said, I'm experimenting with a larger font-size but still using my old standby & traditional "Times" font.  I know some of you are just trying to make your posts stand out and be recognized by "the powers that be" who might bring you fame and glory, and I think that's wonderful and truly wish you much luck.  All I'm asking is, if it's too difficult for your average reader, will those people with super-busy schedules, deadlines and thousands of things to read actually take the time to read yours?  Please weigh-in.  Maybe I'm all wrong or just need stronger glasses.


7/15/13

Our Mini-Vacay!

Hey everyone!  Hope y'all have had a great weekend and are looking forward to a fun and productive week.  I finally got my pictures edited from our little mini vacation during the 4th of July week.  We took a little roadtrip to New Mexico.  We typically prefer to travel the backroads or scenic routes rather than taking the freeways, and we did just that.

Even after 28 years here in Arizona, there are still places we haven't seen, so the first part of our trip took us to Springerville-Eager -- don't try to separate these two little bitty towns, because even together they are only wide spots in the road!  But.....the scenery is beautiful and the people are very friendly.  We spent the night in Eager so we could do some driving around and visit some of the many lakes.  I thought it would be less boring if I put the pics into collages, & remember, you can click on any of these pics to make them larger.
1. The first thing that tugged at my heart was the fire damage.
2. We were between 7,000 & 8,000 ft. elevation.
3. This was Big Lake -- a very peaceful setting.
4. Lots of cattle
5. This may have been Small Lake -- just kidding!
6. Another body of water for fishing.


About 20 miles further into the mountains is Alpine.  Tourists go here for fishing, hiking, maybe hunting (don't know), & simply relaxing -- no cell service or internet here!
1. Very rustic and old cabins -- I was thinking "NO!"
2. This was the sweetest little flowering ground cover.
3.  Lots of lakes - just sayin'.
4. Is this little guy just the cutest -- let me get very close!
5. Bear Wallow Cafe had been there for a VERY long time!
6. Was once a gorgeous home built with river rock.
7. New cabins, fully equipped -- might be a possibility...hmmm? 


 We took a scenic route into New Mexico.  
1. The Man and I were both fascinated with these mountains.
2. Fantastic rock formations
3. Lots of deer
4. San Jose de Gracia, est. 1751 in the village of Las Trampas.
5. This was called Garden of the Gods
6. Another view -- this was on the Turquoise Trail


Santa Fe -- the old downtown plaza
1. Getting ready for the 4th of July
2. Love the light posts and hanging baskets
3. Aren't these gorgeous?
4. St. Francis Cathedral was built between 1869 & 1886.
5. Turquoise trim is symbolic for the stone, the sky & the 
green vegetation showing wealth & calm.
6. A neat little walkway to some shops.

We spent quite a bit of time driving on the Turquoise Trail, and discovered this little town of Cerrillos, est. in 1880 as a mining town.  The population is about 200.  This was like stepping back in time.   People are still living and eeking out a living in some of these old buildings.
1. & 2. The main street
3. The What Not Antique Shop -- we went in carrying the camera
but the owner made it very clear we could not snap any photos.
We looked around a little bit, but between high prices, 
2" of dust & cobwebs & the owner puffing away on a 
cigarette, we didn't stay very long.
4. Old adobe building
5. Thank God no one was actually living in this.
6. Another old adobe house -- very hard to see because of all the
underbrush.

We traveled through Albuquerque, then Holbrook & Payson coming home.  
1. This was a memory from my childhood.  We traveled from Louisiana to Oregon when I was 7 or 8, and I remember this old
Wigwam Motel.  I wanted to stay in it so badly, but it was 
too expensive for our family at the time.
2. These were located in Holbrook, AZ & were built in the 1950's.  It's all part of the historical Route 66 now.
3. This was in Albuquerque, and I just thought it was unusual.
4. Started seeing some wicked-looking clouds in the afternoon.
5. Not long until those clouds opened up and dumped on us!

Payson, AZ was our last stop on the way home, and we stopped in to check out a cute little scrapbook store called Paper & Metal Scrappers.  It was raining so I didn't get a pic, but it is just darling. Since Payson is only 90 minutes away and 30 degrees cooler, we will be going again.  Even with all of the big stores around that carry scrapbook supplies, there is just something so special about the small, privately owned stores.


Well, that is a wrap for our mini-vacay.  We had fun, got out of the heat for awhile and got to see lots of new things.  As Martha would say, "It's a good thing."  Thanks for visiting and please come again very soon.  You are always welcome here!



I love to party with these fine bloggers:
The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
Karen at Sew Many Ways for Sew Darn Crafty
Manuela at The Cultivated Nest for The Creative HomeAcre
Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Dawn at Creative Cain Cabin for Budget Decorating Party
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Mondays
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday
Leslie at House on the Way for Twirl & Take a Bow
Mary Beth at Cupcakes and Crinoline for Project Inspired
Karin at The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday
Angela at Hickory Trail for Efforts and Assets
Kelly at Live Laugh Rowe for Live Laugh Linky Party
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home
Pamela at From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
The Feral Turtle at The Feral Turtle for The Aloha Blog Hop
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Oh, The Places I've Been
Jody & Stan at Rooted in Thyme for Simple and Sweet Fridays 
Amanda at Serenity Now for Weekend Bloggy Reading

7/12/13

Paranoid Basket Case!


        

Hey everyone!  How do you react when something menacing invades your "safe zone" space?  More power to you if you can remain calm and take the necessary action but not get all weird-crazy.  That's typically not me!  What am I talking about, you may be asking yourself?  Well, it has to do with one of these........

Arizona bark scorpion
Scorpions are predatory arthropod animals of the order Scorpiones within the class Arachnida.  Well, that pretty much just means "creepy" in my dictionary!

We have lived in the AZ desert for 28 years now without ever having one of these inside our home.....until two nights ago!  One of these "#^%$" invaded the safe, sanctity of my master bathroom!  After summoning the "brawn" of our home (The Man) to smash and flush this little creeper, I had a very tough time going to sleep.  I shook all the bedding, repeatedly, kept shining a flashlight all over the ceilings and walls, and was most happy when the first inkling of dawn showed so that I could get up and out of what I was sure was a "scorpion infested" space!

The first thing I did was call our pest control service, Magic Pest.  We have them spray the house periodically for crickets, cockroaches, & spiders -- just those typical annoying creepy crawlies.


Termite Exterminators Phoenix AZ

I was really expecting wanting them to drop all other appointments and come out immediately, but Saturday is the soonest.  Well, that means two more nights in this "scorpion-infested" home.  Okay, is one scorpion an "infestation?"  Well, if you are a paranoid basket-case like me, then, YES IT IS!

I spent the entire day, yesterday, walking around looking at the floor and then scanning all the walls and ceilings of every room in our home.  I knew we already had one of these ........

14 LED UV Blacklight Flashlight
A black light flashlight makes scorpions glow in the dark, so I asked The Man if "we" could search outside and inside our home after dark and he agreed -- he was kind of freaked out, too, just a little bit!


close 

As if scorpions weren't frightening enough, when illuminated by ultraviolet rays from a black light, the armored arachnids glow an unnatural neon blue. UV light that hits these creepy crawlies gets converted by proteins in their exoskeletons into light of a blue hue, which is visible to the human eye.  I am so rethinking whether this "turquoise" color is still such a favorite of mine.....lol!


Well, about 9 o'clock last night, The Man, armed with the black light and me, armed with my camera, went in search of what we I was certain would be those little "creeps" crawling all over the sides and base of our home (they can get through an opening the depth of a credit card -- oh, yay!)  I'm sure it would have been comical to any neighbor who might possibly have seen us.  I could not have been following closer on The Man's heels unless he was actually carrying me on his back!  We searched the entire perimeter of the house, then the perimeter of the yard along all the block walls, then to the front, then inside the garages, and the entire interior of the house -- closets, under furniture, and inside lamps.  Do you know what we found?

NOTHING!  NADA!  ZIPPO!

Well, I did sleep a tad bit better last night.  Will we still be getting Magic Pest and their scorpion treatment on Saturday?  YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!

7/10/13

Dry Heat or Not -- It's HOT!

Hey everyone!  Just about everything is withering around here, including me!  Not quite as hot today as yesterday, but still......!    Sometimes I would be just fine remaining in "ignorant oblivion" regarding how hot it is, like yesterday for instance.  I simply prefer to stay inside when our weather is so hot, working on crafts or sewing projects and only going out when I absolutely have to do so.  Now The Man, as I've said many times, is multi-talented and very interested in so many different things.  He loves learning new things and reading stats.  The Man rarely complains about the heat, but after running some errands yesterday, he came in all sweaty and red-faced and talking about how HOT it was.  He does not like humidity, so he had to promptly look up what the humidity was and then proceeded to figure out the heat index.  He could have kept it to himself, but after 44 years of marriage, we pretty much share everything....lol!  This was no exception.  With higher than normal humidity, our heat index was........126 degrees!  Yikes!  I was so much more comfy in my little craft room with the fan on before he shared this wonderful bit of info.  I swear, I just melted on the spot and became a pathetic drama queen!  I found myself "sighing" with every little task -- I told you, so dramatic!  After all the sighing, watching me dab at my brow, and wondering if there would be any dinner prepared last night, I kind of doubt The Man will be sharing those tidbits of info with his little wifey from now on!  But, then again, he is such a risk-taker!

Will something come of this?
We can only hope!

7/6/13

Some Pinterest Inspiration

Hey everyone!  Do y'all love Pinterest as much as I do?  I'd just like to say a big "THANK YOU" to whoever started this wonderful venue for planning, dreaming, and just having fun!  Today I thought I'd share some of the Pinnings that "float-my-boat."

I have lots of food boards, but I'm probably heaviest (no pun intended) in the "dessert" category!
Mason Jar Mud Pie
Mason Jar Mud Pie

I have several Boards related to organization, scrapbooking, craft rooms, and just started a new one
for Project Life ideas -- love PL for recording our family history in albums!
         project life organization
            Project Life organization

I'm fascinated with doing my own upholstery, although I haven't done much yet.  I have collected some
great tutorials that make it sound doable.

Upholstering a rocking chair

Upholstering a rocking chair


My Fashion/Beauty Style is probably one of my most enjoyable boards.  I get so many great ideas for putting outfits together, plus some help on doing hair and makeup.  I don't think you should ever feel too old to care about how you look!

                      cute scarf and colors
Cute outfit


My Crafty Happy Space Board is another one of my faves.  I'm constantly looking at new ways to make my creative space better.
craft rooms
Craft Room Tours

If you want to see other things -- quirky, edible, wearable, craft-able or just pretty much anything, you are always welcome to visit My Pinterest!  Have a great day!


I love to party with these fine bloggers:
The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
Karen at Sew Many Ways for Sew Darn Crafty
Manuela at The Cultivated Nest for The Creative HomeAcre
Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Dawn at Creative Cain Cabin for Budget Decorating Party
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Mondays
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday
Leslie at House on the Way for Twirl & Take a Bow
Mary Beth at Cupcakes and Crinoline for Project Inspired
Karin at The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday
Angela at Hickory Trail for Efforts and Assets
Kelly at Live Laugh Rowe for Live Laugh Linky Party
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home
Pamela at From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
The Feral Turtle at The Feral Turtle for The Aloha Blog Hop
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Oh, The Places I've Been
Jody & Stan at Rooted in Thyme for Simple and Sweet Fridays 
Amanda at Serenity Now for Weekend Bloggy Reading

7/4/13

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