Monday, November 7, 2011

Peace, Relaxation, Adventure, and Spontaneity

I am sitting in my kitchen on this sunny fall afternoon drinking espresso and dreaming of a vacation.  There is just something romantic and dreamy about a vacation.  Maybe because it is due to the change of pace a vacation brings, or maybe it is just a change in attitude.  Whatever it is, I want one.  That got me thinking.  Where would I go if I could pack my little family up right this second and travel?  What would we do?  I have no idea!  Well, I mean I can think of at least 2 or 3 places, but I am a planner.  I need a list.  I need options.  So, for my future travels I am making a list.  Here are the top 5 places I want to see in my lifetime (not in any particular order.  each is equally lusted after) :
1- Venice  *sigh* romance, architecture, water, ITALY.  

2-  Belize  - Jungle, Mayan ruins, beach, what more could a girl ask for?

3-  Greece  - History, BEAUTY, and beaches.  A Mediterranean cruise would be w.o.n.d.e.r.f.u.l.  


4- Iceland - I have always been impressed with their environmental and sustainability innovation; combine that with their country's beauty and you have an educational AND breathtaking vacation.  

5- Fiji -  Need I say more?  Wow.  This place has clear blue water, solitude, and palm trees.  
There we have it.  Now I have 5 options should someone call me to give me airplane tickets and offer to pay for our stay somewhere far, far away.... hey; I can dream, right?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Chocolate Deliciousness

She promised it would rock my world... and it has done just that!  You have GOT to try this amazing concoction for yourself!
The 'raw' Brownie
adapted from
2 cups whole walnuts
2 1/2 cups Medjool dates, pitted and sliced (these are surprisingly easy to find; I found mine at Fred Meyer in the organic produce section; but buy them whole or they will be dried out)
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
*Place walnuts in food processor and blend until they are finely ground
*Add the cocoa; pulse to combine
*Add the dates one at a time through the feed tube of the processor while it is still running; you end up with a mixture resembling a pie crust dough
*In a 9x9 Pyrex dish combine the date mixture with the chopped almonds.  Press down until mixture is firmly in place
*Store in the fridge in an air tight container

These brownies are DELICIOUS.  Seriously.  How much healthier can a 'dessert' get??  Just a BITE satisfies my chocolate cravings.  If you have nut allergies, I recommend substituting the walnuts for quinoa and the almonds for sliced strawberries (but less than the recipe calls for).  YUM.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Project: Steamer Trunk

We found this beauty about a year ago:

My husband decided he wanted to tackle this project, so I let him make all executive decisions (I desperately wanted to restore the canvas, but he had other ideas).  After LOTS of sanding, extensive buffing of the metal, and coats of pure uncut tung oil mixed with mineral spirits in a 1:1 ratio with a VERY small amount of solvent based stain (he used golden oak); here is the finished result:

I LOVE it!
The finish he used coats the ENTIRE trunk (leather, metal, wood, everything).

linking to Miss Mustardseed; one of my all time fav eye candy blogs ;)


Treat yourself withOUT having to make a trip to the store in this blustery fall weather!  Here is how to make your very own Sugar Scrub!  I LOVE how simple this is to make and how WONDERFUL it makes your skin feel.

- 2 cups white sugar
- 8.5 oz grapeseed oil (I had never heard of this stuff... but found it at Walmart for $3 something a bottle!
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons orange zest

combine in a bowl, stir, place into jars/packaging of your choosing, and you are DONE!  How simple is that??  You can store it in a cool, dark place for 5 months.  What a fun gift idea!