Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Auld Lang Syne

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

I want to remember the good times. . . a reason I scrapbook.  Here's 12 pages from 2013, featuring treasured family and friends.  I love all my pages, so these are among several favorites!  Another reason I scrapbook-to keep my mind from worrying!

Some of my international blogging friends have already celebrated the new year!  Happy 2014 to all of us! Your comments always give me a smile.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

One goal I (might) act on this year is to work on my upper body strength (flabby arms).  I bookmarked a page of exercise, perhaps I'll give them a try.

Last year I started creating new recipes at the house.  I do this for a living in my work as a registered dietitian where I create meals for 1400 customers a day in a major medical center cafeteria.  At home it's more fun, and I needed that.  

Here's breakfast for today:
I call it breakfast pizza, with yeast dough, feta, vegetables and an egg.  This recipe is from an Australian magazine by Donna Hay.  Since many of the scrapbook magazines no longer provide print versions, I'm loving the food magazines.  This one has awesome photos and recipes.

Have a great year!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Home Again

All of my kids are home again.  Greg and Michelle arrived Friday night.  Bob's brother David is visiting too.  Chris joined us later for a fun(ny) gift exchange and dinner.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me to have all our kids home again!

Michelle's gift of her beautiful handmade tatting adorns this layout:
 She tells me this was popular during the late 1800s.  
I still have a butterfly and flower to use on a later page!  Have a great week! 

Friday, December 27, 2013


Every Christmas, just before work vacations, one of my family joins me in the HSC kitchen to pack fruit bags for my staff.  On Christmas Eve, we go to the Post after the early press run to get a copy of the Christmas Day edition.  We also string and hang our Christmas cards from the ceiling in our great room.  We always get a live tree. I give all my change all season to the Salvation Army basket at Giant Eagle.  I visit home before the day and David visits when the kids are here.

All my kids will be home today and I'm taking next week off.  Remember when I said, I'll be ready when the holiday arrives!  I'm ready!  

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Stop Ahead

The first day of winter was unseasonably warm-in the 60s-here in West Virginia.  I ditched the winter coat and we took a ride to nearby Opekiska Road.  Riding along, by the back waters of the Mon River, we stop and go, taking pictures of nature and relics of the past.

Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Victorian Christmas

When friends ask if I'm ready for Christmas, I answer "I will be", as it takes every day leading up to the actual holiday to do everything I want to accomplish before then!  Our Saturdays still hold together time.  The first weekend in December we went to the annual Victorian Christmas at nearby Pricketts Fort in Fairmont, WV.  The fort was built during the late 1700s as a barrier against Indian attacks.  The Prickett House was built in the late 1800s.  On this weekend, there were Civil War reenactors and an artisan village.

I used the back of a K & Co. die cut paper (the second time I've used this same piece) as a stencil for inking this pretty Christmas design:
  I love my new Jenni Bowlin wheat stamp I got on her Black Friday sale:
 I added a little inking to the Studio Calico wood veneer before adding it to my page:
I loved the beautiful pottery made by Tammy Zettlemoyer:
Especially this fish bowl (I'm a Pisces!) I used at dinner that evening:
To view my Meal Planner boards, visit my Pinterest page.

That's the first days of Christmas.  Hope you're enjoying yours!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


On Thursday, Chris told me "Calm Down Mom" after I asked him the same question twice.  Through the week, I'm regimented and wound tight.  On Saturday afternoons, after house cleaning, I'm calm and relaxed as I spend time with Bob.

Now to finish my housekeeping!  Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Believe in Santa

Chris makes me proud.  He's always willing to help others.  Not a great picture, but he back tracked to help the lady with the cane when he saw her heading down the sidewalk.  Pictures from our two day adventure at Oglebay Park.  November 2013

The digital elements are from Bo Bunny's "Blitzen" collection.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Friendly Beasts

When our 20 year old son Chris learned he had to work Wednesday-Saturday the week of Thanksgiving, he asked me if we could go somewhere Monday and Tuesday.  Chris is a WVU student and they have a weeks' break from classes, but his part-time job in retail called.  Of course, I'd love to take an overnight jaunt.

We decided on Oglebay Park in Wheeling, West Virginia, only 75 miles from home and a perfect holiday getaway with beautiful light displays and festivity through the entire park.  To our delight, it snowed the night we stayed just the right amount to make for winter wonderland scenery yet safe road travel!

Chris treated me by driving throughout the park and stopping where I could take pictures.  The stable animals were beautiful and so friendly.  They reminded me of the Christmas carol, "The Friendly Beasts" which describe the animals surrounding Jesus the day he was born.

  "Jesus our brother, kind and good was humbly born in a stable rude,
The friendly beasts around him stood, Jesus our brother kind and good."

Today is Small Business Saturday and I would like to recognize Mom's Memories scrapbooking store in Wheeling where I purchased the papers and note card on Tuesday as we left Wheeling.  Local scrapbook stores are few and far between near my West Virginia home.  The owner and associates are the best. Thanks to them for supporting the local economy and a creative outlet!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Day

This Thanksgiving, our son Chris provided the turkey after winning a voucher from the department store where he works part-time.  Even though he has to work 12 hours this evening, Chris was able to join us for our meal and a trip to Starbucks for coffee.

Greg and Michelle will be here for New Years and feasted with their neighbors in Minneapolis.  I think I'd like the Bourbon Applesauce she made. . . 

Even though I'm a foodie, I try new recipes all the time.  My Turkey and Stuffing today was based on a recipe in this months Food Network magazine.

In my version of Fig Glazed Turkey with Cornbread Stuffing, I skipped the butter, oil, eggs and cream.  (Believe me, it was still delicious!)

I decided to serve the stuffing in this winter squash, which Bob had to get out his hammer to cut the top off, so I decided I'd better bake it a little prior to scooping out the filling:
I saved the squash to maybe try a soup this weekend!

Chris bought a turkey breast, so I have lots of great leftovers to make sandwiches!

Here's our bar:
The quick pan rolls were delicious.  I rolled the dough balls in wheat germ, ground almonds, poppy and sesame seeds.  The flour is whole wheat pastry flour from Frankford Farms in Saxonburg Pa.  The recipe from Fleischmanns.  
Crafters will appreciate that this neat ceramic loaf pan was purchased from Michaels for 50 cents in their Thanksgiving sale!

My Cranberry Chutney is a recipe I make year after year:
Recipe for 5 cups: Bring to boil 12 oz. fresh cranberries, 1 cup sugar (can sub some Splenda) and 3/4 cup water. Stir frequently. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 3/4 cup orange juice, 3/4 cup raisins, 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, 3/4 cup diced celery, 1 apple, diced. Refrigerate.

I think of my friends who make great pie crust, as I "press" this one into the pan:
This crunchy pie crust has almonds and oats.  Recipe: (Crust) 1 cup oats, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup ground almonds, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, 3 Tbsp. oil, 1 Tbsp. water. (Mix in food processor. Press into pie pan and bake at 425 for 8 minutes.) (Filling) 1 cup pumpkin, 2/3 cup evaporated skim milk, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 4 tsp. vanilla. (Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, until knife inserted into center of the pie comes out almost clean.)

I was so glad my sister Amy and her family stopped on their trip from Cleveland to Maryland last night.  I thought 8 year old Cale would enjoy this Veggie (Turkey) tray:

These "perfect" meatballs are another recipe I make over and over:  Makes 17: 1# Lean Ground Beef, 1/4 cup Wheat Germ, 1/3 cup Skim Milk, 1 Egg, 2 Tbsp. Diced Onions, 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder, 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning, 1/4 tsp. Mrs. Dash. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes until center is 165 degrees. Each meatball measures 2 Tbsp. prior to cooking.
Thank you for giving me and outlet for my creations.  I'm a lucky girl, I know!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Life's Flavor

The quote is from Hershel "Woody" Williams, West Virginia's only living Medal of Honor Winner.  He included this in a card to my Dad on his 90th birthday.  Woody and Dad were both Marines at Iwo Jima, where Dad received a Purple Heart. 

Dad is shown here a few weeks ago, adjusting his new headset to help him hear.  At 91 years old, he keeps going, hoping to taste life as long as he can.

November, 2013


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Feeding America Challenge

I accepted the challenge from Feeding America to eat on $4.50 per day.  I made the 3 day pledge, starting Sunday.  As a registered dietitian in retail, I plan meals for a living and have to stay within a budget. . . so I planned and cost my recipes, made my grocery list and shopped for the best prices. Here's what I ate:

Day 1: Sunday
Breakfast with Egg Omelet, Broccoli Slaw, 
Homemade Wheat Bread, Banana and Skim Milk.
Lunch with Chickpea Hummus, Whole Grain Cornbread Muffin,
Carrots Sticks, Homemade Applesauce and Skim Milk.
I added Sunflowers Seeds I'd planned for my snack to the
Hummus.  My Whole Grain Cornbread Muffins were awesome.
(That's a close up in my cover photo).
Dinner with Tomato Tilapia, Steamed Cabbage, Clementine
Orange, Homemade Wheat Bread and Skim Milk.

Day 2: Monday
My High Protein Breakfast.  (I eat this every weekday).
Oatmeal, Flaxmeal, Wheat Germ, Greek Yogurt,
Skim Milk and Homemade Applesauce.

I packed my lunch and made the Festive Black Bean
Chili we feature at work.  It was awesome! Whole Grain
Cornbread, Clementine Orange and Skim Milk was
filling, so I saved my Graham Cracker and Natural
Peanut Butter for later.

My favorite snack:  Hot Air Popcorn.  1/4 cup kernels 
makes this hefty serving, at only 13 cents.  Low in
calories and sodium and whole grain!

Dinner included 2 Muffin Tin Tacos made with Corn
Tortillas (super cheap), Seasoned Ground Beef,
Quinoa, Cheddar, Northern Beans and homemade
Salsa.  Grapes and Skim Milk completed the meal.

Day 3:  Tuesday
My daily High Protein Oatmeal with Homemade Applesauce.

Lunch was Pumpkin Lentil Soup, Cornbread Muffin,
Apple, Skim Milk and Peanut Butter on Graham.

I was later getting home today but still enjoyed
my snack of Hot Air Popcorn.

Dinner was Harvest Chicken with Grapes, Olives
and Rosemary over Brown Rice, Green Beans,
Homemade Wheat Bread and Skim Milk.

Living within this budget was challenging, but I knew I could do because:
1) We don't eat large portions of meat.  1-4 oz. (raw weight) portion of chicken is enough for the two of us.
2) I eat very few processed foods.
3) I take the time to peel, cut and prepare my meals at home.

What was hard:
1) You can't do it if you eat out.  Even in the Healthy Cafe that I manage, where we don't have much overhead and barely break even, I still have to pay for my staff to make it (the labor).  I had to make and pack my lunch using the same recipes we make at work.
2)  I could only drink 3 cups of coffee a day (my only vice) and had to shop around for the best price in coffee beans.
3) No wine.  No bottled water.
4) No eating while preparing food.
5) No extras, like juice with medicine.
6) While I carefully planned my produce, I ate less than what I would have on other days.

Most importantly, I appreciate that many of my own staff at work cannot afford to eat an entire meal in the same cafeteria where they work.  A nice lunch with beverage costs an average of $5. Who's going to pay for it?

How are we ever going to pay for it? 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Reflections of the Lair Plaza

The picture of our reflection in the Lair's windows is from 2013, the picture with the kids from 1993.  It's the same plaza Chris and friends took pre-prom pictures two springs ago.  Greg and Michelle posed for prom pictures here 10 years ago, and played vampire games here some 5 years ago.  Bob and I walked here in our courting days 40 years ago.  My friend Linda and I posed here when we were in high school and spent a weekend in the adjourning dorm with my sister Terry.  Four decades of memories, all good, from the Mountainlair plaza.

The Mountainlair is the student union at West Virginia University, here in Morgantown.

I used many layers of pretty Bo-Bunny papers,

The beautiful Scrapmatts Chipboard was a gift from Renneabouguet.

Have a great week!

Friday, November 15, 2013


It was a beautiful fall Saturday when we went to Cheat Lake Park, then to Yum Yum's in Uniontown where we shared a Greek Salad and bagel.  A typical Saturday-we shared house cleaning, lunch and an unforgettable place in time.  That's what love is all about.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fun with Seasonal Recipes

Bob comes home for dinner between assignments. I don't know when that is until he calls and lets me know. I put together this meal in less than 30 minutes. "Curried Salmon with Tomatoes and Dried Plums". . . and that included defrosting the salmon. Since this skillet served 2, the nutritional information in the original recipe can be cut in 1/2.  The recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens.

Preparing attractive, nutritious meals is another outlet for creating and inspiration is all around.  I always find several recipes to test from Food Network Magazine
These Salmon Apple Burgers were delicious.  Mine's made with homemade applesauce:
4 oz. Salmon, raw weight
1 Egg Yolk
1 Tbsp. Wheat Germ
2 Tbsp. Onions
1/3 cup Applesauce, unsweetened
1 tsp. Curry Powder
2 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
Combine the applesauce, curry powder, diced onions and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and heat until liquid evaporates.  Pulse salmon in a food processor with egg yolk and wheat germ.  Add applesauce mixture.  Form into 2 patties.  Heat in small skillet sprayed with Pam until mixture reaches 155 degrees F, turning once.  
Nutrition Information without bread: 
194 Calories, 15 grams Protein, 10 grams Fat, 46 mg Sodium and 2 grams of fiber. 
We ate ours on 1 slice Seven Grain Bread.

In last month's Food Network Magazine was a booklet insert titled 50 Canned Pumpkin Recipes.  Here's my version of the Twice Baked Potato:
1/2 large Baked Potato
1/3 cup Pumpkin
3 Tbsp. Greek Yogurt, plain nonfat
Dash Nutmeg
Scoop out flesh of potato, mixing with pumpkin, Greek yogurt and a dash of nutmeg.  Spoon flesh back onto potato skin. (I cut into 1/4 potato wedges)
1/2 ounce Cheddar Cheese, grated
Mrs. Dash Seasoning
Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash and grated Cheddar.  Bake approximately 20 minutes.
Nutrition Information per 1/4 potato:
97 Calories, 4 grams Protein, 16 grams Carbohydrate, 2 grams Fat, 47 mg Sodium and 2 grams Fiber 

Finally, a dessert recipe from a favorite organization, Oldways Foods :  Spiced Walnut Brownies.
The original recipe calls for dates.  I substituted dried figs.  Nutrition Information per piece:
118 Calories, 4 grams Protein, 13 grams Carbohydrate, 7 grams Fat, 67 mg Sodium and 3 grams Fiber.  I put 1/2 of these in the freezer and the other 1/2 in the refrigerator.  1 piece makes a very filling and nutrition dessert.

Thanks for stopping by!