Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Creative Space Solutions

I did it! I joined forces with a partner, changed the company name and got a new website up and running. Phew! This has been an on-going discussion between us for over a year and we are both excited to see where this takes us. Hopefully on a prosperous and fulfilling journey!!

Along with being creative, I have been blessed with organizational skills. I have had a Professional Organizing business for over 6 years and just finally joined forces with Donna, my mom. Organizing runs in the family. My mom is obviously great at organizing (or OCD) and my dad is super organized and a very systematical thinker. BUT they are both creative. Thank God! I'm not sure I could live with myself if I didn't have some creativity in my bones. If you are in the Maryland area or know someone that is, please pass my information on to them. You can go to:

We offer organizing in three different areas: Home Organizing, Business Organizing and Home Staging.

For your home we can help you to organize:
  • Kitchens
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Closets
  • Craft Rooms
  • Basements
  • Garages
For your Home Office or Business we offer:
  • Computer Information
  • File & Time Management – Prioritizing, focusing and delegating.
  • Space Planning – Rooms, walls, closets, cabinets and shelves.
And for Home Staging we offer Redesigning services:
  • To sell your home
  • For a special event/party
  • Paint/color consulting
  • Curb Appeal & Exterior Staging
  • Unpack, put away and arrange your new home
This may sound like a sales pitch (and it is)...You can take a look at out website and contact us if you need help in these areas.

Creative Space Solutions

Friday, March 26, 2010

Aperture Photography Session

I am part of a photography class of my friend, Amy. Flexible Dreams. Take a look! And if you want to be a part of it, you can start anytime. It's fun to get feedback from the pictures that you have taken and to learn more about photography.

The first two pictures were taken at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, MD. The first one is a little playground. I like the depth of the sky & the trees and Hannah & the playground.

Focal Length: 27mm
Shutter Speed: 1/1600
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 400

If you have the chance to go to this park, it was really nice. There is a lake with a little bit of a sandy "beach" and nice walking/hiking paths.

Focal Length: 24mm
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 100

This is a picture of my friend, Jen's son, Charlie. Somehow I was able to convince him to peek through the hole in the tree so I could take a picture. I really like how it came out. It looks better on my computer than when I upload it to blogger.

Focal Length: 36mm
Shutter Speed: 1/60
Aperture: f/5
ISO: 400

A cool picture of looking up at the sky through the trees. I could have laid down on the ground to get more perspective of the height of the trees.

Focal Length: 18mm
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 100

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fake TV and Burglars

Thinking about it now...why did my husband send me an email about, "Things Your Burglar Won't Tell You".??? He is not home this evening and I am sitting her reading these things and getting a little freaked out. Especially with the wind blowing outside knocking the screen door open and closed. It's amazing what your mind will get you to think is really not going on. But reading about burglars doesn't help either. One thing I did get out of it is this is a Fake TV that you can buy that gives off a flicker blue-ish light kind of like a TV would. If you go out of town you use this light instead of putting on your TV to "show" that someone is home. Cool, huh?

  • FakeTV makes it look like someone is home watching television
  • The effects of scene changes, fades, swells, flicks, on-screen motion, color changes and more are faithfully reproduced, and look just like they came from a real TV
  • Computer controlled, super-bright multi-color LED light output equivalent to a typical 27" HDTV LCD television
  • Environmentally friendly. FakeTV consumes fifty times less power than a real TV
  • AC adapter included
  • Most televisions do not work with timers-- they turn on with push buttons. Burglars know this, making FakeTV very effective. If they see light from a TV, they "know" that someone must be watching it
  • Built in light sensor and timer-- no external timer needed

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Food Revolution on ABC

I am really big on eating whole natural foods. I am not a fan of most fast food joints and I am not of huge fan of heavily processed foods. I try to buy organic when I can. It's hard to pay the extra money for it..but knowing that I am not feeding myself and my family fruits and veggies sprayed with chemicals, makes me happy. I think if I went back to school and had to choose a non-creative degree, I would choose something in Nutrition. I would love to be able to reach out and teach others younger and older on how and why we need to eat healthier. But since I am not there on a professional level I will hopefully reach a couple of people every now and again. Who knows where I will be in a couple of years.

My husband told me about this new show that is airing a preview tonight at 10pm on ABC called Jamie Oliver's: Food Revolution. You can watch some videos online to get a better idea of what the show is about. But in short, it is about a man, Jamie Oliver, who comes over to the US to show how Americans are eating what is going to happen to the next generations of kids and generations after that if we don't stop eating the way that we are now. I try not to stay up and watch tv that late so I will catch it on March 26th at 8pm for a 2 hour special.

On the same note, there is a teacher who has decided to blog her journey of eating school lunches and blogging about what she thinks about the food that is served, like what it tastes like and looks like and how it makes her feel. That is a huge sacrifice to hopefully get her point across and get things changed. I saw some pictures of what the kids are served and it makes me thankful that Hannah is NOT in school. Yucky! If you have a chance, take a look at it. Fed Up With Lunch: the School Lunch Project.

I would love to know your thoughts... :-)

Friday, March 19, 2010

School Field Trip

I am part of a Home-schooling Co-op with 6 other moms. Eight kids are in the class. 5 Boys and 3 girls. So, we have an active class with the boys and a couple of princesses. We take turns teaching the kids preschool at my in-laws home. And occasionally and depending on what we are teaching, we will take them on a field trip. This month we were teaching them about colors (individual colors, rainbows and the color green and how that ties into "being green" and taking care of the Earth. We decided to take them to the EnviroCenter in Jessup, MD. They learned about how important it is to use the sun for natural light resources for lighting and heating. We learned about recycling and composting and rain barrels.

Afterward, Hannah and I went to MOM's (My Organic Market) for some groceries and she looked up at the ceiling and said, "look, that comes from the sun". She was pointing to what looked like huge lights run by flourescent, but if you looked in more detail they were sunlit "lights". You could actually see the sky through the glass. Cool! My 4 year old daughter learned something from our field trip!!

Here are the kids with the nice man who was very patient and taught very well so the kids could understand. (We are missing one little boy..sorry T)

Checking out pipes in a room. I was focused on photography so I am not sure what the room was.

Since I was taking pictures I didn't really pay attention to everything he was saying. I looks like it was interesting, though.

And then we went to the playground and let the kids and their siblings play and play and play!

The boys and their sticks.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Getting a Start on Gardening

It was SOOO beautiful out in Baltimore, MD that I had to make a pit stop to Home Depot to pick up seeds & soil for our garden. Our plan (well, mine) is to plant more veggies than tomatoes. To broaden my horizons. This time I chose:

Veggie Tale Pumpkin (for H)
Wild Flower Mix (For H)
Multi-Colored Daisies (for H)
Sunflowers (For H)
Plum Tomatoes
Spring Onions
Sweet Basil
Sweet Corn (which a big leap for me)
Some type of flower that has Cypress in the name

I just asked my husband if he can build me another vegetable box next to my other one. Although I am getting veggies from CSA, there is something so fulfilling about growing your own food. I can't wait!!

Filling toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls with soil.

Hannah taking a good hard look at her hard work!

We used toilet paper rolls (cut in half) and paper towel rolls (cut in fours), an old roasting pan
and some garden soil to start our seeds. I probably needed to start this earlier, I guess. But it has been cold and I can't even think about gardening when it is in the 30's 40's.

Did I mention how beautiful it was out today? Crystal blue skies with not a cloud in site and just about 60 degrees. I wore my flip flops to garden!! Yeah, baby!!

Hannah was getting the soil ready for planting wild flower seeds.

After we put soil and seeds in our pots Hannah watered them. Molly joined in on the fun...to drink some water!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Southern Sweet Potato Pie -YUMMMM!!

WOW! I just made this for lunch and it is so good! Now I don't have to think of lunch ideas this week.
Southern Sweet Potato Pie

I altered the recipe because I didn't have some items and it still turned out yummy! If you want the original recipe, click on the picture.

2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into equal sizes
1 Medium white potato
1/4 c soy milk (or any nondairy milk)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano

1 c carrots, I used shredded but you can chop them
2 large portobello caps 1.5 c chopped mushrooms ( I super-chopped these so hopefully my hubbie won't notice :-))
1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 15 oz can black beans, drained

(Optional. I added these on top for some more flavor)
1/4 avocado diced
10 black olives sliced

In a saucepan, boil the sweet potatoes in water until tender. Remove from heat and mash with soy milk. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a skillet (or dutch oven), saute the onions and carrots in the olive oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until tender. Add the garlic, saute for 1 minute until fragrant.

Add the spices and saute for 30 seconds, until fragrant.and the mushrooms and saute for another 5-7 minutes until they release their juices and begin to cook through. Add the bell pepper and beans and cook for 2 minutes more. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. Remove from heat.

If using a dutch oven, simply spread the mashed sweet potatoes on top. If using a casserole dish (8″x8″), transfer the vegetable mixture to the casserole, then spread the sweet potatoes on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 5-6.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Meal Planning for the Week.

It has been FOREVER since I have planned my meals. But I know when I do, evenings are so much easier to deal with. Something happened on Friday, it was about 4:30pm and I was trying to look through a cookbook to find a recipe that everyone would be happy with. After 3 hours of non-stop playing with Hannah, I needed to get back to reality and plan to start making dinner. It wasn't working. Hannah was literally all over me. Pulling on my legs, arms anything to get my attention. I just played with her for many hours. My brain was fried! I turned on Hulu and let her watch a video of Old School Electric Company on the computer in the next room. After that I felt like I need a plan for dinners. It doesn't take long to look for some meals and that helps for a more peaceful evening before Daddy gets home.

Monday - Home Made Pizza (topped with some sort of veggies)
Tuesday - Veggie Burgers and Chips or Sweet Potato Fries
Wednesday - Pasta with "Meatballs" and Cauliflower & Homemade Cheese Sticks
Thursday - Twice Baked Potatoes with Extra Veggies on the side
Friday - Speedy Lentil Soup

You can find some more menu ideas here

Fun with Friends!

My husband took our daughter to a friend's house to help with painting their walls. They have two girls of their own so hopefully she is playing with them instead of "helping" them paint. The point of taking her with him is to give me some time to clean. I've been good...I made them home-made Blueberry, Chocolate "Coffee" cake with home made crumbles on top. I really wish I was able to grab a picture of it before they left. AND I hope it tastes good too. It's vegan and sometimes you don't know exactly what you are going to get. Thankfully Sarah, where my husband is, gave me the cookbook to borrow. It has chocolate in it..how bad can it be?

I am getting much accomplished today...cleaning wise. But wanted to take a break to drink some hot tea and add a post of earlier this week.

The video are of pictures Hannah, Charlie and Grady riding on down to the playground and running up and down a hill. What fun!

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Black Doughnut

I'm bringing back a favorite bead of mine. It is a black bone doughnut. Here are the many styles that I have used it in. (I apologize in advance for the lack of creativity in naming my jewelry. Not one of my strongest qualities. :-))

This is called, "Circles on a Chain"

I call this necklace, "Bursts of Color".

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy 8th Birthday, Molly!

My Molly Girl. She sure is special to get home made treats! Her birthday is this month so these are her "Birthday Cookies".

It seems like all I am making these days are food related items. Maybe it is a "Winter" thing. Well, my dog ran out of treats/dog bones a day ago and I cringe every time I look at the prices for dog bones...so, I decided to make my own. I got it from The Daily Drool. I watch pretty closely to what I eat. I don't eat a lot of things that have preservatives or heavily processed...I don't eat meat....I love fruits and veggies...so buying dog bones and not knowing exactly what is in them always stirs inside of me when looking for treats for Molly. Here is the recipe that I used today:


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter

1 & 3/4 cups hot water (give or take)

Mix all ingredients except for the peanut butter. Mix until blended. Add Peanut Butter, then adding more hot water if dough is too sticky. Knead well. Roll out to 1/4" and cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Or do like I did and roll it flat. Then put it on a cookie sheet and use a pizza cutter and make long cuts to look like a square or rectangle. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

This first picture is after I rolled it out and placed it on a cookie sheet. The whole dough mixture fit on the cookie sheet, by the way. If you doubled the recipe, you could use two cookie sheets. I also used a pizza cutter to make the squares.Once I used the pizza cutter and got all of my individual pieces made I individually separated and baked them. I am not sure what would happened if you left it without separating. If you try this and keep it together..please send me a message to let me know what happens.

This is the final product. A little flour dust but it comes off. The original recipe says to keep the treats in the oven, turn it off and leave it over night. But I don't have that kind of patience. And I am not looking for it either. Make sure they are a little toasty brown.

Random picture of her NOT enjoying the process of muddy paws & pre-bath.
This is what I do to her when she plays in the mud in the back yard. Does she look happy or what?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Photography Class Session 3

This time for our class on Flexible Dreams we focused on clutter in photography. If you have a "subject" that you are trying to capture, you want to eliminate as much clutter in the photograph as possible. Try taking the picture from different angles. If you go to Amy's blog (above) she will give you a better explanation.

Did you know??

Did you know that in order to get calcium to our bones, we need to have Vitamin D in our bodies? Do you know where Vitamin D comes from? Naturally, the Sun. But during the Winter months we are not out in the sun often because it so cold...so we are not getting the natural sunlight. Where else do you think we can get it from? Meats, Dairy and eggs. BUT..I don't eat those so that is out of the question. Thankfully, I love mushrooms. I really do. I can eat them raw or in recipes...or Portabellos. My husband on the other hand doesn't like them....at all....so he takes a Vitamin D pill (He also has Type 1 Diabetes,, which brings in other health issues). I obviously do not cook meat but my husband gets his meat from his deli turkey that he has quite often. And he eats meat if we go out to a restaurant....with a smile.

Just a 3oz serving of mushrooms will give you 400 IU of Vitamin D. Adults 50 and younger need about 200 IU of Vitamin D. Those older than 50 need 400 IU of Vitamin D. Aside from Cod Liver Oil (sound yummy, huh?), which is 450 IU of Vitamin D, mushrooms line up first with the most IU's of Vitamin D. I am so thankful for those little guys! Now, I don't have to worry so much about breaking a limb.

That's the end of my Vitamin D lesson....Do you have any thoughts?


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