Monday, April 29, 2013

A Sanctuary

My kitchen looks like a "before" picture of a desperately needed remodeling project.  The cabinets are fairly dilapidated and the countertop space, made from chipped, outdated pink formica that doesn't even match up at the seams, is so maddeningly tiny that I end up cutting and stirring on top of the washer and dryer.  (Yes.  We have a full sized washer and dryer right in the middle of the kitchen.) Yet, for me, it is a sanctuary.  When I am cooking, I'm transported to places I only dream of visiting.  On a Saturday morning, I may be a French country wife, whipping up a batch of savory crepes and goat cheese.  An ordinary Tuesday evening finds me baking rosemary schiacciata and mixing a homemade pesto sauce, the owner of a cozy Italian trattoria.  With a few fresh ingredients, a glass of wine, and French Cafe blasting on Pandora, I dance my way around the kitchen, oblivious to the TV and stresses of the day.  In my sanctuary, I am free to experiment, feeling my way through a dish with only the essence of a place to guide me.

It will be some time before I have an "after" picture of my remodeled dream kitchen.  For now I will indulge myself by stocking my cupboards and fridge with such provisions as nicely aged cheeses, fresh herbs and vegetables, organic meats, and quality oils. 

Whether it be a tiny kitchen, flowerbed or cozy closet nook, I believe everyone needs a sanctuary, a place to dream and be.  What's your sanctuary?   

Friday, April 26, 2013


Bursting with luminosity and grandeur, our Hawaiian moon, Mahina, rose ever so gracefully over Koko Head, mesmerizing the entire community.  

What was the moon like in your part of the world?     

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Past Life of a Socialite

Good Morning


Cutie in Boots

Dinner Party

Dinner Party Bliss

Sunday Morning Beach Breakfast
Sunday Morning

For some reason we have difficulty getting motivated to pack up and head to the beach on a weekend morning.  Yet, every time we do, I'm so glad.  This morning I made crepes with blueberry compote and goat cheese.  We packed up what really did seem like most of our household and made it there in time to beat the crazy beach crowd.  We were rewarded with a full morning of relaxation.  Eating, swimming, climbing coconut trees, soaking up the ocean and sun.  

Come to think of it, I've been blessed this entire weekend.  On Friday we hosted a small dinner party.  My horoscope for the day said that I would enjoy myself, and it couldn't have been more correct.  Everything came together nicely, and we spent the evening engaged in intriguing conversation, eating, drinking and laughing.  It went by in a blur.

I've been thinking lately that I could actually live a wonderfully happy life hosting parties every weekend.  If I had my way, I would own a huge house with a carefully stocked wine cellar, multiple bedrooms, each with an en suite, and an extravagant dinning room. I'd be a fabulous cook and invite the most interesting people over for dinner.  We'd spend the evening eating rich, delicious food and drinking top notch wine.  At the end of the evening, everyone would stumble up to their rooms for the night, filled to the brim with happiness. Perhaps I was a wealthy socialite in a past life.  How about you?  Any inkling about your past lives?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fun with InstaCollage

Oklahoma Winter
Palms on a Beach
It's the little things that thrill me.  I've just spent the past hour playing with some photos on InstaCollage.  When I could have been folding clothes or doing some other domestic duty, I figured out how to apply multiple effects to a photo by going back and forth from the original effects screen to the edit effects screen. Every photo turns out completely different. Although, the hard part is knowing when to stop. I guess you can over edit a photo.  InstaCollage is an app that you can download on your iPhone.  I'm not too savvy on the technology, but it seems to be a close cousin to Instagram. Check it out.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend Snapshots

After what has seemed like an eternity of vog and hazy, muggy weather, we woke up today to a gorgeously bright blue morning.  I was inspired to make blueberry muffins.  In fact, I made so many that I was able to freeze some for breakfast this week.  Our bright and clear morning lasted long enough for us to walk down to the beach for a few hours (then the stagnant, vog-filled air moved back in).  My son insisted on wearing his coonskin hat, which I guess makes for sensible beach attire.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sorbetto and Other News

We bought a big tub of lychee sorbetto from Il Gelato, a local gelateria, and it's fair to say that I'm addicted.  So far, I've had a bowl every night.  When lychee are in season, I can't stop popping them in my mouth.  They are quite possibly the most perfect  fruit, so juicy and refreshing, and combined with a light sorbet - ooo lala!  What a pair!

As for other addictions, I've taken up crochet.  It started out as a frustrating endeavor.  When I was younger, I learned to crochet just a single line, but going beyond that was pure mystery.  My mom and sister tried to teach me how to connect rows and single stitches, but every time I attempted to make a simple square, I ended up with a shaky parallelogram.  I'd say my breaking point came when I watched a You Tube video on granny squares.  Working out from a ring makes so much sense.  This gave me the confidence to continue.  You should see me now.  I'm crankin out blankets, coasters, hot pads, and cozys.  I'm especially fond of this coffee mug cozy, which I made for my sister and have yet to ship it off to her. 

I had to share this photo of my son, who recently turned two.  Aside from the major meltdowns in places like the grocery store and the car show, it's a great age.  The things he says just melts my heart and makes me laugh.  Just the other day as I was driving home from work, I hear, "What the heck man!  People don't know how to drive!" coming from a little voice in the back seat.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Magical Evening

Sunsets.  I really can't get enough of them. Sometimes, especially during the summer, we take our dinner down to a particular city park that overlooks the most spectacular ocean sunset.  We sit up high on the hill and simply watch the ships and sailboats cruise in and out of the harbor for what seems like hours.

On this evening, none of us wanted to leave.  Long after the sunset, the three of us laid on our backs, watched the moon, and listened to the waves crashing on the rocks below.  It was magical.