Monday, October 24, 2011

Lunch today

Didn't know what to make for lunch today.  Scanned the contents of the household and found:

  • Wildflower Bread Bakery Sourdough Bread (mmmm, the very best bread, but if you don't live here in AZ, any hearty sourdough bread will do)
  • pesto
  • grape tomatoes
  • goat cheese 
  • shredded mozzarella

Know what I did with it?  Made a caprese (sort of) sandwich.  One of my fave restaurants, The Living Room, makes an amazing pressed caprese sandwich.  I figured I could try to mimic it even though I don't have a sandwich press and I didn't have fresh mozzarella.

I buttered one side of each slice of bread.  On the other side I spread a heaping teaspoon of jarred pesto sauce (I happened to have Classico in the house because my basil plants all croaked over the summer.)

Took a couple of slices of soft goat cheese and crumbled them over the pesto on one slice of the bread.  Then I filled in the empty spots with some shredded mozzarella.  

I sliced about a handful of grape tomatoes in half and carefully placed these on the cheese.

Then I put the second slice of bread on top and placed the sandwich in a really hot grill pan (heated mine on 8 on my cooktop.)  Because I needed it to look like a pressed sandwich, I flipped a dinner plate over the top of the sandwich and sat my tea kettle, half full of water, on top.  Took about 4 minutes to toast the one side, I flipped the sandwich, and toasted the other side for about 2 minutes.  But your timing may vary.

Voila!  Yummy yummy yummy.  I ate it with sea salt & cracked black pepper potato chips, because that's what the Living Room serves.  Now where is that glass of Infamous Goose Sauvignon Blanc I usually have with it?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Time Flies....

When you're busy with school.  Sorry folks.  Lots of good food being made here inbetween the Photoshop projects, HTML coding and now reading about business & society.  Eeesh.  Not to mention Ron and I took a short jaunt to Reno/Lake Tahoe/Truckee this past week.  I have lots to post about that. 

Will definitely get some recipes uploaded this week too.

And some knitting projects.  It's been busy busy around here and I've been neglecting you.  No longer.  This week!

Enjoy your Sunday night

Friday, September 30, 2011


Decided to make Joy the Baker's Avocado & Edamame Salad for lunch today.  Can I just say YUM again?  Joy may be an incredible baker, but when she ventures out into "real" food, she comes up with awesome recipes there as well.

Super easy salad to make.  Some slicing and chopping and grating, but nothing a novice can't handle.

Very healthy ingredients.

One note - I did increase the avocado from one to two.  I love avocado and it seemed with the number of edamame in this salad, more avocado was needed.  But you can do it your own way.  One less avocado probably would have been healthier!

It's such a pretty salad too.

I could eat the entire darn thing, but that wouldn't be such a good idea.  One quarter of the whole thing was plenty to fill me up.  Still, the rest is hiding out in the fridge waiting.....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I am sitting on my couch watching my dogs sleep and listening to my husband snore. 

It's making me tired.  At this rate I'll be sleeping before 10. 

And that's not really such a bad thing, is it?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Faux Fall

Welcome to AZ, home of the "faux fall." While the rest of the country is donning sweatshirts and making hot, comfort food dishes, we're still sweltering in 100+ degrees of heat. It's totally unfair to someone like me who lives for sweaters and soups and stews.

Today I decided I would crank down the a/c and make a pot roast and apple pie. HA! Take that Sonoran Desert hell!!!

The pot roast is in the crock pot and the apple pie is cooling on the counter. Yeah, I had all these great intentions of taking pics of the whole process and sharing them with you, but I got engrossed in a text "conversation" while making the apple pie and completely forgot to take pictures. I got one picture as I was peeling the apples,

(please excuse the chaos on the countertop, I am a horribly messy cook)

and another when I took the pie out of the oven.

There ya have it.

Hope the rest of you out there are getting the real fall deal. Trees starting to turn, temps requiring sweats and jackets, down comforters, and hearty warm meals. Down here in desert-land, we're still sunning, swimming and wearing shorts. Happy Fall!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ron's Favorite Shrimp

Ron spends a lot of time eating.  And watching TV.  He spends very little time actually going to work.  His job consists mostly of laying around eating, watching TV and waiting for the phone to ring.  It's a great job if you can get it.

Because of this he tires of the average snack food.

He loves this shrimp recipe.  So much so that he will often ask for it several times a month.  Sometimes even several times a week.

It's super easy.  Especially if you have an immersion blender.  I couldn't live without mine.  Really.  Worth the $ to invest in one if you make dressings, sauces, etc.  Much easier clean up than a blender.

Anyway, here we go.

Go to the store and get 2 pounds of shrimp.  I like at least a medium size that you can eat in one bite, but not so small that they get lost in the sauce.  Tail off is preferable, because then you don't have to worry about the tails.  (Costco sells a bag of 2 pounds, tail off, precooked and cleaned shrimp.  It's a staple in my freezer.)  If you are starting with raw shrimp, you're gonna have to clean and cook them, and that's a lesson for another blog post.

I leave the shrimp to thaw in a colander while I do the rest.

Zest your limes.  Microplane graters are awesome for this task.  You only want the green, not the white underneath.  Sorry, no pictures.  I forgot.  Once you've zested your limes, juice them.  You need a total of 4 ounces of lime juice, which means you'll probably need to add more - either fresh or bottled is fine.  I'm a huge fan of key lime juice if you can find it.  Set your lime juice aside.

Chop the cilantro, tossing most of the stem.  I don't do a fine chop on this, as the immersion blender will puree it anyway.  Just small enough to get it in the blending cup.

I am a huge fan of those flexible cutting mats (mine are from IKEA.)  You can chop stuff up and use the mat to dump it in whatever you're mixing or cooking with.

Stuff that cilantro into the immersion blender cup or your blender jar.

Throw in the garlic cloves (if using fresh) or measure out the minced/crushed jarred stuff.

Measure out the oil and add it to the mix.  As well as the lime juice.

Stick that immersion blender in there and puree until the cilantro looks like little green specks.

Now you're gonna add in your spices so you can taste and make sure you like it.  Hot sauce, salt & pepper are all added to your liking.  Ron likes it really hot, so I use about 2 tablespoons of Sriracha.  You can certainly add less.  Be careful with the salt too.

By now your shrimp should be somewhat thawed.  I throw the shrimp in a large plastic storage container to make it easy.  Pour the sauce over the top, place the lid on tightly and shake shake shake.

This is the easiest way to mix it up.  If the shrimp were still a bit frozen, I leave the container on the counter for about 30 minutes to finish thawing.  Stick em in the fridge and occasionally toss them around again for good measure.  You want to make sure that all the little buggers have been totally coated with the marinade.

I like to let them sit overnight and really soak up the marinade, but Ron usually snags them right after they're mixed.  It's up to you.

We prefer these cold.  I suppose you could probably grill them or heat them or put them over pasta.  Mine are never around long enough to know.

Yeah, they'd never get served this way either.  But it's sure pretty.

Printable version:Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Ever have one of those days that you just can't seem to get moving?  Um, yeah, I have lots of them.

Still, I try to get up every morning and get dressed and get moving so the bed doesn't look so inviting.

 (okay, not my bedroom, but it's really cute!)

This morning we walked the dogs at the park for the first time in months.  It's been far too hot.  Still have to get up early to do it, by 9 it's far too warm to be walking in a fur coat.  The dogs loved it.  They came home and went straight into the pool to cool off.  They love swimming.  They ran around and swam for another hour, ate breakfast and crashed.  They've been laying around all day since.

I got to work on school work that's due this week.  Photoshop is fun.   Writing papers for web development, not so much.

Now I'm nestled on the couch under a blankie (yeah, even in September, with the a/c on I get chilled!) blog-surfing while my husband channel surfs.

It's a good day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

On the eve of 9/11

Tempe 9/11 Memorial Healing Field, Tempe Town Lake

We will never forget.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Funny

My dear friend Sue sent me this funny today.  I think it needs to be shared with the world.

For all of you who are  married, were married, wish you were married or wish you were not married,  this is something to smile about the next time you see a bottle of wine.

Sally  was driving home from one of her business trips, in Northern Arizona, when she  saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.

As  the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo  woman if she would like a ride.

With a silent nod of  thanks, the woman got into the car.

Resuming the journey,  Sally tried - in vain - to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying  every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to  Sally.

"What in bag?" asked the  old woman.

Sally looked down at the  brown bag and said: "It's a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband."

The Navajo woman was  silent for another moment or two.

Then, speaking with the  quiet wisdom of an elder, she said:
"Good trade . .  ."

Go forth and have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Movies and my hub

We had a discussion at dinner the other night about the movies we've actually gone to the theater to see in the 20+ years that we've been married.  Turns out that in the 20+ years, neither of us can remember my ever choosing a movie that we've paid to see.  NEVER.  Perhaps we've watched some on TV (not likely) or rented (even less likely) but we can't think of a single one that we've paid to see that has been my choice. 

There are certain movies that must be seen on the big screen.  Those with special effects are at the top of the list.  Big movie screen special effects simply don't translate to the small screen at home.  Nor does the sound (unless you're privileged enough to have a home theater.)

I wanted to see Cowboys & Aliens.  I thought it would appeal to both of us cause Ron loves westerns and I love sci-fi.  Plus the special effects were done by Industrial Light and Magic.  Everything they do is pretty darn awesome.  Ron rolled his eyes at me when I suggested it, which then prompted the discussion listed above.

We went to see Cowboys & Aliens today.  I did not go to see this movie thinking it was going to be an awesome script or concept.  Really, the name alone implies silly.  Impressive cast though.  Anyway, without giving anything away, yes, it needs to be seen on the big screen.  Incredible sound and visual effects.  Fairly decent story for a really odd premise.  Good acting.  It was definitely entertaining.  And will never translate to the small screen.  It's absolutely a big screen movie.

Hub?  Well, he survived it.  Shook his head a lot and found the whole thing ridiculous, but he was entertained nonetheless.  On one of the hottest days of the summer, we were happily cold in a movie theater.  And now I can't hold over him that I never get to pick the movies, though now I'll have to be reminded that I pick less than stellar ones.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I've been running for years now. Not consistently, but on and off enough to consider myself a runner. Sometimes a walker, but mostly a runner. Or should I say jogger, since I never break 5.5mph? Anyway, the doctor once told me that I needed weight bearing exercise, so running is it.

But over the years I've also loved yoga. I started taking yoga about 8 years ago at the gym I belonged to. It was YogaFit, so it was more of a workout yoga than a meditation yoga, but it was good. I got flexible and strong. Then the gym closed and I didn't join another. Seemed silly to join a gym to run. I could do that outside.

Just over a year ago I got an ad for a special at 24 Hour Fitness by my house. I joined. It's impossible, nearly, to run outside here in the summer. You have to either get up before the birds or go out with the bats. Even then, it's hot. And in July & August, muggy beyond belief (well, for us Phoenicians, apparently we know nothing of real humidity.) So in the summer, now, I run at the gym, sans dogs, which is actually kind of mindless and nice.

Tuesday I decided to start taking yoga again. Ouch.

I went about a dozen times last year before my surgery, but never went back after surgery. Shame on me.

Yoga uses muscles you didn't even know you had. Trust me.

This came in my email yesterday and I thought I'd share. It's a great concept. I think I'll do it.

Why you should take the Plank A Day challenge |

Yoga is at 9:30. Must head out. Still have to run a mile or so before class.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cranberry-Orange Apple butter

My friend Lauri has apples.  Tons of apples.  She is kind enough to share with all her friends once she has run out of things to do with them.

I wanted to make apple butter.  I haven't made apple butter since we moved to Arizona in 1997.  I don't even think I made apple butter the previous Christmas, which is unlike me, because I'd done it every other Christmas (along with green tomato relish and some kind of jam,) but I was working in 1996.

I digress.

So I had 8-10 pounds of apples in my fridge that were going to turn bad if I didn't get them processed, somehow, soon.  I had two bags of cranberries in my freezer.  I love cranberry applesauce.  Make it every Thanksgiving.  Why not cranberry apple butter?

I scoured the internet and found several recipes.  Basically apple butter is nothing more than fruit, a little juice or cider to help the fruit boil down, some sort of sweetener, and spices.  The trick to butters is to allow them to cook slowly, forever.

Here is the recipe I ended up with:
(adapted mostly from "cranberry apple butter" from

  • 8-10 pounds apples (any tart, cooking apple will do.  I don't even know what kind Lauri gave me, but they were small and perfect.)
  • 2 bags cranberries (fresh or frozen) 24 ounces
  • 2 cups apple juice or cider, or use cranapple juice or even pure cranberry juice, but make sure it's the unsweetened kind, not the cocktail
  • 1 container frozen cranberry juice (not cocktail!) concentrate, 11 or so ounces
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 cups honey
  • 1/2-1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2-1 tsp ground allspice
  • one orange zested and juiced (optional, this would taste just as good without it!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Zest and juice your orange.  Measure out your honey into a small container and add in your orange zest.  I think this helps to distribute the orange flavor through the butter better.  (say that 3 times fast.)  Quarter the apples (don't peel or core them) and throw them in a pot with the cranberries.  No problem if the cranberries are still frozen.  Add in the apple juice/cider, concentrate, vinegar, orange juice and lemon juice.  Put the covered pot to boil on high.  When you can hear it boiling, open and stir well.  Close and reduce the heat to simmer (low for me) and cook about 2 hours until the apples are pretty much mush and the cranberries have popped.

Remove from cooktop and run the apple/cranberry mixture through a food mill.  If you don't have a food mill, you can press the mixture through a sieve or chinois, but I think a food mill is a good investment if you're going to ever make any kind of jam, jelly or butter.  At this point I move the mixture from my giant lobster pot (15qt), to my smaller cast iron pot (7qt).  It helps to have a heavy pot to keep the temperature constant and prevent burning on the bottom.

When you've completely run the mixture smooth into the new pot, return the pot to the stove, cover with a splash guard (one of those mesh things that keeps splatters down) and keep at a very low simmer.  You want it to be hot enough to cook, but not so hot that the bottom burns and sticks.  You're going to cook it like this for at least 4 hours.  You want to cook it down to about half of where you started.  You want the mixture to be thick enough to spread and not run.  (Sometimes I will start the butter one day, stick it in the fridge over night and continue it the next.  There are recipes on the internet where you can cook it in a crock pot, but I was making too much to fit in mine.)

After you've reduced the pulp mixture to half, add in the honey and spices.  If you like a really smooth butter, you can use an immersion blender to smooth it at this point.  The amount of honey is up to you.  I like things a bit on the tart side, so I add less.  You might like it sweeter, so add more.  Cook for another hour or so, until you are sure it's the right consistency to spread (remember it will thicken a bit while it cools.)

During that last hour of cooking, heat up your canning pot full of water and prepare your jars & lids.  If you've never canned, here's a good site to help:  Canning 101.  

Pack the apple/cranberry butter into jars, leaving about 1/2 inch "headspace."  Run a knife through the mixture to eliminate any air pockets.  Make sure to wipe the rim well with a wet cloth before placing lid or ring on jar.  Place filled jars in water bath canner and process for 10 minutes.  

Voila!  Christmas gifts in July!


I have 4 boys in my house (used to be 5 but the bird died.)  My husband (who qualifies as an overgrown boy)

Kyle (who is a man-boy now)

Snoopy and Joe (who are technically male even though they were neutered at 6 months.)

Boys like to fight.  Boys like to hurt one another.  Boys like to fall down and scrape their knees.  Boys are messy.  Boys.

Snoopy and Joe have visited the vet far too frequently for one checkbook.  Sometimes they visit cause they're sick.  Sometimes they visit cause they've fought.  Sometimes they visit cause they've played too hard.  This is the category our last vet visit falls into.

Snoopy has tender little feet.  Goes with his pretty face I suppose.  Everyone always thinks Snoopy is a girl, cause he's pretty.  No one ever thinks Joe is a girl.  Sorry Joe.

Summertime means a lot of swimming for our overactive Border Collies.  Snoopy has a penchant for sitting on the steps in the pool at all hours of the day and night.  This makes his pads really soft.  Then he runs like a lunatic around the pool chasing Joe.  This makes his very soggy pads tear into little pieces.  This makes mom have to take him to the vet to be fixed.

This makes Snoopy nervous.  This makes mom sad.  This makes dad angry because trips to the ER vet are not cheap.  

This time Snoopy developed an abscess between his toes.  He couldn't even put weight on his poor little foot.  They x-rayed it, shaved it, and treated the abscess.  Sent us home with a pile of meds and instructions on how to care for the foot.  Warm compresses and clean bandages.  Yeah, ever tried to make a BC sit still for a warm compress???

After a few days, he was better.  One week later we were back at the vet cause he couldn't walk again because his pads were all shredded.  Again.  Time for the booties.  Joe wonders why Joe has to wear shoes, and truly hopes he doesn't have to as well.  

Two weeks later, all is well in the Border Collie household.  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

First Day of Work!

Kyle went off to his first day of work today.
Ron took his picture because it was such a historic day.  (See Little Joe on the stairs watching?)

After 16 (almost 17 years) of playing hockey, being too busy and feeding off mom and dad, Kyle found a job. 

It wasn't easy.  He went into the store every week for months on end to try to get hired.  His persistence paid off.  

Of course, he's only working one day a week right now, but that's okay it's a start.  

Mom and Dad are proud.  (Joe and Snoopy are happy cause someone else is bringing in cookie money.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The socks that can't be finished

Seriously.  I think that's why the yarn is named Seriously? cause I seriously cannot finish these socks.

The yarn has been in my stash for years.  I finally cast on in late February.  Then two baby blankets came up that had to be done.  This one is for Rebecca & Martin who had their first, beautiful, baby boy.

And then this one was for Dwight and Priscilla who added a baby brother to big sister Bella.

So you can understand why the socks went on the back burner, right?

I made it this far by mid-May.

And I haven't photographed them since, but I'm up the leg, a bit.  Still about 4 inches to go in legging.  Ugh.

Christmas is rapidly approaching as well (as of this sentence there are ... only 194 Days, 14 Hours, 19 Minutes, and 31 Seconds! left until Christmas!!!)  I have the annual dishcloth presents to make.

So you can understand that I simply cannot get my homework for school done this week, right?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Back to school....

Funny how when the kids are just getting out of school, here I go back to school.  Old person has no business trying to learn how to study again.  Old brain is revolting.  And I'm two days into it. 

Kyle and I will be going to summer school together.  Sort of.  He will be taking Econ/Government at the high school to try to satisfy a requirement for graduation, since he has to take math next year.  Again.

I am taking two online classes through Mesa Community College in hopes of someday achieving that elusive college degree.  This time I think I finally know what I like.  We shall see.  My current courses are Small Group Communications and Microsoft Project Management.  One general ed requirement, one core requirement.  Both hard.  For my ancient brain.

On the more fun front of summer.....  we are taking the boat out for the first (and maybe last) time for a while.  Kyle will start school Monday, going all day, 7:30-3:15 which will severely limit time on the lake.  Yes, Ron still only has weekdays off and the weekends are too crazy at the local lakes anyway.

Was at the Apple Store a couple weeks ago to buy Kyle a new phone.  The "specialist" suggested I apply for a job there.  LMFAO.  I informed that I'd "been there, done that" and he said that it took him 3 attempts and 10 interviews to get hired.  Do I have that kind of determination or staying power?  Um, I dunno.

Made yummy lemon bars for a knitting get-together a couple weeks ago.  They were really good, but I totally forgot to take a picture of them.  Oops.  Here's the link for the recipe tho:
Lemon Bars
The Smitten Kitchen is an awesome food blog.  Check it out.

Also tried an entire new dinner the other night.  Tequila Chili Lime Chicken, Green Chili Rice, and Cilantro Corn.  Okay, the green chili rice is an old recipe that I love.  But the other two were new and really good. 

I am posting the chicken recipe here, cause Ron hates chicken and he loved this one.  He actually ate seconds which proves it must have been good.  Tequila Lime marinade can be tricky to find.  If you don't have a Fresh and Easy near you, I don't know what other kind to suggest. 

Tequila Chili Lime Chicken Breasts
(adapted from Betty Crocker Lime & Chili rubbed chicken breasts)

3-4 servings

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Tequila Lime Marinade (Fresh and Easy or other)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime peel (about two limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Trim chicken breasts and flatten to 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Place in bag with enough marinade to cover.  Soak at least one hour, or overnight.
  3. When ready to cook, mix together remaining ingredients in small bowl. 
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry.  Rub both sides of chicken with spice rub. 
  5. Chicken can be grilled, baked or rotisseried.  See below.

Grilling:  Place chicken on grill over medium heat.  Cover grill, cook 10-15 minutes turning once or twice until chicken is cooked through.

Rotisserie:  Oil rotisserie basket and place chicken inside.  Cook for 30 minutes.

Bake:  Place chicken in shallow baking pan lined with foil and oiled.  Bake at 375F for 30 minutes.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

So we finally got him.

Osama Bin Laden. A decade after he unleashed hell on the American people. About time. And now what? Does anything really change?

Food for thought.

Speaking of food.... Made strawberry-banana muffins yesterday. Different. Yummy. Easy enough to make.

The recipe is adapted from Joy of Baking

I doubled the recipe for my jumbo muffin pans and used 5 medium bananas. My friend Krysten suggested covering the top of the muffin with raw sugar before baking to give it a nice caramelized crust. Next time for sure.

Baked them for 30 minutes in my convection oven. I think it might have been a few minutes too long, but they were still good. No one in my Desert Yarnies group complained.

In other news.....

Finished the Evil Mau5 head today. For those of you who followed the Deadmau5 saga, after a week of paper mâché-ing, plastering, spraying, stretching, gluing, cutting, sticky fingers, headaches from glue spray, third degree burns from glue guns, frustration, aggravation and elation, the Evil/Dead Mau5 head is DONE!

My OCD tendencies are making me want to start over or at least attempt to repair some of the flaws, but the teenage boy says NO.

Now what? I suppose I could clean. Bake. Paint. Or start a better Mau5 head. Um no.

Maybe, just maybe, I could start writing my blog more regularly. That would be a good thing. Actually write the blog for all the things I knit, bake, think.

We will see. For now I am going to allow my brain to heal from the glue fumes and my fingers to heal from the glue gun. then we will see what happens.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Mmmmm Mac and Cheese

In addition to baking my heart out (which I've taken a sabbatical from after the holidays,) I have been cooking again.  New stuff, cause I am painfully bored with the staples.

Last night I made macaroni and cheese.  In this house we are on a quest to find something that comes close to Red Robin's Mac and Cheese, because Kyle claims there is nothing better on the planet.  Last month I tried one recipe and it was thumbs down.  The sauce wasn't creamy enough, nor was there enough of it.  So last night I made this one.

Totally thumbs up.  Ron ate one bowl and 20 minutes later was in the leftovers in the fridge.  Kyle said it was awesome.

I made a couple of changes to the recipe.  I used 4 8 ounce blocks of cheese, two sharp cheddar and two extra sharp cheddar, in place of the 3 10 ounce blocks (plus Cracker Barrel is twice the price of the other cheddars, and I did want it super cheesy!)  When making the sauce, be sure to slowly add in the cheese, a handful at a time, whisking until it is completely incorporated, to keep the sauce smooth.  Also, I cooked it in a deep CorningWare dish with the lid on for the first 15 minutes, so the sauce wouldn't dry out so much.  I made two layers and split the 2nd helping of cheese between these two.  It definitely was heavenly.

Now I have a friend coming to visit for one night this week, and haven't a clue what to make.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy 2011!!

Happy new year everyone!  While 2010 was definitely not my worst year on record, I am looking forward to the start of a fresh, new year and all it will bring.

If you make resolutions, I hope that you have the resolve to stick to them.  If you don't, that's okay too.

I resolve to try to be a better person.  To love more, to laugh more.  To bake and share.  To run with my dogs as much as possible.  To try to finish one knitting project before starting another.  To spend valuable time with friends because I'm lucky to have them.  To enjoy my kid, because he's growing up too fast.  To remember that we need to be thankful for every day we are given, because we never know when there won't be another.

I wish all of you and yours a perfectly spectacular 2011.