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Thursday, February 18, 2021

shopping in my closet...february

 Well who would have thought we would still be living with this virus? It's been about a year and although we have learned a lot about safety precautions, most of us are not back to "normal". I'm not sure things will ever go back to what they were before.

Many of us are still staying in and trying to be careful with not only our health but our finances. All the more reason to continue shopping in my closet. I actually enjoy it! I like to be inspired by looking at my favorite catalogs online then digging through my closet to recreate the looks.

Inspiration outfit from the Sundance catalog.

This inspiration from the catalog

blouse $118.00

jeans $98.00

blouse TJ Maxx $12.99
jeans Goodwill $6.99 

I added layers of silver and turquoise bracelets, beaded earrings, a necklace and chunky silver rings all found at various flea markets.

And a pair of cute braided vegan leather sandals bought on sale.

So for a quick recap...

Sundance outfit $216.00
Shop in my closet outfit $19.98 

I'm sure we are all living and coping with this pandemic in different ways. I'm fortunate that I am able to remain at hope. I truly don't mind being home at all. This is my happy place and I feel quite content. I hope that you are all doing well and finding the best possible ways to handle life right now.

Sending my love, positivity and prayers out into the world.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

the way to their heart...

 What could be more romantic than having a lovely home baked breakfast treat ready for Valentine's morning?

In continuing my quest to create yummy foods with low to no fat for my mom to make for my dad (his post stroke low fat diet), I've found a way to make a scrumptious coffee cake that has virtually no fat.

Coffee Cake


1 box of Krusteaz brand cinnamon swirl crumb cake mix

1/2 cup of water

1/4 cup of applesauce

2 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/4 cup brown sugar

1 packet of maple brown sugar or cinnamon instant oats

Mix all of the ingredients (except the brown sugar and oats) with the packet of cake mix in one bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix the topping packet with 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1 packet of maple brown sugar instant oats.
Pour 1/2 of the cake mixture into a greased 8 x 8 pan.
Then sprinkle 1/2 of the topping mix over the batter.

Cover the filling layer with the remainder of the cake batter.

Finally, cover the top of the second layer of batter with the rest of the topping mixture.

Place the cake into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. I begin checking mine at 35 minutes. Once a toothpick can be inserted and come out cleanly (meaning there is no more uncooked batter on the toothpick), the coffee cake is done!

This coffee cake can be baked the night before. It is almost better the second day! Each serving has approximately 1-2 grams of fat.


for a link to purchase Krusteaz boxed mix.

* also available in gluten free!

It's an easy and delicious way to start your Valentine's Day.

Let the people around you know how much they mean to you by doing small acts of kindness. It's not about expensive gifts, it's about gifts from the heart!

Happy Valentine's Day...

all my love,

Friday, February 12, 2021

hand sewn hearts

 Although rainy days are a rare occurrence here, especially this time of year, I like to be stationed in my sewing room. It seems like the perfect reason not to be in my garden.

Right now my heart is thinking of love. So why not make some Valentine's Day vintage fabric hearts. Normally I make these hearts in all neutral colors and I sew on an antique key. I call these the "key to my heart" mini heart pillows.

But these are a little different. I've been saving this wonderful old cotton and linen table runner. Although there are stains, I loved the vibrant colors of the floral design. So I cut out as many hearts (roughly 6-8 inches each) as I could, trying to carefully avoid the stains. They are filled with batting and I added small pockets on each.

All of the pockets have a hand stitched message of love and include a small ephemera card so a personal message can be written inside.

No two hearts are the same because the way I cut the fabric from the table runner. And each little pocket is different as well.

The extra tiny pockets can also be used as tooth fairy pillows for wee ones. It's nice because the "fairy" doesn't have to fish the small tooth out from under the pillow of a sleeping child.

The slightly larger pockets can hold a letter, photo or gift card.

I had great fun creating these small puffed heart pillows.

If you are inclined to make handmade gifts for family and friends, this project is very simple. It's great for beginner seamstresses.

Nothing beats a handmade gift from the heart. After all, most of us are not out doing a lot of shopping right now.

I wish you...lovely projects for rainy days.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

romantic ephemera

 February is the month of romance.

Personally, I think romance should be a part of our lives every day all year long. There is something about love. It should have great importance in our world. Not just any kind of love but romantic love.

As Valentine's Day approaches, I like to look through my collection of vintage Valentines. There is just something about ephemera that fills my heart with joy. The old paper, the script, the use of language and the stunning graphics in radiant yet aged color.

Not only do I love to incorporate these tiny works of art into my decor, but I love to read the letters.

The next thing I know, I find myself hopelessly lost in a daydream in lives lived decades ago.

Several years ago, I styled the guest bedroom of my Sanibel house for a Valentine's Day magazine photo shoot.

Red transferware is another lovely addition for a Valentines vignette.

And I simply can't help myself, seashells are a part of every design and every season.

This certainly inspires me to add a little extra romance into my world. I think tonight is a good night to watch my favorite version of Cinderella (the 2015 film adaptation).


to watch the trailer.


Friday, February 5, 2021

reinvented classic

 One of the best things in life is to sit down to a family dinner. Is it the conversation? The companionship? The shared memories? Or the foods that take us right back to our childhood?

My dad loves our family, our family gatherings, our memories and my mom's wonderful cooking. But since his stroke, he has really restricted his diet by cutting out the fat...and thus the flavor.

Well, I have made it my mission to reinvent some of our family's holiday dishes with low fat options. I started with holiday dishes because those are the meals we try to still gather together for (pre-pandemic that is).

With a little experimenting, I have created a candied yam casserole recipe that is all but fat free.


2 cans candied yams drained
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt


low fat cinnamon grahams
fat free butter spray

* preheat oven to 350 degrees
coat bottom and sides of an oven-proof baking dish with cooking spray

Drain and fork mash 1 can of the candied yams.
Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the  toppings (marshmallows and graham crackers).
Mix well.
Fold in the second can of drained candied yams.
Pour the mixture into your greased oven dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

The casserole should be fairly well set.

Crumble low fat cinnamon grahams.
Add the quantity you wish depending on preference.
I place the grahams in a plastic baggie and crumble into crumbs with a marble rolling pin.

Cover the top of the casserole with marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs and spray the top with butter spray.

Place the casserole into the oven and broil
until the toppings are golden brown.
Watch closely as not to burn.

I don't think anyone will miss the fat!

This is a wonderful side companion with my low fat pork tenderloin. 

For the recipe...

Here are a few suggestions to modify the recipe:

add spices to the mixture that you enjoy such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or cloves

add praline pecans to the topping.

I am still on my quest to modify some of our family favorite dishes. Do you have a favorite low fat dish? I am very open to suggestions!


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

truly talented

 I have decided I would really like to start featuring some of my favorite artists. I am amazed by all of the talented people in this world. There are so many different mediums and styles of art that speak to me. I love when I see something for the first time and am simply in awe of the beauty that is before me. Speechless.

Agnes Herczeg's art is extraordinary.

The first time I saw one of her tiny creations, it took my breath away.

Here are a few examples of some of my favorite pieces.

Agnes Herczeg is from Hungary and graduated from the University of Fine Arts in Budapest. This incredible form of art is based on her many years of experience working with needle lace. Her tiny pieces are made on frames of twigs and wood and she uses natural fiber very fine threads. I can't even imagine the amount of time and precision it would take to make these intricate and elaborate woven designs.

All of these delightful images are the property of Agnes Herczeg. For more information about Agnes as well as access to her available work for sale, please visit her wonderful website.


I hope you will take the time to visit her site. You won't believe the variety of her work posted in galleries from 2015-2021. You will be inspired beyond belief, you may even be interested in purchasing something for yourself or for someone special.

We are all better for opening our eyes and hearts to talented artists around this world of ours. I am so inspired by Miss Agnes Herczeg. I am honored to be able to share her incredible creations with you.

If you have an artist you would like to see featured on my blog please let me know. The more we share the works of one another the better it will be for us all.