Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2014

Pipevine Swallowtail Pupae Living to evolve and evolving to live, a butterfly’s short life is one of purposeful change. From egg to caterpillar to pupa to adult, the butterfly develops through a process of metamorphosis. The Greek word metamorphosis means to transform or to change shape. How is your metamorphosis going? Are you a butterfly, yet?

#1 – Who’s Got the Button?
Augusto Esquivel's Button Art Augusto Esquivel clearly has a button and, in fact, he has millions of them. Using sewing buttons and monofilament, this Miami-based artist transforms the function and appearance of buttons into three-dimensional sculptures and portraits. In his own words, I realize how insignificant and small a simple sewing button can be as it lays in my grandmother’s sewing box, but at the same time how unique and precious it can become as part of a work of art. Like an atom in a molecule, each button serves and shapes the whole. Click here to go to his website and then click on a year to see button pieces completed that year.

#2  – Work It Out
Hit the Gym Motivations Need a little motivation to exercise and change your body? Here’s All the Motivation You Need to Hit the Gym from the Daily Zen List. If you don’t belong to a gym, don’t let that stop you from exercising. Open your front door and just start walking!

#3 – Food With A View
22 Incredible Restaurants with Insane Views Transform your dining experience with a visit to one of the restaurants listed in 22 Incredible Restaurants With Insane Views. If you could travel to any one of these restaurants in the world tomorrow, which one would you choose?

#4 – Make It a Beautiful Day in Your Neighborhood
If anyone tried to change the world for the better, Fred Rogers, host of the children’s television program Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, did. Themes of self-acceptance, acceptance of differences, grace, and kindness resonated with both children and adults. Watch this old, but inspiring 5-minute video as Mr. Rogers accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award.

#5 – Change
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Wayne Dyer

Now go and spread joy!

Read Full Post »

Brightening Beer Facial After an exhausting weekend helping my daughter pack and clean her apartment and then relocating her hundreds of miles away, this old lady needed some TLC. Before leaving home, I’d read an article titled Facials to Feast Upon. One recipe in particular caught my attention – maybe because it contained beer or maybe because it claimed to brighten. And I desperately needed to be brightened. From reading the article, I learned that: the ingredients in beer help to “dissolve dead cells and increase the skin’s luminosity;” the yeast in the beer and the egg white combine to create a “mask that hydrates and improves the elasticity of the skin;” and the vitamin C in the lime “helps to clear pores and fade brown spots.” What a wondrous way to spend 10 minutes and what a good excuse to drink up the remaining beer in the bottle!

Brightening Beer Facial
Real Simple Magazine, April 2014

INGREDIENTS
1 egg white
1/2 cup beer (any brand)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine the egg white and beer with the lime juice.

2. Slather onto the face.

3. After 10 minutes, rinse with warm water.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. The article mentions for best results to “gently cleanse and exfoliate” your skin prior to applying the mask.

2. This facial smelled fresh and left my skin feeling smooth and more taut.

3. I stored the remaining concoction in an airtight container in my refrigerator. I’m not sure how long it will keep this way, so I plan on using it a few more times this week before discarding it. It’s so easy to make, you can whip up a new batch anytime you want.

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Taos Turquoise Door Doors open and close. That’s their job. They let things in and they keep things out. Using doors as a metaphor, how well do you monitor the door to your soul? Do you allow joy to effortlessly blow in to your soul like a fresh breeze? Do you allow prejudice and hate to sneak in through your door? Do you lock and bolt your door never letting anyone or anything in? You do realize, of course, that you have the ultimate power over who or what enters and who or what you keep out. Be mindful. Be present. And yes, doors are better than walls.

#1 – How A-Door-Able!
60 Ways to Upcycle Doors Creativity rules when it comes to upcycling doors. Check out these clever ways to decorate your home and garden using old doors.

#2 – Joy of Cookies
The cookie monster that resides inside of me craves as much cookie information as I can get. Watch this animated TED-Ed video on the chemistry of cookies and if you’re like me, you’ll want to bake some cookies right away.

#3 – Photo Contest
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest It’s not too late to enter the 26th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2014. The deadline is June 30th of this year. Check out your competition by looking at 30 Most Incredible Entries on 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

#4 – Beggar or Philanthropist?
When you look at this man in the photo, what do you see? Don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions. To some people, he may appear to be a beggar, but to others, he is an extraordinary man. What do you think? Inspirational Man

#5 – Follow Your Bliss
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
Joseph Campbell

Go Now and Spread Joy!

Read Full Post »

Cheddar and Poppy Seed Bread Sticks “Dessert, Ma’am?” the waiter asked. “Oh, no thanks. I already had it,” I replied. Noticing his puzzled look, I explained how I used up my dessert calories by eating three of the most addicting bread sticks I’d ever eaten in my life. Smiling knowingly, he looked at me and said, “I understand.” Let me explain: there are bread sticks and then there are THESE bread sticks. Cheesy, buttery, crunchy, and with just a slight amount of kick these bread sticks make a perfect accompaniment for a salad or a bowl of soup.

Cheddar and Poppy Seed Bread Sticks
Cooking With Cafe Pasqual’s

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 large organic egg
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1-1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon medium-hot chile powder

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Put the butter and cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer. Use the paddle attachment to combine. When well incorporated, scrape the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook attachment.

3. Add the egg and mix, then add the heavy cream and mix again to combine all.

4. With the machine running on low, slowly add the flour, then the poppy seeds and chile powder. Leave the mixture on for 15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

5. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand on a floured surface for one minute. Re-flour the work surface and roll the dough into a log shape, then flatten the log.

6. Flour the work surface again. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a large rectangle 12 by 16 inches by 1/4-inch thick. Trim the edges with a pizza cutter to make them straight, then cut strips lengthwise 1/2-inch thick in width.

7. Place parchment paper on 3 baking sheets and carefully transfer the bread sticks, 12 to each pan. Bake for 20 minutes, until the sticks are just lightly browned.

8. Remove and let cool completely before carefully transferring the sticks to a serving container.

Makes 3 dozen bread sticks

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Cafe Pasqual’s uses a multi-wheel cutter which makes it easy to cut the bread sticks evenly. Not having one of those cutters, I washed and floured my metal yardstick. Pressing against the yardstick, I was able to cut straight lines in the dough with my pizza cutter. Cheddar and Poppy Seed Bread Sticks

2. I got 18 bread sticks and a dozen 2-inch crackers out of one recipe. Next time I will double the recipe.

3. The author states, “The dough may be made a day in advance of baking, if it is tightly wrapped with plastic wrap for storage in the refrigerator.”

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Dads Dads come in all shapes and sizes, so here’s a Father’s Day wish I penned for all fathers that’s short on words, long in sentiment, and big in heart: Thanks for blowing air in our sails and anchoring us during storms. Thanks for dreaming the big dreams and making us believers. Thanks for loving us like no one else could and for sacrificing as only you would. Thanks for loving our mothers and respecting them, too. But mostly, thanks for just being you. On this Father’s Day, may the love and devotion you give come back to you a thousand times over. Happy Father’s Day!

#1 – My Dad
Remember watching the Donna Reed Show? Well, at the risk of revealing my age, I remember it. I also remember listening to Paul Peterson’s song My Dad. As a Father’s Day tribute, here’s a blast from the past.

#2 – Dadvice
Dadvice One of my sons is going to be a new dad this summer and I’m thrilled. I’m sure he’s going to be in need of some parenting advice at some time or another, so this is for him, as well as all new dads and dads-to-be: Dadvice is a collection of “90 tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts, try-this’s and skip-that’s, for every stage of fatherhood. It’s the most complete, most comprehensive list available anywhere. Print it. Bookmark it. Share it. Tweet it.”

Here are some examples:

Imagine being hired as a pilot with no training. “Here’s the cockpit. Good luck getting to Houston.” That’s what it’s like coming home with a newborn. And it’s like that for everyone.

Cargo shorts are a diaper bag you can wear.

Travel with an extra set of clothes. Both for you and the kid.

If you let your kid play with the iPhone, put it on “airplane mode.”

Tell your partner “thank you.” A lot. And let your children hear you say it.

#3 – Unusual Gifts For Dad
Father's Day Gift Ideas Still thinking about that special gift for dad? What about a laser pizza cutter? Or what about an espresso maker made from an actual race car engine? To see these and more, check out 13 Food & Drink Father’s Day Gifts That Will Guarantee You’re His Favorite Child.

#4 – Miles O’Brien
Miles O'Brien TV reporter Miles O’Brien lost an arm while on assignment. Read his story Life, After and learn what he’s gained from his loss.

#5 – What Matters
“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”
Anne Sexton

Now go and spread joy!

Read Full Post »

Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake An early Father’s Day present for my husband came in the form of a cheesecake. Testing recipes is an occupational and personal hazard for me (think hips), so I gave this fresh-flavored and ultra-creamy dessert to him as a gift. Being the good husband that he is, I knew he would share it. I could bake a cake and eat it, too. Pretty clever of me, wasn’t it?

Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake
Recipe from Robbie’s Recipe Collection

INGREDIENTS
20 vanilla cream sandwich cookies
1/4 cup margarine, melted
24 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 eggs
3/4 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
1. Process cookies in a blender or food processor. Pulse to finely chop.

2. Add melted margarine or butter and pulse until thoroughly combined.

3. Press mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan; refrigerate.

4. Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy.

5. Beat in sugar and cornstarch.

5. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

6. Beat in bananas, whipping cream, and vanilla.

7. Pour mixture into prepared crust.

8. Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes.

9. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake an additional 75 minutes, or until center is almost set.

10. Allow to cool completely before removing rim of pan.

11. Refrigerate cheesecake, uncovered, at least 6 hours.

Serves 12

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I used a 9½-inch springform pan and I’m glad I did. This recipe does not make a tall cheesecake, so it was perfect with the smaller pan.

2. Because I used a smaller pan than specified, I used fewer cookies. Even then, the crust was a little thicker than I would have preferred.

3. I used butter instead of margarine, basically because I didn’t have margarine on hand. 1/4 cup of butter is equivalent to 2 ounces of butter for those that weigh their ingredients.

4. Even though the directions don’t state it, don’t forget to preheat your oven.

5. I served each slice with a dollop of whipped cream, a banana slice and a small sprig of mint.

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Santa Fe Blossoms They were everywhere, but nobody knew their name. Pretty trees covered with delicate rose-like blossoms decorated the streets of a town I recently visited. Fixated with their beauty and wanting to plant one in my own garden, I asked around for help identifying the trees. I even carried a photo of the blossoms on my smartphone. No one could tell me the species of the trees, not even people who had lived in the city for their entire lives. Many responses sounded like, “What trees? Oh, those trees. Don’t know.” Some people didn’t even realize the trees were in bloom. How could this be? How could trees that make our world more beautiful go unnoticed? And how could we take the world around us so much for granted? We see, but are we seeing?

#1 – Possibilities
Fun DIY Craft Ideas Do you throw “junk” away only to discover similar items cleverly refurbished and for sale at thrift stores, flea markets, and “vintage” stores? Do you think to yourself, “I wish I hadn’t thrown my _______ away. If I’d only known it would make such a nice _______, I would have saved it.” Where you saw lack of potential, someone else saw possibilities. If everyone could see such transformative possibilities, there would be less waste in our landfills. Use your imagination. To get your creative juices going, here are a few Fun DIY Craft Ideas. What happened to the child in you who built forts out of pillows or made cakes out of mud?

#2 – DIY Father’s Day Gifts
40 DIY Father's Day Gift Ideas Don’t take your father for granted. Show him how much you care and how much he means to you by making him a special gift. Brit + Co. provides some great ideas in their post titled 40 DIY Father’s Day Gift Ideas. Dad is sure to love anything you make, but the Whiskey, Caramel, Marshmallow, and Bacon Bark looks really good to me!

#3 – A Splash Of Sea Water
Photo of Magnified Drop of Water What’s in that gulp of sea water you just swallowed? “Not much?” you say? Well, check out this photograph of “one dip of a hand net” into sea water by David Littschwager. It’s been magnified 25 times. Read about all the aquatic flora and fauna you take for granted, too!

#4 – Being Grateful
Rainbow Thinking: What Are You Grateful For? Writing in a gratitude journal is one way of keeping life in perspective. No matter how bad your day has been, there’s bound to be something for which you are grateful. The site Rainbow Thinking focuses on gratitude by allowing people to anonymously submit entries about what they are grateful for and by posting the submissions of other people. What are you grateful for?

#5 – What Makes It Different?
“You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street, a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes this one different.”
Neil Gaiman

Go now and spread joy!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: