Summer Reading: What's On My List

Well, if you're not on GoodReads, then you probably don't know what's on my list of books to read. If you'd like to see my GoodReads profile, then click here.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

Totally a romance novel, but nonetheless, still actually fun to read and MUCH better than the Twilight series if you're interested in a new series. Yes, there's time travel, but it's not over the top or anything, it flows with the novels and makes sense. It's not all Star Trek or anything like that, instead it goes BACKWARDS in time to 1743 and the Scots. I'd re-read it all in all...

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story

I'm still obsessed with WWII - and this takes place when Germany invaded Poland. Haven't read yet... But I want to!
Lolita by Vladimir Nobokov

Also on my list of to-read...

And of course, more historical fiction by Alison Weir including, but not limited to:
The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn
The Life of Elizabeth I
Henry VIII: The King and His Court
Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)

And probably more.

Anything good on your reading list that you want to share? Anything new and exciting? Boring that you think shouldn't be read?


10 Random Facts About Me Today

1. My fingers are always caked in dirt thanks to the garden beds.

2. S'mores Crunch Popcorn from my sister is making my butt bigger...

3. However, I ran 4 miles yesterday and will run 4 more miles tomorrow.

4. Totally disappointed in Mich Golden Light for changing their cans. They used to be ribbed, now they're not. Dang it.

5. Rusty peed on my tomato plant.

6. Rusty also peed on my other tomato plant.

7. Bimmer Man will be a racin' fool this weekend (yes, a 24 hour long race... go Bimmer Man!).

8. Go Heather the Teacher. You got a ring on your finger and I can't wait for Saturday's party. BTW, do you read this?

9. Love me some Photoshop and I'm super proud of my latest engagement session.

10. I burp fairly loudly. In fact, at work I burped so loud that someone standing outside the window turned around to look at me.



I heart this Love Heart PLYprint Panel. It's $95.

It's pretty flippin' cute.


Underwater Basket Weaving?

The NEW and super cute Woven Veneer Pendant from West Elm $149

If only I had majored in Underwater Basket Weaving at the U of M, then I could make one of these myself...

Too cute NOT to share!

Outdoors is Coming Along Nicely

Sort of. With the help of free plants (Um, ok, so LOTS of annuals) we finally have some color in our backyard. I'm not sure what everything is, but instead of green and dirt there's now white, purple, pink and blue flowers.
This lily is in our front yard (you can see the Shasta daisies in the lower left).
More lily with the shasta daisies. We have front garden beds that are in retaining walls (if that makes sense), however the people that lived here before us didn't really do anything with them. I'm slowly cleaning them up, putting in perennials and will be moving stuff around. There's too many Hostas and not enough of other stuff. Go figure.
And the Bee Balm is coming alive. It smells so good. In fact, yesterday I saw three butterflies.

I need to have a butterfly garden next year as long as I can find sunny spots to put flowers in!


New Books On My Bookshelf

The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir
Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I want to get back into historical fiction so I stopped at Half Price books this past weekend. I've heard excellent things about Alison Weir's historical books so I have to read them. Have you read The Other Boleyn Girl? It's good, not always historically accurate (Alison Weir is supposed to be closer to the truth) and I'd like to read another person's take on that time period.

Outlander, um, I think it might sort of be a romance novel? I'm really not sure... It's been talked about on a book message board and I've been curious. We'll see what it's about, I guess. I like books better if I don't even read the cover.

Any other good summer reading to add to my list? I like pretty much anything...

Farmer's Market Finds

Fresh and local chicken. I really wanted bacon but didn't even think about it until I was already half way home. As you can tell, fresh and local chicken is super expensive - this was $10.25 - then I got eggs for $3. I miss fresh eggs.
I also got sugar snap peas.

QUESTION: What do I do with them? Do you eat the shell? Do you cook them? I don't know...


Honey Wheat Bread

Yum. Yum. I LOVE the smell of fresh bread.
Yum. So here's the crack which would've been avoided had I slashed the top. Oops. Oh, well, just gives me a reason to eat it! Also, I'd add in a pan full of water to the oven to keep the bread moist but give the crust some crunch.

 Honey Wheat Bread (found HERE on AllRecipes.com)


  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey, and stir well. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt, and vegetable oil. Work all-purpose flour in gradually. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for at least 10 to 15 minutes. When dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a well oiled bowl. Turn it several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough, and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
  2. Punch down the dough. Shape into two loaves, and place into two well greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise until dough is 1 to 1 1/2 inches above pans.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.


More Live Blogging - Bread


You know that crevice in the middle of your loaf of bread from the store?

Yeah, well, I forgot to make that slit. So I just opened the oven and one half of it totally cracked. Oops, hopefully it'll still fit in the toaster for tomorrow's breakfast.


See, so disorganized and so not working out very well! ARGH.

Live Blogging - Honey Wheat Bread

Equals me, waiting for Honey Wheat Bread dough to rise. Again.

I've already been to Half Price Books and Sam's Club for beer. Now it might be about 45 minutes for the dough to rise above the edge of the pan.

Oh, and I only have one loaf pan. Go figure, Ms. Disorganized... So half the dough is in the refrigerator for baking tomorrow.

Ever Heard of Sookie?

Oh, Sookie... what can I say? Have you seen True Blood on HBO? If not, then, please pick up this book right now (Amazon is fairly cheap, or Half Price Books if you've got one near you...) and start reading. It's curious and interesting and fun and short.

If you're going to the beach for the day, just go ahead and buy it... then start choosing between Vampire Bill and Shape Shifter Sam. Oops, did I give anything away yet???

Coastal Inspired Hardware

I want to go sailing. Sort of. Well, not really. I mean I want to go, I just don't want to do any work, so maybe a hired yacht might work for me? Um... in my dreams says Bimmer Man....

Anthropologie Hello, Sailor Knob $12.00

Anthropologie Ship Ahoy Knob $12.00

Coiled Rope Knob $10.00

Swirling Seas Hook $28.00


New Blogger Design Thingy

Not quite sure if I like it...

And now, I really don't think I like.

Hey, Blogger people - give me back my plain template! PLEASE!!

Menu Planning

It's way too hard. I swear, every week I try and menu plan... something just happens and it all falls apart!

So this week I'm sort of menu planning... I'm sharing a few links to other people's blogs where I ALWAYS find something that I want to eat. And eat. And eat.

So here's a few recipes on my list of items to make this week:

Joelen's BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

Pioneer Woman's Chicken With Olives

Lemon Ricotta Potatoes from the Kitchn

Simply Recipe's BBQ Turkey With Mustard Sauce

Hmm... I think I might be on a BBQ kick this week. Although it's been raining a heck of a lot, I think I may see the sun starting to peek through the clouds. Woo hoo!!



I don't mean to be spiteful and I don't mean to be hateful, but to all who own one of these, I don't like you. Why? Because I'm jealous. I don't have one and I want one. NOW. NOW. NOW.

Because every time I watch Giada, I get jealous. Every time Rachael Ray says Yum-O and tosses in spices that she doesn't measure, I'm jealous.

Some day, Le Creuset, my kitchen will own you. Some day, Le Creuset, you will be sitting on my stove and I swear, the best boeuf bourguignon will come out of one of these enameled cast iron pots.

Oh, yes, Jamie Oliver, at some point in time, I will make one of your chicken dishes. But only as soon as I get one of these.


Need Some Inspiration

Silver Bubble Stem by Alan Buckle
Lilac Bubble Flower by Alan Buckle

Love the colors, the subject, the circles... These would look great in our master bathroom... maybe...


The Hole In The Wall

Yes, ladies and gents, we have uncovered a hole in the wall in our living room.
It was covered up with a large mirror from Ikea and will continue to be covered by a large mirror from Ikea.


French Soap

If there was ever a day that I could eat soap, I would. Ok, not really, but I LOVE this soap. I found it at a local french hotel gift shop (I went for wine and cheese).

And it's French. 'nuff said.

Basic Pasta With Tomato & Spinach

Do you have a secret ingredient? I do - it's Tabasco.
And spinach. Love me some spinach, though I do have to admit that when I was younger I thought that spinach tasted funny - maybe it's because my parents just gave me iceberg lettuce as a kid.
Pasta sauce is super easy.

1 can of tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic
Salt & pepper
And a LARGE handful of spinach

Melt the onions and garlic until the onion is clear, then add in the tomatoes and Tabasco, simmer for about 10 minutes. Wilt in the spinach and voila!!
You got your pasta with tomatoes and spinach.

I can't wait until my roma tomato and cherry tomato plants start producing. I'll be making so many fresh pasta sauces and salads. Woo hoo!!!