Author: csimec

Rain – March 10

  
Today, wash away despair and shower off your fears.

Enter the day fresh, and discover what only you can create. 

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Nuts for Walnuts – the brain food

“What kitchen item or ingredient can I not live without ?”

My favorite pick today is Walnuts.

I once read that Walnuts are brain food, the symbol of intellectuality mostly because they closely resemble the brain.

Walnuts are loaded with minerals, vitamins, and Omega 3 

walnuts 1

I was sold at brain food.

I found that the most bang for my buck was to buy the California Walnuts at Costco. They come in a large bag and I store them in an airtight glass jar from Ikea. This makes it handy when I want to grab a quick handful to chop.

walnuts

Hoping to increase my brain power, I started looking for places to incorporate my 2 lbs of walnuts.

At first I just put them in brownies, then I moved on to my morning yogurt, my cereal, hot oatmeal, banana bread, muffins, cookies, butter tarts, salads, stuffing and fillings for chicken and pork tenderloin and the best of all, toast them in the frying pan with some butter, add brown sugar and add them to homemade Ice Cream once cooled to make Maple Walnut Ice Cream.

Still having another lb left, I started rolling my cheese ball in Walnuts and dried cranberries.

cheese ball

I’m so used to using them now that when I run out I’m at a loss. They really give everything that extra boast that makes you look like you went to so much trouble (especially if you throw them in a salad)

My favorite salad

Spinach or mixed greens, strawberries, walnuts, goat cheese & poppy seed dressing

spinach salad

They say the best way to buy walnuts is from the shell and crack  them open yourself to ensure freshness, but that’s not always convenient.

BlackWalnutInCracker.2

There are over 30 varieties of  walnut trees but just 3 that are grown commercially, so next time you are travelling, try some local walnuts if they’re available as it may be your only chance to get some variety!

ancientwalnut

Fanning the coals – to get the flame

Some days I have no idea what I’m going to blog about. On those days I get more and more nervous as the day rolls on.

Today was no different. I came home from work and had no idea what my last blog of the month would be. No spectacular finale for the Zero to Hero Challenge. What was I going to do.

My anxiety kind of took a back seat though as I walked into a cold house not looking forward to cleaning out the wood stove and making room for some more logs. The wood stove had been pretty much going non-stop for a couple of days and now the ashes were really piling up, so as I got digging away with two attention starved dogs pawing at my feet who had been cooped up all day I realized there were still some good coals going, so I dug around them.

After throwing the bucket of ashes outside in a 3 foot snow bank which I’m sure my garden was under, I came back in and proceeded to put a couple of logs in the wood stove. Once the dogs had been outside for a run, feed and patted sufficiently to constitute a caring owner I noticed that my logs had not caught yet.

Frustrated, tired and hungry still with my coat and boots on, I tromped over to the wood stove opened the door and took a closer look inside. I decided I needed to fan the coals, so I picked up our antique bellows (which I purchased at a garage sale and my husband managed to ruin by setting the ends on fire) did I mention that these were precious , anyway I digress, I started to fan the coals, happy the bellows still worked,  fanning and fanning, while little ashes floated up into my face. I cursed as I fanned, thinking THIS IS RIDICULUS and  then POOF!

Just like that, flames shot out from under the logs and I had my fire going, and POOF just like a lighting bolt, I realized what I had been doing and came to discover my BEST BLOG OF ALL!

My Zero to Hero Challenge has been about fanning the coals. All this time, day in and day out for 30 days every time I blogged, every time someone commented, every time someone followed, every time I enhanced my site, the coals were being fanned, and finally, hopefully the fire has started.

I needed to see that visual image of what hard work does, no matter how much I want to be a writer or an artist or a traveler or a crafter, if I don’t fan the coals they’ll be no fire.

So THANK YOU to everyone that helped me to light my fire, thank you for the follows and the comments and Zero to Hero for all the great advice, it has been an honor working with you.

Mucho Gracias,

The 50 yr old KID

Testing out the wordpress app

Testing out the word press app today on my iPhone – one more day to go for the zero to hero challenge , it’s been a challenge to stick with something this long as not everyday I feel like blogging. Im looking forward to blogging just once a week , and spending more time on the subject , hopefully this has helped me to build a good foundation to continue .

Reasons to go back to Paris

Why do I need to go back to Paris…… because there’s so much more to do:

discover more cool vehicles

collage cars

Go inside places like this and find out what they’re all about

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 do more sightseeing

collage sightsee

buy more deserts, or seafood!

collagefood

visit more Churches

collage church

get more decorating ideas

europe 380

sit in an outdoor cafe

europe 528

visit more Galleries

europe 521

get my portrait done

art collage

AND DO MORE SHOPPING!

writing shop

and last but not least – to leave my mark!

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Right Brain vs Left Brain

One of my all time favorite writer’s is Julia Cameron author of  The Artist Way.

I have the companion book to this called the Artist Date Book. I’ve only ever skimmed the date book, but just having it nearby me is enough of a reminder that I need to take action.

artist way

 

The Artist’s Date Book – by Julia Cameron

With a blogging brain that’s a little empty, I decided my new approach would be to take a book that I had bought last summer at a garage sale called Landscape Meditations by Elizabeth Mowry and try paint a picture. Since we’re in a Polar Vortex right now, I choose a snowy field thinking I could best relate to this picture.

book copyThe original picture by Elizabeth Mowry

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My Picture

So hopefully I have activated my “Right” side enough to get a blog out today

 

Some right brain/left brain Google facts: but apparently this is all myth now a days according to About.com Psychology

“The Right Brain

According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities that are popularly associated with the right side of the brain include:

  • Recognizing faces
  • Expressing emotions
  • Music
  • Reading emotions
  • Color
  • Images
  • Intuition
  • Creativity

The Left Brain

The left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks that involve logic, language and analytical thinking. The left-brain is often described as being better at:

  • Language
  • Logic
  • Critical thinking
  • Numbers
  • Reasoning

After Dinner Sorbet -Yummy

My new favorite treat from Costco – Island Way Sorbet variety pack

photo (17)There are 3 different flavors, Pineapple, Pina Colada, & Mango

photo (20)

It is so yummy, and only 120 calories with 26% Vitamin C

photo (18)

and it’s a product of South Africa,

photo (22)

The Mango flavor comes in an orange shell, and the Pina Colada in a Coconut shell

I can assure you, they all taste fruity silky smooth and smell like you just cracked open a fresh piece of fruit

A two Post day

Why two blogs in one day – what!

Yesterday I didn’t have time to blog so today I’m making up for it with two blogs  – see “how many teapots do you have”.

It’s kind of cheating I know, after all I did make a commitment to blog everyday for 30 days in the Zero to Hero Challenge.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 50 years, it’s that sometimes you just have to give yourself a break. Don’t concentrate on the things you didn’t do or couldn’t do, (like staying on your diet) but concentrate on the things that get you where you need to be.

So if I have to “cheat” and write two blogs in one day to stay in the game, than that’s okay with me. Aiming for perfection is something to be admired but the willingness to accept less that perfection is finally perfectly for me!

How many Tea Pots do you have

Trying to stay on budget this week I managed to find this little Oriental style tea pot at my local Goodwill store. It’s very heavy and looks like cast iron, with a wire basket that sits inside.

photo (11)

 

Luckily for me I just happen to be at the stockroom doors when the sales lady came out with this little treasure. I followed her over to the housewares department like a panther stocking it’s prey. My eyes glued to her. As soon as she put it down I quickly scooped it up. “Do you know how much this is I asked”. Ten Dollars she said. PERFECT I said, it’s so beautiful. “Do you need a teapot she said” Looking dumb founded I thought to myself, what does that have to do with anything (and yes I do have 3 teapots already I thought silently). Well I’ve always wanted one just like this I said.

Thank goodness I have a budget!