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Photo of the Week: DONUTS!

Donut Day

Happy June everyone!

Sweet summertime is here at last. With June comes National Donut Day! This year it is June 5th.
It is held the first Friday of every June and means YOU can get a FREE donut from your local Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts. (Dunkin requires the purchase of a beverage).
The donuts pictured above are New Orleans’ favorite donut: Beignets. I first had these at Disneyland, of all places.
The beignets above are homemade ones that we made last December. SOOOOOO Goood! We used Paula Deen’s recipe.
Hope the thought of free doughnuts keeps you going this work week!

Bechamel Sauce

Bechamel Sauce

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Bechamel Sauce!

With a name like Bechamel, your friends will be impressed!

This sauce is quick and easy to make. Plus, it tastes FANTASTIC!


Printable Recipe

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/4 cups milk
Nutmeg (fresh grated)


1. Pour milk in small saucepan and warm on low.
2. Melt butter in another saucepan on medium low.

bechamel, sauce, delicious, cooking, nutmeg

3. Add flour and whisk for two minutes or so (but don’t brown the mixture like I did the first time I tried making the sauce.)
4. Add the milk.

4a. I added the milk all at once and was pleased with the results.

4b. However, others suggest adding the milk more slowly to avoid the formation of lumps. Gordon Ramsay adds the milk in 1/3 at a time.

5. Continue whisking as the mixture comes to a boil.
6. Season with salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg.
7. All done! Add more milk if sauce has become too thick.
8. Top with wax paper to prevent skin formation.


Inspired by Epicurious and Gordon Ramsay.

Happy Birthday, Golden Gate Bridge!

Happy Birthday, Golden Gate Bridge!

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golden gate bridge, san francisco, travel, bridge, tourism

Today is the 78th birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Construction began in 1933 and was finished by 1937. Here are six more facts about the bridge, courtesy of the History Channel.

golden gate bridge, san francisco, travel, bridge, tourism

I visited the bridge in 2012 on a West Coast road trip. We stayed a couple days, but never had the pleasure of seeing the bridge fog-free. Darn it! Why is it so foggy in San Francisco? Here’s the answer. Apparently, the bridge is shrouded by fog about 70% of the year.

I was surprised to read in HGTV magazine last month that the bridge is painted “Golden Gate Bridge International Orange.” It is a special blend created by Sherwin Williams, used only on the bridge.

Orange? I always thought the bridge was red. Some call it “burnt sienna” or “vermillion,” as in this NPR story.

paint, sherwin williams, golden gate bridge, red, vermillion

Sherwin Williams produces a similar paint for us regular folks, called Fireweed (SW 6328, pictured above as downloaded from their website). The Golden Gate Bridge website also provides the CYMK and Pantone color formulas (Pantone 180, which is a darker version of Pantone’s Color of the Year, Marsala).

No matter what the color is called, it is iconic. It is cool to think you can have a little piece of the bridge at home, no matter where in the world you live. Now where shall I paint that Fireweed?

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POTW: St. Paul’s Cathedral

POTW: St. Paul’s Cathedral

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Photo of the Week:

St Paul’s Cathedral, London

st pauls cathedral

June 22, 2007

Panasonic DMC-TZ3

ISO 100





On a trip to Europe in 2007, I snapped this photo on my little handy Panasonic.

I am a huge Anglophile. I was raised on Inspector Morse and Hetty Wainthropp Investigates. So a visit to London was a huge deal for me. Surprisingly, it lived up to all my expectations, although I was only there for two days so I didn’t have much time to be disappointed.

I am about half way through reading an excellent book about London called Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now–As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It. I highly recommend it!


Rustic Beet Chips

Rustic Beet Chips

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 beet chips

Rustic Beet Chips Recipe

Happy Thursday everyone!


Today is an exciting day because it is the day I uploaded my first YouTube video EVER!


It is a short video- less than two minutes and features a very simple recipe for Beet Chips.



1. Beets
2. Olive Oil
3. Salt
4. Pepper
5. Fresh Rosemary


1. Peel and slice beets
2. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
4. Flip the chips!
5. Bake another 20 minutes
6. Season with salt, pepper, and rosemary

Experiment with bakes times. Epicurious recommends 25-30, but I did 40 minutes (split 15, 10, 15).


Hope you enjoyed the video! Thank you for stopping by.


Happy Cooking!



POTW: Lizard, Arizona

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Photo of the Week:

Lizard, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Desert Museum Lizard

April 19, 2015

Sony a390

Minolta AF 28-85mm F3.5-4.5

ISO 100




Last month, I attended the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and snapped this photo on my Sony a390.
This lizard was roaming about the second level of the Cat Canyon exhibit in the Museum, free from any enclosure, and acting like he was king of the castle. Another large lizard came by and there was a bit of territorial posturing (charging, open mouth gaping, that sort of thing).
I felt this photo captured quite a knowing look from my new friend, resting in his desert paradise in all its springtime glory.
Have you had any funny lizard experiences?

Dazzling DIY: Picturesque Printables

Dazzling DIY: Picturesque Printables

posted in: DIY & Crafts, Home and Garden | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Picturesque Printables

I found some gorgeous (FREE) printables on Pinterest last week and used them to make my mom’s Mother’s Day extra special.
Even though Mother’s Day is over, these three printables are useful for any gifting or crafting occasion!
Here they are:

1. Paper Gem Templates from Minieco

picturesque printables

I discovered this lovely geometric gem template on Minieco.co.uk, one of my new favorite craft websites. The gem pictured above is Gem B on the Minieco website.
I used regular letter sized printer paper, but card stock would probably be better if you want them to last.

2. Martha Stewart Floral Wrapping Paper

You may have noticed the fetching design of the wrapping of the above gem. It’s yet another wonder brought to us by Martha.
Martha offers some gorgeous printable Gift Wrap, which you can find here (for FREE!!!).
Geraniums is featured above and Berries is featured below. Other patterns include Lemons, Oranges, Leaves, and Mixed Flowers.

picturesque printables

3. Matryoshka Dolls from Today’s Creative Life

Who doesn’t love Russian Nesting Dolls? They are always on point.
I used mine as decorative gift tags, but there are many more innovate ideas on Today’s Creative Life.
There are nine blank on one page and nine with Mother’s Day messages on another page.

picturesque printables


I hope you love these printables as much as I do!


Good luck in all your DIY endeavours!



Photo of the Week: Nephi, UT

Photo of the Week: Nephi, UT

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Snowy Landscape

Outside Nephi, UT off I-15. April 9, 2013.

Nephi Utah

iPhone 4s

ISO 50





Being from the Arizona desert, I don’t see too much snow. We get maybe half an inch every other year. On these lucky occasions when I was growing up, all the students were rabid for a snow day.


No dice.


When I was nearly finished with school, I learned snow days were made up at the end of the school year. Zero interest in snow days after that. Who wants to stay in school longer than absolutely necessary?


Any time I see snow as an adult, I get excited. I am absolutely snap happy for snow. This photo was taken on a road trip to Salt Lake City two years ago.


What are your feelings on snow? Love it? Hate it? Neutral?


Lemme know below!

Photo of the Week: Yosemite

Photo of the Week: Yosemite

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Yosemite National Park

Taken on my iPhone on May 30, 2013 at the Wawona Tunnel Overlook.



Yosemite is a long drive away from city life, but it is well worth it. This view alone is worth it. The air is so crisp and clean. Spring is the best time to visit to view the waterfalls, which are at their peak strength from snowmelt. Bridalveil Fall is visible in this photo, to the right of center.
However, the California drought has been taking quite a toll on Yosemite as you can see in this article from the Sacramento Bee. It is sad to think that future generations may not be able to enjoy Yosemite. Share your thoughts about Yosemite and the California drought in the comments section below.

Today is the inaugural “Photo of the Week” post. I will post a photo at least once a week from my travels.


I have been lucky enough to travel to thirty-four of the fifty states in the United States.


Create Your Own Visited States Map

Additionally, I have traveled to seven countries in Europe and to China.

Create Your Own Visited Countries Map


I have lots of photos hoarded away and I am excited to share with you!


Have you ever been to Yosemite National Park? I want to hear your comments. Thank you for stopping by!

Happy Earth Day 2015 at the Desert Museum

Happy Earth Day 2015 at the Desert Museum

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Happy Earth Day 2015!

We visited the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum this weekend and in honor of Earth Day,  we have some pictures to share with you.

Can you see the first animal?

sheep earth day

Who’s there?


It’s the Bighorn Sheep!

sheep earth day

This little lamb was born on April 1st. You can read more about her on the Desert Museum website. How cute is she?

sheep earth day

A Bighorn Ram sticking his tongue out at us.

sheep earth day

Another new addition to the Museum is this thirteen-month old Black Bear cub.

bear earth day

Her name is Strawberry, as recently determined by fans of the Desert Museum. Read more about her on the Museum’s website.

bear earth day

And here is our final picture: the Museum’s Mountain Lion, lounging in the shade. You can read more about the Desert Museum’s Mountain Lion here.

lion earth day

It is wonderful to spend a day appreciating the beautiful world we live in. We hope you had a magnificent Earth Day!

Paper Airplanes

Paper Airplanes

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The Enchanted Paper


Fifteen more minutes until the bell,

What shall we do after show and tell?


In a folder, lies an old worksheet,

Maybe we can fold and pleat


To make the paper into something more:

An agile airplane that will soar.


Like the birds that fly above

Like an eagle or a dove


To take us off the ground in flight

A nine year old becomes a Brother, Wright.


-Z.Y. Doyle



This poem was inspired by:

Swallow Paper Airplane


Favorite plane that really looks like a bird.

Instructions HERE.


Nakamura Lock

Nakamura Lock

Made this after reading about it in Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus by Tom Angleberger.

Instructions HERE.

Take special note of Step 3. When folding wings, the edge of wing must be even with bottom of the plane.


A Word on Paper Plane Technique

Successful flight depends on a gentle release!

Throw it like you are launching a baby bird into flight. Throw firmly, but tenderly.


What is your favorite type of paper airplane? Do you have any fun paper airplane stories? Please post any comments or questions below.


Enjoy “Enchanted Paper”?

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