Sunday, February 19, 2017

Good, Random...


There are colorful signs of spring everywhere.
 Visible in-between the massive amounts of rainy days we've been having are these sweet Grape Hyacinth that bloom every year in my front yard. California isn't out of the drought woods yet, particularly the Central and Southern parts. Hopefully this weather is not an anomaly and will return next winter with even more snow for the Sierras. (The snow pack that is California's biggest and most important water reservoir.)

Random & Fun

I treated the Mr. and I to an ancestry DNA kit.
Growing up, there was a sketchy story my dad could barely remember. Something about the westward expansion and an attack on the party by a Native American tribe who's name he couldn't recall. Many died but miraculously a Native American baby girl survived in a papoose and a party member raised the child and eventually married a male member of my family on my grandmother's side. Like I said, it's sketchy but that's what has survived-Sadly, my grandmother was embarrassed about that part of our family history & would never talk about it. In this topsy-turvy world, I would welcome this information and it is something to be celebrated. I think it's intriguing and I'm hoping to find out if there really is Native American blood coursing through my viens. When I was much younger, I did trace my roots to the late 1700's on my grandfather's side to Ireland and proof of that will be gratifying. My Mr.'s sir name is Kardos, and his dad was 100% Hungarian. Not much is known about his birth mother. I'm curious if there will be any Greek in the breakdown. People ask all the time about the origin of our sir name.

The procedure is really easy.  Register the 15-digit activation code from the collection tube, no eating or drinking for 30 minutes, spit in a tube, release a stabilizing fluid, shake, cap, place in a collection bag and mail it off. Our's goes out in the Tuesday mail and then wait...6-8weeks. We'll get an email when an email when the results are in. Hope you'll stay tuned to find the results!

Do you know your heritage? Have you ever thought about testing your DNA? 
Please share...I'd love to hear.

Happy (DNA) snapping!

Sharing over at Tamar's today.

Pssst...did you miss my last post and the big SECRET I revealed?
*disclaimer-I am not being paid by Ancestry to review or promote this product.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

I love a good...


If you tell me something in confidence and need me to keep it a secret, I am you woman!
But...when it comes to secrets about myself all bets are off! I'm honestly worse than a child. I've been sitting on this one since December 2nd, so needless to say I'm bursting at the seams.

Artful Blogging is a dream publication that I eagerly read from cover to cover. Then, I re-read it 2 or 3 more times in case I've missed something. I swoon over the photos and find the blogger's stories uplifting and inspirational. When January rolled around, I had it in my mind that this was the year I was going to submit photos and shoot for a feature in AB. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. So...imagine how completely caught off guard I was when I opened my e-mail to find an invitation to pursue this dream of mine?  I got tingly all over and actually felt lightheaded. I sat myself down and just shook my head in moving disbelief as I re-read the letter. 
 I must have said I can't believe it 50, 75, 100 times!

 I submitted my photos and waited...There are not enough words in the English language to explain how I felt when I received the congratualtory e-mail stating that I had actually been selected for the summer edition.


My feet haven't touched the ground since! I waved this spring edition to my husband and said, "Do you realize the next issue I'll be in it and on it?" I'm so humbled by my life. I often ask myself what have I done to deserve such goodness? What ever it is, I am eternally grateful for it and for this incredible experience. 
Sarah, over at Paisley Rain Boots
 I can't thank you enough-you lit a creative fire under me with your thoughts and guidance. 
Writing has new meaning and I want to do more of it! 

Wise Peking Noodle Co!

What's your latest secret?
I'd love to hear &
shhhh...I won't tell a soul!

Happy (secret telling) snapping!

Thursday, February 2, 2017



Oh my, February has big shoes to fill! January was chalked full of goodness. Some I've shared publicly, some I'll be sharing soon, and one event I've had to let go quietly. Sometimes you just have to let your heart heal in private. What I will share about this certain event is I flew to Florida last Thursday to sign escrow papers on my parents home. It belongs to a new family now and I hope they will make many happy memories...enough to fill a lifetime.
I flew home Saturday.
I'm coming to terms that my mom was a very private person. Certain things more than others definitely had special meaning to her. This tea cup and saucer is part of a set that she displayed in her kitchen long after I'd grown up and moved away. Surely some pieces would not have survived packing up a household every couple of years with the Navy. My best guess is that the set belonged to my dad's grandmother. I'm hoping a few family members can help with this.

Dainty. Fragile. Beautiful.

Do you have a treasured heirloom passed down to you? Please share,
I'd love to hear about it.

Happy (keepsake) snapping

Sharing over at here today...

Little Things Thursday

Thursday, January 12, 2017



Antigua Guatemala Cathedral
One of the little perks about having a husband who flies for a major airline is every now & again he'll get a trip with a long layover. Sometimes, the stars align and he gets that trip when I'm on a school break. Then the planets align with the stars and there will be an empty seat that wasn't booked and I get to tag along as a stand-by passenger. Because those stars & planets saw fit to line up,  last weekend, I was able to spend 36 hours in the very vibrant Guatemala with my Mr. 
Antigua is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places to photograph~with it's cobblestone streets, Spanish Colonial architecture, and colorful buildings.

On a clear day, you can see the towering Volcan de Agua through the iconic 17th century Santa Catalina Arch. But on this day the clouds just hung around the 12,000+ ft summit and never cleared.

 We asked the locals where we could grab a cup of coffee to take in the view. Cafe Sky provided us the rooftop view of the dormant volcano. Even with the clouds, it didn't stop the view from being any less spectacular. 

Volcan de Agua is one of 37 volcanos that dot the region. 

Texture and color at every turn.

The church of Santa Rosa was built in 1570. Many buildings like this have huge cracks and are crumbling from earthquakes that devastated the region in the 18th century.

Ive already put the bug in The Mr.'s ear that I want to go back. 
There's way more to see and shoot.

 Endearing people, delicious food, full flavored coffee, and a rich history has made Guatemala a   country that has tugged at my heartstrings. Have you ever been taken aback and amazed by a visit to a foreign country that you weren't expecting? Did it tug at your heart like Guatemala did mine? Please share-I'd love to hear about it.

Happy (traveling) Snapping!

Did you miss my 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Magic at the...

...flip of page
Happy New Year!

There is just something magical about flipping that last page of my calendar from December 31 to January 1st. A new day, a fresh year, a clean slate. Even though technically you get a brand new day~every day to start anew...(which I'm grateful for)... it's that January 1st that gets me. 
The holidays have been over for a week now. That's when the 2nd half of my vacation kicks in. That's the half that's a week after Christmas/Hanukkah & a week before the 2nd semester at work begins. No running around like a maniac, no hurries or last minute mad dashes~just real down time. I'm not big on making resolutions but I decided I will make a concerted effort to create play time every single day...even if it's 10 minutes. I know it's only 3 days into the new year, but it's been fun setting me time aside. My creative side has come out to play and she likes it! I also decided not to choose a guiding word this year. Oddly enough, that word above "possibilities" has popped up several times...sooooo, I'm just gonna file that away someplace close to the surface and see what happens. 
I've had so much fun in the kitchen, finally trying several recipes I've pinned on Pinterest. 
Including this...

...homemade hot cocoa mix. I think it has quickly become a household staple for the rest of winter. At this point, I think Austin is just ready for me to go back to work! He has graciously been my taste tester but like me, when something is so scrumptious, there's a serious lack of self control. 
Except for the 
I promised Austin that I'm done making anything fudgy, pancake-y, or otherwise confectionery and I'm a woman of my word...until spring anyhow (big grin)

One of the gifts I asked my Mr for this year was a replacement ribbon for my vintage typewriter. He indulged me & "together" we replaced it. By together I mean I looked over the Mr.'s shoulder and he got his hands all inky! We took it into the garage and used an air compressor to blow out the dust, oiled the moving parts and I'm happy to report I have a old but new again working typewriter. I have to tell ya though, it takes some major Flexor muscles (I looked that up!) to pound those keys. 
But that clickity clack

Did you ask for something special this year?
I  do hope you'll share.

Happy (clickity clack) snapping!

Did you miss the  LAST POST?

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A fond farewell...

...and an enthusiastic hello...

It's before noon and I'm on my 2nd cup of coffee. It's definitely winter grey outside and all I hear is quiet with the occasional hum of a leaf blower in the distance. The house is on the chilly side for me but I'm feeling toasty thanks in part to my new faux fur neck scarf & knitted hand warmers. My heart and mind are in sync with a feeling of gratitude and contentment. Tranquility embraces me like a precious hug. I feel safe and secure within the walls of our home. I'm feeling all of this and more that sometimes I think my heart is going to burst. 

Except for a certain election, 2016 was a pleasant year. Unlike years past, there was no turmoil or chaos and no earth shattering calamities of any kind. I experienced moments of creativity and stillness, experienced far off Rome and discovered new to me local area attractions. Welcomed new self awareness that comes with age and aging. For all of this and more, I am grateful. 

Since I don't like anything left over from 2016 rolling into 2017, the photos I'm sharing are ones that just never made it to the blog...for one reason or another. 

My grandson, Erik...
(Big Puffy Heart)

I think in 2017, I'm going too make a more concerted effort to carve more time for creative play in any form...even if it's just 5 minutes. I always have the best intentions and want to do so many things, but get so overwhelmed that I end up not doing anything. Haven't completely figured that one out yet. 
Well, that's not entirely true...
Fear of not doing something right, or failing somehow manages to creep into my brain and then plays head games. I end up with all sorts of questionable self doubt. I hate that.
I am however aware of this..
..and awareness will help restore self-confidence. 

Thanks to a visit with my Aunt M & her recipe for home made Quinoa muffins, I now love to make and eat these goodies. 
Discovered a honey farm not far from here that sells the best flavored honey that pairs perfectly with the muffins.

I'm one mission closer to visiting all 21 California Missions.

For those of who don't know, I raised Monarch butterflies for several years...

 ...Well, I got to visit the Monarch's wintering site in San Luis Obispo during my last visit with Jamie & Erik. 
I can't help but wonder, if any of these 10,000+ beauties could be an offspring of any of mine.  
I was swooning just a little bit to among all these creatures!

I was given a homemade peppermint sugar scrub for the holidays...

I loved it SO much, I scoured Pinterest for recipes and made my own to give out as gifts.

There will more of this in 2017! 

I'm politically nervous for the year to come but I don't want that to inhibit me creatively in any way. I'm just going to keep doing what I love to do and I'm going do it with my whole heart.

I'm wishing you all a healthy and artistic 2017. I hope new opportunities take you to wonderful creative places.
 I look forward to another year here, with such a motivating community that keeps me curious, inspired and energized. 

Happy (2017) snapping!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday is for... cake

Baby it's cold outside...the sun is shining but the wind is howling and it's bitterly cold... 

...perfect baking weather. I was up early this morning and decided to bake coffee cake.
I mean, who doesn't love waking up to the smell of cinnamon in the morning? 

Austin and I have different recollections of when I actually bake this.
My version is that I use to only bake this when we had over night guests so we'd have something nice to enjoy with our morning coffee. Amanda crashed in the spare room...she's an over night guest...hence the coffee cake! 
His version is that I only made it when my mom use to fly out...which Austin says he can count on one hand how many times she actually came to visit. 

He's probably more right than me because my memory isn't so great anyway!
I do however remember his little face and him asking me if I was making coffee cake because he knew whoever was coming over was spending the night. 

Needless to say, Austin was happy, Amanda was happy which made me happy. Austin mentioned how special those memories of me making and him eating the cake are to him.

Are there better coffee cakes out there? Maybe... but I don't even care to try a new one when it's this one that's filled with priceless childhood memories. 

The recipe can be found HERE.
I added about a TBSP of sour cream to the milk for added moistness.
What special memories do your recipes hold? I'd love to hear.

Happy (Sunday coffee) snapping!