About Me

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Born a mid western girl but an ocean girl at heart! My soul belongs to the sea....I am obsessed with the color TURQUOISE and all things beachy. I love nature, the outdoors, dogs,cooking,wine,art backpacking, cycling and reading. I also have a passion for photography and I absolutely love photographing the beach that is where my soul is happiest.! I hope you enjoy following me and my adventures so welcome to my blog, I hope you are inspired. HAPPY BLOGGING !

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Festivities 2009

The holidays are upon us and you know what that means... Cocktails, friends and good times. Just thought I would share some of my holiday festivities.

Yummy Pomegranate martinis ... oh and notice we have the same shirt on, so not planned but too funny!!!!

Wishing all of my friends and family peace , joy and love this Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Winter Solstice

Cheers to the return of the sun, Hooray we will begin to gain daylight from here on out. Hope you take time to enjoy and celebrate each season. So light some candles or have a fire this symbolizes the return of the sun, let's just hope spring comes early.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Family Traditions

Last weekend my family went to cut down a Christmas tree. This has been a family tradition for my sister and I for a long time. Now I didn't get a tree this year but in keeping with tradition we went along to have family time and we have since added Molly to our tradition. It was super cold this day but we trudged on looking for that perfect tree.
Wow Haley is almost as tall as me, not quite but I have no doubt she will be and may even be taller! Wow where does time go.... It is so cool to be passing on my traditions with my niece and nephew.
I know what you are thinking... the husband looks less than thrilled in this picture probably because it was freezing this day and I asked him to take a million pictures, none the less he was a trooper , and happily took the pictures that I asked him to take for me :-) I really do have an awesome husband he puts up with all my crazy antics!
Noah brought his chain saw so he can help cut down the tree too cute! Oh yeah and his monkey had to come along too and be part of the tradition. Do you have any family traditions? I have many traditions some new some old but none the less I love them, they mean a lot too me. I think along the way in life people have forgotten about their family traditions and it is really a shame. So I hope you get to spend time with your family this holiday season and share in a tradition or even start new ones. Traditions are a great way to spend time with and appreciate the people you love. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. I can't wait for my next tradition, mimosas on Christmas morning. Now this was not my original tradition it was my sisters mother in laws who sadly is no longer with us , so to honor her we will be toasting to her memory on Christmas morning. Rest in peace Janis Case you are gone but not forgotten!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

BRRRRR.... it's Fresh Friday!

Ok well I think we have to come to the realization that winter is upon us and you know what that means living in the midwest ... it means get ready to bunker down and try and stay warm and cozy for the next few months! So for me it means getting cozy with my dear friend cabernet :-) Now I ABSOLUETLY hate winter but I am going try very hard to stay positive and cheerful, it is quite a challenge when our winters are so brutal. So there will be many nights where I will light all my candles, turn on the jazz pour a glass of vino and dream of warm beachy places. Ah to Dream.... that is how I plan on getting through this harsh reality of winter in the midwest. I also plan on trying new yummy recipe so on that note here is my Fresh Friday recipe now I have to say this is one of my absolute favs!

Asian Lettuce Wraps

For the peanut sauce...

1/3 cup of water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tbs lime juice
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 cup cooking sherry
2/3 cup peanut butter (your choice) to be healthy you can use smart balance.
blend all ingredients with a wisk and microwave until smooth.

In the meantime... saute in a wok
bean spouts
chick peas(aka garbano beans)
Shiitake mushrooms

Add 5-6 basil leaves
1/2 freshly grated ginger
2-3 fresh garlic gloves minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs cooking sherry

Cook all veggies to desired doness
serve in lettuce cups now I tried butter crisp lettuce and they are great just not so sturdy I suggest iceburg, not my favorite lettuce but it is actually great for this dish

add chopped carrots, chopped peanuts or cashews and dollop a little peanut sauce on each. Fantastic, you must try this dish I REPEAT If you like asian style food you will love this and will dream about it!

I think this dish would be great paired with a nice glass of Reisling just my humble opinion on wine and food pairings. The sweetness of the wine balances the spice in this dish.

Hope you have a great weekend and try to stay warm and cozy!


Monday, November 30, 2009

Camping Brown County Thanksgiving Weekend

So this is how our camping weekend started out with this amazing sunrise. Now it is not very often you get to appreciate a beautiful sunrise. The sky looked like it was on fire. This was one of those moments that you just savored the experience completely. I took a deep breath and said to myself how lucky am I to be able to enjoy this.
Then we rolled into the little sleepy town of Nashville Indiana and walked around and looked at all the cute little shops that were all decked out for the holidays, I think that really got me in the Christmas spirit. We went back that same night to see the town a lit up with all the twinkle lights, they even had trolly all done up like a sleigh too cute!

So the hubby went off to ride 20 some odd miles of mountain bike trail within the park. I stayed back at the campsite and hung out with Molly and drank vino and made my self a little campfire , so perfect and so relaxing. I really needed to recharge my batteries. We headed out the next morning to do a little hiking and we were welcomed by this nice little lake, truly a beautiful day for a hike in the woods.
The sky was so clear and blue this day...

All in all we had a fabulous weekend camping, we squeezed every last drop put of this perfect weekend. You truly have to jump at every opportunity that comes your way and enjoy it to it's fullest. I say we did just that! Get out and enjoy every day even the not so pretty ones.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Fresh Friday !!!

Well it's finally friday!!! is everyone in a food coma??? I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving. I have so many things to be thankful for I don't even know where to begin.... I may not be rich in the monetary sense but I have wonderful friends and family and for that I am MOST thankful. So I will keep this post simple and leave you with my fresh friday post. This was my Thanksgiving contribution...

Roasted Root Vegetables

1 large fennel bulb chopped

1 rutabaga chopped

12 Brussels sprouts

3 parsnips peeled and chopped

3 turnips chopped

shiitake mushrooms

1 small onion diced or shallots (your choice)

8 garlic gloves minced

place all veggies in a bowl and mix together olive oil teaspoon sea salt and 3tbs balsamic vinegar

place in glass baking dish and bake at 425 remove and toss all veggies with truffle oil and fresh chopped tarragon.

I have to say this was out of this world Tasty!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

TGIF !!! well we are full swing into fall and on our way into winter. So what is a person to do to get through the long midwest winter??? Well for starters you have to stay active and find something to keep you moving.... For me it's is going to be yoga and riding the trainer. You have to keep your mind and body active along with keeping your taste buds from getting bored.

There is something comforting about a bowl of homemade soup , some good hearty bread followed with a nice glass of cabernet and some good oraganic chocolate. Now that is a match made in heaven. Since I have really gotten into cooking I am so amazed at how easy it really is to prepare a good healthy meal that is also so satisfying. I can't believe how much I have learned about flavors and using fresh seasonal ingredients. I really love the idea of cooking with seasonal ingedients it's a great way to try new things and to get out of your box. So with that I leave you with my Fresh Friday recipe...

***** Roasted Red Pepper Dip*****

One jar of roasted organic red peppers
2 tbs olive oil
Cup of sauteed mushrooms of your choice
Cup of toasted walnuts ( place on cookie sheet and toast for 5-7 min) at 375
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 garlic cloves
Pinch of crush red pepper to spice it up

Throw all ingredients into food processor and puree

Serve with organic blue corn chips or all natural pita chips

Enjoy, oh and don't forget to pour yourself a glass of vino ....

You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients.
Julia Child US cook & cookbook author (1912 - 2004)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Random Beach Thoughts ...

Well another blah day in the midwest today... So I was tinkering around and dreaming of being on the beach, which I often do and I thought I would post some pics of the beach, thought it may brighten my spirits. I didn't have a bad day I just catch myself day dreaming about warm beachy places when it is dreary here. Now don't get me wrong we had a fabulous past weekend and I definetly appreciated every last minute of it! I was so thankful to have been able to be outside and soak up all the warm sunshine, it is intoxicating to the soul.
Well I guess we have to do what ever it takes to get through our long winters in the midwest, maybe we will get lucky and have a mild winter, until then I will have to stay inspired and try to be positive. There's always my friend red wine to get me through! oh and I did get a new awesome cook book so I am inspired to try something new I just love cooking. Hope you find things to keep you inspired this winter, until then I will just stay focused on positive things and count down the days til my toes hit the sand!

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."
Henry David Thoreau

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fresh Friday

So I have been sick with the flu the last two days and I feel really bad that I missed my husbands birthday yesterday.I always bake him a pumpkin pie. So after two days on the couch and the mercy of the flu I mustered up enough energy to bake him his favorite... Pumpkin pie. Of course it is going to be a lighter healthier version. Now it just wouldn't be fall without pumpkin pie right?

So I came across this healthier option for pumpkin pie, and the hubby approved !
so who says pumpkin pie can't be delicious even if it is a healthier low fat version. Now I gave it my own little twist instead of the traditional cool whip topping I melted down some really good organic chocoalte and drizzled it on top.

Organic Low Fat Pumpkin Pie :

For the crust you will need

1 1/2 cups of graham crackers I found low fat ones and just threw them in the food processor
2 Tbsp apple juice
2 Tbsp butter I used smart balance soy butter

mix all ingredients and press mixture into a 9 inch backing dish and bake for 15 min at 350 degrees
let crust cool completely

meanwhile... for the filling

mix together 2 cups organic pumpkin
1 egg yolk I used organic eggs
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup of honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
Now if you notice you don't use any sugar that's where the honey plays it's part

Once crust is completely cooled pour mixture into crust and bake 1 hour
melt chocolate and drizzle on top. I hope you give it a whirl... now I am not a pumpkin pie fan but I was a little curious so I gave it a try and I have to say it was really tasty! I think I may warm up to pumpkin pie just yet, of course I will have to have a glass of red wine with mine :-)

Something to think about ...


....all the colors of the rainbow

...all five tastes

...a varied diet

...locally grown, seasonal foods


Enjoy your food and mealtime.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Isle Royale August 2009

Even in the woods there are highways and intersections, these posts were always welcoming because the told you how many more miles you had to go before camp.
What a cute little blue sailboat, how fun would that be to have no rules or responsibilities and just tool all around... I could be happy doing that!
Ok I know you are wondering how we look so clean for backpacking, this was actually our last night so we had a chance to get clean , and let me tell you it's the best 6.00 shower you ever had after 7 days in the back country!

Isle Royale has some amazing sunsets...
I know you can't tell but my dogs were barking at this point, this is the Minong trail and it's the hardest and most challenging trail on the island, yes the trail is all rock so it is so hard to walk on this trail especially after several hours and 45 pounds of weight on your back. But needless to say I motored on ...
So after several hours on the trail we were rewarded with this beautiful view of Thunder Bay Canada, if you look close you can see we were as high as the tree tops. This is why I L.O.V.E backpacking ~

"It's not the mountain we conquer but ourselves" Author : Sir Edmund Hillary
A peaceful sunset ... I felt so privileged to be the only two people at this campsite. So amazing
Enjoying a good book and a great view of Lake Holloran, Life is Good !
Yes that is what you think it is Wolf scat, we were just hiking along and right on the trail there it was. How cool to think this wolf walked the same trail we did. It was also kind of erie to think this wolf was in the same area we were and probably not too far ahead of us ,the scat had not dried up yet it was still pretty fresh!
So to our surprise we were still hiking the same trail and we came across wolf tracks , I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. My husband says I have wildlife turrets syndrome when I am out hiking , I can't help myself I get so excited. At that moment I felt special that we got to experince this and it really made me appreciate nature even more.
Yes that is my crazy husband waving moose bones in the air like a crazy caveman, he always makes me laugh, he can find humor in just about anything. Now this was a cool find, those bones still had blood and marrow oozing out of them! Poor Mr Moose :-( but Mr Wolf's tummy was happy...
We found out that these little beauties are called Indian Pipe and are a pretty rare find.
Yes that exposed rock is the trail, at times it was hard to follow the trail sometimes the trail would take you down into the woods then straight back up the steep rock, what a work out.
Our Transportation to the the island a little seaplane.Now anyone who knows me knows that I am terrified to fly but... " I bought the ticket and took the ride" and what amazing views you get when you fly over to the island.

And the last pic is up at Copper Harbor Michigan, we found and awesome beach and had a little vino seeing that it would be awhile before I had my next glass. I hope you enjoyed the pics. I am already getting excited for next years trip. I am just so happy we didn't get trampled to death by that psychotic moose in rut!!! I am just glad we lived to tell about it. :-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall Wine Drive

So it wasn't the best day for viewing fall colors but we do live in the midwest and our weather is so not dependable to say the least... But we headed out with our friends anyway with a little vino and some healthy snacks. Our first stop was Karma Vista winery which was so adorable. We purchased a full glass of wine and sat and enjoyed the view of the vineyards. I really like this winery their wine bottles are so cute and unique with cute little catchy phrases. The name itself is even pretty cool

Karma : The great things that happen from the little things you do ; the echos of the vibration you create

Vista :view from a distance ; horizon; perspective;vision.

What a great motto. Then We were off to the Round Barn winery which is one of my favs, it is such a beautiful place. Then we went to Free Run Cellars and lastly Tabor Hill another fav of mine. After all of our wine tasting we thought we better eat something cause you know wine tasting can be exhausting!

We ended up at the Stray Dog that is always a guranteed good time no matter season it is. So even though the weather conditions were not picture perfect we somehow made the best of it as we always do. I hope you get to get out this fall and experience the changing of the leaves, the crisp fresh air and the delicious smells of fall. Even though fall is not my favorite season I still enjoy a nice cozy fire with some vino and some yummy pumpkin soup.

Embrace fall and take time to slow down , relax and recharge summer will be here before you know it. Enjoy and appreciate each season and what it has to offer. Fall is a great time to get your creative juices flowing again ....

Happy Fall

Friday, September 25, 2009

~Fresh Friday Spa Style! ~

Well it's Fresh Friday and I know I am supposed to post something edible but.. since fall is officially here that means it's time to slow down and relax and take in all of falls fabulous colors and smells. So I thought why not post something you can do while sitting outside enjoying falls arrival. So I came across a recipe for a pumpkin face mask and I thought ok how nice would that be to make your own face mask out of natural ingredients. So open up your favorite fall red wine, break out some organic chocolate put on some jazz and whip up your own pumpkin face mask.
Oh in case you didn't know pumpkin conatins antioxidants such as vitamins A & C as well as phytonutrients that help you looking young!

I hope you make the time this fall to slow down and wind down from all of the summer activities and just relax and enjoy what is right in front of you!

Happy Fall

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

To make the mask you will need to :

Mix together 1/2 cup of organic pumpkin
1/4 cup bentonite clay which I found out you can buy at your local health food store

1 tsp honey
2 tbs water
1 tbsp almond oil
2 tsp cinnamon

apply evenly to your face, leave on for 10 min.
almond oil moisturizes the clay draws out the impurities honey replenishes collagen and the cinnamon improves circulation .
Can't wait to whip mine up!