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 !

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Beachy Photo Project

So I love photography and I especially love to photograph the beach at all times of the year, so as you can imagine I have tons of beach photos from various beaches .

So here is a simple little photo project you can do with your photos

What you will need:

Canvas Photo Paper
4x6 or 5x7 Canvas Forms
Staple Gun

First get yourself some photo canvas paper at your hobby store , it comes on sheets of 8 x 10 then pick out your favorite photos, mine of course were beachy... Load the paper in your printer and print. You will also need to by the preformed canvas which you can also purchase at your local hobby store. Staple the canvas photos onto the pre stretched canvas. Now for this project you will only be able to do 4x6 or 5x7 photos seeing that you have to allow for stretching of the canvas. This gives the illusion of your picture being stretched around the whole canvas. Such a fun simple little photo project and so SUPER easy.

I just love the way they turned out ,you can display them on a shelf or hang them directly on the wall. These would make great personal Christmas gifts too! You can also do individual photo letters and spell out your favorite little sayings, I think I will try that next. So give this simple little craft project a whirl and see what you come up with I would to see some other ideas. Happy saturday crafting! Oh and did I mention the sun is shining here today??? this motivates me to get crafting.

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

"Get busy living or get busy dying" Shaw Shank Redemption I L*O*V*E this quote!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Finding Winter Happiness

So I would much rather be here.... But I am here..... getting through a midwest winter and staying focused on doing things that make me HAPPY!
So I promised myself this winter I would find happiness and be HAPPY this winter no matter what. You all who know me have heard me say a thousand times how much I hate WINTER!!!!

So call me crazy but I put on a happy face along with what seemed like 10 layers of clothing and headed outside to have a fire. I poured some vino and turned on all the twinkle lights, lit some candles and even turned on this adorable palm tree( a gift from my sister) and got HAPPY!!! I have to say it is a lot of work to get all bundled up and it also takes a lot of determination to make yourself sit outside when it is only 22 degrees but you know what? We had a fabulous time.
I even painted this wine glass with chalk board paint so I could write happy little sayings to myself, this makes me happy.
I even talked my husband into sitting outside with me, he is such a good sport... I am always dragging him into some crazy idea including going to Lake Michigan to take pictures of the beach during a snow storm.
When we left the house to head up to the Beach it was snowing so hard we could not see anyone in front of us... probably not my best idea ever, I even said should we turn around? and you know what my husband said??? Nonsense we have 4 wheel drive we will be fine! Sometimes in life you just have to go for it and not look back.
As you can see lake Michigan was angry this day, check out the waves!!! they were huge,(this picture does not do justice for how big the waves were. I don't think I have ever seen the waves so big on the lake before. As we were walking down the trail to the beach you could here the lake roaring, you could just feel the raw power of the lake that day. The waves sounded like a freight train coming.Even though it was brutal out there it was invigorating, it really made me feel alive. The sound of the waves roaring and the wind beating on my skin reminded me that mother nature is always in charge! You just have to get out and breathe and enjoy what you are given each day.Mother nature did not give us sunshine this day but you know what? we still found beauty at the beach even in the depths of winter.
Molly had a blast on the beach, she was one happy dog playing on the beach, she likes to bite at the waves,so cute. I am so glad we didn't turn around and go back that day, we ALL had a wonderful day scouting around the beach. I found some nice big pieces of drift wood and even some sea glass, which mind you is hard to come by on Lake Michigan. So what are you doing to stay happy this winter? I know getting out and staying active is on my list this winter. I think camping is next on my agenda!I know call me crazy but yes we are going camping and we are going to hike some trails and be HAPPY doing it. I hope you find things to do this winter that make you happy. So get out there and embrace winter and find HAPPINESS while doing it.

~ Do one thing every day that makes you happy ~

Saturday, November 27, 2010


So lately I have been in a bit of a slump mentally and creatively.I really am affected by winter's harshness. I don't care how positive you try to be in the winter time in the midwest it is just plain HARD!!! I have tried to put on a good face and ignore it but I don't like anything about winter. So the one thing I have been doing is dreaming about one day opening my own little wine beachy boutique with my sister. We both love wine and the beach, just perfect for us.The name of our shop would be SHORE VINO. We would even sell our own little beachy creations along with wine. I can envision our little shop down by the beach with white washed wood floors and turquoise walls. As you walk in you would smell our beachy candles and hear jazz music playing. I would love to even have a small little tasting bar for vino. You could do a little tasting while shopping for fun beachy gifts.The possibilities are endless.How fun would that be to own a little shop with your sister??? so what do you think??? I could be super happy working there could you be happy shopping in our little beachy wine boutique??? Check out this vino... Seaglass just perfect for a day at the Beach. And yes the wine is really yummy.Shore Vino would gladly make you a plate of cheese, some good dark chocolate and a bottle of vino to take down to the beach and watch the sunset.

Yup that's my sister and I happy as can be riding our beach cruisers... being free and sharing all our our hopes and dreams together. Never ever ever give up on your dreams, always follow your heart and never be afraid to be "YOU" and having great friends who support you and your dreams and who are truly happy for you,I thank you for believing in me!!!

So there you have it... my dream to open up Shore Vino with my sister . Oh and by the way a dream has to start somewhere right? We have purchased the domain name Shore Vino. We both came up with the name together one night while having a little vino and brain storming. I just love it, two of our favorite things!!! A dream starts with the smallest of steps but you just have to keep moving forward to make your dreams come true!I hope you take some time to dream everyday, you never know where your dreams will take you!

"Nothing happens unless first we dream."
Carl Sandburg

Monday, October 18, 2010

Welcome Fall

So fall is here in the midwest and I am embracing it gracefully... I don't mind fall it's just what comes after fall that I hate!!! I am trying to stay positive and keep a good attitude about myself. I just really have a hard time with the dark gray days that seem to linger forever. Winter really takes a toll on me... I am such the summer ocean girl at heart, it makes me the most HAPPY! I love the ocean because it is so free and untamed , even wild that is how I would describe myself a free untamed wild spirit!
I do love sunflowers in the fall they are such happy little smiling faces. I am embracing the wonderful smells of fall and the showering of falling golden leaves. The leaves have a nutty earthy smell about them. Mother nature is getting ready to tuck everything in for the winter. The squirrels are foraging, the birds are fueling up for their long trek south and the sun is slipping further away from the earth only to show it's pretty little face again in the spring. Fall is a time to reap all of summers hard work. It always amazes me how the earth goes through such an amazing transformation. Just when you think winter will never end spring announces it's arrival , the first daffodil rears it's pretty little head and the birds begin their springtime serenade. Somehow every year the earth wakes up from it's long winter slumber and welcomes us with it's rebirth of spring. So for now I will stay positive and dream of the first warm spring breeze. I will take this time to slow down and recharge my batteries and appreciate this fall season.
So in keeping with the fall theme and spirit I made a low fat curry pumpkin soup. I LOVE all things pumpkin. This really is a super easy healthy soup to make.

Fall is the perfect time to bring out the stockpot and make warming soups. This low fat cream of pumpkin soup is perfect on a cold fall day, or as an appetizer for a Thanksgiving dinner. I also topped mine with fresh sage, low fat greek yogurt and toasted pumpkin seeds. Of course my meal would not be complete with a little red wine, oh how I love Mr. Cab !

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 cups fat-free, low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated fat-free milk
  • Freshly ground Black pepper to taste


Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened. Stir in curry powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and pumpkin. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add evaporated fat-free milk and cook for 2 minutes.

Transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Recipe courtesy of low fat cooking

I hope you enjoy this fall season . Get out and enjoy all that fall has to offer, whether you go for a hike or a sunday drive through the country just get out and Breathe and Enjoy life!


"Don't be afraid to lean into the wind, love the earth in all of it's natural glories, and take care of each other"
Tom Brokaw~

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Simple Beachy Craft

Happy Friday!!! I am so excited I am flying down to South Carolina to visit my sister today WOO HOOO!! It has been two months since we've seen each other. I have been trying to keep myself busy with craft projects and social things since she has moved but let me say it has been very hard for me. But today is a HAPPY day, in a few hours I will see her , oh and did I mention she only lives 10 miles form Hilton Head Island!!! I get to break out the tank tops and flip flops! I can't wait to walk on the beach and catch up with my sister. I have missed our long talks, drinking vino together, sharing laughs and tears, our hopes and our fears and our Sunday family dinners together. So by now you must now how much I love the ocean. I am an ocean girl through and through, So here is my latest little beachy craft project, so simple...
So get yourself some rope ....
Paint some clothes pins turquoise oh and did I mention turquoise is my favorite color??? Hot glue on some cute little starfish....
Find your favorite beachy pics and attach, and there you have it! A happy little way to display your favorite beachy pictures. Don't you just love the little "Be" I just found some shells on the beach and spelled out happy little sayings...

So back to reality ... fall is in full swing here in the midwest and you know what that means... All things PUMPKIN!!! so last weekend I was pumpkin obsessed, it was all about the pumpkin. I made some yummy pumpkin curry soup and some very tasty low fat pumpkin muffins. And I even had a pumpkin latte, yum-o. I have to say the house smelled amazing. So for the pumpkin muffins you will need...

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar or organic cane sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp of ginger
1/8 tsp of allspice or cloves
1/8 tsp of nutmeg
1 cup oats
1 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin
1/4 cup of applesauce
4 egg whites
1/2 skim or I used plain soy milk
1/4 cup of walnuts

Mix together all dry ingredients
mix together wet ingredients and blend all together.

Enjoy your muffins with a cup of freshly brewed coffee~


Bake muffins at 350 for 18-20 min depending on your oven!

For this recipe and other low fat muffin recipes go to ...http://www.suite101.com/content/pumpkin-muffin-recipes-a73082
Hope you have a super weekend, get out and enjoy the sights and smells of fall...

"October's the month
When the smallest breeze
Gives us a shower
Of autumn leaves.
Bonfires and pumpkins,
Leaves sailing down -
October is red
And golden and brown."
- Can Teach Songs

Friday, October 1, 2010

Poblano White Bean Chilli

Happy Friday!!! it was a beautiful fall day here in the midwest... My heart is happy and my spirit feels free... I love this little sunflower doesn't it look like a happy smiling face. It sure puts a smile on my face. I love sunflowers in the fall and daisies in the summer, both are happy little things.
Now for a little fall inspired meal Poblano White Bean Chilli
Recipe courtesy of Vegetarian Times Magazine

3 cups cooked white beans 1 recipe for Rajas
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup corn
1 cup black beans
1 tsp lime juice
1/4 cup low fat milk
3 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

Rajas recipe :

6 poblano peppers
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
1 tsp dried oregano

Roast and peel poblano peppers on burner of stove top,then peel off charred skins
heat oil in skillet add onion, garlic cook for 5 to 9 min add oregano and poblano strips season with salt and pepper

Bring beans, rajas broth oregano and cumin, bring to a simmer and add corn black beans, cilantro and lime juice cook 15 min. warm milk in sauce pan , add goat cheese and stir until smooth
Serve chilli garnished with goat cheese and pumpkin seeds.

Pour yourself a glass of vino and sip and savor..

Have yourself a HAPPY little evening... Seeing that happy seems to be the the theme today what do you think of this wine glass? I just painted it with chalk board paint, so simple and so HAPPY Hope you have a super weekend... we are tearing windows out this weekend fun fun, the last house project and then every room has been re done. Stay tuned I will be posting the sun room make over, gonna have a warm beachy feel, can't wait until it's done!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Photo Friday

So recently my friend and I headed up to the beach to soak up the last bits of the summer sunshine... It was an absolutely picture perfect day, not a cloud in the sky, which mind you is kind of a rare thing here in the midwest. We hit a few of our favorite places for some appetizers, lunch, vino and then some more vino hee hee.We then headed down to the beach to take some photos. You wouldn't know that it is the start of fall by the photos, too bad summer is coming to an end.
I am not quite ready to put away my flip flops... Summer just makes me so happy I hate when it has to go... I absolutely love the feeling of sand between my toes. but for now I will appreciate every last nice day of summer we still have.
So now for a few little recent projects.... Who doesn't love taking something old and giving it new life! I love re working old pieces.
I found this dresser at an amazing antique shop not too far from home called Green Oaks Antiques now I love anything shabby chic and scuffed up. As you can see it was quite the transformation. I absolutely L*O*V*E the way it turned out ! My husband painted it , thanks honey! ,and I just took some sandpaper to it and scuffed up all the edges. So simple and so beachy cottagey.
So for this next little project I just used some chalkboard paint on these wine glasses. How fun are these. You can never have too much chalkboard paint in your life! I just love little craft projects ... just wish there was enough time in the day for all the ideas swirling around in my head! well I am off to enjoy my vino, and a little dark chocolate by the wonderful fire . Oh by the way the crickets and cicadas are still singing, ahhh a little bit of summer still hanging on ! I hope you have a great weekend. I am going to soak up all the sunshine I can!!!

"Summer is coming to an end but it is forever alive in my soul "
S. Spain ~

Friday, September 10, 2010

Photo Friday And Greek Inspired Pizza

HaPpY FrIDaY!!! so my husband and I just got back from a backpack trip up at Isle Royale National Park. I have to say it was amazing!! Stay tuned I will be posting lots of pics soon but.... I really love the way these silhouette photos we took turned out. We had so much fun being creative taking these photos of each other. That is one of the things I really love about vaca is the time I have to get creative with photography, it is so peaceful and quiet you can hear yourself think. I think when I am out there being connected to nature it brings out my creativeness even more, you can just breathe and just be quiet with your thoughts. The sunsets there were so beautifully amazing and so peaceful. I just love my husband we have so much fun together in all our adventures, he is always so willing to go along with all my crazy ideas. I wonder what he is thinking in this picture??? I know what I was thinking... how incredibly relaxed and at peace I was in my soul. I always tell people I am such a free spirit you can't hold me down. I need to spread my wings and be free. I can't tell you enough how incredibly thankful I am for such a beautiful life. I have an amazingly supportive husband who supports me in anything I do. I have wonderful girlfriends and a sister who is my best friend! I am so lucky that I am able to take wonderful vacations and see beautiful places life for me is truly wonderful. This is one reason I love to go off into the wilderness and just slow down and recharge. I feel like when I am out there for me it is a total cleansing of my mind, body and soul, so wonderfully REFRESHING!!
So I leave you with a wonderful pizza recipe, my husband and I enjoyed this tonight outside on the deck with a little vino and a cozy fire. Enjoy the rest of your weekend... I hope to get a 30 mile bike ride in this weekend, a little training for the apple cider century bike ride we are getting ready to do in 2 weeks. wish me luck...

Greek Inspired Pizza

So I had every intention of making my own wheat crust but... it has been a long day and I opted for buying a organic whole wheat pre made crust. Hey and you know what it worked just fine and tasted just like the one I usually make from scratch!

for the base I just kept it simple olive oil and roasted garlic.
the toppings were

kalamata olives
red onions
pine nuts
fresh rosemary
fresh thyme

I just sauteed the fennel and onions and that's it so simple and let me tell you this was one of the best pizzas I have ever made! Give it a whirl if pizza is your thing I don't think you will be disappointed.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend... I am moving over to the wonderful fire we have going in our chiminea to spend a cozy little evening with my friend MR Red Vino!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gone Backpacking ...

I'm off into the woods... I have gone back packing in the back country of Isle Royale National Park.... here's a little peek of all the beautiful splendor that Isle Royale has to offer... beautiful rocky coast lines... and peaceful sunsets..
Aqua blue waters like the ocean... that is where I will be exploring... Can't wait to get out there and start taking photos! oh and those wild blueberries and thimble berries are a welcome treat when you have been hiking all day! Stay tuned I will have lots of pics to post!

Hope you have a super weekend

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Shabby Chic Cottage Rooms and A Simple Summer Salad

So we are getting close to starting our sun room makeover! I have been thinking a long time of how I want it to look... Bead board ceiling and bead board type lower walls and the drywall section will be a warm earthy gray. Not sure on the floors yet... I would love to do them turquoise but not always the best choice of color when you go to sell... I will however have turquoise painted wood floors in my next house!!! but until then I will go with something neutral. And of course I will be decorating it with beachy shabby chic things I love beachy shabby chic furniture, I especially love re doing an old piece of furniture myself and making it beachy chic! So before you see some of the super cute rooms I found check out this simple summer salad....Fresh garden tomatoes with mozzarella, pine nuts, artichokes, a little drizzle of e.v.o.o. (extra virgin olive oil if your not familiar) a splash of balsamic vinegar and some fresh torn basil . I am lucky enough to get fresh veggies all summer from my father in law, he has the most amazing vegetable garden and herb garden. I can't go over without him filling a bag up for me LUCKY ME!!! Is there anything better than a fresh garden tomato??? yum-o! Oh and of course don't forget your favorite summer white wine. Such a simple salad but so fresh and simple!
I love this white and blue room, looks so happy and inviting, I can just imagine all the sunlight pouring in.
oh and while searching for sunroom ideas I came across this bedroom and all I can say is that I L*O*V*E it so clean and fresh , and don't you just love the sea fans on the shelf?
oooh and I gotta find those starfish pillows, too cute ...
This is a happy little space too, so many ideas ... if you have any thoughts on my sun room makeover I would love to hear them... I am getting ready to leave for a backpack trip soon and as soon as we get back we are tearing out windows, it's gonna be a big job but I can't wait to see it when it's all done. Projects projects they are never ending but I love the feeling of accomplishment you feel when the projects are all done. Remember cottage beachy chic that is what I am after! Hope you had a good weekend . Did you do a fun little project recently ?

{Enjoy all of summer's simple pleasures}

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Always On My Mind

So if you live in the midwest then you know summer is starting to wind down. Now I have to say we had a pretty awesome summer! The last few summers have been a bummer but not this year ! We have done all sorts of fun summer things... days on the beach... Antiqueing...vaca on the ocean... Several trips up at New Buffalo on the lake michigan shore... bike rides , Saugatuck , dinner at Tabor Hill Winery , wine tastings... I could go on and on.... I wish summer never had to end, but it is sadly coming to an end. I am a summer ocean girl through and through and one day I will be moving there.... My heart longs for the ocean and the salty sea air. The smell of fresh shrimp on the grill that was just caught fresh that day, sandy toes and dinner on the beach ,beach crusier rides on the beach and naps in the hammock. That is what I am talking about! That to me is LIVING!!!! that is where my heart is most HAPPY! I was born a midwest girl but a Southern Girl is who I AM!
So here a a few pics from our last weekend trip up to the beach.... the hubby and I at one of our favorite beachy bars The Stray Dog Bar and Grill.... I just love the roof top you get a great view of the lake and the passers by on their way to the beach. I love to people watch, Hee Hee
The bartender was so nice to take our picture.... Oh and there was a duet playing live music , they even played Jimmy Buffet .That really made my heart happy as can be , they even played my favorite Jimmy Buffet song by request Margaritaville! I L*O*V*E that song it always makes me feel like I am on vaca at a warm beachy place. I was so happy this night I didn't want it to end...

My girlies who love the beach as much as me..... isn't my friend in the middle adorable? she is expecting a baby girl this November, that is actaully why we went up to the beach that day. My friend sara asked me my other friend in the picture to take their family photos on the beach, I was so flattered that she asked me. I Love photography. It is so nice to have friends who encourage you no matter what it is you do. I have some amazingly talented friends who are so inspiring to be around, we are always bouncing ideas off of each other.
So here is a little sneak peak of some of the photos I took of the Nunley family.... I had a lot of fun taking their photos I have to say it was a really HOT day so as you can imagine for someone expecting a baby the photo shoot was a little tiring for her but she was a trooper !

This picture of them holding hands is one of my favorites... I had a lot of other photo ideas I wanted to do but everyone had enough picture taking in the heat, guess we will just have to do another photo shoot. Oooh maybe this fall on the beach while the sky is really blue . I hope you had a great summer, I sure have !

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Just Be... A simple thought

Just a simple thought for today .... Just Be... and do one thing every day that makes you HAPPY !We are in control of our own happiness and our Dreams. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to simply just Be....be here and be present and enjoy life's simple pleasures. Whether it is a simple stroll on the beach or just sitting quietly and collecting your thoughts, life is too short not to appreciate the simple things. We all need to recharge our minds and spirits and for me that means spending time in the back country for 9 days backpacking. When I am out there it really puts my life into perspective, you have lots of quiet time to evaluate your life and really find what is really important to you. I have found that we really can do with a lot less "things" in life, why do we get so attached to things??? I absolutely love nature and all the free "things" it gives me. I am really trying hard each day to live it to the fullest and be appreciative of the simple things.
So I leave you with this beautiful sunrise to ponder a thought... Now sit back and just Be...

I will be sure to tell you all about my backpack trip up to Isle Royale National Park. I am getting so excited , can't wait to share my adventure with you!

Oh and remember it's the free "things" in life that hold the most value.

Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Do you have a sister? and is she your best friend? My sister just moved away to South Carolina and let me tell you it was the hardest good bye I have ever had to do. I felt like someone cut off a limb. It seemed surreal, my heart was hurting and I just felt numb. We have lived in the same state our entire lives and only 5 min away from each other. Moving to South Carolina has been our dream for a very long time. We both said when we move it will be to South Carolina and we will live very near each other. All I can say is that she means the world to me and right now I just feel lost and I feel like a part of me is missing. We just joked the other day and said we share a brain. Even a friend of ours noticed that we finish each others sentences. I think we were supposed to be twins, our mom even named us very similar she is Carrie Ann and I am Sherry Ann. My mom even used to do our hair the same way and dress us in the same outfits! We do everything together... we vacation together, we sing together, we drink wine together, we truly are best friends! We have on several occasions been shopping together and we have both picked up the same exact item to show each other, too funny ! I know I will be moving to South Carolina within the next year and a half but until then I am going to miss my sister every day until the day we are back together again. We always tell everyone that we are a "package deal" if you get me you get my sister, we have even acquired the same friends. Having a sister is a very special bond if you have a sister than you know what I am talking about! So until I am with my sister again I will be relying on all my girlies to get me through this hard transition period. So as I sit here and post this I raise my glass of vino up to "SISTERS" they ROCK!!! I love you sister ~

Sisters are always there for you no matter when you need them. A sister never judges she just listens and comforts. A sister is kind and caring and forever thoughtful. A sister is there for you when you just need a hug, or a shoulder to cry on. A sister is encouraging and always lifts you up. That is my sister.