I hope you had a wonderful Easter holiday! Mine was delightful. The weather here was beautiful and, for me, there is nothing quite like a sunny Easter morning to lift the spirits. I sang in two services at my church which was exhilarating, then enjoyed a delicious meal with my family and finally took a rare afternoon off and just relaxed, reflecting on the preciousness of the day and being grateful for the many joys in my life. Low on that list but still something I’m grateful for is my little back garden. I am still working on some projects there so it’s not quite photo ready yet but I’m super excited that the mint I planted in a galvanized tub (because you shouldn’t plant it in a bed unless you want it take over the world!) is already going strong and I was able to harvest some to make some tasty after Easter treats! Minty Lemon Bars!
Today is a mini-milestone in my life. I have successfully (although certainly not perfectly) made french macarons from scratch. Me! Moi! Someone pinch me because, surely I’m dreaming right?! But non! it is true! I did it and best of all, you can do it too!
Oh the glorious sights of Spring! I just had to share this breathtaking stand of Bradford Pear Trees. I think that a gathering of trees like this is such a special sight to behold and since it only lasts for a few days it’s one to stop and savor, don’t you agree?
Hello my dear friends! I am sorry to have been MIA last week. Between getting photo shoots done, getting my little one ready for her first day of pre-school (which is today!!) and tackling some projects in my back garden now that Spring seems to have officially arrived (hooray!!) I’ve just been swamped and had to let go of a few things just to try to keep my head above water. Can you relate to that feeling? I missed you though and just had to stop in, if only briefly, to say hello and I missed you! I’ve just completed a monumental (for me at least!) project in the back garden and honestly I’m just about to collapse on the sofa after taking some Tylenol or ibuprofen. It’s by far the most ambitious DIY project I’ve ever attempted and I’m thrilled with the results. And, yes, I will share it with you soon, I promise. The photo above shows a sneak peek at some of the beautiful colors that are beginning to appear in my yard. I can honestly say I’ve never been this excited about Spring or working in the yard. I’ve certainly never tackled as many DIY projects as I am this year. I guess the fresh Spring winds have also brought me a fresh jolt of gardening ambition.
Sorry for being MIA this week. I had a big photo shoot for the next issue of my magazine which kept me hopping. The shoot went very well and I’m so excited to share it with you in the May/June 2014 issue. Before the week runs out completely though, I wanted to share a delicious and pretty simple recipe with you for Sausage & Peppers Salad. Today, I had a hankering for a good-old sausage and peppers sandwich but I’ve been trying to cut-down on my carbs lately to help me drop a few more pounds (so far I’ve lost 21 pounds! woo-hoo!). In case you’re wondering, the biggest changes that I’ve made to how I eat include: just eating smaller portions, being conscious about the calories I eat or drink (although I’m not particularly counting calories), and trying to eat fewer carbs. It’s taken 5 months to lose the weight so far, but I’m not in a big hurry. I just want to feel healthier and I’m delighted that God has given me the grace to finally do this!
As I mentioned earlier this week in this post, my daughter and I went for a short drive during the last snowfall. While we were out we came upon this small stable and I couldn’t resist hopping out and taking some quick photos of these beautiful horses in the snow. I love, love, love horses. Growing up we had horses but right now I don’t and I sorely miss them. My daughter seems to be developing a love for them too, which I have to admit, makes me very happy!
I am so excited to introduce you to Stacie Ann: Handmade in Texas! She is my newest blog sponsor and I have to say that I’m in love with her whimsical designs! She has a great wit and comes up with some of the cutest ideas. I’m eager to share a few of my favs with you plus, check out the bottom of this post for a discount code just for Celebrating Everyday Life readers to use to get your favorites! Ready? Here we go!
Well, it has snowed again! When I heard the forecast I grumbled… a lot. But then, once the snow began to fall, I decided to embrace the beauty of it. After all, my complaining won’t stop it from falling… not even one flake! Thankfully this is a very wet snow and the roads have not been covered. After watching many cars driving about in our neighborhood my daughter and I decided to bundle up and head out for our own little photography adventure in the snow. Normally when it snows it’s so difficult (and potentially dangerous) to drive around that I don’t dare head out into it with a three-year-old but, I could tell this was different. A kinder, gentler snow if you will. So off we went! And we were rewarded with quiet beauty like this snowy road you see here. Everything was muffled and still and very magical! Snow truly does have a transforming power within its flakes. I thought these lines from Scottish poet William Sharp perfectly captured this sentiment:
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my friend! No matter if you are Irish by birth or by choice – today is a day to celebrate the beauty of the Emerald Isle! So put on a bit o’ green, listen to a toe-tapping tune, and eat hearty! It’s this last part that I want to help you with. So, without further ado, may I introduce you to my Irish inspired Bangers & Mash.
The other day I was thinking about fun ways to add a bit of green food to my menu in honor of St. Patrick’s Day coming up. Coincidentally, March is also the birth month of Dr. Seuss and well… next thing I knew, the idea for Deviled Green Eggs & Ham popped into my head! Deviled eggs are one of my all-time favorite picnic/special occasion treats (I’ve even turned them into Deviled Egg Salad sandwiches which you can see here) and yet, they actually are pretty easy to make any day of the week, so I don’t know why I hold out on these. Normally I don’t make mine with relish but since I wanted to add some “green” this was the perfect condiment for the job.