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A place for busy people to find inspiration, nurture their creative spirit, & CREATE the life they want to live. Make a date to CREATE today!


art (1) Balance (4) chalkboard paint (2) dessert (1) dinner (1) DIY (9) fabric (1) family (2) food (3) garden (1) gift (2) Gratitude (4) Green (1) Green Being (2) jewelry (1) kids (6) make-believe (1) nature (1) organize (3) party (1) positive (1) running (7) sewing (6) window pane (1) wood (2)


Dessert: Dragon Fruit

CREATE an easy, unique, & delicious dessert

Have you ever noticed the interesting exotic fruit at your local grocery store?
Well, from time to time we like to bring these home to try for dessert.
Today we have...
Dragon Fruit!
No doubt the name itself is quite exciting.
Of course, once we were home we had no idea how you're supposed to cut, eat, & serve this lovely pink food. So, we went to the internet. Below you will see all the steps.
1st - Cut it in half
Surprise! All white with little black seeds inside! We weren't expecting that!
2nd - Scoop out the flesh.
3rd - Dice it up & serve right inside the skin!

It has subtle flavor that resembles a kiwi fruit (or, at least, that's what we thought)


(What exotic grocery store fruits have you tried? - Please share)


Half-Marathon: 34 days to go!

CREATE the fitness you want in your life!

34 days until the big day!
Life has become much busier lately, so getting all the runs in is getting much more challenging. I'm working on making the best use of my mornings & evenings to try & fit in the mileage.
This week is an easy week (helps with preventing injury).
Here is this week's training schedule:

Mon: Rest
Tues4mi, easy run
Wed: Rest 
Thur4mi, easy run
Fri: 4mi, easy run
Sat: Rest
Sun4mi, easy run


Festive Bunting

CREATE a festive bunting!

I love all the cute buntings I see everyone making online!
So I figured it was time for me to make one &, with a little adjusting, I am very happy with the results!

Using fabrics I purchased at Goodwill (see the post here),  I created my template & cut my first piece of fabric.
Then I cut out a set with the same fabric.
Using that first piece I measured & cut all the other pieces of fabric.
This Hawaiian shirt made for some fun fabric!
Here, I laid them out & played with patterns.  I wanted to sew them back to back.
Well, let's just say that I am not a master sewer (yet!).
I think the variety of fabrics & very old machine didn't quite work.
I broke the machine :)
So... PLAN B
I laid them out & clipped them onto a clothes line with clothes pins.
Thank goodness I came up with this pretty quick because it was for a gathering THAT afternoon!
Here are some pics of the final results!

Happy bunting!

Chalk board paint - mason jars

CREATE stylish & functional organization

Use chalkboard paint to create a write-upon label on Mason jars to use as storage!
Mason jars are available in various sizes & can be purchased by the case, making them very affordable.
Find them in your grocery store or
Tape off the area you'd like to paint. I wanted to use my blue paint tape as it is so easy to peel off but masking tape worked just as well.
I used a small foam roller available here & chalkboard paint available here.
You can see how they look very transparent after the first coat.  I just let them dry in the sunshine for a few minutes before applying another coat. I think I did a total of 3 or 4 coats.
FYI - The instructions tell you to let them sit for 3 days before conditioning & writing on them. Just keep this in mind if you were planning on giving them as a gift or needed them right away.  Then it's a total of 7 days from when you painted them before you can wipe them with a wet cloth.
I am using them in my cupboards for cereal, crackers, snacks, beans, dog treats, etc.
They really clean up the space & I love that I can easily change them as I change the contents inside the containers.


Half-Marathon: 48 days to go!

CREATE the fitness you want in your life!

This week's training plan:

Mon: Rest
Tues: 2 or 3mi, easy run
Wed: Rest
Thurs: 7mi, speed work (1mi warm-up, 3x1600 w/ 800 jogs in between, 1mi cool-down)
Fri: 2mi, easy run
Sat: Rest
Sun: 9mi, long run


Half-Marathon: 55 days to go!

CREATE the fitness you want in your life!

55 days until my first half-marathon! Feeling stronger with every run!
Here is this week's training schedule:

Mon: Rest
Tues: 3mi, easy run (I didn't actually get to this run)
Wed: Rest (I did 5.8mi to make up for yesterday!)
Thur: 6mi, tempo run (1mi warm up, 4mi @ 11:48, 1mi cool down)
Although, I think I can actually pick up the pace here now.
Fri: 2mi, easy run (will probably do 3 or 4mi)
Sat: Rest
Sun: 8mi, long run

I'd love to hear from anyone out there who is training for, or who has run a half-marathon before!
Any advice?

Art Wagon

CREATE more opportunities to CREATE!
We love to CREATE outside & I want my kids to feel like it's easy to CREATE anywhere!
I also want it to be easily accessible, portable, & inexpensive for me & my family...
So, to do this I created the ART WAGON! 
Instead of lugging all of our supplies in & out of the house by hand we just use the wagon!
Using a wagon we already had (or you can get one through Craigslist) & supplies around the house, the cost is $0!  The ART WAGON is always stocked & ready to go whenever we want to head outside for some creative fun! You can fill it with whatever supplies you want.
Here is a list of basics that we usually have inside of ours.

Art Wagon Supplies:
~ different sizes, shapes, & colors of paper &/or stretched canvas
~ variety of paint brushes
~ variety of paints
~ colored pencils
~ sketch book(s)
~ jugs of water for rinsing brushes, cups, & people
~ cups/bowls/styrofoam trays for the paint
~ metal/wire basket(s) for containing items outside of the wagon when creating
~ wood, rocks, nature items (to paint on or sketch)
~ drop cloth just in case (we get the vinyl/cloth table cloths at the end of the season when they're on sale)
~ easel, sometimes our smaller, table top, easel fits but most of the time someone carries it out by hand
~ anything else you can think of! We add to & subtract from the wagon all the time.

Everyone can help with bringing out the Art Wagon!
Just a glimpse at what's in our wagon today
It doesn't take long for the easel(s) to be set up, paint to be poured, & the creating to begin.
When you are creating outside it's easy for artists to take a little nature break in the midst of their creating.  Who knows what kind of inspiration they may find while climbing a rock, dancing in the grass, or playing amongst the trees!
These artists discover an interesting moth they've never seen before while taking a nature break.
This artist is inspired to paint a picture of the moth!
 The Art Wagon is always nearby with any needed supplies.
The Moth & Fire Engine
Castle At Sunset
"These are mountains at sunset behind a castle.  The sun is going down so the mountains look reddish. Sometimes they look purple when the sun is up. The yellow spots are the sparkling sun beams - you know how you can see that sometimes?" (artist quote)

I'd love to hear from you about your outdoor creating adventures!


Dinner: Shar's Mexican Soup

I don't often get to see my friend Shar (we used to be inseparable along with our b.f.f. Terri when we were little)  so when I visited recently & she made this delicious soup I was even happier!
Now I have a yummy recipe to make for my family (usually my husband cooks) that I think I may actually be able to pull off!

1 medium sized yellow onion
1 medium sized red onion
minced garlic
2 (32oz.)containers of vegetable broth
1 large can of diced tomatoes
2 or more carrots
1 or 2 celery stalks
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can black beans
1 can white beans
blue tortilla chips
1 or 2 avocados
sour cream
shredded cheese
{optional: meat or non-meat product of your choice}

The other great thing about this recipe is that it makes a lot! So have some friends over, bring some to your neighbors, or freeze some for left overs for the rest of the week!

Pour vegetable stock & diced tomatoes into large pot and turn heat on low.
Chop up the veggies (carrots, celery, & corn will be added directly to the pot)

Rinse the beans & add to the pot.
Add olive oil & as much garlic as you like to a pan. Toss in the yellow & red onions & saute.
As you cook, add a bit of salt, pinch of sugar, & cumin to taste.
Cook until carrots are tender. Then pour into bowls.
Cut an avocado in half, as shown.

Score the inside with a knife.
Push from underneath & you instantly have a nicely cubed avocado!
Sprinkle shredded cheese, then crushed blue tortilla chips over the soup.  Slap a dollop of sour cream & the cubed avocado over the top & you're ready to eat!


Fabric from the Goodwill

Check out the fabrics I picked up from the Goodwill.
What a fabulous & affordable way to reduce, reuse, recycle!
Planning on making a bunting for an upcoming gathering! (My first 1!)
Fun, fun, fun!


Future Designer in Training

So, I have a son who, since the time he was born, has been interested in dolls & dresses.
He's constantly taking any available blanket in the house & designing it into a dress.
We, of course, embrace his passion for design &, rather than deter him from an art that may be considered "girly", we've decided to help him explore this further.
(Heck, he could end up becoming a successful designer some day & be able to hook me up with much more hip clothes than I'm currently wearing! Ha!)
Since I was learning how to use my sewing machine, I decided I'd bring him along for the ride & try to teach him some basics (keeping in mind that I'm not sure I really know what I'm doing).
1st we traced a dress we already had, creating a pattern. This, of course, lead to discussions of measurement (bonus).
Next, the pattern was cut out...
... & we compared the pattern to the doll. 
I held the fabric while he traced the pattern onto the fabric.

I pinned the fabric along the lines he traced & then he cut along the lines.
Fabulous cutting!
He was so excited to be in charge of the pedal while I fed the fabric through the machine.
We tested out the sewn fabric on the doll to see if we needed to do any trimming & decided that adding some Velcro was essential (Although I am not a serious sewer, I am a full-time teacher.   So of course I had some Velcro on hand!)
We thought a zig-zag stitch would make it more fancy.
Here we are wrapping her up & checking our handy work.
Here, he's showing other family members his first creation & how the Velcro works. (Smile) 
Ta-Da! Here she is!
(FYI, since this picture was taken the skirt has gotten a lot shorter.  He discovered my pinking shears & just wanted to "give it a trim", but then kept going - ahaha, gotta love an artist at work!)