Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why Did You Adopt??

Why did we adopt? This short video explains why....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Milk Does a Body Good

So I've been experimenting with different "milks" lately. My guys never know what's going to end up in the fridge. haha! I started with Soy Milk but didn't care much for the taste. Then I tried Almond Milk which is tasty and healthy. But lately I've switched to Trader Joes unsweet coconut milk...good for keeping off the pounds! It's more watery than Almond Milk but I LOVE coconut and it has good flavor.

We've been doing "Bob Harper's Skinny Rules" for a couple of weeks and have dropped a few pounds already. I cannot give up my homemade mochas so it was nice to find this type of milk to use. It makes really tasty mochas...especially if you use a combo of Starbucks ground Verona mixed w/coconut flavored coffee! I've also found chocolate flavored coconut milk individual boxes so I'm going to try ordering a Dry Americano from Starbucks and adding that milk to it. Would be a healthier alternative to the regular Sbux mochas when I'm out on the road.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I have a recipe for popsicles that include a slice of kiwi in them. They looked really cool so I made up my own recipe for....

Kiwi Pops

1 Papaya-juiced
1/3 of a fresh pineapple, juiced
1 orange, juiced
1 kiwi sliced
A little unsweet coconut milk 
(I used Trader Joes in a carton, not canned)

Juice & mix. Layer in popsicle molds:
A little juice, a little fruit mash from the juicer, 1 Kiwi, more juice to the top.

This made approx 9 popsicles. Pretty tasty!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

10 Random Things About Me

A few years ago I did this and it was funny to read some things about I've changed or haven't changed. Haha. So I'm doing it again with an update, but this time I'll limit it to the top 10. 


1. I cannot sit still and am ALWAYS fidgeting (even without the coffee!)

2. I have always wanted a treehouse for my office, with a sitting area where I can take my laptop & iced mocha. Unfortunately, cactus' don't make good treehouses.

3. I HATE wearing shoes and almost ALWAYS wear my flip flops.

4. I get homesick for the ocean (even though I've lived in the desert most of my life) and have to live within driving distance of it.

5. I started playing violin when I was 8. Taught myself bass when I was 11. Recently took up the ukulele and still want to learn to play mandolin.

6. I had 3 dates in high school. Yes, 3. Met my future hubby two weeks after high school graduation and he became my first and only boyfriend.

7. When I met Don I was 17 and told him I didn't want to get married till I was 30. He said "Me too" and then I got married when I was 21. Then I told him I didn't want to have kids. When we were newlyweds, apparently I told a friend that I'd always thought about adopting and if I ever had children, I hoped I would have a boy (I don't remember that conversation!) I never envisioned myself with a baby, always a toddler. FLASH FORWARD.... 17 years later, we had our first child, adopted a 10 month old boy. *Can you say premonition?

8. I LOATHE speaking in public and would rather sing in front of thousands of people than speak. People tell me I look confident and that's always boggled my mind because I sure don't feel it!

9. I am a horrible procrastinator.

10. I became a coffee drinker at 27. Started my current art career when I was 37. Became a mom at 39. Almost got down to my "married weight" (115 lb) at 43 (gained a few back, working my way down again. Thanks Bob Harper for your Skinny Rules.) My motto.... you're never too "old" to start doing SOMETHING and accomplish it!

**Bonus Thing:  I don't like candy except chocolate bars. But I LOVE baked goods. Not super sweet moussey ganache truffle frosting type of baked goods. Just give me a good chocolate cake and I'll be happy. Or a brownie. With no frosting. Even a snickerdoodle is perfect. I'm getting hungry.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Art on Fall Garden Flags!

Very excited that my Falling Leaves art will be featured on large & small garden flags this fall in Lowe's Home Improvement stores across the nation! Let me know if you spot them. Not sure when Lowes will be putting out their fall flags so keep an eye out. Yay!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cream Pie on a Stick

The past few days have been the hottest on record here in Tucson. Seriously, 112 degrees??! After I picked up my 1st grader, waiting with his class outside in the sweltering heat (I mean, really?!) we were SO ready for one of our newest popsicle creations when we got home. So here's the latest:

Banana Coconut Dream Pop

This one tastes like coconut banana cream pie!

1 cup shredded unsweet coconut
1-2 mashed bananas
1 cup coconut milk (from carton, not a can)
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup - 1cup organic sugar (to taste)
**I combined the sugar & milk in a pot over med heat until the sugar dissolved, then mixed it all together.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back to School

Bye summer, hello 1st Grade! I got kind of knot in my stomach when I realized my boy is no longer in Kindergarten. Now he starts the big boy grades and lots of homework. His school has an accelerated curriculum so although he's in 1st grade, they will be doing 2nd grade work. Pretty soon we won't be able to help him with homework anymore and he'll be teaching us. Yikes! Looking forward to another exciting school year!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Berry Good

And YUM...another fun popsicle creation...that almost wasn't to be. I had juiced the blueberries and put them in a cup to mix in some sugar. My 5 yr old son was taking the leaves off the strawberries but put a little too much muscle into one and...CRASH! Blueberry juice all down the front of the cabinet and all over the floor. Of course he immediately burst into tears knowing he just spilled part of the popsicle experiment. But no use crying over spilled blueberries so I threw him a towel and he cleaned up his mess (you make it, you clean it)...very well I might add! Luckily, I just took some of the blueberry fruit mash from the juicer, added a little sugar and it made a nice "slush" for the popsicle. So without further ado...presenting...

Berry Burst Popsicle

1 pint blueberries, juiced (save mash)
1 quart strawberries juiced
Organic sugar or Agave syrup to taste

Juice blueberries. Mix a little of the fruit mash with juice & sugar to taste. Pour into 1/3 of mold.
Juice strawberries & mix a little of the fruit mash with sugar to taste. Pour to top of mold & freeze.
*To loosen molds, run under warm water for 10-30 seconds.
*If you don't have a juicer, use a blender or food processor.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

End of Summer Recipes

Every summer I think, "Hey! Time to do fun summer stuff!" Then I procrastinate, and before you know it, here it is...the end of summer and school starts next week. Now I'm suddenly trying to make up for lost time and lost moments. Argh! 

I've become obsessed with popsicles lately. Not the cheap, buy at the dollar store kind, but the "how can I experiment and come up with funky flavors" kind. I think it started when I went to a local Food Truck Roundup and came across a vendor called Cyclopsicles. He makes weird popsicle combos like Papaya/Ginger/Chili/Avocado (or something like that). The flavors were a bit strong (and a bit weird) for my taste but it sparked my interest in making my own. So I went out and bought some popsicle molds and made my first creation. I think I'll call about...

Big Island Sunset Popsicle

Juice 1/3 of a ripe pineapple
Juice 1 mango
Juice 3 tangerines
Mix in unsweet shredded coconut & some of juiced fruit mash.
Pour into molds

Oh. My. Gosh. Sweet tropical heaven!

Gourmet popsicle accomplished. Now I don't know about you but while I do enjoy a good salad, I get tired of eating them every day during the summer. In fact, I eat a decent size breakfast so I'm rarely famished for lunch. So in my "lightbulb moment", I decided "I'll make my homemade salsa for lunch!"

What an epiphany. And it was delish! Especially paired with On the Border chips.

Denise's Homemade Salsa

8-10 Roma tomatoes diced (Roma's are sweeter & just plain prettier)
1 onion diced
4-5 green onions minced
1 Tbls minced garlic
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
2 cans green chilis
2-4 serrano peppers (depends on your heat pref. Serranos taste better IMO)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt & sugar (to taste)