Remain Calm

I’m having computer problems again, and so, my 2 month old Mac is currently out of commission.  It’s sad and frustrating to have a new computer just stop working and shut down on you completely in the middle of working on a new blog post.  I feel I have the worst luck with electronics, or maybe it’s just me.  However, I refuse to let computer woes get me down again, so I’ll be taking lots of pictures and spending time in the art room until it’s working again.  Maybe it’s good to sometimes have separation time from our computers, and, I’ll have lots to share upon it’s (fingers crossed) safe return.

The morning after the computer malfunctioning, I spent  quiet time in the art room creating a quick card for a good friend, and massage therapist, who I haven’t been able to see enough of lately. I’ve been able to keep myself in a calm and peaceful state despite some rather irritating and discouraging events this past week and I think this doodle was a reflection of that need for momentary meditation, even if it’s just found in a simple cup of tea.  I really like this image and I think I’ll be tweaking with it some to use it again.

{namaste}

Hope everyone has a peaceful and happy day!

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Sunny Neon Days

{Color in Motion tank, Zenana outfitters shorts purchased here , DIY feather hair accessory, Ann Taylor Loft sunglasses, beaded bracelet c/o my talented aunt and old friendship bracelets}

Today the weather has taken a turn for the rainier, but the last few days have been sun, sun, sun.  On our days off we took advantage of the weather, spending almost all of our time outside soaking it in.  With Spring already seaming to quickly make way for Summer, I have been finding myself drawn towards neons and vibrant shades even more.  I’ve added a few new neon tanks to my collection lately and they have been a staple for me recently.  Here in Colorado we stay pretty active and sometimes shorts and a tank are perfectly appropriate, so that you, and your outfit, can quickly adapt with plans and activities.  We filled our  sunny days this week with golf, long walks, laughs with good friends, and a little patio time.  We spent one evening at our local drive-in, a summer favorite of ours, getting there a little early to enjoy a picnic dinner and some relaxing reading time on our make shift bed piled in the back of the jeep.  It’s the quite, and quaint times around Fort Collins that can make it feel so truly unique and pleasurable to live here. Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

{patio relaxing}

{I love this straw tote I got while visiting Charlottesville, perfect for summer}

{they were holding US Open Qualifiers where we had lunch and cocktails}

{on the green…}

{…shhhhhhh}

{Meeting friends at Odell Brewery}

{J Crew tank, thrifted shorts, Coach purse, Ann Taylor Loft sunglasses, Lux cardigan for after the sun goes down}

{I found these while “treasure hunting” this week, they make a faint chiming sound in the wind♥ }

{cuddled up for movie time}

Lemon-Pepper Pasta with Asparagus

{minimal ingredients so the pasta’s flavor can stand out}

This recipe is full of fresh flavor and a cinch to make.   With the on set of warm weather I have been craving foods reflective of  clean, crisp summer eating, so it seemed appropriate to create a dish using just a few wonderfully paired ingredients.   Citrus is a flavor I always love in the warmer months so this lemon-pepper pasta I picked up at the farmer’s market provide the perfect base for a spring time pasta.  If you can’t find this particular pasta, I imagine that using regular pasta (whole wheat or white) would work too for this recipe, but I would ramp up the lemon and pepper flavors by adding more of both to the dish while cooking.  Also, while asparagus is in season currently, the bunch I bought at the grocery by my work was kind of woody, so I really can’t wait to try this with more tender, slender stalks of asparagus. I would probably skip my first step, boiling asparagus, if using more petit stalks. Enjoy! And let me know if you try it!

*this dish was perfectly paired with baked salmon and a lemon, dill, greek yogurt sauce. yummmmm

                    Ingredients: ( when I was cooking for 2  )

                -1/4 lb lemon-pepper pasta

                -1/2 lb fresh asparagus cut into smaller pieces 

                -4 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

                -3 slices of lemon

                -1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

                -spinkling of thyme, about 1/2 Tblsp

                -1tsp sea salt

                – shaved parmesan, if desired

To begin I flash boiled the asparagus.  I wanted to give them just enough time to soften, but pulled them out quickly, after about 5 minutes, so that they would still have some snap in the dish. Rinse with cool water and set aside.  Then in a medium sauce pan I began to heat the olive oil, garlic, and lemon slices over a low/medium heat to keep the garlic from browning.  I let these simmer together for about 15 minutes.  When the garlic is soft, and very aromatic, add the asparagus, thyme, and salt.  Let all the ingredients cook together for another 10 minutes or so, then reduce the heat to low/warm and cover.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil and cook the pasta al dente, 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.     Drain pasta.  

While still warm add pasta to the sauce pan with olive oil garlic, and asparagus, removing the slices of lemon with tongs first.  Toss lightly and serve. I garnished our dishes with fresh shaved parmesan.

And now you have a delicious spring inspired dish.

{bon appétit}

Chalkboard Boxes

Chalkboard paint is such a cute and easy way to turn a thrift store find into something new and fun.  When I spotted these three plain dry goods storage boxes I thought they’d be the perfect candidates for a little sprucing up project.  And since in the past our flour and sugar has been kept high, these containers bring some kitchen staples within an easy reach for my short self.

{chalkboard paint, sponge brush, paint tray, tape, scissors, and a surface to paint}

I first cleaned the surface I was going to be painting, then taped around the front face of all the boxes in order to keep the edges  clean and smooth.

{first coat}

Make sure to use long, one directional strokes when painting so that the paint dries in a more smooth finish.  Also I found two coats of paint to be perfect, just make sure you let the paint dry thoroughly between coats.

{second coat}

After 24 hours of dry time, lightly rub a dusting of chalk over the entire painted surface, then wipe clean.  This primes the paint for further chalking, so let you imagination do the rest.