Saturday, March 31, 2012

Breakfast, Blue Skies, A Bear and a Bunny

Good morning!  I hope your weekend is off to a great start.  We are officially on Spring Break now and it's been a busy one so far.  Thankfully, today is a quiet one at home.  My favorite weekend breakfast of late is toasted rye bread with light cream cheese and honey, a few dates and walnuts, along with a cup of coffee.  A healthy and nutritious way to start the day.  We've had dust and even some rain while we were sleeping the other morning, but today blue skies are back.
Last week, Leah at Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me posted about her little teddy bear pattern that she uses to embellish baby hats.  I was finally able to make one yesterday to embellish a gift bag.  I think it will make a sweet gift for a new baby with a small soap or lotion inside.
And then, since Easter is on its way, I decided to take the same idea and make up my own little bunny by adding long ears.  I am very pleased with the results.  In these bags, I will add some Easter grass and chocolate eggs and give them as gifts to my Easter celebrating friends.
Now I am off to do some cleaning and rearranging in the tv room.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Looking Up and Out

Our weather has been all over the place this week.  Sunsets with color mean skies are clear.  Hazy sunsets like today's, mean clouds or dust, or both.
Jingles and a fine feathered friend have taken advantage of good weather days by spending time on the balcony, just not at the same time.  
And on dusty days, we stay inside and watch the world go by.
Curry and chowder have been on the menu this week.  Unfortunately, my family does not share my love of Indian food and soup.  That just means all the more for me.
Have you seen the moon?  It's right outside my bedroom window again and easy to spot even through the clouds.
My new friend in blogland is having a  lovely giveaway of a crocheted pillow with knitted backside.  I love the colors in the one on the left.  Please visit Elna Sudden to enter before April 5th.
Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chocolate, Crochet and Tea

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered Hershey's Dark Chocolate Pieces at the grocery store.  Have you tried them?  They've quickly become one of my favorite treats.  A handful a day is about all I need.
Along with a cup of tea and crochet, it becomes a special part of my afternoon or evening.  I'm still making Daisy Wheel Dishcloths like crazy.  And the little crocheted flowers below are Forget-me-nots made from a pattern found at Little Treasures
If you pop over to Art in Red Wagons for tea today, you will find that Kimmie is having a wonderful giveaway.  A spring banner made from used tea bags stamped with her own designs.  So creative and beautiful!

Have a terrific Tuesday! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Storm That Wasn't

Everyone was in a tizzy this morning about a dust and rain storm on the way.  There was definitely more dust than rain.
 The good news is that it came and went fairly quickly.  This afternoon I walked around the block to take flower photos ...

and blue skies were back.

Wishing you all a great new week.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

At Home Simplicity

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action. 
(Mother Teresa)

When someone you know is experiencing a turbulent home life and is displaced for the moment, it makes you even more grateful for your own quiet, peaceful home.  And for daily simplicities.
Yesterday I made more gozleme. This time I filled them with spinach and feta (my favorite) and tried some with halloumi cheese and zaatar & olive oil.  I made about 12 pieces and they were gone in no time.
Thanks to Jingles who turned a pot over on the balcony, I found a little surprise.  A while back, I placed the top of a sprouting spud in a small pot of soil.  I didn't actually expect anything to happen so when I found this little potato, I was quite pleased.  I guess if the pot had been bigger, I might have gotten a bigger potato.  Who knew it was that easy.
Dandelions have taken over lots of our potted plants and that's just fine with me.  Where mostly there is no color, it is nice to see their little yellow blooms.  I'm happy when anything is able to survive the heat and dust.  Our afternoon temperatures are climbing up into the 80's now so it will only get hotter from here.
A large part of the weekend was spent crocheting.  In fact, after I finish getting everything ready for school tomorrow, I will pick up hook and yarn again.
I hope your day is filled with simple pleasures and lots of love!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Almost Gone

Another weekend and already one full day is gone. 
Last night hubby and I went to visit friends we had not seen in quite some time.  I made chocolate chip cookies and took a couple of my crocheted dishcloths as gifts.  Before we left, Jingles had already taken up her usual spot next to Zack for the evening.
We've had pretty good weather since the dust storm on Saturday and Sunday, but there's definitely more dust out there.  Yesterday's sunset did not have that golden glow like it did on Wednesday
And yes, that is the sun, not the moon.  When it looks like that, you know there is dust high up in the sky.  Today, there was also some cloud cover.  This is what the sun looked like at about 5 pm.  Going, going, gone ... in a matter of seconds.
I've had a quiet day at home.  Lots of crocheting, some baking and blogging.  While visiting Traude at Rostrose , I learned of a free photo editing software called Photoscape.  All my collages today were done using the free download which was quick and easy to use.

Wishing you all a great start to your weekend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Things That Go Together

Since the dust storm that rolled in on Saturday and departed on Sunday, we've actually had pretty nice weather.  A few clouds yesterday and supposedly a chance of rain by Saturday.  Hard to tell what is gonna happen this time of year.
 I found these pretty printed napkins tucked away in a cupboard so crocheted a dishcloth to go along with them.
And since today is Mother's Day in the Middle East, I had a chance to give out some of my upcycled jars filled with milk chocolate, dark chocolate and almond Kisses.
Lentil soup and baked sambousa for dinner.  Quick and easy.
Hope you are having a great day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Taste Test

Today I have a couple of treats to share.  First up, Primal Brownies.  Have any of you heard of the Primal Blueprint Diet?  I found the following information at

The Primal Diet calls for the complete elimination of modern foods in favor of foods that humans have had available to them for their entire history. The theory behind this approach is that the foods human ancestors ate, up until the last 100 years or so, were the foods with which humans evolved and thus provide optimal nutrition while not promoting weight gain. Modern foods such as vegetable oils, grains, dairy and legumes, according to "The Primal Blueprint," promote fat storage through insulin reaction, increase heart disease and diabetes risk, and cause food intolerance problems from the lectins, phytates and gluten found in foods such as grains and legumes.

I for one don't believe in diets.  I take a common sense approach to my eating.  I do, however, believe that processed and packaged foods are not doing anyone any good.  This recipe came from Debbie's blog The Loving Path.
1 cup of peanut butter (or other nut butter); 3/4 cup of mashed pumpkin; 1/3 cup honey; 1 tsp baking soda; 1 egg; 2 TBS cocoa powder.  Grease mini muffin tins and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or til done.

My kids didn't think they were sweet enough but all the adults I gave them to thought they were great.  Zack's English teacher from last year has a gluten allergy, so she was thrilled to taste test and receive the recipe.
Yesterday I was given the task of taste tester when two friends from school made their versions of rice pudding. One was creamy while the other was thick, both yummy!  My kids were beyond excited as they love it, too.  Unfortunately, it didn't last long. 3 bowls and two containers of yumminess are gone.
I enjoyed my last bowlful this afternoon with a cup of organic white tea with vanilla.
Kimmie is sharing a recipe for pupcakes over at Art in Red Wagons in celebration of her dog's birthday.   Stop by if you have a chance.

And have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, March 19, 2012

An Unexpected Day

Yesterday school was closed because of the dust storm.  I didn't quite understand why since yesterday's weather was so much better than the day before, but why ask why.  I got a lot done at home.
It's been awhile since I've had any visitors to my balcony so I was happy to see these two doves stop by.
I walked around the block to see what was blooming.
And even made a trip to the yarn store.
Today blue skies were back and it was a beautiful day!

Wishing you all a great week!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Bit O'Green

Yesterday's spinach and feta gozleme was great for breakfast this morning.  Even with a quick blast in the microwave, the baked dough did not go tough or soggy.
I enjoy weekends so much.  Most people use them for catching up on everything they've not gotten to during the week.  But I like to relax and try new things on the weekend and do my running around during the week when I am already out and about.  We've still had hazy days but the sun has managed to peek out just a bit and Jingles has taken full advantage of it.
The text I added to the above photo was done using a photo editing site that I read about yesterday on Claudia's blog.  It's called PicMonkey and is free.  There's no collage feature yet but they are working on it, so will be a great alternative to Picnik when it goes.

This morning I whipped up these little crocheted clovers.  Pattern can be found here.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Post Note:  A couple of hours later, a sand storm rolled in.  The sun is no longer visible.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gozleme and Dishcloths

Last weekend I came across a recipe for homemade gozleme posted by Vera at small things simple pleasures.  I had not heard of gozleme but thought it looked very similar to the fatayer we are able to get here, so today I gave the recipe a try.
Really so easy to make.  I fried one in a bit of olive oil but then decided to bake the others.  Hubby said he liked the baked ones best.
I will definitely be making these again and will try out different fillings.

The rest of the day has been spent crocheting dishcloths.  Patterns can be found here.

Tomorrow I shall clean.  Just a little.  Maybe.

Hope your Friday is fabulous!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lunch Is Served

Yesterday I was invited for a late birthday lunch.
 Chickpea curry.  Palak Paneer (spinach and cheese).  Roti filled with spinach, peas, and potatoes.  Salad with yogurt.
Dessert was espresso brownies topped with coffee, ice cream and cherries.  Delicious!
And the sweetest gifts. An embroidered teatowel and Mary Engelbreit kitchen journal.
It's been a very busy week so it was nice to take a little time out.
Yesterday the dust wasn't so bad but it is back in full force today.  So glad for the weekend.  You know I love my pajamas.

Hope you are having a great week.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tea Time

Yesterday morning I was able to get a picture of the moon.
But the dust storms we've had all week have gotten progressively worse.  The sun is just a ball of haze.  And by late afternoon, the sky had taken on a golden-reddish hue.
There's no sense in doing any cleaning when we have this type of weather.  In fact, the best thing to do is just kick back, surround myself with color and enjoy the moment.
I'm joining Kimmie at Art in Red Wagons for Tea on Tuesday.  Rooibos Vanilla, a handful of m&m's and colorful yarn makes everything look better and brighter.

Hope you are having a terrific Tuesday!
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