Monday, December 15, 2014

Tuna Bean Salad #1

 Dear New Grace, 

I’ve been trying out different recipes in the kitchen lately. Like most other areas, I like to be resourceful and use whatever I have on hand when preparing food. I don’t like following recipes exactly because I like to have room for flexibility. So when it comes to making lunch for my beloved, what I’ll usually do is put together a shopping list of the “essentials” to get from the store and when I’m in the kitchen I just throw together whatever looks good to me. I like to experiment. Here’s one of the bean salads I made from one such experiment. It includes only ingredients that I usually have on hand. It’s a simple, quick and yummy side dish. Most days I’ll make him a “main dish” sandwich or wrap with something else on the side (a small PB&J is the usual.) This is a good alternative to turn to when the PB&J’s are getting a little monotonous.

 Tuna Bean Salad #1


·         1 (4) oz. can tuna (I used skipjack tuna in water w/light amount of salt)
·         1 (15) oz. can garbanzo beans
·         1 (15) oz. can black beans
·         1 (6) oz. (drained) can black olives
·         salt
·         pepper
·         olive oil
·         mustard (I used spicy brown mustard)
·         apple cider vinegar (optional)


1.       Open and drain all canned ingredients, then mix them together in a medium sized bowl.
2.     Add salt and pepper according to your liking.
3.     Add a couple spoonfuls of mustard and drizzle some olive oil on top.
4.     Add a couple drops of apple cider vinegar (optional.)
5.     Mix all ingredients together. If you’d like the flavors to sit together for a longer time, leave the tuna bean salad in the fridge overnight before serving. It’s as simple as that!

Makes about 3-4 servings.


x Grace

Sunday, December 14, 2014


I was unable to continue with my introductions last week, but I'm back on schedule now! Introducing the baby of the family: Bugsy. 

  1. She just turned 13 last month (she's very petite for her age so we have a hard time treating her like a 13 year old.)
  2. Her favorite color is turquoise. 
  3. She likes country music (Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton are her current favorites.)
  4. She's been into eating healthy since a young age.
  5. She really likes animals, her favorite of which are elephants.
  6. She has a childhood doll named Mischa Belle that she likes to knit things for.
  7. She's a bit of a daredevil when it comes to climbing things (always has been.)
  8. Her favorite movie is The Lorax. 
  9. She likes to sing and dance.
  10. She tells me she wants to live somewhere green when she grows up. Ireland stands out to her most.
  11. She likes dogs, especially Siberian Huskies.
  12. Her favorite girl names are Primrose, Maple, Lavender, Violet and Hazel. 
  13. Her favorite boy names are August, Oliver, Hawk, Wilbur, Howie, and Remy September. 
  14. She has always liked to catch lizards and bugs. We had to put a stop to that when she was younger because she wasn't very skilled at handling them gently-too many poor lizards lost their tails from the Bugsy Monster.
  15. Her favorite food is potstickers.
  16. She likes to be neat and organized. 
  17. She likes knitting small projects that don't take too long. Her favorite one so far has been this tank top for Mischa Belle.
  18. Her favorite desserts are vanilla ice cream and pumpkin pie.
  19. She doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up but she is interested in making pottery and clay charms.  
  20. Last but not least, she loves her family (she made sure I wrote that one down.)

Next up I'll be doing 20 facts about my beloved (my family isn't complete without him!) 

Goodbye, Teens

"A portrait of family, once a week, every week, for a year."

Today was Tree Girl's 20th birthday.  Last night my beloved and I took her out to get some Indian food (I had told her about butter chicken, otherwise called chicken makhani, and had been wanting to take her to try it). She really liked it! After dinner we took her shopping (she was looking for a gift for Kit.) Then we all went to a movie together. She had been wanting to see The Homesman but it wasn't showing in theaters near us, so she chose St. Vincent instead. Overall, we had a great time together!

Today Mother made apple crisp and oatmeal for breakfast and Tree Girl opened her presents in the morning. Mother got her an olive oil soap which she felted over personally (after watching some videos online she's gotten hooked on the process), some sparkling grape juice, and some Nike running shoes. I got her a black hoodie to match my grey one and made her a personal sized coconut cream pie (it wasn't my best but I thought it was good for a first try and she liked it, which is what counts most!) In the afternoon we all took D'Artagnan to the park to get some exercise. We relaxed in the sun together while he hopped around on the grass and explored his surroundings. At the end of the day Tree Girl spent some time with mama in the kitchen. They served chicken quesadillas with plain yogurt and salsa and chips for dinner. It was delicious. And for dessert we had some chocolate chip cookies that Treasure helped Mother make the night before.

At the end of the day she was tired, just like every other day. 20 isn't looking much different than 19 so far, but she's optimistic that it's going to be a great year. Atta girl.

25 x 25: #10

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Some Kind of Beautiful

Rainy days have always and probably will always be my favorite. There's some kind of strange beauty in a thundercloud. It's always refreshing how the water falls down and brings new life in its touch. It amazes me how a rainy day could seem so different from a sunny day. It's always had the ability to make me feel as if I've been transported to a different place. It lifts my spirits. It brightens my day, ironically. It makes me feel like I could fly, like I can accomplish things, like there's hope for new beginnings, like I want to climb mountains and conquer fears. When it rains everything is vibrant and clear, fresh and crisp. It clears away all the muck and grime and makes the city some kind of beautiful in my eyes. I've never felt like I belong in this urban life, but when it rains I feel like I can see myself calling this place home.  Who knows, maybe I'd feel that way about sunshine if I had grown up somewhere it was always raining. All I know is you won't find me complaining when raindrops are falling on my head.

Happiness Project: 33/52

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Almost There...

I've been working fastidiously on finishing the shrowl I've been knitting. My goal is to finish it by this weekend. I've also been falling out of blogging for a while now. I think it's due to the fact that I'm spending more time both in the kitchen and working on projects. I need to get back into the habit of posting about what I've been working on. Hopefully I'll get back on schedule soon but for now I'm busy clacking away on my needles and experimenting with fabric markers.

Since I mentioned the fabric markers I might as well show you what I mean here. I've had a bit of fun with fabric markers in the past before. It started over a couple years ago when I made my first Sharpie t-shirt, pictured below.

sharpie t-shirts

I always wanted to make more of these shirts, so a while ago, (a long while ago), I started a project with Bugsy, my youngest sister. The theme I gave her was simply "shapes." I told her to make a t-shirt incorporating shapes into the design. Below is her finished product. I think she did very well with the prompt!

fabric markers

And here's mine, although I took a different approach by looking at shapes in the garden (potato=oval, carrot=triangle, onion=circle.)

I had so much fun working with the markers on fabric again that I have continued to do so. Here's the latest fabric art I completed; a little refashion of Bugsy's pants for her birthday last month.
fabric markers

As you can see, I like to use lots of color in my designs. This has always shown up in my artwork, especially in my early pieces. Most notably, this painting I did when I was 13 (a rendering of a dragon similar to the one on the cover of Eldest, a book I was very infatuated with at the time.)

As you can see, I've had my hands full with markers, needles, and oh yes! Books. I've gotten around to reading again (took me long enough.)

I'm currently flipping through Going Raw by Judita Wignall of Raw Judita, and am finding it very intriguing. I've been thinking about transitioning into more of a raw food diet so I'm doing some research. I'm looking forward to trying out some new things!