Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dinner Ideas

Grilled Scallops and Succotash

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ears corn, or 2 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 (10-ounce) package frozen lima beans, thawed
1 medium zucchini (about 1/2 pound) quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/4 pounds large sea scallops (about 16)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Parsley Drizzle, recipe follows

If using ears of corn, cut the kernels off and set aside. Discard the cobs.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the corn, lima beans, zucchini, and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes.

Spray a large nonstick skillet or grill pan with cooking spray, and preheat it over medium-high heat.

In the meantime, prepare the scallops. Pat them dry and season them with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Add the scallops and cook until the inside is opaque, 5 to 6 minutes, turning once.

Stir the vinegar and basil into the succotash, season with additional salt and pepper, to taste, and serve topped with grilled scallops. Garnish with Parsley Drizzle.

Parsley Drizzle:
1 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water, as needed to slacken
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree.

Yield: 1/2 cup

Recipe Ideas for the weekend

I like to cook on the weekends and so I was perusing the web for interesting things to add to my recipe book.

** Pictured above is the perfect breakfast parfait I enjoyed every morning while in Australia: a local mango that would make my fingers smell wonderful all morning, Mundella natural yogurt, and Good Girls' Summer Fling muesli with macadamias and cranberries -- just thinking about it makes my tastebuds tingle. (And it is pictured here in a proper bowl, because I took that picture in Albany, where my room was equipped with a kitchenette -- oh, the luxury.)

Courtesy of Chocolate and Zucchini

I found this on Healthy and Fast Recipes
Warm Bacon Spinach Salad

10 ounces pre-washed baby spinach
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
3 ounces Canadian bacon, finely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 pound button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Place spinach into a large bowl. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat for about 4 minutes, or until it is just crispy. Add Canadian bacon to the skillet and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Remove meat from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Drain any remaining fat from the skillet. Add olive oil and onions to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, or until onions soften slightly. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 more minutes. Put onions and mushrooms on top of the spinach. Add apple cider and vinegar to the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Stir to scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until cider is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Whisk in mustard, salt and pepper, to taste. Pour warm cider dressing over the mushrooms and spinach and toss until the vegetables are well coated. Sprinkle the bacon on top and serve.

Fabulous Friday

I apologize for Fabulous Friday being on Saturday, but life gets first priority to blog.

This fabulous friday post leaves me desiring to revisit past resolutions. In January I made a resolution to live a simple and beautiful life. As we close out this month, I have made an inventory on how that is coming so far. February was a great but hectic month. I learned a lot about myself and my goals stayed intact. The world goes so fast that we must resolve to stop and take time to reflect. Plato said: " The unexamined life is wasted." I leave you with these pictures to help you reflect and ponder your goals and being fabulous.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Beauty in the simple things

I receive such great joy in life's "little things". Here is one of them

Fabulous Friday

Well here we are again, another Fabulous Friday has come upon us!

Another element of being fabulous is not limiting yourself and not getting settled into the "comfort zone". Wikipedia defines the comfort zone as: "A comfort zone denotes the limited set of behaviors and environments that a person can engage in without becoming anxious." It is our "boundaries", if you will, or our "box". In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with boundaries and living in the box, myself I do much better when I stay in the box consistently instead of living outside the box in a chaotic existence that I naturally gravitate to. The problem is that it is all too easy to get settled into your routine and get so set in your "box" that you can't see out beyond the box. Doing the same things day in, day out kind of lulls you into an inertia state, a monotony. You tend to go on "auto-pilot" and run the risk of becoming numb to life around you. That is where you do not want to be for very long. Life is beautiful, inspiring, there is so much around us to feed on and enjoy and use to make us who we are. Try new things. Take a different route. Sit in a different area at lunch, anything to inspire change and creativity and add a little spice to your life : ) Embrace life for what it gives you and don't be afraid to be fabulous!

Here are a few things that I think are fabulous this Friday:

This Sunday is the Oscars, for those of you that are into movies, as I am. Here is a great article I found about having a "Hollywood Glam" theme Oscar Party

Let me just say, if I had the room, I would so love to put this in my "boudoir" : )
It would definitely help you get into the "fabulous" frame of mind.

This is my new book I am waiting to read!

And for a fabulous way to start your day-
courtesy of Chocolate and


- 250 g (2 C) flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 L (1 C) milk
- 100 g (1/3 C) sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp rum (optional)
- 1/4 L (1 C) still mineral water
- butter for cooking, and an assortment of toppings

In a large mixing-bowl, roughly combine the flour and eggs. Whisk in the milk, adding it slowly to avoid lumps. Add in the sugar, vanilla, oil and rum (if using), and whisk to combine thoroughly. Whisk in the water. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably overnight.

Take the bowl of batter out of the fridge, and give it a whisk to "revive" it. Put a thick-bottomed, low-rimmed frying pan over high heat. Wait until it gets very hot (hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle). Melt a dab of butter in it, and spread the butter evenly in the pan with a wadded paper towel (watch your fingers).

Ladle a little batter in the pan (just enough to cover the pan thinly, we are not making pancakes here), and move the pan around so the batter forms an even disk. Wait until the edges of the crêpe start to pull slightly away from the sides of the pan, peek underneath, and flip the crêpe with a spatula when it is nice and golden. Cook for a few more seconds (the second side cooks much faster) and serve immediately, topped/stuffed/rolled/spread with the sweet condiment of your choice.

(This recipe can be used for savory crêpes also -- just hold the sugar, vanilla and rum.)

Have a terrific Fabulous Friday!

Thought for today
Image may be subject to copyright.

I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves.
Alexander Humboldt (1769 - 1859)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Lovely Poem

THINK not of it, sweet one, so;---
Give it not a tear;
Sigh thou mayst, and bid it go

Do not lool so sad, sweet one,---
Sad and fadingly;
Shed one drop then,---it is gone---
O 'twas born to die!

Still so pale? then, dearest, weep;
Weep, I'll count the tears,
And each one shall be a bliss
For thee in after years.

Brighter has it left thine eyes
Than a sunny rill;
And thy whispering melodies
Are tenderer still.

Yet---as all things mourn awhile
At fleeting blisses,
E'en let us too! but be our dirge
A dirge of kisses.

John Keats

Monday, February 16, 2009

Today's Inspiration

You are the embodiment of the information you choose to accept and act upon. To change your circumstances you need to change your thinking and subsequent actions.”
Adlin Sinclair quotes (British born Businessman, motivational speaker and Humanitarian, )

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Today's Inspiration

“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.”
Barbara De Angelis quotes (American researcher on relationships and personal growth)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It' s the little things....

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Love is in the air today! May you all be hit with cupid's arrow : )

Being a single woman I have mixed emotions about the holiday. But, I do like it because it helps people show love. I believe we should not save it for one day but find ways to show and give love every day.

To me that is easy because I was blessed with the gift of loving people for who they are. Love comes easy to me, even when it should be hard. Someone told me that I "exude" love. That is a beautiful comment to receive and I try to remember that even when I am tempted to be less than lovely. I believe that it starts by first loving yourself. If we cannot love ourselves, how can we be expected to give love to everyone else?

How can we love ourselves? By taking the time for ourself, I believe, is number one. The little things like a new lipstick and a soak in a bubble bath makes me personally feel like a million bucks.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Bouquet

Being a hopeless romantic, this is what my dream Valentine's Day Bouquet would look like:

Daily Inspiration

"Love comforteth like sunshine after rain."
Shakespeare, from Venus and Adonus

Fabulous Friday!

As part of my meaningful word resolutions for this year, I decided to make February be fabulous! I wanted to be different and that word kept coming to me. Last month was Simplicity and hence my blog title was born, and now February is Fabulous! I will make the remainder of the Fridays in February be Fabulous Fridays here in blogland.
Here goes and I hope you are inspired to live a fabulous life! : )

What is fabulous? defines it as:
1. almost impossible to believe; incredible.
2. Informal. exceptionally good or unusual; marvelous; superb: a fabulous bargain; a fabulous new house.

How to be Fabulous
• Embrace and Love Yourself
• Don't limit yourself ~ step outside
your comfort zone
• Live by your own rules ~ set
your own standards
• Grow older gracefully ~ don't shrink from it
• Own Your Face ~ it should tell your story
• Practice self-care ~ your body and spirit
will thank you
• Be Kinder to Yourself
• Appreciate all of your life lessons
~ call it wisdom
• Embrace Your Inner Goddess
• Celebrate Your Age Milestones
adopted from

What is Love?

1 Corinthians 13:1-8 1

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails.

courtesy of

The meaning of Valentine's Day

February 14th - The Day the Birds Began to Mate

The Europeans also believed that on February 14th the birds began to choose their mates. In fact Chaucer, in his "Parlement of Foules," wrote: "For this was Seynt Valentine's Day when every foul cometh ther to choose his mate."

John Donne wrote:

Hail Bishop Valentine! whose day this is;
All the air is thy diocese,
And all the chirping choristers
And other birds are thy parishioners:
Thou marryest ever year
The lyric lark and the grave whispering dove;
The sparrow that neglects his life for love,
The household bird with the red stomarcher;
Thous mak'st the blackbird speed as soon,
As doth the goldfinch or the halcyon . . .
This day more cheerfully than ever shine,
This day which might inflame thyself, old Valentine!

The Christian tradition of drawing names on St. Valentine's Eve continued in England and other places. The tradition of birds choosing their mates on St. Valentine's Day led to the idea that boys and girls would do the same. Now when a youth drew a girl's name, he wore it on his sleeve, and attended and protected her during the following year. This made the girl his valentine and they exchanged love tokens throughout the year. Later this was changed to only men giving love tokens to females, usually without names but signed "with St. Valentine's Love."

Later, in France, both sexes drew from the valentine box. A booked called Travels in England, written in 1698, gives an account of the way it was done:

On St. Valentine's Eve an equal number of Maids and Bachelors get together, each writes their true or some feigned name upon separate billets, which they roll up and draw by way of lots, the Maids taking the Men's billets, and the Men the Maids'; so that each of the young Men lights upon a Girl that he calls his Valentine, and each of the Girls upon a young Man which she calls hers. By this means each has two Valentines--but the Man sticks faster to the Valentine that is fallen to him than to the Valentine to whom he is fallen. Fortune having thus divided the company into so many couples, the valentines give balls and treats to their mistresses, wear their billets several days upon their bosoms or sleeves, and this little sport ofen ends in Love. This ceremony is practised differently in different Countries, and according to the freedom or severity of Madame Valentine. This is another kind of Valentine, which is the first young Man or Woman chance throws in your way in the street, or elsewhere . . .

St. Valentine's Day was mentioned by Shakespeare. The poet, Drayton, wrote verses entitled "To His Valentine," in which he expressed the idea of the birds' mating on St. Valentine's Day.

Each little bird this tide
Doth choose her beloved peer,
Which constantly abide
In wedlock all the year.

Love is in the Air

Beautiful words and photos to commemorate a beautiful day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Simple but beautiful bathroom inspiration

In this busy hectic, multitasking world, it is an absolute necessity to have a beautiful, clean, organized space in which to both retreat and get ready for life's business. Spaces and beautiful necessities that inspire me to do just that:

These pictures are from Pottery Barn, IMO the BEST in Inspiring Decor!