Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Saying goodbye to this home after 33 years
is one of the hardest things I have ever done
{I thought I was ready - turns out "not so much"}

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

grandma mary

It doesn't get much better than this . . . 


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

six o'clock

Coastal Living Magazine June 2014 
{a few quotes from their editor, Antonia}

The best time of day at the beach is 6 p.m. 

There’s a whole other level of awesomeness.

The temperature has dropped, the air is cooler, most everyone has gone home, and the beach is empty. There is a quiet lapping of the water, as though even the ocean has finally exhausted itself and just wants to hang out.

You stretch. You breathe a sigh of contentment. You draw slow circles in the sand with your hand then sweep it clear and start again.

You're too relaxed to think about packing up to leave. You stay a little longer. The shadows are getting a little longer too.

You sit back to enjoy the last rays from your chair.  This is when I appreciate the beach the most – the day is done; it’s hard to leave.  Six o’clock is when I realize how much I love the beach.   

 photo taken from my beach chair at 6 o'clock on a random winter day

Thursday, July 3, 2014

from cambodia to america {2}

Amanda says ;

. . . with 48 hours travel time, 2 bottles of baby tylenol, some hilarious vomiting episodes, a near quarantine from the CDC & one missed connection behind us, we are finally enjoying the land of Grandmas & race car shopping carts. [phew!]

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

from cambodia to america

What a blessing to have our grand babies here for a whole month
and then . . . they are moving to British Columbia

I think that the person the Talstras will miss
most of all is dear, dear Ming Kohm
{Yay-Yay to Cedar and Ezra}

When Cedar was born our Wine-on-Wednesday Friends 
gave the Talstras a Pea Pod travel bed. 
It still gets a lot of use . . .

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

no-boil mac & cheese with bacon {delicious}

No-Boil Mac & Cheese with Bacon
4 servings {adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe}

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 ounce jar or package of real bacon bits
1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup no-fat milk
1/2 cup half & half
2 cups water
1/2 cup grated Gouda
1/2 cup grated Fontina
1/2 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
8 ounces whole wheat or low-carb elbow macaroni

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray baking dishes with cooking spray.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add a few pieces of the bacon for flavor.
Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the butter and stir to melt.
Add the flour and 1 tsp. salt, season with pepper and stir for 1 minute.

Whisk in the milk, half & half and water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the cheeses.
Stir 1 cup of the cheese mixture, ½ jar of bacon and the parsley into the sauce.
Stir in the dry macaroni.

Divide the mixture among four 12-oz. ramekins or pour into an 8-by-8-inch baking dish.
Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and a few bacon bits.

Bake until sauce bubbles and pasta is tender, 20 to 25 minutes for ramekins and 25 to 30 minutes for the baking dish.

Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Original recipe before my adaptations

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

smithsonian channel

The Smithsonian Channel is my new favorite go-to network for TV watching.
When we sit down for lunch each day we “watch a show” that we have DVR’d.
Often we watch Jeopardy but lately we are enjoying The Smithsonian Channel.
I love all of these shows and as a bonus have learned a bit more about our world.

Some favorites that we recently watched are:
The Day Kennedy Died
Aerial American {Florida}
A Star-Spangled Story: Battle for America
Air Disasters {Grand Canyon}
Picturing the Presidents: Portrait Gallery
Polar Bear: Living on Thin Ice
America's Greatest Monuments

So many shows to choose from . . .

Somehow they remind me of “movie day” when I was in elementary school. We used to bring three classes together and watch a documentary type film related {or not} to something we were studying. It always made Fridays more fun.

photo credit: allposters.com

A true confession: 
During the movies in sixth grade I used to sneakily 
hold hands with a handsome young lad named Dale.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

collecting moments

Here is a recent quote from one of my favorite blogs

"But while we wait for the atmosphere to settle, and the path to become clear, 
we can still collect special moments and take pleasure in their sweetness."  

Reading this is a wonderful reminder that while we are in the midst of {and consumed by} 
some very big life changes we still need to collect special moments. 
For the next several months this will be my go to inspiration.

Although our big changes are good ones it will be a difficult journey.
{more details later}

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

food tracking

I am looking for a free food tracking web site.

I started using Weight Watchers but
@ $18 a month I think it is not worth it.

I have been trying out SparkPeople.com

I am curious if you use any of these sites.
Do you have a preference or another suggestion?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

nine years

Happy Anniversary Amanda and Daniel