Sunday, February 2, 2014

What magic- I have garden! and can cook my own tomatoes!

My husband and I are fairly recently new homeowners, and are greatly loving all the freedoms we now have. I won't go into the details, but our living situation before this was quite different. We now have more space for things than we hardly know what to do with, more privacy, more freedom... and we truly are appreciating every aspect of it. I am especially loving the fact that I can finally make where I'm living a home. I've been dreaming of creating a space of my own, a space that reflects who I am- and of course who we are as a family-  since at least junior high school. We certainly still have a lot to do, but it is a joyful and rewarding process!

gold picture frame, gold pinecones, babuska

I really enjoy cooking and baking- mostly just cooking these days. And making chocolate- but I'll save that for a later post. I'm nervous to cook for other people because I know people's tastes vary greatly (mostly outside of the 'I could eat pizza all day long' crowd). My husband thinks I do very well, so this wife is happy.

raised bed, raised beds, garden, tomatoes

One of the countless things we were really excited about when we chose our home was that it already has raised garden beds. We were thrilled when we moved to find we had bushes FILLED filled small tomatoes.

I was very excited to make... whatever you would call this. Tomato topping? It isn't exactly a sauce...
tomatoes, coconut oil, cooking, sauce, olive oil, gardening
 This is in the beginning stages. 

To melted coconut oil,  I add tomatoes, salt and perhaps basil, oregano... on low heat for as long as it takes to become slightly blistered and for the juices to thicken a bit. Once it is the texture and consistency I like, I turn off the heat. The final touch is olive oil, of course, and a splash of aged, thick, sweet, balsamic vinegar.

tomatoes, coconut oil, cooking, sauce, olive oil, gardening, nutritious food
I think I put it over potatoes and brown rice here. And probably added extra olive oil and just a bit of finishing freshly ground sea salt.

We thought it was absolutely delicious, and truly enjoyed it especially after long days of moving and unpacking.


What do you enjoy most about independent living? Do you like to garden? What are your favorite vegetables and seasonings? Any idea where I can find that delicious thick, sweet, aged balsamic vinegar again? :)

I hope you have a beautiful day :-)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ysl Rouge Volupte- Nude Beige #1

There it is, YSL's Rouge Volupte in Nude Beige. For the longest time I didn't think I would ever purchase it, but then after not finding 'my perfect nude' for an ever-increasing amount of time... I went for it. 

Now, many months later, I have found several other 'my perfect nude' lip products that I am happy with. RV#1 does not get worn much- perhaps it is the fact that I worry it will slide off my lips too easily, or that- despite the claims, it very much does dry out my lip after about an hour.

She is just a bit too high maintenance for regular use. She does, however, make a lovely piece of art on my vanity :-)

ysl rouge volupte nude beige swatch #2 lipstick luxury
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge YSL Volupte Nude Beige swatch #2 lipstick luxury
Please tell me, have any of you found the Rouge Volupte drying, as well? Despite my substantial water drinking and lip balm addiction, I seem to have been born with hopelessly dry lips and most lip products are quite drying on me.

What are your favorite Nude Beige dupes?

Do you have any lipsticks that make better art for your vanity than your face?

Until next time, make your day full of beauty...

Once Upon a Time... in Capri


How has it been almost 5 years already? My husband and I constantly reminisce about the amazing time we had. Memories are truly almost magical to me. We only spent a single day on this tiny island off the coast of Naples, yet for our entire lifetimes the memories bring complete rest and contentment to my soul.

We certainly didn't pay any attention to things like the news and weather forecasts while on our trip- so we had no idea what the temperature was- but we know it was absolutely perfect. We were comfortable enough to not get hot on our serene walk up to Anacapri, on almost ageless cobblestones and surrounded by refreshingly aromatic lemon trees. 

French Impressionist composer Claude Debussy was a regular visitor here. I wonder what his favorite activities were. I imagine he and Jean Sibelius would have felt at peace studying the never-ending motion of the cerulean liquid. 



Dolce Gabbana Grotto add cerulean water
  The Blue Grotto, location of the Dolce and Gabbana ads.



Capri lemon trees limoncello
Did I mention the beautiful lemons? I imagine it is from a fairy tale, but I can't think of which fairy tale actually has any lemon trees... :-)


missvargaslady Capri gelato
Enjoying one of my absolute favorite things to eat- gelato!

(*Yes, I paid big money for the wind machine )


I would love to hear about your favorite 'Once Upon a Time' vacation memories. Perhaps it was when you were in Mexico last summer, Paris last spring, or the Cheesecake factory with your love last weekend. What made it special?
Or, if you prefer, what is your favorite gelato flavor? Or perhaps you are an ice cream person? 

Until next time, I wish you a beautiful day, in all ways...