Thursday, January 30, 2014

Seeking some Summer….

It has been a LONG winter… and it's only January!  So last week I was prowling the produce section of the grocery store, seeking out some tastes of summer.  Craving a fresh tomato, and especially fresh salsa, I picked up a tub of Garden Fresh Gourmet salsa in Jack's Special (mild).  Perfect!  The Mild flavor allowed the pure taste of the tomatoes to shine.  Just a touch of lime juice tops off the mix of finely chopped tomatoes, onions, green pepper, cilantro and just a touch of jalapeƱo.  Look for this in the produce section of your local market.

Friday, January 24, 2014

10,000 Villages ~ 1000's of great items!

This is one of my favorite things, but even better, it is one of my daughter's favorite things and there is one not far from where she lives and she does a lot of gift shopping there!  Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade retailer, originally part of the Mennonite Central Committee, but since 2000 has been incorporated as an in depended nonprofit, charitable organization.  Today a global network of social entrepreneurs works to empower artisans in developing countries.  Ten Thousand Villages works with designers to create items that are beautiful, useful, and stylish.  You will find unique, hand-crafted items for your home, your self, and lots of great gifts, such as jewelry, pillows, scarves, table wear, mirrors and vases, and many more items.  Below are just a few of the items that I have been luck to receive!  It's a neat place because you are doing good and finding something special, and buying it because you want to, not just because you think you should to be charitable.  

Energy Chain ~ The Congo
Loops of coiled electrical wire… but it doesn't look like it!

Raindrop Necklace ~ Kenya
Copper, Brass & Silver Plate

Sterling Silver Hammered Hoops ~ Peru

Cheerio Necklace ~ India 
Made with transparent glass rings

Sterling Lariat ~ India

Monday, January 20, 2014

Keepin' it Colorful!

On those dark, cold, dreary mornings when I drag myself out of bed, scarf down a grapefruit and some Corn Chex, or Lucky Charms (one of my guilty pleasures), then get dressed to head to the gym, nothing lifts my mood like these colorful shoes.  They are the ASICS Gel-Noosa Tri 8 and they are a absolute riot of color and pattern.  One look and you can't help but smile.  As an added bonus, they go with everything!  Purple, yellow, pink, blue, orange, these shoes have them all.  And because they are ASICS, they have good stability and support, perfect for all those lunges, squats, curls, and crunches.  I can't really justify another pair, but they also come in several other color combinations and I am lusting after the lime/blue/confetti pair!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hello, Hello?

Whew!  It has been an unbelievable fall into winter.  It started with a move to a new Host Church for our BSF class (I'm the Class Administrator, so this is kind of a big deal).  Just as we got settled, severe winds and tornadoes came thru our area, severely damaging two locals schools.  Our host church invited the public schools to use their building, thus displacing our BSF class.  We searched desperately for a new host church to hold our class of 530+ women and 170 children.  Two weeks later, we started up our class again in a new host church, which is an answer to prayer, but also a bunch of work.  To top that, we had a long term class member dealing with serious mental health issues and threatening her group leader, my staff was all on guard, and on edge.  I was so ready to go on Christmas break!  But things did not slow down…  The Monday before Christmas, we learned that our youngest son was invited to Tampa to the Kohl's Kicking Underclassmen Challenge, so we quickly scheduled a last minute trip to Florida.  It would have been a nice little vacation, if I hadn't woken up the day we arrived with one of the worst colds of my life, and then lost my voice for four days.  Our return was complicated by the Polar Vortex storm, which canceled our return flight, and after several reschedules, we ended up driving home instead.  Anyway, all of this is to say, that's my excuse for slacking the last few weeks, but I'm back and I hope you will keep checking back to read about my latest pearl.