Lovely For Gifts

The Little Spark – 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity By Carrie Bloomston – Now Available for Pre-Order!

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My creative practice is featured in this book. Please pre-order and buy this amazing book as holiday gifts by my delightful friend and fellow Phoenician Creative Carrie Bloomston.


I went to a neighborhood dinner party recently and was asked to do the vegetables. The January weather in Arizona was so perfect I opened all the doors and prepped, chopped, cooked, roasted, grill and combine many of my favorite flavors to create a platter filled with veggies. My goal is always to share veggies with people who think they don’t like them.  Everyone at the dinner party said “I have never liked beets nor brussels sprouts but tonight you have changed my mind – clearly I have just never had them cooked right” Goal achieved!


Everyone at the dinner party asked me for the recipes – Here are all of the recipes for everything on the platter. NOTE: I don’t really measure stuff I just eyeball it!



Brussels  Sprouts: Wash brussels sprouts, steam them in a steaming tray on the stove top just until you can start to smell them. Then immediately take them off the burner and run them under very cold water to stop the cooking. On a cutting board cut each brussels sprouts in half and chop a half inch high stack of salami into small chopped pieces. Place a large pan on the stove top with the burner on medium. Heat Olive oil (around 2 TBLSP) and garlic (1 TBLSP) , add in brussels sprouts, salami and a handful of slivered almonds. Brown everything in the pan then transfer to a plate.


Roasted Beets: Using fresh beets, wash them thoroughly  *NOTE: save the greens on top for cooking too – they are delicious! On a cutting board cut raw beets into quarters, next cut an onion and a few cloves of garlic into small pieces. On your counter lay down a large piece of tin foil, top the tin foil with an equal size piece of parchment paper. Dump the beets, onions and garlic on top of the parchment paper/tin foil combo. Drizzle everything with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Fold outer tin foil around everything to make a ‘boat’  throw on the grill for 40 minutes or until everything is caramelized. You could do this in the oven too but it caramelizes better on the grill.


Cucumber, Avocado, Celery, Apple, Pomegranate Salad: Remove outer skin from Cucumber and  Avocado, discard pit.  Wash and chop Cucumber, Avocado, Celery and Apple (I prefer a Gala Apple for this). Toss in a bowl with Coconut oil and Coconut Vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Pour onto a plate and top with Pomegranate seeds.


Spicy No Mayo Coleslaw: This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe. I have simplified it for my tastes. Shred any kind of cabbage you like (Note don’t use bagged – it doesn’t taste as good and has sulfur and other chemicals on it to keep its color – yuck!) On a cutting board chop green onions and one Anaheim pepper.  In a bowl combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, chopped garlic, Dijon mustard, fresh parsley, chopped Anaheim pepper  and chopped green onions with salt and pepper. Wisk together,  pour over cabbage and fold together – add more salt and pepper if needed. Chill in the fridge and serve when ready. This recipe tastes even better the next day after it has time to marinate.

I saw this great idea on Pinterest and knew I had to make one myself. I had everything on hand and whipped it up in about an hour with drying time over night for the lid to glue using E-6000.



I am still loving the Paper Message in a Bottle idea. See other samples in this previous post. I used the idea to create an end of the year teacher thank you for the smallest one’s Pre-school teacher. The smallest one colored and decorated the jar shape and picked out the Cherrios slide frame.  This amazing teacher was also the short one’s teacher. She is a gift to these girls and to our family. A big thank you to teachers!


Arizona Gives Day

It’s March 20th, and today Arizonans are coming together for 24 hours of unprecedented giving! It’s one extraordinary day to support the organizations that make Arizona strong, and it’s your chance to make a real impact! From 12 am until 11:59 pm today only, every donation you make to your favorite Arizona nonprofit gives that organization a chance to win MORE MONEY through awards and prizes!

Whether you have a favorite cause or not, we encourage you to explore the many missions of our participating nonprofits and help show Arizona’s unparalleled generosity to the world by making your tax-deductible gift today.

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