Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sign: Shine On

Sometimes, in life, you may feel like nothing can go right.  Only left.  Or downhill.  Sucker punched, twice.  Sometimes these things are small in nature, but when added onto other struggles, that small 'thing' can be enormous.

And sometimes, you trudge through.  It might be ugly and muddy, but you keep trudging, hoping you are going in the right direction.  Still with trepidation, but trudging nonetheless.

Then, the sign hits. 

My sign hit last night.  This sign was just the encouragement I needed to push me forward, I thought I was doing the right thing, and then this song came into my life.

My husband and I were gratefully invited to attend the WBFO's Buffalo Blue's Bash last evening.  Our generous friends welcomed us to their table to enjoy two great Blue's bands.  Freightrain (Robert "Freightrain" Parker) and Dawn Tyler Watson Band.   The talent in both groups was inspiring.  The best music is the music you feel in your gut.  This was that kind of music.

Back to my sign.  You all know I had a rough week (actually one event last week that I couldn't shake) last week.  I like to think I've moved on, but there is always that lingering sliver of roughness that doesn't quite leave.

These words came from Dawn Tyler Watson at a time I needed them:

I want to give you all some real good news
I want you all to keep your head up
Stay positive
Spread the love
This is a Song about perseverance and positivity
If you are going through any crap right now,
I want to tell you, Shine on.
And though the road is dark and long
Our light will conquer
Shine on
Shine on brothers and sisters
Don’t let the darkness get to you
In this world there is pain and suffering
But you must try to see the love in the moment…

And as I connect the words from her mouth to my story, my friend places her hand on my shoulder and the tears begin to pool and stream down.

When others see your sign, you know it's real.  I'm taking control of this week. No bad days.

Shine on!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rain, Coffee and Tissues

I don't always have good days.  This happens to be a 'bad' one.  I'm getting frustrated with waiting for things.  I had no idea how long the 'hiring' process normally takes.  This is definitely an eye opener for me.

It's a gloomy, rainy day.  I'm thankful for the rain, just wish we could share it with California.

My workout, albeit with great intentions, was not all that great.  I whined.  I complained.  I struggled.  But I went.  I got in the car and went. Running into a friend on the way in was great, lifted me up a touch.  My gal pals that I workout with, well, not sure I'd want to know life without them.  If you are reading this and need inspiration, come work out with these women.  Insanely inspiring.  Each and every one of us has (at least) one physical injury that we power through no matter what.  If you don't think you can lift something, they will be there talking you through your mental defiance.

Upon coming home.  I screamed.  I cried.  I made some phone calls.  I got an interview.  I watched a little TV while waiting on hold for 18 minutes only for the operator to say 'all operators are busy, please call back later'.  Just what a girl down wants to hear!

Shower with Milk and Honey Epsom salt on the floor of the shower (amazing...Sara), some music (favorite one of the day here) and this coffee.

My dear friend makes me coffee like this at her house.  It's amazing.  You can get this little brew cup here on   My grounds are a Mocha Java from our new Whole Foods.

Cute mug, huh?  I'd be happy to make one for you.  I'll set them up in my etsy shop here in the next couple days, but let me know if you'd be interested.  They have been go-to office and teacher gifts.  Dishwasher safe!

My day is looking better already.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 9, 2017


Love this quote.  I needed it this weekend.  Was able to make it pretty on my Silhouette Cameo. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Plantain Vs. Banana

I've always wanted to try plantains.  They look so sad sitting there in the market with very little interest.  What the heck can you do with a plantain?  The banana tastes better and plantains are bland - almost bitter.  Banana is softer and sweeter.  A ripe banana is great for baking, smoothies, and freezing for later.  But the plantain?  Boring.

In true Carrie fashion: Challenge accepted.  The plantain was purchased and the research began.  Three days later the plantain remained on the counter.  It was starting to get a grayish hue to it.  Suck it up, Carrie, make something.  

There are plenty of recipes for fried plantains, but I'm avoiding loads of fry oil and butter.  I found this recipe for fried plantains.  The french fry shape made me think that I could bake the plantain.

I cut the plantain in half, then half again.  The peel is quite hefty, so get in there with your knife and cut the fry pieces, then get your finger between the plantain and the peel.  I was amazed how strong the plantain is.  

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place plantain on paper.  Drizzle olive oil over plantains.  I added quite a bit of cinnamon, perhaps 2 tablespoons, and a twist of Himalayan pink salt.  Toss.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes, flip plantains, bake another 10 minutes or until they appear crispy and browned.

Once out of the oven, let sit for 8-10 minutes.

They tasted a little dry, but dipped in applesauce...amazeballs.  

What I found so great about the plantain, it is a hearty fruit that kept me feeling full for a good hour after eating it as a snack.  Little Man tried one and thought it was good enough to nod his head 'yes'.  That's the key word for,  "I'd eat this again".

Next time, I'm going to try the avocado dip in the above recipe with Greek yogurt.



  • Plantains are high in fiber content. This makes you feel full for longer period of time, reducing frequent cravings for food. Thereby, in the long run, it can help with weight loss.
  • Plantains are extremely rich  Potassium and Magnesium.
  • Plantains are rich in vitamins, specifically Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin B-6.
  • Even though plantains are rich in starch, they are comparatively very low on the glycemic index scale. Consumption of plantains helps diabetic patients.
  • Plantain prevents gastrointestinal infectious diseases.
  • Plantain chips (with less salt or no salt) have more nutrients than the fresh ones!
  • Plantain takes longer to digest, keeps you full, which benefits diabetic patients and, also for weight loss.

Friday, October 6, 2017

{this moment}

No words, just my favorite photo from the week.  Leave your moment in the comments.  💜💛

Thursday, October 5, 2017

RECIPE: Spaghetti Squash Flat Bread Pizza (Gluten Free)

This is a keeper.

Cauliflower crust seems to be all the rage these days.  Personally, I find it bland and boring.  I'd rather go without.

But...Mr. Spaghetti Squash...he's a good egg.

This isn't a super fast recipe, but it has minimal ingredients, which I appreciate.

If you are super pressed for time, go to your local market and head to the salad bar.  I grabbed a small container and filled with a few things for my flatbread/pizza.  Yes, you can call this pizza and you can eat the whole thing.

This flat bread would work great with a rolled sandwich or dipped in some pasta sauce.  I like to overcook mine so that it gets crispy.

I'm currently eating clean, so I went super veggie on this with a teaspoon of grated Parmesan - mostly for the photo, I normally leave it off totally.  But if you want a pizza, sauce and cheese it up!

Cooking the Squash:
Slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and stringy goop.
Place face down in half inch of water in a baking dish.  Roast in oven at 375 for 30 minutes or so.  I don't set a timer, when I smell it and there are a few brown spots on the skin, it's done.

Draining Squash
Take your fork and scrape out the squash into a bowl.  I often let this rest for an hour or even stick it in the fridge for a day or two.  Squeezing the water out of a hot squash is painful.

When you are ready, put a cheesecloth or dish towel on the counter and place your squash in the center.  Roll the sides over and start twisting the water out of the squash over your sink.  You may have to open up the towel and adjust the squash and repeat.  It always amazes me how much water is in there!

Squash after Draining
Making the Flatbread:
Drained spaghetti squash
2 eggs (if choosing to add cheese to your crust, omit one egg)
Italian seasonings, to taste
Onion powder, to taste

Mix it up with your hands.  It will be the consistency of a thick brownie batter.  Spread mixture on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  You will spread this like you are putting lotion on.  Or like a queen waves her hand in a parade.

Baked flatbread

Bake in 350 oven for approximately 25 minutes. 

Keep an eye on this, it all depends on how much water you got out of the squash. 

When you see it curl a bit on the edges and have some crusty spots, flip it over and put back in the oven for 10 minutes. 

Top with your favorite toppings and put back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes, or till toppings are melted, warmed, crispy...

Please let me know if you try this and how it worked out for you in the comments below. This won't hold up like a Buffalo pizza crust - so get that though out of your head right now.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Here we go again, with a Twist

Time to share my thoughts, recipes, heartaches, jokes, and struggles once again.

I've left all my previous posts so that you have a little window into who I used to be.  I'm still that girl, just been through a long road in between.

Not doing as much art or fiber, but working hard at keeping my body working.  I have back issues and a knee that blames me for every dance move I nailed in my teens.  I love chocolate, but try to stay away, it's the first step in the steep spiral staircase that has me wallowing the pit of denial.  I watch too much MSNBC and was recently let go from my previous job that started my healthy eating and exercise - that's a sad story for another day - or for never - it's in the past.

So that you know I am a REAL is my before and after pictures.  Yes, I lost 100 pounds at one point in my life.  It was amazing.  Unfortunately, I didn't hide all those pounds well enough and they found me again...all in the struggle.  I know I won't get that all off again, and that's okay, I'm ditching the scale and living my life.

I hope you follow along - please remember, any recipe on here prior to TODAY, is most likely not healthy at all!  Remember, I was a FAT GIRL. My twist...I'm done being fat.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Braided Gardening

As much as I love seeing the daffodils peek through the snow and crispy leaves,  I love the mid spring flowers growing around the fading spring bulbs.

My sister - in - law told me once that her mom would have her roll all the daffodil leaves and tie them close to the ground.  Every single plant individually. 

I think about that every year when I'm ready to rid the flower beds of the thin spiked leaves.   I never seem to have the right tools when I want to clean up the beds. 

This year,  I did a simple French braid across three daffodil plants with a simple knot At the end. 

At least it's interesting. 

Monday, March 24, 2014


We like rice.
We like broccoli.
We like ground sausage and beef.
We love cheese.
I found a recipe that used quinoa and chicken in layers.   I used the idea and switched it up to come up with a layered dish the whole family enjoyed.
Big Boy said,  "Wow, this tastes a lot better than it looks."
I think that was a compliment.
Preheat oven to 400° and coat casserole pan with cooking spray.
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
2 cups chicken stock
2 broccoli crowns
3/4 lbs ground sausage
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion
4 eggs
Garlic and basil
1.  Make rice according to package directions,  using the chicken stock as part of required liquid.   (I added basil and garlic to the rice.)  Set aside to cool.
2.  Cook ground meat (ground turkey would work) in skillet until no longer pink.   Add chopped onion and one clove of garlic,  chopped.   Remove meat,  leaving any grease in the pan.
3.  While meat is cooking,  partially steam small pieces of broccoli.
4.  Add al dente broccoli to hot pan with grease to brown it a touch,  salt and pepper to taste.
5.  Add whisked eggs to cooled rice.   Mix thoroughly.  (My rice wasn't totally cooled,  you just don't want the rice to cook the egg. )
6.  Layer 1/3 of rice in casserole dish.   Top with half meat.  Add all broccoli.  Layer 1/3 rice, reading meat,  and last layer of remaining rice.
7.  Top with shredded cheddar or Italian blend of cheese.   (I use whatever is in the fridge.)
8.  Bake 20 minutes,  or until warned through.   Finish off under the broiler to brown the cheese.
We added some Frank's Red Hot Sauce and it gave it a nice kick.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I Cut It Off

I am ashamed to say that it has been 4 years since I have touched my weaving loom.
Let me rephrase that it has been 4 years since I have woven on my weaving loom. It has been a table for much too long.

The piece of fabric that came off of it was a sample piece used during an art show. I took my loom with me and allowed customers to try it. The four inch square pieces were meant to be coasters and I was going to send them to the people that wove them.  I grossly misjudged the time it would take newbie to weave four inches of fabric. Most people took one or two sweeps and they were done. I was left with a lot of unwoven yarn in a pattern that didn't make any sense for anything but coasters.  And I don't need any coasters.
I have a couple ideas for the leftover yarn but that will have to wait for another day.
Tomorrow I start dreaming of new projects on the loom.
Okay, maybe not tomorrow.
How about right now?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


This weather has made us hermits.

Even the dog is getting antsy.   She is eating everything that she shouldn't be: Sharpie Paint Marker,  Valentine list for school, lid for our pretzels and most heartbreaking, Tom's wool hat he has had since he was 13 years old.

We went for a walk tonight. She is very protective of her yard.   Barking incessantly.   On our walk,  a neighbor dog was barking at us.   Millie couldn't understand what the noise was about.   Quite funny.   Although my legs were frozen within three minutes of the start of our walk,  we forged on.

A warm-up is on the way.   31 degrees.   Sounds like short sleeve weather.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hello, My Name is Carrie

Happy New Year!

I've missed this blog.  My former boss used to say, "If you are going to work from home, you must get dressed and ready to work each morning in order to be productive."

I may have not bought into his mantra a couple years ago, but I have been thinking about it recently.  It's been a year and a half since I stopped working full time.  I had many plans.  I've done some, been sidetracked on others.

Building my Etsy shop was going to be my number one task.  I haven't done that.  I have four purses, almost complete, that could go on Etsy.  Instead, I made this:

And this:

And I've made other things, which are fulfilling, yet not money makers.

It's time to get dressed and be productive. 


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Good Morning

Its a beautiful,  crisp, and cool morning here in Buffalo.

This is Millie's favorite spot.  She gets very excited when she spots a squirrel.   We have to slide the screen incredibly fast or else she will run right through the screen. 

I love how she never gives up.  She chases multiple times a day, she gets close, but never succeeds.  Frankly, I'd be afraid if she ever succeeded.

The first weekend in December is the Artist's in Buffalo Holiday Showcase.   My location is the Red Cross Building on Delaware.   I am excited, and nervous.   Not nervous to be there, but nervous that I won't have enough items made to show.  I have had a few dreams where I show up and have only a few items on the table.  Not very reassuring.

I'm going to take a lesson from my dog.

I'll keep chasing the squirrel until December. 

Now,  back to my squirrel (yarn).