Jun 212011
My mom bought me a subscription to Oprah Magazine a few years back as a gift and in the July 2011 issue there is a photo by Richard Foulser that really spoke to me.  Along with the photo there was a quote by Marcel Proust.
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”.  -Marcel Proust

After searching around I found the below information about the photo that made it even more special but I have been unable to find the original source or the photographer’s website.
This was the inspiration for a little letter I wrote to my daughter that I wanted to share since I haven’t done any gratitude posts lately.  Her age, almost 3, can be very challenging and I find myself losing patience and getting frustrated so it’s nice to take a step back and be thankful. 
To everyone out there with a daughter (or son) please give her a hug and appreciate each and every day (no matter how much they can drive you crazy!)

Letter to my Daughter.
I knew from the time you were born that we would be two peas in a pod;
That you came to our lives each day I thank God.
Being a parent over these short years has taught me so much;
Every day I look forward to your gentle touch.
I love spending time with you, it makes my heart sing;
To teach you about life, I take you under my wing.
Seeing the world through your eyes, each bug a delight;
Excitement each day makes everything bright.
Through raising you I have learned patience and strength;
And insight as well hearing your day at length.
The times I get frustrated you maybe can’t see;
That every minute of every day I’m so glad you’re with me.
I look forward to hearing your voice every morning;
That fabulous smile sends my heart soaring.
Though I will be sad when you are grown;
I know that I will never be lone.
For through our lives we’ll always be friends;
And when you’re and adult you’ll come back in the end.
How do I know this? I know this because;
Your nana and I are friends without pause.
We’ve always been close as best friends can be;
Even when you’re grown up you’ll be my sweet pea.
I love you!
Poem by Dawn Hutchins 6-21-2011
 Posted by at 3:37 pm
Jan 162011
A quick post to tell you what I’ve been up to….
A wedding!
My gorgeous sister-in-law, Kathryn, got married yesterday at a perfect, simple and elegant brunch wedding.
My little one was the flower girl.
And I was a very cold Maid of Honor so I wore this shawl the whole time and don’t think I got one photo of my champagne colored dress!
I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!
 Posted by at 5:27 pm  Tagged with:
Jan 102011

I’ve linked up with Joanne at Eats Well With Others which is one of my most favorite blogs.  Her dishes are both healthy and delicious with some decadent sweets thrown in every now and then.  In a recent post she blogged about a group that will be starting up Eat.Live.Be. for a Better 2011 where each Monday we will post about a particular healthy theme, what the weeks goals are and how we did last week with reaching that goal. 

This weeks theme is all about my support system so here’s who they are in no particular order….

1. My mom.  We talk every day and she is my sounding board for ideas and my support for when I want to vent.  She is one of my three best friends.  I can share my goals of being healthy and losing that last five pounds and she listens tirelessly.  After I had my daughter she went back to the Weight Watcher meetings to support me even though she was already a lifetime member.  Somehow when life gets me stressed she can talk me down…..each and every time.   In fact, just this morning she patiently listened about my tough morning.  Our dog Madison is in surgery having a tumor removed, my daughter spilled a smoothie all down the cabinets and under the dish washer (at this point we were running really late),  I got us into the car and before I strapped her in she said “Mommy I poopy”.  After finally dropping her off I called my mom crying but by the time I was at work I was calm enough to walk in to work and face my day.
2. My Hubby, Chris.  He is another person I consider to be one of my best friends.  He is always there when I need him to listen about my day.  This year we will have been married ten years.  I still can’t believe it!  He is an amazing father and husband and so helpful around the house.  We love eating good dinners and listening to live music together.  I need him just as much as my mom in regards to venting and support.   He has no problems doing all the daddy duties on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings when I have power yoga.  And he supports me with blogging, tasting new recipes and joining my CSA.  What more could I ask for?!

3. My friend Justine.  I don’t have any siblings but she is the closest thing.  We have so much in common and she is my voice of reason.  Both of us love cooking and working out, have small children and are really close with our families.  We work at the same company and have the same circle of friends.  When things get crazy in life I can run anything by her and ask her if, in fact, I’m crazy or if it’s everyone else and she’ll tell me straight.  We discuss the trials and tribulations of being full time working moms that have health and fitness as a top priority. 

She was the first one I told today, in fact, that I made it to the gym in the rain during my lunch break and realized forgot my sneakers!  I grabbed my work out clothes and socks and snuck upstairs to do my workout on the elliptical.  She understands how I feel when I decline to do a business lunch in order to get to the gym because she does the same thing when most other people can’t believe I work out at lunch and actually work up a sweat (don’t worry there are showers there). 
4. All of you!  Blogging is how I get so excited about testing new recipes, trying new veggies and taking food photos.  I love sharing my experiences with my blogging friends and hearing what yours are and learning new things.  Just today I learned an idea from Michelle at Find your Balance about dealing with sugar cravings after the holidays.  I have pages marked, recipes saved and lists created of all the inspiring recipes that other bloggers have posted.  My only problem is there are so many recipes and so little time. 
Who is the support system in your life? 
 Posted by at 7:22 pm  Tagged with:
Jan 082011
Saturday, so far, has been spent food shopping and cleaning….getting ready for my sister-in-law’s wedding next weekend.  I am the maid of honor and we are having the family over to the house the night before the wedding to celebrate.  Somehow we were able to fit in a bit of orange picking in our neighbor’s yard.  What a gorgeous day! 
Now what the heck am I going to do with all these oranges?

 Posted by at 7:21 pm
Dec 232010

In the spirit of the holiday season I would like to say thanks to….

Everyone who “follows” me.  It makes me feel so good to know I’ve got some friends out there with similar interests to share ideas with!

Anyone who comes to visit me and leaves a comment.  All of us bloggers love to hear feedback on a recipe, an experience you have had or just what you think.  I love learning about people and what their thoughts are.  I’m pretty sure you’ve gotta like people if you write a blog!

Anyone who simply drops in for a visit and gets any enjoyment from the photos or recipes. 

Happy Holidays everyone.  I hope you have a great one filled with family, friends, delicious food and good health!

p.s. I plan to be posting again soon but just wanted to wish you happy holidays in case things get away from me.

 Posted by at 3:45 pm
Nov 242010

Since I may not be able to log on tomorrow I would just like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and say thank you to anyone who comes here to visit me. 
May your travels be safe, family be healthy and dinner come out perfectly!
 Posted by at 12:02 pm
Nov 182010
Recently my friend Ashlee at Veggies by Season had an on line auction to raise money for Molly’s vet bills.
Molly is a little dog she found wandering alone on a busy road in Jacksonville.  Ashlee kindly took her in and brought her to the vet.  She is in fairly good health but still needed some shots and tests done. 
The animal lover in me was in full support and the fact that Cara at Cara’s Cravings, another of my most favorite bloggers, had put up some of her world famous baked goods so of course I had to bid.
Most happily I won her Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Brownies!
(Please visit her website to get the recipe for them.)
As a special suprise, Cara went out of her way to make my allergic-to-everything two year old daughter her own oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!

I was just blown away because I know how complicated and expensive gluten, dairy, egg, soy free baked goods can be (see below ingredients and notes).  My daughter very rarely gets to have any of the goodies that other kids enjoy so this was a very special treat.

The original recipe she used was from Gluten Free Goddess and here are the ingredients and her notes.
The ingredients, with Cara’s notes:
2/3 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening – I used this brand, the only ingredient is palm oil
1 1/2 cups organic brown sugar – regular brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract – same thing, my vanilla extract is a pure one
2 tablespoons agave or honey – I used honey

In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients:
1/2 cup rice flour or sorghum flour – Bob’s Red Mill sorghum flour
1/2 cup oat flour [certified gluten-free Lara’s Oats] – Bob’s Red Mill certified gf oats
1/2 cup potato or tapioca starch – Bob’s Red Mill tapioca starch
1/4 cup vanilla rice protein powder [I used Nutribiotics] – omitted and used extra sorghum
1 teaspoon xanthan gum – Bob’s Red Mill
1/2 teaspoon baking soda – this and all the rest were just standard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

And I added chocolate chips from Enjoy Life  – they are dairy and soy free and made in a gluten and nut-free facility.

p.s. As an update, Molly was accepted into a rescue two weeks ago.

Thank you to Ashlee for taking Molly in and to Cara for contributing and surprising us with this special treat.

 Posted by at 2:24 pm
Oct 142010
I got my new camper tonight.  It’s not actually new just new to me.  Lemme tell ya the whole story.
Sunday, on the way back from our night in St Augustine…..
 ….I saw this little beauty on the side of the road at a boat dealership and thought that is exactly what I’ve been looking for!
So I had Monday off and my mom and I happened to decide to go back to eat at the Floridian and just happened to pass by this camper again and decided to pull in.
Here we are checking things out.
The windows open and little screens come down or you can pull the privacy blind down.

The gas stove has never been used so of course I’m so excited about it.
Have to mention it cause this is a food blog after all.

There is a skylight.

We both agree it could sleep, like, 20 people.

The only problem was convincing the hubs.  A non camper.
I called him while we were at the dealership.
Babe…so I found a camper.
He said, what the *$&#**##*#*&$&  we don’t have the money for a (*&&*(( camper!
Ok so we’ll just talk about it later.
We talked and I presented my side and he sent his dad out there (who is an electrical engineer) and my dad out (very long background in camping and can fix anything) to test everything out.  The AC, heat and gas stove functioned perfectly.
So here it is Wednesday night and I have it in my hot little hands. 
And Chris picked it up for me.
And is ready to put rims on it.
And was looking at accessories on line.
For someone who doesn’t like camping he sure does seem a little excited.  Ha!
Look at my little muffin in the bottom left corner.  She was all excited about “Gabby’s Camper”.


 Posted by at 1:55 am
Oct 122010
I’m back and I missed you! And I have a few photos of you from the Edgewater Inn.  We fell in love with this place.
Now mind you, they just rebuilt the historic Bridge of Lions so there is a barge left where they are removing the temporary bridge but most of the view was still absolutely gorgeous and we so enjoyed the view during the 7 minute walk over the bridge into town.
We ate dinner at a place called the Floridian that features all fresh, seasonal and local fare.  It was so amazing.  I got a quinoa bowl with marinated tempeh for dinner.  If you are ever in St. Augustine I suggest trying out this new restaurant on Cordova.

 Possible Blog Photo?

 Possible Blog Photo?

 Posted by at 2:00 pm