Tabouli – A Great Summer Salad

I love Tabouli.  It’s such a fresh salad, that kinda dances in my mouth.  It makes me happy to eat it because: A) It  tastes sooooo good, and B) It is actually GOOD for you!!

I made a huge bowl of it today, and thought I’d share the recipe from my Whole Foods for Whole Families cookbook, which I altered just a bit. Enjoy!

Just LOOK at all that goodness! YUM!

TABOULI

2 cups Bulgur

2 cups water

2 cups chopped parsley

1/3 cup chopped onion

1 large tomato, chopped

1 medium cucumber, seeded, chopped

Dressing:

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

1 Tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed

Optional:

1 cup chopped fresh mint

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 to 3 radishes, sliced

1/2 cup bean sprouts

Feta cheese chunks.

Soak bulgur in water for about an hour, until soft, drain well (may not need it). Combine with vegetables, mixing well. Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over bulgur mixture, and stir well. Chill before serving. You can serve on lettuce or pita bread, and garnish with Feta cheese.

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Let me introduce you…


This is a new painting I have recently completed.  It reminds me of meeting someone new…and that fearful moment of nervousness that comes with it.

Do you ever get bashful when someone wants to introduce you to someone else?  Sometimes I do, not always, but sometimes.  I get all jittery inside, and feel bashful, and a tiny bit nervous.  That moment happens, and you shake hands, make the connection, and then…poof…it’s gone…as if someone waved a magic wand.  Then, I find myself saying(to myself) ‘That wasn’t so bad’.

I’m not sure why I even get nervous in the first place.  Am I nervous because I don’t know if I will like them? Or will they like me? Do I have lettuce in my teeth? Why are my palms sweaty? Do you go through this too or am I all alone?  What is it we are afraid of? Are they afraid of it too?

DIY:Staining Concrete Floors

Aside

Staining concrete floors is a breeze, and a great way to create a big impact with a little dent in your wallet.  We recently remodeled our home, and staining the floor of  my vintage room, was a big project but TOTALLY worth it.  When we removed the old flooring, and I could see that the concrete underneath was a beautifully worn out, old, golden concrete and I loved it! Instead of covering with another flooring, I decided to leave that and work with it to keep the aged, worn look and just add a stain to the existing concrete floor.  Staining a concrete is not too difficult, and can be a great DIY project to try!

After researching the basic ‘how to’s’ online, I went to Home Depot and Lowe’s to check out the staining materials.  They have kits there with everything you need to create a beautifully stained floor.  The staff at Home Depot was quite knowledgeable about the process.  I bought one of the kits for about $100 and headed home to create my masterpiece.

Realizing the kit was more than I needed,  I decided to return it the next day, and just buy the stain, sealer(much cheaper this way), a few brushes, and drop cloths, and wing it.

What I am trying to say is…don’t be afraid of it.  It was easy peasy.  You can buy the kit, and follow the directions, uses the sprayer and stain the floors(the kit even comes with a CD to teach you), or you can clean your floors, draw a pattern, and hand brush it.  Either way, is the right way.  Once I finished I rolled on 3 coats of varnish and ta-daaaaa…it came out gorgeous!!

This is basically how I did it. First you will want to clean your floor, to remove any residue that might resist the stain, like glue, sealed paint, oil, things like that.  If the stain can’t ‘stain’, it won’t work.  The concrete has to absorb it, so remove anything that might interfere with that.  The floor should be completely clean. However, if there are previous stains, and marks it may enhance the look you are trying to create.  For me, I loved the grunge of the old flooring left behind…so I left it.

Once your floor is clean, you will want to mark out your pattern.  We used a chalk line to make our grid marks for the harlequin pattern.  If you’re using a stencil, follow their directions.  Notice…this is NOT the final design…we had to erase and re-snap the lines a few times until I felt it was right…and that’s ok.

After looking at these lines on the floor I decided I wanted more of a ‘rug’ look, so I opted to add a border.  The border eliminated the need to get the lines on the edge perfect in an imperfect room.  I created a perfect box in the center of the room and just stained the floor all the way to the wall.  It helped to hide the fact that the room’s imperfect lines tremendously!! Many rooms are not perfectly square, so by creating my own rectangle from the center out, made it easy to get the harlequin lines perfect and not worry about the outer edges.

Then it was time to put in the pattern. We snapped the lines with chalk first, then I went over them with a contractors pencil.  The pencil graphite actually mixed with the stain and added a cool charcoal looking outline to the stain.  If you are going for a more clean look, you may want to use white chalk instead.

Then it was basically like coloring in a coloring book.  I painted the stain inside my pattern, let it dry, and then sealed it.  It was time consuming, but overall, not too hard.  It came out beautifully, and is VERY easy to maintain.  I love it, and would do it again.

I love to entertain in this room, and have friends. I sit in my vintage room every morning to drink my coffee, and plan my day.  It’s my favorite room in the house.

Face painting at Ian’s 1st Birthday

I did a little face painting today, something I truly enjoy.  It is so much fun to see the expression on the kids faces when they look in the mirror after I have painted their face.  The smile that always creeps up on their little faces just  fills my heart.

It was Ian’s 1st Birthday party and  BOY was it fabulous!!  I was only able to take a few photos before the kids got there, and then it was painting non-stop until the party was over. At least I got a few pics, so I could share them with you. 🙂

 

 

Cheryl,  from A Sweet Event, and her family did an amazing job(Ian is her grandson).  Her cakes are always soooo beautiful and delish!!  If you need to plan an event of any kind, do yourself a favor and give her a call.



 

Be Free

What does it mean to Be Free to you? Everyone has a different concept.

There are many things that come to mind when I think of the words ‘Be Free.’ To me, it refers to a way of life; to live free of burden, to live with a light heart, to live worry free, and to love freely.

What do you think of when you read those words?

 

Concerts in the Park April 2012

 This was my first trip to Concerts in the Park on Anna Maria Island.  My friend, Cindy Thompson, whose company Island Festivals, Inc., put on this wonderful event. I brought my friend, Claudia Iris with me.  That’s our tent on the left.

Claudia Iris brought these pieces that were made from recycled cardboard, and the back of message pads. I love her designs.  She has a studio called Creative Journeys in Lakeland, FL.

Claudia making more art, enjoying the island breeze.

After taking a lot of my work to Black Swan Bazaar, I had a limited amount of work to show, but overall the show went well.

This mermaid painting was a huge hit!  Most people found her ‘hauntingly beautiful’.

This young man was set up next to us. His name is Rolf Henrik Hellem-Brusso.  He was painting most of the evening on this piece.  He was delightful, and quite the artist.

On the other side of him was Cheetah, who is mentoring Henrik.  I adored both of them, and their work.

Cheetah’s Karma Bird.

There were lots of food vendors, but Paradise Cafe got my vote for the yummiest, (and prettiest) food.

JoDene has such beautiful jewelry.

I never knew they had a club for seashells. Huh! The Sarasota Seashell Club did some amazing things with shells! Creative peeps!

Claudia, with a piece of cake from the Paradise Cafe…

and me with mine.

 

Still painting…

Claudia, discussing her book ‘She Said’ with two fans, as the night was winding down. Concerts in the Park was a great event.  I am so glad we were able to attend.  Thank you Cindy for inviting us.

Island time on Anna Maria

What is Island time? Island time is relaxing time. It’s not being in a hurry to do anything.  It’s taking time to enjoy life at a slower pace, with sand between your toes and rum in your belly. I love the beach…but not just any beach.  As a Floridian, I have had the privilege of visiting many many beaches, comparing this one to that one, this sand to that (believe me…there are many types of sand…and it does make a difference.)

Anna Maria Island has the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The sugar sand, and crystal clear blue water calls me back time and time again.

Because of the island’s size, you can walk to the bay side and watch a sunrise, spend the day on the beach, and then watch the sunset in the evenings. Perfection.

It’s a beautiful place to spend some time…relax, reflect on life…breathe…and before you know it you too will be on island time.