Monday, August 30, 2010

PhotoQuest - 5 Favorite Photos

I have been a passionate amateur photographer for several years and via my vox community and flickr, there are occasionally some super fun photoquests and photo duels that I like to participate in so I thought I would share my entry into the most recent!

The task was to submit your 5 favorite photos that you had taken ... not quite as easy as it sounds but here are my submissions - What do you think?

  "Beachcombing" - This photo is of my niece looking for seashells on the beach in Boca Raton, Florida.  It was actually a runner up for the Fodor's Florida photo contest for Palm Beach County.  I like the simplicity and timeless feel - I remember doing the same thing when I was her age.

"LIBRA" - orchids are one of my passions - photographing them, not growing them because I have a black thumb and it would be unfair to commit orchicide.  So I admire them and photograph them.  When I lived in Florida, I was a few minutes from the American Orchid Society headquarters and I spent many hours in the gardens and hothouse.  I am in awe of the perfection of all varieties of orchids.  this is a slipper orchid - they are like ballet slippers for fairies!

Following close in my passion for my family and orchids are dragonflies.  I am a dragonfly stalker and I have photo documented over 26 kinds.  My photo community calls me the dragonfly whisperer - lol and me?  well, I just love them.  They are amazing to observe!  This is a Halloween Pennant taking a sip on a grass stalk in South Florida.

"The Eyes Have It" - burrowing owls reside in South Florida and I had a chance to sit in complete delight outside of one of their burrows as they popped in and out. 

"Utah Does Good Moon" - Moon rise over the Wasatch Peaks - my favorite!

Here is a mosaic of a few more favorites and please check out my flickr if you would like to see more - What are your favorite pictures that you have taken?  Pop a link into comments and share!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

I  just found out that my Favorite Utah Tweep, @Amanda_Eats_SLC and author of the awesome blog Amanda Eats gave me The Versatile Blogger Award!  How cool is that?  It made my day!
So here is the deal on The Versatile Blogger Award and the rules:
  • Thank the person who gave you the award.
  • Share seven things about yourself.
  • Give this award out to 15 other bloggers that you think are fabulous, interesting and deserving.
  • Contact each of the bloggers you chose.
Thank you, Amanda - You ROCK!
Seven Things About Myself ... hmmmm ....
  1. I am obsessed with dragonflies, photographing them, reading about them, stalking them - I love them and I have even tried to kiss one.
  2. I make a huge pitcher of iced coffee and keep it in the fridge and drink it all day.
  3. I was born and raised in Delaware but I have not lived there since I was 22 ( and I am now way older than that!)
  4. I am currently reading the book "Eat, Pray, Love" and I really like it!
  5. I am addicted to fountain coke with lots of ice. (do you see the caffeine pattern here?)
  6. My son is 13 yrs old and almost 2 inches taller than me. (caffeine stunts my growth apparently)
  7. I am a MAC and pc's hate me.
LOL ... that should cover that bit!  Now for the good stuff ... my awards!  Drum Roll Please ...
Amanda from Amanda Eats (and not just because she picked me lol)
Mrs. Bliss at Housewife Bliss
Dara at Cookin' Canuck
Kris and Rex at Kris and Rex
Laura at Harmony Within
Guy Tal Photography
The Bloggess
Stacy from Random Musings from a Single Gal
The Intoxicologist
Father Kingsbury - At Home in Hyderabad
Dan & Jane at Jane You Ignorant Slut
Darin (@igobydoc) at the Doc Block
Vanessa at I Never Grew Up
ok ... fifteen is hard ... not that I don't read 15 blogs a day because I do sometimes but these are some old friends and some new friends but the thing that they have in common is that they always make me smile, or think, or snort my coffee while laughing like a hyena.  Thank you for all being YOU!
Please check them out in your travels ... and thanks again Amanda!!!!  My only born again vegan friend lol ...
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Link Love

I love to link to other blogs and reciprocation is (of course) always appreciated!

If you are not on my list yet and would like to be, leave a comment with your blog link and your twitter id so we can connect!  If you would like to swap logos then let me know!

Thank you for visiting the Beehive Blog!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mom's Summer Sauce for Pasta

I was a bit of a weird kid - I did not really like ketchup, I hated most pizza sauce and I was not a fan of red sauce on spaghetti.  This should translate to the fact that I did not like tomatoes but for whatever kid-combobulated reason, I would eat fresh tomatoes (with mayo and S&P).

My Mom came up with a great and light summer sauce for pasta that did not offend my red sauce sensibilities and has been a favorite recipe for me to bring into adulthood and make over and over with great success for guests and family.  Enjoy!

1.5 pds tomatoes (canned or fresh)
4 cloves of chopped garlic
1 pd linguine (or whatever you like)
6 TB butter
2 TB fresh basil minced or 2 tsp dry basil

3/4 cup of parmesan cheese

Put tomato and garlic in pan and bring to a boil.  Watch your liquid and you can add some EVOO if it is drying out.  Simmer about 20 min or until you have 1 1/4 cup.
Cook pasta.
Melt butter with basil and toss with pasta.
Add tomato sauce and toss.
Add parmesan cheese and toss.
Add light S&P.

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Deals of the Summer - Shopping Tales

I love to shop and I love deals.  And being on a serious budget does not mean that you can never shop again, it just means that you have to be more creative.

"Deal" includes many things for me: a great price, a great find and sometimes, even paying full price for a particular treasure.

Provo has not been a huge haven for deal shopping - I imagine Salt Lake has some great finds but I rarely get up that way (looking to change that soon)!  I look for deals in thrift stores, any kind of re-sale shops and some of the big chains too: Marshal's, Target, Pier One ... my deal alert is always on.  Online deals are awesome too - Amazon, Overstock and even craigslist are some of my favorites.

Here are some of my favorite summer deals/treasures that I found:

OK - this was the deal of the century, practically.  I have a slight bag, purse obsession and a slight Louis Vuitton obsession.  Marry the two and I am tickled LV!  Imagine my delight/surprise/shock at finding this at DI ...

I was wandering past a huge stack of purses and the logo caught my eye.  First response was - No WAY!  Second response was to fondle it, stick my head in it and smell it and then clutch it as if someone was going to jump out and take it away from me.   Paid $15 and I saw it online for $200-$400!

My second favorite deal of the summer was made for The Beehive Blog - Beehives, Beehive Blog - right?  Then let me introduce you to the Beehive cookie jar!

  Too cute - perfect for the table and this was found at Pier One for $24.95 original price but I got it at 20% off the day I was there. 

Pier One always has great stuff and I love to search through their discount shelves so the other purchase that I made that same day was inspired by Giada on the Food Network.  She was doing a show on having a cocktail party for friends and served this amazing roasted cauliflower couscous salad.  She served the salad on this great tray with wonton spoons and guests could just take a wonton spoon that was already full of yummies.

I got the tray for $5 and the spoons were 75 cents each at Pier One.  Great idea for serving any yummy mouthful at a cocktail party!

My final deal of the summer (although summer is not over yet!) was this great little find in a thrift shop on State Street here in Provo.  There is only a tiny sign in the window and I missed it many times going by.  One of my favorite homemade dishes is my Thai curry and I make the paste by hand - the tools required are a mortar and pestle and a hand blender is like the topping on the curry.

The box was open but everything was new inside and worked like a charm.  So for $15 we are on our way to a yummy Thai Curry!  Want the Thai Curry recipe?  Click here to see it on Foodies Unite!

Deals make me happy and everyone deserves to be happy - right? 

Ok, Beehivers and Bloggers - what was your best find of the summer?  Share!
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

some completion

A little over three years ago, I began a journey that took me out of country, cross country, traveling to multiple countries and just a general lack of a "home".  My life was fractured with little bits of me in Arizona, Florida and London.  I try not to be materialistic but this journey has included an incredible amount of material loss - like my library of 800+ books, family photos and other treasures. 
Simplification has certainly been the order of the day ... of necessity going from an almost 6 figure annual income, a marriage, a beautiful home and an exciting career track to barely keeping my head above water, a separation waiting for the legality of divorce, a new little home and a decimated career due to the economy.
But that is what life is all about, right?  Challenges, Joys, Sadness, Contentment, Grief - And our characters are measured by the grace and fortitude with which we weather the tsunamis of life.  I get that.  but sometimes I cannot help a bit of a whine ... or feelings of deprivation ... and then the immediate guilt that follows because so many are in far worse shape than me.
Living in Utah and restarting with nothing but a few tubs of personal items and clothing has been a great learning experience and has certainly led me to appreciate the simplicity of life that I have found here.  We have a little home but the key word is "home".  It has become a sanctuary and a place that my son and I feel safe and relaxed and ... finally ... content and settled.  PHEW.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

sometimes ...

Some of my posts are transferring in ... sigh as VOX that I was so tickled to get back to is closing their platform ... bear with me friends as posts are incoming ...
Sometimes we need to come back to where we were, like putting on a favorite shirt or visiting a place that brings good memories.  That is how I feel about VOX *grin*.  I have spent an enormous amount of time in the big, bad blogosphere and I like it, but I felt the need to return to a space that was comfy for some more private thoughts and different sharing.

I always loved my VOX community and I was tickled pink to see so many of my favorite people are still active.  It feels lovely to step back into this comfy shirt.

It has been almost a year since I last updated and, wow, things have been crazy but in some really good ways.

I moved to Utah.  In fact, as I sit here and type, I only have to raise my glance over the top of my computer to see the Timpanogos peaks to the north and the face of the souther Wasatch front to the east.  Big, gorgeous mountains.  I moved last October.  Some friends had relocated to Provo and since Florida felt more and more claustrophobic, I decided to accept their invitation and join them.  So, Zach (the munchkin man who is now taller than me at 13)  and I packed everything we could in about 10 tubs and off we went, sight unseen, to Provo, Utah.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chapters Quality Used Books in Orem

I am a book nerd.  I love everything about books and the first place I check out in a new area is the bookstores.  Not the Borders and Barnes and Nobles (although I like them too) but the USED bookstores because that is where you find the treasures!

Upon moving to Provo, I was tickled to find Pioneer Books right on Center Street with their floor to ceiling stacks of books in every imaginable category.  I spent several hours on several afternoons going through shelf after shelf at Pioneer Books.  I was a bit dismayed to find that they had left their location on Center Street when I went to stop in a few weeks ago.  My dismay turned to cheers when I discovered that they had changed to Chapters Quality Used Books and had moved to Orem and a new location on State Street.

So for all of you bibliophiles that believe treasures are found in huge stacks of used books - Check them out!  Their selection of Utah, History and Religion is particularly awesome!       

Chapters Quality Used Books
858 S. State Street Orem, Utah

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