Nature's Heart

Nature's Heart

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Easy-peasy Rolo treats

I know that Christmas has come and gone (and what a Christmas it was!) but I am still very much in the mood to continue to make goodies! Something easy, something quick and something delicious.
Hence, pretzel Rolo treats!
 You will need:
Waffle pretzels (trust me they are much easier than the regular mini shape)
Real maple syrup
Almonds and/or walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking tray with waffle  or mini pretzels. Place a Rolo on each  pretzel and put in the oven for a few minutes until  you can see the Rolo chocolates soften./ sweat. Pull out and place a nut  in the center and press down. Add a drop or two of maple syrup and let cool! 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Growth and Adventure!

My word for 2013 would have to be: GROWTH
What an amazing year 2013 has been and I still can't believe that it's end is so near! So many blessings, so much change, so much to look forward too, so much achieved.
A recap of some of my highlights as I look back on 2013...
Ben:  Meeting and forming what has budded into an incredible relationship...we are pushing and encouraging each other to grow in some very deep ways...oh love...
A personal concert, “Heart”: I never thought that I would be able to have a solo show…I just didn’t feel like I had it in me and thus kind of marked it as a, “not going to happen”. However, with other people’s encouragement and finding a way to put that concert to better use and turning it into a benefit concert for Ekisa Ministries, this was the push and motivation that I needed.
Traveling: was able to go to Hawaii as a belated graduation present from my father and what an amazing and special time that I got to spend and share with him. Thank you Dad for this kickoff in investing and growing in our father/daughter relationship!!!
I have also made several trips to Louisiana to visit loved ones and will be finishing off 2013/starting 2014 with my second trip to CA! Speaking of growth, it is unbelievable how fast my nephews are growing!!!
Acrobalance at WA MidSummer Renaissance Faire: I never thought that in less than a year, I would be performing acrobalance at the 2013 WA Renaissance Fantasy Faire this summer. It truly pushed me in ways I never would have imagined and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I hope that the future holds more opportunities to express myself in more of a physical/artistic way.
Thank you so much Robin Neiswender for capturing this beautiful moment! Check out more information such as about her new line of greeting cards and other photos

Thank you Byron Dazey for capturing this beautiful shot! Check out more of his work from Ren Faire and other events at: Creative Flashes Photography

Picking up my Violin: It has been years…YEARS!!!! As in, before high school since the last time that I played my violin…Thank you mom for giving me your treasured instrument that you made music with for so long. Finally the timing was right. I am playing for the right reasons…I am playing for me and my personal enjoyment.
Vinyl: I know it’s simple, but I finally began using my record player...I don't know why I put it off for so long. I think I was a little intimidated because I had to teach myself how to use this player...and who would have thought it was so much more simple than I thought! Why some of the most random things give us anxiety I have no clue but I am glad I try to overcome things that I am fearful of or intimidated by. Anyway as a result I have started collecting vinyl for my record player and have had some amazing finds! Vinyl sounds so much better than other media systems…love it!
My spiritual growth: I have definitely gone through some trials this year but God has been every present and helped me through those dark/hard times...although it can be hard I am so thankful for going through the Refiners Fire...burn away the chaff in me Lord, that I me gleam to the brightness and beauty that you have called and made me to be.
So what does 2014 hold for me?
I have NO CLUE!!! Isn’t it great? This planner is actually excited about the unknown. I was laughing with my father that I know why planners aren’t made3-4 years at a time…because it keeps over planners like me in check…if we had that option you had better believe that we would try to plan that far in advance.
If I were to predict what word I feel like is in store for me in 2014 it would be: ADVENTURE
Now this might change as the year progresses but so far so good…going to start the year off visiting the Grand Canyon with the Man that I love so dearly as well as visiting with both his and my family and friends...sounds like a good start to me. 
Ah, life is good.

Monday, December 2, 2013

New Recipes for Festivities

By the time I got home it was after 7:30 PM the night before Thanksgiving, so this wonder woman poured herself a glass of wine, rolled up her sleeves and cooked up a storm in my kitchen until well past 1:30AM in preparation for the fast approaching feast.
I love opportunities to try out new recipes and this Thanksgiving was no exception! I certainly put my birthday present/amazing Wonder Woman apron from my brother to good use.

Do you know the difference between dressing and stuffing? I found out recently that stuffing is what is "stuffed" and cooked inside of the bird/turkey (that makes sense), and dressing is what you put along the outside of the bird to "dress" it up after it is carved.

I made a last minute decision to try my hand at a crockpot dressing and looked for one of the simplest recipes I could find...Thank you Pinterest!

My requirements were as follows: Must be simple, easy and delicious!
I found an apple sausage recipe that made my mouth water just reading about it and it ended up being a huge hit with my family. This simple, easy peasy recipe can be found at:

The second new recipe that I tried was a Quinoa (pronounced/sounds like "Keenwa") and Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussel Sprouts! YUM YUM YUM!!! I found this recipe from one of my favorite bloggers Kristin


I love to dress up for the holidays and I love dresses so much!!! Ankle boots, navy blue tights, a belted summer dress with a little navy cardi (was one of my favorite finds from...can you guess? The Goodwill.../we are talking $5.99!) was my Thanksgiving attire for the festivities...I should have closed the tea cabinet door when I struck a quick pose for my picture taking cousin!

I finally got to use my old gravy boat...or in this case a gravy turkey boat! How cute is this little guy!?!? His tail is the ladle. He has been in my family for years and I think that I need to use him more often!

He's just so cute!
My traditional "Angeled" the story behind why my family calls them "angeled" eggs instead of because my mother didn't like the she called them angeled and the name has stuck with my family ever since...and has been used for as long as I can remember. She used to say they were angeled because there was a white halo from the cooked egg white...but I think she just didn't like the that word "devil". Haha! I love you Mom!

Homemade cherry pie for dessert!

And to finish off the night were many rounds of Apples To Apples! I loved some of my cards!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Easy Salmon Dinner

Sometimes it's hard to find the time to cook for here's a pretty easy meal that is ready in under 30 Minutes!

For a single serving you will need:
1 Costco salmon patty
1 mini sweet red pepper
1-2 mini yellow peppers
2-3 cremini mushrooms or about a 1/2 cup already sliced
1 tomato
1-2 cups of baby spinach
1-2 Tbsp Bistro Blends Rosemary Roasted Garlic Cabernet

Chop your vegetables into 1/2 to 1/4th inch chunks (to save a little time you can buy pre-sliced mushrooms!).
I chopped and cooked all of my veggies as the salmon patty was baking to save time.

You can find this specific rosemary blend online or search their distributor locations...and check out the many other amazing products they have. I have quite a few varieties and love them!
When the salmon patty has about 10 minutes left in the oven, pre-heat a sauté pan and add the balsamic and sauté the vegetables stirring occasionally over med-med low heat. I like my vegetables to still have a little crunch to them and so that there is still a little bit of "life" to them.
Place the spinach on a dinner plate and place the salmon patty on top of the bed of spinach. The warm patty will lightly cook down the spinach a bit.

Once the patty comes out of the oven, your vegetables should be finished cooking and ready to be spooned over your spinach and patty and...

And voilà! So delicious, so colorful, so easy and so healthy! Enjoy!

Monday, November 18, 2013


A Season of Thanks and Blessings
Danke! - German
Bedankt! - Dutch
Merci! - French
Cảm ơn - Vietnamese

Definition of thanksgiving (n)

Bing Dictionary
  • thanks·giv·ing
  • [ thàngks gívving ]
  1. prayer of thanks: a prayer that offers thanks to God
  2. giving of thanks: an expression or an act of giving thanks
  3. public acknowledgment of divine goodness: a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness

Some of those simple moments in life that I am grateful and thankful for:
  • Apples slices with cinnamon
  • A real piece of mail (snail mail)
  • Hand Quilting/working on my quilt that 3 generations have now worked on!!!
  • Hugs from the ones I love
  • Finishing a good book and beginning a new one
  • The color of Autumn leaves when they are at their brightest
  • The feeling after a hard workout...feeling recharged and exhausted at the same time
  • Spending quality time with friends and family
  • A hot cup of tea on a cold day
  • A home cooked meal, cooked for and shared with someone/people
  • A house with a spare room/art room that family and friends can stay in when they come to visit
  • Wonderful neighbors
  • Feeling God's presence...often in nature
  • Finding that "perfect" gift for someone
  • A good...good laugh
  • Road trips and travel adventures
  • Creating: Art, music, crafts, cooking, writing
  • Scriptures/The Word of God, becoming alive and telling me exactly what I need to hear when I need to hear it:
Psalm 100
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."

  • An incredible man of God. A man of honor and integrity and a man who is able to surprise me by flying in for a short weekend...just because he missed me!!! A man that makes me feel special and beautiful often. A man that I can trust, depend upon and feel safe around. A man that makes me laugh and brings perspective as needed/when asked.
Well these are just a few of the many, many, many blessings and life moments that I am beyond thankful for.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Oh That Goodwill

Like I have mentioned before...sometimes you go to the Goodwill/Salvation Army or whatever your local thrift/secondhand store is and you find absolutely nothing...and then other days you find everything all at once!
A pattern in my size!!! I always love the vintage look and drawings on older patterns

I found a matching set of 8 (although I only bought 6 for lack of cupboard space) yellow rimmed bowls and some adorable sandwich plates that I couldn't resist picking up! Each bowl and plate ranged from $0.59-under a dollar each! I also picked up a few blue trimmed dinner plates since I only had two dinner plates to my name...when I put them away at home they were almost identical (only slightly larger but same color and depth)!

I found the perfect use for those little plates!!!
The Christmas Spirit has hit me earlier than usual this season and I found a beautiful, virtually pristine condition vinyl record of Julie Andrews singing Christmas carols!!!

 This adorable game, "Guess How Much I Love You"...not only is the name cute but it is all bunnified, and then a set of old ABC flashcards that I fell in love with! Love the look and drawings!
This fabulous windbreaker...yes this is a "selfie" shot...but what's a girl gonna do!
As Ben would say, "Jackpot!"

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

I know it's November but I can't help it! I am already in the mood for Christmas!!! I have fought the urge to put up all of my Christmas decorations ever since Halloween was over...Even on Halloween I met up with a friend that evening to work on Christmas tree ornaments!!!
Aren't they cute!!! We are going to meet up later to make more now that we know what we are doing!

It probably doesn't help that stores have been setting up for the Christmas season well before November and while normally this would annoy me, I actually find myself quite delited this season.

I am a do it yourself(er) and love to make gifts for people during the holidays. Here are a few new projects that I have my eye on to try!

Candy Cane Marshmellow Pops that can hang on the inside of the mug and let all of the candycane/chocolatey goodness slowly infuse your hot chocolate....Find the how to's here!

Jingle bells & candles as a centerpiece for Christmas. Hitting up the dollar store!

 Recipe for snowman cookies - ha
For the recipe check out melted snowmen cookies
 And this scrumptious recipe is one that I will likely try: Peppermint Popcorn Bark
Christmas Peppermint Popcorn (Pinner says: This stuff is like crack. I gave it as neighbor gifts and a few people even asked for more!)

I have also been looking at neat gift alternative ideas for's the deal...I already have everything I need and then this year I'm asking that if people want to get me something...I would rather that money be used to go towards someone who doesn't have as much as are a few of my favorites this year:

Operation Shoe Box: Samaritans Purse

Help Care for Unsponsored Children
Sponsor a Child with Compassion International
Happy Holidays!!! (And only 23 more days until Thanksgiving!!!)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Entering the "Art Zone"

Well, after Faire this year (which I haven't posted pictures of as of yet...and I'm still debating whether I want to or not), I have been traveling like crazy! It has been a year filled with wonderful trips and fun adventures, and somehow I have found time in the in-betweens to tap into what I call my "zone" artistically and squeeze in a few projects, and drawings that I thought I would share with you. Enjoy!

 Design/line work with pen and ink:
 Temporary body art/words of inspiration

Bun sketch

Upon returning to WA, this sketch was a result of the welcome I received.

Raindrops progressing:

 Colored pencil:

Where did my floor go?!? A common sight when I begin to scrapbook...often times my floor disappears under multiple layers of supplies.

Getting started on Ben's scrap book/birthday present!
Good times and good memories.

"You're One In A Minion", aka the birthday card I made for Ben! We both love the "Dispicable Me" films.
I'm So happy with how this card turned out!!! So cute!!! 
The after shot of my craft room upon completing Ben's scrapbook and b-day card.

 On one of my adventures while down in Louisiana I sketched a bit. This guy/sketched I titled: King P.