Amy Artisan

Family | Travel | Craft | Life | Books

Month: May 2014


Somehow we have blazed through the month of May…I’m not quite sure where it went…much like the pink blossoms in the first picture below that I captured early in the month & have long since disappeared, so too have the May Days rapidly moved on. I think that might have something to do with a very busy work month…in the midst of such a busy month, fun was had…these are a few of the things I was into during my May Days…

Pink blooms spotted en route to lunch one day early this month...long since replaced with green...

Pink blooms spotted en route to lunch one day early this month….

Reading…quite a few things – I’ll have reviews in a June twitterature roundup. Among the reads: The Reliable WifeThe ProdigalThat’s Not in My American History BookChasing Fireflies – and more…

Milk & cookies with The Lego Movie - somewhere over the Atlantic

Milk & cookies with The Lego Movie – somewhere over the Atlantic

Watching…another UK business trip provided an opportunity to catch up on several recent movies: Monument Men; Catching Fire; The Lego Movie; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit…my church rented out a theater for “Heaven is for Real” early in the month…summer starts when I watch the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS & this year’s concert didn’t disappoint…since London seems to be in my circle now, I’ve started this new season of 24…

Listening…recent album acquisitions include the latest Need to Breathe

The season continues...

The season continues…

Crafting…keeping current on my Brewers Crackerjack – not thrilled with the gray patch from some disappointing road games…

Mom's Strawberry Pie

Mom’s Strawberry Pie

Cooking…not quite as much…Mom’s strawberry pie…Santa Maria beans…roasted shrimp & asparagus go-to…

After a long day of project planning...

After a long day of project planning…

Sipping…a few good pints whilst in the UK…

Noshing…beans for breakfast as part of the daily English breakfast…fish & chips…a favorite salad (grilled chicken & pears with blue cheese, walnuts & balsamic) from a NJ diner when overnight for a training session…

Walking…for the 3rd year, I’m participating in the Global Corporate Challenge through work…so, it’s time to ramp up my daily steps…

Traveling…this 2nd work trip to the UK had me outside of London for most of the duration; however London tourist fun was still to be had on a gorgeous Sunday

My favorite perfume...from Capri!

My favorite perfume…from Capri!

Enjoying…a new bottle of my favorite perfume from Capri! For 9 years, I have “nursed” a small bottle of this lovely scent. It turns out that Liberty of London carries the Carthusia perfumes. So, a sparkly new bottle of Mediterraneo came home with me.

Looking Ahead…WI family will be here shortly for a fun family vacation & quite a few fun activities are planned for those days…another UK business trip in June is booked, including a weekend for fun…Mom & Dad are coming to visit around July 4th – yay!!…

Linking up with Leigh Kramer for the monthly “What I’m Into” round-up. What are you into these days?


A Sunny Sunday…London Style

This time last Sunday, I was tourist for a day in London ahead of a meetings at one of our locations outside of London. Meetings started on Monday afternoon – so a Saturday overnight flight & a few hotel points from all my WI travel allowed for a Sunday afternoon and evening in the midst of it all. A colleague flew in early too and was game for some Sunday adventure.
A postcard view from my hotel room

A postcard view from my hotel room

As I opened the door to my hotel room, I was greeted with an incredible view of the London skyline – I think I might have a postcard that looks just about the same. After cleaning up a bit, it was time to set out for some London fun.
In Trafalgar Square

In Trafalgar Square

First, a stroll practically around the corner to Trafalgar Square. On such a warm and sunny afternoon, the square was bustling with people & performance art. We wandered through some of the galleries at the National Gallery – in our tired state, the commentary we had about some of the paintings was quite rich.
The view from the cafe

The view from the cafe

After recharging with an iced latte & a ginger biscuit, it was time for a bit of shopping. A quick taxi ride dropped us in front of Liberty of London.
About to enter Liberty

About to enter Liberty

It was great fun to stroll through the floors at Liberty – the florals truly are amazing. Some purchases were made and ideas for purchases on future trips were filed away.
A glimpse of the red carpet

A glimpse of the red carpet

When our shopping was done (or rather we knew we needed to leave before doing anymore damage), we met up with a colleague for drinks before walking to dinner. As we walked, we passed the theater & red carpet for a BAFTA awards show.
My postcard view - the nighttime edition

My postcard view – the nighttime edition

After dinner, it was time for me to grab a cab back to my hotel & “finally” get some sleep. Upon my return to my room, I stared out the window for a bit watching my iconic skyline view come to life with the night lights. Thanks to the marvel that is FaceTime, I gave the family a touring of the darkening skyline before calling it a night. On Monday morning, a taxi ride to Waterloo Station and then a 45 minute train ride transported us away from being a London tourist to our several days of planning workshops. More trips may be on the horizon…I wonder what tourist adventures I’ll be able to incorporate into them?

One Community: May 2014

Connecting with One Community to share unique perspectives on the same words. For May, the words are FIVE | MOTHER | RECIPE | REMEMBER

In the Artisan family, May has always been “Mom” month. In addition to celebrating our Mom through Mother’s Day, her birthday is later in the month. So each year we do our best to appropriately spoil her during the month for all that she does for us every day of the year.

When I saw the One Community words for this month, I had a slight lightbulb moment for capturing the majority of them. Now that spring is here and “good” strawberries are once again in the store it is the perfect time to make Mom’s Strawberry Pie. When I think of this recipe, it is Mom through and through. On Mother’s Day morning, I went through the steps to make a delicious pie that had me remembering Mom from afar.

Making the base

Making the base

REMEMBER…I’ve mentioned that Grandma’s house in California included fabulous gardens…in those gardens were the most delicious strawberries ever…strawberries always make us think of Grandma’s place (in fact, for Christmas my sister gave me a strawberry ‘bead’ for my memory bracelet to remember Grandma)

Assembled & ready to chill

Assembled & ready to chill

RECIPE…this recipe is simple in it’s preparation and stunning in it’s ruby presentation…among the things that Mom has taught throughout the years is that you can’t go wrong with simple, good food.

Ready to enjoy with homemade whipped cream

Ready to enjoy with homemade whipped cream

MOM…as with many Mom recipes, we use it as a guide versus a precise instruction…in making this yesterday, the pie didn’t setup nicely once I added the strawberries…in texting with Mom about it, she commented that as she also adds more berries than called for she has decided that we need to up the cornstarch in the base. So much of my approach to the kitchen is based on what I learned (& continue to learn) from her.

Here is our simple recipe…in FIVE easy steps:

  1. Crush 1 pint of strawberries.
  2. Combine them in a saucepan with 1 c. sugar, 4 T cornstarch and 2 T lemon juice. Stir constantly until thickened and clear.
  3. Cool the mixture.
  4. Slice another pint (or more) of strawberries and fold into the cooled mixture.
  5. Transfer to a graham cracker crust and chill until serving. (Excellent when served with whipped cream!)

It turns out that Mom made Strawberry Pie at home yesterday…while the best scenario would have been to be at home enjoying pie with her, it was almost like being with her to have us both enjoying Strawberry Pie across the miles…

What are some of your favorite Mom Recipe Remembrances?




Mom Teachings

Through the different link-ups that I’ve been participating in this year, I’ve been stumbling upon lots of “new to me” blogs. When I saw that Jana was planning to host a Little House book club at the Townhouse Pioneer, I thought it would be fun to join in and re-read some favorite childhood books. Each month, one book in the series will be read and discussed via blog. As I reread “Little House in the Big Woods” I was quickly reminded of why the series has always been a favorite of mine. There are a lot of different thoughts that come to mind as discussion points for the book; however, since we are in Mother’s Day week I’m going to focus on mother as teacher. Throughout the adventures and the mundane that Laura and Mary experienced in that little house, Ma was right there – teaching them every step of the way. Some things were survival skills like putting up food for the lean winter months: in the kitchen; others were life skills like knitting and sewing for clothing; some were life lessons about how to treat others.

Riding the carousel at Greenfield Village with Mom!

Riding the carousel at Greenfield Village with Mom!

That is a theme that runs through every mother/child relationship – I’m pretty sure I’ll never outgrow learning things from my Mom. For this week’s Ten on Tuesday, Carole asked us to share “10 Things Mom Taught Me” – so here is just a small & rather random sampling from the things I’ve learned from Artisan Mom…

  • Simple Hospitality – it doesn’t take much to provide an inviting environment to host friends and family in any situation
  • The best strawberry pie recipe – more on this later this week…
  • A love of reading
  • Meyer lemons really make any dish better
  • While I never picked up Mom’s great sewing skills, I picked up the basic mending basics from her
  • Doing housework is a perfect time to pray for those you love
  • A mug of hot tea can solve almost any problem
  • Puzzles are fun! Jig saw…words…or numbers…
  • You can find wonder in the smallest and simplest things – don’t get so caught up “in it all” that you miss these moments
  • No matter how bad a day seems…it’s really not that bad…tomorrow is a new adventure to be had!

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” – Abraham Lincoln

What has your Mom taught you? 

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