Amy Artisan

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Month: March 2016

Currently…March 2016

Ah MARCH…a month of…time change & the return of sunlight as I leave the office…daffodil bursting forth from the frozen ground…blooms and buds emerging on tree branches…long workdays with a big project…the feeling of “surviving” a winter and the anticipation of sunnier days…in the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my days…


Reading…a decent amount while on the road…finishing up my Lenten poetry reading…books reviews will be shared in a mid-April reading round-up…when the overhead light was broken on an evening flight, I *might* have used the flashlight on my phone to keep reading on my Kindle…

Watching…”finally” seeing several of the big Oscar movies…while in Texas, once the girls were in bed we enjoyed Spotlight and Steve Jobs…for months I’ve been wanting to see Bridge of Spies but would think about renting it “too late” on a Saturday night, this month – I finally remembered to rent it early in the evening & thoroughly enjoyed it…streaming Bosch on Amazon Prime…welcome back Mr. Selfridge…

When the current knitting project matches the current flowers & candle

When the current knitting project matches the current flowers & candle

Knitting…lots of knitting…diving into the stash to make simple shawlettes to share with friends and family…2 off the needles this month and a larger wrap in process in the colors of spring…

Calm Coloring

Coloring…so thankful for coloring books at the end of many busy days – I’ve got a post on that ready to share with y’all…


Cooking…after travel in the first half of the month, I was eager to return to some menu planning and cooking for the rest of the month…spinach and eggs in the fridge allowed for simply & healthy suppers when I was back home before picking up fresh groceries…the menu plans of earlier this year made it easy to pull some quick and healthy meals in the midst of unanticipated busyness…roasted veggies and baked chicken were a frequent foundation…a simple blueberry sauce was a great finishing touch to spring meals…a Zoodle Pizza Pie was a quick and healthy prep that yielded several meals…


Traveling…starting the month back in Marinette…a long weekend in Texas with my girlies was so restorative…


Splurging…on some fun ballet flats for the spring and summer seasons…indeed, there were so many Tieks colors that appealed to me…for my first pair, I decided on the Pacific Green…(yes, I can see more splurges in future seasons)

Looking ahead…making summer vacation plans…enjoying the transition to spring…diving into some serious spring cleaning…anticipating farmers market season…

Linking up with Leigh’s monthly What I’m Into round-up. What are you into these days? 

Simple Sauce

On my pantry shelf sit several jars of preserved goodies from last summer. For the jams I made, it is pretty self evident how they get put to use. Today I plucked a jar of Ginger Pickled Blueberries from the shelf and quickly turned it into the “wow” for a simple Easter dinner. I put the entire jar in my Nutri-Ninja and gave it a couple of whirls until it was smooth.


The sauce went into one of my small pots and was brought to a simmer on the stove top – the heat was turned down a bit and I stirred it every so often as it thickened to a syrup.

Easter Dinner

Once the syrup had reduced a bit, it was drizzled on the plate of pork and citrus roasted broccoli and asparagus. This sweet and tangy syrup added a vibrant flavor to the plate.

What are some “unusual” ways that you’ve used jars of preserves from your canning shelves?

Click and Read v03


A few recent links from around the web that are worth a click and read…Enjoy!

  • My sister has had some “epic” auto-corrects in her texts – this article brought smiles to us all.
  • A clever map of fave UK/Irish TV shows and where they are set.
  • A fun slide show of 10 knitting terms – all sorts of trivia to file away in the details.
  • There’s a new documentary about Tiffany & Co – hmm, might need to rent it. Here are 7 facts from the film.
  • Who knew…so much history & drama about the pork roll? Since moving here, friends & family that have visited have discovered this breakfast meat option at diner breakfasts. On more than one occasion, pork roll has been bought here, frozen, wrapped in foil & transported on an plane to dear ones.
  • If you could have a super power, what would you chose? A thoughtful read on the powers of more time and more energy.


Texas Time

In typical Amy fashion, work trips & fun trips ended up stacking up in early March. After being home from Wisconsin for 3 1/2 days, it was time to head to Texas for a long overdue extended weekend with my girlies. When I arrived on Wednesday evening, the girls were already asleep; however, as I settled into Miss M’s room for the weekend it was evident that someone was excited I was there: I was welcomed into the Hotel M’Amy suite that included many reminders of being in Miss M’s life.

Welcome to Hotel M'Amy!

Welcome to Hotel M’Amy!

Thursday was a low key day – plenty of playtime with the girls. Miss V was initially a bit shy to me but in no time all was normal and she was even reading to me. (Following in her sisters’ footsteps in the reading, for sure.) Miss M & Miss K treated me to a piano concert as they practiced – including a duet. And where we used to leave the little girls behind to spend time shopping, this time Maya & I took a backseat to 3 girls with definite opinions as they were clothes shopping.

18 months was too long

18 months was too long

Now it's Miss V's turn to read to me!

Now it’s Miss V’s turn to read to me!

Piano concerts from the girls

Piano concerts from the girls

Friday had us on the road right away to head into Dallas. After telling me about it for years, the girls were able to finally share the Perot Museum of Nature & Science experience. We started with a fun 3D flick about chipmunks preparing for winter and then headed to the top level and began working our way down through the levels. This curious gal had so much fun exploring with my curious gals – we were battling spring break crowds so we didn’t get to do everything but how fun it was to step back & watch them explore.

3D movie fun

3D movie fun

No tulips this spring break - but we like sea turtles, too!

No tulips this spring break – but we like sea turtles, too!

Finding the microscopic worms

Finding the microscopic worms

Saturday started with homemade pancake breakfast and then playing at home. Later in the morning, Miss M decided I needed a sparkly spa pedicure. After lunch, we went to a local pottery place & had some painting fun. I look forward to incorporating my new plate into my decor – each of the girls painted a flower for it.

Painting a "M'Amy's Girls" plate

Painting a “M’Amy’s Girls” plate

After days of gray & rain, Saturday was beautiful weather so instead of going out for dinner we decided to open the patio dining season at home. Grilled steak and chicken and veggies were delicious as we sat at the patio dining table surrounded by twinkle lights and the beautiful backyard. The clear sky and sight of stars and the moon sparked conversation about space exploration from the girls, including “has a woman ever walked on the moon?” Dinner was topped off with s’mores made in the outdoor fireplace.

Pondering space exploration while dining under the stars

Pondering space exploration while dining under the stars

Ending the evening with s'mores

Ending the evening with s’mores

Sunday started slower as we sprung ahead. Another gorgeous day had dawned and so we spent plenty of time outside – walking the dog, flying kites in the open lot across the street, at one point, Miss K & Miss V decided it was time to jump in the swimming pool.

Giving the pool a try

Giving the pool a try

Before long, final hugs were being given and it was time to head to the airport. As we backed out of the driveway, this sweet scene was bidding me a reluctant farewell.

goodbyeThe days with these girls were just what I needed! I’m so lucky to have these 3 delightful little ladies in my life!

A Week in Pictures

The combination of a planned weekend with the WI-fam & a work project out there meant I had a week+ back in Marinette. The time seemed to follow a “work hard, play hard” mentality – lots of work during the days paired with family fun for evenings & weekends. Here, a few scenes from the trip…


…Friday was for an early flight from Philly – a layover in Atlanta – and flying into Milwaukee and trekking north…for heading to Grandma & Grandpa’s house for an amazing Friday Fish Fry (some of the fish had been swimming under the ice that morning)…for “picking up where we left off” in family time…


…Saturday night was for celebrating a new marriage…with cake and cupcakes and a great DJ and lots and lots of dancing by the littlest cousins & nieces…

Tamale Pie

…Sunday meant all sorts of things…a lazy start to the day after the late night party…wandering Walmart to figure out our Sunday Supper menu: Tamale Pie, WI style with ground venison – roasted green beans for dipping in salsa – spinach salad…picking up double cheeseburgers from Mickey-Lu’s Bar-B-Q for lunch…mid-afternoon as snow arrived it meant another Walmart run, dropping a kid at the ice rink, and when in WI you drive to Culver’s in a snowstorm to pick up Oreo concretes for the adults for dessert…Sunday evening is for starting to read aloud The One and Only Ivan to the 4th grader (with Mom & Dad enjoying the story, too)…


…Monday was for Disney Apples to Apples with the whole family – after a quickly pulled together Amy supper…Monday is also for finishing up the “Ivan” read aloud and completing an unanticipated book report…

…Tuesday didn’t yield pictures but included a “normal” evening of tasty supper and homework and hanging out…


…Wednesday meant a work team dinner and a bit of time to kill before the reservation…so I headed to a favorite spot to capture another seasonal shot of the lighthouse…

Football Pizza

…Thursday was for driving “so far away” to pick up a favorite pizza: the 30″ football – topped in thirds…

Blurble…Friday was for the whole family heading to Dexter’s for supper (amazing stuffed shrimp!) and then home for family game night as the snow moved in…a flurry of Blurble was followed by an intense round of spoons…


…Saturday morning started with a tranquil view of the fresh snowfall and some reading on my Kindle before the house awoke…French Toast and coffee and conversation…


…and then once the rental was cleared off and packed up, it was time to pick up one last coffee from my favorite Zinger Coffee & Tea and hit the road back down to Milwaukee to fly out…

And just like that…the trip was over…and I was back to PA, at least for a few days…

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