Amy Artisan

Family | Travel | Craft | Life | Books

Category: What I’m Into (page 1 of 9)

Recently – June 2018

Ah, JUNE…a month filled with the “official” start of summer…heat…humidity…summer rainstorms…fresh produce…and more…these are the things that filled my JUNE days…

Focusing…continuing to devote time to my job search…networking events…personal branding…connecting with local job seekers…initial interviews, and more…knowing the right position is there…

Reading…a total of 13 books during the month…an assortment of reads to be shared in upcoming book posts…6 NetGalley reads…the latest installments in some serial stories…and an assortment of others…the debut novel, A Storied Life, from Leigh Kramer was a delight to read! (And also sharing reads on the blog: here, here, here, and here.)

Knitting…diving into a fade project with my Shades of Green shawl…I’m now into the third green and nearing the final extended lace sequence…

Spicing…placing a good size order with our favorite The Spice House from Chicago…we had been talking about needing to make an order when there was a campaign to buy spices to send to Sailors and Marines…that was the nudge we needed to get an order placed and also share some seasonings with those aboard the USS Truman…Yes, the “California Seasoned Pepper” is a favorite so we didn’t mess around & ordered a pound of it – it’s frequently used in place of black pepper around here. The “Gateway to the North” has maple sugar from Marinette County so it is apropos to have – & is delicious on pork. Excited to try their “Everyone’s Everything Bagel Blend” – I’m looking at you, hard boiled eggs & fresh tomatoes. The “Lakeshore Seasoning” is a favorite way to accentuate farmers market produce. A good Garlic Salt is a pantry staple. And finally going to give a try to making our own vanilla extract.

Marketing…starting our Saturdays at the farmers market is definitely our routine now. A couple of weeks have included meeting up with friends at the market and introducing them to our favorite vendors. All market visits end with delicious local iced coffee/cold brew for each of us. A bonus is when our salsa stand is serving up chorizo tacos to start the day.  Of course, all the fresh produce leads to all sorts of fresh meal fun…

Cooking…Chorizo + Potato Tacos in lettuce shells…simple, flavorful, refreshing with the crisp of the lettuce…once with market Yukon gold potatoes and once with sweet potatoes…recipe inspired by a segment on America’s Test Kitchen (PBS) – but we thought tortillas were an unneeded starch…

Cooking…Asparagus, Kale & Lemon Risotto…using cauliflower rice….this was simple, bright and paired wonderfully with pork…recipe from the Whole30 Recipes feed on Instagram

Cooking…BLT Coleslaw…a delicious twist on coleslaw that combines the best of a BLT with fresh cabbage and provides a great side dish…will be making this again, for sure as we are getting tomatoes from gardener friends…recipe from the Whole30 Recipes feed on Instagram

Jamming…making a delicious Sweet & Sour Jam from a NetGalley cookbook…this Golden Beet & Apple Jam is a fantastic addition to all sorts of plates – a little dab brightens and transforms leftovers, sandwiches and more…

Cooking…Zucchini Pancakes with LakeShore Dollop…putting market zucchini to use with a simple supper side…recipe from The Spice House, it popped up as a suggestion when I last ordered our favorite Lakeshore seasoning blend…

Cooking…a Sheet Pan Salad for a Sunday supper…started by wilting a kale, blueberries, peaches and sweet onion and then adding pork chops to finish…

Streaming…watching Miss Butterfly’s choir camp concert streaming from the music hall at The University of Texas on a Saturday afternoon…

Watching…Mom & I have had some eclectic viewing between Netflix and checking out library DVDs…a bit of a British series streak: Home Fires, Rosemary & Thyme…starting into A Place Called Home in Australia…movies including The Founder, the delightful Ethel & Ernest, A Monster Calls….

Looking ahead…nothing major on the horizon in July…but more market runs, books, knitting & job focus are filling the time just fine…

What filled your JUNE days?

Connecting up with Leigh’s What I’m Into link-up and Kristen’s What’s New with You? link-up.

Recently – May 2018

Ah, MAY…a month filled with spring showers and blooms and summer heat and humidity…celebrating friends at a wedding…Mom celebration days (Mother’s Day & birthday)…and more…these are the things that filled my MAY days…

Focusing…on the job hunt by getting involved with the outplacement/career coach service that has been provided and also connecting with a local weekly job seekers group.

Bubbling…finally buying supplies for homemade Boba (bubble tea) & wondering why it took so long to start doing this at home. A favorite blueberry infusion made for a great boba. Another winner is using an Arnold Palmer version. Nutpods are a tasty milk component for these ( the limited edition vanilla lemon, especially). We anticipate many of these in our future.

Voting…in the Georgia primary that included a high school classmate on the ballot.

Visiting…Dad’s gravesite ahead of Memorial Day with our dear friend that had served as deputy to Dad while they were on missile crew in Kansas. Jack’s visit with us was filled with many great memories and stories of Dad.

Lunching…at the charming Wild Daisy B&B and Farm Café down in Molena – we discovered this farm through our new farmers market and after checking out their Facebook page, we knew we needed to visit. After an April visit with Mom & Rebecca, Mom & I have enjoyed some “ladies who lunch” trips down there with friends in May. Everything we’ve ordered from their delicious menu has been a winner. And their desserts are fabulous – the coconut cake and strawberry cake can’t be missed.

Marketing…Saturday mornings mean visiting a new local farmers market. Mom & I are regulars there now – it’s fun to chat with the farmers each week and be building relationships with them. Local honey. Homemade salsa verde. Delicious baked goods. Beautiful wildflower bouquets. Gorgeous and delicious produce. Thriving annuals. Always ending the market run with refreshing local cold brew.

Cooking…all the farmers market finds provided so many great components for tasty meals…lots of simple roasted veggies…a kale & broccoli salad is in the rotation that is my version of the Chick-fil-A Superfoods Salad…beautiful green salads, and more…

Participating…in the Leadercast Live 2018 event to start the month…a great day filled with great speakers…and my notebook filled with many pages of great nuggets to bring back & focus on leading myself…a very timely event as I’m navigating the job search for my next role now that I’m back home in the Ville…

Reading…all the time…between NetGalley and the local library, I see that I’ve read 26 books this month (on top of a full April) – details about the May reads coming on June 12th.

Scooping…stopping by the nearest Culver’s for a $1 scoop of classic vanilla custard in support of their Thank You Farmers Project. You can’t go wrong with classic vanilla!

Looking ahead…no major plans for June…but farmers market runs, books & job search are on the docket, for sure…

What filled your May days?

Connecting up with Leigh Kramer for the What I’m Into link-up.

Into…January

Ah, JANUARY…a month filled with…snow and bitter cold days…and rain and warmer days…a new word for the year…a nutrition reset…and lots of “offline” activity that can’t yet be shared…In the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my days…

 

Reading…a few fictions to start the year, Young Jane Young and The Alice Network. I’m currently in the midst of our cryptographic history with The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies. As the year is underway, I also have a couple of daily devotional readings in flight.

Blooming…enjoying Amaryllis Watch 2018 as my two bulbs have been doing their thing…and it looks like I might get a few more blooms out of them, still…

Blogging…One way I’m channeling my one word is by focusing on my blog more than I have in a long time. Beyond not only writing but publishing more posts, I also spent some time refreshing things around here – a new layout, a category cloud, my Instagram feed and more.

Hibernating…thankful for the opportunity to work from home on winter weather days…

WatchingThe Coronation “sit down” with Queen Elizabeth was a delightful program filled with all sorts of fun trivia tidbits…continuing with the royal theme, the return of “Victoria” on Masterpiece makes for good viewing, too…thoroughly enjoying the new Ann Curry storytelling that is We’ll Meet Again on PBS…

Streaming…finally watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and laughing throughout…Hunted was a good thriller series…thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Sloane and Florence Foster Jenkins…

Tidying…2 Green Drop pickups scheduled in the month were a prompt to continue tidying/konmar-ing/purging the excess within my house. With each new pick-up, it feels better and better to be clearing out the clutter…more pickups are planned for the coming weeks…

Some of the tasty Whole30 food prep and meals from the month

Resetting…Successfully completing a January Whole30 reset and now in the “reintroduction” phase. Skillet suppers were a key to success for the month and are something I see continuing for meals going forward. There are still more posts to share, but along the way this month I shared a great way to slow roast tomatoes, some of my simple skillets, and some of the food prep that helps me stay on track.

Looking ahead to February…a work trip to Oklahoma to start the month…taking a few moments to send “Happy Hearts Day” notes to dear ones…taking the time to do a “real” introduction to see what post-Whole30 foods may need to be reconsidered…continued progress on the “offline activity” that has yet to be shared…

What filled your JANUARY days?

Linking up with Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into. And also linking up with Kristen for What’s New with You? 

Recently…December 2017

Ah, DECEMBER! A month filled with…holiday preparations…first snowfall…cold temps…holiday gatherings…pausing to celebrate Christmas and more…in the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my December days…

Visiting with Santa & Mrs. Claus! The first Saturday of the month was filled with errands. First on the list was a stop to a favorite local chocolate factory where a charming Santa & Mrs. Claus were taking pictures with everyone.

Sheet pan suppers…once for myself and once in the Ville, a simple pan of rainbow potatoes + kale + sweet onion + chicken made for a quick, healthy and tasty meal (and leftovers)…I definitely plan to incorporate more sheet pan suppers into 2018 meal planning…

Minimal mantel decor – My simple Christmas vignette on the mantel was “just right” for bringing holiday joy into my apartment this month! The accompanying JOY decor completed it.

Watching…way too many Hallmark Christmas movies. I did chuckle with this article about needing the escape from the year with these movies.

Christmas in the Ville…I was lucky enough to be home for 2 weeks with Mom & Rebecca. We navigated through Christmas without Dad pretty well – some traditions were in play this year; some traditions were not included; some new celebrations and moments were added. Visiting Dad’s grave site right after the Wreaths Across America had been placed upon the rows was quite an experience – while the majesty of the national cemetery is always a site to see, the rows upon rows of white markers with the contrast of the green wreaths and red bows is truly awesome.  At Thanksgiving, we decided on a live tree with just colored lights & pearl garland – it provided just the right holiday glow in the living room for us this season. A couple of days were bliss for us all as we spent hours in the living room each deep in our own books, the fire going, coffee nearby and just being together.

Viewing…lots of Christmas lights. All told, we went “light looking” 4 evenings while I was home for Christmas. Rebecca has already challenged us to hit 5 nights next Christmas.

Catching up…with lots of friends while home in the Ville – often over food. In addition to several meals out and about, Rebecca hosted some girls for breakfast one morning. After Christmas, a delightful evening was spent at the now annual high school gang holiday gathering – this year was our largest group to join in – we all agree that we prefer this to the school reunions.

Visiting Vermeer…while home for Christmas, Rebecca & I made a quick day trip up to DC to take in the current Vermeer exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. A separate post is planned to share some of the highlights from that day…

Wrapping…Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve. While I’m always thankful for the “fabric bag” approach that we adopted from a college roommate more than 20 years ago, this year I’m even more thankful – I’m confident that gifts would not have been wrapped without them.

Reading…a whopping 13 books in the month to somehow meet my Goodreads 2017 challenge. Indeed, my Christmas break was filled with plenty of reading – including 4 of the 5 books that were under the Christmas tree for me. While book posts were nonexistent around here in 2017, I’ve missed sharing my reads and plan to share reading moments more in the new year…

Sipping…all the Christmas flavored coffees…Door County Candy Cane was in frequent rotation – especially with a splash of Califia Farms Mint Cocoa creamer

Looking ahead…as the calendar changes to 2018, I see a year filled with lots of opportunities on the horizon – which I look forward to writing bout as they unfold…I’m narrowing down my One Word for the year and will share that in the coming weeks…January will be a Whole30 reset month for me so I see lots of kitchen time in store – and my goal is to blog more of the food fun during the month…

What filled your DECEMBER days?

Once again linking up with Leigh for What I’m Into.

Recently…November 2017

Ah, NOVEMBER…a month filled with birthday celebration…falling leaves…falling temps…shorter days…moments of thanksgiving…pivoting towards advent…in the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my November days…

Recapping the month through a few snapshots…

Time in Texas…I hadn’t seen my girlies since February so it was wonderful to start the month with a long weekend back with them all. As per normal, we had a jam packed weekend. Pedicures to start the weekend. Homemade pizza on Friday night. A Saturday morning soccer game. A Saturday afternoon high school honor choir concert. An early birthday dinner celebration for me at Tupelo Honey at The Star , the new Cowboys Frisco complex. Church. A bit of shopping. A quick Christmas Card photo session in the blazing heat. All in all, a delightful time with some of my favorite people!

A birthday at home in the Ville…When I left Texas, I detoured to the Ville to actually be at home with Mom & Rebecca on my birthday. While there are no pictures from the day, it was a sweet time. Several sweet friends from church joined us for dinner at a favorite Vietnamese restaurant and then back home for Mom’s wonderful chocolate cake (with the fudge-like icing).

Cider Roasted Veggies…after roasting a pan for the office Thanksgiving luncheon, I made a batch at home in the Ville that were incorporated into several quick meals throughout the week

Thanksgiving Week at home in the Ville…a lovely and low-key week at home with Mom & Rebecca. My goal of reading lots of books didn’t happen but it was still a relaxing week. The church Thanksgiving on Sunday started the week – I didn’t have it in me to make my traditional Nantucket Cranberry Pie so we went with Mom’s gingersnaps instead. A massage restored me from months of stress and more. Two salt room visits helped all of us. Thanksgiving dinner was hosted by friends and the weather was such that we enjoyed extended time out in their pavilion in the back enjoying the gorgeous afternoon.

Sipping Joy…whether iced or hot, the Peppermint Mocha Swirl is “just right” from Dunkin. And, their JOY cups are the best holiday cups around.

Looking ahead…who knows how December will unfold…but I’m definitely looking forward to extended time at home in the Ville, figuring out how we celebrate the season, spending time planning for 2018 with Powersheets and one word, reconnecting with high school friends at our now annual Christmas week gathering…and turning the calendar to a new year…

What filled your NOVEMBER days?

Once again linking up with Leigh for What I’m Into.

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