Last modified on 2013-10-01 17:12:46 GMT. 2 comments. Top.


It’s Tuesday and it is dumb.

1st Birthday

Last modified on 2012-10-24 19:33:32 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

I can’t help myself.

I love this little guy!

Here’s my nephew Justin on his 1st birthday last week.







Happy birthday Justin!

Aunt Janna loves you.

The Best Soup

Last modified on 2012-09-14 17:59:54 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

Happy Friday friends!

It’s a little cooler ’round these parts so last night when I took dinner to my mom and stepfather’s house,  I took soup and bread.

Both told me it was the best soup they’ve ever eaten.

I have my suspicions that this opinion of theirs has something to do with the fact that my mom recently had surgery and so her taste-buds are still somewhat affected by the drugs and my stepdad just spent hours on the mower after working a full day so might have been so hungry that he would have eaten a rubber hose for dinner if someone had presented it to him.

Regardless, I’m so glad that they enjoyed it.

Maybe you will too!

It was good.


Wild Rice, Butternut Squash, and Cannellini Stew


Photo by Leigh Beisch

If you happen to make this soup and think it’s the best you’ve ever had, I’d like to know.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Accidental Community Garden

Last modified on 2012-07-18 15:25:29 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

Yesterday there were at least 4 ripe tomatoes on this tomato plant that sits on my back patio that faces the road.



Today, only two.

Hmmmm. Hope you enjoyed the tomatoes.

Whoever you are.

Also, I bought a few succulents this year and planted them together in one planter/tray thingy but I think I could have squished a few more in there. Fingers crossed that I don’t kill any of these lovelys because I really like them.



I don’t know the names of any of them but I noticed that three of them are sprouting weird growths.



Uhhh, gross.


What the heck?

What is going on here?


Sorry for the crappy photography. I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately.

Any succulent growing advice?

Wondering if those two ripe tomatoes will still be on the vine when I get home tonight…

Frozen Herbs

Last modified on 2012-07-05 15:17:25 GMT. 2 comments. Top.

Wish I had an original thought to post.

But I don’t.

Instead, I found what I think will be good and useful information for you.

I’m totally going to try this at home.

Click on the article title to read the article.

From The Kitchn,


Freeze & Preserve Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil



Happy Thursday,  friends.

DIY Ideas for Summer

Last modified on 2012-05-03 16:28:07 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

I’ve got gardening and other outdoorsy things on the brain and keep happening upon fun repurposed and DIY ideas.

Here are some I’ve seen recently from The Kitchn and Apartment Therapy.


DIY Wood Shim Window Box from Centsational Girl



DIY Beer (or wine or soda or juice box) Gutter Picnic Table



Ohhh, what about this DIY Succulant Pallet Table?



Coffee Bag Planter Pots



The Pothole Garden

Be sure to click on the link to The Pothole Gardener and scroll through to see some other pothole garden’s and watch the video’s to see reactions to the gardens.


Lastly, I spotted the chalkboard sign below in a picture online today.

It’s pertinent to my life.

Thought maybe it would be pertinent to yours as well.



Happy Thursday friends.

Meal Plan – 14

Last modified on 2012-04-19 14:16:49 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

It’s been way too long since I’ve used a meal plan and I’m ready to jump back on the meal plan wagon.

I also took a break from my BS Project but am ready to dive back in. Stay tuned for BS updates.

Would love to hear if you try any of these.

You might note that these recipes seem fairly healthy and/or light. That’s on purpose. :)

This week’s meal plan features recipes by Giada De Laurentiis from her cookbook, Giada’s Family Dinners.

One of the very few cookbooks I own.


Click on the recipe title to be redirected to the recipe.

Swordfish Spiedini (kebobs)



Orzo with Garbanzo Beans, Red Onions, Basil, & Mint


Photo by KL


Tuna and Artichoke Panini


Going to follow one of Giada’s suggestions on this one and put the mixture over salad greens instead of making it in to a panini.


Photo by: Mark Shapiro

Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad with

Goat Cheese & Avocado


Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing



Broiled Salmon with Garlic, Mustard, and Herbs


Photo by The Cake Chica

Will have the artichokes with the salmon above.

 Grilled Artichokes with Parsley and Garlic




Disclaimer:  I don’t have a plan for every night of the week and I’m not including side dishes lest you think I don’t eat vegetables. I love vegetables. Except for brussel sprouts. I hate those things.

Farmhouse Wares

Last modified on 2012-04-17 13:19:01 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

I would like to introduce you to Farmhouse Wares.

Take a look at some of this stuff.

Click on the item title to be redirected to the Farmhouse Wares website for item description and price.

I l-o-v-e these crates and have put them on my wish list.


Vintage Style Nesting Herb Crates



Here you can see the crates hung in the kitchen of The Lettered Cottage.




 Vintage File Holder



Bee Keeping Prints



Clothes Pin Bag



Zinc Place Cards



Metal Cage Flower Frog Vases and Wire Caddy



If you have time, check out the Farmhouse Wares blog, Farmhouse Musings.

Happy Tuesday!

Repurposed Planters

Last modified on 2012-04-10 14:10:18 GMT. 2 comments. Top.

Now that it’s spring I really miss my country house on 8 acres.

We’re  in a smaller rental place in the city now so container garden is the name of our game this year.

Here’s an article I read this morning with great ideas for repurposing planters.

Bonus that there’s not a repurposed toilet or bathtub in the bunch!

15 Repurposed Planters: Just Add Dirt!


Two of my personal faves from the above article are





How about using a light bulb?

Yes, a light bulb.

From the article,

Ten Incredible Planters Created from Old Light Bulbs




Most likely we’ll stick to vegetables and herbs this year in containers we already have.

Similar to this,


Next year, assuming we’re still living in the same place, I’d like to add more decorative planters like the colander to our patio or porch.

Happy Tuesday Friends!


Photo Books

Last modified on 2012-03-21 15:30:26 GMT. 5 comments. Top.

I would imagine that you, like me, have oodles of digital photos saved on your camera, your computer, and your phone.

Taken on a vacation to Santa Barbara, CA

Recently I looked through all of our digital photos and thought what a shame it was that they are stored away where no one can see them.

In Santa Barbara, CA again. Who wouldn’t want this in a photo book? *cough*

I love the idea of creating books or yearbooks of digital photos as a way to have them available to flip through.

There’s something about being able to touch and point at an actual paper photo.

Makes the memory more real maybe?


Taken at our farmhouse a couple of years ago. Don’t want to forget this!

Blurb is one of many websites that allows you to upload and create a book using your photos and they also offer an ebook option (iPad, iPhone, iPod only for now).

Other options on Blurb (and other sites)  include using your photography to make journals, cookbooks, and calendars.

Like I said, there are many options for self-publishing your personal photos.

If you own a Mac, you can make a photo book in iPhoto. It’s easy-peasy. I’ve done it although I never ended up buying the book.

It’s still sitting in iPhoto ready and waiting for me to actually do something with it. Just like all the other digital photos waiting on my computer, phone, and camera. Dangit.

Some other self-publishing options:




What about you? Have you used any of these self-publishing tools?

If so, where you happy with the results and what about the price?

Hope you have a great Wednesday friends.


I’m thinking of deleting this picture FOREVER! Blech. 😉


Vegan Dinners

Last modified on 2012-03-19 14:22:27 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

Happy Monday Friends!

Saw this post this morning on The Kitchn and thought a number of my friends might appreciate these 15 vegan dinner ideas.

15 Vegan Dinner Recipes


Potato Tacos


(Image: Kathryn Hill)


Pumpkin Tortilla Soup


(Image: Emily Ho)

Click here to view the entire article and all of the 15 recipes.



Last modified on 2012-04-17 13:51:43 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Titanic Hunger

Last modified on 2012-02-23 15:05:04 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

I don’t care what you think about it, I’m going to see Titanic in 3D when it’s released in April this year.


And I’ll probably cry again while watching it.

Just like I did the other 3 or 4 times I’ve seen this movie.

I’m also gearing up to go and see the first of The Hunger Games movies releasing in theaters on March 23rd.


If you have not read The Hunger Games series, you must.

I sure hope that the movie lives up to the book.

I love movies.

Especially good ones.

Dinner – 2 Nights

Last modified on 2012-02-16 17:00:55 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

I tend to not buy cookbooks. I’ve talked about this before. Usually when I purchase a cookbook I’ll only end up making and/or liking 3-4 recipes max from it. Plus cookbooks take up precious cabinet space.

Recently while shopping with my husband he found, and thought I would like, a box set of recipes from the magazine Real Simple. The box set of recipes was on uber- clearance so we bought it. I figured if we didn’t like any of the recipes it would be easy to re-gift or give to Goodwill and we’d only be out about 3 bucks.

Here it is

Real Simple: Meals Made Easy


There are 7 sections of recipes printed on heavy cardstock that include one-pot meals, no-shop meals, and freezer meals.

Since the recipes are printed individually on cardstock, I’ll keep the ones we like and add them to my recipe binder system and get rid of the recipes we don’t like. That way we won’t have to keep the original box they all came in.

As I was looking through and deciding which recipes to try I remembered my recent post about soda and wanting to make better, healthier choices.

You will note that the first recipe we tried below does not represent a healthy choice but we just had to try it.

Waffle Grilled Cheese

Uh, it was tasty but completely unhealthy and we both felt a little grossed out after eating it.

Last night, I made this for dinner

Roast Salmon and Vegetables


This was delicious and healthy! Score!

Next to try is roast cod with crispy potatoes. mmmmm

So glad the hubster found this box of recipe goodies!

Soon I’ll have another brussels sprout recipe for ya.




No More Soda?

Last modified on 2012-02-06 14:33:31 GMT. 6 comments. Top.

It’s the beginning of a new year and while I don’t really believe in new year’s resolutions, I have been thinking about my health and at least considering making choices that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

I thought about exercising.

I thought about eating salad with fat free salad dressing all the time.

Thought about exercising.

Thought about cutting out all fast food.

Then I remembered a poster I recently saw about the effects of soda on the body.

Here it is:



OK, so we all know that soda isn’t the best thing for us. Blah blah blah.

Here’s an article about it to help further convince you, and myself,


Seeing it all on the poster helped to put it in perspective and I realize that I could limit, if not eliminate, soda from my diet all together.

I said I “could”. Not that I would. Oh dear….so I’m going to try. I want to eliminate soda.

But I do like a cold fizzy drink every now and then. I get my daily dose of caffeine from my morning coffee so I won’t be looking to soda for that.

Thought I could try fizzy water. What’s that stuff called? I even bought a bottle of it at the store on Saturday. We’ll see how that goes.

So, step 1 to making better choices? Eliminate soda as much as possible. I’m not saying I won’t ever drink a soda again. I will. I just don’t want it to be a habit. I want to be more aware of it.

Step 2 to making better choices? Uhhh, dunno.

Perfect 10

Last modified on 2012-01-26 14:49:52 GMT. 11 comments. Top.

Today I have been married to my best friend and love of my life, Luke, for 10 years.


OK, so maybe not a perfect 10, but pretty darn close. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Whatcha Watchin?

Last modified on 2012-01-24 13:58:51 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

It’s been awhile since I’ve asked.

Seen any good rental movies lately?

I’ve recently watched the following. Gotta love Redbox.


From IMDb,

The story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.


I really liked the movie. I remember hearing that the real Art Howe, team coach, played by Phillip Seymore Hoffman, was portrayed a little inaccurate. From what I remember I think that the real Art Howe would have liked himself portrayed as happier and more involved in the team decision making.

Midnight in Paris

From IMDb,

A romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better.

I really liked Midnight in Paris. I did think that the previews and even the description above were a little misleading. It was a romantic comedy but what the description and previews didn’t show was that time travel was involved and that the main character, played by Owen Wilson, meets some of his idols (Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Stein) who help him find some direction in life and in his writing.

The Help

From IMDb,

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid’s point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Read the book and loved it so I was a little nervous to watch the movie. As most of you know the big screen adaptations of books are almost always a disappointment. Not the case with The Help. While I liked the movie I thought it dealt with the subject of domestics too lighthearted. Other than that the movie stayed close to the original story of the book and I thought that the characters were well cast.

I’ve seen a number of other movies but these three fairly recently.

So, what have you watched lately?

Hot & Spicy

Last modified on 2012-01-20 23:19:50 GMT. 3 comments. Top.

Had dinner with friends last night and one topic of discussion was hot and spicy food.

Please weigh in by leaving your answers to the following in the comments section:

Do you like hot and/or spicy food?

If you do, what foods do you like to use it on?

What’s your favorite brand or type of hot sauce?

Sriracha hot sauce was the sauce of choice amongst one of our friends last night.

While looking at one of my favorite blogs I noticed this article,

25 Ways to Use Sriracha

Here are a couple of  ideas from the article.

Sriracha Garlic Bread

Whisk Sriracha, minced garlic, and melted butter in a small bowl; brush over cut sides of bread. Sprinkle with grated Pecorino or Parmesan and broil until toasted.

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

Mash the yolks of halved hard-boiled eggs with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Sriracha, minced celery, and fresh chives; spoon into egg whites and garnish with celery leaves.


Then I found this book.

Double mmmmm.

My husband and I enjoy different kinds of hot sauce on different kinds of food.

Sriracha on eggs.

Cholula on pizza.

What about making your own hot sauce?

From The New York Times, Playing with Fire – Hot Sauce Recipes.

I like this idea, you control the heat level and the seasonings.

Turns out hot sauce has some health benefits as well.

There’s More to Hot Sauce Than Just Heat by Dr. Gupta on CNN.com.

I think it would be fun to have a hot sauce tasting.

Happy Friday. Here’s to adding some spice to your life!



  1. Ange says:

    I roast them with other root veggies. SO yummy… really they are! Cut them in half along with your other veggie favorites… lightly oil and add salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and basil. Bake 400 for 40 min. I know you didn’t ask for recipes but it takes the bitterness away to add other veggies.

  2. Tamar Finchum says:

    Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!! Also, I enjoyed THE HELP. Haven’t seen the other two yet. We DID watch WIN WIN and although it is a little slow, it gets you laughing. I LOVE spicy, my hubby does not. He only likes the Tobasco brand milder jalapeno sauce. I’d love to try the recipes on here!

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