From the monthly archives:

May 2012

My goal is to read 52 books in 2012.  Good or bad, as I read, I will be reviewing the books here.  Be sure to leave a comment and tell me about your favorite books!

Planting Dandelions: Field Notes From a Semi-Domesticated Life by Kyran Pittman
(Book overview found on

In the family of Jen Lancaster and Elizabeth Gilbert, Kyran Pittman is the laid-back middle sister: warm and witty and confiding, with an addictively smart and genuine voice-but married with three kids and living in the heartland. Relatable and real, she writes about family in a way that highlights all its humor, while at the same time honoring its depth.

A regular contributor to Good Housekeeping, Pittman is well loved because she is funny and honest and self-deprecating, because her own household is in chaos (“semi-domesticated”), and because she inspires readers in their own domestic lives. In these eighteen linked, chronological essays, Pittman covers the first twelve years of becoming a family, writing candidly and hilariously about things like learning to maintain a marriage over time; dealing with the challenges of sex after childbirth; saying good-bye to her younger self and embracing the still attractive, forty-year-old version; and trying to “recession- proof” her family (i.e., downsize to avoid foreclosure).

From a fresh new talent, celebrating the joys and trials of a new generation of parents, Planting Dandelions is an entertaining tribute to choosing the white-picket fence over the other options available, even if you don’t manage to live up to its ideals every day.

My Thoughts…


Planting Dandelions: Field Notes From a Semi-Domesticated LifePlanting Dandelions: Field Notes From a Semi-Domesticated Life by Kyran Pittman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am one of the founding members of Arkansas Women Bloggers of which Kyran Pittman is a member. I first met Kyran in December of 2010 when she was the keynote speaker at one of our blogger meet-ups. I was first introduced to this book when she spoke omit during her time with us.

I had Planting Danelions on my wish list for just over a year before I finally got around to reading it..

From what I understand the book is made up of blog posts and magazine articles she wrote about motherhood and her family over the course of several years.

The book is very well written and funny. The book just didn’t relate to me at all. I have not been divorced, I haven’t had an affair, I don’t have kids. There was no part of the book where I thought I could relate to Mrs. Pittman.

I have read other similar books in this genre such as The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristen Kimball and Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale. I loved both of these books and found that the touched on the essence of a professional vs. domestic career, motherhood, marriage and relationships in a way that related to all readers.

My biggest regret about this book is that it’s reach was so narrow and specific.

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I love smoothies.  They are one of my favorite breakfast treats and are a great way to get fruits and vegetables into your body.  I make my smoothies different all the time.  I usually use whatever fruit we have in the house although strawberries and blueberries are my favorites.  Sometimes I add peanutbutter, greek yogurt, or even spinich to my smoothies.  There is usually no rhyme or reason to my method.

This morning, after my run,  I made a really delicious and SIMPLE smoothie that turned out great.  I will definitly revisit this recipe.

Post-run Smoothie

1 Cup Blueberries (fresh)
10-12 Strawberries (fresh)
1/2 Mango
5.5 oz. Coconut Water
1 Tbs. Flax Seeds
1 Tbs. Chia Seeds
Agave Nectar
Ice (Fill to the top of the blender)

Place all of the fruit, seeds, coconut water and ice into a blender.  Run the “crush ice” mode until all the ingredients are pureed and smooth and no more ice chunks remain.  Taste your smoothie and add Agave Nectar for added sweetness if desired.  There are a lot of times that I do not need to add any so please taste it first.  If your smoothie is too thick you can add additional coconut water or sparkling water to thin it out. Makes enough for 2 good sized smoothies. (Or make Smoothie Cubes with the other half.  See below.


Smoothie Cubes

Richie has tried a smoothie on a few occasions but they are just not his thing.  So when I make a smoothie I do one of two things. A) I only make enough smoothie for myself or B) I make a full batch and use the rest for smoothie cubes.  What are smoothie cubes?  Smoothie cubes are ice cubes made from the left over smoothie.  If you have a morning where you are pressed for time all you have to do is throw a few of these cubes and a little water in a blender and you have instant smoothie! No peeling or slicing fruit needed!  You can add yogurt, fresh spinich or any other fresh fruits if you desire but they are great as is!

To make smoothie cubes simply pour your leftover smoothie mix into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. Pop them out and store them in a plastic bag.  These store great for a month or two, if they last that long!

Coconut Water

Have you tried coconut water yet?  I recently picked up some Coco Libre Organic Coconut Water that was on sale at the Fresh Market.

There are a lot of rumors of health benefits of coconut water, most of which are likely unfounded. It is however high in postassium, minerals, and antioxidants while also fat free and low in carbohydrates.  Coconut water is expensive, even when on sale, so it is not something I buy often.  I like to add it to my smoothies when I will not be adding yogurt.

Do you have a favorite way to use coconut water or a favorite smoothie recipe? Leave a comment and share a recipe or a link if you like!

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The Rook by Daniel O’Malley {52 Books in a Year}

May 22, 2012

My goal is to read 52 books in 2012.  Good or bad, as I read, I will be reviewing the books here.  Be sure to leave a comment and tell me about your favorite books! The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (Book overview found on The body you are wearing used to be mine. So […]

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When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison {52 Books in a Year}

May 22, 2012

My goal is to read 52 books in 2012.  Good or bad, as I read, I will be reviewing the books here.  Be sure to leave a comment and tell me about your favorite books! Disclaimer: I received an advanced reading copy (ARC) as part of Goodreads First Reads program on My opinions are […]

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Bottle Cap Murals

May 21, 2012

Bottle Cap Murals   I’ve mentioned a few times in the past that I am an art teacher.  Teaching art is such a great job! Since I teach 5th – 12th grade I get to play with a BIG variety of materials each day.  I love seeing what the kids can create and am constantly […]

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Online Shop Reopening June 1st

May 16, 2012

I will be reopening my online Etsy shop on June 1st.  I will have a variety of handmade and handcrafted items.  Please bookmark my shop and check back on June 1st!

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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman {52 Books in a Year}

May 7, 2012

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman {52 Books in a Year} About 6 months ago I did a little survey to find out which features people liked the most on my blog.  Even though at the time it had already been a while since I had done one, many people mentioned that they missed my […]

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Tropical Salmon {In the Kitchen}

May 6, 2012

  Tropical Salmon {In the Kitchen} I have loved most types of seafood since I was a kid.  Clams, shrimp, lobster, fish, squid…I loved it all.  But for years I believed that I hated Salmon.  I never even tasted salmon until some point during the early years of my marriage.  I had always heard that […]

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” I want the chocolatiest, chocolatiest, chocolate, chocolate cake you can make!” {Find it, Make it}

May 3, 2012

Hi. I love to search out new recipes and try new things. As I find them in magazines, on blogs, and various other places, I will make them and let you know how they turn out. I will also give you any tips to make it easier or offer suggestions on how I changed the […]

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