Thursday, March 31, 2011

{ Milking a Rainy Day }

I like the rain. Always have. Especially storms. The best way to enjoy a stormy Spring day is at home. Today was such a day and I milked it for all it was worth....after dropping my daughter off at school.

How to Milk a Rainy Day For All It's Worth

Comfort Food is necessary such as tomato soup with Fritos floating on top. If the lightning is really bad, then add a grilled cheese sandwich b/c if the electricity goes out, at least your tummy will be comforted.

Take time to catch up on a good book. This is better than flipping through magazines which will only make you feel inferior and create a great false need for many superficial things. Save the magazines for non-rainy days. Besides, if the storms spawn a tornado, you'll feel plenty inferior while seaking shelter in a small space. Remember, rainy days are for comfort via a good book.

Make a cup of tea and talk like the Queen. You'll relax and feel fancy at the same time. Watch the rain out the window while you're waiting for the kettle to whistle and try to ignore the window reflection of your frizzed out humidity-induced rainy day hair.

And then, MOST important thing for milking a rainy day.....I cannot stress the importance of this enough---You should be imagining that serious scene from Star Wars when Yoda is telling Luke all about the Force---that is how serious I want you to take this next thing. Okay, the MOST important thing about milking a rainy day is the ultimate cat nap. Be sure to take one. No rainy day is complete without a catnap.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

{ Hello, Scott McCreery. Orrrrr, Should I Call You Alfred, Alfred? }

Did yall know the cover character from Mad Magazine, Alfred E. Neuman, is on this season's American Idol? Yup. He is performing under the name of Scott McCreery. I like his vocal range. He can sing! Way to go Scott..Umm, I mean, Alfred...I mean, Scott.

The resemblence is amazing. But, you can't fool me! Teehee.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

{ Ursula Jolie Louise }

Meet Ursula Jolie Louise---the cat who chose us...or at least that is how I like to tell the story. We moved to northeast Florida almost 5 years ago. We bought a house here, sold our old house in our hometown of Houston, TX. and settled into our new surroundings. About a month into it, Ursula arrived at our door...except at the time her name was Dixie (she didn't look anything like a Dixie). I asked a few neighbors if she belonged to them. They recognized her immediately as Dixie,  the cat of the previous owner of our house. The former home owners had moved about a mile away which means this kitty had walked a mile to what she considered her "real" home. I notified her owners. They came and got her. Two weeks later, Ursula is back at our front door. I called her owners. They come and get her and say that as soon as she can make an escape, she leaves their home and heads straight for our house. This same scenario of Ursula reappearing at our front door repeats itself over and over and over.

I had also started to notice things. I have always had cats and dogs in my life. Ursula seemed timid, but, not in the usual timid shy cat sort of way (cat lovers know what I mean), she was timid in a fearful non-trusting way. She seemed more trusting with my daughter and other children than with adults which is very
weird for a cat.
Each time she arrived at our front door after her mile long trek, it would take longer and longer for her owners to come get her. I'd call them and rather than coming to get her that same day like in the beginning, it would take a few days, which turned into weeks which turned into months. In the mean time, she was learning to trust us and actually started liking us.
About 6 months into it, the previous owners stopped coming for her altogether and would not return my messages or the notes left in their mailbox politely saying, "Please come get your cat." My husband suggested we welcome her into the family. My cat, Custard, liked the idea immediately. But, Ursula, almost 5 years later, still isn't very fond of him. Custard assumes everyone is a friend and a playmate. Whereas, Ursula assumes everyone is to be snubbed and regarded as insignificant.

With Ursula joining the family, a name change was a must. She needed a name which suited her better. I chose Ursula after the famed actress Ursula Andrews. She is Ursula Jolie Louise....sometimes called Ursula Purrrsula, Miss Prissy Priss Priss, or Ursie Purrrsy.

I'd like to think she prefered our family instead of prefering the house. I hope that with her cat instincts she sensed that our family was gentle, kind-hearted, and would spoil her rotten.
And so here we are today and she is a true member of our family. She is asleep on a blanket, on the sofa, contented and softly purring.
Mi Casa es su Casa, Ursula. ---or maybe it's the other way around.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

{ Bloomiful }

Spring is like a lady who isn't afraid to wear the bold-colored dress when everyone else is secure with grey. Spring is a show-off and justifiably so.

Spring doesn't believe that less is best. Spring purposely puts on too much perfume and makes no apologies about it.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

{ Historic Gardens }

The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens is one of my favorite places to visit.  Luckily, my daughter loves it too and even at the age of 9, she enjoys learning about the various works of art and has her favorites which she likes to see and re-see every time we go.
But, the TRUE jewel of the Cummer is the historic garden dating back over 100 years originally started on the property of a prominent Jacksonville, Florida family.

This time of year it is in full bloom. During Spring Break, my daughter and I went to the Cummer and my charming prince of a husband met us there when he left the office.

I have a new camera and couldn't wait to try it out in the garden. My daughter also brought her camera and we referred to our museum visit as a photography field trip. She took it very seriously.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Monday, March 28, 2011

{ Mustard Seed Faith }

A little conversation between my daughter and I while I was spreading mustard on a sandwich----

"Mom, where does mustard come from?"

"It comes from tiny yellow flowers which has tiny little seeds."

"Mustard seed is mentioned in the bible."

"That's right. If you have the Faith of a Mustard Seed, then you can move a what?"

"A Mountain!"


"And nothing is impossible unto you."

Every week at my daughter's school, as part of the curriculum, the students are required to learn and memorize a bible verse. She has been doing this since Kindergarten. She is now in 3rd grade. She learned this one, Matthew 17:20 last year. Sometimes, (I say this w/ guilt) it can become tedious helping her memorize the weekly bible verse...especially 4 years of doing so. But, moments like this make it all worth while.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

{ PB&J with Sunflower Butter }

"It's so pretty! I love it!", those were the words I exclaimed after trying my new Crustless Sandwich Press from Williams-Sonoma . This handy little gadget cuts the bread and seals it into a cute pocket of yumminess. I used it for the first time this evening while packing my daughter's school lunch after she went to bed. It's a PB & J but with a yummy twist to it b/c instead of peanut butter, I made it with butter made from sunflowers seeds aka Sunbutter. Won't she be pleasantly surprised when she opens her lunch kit tomorrow :)

Sun Butter. Sunnnnn---Butterrrr. Those 2 words put together sound really pretty, right? This is the equivalent of peanut butter except made from sunflower seeds instead of peanuts and made by Sunbutter. Oh, and it's organic. It is a really nice alternative to the same-ol-same-ol. My daughter does not have a peanut allergy, however, this would be great for anyone who does b/c it has ZERO peanuts and is made in a peanut free factory. Plus, if your kid tends to get burned out on school lunches (like mine) and you need easy alternatives (like me), then this is perfect to change up the typical PB & J and make it a SB & J. It is also yummo with bananas or as a dip with apple slices..... and in my husband's case, a spoonful after midnight.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Sunday, March 27, 2011

{ Hello Hyacinth }

Hyacinths in bloom! Isn't it amazing how so much prettiness, color, and fragrance is contained in a single hyacinth bulb waiting to come out of it's cocoon and announce the presence of Spring?

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Friday, March 25, 2011

{ Head Over Heels about my new Topsy Turvy }

My daughter gave me a Topsy Turvy for my Birthday. I feel sort of cheesy about having one and yet, I totally wanted one. I think I could easily become an avid Topsy Turvy gardener. They have an addictive appeal to them. 
But for now, I will see how my one TT does.
 I planted Roma tomatoes in it today. I am hoping for high output and an abundance of tomatoes especially since I made it a point to plant them upside down with love.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Manifesto 101

In case you're ever in the need of knowing how to type a manifesto, here is a neat guide. I found it over HERE. It is known as
 The Manifesto Manifesto which for some reason makes me wanna try squeezing the word "pesto" into the mix of it all.

Oh how I wish I had humorous little helpful guides like this when I was in college.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten


Sunday, March 13, 2011

{ Rita's Ice - Custard - Happiness }

Whenever we go to Atlantic Beach or Neptune Beach, we have to make a stop by Rita's on the way home. We HAVE to. It's not a, "Hey, so do you wanna go by Rita's when we head home?" It is more like, "So what flavor are you gonna get at Rita's on the way home?" There is no question about whether or not we will be making a stop at Rita's. It is assumed.

And let me tell you, the line is well worth the wait and I like the way their sign advertises
 * Ice * Custard * Happiness *
I will stand in line for Happiness that's for sure....well, I'll stand in line for Italian ice and custard too.

Rita's has a huge variety of Italian Ice and their best thing is a Gelati Cup which is 1 layer of custard, 1 layer of Italian Ice, and topped with one more layer of custard. Today, my husband ordered the mango Italian ice blended Gelati and I opted for the orange creme blend. Saylor went for the sprinkle loaded vanilla ice cream. We were as happy as 3 beach bums could be on the way home with our yummo icy treats......until the brain freeze hit.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Saturday, March 5, 2011

{ Of course, it's fake chicken, Honey }

About 2 yrs ago, Saylor said she wanted to be a vegetarian (except for seafood). Typical for my daughter, but, shocking to me. Being a mom from the great COUNTRY of Texas (6th generation Texan) aka the land of Cattle, Angus, and King Cotton....did I mention the Land of Cattle..., I was concerned I brought home the wrong baby from the hospital. How could my little Texan wanna be a vegetarian? I wonder if moving to Florida has anything to do with this hifalutin' idea of hers?
I told her don't worry, the meat I buy is fake (Not true. Not true at all). Two years ago, she was younger and, therefore, more gullible. I was able to get away with little white lies. As she gets older, it isn't as easy. But, I still try.
Fast forward 2 years to the present day----- I made a well seasoned roast chicken today(house smells GREAT!) When I pulled it out of the oven, Saylor asked, "Are you absolutely sure that's a fake chicken?"
"The fakest money can buy!" I replied.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Friday, March 4, 2011

{ Join the Butterfly Movement }

Upon returning home from school this afternoon, Saylor goes into her room to change out of school clothes. She comes out crying.
Thinking she hurt herself,  I alarmingly ask, "Oh No, What happened?" and she says, through a blubbery fit of sobs, "I just don't understand why billions of butterflies all over the world have to die in the name of science just so they can be pinned up in frames. There are some even dying RIGHT NOW (insert extreme flood of tears here)!"

I told her I understood why that would make her sad and I tried to lie saying scientists only use the ones that are already dead. She knew better than to believe that and wailed, "You're just saying that even though it's NOT TRUE!"
 I reminded her how much she loved science and she agreed science is still her absolute favorite.
However, she said she is also gonna join a group that stops the killing of butterflies. She concluded, "I still want to be a scientist when I grow up..... and a fashion designer."

After a long day, my husband, daughter, and I sit down to enjoy dinner. He and I are both in that, "Ahhh, feels good to sit down and enjoy a nice meal" zen-like moment when Saylor looks at my husband seriously from her place at the dinner table and states slowly, "Did you know that at this very moment, Butterflies are dying all over the world? And guess what, Daddy? I'm gonna find a group for me to join that saves butterflies!!!! We are going to be like butterfly rebels and I will yell things like, "Save the Butterflies!" 

I don't doubt this one bit. My daughter has the biggest heart and the spirit of an activist.

 I think my daughter can single handedly revitalize the hippy movement. However, a bath before bedtime will be a MUST!

Sealed with Peace, Love, Harmony, and a Kiss, Kirsten