Friday, August 26, 2011

{ This Moment }

 {This Moment} ---. A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.  

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by  SouleMama  

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

{ The Help --- An afternoon at the movies }

I received a nice little invite in my FB message box from a fellow mom at my daughter's school. It was an invite to go see the new movie, The Help, on a Tuesday afternoon while the kiddos are in school. What better way to see a "Chick Flick" than with other ladies while our kids are in school. I ask you? I felt kind of sneaky and naughty indulging in a movie with fellow moms in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon. I could totally get use to it! The popcorn, diet coke, and Milk Dudes never tasted better! 
I had read the book, The Help, by Katheryn Stockett quite some time ago when another friend suggested it to me as a great read. And  OMGosh, she was right! I had enjoyed it sooo much, I did a blog post about it at the time (I am re-adding that blog post to the end of this one). It is very VERY very rare that a movie is as good as the book. But, in this case, The Help movie is as awesome as The Help book. Put on your pearls, white gloves, and pillbox hat and go see this movie! Oh, and you'll never forget Minnie's "special" chocolate pie. It includes more than just Mexican Vanilla Extract!


Here is a link to the original post I made about the book.

I cannot put this book down!  The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, is about a group of high society white women and the black women who work as their housekeepers and Nannies. The backdrop is deep south Mississippi during 1960 when racial tensions are boiling and change is in the wind. One white woman, Skeeter, pursues her writing ambitions by secretly interviewing the black women who work day in and day out as the housekeepers of some of the town's socialites. If she or the housekeepers get caught, it could be dire consequences. Stockett's, The Help, evolves beautifully and many times heartbreakingly. It takes the reader back to a time when women wore white gloves to church, enjoyed casseroles after a game of Bridge, and where last names of families either opened or closed doors. But, under the crisp clean exterior of the families, the housekeepers see what really goes on behind closed doors and share this with Skeeter along with their opinions and emotions on segregation and racial tensions. I find myself thinking about this book throughout the day and thinking about the characters. Each time I sit to pick up on the story where I last left off, I get lost in the world of 1960 Mississippi. 

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Sunday, August 21, 2011

{ A Bushel and a Peck...of Peaches }

Sweet Georgia Peaches! One of my favorite things about summer is stopping off at roadside fruit stands and taking advantage of the season's locally farm grown produce. The Georgia state line is about an hour north of us which means we get to enjoy fresh picked Georgia peaches throughout the summer. I love how the peaches sit  warming in the sun. I love fruit best when it is warmed by the sun. A peach in particular is like biting right into a slice of cobbler b/c the sun has warmed it and brought all those juices to the surface. It's like taking a bite of summer. Pure peach bliss!

I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck, 
and a hug around the neck. (in my best Doris Day voice)

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

{ Memory Lane }

I've discovered something I know I knew already especially from first hand experience--People love to stroll down memory lane....wait, I should capitalize it....Memory Lane. There that makes more sense because I believe it is a real street and not only do people like to stroll down it, but, some run full force down Memory Lane as if they had been lost and were so relieved to get back to their starting point again. Others like to stand on the corner of Memory Lane and Progress Blvd and appreciate the view.
I started a Facebook group called "You Know You Grew Up in Glenbrook Valley When..." and "You Know You Went To St. Christopher's Catholic School When..." and they have taken off like thoroughbreds out of the gate. They have each quickly grown like a chia pet into a really nice collection of nostalgia; each post and memory jogging someone else's memory and it all unfolds like the plastic photo holder in the wallets people bring to reunions. It's surprising to see which memories seem to be amongst the more treasured ones (although each memory is a treasure) such as when all of us remember digging for crawdads after a hurricane or storm in the eastment behind my street. So many of us remember when our post WWII neighborhood was the highlight of the Christmas season as so many cars back then would create a traffic nightmare as they cruised through our street to see the Christmas lights on our modern mid-century homes. Our lives in Glenbrook Valley were a collage of playing outside til the street lights came on and the scent of dinners being made wafting through the streets. Interestingly, many of  today's prominent well-known and loved chefs and restaurant owners grew up in Glenbrook Valley. It was a great place to grow up. A true slice of American Pie.

The other Facebook group, "You Know You Went To St. Christopher's Catholic School When" has been like digging up a time capsule with friends. Gosh, how those memories come flooding back! I went there from kindergarten to 8th grade, as most students did, and didn't realize how much I remembered and how much I'd forgotten until I started reading posts from fellow friends and classmates from St. Chris. Some teachers stick out in our memories more than others such as the dreaded Ms. Horton who was like that scary teacher in the book, Miss Nelson is Missing. Others we remember fondly like Mrs. Houlihan and her collection of owl necklaces and Mrs. Branch who read us a little bit of James and the Giant Peach each day and we'd lay our heads on our cool desks and listen. And, we all remember the hot lunches....ohhhhh, those yummy hot lunches made daily by some of our moms.

 Another thing I know I knew already, but, was reminded of when I started these two groups is Memory Lane looks different for each generation. The current generation won't remember the Eagles grocery store and how most families bought their Christmas trees there or how the chips and dip from Casa Ole were the best in the area.
The current students at St. Christophers won't remember that we were once called the Travelers and our mascot was the Roadrunner. Nor will they remember Ms. Maddy, our custodian, and how we'd all wave hi and holler, "Hi, Miss Maddy!" and she'd stop her mopping or sweeping and wave back making us feel special.
In full, we have our valued and often comical memories of those times individually and collectively. I have no doubt Memory Lane is paved with yellow bricks and sometimes it is nice to click our heels and return briefly to those times when there really was No Place Like Home.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Sunday, August 7, 2011

{ Seven Links Project }

Now that I'm back from the great country of Texas and my bags are unpacked, I am back into blogging mode. A fellow blogger/friend, Annie, over at, nominated me to be part of a 7 Links Project. I was surprised, honored, and THRILLED. Her blog, Moving On, chronicles her adventures with her family as they move from England to Spain. I love her blog for various reasons: her writing, the beautiful landscape pics of Spain, the telling of various adventures in trying to find a home, stories about places and outings, olive oil, wine,  and getting to know someone and their family across the miles. Plus, you just gotta love her good ol' fashioned English humor in her posts. So, as you can see, I was pleased to no end when she told me about my nomination. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Seven Links Project was started by Katie over at Trip Base .
Here is how it works
1. The Blogger is nominated to take part by another blogger
2. He/she publishes their 7 links on their own blog. One link for each category.
3. He/she nominates up to five more bloggers to take part.

I reflected on this quite a bit while on the long drive to and from Texas. It was nice to go digging through my blog and here is what I found......

My Most Beautiful Post
{ Project Keep Flower Alive For Mommy...and Quick Fixes }  Visually, I am most pleased with the first photo in this post of a simple pale pink gerbera daisy hanging on by it's last limb, so to speak, in a vial of water. I like the colors and tones of the pic and most of all, I like the memory it recalls of my husband and daughter coming home at the end of a long shopping day (Mother's Day shopping for me) with this flower which they had received at the beginning from a sales clerk who was passing them out to everyone. By the time they made it home, well, the flower tells the story.
BUT, I think { A Jack of All Trades } is my most beautiful post for it's writing. I'm really proud of it for personal reasons and it is a nice reminder to myself of how blessed I was to have the grandfather I had. It pays homage to his life and the memories I have; the little things which I do not wish to forget with the passing of time.

My Most Popular Post
{ Dad, The French Riviera, Boyfriends, and the One I Married }  This seems to hold it's rank based on stats as the most popular post. I am really happy about this. Perhaps b/c so many can relate to the bonds between a father and daughter and those years when, Uh-Oh, boys enter the picture. haha. 

My Most Controversial Post
Gosh Darnit! I don't have a controversial post. 

My Most Helpful Post
{ Ratatouille }  I have been very pleased w/ how helpful others have found this post. This post took the stereotype Ratatouille seems to have in that it is a difficult french dish to make. Not true, not true, at all!  The spelling of the dish is the only difficult part of it. This post showed how almost all the ingredients are right there in the fresh vegetable section of the grocery store just waiting to be EASILY turned into the aromatic french dish known as Ratatouille. Nothing to be intimidated about. 

A Post Who's Success Surprises Me
{ PB&J with Sunflower Butter }  So while trying to find another way to make my daughter's school lunch appetizing and healthy and different from the same-ol-same-ol, I came across this product called Sunbutter which is a spread similar to peanut butter except made from sunflower seeds. I fell in love. Plus, just the words "Sunflower" and "Butter" makes me happy and then to have it combined into a jar...Oh  my! Well, I made a little blog post about making a PB&J sandwhich with Sunbutter and called it an SB&J and guess what??!!?? The SunButter company came across it and added a link to my blog on their website! I was over the moon and I felt like my little SB&J was famous!!!! I had sat down to check my blog stats one evening and saw they dramatically increased in just one day. That was the day Sunbutter added my link to their blog! Check it out at  SUNBUTTER . I'm listed under Fancy Crustless Sunbutter and Jelly SB&J.

A Post that Didn't Get The Attention It Deserved
{ Beet Cake }  I thought this post would rock the world. I mean who doesn't love the idea of Beet Cake, right? haha.  This cake, however, was interesting to me from the moment I heard about it. Beets and chocolate magically blend to create the most wonderful moist cake.  This is exactly the same scenario as Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.  A yummo combo in the end. This cake is wonderfully good! "You may like them. You will see. You may like them in a tree!" - Dr. Seuss

A Post I am Most Proud Of
{ Feeling BRAnd New } I am proud of this post because, I feel, I was able to really capture this awkward story in my writing and make others laugh along with me. Anyone who writes knows how frustrating it can be to try to capture that certain je ne sais quoi about an event or memory from the mind and push it through the pen (or keyboard) into words. Sometimes it can be like trying to strain stones through cheesecloth. But, I felt like the words in this post and everything about it captures my bra bying experience just as it occured.
BUT, I hope the post I am MOST proud of happens again and again as I hopefully continue to improve as a writer and as my blog continues to grow.

It is hard to narrow down to a few bloggers, as I believe there are so many talented individuals out there. Here are my 5 nominations----

Jam-n-Jilly This is a blog which focuses on "sweet and simple" living. Lots of great ideas for home decor, gift giving, and party ideas. Julie is a wiz when it comes to her 3-deminsional party invitation ideas.

Canoe Camp  This is my father's blog which is quite enjoyable about his travel adventures, fish tales, garden musings, and appreciation of a good beer. My Dad was born in Denmark and started sailing at the age of 14. At one point, he was stranded and homeless in Mexico only knowing Danish, came to the United States, served in the US Army, sold insurance, stopped selling insurance, continued sailing again, worked his way up to sea captain. He has traveled ALLLLLLLL over the world...even to the Gallapagos Islands. He has so many stories about his travels. He is now retired from the Port of Houston and serves as a Catholic Deacon in Houston, Texas. 

Healthy Mika  Tamika will make you wanna get healthy, be healthy, stay healthy. Lots of yummo good EASY recipes to help you stick to a good lifestyle. A very motivational, yet down to earth, blog. Just read her blog, and you'll more likely want to go get some fresh fruit and veggies instead of a hamburger.

The Phoenix Fridas Founded by Kathy Cano-Murillo aka The Crafty Chica, this blog chronicles an artistic group of latin women. I love following this blog and seeing what the Phoenix Fridas are up to artistically and within their community. Grab a glass of Sangria and check them out!

Little Brown Pen A blog filled with picture upon lovely picture of Paris...aka The Paris Color Project. I like just looking at the pics. I didn't think I'd be the type of person who could just pack their bags and move when opportunity comes knocking. But, after moving to Florida from my home of 31 years in Houston, Texas five years ago, I gotta admit, I have the itch. I think I could go big time if the opportunity came along and move with my family to Italy or France or Denmark or England or Spain or.... Anyway, until then, I enjoy the scenes from Paris via Little Brown Pen.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten