I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Mojo Sauce - Lives Up To Its Name!

My husband decided to try a new recipe last night. As he loves to cook this is not an unusual occurrence in our household. As I like to eat this works out well for me!

He made Salmon and Mojo sauce from the cookbook Tapas by Susanna Tee This has to be one of the tastiest sauces I've ever had. We liked it so well we were both dipping our bread and broccoli in it as well as using it for the salmon.

Mojo Sauce

2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs white wine vinegar

The Most Comfortable Chair in the World

This is a Leopold's chair. To say it is comfortable is an understatement. Think of a baseball nestled into the well worn pocket of a glove. That's about how it feels to sit in this chair, which was designed by Leopold Stickley around 1930. His goal was to create for himself the most comfortable chair imaginable. Now, more than 80 years later, his chair is still popular. I found mine by accident. A couple of years ago I was in a furniture store on December 28th. I was in the market for two upholstered chairs for my living room. The kind woman who was helping me suggested that I sit in various floor models until I found a chair that sat well. From there I could pick chairs that were visually pleasing and would work in my living room. Then, I could select fabric. Well. I wandered around trying out various chairs. I saw the Leopold's chair and wasn't too struck by how it looked. Frankly, it seemed a little lopsided because the back is at an odd angle. Then, I sat in it. Mama mia! I knew then that the chair was for me. Never, ever in my long life had I sat in a chair that enveloped me in so much comfort. Knowing that Stickley furniture can be pricey, I inquired about the cost. The owner of the store came over and said, "This is a floor model. If I still have it in the shop on January 1, I'll have to pay taxes on the inventory. If you buy it today, I can give it to you at a great price, less than half the retail cost." I sat down in the chair again and put my feet up on the ottoman. And I did not want to get back up. The chair was truly that wonderful. Even the color of the fabric was a good match for my needs. Needless to say, the chair and ottoman came home with me. Every single day I sit in my Leopold's chair to read, look out the window, surf the web, or talk to visitors. But my secret has gotten out, so now I offer the chair to my friends when they stop by, and I sit in my other chair. It, too, is comfortable, but nothing like my Leopold's chair. My daughters both love the chair. In fact, I haven't met anyone who doesn't.


Easy Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

2 cups Bisquick

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

2 T melted butter

1 egg

1 cup blueberries

  1. Mix Bisquick and sugar together.
  2. Beat egg; add milk and melted butter and mix well.
  3. Combine with dry ingredients.
  4. Add 1 cup blueberries.
  5. Sprinkle streusel topping on the tops of the muffins until all streusel topping has been used.

Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers. Add batter to each until 2/3 full.

Streusel Topping

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Pinch salt

½ cup plus 3 tablespoons flour (3 1/2 ounces)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and warm

Combine sugars, flour, and salt. Mix in melted butter.

Bake in 400° oven for 20-22 minutes.

Green Smoothies

A couple years ago we bought a Vita Mix and it suits my lazy food standards perfectly. I toss a bunch of stuff in it, turn it on and voila - instant meal. I like to eat but I don't like to prepare food the way that so many do. I also feel uninspired about breakfast (and sometimes lunch) and a 2 p.m. hunger headache isn't a good thing.

I've been reading for years about the benefits of green smoothies, made popular by raw foodists. I have enjoyed green smoothies here and there but I've never made them consistently. My kids really like yogurt and fruit smoothies so that is typically the way we go in the morning.

I am using Tera Warner's 21 Day Detox as inspiration to kick off my new year. I thought about signing up for the program but I've lived long enough to know that I am never going to keep a written journal about my exercise and eating and I am not going to take the time to long into her inspirational chats. I'm happy with the treadmill, The Shred and green smoothies so that's what I'm doing!

Today starts my 21 days. This morning we had a smoothie of baby spinach, red grapes, 1 pear, 1 banana, half a lemon's juice, a bit of honey, ice and water. It was good, the kids liked it and G-Man (whose favorite color is green) thought it was great to be drinking something very green!

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