Friday, January 29, 2010

Garden wrapup

Last night I came home to a bunch of turnip greens soaking in a pail. My husband and sister worked hard to clear the garden to get it ready for planting and this was almost the final thing left from our winter garden. They were pretty dirty and some were a little frostbitten around the edges but I think we will wind up with a nice dish of little turnips chopped into greens -- the perfect winter treat. I think I will bake some winter squash to serve with them.

We do have some carrots still growing in the garden but it remains to be seen if they will grow to maturity. We will plant around them and hope for the best.

Normally, I would have regrets about the last thing picked from the garden but I know it won't be too much longer before I can serve more greens, lettuce, peas and more.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Office tea

I love tea and try to get the benefits from green tea each day as part of my healthy eating regimen. Having hot water available for my tea can be a problem. My best solution is to take it with me.

Every day as I get ready to go to the office, I boil some fresh water in my electric kettle and fill my thermos. That way I have somewhat fresh water for my hot tea and with the colder weather, it is a real treat. For green tea, the thermos is a better fit than for other teas because the water temperature should be "just short of boiling." I do realize that some tea purists would say you just can't get the same results. My reply would be, "Better slightly imperfect tea than no tea at all.

My yellow cup is a bright spot in my office which, like many offices is all low-light and gray walls, counters and floors. That is really as it should be because artwork projects better in a gray environment and artwork is what I do.

My favorite office tea -- I love Republic of Tea's Double Green Matcha. It is antioxidant-rich and mild. I usually use a little stevia or Splenda and sip all morning.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Garden planning

Last night we had a supper meeting to talk about our 2010 garden. I was really glad we did because I get really pumped thinking about planting. It is so exciting because the promise of having those really wonderful vegetables before long is exciting to me.

Turkey spaghetti was on the menu, and we all set down and poured over garden books, magazines and online articles to help us make up our minds about what we would plant.

We decided that it was time to plant greens, lettuces, radishes, green peas, collards and all the things we planted in our fall garden.

We also need to plant tomatoes, eggplants, cilantro, lavender, nasturtiums and peppers indoors to transplant later.

This year, we will plant wide rows because by all accounts our yield will be greater. We will see. I think having the meeting is a good way to jump-start our garden.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Be my Valentine

As I continue with my damask theme, I have designed some Valentine cards for download.

Either click on the above photo and download or download the pdf here.

Print on your color printer on 8 1/2 x 11 card stock, cut in fourths and each will fit into an invitation envelope. Enjoy, as you get ready for Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Healthy Cooking" magazine

Last Friday, I received my complimentary copy of "Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking" (from the Taste of Home cooking school I attended and worked before Christmas) and I was pleasantly surprised by this magazine. I have often heard it said, "Don't take away something good without replacing it with something equally good or better." While I haven't tried the recipes yet, it does look like this is what this magazine is trying to achieve.

It takes things like cookies and standby casseroles and recreates them for the special diet. I was impressed to see they had a section on gluten-free cooking.

They also have things for the diabetic diet, healthy foods for two, a crunched for time section, a kids corner and more tips and recipes than I could count. Really, I didn't have to because the cover says there are 178 recipes and tips and I can believe it. It has more recipes than any 68 page magazine I have ever seen. I can't wait to try some of the recipes because the photos look very tempting. I can't wait for my next issue.

Friday, January 22, 2010

New twist on veggie soup

Last week, my mom, sis, another cousin and I visited our cousin Patricia in LaGrange for a nice visit and vegetable soup luncheon. We already knew she was a really wonderful cook and when she said, "We're just having vegetable soup," we knew it would be a real treat. I think a great cook can take a simple dish and make it spectacular and Patricia is one of those cooks.

During the meal, she shared a special "secret" that made her soup easy and tasty. The secret ingredient surprisingly was, add a jar of spaghetti sauce to begin a pot of vegetable soup. Then add all the normal ingredients, veggies, a can of tomatoes, a bay leaf, salt and pepper and let it all simmer until flavors are combined and (if using frozen vegetables) the vegetables are soft, 30 to 45 minutes. I tried using the "secret" ingredient last night and found my cousin was right. It does take the flavor up a notch. So try it. It is surprisingly good -- and easy. And it didn't taste like spaghetti!

Very Veggie Soup
1 jar, any kind of spaghetti sauce (cheaper the better, but I like to use a no-sugar brand, I used Muir Glen for this batch)
2 bags frozen vegetable soup mix
1 bag frozen gumbo mix
(I love okra in my soup but if you don't like it, use mixed vegetables)
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 to 3 cups water or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf

Optional items: Brown ground beef or ground turkey with a clove of garlic before adding the spaghetti sauce.
Use this as an opportunity to clean out the fridge. Use any leftover vegetables, rice, leftover beef or chicken, chopped.
Any canned beans or vegetables of your choice.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hooray for hummus

A great snack food, made from the very versatile chick pea or garbanzo bean has really been a regular around our house of late. It is really healthy and easy to make, plus my husband loves it -- and I don't always find good healthy things he likes!

I have heard that hummus is an African snack and also a middle eastern snack and I really don't know which is correct. I do know it is easy to make in a food processor. While I am dieting, I like making it low-fat, but it can be smoother and more palatable if a little olive oil and/or tahini is added. Mine has a little red bell pepper, and if you look closely, you will see the little red flecks.

You can buy it in the dairy case at the grocery store but read the ingredients carefully, because there can be way too much fat and unhealthy ingredients in the ready-made version. It also is pretty expensive in the grocery store compared to how easy and inexpensive it is to make at home.

I used carrots and celery today, because that is what I have on hand, but hummus is really great with cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and broccoli, too.

Fat-free Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans, drained
(or use 1 1/2 cups of dried, well-cooked garbanzo beans, drained)
1 to 3 cloves of garlic (my husband likes less garlic)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (sometimes I use balsamic vinegar)
3 tablespoons red bell pepper, optional (hot peppers are also good, to taste)
salt, to taste

To be more traditional and smooth, add:
2 to 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

Put all ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth. Serve as a dip with fresh vegetable like carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers and more.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Photo mats

I read in my new organizational book that in order to keep your goals in mind, it is a good idea to display them in everyday places where you will take notice of them while doing routine things.

Meanwhile, I have been trying to come up with a damask pattern to use in one of our future magazine issues and I just love this pattern. I think it would make a beautiful mat for -- something like my list. I know I will look at it more, and appreciate my list if it is displayed nicely.

I am also thinking about using the damask design as a mat for some of my family photos. Look how nice the patterned background looks, even in plain black and white.

I decided that if I like it so much, others might like it, too, so I designed photo mat you can download and print on your home printer. It is a pdf and I made it an 8 1/2 x 11 because some frames are that size. Just cut it down to fix an 8 x 10 frame. For a 5 x 7 frame, you can reduce it to 65 percent and trim the excess. I really love it. I am sure I will make other downloads this year with this pattern and I will share them with you -- probably the personal note cards. Download the mat here and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beans Bourguignon

With all due respect to Julia Child, when I ran across this recipe in my new vegan recipe book, I just had to make it. I know it's not just like the recipe made famous by Child or the recent movie, "Julie and Julia," but it is on my diet, and the famous recipe is not.

I did make a couple of "adjustments" in the recipe and I am sure if you made the original recipe, it would be even better, but my version was good -- and as I said, it was on my diet. My recipe was gluten-free -- I am trying not to use white flour.

For the dry red wine, I substituted unsweetened cranberry juice. I used portabella mushrooms instead of white mushrooms (white mushrooms are not quite as nutritious and the flavor is roughly the same, portabellas might be a little firmer). I used tapioca flour, rather than wheat flour and I didn't have a bay leaf! I couldn't believe I didn't have a bay leaf.

All in all, it was a good recipe, we enjoyed it and I was somehow entertained by making a famous "faux" stew. My husband's grade -- good, he would like it again.

Beans Bourguignon
from "1,000 Vegan Recipes," by Robin Robertson

2 tablespoons vegan margarine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium shallots, cut into 1/2 inch dice
4 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/4 inch slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 oz. white mushrooms, lightly rinsed, patted dry and quartered
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup dry red wine
3 cups cooked, or 2 cans (15.5 ounce) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper

Make a beurre manie: In a small bowl, combine the margarine and flour and knead until incorporated. Refrigerate until needed.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, carrots and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes.

Stir in the thyme, bay leaf, tomatoes, broth and 1/2 cup of the wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are cooked, about 30 minutes. Add the remaining wine, beans and salt and pepper to taste.

Return to a boil. then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. While the stew is simmering, pinch off pieces of the beurre manie and add it to the stew, stirring after each addition to thicken. Remove and discard the bay leaf before serving. Serve immediately.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Garden planning

The other day, I received my "Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin" in the mail. Included in the issue was a garden planning chart that reminded me it was almost time to start my spring garden! I can't say I am looking forward to preparing the ground for all the seeds, but I am looking forward to planting lettuce and greens for my early spring harvest.

Last year, we planted too late for most greens and we didn't have any early peas. This year, we have plans for both, but looking at the chart, we need to start planning right away. The cool-loving plants could be planted now -- but in middle Georgia, we are still getting too much rain, cool weather and even ice to begin here. I do hope to begin planting by early February.

I will be busy for the next couple of weeks making a garden plan. Thanks "Market Bulletin" for the reminder.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Coupon organizing

Last year I began couponing, not in a really big way, but I started saving and using coupons to save money. I am so glad I did because it really has saved money. My problem was, of course, organizing the coupons. I couldn't find anything in which I could conveniently organize and save my coupons. All the portfolios I could find had no more than 14 sections. The coupon organizer were cute, but really didn't have enough slots, either. But last weekend, I found this portfolio at Walmart for $9 with 26 slots -- room for the entire alphabet with a cute little carrying handle!

I was saving coupons in a shoe box-sized plastic container. I had to make dividers (made from index cards) and clip each category to the index card with a paper clip. I am not showing it here because it was messy and it really wasn't easy to use. I had to clip everything into a pile, separate the piles into categories and then go through and paper clip them together in categories. If this doesn't make sense, I can understand. It also didn't work! When I took the box to the grocery store, it wouldn't fit into the cart and sometimes I tipped them over -- well, it was a disaster.

Now, I can clip the coupons and file them alphabetically and then go through and clip them together into categories. I still use the index cards for the categories, like "Cleaning, Dish washing detergent."

So far, I have done a week's worth of coupons and it was wonderful, compared to before. I also can take this cute portfolio to the supermarket and it will sit in the buggy and I won't dump out coupons. I can't wait to see if this will work in the long run but today, I am pleased.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My reward

My new organizing book suggests you reward yourself after you accomplish a task or meet a goal. I am also working on losing weight, among other things and I have decided my reward will be cooking from my new cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," by Julia Child.

I really do like this cookbook and can tell there was probably more thought put into this book than any cookbook I have ever seen. It is a great how-to book with lists of ingredients used and tools needed, cutting instructions, and drawings of almost everything -- you can tell Julia Child was a teacher. I think cooking from this book will be a joy.

Of course, most of these recipes are not on my diet so I will have to use it only as a reward, or for special occasions.

I also have the Julie and Julia movie -- love it. Every time I watch it, I want to dig out the cookbook and whip something up -- very inspiring. That is why this is my reward. I think my family will enjoy my reward, too -- in moderation.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Farinata, a gluten-free treat

Yesterday, I told you about the farinata I made. Last night, I made another batch and I am now pleased with my recipe and ready to share. The farinata is an Italian flatbread, made from chick pea or garbanzo bean four. It is a simple recipe, baked in a hot oven and generally eaten as a snack, especially in the province of Liguria, Italy.

I thought it would really be great as a substitute for wheat based flat breads or tortillas for people who are on a gluten-free diet. There is no gluten in garbanzo bean flour and it is amazingly fine -- great for baking. The flavor is like a mix between corn and wheat but there is no graininess. The texture is really nice. If you are afraid it tastes like beans, don't be afraid. It is surprisingly tasty.

Back to last night. I made two farinata flat breads. One was like the night before.

I turned it out onto a plate. It is perfect!

Then I thought about my dinner. What can I do? I added some basil to the batter.

I oiled my pan again, and reheated it in the oven. A seasoned iron skillet is supposed to look this way. If it doesn't, it is not well-seasoned!

I poured the batter in the pan. It was nice and sizzily (Is that a word?).

I checked it after about five minutes. Not done yet.

A beautiful flat bread. Ready to finish my dinner. I didn't want it to get too brown. You will see why.

I sauteed some zucchini with green onions in a little olive oil.

I topped the farinata, still in the pan with the zucchini. Marinara would have been a great idea.

But, I added sliced tomatoes.

A little chopped kale, spinach would have been good. I topped it all off with some veggie cheese. This cheese has some milk solids in it, so I can't really say it is vegan but it is vegetarian.

There you have it. My dinner was a pizza made with a farinata. I baked it at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. It was really great. My husband wants me to make it with marinara and even more toppings next time. I might make it half and half for him. Half vegetarian and half regular. It was wonderful like it is. I served him a cup of Select Harvest tomato soup and he was in heaven.

My recipe for farinata:

1 cup chick pea/garbanzo bean flour (I used Bob's Red Mill and I bought it at Whole Foods but Kroger and Publix do carry Bob's Red Mill products)
1 3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon water

Mix together and allow this to sit overnight or for at least three hours. I don't know what this does, but this evidently what they do in Italy. It can get bubbly.

Add 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Heat oven to 500 degrees. (If your oven is hot, you might try 400 degrees first.)
Heat a skillet or pan in the hot oven. Take the pan out of the oven and oil with 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil. Put the pan back in the oven for about a minute.
Pour half of the batter into the pan. It will sizzle. Immediately put it back into the oven.
Let it cook about 10 minutes until it is done. Watch carefully so it doesn't get too brown.
Repeat with the second half of the batter.

Eat immediately. Some add black pepper and spices. This is a great gluten-free recipe.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Yes, I really do like eggplant

It was so cold yesterday that I decided to make a stew recipe from my new cookbook, "1,000 Vegan Recipes." The recipe I chose was Chickpea, tomato and eggplant stew. The reason was that I had most of the ingredients listed and I wanted something I could just throw in a pan and just -- stew.

The test was my husband. He really loved it. Of course, I would never have cooked this for my son because he really, really, really hates eggplant. My husband liked it enough to take leftovers for lunch. That means he loves it. He never takes the bad recipes for lunch. I thought the eggplant gave it a little chewiness which was a bit like meat.

With this I served a green salad and a new dish I will blog more about tomorrow. The recipe is Farinata. It is a chickpea (or garbanzo bean) bread and I will share the recipe -- stay tuned. I came across it over the Internet and now am planning on perfecting it. I made it last night but I am not willing to share it until I get the ingredients just right. It was good, but not quite "there." I did include a photo and will tell you my husband really loved that, too.

Chickpea, tomato and eggplant stew
(adapted from 1,000 Vegan Recipes, by Robin Robertson)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium eggplant, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 cups chickpeas, cooked or 1 small can, drained
1 small can diced tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon basil (I only had dried basil)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup vegetable broth

In a large saucepan, add oil. Saute chopped vegetables about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook on medium high for about 5 minutes, turn to low and "stew" for about 30 to 45 minutes.

The changes: I didn't add Yukon gold potatoes. I substituted green pepper for red. She used three cloves of garlic and I used one. I didn't use oregano because it really isn't my favorite and I didn't have fresh parsley. If I had, I would have used at least as much as she suggested.

Tomorrow -- Farinata.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vegetarian with finesse

I ordered this cookbook with my Christmas money and I think it will become one of my favorite cookbooks. It really is a book with everything. There are, for instance, eight ways to cook veggie lasagna and too many tofu recipes to even count (and I want to find ways to cook tofu because it is really not my favorite food).

Included are enough recipes to keep me busy for about three years! Even though it is very hard to use every recipe in a cookbook, I think these recipes seem promising and are geared to what people generally like. Even though some of the ingredients are not on most shopping lists, they are easy to find or explained in the introduction to each recipe.

This book looks to have plenty of recipes for people who have problems with gluten allergies -- but not in the breads section. That is probably one of the most disappointing chapters -- but that is not why I bought the book. I wanted recipes packed with nutrients and you won't find that in bread and bread-products. There are plenty of other recipes that are nutrient-rich so it suits me just fine. The problem I will have is deciding what to cook first!

Robin Robertson is a food writer, cooking teacher and best of all, a chef and the recipes seem very thoughtful and "main-stream." Kind of down-home and healthy cooking with flair. I am hoping I can find recipes I would be pleased to cook for company. I do love the menus, listed in the back and the index of fast recipes. The book was well-priced on Amazon, $23.00, but you will pay $32.00 in the bookstore and it has a whopping 612 pages, counting the index.

I read the reviews before ordering and that was enough for me, but if I don't find some good recipes in a book with 1,000 recipes, I am sure I am just not trying hard enough. I will share the best recipes, as I cook them.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Instant organization?

Yesterday when I arrived home, I had a couple of nice surprises waiting on my doorstep. In my quest to become more organized this year, I ordered a couple of new books to help me get a good start. Since I don't have very much time to spare, I was happy to find a couple of "easy" and inexpensive books on organizing and cleaning. The books, by Donna Smallin are "The One-Minute Organizer Plain and Simple" and "The One-Minute Cleaner Plain and Simple."

Please understand that I actually don't believe I can solve all my organizational and cleaning problems in just one minute, but I do believe that I can find some simple solutions to help me in my quest for a more organized life. I also am thinking it might be better for me to have a book of quick tips that I can implement as the year goes along, rather than doing them all in one day.

I do think there is a possiblity that the books will help to meet my needs. They are easy to read, the tips are all common-sense and easy to do and the author gives plans for getting things like clutter and cleaning under control, depending on what type of disorganized person you are! It is easy to follow and it won't take a degree in home engineering to understand and undertake the hints and tips included.

I really like some of the cleaning tips because there are some great homemade cleaning formulas and remedies. I can't wait to get started. Don't expect me to do it all in one day. I really do think these books will be a good motivational aid. I like that I can look in the index to find topics that will help with my clutter/cleaning problems. I also think I will respond well to some of the motivational tips because they are to the point and not preachy.

I think the first thing I must do is put up the rest of my Christmas clutter in an organized way. (Thankfully, most of my Christmas decorations have been up for about a week.) I will have to say goodbye to Santa Pepper and Snowman Salt for the year, but hopefully, with the help of these books I will be able to find them for next year.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Closet solutions

Last year we started a pantry closet and I think it was one of the best organizational things we did last year. I know everyone doesn't have a spare closet but it is a good idea for everyone to create some kind of space for extra storage. With an area like this you can take advantage of special deals and buy extra with coupons and have a space to store everything. It is also important to have things in easy-to access areas so you can just grab items to use for a quick meal. I also like the fact that I just have to take a quick look to locate items I am low in before shopping.

One storage idea would be to add a set of shelves in your garage to store extra items. Be careful in times of extreme weather, not to store things that can be damaged by heat or cold. Shelves in the basement can be a great option, too.

The problem I sometimes have is just putting something into the closet to get it out of the way. I have junked up so many closets and drawers that way.

I have really enjoyed having my own little stock of groceries and cleaning products. Most of the items are buy-one-get-one deals. I usually use coupons, too, so they are really good buys, but the best thing is that I don't have to run to the grocery store at the last minute because I am on my last roll of bathroom tissue. That is a great thing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chocolate cake: Take one

Have you ever tried baking something you weren't completely sure of and it turned out to be completely wonderfully. This was NOT one of those times! I was trying to cook a reasonably good chocolate birthday cake for my son that was also much healthier than a normal cake. I used regular white flour but I also used fat free vanilla yogurt, dates brown sugar and applesauce.

The cake was very dense and I think that was the biggest problem. The taste was OK at best and was not quite as sweet as a normal cake. My son said that part didn't bother him, it was like a very sweet bread. But the texture was my big objection.

It could have been worse. I did learn a few things and this really wasn't the worst cake I have ever tasted. It just wasn't up to the standard I am trying for.

The icing was easy and good and it was just a package of organic chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of soy milk microwaved for a minute and stirred until it was smooth. I iced the cake with that mixture and put just unsweetened strawberry jam in the center. The jam was a good touch.

The best part was the strawberries. I got them at Publix on sale, and they were the best strawberries I have tasted since last spring. If I had just dipped the strawberries in the chocolate, I think it would have been a big success. I just can't picture birthday candles working with strawberries. I will keep working on the recipe and will let you know when I have finished "Take two" -- or "cake two."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Books to help with weight loss

In my quest to lose more weight this year, I have decided to use my Christmas money on some books that can help me get a "healthy" start. One of the things I am working towards is the goal of making sure my calories really count for something. I want to eat only things that have a high ratio of nutrients per calorie. I want to follow this rule 90 percent of the time.

That means I will be eating mostly vegetables. The best thing about that is -- I really love vegetables. The only thing about being southern and cooking vegetables is my heritage of adding fat and sometimes sugar to every vegetable pot. This really hurts my calorie/nutrient ratio so I really need to find interesting, new ways to get my veggies in. That requires some new thinking and also some new cookbooks -- I also love cookbooks so this is great fun for me!

One of the books I am modeling my new eating habits by is Joel Fuhrman's great book, "Eat to Live." It is quite extreme but it is thought-provoking. My doctor also recommended, "Dr. Ann's 10 Step Diet." Dr. Ann Kulze is a South Carolina doctor and nutritionist who has an interesting book and website that might be helpful. It really helped me last year to get a good start in losing 20 pounds and I am really enjoying the quest to lose my next 20.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Making resolutions

I used to hate New Year's resolutions. I guess I was too afraid I wouldn't succeed, but now, I don't think I could start a new year without making a fresh list. I never accomplish everything on the list, but I am finally OK with that. I think the benefit of making resolutions is that I will at least accomplish some of the goals and that is has to be a good thing.

Of course it is one thing to make a list and quite another to put my list out there for all to see. It took me all weekend to make the decision that I would share my list. I do think it will increase my motivation -- and I always need motivating. I don't know how many things I will complete, but I will give it a try.

This list is not in any particular order but I thought I would begin with the area I had the greatest trouble in last year -- becoming more organized.

1. Become more organized (spend at least 30 minutes each day on organization). Create a home organization book with home-cleaning charts. Keep it simple and see what develops.
2. Clean my basement.
3. Complete a spring cleaning and fall cleaning of my home. Includes window-washing.
4. De-clutter my home.
5. Have a yard sale when the weather gets better. I have never before had a yard sale. Use the money for a special purpose.
6. Lose 20 pounds. I lost 20 this past year and I need to finish the job.
7. Read at least 10 new books.
8. Blog 5 days a week. Don't miss a week day.
9. Set up an art studio. I had gotten a start on this last year, but I didn't finish.
10. Paint at least 5 new paintings.
11. Develop 20 new healthy recipes that also taste good.
12. Write in my journal every day.
13. Exercise at least 3 days a week. Treadmill and yoga.
14. Design greeting cards for each holiday and personal note cards.
15. Have Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving.
16. Make a project to give away at Christmas.
17. Develop a personal list -- 10 personal goals that help me to become a better person.
18. Become a better designer at work. Develop goals and make sure they are met.
19. Learn a new skill or craft.
20. Refinish two pieces of furniture that I already have and need to complete.
21. Improve my gardening skills. (Includes planting a garden for all seasons.)

Have any suggestions, or want to share your list? Just comment or send me an email at