November 30, 2012

This weekend's drink of choice is what I like to call 'The Shaken Oatmeal Cookie.' It is like a dessert in a glass...

 3 ounces of butterscotch schnapps
2 ounces of Bailey's Irish Creme
1 ounce coconut flavored rum
1/2 ounce Goldschlager Cinnamon Schnapps
Optional: oatmeal cookies or whipped cream

Shake vigorously in a shaker filled with ice. Serve over rocks and garnish with an oatmeal cookie or whipped cream. Yum. Yum. Yum.

Have a great weekend everyone!

*This recipe has been adapted from one I found in Rachel Ray's Magazine a few years ago...and is a glorified version of a shot we used to take in college...five million years ago...

November 28, 2012


Karra's Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hands down, the best carrot cake recipe I have ever made. Even my son loves these, and I feel a little better letting him eat a cake filled with carrots as opposed to chocolate. My sister claims that she has a rival recipe, however I am still waiting to judge that challenge. Until then, try these on a cold winter's day.

First preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and pull out the cream cheese and butter to soften (see frosting recipe below for amounts).

The cake: 2 cups of sugar, 1 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, 3 eggs.
Mix these ingredients together, adding the eggs one at a time.
2 cups of all purpose flour, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt.
Mix these dry ingredients together and slowly add them to the wet ingredients; add 3 cups of grated carrots, 1 cup of raisins and 1 cup of chopped walnuts. Mix well.
(The walnuts are optional, and if I am making them for a crowd, I usually eliminate them to avoid a possible allergic reaction. I don't want anyone dying on my time)

Add the batter to the cupcake pan, filling each cup 3/4 full...or 1/4 empty depending on your mood. Put the cakes in the oven and bake until you can poke them with a fork and it comes out smooth. I start checking after about 20 minutes.

The frosting: 1 lb. of cream cheese, 1/2 lb. of unsalted butter, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 3/4 cup of confectionery sugar. Blend together until smooth.
*It is very important that you let the cream cheese and butter soften until blending, otherwise you will get major clumps. You can also adjust the confectionery sugar depending on how sweet you want your frosting.

Wait until the cakes are cool and frost. Decorate with miniature sugar carrots!


November 26, 2012

Ribbon Spools

Do you remember when ribbon came on beautiful wooden spools?!
Ya, neither do I, but I found these great wooden spools at 'American Ribbon' in Stroudsburg, and decided to use them to store my ribbon, and simultaneously decorate our spare bedroom. I also geeked it up by arranging them in the order of the spectrum.
It is a good thing I have a Master's degree in comes in very useful these days.

November 25, 2012

Let it Snow 5k Shoutout!

ShOuTOuT sUNdaY!!!
This week's shoutout goes to my people up in Old Forge, NY who are running, walking, organizing and/or volunteering in this year's 'Christmas on Main Street,' specifically for the 'Let it Snow' 5k Run next weekend. Get in the spirit, burn some calories, then go to the TOW afterward to help celebrate!
Prizes for the best costume!
See the link below for information and to register:
Run or Walk the most holiday spirited 5K race in beautifully decorated Old Forge and Thendara as part of Christmas on Main Street. Participants can show their spirit as well with holiday costumes. It's going to be great family fun, in what we hope to be the beginning of a winter wonderland.
Click on either of the links below to register!

November 24, 2012

Lead Pretzels

So I have never been much of a baker, and this is just another testament. Elias and I tried to make soft pretzels, and although the process was fun, they turned out like balls of lead.
Better luck next time.

November 23, 2012

The Perfect Use for a Yoga Mat
This was my use for the mat this morning. After a gluttonous yesterday of turkey, stuffing, and wine, I managed to dedicate a few minutes of private time to catch up on a few mags, drink my coffee, and reflect on all of the things I am thankful for; my health, my family and friends, a beautiful world, memories of those lost and loved...
Thank you sweet life.

November 22, 2012


Thanksgiving Board 2012
Fun with chalkboard paint! I purchased this pizza board for $12.00 at Marshall's HomeGoods then painted it using chalkboard paint. I use my set of chalk pastels to decorate according to the season and/or event. So easy!

November 21, 2012

Affordable Therapy

Affordable Therapy
Like most people these days I very rarely take time for myself, but yesterday I unplugged for a bit. I turned off my computer. I ignored my telephone. I didn't look at the elliptical machine. I even turned off the television (I'm sorry Matty). I did, however, turn on the soundtrack to 'Parenthood,' because I don't think of listening to music as being plugged in...I make my own rules.
I actually took thirty minutes to sit down, drink my coffee, and color while Elias napped. Ahhh!
I used to recommend this to my students and colleagues who were stressed, overwhelmed or upset, and it is truly relaxing.

You can pick up these coloring books at any craft or Art supply store; yesterday I saw some beautiful ones at Barnes and Noble. Also, I recommend getting a decent set of colored pencils and/or markers (think beyond Crayola). Try it! Take some time for yourself. You won't be disappointed!

November 20, 2012

November 19, 2012

Our Bench

Where we sit... 

What we see.... 

Ahhh! This weather is absolutely perfect. I hate bathing suits, and I hate snow, so Autumn is the perfect time of year for me. Last weekend I hiked to the top field with a good friend to take in the view. It had been over four years since I had done the short hike, and I realized that a large tree had grown right in front of the bench my husband had put there years before. Regardless, I re-realized how beautiful it is up there. Since last weekend I have been taking full advantage of the beautiful weather and every free moment to take the hike. This is our view...taken a little left of the giant tree. Today I have made a date with my son to make the hike. Tomorrow maybe I'll get Todd up there to chop down that view-blocker. Just in time for Christmas! ho ho ho!

Date with Nikon

The weather has been so beautiful this week. I think I'll go outside and play today. Stay tuned.
(ps. Is it me, or do I look a hint like Jay Leno here?! Jeepers...)

November 18, 2012

Shout Out Sunday!

Shoutout Sunday!
This week's shoutout goes to Becky Barrett at RBarrett Photography. Becky lives in my hometown of Old Forge, New York, and shot most of the images of the paintings I have posted on my blog.
She is a fantastic photographer, humanitarian, philanthropist, fellow foodie and friend. Her recent work for the Humane Society makes her top notch!
Check her out at the link found on my blog, on Facebook or below.
Thank you Becky!

November 16, 2012

Apple Cider Martini

Sippy Sippy!

Apple Cider Martini with Cinnamon Sugar Rim
Could this drink be your holiday favorite?! I think so.....
 Recipe: Fill martini glass with ice and water. Set aside.
In a cocktail shaker mix 1/4 Apple Vodka, 3/4 Fresh Apple Cider + a squeeze of fresh lemon + ice (...depending on how hard you want to hit it, you can adjust your proportions...) Shake vigorously and set aside.
To prepare glass fill one plate with apple cider and another plate with cinnamon sugar.
Drain the ice water out of your glass, dip the rim in the cider then in cinnamon sugar.
Pour the drink in the glass and drink with caution. Easy to make, easy to drink.
Enjoy everyone and have a great weekend! 

November 15, 2012

November 14, 2012


Oil and Collage on Canvas, 2012

Detail; Text found in Meghan O'Rourke's memoir "The Long Goodbye."

This is another piece from my newest series of paintings. Meghan O'Rourke's memoir kept me company during a difficult time, and I wanted to merge this quote she shared with a painting that I could hang in our home. I purposefully kept the font small so that the viewer is forced to get close to the canvas in order to read the text, and get more intimate with the details of the rising and falling of words and brush strokes.

November 13, 2012

Moleskin Notebooks

A simple and lovely way to show your guests you care. This was easy - breezy. I simply cut strips of the paper as an accent, and tied the ribbons to seal.

Moleskin Notebooks for our annual feast; These can be used to document recipes, photos and other memories from our annual potluck-style weekend of gluttony. Unfortunately for the curious, what happens at the feast, stays at the feast.

(The wrapping paper I found at Target, and the tags, labels and ribbons were both purchased at Michaels...but I have seen them at Target, Walmart and many art/craft stores. The Moleskin notebooks were also purchased at Target).


November 12, 2012

2nd Annual Feast!

Second Annual Feast

This is the second year for our annual 'Feast,' and the food was delicious as ever! The theme this year was 'Mexican Fare,' and everybody dazzled with their culinary skills. Thank you to the best of friends that came to feast, play and laugh! We love you and we can't wait until the 2013 Greek Feast!

Chocolate Snacking Tray

VonBarta's Banana Leaf Tamales

Detrick's Cow Tongue Tacos

Pascall's Chocolate Banana Empenadas

Beckified's Flan

Roger's Queso Fundito

Rivet's Braised Pork Mexican Salad

Feasters! I need a picture of Carolyn and Matt's Chipotle Chicken Salad, as well as the fried cheese with sugar cane. It was so delicious that I forgot to document! I actually just ate more of the chicken salad for lunch. Yum.

November 11, 2012

Adler Grier

What is this?! Every Sunday I am going to give a shout out to one of my friends, or family members, to spotlight their many talents. I am so blessed to be in the company of these great people, and I hope you will enjoy seeing what they create.
My first shoutout goes to my girl, Katie Adler. After years of working at Christie's Auction House in NYC, she started a beautiful jewelry design company. Click on the link below to view her gorgeous, handmade pieces.
We love you Katie and wish that you could be with all of us HWS girls this weekend! xx, k


*Disclaimer: These cows were raised with a lot of love

November 9, 2012

Bottoms Up!

Have a Great Weekend Everyone!
Bottoms Up!

Lake Placid, June 2012.
Carb loading for the Half Marathon.

November 7, 2012

Adirondack Spring
Oil on Canvas, 2012
(Approximately 36 x 48)
This is one of my first paintings of 2012, and one of my first paintings since I gave birth to my son (almost 3 years ago). More realistic than most of my older works, I have found great peace with this series. I found myself in an artistic rut, and this work helped skip me out.
I can almost feel and smell that Adirondack air.


Maybe I should be working on my centering instead of blogging....


November 6, 2012

Abstract Landscape

Abstract Landscape
(Oil, Acrylic, Ink and Chalk on board)

This piece is an oldie, but one of my favorites. One of my larger works, it is approximately 36 x 60, and owned by two of my favorite people. There is nothing I love more than seeing my work in a good home, and being able to visit it over delicious food and wine, great conversation, and guaranteed belly laughs.

November 5, 2012


Oil on Wooden Board (18 x 24)

100 Lines

Study Using 100 Lines + Value 
 (Graphite on paper; 18 x 24)

Detail Shots:


  I made these examples for a drawing class that I taught. Students had to create a design using 100 lines, then they had to go back and add value (shades of grey) to the designs that they created. Try it! It is a great exercise in shading, plus it is very relaxing...or torturous depending on who you ask. I am sure some of my students would attest to this. :) I love you guys!

November 2, 2012

November 1, 2012

Utica Greens!


3 Heads of Escarole, triple cleansed and chopped
Fresh garlic (+-6 cloves), finely chopped
3 cherry peppers, sliced (+- your liking)
prosciutto, sliced or chopped
2-4 cups parmesan/romano cheese
2-4 cups breadcrumbs
Optional: shredded cheese to melt on top. I put cheese on my cheese.
Directions: boil escarole in water until wilted. drain well; squeeze excess water out when cool. Simultaneously cook garlic, cherry peppers and prosciutto in olive oil. Be careful to not burn the garlic! Stir in drained and squeezed escarole, add cheese and breadcrumbs. Optional: melt shredded cheese on top.

Serve with crusty bread and copious amounts of wine.
Thank you Utica, NY

Peaceful Reading Nook

Peaceful Reading Nook

Throw found at HomeGoods; reads "WRAP ME AROUND YOU"
This is an example I made for one of my units at school using radial symmetry and grey scale (2010). If you look close enough you can see my mug in the reflection...
(Chair, lamp, and throw found at Homegoods; clock from Pottery Barn; Bench I 'stole' from my mom:)