Friday, January 31, 2014

Tiny Garden Furniture Enhances a Terrarium

It is the dollhouse-lover in me that has me buying "fairy garden" furniture for my terrarium.  It looks adorable, don't you think?  I believe this link takes you to the same collection that I shopped from, though all of the pieces are not shown.  The price point is right, that's for sure.  I can't see spending a lot on a bit of whimsy, but $10-12 total? I'm in.  

I bought a garden bench, round table and an arbor for the plants to grow in and around.  I think it looks adorable and I always think that someday I'll glance over and see a tiny newspaper folded up on the bench, or a magazine left behind.

I love having a terrarium - the scale, the plants, ease of care.  It is winter, after all, and it feels good to see plants thriving and tiny green leaves sprouting.  It is always springtime in my little greenhouse.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ribbon and Faux Pearl Necklace

I have been working on the computer a lot lately.  (I'll tell you what I've been up to soon - it's exciting!)  Since I have been writing and thinking so much, I find that the perfect way to relax is to make jewelry.

I am particularly fond of this ribbon necklace that I made from narrow taupe and brown ribbon woven back and forth between faux champagne pearls and hung from a metal chain.  It is interesting and beautiful; sophisticated yet simple. 

I have listed in for sale in my Etsy store, but it may not be there long.  Have you seen my "ANA customs stamp?"  I use it to signify that something has been stamped with my approval...literally a stamp from my territory.

Do you know what the cursive "I.K.I" stands for?  It means: "I'm Keeping It!" That is how I know when a design is ready to sell, when I find myself wanting to keep it!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Smart Snacks: Dick and Jane Baking Company host President Abraham Lincoln at Elementary School

It's not every day that you get to hear President Abraham Lincoln speak- I couldn't miss my chance!  My brother, Dick and his wife, Jane have an educational snack business named the Dick and Jane Baking Company.  

Their all natural nut free snacks are vanilla shortbread cookies and have "an education in every bite."  Each cookie has an imprint of one of the U.S. States and Capitals, U.S. Presidents or a vocabulary word with a drawing and the name written in English and Spanish.  They are distributed in individual serving snack bags in lunch programs all over the country.
Jane is a first grade teacher in Michigan (you can see Dick and Jane at a photo shoot in her classroom below), so they brought President Abraham Lincoln to visit her school and speak at an assembly.  Isn't that cool?
The kids loved it and I have never seen fourth grade boys be so enraptured during a presentation. It was terrific.  Dick and Jane Baking Company have become available in retail grocery stores in select markets across the country. If you are interested, you can fill out a "Help Dick and Jane" form online on the bottom of their webpage and tell retailers where you shop and that you are interested in the product.  You can also follow them on Facebook.

They were just featured on our local news and I am taking this opportunity to brag a bit and show them off. Here is a link for you to WATCH them in a television segment.
And of course, here I am with Abe.  What a great guy!  His knowledge of the life of Abraham Lincoln is unbelievable and his ability to speak to groups of children and relay historic information was impressive.  I am a big fan.   

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chocolate Dipped Apricots

On the coldest of winter days in Michigan (-8 degrees, without wind chill, this morning!), we often find ourselves planning an escape to a warmer climate.  I walked through the family room this morning and noticed how the aqua blue in this map matched my turquoise throw on the couch.  I knew this would be a pretty vignette to showcase the sweet treat I made yesterday - chocolate-dipped apricots.

Eating a varied diet and fueling ourselves with nutrient rich food is important to me. I think eating a dried apricot or two a day can only make us all healthier. And you know how I feel about chocolate.

I have wanted to explore making chocolate-dipped fruits for a while now and having put it off, I feel quite dumb now that I know how easy it is.  

I mixed equal parts (about a 1/4 cup each) of milk chocolate chips and semisweet chocolate chips in a glass bowl. I microwaved the chocolate in intervals of 30 seconds, stirring in between sessions.  When the chocolate was smooth and blended, I dipped (and spread with a spoon) each dried Mariani Apricot.  Then I placed each chocolate-dipped apricot on a wax paper covered plate and set it in the refrigerator.  3 ingredients (all available at Target), a microwave and a refrigerator are all you need to make this sweet treat.

If you are having friends over for Book Club or Cards, make them a plate of Chocolate-dipped Apricots for a healthy and delicious treat on a cold winter day.

Monday, January 27, 2014

City Series: Dallas: Rise No.1 Souffle

My friend, Carol, was full of good ideas for how to spend our day together in Dallas.  When we were standing in a recreation of the Bush Oval Office, she mentioned that she hoped we'd have time to get souffles later that afternoon. I always have time for a souffle!

We walked into Rise No.1 on a quiet afternoon intending to catch up over a coffee and dessert souffle.  We ended up ordering a light meal, which became the culinary highlight of my trip to Dallas.

It started when the waitress mentioned their Rise No.1's famous "Marshmallow Soup."  Carol urged me to be hungry because she thought I would really like this creamy tomato and carrot soup with 3 perfect goat cheese souffles floating on top.  

When it came, I was struck by how much they really do look like marshmallows.  The soup was creamy, but not rich and had a depth of flavor that still has me puzzling, how did they do it?  I am the salt police and often find dishes to be heavy handed.  No, this soup was perfect - probably the best I have had in the cream category.  Rise No.1's Marshmallow Soup comes with a tiny pitcher of pesto oil to drizzle on top.  I tried it, but found the spongy goat cheese souffles were just the right complement to the soup - it didn't need anything else. It was magnifique. 

We rounded out our meal with a small "Rise No.1 Salad" (baby greens, roasted pecans, matchstick-cut Granny Smith apples and blue cheese - optional) dressed with a Pecan Vinaigrette in which I detected notes of vanilla.  I ate every bite.
Near the entrance (and within view of our table) was a beautiful display of French dishtowels for sale.  Aren't they lovely?  My favorite thing about French dishtowels is the imaginative and happy color combinations.  Orange, aqua and plum.  Red and bright pink.  Taupe, apricot and purple.  If I hadn't "organized" my dish towel collection lately and seen for myself just how many I have (forty? I might actually have 40), I would have bought myself one on the spot. They were gorgeous.
The restaurant has a very French-feeling sink area just outside the restrooms that is surprisingly beautiful.  The dim lighting, lavender-scented soap and basket of French linens to dry your hands gives a charming farmhouse feel to the area.  Never underestimate the power of a linen hand towel to make an impression.
Yes, we had dessert too.  Carol had a Tarte au Fruit (apple) and I sat cross-legged in the middle of this Chocolate Souffle, complete with chocolate sauce to pour inside.  Yum yum yum.

Linger is a good word to sum up our afternoon at Rise No.1 souffle and wine bar in Dallas, Texas.  Carol and I talked and talked and talked.  It was wonderful to reconnect - how can it be 5 years since we first met in a cooking class in Paris?  We picked up right where we left off and it was so much fun.  I must get back to Dallas...and quick!

Friday, January 24, 2014

City Series: Dallas: Dallas Arboretum

In January, garden lovers must take what they can get. With my hometown buried under a foot of snow, a quiet and empty landscape isn't all that bad...and I love flowering kale.

When Carol and I were at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, I asked her opinion whether I should try visiting the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, even though it was January.  She loved the idea and thought we should add it to our plans that day - how fun!
The fact that the gardens are situated on a lake makes the view so interesting and added color and texture to an otherwise muted palette.
We photographed the sculptures and wandered the paths around a large section of the property.  The sun came out for a while and the fresh air felt wonderful.  The arboretum is huge and I can only imagine how beautiful it looks when the grass is green and azaleas are in bloom.  I must come back!
On our way back to the entrance, we stopped to shop at the gift shop.  It had everything from wind chimes and garden art to Texas candies and stationary. There was a lot to look at and we both found a few things that we had to have.
Though I would wait a little while for Mother Nature to work her magic, I highly recommend adding an afternoon visit to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden to any Dallas itinerary.  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

City Series: Dallas: Bush Center: Cafe 43

What a way to spend the day!  Carol and I had a leisurely lunch at Cafe 43 (George W. Bush was the 43rd President!), the museum restaurant at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.

I ordered an entree salad of tiger shrimp, quinoa, arugula and feta with a roasted lemon vinaigrette.  They had me at "roasted lemon." It sounded delicious and it married the flavors of the sweet shrimp and peppery arugula perfectly.

We had a lovely table by the window and enjoyed catching up in the bright and friendly restaurant.  As we were leaving, Carol bought some of Laura Bush's famous "Cowboy Cookies" for us to snack on.

Do you remember the famous "bake off" in Family Circle magazine between Mrs. Bush's Cowboy Cookies and Tipper Gores' Ginger Snaps during the 2000 Presidential campaign?  I do! I thought it was a really cute idea and think that Mrs. Bush's cookies could have won by name alone.  The cookie recipe is printed on the Cafe 43 card and was published with slight modification here in The Washington Post.

After lunch, we looked through the museum gift shop and I passed up my chance to get a really neat souvenir.  Then I drove back the next day to buy it. Have you ever done that?

The souvenir was a Christmas ornament with a photo of a cardinal painted by George W. Bush.  I kept thinking about it afterwards and not knowing if they had an online store, I took a sudden detour when I saw "SMU" on a highway exit.  I made my way back to the little parking lot, walked to the gift shop and got my ornament.    When I left, I showed the parking attendant my new treasure and he too thought it was worth the trip back.  He also told me to "say Hi" to Michigan for him.  Done! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

City Series:Dallas: George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Some experiences are a little too big for a you know what I mean?  I have been mulling this over for a week now and will do my best to give you a concise and meaningful description of my visit to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.  

First of all, I loved every minute of my visit. I was invited to tour the museum and have lunch at Cafe 43 by my friend, Carol, who I met back in 2009 in the Patricia Wells' cooking class in Paris.  We have stayed in touch and I have been trying to get to Dallas to see her for ages.
We met here on the plaza, went through security and then started to make our way through the museum.  In the area called Freedom Hall, you can see beautiful gifts given to the Bushes by American citizens and Foreign Heads of State during his presidency.  A giant IMAx-style 360 video plays along the second story of Freedom Hall.  Vistas of the American Plains, citizens living out their lives in our great country moves into images of the U.S. Presidents.  It is mesmerizing.
This museum is beautiful - full of photos, artifacts, video and hand-written notes commemorating George W. Bush's Presidency. I remember watching the dedication ceremony on the news (the five living Presidents of the United States were there!) and I was so happy to be able to visit less than a year after it opened.  
We had about an hour and a half to walk through the museum before our lunch reservation and we paused to take pictures and read the signs and documentation whenever something caught our eye.
Any interested visitor could spend hours reading and reflecting on the quotes and images related to George W. Bush's presidency.  It was hard to pick and choose which exhibits I should give more attention to.  That is until I rounded the corner and saw the actual twisted steel beams from the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on display.  I caught my breathe, tried to articulate how I felt and started crying.  Yes, old friend that I haven't seen in 5 years, I am crying in the middle of the day in the middle of a museum.

Thankfully, Carol understood my feelings completely and suggested that we sit and watch the video presentation for a while, Kleenex in hand.  It was just the time I needed to compose myself.  The beams are huge and ruined and the fact that they were there effected me in a way that I hadn't expected.
The museum was fairly busy, but not so crowded that we didn't have a chance to take photographs without strangers walking into the frame.  Look at my pristine photo of the Oval Office as it was decorated during the Bush Presidency.  
Carol asked if I wanted to have my photo taken behind the desk.  A line was forming for those that were interested and we both decided that it would be a fun memento from our day.
Afterwards, we went out into the beautiful Texas sunshine (did I mention that the George W. Bush Presidential Museum and Library are on the grounds of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas?) and walked around the Texas Rose Garden.
There are no roses blooming in January, of course, but we noticed some of the native grasses and plantings and were happy to spend a little time out in the fresh air. 

This was my first visit to a Presidential museum and I highly recommend that you visit this magnificent tribute.  Tomorrow I will tell you all about lunch at Cafe 43.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pantone 2014 Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid

I can't let us get too far into January without highlighting Pantone's 2014 Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid.  I love the rich violet-pink shade and thought it was fitting that the orchid I bought last November has a big splotch of "radiant orchid" on every bloom.  

I can show you the color, "Radiant Orchid" on my plant, a radiant orchid.  Get it?!
I love having an orchid blooming in my house in the winter.  They add a bit of drama and only require 3 ice cubes a week, in terms of care and water. Orchids are generally about $29 a plant (try and choose one with 2 main stems and many blossom buds along the tip of the stem - avoid any plant with yellowish-green buds, they have been through some type of trauma and are about to fall off before blooming.).  I mention all of this so that you can be on the lookout for an orchid for yourself or to give as a gift.  

I bought this magnificent plant for $5 at Home Depot the big shopping weekend after Thanksgiving.  They had at least 50 perfect orchids for sale - always keep your eye out.  An orchid is a wonderful addition to any room.

Remember when I visited the American Orchid Society in Delray Beach, Florida? 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

City Series: Dallas: Late Lunch at Bistro 31

Do you ever lose track of time and wonder if you've missed your chance for lunch?  Somehow it was 2:40, I'd been exploring the shops of Highland Park Village and I thought I might have missed the last seating.  

A friend had listed Bistro 31 as a possible lunch spot for me and I was pleased to see a lunch option that was perfect for a sunny, but chilly afternoon.  This combo is called Harry's Bar Grilled Ham and Cheese sandwich with Petite Salad and Roasted Tomato Soup.  It was fresh, flavorful and hit the spot.  I had a nice table by the window (btw I love their round white leather chairs - very comfortable) and all I needed was a friend sitting across from me telling me stories - that would have made it perfect.

Friday, January 17, 2014

City Series: Dallas: St. Michael's Women's Exchange

When I knew that I would be spending 2 weeks in Dallas, I asked my Facebook friends for recommendations of places they thought I would like to visit.  A fellow Junior Leaguer suggested I check out the St. Michael's Women's Exchange in the beautiful shopping area called Highland Park Village.

The St. Michael's Women's Exchange is a high end gift shop that is operated by volunteers.  The profits from the shop fund charities locally and worldwide. An explanation of their mission and focus can be found online here.

Running a retail shop is not easy.  Our chapter of the Junior League operated a resale clothing shop for over 50 years and though near and dear to many hearts, it was a challenge to manage the inventory and volunteer schedules.  

The St. Michael's Women's Exchange was well-merchandised and offered a lovely selection of gifts from christening gowns and inscribed silver pieces, to formal servingware and statement necklaces.  If I lived in Dallas, I would certainly shop here.  I commend these women for their commitment to serving others and the clever synergy between selling beautiful gifts that women want to give (and receive) with a profit-earning model that has been supporting charities since 1958. Bravo!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

City Series: Dallas: Emporium Pies

Emporium Pies in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas, Texas has the best pie I have ever eaten.  Ever.

I eat a lot of ice cream.  And cupcakes.  And candy.  And as a result, those are the sweets that are usually featured here in my blog.  I have blogged about my own pie recipes, but I can't think of a pie shop that has really gotten my attention...until now.  And I am relieved about that because now I don't have to write a retraction.  Any "it-was-a-great-pie" review up to this point would have to be entirely rewritten now that I have tasted Emporium Pies' Cloud 9.

This is how they describe their Cloud 9 pie:


It is thick and cold and creamy.  The crust is thick, yet tender.  The meringue is sweet and sticky.  They do everything right.  

What alarms me is that they refer to this pie as seasonal, and since I was in town in mid-January, there was a chance that I couldn't have tried it!?  And if I make my way back to Dallas this year they won't have it?  Unimaginable.

If I lived in Dallas I would eat a piece of this pie once a week and give up another major sweet to compensate.  It is that good.
I wanted to see their cute "to go" packaging up close, so I ordered a piece of "Cloud 9" to go and piece of "Drunken Nut" (Texas pecans and bourbon meld together in this sticky sweet confection, baked in a handmade shortbread crust - yum!) to eat on the porch in the sun.  Did I mention it was 10:30 in the morning?

Dan's sister, Karen, lives in Dallas and when we told her that we wanted to spend some time walking around, looking in shops and enjoying the weather, she sent us to the Bishop Arts District to explore.  And she insisted that we stop for pie.

After we found a place to park, we noticed that there was already a line spilling out of Emporium Pies and onto their porch.  I got in line.  There is no greater motivator than the prospect of sold out pie, and this crowd looked hungry.  So we ate pie before lunch and were happier for it.

Put "Eat a piece of Emporium Pies' Cloud 9 pie" on your bucket list.  It is that good.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

City Series: Dallas: Nasher Sculpture Center

I couldn't have asked for a prettier day to wander the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas.  Having just arrived a few days earlier from Michigan (which was in the negative temperatures -14!), this sunny 66 degree day was a gift in itself.  Look at the beautiful water element (above) and the precise plantings of trees, grasses and planters to create lines and structure.

The museum has a beautiful indoor gallery and gift shop, but frankly I just didn't want to spend any time inside.

The variety of art - in style and scale - was impressive.  I will showcase a stream of my images here, but will leave the description and interpretation to the official Nasher website.  I hope you enjoy this post and mark this unusual metropolitan collection on your "must see in Dallas" list.  Though many of the pieces have a glum vibe, the open air gallery is a wonderful respite from the big city bustle.
 "Quantum Cloud XX (tornado)" by Antony Gormley
Can you see the human figure in the middle of this swirl of metal bits?

"Garden Fork" by Michael Craig-Martin 
(from the collection of Christen and Derek Wilson)

 "Rush Hour" by George Segal
A look at the lives of those slogging to and from work in a city.

"Head of a Woman" by Pablo Picasso

"Music: Everything I Know I Learned The Day My Son Was Born
by Alfredo Jaar 

This was by far my favorite piece.  A temporary square pavillion with high walls made of varying shades of green plastic panels with an open-to-the-sky ceiling.  Canvas directors chairs line the perimeter inside and Dan and I sat for quite a while relaxing and reflecting.  You can see more of the structure in the distance - look at the Henry Moore image above.

Then we heard a newborn baby cry.  About that time another family wandered into the space and the husband and I were sure that the baby cries were part of the exhibit, while his wife insisted that it was just sounds from the park being amplified in the room.  Her husband and I were right.  The baby's cries are part of a soundtrack piped in at varying intervals - all recordings of babies born in Dallas between October 1, 2013 and February 1, 2014 (they were still being recorded when I visited!)  You should read the link above to understand the artist's intent.  It is very positive and interesting.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Exploring Dallas, Texas

Good Morning! I am in Dallas, Texas in search of delight.  I have already found wonderful places to share with you.  Stay tuned - all this week will be my City Series: Dallas.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Shopping at Home: A bit of Hawaii in my fabric stash

You can imagine the size of my photo library...thousands of images of crafts, travel, roses and cookies.  It's my job to delight, right?  When I see something beautiful I try to capture with my camera.  Not every image makes it into the blog, certainly, but I do my best to keep my posts fresh and interesting, inspiring and beautiful.  

When I am surfing my own tidal wave of images, I sometimes find one and say, "Oh, I forgot about that shop etc."  This photo is from the swap meet in Honolulu and I just remembered that I bought 2 yards of the kiwi green fabric on the bottom roll! It has hula girls silhouetted in deep purple and it spoke to me.  But where is it? I must go shopping in my own house and find this fabulous fabric.  Maybe it will become a table runner to brighten up the icy white month of January.  This month is all about making something new with the supplies I already have.  That knitting stash isn't going to knit-one-purl-two itself!

How did i stumble upon this particular photo? I lived in Hawaii for almost a month with a friend and her husband (they had moved to Oahu for a job opportunity) in January 2102.  We drove around the island seeing the sights, but we also shopped at the grocery store, grilled dinners and made jewelry.  it was really fun. Now that it is January again, I get nostalgic for that wonderful experience and think back on all of the neat things I saw.  

You can read my posts from that trip by clicking in the CITY SERIES section in the sidebar of the blog.  Choose Honolulu, Oahu and Hawaii to see a variety of posts. They are beautiful!
So today I am inspired by Hawaii and my tropical stash. Do you have something tucked away that you could craft or sew with this month?  It will feel great.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pretty Upcycled Vases: Keep Your Eye Out for Trims

Yes, the flowers are fabulous (Paul McCartney Rose, lilac-colored stock, yellow lantana and a pale pink gerbera daisy - all from the garden and pots on my patio) but it is the easy vase that I think makes a bouquet like this happen.  Flower arranging for the home shouldn't be stuffy or formal.  All you need is a few pretty blooms (notice how none of these flowers "match" or echo each other in color or shape, yet they still look beautiful together) and an appropriately size vase to display them in.

This little beauty is a Smuckers jam jar trimmed with a piece of Martha Stewart cardstock "border sticker."  The craft and scrapbook stores are loaded with long strips of paper that are often scalloped, gilded or embossed.  Why not choose one and wrap it around a jam jar (fasten with tape) for your own little touch?

I keep my sanity all Winter long by keeping my eye out for pretty touches to add to a jam jar vases - paper trim, ribbon, gems. The flowers I love so much will be blooming again before I know it.

If you have a collection of "ready-to-give" vases on hand, the more likely you will be to cut a little bouquet and bring it to a friend.  And you know they'll reuse the vase again and again.  Win-win!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gorgeous George: Souvenirs for a Lucky American...Me!

I am so thankful that I live in a time when I can make friends around the world via the internet.  Through my blog, email and my Moments of Delight Facebook page I can communicate with people in "real time" and I think it is fantastic.
One of the friends I have made online is Renate.  She lives in England and when I was writing about collecting Princess Diana articles as a girl, it occurred to her that I might like a souvenir from the Royal Wedding.  Isn't that thoughtful?  I wrote about when she found for me here.
Anyhoo, Renate is now my unofficial link to the Royal Family and she knew that she was "on call" when Prince William and Kate were expecting their first child in July.  She explored the shops and possibilities and found me the perfect souvenir for my Royal china collection.  She found me a beautiful mug with the baby's name (Prince George Alexander Louis) and his date of birth (22nd July 2013) in a distinguished style with markings in blue and gold.  I love it. 
Then just a few weeks ago, a padded envelope from England arrived!  Prince George had been christened and Renate had saved me the special sections from newpaper.  What a friend!  I had only seen a handful of photos here in America, but this circular was full of full page, full color images of the happy parents and everyone who attended the service.  Formal portraits; casual photos.  Priceless.  Thank you, Renate, for looking out for me and my Royal collection. You are the best!  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sentimental Objects: When Spices Are So Much More

Do you have a sentimental attachment to an everyday object?  I love when people tell me about the history of a piece in their home.  The sentiment lies in the story or origin of the item.  Once when I mentioned that I was looking for vintage Pyrex at a garage sale, a woman went into her kitchen cupboard and pulled out her prized blue Pyrex bowl to show me.  It was precious to her and she held it up saying, "This is the bowl my brother made banana pudding in." That bowl should never leave her kitchen. 

These are my prized pieces in the kitchen, spice tins that belonged to my maternal grandmother.

I keep them in my kitchen cabinet and move them left and right as I reach for the new containers that I actually cook with.  These must date back to the 1950's (you can find similar containers on eBay under "vintage spices") and by their weight I can tell that they are still full.  I hardly use paprika or cream of tartar either, so our tastes run in the family.  The cream of tartar tin is marked 43 cents on the bottom!

My mom gave me these tins a few years ago - she had them at home in her kitchen and she knew that I'd like to have them.  She has another melange of her mother's spice containers mixed in with our actual pantry items up at the cottage. 

Every once in a while, when I ask Dan to get me something out of the cupboard, he'll grab one of her vintage cinnamon or mustard tins and bring it out.  I'll say, "Thanks, but those are Nama's. They're probably 50 years old." 

He'll look at me like I'm crazy, but then return to the pantry to try and identify a tin from this decade.  Still, he understands that it is important to my mom and me that those tins stay right there on the shelf where they belong.  Mixed in with the other pantry staples - a part of our every day lives from long ago.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Joy in 2014

What could be a better way to start the new year than with an image of Joy? This is one of the fishing tug boats used in Leland, Michigan's historic fishtown. I was scrolling through my photos looking for something to usher us into the new year and when I saw this image, I knew this had to be it.  

If you have the chance to name something this year, try to choose something Joy.  Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Michigan State wins the 2014 Rose Bowl

My alma mater Michigan State University just won the 2014 Rose Bowl! (*Photo is from a home game 2 years ago.)  We beat Stanford in a terrific football game and I am so very happy. I am wearing the same lucky Spartan sweatshirt I wore when I cheered them on the last time MSU was in (and won) the Rose 1988!  So far 2014 has been a wonderful year!  Happy New Year, indeed.