Happy New Year!

To you and yours, a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Auld Lang Syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne,
And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes
And pu'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl'd i' the burn,
Frae mornin' sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.
And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.

-Robert Burns

A Merry Happy...Sorta.

I don't know where to begin with my reflections on this past year. It has been a triumph and a tragedy. It has been beautiful and cruel. It has been filled with light and darkness. As we step toward 2013 it is my wish and intention to concentrate my efforts on promoting healing, health and happiness. Wherever you are in the coming weeks I offer you peace and a few of my favorites from the past year. Just cuz, yanno...

Book: Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. If you haven't read it, do. 'Nuff said.
Food: Oh my good gravy, these things are good. Better than gravy even.

Blogs: Toss up Between Local Sugar & Nat the Fat Rat- they are both right on and sing to my soul. Love ya gals! And there are dozens of others too!

Photo: Stunning
Bling: I love that band in her hair, oh yes I do!

Source: flickr.com via Laura on Pinterest

And of course....Pinterest! XOXOXO

Ripe by Cookbook Review

Continuing with this month's foodie theme I introduce to you the unique cookbook Ripe by Cheryl Sternman Rule and Paulette Philpot.

The layout of this thick hardcover is replete with mouth-watering, high-quality, gorgeous photographs of produce in its most natural state. It is virgin food-porn if there were such a thing (is there? that's weird.) Beginning with red and moving through the rainbow each section offers up a thoughtful and usually hilarious account of how that particular vegetable rooted itself in the author's life. This follows with a variety of simple ways to prepare and pair the food item and a recipe.

For instance a shot of a glistening pomegranate is followed by three simple ways to eat the arils (including on porridge- yum!) and an elegant, yet somewhat healthy Pomegranate Clove Thumbprint cookie recipe.

We picked several recipes to try- including:

Red Curry Glazed Butternut Squash with Coconut Rice with Fried Sage and Chestnut Brussels Sprouts. These are both perfect for holiday sides or as a meal.

Miso Tofu Bok Choy which I strongly recommend for New Year's...followed by those cookies mentioned above. Nom, nom, nom, Auld Lang Syne and all that.

Any cookbooks you love, dishes you recommend for the holidays? Please comment below.
*I was not compensated for anyway for this review- thoughts/opinions are my own.

My Christmas Book Wishlist...

Here is my bound and inked wishlist for this Christmas:

To satisfy my healthy mind-body: Crazy, Sexy, Kitchen by Kris Carr

To satisfy my need to read the book before I see the movie: The Host by Stephanie Meyer.

Because I like a good dare now and then and this one doesn't appear to require me to bare my fanny out the window of a moving vehicle: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

Okay...I know I already covered food but this one gets added because if asked what kind of superhero I would want to be, of course I would say a Kitchen Hero! by the young, talented and Irish, Donal Skehan.

Yeah and here is another cookbook...have I ever mentioned that I'm one of those people who reads the paragraphs before I even glimpse the recipes and photos like a book. Well that's me. This one looks like it will stave off my yearning for the water until spring: The Surf Cafe Cookbook by Myles Lamberth.

I keep reading about this so I just have to get my hands on it and soon! It sounds like it would go perfect with my chunky sweater, fleece blanket and a mug of tea: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Check! Got it :)

Also Searching for Alaska by John Green sounds like it could be the fraternal twin to my very own Girl on the Edge, but I'll have to read it to be sure.

I've heard good things about City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and would like my own copy, please.

And because we all love to hate her, not really actually, she is an icon of grace and intrigue and there aren't too many people in the spotlight like her who avoid the spotlight these days, I would like a copy of Kate: The Kate Moss Book.

Also check out my Goodreads "read" bookshelf to the left and "to read" below (I like to little icons--
And if you have any recommendations, any at all, please comment below!
Goodreads: Book reviews, recommendations, and discussion

Main Street Vegan Book Review

Source: amazon.com via Gina on Pinterest

'Tis the season for cooking, eating and gifting -- wholesome and healthy food. In the next few weeks I will be reviewing books that would make great additions to your wishlist or to give to someone on your shopping list. Stay tuned...

I've been a big reader of Victoria Moran's work and the way she seems to paint the sky with rainbows and sunshine even when it seems cloudy. She is among my "Circle of Women" who inspire, instruct and generally assist me in living a charmed life.

When she released Main Street Vegan I snapped it up and had a read. Full disclosure: It would be dishonest of me to say I am a vegan, because from time to time (re: Thanksgiving) I do eat dairy products and food containing eggs (though for a long time my very pampered chickens provided these by way of their daily laying.) But I lean toward veganism in a big way which is what works for my body and beliefs.

Whatever way you lean, there is something in Main Street Vegan for everyone, whether you want a better and deeper understanding of the vegan lifestyle, learn why veganism is uber-eco-friendly (yeah, I know I just used uber,) understand why someone in your life is vegan, learn some new recipes and more.

Occasionally I like to offer myself a refresher on facts, stats and get the latest info on the animal-free lifestyle. Also, recipes. The back of Main Street Vegan provides outstanding recipes for vegan fare from smoothies to entrees to desserts.

I'm not one for meat analogs, that is, I don't feel the raging need to eat a burger and settle, instead, for a veggie burger. But my husband who is not vegetarian, goes meatless in our home so I indulge him now and then...

Neat Loaf served with string beans and coleslaw.

Meet the Neat Loaf. I have to say, even though I have not eaten meatloaf in twenty years, the Neat-Loaf was outstanding! It may be just the item to add to your holiday table if you have vegans or vegetarians joining you or if you just enjoy a mischievous attempt at tricking your guests into tasting yummy veg food.

For more on Victoria Moran and her amazing work in the world of self-improvement and an all around super-lady please check out this interview I did with her. Also visit her website.
*These thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for this post.

My WIP Playlist

I write in complete and utter silence.

No coffee shops.

No sneaking away while the kids play rambunctiously in an adjacent room.

But inspiration flows when I'm in the shower.

Ideas percolate as I pound the pavement on a run or slip into a yoga pose.

When I crank the stereo in my car, details coalesce.
But when it is time to actually write (okay, type) there must be silence or so I thought. 

My current project, one that has been on and off my mind from the beginning, the one I was convinced I would never write, the one I believed would crush me before I even conceived the first word, has by some miracle of spit and polish, come into being and this what I've been listening to...

Oh and a bit of Tom Petty never hurts- he's good for that expansive, never ending, open feeling of possibility. But to really get into the head space. It's pretty much any song by these guys.

Yes, children of the nineties, that is Dave Grohl and no Josh Homme is not my husband's brother, but dh does rock a Gibson.

Back to erm. Work.

"And You Are..."

Remember funny man David Spade as the the "buh-bye" flight attendant, the Gap girl, the scathingly sarcastic "Hollywood Minute?" All those gems from Saturday Night Live circa the nineties have provided me with hours of laughter and paltry attempts at imitation which usually result in more laughter, but at my own ridiculousness...

And then there was the "And you are..." sketch.

Below is my "And you are..." linking to Emily R. King's blog hop- take it away--

Source: bing.com via rockmom66 on Pinterest

1. How many speeding tickets have you gotten?
Catch me if you can....

2. Can you pitch a tent?

Yep...every morning...I'm sorry, I don't know what that means or why I wrote it.

3. What was your worst vacation ever?

Hampton Beach 1987. If you've been there since, you get it.


4. What was the last thing you bought over $100?
Food. But that isn't very interesting. A pair of these. Except I didn't I'm just lusting.

Source: thisnext.com via Mary on Pinterest

5. We're handing you the keys to what?

My mother's heart. She's withholding.

6. What was the last meal you cooked that made even you sick?

I am a culinary whiz so that doesn't happen. Kidding.  I attempted to make zucchini lasagna (using thin zucchini instead of noodles. Let's just say if my daughter's friend didn't already think our vegetarian ways were off the wall, she did after that disaster.

7. Fill in the blank: Oh my gosh! Becky, look at her butt! It is so big. She looks like____?

Me! Yes, time, kids and cookies will do that.

8. What was your first car?
Jaguar XJ-S A bit newer than Joan's and slate.


9. Your best friend falls and gets hurt. Do you ask if he/she's okay or laugh first?
Simultaneously laugh/inquire.

10. What's the worst song ever?
There is an entire genre that I would say contains the worst song ever...but to be more specific...Baby Got Back which I seem to recall being reprised by Glee during their first season. "I like big butts and I cannot lie..." that one. In some ways it is hilarious, but in others degrading and it gets stuck in my head on one endless loop. So sorry if that just happened at the mere mention.

Thank you ladies for hosting and
may you have laugh-filled holidays!

P.S. Sorry about the weird spacing above, I tried to fix it, but blogger is dissing me today.

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