Out on location with my new jewelry model

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Starlight Pearl Drop Necklace by Mary Williams Designs

Starlight Pearl Drop Necklace

Starlight Pearl Drop Necklace by Mary Williams Designs

Starlight Pearl Drop Necklace by Mary Williams Designs

She’s sporty, quiet, and doesn’t require much attention. She is also willing to do shows with me for no extra pay! Until I find some photogenic warm blooded models willing to work for beads and jewelry she is the next best thing!

In this shot she is sporting my Starlight Freshwater Pearl Drop Necklace in silver. It was one of the rewards I offered for pledges in my recent Kickstarter Campaign.I’ll be adding it, as well as the other rewards and other items to my Etsy shop which I hope will be launching soon.

Carnita and Chimichurri Stew (aka spicy comfort food)

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Carnitas and Chimichurri Stew

Carnitas and Chimichurri Stew

Hello Monday and no cooking for a couple of days! I love when I can make something that everyone likes AND gets better and better each day. The already rich taste of this stew continues to mature from one day to the next. I can’t wait for dinner tonight!

Usually I am not much for convenience foods. Don’t get me wrong, I Iove the convenience, I just usually don’t care for the flavor of many or the price. I do find, however, that thanks to Trader Joe’s my convenience food ‘ban’ is slowly being lifted. The stew above was based on one of the samples they were giving out one day. The chicken broth was my addition and as time goes on I will probably continue to tweak it. I just can’t seem to help myself!

The base for this stew is Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup. In truth, it is not a favorite of mine if eaten by itself. I find it a bit too sweet. However, add some chicken broth, some flavored rice, and shredded pork carnitas and wow, instant comfort food. Prep time is about 5 minutes and the price for all of the ingredients is not too bad! I keep the makings handy for a quick, warm-your-bones winter meal.

Carnita and Chimichurri Stew
Spicy, thick, and just the right amount of richness!

Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup, 32 ounce carton in the soup aisle
Trader Joe’s Chimichurri Rice, 16 ounce freezer package
Trader Joes Traditional Carnitas- 12 ounce package in the refrigerated section
1- 1 1/2 cups Trader Joe’s Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
salt to taste

Pour soup in large saucepan, and package of rice, and the package of carnitas (shredded). Add one to one and a half cups of chicken broth to desired consistency. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and enjoy! You can add a dollop of sour cream if you want, but I prefer it as is! It is also wonderful with TJ’s Tuscan Pane to dip into it.

You could also substitute pre-cooked shredded chicken meat instead of the pork.

Just call me Nana………..

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baby feet

Yes I’ve been away for awhile, but I had a very good reason as you can see.

Is there anything better than chubby little baby feet? I don’t think so, especially not when they are attached to our first, absolutely perfect, grandchild. If I could bottle and sell the feeling I have when I hold him, I would be rich a million times over and then some. Indescribably delicious!

I will be back at my regular routine tomorrow (right now I have tons of baby pictures to gaze at!) but I’m sure many of you will agree that I had a very good reason for being away for a much too short time, in my opinion.

Raising chickens (even if only the clay kind)

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Sea Glow Fused Dichroic Necklace, Mary Williams Designs

Sea Glow Necklace

Some of the items I use as photo props come to me from family members (thank you and keep ‘em coming!!) and I’m always willing to add to my ever-growing stash of “oddities and endities”. When searching for a suitable model for my new Sea Glow Necklace my eyes drifted to this wonderful chicken sitting in my kitchen. Perfect! I took probably 20 shots until I had the shadows and glow that I was looking for. As it was, the wind blowing the trees outside the window provided a lot of different shadow effects.

The chicken was part of a gift from my son and his wife and of course the first thing I thought was “How cute!” and the second immediate thought was “NEW PHOTO PROP!”. I love the glowing teal of the glass against the chocolaty color of the hen.