Thursday, October 30, 2014

November Daily Sketching Prompts

Here's the Sketching Prompts for November. Starting November 1st,  I'll post the sketches I make for each day's prompt. Give it a try!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Menu: Indian Food Introductory Dinner

Jon's parents used to have an Indian friend who invited them over for family dinners. They loved the food, but had only had Indian food when invited as a guest. The food was authentic and delicious and when we offered to have them over for some of our favorite food, they were thrilled.
We love the depth of flavors, spices and textures. We love to eat the food with the various breads (naan and kulcha) and taste each other's dishes. We have a few favorites, but love to try new dishes too. Jon loves things spicy and when we go to our favorite Indian restaurant, they love to make it that way for him. It makes my eyes water and tongue burn. I like the food milder, but use the sauces and chutneys to tone down the heat.

Naan with Garlic - yeast free Tandoori bread studded with garlic
Onion Kulcha - naan with cilantro and onion
Steamed Rice
Frozen Mango Lassi -yogurt and mango drink

Kadahi Paneer - cheese sautéed with onions, tomatoes and peppers and Indian herbs and spices
Chicken Tikka Masala - chicken seasoned with tomato sauce and cooked in the tandoor
Chicken Korma - chicken simmered in spicy cashew paste
Aloo Gobhi - potatoes and cauliflower cooked with tomato and fresh herbs

Accompaniments
Raita - grated cucumber and yogurt, a cooling sauce
Mango Chutney - sweet mango relish
Onion Chutney - onions, lemons and spices
Tamarind Chutney - a sweet sauce

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Old Blog Banners for Halloween

I was going through my files and came across my old blog banners that I used in October of years passed. I had forgotten about them and found the various renditions of the chicken to be adorable!
 Chicken in a spider costume
 Chicken in a pumpkin with watercolor squashes
My favorite - lots of costumed chickens.
What's your favorite?

Monday, October 27, 2014

2014 Wearable Fall Fashion in Sketches

 Fashion is something that is supposed to be a way of expressing yourself. You can look tidy, flirty, professional or just plain fun. Each season the fashion houses put out new styles along with popular colors. I don't follow it too closely, but I do try and wear things that I like that are comfortable.
 I love tall boots. To make the look a little more modern, pair it with a tall socks that just peek out from the cuffs of the boots.
Carry a dress from the summer or spring into fall by wearing skinny jeans or leg gins underneath. Throw on a pair of heels and the look is fresh.
 Wear a black blazer with black leggings and then wear brown boots.
 Wear dark boots and booties with a short skirt. Add a long sleeved tee and you can wear it in the cooler weather.
 On warmer days, wear a flouncy skirt with booties and long necklaces.
 Try adding texture with a fun vest and tall boots. Add a matching belt to bring the look together.
 Use a scarf in your hair to offset a masculine looking outfit.
Lastly, pull out the plain skirt and add leggings with a pair of pumps for a fun look that's also warm.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Blessings

"Today is a multiple cup of coffee type of day".

I think we've all had these days (or weeks or months). The way to escape being overwhelmed is to live in the moment, while carefully planning for the future. But, not over-plan or devote energy to anxiety.
I take a step back by being grateful for so many good things and good people in my life. This gives me a moment to pause, realize that I am loved, and energize.  (Or as my strong and beautiful sister would say... "reload").

I have a great family whose strength and hard work I admire. My father works with every breath he takes. He works for himself, which means he has all the responsibility for his success. Somehow, he finds time and energy to help others, and that includes me. I am grateful to him. Thank you, Dad.
My youngest sister is one of the strongest women I know. She is lovely, affectionate, and I equate her to a lioness. Pure beauty, elegance combined with a fierce will. She was a blessing from the moment she was born.
My brother is a genuinely considerate and kind person. He is brilliant (so what if I'm bias?) and he found a bride who matches him perfectly. They have two children who challenge them, adore them, and make their lives complete. Together, they have worked hard to make a beautiful life for their family and they invite us in too!
My oldest (of my younger sisters) is a force to be reckoned with. She manages to do a million things well and always with a smile. She will help her friends moves across the country, organize a summer camp, and invite 20 people to a lobster bake... all in one weekend. Did I mention that she always smiles? She and her husband have a daughter who is the spitting image of my sister who is learning all of her tricks!
My next sister in line is as tough as her twin, but has a laugh that is unmistakable... And I suspect the reason she also has a six-pack for an abdomen. Not only is her laugh contagious, but she cracks me up. In one phone call she'll have told me the things she's done in the last week that make my eyes spin. How does one woman accomplish so much in so little time?

I am blessed that I come from a family of strong women. And I know that that tradition will continue in the next generation of ladies. My daughters amaze me every day. Thank goodness we have email and texting abilities, because I am able to communicate with them throughout the day.

Allie is busy at her senior year at college, but still managed to get a write up in a Boston magazine.
A friend, who is also the athletic director at our old high school saw the article and included her in Alumni News!

Ashley is training for a half marathon, when she's not in class or working in lab. She's been making me giggle with her running stories, from gaffes to unexpected blisters and more.

We have some great friends who share their lives with us. I love spending time and laughing with them.
Jon and I have a favorite Indian restaurant that we frequent.  Lately, we've been frequenting it regularly, so much so, that I expect to be handed an apron when we arrive. The owners are so good to us and always make us feel welcome. They surprised us, one time after dinner, explaining that it was Diwali and then gave us some sweets to take home. It was such a fun time.

Lastly, I got such a great response from my work as Alex Ashe. My interview is up for Death on the Water.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

How To Have a Good Day

How to Have a Good Day.
Step 1 - Wake Up
Step 2 - Be Grateful.
Repeat.