Tuesday, 31 March 2015

First Pony Club Show - Special Moments

My first show. 
The waking up early in the morning, loading of the horses and the drive across town. The initial morning meeting with the group, sleepy eyes and show shirts hanging in the car. 

The sharing of Show Sheen and brushes, the combing of hair and pinning of hair nets with  flat bows, and numbers on the backs of collared shirts. 

The pep talks and tightening of girths, the heat of the sun on a new pair of black Wranglers. Grandma's lucky buckle shining.

Hearts thump as names are called both in and out of the area.
The silky feeling of the ribbon
and whatever the color - 
you have won.

May the whispering of "Thank-You's" and happy winnies commence.

When this photo (below) was taken there were tears in my eyes - how wonderful it was to be able to share this special day with three awesome Pony Club kids, their parents, their awesome trainer and of course the lovely ponies!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Lovely Latelys - March

This month has been crazy! It seems as if I have been busier out of the office than in the office which is absolutely awesome! I feel as though I am living .. not that I wasn't "alive" while working as a graphic designer in a poorly lit office .. seriously though, there is just something about changing your world entirely and taking on a different lifestyle - its all so refreshing in the midst of Spring. Overall this month has been absolutely wonderful!


1. My new boy. He stands a little over 14 hands tall and he has four legs (see above). He needs a bit of TLC but he is so loved so very much. Stay tuned for a post dedicated to my new love - "Butters".

2. Seeing Mamma Mia for the second time! My first was in London and my second was last night as a birthday gift from my mom, both have been brilliant! We started our night with a Pomegranate cocktail and ended it with "Waterloo"! What a perfect evening it was. 

3. Maple flavored tea from Canada. My brother brought it back from his trip to Victoria earlier this year and I just cannot stop drinking it! I have never been to Victoria myself but it is definitely on my bucket list - I've heard it is much like England. 

4. Baileys Coffee Creamer - who doesn't love a little Irish Cream? I have always had my eyes on the Christmas Baileys gift box .. the glasses that come with it are just adorable and it is all so well.. Irish! I had quite a bit of coffee St. Patrick's day morning. 

5. My new favorite album/iTunes station - Jenn Grant's "Orchestra for the Moon". My favorite song - Dreamer .. the theme song from my #6 lovely lately

6. Heartland. Laugh all you want but this Canadian equestrian tv program is just so good! I admit I feel a little middle-schoolish watching it but I will always be young at heart!

7. Origins skin products. About a month ago I started using Origins 'Checks and Balances' face wash, their 'Out of Trouble 10-min Mask' and a gentle toner from their skin clearing collection. Not only does my skin feel much cleaner but it has cleared up significantly : Bonus! all of the products smell great!!!

8. A very Greek birthday lunch! (above) Gyros aka kebabs are just my absolute favorite! If I could I think I would have one for breakfast lunch and dinner but that would just be plain ridiculous and people might start to wonder .. I hope to learn how to make my own someday!

9. The first Pony Club show of the year! Last Saturday took me back to my preteen years! I haven't been to a show for years and I so enjoyed being able to see the look on the faces of the participants - ribbon or no ribbon these kids were ecstatic. Post to follow!

10. New hair. (see above) I decided to go with a medium highlight that contrasts drastically with my dark brown curls and it turned out great! I feel all new and ready for summer - don't you just love that new hair feeling?

What has made you cheery this month?

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Java Chip Muffins

Java Chip Muffins

The other day I came upon a fun recipe for Java Chip muffins and made them late Sunday morning. They are really pretty easy to make and even easier to consume!
Try them for yourself -


  • 12 tbs butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tbs hot fudge
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup Starbucks Frappucino Latte
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbs mini chocolate morsels for sprinkling


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins accordingly (I used a tiny bit of cooking spray with my heart shaped muffin tin)
2. In the large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
4. Add the vanilla, sour cream, hot fudge and Starbucks Frappucino latte. Beat until well combined.
5. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat gently until just mixed. 
6. Fold in ½ cup of chocolate chips.
7. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup until almost full.
8. Sprinkle the muffins with tiny chocolate morsels.
9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the muffins are lightly golden on top and a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean.

Voila! Java Chip Heaven!

and just because...
Meet Chloe. a creepy half Siamese who I love dearly. 
I just wish she was normal sometimes. 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Loving Horses

Horses are beautiful animals. It has been said by many that horses help to heal a soul.
There is just something about the smell of a horse, the warmth of their skin and the connection made between 
horse and rider. 

I've recently started to ride again, with a good friend who's helping me transition into an entirely new lifestyle -- I'm becoming a horse person again!

I say "again" because my love for horses really began when I was a small. We boarded a horse at my grandparents when I was 9 and I began to ride when I was nearly 10. I remember the shiny purple halter we bough PJ, who was a sweet barn sour Quarter Horse who I absolutely adored and kissed exactly 19 times before saying goodbye everyday. Unfortunately, our relationship was short. PJ escaped the fencing one night in an attempt to steal apples from my grandparents garden and was injured. She retired with her family in Oregon and I missed her so.


I began riding at an equestrian center owned by an old friend of my parents when I was 12. Here, I learned the basic of equitation and even participated in a few 4-H shows and the county fair!

Cody was my first real love.

and Ranger helped me grow and learn to be strong.


but horses are expensive, and horse people can be snooty.

I stopped riding at 14.


fast forward nearly 10 years

I've reconnected with a dear friend, my 4-H leader from years ago! I'm taking beginner lessons from her and I'm loving it! She's even lined up an adorable match for me (below). Pepper is a bit of a handful at 7 years but she's energetic and eager to learn - hey, just like me!

I am beyond excited and cannot wait for whats to come of this wonderful relationship!

Stay tuned for more "Stories from the Saddle"

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Lovely Latelys

Lovely Latelys <3

Two weeks ago my life changed for the better.  I traded a 9-5 lifestyle for something much simpler. Now that I am at home during the day I have found the time to appreciate the little things. 

1. quality time with the pup
Meet Sage. Our sweet labrador mix rescue puppy. Even though she's a tad overweight and she constantly has to be under your feet I love this dog and I am excited to be able to take her on more walks to her favorite tree park! This girl definitely deserves a "puppy whip" from Starbucks this week, she's just always there when I need a cuddle! (look at those eyes)

2. cooking with fresh veggies
What is it about cutting up fresh veggies in prep for a healthy meal? Even though I am terrible at peeling potatoes (see above) I had the best time making my favorite "Yummy Cheddar Carrot Soup" this week. I forgot how satisfying it is to cook with fresh ingredients -- stay tuned for more British-American adapted recipes!

3. socks with hares and $5 pants
Who doesn't love a little weekend bargain shopping with their mother? Last weekend we escaped weekend spring cleaning for a bit to do some "end of winter/ Spring is here" shopping. My favorite finds were a pair of Old Navy plaid crop pants that I took away for $5.50 - (originally priced at $39), and a pair of comfy trouser socks with a fun rabbit (hare) print - I put them on as soon I we got home!

Oh how I love the little things.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Yummy Cheddar Carrot Soup


I discovered this wonderful comfort recipe a while back in one of our british cooking stages. 
Every now and again I'll try to adapt a BBC Good Food recipe for our very American kitchen. 
I can't say that I have been successful at every attempt, but this particular recipe is something my entire family begs for time and time again!


2 lb. carrots chopped
1 large sweet onion chopped
4 baby red potatoes chopped
2 16 oz. cans vegetable stock
2 cups cheddar cheese grated
1/2 stick butter
1 cup milk


Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat and tip in the onion, carrots and potato. Fry gently for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the onion is soft and the vegetables are glistening.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and partially cover the pan. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

Whizz the mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth (a blender will give a smoother texture), then add the cheese and whizz again. Return the soup to the pan, pour in the milk, then reheat gently and taste for seasoning. 


Sunday, 1 March 2015


march is my favorite

I am very lucky to have been born in the most beautiful time of the year. This morning I saw a salmon colored finch, emerald green baby sage sprouts cover the canyon out back and the air feels warm and crisp at the same time. Something about this time of year makes me want to blast Enya and run through the house - I have a very vivid memory of picking dandelions in my grandparents yard on my birthday (above) and saying to myself "march in the garden" in an boston/english absent "r" voice. My mom tells me that to "march in the garden" was something I'd ask to do often.

Today is the first of March and I am in love.