musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What We Need Right Now Is. . . Some Sparkle!!

During one of the most difficult Holiday Seasons in my memory, it was an extra challenge this year to get into the spirit and decorate my home for Christmas.

Out of the myriad of tubs of red, green, and sparkle just waiting for their turn at showing off, I didn't get out as many of my Christmas decorations as I typically do,

and was very selective in my choices.

I felt as though if I was going to put any effort into decorating, it had to be to not only surround myself with holiday-infused trinkets

But had to have meaning to me

and make me smile.

I felt the need to distract from the day to day and add some sparkle

some color

and some cheer to my world - the world I share with my family and friends.

Good memories needed to be attached. My Dad's childhood sled; one of my husband's relative's old ice skates. . . 

It was especially important to me while decorating the tree.

As it was just me decorating this tree, by myself, for the first time in a very very long time

and many memories from many different Christmases seemed to shroud not only each ornament I selected

but the mere act of putting each on the tree invoked many emotions.

It took most of the day - from assembling the tree itself, wrapping it in lights, and adorning as many branches as possible, with 'special' ornaments - for it to be 'just right.'

During this holiday season, find what means the most to you and let it Sparkle. Bring out the shine and really *let it* SHINE.  

The Christmas spirit is not in the decorations themselves, but perhaps in the emotions surrounding them; in the very act of holding these emotions in your hands and displaying them for your eyes to see and your heart to absorb. 

The holiday spirit is not measured by the amount of decorating you do or do not do, it is measured by the love in which you decorate - do it because you WANT to remember Christmases past, celebrate the Christmas current, and have joyful hopes for the Christmases yet to come.

May your world ~*Sparkle*~ during this holiday season.

~ Robin Z

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday Treasury - Festive Bird Style

Just a few cool Etsy finds to make that holiday table more cheerful at your next dinner party. . . of course - it includes birds!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

'Hey Sweet Festive Bird -'

Have you heard?
Etsy finds make us able
To set a cheerful table.
Tweets are especially dear
During winter time of year.
It is a winner
With you at dinner
For added holiday cheer. ~ Robin Z

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Treasury Tuesday - Get Blown Away

Starting a new tradition around here. . . I've been having so much fun with creating Treasuries (check out my last blog post) that I decided to make it a weekly event of not only putting together a themed collection full of creations by artists found on Etsy - but also sharing that Treasury with all of my favorite blog-following friends.

This week's poem and collection of artsy fun is in honor of the magnificent (not necessarily in a good way) winds that we've experienced in Southeast Kansas and many other locations across the U.S. over the past month.


'In Light of the Risk of Blowing Away'

I do believe inside I will stay.
But don't worry, it'll be a good day
with Artsy Etsy with which to play,
the blues will be kept at bay.
No worries.I'm more than okay! - Robin Z

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Let's Talk Treasuries

As you know (by that nifty box over there to the left) I have my ksyardbird shop on Etsy where you can find most all of the Treasures that I create in the ksyardbird Studio.

Go ahead - click on it and look around I'll wait. . .

~*whistling and tapping foot patiently*~

Friday, October 19, 2012

Do I really hafta share my Tiramisu?

I *adore* tiramisu. It ranks right up there with cheesecake and I'm pretty certain that I could survive on cheesecake and tiramisu alone. If I'm ever deserted on an island (just so you know) all I want is dessert;-)

So what prompted me to learn to make my own tiramisu? Why, my son's Birthday. It's what he wanted as his Birthday cake. . . and who am I to say no to someone on their Birthday???


6 egg yolks*
6 Tbsp sugar
1 lb Mascarpone cheese
16 oz strong espresso, cooled
2-4 shots dark rum
2 packages lady fingers (48)
4 Tbsp powdered unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp cinnamon

Bring all ingredients to room temperature.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Extra-Special Banana Muffins

With visions of honey-roasted sunflower seeds (have you tried those yet? A *definite* MUST!), over-ripe bananas, and honey-flavored Greek yogurt  in my head for several days. . . what to do? What to do?

I finally gathered not only my thoughts, but the ingredients and went to my mixing bowl to see what would happen. . .

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Trick (Sort of) from an Old Dog

Oh! The things we humans can learn from our pets. . .

Recently, my Zayda doggie

Time for *BLING*

So what the heck have I been up to in the ksyardbird jewelry studio? Well. . . Take a look!

Earrings have been a passion - perfect-for-the bride pearls. . .

or for those days when you just feel like a bride. . .

Friday, August 3, 2012

Orange You Ready for Some Meatballs?

Had a hankering (yes. I just used that word. of course you know what it means.) for some spicy-sweet oriental food the other day. . .

but just wasn't in the mood to make anything complicated or that required a trip to the store. . . I dug around in the refrigerator and came up with the perfect meal of 'leftovers' and 'use-it-up' ingredients. But what for the meat??

Thursday, July 19, 2012

No Sweat Tomatoes

It's So HOT out there. . .
(How HOT is it?)
That even the tomatoes are sweating. . .

Well, not quite .I'm sure they would be, though, if they could. At 103 degrees, I break out in a sweat just thinking about them hanging outside in the sun.  But they are ripe - red, sweet, juicy, delicious, and just begging to be eaten and enjoyed!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chiiillll Family Fourth

Independence Day. Fourth of July.  A celebration of unity; of people coming together for a united cause; for the official inception of the United States of America with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. A day of family and friends, barbecues and parties. An evening of loud-works and fire works.  Ooohs! Aaahs! Wows! Awesomes!

With an under-the-weather Daughter, near-couch bound sick Hubster, and ankle-sprained Son-o, our plans for 2012 were pared down to what we decided were the most important high points: Homemade ice cream.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Books! Fabulous, Beautiful, Awesome Books!

Do you read? Oh, silly me. Of course you do. You're reading this right now. .  .But do you read magazines? Books? *Real* books? Or virtual books? I gifted Hubster with a 'book device' and, at first, he wasn't sure if he would enjoy it quite as much as holding a book of paper and glue. . . I have noticed over the past six months that he evidently does as he rarely puts it down - he has taken his Avid Reader label to new heights - and his stack of books to new lows. . .

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Banana Bread Made With Love

Love. It comes it all kinds of forms - true love, friends, brother or sister, grandma. And it's shown in all kinds of ways, by a hug, kind word, token gift, or homemade banana bread-muffins.

Yes. I said banana bread. And I personally don't think anything says love quite like Grandma's Banana Nut muffins. . . with a sprinkling of extra Robin Z love mixed in, of course:-)

Banana Nut Love Muffins

8 oz Cream cheese (neufschatel is a great lower fat subsitute)
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Bananas (should equal about 1 cup when mashed)
1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 cups Flour
1 Tbsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Cream of tartar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
whole pecans or walnuts (optional)

Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature before turning your mixer loose on it.

Add sugar to softened cream cheese and beat until smooth.

Add eggs, peeled ripe bananas (if still somewhat firm, mash bananas in a separate bowl before adding to batter), and vanilla

Beat until smooth.

Add  flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt, and cinnamon to cream cheese mixture

and blend just until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Spray your muffin pan (mini, regular, jumbo, or two loaf pans, or one 9 X 13) or line with some cute little muffin cups then, using a spoon, drop batter to fill each cup.

Top with a pecan

and bake for 20 minutes until tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Grandma suggests making this in a 9 x 13, frosting with cream cheese frosting, cutting into squares, serving with a side of vanilla ice cream (would you guess homemade?) and a glass of iced tea.

Oh, BTW - this recipe makes about 48 mini-muffins:-)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Egging It On. . .

Quick and easy is the name of the game when it comes to preparing meals most of the time. And, during the summer months, nothing heavy or 'hot'  with lots of fresh ingredients sounds the tastiest.

Deli Egg Salad sandwiches is one of our favorites that goes together fairly quickly and is especially good when as many ingredients as possible come from the garden. Not to mention - it's pretty with all of its bright colors.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bloomin' May

May was a Bloomin' blur. . .

Hubster on business trips, school out for the summer, college graduation, doctor appointments, Birthdays, gardening. . .

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pork Stew - Green Chile Style

Hubster has done it again!  He has successfully taken something as 'ordinary' as pork stew, and put a twist on it. This time with green chiles. Yes - I said green chiles. And not just any green chiles, but some that his sister in New Mexico roasted for us. Can you say delicious?

I knew you could;-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What's on Your Wall? Wall Art!

Remember my newly decorated guest room from a few weeks ago?  And those cool (or at least I really think so) prints above the daybed?  I promised a closer look and a little more detail on how they came to be. . .

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Strumming Up Some Jewelry

Guitar strings. . . they aren't just for strumming out notes and making music.  I had a guitar playing friend approach me several months ago about making some special jewelry out of his old guitar strings for his wife's upcoming Birthday. "SURE!" I said. "How hard could it be?" I thought.

Little did I know at the time. . . But, you know what?  Everything came out beautifully (if I do say so myself).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Homefelt Easter All the Way

When people ask if we celebrate Easter - I give them a Big Grin and say we celebrate Easter the way most people celebrate Christmas. . . It's an all weekend celebration with lots of family, fun, and food!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Feasting It Up For Easter

My favorite holiday of the year is now just a few days away - Easter!  The house is all decorated (look for the 'tour' later this week) and it's time to start planning the weekend's menu, go grocery shopping, and start chopping, slicing, dicing, mixing, baking, cooking. . .

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Impressive Crab Imperial

Wednesday evenings are always interesting around our place. . .it's 'Manly-Night.' While I'm at Trivia Night with my team, Hubster and Buddy-D talk about manly things such as hunting, while preparing and enjoying a man-style meal (this usually includes steak, something fried, and no vegetables. . . )

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Guest Room Do-Over. . . Vintage Beach Style

There once was this virtually unused bedroom on the third of a certain house that was just begging for a do-over.  It had been piled with clutter and pretty much forgotten as an actual room to be loved and used.  This bedroom knew that a do-over was quite necessary to be loved once again. And so did I. . .

My inspiration:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ain't no Bloomin' Spring Chicken

The end of February. . . Spring is right around the corner!  Out in the yard - the flowers are as impatient as I to get the show on the road. . . I even found some ivy that never bothered to nap during those cold days of winter.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Orange French Toast is Better Than. . .

regular French toast, and even blueberry pancakes in my book!  NOT better than Belgian Bacon Waffles. . . but, hey! It's a close tie, for sure:-)  And you can serve this delectable French toast with bacon on the side. . . if you really feel the need. . .

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Heart Valentine's Day . . Every Day ♥

I've heard lots of people say this year how they dislike Valentine's Day. . .