Happy Monday!  Today I am participating in a fun blog hop.  Jeanie at Create & Babble inviting me to participate!  She is one of the very first bloggers I met online and while we do talk on Skype, I am looking forward to meeting her in person at a blog conference next year!

Jeanie’s Blog is full of amazing inspiration.  She is a Silhouette master and a DIY extraordinaire.  Just look at these awesome notebook covers!


And she is a powerhouse with the power tools!  Just look at this work bench she built.  On her own!  It is currently in the running to win a contest from Ryobi!  I would love to see her win a $1000 worth of Ryobi Tools!  Why not pop on over here and vote for her!


Now a bit about my creative process!  I was asked to answer these questions as well as to introduce you to two new bloggers!

First the questions!

What am I working on?

Well, I am currently working on convincing my husband that we need to re-vamp the kitchen a wee bit.  Nothing too outrageous.  Just taking out some upper cabinets, making some built in shelves, maybe a new sink, definitely new paint, and just a few more tweaks!  But until he agrees, I am working on some new recipes for fall and going through my moms old recipe file to share some old fashioned baking!

How does my work differ from others of this genre?

I would have to agree on Jeanie with this one.  It is my voice, work done in my kitchen and my words that make up each post.  My inspiration comes from all over.  I don’t bake only to blog.  I bake for my family and friends first!  While my focus is mostly on baking, I also love to share a few DIY projects, as well as goings on about town!

Why do I write/create what I do?

This one is easy.  I have a passion for baking that I ignored for years. Finally in my mid-forties I decided to act on it by enrolling in baking classes and I find that sharing my baking on the blog keeps me motivated to try new techniques outside of class.  I love the creative process of styling the food for photo’s and love to share my creations with family and friends!  I also feel extremely blessed to live in the area that I do and am always happy to promote local businesses and events!

How does your writing/creative process work

I am also a fly by the seat of my pants girl!  I do most of my baking on the weekends so I can take photo’s in the daytime, but by no means is it limited to the weekends!  If I run out of snacks for Tim’s lunch on a Wednesday then I will bake something up.  Writing the posts usually happens in the evenings when I am winding down from the day!  I don’t edit my photo’s, just crop them if necessary so that saves a lot of time.  If a photo is not appealing to my eye without having to do a lot of editing then I just don’t use it.  Not to say editing is a bad thing, it just isn’t in the cards for me as far as timing goes! I tend to bake for the season, not ahead of it.  I am always on the watch for community events that I think my readers would enjoy and am learning to be more comfortable taking photo’s out and about!

Enough about me!  I am happy to introduce you to two new bloggers whom I have recently come to know!

First up is Maggie from Greece who blogs at Mommy’s Kitchen.  Yes, I said Greece!  I cannot wait to delve into her recipes!

My name is Maggie born and raised in New York City but reside in Greece for the past 20 years.  I’m a mother to two kids and an ESL teacher.
After trying out every possible job I finally came up with what I know best.  Cooking, my family and communicating with people. My dad past away this May to Small Cell Lung Cancer.  Through this blog I have been able to keep his memory alive. My post about hot dogs is dedicated to my dad.


Next up is Erica who blogs over at Socks and Shots!  A fun blog with a little bit of everything!

 Shots and socks is the shortened version of ‘Tequila Shots & Psychedelic Socks’. Two things that are distinct in nature and may seem random but have meaning to me – like the content of my blog posts. Tequila Shots’ apart from their obvious use, signify an alternate approach to life throwing lemons at you. They stand for content in my blog that’s motivational & inspired. ‘Psychedelic Socks’ stand for the rebel in me. While I’m terribly color coordinated & neutral by nature (My home and wardrobe stand as proof) the one sign of dysfunction are my socks – psychedelic and never matching. This represents creativity & diversity in content of my blog.


 So there you have it!  Again, a great big thank you to the incredibly talented Jeanie from Create & Babble and a warm welcome to Maggie and Erica!  Be sure to bookmark both Maggie and Erica’s blogs and check back in with them next Monday when the tell you a bit about their blogging process and introduce you to a few new bloggers!

Have a happy day!


Chef Michael Smith

I almost titled this post “Chef Michael Smith Giveaway” but quickly realized that I don’t think he would have appreciated me trying to give him away!  So Chef Michael Smith Cookbook Giveaway it is!

His newest book Family Meals to be exact.  And to make it super special I had him autograph it too!

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Autumn is one of the best seasons for a picnic.  I know, it’s still summer but it felt like a perfect autumn day when we packed up a basket and headed the park.  It was a gorgeous day with the sun just peaking through the tree branches and the temperature a very comfortable 20 degrees!

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Someone forgot to tell summer that I am ready for autumn!  Seriously.  We had a heat alert issued yesterday.  Do they not know that I want to bake.  I am ready for all that autumn baking brings.   There is nothing like the smell of nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin and caramel wafting through the house and welcoming family and friends.

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