Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Color Me Lovely!

I have loved coloring for as long as I can remember.  I like coloring with crayons, colored pencils, markers, chalks . . . really anything. I appreciate the difference in appearance of the different coloring implements.  I have my own coloring books.  

I don't know if it's because they are boys or what, Z1 and Z2 won't sit down for any length of time to color with me so I had stopped coloring for a long time.  In an attempt to find ways of relaxing, I decided to take up coloring again but I wanted to do some sophisticated coloring as most of my coloring books are basically children's coloring books (Muppets, Barbie, etc . . . ).  I realized that by coloring more complex designs, I would get the opportunity to grow mentally (having decided to review and employ Basic Color Theory).  And coloring is just a really great outlet for creativity.  It's stimulating in so many ways.  

A fellow homeschooling mom posted some sophisticated and beautiful coloring pages that she designed and it prompted me to seek out some more.  Here's what I found: 

Link 4 (one of my favorites)
Link 5 (another really nice one)

For my birthday, one of my best friend's sent me an Amazon.com gift card and so I think I'm going to get a fresh box of colored pencils and a gorgeous mandala coloring book.

I know I need to get my stress levels under control if I really want to experience optimal health.  I'm thankful that such a simple act, the act of coloring, relieves my stress so well.

What are some things you do for stress reduction?  

Indispensable Kitchen Tools

So there are the major tools that make my work in the kitchen efficient such as my Vitamix blender, Cuisinart food processor, and KitchenAid stand mixer*.  But honestly and truly, it's the smaller tools that make short work of all the various kitchen tasks.  You already know that I believe in a good kitchen knife but recently I acquired three little tools that I'm totally in love with: Trudeau spoon-shaped spatulas (or "spoonulas", the term Rachel Ray coined)

I bought three of these on Amazon [the green ones, happily, were the cheapest (if you didn't know, green is my favorite color)] and I am *loving* them.  I've had spoonulas before but usually, they are two parts (the handle and the spoon part) which gets kind of gross because you can't really wash them all that well and the handles easily come off or even break.  Lots of frustration with my previous spoonulas!  I use them too frequently to be that annoyed at them.  The Trudeau spoonula is one piece and is very strong so that they don't bend even if I'm scooping or scraping out the thickest of batter.  So I highly recommend this brand.

Another kitchen tool I purchased recently is a small 6 inch utility knife.  It's J.A. Henckels International and I can't believe I went so long without this size of knife. 

I use it for slicing fruit and/or veggies directly into the pot or pan.  I peel things with it and it's the knife I go to for processing meat (I can get away with not getting a boning knife because of this 6-inch knife).  

What are some indispensable kitchen tools in your arsenal?

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