Food · Recipes

Kick-ass Keto Bagels

Keto bagels – cheesy jalapeno

Bagels on Keto? YES! One of the reasons that I presumed that Keto may not be for me was that I LOVE chips, crackers and bread. Well, it turns out that after three weeks on the diet, I actually do not miss carbs like I thought that I would. There are plenty of recipes in books, magazines and the bazillions of internet blogs on the subject that would keep anyone satisfied for a long time without even any repeats of dishes.

Continue reading “Kick-ass Keto Bagels”

Easy Keto Friendly Mock Potato Salad

Can you have a picnic with no potato salad? NO! But what if you are trying really hard to stick to a Keto diet? Enter cauliflower (which in no way replaces potatoes, BTW. People keep saying that and it’s like, ummm… NO!). Luckily, it turns out that if you make this salad the way that you make your regular potato salad, but with cauliflower, it is a very good addition to your lunch. After about an hour of refrigeration, the flavors meld and this dish is quite satisfying and yummy.

First, a quick back story- I am no longer the skinny girl that is the picture on my Facebook page or here on my “about” page. After several years in trying to work extra hours to meet the financial burden as well as trying to meet the demands of my sister in the co-care of my bed-ridden mother, something snapped and I started eating everything in sight. My coping foods (and they ARE a drug) became carbs and sugar. Ice cream, chips, dips, cheese and crackers have been my mainstay for quite a while now. Throw in a few pizzas and a lot of Mexican food and you have the complete run down on my diet. That was up until I went for a medical check up recently. The most shocking result of my crappy diet was the extremely high number on my cholesterol chart. One year of gorging destroyed a lifetime of cholesterol readings that were always right in the middle of normal. My Doctor was practically apoplectic relaying the information to me. In lieu of meds, I had to promise, written in blood, that I would make vegetables over 70 percent of my diet until the by-products of my childish eating were ERASED. I’ve got 6 months to do it -Doctor’s orders (and she is MEAN when she lectures).

Time for changes. Lots of them! As it happens, I have been on this Keto diet for three days and have not even been tempted by the tortillas and crackers that are ALWAYS in our pantry. You laugh at three days, but, believe me, I have dumped diets after just one day in the past. I get hungry and it’s all over. Surprisingly, I have not been hungry at all eating this way. So, about this salad…


Keto Friendly Cauliflower Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I make this salad in the same manner and with the same ingredients as I make my potato salad. My preference is a country style mustard-egg dish that is kind of spicy and tangy.


  • 1 quarter head of cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 2 hard boiled eggs cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 4 or 5 sliced black olives.
  • 1/2 small onion – finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery – finely diced
  • 1/2 small onion – finely diced
  • medium sized dill pickle – finely diced
  • as much mayonnaise and mustard as you like. For me, it’s mayo just to coat plus a quick squirt of mustard.
  • Add whatever spices that you like: I use minced garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, finely chopped parsley,

    Add cauliflower bites to a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.

    Drain and let cool. Add cauliflower and all of your ingredients to a mixing bowl. Toss to mix. Refrigerate for at least an hour to give the flavors time to meld.


    art · DIY · Home Decor

    How to Make a Display cabinet on the CHEAP – $28.00 total

    I promise you, this display cabinet only cost us $28.00 from start to finish. Les Gains, my husband, makes things. Lots and lots of little things. If he does not have a guitar in his hands, then you will find him in his studio creating fabulous little treasures.

    resin figures sculpted by Les gains

    Above is a crowd of funny little guys that Les made with resin. He first sculpts figures out of modeling clay, then he makes molds, then pours resin into the molds. When the resin has set up, Les unmolds them and then paints each figure.   THEN he assembles his elements into really cool little sculptures. As much as I am fascinated by his work, a lot of little things spread all over the house drives me nuts. I like to group small things together to form a larger display unit.

    IKEA cabinet

    Several years ago, I bought two of these cabinets from IKEA. The photo on the left shows the cabinet with the clear glass door open. Sporting adjustable shelves, it is perfect for small collectibles. Generally, Les works small. Most of his items range in height from 1″ to 9″.
    As prolific as he is, the IKEA cabinets were full in no time at all. I needed a larger display shelf that would compliment the style of the old cabinet and our eclectic home decor.
    So, off we went on yet another mission. Seeking cheap building materials, Les and I scoured junk yards and thrift stores. We finally found exactly what we needed at Khules, a salvage store in Prescott.
    From the salvage yard, we bought a large galvanized utility box. Probably some type of electrical junction box? After finding the box, the rest was easy to assemble.

    Knock-off IKEA cabinet

    This photo shows the larger, finished box and a close up on the right so that you can see the side detail. It’s easy to make – just follow our step-by-steps listed here.

    1.  (after a thorough cleaning) Drill holes into the sides of the box. You will need two sets of holes on each side of the box for each shelf.
    2. Cut 2 rods for each shelf that extend past the sides of the box. Thread them into the holes cross ways.
    3. Cut plastic shelves to fit inside the cabinet. I also bound the edges with copper tape and used an antiquing solution to age the tape.
    4. Finally, we got little caps to finish off the raw edges of the rods that stuck out of the cabinet sides. The whole assembly only cost only $28.00

    Les Gains' art figures
    altered art sculptures from Les Gains
    altered art by Les Gains

    Here are a few of Les’ sculptures. He solders, shapes wire, polymer clay, resin and found objects to make wonderfully detailed figures.

    DIY · Dollhouse miniatures · tutorials

    Make a Vintage Look Miniature Mirror

    I love the collections of vintage etched mirrors that have been featured in my home decor magazines lately. A pretty photo in a blog that was featured in Artful Blogging got me off the couch. You can find the owner of the photo and cool blog here.

    These mirrors fit right in with the shabby chic look that will be the focus of my little refurbished cottage dollhouse. (You haven’t seen it on this blog yet, but you will- soon. 😊) Spurred to action, I HAD to find a way to duplicate this look in miniature. And how cool would it be to make a tutorial about it as well?

    Finally, after several false starts, I found my materials and method. Read on for the how-to.

    Practice pieces of mirror plastic with a hot soldering iron.

    You can find mirror plastic at Hobby Lobby, JoAnne’s or online. It looks like a real glass miniature when viewed through the eyes of a miniaturist. LOL, the rest of you will just have to suspend disbelief.


    I also have a soldering iron ( a wood burning tool will work as well. ) A printed picture of an etched mirror serves as my cut guide.

    I practiced at each step to be sure that my iron was not too hot or too cool. If your iron is too hot, it will melt the plastic too much and pull out stringers. You can see those all over my practice pieces.

    The basic steps are to cut a piece of mirror plastic into the shape that you like. Plug in the hot iron and wait a couple seconds for it to heat up. Then carefully and lightly touch down and “draw” the design onto the plastic. My iron would get too hot so that it pulled out plastic stringers, so I would unplug it to cool a little, test to make sure that it was not too hot and then draw onto my real mirror.

    Yes, I had a lot of boo-boos. You can tell by my practice pieces. My mirrors also got a little smaller as I had to cut off mistakes. But at least I didn’t waste too much of the mirror plastic. 😅

    The results – a variety of miniature faux etched mirrors

    After a couple hours of experimenting I had several mirror variations that will be cute in my shabby chic cottage. That will be debuted later this year.

    Try it and let me know what adorable minis you turn out with this method.

    art · My Hometown

    Prescott’s McCormick Arts District GONE


    The McCormick arts district in Prescott, AZ is yet another one of our quirky attractions that has vanished. We knew that it was just a matter of time before this happened. Off the beaten path, the funky little bohemian community had a rough time attracting gallery going tourists.

    The buildings were tiny and old, old, old. Well, you could reasonably call them dilapidated. OK, and maybe a little hazardous, But with the cute, colorful paint colors, they were COOL. Not to mention that they were all filled to the rafters with unique,  original art and a cool coffee shop.

    A lot of the art consisted of murals on the sides and backs of the tiny buildings.

    So, flip to the present-why am I writing a blog post about something that no longer exists? It’s because I keep running across my old pictures of the street and remembering how much Les and I enjoyed the walk. We loved checking in to see what was new with the gallery owners. And we love art. This post then, is an ode to a happy destination that once was.

    The refurbished little cottages are lovely and I’m sure that the people that bought the homes are living happily ever after. But, for Les and I, this is just one more sad loss for the arts in our town.

    DIY · Dollhouse miniatures

    Window seat in the 1/12 scale Victoria’s Farmhouse

    Just a quick little progress report on the master bedroom in my modern country style dollhouse. I’ve added a window seat to the master bedroom. My plan is to have a cute little reading nook. You may have already read the post about dividing up the back part of this large bedroom. On the other side of the reading nook is a walk -in closet. (The closet is absolutely essential for all of the little shoes and purses that I plane on making.)

    That little light above the nook was brass when I bought it, so I used nail polish to paint it a silver tone to better match the rest of the room. My next big decision for the master bedroom is the bed. I have three different types in mind, but my vision changes daily. I need to decide on that before I can proceed with the rest of the furniture.

    Ditto for the little girl’s room. Making a decision on the bed will allow the rest of the furniture to fall into place. Here is where the second story interior of the house stands today.

    Back to work on the exterior, just a little more, and I will have another update post soon.


    DIY · Dollhouse miniatures

    A Miniature Ombre Chest

    Shopping for resale miniatures on E-Bay can be a great deal. However, more often than not, it is turning out to be disappointing in my experience. The photographs are not usually clear enough to see all of the imperfections on a piece and the descriptions are minimal at best.

    Being the optimistic buyer, I go with the, “It’s OK. I can fix anything.” stance. This last order looked great by the photos and the descriptions listing what was in the lot were fine. It was a huge lot of unfinished 1/12 scale furniture. Imagine my surprise when I opened the order to find that all of the pieces were made of balsa wood. If you’ve ever worked with balsa, then you know how lightweight and easily marred it is. You can barely sand balsa without chipping or breaking it. Continue reading “A Miniature Ombre Chest”

    DIY · Dollhouse miniatures

    The Altamont dollhouse.

    Uh-oh. I accidentally looked at Facebook’s Marketplace again. There it was! A large dollhouse for very little money. It was unfinished, but it was listed as having all of the parts to finish the build. What could I do? I HAD to buy it.

    This is what the Altamont is supposed to look like when it is finished. The house that I bought had some windows put in and no siding yet. I have the siding, but I think that I will end up putting light limestone blocks on the exterior.
    The interior is supposed to look like this once finished. Of, course, I will probably change that.

    Poor Les. There goes another chunk of our living room real estate. Even so, he gracefully met me with his truck after work so that I could take this huge house home. It looks small in the pictures, but it measures 32″W x 27″D x 43″H . I even had to buy a little table to set it on. Luckily, our thrift store has fabulous prices on furniture so the table was only $5.99. Yeah, low prices are how I try to alleviate my guilt over spending. (grin) Continue reading “The Altamont dollhouse.”