A Get-A-Way And The San Juan Islands


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”~Melody Beattie


Hi Everyone!



How was your week?

I recently returned from a little get-a-way.


it’s so great to be home.




My holiday took me to the San Juan Islands.




have you been there?

they are quite beautiful



Joe and I stayed at The Argyle House


we celebrated 14 years of marriage…


his running in a Marathon.🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻

(shhhhh…..don’t tell him I told you)😉

I’m very grateful for both



The Argyle House is a charming Craftsman bungalow built in 1910.



Our room was named The Honeymoon Cottage.



I think perhaps it had once been a garage & then later converted to a small home.



I’m grateful for places where you feel at home.

even though you aren’t



The mornings were greeted with a delicious breakfast prepared by Art who was one of proprietors at the Inn. Thank you Art!



and served in the cozy dining room



which overlooked a section of the property.



I decided that Fall was a perfect time to visit because there were signs of the season everywhere🍂


I am so grateful for







It was the perfect backdrop for exploring.









During our stay the last game of the World Series was playing so we decided to order pizza for dinner and watch the game. What a fun experience to meet Vinny who had moved to Friday Harbor from Brooklyn, New York and who we discovered bakes up the most authentic hand-baked pizza we had ever eaten. Such a special memory.



 Thanks Vinny!





Come on…

Lets go for a walk…

and chat a while longer…

















When I first moved to the Oregon coast I remember mentioning to a few friends that living here felt like I was on vacation. And of course it’s true because I live in a tourist town. However even when your life feels like you’re on vacation it’s important to get away every once in a while to experience something new. I find that when I do I often return with a new perspective on life... people, places & things return Home with a deeper appreciation & gratitude for all the little everyday things. It doesn’t really matter where you go…it doesn’t necessarily even need to be faraway.  The real secret to making each day feel like a vacation is to continually see our lives in a new fresh way no matter where we live.


Here’s a peek into the entry of Friday Harbor.





Now I should admit that another reason it’s so enjoyable to get-a-way is I get to eat out a lot which then motivates me to experiment with preparing those new recipes.  One of my favorites were tilapia fish tacos. Here’s a recipe I found on Host The Toast.



Tilapia Tacos


For the tacos

1  1/2 lbs.  tilapia fillets



1  1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons canola oil

12 corn tortillas



For the Slaw:

1/2 red cabbage, sliced thin

1/4 green cabbage, sliced thin

1/2 medium sized onion, diced

1/2 cup cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

For the Avocado Cilantro sauce:

1/2 cup sour cream

1 ripe avocado, pitted and skinned

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1 jalapeno, chopped and seeded

salt to taste


In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, onion powder, cumin, salt, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over both sides of your tilapia fillets, and then rub the seasonings in.

Combine all of the Avocado/Cilantro Sauce ingredients in a blender. Blend well.

Combine all of the Slaw ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.



Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the tilapia (a few at a time if you can’t fit them all at once) Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the outside is blackened and the fish flakes apart easily.

Remove the fish from the heat, and if desired, warm the corn tortillas in the same skillet over medium heat, cooking for about 30 seconds on each side.



Break up the tilapia into 2-3″ pieces, Stack the tortillas in twos. Distribute the fish evenly between the 6 sets of tortillas, and top with Slaw and Avocado-Cilantro Sauce. Enjoy!



I purchased a bowl of rice & beans from a local Argentinian restaurant here on the coast called Pablo’s Corner. Thank you Pablo!



This made an excellent side dish to a fabulous recipe.


I enjoy the month of  November for many reasons. I love experiencing the changing of leaves and the reminder that change and letting go are essential for growth. The month calls me to a deeper awareness of everything I’m grateful for.

A month of Gratitude for the many blessings in my life.


you sweet friend…

are one of them.🍂


Posted in Coastal Living | 12 Comments

Cami’s Halloween


”Always go with the choice that scares you most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow.” ~Carolyn Myss



🍁Happy November🍁



🍂I’m still on a Fall Holiday…🍂



and realize that Halloween has already flown by






things keep happening…

wonderful things







and I keep thinking of you…

wonderful you🎃






which makes me want to chat with you again🎃






most likely…

I’m a little obsessed.





No worries though…

it’s a good obsession🎃



This will be a short visit…

I promise🎃



I just wanted to drop in to share Cami’s Halloween.



She was a little upset with me when she found out she wouldn’t be home this year for Halloween to hand out treats to all those children.



🎃 Cami loves her trick-or-treaters.🎃




I’m pretty sure…



all is good again.😉


Posted in Coastal Living | Tagged | 4 Comments

A Witches Tea & My California Girlfriends🎃


“True friends are never apart…maybe in distance…but never in heart”


Hello, Welcome to Marcia’s Cottage by the Sea. I’m so happy to see you today my friend. Shall we have a little tea.

I wasn’t planning on dropping by today.🎃

I shared in last weeks post Click here


🍁🍂That I’m currently flying around on a little Fall Holiday.🍁🍂



However…(I do l.o.v.e my California girlfriends)

and soooooo…


When I received a note from a former colleague & long time dear friend from California (see note below) I just had to put my broomstick down & share it with all of you.🎃



From: California Girfriend😉
Date: October 27, 2017 at 6:01:12 PM PDT
To: Marcia
Subject: Witchy Tea

Hi Marcia. Oh boy, were you missed. You are so loved.


(Guess who) knocked herself out on this most lovely Halloween Witchy Tea.
She requested we all wear witch hats and what a display!!



We had pumpkin chips and pumpkin cream cheese dip with bubbly in the living room to begin.



 presenting her gifts to us…I sent you a photo of the top of the piano.



In clear bulbs she put candy and a spider, plus a wrapped surprise and a jalapeño and pomegranate jam.



Proceeding to the dining room to find our places we found our place settings











and all the lovely Halloween displays nearby.




Scones with whipped cream and 2 jams, pomegranate and raspberry jams




Beautiful homemade quiche, delicate salad and huge strawberries dipped in chocolate
Iced pumpkin cake, lemon squares, brownie squares



All served with the most delicious specialty teas and sparkling drinks.



We experienced a real deepening of affection and concern for each other in this group this time.
Lots of laughing and funny stories.



We were  entertained with long ago teaching stories.🎃
Caught up on family members. ☕️Everyone is so busy…how did we ever have time to teach school???


“Dear California Girlfriend(s),”

Thank you for sharing your Witchy Tea with me. Just remember no matter where we go our friendship flies with us.”

Hugs & Kisses,




Happy Halloween!



Posted in Garden/Tea Time | 4 Comments

Halloween Sweet Treats


“It’s impossible” said pride. “It’s risky,” said experience. It’s pointless,” said reason. “Give it a try,” whispered the HEART.” ~Unknown

🎃Hello Everyone!🎃

I hope you had a wonderful week.


Between working on this weeks post, gardening, and lunch with my good friend (who will be cat sitting for me)…



 I am finally all packed and ready for a special Fall Holiday🍁🍂



Which I promise to share with you. When I return🎃




and until then…

I’m so excited to share with you what I’ve been cooking this past week in my sweet cottage kitchen.☕️



🎃 I’m thinking you are really going to enjoy it!🎃



🎃Since it’s all about fun and yummy treats!🎃




With Halloween just around the corner….



🎃that’s about all which has been on my mind.🎃

(other than fun holiday vacations)😉




🎃This way you’ll  have plenty of time to think about how you might want to prepare your own.🎃



I have to say what really drew me to this recipe was that I l.o.v.e  baking cupcakes and haven’t made homemade pizza for years. 🍕win! win!




When I came across this recipe on Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking site I was thrilled!



I actually altered the recipe quite a bit since I don’t eat meat I purchased pepperoni for Joe and veggie sausage for me and added mushrooms, olives, cherry tomatoes and peppers.



The best thing I enjoyed about preparing this recipe…

besides Joe doing most of the prep work😉





was that it is easy to add those extra toppings you prefer to the basic recipe.🎃



Also I love the idea of making small cupcake size pizzas. so cute!




Serves 12


1 1/2 cups plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup store bought pizza sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup mini pepperoni or cooked sausage


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and liberally grease a muffin tin with olive oil.

  1.  In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, herbs and salt.
  2.  Mix milk & eggs together until well blended
  3. Add about 2 tablespoons of batter to each cupcake then add a layer of cheese followed by sauce, then cheese again. This will insure the sauce staying in the center of the cupcake.
  4. Lastly top with a few mini pepperonis. Repeat the process until you’ve filled all 12 cupcakes
  5. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the remaining batter on the top of each pizza cupcake.
  6. Top each pizza cupcake with as much additional cheese & pepperoni as you’d like.
  7. Bake until lightly browned and puffed, about 20-25 minutes.


and I have one more treat for you before our visit is over…

It’s the perfect inspiration to go with those cupcakes…🎃


I would like to share the home of my sweet friend Jane who  resides in Laguna Beach, California.





🎃She has an affinity for all things Halloween.🎃















🎃I was so excited that she allowed me to share it with you!🎃

Thanks Jane!😘




What are your fun special tricks or treats on Halloween?


And of course I just have to share a glimpse of the beautiful Oregon coast.

Posted in Our Cottage | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Just A Note


“Follow your soul it knows the way”


what’s new?

Well…pull up a chair.


It’s Autumn, and there’s magic in the air.

Trees are ablaze



sunlight glitters like golden coins.




 I sometimes hear cheers from the local high school football stadium and school playing fields.


Children (and adults😉) anticipating Halloween with their creative ways of wearing costumes

and the fun transformation come Halloween night.🎃



Here on the coast it often begins raining right about Halloween time and the tantalizing scent of wood smoke, pumpkin spice, apple crisp is a wonderful welcome.




For me this time of year means that I start experiencing a different kind of living here which includes…



frequenting a drive into the city to enjoy window displays inspired by the season



returning back to the coast

and slowing down to enjoy the coziness of cottage living again.

I’m thinking Autumn just might be my favorite time of the year.

 well at least for now anyway.

🍁What about you?🍁

I recently asked Joe for ideas of what I should prepare this week (Translated to what would he like to eat) 😉and he suggested a Harvest Quiche. great idea!…Thanks Joe! I could write a whole other Blog post on the comedy of errors that went into preparing it. What I will say is just make sure that you have a quiche pan. (I forgot I didn’t bring mine from California and in the middle of prep work had to run out and purchase one)

There are many quiche recipes to choose from and I ended up trying one I found on Culinary Ginger. I followed the recipe exactly except for the comedy of error thing~y mentioned. (which means it took me a little longer than the 1 hr. 15 min. to prepare) 😉 It’s a fabulous recipe and I look forward to making it again. and so does Joe!🍁



Prep Time 35 min.

Cook Time 40 min.

Total Time 1 hr. 15 min.


For the pastry:

2 cups flour plus 1/4 cup for rolling out pastry

1 cup unsalted butter cubed and kept cold until ready to use

small pinch of salt

1/4 cup cold water


3 slices bacon cut into bite-size pieces

1 ounce mushrooms cut into bite-size pieces

1 leek white part only, cleaned and cut into small pieces

1 tablespoon fresh sage chopped

1/2 cup butternut squash cut into small cubes and boiled for 5 minutes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 eggs

1/4 cup whole milk

small pinch nutmeg

1/4 cup cheddar cheese grated

Parmesan cheese freshly grated


Preheat oven to 375 degrees



I don’t have a food processor so I just worked everything by hand until fine breadcrumbs and then slowly added water to form a ball. Kneaded a little to make smooth and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.



In a saute pan, cook the bacon over medium heat. Drain & set aside. Keep bacon fat in pan.



Return the pan over medium heat and add the mushrooms & leek to the bacon fat.



Cook until softened.



Stir in the sage, butternut squash to the eggs and mix well. Stir in the cheese. Set aside. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator & roll out onto a floured surface, larger than the quiche pan.



Roll the pastry over the rolling pin & line into a 9 inch round tart pan pressing the bottom firmly and the sides allowing the pastry to hang over the sides. Do not stretch dough.



Cover the pastry in parchment paper and fill the center with dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and remove the foil and beans or rice. Remove the excess crust from over the edges to make it look pretty.



Return the crust back to the oven for 5 more minutes until it starts to brown. Remove from the oven. Allow the crust to cool for a couple of minutes then pour in the egg mixture almost to the top. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.



Bake for 20-25 minutes until set and golden brown.



🍂I served the quiche with a small salad and added a few grapes.🍁









Posted in Coastal Living | 4 Comments