The Un-Bucket List


“Once the choice is made to live according to our truth, the path that follows seems so logical as to make us wonder why we took so long to walk it.~Ruth Fishel

I have an Un-Bucket list…

(no jumping out of parachutes for this gal)

 and unlike a Bucket List mine includes a simple list of things. Things I must experience daily


Things that perhaps someone else might consider a little odd. 

(not you of course)😉

This list looks something like…

#1. Create a beautiful life.

#2. Do one thing a day (or week) that stretches me as a person. ( i.e. preparing a new recipe, trying out a new hobby, expressing myself in a creative way….art, dance, music, blogging😘 etc.

Lately I’ve  been very mindful about this Un-Bucket List

and have given some thought on…

#1. Creating that beautiful life.

Creating a beautiful life is a pretty easy thing to do (once you get the hang of it)

For instance this past week after a visit to Shore Acres and being  inspired by the beautiful botanical gardens, was motivated to switch up the cottage living room which resulted in a touch of Fall.

The fabulous thing was I didn’t need to purchase a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g

I had created a whole different look and feel to this room.

and now for the next Un-Bucket list item…

#2. Do one thing a day (or week) that stretches me as a person.

just by its nature stretch me as a person seems a little intimidating at first 

however sometimes it’s as easy as inviting your plein-air painting group over to paint…

in your cottage garden.


Along with a Fall garden tour at Shore Acres, Fall decorating in the cottage living room and inviting the plein-air group over…I also prepared a new recipe!

It’s from Little Spice Jar Blog. The gal’s name is similar to mine only spelled Marzia.

I pretty much followed everything in the recipe except I used a large cast oven pot instead of the suggested slow cooker. My sweet husband Joe also helped with the prep work dicing onions.  I forgot to get green beans so no green beans added. I also realized that I had mistakenly purchased beef broth instead of vegetable. Even so the recipe was fabulous and I’ll be preparing it again for an October Fest that Joe and I are attending. All I can say is you must try it…you will love it!


2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto (homemade or store bought)

1 parmesan rind

4 cups vegetable stock

2 cups water

1 cup carrots, diced

1 1/4 cup celery, diced

1 1/2 cup white onion, diced

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 sprig rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz) great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 1/2 cups zucchini, diced

1 1/2 cups tubular (ditalini) pasta

1 cup frozen green beans, thawed

2 1/2 cups baby spinach, chopped

Finely shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving (or Romano)


  1. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato pesto, parmesan rind, vegetable stock, water, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves to a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours. ( I added these ingredients in a soup pot and simmered for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally)
  2. Add in red kidney beans, great northern beans, zucchini, and pasta and cook on high heat for an additional 20-25 minutes until pata is tender. Stir in the spinach and green beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes until heated through. Serve warm topped with parmesan cheese and garlic toasts. ( I served with cornbread) Enjoy!


Posted in Coastal Living | Tagged | 6 Comments

Elevating Everyday Life


Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different. Enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes. (which it will) Being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way. (which it won’t)~James Baraz


Three things occurred this week that stirred my little gentle soul. in a wonderful way

1. Joe retired.

2. A dear friend turned 86.


3. I had an aha moment.

I recently enjoyed a scrumptious Italian dinner at a friend’s home in celebration of her 86th birthday. While experiencing the joy of sharing stories and memories with her family I had an aha moment. I was reminded how everyday life holds many special moments. This past week I experienced moments of time that I want to experience more deeply.

The pleasure of wearing a new pair of earrings recently given by a friend from her summer travels🚗

Enjoying my first pumpkin spice latte.☕️🍁

Relishing in a delicious breakfast prepared by my husband.💕

Having a small barbecue on a misty rainy afternoon.🏡

Capturing the sweetest photograph of Darjeeling.🌷

remembering the many special garden moments of summer….🌻

and hanging a new Welcome flag for Fall.🍂🍁

My friend’s wonderful dinner was the perfect aha… that there is no better time than now. That the day to do all those things you’ve been waiting/hoping for is today. now is the day to create the happiness and joy you want. No need to wait until you retire or that future celebratory event. Create it in the situation you find yourself in now.

I’d love to hear about yours.

Fall Blessings🍂

I’ve decided to challenge myself by preparing a new recipe each week shhh…don’t tell anyone😉 One that I haven’t prepared before. I enjoy cooking & really didn’t get much practice until I retired so now I’m loving it!  This week I chose Linguine with Shrimp Scampi. The recipe is courtesy of Ina Garten. thank you Ina! 

I followed the recipe except for using kosher salt & red hot pepper flakes. I didn’t have any on hand & didn’t realize it until I had started preparing the dish. therefore I didn’t use them.😉

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi


vegetable oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons

3/4 pound linguine

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1/2 lemon, zest grated

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds

1/8 hot red pepper flakes


Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to  10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp. 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve. Enjoy!


Here is a view of the end of summer. I had taken a walk to the jetty hoping to find some rocks to place around the cottage. Enjoy!

Posted in Coastal Living | 8 Comments

Just A Little


💕”True friends are never apart. Maybe in distance…but never in heart.”💕

 I have to confess that at times I might be a little too competitive.

Only at times…

(just a little)

teeny tiny bit


I’ll be the first to admit that where I live just might be a little difficult to get to.

(Just a little)

teeny tiny bit

I mean seriously let’s face it how many people do you know who actually live between a

forest 🌳 & 🌊 the ocean?

most likely…

(just a few)

teeny tiny few

Which could explain why we might not get that many out of state visitors just dropping in on us.

Anyway getting back to this teeny tiny competitive nature I sometimes have. The most recent involves a rival with a guy named Joe (yes…my husband😉)who as you might have guessed happens to be a little competitive.


(just a little)

teeny tiny bit.

This competition is about which of us will get the most out of state friends to drop in for a visit.

I’m thinking this friendly teeny tiny competition might have started the first year we moved to the Oregon coast and Joe’s good friend happened to drop by for a visit.

After his friend left, Joe jokingly said “our first visitor came from my friend so & I guess I scored”

 Last year the score was tied and then Joe won. again

The good thing is since this is a friendly competition…

The other evening over dinner while discussing a recent friend’s visit. (my friends from California) Joe and I realized that we’re both winners and graced by the presence of our friend’s visits which allows us to share our home and new life.

By the way…

I’m currently winning…

(just a little)

a teeny tiny bit (wink)😘

I’m sharing a table setting of yummy treats from a local bakery. The ready baked fresh treats  were perfect for my visitors that dropped by this week. 😘

They included peanut butter & chocolate chip cookies, cranberry bars, & almond walnut pie bars. I cut the cookies & bars into 4 smaller slices each and served with tea.


How’s about we take an evening walk…



Posted in Coastal Living | 6 Comments

The Magic Of A Moment



” In magic -and in life – there is only one present moment, the now”~Paulo Coelho


Hi there! How was your week? Did you have a nice Labor Day? (Hope so!)

Labor Day was really fun here.

 It was the first time BBQ~ing in our pink cottage.

 So now that everything has been cleaned and put away until the next time

And before another week comes to it’s end

I’m wondering if we might take a moment to chat.

come on in…

A few days ago as I wandered into the kitchen through the living room 

I wondered about the small birdcage sitting quietly

 I’ve got a quirky habit of noticing things that sit quietly (while wandering)

and I began to wonder if I should paint it.

spruce it up a bit


So I did.

 Then a little later (same day) when I was in the kitchen wandering for something (most likely yummy) I looked up and noticed the light fixture (a fixture I’m not that crazy about..& hope that one day will redeem itself) I wondered if it should be painted too.


So I did.

It doesnt take rocket science to know when to honor a wandering creative roll. (thank goodness!)

So…I left the kitchen and wandered…

finding myself in the small Jack & Jill bathroom (aka…Marcia’s & Joe’s)

wondering if I should wander in this location too

after painting the bathroom sink (grin) I strategically threw in a few rocks.

By this time …I’m starving

I was quite pleased with myself so…

I headed back to the kitchen where I collected a sampling of pink cottage’s first BBQ leftovers and made myself a picnic lunch.


Now seriously when was the last time you went on a picnic with BBQ leftovers? just wondering😉

Cheers to a great weekend!

Happy Wandering…😘

Posted in Our Cottage | 6 Comments

Falling Into The End Of Summer


“August is like the Sunday of summer”

This past month as I took a walk outside, and the dry leaves rustled pleasantly beneath my feet…

I paused and reflected how quickly the time has gone. Has it really been t.h.r.e.e. summers  living here on the Oregon coast? (a look of surprise) yes, dear readers it has🏡First summer

With that said and having lived through many warm summers in California summer coastal weather at times still feels quite unfamiliar. foreign

There are times that I have actually forgotten that it was even summer.

However one of the sure signs that summer has occurred and is coming into an ending…  is the weeping willow tree in our backyard. the name is apropos

Her leaves begin falling mid~late August and into September.

a bittersweet reminder that another season of life has passed.

 Now as I take my walks in the coming month I’ll imagine each brown and gold leaf as a moment past…

leaving the perfect moment to sow new seeds.

loving seeds…

more seeds of memories…

about to begin.🍂

🍁Happy September🍁

 As the end of Summer approaches farmers markets and roadside stands are overflowing with natures bounty. Here’s a wonderful recipe for you to try perhaps for this Labor Day weekend…(another sure sign that summer is coming to an end)



 I enjoyed making this recipe because it was quick and easy. I especially loved the lemon herb vinaigrette.


12 ounces dry pasta

1 cucumber, diced

1  pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives

4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

half of a medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced


Cook pasta al dente in a large stockpot of salted water according to package instructions. Drain pasta, then rinse under cold water for about 20-30 seconds until no longer hot. Transfer the  pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Add cucumber, tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and red onion to the mixing bowl, then drizzle all of the vinaigrette evenly on top. Toss until all ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing. Bon appetit

Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon freshly~squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons dried oregano, minced

1 teaspoon honey

2 small garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

And here’s a little beauty from my beautiful coast.🐠

Posted in Coastal Living | Tagged | 3 Comments