July 2020


I’m so thrilled that Mother’s Day comes along in the Spring. By this time of year, it is getting warmer, trees are gorgeous with their new leaves and full, pink blossoms, the birds are cheerful and I am reminded that Life is Good! Spring is the perfect setting to honor our mothers and all that they have done (and continue to do) for their children and grandchildren.

Recently, Mr. Marvelous and I attended a fundraising event with my parents. I was sitting directly across the table from my mom and all of a sudden I thought…. Wow… is that me in 30 years?…I sure hope so!! I look at my mom… a beautiful woman…a remarkable role model…my best friend… and think that if I can be half the mother she is I will have succeeded. Elizabeth Stone said: “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside of your body.” We don’t really know the impact of that decision, however, until it happens because becoming a parent changes us forever. We are sort of “born again” into this new person who we have yet to get to know ourselves. (Where did this crazy, protective Mama Bear come from?) Becoming a parent is the most wonderful, joyful, FRIGHTFUL life changing event I have ever experienced. As a parent, every emotion I experience is amplified. I LOVE deeper. I FEAR deeper. I LAUGH deeper. (I also yell louder and apologize more often!) I have a new sense of PRIDE when it comes to the qualities or accomplishments of my children and I gaze upon them with so much awe and wonder. My children are the most important “work” I will ever do. How will my little masterpieces turn out? Who will they be? What am I doing wrong? What am I doing right? The responsibility is great but the rewards are even greater.

At the time of this writing, I am 11 ½ years into parenthood. My mother has been parenting for 46 years now! With each passing year, as my kids get older and new experiences come our way, I also get to know…and RESPECT and APPRECIATE…my own mother more and more. My mom gives so much of herself to me and my kids (or I should say “our kids” as they really are hers, too! Becoming a grandparent is a whole new level of evolution of a person but I will save that topic for later.) Have you heard this one: “life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother.” Ain’t that the truth?! (It’s a good thing, too, because I am terrible with manuals!) I call my mom about all questions kid related, I check in with her before contacting the doctors and she is definitely on my speed dial when I need to brag up my babies!

You know something else that is great about my mom (and yours, too…. I’m sure) is that she still likes the things I make for her!! So this year… one little treat I’ve come up with for my special mom is ….. Homemade Coconut Oil Face Cream. I’ve been using coconut oil on my own face for several months now and I LOVE the how soft and smooth my skin feels. For mom, I took it one step further and one step is really all there is to it.


*I previously ordered this coconut oil and this doTerra essential oil from (I love Amazon because, as a very inpatient person, I am all about the 2 day shipping for Prime members.)

coconut oil face cream *I placed about a cup or so (no need for exact measurements here) of coconut oil into a mixing bowl and added about 5-6 drops of the essential oil. You can use whatever scent you like with regards to the essential oil and you may want to choose something that is supposed to specifically address your own health wants/needs.

*I then used a hand mixer and whipped it up into a nice whippy-creamy texture.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you! If you have other great recipes for natural face creams and/or body lotions I’d love to hear all about it!

Hi there, friends… I have some exciting news for you today! Are you ready? Are you sitting down?

Oh heavens, no… I’m not pregnant!

I’ve just signed up as a DeMarle at Home Consultant!! Never heard of it? Well I’m here to tell you all about why chefs all over the world are using this non-stick woven-glass product that’s going to knock your socks off!

I never imagined I’d ever do such a thing as become a home party consultant, but the truth is, I am in a deep, deep love with my DeMarle cookware and since I am forever bragging it up to whoever will listen, I thought… what the heck… why don’t I start sharing this wonderful stuff LIVE with as many people as possible.

I went to my first Demarle at Home (DAH) party about a year ago and I was smitten from the start. When I saw Carol (my super sweet Demarle consultant) throw some broccoli into the Large Round Mold, cover it with the Octagonal Silpat, pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes and pull out perfectly streamed, delicious broccoli …I KNEW I had to have that. Then I hosted my own party and was able to pick up TONS of new pieces with the incredible earnings and ½ off purchases I received as a hostess. That’s when I really started to explore the endless possibilities and step out of my cooking rut!

Like you, I want to put healthy food on my dinner table. However…not infrequently… I find that my menu has all come together and is about ready for the table when I remember that I forgot to do the veggies. With DAH, this is no longer an issue. Dinner can always hold for 3 minutes while I grab some broccoli (or other veggie of choice) and pop it in the micro for 2 minutes!! (Sorry, kids… not getting out of it this time!) Honestly, the veggies I cook this way come out WAAAAY tastier (perfect, really) than when I do them on the stove where the risk of over-cooking is ever present.

Preparation of fresh steamed vegetables is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ease of cooking with DeMarle. You can prepare your entire dinner… oh so simply… with the Flexiflat, Silpat and Round Molds. Fresh baked bread… that’s no problem either. You don’t need to head out for an expensive dinner, you can eat like a King or Queen… simply… in the comfort of your own home.

If fresh steamed broccoli isn’t making your heart go pitter pat, have no fear… just wait until you see the gorgeous baked creations you can whip up in no time flat. I’m not kidding, friends… you’re going to be as excited as I am when I start showing you my oh-so-pretty meals and desserts! I mean really… the pictures shown here are a PACKAGED coffee cake mix and look how gorgeous it is!

Anyway…. I can go on and on about the versatility this spectacular cookware provides, the insanely easy cleanup, the fact that you never have to grease a pan and will still have perfectly cooked/baked culinary marvels… but I’ll save some of those details for a later date. For now… I just wanted to say, my DeMarle products have provided me tons of fresh inspiration and I have plans… BIG PLANS… for so many delectable eats to bring to you in the coming days/weeks/months… and beyond!

If you are interested in learning more about DeMarle at Home, feel free to check out the catalog and product line HERE or shoot me an email.

I’m going to be doing a FREE GIVEWAY soon so be sure to SUBSCRIBE to the The Dutchman’s Wife so you won’t miss out on those details coming soon.

DeMarle Sunshine Mold Thanks for letting me share my news.

Bon Appetit!!

I don’t know what the deal is here, but about 6 months ago I decided to pull my long standing, blue glass salt and pepper shakers out of action. It wasn’t that there was anything functionally wrong with them… they still work great. I relieved them of their duty because 1) the blue wasn’t really jiving with my dining room colors, 2) their little tin tops are looking pretty banged up and 3) I only have one set and when we have a large group over and our table is fully extended I like to have two sets of salt & pepper shakers and I want them to match. Ooh.. when I type it all out it sounds pretty vain and petty. But you know what I’m talking about, right? Well, replacing your salt & pepper shakers sounds like a simple enough task but it has proven otherwise. I bought two sets of plain white shakers. They are sweet, they are simple….and, well… quite frankly…they suck! Their cute little “S” and “P” hole patterns continually get plugged up with salt and pepper. Nothing like going to spritz up your dinner just to have to get up, grab a toothpick, clean out the shaker, sprinkle your food and for what? A cold bite… that’s what! And if that weren’t bad enough, the little stoppers at the bottom keep getting poked up inside the shaker (don’t ask… I have no idea how that is happening) and salt and pepper is everywhere! Oh my gosh… if there is one thing that drives me crazy (ha ha… if ONLY there was just ONE thing to drive me crazy) it is stepping, in my bare feet, on gritty seasonings that have spilled all over the floor! Ooooh…. It gives me shivers just thinking about it.

Then, low and behold, as I was skipping down the yellow brick road of the internet, I was led straight to the great Wizard of Pinterest. I heard the little munchkins singing as I, without even seeking it out, laid eyes on a set of simple, inexpensive to make and frankly… adorable… little shakers from Landeeseelandeedo. With a couple of little jars, a dab or two of chalk paint, hammer and nail THOSE COULD BE MINE! All mine!

Guess what? … (I totally sound like the little VDKs here. I routinely am asked questions likes, “Mom, guess what song we sung at school today?” I, half listening to this question because I’m thinking about 20 different things at once am not really interested in GUESSING anything, respond with a very blank…or even exasperated, “Uh, I don’t know. What?” I won’t make you guess… I’m sure you’ve already figured it out. Yes, you are correct… I made my own little cutie pootie salt & pepper shakers and they are WONDERFUL!! I have to say, though, Mr. Marvelous never ceases to amaze me. Jill and I decided to tackle a couple of projects this weekend…the salt and pepper shakers being one of them. (The other is still a secret but I will be writing about that one soon enough!) While Jill and I were chatting away, painting our jars and our newly assembled (nope, still can’t tell you what we had just assembled) at the dining room table, Mr. Marvelous sat down and was working on a little something of his own. Since I wasn’t really focused on him at the moment, it took me a few minutes to finally register what I was seeing him doing and inquire about it.
Me-“Hey, Baby… why are you making little teeny tiny tic tac toe boards?” I’m thinking, Oh no… has he just gone and lost his marbles? I’m kinda scared here… maybe I don’t want his daughter to see him this way.
Mr. Marvelous- (sigh…) “They aren’t tic tac toe boards, they are grids to put on your lids to map out where to DRILL the holes.” I love that man! I was ready to grab a hammer and nail but he is far too precise for that…even when it comes to little jelly jar shakers. He grabbed the old blue glass shakers, (the models of perfect functionality that they are,) got a drill bit the same size as their holes are and proceeded to map out and drill the holes in the lids for Jill and I. I gotta hand it to him… they look a lot better than mine would have! (He says that’s why I’m management and he is labor.)

I left my new delightful shakers on the dining room table for a few days….empty. I had just been admiring them so, I didn’t even think to fill them and take the crummy ol’ white ones out of commission. Until yesterday when one of the VDK’s went to spice up his eggs in the morning, got the little stopper shoved up inside the dang pepper shaker and went running for the kitchen with it. Hmm… maybe I should FILL the new cutie shakers instead of just lovingly gazing at them. What a novel idea! He said they worked PERFECTLY!! Honest… he did!

Well, as you may have noted, I am pleased as punch (I can honestly say I’ve never used that expression before) with my new little shakers and I know they are going to make me proud. I’ll be banging out set number two here shortly but I just couldn’t wait to show them off.

Here is what I did:
1) I picked up a couple of jelly jars when I was at Michaels the other day.
2) I applied an S sticker to one and a P sticker to the other as I wanted those spots to remain clear of paint.
3) I removed the lids (so they didn’t get any paint on them) and applied 2 coats of an off-white chalk paint I already had on hand. I didn’t paint up to the top where the lid screws on, but rather, just up to that point.
4) Once the paint was dry, I removed the stickers.
5) I then took some sand paper to rough them up a bit to give them an aged look
6) Voila… at that point I just sat back and enjoyed them for a few days.
7) I haven’t done this yet, but I am now thinking it would be wise to spray them with a clear sealant. I got to thinking that these could get a little dirty being passed around the dinner table and will need to be able to hold up to a good wipe down.

I hope you enjoyed this simple yet satisfying little project. If you have any suggestions or similar projects please do share!

Now… go on …get out there and spice up your day!

Welcome to our June Blog Hop!

This month we are focusing on Summertime and Family Fun activities. Get ready for some great ideas, inspiration and how to as you move along through the blog hop.

You may just be starting the blog hop or may have come from Natalie Bradley at Soirée by Natalie Bradley on our Living with Style Blog Hop. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you make sure to see and learn from all of the articles featured here today.

Summer time. My favorite time of the year. The windows are open and I listen to the ongoing symphony of birds chirping their sweet melody. Invisible frogs are croaking their chorus from hiding spots around the pond. The tittering of squirrels… like the tender whisper of flutes… drifts through the gentle breeze.

What the? Am I caught up in a dream? Or maybe a commercial for laundry detergent?! If you’ve read THIS post you know that is not exactly what I wake up to each morning. But what the heck… I do still love summer time! I do love hearing the sounds of the neighborhood kiddos laughing and having a ball. I love the BBQs and spending time with my family and friends out of doors. I love sipping sangria with my gal pals and “glamping” with my family. (If “glamping” is not familiar to you, you can get an idea of it from HERE.) I love the warm evenings and tanned skin. And I love the 4th of July. This year… I’ve added a new Red White and Blue Salad to my list of reasons to love summer!

A patriotic beauty that is sure to please this 4th of July and all summer long.
A patriotic beauty that is sure to please this 4th of July and all summer long.

The 4th of July is a favorite holiday of mine. Not because of the fireworks. In all honesty, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with fireworks. On the plus side, they are stunning as they shoot up and spread across the dark sky in glorious splendor. In contrast, they frighten my sweet dogs and keep me from my precious sleep as neighbors shoot them off for days before and after the holiday. Argh… don’t get me started on that!

But the real reason I adore the 4th of July is for the celebration of this amazing country in which I am so fortunate to live. The remembrance of the struggles, the toil and victory of our forefathers. The strength and values that are the foundation of this country and its Constitution. The magnificence of the American flag, standing tall and proud, waving its stars and stripes.

And sparklers. You gotta love sparklers!

Anyhoo… as I was starting to say… I have added a dazzling new Red White and Blue Salad to my list of summer loves. This beauty is a real charmer in my repertoire of summer side dishes. Not only does it holler out “Happy Birthday, America!” but it’s a healthy and delicious addition to the dinner table and I just know you’re going to love it!

This month we are focusing on Fall Fun!! Get ready for some great ideas, inspiration, tips, resources and how-to as you move along through the blog hop.

You may just be starting the blog hop or may have come from Fanny Seto at Living Richly on a Budget on our Living with Style Blog Hop. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you make sure to see and learn from all of the articles featured here today.


Today I’m sharing the best cornbread recipe you’ll ever find as a way of welcoming FALL and the comfort foods that come with it! Not your average cornbread by any stretch, this creamy, sweet slice of joy will melt in your mouth and have you hopping up for seconds after the first bite! First, however, I need to share a bit of what’s on my heart today.

It’s that time once again where the days are still warm but not so blazing hot as the weeks that preceded and a distinct crispness lies just beneath the sun-kissed breeze. The boys are on the football field preparing for the games that are just around the corner. Fair week has come to an end. The leaves are turning, school will be starting in just a few days, and summer is coming to a close.

All of these markers are exciting and pretty typical of the changing seasons as Summer passes the baton to Fall and we race into the routine chaos of a new school year. This year, however, an unwelcome and merciless foe lurks in the changing breeze…. Smoke!

We’ve had an unusual season here in Washington State as it’s been exceptionally hot and dry all summer….ever since May, really. Although we’ve enjoyed the ample sunshine and the countless activities we relish while basking in it, it has come to us at great cost. Our beautiful forests, and those of neighboring states, have been burning up. Homes have been evacuated and destroyed. Firefighters (and countless others!) have been working day and night to fight off what Nature usually fights for us and it breaks my heart to say, some of these selfless heroes will not be returning home to their loved ones. This rare, scorching, rain-free summer has come to us at great peril.

Usually at this time of year I am clinging to the last of the sunshiny days and dreading the coming rain. I often spend Fall and Winter wishing the steady dripping would stop and sometimes even dream of living elsewhere…somewhere with less drizzle, more sun and higher temperatures.

Today, however, I have great appreciation for the glorious rain that typically graces the luscious Northwest and I’m praying for the return of abundant precipitation. Although a part of me still mourns the passing of Summer, I am joyful for the onset of Fall and the blessings that come with it. I am ready to embrace raindrops with the genuine, loving hug that they deserve. Friends, shall we do a little rain song and dance to try to bring it back? “Rain, rain… come back and play… we want you back…we want you today! Fill our rivers, water our plants…. We love you, Rain … this is our stance!“

Ok… I’m no songwriter but I’m sure Blake Shelton could do something fantastic with those lyrics!

I don’t know if my little dance will do any good but it certainly served as a reminder that I really need to get into better shape! I also need to get back into the kitchen and continue my efforts to draw out our old friend, Rain, with some yummy Fall cookin’. I don’t need Blake’s help to rock this one… and you won’t either.

Best. Cornbread.Ever
Best. Cornbread.Ever

A friend and former coworker gave me this recipe many moons ago and it has changed me forever. Yes… I am now a huge cornbread snob and I sometimes even feel sorry for people who are still eating the dry stuff. Cornbread is a gift meant to be savored, not endured. If you have never been a big fan of cornbread, do me a favor and just give it one last shot here. Seriously… this warm, moist, buttery treat is a delightful experience you don’t want to miss!

Before I bring on this recipe, let me just pour out my deepest heartfelt THANK YOU to all the fire fighters, heavy equipment operators, truck drivers and countless other volunteers and their families who have given so much of themselves. Thank you for what you have done and continue to do for the safety and well-being of others. Bless you, my friends… Bless you!!