Carved Book Landscapes by Guy Laramee

I am such a sucker for this stuff. Admittedly, when I first started browsing the site I had a moment of “AH! What did you do to those books?!?!”; but I concluded that this art is worth buying two sets of worthy volumes.

Guy Laramee, thank you for these inspiring images! And thanks to Christopher Jobson of Colossal Art & Design for collecting them.

My favorite landscape:

Carved Book Landscapes by Guy Laramee sculpture paper books

Copyright 2010-2011, Christopher Jobson

See them all here.


A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Top eBooks of 2011; The Washington Post’s Christmas Myths

-o- Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry fail to collect 10,000 signatures in VA
I’m no fan of these men, but I was surprised and even felt kind of bad for them when I got the alerts informing me of their failures to meet the requirements (10,000 signatures on a petition) to appear on the Virginia primary ballot. Here’s the CNN video.

I know people who still think Gingrich will get the nomination, though I think Romney is still a more likely nominee.  Especially now:  is Gingrich’s story of his divorce from his first wife true? CNN‘s take.

Anyone want to weigh in?

-o- Random House’s  Best-Selling eBooks of 2011
The top mystery/thriller eBook this year is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. The top science fiction/fantasy eBook is A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. The bestselling history eBook this year is Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.

See all the lists on their site.

-o- The Washington Post‘s 5 Myths about Christmas

  • Myth #1: Christmas is the most religiously significant Christian holiday.
  • Myth #2: Religious authorities agree on the circumstances of Christ’s birth.
  • Myth #3: Jesus was an only child.
  • Myth #4: The secularization of Christmas is a recent occurrence.
  • Myth #5: “Midnight mass” is still held at midnight.

I think a few of this are a big broad/ambiguous, but they are interesting to read! Visit their website to read more.

-o- Incredible Sporting Images
BBC News posted a selection of awesome pictures from sporting events from Getty Images’ archives. Views them all here.

(Of course, I love the second one the most! )

-o- Newsworthy Male Faces of the Year
Also from BBC – 12 men who populated the news this year. The featured headlines include screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s Oscar win for The Social Network and Herman Cain’s suspension of his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

See them all here.

-o- Some of The Washington Post’s best photography of 2011
See the selection here.

-o- Twitter: A Year in Review from Mashable
Mashable collected a list of 2011 Twitter milestones, from the #Occupy phenomenon to their new record for most tweets per second.

Check out the gallery.

Three yummy salads: Beet and Goat Cheese, Chicken Caesar and Caprese in miniature

For Brian’s birthday, we invited his family and my family to our apartment for a little party. I stressed sooo much over the food but it ended up being delicious! I served three salads at the beginning of the evening. They all went over very well and were relatively easy to prepare. Enjoy!


-o- Caprese Skewers -o-
serves 10-12


1 pt. cherry or grape tomatoes (any color)
25-30 fresh basil leaves (I purchased a fresh plant and mined the leaves)
1 lb. boccacini (mozzarella balls)
2 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
sprinkling of kosher salt
sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper


Slice the tomatoes in half (I found it easiest to slice them horizontally through the middle). Slice the boccacini in half. Wash as dry the basil leaves. Collect all the ingredients and a bunch of skewers/toothpicks (I used 4 in. toothpicks, but you could also use long wooden skewers and serve the mini salads in tall glasses, or small party toothpicks).

In a pie dish, combine the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

You can begin with either a folded basil leaf or a piece of mozzarella, but you want the tomato halves to be last so you can stand the finished product up on a plate. Assemble the skewers, moving them to the oil and balsamic mixture as they are completed, and then to a platter.

Drizzle the remaining dressing over the platter. Either serve immediately or chill for up to two hours, covered.

Finished Product:

Inspiration: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s Caprese Skewers

-o- Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken and Sourdough Croutons -o-
serves 10-12


2 large chicken breasts
1 1/2 heads Romaine lettuce
1/2 loaf sourdough bread, cubed
3 oz. fresh Parmesan cheese

Your favorite Caesar dressing (or make your own! I didn’t – I used Ken’s Lite Creamy Caesar – but here’s one I considered: I’mTopsyTurvy’s Creamy Caesar Dressing)


Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Marinate in about 2 tbsps. of Caesar dressing in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350. Toss the sourdough bread cubes with 1 tsp. of olive oil on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 15 minutes or until just hard, tossing occasionally. Remove and set aside.

Wash, dry and chop lettuce. Set aside.

Heat a grill pan or a frying pan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Grill the chicken for 6-8 minutes on each side or until done. Let cool and slice.

Just before serving, toss the lettuce with the dressing. Add the croutons and chicken and toss again, gently. Top with shredded or shaved Parmesan.

Serve with more cheese alongside.

Finished Product:


-o-  Roasted Beet Salad with Wilted Greens, Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese -o-
serves 4-6


6-8 medium beets, greens attached
3 tbsps. hazelnuts, chopped
2-3 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
3/4 – 1 lb. mixed greens (or baby spinach, or arugula, or whatever you like!)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. minced shallots
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt


About two hours before you want to serve the salad, preheat the oven to 350. Separate the greens from the beets, leaving the top intact; wash the greens and set aside. Wrap the beets loosely in foil with a few drops of oil in each packet. Roast for about an hour until tender and the skins peel away easily when you rub them with your fingers.

When cool enough to handle, peel and chop into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.

Toast the nuts in a pan over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully; nuts burn easily! Remove and set aside. In the same pan (and with a splash of water, wine or chicken stock if necessary), wilt the beet greens. Let cool slightly.

Toss the young greens with the dressing (method below). Top with the wilted greens, the beets, the crumbled goat cheese and the hazelnuts.

Combine all ingredients in a Mason jar and seal tightly. Shake to combine, taste and adjust if needed. Store in the fridge and shake again before serving.

Note – you may not need all the dressing. Start out with half and add if necessary.

Finished Product:


Inspiration: The Kitchn’s Roasted Beets and Sauteed Greens with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese


Award Nomination: the Versatile Blogger Award

Happy Monday to me! I have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger award by one of my own all-time favorite bloggers, Ashley of Lifevesting.

The Rules:

  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers.
  • Inform the bloggers of their nomination.
  • Share 7 random things about yourself.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Add the Versatile Blog Award logo on your blog post.
Thank you, Lifevesting!

And to pay it forward, here are the 15 blogs I nominate for the Versatile Blogger Award (in no particular order):

-o- Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

-o- Acid Free Pulp

-o- dancewithshadows

-o- Mixed Gems

-o- FicFaq

-o- soulblindministry

-o- Shhh… Mommy’s Blogging…

-o- Life of Roya

-o- overextended

-o- ctolle

-o- booksandboston

-o- Snobbery

-o- Lost Yarn Loft

-o- The Misanthropologist

-o- Good Girls Inc

If your blog is here, it’s because it has given me something to think about, something that has made me happy, or something that I’ve plotted stealing from you (kidding, kidding)!


And finally, 7 random things about me:

-o- I love to travel. Throughout my life, I have been back and forth across the United States at least three times and I have been to all 50 states and most of the Canadian provinces. I’ve also been to several European and a few African countries. My all-time favorite places include Prince Edward Island, Madrid, the coast of Maine, and Rome.

-o- I am an early riser and would be supremely happy if I could be in bed by 10 pm every night. I envy night owls and cherish the random times I wake during the witching hour, but I am at my best in the morning. There was one year during college in which I’d fall asleep at eight or nine, wake up at four, read in the bathtub with pillows and blankets until six, and then sleep again until eight or so. Some of my favorite reading experiences are from that year; such as the time I read The Old Man and the Sea for the first time and in one go while the rest of the East Coast was sleeping.

-o- I am a literary snob who found herself totally immersed in the Twilight series and will love the Harry Potter books forever.

-o- I was born on the summer solstice and my partner was born on the winter solstice… and I really wish I could find that significant rather than coincidental.

-o- I prefer soccer to any other sport, and due to my father’s diligent love for the game I have been lucky enough to see 6 live World Cup games between the United States and various rivals at two tournaments – the 2006 tournament in Germany and the 2010 tournament in South Africa. Look for me in Rio in 2014!

-o- Brian and I adopted our cats Dinah and Sabina from a bona fide crazy cat lady, and then became so besotted with them that we let them get away with anything… that and they find themselves featured in many blog posts. Among these are: Sabina has taken up residence in a shopping bag, Curled up kitties, Kitties in Sweatshirts and Picture Show: the Best of Dinah and Sabina Together.

-o- If I could only pick one genre of music to listen to for the rest of my life, I’d struggle for awhile between something sensible like jazz or soul and my go-to favorite, girlie rock (Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Katy Perry…). And I’m not ashamed.


Thanks again, Ashley! This made my day!