Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Red, White, and Blue Eating

LIFE celebrated Independence Day with some patriotic foods in colors of red, white, and blue. Tracy Williams made a divine lemon sorbet in her Cuisinart ice cream maker. The sorbet was garnished with blueberries and strawberries. Dorrie Scott created two delicious drinks. One drink was a layered one with cranberry juice on the bottom, coconut juice in the middle and blue (blueberry pomegranate) gatorade on the top. She said you can vary the colors for different occasions such as Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day. You also have to have dramatically different sugar counts especially with the first and second layer. Then she created a drink with red, white, and blue fruit topped with Sprite. Lindsey Bartlett created a fruit pizza! Sugar cookie dough is sliced and placed on a pizza pan to form the crust. It is baked at 375 for about 14 minutes so it’s golden brown. Then a mixture of cream cheese and sugar to taste is spread on the completely cooled crust. Then you can decorate with colorful fruit. Lindsey used strawberries, peaches, blueberries and kiwi.  It looked as good as it tasted.  All in all it was a super fun and delicious celebration.  Happy Independence Day!

You can find the recipes for today's food here: Fab Food for the 4th 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dance Salad Festival

Performance of In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated

Jackie Alfred from Dance Salad gave an informative look at the 2012 eclectic dance extravaganza from around the world. We saw amazing performances from Brazil, Rome, London, and Germany. Jackie narrated the dance numbers showing the audience some nuances of these fine performances. One Russian trained duo performed a duet called In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, which is considered transformative in the dance world. Who knew the human body could move in such ways! Beautiful dancers all, we enjoyed the variety, pacing, and superb quality all chosen by Director Nancy Henderek.

The Dance Salad Festival is put on by the Houston International Dance Coalition. For more details, check here:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Relive Your Past Life

We were joined today by the fascinating Stephen Ruback, who introduced us to past life regression as a way of making a conscious connection with one's inner self. The process of connecting with past lives can help to promote personal awareness and healing. After providing some background on spiritual reality and Piscean and Aquarian energies, Stephen led the group through a meditative session to help connect with a past life and gain more understanding of our inner selves. Thank you for an enlightening program!
To learn more about Stephen and past life regression, check out his website:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sizzling Summer Reads

The engaging Valerie Koehler of Blue Willow Bookshop kick-started our summer by sharing some of her favorite recently-published books. Valerie has a way of whetting one's appetite with her book talks, and I know we've all added to our "to read" lists today. Here are the titles she shared with us:

  • The Mapmaker's War by Ronlyn Domingue: A fantasy tale of a mapmaker journeying into uncharted lands.
  • The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro: A mystery about an art forger hired to make a forgery of a stolen painting.
  • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson: The tale of a girl born in England in 1910 where each chapter is a portion of her life presented if something had happened differently.
  • Life After Life by Jill McCorkle: A very different book by the same name, this one a story about a quirky cast of characters at a retirement home.
  • The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Steadman: Valerie's favorite from last year, this is a story of a young couple who discover a baby near their lighthouse.
  • Me Before You by JoJo Moyes: The story of a woman from a small village in England hired to be a companion to a wealthy couple's quadrapalegic son.
  • Guns At Last Light by Rick Atkinson: A well-written and detailed non-fiction account of World War II.
  • The Lost Husband by Katherine Center: A fun Texas romance from a local author.
  • The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black: A mystery set in Galveston.
  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini: An immigrant story from Afghanistan to the United States.
  • Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman: A thriller about a retired female FBI agent.
  • Unflinching Courage by Kay Bailey Hutchinson: A series of true stories about the women who shaped Texas.
  • Suitors by Cecile David-Weille: A light, funny story of two wealthy sisters trying to find husbands.
  • Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra: The story of three different Chechnyan families affected by war.
  • Son by Phillip Meyer: An epic tale of one Texas family--a must-read for fans of Lonesome Dove.
  • The Ability by M.A. Vaughan: A fun read for children and teens about a band of kids who save the world, of course.
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: A young adult novel told from the point of view of a captured British spy. (This also happens to be your blogger's favorite book of the year!)
  • A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash: Another favorite of Valerie's, this novel is told by three characters in a small evangelical church in the North Carolina hills.
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed: The true account of a woman's journey hiking the Pacific Coast Trail.
  • Quiet by Susan Cain: A fascinating look at introverts and how they've been approached by parents and educators.

For more information about Blue Willow Bookshop or to contact Valerie for reading recommendations, check out their website: