Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tahoe Migration...

Yep its me again, can you believe it, three posts' in a row, yes its true...three count em' three posts'. I feel like such a prattling little Blog hog and you'll know what I mean when you're finished reading this post, its really picture heavy but I just wanted to take you all along with us...

I admit I post when something strikes my fancy or I want to blather on endlessly and not have the person sitting across from me look like they are bored to tears. 
So here I am with a post about a recent road trip we took to the Lake Tahoe area in Nevada. My dad and step mom live in a little town close to the lake but to keep their location private, I won't say exactly where, just know the area is beautiful. Mr. La Bella Vie and I loaded up the car with a great audio book, a cooler with all the pic-a-nic fixing's and hit the road...

I have family there and this was just a really quick trip to see them which was long overdue...
Above is my nephew's sweetie and she is just an absolute little doll and sharp as tack just like my nephew! They make a cute couple...

on the left, my nephew, Jesse (the dolls' boyfriend) my sister, Nancy and her hubs Don...

my dad...yes that hair is really his ladies! And my sister and I...gees, this picture just cracks me up...what a wild and crazy bunch :)
Below is my step mom, Susan...

my brother, Allen the sweetest brother a girl could have!
my other cute sister, Sheri...

Boy, Nugget
girl, Jasmine

we went wine tasting at this winery...

went to a great antique shop...voted the best in Nevada and in fact is one of the best shops I have ever wandered through. I could have easily spent the entire time in here but the hubs was ready to leave after about two hours ;o)

there wasn't anything in here I would have turned away...it was an awesome shop just full of fun stuff!

This darling little Lady Head vase came home with me to add to my growing collection...

This cute guy didn't come home with me...in the car that is...I just kept thinking about him when I got back and called the shop and bought him after we got home! So I paid twice as much for him with shipping costs' but he "needed" a home of his own...

Below is a wonderful and sweet pink bike I just wanted to bring home...or ride home all six hundred and fifty miles worth, "she" was so cute with that big old tractor style seat that was just the perfect size for my...well you get the idea...

But alas as with all good things, at some point they do have to come to and end and so did this mini road trip...I hope you all enjoyed the ride as much as I did and thanks for coming along with us!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Real Meal Deal...

Hi there again, so on yesterday's post all the photos were courtesy of the Food Network and sort of generic looking and boring so I decided to transform them into a wonderful dinner for another Metamorphosis Monday with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch and Masterpiece Monday. 

Our dinner table had Peony's and Lilacs from my rain soaked garden and my wedding china "Portmeirion Botanic Garden" my best spring time dinnerware!

Here's how my recipes and dinner looked last night. I don't know about you, but sometimes when I do a recipe it doesn't look anything like the pretty pictures they always show...this time, much to my delight, they did! 
Also, this time they were all so delicious that I am posting the recipes from the Food Network.com.

These recipes tasted fantastic and the presentation couldn't have been easier. The only thing I changed was I cut back on the amount of Prawns just because it was only the hubs and I at our BBQ. If I were doing this for a crowd I'd use the entire 2 LBS of Prawns because we ate every last one we cooked! Also, instead of "leaded" Espresso in the Mocha Mousse, I used "unleaded" French Vanilla Espresso otherwise I'd be up all night long from the caffeine and I have to ask someone for their phone number just so I could jabber all night!

So here we go...let's start with a table for two...

Grilled Shrimp Scampi Style with Soy Sauce, Fresh Ginger and Garlic


  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup canola oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds large (21-24) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 stick butter, softened


Whisk together 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, the lime juice, honey, ginger, garlic and 1/4 cup canola oil in a bowl and add to a food processor. Add the softened butter and pulse until thoroughly combined.
Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and brush mixture onto the shrimp. Place onto preheated grill and cook in a single layer for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.

Quinoa with Garlic, Pine Nuts and Raisins


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Place the quinoa in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water (or use low-sodium chicken broth) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the olive oil and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the plate, reserving the oil.
Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the pine nuts, garlic, reserved oil, parsley, raisins and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss.
Avocado Mango Salad

Whisk 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon each fresh lime juice and orange juice, 1 minced shallot and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add 2 diced avocados, 1 1/2 cups cubed jicama or radishes, 1/2 cup each cubed mango and pineapple and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro salt gently toss.
Mocha Mousse


Stir 1 tablespoon chilled brewed espresso or strong coffee into 2 cups prepared chocolate pudding. Beat 3/4 cup heavy cream with 1 tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form. Fold into the mocha pudding. Top with Chocolate Shavings.

This dinner couldn't have been easier and it was so much fun to do that I have decided I'm going to do a once a month "menu" for the hubs and I. It may be dinner, it may be lunch, it may even be Brunch...whatever it is, it'll be fun and hopefully just as tasty every time!


and thanks Susan for hosting another Metamorphosis Monday party!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day BBQ

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a great Memorial day and a great 3 day weekend! For those of us that live in Oregon its cloudy and cold...a balmy 50 degrees! But despite the fact that its cold and gray, in my mind, the sun is shining so I decided to have a BBQ! And once we put on the music, pop the cork, pour a glass, don the sunglasses, I know it'll feel like a sunny holiday weekend no matter what. Here's what's on the menu for tonight...all recipes courtesy of the Food Network.com just the best resource ever!

 Grilled Shrimp Scampi with Ginger and Garlic 

Avocado and Mango salad

Quinoa with Garlic, Pine Nuts and Raisins

 and for dessert...Mocha Mousse...can't wait to have this!

For more great recipes just head on over to The Food Network! and while you're at it have a great week

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


(Indulge me...is it OK to "Re-post", its not like Re-gifting because nobody gave me the post, I made it myself! This is a post I did a year ago for our nineteenth wedding anniversary. I just loved the pictures and all the lovely comments from all of my friends in Bloggeritaville so I just couldn't resist posting the same thing again this year except I added a two more songs we had at our wedding, so its kinda different isn't it? Is it me or am I the only one out there that has ever "Reposted" ...come on tell the truth...)
Also I just found Angelic Accents and her wedding blog party is just beautiful,please stop by and take a peek and what she's done!

Twenty years ago today I married my love...it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made in my life!

You may kiss the bride!

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Steven La Bella Vie!
May 11th 1991

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Story Teller

Several years ago I was fortunate to have been given all of my family's old slides and 35mm film reels. My dad always seemed to have a camera in hand and took the majority of the pictures including this one of me when I was about two years old. What amazes me about this picture is apparently even at that age, I was a story teller and loved to write and I guess you could say I was ahead of my time because I was already blogging way back in 1959!

The other thing that amazes me is the way in which my dad was able to "see" good composition and capture images of what he loved and was such a natural at photography, I like to think that in his own way he too was a story teller. To this day, because of his love of photography and artistic ability and the fact that he gave me my first camera I have a genuine love for photography as well. I'm not sure I'll ever be as good as he is but I love it nonetheless. 

my dad in about 1959...what a sharp guy!

I still have the very first camera that my dad gave me; a Haminex 35 MM with all the accessory lenses and pieces that went with it. I don't use it anymore but could never part with it simply because of the memories it holds, it was my dad's camera then mine. 

Some of the pictures he took date back to the 1950's and are in really good condition considering their age (I'll bet like me, there are a few of us that can relate to that statement!)

Recently I've been going through the old slides that my dad took which are still  in the old metal "magazines" they've been stored in. I literally have to pull them out with a pair of pliers, no easy feat but I suspect this method of archiving is why most of the slides are in pristine condition like the photo above taken in about 1959....see even back then I wouldn't wear a bikini on the beach! 

My grand plan; to print the pictures and slides that are worthy of framing and do a "memory wall" similar to what I did here with a collection of old B&W family photos in our family room. 
Below are just a few of the pictures my dad took that I can't wait to frame...a couple of them will be used in a Metamorphosis Monday as a DIY project. Here's a hint; I still have this little Aqua Cowgirl outfit which will be used in the project! I sure wish I had that cute one my brother Larry is wearing...

So that's the story of the "Story Teller", my dad and pictures such cherished memories for me. Maybe this might inspire some of you to do the same, sorting, organizing and printing some of your old pictures and slides so your story can be told too...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Family Worthy...

Hello everyone, today I wanted to throw together a quick post of my family room transformation for another Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps On The Porch
For years I was sort of in a quandary as to how to best set up this little corner in our family room. The room is small and has three windows, a door and a wood stove that break up the room, in reality there is only one full wall on the opposite side of the windows and that has my beloved framed B&W family photos on it which could NEVER EVER be changed! So suffice to say for a long time I've only had two small wicker chairs and an antique table in the corner. The main seating has been the sectional you see in the foreground. Well let's just say the girl was bored with THAT look so I went furniture shopping! I decided on a recliner for the corner (which is not your grandpa's big old ugly Barca-lounger!) and while I was at it, I decided I was also done with having to put my feet up on a hard glass cocktail table...so I got and Ottoman too!

Here's the before and after pictures, and yes I like the looks of the glass cocktail table but not the feel on the back of my heels!

 The old look above...we were in the middle of painting and deciding on the Cornice board fabric, so please excuse the messy look ;)

 right before the furniture delivery...

 after the delivery...the girls, Pearl and Emmy had to give their approval!

 Above, the Ottoman and pillows to pull the look together since my sectional is a different fabric...

Above, the glass cocktail table, below, the new Ottoman and pillows. The best part, I kept the table "just in case" I want to switch out the look occasionally but don't tell the Hubs!

Oh and stay tuned, I have another surprise tutorial coming soon that will be an addition to this transformation! I'll let you in on a little secret...it has something to do with that plaid fabric you see on the Ottoman and pillows :) 

Thanks again Susan for hosting another Met Monday!