Friday, May 23, 2014

Peek-A-Boo Crochet Afghan Pattern

Looking for a little bit of a challenge in your crochet projects that will leave you feeling successful? Well, this charming afghan might just be what you are looking for!

Purchase your yarns here:

Available now on Amazon for Kindle:

Instant download on Etsy:

and on Ravelry:

Creating beautiful gifts is an amazing feeling, and knowing that the recipient with cherish your gift for a lifetime is so amazing!

What a great way to ...
Live Well!
Love SuziQue

Monday, May 19, 2014

Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies

I saw a picture of this on Facebook, and decided to try it.
I could have done it gluten free, but decided that since I was going to eat all kinds of things I don't usually, I might as well make it the way my husband would like it best.

You will need:
Brownie mix (or make it from scratch!)
Mini pretzels
Carmel squares (I looked for the old-fashioned Kraft ones, but my store didn't have them, so I got another brand that I like)
Rock sea salt (I used pink Himalayan sea salt)

While the brownie mix is still dry, rub the baking pan with butter or oil, then lightly dust with some of the mix, to keep it from sticking.

Then mix up your batter

(my amazing husband unwrapped the caramels while I did all this!)

Put a thin later of the batter in the bottom of the baking dish, then arrange 2 layers of pretzels in the bottom ... Per the directions I originally had, I arranged in neat orderly rows, 2 layers deep.

Pour on the rest of the brownie batter, and bake per the instructions.

While it's in the oven, melt the caramels in a glass bowl in the microwave with a little splash of milk or cream ... It only took about 90 seconds, go slow, as you don't want to burn the caramels, that would just be sad! Stir really well so it is smooth.

After the brownies are done and tested with a clean knife, pour the caramel mixture over the top, and LIGHTLY sprinkle salt over the top.

Let the whole thing cool well.
Serve with ice cream if desired (my husband and step-son had ice cream, I did not)

My family's review ... ?
It was fun to do, and easy to make.
I thought it looked pretty.
We didn't really like the pretzels softened.
My husband does not like the salt with the caramel.
I like the salt and the caramel together.
I'm not much of a chocolate eater, or even a sweets eater for that matter, so it was too rich for me.
The 14 year old boy was too busy snarfing to comment much except that we was sad that the pretzels were soft.

Over all not bad, but I don't think it suits my family's dessert favorites. I will make it again to take to a function!

Living well is about trying different things and accepting them for what they are! No harm. No fowl. That's how we learn! If you try it, comment and tell me what YOUR family thinks :)


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Keeping Focused - Taking Time for Prayer and Meditation

In the Pacific Northwest, we have Vine Maple.
In the fall the leaves turn some of the most amazing shades of red and orange! They are rather unmistakable as you drive along many or our country roads.

But, when they are not in their full fall glory, these limber foliage plants go rather unnoticed. Focusing on both the big picture and the details is a balancing act that requires that peace and quite time. Up close and personal in the spring, this fun plant has tiiiiiny little red blossoms, and if you did not STOP, look, pay attention, you would never notice them.

While a member of the tree family, there is no traditional trunk that stands straight and tall; the strong, and very flexible, green limbs seem to just go on and on, they often grow horizontal, and I have rarely seen a limb bigger than my forearm.

This is one of my favorite places in the woods near my home. A nurturing little place where the energy is good, and I feel like I can connect with God and meditate.

When I come to this place, I feel calm. I feel safe. My mind is at ease and I am free to think and feel

Taking those moments is important for our health, and our welling being. Allowing our thoughts to just be; focusing on the breath. Listening to the world, without analyzing or cataloging.

After you have sat quietly for at least 5 minutes, this is a great opportunity to journal your experience. Maybe write about what it was like to not think. Write about what the air felt like on your skin. What the air smells like. What the breeze sounds like as it passes through the leaves.

Just BE. Then come back to to "reality" slowly, take your time.
Or maybe THAT is the place of reality, and the rest of life is the distraction.

Allow yourself the time you need to calm those thoughts that run rampant and wild and out of control.
Allow yourself the calm, the peace, the quiet.

Please share your thoughts with me! And pass this along to your friends!

When we do not allow peace and serenity a place in our lives, we cannot fully and truly...

Live Well!