Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Beautiful Life...

What a journey this is turning into.
I am so excited.

What is so fascinating is how much
of the simplifying and de-stressing revolves
around the kitchen, in my case.

I spend so much time in the kitchen.
Whether it is cooking, making candles,
hosting friends or baking with Chelsea.
Unfortunately, our kitchen is
not laid out very well.

Here you see the countertop on which
I do everything.
My friends will tell you they have
never seen so much of it. I am headed
back to put the basket know
the catch-all basket for pens, box tops,
outgoing mail, coupons, etc.

The candle stuff that usually lives here
has been put away for two weeks. I am
on vacation from making them...just for a

We have plans to make some changes this
Spring. Nothing too major...just a new
floor, additional cabinets and counterspace.

What a difference this will make!
I can't wait to show you...
when it happens.
We are on the lookout for cabinetry
to match our existing cabinets. We
will change out all of the countertops.

I found some tiles at Longwood Gardens that
I would like to scatter around in a new tiled would be fun to learn how to

Poor Warren, this project keeps getting bigger.

You might remember that last week I determined that it
is time to begin making our own bread.
The current counterspace, seen above,
is not really great for doing more than
one thing at a time...but I am determined to
make it work. Additional counterspace will
make this a much more pleasant and "likely to
happen" experience. However, as I have managed
nicely for the past five years I imagine that
it should not be an excuse now.

Karen at Blue Barn Bulletin
was so sweet in giving me several of her bread
recipes. Others have I know where
to go should I need additional recipe support!
Thank guys!
You rock!

I spent some time searching out High Fructose
Corn Syrup. The evidence is not so convincing
that that the HFCS is, in itself, so harmful...
there is a lot of debate on this matter.
It is as much about how much we end up consuming
because it is in so many of the products we consume
without thinking about it. Such as the whole
wheat bread that I referenced last week.

As is the case with most things...moderation
is so key. I have always been so proud of the
fact that I don't use a lot of sugar and only
add salt to completed dishes, rather than double
salting everything. However, I have been
conveniently ignoring all of the sugars and salt
we have consumed in the pre-prepared foods.

These foods are so easy and inexpensive to come by at
our local discount stores. The Amish grocery we
use is full of these and it is so easy to pick
them up for the kids to use. Simple to prepare
in the microwave, etc.

One afternoon this week I meandered through
the pantry. I threw some things away. Decided
to use some others up in a measured way, and
spent some time looking for alternatives for

I have to say that I struggle against all of this
because of my Dad's history of diabetes and how
it impacted our family.
I hated it!
As a child and teen,
I "knew" I would never read labels or cook low
fat...low was probably a very honest
reaction to a traumatic event and forced lifestyle.

I also have to say that my Mom was a great example.
She served great tasting meals.
She researched and did the things that I am
about to begin doing.
It is not about that.
It is that I totally hated a disease that could
be so pervasive and controlling!

I hated a disease that could steal my father
away. Still do. But that doesn't make it
any less real and a threat.
So, it is time to grow up!

Now, it is up to me to make these changes, not under
duress, but in a way that will not turn the kids off.
In a way that will improve their health and happiness.
They are at very high risk for diabetes because of the
family genetics at work.

Oyyy...this is turning into therapy.
Good Grief!

Oh well, it is too late to turn back now.

It is so much fun to read how you are enjoying
a more beautiful life. For more posts on living beautifully
see Melissa's Beautiful Life Link.They are not all this self centered and heavy, I promise!

Thanks for popping by...

♥♥Becky K.♥♥


Terri and Bob said...

I can't wait to see the after photos. And, thank you for keeping us up to date on the research about corn syrup and gluten. Share your recipes as you try them!

Ellen said...

Hey I am not sure if you got my last comment.Something weird happened. Anyway. Do you need me to do anything for you guys while your in Floria? Like walk the dogs or something. Or anything else? Just let me know.When is book club this months. I will probably have to skip March. To much going on. Keep me posted. Still love reading your blog

Barb said...

Becky, good for are on such a healthy path for your family.

I am excited for you about your kitchen changes. Wow, your counter space looks great!

Miss Sandy said...

Good morning Becky,
It looks like we share the same postage stamp counter space in our kitchens. Tiny as it may be I have managed to prepare many meals there. How exciting to look forward to more space and a little make over.

I wish you much success in the whole bread baking thing. I have never been good at bread making and have thought I'd like to try a bread maker but never have. What method do you plan to use? I do hope you will share your successful recipes, maybe it will inspire me to try again.

Have a blessed day!

BittersweetPunkin said...

I don't have much counter space but I do have a large kitchen island that usually turns into the "dumping ground" for all things. I have to keep on top of the clutter or it will take over my kitchen. I'd love to bake my own bread too...I have been looking for bread machines at the thrift stores.
Have a great weekend!

Fifi Flowers said...

I LOVe that sunflower tray!

Karen at Nittany Inspirations said...

Hi Becky, I just found your blog today. I just started blogging myself about 3 weeks ago. I have added you as a favorite. I also live in PA, outside of Harrisburg. It's nice to make new friends. Blessings.

Karen at Nittany Inspirations said...

Hi Becky, I'm back. What an amazing coincidence. I used to live in State College until a little over two years ago. I lived just on the other side of Park Forest, off of Valley Vista Drive.

My husband worked at AccuWeather as a forecaster. He loved forcasting, but the weather is 24/7. The hours were awful. He worked holidays, weekends and 2 or 3 days a week he worked till midnight. When he did have off, it wasn't even 2 days in a row. If we wanted to go camping, he had to take vacation. Now he got a job working for the state in the DEP, Bureau of Air Quality. Now he works 8 to 4:30 and even has the little holidays off. Our quality of life is much better.

We both work downtown. I am with PricewaterhouseCoopers. I see your are in the financial industry, too.

When I lived in State College, we used to get to Belleville a couple of times a year. Now, I need to find another farmers' market. You'll have to fill me in on ones in or near Lancaster.

BTW, I love your music and have been listening to it for awhile.

~~Deby said...

This walk is all a process isn't it...and yes..moderation is the key..awhile ago it occured to me that most dishes are made in China--you know the China that had lead in everything..well low and behold after writing zillions of companies that make dishes to include Corelle (shocking)--all dishes have a percentage of lead in their glazing..and yes it leaches into our food..I went nuts, in my mind..then is short no matter what we do...and I am not going to stress about lead...or plastic..or..or..or..just moderation..a little here a little there and I felt like I had to SELF talk myself to lighten up..I know how this is...
baby steps....

Kelly said...

Your counter looks great, but I understand the need for more counter and cupboard space. I plan to embark on a project involving the kitchen at some point in the near future as well, though not as significant as yours.

As far as the healthier eating -- I'm with ya, girl. We can support one another and exchange recipes or whatever.

Tracy said...

What a great journey you all are on this year...exciting so much unfolding! And your kitchen looks great! A kitchen never be big enough, or with enough counter or cupboard space--LOL! Out kitchen is a tiny box...My dream kitchen is still in the future. ;o) Happy Valentine's weekend to you all! ((HUGS))