Saturday, November 18, 2017

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cake, Part 2


A few weeks ago, I shared the super moist chocolate cake recipe that I used to make my recent chocolate-covered strawberry cake. As promised, here are the recipes for the chocolate glaze and strawberry buttercream frosting, as well as instructions for assembling the cake. I am usually a fairly healthy eater, but I am in no way claiming that this is a healthy cake. Everyone needs a treat now and then!

Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cup chocolate cups (I used semisweet)
6 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons dark molasses

Directions:
1. In a saucepan on low heat, melt chocolate chips (stirring constantly).
2. Add butter and molasses, and stir until smooth.
3. Remove from heat. Allow to cool 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent hardening.

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:
4 heaping cups frozen strawberries
3 sticks of butter (allow to soften at room temperature beforehand)
5 cups powdered sugar (also called confectioners' sugar/icing sugar), sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Blend frozen strawberries in a blender, and transfer to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes.
2. Remove saucepan from heat, and allow strawberry puree to cool completely.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy.
4. Beat 2 cups powdered sugar into butter until blended. Beat in strawberry puree, 2 Tablespoons at a time.
6. Beat in an additional 3 cups powdered sugar. Add vanilla, and beat on high until smooth.
7. Chill cake and frosting (not glaze) in fridge briefly before assembling cake.

Assembling the Cake...

Place 1st layer of cake on a plate/platter, crumb side up.
Cover with layer of strawberry frosting

2nd layer of cake
2nd layer of strawberry frosting
3rd layer of cake
3rd layer of strawberry frosting
4th layer of cake
4th layer of frosting

After the 4th layer of cake has been added, feel free to do some piping on the edges to enhance the appearance of the cake. (I just cut a tiny piece off the corner of a small, Ziploc bag and filled it with strawberry frosting.)

Cover top of cake with chocolate glaze. I recommend moving very slowly with this step, using a spoon to gently drop glaze on top of the cake and let it run over the sides.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Movie Night Essentials

After a long week, what can be better than curling up on the couch with a good movie? In the Movie Night Checklist below, I list some of my favorite movies and movie night essentials. I would love to hear yours!


I have lots of favorite films and had a hard time deciding on just three. Facing the Giants is a flick that all ages can enjoy, but The Blind Side and The Lord of the Rings are not suitable for young children. I had never seen The Lord of the Rings until Mr. Handsome and I started working our way through the trilogy a few months ago, but they are some of Mr. Handsome's favorite movies, and I have really enjoyed them.

In today's society, finding wholesome movies is a challenge. If you're looking for family-friendly entertainment, check out PureFlix.com, a video-streaming service that provides content your family can trust. Pure Flix features more than 6,000 movies, documentaries, and TV shows that promote family values. Visit PureFlix.com for more information.

Whether you are a Pure Flix subscriber or not, you can take advantage of their holiday movie promotion. Starting November 26th through Christmas Eve, Pure Flix will offer one free Christmas movie every Sunday. Click here to be redirected to the page where you can sign up with your name and email. 

**This is not a sponsored post. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Our Last Day in the Rockies

I hope you all have enjoyed my posts about our trip to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I have photos from one last mountain hiketo share.

After spending the night at the Miette Hot Springs Resort, we rose early on Day 7 to hike the 5-mile (8-km) Sulphur Skyline Trail, which begins at the Miette Hot Springs parking lot. The first few minutes were easy, but then the climb began, and we quickly realized that this hike was not for the faint of heart.

The trip to the top, an elevation gain of 2,300 feet (700 meters), took about 2.5 hours. I'll admit we had to stop for quite a few water breaks. The last 30 minutes were the most difficult, as the trail became quite steep and rocky. It was a rough journey, but the 360-degree view from the top was beyond incredible.


We spent about 30 minutes up there, eating a snack and soaking in our last day in the mountains.


The top is a gravely plateau, and the view from each side is different.


The trails we hiked on our trip gave us a wonderful "survey" of the Canadian Rockies. We saw a little bit of everything! Jasper National Park and Banff National Park have their own unique views, so we were grateful to be able to tour both.


The Sulphur Skyline Trail was the perfect end to a perfect trip.


And just when we thought the excitement was over, we were treated to one last surprise when we finished the hike. As we rested at the picnic tables near the parking lot and campground, a herd of female bighorn sheep arrived.


There were several other people in the immediate area, but these sheep had no fear. We didn't stalk of feed them, but we enjoyed watching them graze. (All my photos were taken using the zoom on my camera. We did not approach any of the sheep.)



If you look closely in this picture, you'll notice that one of the sheep has her head down, as she has just head-butted another.


Sheep are attracted to salt, so when one discovered a car that was covered in road salt, the rest of the herd rushed over, and they all began licking the car. It was certainly a sight to see. 

Wondering why the sheep are so rough looking? It's because they were in the process of shedding their winter coats.


If you wish to look back at my previous posts, here are all the links.

Canadian Rockies Day 1
Canadian Rockies Day 2
Canadian Rockies Day 3
Canadian Rockies Day 4
      Lake Louise
      Moraine Lake 
Canadian Rockies Day 5
      Icefields Parkway Part 1
      Athabasca Glacier
Canadian Rockies Day 6
     Icefields Parkway Part 2
     Jasper


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cereal Anyone?

Have you ever walked down the cereal aisle and felt completely and utterly overwhelmed? There are dozens of options to choose from, and the last think you want to do is purchase an entire box and find out after the first bite that you don't like it.

This week, Kroger had their organic cereals on sale, so I decided to buy a few new ones. As expected, Mr. Handsome really enjoyed the cocoa bunnies.

I'm curious what your favorite cereal is? Mr. Handsome's is Cracklin' Oat Bran, but it's expensive, so we only have it on special occasions. I don't have a favorite, although I prefer cereals that are low in sugar. If you don't like cereal, how do you kick off your day?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Burglary and a Fiasco

I'm curious if any of you have security systems and what your experience has been with them. It used to be that only rich folks and those in unsafe areas had security systems, but with the advancement of technology, there are many affordable options on the market.

This week, we had a bit of a fiasco involving a security system. My brother-in-law recently bought a fixer-upper house, and he installed a security system.

While my brother-in-law was away on a camping trip, we received a call early in the morning from the security company, informing us that the alarm had gone off at the house. They sent police officers over and determined that someone had broken in, so they asked us to go over to the house to talk to the cops. We live a good bit away, but we loaded up in the car and drove over there.

The cops were very professional and kind, and they patiently waited at the house until we arrived, so we could look around and determine what had been taken. The TV was missing, as was my brother-in-law's computer. The officers had been in the area when they had received the call, so they had arrived at the front door quickly enough to see the burglar run out the back. Unfortunately, they weren't able to catch him.

So that was our positive security system experience. We hadn't quite understood why my brother-in-law had purchased it, especially since he doesn't have many valuables, but after that situation, we were glad.

The next day, however, we weren't so glad. At 5:00 in the morning, the same company called again and said that someone had "pressed the medical alert button." What is that supposed to mean? She asked if the homeowner had one of those buttons that the elderly and those with health problems wear around their necks in case of a fall or other medical situation. Seems to me like the security company should know the answer to that question...

We kindly informed her that my brother-in-law is young and in good health. Then they she told us that there is a similar button on the security system keypad that could trigger that alarm. At that point, we were sufficiently nervous. We explained that my brother-in-law was still out of town and that no one was supposed to be inside the house. 

To make a long story short, emergency personnel went over to the house to look for signs of robbery. They didn't go inside but said that everything looked fine from the outside, so they left. At that point, we were already wide awake, so we decided to drive over to double check that nothing had been stolen. 

It was still dark outside, and I was afraid that the burglar was perhaps hiding inside the house, so I kept watch in the yard while my brave, heroic husband entered the house and began checking every room (even the creepy, old basement) to make sure no one was inside and nothing was amiss.

Everything was fine and dandy, but that still doesn't explain how the medical alert button was pressed. We plan to suggest that my brother-in-law try a different security company.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thanksgiving Side Dish: Butternut Squash Couscous

Looking for a unique side dish for your Thanksgiving table? I'm going to share one of my favorites with you. Have you ever cooked with couscous? How about Israeli couscous? Like I said, it's unique, but I encourage you to give it a try. You won't regret it.

This recipe uses pearl couscous, also known as maftoul or Israeli couscous. I buy mine at Trader Joe's, but most grocery stores carry it.

Butternut Squash Couscous

Ingredients:
8-ounce box Israeli/pearl couscous
Vegetable broth or chicken broth
4 cups butternut squash
1 large, yellow onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup raisins

Directions:
Following the directions on the box, cook the couscous, but use vegetable or chicken broth instead of water.

Cut the squash and onion into bite-sized pieces. At this time of year, grocery stores often sell cubed butternut squash.

Toss squash and onion with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Roast (spread out on a cookie sheet or other baking pan) at 350F until tender (about 20-30 minutes).

Toss the raisins into the warm couscous, and add the roasted squash and onion. You can add additional seasoning to taste.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tragedy in Texas

America is reeling from yet another tragedy. On Sunday morning, in the deadliest mass shooting to ever take place in a U.S. house of worship, a gunman opened fire inside First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. At least 26 are dead and more than 20 injured, which accounts for almost every single person who was inside the sanctuary.

As the gunman left the church, two brave citizens sprung into action. Stephen Willeford ran out of his house with his own gun and began to fire at the gunman, who escaped in an SUV. Johnnie Langendorff, another local hero, who was driving by as the scene was unfolding, went after the gunman in an 11-mile, high-speed chase. Eventually, the gunman lost control, and the police arrived to take over.

Although the gunman has died, he has left a trail of devastation in the town of Sutherland Springs, located 40 minutes outside San Antonio with a population of approximately 600. In a place where everybody knows everybody, the effects of this massacre have been unthinkable.

This morning, I was brought to tears when I came across a Washington Post article about the Holcombe family. Joe and Claryce Holcombe, who attend a different church in the area, lost nine family members in the shooting. I can't even begin to imagine the anguish they are feeling as they mourn the loss of nine children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. As you keep the people of Sutherland Springs in your thoughts and prayers, remember the Holcombe family.

Even in the midst of his immense pain, Joe Holcombe shared a quote that really encouraged me, and I hope it does the same for you: "We are Christians. We have read the book. We know the ending, and it’s good."

Monday, November 6, 2017

Celebrating 2.5 Years

Mr. Handsome and I are celebrating an exciting milestone. Yesterday was the two-and-a-half-year anniversary of NashvilleWife.com!

Although I have been blogging for more than eight years, sharing posts on Nashville Wife has been my favorite endeavor. I love communicating with all my faithful followers--who live across the globe--via comments and emails, and I want to give a big shout-out to all of you. Looking forward to another two-and-a-half years of blogging bliss!

I recently wrote a post requesting feedback, and I want you to know that I have read and taken to heart every single comment. 

For nostalgia, here is the very first picture I shared with you all. It was taken on the day of our Florida beach engagement.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Machine Falls and Civil War Trenches

One of the reasons I enjoy working from home is the flexibility that it provides. Two weeks ago, while a teacher friend of mine was on fall break, we spent a weekday morning hiking at Machine Falls, a trail southeast of Nashville.

The trail is in the middle of nowhere, and when we arrived at 8am, we were the only people there. (We were both glad that we hadn't gone alone.) The Machine Falls Loop is only 1.6 miles, although we ventured onto a few offshoot trails.

We came across a few smaller waterfalls before arriving at the main attraction. 


Machine Falls, the largest waterfall along the trail, is what everyone comes to see. When we arrived, we sat down to enjoy a snack while taking in the beauty of the falls.


On our way back to the parking lot, we came across an old foundation, probably from a cabin of some sort.


On the same day, we also stopped in Murfreesboro at the Stones River National Battlefield. Now a beautiful park, it was the location of the Battle of Stones River, one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Civil War.


With Major General William S. Rosecrans commanding the Union forces and General Braxton Bragg in charge of the Confederate forces, the battle began on New Year's Eve 1862 and lasted until January 2nd, 1863. Although just a three-day battle, there were more than 23,000 casualties.

Mr. Handsome and I had visited the battlefield once before, and my favorite part was walking through the trenches that were used by the soldiers. Although they are not nearly as deep as they were 150 years ago, they are still very visible.

These photos aren't great, but I'll share them anyways. In the first picture, I am standing in the trenches. The yellow lines in the second snapshot show where the trenches are.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Introducing Ralph

Many of you have asked if we have pets. At the rental house we lived in until a couple months ago, we had several neighborhood cats that would come to the backdoor and beg for food. Their cuteness pulled at my heartstrings, so I usually tossed them a few scraps of meat.

Around the time that we moved, we acquired an official pet. We weren't intending to add a creature to our family, but he was in need of a new home, so we took him in. I guess you can say we adopted him.

Before I show you a picture, let me give a short backstory. Four years ago, when Mr. Handsome and I were still dating, his youngest sister, Lena, received a pet for her 11th birthday. Thinking he was a she, Lena named the pet Catherine the Great because his tail looked like the onion domes on Russian buildings.

Lena was excited about Catherine the Great (Catie G. for short) for a little while, but then the novelty wore off, and the poor thing just sat there on a counter in the corner of my in-laws' kitchen, receiving very little attention. They tried to feed him, but he rarely ate anything. My mother-in-law claims that Lena had begged her for this pet, but Lena claims that she had wanted a furry pet.

One winter, Catie G. escaped from his cage and survived for two months in my in-laws' home before someone found him sunbathing on a windowsill and returned him to his habitat. A year later, a gal who works at a pet store looked closely at Catie G's feet and informed us that they had been chewed on, probably while he was loose. Yikes!

Well, Mr. Handsome, who always made a point of cleaning the cage whenever we visited, took pity on poor Catie G. While we were staying at my in-laws' house for a friend's wedding this summer, Mr. Handsome asked what I thought about taking Catie G. home with us. My husband has always had a thing for little creatures. (Someday, I'll have to tell you about the various "pets" he had as a child.)

My first thought was to say no, but when I thought about the sad life that poor Catie G. was currently living, I decided to approve the adoption. At the end of the weekend, we loaded the little thing and his cage into our car, alongside our luggage, and headed home.

Three months later, and Ralph the leopard gecko has found his way into our hearts. (We nixed his feminine name when we found out that he was a he.) It has taken him a while to settle in, but he is doing very well. He eats and drinks more in a week than he used to in an entire month. Here's that picture I promised. I think he's kind of cute, which is proof that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Do y'all have any pets?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cake, Part 1

A few weeks ago, I invited family over to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday. For dinner, we ate homemade pulled pork nachos (click here for my recipe).

For dessert, I set out to bake something unique that would make my sister-in-law smile. Unlike everyone else in the family, she isn't a huge fan of ice cream, so that ruled out ice cream cake. I thought about a lemon cake but decided that the chocolate-loving menfolk wouldn't be too thrilled about that.

Then I had a revelation. My sister-in-law is a strawberry addict, and she especially enjoys chocolate-covered strawberries, so why not a chocolate-covered strawberry cake?

The process was time-consuming, but the result was more than worth it. And as delicious as the cake was, the look on my sister-in-law's face when she saw it was by far the best part. Below is the cake recipe. I'll share the recipes for the strawberry buttercream frosting and chocolate glaze soon.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cake, Part 1

Super Moist Chocolate Cake

Ingredients: 
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

4 eggs
1-1/3 cups milk
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup canola oil

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour four round cake pans (can be 9-10 inches). I used spring-form pans, which made the process much easier.

2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and unsweetened cocoa powder in a large bowl.

3. In another large bowl, beat eggs, milk, vanilla, and oil.

4. Add dry ingredients to wet, and whisk until well blended.

5. Pour batter into four cake pans, using a spatula to make sure batter is evenly dispersed. If your oven isn't large enough or if you only have two pans, feel free to bake the cakes in two batches.

6. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Test with the toothpick test. (Insert toothpick into the center of each cake. If it comes out clean, cakes are done.)

7. Run a butter knife or spatula around the inside of each pan to prevent cake from sticking, and wait 10-15 minutes. If your pans are spring-form, release the springs.

8. Use a knife or spatula to gently remove cakes from pans. Place cakes upside-down on plates to cool.

 Before baking

 After baking

'Champion' DVD Giveaway

Earlier this year, I posted my review of the movie Champion one month ahead of its theatrical release. Mr. Handsome and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and we highly recommend it. Champion illustrates the life-changing power of forgiveness, a message that desperately needs to be shared.

The film was released to Digital and On Demand October 24th and will be available on DVD November 7th.

In exchange for my review, I have received two DVD copies of Champion to raffle off to my readers. Follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win. For more on the movie, click here to read my review.



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Photo courtesy of championthemovie.com

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Volunteering at VBS

I have been reading through the feedback that you all submitted on my Ask Ellie 2.0 post and noticed that a couple readers asked if Mr. Handsome and I have done any volunteering. One thing I have enjoyed doing since moving to Nashville is helping out with Vacation Bible School.

Growing up, my older brother and I always loved attending VBS. We would bring home the cassette tapes of the theme songs and play them 24/7 for weeks. (I still remember the lyrics to this day!) Sadly, many VBS programs these days don't give out physical copies of the songs because they expect the kids to be able to access them on YouTube, but that's the way of our world.

With all the wonderful memories I made at VBS as a child, I was thrilled to get involved in our church's program. This year, we used LifeWay's Galactic Starveyors program, and I taught Kindergarten.

To decorate my classroom, I used the wall decorations provided by LifeWay and then came up with additional ideas by browsing Pinterest.


On Amazon, I found a few cheap, plastic tablecloths to hang on the walls.



In the story time corner, I set up a large piece of cardboard to create sort of a "clubhouse." I also planned to have the kids color on the cardboard when we had downtime, but our week was so jam-packed that we hardly had a chance.


And what's a galaxy theme without incorporating the cheesy phrase "out of this world"?


On the door, I created this rocket ship out of butcher paper.


Volunteering at VBS was a blast. I had 15 Kindergarteners, with two teen helpers to assist me. A few weeks later, I was thrilled to see two of my kids (siblings, although they were 10 months apart) at a random event 40 minutes away. Although I wasn't sure they would remember me, I decided to approach their mother. I hadn't met her, as their aunt had dropped them off and picked them up all week, but after I told her who I was, she was very happy that I had said something.

Have any of you been involved in VBS? 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

How I Met Mr. Handsome, Part 4


This summer, we shared Mr.  Handsome's account of the story of how we met. (Click here to watch those videos.) Now it's time to hear my side of the saga...

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Lending a Hand

A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law and father-in-law were visiting Nashville for the weekend, so rather than go to our church, we all decided to go to church with Mr. Handsome's brother and his wife.

After the service, we chatted with a young woman and her mother. My mother-in-law and the young woman's mother really hit it off, and it wasn't long before they were talking like they were lifelong friends. (We were all a bit confused at first, but when we found out that they both have seven children and are/were homeschool moms, we understood their instant bond.)

It just so happened that this young woman was getting married in Nashville the following weekend, and her mother was stressed out because she is from the East Coast and was having trouble finding people to help out at the DIY event.

My mother-in-law non-nonchalantly said that she would see if any of her children would be able to lend a hand, and the woman was ecstatic. "That would be wonderful!" she exclaimed.

My well-meaning mother-in-law called over my brother-in-law and his wife (the ones who actually attend the church and would probably know many of the guests at the wedding) to see if they were free the following weekend. They were busy, so Mr. Handsome and I volunteered to help.

The following weekend, we arrived at the church, and the mother of the bride was being pulled in 1,000 different directions, so she asked another helper to take us to the kitchen and show us what to do. Well, this person took us to the kitchen and then admitted that she had no idea what we were supposed to do, so she handed us a list and left.

To make a long story short, we did a lot of improvising, as we set up the appetizers and dinner buffet, met the baker and showed her where to put the cake, and (after the ceremony was over) instructed the guests where to line up for dinner.

We had a bit of difficulty figuring out the drink situation. The labels on the two dispensers said Sweet Tea and Strawberry Lemonade, but the huge walk-in fridge only contained Kiwi Lemonade (didn't even know that was a thing) and Unsweetened Tea.

If you live in the South, you know that serving only Unsweetened Tea is simply not socially acceptable. We changed the labels and filled the drink dispensers, hoping that the well-meaning hosts, who were from the North, wouldn't be chewed out by all the sweet tea loving guests from the South.

The mother and father of the bride were very appreciative of our help and even gave us a gift card to Olive Garden. When we had finished our duties, we sat down to eat the fabulous food, which was from an Indian restaurant.


The highlight of the evening, which turned out to be a lot of fun, was listening to one of the guests tell us the bride and groom's love story. It turns out that the groom is completely blind, but he is a successful lawyer in Washington D.C. and can do everything but drive a car. (Isn't that incredible?)

Rather than coddle him, his parents had pushed him towards greatness by refusing to allow him to make excuses for himself. The guest, a college friend of the groom, told us a story of a time when one of the groom's bed sheets had ripped while he was away at school. The friend suggested the groom call his mom, who had purchased the sheets, and ask her to order a replacement. The groom laughed and told his roommate that he knew exactly what his mom's response would be: "Just take a taxi to Kohl's and buy yourself a new set."

CD Giveaway

Who's ready for a giveaway? I'm raffling off five copies of Erin Bates Paine's newest CD, Lullaby. For those who are familiar with the Bates family, Erin is the third oldest of Gil and Kelly Bates' 19 children. A fabulous piano player who has recorded four CDs, she is expecting her third child with husband Chad Paine.

Lullaby features 12 classic tunes, including "You are my Sunshine," "This Little Light of Mine," "Somewhere over the Rainbow," and "Rock-a-Bye Baby." Follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Artwork courtesy of Chad Paine; photo courtesy of TarynYagerPhotography.com

To purchase Erin's CDs, visit the Paines' website.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Ask Ellie 2.0


Soon after I started this blog (has it really been almost two-and-a-half years?) I published a post titled "Ask Ellie," where I invited readers to share their feedback, questions, and post suggestions. I have lots of new ideas up my sleeve, but I'm always eager to hear what you all have to say.

What are your favorite posts that I have shared? What types of post would you like me to share in the future? Do you have any questions that you would like me to answer (either in a video or a written post)?

Go ahead and share your answers as comments. I will read and take into consideration every single response.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Homemade Hummus Recipe

How many of my readers are hummus fans? I sure am! Last week, I was randomly craving chips and hummus after having gone several months without having any. The Walmart brand was decent, but after finishing the entire tub in one week, I decided to make my own. The recipe I came up with was leaps and bounds better than store-bought.


Homemade Hummus

Ingredients:
1-15oz can garbanzo beans
1/4 cup tahini (often found in the international aisle)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Directions:
Combine ingredients, and blend using an immersion hand blender--such as a Bamix--until creamy. (Food processors and regular blenders work, as well.)

Store in the refrigerator. Serve with chips or veggies.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Chipmunk Encounter

To help you conquer the Monday doldrums, I have a couple cute photos to share. As I mentioned in my post about Day 4 of our Canadian Rocky Mountain adventure, we were greeted by a curious chipmunk when we arrived at a breathtaking lookout point during an all-day hike at Lake Louise. (Don't worry, we didn't feed it.)

The chipmunks in Banff National Park are often very friendly because they have grown so accustomed to humans. As a child, I remember sitting on a bench at Moraine Lake and being completely startled when a chipmunk crawled into my lap.

Have you had any interesting encounters with animals in the wild?


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Mr. Handsome's Ship Paintings

Mr. Handsome the painter has recently become interested in a new subject: ships. These three original ship paintings are some of his first attempts. The photos simply don't do them justice. They are so much better in person, and they blow me out of the water every single time I look at them. No pun intended...