Sunday 7 February 2010

Marie's Sunday Six Smilemakers

Welcome to my Sunday Smile Makers post! This was my first week of smiles for the month of February in 2010 and there has been ever so much to smile about over these past days. Life is so very good. I reckon I am very blessed indeed!! I am so thankful that I am a person that is able to enjoy the little things in life. Oh, I am a dreamer too . . . I do dream a lot of greater things . . . but I do so enjoy all the small blessings that life throws at me so very much.

I got a package in the post this week from my good friend Raquel who lives in America. Inside was a few odds and sodds, and this lovely Bodycology Vanilla Cupcake body mist!! It smells heavenly and I have walked around all week smelling like a Vanilla Cupcake. Now if that doesn't make a person smile, I don't know what will! It's been so much fun smelling good enough to eat, during a week when I couldn't really smell much of anything anyways! I reckon it made the people around me smile as well, if not a bit hungry!!

The lovely people at The Last Detail sent me this lovely apron this past week, except that mine says Mrs Rayner, not Mrs Colebrook. It's really nice, made of sturdy 100% cotton by the amazing Catherine Colebrook. They were so kind to send me this and I just love it! As a cook I just love aprons, and I have a lot of different ones, but this is my favourite, probably as it is personalized and has my very own name on it. The folks at The Last Detail were so very generous to send this to me. They have some really fun party bunting as well, that I am thinking of ordering myself to dress up my kitchen for Easter and spring.

Isn't it pretty??? And it's not all that expensive either!

My artwork makes me smile. I had some time yesterday and I did this little painting. I had found a Chinese Proverb several weeks ago that inspired me and I had done a little sketch. I was so happy yesterday to finally have some time to dig out my paints and colours and bring it to life. If you would like to see her in her entirety you can see her over on Blossom Time Creations of course! And while you are over there, if you haven't done so already, do take the time to enter my One World One Heart Giveaway! I'm giving away one of my Raggedy Dolls!

This little fella made me smile. This is Luke, the newest addition to our family. He's so very sweet! I just can't hardly wait to be able to hold him in July when we go to Canada on holiday. I have four grandsons and have only ever met the one in person, Gabriel (Luke's older brother). This summer I will finally have the opportunity to see and spend time with all four of my grandsons, which will be just wonderful, and getting to hold one of them when they are actually still a baby will be the icing on the cake! God is very good.

It's hard to believe, but it was a year ago now that I was enjoying some time in Utah and Idaho with my good friends, Lura, Lenis and Dick! My how that year has flown by so very quickly, but the memories of the time we got to spend together are still making me smile in a very big way! They were all so very kind to me and it was such a wonderful week. I miss them all so much. Who else would spend hours and hours in freezing cold temperatures with me, but friends such as these??? They were all so wonderful and my memories of that time are so very precious. Every time I think of Lura, who was so brave to meet the cold like she did, and coming from California as she does, we all know it must have been doubly cold for her, it makes me smile twice as much. She was such a dear. One night when we got back to our hotel room, she was so very cold she just lay under the covers in her bed with hand warmers all over herself. It was so funny and so endearing. That was a week that was just loaded with smiles for me, and here it is a year later and I am still smiling over it all. ☺

All of your prayers and happy thoughts over the past week while I have been suffering with my cold have surely made me smile. They mean so much to me. I am happy to report that today I am finally beginning to feel human again! I am sure it has been your love that has helped! The sun shone for a bit yesterday afternoon and I put on my walking boots and bundled up and went for a walk through the Orchards with Todd and Jess, to help clear the cobwebs from my head. It was cold, and the ground very muddy, but it was nice to be out and about. As we walked I thought about how very special you all are to me and how much this blogging has enriched my life. I know you all think that I do something special for you when I write my words, but the truth is I gain a lot more than I ever give out . . . your loving kindnesses, your happy thoughts, prayers and wishes, the lovely comments that you leave . . . they have all blessed my life in countless ways, they truly do. I cannot imagine my life without this wonderful medium and you all in it. Thanks to you all so very much!! You all make me smile in the best way possible! xxoo

I had the ftelevision tuned to the foodie channel yesterday for a while, and Giada de Laurentiis was cooking on it. I suddenly remembered that I had one of her books upstairs and I got it out and looked through it. There was this lovely soup right in the first chapter and I had all the ingredients to hand so that I could make it and so I did! It is delicious, truly delicious. Todd didn't even mind that it had pasta in it. It always amazes me that you can take such simple ingredients and come up with something so totally scrumptious! I cut the recipe in half because there are only two of us, but I found myself wishing that I hadn't, because I surely would have loved to have had a second bowl!!

*Pasta e Fagioli*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

Classic Italian comfort food. Quick, simple and very, very tasty.

4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 large fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS butter
1 large onion, peeled and chopped finely
3 ounces pancetta, or bacon, chopped
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
6 cups chicken broth
2 (14 1/2 ounce) tins of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
3/4 cup elbow type of macaroni
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy saucepan. Add the onion, pancetta and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion is tender. Add the broth, beans, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Uncover and remove the rosemary, thyme stem and the bay leaf. Discard. Remove one cup of the soup and puree with a stick blender until smooth. Stir this back into the soup. Add the macaroni and bring back to the boil. Stir, then cover and cook until the macaroni is tender, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

Ladle the hot soup into heated bowls. Sprinkle each with some Parmesan cheese and drizzle with some of the olive oil. Delicious!

And coz it is my smile maker day, over on The English Kitchen today you can see a delicious Lemon Curd Blueberry Loaf that surely makes me smile!


  1. Such wonderful smilemakers, Marie--especially that handsome new grandson of yours! So glad you have a photo to share! I need to go and check out those fabulous vintage-style aprons, too!

    Love that soup! Looks delicious! Heading over to your "Kitchen" to see that scrumptious always have such lovely things to drool over!

    Sure hope you're starting to feel better--colds are the worst! Much love to you for this Sunday, my friend!

  2. Marie your grandson is absolutely delicious. He is just so lovable.

    I love my aprons so much! They are a household staple. Enjoy your new one.

    Take care and enjoy your Sunday

  3. Great smilemakers, Marie! So glad you are feeling better. I do hate having a cold. Do they give pneumonia shots over there? I got mine about 4 years ago and I am so glad I did. I used to be sick constantly - not any more, I hardly ever get a cold. Soup looks fabulouos!!!!! Much love to you good friend - Raquel XO

  4. Now that I've read your Sunday Six I'm smiling. It was good to see you are feeling better. Sometimes some fresh air is a blessing. It is far too cold to stay out long here, but I got my exercise and fresh air clearing the snow from the steps and walkways here at our house. Take care and I hope you enjoy your Sunday!

  5. Glad to be of service ma'am! Thanks for saying that we help to make your days happy.

    Super-pleased to hear you're feeling better. The time your cold has hung on for must have been almost as miserable as the cold itself. Have you noticed the Royal Family never catch a cold? Never. "Her Majesty has a chill." So next time (you're due 2015) just go upmarket and catch a chill, then you're entitled to stay in bed and cancel all engagements!

    love, Angie

  6. Yum to that cake..oh boy! Wow, you have been blessed to receive goodies like those. Your drawing is so cute and the new baby even cuter! Have a good day! :D

  7. Thankyou for the smiles Marie.Oh your Grandson is adorable.I love the new art too.So happy you are feeling much better.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  8. i want an apron like that-so awesome!! and i agree about smelling tasty-i love to smell yummy(joey does too !)

    glad you are feeling better! i had my share of it about a week and a half ago. and i'm still not the same. so congested that i'm getting dang sinuses headaches! but oh well, thats life i guess. at least i'm not sneezing and coughing anymore. gotta look at the bright side:)

  9. You have got me smiling too. What a great week you had in spite of that darn cold! Glad you are better and wondering when we can show you around San Francisco?

  10. Your smilemakers made me smile. Your little grandson is so adorable. I loved your drawings and made a quick visit to 'Blossom Creations'. The sketches are very pretty Ma'm.

  11. Hello again dear,
    It is Monday morn and I just finished reading your day book and then scrolled down to your Sunday six. What wonderful smiles you have. I just love that picture of Luke. I can't wait until July when you can see him and the other 3 boys in real life. I am so happy that you get to go.

    As I mentioned in your day book comment, I treasure the memories of our trip together. It was such a wonderful time...and well worth freezing over. I would freeze again in a heart beat if I could spend another week with you.

    I surely hope you feel better soon. Lets both get well and feel good next week so we won't miss church again!!! I made it to Sacrament meeting but missed the last 2 hours. I hate to miss.

    Have a good week...feel better...hugs, Lura


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