We are a couple of “old souls” who love to cook and craft together. We love all things vintage or anything that takes us back to a simpler way of life. We are a bit of a backwards pair as Brian cooks like grandma used to and Jill does the up-to-date repurposing and handles the tech part of the blog. We love who we are and make no apologies for it!
Hi! I’m Jill. I don’t really like talking about myself very much but I do love talking about all the beautiful things that surround me. So, I suppose if I talk about that stuff, you will get to know me a little better.
1. I love My Family!! Especially my Littles (that’s what I call my grandchildren.) I was a crazy soccer mom that raised 6 kids and have been generously rewarded for not killing them as teenagers. Between them, they have given me 14 grandchildren!! My wonderful hubby and I are now empty nesters and enjoy spoiling our Littles. Our family is close, and we love being together. Every Sunday evening, we have a big family dinner where there is not enough room for us all to sit, but we squish in and enjoy getting caught up on the week’s events. I’m determined to someday have a dining area big enough for all of us!
2. I love the Changing of Seasons! I grew up in Southern California where I only read about the changing of seasons in books. I thought it was a nice idea, but never really experienced it until I moved to Utah. Each season in my beautiful mountain home is vibrant and intense. It always leaves me looking forward to what the next season will bring.
3. Chocolate!! Enough said? Of course not! While I love all kinds of chocolate, dark chocolate is my passion. My motto is: “If it isn’t chocolate, it’s not worth the calories.” (Just a side note, white chocolate is NOT real chocolate. It’s a case of mistaken identity. If you have a problem with that, take it up with the Master Chocolatier at the Hershey Factory. We really need to find another name for that poor treat with the identity crisis.)
4. I love all things Fabric and Polka Dots! I love to sew, quilt, and generally any craft that has to do with fabric. As a matter of fact, fabric calls to me when I walk through a fabric/craft store. I find myself making a hard right or left turn down an aisle when I hear the soft beaconing of some poor forgotten bolt of fabric (usually something with polka dots on it) that just begs me to take at least 2 yards of it home with me. Some people rescue dogs. . .I rescue fabric. Sheesh!
5. My Home is a haven! I am a true home-body. I LOVE being home – not to hibernate away from society, but just to enjoy the peace and true joy I feel there. My home is either so quiet that I can hear myself blinking or buzzing with my Littles calling “Nana! Nana! Come watch this!” Either way, I love it! I also love to bring unique or “unloved” pieces into my home and repurpose them to be useful again.
6. I love being a Christian! I know it’s not popular to spout off about religion, and I certainly don’t want to offend anyone by saying this. However, I really do love being part of an organized religion and Sunday worship services. It really gives me a chance to relax and unwind from the week’s crazy agenda and enjoy some peace that comes through meditation on Jesus Christ and his teachings. That might not be for everyone, but for me, it’s what helps me get through each week with a renewed sense of who I want to be and charity towards others. I hope you have found a way to renew yourself each week too.
7. Red is my all-time favorite color! I have red clothes, shoes, jewelry, plates, cups, house accents, PJs, slippers, name labels, rugs, curtains, and even a red wall that you can see from my front door. I wanted a red car, but my hubby drew the line there. (He didn’t want to keep up with the waxing. Ha ha!) Perhaps this is the reason that I wanted to put “strawberry” in the name of our blog. . .so I could use the color red!
8. Music is one of the loves of my life. Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved music of all kinds. When I first saw The Sound of Music, I was hooked on showtunes, and I still am today. I learned to love classical music when I became proficient on the piano. Meeting my husband introduced me to Country music, and getting to know God has brought me a love of religious music. It doesn’t matter too much, if I can move to it, it moves me.
9. Disneyland – how much needs to be said about that? Disney is splashed all over my house, my wardrobe and my vacations. Minnie Mouse is my favorite character. Why? Well. . . she does wear red and or polka dots most of the time.
10. I love Great Sayings! My favorite people to quote are Dr. Seuss, C.S. Lewis, Helen Kellar, and of course, Jesus. They all seem to have unique yet simple wisdom on life and getting through tough times. I seem to collect these quotes as I have them plastered on my refrigerator, littering the margins of my scriptures, in different places in my phone, and in picture frames around the house. I always like to start my day by reading great things!
11. (Why 11 things? Well. . .11 is my favorite number!) Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without my Lists and Sticky Note pads. I LOVE them!! I’m a little weird about my list making. How do I know? Because, I will even make a list that includes an item to make another list, and usually there is a sticky note reminding me to make the first list. See? Weird, I know! But. . .somehow, it all keeps me organized.
I’m Brian, and I love crocheting, cooking for my health, and being crafty. I have loved my life and the many great wonders it has shown me.
When I was born, I had a heart defect known as Transposition of the Great Vessels. Simply put, my aorta and pulmonary artery were parallel to one another rather than crossed. The doctors went in and surgically corrected the issue when I was just three days old.
Once they corrected it, my heart began beating too fast, so they gave me medications to help my heart beat normally. I was on three different medications and that brought my heart rate down, but then it began to beat too slow; however, if they took me off even one, my heart would begin to beat too fast again. So, when I was 6 weeks old, they put a pacemaker in me. They put it in my abdomen because it was too big to fit in my tiny little chest.
Unfortunately, I developed some digestive problems and was stuck in the hospital trying to get those issues worked out. After 2 ½ months, I finally got to go home. I still took many medications and was hooked up to different tubes and wires for the next year. My dad said that between all my machines and scars, I looked like something from Dr. Frankenstein’s lab.
My cardiologist said that I needed to keep myself in good health and make the best choices for my body. As I got older, I began to realize how amazing cooking for good health could be. This is where I developed my love for the art of cooking.
My cooking journey became one of joyous self-discovery and how eating well could make me feel better than ever. Although I still have various, and rather annoying, health issues, cooking has been a saving grace for me.
I began cooking and baking around age eight. I enjoyed it then, and as I continued to experiment with new recipes, I began to LOVE it. In fact, in high school, I joined the Pro Start cooking team. We even got to compete! It was such a wonderful experience that I took cooking classes all through high school.
I began to be familiar with which herbs and spices went with which fruits, vegetables, and meats. I learned how these unfamiliar flavors could come together in culinary masterpieces. I loved, and still do love, learning about different flavor combinations. It’s an ongoing journey into the glorious world of food!
A really important discovery I have made is how wonderful food can taste without all the additives. I learned an interesting thing about additives, they were initially introduced into cooking when a flavor was not readily available and to enhance the taste of the food. They continue to be added to foods, because we have become used to that amount of flavor. Although many dishes can have that heightened sense of flavor naturally; flavor enhancers can and do boost the flavors. . .but artificially. This can be a detriment to our flavor palettes.
My desire is to get back to the basics of cooking and restore the flavor palette to its normal function without all the additives. Some people don’t mind all the additives in food, and I say great! There are those of us, like me, who prefer to leave them out. That’s also great!
It’s a beautiful world where we have so many choices. Most of the people I know love homemade meals from scratch. That’s exactly where I am headed. . .to help create a healthier lifestyle that’s simple and delicious without compromising flavor. Far too often, flavor is sacrificed in the name of health. I believe food can taste delicious and be healthy at the same time!