As the Seasons Change…

I find myself gazing into the trees with anticipation of the beautiful foliage transitioning to the next season. While admiring changes in the landscape, there are a few changes around here. It’s been a while since my last post. I found…I needed to reevaluate my purpose and have a definitive reason for posting / blogging. In the (long) break I took, I have been up-cycling wood by using it as a canvas, creating mixed media artwork. I’ve explored selling in different boutiques and holiday shows. Last January my art was accepted into Eclectics Gallery. I am having so much fun exploring this side of myself further than a hobby. I have continued to embrace Graphic Design jobs as well.

Currently, I just completed a large project, volunteering as Art Coordinator for the Kansas City FIRE Ball Auction. ( Foundation for Inclusive Religious Education) FIRE is such a wonderful program and my children have received an amazing gift by having children with special needs in their classroom. I notice how kind and gentle and patient the kids are with complete strangers when out in “the world”. Many grocery stores in our city have employees working there. I’m always impressed with how comfortable the kids are. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to love the children in the FIRE program up close. My kids have had the opportunity to be humble and show compassion for others and they are definitely rewarded immensely. This is the wave of the future…we will start seeing more and more people with special needs in all work environments, not just the grocery sacker. Recently a show discussed this and how the companies embracing Inclusive Work Environments have had a change in their employees disposition. I find it fascinating how they give more to us than we could ever, possibly give to them.

The past two weeks I have spent resting up, preparing for the Holiday Shows I will partake in. As soon as I have listings, I will post them. In addition, Finding Her View will move over to my new website, Sheri Biritz Designs. Thank you for following along this journey that is ever evolving.

Toot My Horn

I find it difficult to “toot my own horn”…but here I go. Following are images I painted on 24″ x 30” canvases for my churches nursery. I was given creative freedom, which is music to an artist ears! I chose to paint whimsical images of living things made by God. I love texture in art, along with seeing the brush strokes. These paintings all have at least one 3 dimensional object within the painting. Each piece is also showcased with a border portraying movement or an energy you can feel from that particular piece. I hope you enjoy these pieces. They were so fun to work on.

Butterfly: wings are bedazzled with jewels
Border represents the carefree feeling I get when I see a butterfly and the loopty loops they do.

Cat: collar is bedazzled with jewels
Border represents the tension of the cat holding ever so still in order to catch the butterfly, while 2 others are swarming its head. We have a cat who thinks he is so sneaky and he is quite clumsy.

Dog: has a dog tag hanging from collar with the word “woof” on it
Border represents grassy outdoors and the dog waiting anxiously for someone to throw the ball. I grew up with dogs. There were a lot of slimmy balls thrown!

Fish: has a wiggle/google eye
Border represents the waves of the water and the fish swimming on by.

Purple Striped Zebra: The tail and mane are tassle type fringe
Border represents an african feel with the zigzag pattern. For me I can feel the movement as if there is pounding on a drum and the sound coming in and out. Just me…you guys didn’t feel it? I know…gotta a little artsy on you!
So Fun!!!

Change is good

I hope you were able to “catch” today’s post for the Lasagna recipe. I am working on personalizing the design for I appreciate all of the warm and positive feedback from all of you thus far. Thank you for all of the wonderful support. So, so Thankful! Please stay tuned as I update and add more to this exciting adventure

Catch of the Day…Lasagna?

My husband is a meat and potatoes kinda guy. So whenever I pull out this old standby recipe, he sighs and says “Oh great…what’s in it?” I am known for secretly tainting recipes with healthy ingredients. Spaghetti and Lasagna are perfect candidates for tossing in healthy stuff. This low-fat lasagna is a recipe I have had since high school. I have modified it to make it even better. It didn’t call for cheese, so I had to make it a little more fattening than it originally was.

This is the first meal I ever made for my husband when we first started dating. I like to tease him that it was my fabulous lasagna that won him over. Not the fact he called my apartment and my roomate told him “…no she isn’t here. She’s out fly fishing.” (sigh) “Yes, by herself”. Hook, line and sinker, baby!

He was a great catch! The left brain I never had but always wanted. All kidding aside, this is what I am serving on Halloween night. It is savory and delishious. Prepare it the night before without cooking the noodles, see the Easy Prep Tip at the bottom of this page. Seems like alot of ingredients, but you throw it in the pot after cooking burger. For my vegetarian friends…obviously, leave out the meat. If you don’t have all the ingredients like ground rosemary, use regular rosemary or skip rosemary altogether. It’s one you can leave out, along with the onions and mushrooms. I am getting hungry thinking about it!

Low-Fat Lasagna

1 lb. ground turkey (or beef…will have more fat)

1 bunch green onions, chopped (optional) (or 1 medium onion chopped ½ cup)

2 cloves garlic crushed or minced

6 to 8 mushrooms, sliced (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp ground rosemary (I prefer ground so I can’t feel texture either is fine)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 (16 oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

12 uncooked lasagna noodles (about 12 oz)

1 cup low-fat yogurt

1 cup light sour cream

2 cups (16oz) shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup shredded (low-fat) parmesan cheese (or grated)-used in topping only

  1. In skillet cook turkey, onion, garlic and mushrooms in skillet over medium heat stirring occasionally until no longer pink; drain. While still in colander, rinse with cold water.
  2. Stir in parsley, basil, oregano, basil, rosemary, sugar, whole tomatoes with liquid and tomato sauce, breaking up tomatoes. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered about 30 – 45 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  3. Cook and drain noodles according to package directions or see the quick tip below for easy prep.
  4. While sauce simmers, combine yogurt and sour cream in a small bowl.
  5. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Assemble: spread approx. 1 cup of sauce mixture in ungreased 9×13 baking dish. Top with 4 noodles. Spread 1 cup of cheese mixture over noodles, spread with 1 cup of sauce mixture. Sprinkle with ½ cup of mozzarella cheese. Repeat steps one more time. Top with one more layer of noodles and sauce mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  7. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Tip for Easy Prep:

To prepare the night before, follow all steps except the noodles. Do NOT cook the noodles. Layer the Lasagna according to directions with uncooked noodles. Cover and refrigerate until the next night when you are ready to cook it. Noodles will soften on their own. You won’t regret preparing it ahead of time!

Throw some garlic bread in and serve a salad with it! Mmmm. Who’s hungry?

High Heel Scooter

This post is for all the High Heel wearin’ friends of mine!

Early this fall “Little Miss Thang” decided to become Evil Knievel on a skate board. Actually, it was the week of school pictures, her first school pics! The zig zag scrape is gone and her nose only shows evidence of a faint pink zig zag line. A few nights ago, before January temps set in for Halloween, visions of her flying off the skate board went through my head. I demanded my daughter go put on shoes in order to ride the scooter. Next thing I knew she was back in the game, cruisin’ down easy street…sporting her Cinderella dress up heels.

She’s such a good listener! Cheers to being 4!

Bookmark It!

A recent project my oldest daughter came up with on a whim is fantastic and easy. She used pieces of paper from our printer cutting them into differing widths and lengths to make a bookmark.

Next, she and her sisters painted patterns on the pieces of paper using nail polish. My youngest painted on her paper prior to cutting. I cut the painted paper into strips after the masterpiece was dry. The idea was simple and fun. What’s not to love? Nail polish has its own paintbrush and you don’t have to wash it out. I can’t name a woman that doesn’t have nail polish sitting around and if they don’t…it’s easily accessible. Luckily, I have 3 girls who enjoy collecting crazy fun colors, cuz I have 2 faves, gray & iridescent gray. Wouldn’t be a very cool bookmark now would it? Also, the Crackle Nail Polish looks great as a bookmark!

If you don’t have a fancy cardboard tray like mine from the recycle bin, use newspaper under the bookmarks before the kids start painting. Also, crack open a door or window for ventilation. You can use white copy/printer paper or you can bump it up to card stock quality to prevent warping (or curling). I believe the book will flatten the paper once everything is nice and dry.

Next, I used decorative edge scissors to cut the bookmark edges on a few of the pieces. I love when my kids get involved with their littlest sister without being prompted. So sweet. This is a project needing very little assistance, just monitoring as project manager. Bookmark it and Read On!

Snakes on the Move

Many of you have seen this photo of my dad on Facebook. If you haven’t, I welcome you even farther into my world. This is another one of those text I received from my mother! Throwin’ ya into my family upbringing and a big reason I am so scared of snakes and bears. A direct result of two drastic upbringings. Louisiana=snakes + Montana=bears.

As most of you know, the south has a longer summer than other areas of the country. Starting sometime in September the snakes start movin’. They get extremely active in the fall. In saying that, I assume most of you don’t know what that means. Don’t snakes move all the time?

Well, winter is approaching and bringing cooler weather, therefore, the cold-blooded animals are movin’ to find a warm spot to spend the winter. They become inactive, or dormant, similar to hibernation.

Mama sent me this picture of Daddy holding a 5 foot 2 inch long rattle snake. BTW, that is how tall my mother is. It had/has 7 rattlers on the end of it. My dad’s cousin, Everett was approaching a bridge and noticed a log laying across the road. This is rural Louisiana, so people living in the area know when someone has been in and out of their roads, especially if it leads to their huntin’ camp or fishin’ hole!

Anyway, Uncle Everett’s immediate thought is how that log got there, then he saw the snake move. He proceeded driving until the truck went over the snake. Then he got out of his truck, YES…got out of his truck! Grabbed his shotgun to kill the snake. Reminder: You know someone is from a rural area if they have a gun rack in their back winda! or maybe all the camo they wear. I love my dad…look how cute he is holding a gi-normous snake while in his camo suspenders, camo shirt, camo hat and camo cell phone holster, excuse me…holder. And yes, that is a cat smelling the head of the snake. You need lots of cats in the country to keep all those snakes away from your house. But really, I think the snake would swallow that cat whole! Eeeek.