More illustrator art

I’m loving playing with Illustrator. Here are some more wall art pieces I’ve worked on – 3 more to go to replace all of the photos I have in mind. 🙂


April 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm 1 comment

New artwork for the walls

So the embroidery attempt is still a work in progress. Yay, Illustrator!


April 20, 2011 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

Front porch Fridays …. errr, Monday

So a long time ago I promised you a new theme called Front Porch Fridays. Silly beginning blogger that I was, I didn’t realize how quickly these themes fall by the wayside.

Lo and behold, today I was finally syncing all of my iPhone pics and realized that I had taken a number of photos of beautiful houses around St. Joe on my walks with my husband and pups.

Forgive the quality, ogle the architectural details …

(Also, sadly, none of these are in *our* neighborhood)

April 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm 1 comment

Must learn

So I’ve vowed I must learn how to embroider. I have sweet images filling my head of our future kids having framed art on the wall that’s been hand embroidered. I might be the only person alive thinking about these things.


But here’s what I’d love to embroider. Have any of you read Gilead by Marilynne Robinson? It’s one of my all-time favorite books and sheer poetry when talking about family.

“I’m writing this in part to tell you that if you ever wonder what you’ve done in your life, and everyone does wonder sooner or later, you have been God’s grace to me, a miracle, something more than a miracle. You may not remember me very well at all, and it may seem to you to be no great thing to have been the good child of an old man in a shabby little town you will no doubt leave behind. If only I had the words to tell you.”

I’m not even a mom yet and this part always makes me cry.

Or I picture this, with a sweet outline of a child in a yellow rain coat:

“Well, but you two are dancing around in your iridescent little downpour, whooping and stomping as sane people ought to do when they encounter a thing so miraculous as water.”

Or this:

“… but it’s your existence I love you for, mainly. Existence seems to me now the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined.”

Or lastly, this, which also makes me cry. Truth be known, my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for quite some time and it’s been a long, difficult road. So this quote also makes me a bit teary-eyed:

“You see how it is godlike to love the being of someone. Your existence is a delight to us. I hope you never have to long for a child as I did, but oh, what a splendid thing it has been that you came finally, and what a blessing to enjoy you now …”

OK, enough sap for today. But stay tuned for future embroidery projects, assuming my hands are able to pull this out. And dear readers, you should definitely read this book, if you are so inclined.

April 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm 2 comments

Low carb (but tasty, I swear) lasagna

So part of this ‘eating better, budgeting more, cleaning more, being an adult’ crap has included eating less carbs recently. Glorious, glorious carbs.

One thing that had been missing from our diet was Italian food, since there are so many carbs involved in delicious pasta. One night, when watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay, he was making (or the competitor was making? I don’t know. My mind doesn’t work) lasagna with zucchini as noodles.

Now lets pause a minute. You’re probably wondering, how can zucchini taste as good as noodles? But I swear, you really won’t miss it. And it’s fairly easy.

What you need: 3 large zucchinis, or 5 medium-sized zucchinis

2 jars chunky garden pasta sauce (or homemade pasta sauce if you’re a better person than me)

1 large container part-skim ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 package 2% mozzarella cheese

1 package sliced mushrooms

1 onion, diced

Basil, oregano, rosemary, cracked pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to taste

1 pound ground turkey

2 tbsp EVOO

Peel zucchini, and slice zucchini length-wise into long, skinny (about pasta thickness) strips. (Reserve any remaining ends/green parts/bad cuts) Salt the zucchini strips and toss in strainer, let sit for 1 hour. Then rinse and pat dry.

Warm pan with EVOO, and fry ground turkey until cooked through. Place into bowl. In same pan (reserving some of the grease), stir diced onions and sliced mushrooms into pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, remove in same bowl as meat. Pour in 2 jars of spaghetti sauce, stir. Dice any remaining zucchini that is not in strips and mix with sauce. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano and rosemary to taste.

Mix container of ricotta with egg, garlic powder, and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg (sounds weird, but trust me, delicious). Mix 1/4 of package of shredded mozzarella in with cheese mixture.

Grease a 9X13 pan. Layer 1/3 of sauce/meat mixture across the bottom. Top with zucchini ‘noodles’. Spread with 1/2 ricotta mixture. Top with 1/3 sauce. Top with zucchini ‘noodles’, spread with 1/2 ricotta mixture, top with remaining sauce, then sprinkle remaining package of mozzarella on top.


Wrap with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees, then uncover and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let stand for 10-15 minutes then cut and serve.


April 4, 2011 at 7:56 pm 1 comment

Healthy fajitas

I love, love, love Mexican food. Mexican food and eating healthy, don’t usually go hand in hand. But we recently made some super tasty fajitas that came with no guilt by using some simple substitutions.

Instead of sour cream, Greek yogurt.
Instead of flour tortillas, corn tortillas.
Instead of chicken or beef, shrimp.
No rice or beans. (this was a sad loss)
2% milk shredded cheese instead of normal shredded cheese
Slices of avocado instead of guacamole

Fajita filling made out of: Shrimp, onions, red and yellow peppers, and tons of sliced mushrooms, sauteed in olive oil/sesame oil, covered in lots of black pepper, a bit of salt, some garlic powder, and heavily doused in Mama’s Spice (A great spice mix from New Mexico).

Topped with chopped tomatoes, slices of avocado, and a bit of salsa.

Depending on how much you pile on top of the fajitas, each fajita is roughly 200-250 calories.

February 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

Pumpkin blueberry oats

If the recipes in this blog start to lean toward healthy, don’t be surprised. I’m finally on board with trying to lose weight, which is good but it’s no fun.

However, my friend Melinda at work introduced me to steel cut oats and they’re so good. Not to mention, better for me than my favorite Captain Crunch. I’ve been making a large batch every weekend and divvying out for the mornings for the week. Every batch has been good, but this last batch was the best. Steel cut oats are chewier than regular oatmeal, which is good, but combining the two makes the best of both worlds. Slightly softer than steel cut oats, slightly chewier than regular oatmeal. Plus it’s all kinds of healthy – fiber, protein, vitamins from the pumpkin and blueberries …


1 cup steel cut oats
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups water
1 cup milk
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/8 cup golden raisins
1/8 cup dried currants
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp molasses

In a large sauce pan, put 1 cup steel cut oats and 2 cups water. Stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and let simmer. Stir occasionally. Cook for 10 minutes. Then stir in rolled oats, milk, pumpkin, Greek yogurt, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, honey, molasses, salt, currants, raisins. Continue stirring for 8 minutes, then stir in 1 cup blueberries. Gently stir for remaining 2 minutes, then oatmeal will be complete.

Makes 5-8 servings, depending on your desired serving size. Parcel out into small containers and refrigerate until you are ready to eat. It will stay good for up to two weeks. When ready to eat, heat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave, stir and enjoy.

February 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm Leave a comment

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About me

My name is Mallory Murray and I have a love of all things oldfashioned. I'm a modern day feminist who also adores Martha Stewart. Read on for my sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening, quilting and crafting projects. I am the chief officer of marketing and design at Northwest Missouri State University, so expect the occasional random post about marketing/universities/design. I dream of a hobby farm with baby doll sheep, a sheep dog, a small flock of chickens, and other animals to be announced. I'm also a Pitt State grad, football lover, HGTV addict and obsessed with the color aqua.

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