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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Coloring books, yogurt and avocado oil

The mandala above is watermarked with a big peace symbol because it's part of a coloring book I'm working on for my absolute favorite coloring book publisher. This is so huge, so amazing that it's been hard to talk about because I'm afraid I'll wake up and it will all be a dream.

However, getting a nasty flu bug twice in 6 weeks wasn't a dream, so now I'm trying to catch up and make the preliminary deadline which is why there hasn't been a printable calendar this year. If you don't mind getting one in January I could do it then.

My kids have been cooking dinner every night while I work on this deadline. My husband is my best cheerleader and he MOSTLY helps keep me on track. Last night though he decided I needed a break and we watched RED 2 together. I adore Helen Mirrin so much, Helen Mirrin with big guns and lots of things going boom is even better.

One thing I haven't mentioned in here is that we've switched to mostly avocado oil for cooking. It handles high heats beautifully and we had been mostly sauteing in it- then we were out of oil and TG was making Tator Tots as part of dinner. Instead of baking them, she decided to fry them. In avocado oil, which I might have been annoyed about because it's a bit more expensive but they tasted so good. She was also careful to only use a little oil. Perfectly crispy, brown and gorgeous with no smokey oil.

Anyway, I'm hooked on the stuff. If you've been thinking about trying it, do. For cooking it's great. But it's also been a life saver for my seriously dry skin in the winter. I keep a little in a small glass bottle and apply it straight from the shower. It just takes a little bit. It's thick and viscous and feels just a little sticky when it goes on, then it absorbs and my skin is loving it. Because it takes so little, it's been more economical than the lotions I was using and works better.

The other big thing in going on is that I ordered some mesophilic yogurt cultures. I've written about yogurt before but always made it using thermophilic methods in the past. So after this deadline- expect a post about making yogurt. The starter batches are currently culturing.

Well, that's it. Back to drawing mandalas for this coloring book.


  1. You have been busy! I would love a calendar whenever you get around to it. Your stuff is so great, no wait is too long. But take care of yourself and stay well. Don't run yourself down. Work on the book, get exercise and sleep. And the kids are cooking?! What a wonderful family you have. And I can't wait to buy an armload of your mandala coloring books! Happy New Year and I hope that 2014 will be the best yet for you and your family.

    1. Thank you so much! I'll let you know as soon as they come out and so far 2014 is looking good. I hope your year is wonderful.

  2. Hi Shala,

    I wanted to be sure to leave a comment to introduce myself (a fellow Alaskan!) and to say how much I've been enjoying your blog! So many interesting articles and a wide array of tips, freebies, ect..I'm really enjoying myself here.

    Thanks for putting yourself out there, while sharing your talents with the rest of the world. Hope you're feeling better and are enjoying this great weather we've been having. Well, I'm in Fairbanks - but, all of us have been fortunate with the nice temps :)

    Take care,

    1. Nice to meet you! My sister lives in Fairbanks. :) Thank you, it's a little chillier today but not at all by Fairbanks standards.


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