Summer is definitely here. It's been a little too easy of a transition to summer mode for me. Gone are the crazy schedules we follow during the school year. Gone are the am alarms. Gone is the structure that I had gotten used to creating for myself for {afd}. Here are early morning runs to beat the heat, not much cooking or cleaning, creating non-biz related crafts. Here are vacations, reading, movie watching, entertaining under the shade of our beautiful backyard tree.

I have a pretty good summer entertaining menu. Ask anyone who's eaten it over the years...you don't have to take my word for it. Hummus, rosemary cashews, chicken skewers, lemon rice, pitas, vegetable salad. They go together beautifully.

And dessert is always a hit. No one needs to know it's super easy. I found the recipe for Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake in an old issue of Southern Living magazine. It's so easy, in fact, that I haven't changed a thing. Except that I always double the lemon glaze recipe and garnish the cake with a lot of sliced strawberries. Oh, and don't skip the grease & flour step at the beginning. Or, just buy the non-stick spray for baking that already has flour in it.

I hope your summer is off to a great start! Expect to hear from me more often. How often, I don't know. It is summer, after all! What have you been up to?

Here's the recipe ::

{click here for a printable version}

Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake


·         3 cups sugar

·         3 cups all-purpose flour

·         1/4 teaspoon salt

·         1/4 teaspoon baking soda

·         1 cup butter, softened

·         1 (8-ounce) container sour cream

·         6 large eggs

·         2 tablespoons lemon juice

·         1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


·         Place first 9 ingredients in a 4-quart mixing bowl (in that order). Beat at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.

·         Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan, and cool on wire rack. Drizzle evenly with Lemon Glaze.

YIELD: 1 (10-inch) cake

Lemon Glaze


·         1 cup powdered sugar

·         2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

·         1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

·         1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (optional)

·         Stir together first 3 ingredients and, if desired, lemon rind until glaze is smooth..

from Southern Living Magazine, May 2001


{ word }

hello again! it's been a while. the delay in creating this post is brought to you mostly by my perfectionistic tendencies. if the words aren't perfect in my head, there's no way i can type them out. if the rest of my to-do list isn't done, how can i write a blog post?

however, if i want to create a community with you, i need to do better than that! i think i'm the only one who expects the 'perfect' post. you'll be okay with just hearing from me, won't you?! well, here goes the long-awaited second post...

a few weeks ago, after i made some pendants from a fanastic vintage dictionary, i put this picture on my facebook page ::

the question i asked my readers is, "what's your word"?  i received some great responses, including ::

run, create, unique, dream, love, hope,
freedom, happiness, enrichment, appreciate


asking for one word to describe you or your feelings also had me thinking about the words we use in our daily communication. technology has changed the way we "talk" to each other. rather than putting pen to paper and writing a letter, we use our tiny cell phones to text in acronyms. IKR? LOL. TTYL. i have to reference our teenager's texting dictionary just to decipher what she's saying to me!

or, we limit ourselves to tweeting in 140 characters or less. preferably less. or we send one line emails devoid of emotion, where you have to guess the tone the sender is trying to convey. less is more, right?!

for the last two years, i've focused on a single word {as often as i can remember} to remind me to look on the bright side. here's what i picked ::

last year's word was HOPE. at the beginning of 2010, i was staring two major surgeries in the face, with quite a long bit of recovery time in between the two. as scared as i was, i knew my word needed to be something to carry me through the pain, the recovery, the time i knew i would be facing with not much going on. anyone who knows me, knows that i don't have much down time. i hate down time! armed with books, meals, carpools and a cabinet full of drugs, i had to think about what my life would be after i was back to my old self again. that's where hope came in! 

here's how merriam webster defines it::


Definition of HOPE

archaic: trust, reliance
a: desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment <came in hopes of seeing you>; also: expectation of fulfillment or success
by having HOPE, i was saying to myself that i could get through this and i would be alright. to me, hope is a faith-based belief as much as it is a self-belief. and, guess what? it worked! i made it.

and i made this to remember ::

and this ::

which leads me to this year's word, GRATITUDE. probably, the reason why i picked it is obvious. i made it through a tough time. i am healthy. unless i get hit by a bus, i will live to see my kids grow up and i will be a grandma {please, not for a very long time, though}, and i can live worry free that i won't get cancer. phew. huge relief.
my friends at merriam-webster say that gratitude is the state of being grateful. duh. but the next word says THANKFULNESS. yep, that one word says it all. this year, i am living in a state {when i can remember} of thankfulness. focusing on what i have rather than what i don't have isn't always easy, but it sure does help to put things in perspective. i haven't made anything to commemorate my word for 2011. any suggestions?!
okay, back to that facebook picture i posted. want to hear what stopped me dead in my tracks?! a message from my friend, allison, telling me what her words were.
  Be authentic. Be kind. Be honest. Be spontaneous. Be the difference. Be fun. Be fabulous. Be yourself. Be . . . .
and, she said, second place goes to

i think what floored me about her words were their simultaneous simplicity and complexity. made me really think about how i tend to go on and on without saying much. hmmm...

so, now it's your turn to tell me, friends, what's your word?


{ hello there }

well, this is my second go round of the day on my first blog post. i had a fantastically written inaugural post, if i do say so myself. and now it's disappeared. hmmm...maybe i shouldn't have messed around with the settings after i wrote the post and before i published it. i even added pictures AND a link. ack.

determination. that's how i got here in the first place. trying something completely new, taking a risk (or 12), and jumping feet first in to the uncomfortable. so, rather than scream and cry about losing my first post, i'll just try to recreate it as best as i can.

this has been a week of firsts. my first total crash, meltdown, disaster with my dinosaur of a desktop. my first very large business expense, replacing said dinosaur with a faux wood grain (ick) laptop. moving files. finding files. almost missing my sales tax deadline. you get the idea. lots of unknown territory. yet, here i am. and i'm not really much worse for the wear.

{anne franklin designs} is the business i started just about a year ago. i'll save the details for another time. i found myself with quite a bit of time on my hands, and i let my inner crafter come out after quite a long hibernation. i repurpose things to make unique, affordable gifts. scrabble tile pendant necklaces is where it all started. here's a picture to give you an idea of what i make ::

my first blog picture!

but i promise you, this blog is not about sales. posts will probably be a little of this and a little of that. i really, really want you to be part of a bigger, fun community that we create together! and for that to happen, you must interact. ask questions, make a statement, teach me something. give us ideas about repurposing. just give us ideas. let's encourage, get to know each other. try to make the world and our communities a better place. phew. that's nothing i wrote in my first post. [stepping off soap box now]

well, i think that's enough for the first post. i will include a link, just so i can say that i did it :: {anne franklin designs} . visit me on facebook, if you want :: and i'm on twitter too. i think i am successfully exhausted from learning new things today.

so, here's where you come in. please interact with me! post a comment. ask a question. give me an idea. anything. just tell me that you're out there, and that i provided your comic relief for the day because of my very basic post. i'm just thrilled to be able to check a blog off my list.

here's an idea of what you can say (yes, i was a teacher in a former life) :: or, just say hello!
  • tell me about something you've done that was completely uncomfortable for you. what did you do? how did it turn out? what did you learn? remind me on a slow day to tell you about my hut trip!

here's an example of something i did out of my comfort zone!
thanks for reading. i'll hope you'll be back. {xo}