it’s been far too long…







I’ve needed to post.


So here it is.

In photographic form…

A taste of the last six months.

Yeah for summer!

What have you been up to?



weekly photo challenge: windows

coconut milk

This weeks photo challenge is (was) about windows. One of my favorite travel photos is of a window…an open window.

A small window propped open with a stick. The shutter overhead hangs crookedly…coconut milk filled plastic soda bottles line the lower sash…the last bottle on the left is the only one with a red cap…

A small handmade wooden table sits off center, beneath the shopkeepers only window. A white, floral cotton swath of fabric covers all but one corner of the table… green and yellow bananas sit beside fresh whole coconuts…but my eyes were on the window.

The row of bottled coconut milk, the fruit for sale beneath, the soft white paint covering the concrete walls, the crooked shutter…the island on which this little shop was situated… it was all so beautiful…I had to take a photo…

The island was Rarotonga.

It was a two month stop along our ’round the world trip we took years ago…it was magic…

We rented a small flat from a local woman and rode our rented bicycles everyday, everywhere…we savored cooking on an actual stove and loved the weekly farmers market. This is where I first spotted this lovely open window – at the market.

I also appreciated the many beaches, the simplicity of our daily lives, the balmy breezes, the lush mountain hikes and all the photo opportunities…this one in particular…


They all have a view – good or bad – and they all show something perhaps not so easily seen from the other side…of the window…


missing this space

I have been missing this place.

This space of food, fun and thriftiness…this world of blogging…

To be clear, it has not been a choice of mine.

Rather, it’s been more of a consequence of a martini meeting my muse, my laptop…or should I say, our laptop. Our one and only laptop. Our only ‘mobile’ device. Our only computer.

Michael (my partner) and I share a laptop and neither of us have i-phones or any phone of that sort…hence why you won’t find me on twitter or Facebook (at least regularly) – it’s impossible to ‘keep-up’ with our home dial-up service. Seriously i-m-p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e.

We still only have access to dial-up internet service from our home. No cell service. No satellite service. No cable service. We rely on our phone line to connect us to the world wide web.

Shocking. I know…so when our computer was not working properly our life (online) came to a sudden halt.

Yikes how dependent we are upon this little (yet very vital) piece of plastic, wires and buttons…

I digress, our laptop keeps our business running smoothly and this blog a chuggin’… it allows me access the world wide web I cannot always access at home, so when a martini was mixed up with our beloved keyboard, well, it was a definite, ‘oh no’ moment.

I’m not naming names, but it wasn’t me.

A trip to the Mac store validated the fact that it needed a new keyboard. I was relived. That’s it? YEAH!! I wanted to scream with joy!

‘You mean it’s fixable?’, I said to the tech. He said, ‘yes’ and it will be ready tomorrow. WOW! I was so relieved…

I didn’t lose all those photos and all those documents and everything else which lives on this portable device…note to self, back-up info. more than once every few months…

So, here I am again.

Ready to share more fabulous recipes and silly stories about my freebie barn finds and my life…plus, I’m looking forward to catching up with all the blogs I follow – I’ve missed them!

Enjoy the weekend!

365 days ago…

I decided to start this blog. I wasn’t sure if people would like what I wrote, or if they would even find me – why would anyone be interested in what I had to say? But enough people suggested I try it, so I did. And I’m so happy I didn’t let fear stand in the way. I chose to take a leap… and get over my fear, and just try – what’s the worse that can happen, right?

Turns out, it has been a wonderful creative outlet for me. So much of my life is my business, Designs Adrift, which I love too – but I’m in the ‘background’. I do all the paperwork, writing and photography (some of the photography), taxes, etc…yet Michael, my partner, is the artist in the end…and his work is beautiful, yet this blog, is mine and mine alone. My time writing, photographing, planning and editing is well spent – it allows time for me, to be me. And the added (and unexpected) bonus is, it’s been a great way to meet other, incredibly talented, like minded individuals! Who knew?

So when my first post was published, I was so excited and shocked to have a like and a comment – on my very first post! How did they find me? Who are they? What? People liked what I wrote? Liked it enough to take the time to write a comment? Wow!!  It made me smile…Thank you Norma, From Wok to Garden, for my first comment – you inspired me to keep going! I’m still kind of figuring out what readers are interested in (and what makes folks comment), but for the most part I just share my life. I’m just being me, really. Camera in hand, sharing what I love…what I cook, how I prepare it, what I’m interested in and how I keep my expense down…my life in rural Maine, on an extremely tight budget, in other words, The Art of Thrift.

Knowing what to buy and when and more importantly, when not to…recognizing quality and craftsmanship; not to buy cheap, but well, or not at all – it makes all the difference (in my opinion)…for the planet and your wallet. I like to encourage second hand buying – it makes so much sense! (and if your still a bit worried about second hand – don’t be – if you’ve eaten in a restaurant or slept in a hotel, then you’ve used second hand items!)

I know how to be thrifty, but I also know when (and how) to spend…even the NYTimes agrees… and while I’ve accomplished some of what I had set out to do, there’s still so much more to share…I’ve posted a lot of recipes, but not a lot of suggestions for travel, groceries shopping, children’s needs, insurance – everyday stuff – but all things in time right? As long as I can find the time to write and photograph (and get to the library to publish – my dial-up access is a real detriment not only our business, but my blogging!!) I will.

I, thank you all for reading and sharing this past year – it’s been fun and a challenge. (A challenge because of my dial-up!!).

And now this, little miss thrift, needs to find the time to get to the library (wifi, remember?) a little more often so she may become a little more tech savvy – fonts, layouts, widgets, settings oh my…this is one arena where being thrifty isn’t necessarily helpful…but being patient is. All things in time, right?

What have you been doing lately that is thrifty?

Have a fabulous weekend and thank you for reading! xoxo


unwanted ads

That’s what I recently found on my blog. I was horrified. Why are these ads on my blog? Who did this? I don’t support these companies! That would go against so much of what I write about, so much of what makes me – me. I was saddened. Here I am sharing my life and then (unbeknownst to me), some terrible video advertisement is imbedded at the bottom of my post. Gasp. I needed to know where it came from and more importantly, how to get rid of it. I did a little research and learned the ads were placed by WordPress.

At WordPress they sometimes display advertisements on your blog to help pay the bills. WordPress says,“this keeps free features free.” I get it. I realize (now) that I overlooked this fact when I agreed to start this blog with WordPress. Too bad for me, though I doubt I’m the only one who wasn’t/isn’t aware of this practice or has simply forgotten. I don’t agree with the fact that they place the ads without informing you first. Why can’t they send a computer generated message informing you that ads will start to appear on random posts, before the ads are imbedded? Offer the NoAd Upgrade/opt out option before placing ads – A friendly reminder perhaps? Not having full control over the content I am putting my name to, frightens me. I also find it a bit creepy. The ads aren’t visible to logged-in users or readers using AdBlock, they are only visible to non-wordpress bloggers; this is why I wasn’t aware (until two days ago) of the ads on my blog – I’m always logged in. This is also why you (if your a WordPress blogger) may not have seen any ads while visiting here…

What about all those folks who check out or follow my blog, that aren’t logged-in, or don’t blog with WordPress? They are subjected to these ads; ads which have not been placed by me, selling products I don’t support, misrepresenting who I am and what I blog about – they are an abomination. It’s a total conflict of interest and I’m signing up for the $30 NoAd upgrade. I’m not against advertising – there are a lot of incredibly talented people out there and some fabulous companies which I would support, but with a much different aesthetic and purpose.  The ads, currently seen on my blog, which have been placed by WordPress, reflect poorly on me. They are shocking – particularly as they directly oppose so much of what I write about. While WordPress says the ads are run in limited places, one place is too many for me. I would have preferred to have been notified prior to the adverts going live.

I would have happily paid the $30 for the No-Ads upgrade* and avoided all this. I understand why they don’t – they stand to lose more ad generated revenue if I opt out (and pay the $30 upgrade fee). Despite this unfortunate circumstance  I will continue to blog with WordPress. I like WordPress. I understand why they place these ads, I just don’t agree with how it happens…I will pay the annual $30 NoAd upgrade to protect my integrity. For those of you who did read all the find print prior to signing on, maybe you’ve just forgotten or perhaps it’s slipped your mind or maybe you run AdBlocker or maybe your unaware like I was – if your not aware, (for whatever reason), check your blog.  Log out, disable AdBlocker and see if you have ads. You just may not like what you see. Click on the following link for another example of a horrified blogger.

My apologies to anyone confronted with an ad while visiting here. It will no longer be the case.

*While this action (advertising) is explained in the ToSas well as in the advertising entry in the support documents after registering for a username and blog and the same is also stated on the  Store – My Upgrades page, (read more from Timethief, of one cool blog, in her post, ‘Bloggers: Beware of Adware’)  it is certainly not information widely shared or something always remembered…shame on me for not knowing. I need to become more tech savvy if I’m going to continue blogging…I am sharing this to be helpful, not to condemn WordPress – they are clear with their intentions – if you know where to look…live and learn, right?

One more fact – there are also ads which are not placed by WordPress, but by malware. This is explained, very clearly, by Timethief, from one cool site. She offers some fabulous advice and information there.

If you have any suggestions or corrections to add here, please do so in the comments section – I am always wanting to learn more about blogging and I am always wanting to share informations, isn’t that why we blog?

Enjoy the weekend!

bloggers block

I have it. Well, I don’t really have it, I just haven’t finished the post I had hoped to publish this past Friday. Usually I get excited about photographing something, or wanting to make a particular recipe, or simply sharing something about my daily life for posts and then I go about photographing whatever it is I want to shoot/write about.

This past Friday while I wrote and wrote it just wasn’t ‘flowing’. It’s a fairly big topic and different than a usual post – more like a philosophical question – not a simple recipe or how to ideas…so while that one is sitting on the back burner, I was left with the question, ‘what to post?’ I had nothing. Well, more like I had great ideas but no photos to include, or just bad photos, or great photos with no real ‘story’… nothing inspired me, thus no post on Friday. But it’s been bothering me. I want to post on a regular basis – Tuesdays and Fridays, bi-weekly is the goal. And while I’ve mostly kept to that, every now and then I haven’t been able to write for one reason or another – and it’s most certainly not because I don’t think about it, that’s far from the truth (blogging is addictive!) – no, it’s more because of my time, or more precisely, the limited availability of it. I enjoy sharing bits of my life through the camera and words, but if nothing strikes me or the photos are blah, then I’d rather not publish anything. So, that’s what happened on Friday. Nothing. Now, it’s Sunday and I’m still thinking…

Then it occurred to me – how about a simple post with photos from the past few days and have it be ‘a day in the life’ … so here it is. Short and sweet – a day in the life. Food, work, play, love…enjoy!