Pan-seared salmon – Sun Basket Review 1

Pan-seared salmon with orange-jicama salad – Sun Basket Review #1

I think I might like this food delivery thing and now that I have tried Blue Apron, it’s time to try another service.  This is my first experience with Sun Basket, a food delivery service.  

Here’s a recap of the details of my Sun Basket plan:

Plan Type – 2 person (classic) – I chose the Paleo plan.
Recipes/Meals – 3 per week
Cost – $68.94 including shipping, plus any applicable taxes
*I had a $35 promo offer so I only paid $33.94. 

$5.65 per person/ per meal. Not too shabby!

I placed the order on: Janury 28 and 10 days later, I received my food on February 7.

That’s my plan recap now it’s time to get to cookin’!

In case this is the first review of mine you are reading, take note that I am NOT a cook and I am not paid to do this review. 

For my first recipe, I tried pan-seared salmon with orange-jicama salad. 

But first, let’s look at how the contents arrived! Each bag contains all the contents you need for each recipe.  The shrimp and salmon were underneath a piece of cardboard used to separate them from the rest of the food.

Sun Basket Box
The Sun Basket box arrives!

My first thought was that the insulation was going to take up a lot of space in the garbage bag (yes, things like this keep me awake at night), but Sun Basket sends you these little stickers to make your life easier when it comes to discarded the packaging material. 

Recycle sticker

Nifty recycle stickers

Subtle Differences Between Blue Apron and Sun Basket 

Next, the recipe cards which give a brief description of the recipe, the time it takes to prepare, calories, serving sizes and links to view the recipes on line and links to videos. I also received a little information sheet on  how to handle herbs. 

I noticed that there are a few differences between the Blue Apron cards and Sun Basket. For Blue Apron, they do provide nutritional information but not on each recipe card where Sun Basket provides all the nutritional information on the card.  I also didn’t know that Blue Apron provides how-to videos until I happen to be checking out there site after I cooked. Sun Basket provides those links directly on each recipe card. 

Also, what I found helpful was that Sun Basket tells you which tools you will need. However, for you wine lovers, Blue Apron provides a wine suggestion with your meal. I prefer margaritas or mojitos. 

Ready to cook!

Here is my bag of goodies:

Sun Basket Package

My first Sun Basket contents: Salmon, cauliflower, organge, lime, cilantro, mint leaves (not for Mojitos), jicama, scallions, fried shallots and sumac. Sumac. WTF is sumac? Never heard of it until this recipe and I LOVE it. 

My ingredients

The recipe told me to chop up the cauliflower into corn-kernel sized pieces. I think I got pretty close. It was kinda easy since the florets sort of crumble apart.  I chopped them up a bit more after I took this picture. 

Chopped Cauliflower
Corn-kernel sized pieces of cauliflower.

I threw the chopped up cauliflower into the pan and mixed them with the fried shallots.  This smelled SO good! I wasn’t familiar with sumac, I do know what shallots are. 

Cauliflower and fried shallots
Cooking it up!

Chopping up the mint was my favorite part because it smelled really good. I almost stopped cooking and used the mint to make a mojito…but I practiced some self-control and continued cooking. 

Mint Leaves
Mint leaves for the food, not for mojitos.

Is this mint fresh?  I couldn’t really tell. It smelled sooooo good!

Chopped up jicama. Sort of. I haven’t had jicama in a long time…very good stuff. 

Jicama chunks for the orange-jicama salad

The limes made my think of the mojitos again and margaritas. 

Fresh limes
Limes – not for margaritas.

Next came the scallions, chopped cilantro and the orange. I mixed all those for the orange-jicama salad.  I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of the orange by itself. It was a fairly handsome orange. 


After the salad is already and sprinkled with SUMAC, it’s time to cook the salmon. 

Cooking salmon
To deskin or not to deskin…

I am always afraid to cook salmon because I never know if I have cooked it enough. 

Here is the pan searing moment of my salmon. 

I didn’t burn it!

I’m done! I regret that I didn’t take a final picture but I was so freakin hungry. 

First Impressions


This meal was so delicious and I was able to get 3 servings from this 2-serving meal plan. Next time I make this dish, I am definitely going to double-up because every LOVED it.  By the way, this recipe took 40 minutes to prepare and cook which matched the time estimate of 30-40 minutes on the card. 

I discovered that I love sumac very much. The orange-jicama salad goes very well with the salmon. 

Clean-Up Score: 

  • 1 sink full of dishes
  • One messy stove top because I splashed oil all over it while cooking the salmon

And now for the finale – clean up! Ignore the paint brushes. I do art with them. I promise you that they are not used for cooking. 

The clean-up factor. This is important.So far, this pan-seared salmon with orange-jicama salad from Sun Basket is my favorite!

Creamy Shrimp Spaghetti – Blue Apron Review 2

Creamy Shrimp Spaghetti with Broccoli & Meyer Lemon – Blue Apron Review

This is my third Blue Apron recipe but out of the three I have cooked so far, the Creamy Shrimp Spaghetti with Broccoli & Meyer Lemon recipe has been my favorite and easiest! If you want to check out my first experience with Blue Apron,  read my first review.  In case you missed it, I don’t get paid to write these reviews.

In fact, I am a terrible cook and I find pleasure in terrifying my family. The look on their faces when I am in the kitchen – priceless. 

Now for the review…

Here’s my recap again on the details of the Blue Apron plan I picked:

Plan Type – 2 person
Recipes/Meals – 3 per week
Cost – $59.94 including shipping, plus any applicable taxes
*I had a $30 promo offer so I only paid $29.94. Hells yeah.
That’s $4.99 per person for 3 meals! My girlfriend and I can easily spend $59.94 on a meal with alcohol so this is a great savings for us and even without the promotional offer, you’re still only paying $10 bucks.
I placed the order on: Janury 28 and 8 days later, I received my food on February 5.

Introducing the ingredients…

Spaghetti, shrimp,  broccoli, Meyer lemon, garlic, butter, quark, crushed red pepper flakes.

I chopped up the broccoli and because I was so excited (and hungry) to start, I forgot to include the shrimp and the Meyer lemon in my pic below. 

*The quantity of the spaghetti didn’t seem to be a lot, but it’s definitely more than enough for 2 people. 

And geez – now that I am looking at the picture, I forgot the garlic, too. 

Ingredients for Blue Apron

So SUPER simple, except when it asked me to remove the yellow rind of the lemon but to avoid the pith. I am not sure what the pith is… the “pith of hell”? What would happen if I didn’t avoid the pith? 

The recipe did suggest the use of a zester, but I don’t have a zester. 

This was my attempt at zesting and avoiding the dark pith of hell.  

My poor lemon….my MEYER lemon looks butchered. 

Meyer Lemon
My attempt to create zest.

I have heard of Meyer lemons before but thought it was a name brand like “Dole”, but it’s not. There are some differences between regular lemons and Meyer lemons. Check out this link if you want the whole skinny.  Apparently, they are seasonal and only available between December through May. I’m glad it’s February, otherwise I might have never had the opportunity to meet and butcher a Meyer lemon and the pith of hell. 

After I got done zesting up the Meyer lemon, I started to get the water boiling for the spaghetti and roasted up the garlic, some of the red pepper flakes and then added in the broccoli and shrimp.

The recipe says to cook the shrimp 2 to 3 minutes or until opaque and cooked through.

I wasn’t sure what they meant because the raw shrimp looked opaque to me, but I might have to look the word up.  Because I know for sure…that they are raw and I think they want this shrimp COOKED.

Raw Shrimp
Opaque, but raw shrimp.

I didn’t want to be held responsible for any type of shrimp related death or illness,  so I was sure to cook them until they were pink. 

And dammit….I just looked up the word “opaque”.  I’ve been wrong all my life.  I’ve always thought it was  the same as “translucent”. 

Opaque – adjective
1. not transparent or translucent; impenetrable to light; not allowing light to pass through.
Hot, steamy, opaque shrimp below.  I deserve the piths of hell. 
Opaque Shrimp
Opaque Shrimp

While all the cooking was happening, the spaghetti was in the background boiling away.  A few times, I stopped to check it and really wanted to throw it on the ceiling to see if it was done.

We used to do that in college to see if the spaghetti was cooked. If you throw the spaghetti (not all of it) and it stuck to the ceiling, it meant that it was done.

This wasn’t my idea, but I went along with it. By the time the year ended, we had to scrape a lot of spaghetti off the ceiling.  

After I was sure that the shrimp was OPAQUE and the MEYER lemon zest and juice was added, I added the quark cheese and the cooked spaghetti. 

(I don’t really want to get into “quark” cheese).

Here is  my final Blue Apron Creamy Shrimp Spaghetti with Broccoli and Meyer Lemon. 

Creamy Shrimp Spaghetti
Creamy Shrimp Spaghetti with Broccoli & Meyer Lemon – My final product


The verdict

Loved it! I didn’t take note of the time it took to prep and eat, but was less than 1 hour.  Amanda wasn’t around to eat it for dinner, but she took it to work with her the next day for lunch. 

No one died or got sick. 

Clean-Up Score: 

  • 1/2 sink full of dishes
  • No messy counter tops
Clean Up
Clean up time!


“Day After” Rating –  Amanda “really liked it”. This is a good thing. 

I think next time I cook this, I will NOT put lemon or Meyer lemon zest in it.  I don’t think I zested it correctly because it was way too bitter. 

Thanks for reading! 🙂


Sunchoke & Egg Noodle Casserole – Blue Apron Review 1

Sunchoke & Egg Noodle Casserole – Blue Apron Review

Ok, soooo I decided to try out some meal delivery things since I sorta like to cook, but I really hate grocery shopping. Not to mention, I’m an “Instacart” whore and I often find myself spending an hour or so finding a recipe and then matching up my list with those necessary items. Now it’s time to see if I can graduate to a meal delivery plan to see if this might save a bit of precious time.
Somehow, I managed to get a few promotional offers from various meal delivery plans so enticing me with some free stuff is usually a good way to convince me to try your brand.

For my first experience, I chose Blue Apron.  I’ll spare you the boring details on how to get started, but let’s just say it’s easy to set up. It asks the regular questions such as dietary restrictions and all that fun stuff. 

Here’s a recap:
Plan Type – 2 person
Recipes/Meals – 3 per week
Cost – $59.94 including shipping, plus any applicable taxes
*I had a $30 promo offer so I only paid $29.94. Hells yeah.
That’s $4.99 per person for 3 meals! My girlfriend and I can easily spend $59.94 on a meal with alcohol so this is a great savings for us and even without the promotional offer, you’re still only paying $10 bucks.
I placed the order on: Janury 28 and 8 days later, I received my food on February 5.

I thought maybe I would have to be home to receive the food, but they delivered it to the Luxor system which handles the apartment’s incoming packages – which is awesome because the delivery date was a Sunday and I hate seeing strangers on a Sunday which is a big reason why I don’t attend church. 

Let’s get started, but first:

  • Do not judge me on my choice of knife,
  • No one was hurt and not once did I use a curse, cuss or swear word
  • I didn’t drink alcohol during the time I cooked but I thought about it for a second
  • No smoke alarms went off

About 1:50pm -ish, I get the text notifying me that I have received a Luxor package. 

I brush my teeth (you just never know especially when  there are famous people living in your building) and head on down to pick up my box.  I carry the heavy thing back to my apartment, because I am super athletic. 

Everything seems to be fresh and it contains everything I need for the 3 Blue Apron recipes:

  • Sunchoke Egg Noodle Casserole with Kale and Mornay Sauce
  • Creamy Shrimp Spaghetti wtih Broccoli & Meyer Lemon
  • Cheesy Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas with Salsa Verde
Blue Apron Contents
Blue Apron Contents

My first thought was…what the hell is a sunchoke? I anxiously needed to know so I decided that this would be the first recipe I try. After putting the other food away, I kept out the ingredients for the Sunchoke & Egg Noodle Casserole

Here they are, minus the lemon – because I didn’t pay attention. Everything has a label and the recipe card shows you exactly what you need so you really can’t mess this up. 

Blue Apron Food Contents
Neatly packaged food contents.

The first portion of the recipe tells you to prep all the ingredients, preheat your oven and to “peel your sunchokes; quarter lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise” which this means absolutely nothing to me.

But at least I finally get to touch the sunchoke which looks like a oddly shaped piece of ginger. 

I peeled them.

Sunchoke aka Jerusalem artichoke
Sunchoke aka Jerusalem artichoke

Then I “thinly” sliced them.

Sliced sunchokes
My verison of thinly sliced

I resisted the urge to taste one because I wasn’t sure what would happen. 

Suddenly,  I was distracted by the next set of instructions which said to remove the kale stems which I really wasn’t sure what part of the kale was a stem. No – seriously. I remember decorating the salad bar at Golden Corral with this stuff and now suddenly you can eat it?

I also I didn’t know that Blue Apron has some videos to help you with your recipes. I discovered these after the fact and I also saw the information about the “Featured Ingredient” which are…..SUNCHOKES! They are a member of the daisy family (I am not a member of the daisy family). 

I did my best when it came to remove the stems from the kale. 

I guess it’s the WHOLE stem you remove?

Then I “roughly” chopped the kale – which means I tore it up with my hands and used the knife a couple of times which I have thought about doing this to a person once or twice, but never did. 

Roughly chopped kale
Roughly chopped kale

By now, my salted water was boiling so I added the egg noodles. 

Boiling Egg Noodles
Boiling Egg Noodles

So far, so good. Then I went back to doing some other stuff that I don’t remember. 

Ok now I remember. 

I am on “step 3” of my recipe which says to cook the kale, shallots and SUNCHOKES! 

I cooked the kale until it was “slightly wilted” and I think I did okay. 

Here is the before picture:

Before they were wilted.
Before they were wilted.

Notice the wilt:

Wilted Kale
Wilted Kale

Now, onto making the Mornay sauce. 

While the kale is wilting and cooking with the SUNCHOKES and shallots, you get to open up your “knick knacks” (notice I did not say “knickers”) which contains the smaller ingredients that you need for your recipes. I think “knick knacks” sounds very cute…

Here are the Blue Apron knick knacks – minus the shallots because those are already cut and wilting with the kale. 

Knick Knacks - Blue Apron
Knick Knacks – Blue Apron

I whisked up the spices and flour and slowly added the milk. Almost all of it.  I decided to keep some of it and drink it, but only after I crushed the carton with my bare hands.  

I am so strong, I crushed the milk carton.

I didn’t have a cheese grater, so I improvised. 

Grated Cheese
My version of grated cheese.

I added ALL of the knick knack stuff, but maybe I was supposed to measure it?

I probably should have read the entire recipe in advance, but my Mornay sauce looked pretty close to the picture on the recipe card. Score!

Mornay Sauce
My Mornay Sauce

I wanted to taste it at this point, but I didn’t. 

Next step was to assemble it all. 

Pre Mixed Egg Noodles
Pre Mixed Egg Noodles

And of course, mix it. 

By now, I am hungry and I really want to know what sunchokes taste like. 

Mixed Egg Noodles with Mornay Sauce
Mixed Egg Noodles with Mornay Sauce

And then I bake it just like the recipe told me.  While it’s baking, I take note of the clean-up I have to do, which isn’t too bad. 

Clean-Up Score: 

  • 1 sink full of dishes
  • Semi-messy counter tops
Clean Up
Clean Up

I also found a great use out of the cardboard that comes with the packaging:

Use of Cardboard
Utensil Holder

And the insulated bag also used as a trash bag:

Garbage Bag
Insulated Garbage Bag

Okay – time is UP and now here is the finished product!

Sunchoke &  Egg Noodle Casserole with Kale and Mornay Sauce

Mixed Up Noodles
Mixed Up Noodles

First Impressions?

Didn’t like it. Bland. 

It didn’t really have a lot of flavor so what I may do is perhaps add garlic, a protein such as tuna fish or chicken and maybe lemon – but not the one in the picture above. A different one.  

Was it easy to cook and prepare? Yes, although read all instructions first. I messed a few things that I don’t want to admit. 

Sunchokes? Anti-climatic  climactic. 

I started the cooking at about 2:00pm and finished about 2:50pm which is close to the prep and cook times on the recipe card. 

Overall, I enjoyed cooking this Blue Apron recipe and even after we each had a serving, there is still plenty left-over for lunch.

After some more salt, I did like it more, but I like everything better with salt. 

I’ll let you know how the other recipes turn out! 

Update 2/6/17: 

“Day After” Rating –  This tastes much better the next day. 


I Sell on Etsy

I Sell on Etsy

Hi. My name is CaSanda and I love Etsy.

Now you say….”Welcome, CaSandra.”

Sounds like I am an addict, but I’m not. Well. Maybe a little.

If you love shopping and you love  unique, handmade gifts that you have either spent endless hours browsing Etsy or you have spent tons of money on Etsy. Anytime I am trying to shop for my awesome, eclectic daughter, who will one day get her blog updated, I am  clicking the buy button on one of these awesome shops. I have found some really cool things from scarves that have sloths printed on them  to cute, blue camel prints such as this one from my fellow artist friend, Lexi.

However you decide to spend your time on the site, it is awesome and I have decided to start selling some items on Etsy so I can be part of the “hand-made, one-of-a-kind creator of things you really need” community.

So the next time you are spending money or time on Esty, stop by and check out my shop!

Thanks for visiting,

Yours truly in Etsy land…~ CaSandra



6 Lessons I Learned from a Week Spent in Maui

6 lessons I learned from a week spent in Maui.

Maui, Hawaii – right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and not just an island paradise that is very pleasing to the eye, but to all senses including the heart and soul. It’s no wonder why couples come here to get married or spend their honeymoon.

Maui. We talked about coming here to be married one day.

No, she never actually proposed. It’s not that we had booked the venue, spent gobs of money or said “yes to the dress” so there will be no big “GoFundMe” or “pity-me-now-pay-me” campaign over this.

We talked about it and I believed it would happen one day. Now I know, it was just a fantasy.

Our “relationship” ended just a week before our big Christmas Las Vegas trip.

The day she came and took her belongings from our shared, downtown apartment, I booked the extra flights to carry my broken hearted body from Las Vegas onto Maui. The place where I pictured myself walking towards my dream partner to give her the promise of the rest of my life.

I was not going to Maui to solidify a commitment to someone else.

Instead, I was going to make a commitment to myself.

The mission was to find solitude and to regain empowerment. This sounded poetic when in reality I was just angry. I wanted this to be my big “f*&@ you” to her. It wasn’t my “Eat, Pray, Love” trip or “Wild” walk on the trail, it was just my way of claiming my heart back from her greedy, selfish talons.

Airport bound, I posted my cryptic Facebook posts so I could get some virtual “you go girl” power from my friends and family and embarked on my thing.

This was my first solo trip ever although I had Andrea and Darren as close neighbors. I knew that for whatever reason, I needed to be in Maui even though it meant some time away from family over the holidays. I was going no matter what.

Maui definitely has an attractiveness about it beyond aesthetics. Perhaps magical?  I can’t deny whatever it is and it’s very hard to articulate. It could have been my state of mind while I was there or just perhaps a greater power guiding me to simply listen. I don’t know.

But I do no know, it’s not easy to listen when you are hurt and angry.

It really felt like a sharp, unseen finger (or maybe one of her greedy, selfish talons) had reached up through my stomach, plucked my ribs and made a ukulele out of them and they were strummed all the way to Maui. Painful.

A million times I just wanted to take the next flight back home and see if she and I could work things out. Having these thoughts, I knew I had really lost my mind and worst…my self-esteem. I arrived with nothing in my heart. Nothing, but an emptiness.

Here I am, Maui, without love, now please work your magic?

I listened with open (empty) heart. I learned many, many things, but here are the top lessons I wanted to share.

BirdsLesson # 1: Never let anyone make you believe that you are “too sensitive”.

I had arrived late at night to the place where I was staying and immediately darted straight for the sliding glass doors to check out the view that I didn’t or did have.

Walking out, I couldn’t see anything and at first I couldn’t tell if it was a parking lot displayed before me or something else.

Then I cried. A lot. That unforeseen force was plucking my ribs again like a ukulele only this time, the instrument was larger and bellowed like a cello.

The wind from the Pacific Ocean curled from the bottom of the shore and over the beach and grass and into my living room. It felt like a warm blanket in the “overly air-conditioned” room.

The bending and rattling of the skinny palm trees (and my ridiculous crying) made me laugh. The darkness caused a little fear, but the whole scene made me feel humble. And it was OK to feel all these emotions. I was looking at the vastness of green between me and the Pacific and it was lit by a single flicker of the moon. Serenity. Dark, but the most beautiful sight I have ever seen, besides seeing my daughter’s eyes for the first time. Truth.

I felt everything and I reacted dramatically, which is often the case when I feel.

I have often been accused of being “too” emotional, needy, crazy or too sensitive. OK. I am. And your point is or was?

“Emoting” may be a minor inconvenience to some, but to deny my highly sensitive nature is like slapping a gift out of God’s hands when He tries to hand it to you.

Highly sensitive people are NOT like many others who can only carry on through life half experiencing what highly sensitive people experience a hundred-fold.

And this is OK. One should not go through life suppressing themselves for someone else’s comfort and no one should ridicule or insult you for your highly sensitive nature.

gratitudeLesson # 2: Show gratitude for everything you have been given.

Breakfast time arrived and I would be having my first Maui meal with Andrea, my former aerial silks and trapeze teacher and friend from Atlanta. Now she’s a Maui resident, yoga instructor and Goddess in training. By her side would be her willowy, spirited bundle of a boyfriend, Darren.

After the quick hugs, tour of my craigslist’s condo that Andrea found for me at moment’s notice and after exchanging introductions, we head out the front door into that warm, amber glow of the island sun and down the steps to the car.

Darren picked up a little, white flower that had flown to the ground and handed it to Andrea. A breeze interrupted our path and up-brushed her blonde hair away from her face while she raised this simple, white flower to her nose. She stopped speaking in her mid-sentence soft whisper and took that gentle second to appreciate this little treasure.

Gratitude. I wonder if Darren noticed. I think he did.

And of course, in my mind I hear the words of Alice Walker, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” People will hand you little treasures along your path. Take notice and don’t just show it, experience it.

And when you think you have nothing or no one, look around. Someone out there has less and wishes for an ounce of what you have. Gratitude. It’s a powerful thing.

LetsDoThisLesson # 3: If the journey hurts, then find a different path.

Flip flops on for my walk to the ocean. I Walk.

Flip flops off. I Stop.

Feet slowly stepping into the water across rocks wanting to be baptized by the ocean any minute now.

Rocks that are like mosh-pit participators carrying me across the ocean floor are enhancing my experience by giving me tiny paper-cut slices into the delicate bottom flesh of my newly pedicured, no-callous (only for two dollar more) feet.

Fine. Because anything worth having or enjoying is worth the pain, right?

No. Damn. NO. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Well, maybe childbirth is the exception, but why do we believe that pain is a sacrifice for something greater?

If the journey is painful, then stop and find a different path or maybe just re-adjust your approach.

Maybe just plunge into the water instead of treading slowly. Maybe put on some shoes. Take a boat.

A journey may be long, challenging and tiresome, but I don’t believe the intent was for anything in this life to be painful.

Pain introduces itself and is there to redirect you so in a sense, it teaches you, but if you keep doing the same painful thing over and over, recalculate your journey.

Your feet (and other soul) will thank you for it.

shipLesson # 4: Don’t let anger be the anchor that keeps your ship from sailing.

Lying face down on the beach and crying into the sand was a relief. I was so damn mad that I just wanted to be pitiful all day and just cry and cry out of pure, toxic, anger. Half my mornings were spent like this. In fact, I still struggle with this lesson.

But with a big gulp of “f*&# this”, I got up. Charged into the water that stole my breath for a second and plunged in (I had learned the aforementioned lesson by now).

Immersed, the waves rocked me and grabbed my shoulders. A gentle rock became a stern shake, like a mother who was grabbing her little three year old that had just had a temper tantrum in the candy aisle.

Enough was and is enough. Do not let anger be the anchor that keeps your ship from sailing.

Or flying. With no ships insight, I got out of the water and made a reservation to fly in a helicopter. It was my first time.

And that’s all I can really say about that. I think those words can speak volumes.

coconutLesson # 5: Don’t let bitterness of the old keep you from trying the new.

In other words, fresh coconut water from Maui is delicious.

I almost didn’t try it. I had fresh coconut water once somewhere in the Caribbean and I didn’t like it. It was bad. Bitter. Gross.

At some point, between walking back to my parking spot and sitting in my car, my friend Michelle had sent a text asking, “Did you drink coconut water yet?”

No, I hadn’t. I rolled my eyes because I knew that I had to at least try it. And besides, a rule of travel is that you try everything!

Just across the street, there was an old, vintage – looking store that advertised fresh coconut water for sale.

I told myself to just walk over and get this over with. Nasty coconut water. Then, I can cross it off my list and I can honestly respond back to Michelle and say “yes”.

It was amazing. I can’t believe I almost denied myself because the last juice I had tried was bad.

But just because one is bad, doesn’t mean you don’t try again. It could be that the last coconut was picked from the wrong coconut tree.

Maybe it was just grown in the wrong climate or wasn’t ripe enough or just spoiled or not really a coconut at all, but this time, it was perfect and very much what I needed for the ride back from Lahaina to Kihei.

sunriseLesson # 6: One day, you will be the beautiful sun that sets over the ocean of your life.

Face it. We die. One day, it will end and this lifetime will be over.

All those that love you and are left will gather around you while your light begins to dim. When the time is right, they will walk to the shore to watch the curtain of the earth close on your final act. Your soul may even hear the wail of a cry that resembles the sound of a conch shell trumpet. We are just here for a fleck of time, so why do we spend too much time worrying or being angry?

In the grand scheme of things, we will all experience pain or hurt for many reasons, but get up and brush the sand off your body, let the salt water from the plunge in the ocean replace the salt that is crusted on your tear stained face, self-forgive, forgive others when you can, if not – ask God to, empower yourself and enjoy what precious time you have left.

One day, you will be beautiful sun that sets over the ocean of your life. Refuse to let anything or anyone dull your journey across the sky.

When I left Maui a week after I arrived, I still had a small carry-on bag full of sadness, but a suitcase full of lessons and peeking clarity. Some lessons take more practice than others, but eventually I will master all of them.

I suppose if I need a refresher…I could just return to Maui.

Until then Maui, mahalo and with love, always.

Artist Market – Atlanta – Dec. 5, 2015

artist market IGArtist Market – Atlanta – Dec. 5, 2015

Artist Market – Atlanta – Dec. 5, 2015, 642 Northside Drive, Atlanta, Georgia –

9:am – 4:30 pm – Preparations for another artist market are in full effect! I love artist markets, festivals, art exhibitions and art shows. It gives me and others a chance to see a whole bunch of cool local stuff, made by some very talented people. Whether its jewelry, paintings, photography, sculptures, handbags or random decorative things for your home that you are searching for – artist markets are the place to shop. You might even find things that you aren’t aware that you need.

For example, I once saw alpaca socks on display for sale at a recent artist market.

Who knew that I would need them and that I would regret that I didn’t buy a pair. Don’t live with this kind of regret. It’s agonizing. In order to encourage you to not live with “wish I bought” regret, I invite you to come by and check out my stuff in person. I will have some paintings and tons of photo prints with me. Many that are not posted on this site, because I just haven’t gotten around to it. And trust me, the paintings and photos are WAY better in person.

Hope to see you December 5th, 2015! First 100 people to show up gets a goodie bag which includes a $10.00 off coupon with a $50 or more purchase! This is for artist market goers only!

And if you’re super cool (which means you took the time to stop by) – you will get a free reusable shopping tote (empty – so you need to fill it with cool stuff) from my greatest supporter from Team Realty of Atlanta/Optimus Real Estate Brokers! Team Realty of Atlanta

Do you know of any other artist markets or other great events in the Atlanta area coming up? If so, leave me a comment! THANKS!

Happy Holidays!

Miss Minichiello


Creative Loafing Crafts & Drafts 2015

Creative Loafing Crafts & Drafts 2015

It’s time again for another art show! Well, this time instead of a building like The Granite Room, it will be a the Creative Loafing Crafts & Drafts event.

By the looks of their facebook page, there should be a good turn out! This is my first art festival type of event, so its been a hectic few weeks. Wish me luck because I am also building the display panels instead of spending all kinds of money on those fancy Flourish Mesh Panels. I’ll post pictures soon!

Meanwhile, get this on your calendar:

Creative Loafing Crafts & Drafts

When: November 8, 2015 (Sunday)

Where: Candler Park, Atlanta

Time: 1pm – 6pm

Admission is FREE!





Whoa! What a turn-out! Thank you for all those who attended my first art exhibition with NT!

To be honest, I avoided NT’s request to collaborate for about a month. Persistence finally paid off since I agreed to do the show with her!

An awesome experience. The process of hanging up our art pieces was pretty amazing, too. The Granite Room is a neat place located in Castleberry Hill, Atlanta. Neither one of us was sure how to fill the blank white walls – but thankfully, NT’s aunt and Tenga were able to help us! The walls filled up with lots of colors, lines and abstractism (is this a word?). Our 2 styles looked great on display and I look forward to collaborating again. Special thanks to those who bought a piece of art work or one of my travel photos. Truly an honor knowing that my art is hanging on walls across the country and currently have pieces on their way to Australia!

Shout out to Wesley Caldwell for catering and Tenga Schieber of Atlanta Team Realty for sponsorship!