Saturday, May 11, 2019

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Again

I don't want to use plastic.  I'm heartbroken and disgusted when I see the ocean filled with plastic,
Who ever allowed this practice of dumping trash in the ocean?  I honestly can not imagine this being okay with anyone.  I do not think it should be legal and it makes me mad and sad.

For a while now I have been using my reusable cup and straw from Starbucks.  (I think it is absolutely stupid that plastic straws being 'banned' but not plastic cups and lids and silverware and bags.)  

I decided to write this post because the gal at Starbucks forgot to give me my ten cent rebate for using the cup...and she said it was because no one does it.  I thought, gosh, that's all we hear on the news everyday...the environment...the planet...terrible...extinction.....

Yet, this simple task of bringing a cup is not catching on.

I have not figured much out about this yet, but I will share with you that I bring my cup and I use reusable bags.

I use to use one plastic bag a day.  I went to get my chai and then I would pick up a few things from Target.  That's 365 bags a year.  Just me.  Not Katie.  Not Patrick.  I now carry two or three reusable bags with me.  It's so easy.  It has finally become a habit.  I get a small rebate.  I am happy that today I did not throw a bag in the ocean. I would never do that! Would you? 

Instead of a reusable bag, Katie has been taking my old Longaberger Market basket with her.
That a girl!  

Our plastic is not being recycled like we may think it is.
Apparently aluminum is the way to go.  It is being recycled.
Go Pop.  Go Beer.  haha.
Now there is drinking water in aluminum.  I have not tried it yet.

(On another side note....what did we do when we were little?  We drank out of water fountains.  We lined up after recess and got a messy gulp of water.)

I am not a big water drinker, but Katie is in the habit of carrying her own water bottle.  It is not such a hard thing to do.  She also carries little silicon straws with her. (I am trying to remember to say, "no straws, please".)

Also in the picture of the straws in a reused Patagonia jacket!  This cute coat was first worn by one or two of Nancy's girls.  It is at least 20 years old as it was worn by Emma too!!  
This is the most excellent way to reuse!!  LOVE hand-me-downs!!!
Katie buys a lot of her clothes used at Good Will or on Etsy.  She has gotten a cute pair of high waisted hounds tooth pants and a plaid kilt skirt!

Reducing comes easily for me....well...not weight.. Bwahahaha....
But really I don't mind wearing the same shirts and pants until they fall apart or are STAINED!
(Look at my instagram will see what I mean.)

I once asked my friend Camy what she thought the best diet was, out of all the different choices.

You know what she said?

Eat less food.

And I wrote it down and put it on my fridge.

And in our consumer society....the best and most radical thing I can say to clean up our beautiful planet,  our stunning oceans is:

Buy less stuff.

These are the little things I am doing. And I thought maybe I can encourage one or two of you to get a reusable cup or reusable bag.  
It's not so hard.

I am haunted by plastic in the ocean.

What tricks or tips do you have that can help us use less plastic and create less waste?
I'll bet someone has a "net" bag for produce. 

Please share in the comments!

Encourage one another,

Monday, May 06, 2019

The happiest days....

It's a boy.

Prince Harry and his beloved Meghan had a baby today!
The baby was born at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.  Meghan's mom was there.
So it seems she had a home birth!  How about that?

The baby boy was over due and weighed 7 lbs 3 oz.

Everyone I have spoken to was sure it was a girl.
I was too.
So that was a really fun surprise.

Now!  What do you think the name will be?  I had my girl names...but not my boy names.

So the Royal names are


I don't know if Meghan will be able to squeeze in a more modern, American name...
We shall see.

I like Albert, Bertie.
I think Harry would be fond of the name Philip.  He likes his grandpa.

What do you think?
Any ideas?

God bless the newest Royal baby!!!
Happy Day!


Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Hello dear friends.
Today is the ninth anniversary of our sister Sue's passing.  Like I have told you all before, the two months leading up to her death are months we reflect on that terrible and special time.
That time of walking Suzy home.

At the end of Feb, 2010 we found out about the terrible brain tumor.
I headed to Missouri to visit immediately.

I posted on my blog that I was on my way to see Sue.
Susie commented on my blog....
below you will see the last comment she ever made and one of that last pieces of writing I have from her.

It is from this correspondence that she first said; Love you, Mean it!


It is incredibly precious to me.
 I wanted to share it with you all and keep it here on the blog.

I still miss you so much Sue and love you like crazy.
Mean it.

Donna Elsie

Monday, April 15, 2019

The heart and soul of Paris.

April 2007

Note the flying buttresses.

I learned about the flying buttresses in art class in college in 1979.  
I've since pointed them out whenever I get the chance.  When Katie visited Notre Dame a few weeks ago.
I told her to note them and she sent me a picture and just said, "noted".

Today when I saw on Twitter that Notre Dame was on fire I was horrified.
 I was at school so I had to hold in the tears, but it was so hard to do.

My heart is broken for the congregation, for the French, and for people who love art and history all over the world.  To me this was the most important building in the world. 
It was beyond precious and beautiful. 
It is a tragic loss.  
I am heart-sick.

When the sun comes up tomorrow we will see and mourn, even greater I'm fear, what is left of this, the loveliest of buildings.   
The heart and soul of Paris.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Oscar. Oscar, Oscar! Red Carpet. 2019

Good morning fashion lovers.  It was a good night for fashion.  
The Oscars were very much like the Super Bowl this year.  Nothing too exciting until the fourth quarter.

I was frustrated that a movie I thought was too boring to watch more than five minutes of would take so many awards...Roma.   It free on Netflix.  See if you can watch it.  haha.

Although I think Glenn Close is talented, and has nominated seven times, I'm glad she did not win for a one note performance in The Wife.  I should go back and see who beat her when she was in Fatal Attraction, that was Oscar worthy.

Olivia Colman shocked the crowd and herself by winning Best Actress for The Favourite.
Her performance was great!  The movie is a costume drama with a very odd and interesting cinematography, dancing, styling and music.  The only thing I really hated was the music.  WAY TOO avant garde for me.

Her acceptance speech was classically British.  Funny and witty.

JLO looks amazing in this mirror ball dress :o)
Many women wore sparkle-y fabric...but this was the only one I didn't think looked like cheap fabric.
Hey!  I wonder how this was to sit in?

Please notice that horrid backdrop.  Oh my gosh.  They were not thinking of how this would look in photos.  I hate it.  This was a pretty dress.  I liked the unusual gold bands.  

Gorgeous fit and dress on Ashely Graham.  The fabric is heavy and falls beautifully and it holds up on top too.  Very nice!

Bette Midler sang a song from Mary Poppins Returns. It was enchanting and perfect.
She glows.

What ever she is doing....she is doing it beautifully.
Her skin is so pretty.  It's the skin, and chest and neck of a twenty year old.
Like I said....I'll have what she's having.

Every time she is on the stage...she makes it magical!

Another dress with heavy, rich fabric!  Great jewels!  Beautiful.
It's Charlize Theron with dark hair.

Speaking of jewels!!!!!!
This is called the Tiffany Diamond.  It's worth millions.
Lady Gaga's make up is very understated and my favorite look of hers. ever.
I loved how she looked last night.
She won for best song, Shallow.

Which I of course sing.... Shadow.

Kelly and Mark Consuelos looking gorgeous.

Helen Mirren in my favorite color combo.  I just love pinks and reds together.  She is just amazing.
I have a thing for chiffon too.  So pretty Helen!

As far as sexy dresses go...this one worn by Jennifer Hudson is lovely.  It was redder and not orange like it shows in the picture.  She looks wonderful.

Renee Zellweger came for the Vanity Fair after party and I find her dress and shoes and leg....exquisite.

Gabriel Union wearing a gorgeous dress to the after party!  Love this.

Mimi Driver wearing a pretty dress with a pink clutch.
Lovely fabric and neckline.

Zoey Deutch wearing a dress with tiny pleats or folds.  This dress would be described as mille feuille.
A thousand layers.  
I love it.

And my favorite of the night.  Gemma Chan in her delightful pink confection.  I love the neckline and the way it fits her petite body.

Hello. Pretty Lady.

Lots of pink and black favorites last night.  What a nice night of fashion.

Reporting from the frozen tundra,
Donna Elsie

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Julia's Turkey + Ricotta Meatballs

On Saturday morning I watch CBS Saturday Morning.  My very favorite part of this show is when they highlight a chef.  They tell the chef's story, have a big table filled with food and usually a drink.
And they interview the chef and have them sign a white plate and tell who they would most list to share 'this' meal with.

Something about friendly Julia Turshen had me ordering her cookbook within minutes.

Now.  I am a sucker for cookbooks.
But I have to be honest, I rarely make ANYTHING!!

I continue to make my old standbys.

But, I tried Julia's Turkey + Ricotta meatballs.
And they were so easy and delicious, I just have to pass it on.

The small victories:
I made something from a cookbook
It turned out GREAT.
I used ground turkey for the first time.
I ate Turkey + Ricotta meatballs for five days.
Used a side of my ancient grater for the Parmesan cheese and it was amazing.
I used fresh parsley and fresh basil.
Lots of it.

These meatballs have a ton of flavor.
The main flavors were garlic and basil.  I think.
I don't have a very sophisticated palate.

I will share the meatball recipe here.
Julia includes a tomato sauce recipe also, 
but I just wanted to use the Rao's sauce I had on hand.

2 pounds ground turkey (room temp)
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup basil (chopped)
1 cup Italian parsley (chopped) 
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic (minced)

That's it.  No carbs...for those of you who are limiting carbs.

Preheat oven to 425*
Prepare a baking sheet.  Drizzle a few Tbsp Olive Oil on foil covered sheet.
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.
Stir lightly. (I over-stirred and had tough meatballs...but that was my fault.  Don't be like me.)
Make golf ball sized meat balls.  Use wet hands so the meat does not stick too much.
They will fill up a whole cookie sheet.  They can touch a little.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake about 25 min.

Make tomato sauce or open a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce.
Pour in a big dutch over aka Pot.  
Place meatballs on top of sauce and cover a little.
Cook for ten minutes.

You can serve this on noodles if you like,
I just ate them in a bowl with sauce poured over them.

I needed to buy more Rao's because I ran out of sauce quickly.
I think I will start with two jars next time.

 Please try these!  They are amazing.

Thanks Julia Turshen!

The Easy Chef,
Donna Elsie

p.s. the only thing that would have made this a complete hit is if my husband would have tried them.
But honestly, I never expected him to try them and made them for myself!  
So there.

As my mom would say,
"More for me."

Saturday, January 26, 2019

I try to find words...

Adding to the beauty....

There is nothing more beautiful to me than watching Gabriella Papadakis and 
Guillaume Cizeron ice dance.

Following is their winning performance in the 2019 European Championships.

Passionate, graceful, gorgeous, and perfect.

So very beautiful.

But really.

No words can do this justice.

photo by Kathleen Michel
found on Gabriella's Instagram

Encourage one another,

Friday, January 18, 2019

parkas pile up near the door

by John Updike

The days are short,
The sun a spark
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.
Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor,
And parkas pile up
Near the door.
The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees' black lace.
The sky is low.
The wind is gray.
The radiator
Purrs all day

My favorite line is 
"and parkas pile up 
near the door."

Which is your favorite line?


Friday, January 11, 2019

Mother of the Year 2010

I ran across this post the other day and thought I'd share.
Flash back Friday on Quiet Life :o)

This is a reenactment. 





Mom!!! Come back!!! 


"dang it" 



See. She really is over it! Happy girl. 

Encourage one another, 

Monday, January 07, 2019

Golden Globes Red Carpet 2019

Oh how I love a red carpet!  
The show was fine.  Most of my favorites did not win. But I have a nice long list of movies I'm excited to see!  I learned about Downton Abbey by watching the Golden Globes so I am grateful to them for that!!!

The big talk was about A Star is Born.
I saw it but when you have loved a movie since your teens, it's impossible to love another more.
I can't tell you how many times I watched the movie and listened to the album.

That being said, Lady Gaga was endearing and spectacular last night!!

Gorgeous Valentino gown.  And that Tiffany necklace! Holy Cow!

Maya Rudolph was on the worst list....but I loved her dress.  

Julia Roberts was amazing.  I love this.  She looks gorgeous and happy and stands out in this unusual outfit.

Constance Wu wore a lovely Vera Wang dress.  That see thru corset was worn by about five ladies.
I do not like it and wish it was solid and not see thru.  It's just not attractive to me BUT
the color of the dress and bow and the shape and fabric made me love it despite that top.
Constance! You forgot your shirt!

The two tone ensemble was popular and apparently I liked it :o)
This dress is perfect and he jewelry is gorge!

I like delicate shoes.

Well....I picked this because I loved it love on the carpet...but this picture makes the skirt look way too long and strange.  I do love the blue, black and white.  Still choose it...and love pockets.

This was my favorite red dress of the night.  I love the interesting texture.

Dakota Fanning wears Armani Prive.  Those bows on the back are just the kind of detail that makes me squeal with glee! She looks glorious from the front; that necklace, that perfectly fitting bodice, that icy blue color.  Her makeup is elegant and perfect too.
But with all of look the turn to show off those delicate bows to seal the deal....
best dressed.

The Red Carpet Season is here....

Which dresses did you like best?

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, January 03, 2019

slightly obsessed

As I have gotten older, I have stopped wanting/ collecting things.
I use to love to wander around Marshall Fields and Neiman Marcus to see all the pretty things.
Things I wanted to populate my house.

Pillows, blankets, furniture, Christmas decorations....
magazines and antique stores full of cute stuff....

And in the last ten years or so,
I just want to have less.

I am not judging at all.  I'm just full up.
I want less clutter.  Clutter is messy and hard to clean and we all know
cleaning is not my thing.

But in the last few months, I have been obsessed with Cornishware.
I do not know exactly why, 
it's familiar cheery stripes....spotted in movies made in England...

So for Christmas Patrick gave me a butter dish. 
(I ordered it from Amazon, from Patrick)

And all I want to do is sell or give away all my china and dansk and plastic plates and buy all Cornishware.

On my box it said 'made in China'.  I was pretty disturbed by this because I follow a woman on Instagram and see her decorating/painting the plates every day.  I did a little detective work and found that a new owner is working on bringing all the products back to the UK, but for now she is only painting the plates and bowls in England.

She also places the names on the adorable mugs.

Her Instagram is Cornishware_artist

follow will like her

Below is a link about the woman who is reviving Cornishware.

What should I put on my mug?  
Does everyone want a mug for Christmas next year? 
They make pink!
I'll start saving now.

I want red too.
And that hutch and sink.

But it has to fit in my other obsession.....

I want to plop this down in my backyard.
With my little stripe-y dishes.

It would all be so much easier if I lived in England.
But perhaps I need to bring England closer to my family.

It has wheels!!!!!!


Chip, Chip, Charlie, by jove, good show.