bibingka and other foodie business


i woke up this morning thinking about this…  it brings many happy, fond memories.  my mother makes the best, then my sis jo & i have been known to make it pretty nicely too.   i was wracking my brain for the recipe… i believe i have all the ingredients to make a batch… i know i have my mom’s recipe somewhere.  but aaack, just can’t find it.  so i googled for the recipes.  a ton of different versions of this quintessential filipino cake popped up & i searched and searched until i found one (aka see above link) that closely resembled my mom’s version.  my mom’s version is simple but oh so delectable.  no lie.  i ❤ this cake.  🙂

i think i will whip up a batch using the above recipe just to make sure that it tastes like my mom’s, hehehe. 🙂 

& if it works out, then i will make another batch & send it to my mom… her birthday is coming up (shhh, don’t tell!) & i know that my mom (& my dad too) will LOVE getting this surprise 🙂

next to making art, cooking has become another passion these days.  idk how i became a “foodie” all of a sudden, hehehe… but i’ve been totally diggin’ cooking things from scratch lately…PLUS  also using the freshest ingredients where at all possible. 

speaking of which, “cooking fresh” also makes me want to grow my own food this gardening season!  i used to when we lived in maine… i tried in vain to replicate my old veg and herb garden beds when we first moved here.  but i soon got discouraged because of the very rude & quite brazen deer population that also reside out here in the wooded boonies. 😦 

 the deer around here simply have no respect and  have treated my garden beds in those early days like their own personal smorgasbord.  i couldn’t plant or grow anything without seeing nibbled remains of plants, shrubs and trees!  once one fall weekend,  i planted about 200 tulip bulbs in the front yard, envisioning a glorious spring display…but instead, i found a field of bitten off tulip heads come that following spring!  OMG, was i ever so pissed.  you. have. no. idea.    the deer have been so CHEEKY that in the last few years, i sorta just threw up my hands & gave up on trying to grow our own food like i had before in maine.  i was going to be damned before i grew a whole crop of veggies just exclusively for the entire deer population!!!!

last summer, i had frequented a number of various farmer’s markets in the area… so much so,  that a part of me felt a bit sad (& rather mad) that i had to buy other peeps’ food when i knew full well that i could grow my own tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, potatoes, lettuce, carrots, fresh herbs, etc, etc if it weren’t for those gosh-darned DEER!  when we lived in maine, i never had the deer problem there as  i do here.  OMG.  we had a virtual grocery store in our back yard when we lived in maine.  homegrown gardens were the norm where we had lived.  i SO miss that.

this year, however, especially after receiving countless seed and garden catalogues, i am determined to grow our own food again.  but this time, i think i will grow them in containers & place them all on the huge back deck.  i figure that at the very least, those darn DEER could not possibly get into the second floor deck!!!  the sun exposure is westerly so that should be plenty enough to grow a small crop of assorted veg, herbs and of course flowers.  you gotta have flowers to pretty up the joint and bring the bees and hummingbirds by 🙂

so that’s what i’m plotting… literally and figuratively. as soon as the weather warms and i can work in my garden, i plan to clean up  my lower garden beds and then i think – NO! i must! – plant some thorny (make that EXTRA thorny!) rose bushes and other deer repellent plants and shrubs.  ha!  take that you pesky DEER!!    who knew that i was going to have this on-going WAR with the DEER (aka “the enemy”)? 

as for my plan of ATTACK, so to speak, the upper back deck, which btw runs the entire span of the house, i will start planning my container garden. that is where i will basically grow our food. hopefully, this plan will work.  i cannot wait to get my hands in the dirt and play!  back in the good ol’, deer-free days, i was (& will be again!) a voracious gardener.  i am looking forward to getting back into gardening saddle again.  it’s been too long.  & back to self-sustenance & reliance is what i say!


oh yes, nearly forgot… last 2/26 was my BLOGOVERSARY.  i totally FORGOT…oopsie!  it’s been SIX years -OMG- since i started art blogging.  oh well, no biggie… LIFE happens and i have had a lot going on these days.  well, happy belated blogoversary to me then, hehehe 🙂

i’ve said what i’ve wanted to say today… so now, BIBINGKA time!  gotta get crack-a-lacking…if you have never had it… idk what to say other than that you are in for a real treat if you can try it. 🙂

you won’t be disappointed.  trust me on that one!

xoxo mary ann

(ps., pardon all the 🙂 …today is one of those rare days that i am actually not feeling stressed, like i usually am… i think it’s because i’m at home & not at school!!!)



HOME, they say, is where the heart is…

then mine happens to be in maine.  that’s where i left it when we relocated to the midwest a few years ago.  i feel like a piece of me is still there. & i terribly miss the life we had there.  it suited us to a T.  i know that you shouldn’t cry over spilt milk…but i can’t help or deny how/what i feel.  we loved living there in that quaint, picturesque seaside community.  i can almost smell the salt air & see/hear the wondrous sights/sounds of the ocean in my mind’s eye.   have you ever loved living in a place so much?  & then when you leave it, you miss it so much that your heart breaks?  well, that’s what i’m talking about.

this ol’ tune by steve miller comes to mind…

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future

I want to fly like an eagle
To the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
I want to fly like an eagle
Till I’m free
Oh, Lord, through the revolution

Feed the babies
Who don’t have enough to eat
Shoe the children
With no shoes on their feet
House the people
Livin’ in the street
Oh, oh, there’s a solution

I want to fly like an eagle
To the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
I want to fly like an eagle
Till I’m free
Fly through the revolution

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future

I want to fly like an eagle
To the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
I want to fly like an eagle
Till I’m free
Fly through the revolution

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future

 one day, i tell myself, we will be back there. & for good.
for now, my memories will have to do & sheer determination will have to see me through. 

it’s cleaning time

lots of cleaning & purging going on here today.  but i must confess, i have been an awful procrastinator.  i was going to start my major DESTASH project when school let out for summer. 

yeh, like THAT ever happened. 

 & here it is, BACK to school already(!) & i’ve only literally started today. oh well, better late than never, right?  also, it helps that i have a huge push to get the job done. 

my mother’s relatives from overseas will be coming to visit.  it’s their first time in the states ever & it simply won’t do having my art supplies & projects strewn all about the house.  i’ve been put on notice…so i have to get crack-a-lacking.  BIGTIME.

i’ve started to take boxes & bags of stuff downstairs (not a small feat either!) & hopefully by the end of the day, the upstairs will resemble a proper great room & kitchen (instead of my makeshift studio & warehouse!).  once all my art & antiquing stuff are removed/relocated, i then will go whole hog cleaning the entire upstairs (also, no small feat!).  that part will take at least a few days as there are 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, kitchen, great room & mudroom to clean.  OMG.   i’m not entirely thrilled about this, but i gotta do this.  luckily, i have TIME on my side…i have a few weeks to get the upstairs looking presentable & spotless.

the downstairs, well…that’s another story.  i’m hoping that my mother’s guests will not feel the need to explore the downstairs.  i’m half a mind to post a sign saying something to the effect, “WARNING, enter at your own risk” or simply, “UNDER CONSTRUCTION”…i really don’t think they need to come downstairs (aka our space).  maybe they will be allergic to cats? one can only hope.

kidding aside, i’ve been dilligent this morning & will continue to be over the course of the next few days…i wouldn’t want to disappoint or embarrass my parents.  it’s a matter of pride & duty that i do this…so, i’ve been trudging up & down the stairs, lugging armloads of bags & boxes of stuff.  (heck, who needs a treadclimber, when i’ve got a long flight of stairs i go up & down up about 10 million times?! seriously?)… i’ve also been sorting out items all morning as well.   i filled two big garbage bags already.  & i’m afraid, that’s only the beginning.  dear me…

the upside to all this cleaning & purging is that i have a TON of things that i will be able to put in my online shops & also my booth at the antique barn.  so, after i am done with cleaning detail, i will be restocking my shops.  it’s a win-win situation all around, from my way of thinking.  so stay tuned…lots of good stuff to come! 🙂

ok, i’ve taken a long enough break & i’ve got to get back to work.  but before i sign off, here are some more artwork that i did for suzi’s goddess & poet class

lesson 3, gypsies (sketch).

sbclass 006

(mixed media)>>>

sbclass 008

btw, i just closed out the xmas in july tag swap that i hosted this summer.  i just haven’t gotten around to posting pix of the wonderful artwork that people sent in.  one of these days i will post pix.  also, been working on another swap project, the itty bitty fairytale book.  i’ve extended the deadline from sep 1st to sep 12th btw…will post pix of my efforts soon.  just up to my eyeballs right now with CLEANING, hehehe.

have a great week…

will be back again soon. xo mary ann



we’re all set to go on our ADVENTURE to vacationland.  will be away for a couple of weeks with the dh.  not sure what the internet sitch will be like (i.e., if it’s available where we’ll be) on the road, so will post again when i can.  until then, here’s wishing you a FANTASTIC summer!  see you in a couple weeks!

xoxo mary ann 🙂

(p.s., the above pix was taken at a recent rock aqua jays show)

(p.p.s, i ❤ this vid: )

art & independence




i can’t believe we’re in JULY (?!) already…much less today being the 4th.  where did the time go?  seemed like only yesterday it was the last day of school, hehehe! 


my mom has been visiting us since monday, so i have been juggling being her chauffeur/shopping companion + trying to get some work done in both the garden & studio.  it’s been so nice to have mom here though…she loves coming here & the best part is that she cooks my fave foods! 🙂  thanks mom, you are the BESTEST mom ever! xoxo

later today, if the weather holds out (it’s been doom & gloomy here the last couple of days), we may head to the farmer’s market…my mom has been craving sausage lately (esp. after i told her about a friend whose spouse forced him to eat vegetarian when really he was dying to eat burgers & italian sausages!)…there’s one vendor at the farmer’s market that sells the most DELISH brats…my mouth is watering just thinking about them.  i hope they will be there so we can pick up some cherry (yes, cherry…they are WICKED good!)  and cheddar brats.  that’s one of the good things about living here in cheeseland…you can get good brats & cheese, hehehe! 🙂


i’ve managed to get some wips completed…like these ATCs for lorri’s swap


the theme was rubberstamping.  i stamped all the cards prior to embellishing them…i hope that these will be in keeping with the theme.  i cannot resist not embellishing my work in some fashion…that’s the mixed media collage artist in me coming out…  i used what i had on hand…bits n pieces from other projects as well as stamp & photo images from my personal stash.  i liked the fact that i didn’t go out & buy anything new to make these…i just used what i had & also kept the color palette the same for all 7 cards, for continuity’s sake.  i had fun making these & am looking forward to getting back some terrific artwork. 

at the moment, i’m working on an itty bitty book project, SUMMER. 4709f i am hoping to get all 13 books completed & shipped out before we head out on vacation next week.  each participant had to make 2 sets of pages…i made a couple of extras because, well, that’s what my lil brain has been conditioned to do, lol.  ibsmrbk1i just finished working on them last night.  and now, i’m getting ready to run the pages i do have in my hands thru the binding machine.  omg, so far, the artwork has been outstanding & i am happy to report, another FAB itty book in the works!   

speaking of fab books…look what arrived on my doorstep just in time for the 4th?


my red, white & tag book from jessica’s swap.  isn’t it just too cute for words?

4709emy page…


many thanks to all the ladies who contributed & esp. jessica for this wonderfully patriotic keepsake! 


enjoy & be safe this glorious day! xoxo mary ann

going “home”

(photos courtesy of, wikipedia, big chicken barn antiques, timber creek fishing & atlantic brewing company)

they say home is where the heart is.  in just NINE days we will be here.  that’s where we left our hearts since relocating back to the midwest. 

the dh & i will be heading out east for a couple of weeks.   he wants to do plenty of this


& this fish_lm_bass_small here landscape_56

& herelandscape_6








hopefully we will go hiking around too


maybe spot a whale or two…spring_summer12

this looks kinda neat, but not a fan of being swept up by the waves…


for sure visit our fav lighthouses…lighthouse_28

we rented a cottage not too far from where we used to live…top_4

i hope to do these activities while in vacationland:

800px-Watercolours chickenbarnant228827



but most of all, just take in all the salt air & sea breezes that we can… because as we know all too well, vacations fly by so wicked fast!


on the way home, we will take a short side trip to cape cod to visit some friends.  hope they will be ready for us. 🙂

yep, we’re looking forward to some much needed R n R.  & it’ll be good to go “home”.

sweet scent of summer






freshly picked from my garden…bringing the sweet scent of summer in.