Addictive Kale Chips

Addictive Kale Chips

 Baked Kale Chips











Kale Chips.


You either like ’em or you don’t.  Here at the Widjaja house, we LOVE them! Can’t get enough of them!   Beg for more! Don’t last long!….. but maybe that’s a good thing as it’s a way better alternative to junk such as:

  •    Potato chips
  •    Fried Foods
  •    Cake
  •    Candy
  •    Cookies

…. etc. etc. etc………………….   Not that we don’t eat that kind of stuff from time to time (ok, okay…… maybe more often than we care to admit ) but we try to incorporate creative (and tasty) ways to fix and eat healthier. As I always say, “it’s a lifestyle, not a diet til I reach a goal”.        

I personally, have always had a difficult time with vegetables or healthy foods even though I grew up eating very wholesome, natural foods. Blame it on my major “sweet tooth”, haha!  My mom was always more organic (BEFORE that became a “thing” y’all)  and so introduced us to nutritionally-rich foods.  [It] became somewhat of an anathema to me for a little while as I deviated from the ‘path’ once I became an adult and well into my 20’s but have returned to my roots since I value not only mine but my family’s health.

I have to add, for good measure, that Mr. AWE Design (Michael) has adopted even better nutritional habits than me – He has been dedicated and steadfast, not to mention disciplined with the Keto diet and it has provided great results for him overall. I’m super proud of him, especially given his diet was anything but healthy before. 

*Now keep in mind that although we are big fans of this “green stuff”, you and/or your kids may not be so quick to jump aboard this bandwagon. You just have to experiment and find healthy options that work for you.*

Seasoned Kale Leaves


Line your baking sheets either with aluminum foil (like I did) or parchment paper.  You want the baked leaves to come up easier.

Baking sheets lined with aluminum foil

Preheat your oven to 325° (You may have to adjust the temperature depending on how hot your oven heats).

Preheat Temperature


Work in batches….   Tear off leaves from the main stem.

Making kale chipsRinse……. and give a vigorous shake to get rid of excess water.Rinsing Kale Leaves

 Spread the leaves on paper towels and apply a top layer of paper towels to pat out the excess moisture.   (Side note: If you have one of those awesome salad spinners, then you can skip this step.  I actually just purchased one from Ikea and love it! )

Kale Leaves Being Dried

Kale leaves

Kale Leaves Drying

Next – transfer the kale leaves back to mixing bowl.  Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Get your hands in there and really work the oil in. You want to be sure the leaves are completely covered.

Pouring The EVOO On Kale






                  This is the oil I used…….         Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil




This seasoning I found at Fresh Market…

Red Dog Rub












Feel free to use whatever seasonings you have on hand but use them sparingly. I wouldn’t use salt just because when the kale is crispy baked, it tends to taste a bit salty by itself.  

Red Dog Rub Ingredients


















Kale leaves pre-oiled & seasoned and oiled & seasoned


Lay the leaves in a single {crowded} layer on baking sheet.  They will shrivel down when cooked.

Kale Leaves On Baking Sheets


Kale leaves laid in a single layer

Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes.

Kale Leaves Being Cooked

Kale Leaves Ready To Cook

Kale Baked

They should be a “blackened” green and feel crispy. They still taste good even if they didn’t cook to a full crisp but they will be a little chewy. It all comes down to preference.
Close-up Of Baked KaleWhen all done removing the “chips”, cleanup is so simple. Another reason I like to line my pans with foil or parchment paper.

Foil-lined cleanup


Now they are ready to devour! Kale Chips


Baked Kale Chips






Addictive Kale Chips
A vegetable that tastes great crispy
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 1-2 Bunches of Kale Leaves
  2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used Bertolli Robusto)
  3. Seasoning of Choice (I used Red Dog Rub which I found at my local Fresh Market) such as-
  4. Granulated Garlic, Cayenne Pepper, Smoked Paprika, etc.... whatever suits your taste
  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Wash the leaves in a colander. I use a salad spinner to shake off the excess water but if you don't have one, just give it a good shake in the sink.
  3. You can eliminate this step (and yes, waste of paper towels) if you have a salad spinner. Lay the leaves out on paper towels and pat mostly dry with a layer of paper towels on top.
  4. In a stainless steel mixing bowl (easier clean-up from the oil), place the kale and douse the EVOO all over the leaves enough to coat. Toss with your hands to ensure even coating.
  5. Lightly sprinkle seasoning(s) of choice. Again, use your hands to ensure even distribution.
  6. Lay out in a single layer but crowded together(they will really shrivel down when cooked).
  7. Cook for 10-15 minutes. They should be crispy and a "blackened" green.




The *EMPTY* House Tour

The *EMPTY* House Tour





Our First House

Our house as it looked in April 2008
when we first moved in.

Come on in and take a tour of our house —- albeit empty of furnishings and the like. Hahaha!  I would show you our house as it is today if it weren’t for all the reconstruction projects going on currently and the subsequential mess but figured I would spare you all the gory visual. 

Now…….. keep in mind, these (not-so-great-quality) pictures were taken exactly 7 years ago in April 2008. Right about the time we first moved in. And with a point-and-shoot – the Canon PowerShot SD870 IS.              

So, if you’ll just excuse the grainy-ness and poor lighting of the photos, let’s take a little walk through this place we call “HOME”. This house is our first home. It sits on a 3/4 acre lot and in a cul-de-sac.

I know many of you may really like this house but truth be told, I was not sold on it from the get-go. Although out of the [many] houses we screened, this one fit the bill for our needs the best. I knew Mr. AW Exquisite Design fell in love with it pretty much immediately …. not altogether unlike with me! Heehee.



This is where you enter from the front of the house. I don’t have an original picture with a view looking into the house when you first walk in but this is the foyer or entry way.  My son is standing in the living room and kitchen is directly across from him to the left. 


Entry Way

Entry Way to the front of house

                                                  Part of the foyer looking towards the front from the top of the stairs.

Pic monkey Entry Way edit


To the left coming in through the front door, is our home office or so named the “computer room” due to this room housing the desktop computer. This is where Mr. AWE Design camps out on Fridays since he has started working from home about a year or so ago.


Home Office

At the right and wrapping around to the kitchen through that entrance you see is technically a dining room but we were smart and turned it into a multi-purpose space a.k.a. the Toy/Craft room.

Toy/Craft Room

This was a Dining Room but we turned it into a Toy/Craft room

  (Actually, we are getting rid of that mirror ^ now that our half-bath has experienced somewhat of an overhaul. Not finished yet but the reveal is forthcoming, my friends!) Since the editing of this picture, we sort of unexpectedly ended up renovating that downstairs lavatory (does anyone ever refer to a bathroom in that term anymore?!?) so we are on the lookout for a new looking glass!


Okay, so now we enter into our spacious and open kitchen……                                                                                                          

Behold! All the space! And cabinets! And more cabinets!                                                                                                                                       But don’t worry. We found plenty of stuff to fill them all up with. In case you were worried we had more space than we knew what to do with. Hahaha.  

Behind that purple pail is the garage to the left.                                                                                                                                            

And there’s that cute little boy following me around again! How I miss those not-a-tiny-baby-but-yet-still-a-baby days!

Original Kitchen - edit 3


                                                                                  The garage……………                                                                                                           


Original Garage edit 1


Back to the kitchen. The garage entrance is off to the right where you see to the outside. The other back door is the one with blinds on it. You can’t really tell from the picture but the white of the cabinets were pretty dingy so we decided to paint them black. We ran through so many spray cans of paint to get good coverage and we have dealt with the spray aftermath ever since. I even find residual spray “dust” upstairs because we did not cordon off with plastic sheeting. 



Kitchen before we moved in

This is a view looking from where the refrigerator stands. Living room is straight across; the opening in the center leads to the front entry way.

We still have yet to replace that white range that has gotten pretty grungy and gross now. Everything looked so clean and new back then, even if it wasn’t (brand new, that is). 



Kitchen looking towards living room and leading to entry way



Kitchen Island with sun room to right and living room directly ahead.

The lovely sun room with LOTS of windows…… Love this part of the house!

Original Sunroom - edit 3



The laundry room…………                                                                                                                                                                                               and behind the double doors is our 1st and bigger pantry.

Laundry Room

Laundry Room


The living room area…… this was one of the reasons I was not 100% crazy about the house. It is rather small and limited with furniture and home decor placement. My idealist self wanted a cathedral-style ceiling. But as we can see, the house has many other redeeming qualities about it. So I accept this less-than-my-ideal part of the house.

Living Room

Living Room


Living Room

Living Room looking out to the backyard and kids play set in neighbors’ yard


That is all of the downstairs …………………………………………………….

                 So follow me upstairs now.


Bottom stairs


Our Staircase



Stairs leading to second level and first two bedrooms


The first bedroom I’m showing you is the guest room. It faces the front on the right side of the house.  You can’t tell from the photo very well, but this is actually the smallest bedroom. I just divided it into three different angles.

guest room

The “extra” bedroom which is our guest room


My Sugarplum Princess’ room. At the time of this picture, she was cozy at home in my belly.

My Girl's Room


Next we have the 2nd [guest] bathroom which consists of two rooms. We have since updated the lavatory space.

2nd Full Bath

Now we reach my Sugarsnap Pea’s room. He gets the nice bay window and a great bird’s eye view of the landscape. He also gets lucky with a nice walk-in closet!

Son's Room


Walk-In Closet Of Son's Room

Spacious walk-in closet

        And last but not least …. What really sold me, lock stock and barrel? – 

                                                            The Master Bedroom & Bathroom!!!

    I mean, I could not get enough of the vaulted ceiling and how huge the rooms were!

Master Bedroom with Vaulted Ceiling


Three Master Windows


The sitting room facing the front of the house and situated on the left side of the house. There are two closets flanking this sitting area.

Sitting Room Of Master


Master Closets Collage


That probably should have said, “entry to hallway” or hallway. Oh well, sometimes you don’t pick up on your own writing mistakes until too late (since this pic had already been edited). But you get the idea of what is meant. Right? Right???

Wall In Master

 This view is in the bathroom looking through the french doors into the bedroom.

French Doors To Master Bath


Bath In Master Bathroom

In the mirror you can see where the shower stall is and the 3rd master closet which is the biggest one. [Don’t have a picture of that one]

Master Bath


Toilet room


Let’s backtrack on the way out into my son’s room where you get a birds’ eye view of the front yard. This was the first onset of Spring as evidenced by those beautiful dogwoods with the pink blooms. That island in which the trees sit has since had a serious downsizing and all that stubborn ugly foliage disappeared. Most of those trees that look barren in the right photo are also gone. But not because we wanted them removed – that’s a story for another day though, friends.

View Of Front Yard



That concludes showing you the premises of the A W Exquisite Design manor.



As you can see from the pictures, our house has a pretty nice layout…. open space, plenty of room and of course —- LOTS of DIY potential!!


Hope you all enjoyed the comprehensive tour and background story of the ‘before’ and hopefully we can put some rooms together for an ‘after’ tour some time in the near future. Just wanted to make a proper introduction so you get a good idea of what we have to work with. LOOOONG and arduous road to achieve a home that showcases our design style.  We are getting there though and it’s an exciting journey!













Stay tuned for more…… Lots more to come!!

Walkway lights

This photo is courtesy of my husband’s awesome photography skills via the Sony DSLR-A350.


Happy Sibling Day 2015!

Happy Sibling Day 2015!


In honor of Sibling Day, I’m posting a few photos of the brothers & sisters in my family {and one of my two kids, of course}.  There are MANY of us – in fact 10 of us altogether! It is not often anymore that we can get us  ALL together, let alone, a shot of all of us at the same time.  


Capturing the whole brood of us crazy siblings from my daughters' party in 2011

Capturing the whole brood of us crazy siblings from my daughters’ party in 2011




Especially now, that we are spread out across the US. The 3 ‘babies’ still live in Ohio ( where I grew up…. for those who don’t know  )  One in Florida; 3 in California; the rest of us (including me) in Georgia. 



Tired after a long Christmas Day

Three of the bros at Christmas time

It was awesome that most of us were able to come home [OHIO] this past Christmas. A rare occasion, indeed!

five sisters

All five of us sisters

It is certainly no walk in the park with all the diverse personalities going on but while we’ve been down some really DARK roads; to and through hell and back, we have forged a formidable and tight bond that is not so easily broken. It’s been said, LOVE conquers all —– well, for all of our faults, it would certainly be the case. We have seen (and continue to see) each other through the best and worst of times.


My two cute little chicadees posing before their annual egg collection this Easter. I’m lucky they *usually* like to ham it up for the camera. Of course…….it helps to have an incentive. Haha.

They also are really sweet with each other and look out for the other—– most of the time! Haha. They have their squabbles like anyone else.                  

I love how close they are and how much they love each other!


Kids posing before the anticipated egg hunt.

Kids posing before the anticipated egg hunt.





Thanks so much for stopping by!!

I love my readers! I would love to hear your family stories too. Comment below about life in your family.

New Year, New Goals! Also, My Phrase For 2015.

New Year, New Goals! Also, My Phrase For 2015.

Framed Green Never Settle 2015

I’m back! I know many are wondering where I’ve been. Rest assured, I’ve been busy trying to figure my game plan to get more consistent with posting on this sweet blog of mine.

I’m resolute with what I need to do to get this blog moving along….. Write! So writing I am. Albeit slowly.

But it’s a start! Haha….


And guess what?! I’m pregnant. ………No, no, not physically with a little human !  Gotcha, didn’t I?!!    

                                                        BUT….. I AM pregnant with –

                 |  >>>> IDEAS <<<<  |  >>>> GOALS <<<<  |  >>>> ASPIRATIONS <<<<  |

I had totally intended to get a post up on the blog in January but as usual, life happened. 

So, while I was doing work behind the scenes (editing pics and uploading them to my blog media backend as well as formulating the beginning of a few posts), February replaced January. And then of course, here it is the first of March!   Yes, I am attempting to establish a rhythm so I can become consistent in making my posts go live.  Consistency AND writing is KEY.

That said, I had the phrase, “NEVER SETTLE” come to mind as the motto of the year 2015 for me. Now, usually I don’t have a “word” or even a “phrase” for the year but somehow these two words – Never Settle – appeared and kept hanging around in great ceremony. 

 Never Settle…….    

                 ◆    for less than my full potential


                 ◆    for mediocre or so-so


                 ◆    for ordinary


                 ◆    for generic or substitutes for the real thing


                 ◆    for achieving perfection instead of embracing the imperfect  (because life is made

                        beautiful through something lost, in the chaos, the broken, the tears,  the mess,

                        rehabilitation,  not having it all together)


                  ◆    for the comfortable


                   ◆    for the easy route


                   ◆    for what you see but instead step out in faith


                   ◆    for compromise with the enemy of good and right


                   ◆    for things being the way they are when things can be                                                                                                      

                         so much better




Indoor Shooting Range

Taking careful aim – June 2014



In light of all this revelatory discourse, what are your goals?

What do you aspire to in 2015?                  

Are you setting your sights for going beyond the proverbial box?


Would love to hear from you! Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or on my Facebook page.

Font/Graphics Bundle! Get It Now!







<<< UPDATE: this deal is now over but you can click on the link for other deals!! >>>

Blog banner - Friday



I saw this incredible font/graphics deal and just got so excited about it that I thought I’d share.

I want to pass on this awesome deal alert to you, my friends!

Those who use Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, etc. would especially benefit from this package.

There are some really beautiful and neat fonts and graphics in this package and at 98% off is a real killer deal!!






















 This won’t last long.  You will have til Monday, March 2nd, 2015 to snatch this beautiful deal!

Such gorgeous fonts and graphics to use for all sorts of projects.

Besides fonts, there are all sorts of textures, handprinted and watercolor graphics. There is also a mockup scene creator which looks like a lot of fun to play around with!

You are granted an extended license to create whatever for personal or commercial use.

*Some of these items require Photoshop and/or Adobe Illustrator*

You can also use the free Pixlr or Picmonkey for some of these. 

 Go to to take advantage of this loveliness…….


 FYI: *the purchased deal gives you an extended SINGLE user license and is for your own personal use. It cannot be shared with anyone else. They must purchase their own.

 >>> This is NOT a *sponsored* post. I just loved seeing this and thought others might like to grab this deal. <<<