Saturday, March 30, 2013

Week (or two) In Review +365 Project (69-85)

I forgot to post my photos last week... oops!

These are the bacon cheeseburgers we had after the 5K... YUM!

I picked this bracelet up at the Shamwalk.

A letter! Yippee! 

A pheasant strutting his stuff...

Roasting marshmallows in the stove.

Cold night... brrr!

Loved this little barn house J. and I saw on our walk to the store.

Snowy path!

Another adorable house! Love the wreath ----->

They had framed art all over Mara Mi's

I lost horribly at Yahtzee... 3 times!

Our fresh sopapilla cheesecake bars. Mmm.

Lovely colorful strawberries

Day two of this horrid cold. :(

My dinner, a cross between British tea time and hospital food, haha.

The sun is staying up longer now. Yay!

And last, me feeling better, but still tired and thoughtful:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring, Salad, and Simply Silly

It was fifty-five degrees today! It was wonderful!! We celebrated by having salad for dinner. I love dressing up salad with chicken, peanuts, croutons, cheese, seeds, etc. Had there not been a breeze outside, I probably would have made everybody eat outside. :) 

(Our thermometer is always 7 degrees off)

Lily decided that it was a good idea to find a stick and lay in the sun:

I'm not sure whether to admit this or not, but last night I realized that my pillowcase was downstairs in the wash, and I didn't have another in my room. It was late and I didn't want to go digging in the linen closet, but it is basically a cardinal rule to never sleep on an uncovered pillow. What I did next will probably not make my mother proud, but it was the only logical solution after ruling out the other options:

Yes, that is a shirt. I even turned it inside out so that I didn't risk getting anything on the "good" side of the shirt. The stain on the pillow is dirt, by the way... That's what happens when you take a pillow on a three week car trip and it gets caught in the door. I would get a new pillow, except I've finally gotten this one "broken in". 

What are some crazy non-conventional ideas that you've seen or come up with? Have you seen this way of making pasta? I think it's actually pretty brilliant!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Feeling A Little Low

I had a bit of a scare today... I took an ibuprofen and a benadryl at the same time. Bad idea. My blood pressure is slightly on the high side, but it's come way down from the borderline hypertension I was at last year. This afternoon it dropped much lower than I am used to and made me feel really strange. Mom and Nikki were really great and helped get me some fluids and keep me from totally falling apart (I think I was slightly delirious... I kept laughing while Mom was taking my blood pressure). After about half an hour I was much better, and definitely know not to mix those two meds again!

I had the chance to play with one of these ^ bad boys today... had to dig out a floppy reader with a USB port to access all eight of the pictures. It's amazing how far we have come in technology! But I sort of like playing with the old technology for nostalgic reasons. 

The weather here is warming up and the sun was out all day today. Which is lovely, because I am sick of the winter and the snow and the layers of clothes. But warmth also brings the irritating mass population increase of bugs. Asian lady beetles (not to be confused with their delightful American cousins, the ladybug), have invaded my bedroom, pinging against my lamp and landing on my pillow while I sleep. I wouldn't mind if they were less inclined to bite and release noxious orange spit that is the bug equivalent of pepper spray. Ugh.

How is the weather where you are? If we get another sunny day tomorrow I'm going to try to go for a walk and get some fresh air. Can't wait to start opening the windows! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Open Your Eyes

If a heart is breaking in a crowd 

Does anybody know it? 

If a tear falls to the ground 

Has anyone seen it? 

If a soul is reaching out to you 

Can you feel it? 

Every moment there is one 

Whose heart is breaking 

Whose tear is falling 

Whose soul is reaching 

And nothing happens… 

Open your eyes.

~ Toni Derouin

I think, so often, we see the over-arching needs of our own lives, our own heartbreaks, our own questions, that we forget to look around and see the other people who are in need themselves. How often have we seen someone that we know is in pain or in need of guidance and we turn our backs, telling ourselves that someone else will help them, and we simply have just too much on our plates right now. Your plate will always be full... of sickness, business, family. But reaching out to help someone else is what makes our lives full. Full of joy. Full of happiness. Full of giving. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Boards

Today I thought I would share some of the boards I find useful/funny/inspirational on Pinterest!

  1. For those of you who love building a dream home, Home Design & Organization by Daniella Lourenco has some great design ideas and organization improvements. Check out her other boards too!
  2. Smile - if you're a writer by Amanda Patterson has some hilarious cartoons and quips about the joys and curses of being a writer, blogger, or journalist.
  3. Among all the clothes, funny pictures, and recipes, it is good to be uplifted, too: Words to Uplift by Teresa Bedwell keeps scriptures and positive thoughts scrolling through my home feed.
  4. Want to learn more about what is really in your food, and how to make more nutritious choices? Check out Good Nutrition=Healthy by Renelle Sears.
  5. Everybody loves cute pictures of animals, and Les Animaux by Marta McCall has some of my favorites.
  6. For my final board, a little bit of everything quirky, Geekery, Funny or Cute by Hansol Kim has a great collection of pictures and videos to browse through. 
Hope you check them out, please leave a comment below and share your Pinterest address, or a link to your own blog post about Pinterest boards that you love!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Levodian Flu

For all the Trekkies out there, until March 31st, Hulu is offering all episodes of the Star Trek series for free! I have been catching up on Voyager, and ran across S2E9, where the holographic doctor infects his program with a 29 hour flu. It really was apt to my situation, so I edited the clips and compiled them together. You might want to turn your volume up:


I think someone has added a few hours/days to my "program"... I should have been feeling better by now!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Puppy Dog Tails

Don't get me wrong, children are wonderful little creations. They teach us lessons about loving freely, living with abandon, and exploring everything with a sense of wonder. But... they are exhausting. They drain energy like sending a picture drains a cellphone battery - you thought you had four bars, and next thing you know you have no bars and it's blinking red, empty. 

We agreed to babysit a three year old boy for some friends of friends, and none of us were really prepared for it. As four adults living in a calm, do whatever, make-your-own-routine world, we were suddenly made aware of how un-child friendly our household was. Bed time? We go to sleep when we wanna. Meals? Except for dinner, it's serve yourself. We realized that we couldn't just leave scissors on the table or knives on the counter, and the first time we sat down to eat, he was like, "I need to wash my hands!" Who thinks up all this stuff? 

My mother is not used to boys. We girls read books and crocheted and danced around the house. This kid stomps and clangs and shouts and touches everything. Poor Lily, who has been used to a relatively laid back life style, can't settle down because there are little feet constantly flying around and, "Doggy come here!" "Doggy go away!" "DOGGY WON'T PLAY WITH ME!" Sorry kid, she is not interested in being chased around the house and tied up with yarn. I brought her up to my room this morning, and she sat and chewed holes in her blanket. It's like an autistic kid stemming - she does it when she's stressed, and there is no way to stop her.


I still have an incredibly stuffed up stuffy head and feel like a rhino kicked me between the eyes. I can't be more than five feet away from a Kleenex box, and these have become my new best friends:

Hopefully I can kick this back to where it came from. Head colds = self loathing. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Raising Up Godly Sons

Folks, I am fighting a head cold, so I don't have any funny pictures or stories about my weird life to share. But while I was surfing one of my favorite daily blogs, the woman posted a link to the blog of Ann Voskamp, the author of One Thousand Gifts. I'm not sure how many of you have read her book, but it really is a good read, and has some great insights into finding gratitude in the little gifts God gives. 

This is a post she wrote two days ago. It was an open letter to her son, and one of the most beautiful posts I have ever read. If you haven't read it already, read it here: What Our Sons Need To Know About Manhood. The ending is better than any fairy tale or Hollywood film... it is an ending of hope for every dream that there are still men out there who will take a stand for God, and protect and provide for His daughters, and a charge to raise up our sons to be such men. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

My grandma sent this recipe to my mom with a note that read, "I know you guys are trying really hard not to eat sugar, but you have I got to try this!" So, it was only filial duty that compelled us to make this... and the fact that it has a stick and a half of butter in it. And cinnamon, and cream cheese, and yeah, basically, it sounded delicious.

This past weekend at J.'s we made it together and had to wait the forever long 20 minutes for it to cool before we could slice into it. Throughout the process J. hadn't really seemed too impressed, but after the first bite, she was like whoa this is good. We went into the bedroom to watch TV and clip coupons from the newspaper, and I got engrossed in an article and set my plate down for a minute while I read. When I reached back over and picked it up J. looked up and said in a hurt voice, "When did you get seconds... wait, did you leave? Why did you get more without me?!" I had to explain that I didn't go anywhere, I just hadn't finished mine as fast as she did. So then she told me to hurry up and finish so we could get seconds. Yeah, it's that good.

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

2 cans refrigerator crescent rolls
2 8oz. packages of room temperature cream cheese (we used neufchatel and that works, too)
1 C sugar
1/2 C of butter (1 stick)
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 stick of butter, melted
1/4 C sugar
2 T cinnamon
1/4 C chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Well grease a 9x13" pan. Unroll one can of crescent rolls and press into bottom of pan. Cream butter & cream cheese, then cream in sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread in pan on top of crescent rolls. Unroll 2nd can of crescent rolls & spread over top of cream cheese mixture (you can slightly roll them out before hand to make them fit the pan better). Melt the 1/2 stick of butter and pour over crescents. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 20 minutes before cutting. I know this is hard, but it needs to "set" before you cut it... so wait patiently! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My friend +Karen Westbrook mentioned that she is repainting her door. She said it was the closest thing she would get to having a hobbit hole... I told her I was going to go to her house and scratch an Elven rune "G" on her door just for the fun of it. :) It reminded me of this display I saw while we were out shopping yesterday:

Isn't this the neatest display? I loved it so much, I wanted to take it home with me. They might have noticed though, trying to sneak it out through the automatic doors. It really was adorable. It is a goal of mine, to have a hobbit hole my backyard. Just in case, someday, a hobbit stops by and needs a hole to stay in. "Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with thing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

By the way, I bought my copy of The Hobbit: There and Back Again... Did you?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mara Mi's

J. and I did a little volunteer work at a food pantry this morning, then we headed over to Stillwater to taking the shops and sights. They have a great main street full of all kinds of stores (For my TX readers, it is similar to Wimberly or Fredricksburg). It was very blustery outside on the sidewalks, but we found shelter in an adorable store/studio/cafe called Mara Mi on the corner. 

We split a cookie dough cupcake & sat at a little table looking around at the artwork. It was such a neat place... I could have spent hours taking photos in there!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Minty Tradition

This time year ago, I visited J. & A.'s house for the first time. We had gone to the gospel singing, then J. invited me to an on-the-spur weekend stay. I had no clothes, no toothbrush, and no pillow, but I chose spontaneity and jumped in. She loaned me a dress and some shirts (if you know us, you know how funny finding stuff to fit me was). We went to Wal-Mart and picked up a toothbrush and she made me a pallet in the living room. 

Since it was St. Patrick's day, we decided to get a treat from McDonald's... Shamrock shake! This year, we followed that tradition, and after our lovely supper of pork ribs, mashed potatoes, cabbage, and biscuits:

We went to McD's, picked up shakes, and went back home to watch a movie. Stayed up way too late, ate way too much mint flavored frozen dairy, and had a really good time. :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Clothes, Jewelry, Coffee, and Sore Feet

I actually have access to a computer today, yay! J. and I got up and made pancakes for breakfast, then headed out for a day in town. A. took the car to go fishing, so we put on our jackets and snowboots and traveled the old fashioned two-legged way. So, in a way, we got a 5K in as well. :)
J. took me to the coolest little thrift shop called Five Loaves - you pay a dollar, get a bag, and you leave with whatever you can fit into it! I found some great shirts for me, a few things for Mom and Nikki (you guys can anticipate what I'm going to bring you, lol). I also found an adorable courdroy skirt and a beautiful knit long sweater.
After that, we headed over to Jet's coffee shop and took a little break. Split a warm cinnamon roll... Yum!
I had an iced Irish mint latte with green whipped cream. We sat on the couch and rested our legs and chatted for over an hour. I thought this pink book was cute!
There was a jewelry sale inside the shop that was donating proceeds to an MS fundrasier. J. and I both bought a set, I chose the pearl strand, and she picked out the cute purple multi-strand. We trudged back home carrying our wares, then we had lunch and took a siesta. Now we're getting ready to make fried chicken for supper, and when A. gets back we're going to run to Wal-Mart. Having fun! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Gospel Singing

We went to an old-fashioned gospel singing tonight in the Twin Cities. It was wonderful, and I had such a great time I sang myself hoarse. :) It snowed the entire two hours we were there, so it made for a slippery drive to J.'s house.
I am going to be visiting her until Tuesday, so my posts will be from my mobile. I apologize ahead for any blurry pictures or weird formatting! Just glad to be here safe & warm... Looking forward to the next few days!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

That's (Not Quite) A S'more

We went to R.'s for supper and roasted marshmallows afterwards in the wood stove - 
we hadn't eaten all the huge campfire ones Mom and I opened last week.

Even though we had long skewers, it was so warm, I think I got fire sunburn!

Here's M. trying not to make a mess... We didn't have graham crackers, 
so it was a little sticky!

How are you enjoying your Spring Break?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bacon Black Bean Burritos

After our yummy bacon cheeseburgers yesterday, we had some leftover bacon. Strange concept, I know... but there actually was some left! I decided to expand upon a meal that my brother-in-law made for us when he and J. were dating. Bacon, beans, cheese, tortillas; an easy dinner for busy bachelors. And, while they were good... they were bland. Seasoning is what takes a food from being boring to brilliant. So, I made it my own:

First, you can make it healthier and tastier by making your own black beans. Canned ones are fine, but if you are into low sodium or non-processed options, cooking the beans yourself really isn't that difficult.

I'm the type of cook who opens the fridge and sees what options are available (i.e. using leftovers). We had some hash browns and brown rice that I threw into my bacon mix, along with chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped green chilies, and some french onion sour cream dip. I added two cups of black beans to my  concoction to finish it off. None of this is essential, as long as you have the bacon, the black beans, and some kind of flavor (onion, garlic, or peppers). I heated mine up in a dish first so the burritos wouldn't have to bake so long.

Next, I laid out tortillas like soft tacos and divided my mixture among them, then sprinkled each generously with cheese. We prefer the "Mexican blend" cheese because it melts faster. I then popped the pan into the toaster oven at 365* for 15 minutes (this will take longer if your ingredients aren't already hot).

While that is cooking, chop or shred some lettuce. We had some romaine and some iceberg, so I mixed them together. This is a great way to use up salad that is just about to wilt!

After you pull them out of the oven, open each one and top with lettuce, or let everyone serve themselves. A great idea for toppings would be tomatoes or sour cream, or salsa... though it should be tasty enough to not "need" salsa for flavor, sometimes you just want it spicy. Enjoy!