Sunday, December 2, 2012

Is the cup full or empty?

Here I sit trying to make sense of why I have a blog.  I don't write anymore.  Perhaps I have never found my niche and what it is I want to say.  I don't have an expensive camera that takes real time photos of my life and children in HD.  The fact is... my camera broke over our summer vacation and frankly  don't have one at all.  I try to take photos on my cheap net 10 phone.. but it won't upload without having to make a trip to costco and all to put 2 photos on a disc. 

so then, my demise has been on what to write about.  My life is very ordinary and uneventful .  If something real  happens in my life,  I wonder if my blog comes across as negative and pessimistic.  I have no time to make overstuffed pillows, document what items I bought from which grocery store and how many cents I save per item, or come up with come clever way to glue skewers on to the back of a mirror. I don't try to think of something to write just so I can get readers to earn me 1/10 of a penny per click.

So why am I here? So here I am.   Trying to change the date on my blog so it doesn't seem so useless.  I have always wanted to write and inspire others.  My dilemma has been that most daily doings in my life are usually not things that you can sugar coat and excite people with.  In fact,  everyday life does not always come strapped with seat belts fastened in the upright position.  Most of the time, we are unbuckled, falling out of our seats, and hanging on for dear life.  I have realised that even in those hard or frustrating times, there is still good in the world.  It is with that premise that I wish to share the real, share the good, but even the ugly.  I still want to uplift and inspire... but not through rose colored glasses and eating cinnabons smothered in dripping cream cheese frosting.

Here's to 2013!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Domesticated

I'm taking a semester off from school.  I'll be back... but it kinda breaks my idea of blogging about doing something I felt was an integral part of my life: Getting my education.  However, being a stay at home mom is integral and very important too.  I've just forgot about how to do it. 


tr.v. do·mes·ti·cat·ed, do·mes·ti·cat·ing, do·mes·ti·cates
1. To cause to feel comfortable at home; make domestic.
2. To adopt or make fit for domestic use or life.
3.
a. To train or adapt (an animal or plant) to live in a human environment and be of use to humans.
b. To introduce and accustom (an animal or plant) into another region; naturalize.
4. To bring down to the level of the ordinary person.
~ Webster's dictionary
 
Let's see ...
1). I can puff up the pillows on the couch now and then and invite someone over for hot cocoa.
2.) I have let out many seams on my pants and shirts to allow room for additional matter.
3a.)I am watering a small cactus in my kitchen.  It's use reminds me of Arizona.
b.) The cactus should be outside in the desert but seems to be very happy on my window sill.
4.) I can't even fit into the $100 pair of LUCKY jeans that I purchased for 50% off and wore once.  Therefore I can't even try to be cool and shnazzy in a pair of brand name attire.
 
So far I'm well on my way to being domesticated again.
 
Wooooh!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cooking for Anton Ego

Normally it's not a big deal making meals for families whose mothers have just had  babies. That is... unless the person you are cooking for happens to  take professional pictures of the food they make for a popular magazine and know more about food than you. This night was no exception. I carefully planned every detail of the menu and even made sure I had organic ingredients on hand to cook for none other than Natalie from Perry's plate.




I made Mexican spicy rice with black bean and chicken burritos.

  I felt much like Remy, the rat character on Ratatouille, when he knows he's cooking a meal for Anton Ego, the world famous food critic. Now don't get me wrong, I don't picture Natalie as a villianous critic that has nothing better to do than tell me I didn't cook the brown rice enough. But, I admire her skills and knowledge surrounding food enough to know that I'm not just going to throw refried beans in a tortilla and call it good. (although, after my nerves that night, it didn't sound half bad.)

Natalie is known for teaching the rest of us what type of produce is best to buy, or what grade of meat is better for your health. She also knows that eating should be fun and good, while being simple and eating healthy whole foods at the same time.

The thing I really like about Natalie, is that she is truly down to earth and I know that if I take even one thing she teaches and apply it on a regular basis, I too, may grow up to be just like her one day.
Want me to share what I made for  her?    Well ... I'm going to share anyway! :)

Spicy Rice
2 Cups Rice
4 Cups Water (or 2 cans chicken broth and 1/2 cup water)
2 Tbsp Caldo de Pollo
2 Tbsp minced Garlic
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Onion
2 Carrots
4 Jalapeno Peppers
1 bunch of Cilantro
Directions:
Soak rice for about an hour.  Drain the rice.   Cut tops off of the jalapeno peppers and take out the seeds.  Dice the jalapeno and bell peppers, onion, cilantro, and grate the  carrots.  Pour a little olive oil in a pan and saute the rice, garlic, onion, and pollo de caldo together. Add chicken broth to the rice. Sprinkle vegetables on top of the rice.  Cover and cook until rice is tender and water is gone.

You can make spicy rice and serve as a side dish with mexican food. 
 Or ...add in the chicken to simmer with rice and put in burritos with beans like I did.



First Soak Rice in water for about ½ hour to an hour.

  Next cut up all veggies, garlic and onion. ( I omitted the jalapeno and green pepper because Natalie is nursing. But it is very good with those green ingredients)  Not shown:  chopped cilantro.




Saute garlic, onion, drained rice, and Caldo de pollo.



Add a low Sodium chicken broth or water. I prefer the chicken broth.



Add the frozen chicken fajita pieces.


Let simmer till rice is tender. ( I used half brown , half white rice because I know Natalie likes eating whole foods. However, Brown rice takes longer to cook and do not recommend using the  brown rice.)



Warm up black beans. (or pinto works too.)



Combine all ingredients in a warmed torilla.  I brown mine a little on a pancake griddle with a spray of non stick oil to give it a little stiffness.

 (I tried low carb oat /wheat tortillas and gagged. I do not recommend trying new products when you want to impress someone. Stick to what you know best. Even if it's not as healthy. Trust me, it will taste better.)

Fold according to pictures following.



Serve with sour cream and Louisiana hot sauce mixed up.   OR...
Guacamole works well too.

Vanilla pudding, Cool Whip, and fresh blueberries are a cool summer treat.




Update:   I guess I must have done okay.
Natalie:  "I can totally see why those burritos are a hit with everyone. what did you put in the rice? I loved the flavor. "   

My pleasure Natalie!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Random Mercies of Happyness

Have you ever been just living your life, you know... like walking down the street minding your own business and you run across random things that seem to come out of nowhere?  The things that are miniscule in the whole picture of life, but none the less seem to jump out and be  the really big things on days when you just wonder if anyone knows who you are and what your life is about.  Well, I want to share a couple of those days with you.



   On one of my trips to the library bathroom, I was tired and feeling really crappy.  I walked in the ladies room and found this sticky note.  Usually I think, "uh, yeah right.  That's not for me".  But that day I really truly believed that the message on the mirror was for me. 
At first I tried to stay out of the picture and just capture the message.  But then, I realized that if I truly believed the message, that I would capture the whole experience on camera. 
 (for posterity)

Another day, I was out grocery shopping and feeling like I really didn't like like my life and how stressful things have become with school, family, and church.  As I put my groceries in the car, I noticed a car parked next to mine.  It belonged to a person that undoubtedly was living a much better life than me and I was  suddenly struck with a streak of envy that I was putting my groceries in the wrong car.  It was definitely a message that life is to be enjoyed not piloted with the dashboard light lit up on "auto".

This picture was taken on a weekend that my husband took me away for a quick get away from my stresses. I walked into the bathroom and found my college mascot: the elephant. 
Elephants have special meaning.  If you don't know, click here.



Make sure you come back though to read the rest.  :)





I was at the public library on day with my daughter and as I was browsing,  I was lamenting my lack of desire for reading. I was thinking that if I read more, I'd have some huge vocabulary.  I'd be using words like "voracious" and "gregarious" and stuff like that.  (stuff my professor uses to impress all of us incoming  Juniors)   I still have no impressive vocab and I still have no desire for reading.  
 No doubt it comes from semesters of reading huge textbooks and thinking that reading is the last thing I want to do after a long day of studying.  
  This particular day, I was thinking to my self, "self, isn't there anything that would help you to love to read more?"  Which is the part where I stumbled upon this book.  I had a good snicker ... chuckle...  and down right.... laugh out loud.  Whatever you want to call it, I had it.   I picked up the book and browsed through it.  I'll tell you, this book was enough to never want me to read again.  It was downright boring.  Don't ask me why... I tried several times to pick it up just for the sake of maybe gaining a love for reading.  Never the less,  I very carefully re shelved the book and left it for a WORM that might savor it better than me.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lullabies...

I have always loved hearing mens' choirs, mens' voices, etc.
I have always loved the memories of my parents singing
lullabies when I was a child.
Here is an arrangment that I love listening to.
I don't think one is ever too to old have a lullaby sung to them.

( I think I am tired and worn out from school. I think I'm itching to
just lay down and let it all go. Ya think?)

Friday, April 6, 2012

"Sunday will come"

"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come."~ Joseph B. Wirthlin
 
Click the picture to view the whole talk.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rah Rah... SIS boom bah! Pep Rally!

I'm having a hard time with school these days. I'm plain wore out.  I feel so stressed and ready to throw in the rag and say I'm ready to hand out brochures in Wal-mart.  (No offense to those that might really do that.  It's an important job I'm sure. I just want to be prepared one day should I need to step in and be the sole bread winner)

  My dear sister sent this to me to help me see that I can't give up on my schooling even
when it's hard for me. 











Do you like the little picture drawing of my sister in the right hand corner with pom poms...?



I'm thankful for the cheerleaders in my life!
I'm also grateful for a wonderful husband who whisked me away on an over nighter last week to get away from it all.  
Tomorrow I face it all again.  But, now I've been armed with my school mascot, the elephant.  Hopefully this pep rally will last me 7 more weeks!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Family Updates

John auditioned for All State Choir and made it. He loves singing and works hard to perform at his best. Additionally, John landed the male lead role as the prince in the school musical, "Once upon a Mattress". He loves acting, singing, and making people laugh. I have yet to produce a picture of the two different costumes I made for him. We call them his "dresses". He is so very talented and enjoy participating in his life.



Kate entered her science project into the school fair and won second place in her grade. She was so thrilled to find out her hard work paid off.

The rest of us lead pretty boring lives... you know, going to school, doing homework, cursing at our professors.... (at home of course). But we stay busy and hope one day our lives will return to normal and we can once again sit and watch the reruns of I Love Lucy.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Little Owl Bead

My little treasure. I love owls and stumbled upon this little guy. I will come back and post an update when I decide what I'm going to do with him.



You can find this bead at artbeads.com I'm not affiliated with them. Just wanted to share a really cool treasure.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Update: My version of the Felt Rose Scarf

Remember back when I posted about making a felt scarf someday?  In December, I was trying to figure out what I was going to get my daughter for Christmas. I stumbled upon a SCARF and just loved it.  I really liked the colors in her tutorial but wanted to try something with a little more pizazz. Rather than using felt, I opted for the felted wool look.   I think it turned out pretty good.  The model wearing it just melts my heart.  My hubby always says... "It's not about the article of clothing.  It's about the face behind the article of clothing."  I love him...<3 !  I took several pictures, and he's right.  The scarf is a fabulous way to show off this beautiful face. You can find the tutorial at Watch me Daddy!




Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thanks for the Ride!

"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey. Delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."                 
~ Gordon B Hinckley

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ruffled T-shirt makeover

Okay, I've been naughty. Remember the last post? You know the one that said I had to make a costume first? Well, looky what I did instead.  I took a long sleeve t-shirt and cut off sleeves.  Cut sleeves into strips, layered different size strips and gathered.  Pinned and stitched around neckline.   T-shirt inspired by Tea Rose Home.




Hmm...That's funny. I don't recall adding a flat tire to the bottom of my t-shirt.  Gotta throw that thing in the repair pile. XD

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sew sew things I must do!

Okay I have to admit that this isn't something I "want" to do... but I need to finish this prince costume.  My son made the lead in the school play.  He is the prince.  I am making the one in the right bottom corner only it will be royal blue with white brocade sleeves.  It is very regal looking.  I will post when I'm done.  

and... as soon as I'm done with that.... I want to make this!  I would give anything to know where to buy this color cardigan.  Any guesses?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Storage for Glass Ornaments

Yesterday I was putting away the ornaments from the tree.  I wasn't sure what to do with my glass ornaments and was worried they would break.  I had collected these apple cartons from Costco and thought they would be perfect for storing the bulbs.  Tell me what you think.  I know... pretty cool, huh?





Just for fun~
I thought I'd also show you some fun felt ornaments I picked up at a second hand store a few years back.  They are so fun and I bet you can't find anything like them around.










Blogfest?  What is that?   Besides... who was reading it anyhow?