Monday, March 24, 2014

Overnight Oats

First, let me say that I know my picture is wonky.  It doesn't look that way on my desktop, but from there to here, it went wonky.  And that's okay.  It could only improve this.

I don't have much crafty stuff going on right now.  Our move is still two months away but, because of our schedule for the next two months, getting as much done as soon as possible seemed like the way to go.  So all I can really do right now is cook.

Now might be the time to also mention that I got roped into doing the Advocare 24 Day Challenge with my oldest daughter.  I won't actually start it until I get back from my little mini-vacation.  I have started trying to eat a little "cleaner" now so my system won't be in as much shock then.  The challenge is going to serve as a jump start to the final efforts before my doctor insists on putting me on some sort of medication.  We shall see.  I am excited about it.  I think.  Maybe.

Anyway, in searching out "clean eating recipes" on Pinterest, I came across this recipe for overnight oats.  There are several variations but this one seemed nice and easy.  And since almond milk is something that you can have during the cleanse, it seemed like a really good idea.  Add the fact that my idea of breakfast is hitting the drive-through at Wendy's because that's what I have time for in the mornings, and this "do ahead" recipe seemed even more like a winner.

Nope.  Nuh uh.  It was like eating (at least, I assume) paste.  No amount of fruit or honey could have saved this hot mess.  Not even making it hot could have saved it.  Baby J says the almond milk tastes good, so maybe it was just soaking the oats in liquid overnight that made for the ickiness.  So, I'll be marking this a Pinterest fail.  Blech.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sweet Peanut's First Birthday

Today was a fine example of the bipolar weather we have here in the Midwest.  Yesterday we were running around in shorts and tee shirts.  This morning, we woke up to snow falling.  That's okay.  Winter had to make one last gasp.  I'm fairly certain we're headed for a lovely spring.

Since life is about to get crazy busy, I made the executive decision to skip the weekly family dinner and stay at home.  In between cleaning and laundry and getting the piles of loose pictures put away in photo albums, I managed to get a couple of pages done.  Because they were pictures of my little Peanut's first birthday, I went with all the happy, bright, candy coated colors I could get my hands on.  This page turned out just as sweet as my little lady is.  Please forgive the icky background...Baby J had the ironing board out and it seemed like a good place to take a picture. 

I'm hoping my little boost of mojo keeps going, at least for a little while.  It's helping me empty out my overstocked craft supplies, which means less to move.  And I'm all for that!

Have a great week!

Monday, March 10, 2014

St. Paddy's Day!

It's been a little bit since I've been on here!  I feel like I've been extremely busy, although looking back, I really can't tell you what's been occupying my time.  Prepping for lots of changes, yes.  Actually moving forward with those changes, not so much.  I'm going to chalk it up to being busy with the final stages of Baby J's high school career.  Yeah!  That's the ticket!

A lot of my craft "room" has been cleared out.  I kept those things that I truly use and donated much of what I didn't.  I could have sold it but to be honest, I just don't have the energy.  We've been trying to sell the furniture we won't be needing after this spring.  Lots of people speaking up to buy but only a few have actually picked up (and paid for) what they've said they wanted.  It's just one more stress I don't need right now.

I made a whopping two St. Paddy's (an Irish friend told me never to say St. Patty's) cards.  One has to go in a box full of goodies to the grandbabies.  I had all the best intentions and even started trying to work on them right after Valentine's Day.  Can you hear the fizzle from there?!

Yep, I know it's on its side
I actually like the other card I made better but I didn't take pictures of it, so this will have to do.  And so...


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Madame Blueberry

For those of you who have kids and a supply of Veggie Tales DVDs, you know who Madame Blueberry is.

Last week was a crazy week.  Close of business Friday was particularly stressful, and that stress has followed me throughout my weekend.  I'm still working on letting it all go.  Maybe a little retail therapy later this afternoon will help.

I've once again been digging into my Pinterest boards for inspiration.  This week alone saw five successful dishes!  Today, since I love blueberries, happened to have some on hand, and seriously needed the soothing actions of cooking, this lovely Blueberry Coffee Cake from Sweet Anna's blog seemed the perfect way to cure to my blues (ha ha, get it?).

It came together easily and was made without any substitutions/changes.  I don't usually have buttermilk on hand because it's just not something I use very often.  I did happen to have some sort of buttermilk baking powder concoction that G$ found awhile back.  Much cheaper than buying a pint of the stuff every couple of weeks and tossing it out when it doesn't get used.  I will say that baking it for 60 minutes was probably overkill in my oven.  I should have checked five minutes earlier.

Cardamom isn't a spice I'm overly familiar with, but I did happen to have some in the pantry.  It gave a little extra oomph to the cake and the smell is just amazing!!  I'm usually a love 'em and leave 'em kinda girl after trying a recipe, but I think this one will definitely be making a return appearance.  Impressive and delicious!

Here's hoping next week is a better week!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Nothing is Impossible

I'm falling behind on my posting again.  I even bought a colorful little agenda to keep track of what I want to post and when.  Life got in the way, though.  We ended the year with Spud sustaining an injury to his back.  He finally had surgery last week and is now well on his way to recovery.  So now I feel more comfortable devoting time to my "pursuit of happiness".

Just an update...I'm doing well living in the spirit of my "just one word".  I still stumble daily, but for the most part, I'm doing a good job of living up to "move".

Now for the fun stuff.

Baby J is a big fan of Audrey Hepburn's.  I always thought I was but, to tell you the truth, the more of her films I watch with Baby J, the more I am of the opinion that, while truly lovely to look at, most of her roles consist of being a whiny ding dong.  Not exactly my cup of tea.  Anyway, I found this stamp from Technique Tuesday on one of my online shopping binges.  Because it reminded me so much of J, and because I really liked what it had to say, I snapped it up.  After digging through my vast amount of 6x6 pads, I managed to come up with these two cards, both of which helped use up some very old supplies.  Like years old supplies.  I also got to dig out the high tech crafting gadgets -- better known as a dinner plate.  Made the perfect semi-circle possible.  All in all, I'm very happy with the outcome.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

You must remember this...a quiche is just a quiche...

Not a clue as to why "Casablanca" is running through my head, but it is.  I love a bad pun, don't you?

Several of the cooking blogs I follow post weekly menus.  Of course, they usually limit it to Monday through Friday, but that's not the way I do my menu planning.  My slow time at work on Friday is spent making a menu for the next seven days (or, if you prefer, trolling's the same thing) and browsing the grocery ads.  I hurry home after work, pick up Baby J and drag her off to the torture chamber, known to normal humans as "the grocery store".  Home girl is not a people person, at least not when it comes to the people at our grocery store, most of whom act as though the zombie apocalypse is about to go down.

I should also probably tell you that, while I plan my menu with the best of intentions, a lot of those meals never actually make it off the page, even though I have everything I need.  There are just those days when I lose interest in all things domestic...or not deep fried.  I'm going to work much harder on eating in more often than eating out in the coming year.  We'll see how that goes.

Anyway, this lovely Ham and Broccoli Quiche was on the menu for tonight.  And even though it's late and I'm anxious to get to my crafting table to try out the few little odds and ends I picked up at Joann's this evening, I made myself stay upright long enough to whip it out.  I liked it.  Baby J actually ate a whole piece, so I think it's safe to say this was a hit.  Swiss cheese is relatively new to me.  My cheese palate is pretty much limited to cheddar, provolone and the queso they serve at Jose Pepper's.  I liked the flavor of it in this dish.  My only change: while the recipe called for 45 minutes of cooking time, it was still way too jiggly, so I turned off the oven and left my quiche in for another 10 minutes.  You can find the recipe here on Allrecipes.

What's on your menu for this week?

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Several years ago, my friend Carol introduced me to the concept of “just one word.”  I had never heard of it before, but it seemed like a good idea.  Pick just one word and try and apply it to all areas of your life in the coming year.  So I’ve tried to do that every year.  To be honest, I always manage to pick a word.  And then I promptly forget it.  Every.  Single.  Year.  Without fail.  I could say that it’s because I’m getting older and my brain doesn’t work the way it used to, but I’ve always been like that.  I'll think of something, turn around twice (if even that), and I'll have forgotten everything.  I’m pretty like that.
This year, my word is “MOVE”.  I even got a nifty graphic, thinking maybe that will help me remember.  One word has so many different implications for me in 2014.  Certainly, I will move once Baby J has graduated from high school.  That’s been the plan for quite some time now.  I'll move home to keep an eye on my mother and Baby J will move into dorm life.  Of course, I hope to move towards better health and become physically active.  Less time on the couch and more time propelling my fabulosity to, well, anywhere that doesn’t require me to be in a prone, starfish-like position.  For me, it also means to move forward beyond past hurts and regrets.  I can’t change the things I’ve done, or the things that have been done to me, so why continue to let it take up valuable real estate in my head and heart?  I want to move past an occasional emotional maturity level of 12 and learn to let things go without seeking out voodoo dolls to extract revenge.  Life is what it is.  People are what they are.  And it’s not up to me to judge anybody for anything.  I don’t have to like someone or agree with their beliefs, political, spiritual or otherwise, but I do have to share space with them, so I may as well learn to smile, be polite, and just do me.  Spud is the best example of this.  I wanna be more like him.  
I want to move forward into the next phase of my life.  I’m middle aged (a concept which totally blows my mind).  I’m a grandmother to two amazing little pumpkins.  The last of my own baby birds will leave the nest in the fall (catapult herself is more like it).  Personally, I don’t think I’m ever going to really know who I am because, hopefully, I’m continually growing and evolving.  I have a pretty solid idea of who I am basically, but the extras are still in progress.  But it’s time for me to embrace who I am now and move on to the business of enjoying myself.  I have a curious little mother who longs to travel, so we will.  There are so many new things I want to learn how to do, so I will.  There are so many amazing friends that are always trying to draw me in and include me in their adventures, so I'll let them.

 I just have to move.