Friday, December 31, 2010

Until Next Year

I'm posting my final blog of 2010. I thought I would do it this morning, since I may not have time after work. I didn't do a lot of in-depth resolutions, but I did start thinking about time and food in my previous blogs. I'm trying to decide whether to start a new blog for 2011 with a specific purpose, or stick with this one. I think instead of doing "one new recipe ever day" blog, I'm going to do "one new recipe every week" blog. That's not to say that I won't try more than one new recipe a week, but sometimes we have leftover days, and I just don't feel like trying a new one. Plus, I don't want to be so overwhelmed with the task of blogging and picturing and creating every day that I burn out after the first month. Once a week sounds doable. Sometime next week I will start this blog primarily for cooking, and I'll keep this one for other happenings. I think that will be a good way to do things. I can still have multiple blogs under the same username, so this shouldn't be too difficult.

Some thoughts:

I love being married. It's awesome. I find myself constantly learning to serve, and seeing myself as more selfish that I thought before saying "I do." It's character building, and growing me in more areas than I'd imagined.

Resolution: Keep Alex my priority, and don't forget it. No matter where I work, or what I do, he is more important.


Although I have been a Christian for some time now, I still have so much to learn.

Resolution: keep reminders to be in prayer. read the same passages as Alex so that we can learn together.


My body is a temple, and my mission in life is to become Christlike

Resolution: Eat healthy and exercise so that I can serve wherever He calls me. Serve with excellence in all circumstances.

Some of these start today. Last day of the year, and I'm ordering at Hobby Lobby. Normally, ordering would be short, since it's post Christmas and we are already overstocked on a lot of items. However, we are also doing "counts" were we count the items to see if we are overstock and then keep a count of all the items overstocked in our department. So almost all of yesterday and today for counts. This takes some time since there are so many items, and this is with me taking an educated guess on some items, like stacks of felt. All this to say that even counting for Hobby Lobby can be an opportunity to work with excellence and reflect Christ.

Take a deep breath. Ultimately, I am counting for Christ and His Kingdom.

Until Next Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tiempo

I work tomorrow. I spend time today cleaning up and organizing after Christmas. I ironed with starch for the first time ever (that I can remember), and I made some yummy pumpkin gingerbread.

I used my elliptical while watching a Netflix movie (Fame, and I enjoyed it), and I am happy to say that I will be doing this more often instead of eating junk food. Much better way to spend my time.

Time.

I've been thinking a lot about the use of my time. Well, I guess it's the time God has decided to give to me. How is the best way to manage this time? What is really most important. Right now, I believe that I should organize this time with these priorities:
1) My relationship with God
-reading the Bible and reflecting in prayer
2)My relationship with my husband
-making him the priority when we are together
-keeping the house in order ( clean house, clothes ironed, etc.)
-making meal plans for us
-keeping track of the budget
3)Everyone else
4) Me

Ok, this isn't how I actually manage "my" time, but I believe this is the correct order for my life.

Maybe starting a new year has me thinking of new resolutions-a new start. I might want to make some changes. Here are some thoughts:

Things I want to spend more time doing:
reading
exercising
cooking/meal planning
housework/fixing up the house/organizing what we have
scrapbooking
other crafts
spending time with family and friends
what Alex wants to do when he is home
volunteering

Ok, so I can't just decide to do more without doing less as well. Here are some activities I could pull back on:
watching tv/movies
facebooking/other non-productive internet useage

Honestly, these are the only two things I can think of that I can give up to save time. Therefore, I will make this resolution:

If I am going to watch tv I must be doing one of the following:
watching it with someone else as a social activity
working out either on my elliptical or in some other manner
watching with Alex
crafting as long as it isn't slowing me down considerably (although, the best thing to do is to craft with a friend or family member)
Only get on the internet for specific purposes
set myself limits on internet time
use the internet to search for ways to volunteer

For some reason, I can't figure out how to post pictures anymore. I'll look into it.

Anyways, time management. It's important. What's really going to matter in the long run?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Whew. Starting tomorrow, I am back to tracking what I eat. But the past couple of days have been fun with family and eating yumminess.

Thursday I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and the house looked cleaner than it ever has before. I was exhausted. Then we went over to the in-laws for dinner and Alex worked on a computer-something for his mother, and we got to see Uncle John and Poppa.

Friday I worked at Hobby Lobby and it was boring but I am glad that I still have the job. Another person got fired yesterday. That makes three so far since I've started working. Granted, seasonal workers aren't guaranteed to work past holiday hours, but I'm thankful for every day that I have there. That's one more day closer to being completely debt-free!

After work I went back over to my wonderful in-law family to celebrate Christmas Eve. Sadly, I only got to wave goodbye to a few who were on their way out, but a good time nonetheless.

Christmas morning we got up at 6:30 and opened our presents to each other. Alex very thoughtfully bought me various girly presents-makeup, smell-good spray, a loofa, and a beautiful purple scarf. He also bought me shaving cream, with the promise to buy me more when I run out. He said I should be using that instead of soap because it's better. So I will :) I think we're setting up my elliptical machine tomorrow! I got him some different chocolate and candy, a "to go" mug for his coffee, a couple "best of" Abbott and Costello dvd's and he got an ipod. Great first Christmas with my husband.

Then we went over for a full day of Christmas fun with the Barberi's. Lacey and Justin joined us for breakfast and lunch. The girls got "Just Dance 2" for the Wii and we attempted to dance to all kinds of songs! There's a short video of us dancing up on facebook, so check it out if you want a good laugh. There's also a wonderful video that Uncle John made about being thankful and how Jesus Christ and relationships really are the reason for the season. He did a really great job.

We watched "Despicable Me" and "Paycheck" at two different times during the day. Both good movies; both ones I might watch again.

Alex and I received such wonderful gifts from everyone! We are so blessed by the people who love us. It has also been such a joy to see Poppa and Uncle John for the past couple of days-truly interesting and inspiring relatives.

Missing my grandparents and family that I didn't see, but i think we're going to try to Skype sometime maybe tomorrow.

What a wonderful Christmas-thanks to my Lord and Savior for such a wonderful life.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holidays

One more day of work before Christmas: Christmas Eve I work all day long. I'm not super excited about this, but a job is a job, and I'm glad we're paying off debt. The great thing is that Hobby Lobby closes at 5:30. The bad thing is that we are hanging signs and closing with the manager who doesn't seem to want to leave the store. Maybe it'll be different on Christmas Eve.

Today I have folded two shirts and washed 3/4 of the dishes (the others had to soak). I have watched 3 or 4 episodes of "Lie to Me" and will probably watch more while I finish folding things. I have baked what I need to, but dinner tonight is on our new George Foreman. WAY better since it's bigger and doesn't have the non-stick coating scraped off it.

I am toying with a New Year's resolution. Watching "Julie and Julia" makes me want to try new recipes. I'm not sure I want to "Master the Art of French Cooking," but I might try a modern-day cook that I love, like Rachael Ray. I think it would be good for me to expand my cooking horizons, and might inspire me to try some new techniques. I'm too young to be stuck in a rut just yet, and she seems to be yummy, creative, and pretty healthy. Also, I could probably get away with using her online recipes for free! I don't have any of her cookbooks, but she has plenty online. Maybe in between now and New Year's I'll look into the possibility. I could try one new recipe every day, and post a picture of what I make.

Monday, December 20, 2010

overly-blessed

Why do I ever worry about what we are going to eat? Isn't that something Jesus tells us NOT to do, because He's got us taken care of?

Well he definitely does.

Saturday was the Hobby Lobby Christmas party, and there was a lot of Turkey left over. So I took a plateful to make a casserole. The other ingredients in the casserole are already in the kitchen. Check off a couple of meals already.

I took some chicken out of the freezer, and then we didn't end up eating it the other day (we got Burger King instead, which comes from a different spending category) and now it is marinating in the fridge. Thanks to my wonderful mom, I now have a new, bigger George Foreman grill, so I can also make grilled chicken for a meal sometime.

My family came over for Christmas last night since they're leaving for North Carolina to be with my grandparents on Christmas day. I bought a ham from Aldi for us to eat, and we have a TON of leftovers. Not only does Alex want them in his lunch for his sandwich, but I'm using the bone and meat in the crock pot with some beans today for another meal.

So to wrap it up, the only things that I probably need to go grocery shopping for this week are apples and coffee, and only maybe coffee. The others are not necessary because we already have so much food! I'm not even sure we're going to eat it all, because some of the meals at the end of the week are at my in-laws house!

So I may not go for a "full" trip until next year. We really have enough leftovers to last us a couple of weeks!

Why do I worry? God's got me taken care of again and again and again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

mom

Today was a mom/daughter day. My mom's been my best friend and mentor, and I've missed spending time with her. We used to talk. A LOT. Being married has definitely changed that. Change is fun and good (in this instance), but I do miss spending time with her. We watched the ANTM finale together-we used to watch every episode together. We also went to Goodwill and Aldi-places we used to frequent quite often. We sipped hot cocoa and chatted on my couch, planning for family Christmas on Sunday. It was lovely, and I hope it happens again soon.

Keeping up good relationships with family is important to me. Something I'd like to keep a priority. Good life-conversations.

I love my mom :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

and the budgeting continues

You know what I enjoy?Washing breakfast dishes after having all the dishes washed from the night before. There are hardly any, and it takes maybe five minutes to complete. I just finished and I feel happy about it. I might even wash the coffee pot today after my one person lunch dishes.

So there are five weeks in December. I know that every month does not have exactly four weeks, but since being married it has ended up being pretty easy to do the "four weeks per month"grocery shopping.

Well, it's finally caught up. My budget is $400/month, and I know that should be pretty easy to do. But I plan on being able to spend about $100 a week, so that's how I've been shopping. This week I spent a little more because I included buying a pair of work pants for Alex. If I need to I can put that money into the "spending" account.

Anyways, I keep an excel spreadsheet of all our spending on a monthly basis. I put in the amount and realized "This is how much I have left, and it's only the amount for one week, but there are still two weeks left in December!"

Thus begins the search for super cheap meal plans for the next couple of weeks. I shop for the week ahead of time, so this is for the weeks of Christmas and New Years. Thankfully there are the Holidays in these weeks, so some of our meals will be with family. I will be contributing, but I will not be planning the whole meal. I still have to decide what I'm bringing to Christmas breakfast and lunch with my in-laws....

I am finding some interesting ideas! Some I will probably never do because they include things I don't really want to eat or ever care to try, but some have great ideas. This week I'm already using some leftover whole wheat spaghetti to make a casserole-it's a kickback to the "spaghetti blanco" I made in home ec in 7th grade. Alex should like it because it has sausage in it.

One last story. I thought I might be snowed in on Monday, and I REALLY needed to go grocery shopping. Just in case I didn't, I made a "lots of" bean and no meat chili. Here is the recipe.
My husband informed me before we got married that he does not like chili. This was my first attempt, and I was a little nervous because there wasn't any meat in it. I didn't include meat because the only meat left in the house was one tiny leftover hamburger.

He like it! He actually got a second bowl of it! I did put cheese on top, and brought out the oyster crackers, but he actually liked it! Easy, cheap, pretty healthy, and enjoyable. I felt proud.

There will be more meals like this in the future.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

incredible weekend

Friday was a WoW day with David and Ashten. I made bugers and we played and played until I was too sleepy to play anymore-about 11pm.

Saturday I worked until 5pm and ordered most of the time.

Then we got ready and left for a Christmas party/reunion at Bethany's apartment. I am SO THANKFUL that Alex drove because the rain was TERRIBLE and I was really nervous, but he handled it just fine.

Alex and I, Bethany and Shadrick, Josh and Kelli, Freya and Winston, AND Britney and Ben were all at the part and it was absolutely amazing to see them all again in one place. Incredible. I felt so happy, and Alex said he didn't really want to leave when it was time! However, the threat of cold weather demanded that we head home kind of early. But wow, what a great memory, I can't wait to see the pictures.

Sunday we went to Church and enjoyed the Christmas program. We tried to go to small group, but the room was the "Girl's changing room" so we left and went to the Jandreaus and had second breakfast. We played WoW in the afternoon, and decorated gingerbread houses in the evening. It snowed all afternoon and it was beautiful. Yet again Alex's driving skills came in handy on the way home.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Golden Rule

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.


This morning I have spent plenty of time snacking, watching Netflix, and doing only a few productive things: switching out laundry and meal planning. I'm about to make a list of all of our spending for December so far-which should be interesting since we bought our Christmas presents, and I'm planning to make the rest of them. I hope it all works out; I'll feel much better when it's all over (the Christmas present making). I think next year I'm going to start planning early and either make everything way ahead of time or save up to buy it or something.

Days after I close seem to be my "I just wanna chill" days. But I gotta actually get up and fold some clothes and get dinner started. On these kinds of days after Christmas, I'll be able to hop on the elliptical when I want to watch a tv show. At least that will put more movement in my day.

Even though some days aren't super productive, I do like having days where I am home when Alex gets home it's wonderful to not have to hurry and then just be excited to see him.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

hairspray

Yesterday I decided to put on makeup and fix my hair before going into work. I had been going with my hair pulled back in a messy bun/ponytail, no makeup, and glasses. My manager had me on a register, so I wouldn't be running all over the store as much. I also thought that it was time for a good impression for some of the customers.

I can't remember how many times I got complements on my hair and/or makeup. I guess there was a pretty drastic difference. Now I'm not worried about self-esteem issues with myself, but it did make me realize that maybe I should look nicer when I leave the house. Making a good impression is a benefit in this world, no matter who I'm talking to.

Being a Christian is becoming more like Christ and sharing His good new with everyone. Now, I don't think Christ was worried about His hair being perfect, but he did care about people. I know that I don't have to "have it all together" but as a Christ follower I also don't want to look like I'm falling apart just because I didn't feel like getting ready for work today.

So those are my thoughts on the issue. I should have time to get ready since I'm not working as many days-and I could have time to get ready even if I worked every day.

I want my appearance, my attitude, my conversations, and everything about my life to reflect my Savior.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas presents

I'm getting an elliptical machine for Christmas!! Haha, Alex and I decided to talk about our presents ahead of time, and we found one for a good price on Amazon! Now instead of snacking in from of the tv, I can exercise! I more than a little excited.

I also ordered a few little surprises for Alex, so I won't say what else I got. Man, online shopping is super fun.

I'm only working three days this week=less money=more time to do other things. Honestly, I think the benefits will outweigh the costs.


Other thoughts that keep swimming in my head.

Alex and I were talking about the cosmetology school. He asked "How long will it take?" It will take about ten months. Then he said "You would go before you got a new car?" I replied, "Yes, then I could work to get the car." Then he said, "So you would finish school, and then maybe by that time you would want a baby or something." And I realized that was our plan. That's what we had talked about-waiting a couple of years before having kids, and this May will mark one year, and then a year from then will be a couple years. And I really wanted to have a better car before driving little ones around. And we had both decided that I wouldn't work outside the home once we had kids. That's what we believe is the best option for everyone. This doesn't mean that I'm not going, it just means that I'm really thinking about what is the best, God-honoring decision for our family. The money that would go to school could go towards that Nissan Versa I really like, but will take some time to save up for. How important is all of this to me? How much of it is really under my control is the better question. Who knows if we'll be able to have kids right away, or if I will even get to keep my position after the Holiday season at Hobby Lobby. They have verbally said they will try to keep me, but nothing has been finalized.

So for now I will wait, and pray, and do my best at all that I can do. I'm looking forward to work this week.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

small groups

Today was Pastor Sid's last day. Today was our first day in a small group.

The title of the group was "20's and 30's" so Alex and I decided to check it out. Plus, Pastor Dave recommended it, saying that it is just starting up.

We both sat down. The man leading the group introduced himself and his wife. I'd say they were both in their 50's or sixties. Another couple about that same age walked in and asked if the "old couple" could still join the group. The man said "of course!" so the wife sat down and her husband promised to return after singing in the choir for the second service.

That was the group today. The group leader said that he wants the group to be for all ages, stating that the older groups have wisdom to offer for the younger. He spoke on 1 Corinthians 4 and the church and showed genuine interest in each group member. I had sort of a hard time concentrating, but I could tell that he was passionate about God's word.

Alex said that he love it and wanted to go back. I am thrilled he feels so sure. He said that he could tell Satan didn't want him to go to the small group, and that may be why I had a hard time concentrating. This made him all the more determined to go. I can tell we are going to learn a lot. Alex said he does feel comfortable in that group, so we are definitely going back next week.

He also said something else on our way to church this morning. We do not go to church for ourselves, to get something out of it. We go to church because God tells us to, and we grow as a result. Sometimes he amazes me, and I'm so proud to be the wife of such a godly, growing man.

Friday, December 3, 2010

chores and prayers

Sweeping and mopping floors aren't my favorite chores, but I love the results! Today I'm using the swiffer to keep up the shiny floors. Also laundry. Always laundry.


I'm beginning to get excited. Super duper excited. I found a tech school (thanks, mom) fairly close by that has a cosmetology program for about a third of the price of most school. That's what was keeping me from going-the cost of most cosmetology schools is more than we can afford right now. I've loved the idea of going for some time now, but needed to finish college first. This one is "do-able" and I'm getting more info today!

So, I'm praying, and I'd appreciate prayer from others. Definitely something I feel is OK with me and God, but I don't want my own selfish ambitions to get in the way of doing His will.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The day off

Today I don't work! So I made myself a long list of things to do today before Alex gets home. The house is going to be clean and his work clothes will be ironed....it's been a while since I've done these things.

This morning right after Alex left for work, I watched ANTM, and it was fantastic. I almost cried.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

working a closing

I tried making pumpkin muffins from a recipe that is low calorie. I thought I'd try using sucralose (splenda) in the recipe. This is a terrible idea. It was gross and I felt sick the rest of the day. Mom took a few home, but I'm throwing the rest of them away today. From now on I am just going to use sugar and be careful with how much I eat.

After about 9pm, I feel like my body just doesn't want to be awake anymore. Closings are difficult for this reason, and the next morning I just want to law around. At least I am not going into work until 1pm. Last night closing this week! Maybe we'll get out at 9pm instead of 9:20 tonight. I just need to get a better late night attitude and perseverance.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

productivity

Yesterday was very productive :) As soon as Alex left for work, I left for Wal-Mart to go grocery shopping. I finished in time to put away the groceries and make it to work by 8:30am. Hobby Lobby was really busy yesterday! I was on a register almost all morning, and ended up going to lunch 45 minutes after I was scheduled. Time flew by! On my lunch break I went to the Day-Old bread store to buy bread, and I had time to buy an "Our First Christmas" ornament. The remaining time passed quickly, and I was home in no time. Wonderful. I wish every day was like yesterday.

I also made Boneless Chicken Hot Wings from my Sparkrecipes. They were very spicy, but yummy! Leftovers are coming with Alex and I to work today.

We got to just chill together the whole evening. I love days where we get to be home together. The next two days I'm closing, so that's not happening :(. At least I get it over with in two consecutive days.

Today needs to be productive too. Gotta get laundry and floors done. Also, mom and Donny are coming!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmastime is here...happiness and cheer...



Our first Christmas tree! My wonderful parents traded their larger tree for my smaller one. We went to Big Lots and bought some additional decorations. It was so much fun walking around with my husband and picking out decorations. We were both like kids in a candy store-both so excited to pick out Christmas decorations for the first time together. Magic moments.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks and Black Friday

Yesterday was wonderful. Alex and I got to sleep in! Then we went over to his family's house for Thanksgiving number 1. We took family pictures and he played Black Ops with his dad. I watched America's Next Top Model with his sisters. Fun times. Oh, and yummy food. My pies were a success! Only one pie was even cut into, so we brought the partially eaten pie back with us, and left the others there for family to eat sometime later. Alex is bringing leftovers with him today for lunch.

We left his parent's house and returned to ours for about an hour. Then we drove 1 and a half hours to my grandparents house in Springfield for Thanksgiving number 2. Once again, good company and yummy food. I ate too many cookies at this meal, but it was tasty. Yes, I did count my calories (ish) and went over, but I'm not worried about it at all. I'll just be good today.

Today. Black Friday. Hobby Lobby doesn't have a ton of abnormally crazy sales, but we're open a bit longer and make a lot of Christmas decor sales. I'll be ordering all day like normal, but I do expect to be up front cashiering a lot. I'm glad I have normal hours today-10am to 6pm. Tomorrow I close and we're open until 9pm, so who knows when we'll get to leave. I just have to keep telling myself that tomorrow is just one day and it will be over just like all the other ones. It may be a late night, but that's the only night that I have to close when the store is open until 9. So not a huge deal.

I am so incredibly thankful for my family. For my extended family, and my immediate family of two.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

John 14

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.


My dad had my family memorize this chapter together. We would recite it at the table during meals. I don't know that I could recite it now, but I am very familiar with this chapter. I don't know that I fully understand this part-how will I do greater things than what Jesus did? Why do people ask for things from Jesus, and then they don't happen? I believe the Bible 100%, but sometimes I don't understand how it applies directly in people's lives.


Jesus promises the Holy Spirit who will teach us things. Teach us how? I have heard that those who are not Christians cannot understand the Bible as Christians do, because they do not have the Holy Spirit.


I have a 10-6 shift for work, and then Thanksgiving. Then Black Friday and Saturday. I guess Hobby Lobby is busy on both days. I'm not really excited about working those days, but ask God to help me through them. He has a purpose in everything-maybe it's just helping people find what they need in the store.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Following commandments

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”


Yesterday went in normal-time. Sometimes time flies by, and other times it crawls. Well, yesterday at work it felt normal, and that was OK. I just kept working and working and there was still a ton of stuff to put out, but I can say that I tried my hardest.

The more time I spend reading God's word and praying, the better my attitude is at work. Direct correlation. I still would like to find a "normal hour" job, but at least I'm not dreading work like I used to.

Today I get to see my family! Steven's choir concert is tonight, and I'm excited to see him sing. My grandparents are coming too, and I really haven't seen them in a long time.

Also, I am attempting pumpkin pie today. Still gotta go out and buy pie tins, but I'm excited. Due to some people on diets, I am going to attempt both crust-less and normal pie. Should be interesting! If they look pretty, maybe I'll post pictures later.

Last, but not least, I have been married for six months today, and I love it. It's kind of amazing to think that half a year has gone by. I love Alex, and we work really well together. I love that he encourages me to communicate, and I can be open about my feelings with him. God has truly blessed our marriage.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Read and Response

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

From John 12.

I just wonder if what I do openly acknowledges my faith. Do my words and actions constantly say "Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World!" or do they just say "Calista is trying to make it through another day" ?

I know I sometimes say the latter. I have been praying about my attitude with work. Saturday was better. I want it to really be better. I don't want to be apathetic-even working at Hobby Lobby has a purpose. One being to pay off debt, but maybe God also has me there to share His good news with others. Even if it's just doing an excellent job as if I'm doing it all for Him, and not just for others. Because that's what I really am doing-putting stuff away for my Savior and His people.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A fun weekend

For blogging purposes, Friday is part of the weekend.

Friday I went shopping in Cool Springs :D :D :D It was fun just to walk around by myself and pick out some fun stuff. I forgot on of my coupons for a store, but I used a different one, so fun times. I ate a yummy chicken gyro from the mall.

Then I went to Whole Foods and bought some groceries and a yummy peanut butter chocolate chip cookie. It's healthy if it's from Whole Foods, right?

THEN I drove through Spring Hill on my way home and got more groceries at Publix. I got more stuff for pumpkin pie. Now all I need are the tins to put the pie in. I kinda want to try to make my own crust, and Publix only had the tins with the crust in them. We'll see; I may lose my patience. I rushed home to put my meats in the fridge.

I brought a wedding picture/poster to Hobby Lobby to be framed-it's going to look great! And I picked up & deposited my check. Getting paid is nice; we're knocking out that student loan!

Dinner with friends-the ones who took our pictures for our wedding. They have an adorable little boy who is learning to walk. Good company.

Saturday I spend some morning time praying about my attitude with work. The day working went much better! Yay for God and prayers.

We celebrated my father-in-law's birthday last night, and I had too much ice cream. I can say that with some pride because it was what I used to consider normal.

This morning I officially joined First Family. Pastor Dave had me come up front to announce me, and my wonderful husband came up front with me. We had about a million people come up and say hi afterwards, including the wedding liason! I felt welcome. I want to be a part of a church. Sometimes you gotta pick one and just plan to stick with it. We're looking into small groups too. Maybe next week.

David and Ashten are hanging with us most of the afternoon. I'm gonna make pigs in a blanket to go with the soup I made last night. Hopefully that'll make it a more filling and interesting meal.

Sparkpeople makes me happy because I can eat muffins and ice cream and still not blow up like a balloon. That's the end of my food comment :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday week

I am making pumpkin pies for one family thanksgiving, and some sort of drink for the other :) I am very excited to be contributing to these kinds of things.

Today I'm going shopping in Cool Springs. That'll be fun.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm trying to decide whether to get another cup of coffee. My mom sent me a wonderful recipe for her hot chocolate, so I may wait and make a mocha. I'm so excited-even though the mix has dried milk, it's the best hot chocolate I have ever had. I tried the packets, and they have a filmy taste. My mom's is just the best :)

Mom and Donny didn't get to come down Tuesday, so that was a bummer. I always look forward to seeing them.

We've had pancakes almost every morning this week with our eggs and bacon. I just wanted to make something yummy to make our breakfast more interesting. Sometimes it can get a little boring with just eggs and bacon every day. I'm trying to decide what I'll make next. Maybe just a different kind of pancake. Pumpkin pancakes sound yummy! Or maybe banana pancakes. I made mini banana muffins yesterday. They were tasty and fun to eat.

Jeremiah came over last night for dinner. He and Alex played zombies for a while. Shelby had to work, but we're hoping to all get together sometime soon.

I tried to make black bean burgers last night, and they turned out to be more like black bean sloppy joe's. I just mixed black beans with lean ground beef and spices, but I guess I should have drained the black beans more than I did. They were tasty, just kinda messy. Red potatoes and green pepper were a yummy fry substitute.

I worked the past three days. I AM going to make it through the Christmas season. I like being busy there because the time goes by fast. Sometimes not fast enough....

But TODAY I have the whole day off! So I can finally CLEAN the house and get things back in order! It's 7 am, and I'd like to have most of it done by noon....just so that I can do other things in the afternoon before Alex gets home...if I feel like it...

I like having time to get things done. I also love that I have a husband who likes to fix up the house. Our bathroom is looking great! I think we're going to work on it some more this afternoon, and maybe finish it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

puppies

I just gave Piper my apple core. It's raining outside so I have to keep her in the house. It's a lot easier to keep the house clean with her outside. Alex likes her, so maybe we'll keep her. Bob said he can find a new home fore her if we decide she should have a better home. With both of us working, I'm not sure.

Monday, November 8, 2010

the way I eat now

Today I have eaten nearly all of my allotted calories for the day before 10 in the morning. I've been in a munchy mood-probably because a chunk of the calories are from frozen yogurt-but it was so worth it! I really enjoy eating frozen yogurt because it doesn't mess with my stomach like ice cream does-but I definitely have to practice self control!

Yesterday we went to Applebee's, and I thought I counted everything. I remembered this morning that we had chips with spinach artichoke dip, which I didn't count yesterday. So I went over a little, but not so bad. I have my limit set pretty low, so if I go over ever now and then I'm not going to freak out or anything. I just like eating this way because I can eat sugar and bread, but not so much that makes me feel really sick.

Thank goodness for hot tea with Truvia-satisfying when I need a little something, and no calories!

I totally agree that it is good to go gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, artificial additives-free, and eat more organic and fresh. However, we are on a budget and we like to eat sandwiches. I also like to eat a cookie every now and again. I honestly feel good about what I am eating, and I enjoy indulgences in small portions. This just keeps me from going overboard when I am feeling emotional or bored.

So for now this is where I am in my eating habits. Just eating pretty normal, but learning to eat less. This also helps with our budget, because our food lasts longer :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

church

Today Alex and I are going to church together :) That's right! Alex got a new schedule/promotion where he will be working Monday thru Friday 7am-3:30pm. So now we will get to go to church together. This week we are going with his family, and next week we are going with mine! So excited to get to do things on the weekend with him. Now if only I could get out of working Saturdays.....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

life again

work, clean, eat, watch tv, spend time with Alex, sometimes see other people, karate class, repeat.

I will not complain about work. There's really nothing to complain about. I have a great manager who knows how to relate to her employees. The people I work with are easy to get along with, and I know how to do the job.

It's just not what I thought I would be doing. It's not being a part of a non-profit, or working with people in a way that I thought I would be. I am kinda bummed that it's taking away from time with Alex. I have to remember that the job is not a end in and of itself. It's a means of paying off debt faster so that we don't have to worry about it anymore. That's why I am working.

Friday, October 29, 2010

saving a recipe for yummy pancakes

http://www.onefrugalfoodie.com/2010/05/06/whole-wheat-vegan-pancakes/

passing the test


Last night I went to my karate class and tested for my Yellow Belt or "Hachi Ryu" in Japanese. It was definitely a challenge, but I am so excited about it. Motivates me to keep practicing!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

accountability

Whew. That's how you spell that expression, right?

Talk about a change in eating and planning. Afraid of an oncoming heart attack and finding that our current habits are not yielding positive results, Alex and I decided it is time for a change. His family is currently trying Weight Watcher, and he brought home a POINTS counter.

After some confusing attempts to find easy recipes and calculate POINTS without actually being a member, I decided to re-visit and old friend to give some perspective: Sparkpeople.

I started a new account, put in my current height, weight, and future goals. They figured out how much I should be eating every day. I decided against the somewhat confusing pre-made meal plans, and opted for putting in my own. I also helped Alex start his own so that he can track what he eats as well. I also discovered that there is a Sparkpeople recipe site.

This is a fantastic help! Much like allrecipes.com, I can enter an ingredient, and up come recipes. The great this is that I can add it to my meal plans on my sparkpeople account, therefore creating a meal plan as I keep myself accountable with calories. I can also enter a recipe and it will figure out the nutritional information for me. I can then enter this information into my account as well.

Yesterday I started, and I ate almost 1,000 calories at breakfast alone!

Today was a much better start :)


Monday, October 18, 2010

using leftovers


I had leftover whole wheat noodles and some frozen chicken with which I had no plans. I remembered making chicken alfredo with cream of chicken soup. I still had some soup on hand, so I mixed that in with some half and half. I had a little leftover cream cheese, a can of mushrooms, and a can of peas, which all ended up in the pot. Add a little Parm cheese for good measure, and I had finished my meal. None of this was planned, but I wanted to use up some food I had in the fridge. I was yummy, cheap, and now I have some meals I hadn't originally planned on.

This meal has gluten, dairy, and is not low carb. But it's tasty and not terrible.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday morning

GROCERY SHOPPING in the morning really is the most non-stressful way to go. Going at 11pm at night might rival, but the stores and much less stressful when few people are present. Granted, 24-hr Kroger is a bit more pricey with some items (like peanut butter), but I have decided that it is worth avoiding walmart and multiple store trips. Gotta keep my eyes open for the sales and coupons. Last week Tyson chicken strips were on sale AND I had coupons, so I bought a bunch. I was going to buy more with another coupon, but they are really pricy when they aren't on sale. The chicken nuggets are cheaper, so we're going to eat animal-shaped chicken sometime this week :) Relive the happy meal.


Not so low-carb or gluten-free eating as of late. It's so much easier for me to have frozen meals, or add rice to a meal. Still trying to be healthy, but sandwiches have made a comeback in our diet. And hamburger buns. And potato fries.

Last night I decided this is how to be healthy: get a job that requires movement, be busy when not at work, and bring almost not enough food for dinner while at work. This was my yesterday, and I slept much better. Not so much movement today, but I am bound and determined to still eat well and not so much.

ANTM watching this morning, and my favorite person got best picture again!!!!! and one of my least fave people went home. Good day so far.

Also half unsweet and half sweet tea from Mickey D's. Yum

Thursday, October 14, 2010

return of the laptop

On Monday, there was a fly on my hotdog. Yes, I was eating a hotdog with the bun because bread makes life more interesting. Anyways, my drink was beside my plate. My laptop was on the other side of my drink. I swatted at the fly, hit the drink, and spilled Truvia-sweetened tea all over the keyboard.

My amazing husband took the battery out, grabbed a towel, and put the laptop keyboard down on the towel for three days. I was not to touch it.

Today he carefully turned it back on. It works as good as before, as far as I can tell. Thanks to my wonderful, tech-saavy husband :).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A new ball game

Apparently when you reach level 80 in World of Warcraft, there's still a million things to do, like increase your gearscore and run ICC. At this point, however, the highest level possible is 80, and I have just reached this level.

I really did not expect to get past level 7 when I first started playing this game. However, it has proved to be a fun activity for Alex and I to do together. We both enjoy it, and grow closer through our time playing :)

The Way Things Are

Since work started, my time has become precious. I have always valued my time with Alex, but it has become ever-important since working has taken some of my time away from him.

I'm glad tomorrow's Monday:
I don't work, so I get to spend even more time with Alex
We get to sleep in, which is good since neither of us has had much sleep the past couple of nights (staying up too late and getting up early for work).
I get to go to my brother's 18th birthday party.

Work has been good, though. Yesterday went by pretty fast. I have yet to find a pair of shoes that keep my feet from hurting at the end of the day. Even my old running shoes aren't so great. Oh well. The rest of it is pretty easy and I like the people.

It was also Mason's birthday party yesterday, so I got there for the tail end of it. Then Alex and I went home and went to sleep too late for getting up at 5:30 the next morning. Thus the excitement about sleeping in tomorrow :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This morning I was PRODUCTIVE: laundry, made dinner so Alex could take it with him to work and so I could eat it after work. I put away the dishes and made break fast and washed the breakfast dishes.

Dinner was hamburgers and potato fries and green beans. I also ate some grapes and soy ice cream with choco and peanut butter chips with whipped cream and hershey's syrup. Not super healthy, but super yummy.

I've been showering at night and blow-drying my hair. This makes me sleepy :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

back to work

Being at Hobby Lobby with new people actually makes me miss some of the people I used to work with. Some of them I knew already, and with some I developed great friendships. The job is still pretty much the same, I will just be adjusting to new people. So far, they are all very friendly and easy to get a long with.

Difference: I have a smock now instead of a vest. Actually, it's more like a "smess" because it looks kinda like a dress (it's really big on me).

I had forgotten how tired me feet get after walking around the store for hours at a time. Today I'm wearing an old pair of running shoes. They got me through the half-marathon, so surely they can get me through an 8-hour shift at Hobby Lobby.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

returning to an occupation


Last summer I quit working at Hobby Lobby because I had a demanding senior year of college and I wanted to finish well. I never thought I would work there again, simply because I was going to graduate with a degree in Social Work.

Then I graduated, got married, and moved. I decided that I liked having time to plan, cook, spend time with my husband, and hang out with friends.

I also realized that I wanted to work outside the house. We have a bit of student debt to pay off, and my car needs to be replaced in the near future. I began to search for part time jobs around town. I had a few leads, but none came to fruition. I was to the point of working fast food, when some friends suggested I apply at Hobby Lobby. They knew someone who had recently had an interview, so they are hiring at this time.

I went to Hobby Lobby, grabbed the application and the sales paper (can't hurt to see what's on sale while I'm there), and returned home to fill out the application.

Upon completing my application, I drove back to Hobby Lobby to introduce myself to the manager and personally hand her my application. I then drove home.

I missed a call from the manager, returned the call, and she asked me to come in asap for an interview. I ate half my lunch and left immediately. I drove to Hobby Lobby for the third time today. I took a math test and talked basics. She said she could hire me seasonally for now, and that she might be able to keep me past January because of my past experience. I start tomorrow at 10am back in the crafts department.

Same store in a new city. I know that it will not be the same experience, because the staff not the same. The store manager has been at that store for EIGHT YEARS, which means they have a LOW turnover rate! YES! That was one of the most frustrating things about working for HL.

I am cooking tomorrow's lunch tonight so that we can just microwave it tomorrow. Pork loin marinated in Italian dressing and some frozen green beans all wrapped in aluminum and cooked for about an hour at 350.

I received a very touching text message from Alex saying he is going to miss me tomorrow. I love my husband, and I hope that this job doesn't keep us from seeing each other a lot.

Praise God for providing when and where I did not expect it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

80's fabulous


On the "short girl" season of America's Next Top Model, one of the girl's said she curled her hair with paper towels. Feeling inspired, I decided to try the same thing with napkins.

I did this around noon. I took them out around 6pm the same day, although I should have waited, because my hair was still a little damp.

I tried to salvage it a bit.
I like the on curl by my face. Although the back of my hair is hardly curly. I will definitely be washing, drying and straightening my hair tomorrow! I don't think my hair was made to be curly, no matter how many different things I try. I might try this again when my hair is longer and will therefore weigh it down a little. I will also wait overnight before taking it down.

easy-peasy pancakes


I recent found a recipe for super simple pancakes with only three ingredients:
1 egg
1 Tablespoon of Almond Butter (I used peanut butter though)
2 bananas



I mixed everything together with a fork. I melted some butter in a non-stick pan before pouring the pancake batter.


It was a little tough to tell when to flip the pancakes, as they don't get chicken pox like the regular ones. Also, bananas tend to look burnt when cooked....so does butter when it has been in the pan for a while.

I think I made twice this many....but ate some before I remembered to take a picture of them on a plate.

Tada! I thought they were delicious! They could be eaten plain, but I have tried them with peanut butter, jelly, and honey-all with tasty results! I will definitely be making these again! Plus, if I practice self-control by eating only one at a time, then they are a sweet way to get a healthy snack :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Calista, Blessed among women

I am so blessed, and my whole day was a continual reminder of this. Farmer's market with mom, then the two of us dropping our stuff off at my house and driving together to a camp Bible study. This is a Bible study of "12 Extraordinary Women" in the Bible. It's such a refreshing time, spending time with ladies who love God and want to honor Him. I also spent some time catching up with one camp friend whom I haven't talked to in a long time. Good stuff.

My wonderful mom came back and helped me get the house ready for the girl's afternoon at my house. We prepped the house for the coffee/tea/smoothie afternoon, and waited for our guests. First came the Barberi ladies: Sarah, Belle, and Mrs. Allison showed up with more smoothie yummies, and nuts. Then Katie, Hannah, and Mrs. Linda Musgrove came with chocolate cake and peanut butter icing-sooooo yummy! All home made by Kaite. We all made smoothies, gathered a plateful of yummy snacks, and watched "Pride and Prejudice." I ate way more sugar than normal, but it was worth it. Such a fun time with people that I love so very much. My families are wonderful and I am incredibly blessed to have them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

WoW again

I'm not even sure how many hours we've dedicated to the World of Warcraft today. I've run four or five dungeons on my own...that was after Alex and I split so he could do the Ice Crown Citadel with his super toon. And you know what?? I actually had fun.

Sometimes I feel like I am playing only because I know it makes Alex happy and I like to spend time with him. However, we also just had fun playing separately, but yet together in the same room. This is a new way to learn to love my husband and spend time together, but it's a new adventure in a very new environment :) Bring on the diversity!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesdays

So I'm watching "Better off Ted" and eating my oatmeal-less granola. It's a form of the sweet and salty primal trail mix. I didn't put as much salt in it, and I didn't have some of the ingredients, so it is more simple and sweeter. I also made about half the amount, just to see if I liked it. Well, I loved it! I wisely put it in separate, portioned bags, and then ate them all within a couple of hours...so the portioning didn't work.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

market crazy

I think I doubled my amount bought at the farmer's market yesterday:
It's my kind of grocery shopping: people I can talk to and buy from. It's such a friendly place. I think I'll be sad when October comes and the farmer's market stops until Spring.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

:)

Well, Alex and I grilled today, and I took pictures to commemorate the first time we've grilled on out own. However, iPhoto can't find them on my camera :(

Alex did most of it himself! AND we've found yet another way he enjoys eating squash! Marinated veggies are the best!

He also suggested we do this again sometime next week and make bbq steaks and chicken. YUM!

SO, if my pictures ever show up, then I will post them. If not, then at least this blog will keep a record of our new, little adventure.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

marinating :)

Today I did a lot of marinating for the week :) I cut up my pretty white flower squash and some of the other squash and marinated them. I marinated all the meat for the week except the roast. I feel much more prepared, and plan to pull out the grill soon!

I attempted my first "meatza" today. It's a pizza with the crust made from ground beef. However, we didn't use cheese. I think it tasted ok, but I have to be careful with it sometimes because the grease can cause a queasy stomach.

Monday, September 6, 2010

food again

Tonight I had caramelized pork slices. I got it from lowcarbguy.com. It does have some sugar, but it's not a lot and it's super tasty. Actually dinner was lunch leftovers because this is one of my new favorite things to eat. I just had some baby carrots with it, but I fried up some green beans with a little soy sauce and some leftover pork sauce for our lunch. Yum :) It favors a Chinese flavor, which is one of my favorite things to eat, but is healthier because I made it at home. At least, I assume it's healthier. I also savored a diet coke, which really has no redeeming value. However, I did not feel like drinking water, so I didn't.

I also enjoyed yet another shake/healthier version of a frap today :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Farmer in the Dell



I FINALLY went to the farmer's market. It was set up around the 'historic downtown Columbia,' which was the perfect setting on this Saturday morning. I loved it! I bought squash and some peppers from on elderly man, who threw in a few spicy peppers for free!
From another stand I bought apples and green beans.

As I was driving out, I saw a newly arrived truck with a sign: "Farm Fresh Eggs" and I just couldn't resist. However, my only bill left was a $20, so I went to buy meat, got the correct change and then returned to retrieve my 3 dozen eggs. Yes, we go through more than two dozen in one week. The man who sold the eggs seemed a little surprised that I wanted that many. They were $2/dozen, but compared to the grocery store brown eggs, that is a good price. Plus, I just like the taste of the farmed ones better.
The Harris's family FoodLand is my token meat store. Lacey told me that they package it themselves, and so they can sell it for a cheaper price. Plus, it just looks more like meat than some other stores. I buy a lot, and I always worry that it will go bad, but so far it's been OK.

Also, I have been keeping track of grocerys and here is this weeks total: $82.66!! We have budgeted about $100/week. I still need to buy coffee creamer, and that's a little expensive, but definitely still under budget. I also had a few other "big" purchases like toilet paper and laundry detergent. Not super costly, but also not something I need to buy every week.



This is my adventure.

Friday, September 3, 2010


This has leftover cold coffee, cocoa powder, rice milk, a little sugar free french vanilla creamer, banana, and peanut butter. If I eat it with a spoon its like ice cream with out the hurting stomach. PLUS it tastes like chocolate :D

Thursday, September 2, 2010

an interesting interview

So here's what happened:

I arrived at the YMCA with plenty of time. I found a small group of Senior Citizens to chat with while I waited for the interview.

Once I started the interview, I realized I was bit nervous. However, it seemed that my answers were well received, and none of it seemed very awkward.

Near the end of the interview, the woman suggested another faction of the YMCA that might suit my passions better than this particular position. She said "Not that this position wouldn't be good for you, but this place, called Fun Company, might fit you better because you get to connect with people even more. Plus the hours for this position are stuck at 20 hours, whereas the Fun Company, you could have 5 hours one week, and 30 hours the next."

I thought, "Well, I suppose it can't hurt to check it out"

From my understanding, it's a glorified day care at the schools, and after-school tutoring. I, however, would be a sub, and on an "on-call" only schedule. I went through with the interview, got the paperwork, and received instructions on when to return.

However, on my drive home, I realized that I didn't want to do any sort of sub position; I wanted consistent hours. That's why I applied to this particular position and not a sub position. I might apply for inconsistent hours as a last resort, but I already have the uncertain, but fun, work at camp.

I emailed the Fun Company and said that I wasn't interested. I emailed my original interviewer and asked that she still keep me in mind for the original position, and explained that I liked the consistent 20 hours.

So we'll see. It might have been that she was trying to find work for me while effectively eliminating me from the original position. She might have simply been trying to do my a favor and connect me with something I would enjoy.

I love having a consistent schedule. I don't really care if my happenings during work aren't exactly the same, but I like to know my hours. This makes planning much more efficient.

So for now I'm still working at camp as available, and praying and trusting God.

We're going to be more careful with our finances, as we spent more than we should have during the month of August. I really enjoy organizing and imputing information, so I'm putting all our receipts into an excel sheet Alex has organized.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

takin care of business

Tomorrow I interview for a part time position at the YMCA. It seems like such a perfect opportunity for me, so I pray it all goes well.

I also analyzed all of our spending for the month of August, and I'm praying that I messed something up. If not, I'm seriously considering the envelope system.

I'm watching Pride and Prejudice :D

Monday, August 30, 2010

saving the apples

Yesterday I went grocery shopping and found a "Manager's special" bag of yellow apples for 99 cents. Alex informed me later that they were old.

Today my wonderful mother-in-law cut my hair, so I decided to ask her about cooking them as an alternative to eating them raw. She said I can put them in the crock put and make apple sauce! Not whole of course, so I peeled and cored the whole bag, added some water, and put them on "low" in my cute red crock pot. I love using that thing.

I really enjoy eating the peeling, but these were a little wrinkled, so I tried frying them. I added some cinnamon, but now sugar. I'm trying to not add sugar since apples are sweet anyways. they're pretty good, but I think they would have been better baked. I'll remember for next time!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

weddings

In the past week (ish) I have been to two weddings. These weddings were for some lifelong friends, and I felt so excited because I love them dearly and they are with wonderful people.

Friday, August 27, 2010

uncreatively "healthy"

So I was making meal plans for the week, and remembered that we still have sandwich meat we haven't eaten. One of Alex's favorite meals to eat used to be sandwiches and chips. Since going low-carb, we have rid the house of breads and chips, but not the meat. So I decided to tear the meat in pieces, cook it up a little in the frying pan, and put it on a salad. The veggies were healthy, but the meat probably wasn't the best option. However, it is cheap, so it's an easy option when I feel like I'm running out of ideas.

Last night I made spaghetti without the noodles. It was cooked chicken, squash, and peppers with marinara sauce. And salad on the side. I'd been craving Italian, so I thoroughly enjoyed it! I even put a bit of Parm cheese on top :D

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

feeling

I feel happy.

As I thought about this small statement that has run continually through my head this evening, I began to realize the heavy significance behind it: I FEEL...

Tonight I went to Kelli's bridal shower. I was honestly nervous, because I had not seem some of these girls in some time, and was not sure of my emotional response to seeing them. However, it was such a pleasant time, and I had nothing to worry about. I found myself being drawn to the women and girls in the room, allowing myself to emotionally connect with these friendly people.

I was also nervous to move to Columbia, where I knew a couple of well-meaning families. As I have spent more time around my new family and friends, I have also felt welcome, loved, and a newborn desire to love back.

I remember when I strongly felt my calling in life to connect and show God's love to others. I wanted to show the love that I felt.

This past year has really been a strange year for emotions. For a while I felt mostly nothing, then I felt timid excitement, then committed to doing right. I sometimes felt sad and frustrated because I could not feel the deep emotional connection that I had in the past. I wanted to connect, and was terrified to feel hurt. It has been a year of healing and learning and rebuilding.

I feel excited that God has these relationships in my life. I have such wonderful family and friends surrounding this new life. These relationships are safe, and challenge me to do what is right and good.

Feelings should not control life by any means, but it's so good to feel love.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Return and a First

Today I went to karate and it was fun :) I was a little hesitant to go at first, because I enjoy it so much more when I go with Alex. I did enjoy seeing my family-Donny, Mom, and most of the Barberis.

Today I baked a whole chicken. First time Ever :) Pretty Proud.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Puppy and diet

Piper had an interesting time looking into the mirror in out bedroom. She kept looking into the mirror and then looking back at me and then looking at me in the mirror and then looking at herself. I think she was a little confused. Also, I am starting to teach her to sit! So that's exciting. When this dog is potty trained I am going to throw a party. Seriously.

Alex and I are changing the way we eat-again. Back to more "low carb" habits, which really just means meat, veggies and fruit. I am not going quite as extreme, because I want to be able to always keep up a healthy lifestyle. Just not eating lots of junk like I have been. We're both happier people when we eat better.

Also, it's storming.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happenings

Its been an August filled with both expected and unexpected happenings.

I was in a beautiful wedding for a dear friend.

I had dinner with a new friend.

I went on a trip (last minute for Alex and I) to Florida for "Gram's" memorial service. It was beautifully done. She was a very loving person, and it showed throughout her family.

It's still hard to believe we just got back today. It feels like yesterday, or maybe even a week ago. We drove Saturday, more on Sunday and then attended the memorial service and family time. We drove into the night Sunday night, and started again Sunday morning. We returned to Columbia shortly after noon, giving Alex and I time to prepare for him to go to work tonight.

After he went to work, I drove to Nashville to see Bethany and her new apartment. She's getting married on Friday, and I couldn't be more excited for her. Her little boy was running all around the house, and he almost said my name! It was lovely being back in Nashville and catching up with my best friend for a short bit.

I have ended my night with grocery shopping. I had intended to do this deed early Saturday morning, but this changed with the Florida trip. I did all my shopping at Kroger, which happens very rarely. I usually hit Aldi first, and then get whatever else I need at Kroger. Being that Kroger was the only place open at the late hour, I decided to pay a little extra so that I don't have to go out again this week. That's the plan anyways.......

Thursday, August 5, 2010

the most delicious drink/Alex is amazing


Yesterday my dear husband made the most delicious coffee drink. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this drink is even better than Starbucks. Incredibly rich, and incredibly yummy! He told me that he was going to get bagels (because I decided that a bacon, egg, and cream cheese bagel sounded delicious) and to get ingredients for a surprise. He comes up with wonderful surprises.

We had them again today. It's like an iced mocha with whipped cream on top.

Yum. Thanks wonderful husband :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

krogering

Just saying-going through Kroger's website, loading coupons and making a grocery list on the website is a lot of fun. I can do it all and then send myself an email with a list of things on sale that I would like to buy. This time it's mostly produce, and my loadable coupons are not, but the coupons don't expire for a while. I have some for Starbucks coffee, so that's something I'm looking forward to! Also things like laundry detergent and check mix. Not necessities at this moment, but good to have on hand just in case. Also, I don't have to sift though the coupons-they just scan in with my kroger card :)
Here's the link: click here

Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Family Comes Over To You

Today was our first "large" family get together at my house. All of my immediate family, my grandparents, my aunt and her two sons came over to celebrate my mom's birthday. And the birthday of my two cousins.

Alex and I spent the whole morning cleaning and getting the house ready for visitors. We work well together. He knows what will look presentable, and I like to clean and sweep. We ended up putting a considerable amount of stuff in the attic- up and out of the way. Still, we weren't using it, so that's as good a place as any.

It was the first time I'd seen my extended family since getting married. It was so much fun talking to them and showing off our house. My dad and Justin hadn't even seen the house yet.

My wonderful parents gave us their old grill! That's what we used to cook the hamburgers for lunch.

I was a little worried about the space-our house is more than spacious for the two of us, but I wasn't sure how 12 of us would work. However, we all ate in out little living room with enough space. It was cozy, and it made for conversation between everyone pretty easy. Passing the cake around meant no one had to move.

My grandma said she was so excited to see me that when my mom asked her to make a birthday cake she said, "Who's birthday is it?" This makes me feel special. Steven is staying until his choir retreat tomorrow, so that should make for a fun evening.

Family. Mine. His. Ours. I love it.

WoW


Yep, today was almost all World of Warcraft with my husband and his best friends, which are also my friends. Enjoyable :o)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

netflix addiction


Today, after Alex went to work, I watched an innumerable number of episodes of 30 Rock. I finished Season 1. I am about to start Season 2, and then I'm getting the house in order before Alex gets off.

tasty treats


This morning, as part of our breakfast, Alex and I made strawberry banana smoothies. It was the first time we have used our blender, and it worked quite well :) I am excited to do this more often, as it was delicious!








We also had fajitas for lunch. I cooked the meat a bit too long, but it was tasty overall. It has been fun trying new foods. Tonight I did not cook at all for dinner. I sent sandwich stuff with Alex, and ate some leftovers for my own dinner.








Mom and Donny came to visit today. It was lovely :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

a cute wedding.


Yesterday I helped set up for a very pretty outdoor wedding. I enjoyed setting up chairs with in-laws and newly acquired friends.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

mini making

Since our oven has decided to stop working, I have started to cook in smaller cookware that will fit in our toaster oven. I have to admit, it is nice that it heats up so fast. This time I made mini meat loaf-five little ones. enough for two meals :) I also broke out the food processor-and I will never hand chop a vegetable again. Never. It was so nice and fast and easy-and tasted great in the meat loaf.

Oh yes, I also made no-bake cookies=yum

Saturday, July 17, 2010

everything happens at once

I know it's a cliche saying, but it's so true. The following things have happened over the past couple of days:
We got a puppy.

We came home with the puppy and I decided to make cornbread.

The oven was not working.

I decided to try our new toaster oven.
I didn't put the rack in, thus putting the glass container directly on the heaters. When I took it out, it exploded all over the kitchen.

Alex proved (yet again) to be a wonderful husband. He assured me of my ability to be a cook and be a good wife, and cleaned up the glass on the floor.

The remaining glass that was trying to hold the now burnt cornbread was still hot, so we left it overnight to cool before throwing it out.

Shortly after the cornbread met the trashcan, we discovered a plethora of ants in the kitchen.

This morning, our puppy discarded the worms from his body onto our living room floor. Wonderful husband to the rescue once again. Worms are gross.

That's the end of the seemingly fiasco happenings, although I did have a pretty ridiculously dirty house to clean this morning. That's a mixture of my lack of cleaning throughout the week, and a new puppy shedding and potty training.

But she's just so cute.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just couldn't resist


I said I didn't want animals. They are messy and whiny and shed fur and can ruin furniture. However, the dog, who frequents the shop where Alex and I are working on his car, had puppies.

Alex gave our little Piper a bath as soon as we brought her home.




She got sleepy. We borrowed the kennel from Gina.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bananas


This morning I got into an argument about bananas. Bananas. It's absolutely bananas to get into an argument about bananas.


That's all for today.

Friday, July 9, 2010

dough boy to the rescue!


Today I was going to make beef stew. I had saved some carrots to cut up and put in it, some different cans of veggies, and even mushrooms! I had the meat from this cute Foodland where they package it themselves, and I was eager to try the meat cubes. I had planned to make cornbread this evening-honey drizzled on top and everything. I put all of the ingredients in the crock pot, plugged it in, and left it for this evening.

Alex and I saw Toy Story 3 with some of his family. On our way home I got this sinking feeling-I couldn't remember if I had turned the crock pot to "low." When we arrived at the house I walked right over to....a cold crock pot.....

Alex wonderfully reassured me that sandwiches are just fine.

I opened the fridge to start salvaging my housewife dignity. I found some pillsbury crescent rolls I bought the other day with a coupon (which was doubled!) and some breakfast sausages I intended to use to make pigs in a blanket.

Dinner improv.

Alex loved it. Pigs in a blanket are one of my favorite things to eat. Baby carrots and ranch dressing completed out meal.

The rest of the evening was spent turning just over six pounds of ground beef into various burger flavors-Italian, Mexican, Dijon mustard, and a seasoning Jeremiah recommended to Alex. They were double bagged, labeled, and put in the freezer for future use.

Top it off with lemon poppy seed muffins with some chopped strawberries tossed in, and I feel I have regained a decent position as a home maker.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

now faith is being sure of what we hope for


Today David and Alex have been playing WoW all day. This is the delicious coffee Alex made, and the wacky cake Lacey helped make yesterday. We ate the cake today in celebration of David being born. This is my second piece. The pretty mug is from my grandma who likes to give me things that have "faith" on it :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

if at first you don't succeed....

I decided that I didn't like my "finished" look-so I decided to cut more around my face. I got a lot of the old color out! Almost gone! No straightening, just blow dried.


Monday, July 5, 2010

cutting my own hair




Alex has left for work, and I was left to look at the mirror. I saw boring hair:








So I decided to look for videos online-how to cut layers into your own hair. I am still trying to grow it out, but add a little creativity to it. I found this interesting post with a girl who used kitchen scissors-I used craft scissors from Hobby Lobby.

So I decided to attempt this feat myself.


I brought my laptop into the bathroom, wet my hair, and followed the girl's instructions.











This is how much hair I cut off.



I then used a razor on part of my hair-yes, the kind I shave my legs with. The girl did it in the video, so I thought I would try it.





Then I blow dried it.














I finally straightened it. The front really doesn't look that different-I mostly just trimmed it and added back layers. It was fun to try. The sides still look a little messy, but I think it's all right for my first attempt at cutting my hair. I've trimmed my bangs before, but not much else. It was fun, and I will definitely be trying this again.

PS-disclaimer: I do have a mother-in-law who can cut hair. Therefore, I knew that if I ruined my hair, I could ask for help.

little delights


The more I cook, the more I enjoy cooking. Cooking, baking, mixing, chopping up and letting cool. It's just so exciting to mix a number of ingredients together, put the mixture in the oven, and out comes something delicious! Or grating up carrots, adding some lemon juice, pineapple, raisins and refrigerating-yummy carrot raisin salad.

This morning I watched a video from allrecipes.com about making chicken and broccoli alfredo. I found it browsing. Here's the link. I plan on attempting this tomorrow. It's pretty simple, which is good for me.

Today's fun recipe was chocolate chip banana muffins! Here's the recipe.

British rebellion day


Alex made this comment about 3p.m. "You've spent most of your time in the kitchen." This is because I attempted to make chicken wings (Alex's meal tomorrow night), then made a double batch of oatmeal raisin cookies and a double batch of carrot raisin salad. Why? Well, because we were going to a 4th of July get together at my sister-in-law's house. I used her recipe for the cookies, and they were delicious! I made a total of four dozen, and two never made it out of the house.


I always enjoy time with Lacey and the Jandreaus. I found out today how much they enjoy blowing thing up-including a stuffed Elmo, poor thing. It was hilarious and impressive.

Alex and I joined David to meet his family at First Family for fireworks. We showed up about ten minutes before they started. Wow, this church can really put on a display of fire explosions! They were beautiful, and it was fun to sit back in the grass with people I enjoy.

Dishes were waiting for me at home, and it felt good to finish them before sleep. That's where I'm headed after finishing this. Good day to celebrate the declaration of independence.