Tagged: cooking

Nov 21

Thankful & Blessed

Hello lovelies! Happy Friday! I’m particularly stoked today because I get to start WALKING tomorrow!! 4 more days on crutches or so and I’ll be actually walking on both feet again. Surreal. I actually managed to scoot down the stairs on my butt last night and I went into my lair for the first time since surgery. It was really really nice to have a change of scenery.

I’m so thankful for all of the visits, home cooked meals, well wishes, and everything else. My friends are pretty flipping amazing and I’m a lucky girl. I feel incredibly blessed and I sincerely appreciate every single one of you.

It’s Friday Five time, too! Here are my answers to this week’s holiday themed questions. Enjoy!

1. Do you make for special arrangements for Thanksgiving, aside from the usual shopping and decorating? I’m going to say no. I don’t decorate for Thanksgiving at all, and my involvement in the meal is usually just bringing a side dish or an appetizer, so that’s not a big deal. This year, my cousin Kassie will be coming to stay with me along with her husband and 2 kids, which I’m really excited about. They’re driving here all the way from Texas! But even still, we’re having Thanksgiving at another cousins house, and it’ll be huge – probably around 75 people or so. I’m supposed to bring a dish to pass, but since I can barely walk, I’m hoping I can get my cuz to cover for me.

2. What is the one food that says the holidays to you? My mother in law makes this incredible cranberry salad that I love. I could literally eat buckets of it. It’s just the right amount of tart and sweet. She only ever makes it at Thanksgiving, so the holiday isn’t complete for me without it. Sadly, she will be out of town for the holiday this year, but hopefully we can have a mini Thanksgiving makeup. 🙂

3. Is there something that is always served that no one eats, but it always still there? I guess you haven’t met my family. We’re kind of super professional eaters, so there’s no way we’d waste precious table space on something nobody likes.

4. What is your favorite after holiday dinner tradition? Dessert. Duh. But I hate pie, so it has to be cake or cheesecake or something. I love the day after Thanksgiving because that’s when I get to put my Christmas up. I’m 85% sure we’ll be doing the chintzy tree this year which is my favorite.

5. Have you ever gone out to a restaurant for your holiday dinner? I remember going out to a restaurant once with my mom and my grandma and my uncle, but I was just a kid, and I don’t remember the circumstances as to why we were out.  I do remember the food being a disappointment, though. Even as a child I had a very discerning palate.

I hope that your Thanksgiving is spectacular, and filled with love and happiness. And let’s not forget great food. 🙂

XOXO

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Nov 28

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all had an amazing day. Mike & I hosted nearly 30 of our closest family & friends today, and even though I was really nervous, everything went off without a hitch and turned out great. Clovis made an exceptional turkey that everyone raved about, I made a couple of hams, and everyone brought some incredible side dishes and desserts. It was a great day, and now I’m exhausted!

It’s been a long week! On Monday I gave notice at work, and I’m very excited to say that I start a new job in January. It’s a local company, so for the first time in a decade I’ll be GOING TO WORK. I’ll be working at the office 2 days per week and from home 3 days. That’s a huge change that I’m looking forward to, but also extremely nervous about! I think it’s going to be great for me, though.

Also on Monday, I went to pick up my mom so we could go to Meijer, and she fell in the parking lot of her apartment complex and hit her head on the cement. There was so much blood…it was terrifying. We spent the rest of the afternoon & evening in the ER, and after CT scans and xrays they determined that she was ok, just had a mild concussion.  They stitched up the giant head wound and sent us home. Since she couldn’t be left alone for the first 24 hours and has been dealing with bouts of dizziness from the concussion, she has needed extra help this week. Between that and all the Thanksgiving prep, I haven’t had a chance to get any kind of workout in this week. Plus, I’m exhausted. Tomorrow I have NOTHING going on all day, and I’m really looking forward to it. Tomorrow evening, Mike & I have tickets to see Straight No Chaser at Devos Hall, so that will be amazing I’m sure.

Anyway, I hope your holiday was as great as mine was or better. Xoxo

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Jul 02

Shot Through The Heart

Just a quick update here. First, a couple of drawings from my journal. These are both done with watercolor pencils. I drew the radish because the CSA has been sending us radishes for the last several weeks, and we are struggling to use them! I’ve been getting creative, too – last week we even tried roasted radishes. They were not a huge hit. 🙂

Running!

Radish

I also wanted to share this video with all of you – our carpet in the basement was installed today!! It looks so great. As a bonus, the installers had killer taste in music, so we all jammed out to Bon Jovi, Poison, Aerosmith and such. Rock on!!

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Mar 04

Beer Festival Recap

The winter beer fest was super fun, as always. The pretzel scarves worked out perfectly, and a good time was had by all. My very favorite beer was an Andes Mint Milk Stout by a new brewery called Our Brewing out of Holland. It was just the right amount of mint, and very creamy. YUM. I had about a zillion other really good beers too, and only a very few really gross ones. All in all, a successful day!

Here’s Jessica, Dawn & I wandering the festival. It was bitterly cold, but we don’t look like we care too much. 🙂

 The Ladies of Craft Beer

 That’s pretty much all the excitement we’ve had around here lately. We are working on some house projects, so my nephew Ryan will be here this week to paint what will soon be the craft room. I chose lime green and bright blue paint for the walls, so I’m pretty excited about that. We also made some chages in the laundry room to make it more useful as a mud room as well – we added hooks for coats, got a larger rug, and a plastic tray for boots and shoes. It looks great, and I’m happy to have coats hanging up and not in the dining room anymore.

Mike & I are still working very hard at exercising regularly and eating well. So far so good. As of today, I’ve lost 14.5 pounds and he has lost 14. In fact, we had to get him new work pants this weekend because the old ones were basically falling off!! Mike is also doing the C25K plan and he seems to be enjoying the running. I exercise regularly, but I do all kinds of different things because I get bored with the same stuff. I walk, swim, play racquetball, and mix in all the different cardio machines as well. I like variety. I’ve even been trying some of the streaming workouts on Amazon Prime. They’re great when the weather is crappy or I don’t have time to get to the gym. As far as eating, it’s going well. I’ve found some AMAZING low calorie recipes. I’ve considered posting some of our favorite healthy recipes here – if you read this blog and would be interested in recipes, leave a comment and let me know.

That’s about it, kiddies. Have a great week!!! XOXO

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Feb 19

Butt Cookies & Warm Toesies

Here’s a quick recap of what’s been going down lately:

  • Mike has become a prolific baker. And by that I mean he buys refrigerated cookie dough and bakes it into cookies that are sometimes shaped like butts. He makes a dozen or so, leaves me 2, and then takes the rest over to Sam & Steph’s when they watch Walking Dead on Sunday nights. This is the perfect arrangement for me – I get 2 fresh baked cookies, and don’t have to look at the rest of them because he never brings any back home. This one time he put the dough globs a bit too close together and the cookies came out looking like butts. Behold: butt cookies.
    Butt cookies
  • I wore a sweater dress last week. That’s a big deal. I think it looked ok, too. I was in sort of a panic at first, but then I just got over it. So that’s pretty exciting. I bought the dress when I was in Texas in January 2012, so I’ve been hanging onto this thing for a while. Anyway, I feel pretty victorious.
  • Mike & I went to the eye doctor last week and we both got new glasses. I picked out Coach frames! They’re pretty sweet. I’m hoping to pick them up sometime this week.
  • I picked up my mug on Friday. It turned out decent for my first try, but I think I could do better now that I’ve gotten my feet wet in this whole ceramics deal. Here’s a terrible pic of it in awful lighting:
    My mug after firing
  • I bought a pair of slippers. I used to wear shoes around the house, because otherwise my feet hurt. Since I always had real shoes on, I was never able to wear any cute slippers. Since my foot surgery I’ve been wearing just socks, but my feet are always cold. So I bought some furry leapord print booties that have little tiny leopard print pom poms on them. They are super cute and now my feet are warm!
  • Sunday was the TENTH anniversary of this blog. I feel like there should have been a bit more fanfare or something, but I never really got anything together, so there it is. Happy Blogiversary to me!
  • As of yesterday, Mike is back to working 2nd shift, which SUCKS. We can’t go to the gym together anymore, and I have to eat my dinner alone during the week. He’s working 12-9, which is better than 3-11 by far, so at least there’s that – he gets home before I have to go to bed. It’s only temporary, but we don’t know exactly how long temporary is just yet.
  • I had the day off yesterday for President’s Day, so I did a bit of shopping and went to the pool with my mom. It was a beautiful day – cold but sunny, so it was fun to be out & about. 🙂

So that’s pretty much it around here. I hope all of your dreams come true this week.

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Jan 02

Skinny Cat

A quick post with some drawings from my journal. First, Mike made some cookies for his co-workers. He doesn’t cook a whole lot, so it was unusual for him.

 Mike made cookies

Over the break, we took both cats to the vet. The big news is that Nemo has lost 2 pounds thanks to his new food plan. Yay for Nemo!

 Nemo lost weight!

And here’s a drawing of me totally laying around and lounging on the couch. I was horribly sick for almost the entire vacation, which was awful. 🙁

 Lazy Loungey Girl

Anyway, more later. I do have stuff to say, but I don’t have time right this minute. I hope your holiday ruled and that 2013 is your best year yet. XOXO

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Sep 12

Dear Diary

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I like to make stuff. I’m a creative person, and I can’t help myself. I like to make things in just about every medium, and I’ve tried (and loved) it all. So it shouldn’t be any real shock that I like to draw.

Since March 2nd, 2011, I’ve been keeping a diary. But it isn’t like other diaries that are just words – it’s a mix of words and sketches. It’s been a really really enjoyable experience for me, and it’s a bit therapeutic as well. I haven’t exactly been secretive about it – most people who know me in real life are probably aware that I do this, but they probably haven’t actually seen the book. It makes me very nervous to think of people looking through it for many reasons. Will they think it’s weird? Or that I’m weird? Or that my drawings are awful? Or that the whole thing is stupid? I’ve been really feeling a desire to share some of my artwork lately, but at the same time, it’s really scary. I’ve talked to Mike about it (he is the only person who sees every page wether he wants to or not) and he thinks I should just put it out there. It sounds easy enough. I don’t need anyone to gush over any of it, but I don’t think I can handle any criticism either. That’s what makes this so terrifying.

Anyway, I decided to post some of the artwork here. Just for some background info – my first diary was a black hardcover sketchbook from Dick Blick with each page measuring 8.5 x 5.5 (or half of a standard sheet of paper). I’ve since gone through 2 of those books, and I’m cuurently using a black hardcover Pentallic sketchbook with pages that are a full 8.5 x 11. I go through them pretty quickly. I do at least a full page for every day, sometimes 2. In addition, I occasionally do another full page if I feel like it and have a topic. I use all kinds of media – pencil, ink, watercolor, colored pencil, crayon, chalk pastel, oil pastel, acrylic paint – pretty much anything that can make marks on paper! I sometimes will attach things like receipts, tickets, and whatnot, but not very often. Mostly because I prefer to draw. I have done some pages that were all collage, and I’ve also used fabric on pages. I sort of have an anything goes type of attitude. This is my book, after all.

So here are a few sketches from the last couple of weeks. I cropped out all of my writing. This is difficult enough, OK?? 🙂

Here’s me at the podiatrist last Friday. This was drawn with pencil & ink, then colored with watercolors.

Me at the podiatrist

This is (I hope obviously!) an eggplant. Mike & I went to the farmer’s market, and I was inspired by all of the beautiful produce. Pencil and ink with watercolors again.Eggplant

After we went to the farmer’s market, Mike and I cooked a delicious summer vegetable ratatouille together. I did the vegetables, he did the chicken. This is pencil, ink, and colored pencil. That darkness/distortion on the right side is from the page gutter in the scanner. 🙁

 Mike & I cooking together
Lastly, Mike, Clovis & I watched Disorderlies with the Fat Boys a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t seen it, it’s on Netflix and you NEED to watch it right this minute. So here’s my interpretation of The Fat Boys. Pencil, ink, crayon.Disorderlies!So that’s it – at least for now. I have every single page of all of my books scanned, so there is sooo much more. These are literally just from the last 2 weeks. Anyway, I hope you like them, and if you don’t, I hope you keep your trap shut. If you are interested in seeing more of this,  please let me know. I can definitely make this a regular thing. 🙂

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Apr 11

Bunny Hop

Easter Eggs!This last Saturday, I colored Easter eggs with my nephew, Noah. Since he is now the ripe old age of 9, I wasn’t sure he would want to do it this year, but he did. Usually I bring bunny ears for us to wear while we do it, but he thought they were uncool last year so I left them home this time. We had a really fun time, and made 3 dozen colorful eggs. This week, Mike & I are trying to eat our way through a tub of egg salad. 🙂

On Sunday, We got up bright and early and headed to Grand Rapids to visit with Mike’s family. We had a yummy ham dinner as well as an Easter egg hunt for the younger kids. The kids had a great time, and each found all of their eggs. While we were there, Mike also took the opportunity to reclaim all of his old childhood toys. We loaded 4 huge boxes into the car to take home – including Castle Grayskull AND Snake Mountain. This week, Mike has been going through his newly rediscovered loot. There are lots of Star Wars toys, including Boba Fett’s ship, Slave One, completely intact and with all the parts. He even has a huge AT-AT that is also complete with all of the pieces.

Mighty Men & Monster Maker!!He gave me all of the coolest toys, though. First, a tiny little action figure of Perseus from the original Clash of the Titans. Next, he gave me a Skeletor action figure with his staff AND the furry purple Panthor for him to ride on, complete with saddle! It’s SO sweet. The third thing he game me is a playset called the Mighty Men & Monster Maker. It’s basically Fashion Plates for boys – you can mix up the plates to make heroes, monsters, or a combination of the 2. Here’s my first stab at making a dude. It would be SO COOL if I could mix these with my Fashion Plates, but the plates are all different sizes. Total Bummer.

We also joined a new gym this week. We finally left the crap hole we were at for the last year. I was super frustrated because the pool was hardly ever working, and the staff there were all very rude and never knew anything when we asked questions. Plus it was just kind of dumpy. But it was inexpensive and very close to our house, which are the only 2 good things I can say about it. Our new gym, on the other hand, is super swanky. I go in there in my ratty old t-shirt and feel like I need to get some fancier workout threads so I don’t look like a hobo in there. The pool is ridiculously awesome, but the one time I went it was crazy busy so I need to figure out when the off times are so I can get my swim on. Plus! They have racquetball. Mike & I love to play racquetball (very poorly) together. It’s so much fun, plus it burns a ton of calories. Maybe for Mother’s Day Nemo & Buffy can get me my very own racquet. Pink please.

I hope that your Easter holiday (or regular old weekend) was full of excitement and adventure.

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Dec 11

Skating Queen

It was another busy weekend, but this one was full of adventure and excitement!

On Saturday, Mike & I headed to the lovely village of Sparta. My friend John invited me over to help him brew beer. Of course, I jumped at the chance! I don’t think that home brewing is something I’d ever want to do myself, but it was really fun to help John out and to see how it’s done. If you are interested in the process at all, John has some great videos on his YouTube channel. Here’s a link to part 1 of his series. This video is pretty much exactly the process we followed, with a little variation because we were making a different kind of beer. And here are some cool photos I took. First, a pic of the pot that we used to boil the wort, and then a pic of me holding the barley sock after we steeped it.

 Brew DayBrew Day

John is super crafty, so we used the spent barley and grain to make dog biscuits. We also made homemade vanilla ice cream and even made some holiday gummy candy from a kit. It was a really fun time, and in about 8 weeks I’ll be able to enjoy some (hopefully) delicious whiskey barrel stout.

Skating QueenToday was my nephew’s roller skating outing with his cub scout troop, and since his birthday was alo last week, we decided to make it a family outing and have a little birthday party afterward. I’m not going to lie – I was scared. I used to skate a lot, and I was really good. I had my own speed skates and everything. It helps that my aunt was a speed skating champion, because she was an amazing teacher. But those days are long gone, dude. I haven’t had skates on my feet in at least 20 years! I’m definitely not as good as I used to be, but I managed to stay upright and there were no broken bones or bloodshed. Man, it hurt my feet, though! My feet are pretty wrecked anyway, so this was a little more drama than they were ready for, but overall it went well. And I liked it! My nephew loved it too. The rink is starting a 3 session beginner skating class in January, and my sister and I are thinking about signing up with my nephew so the 3 of us can go together. I think it would be really cool, so we’ll see. Here’s me with skates on. Notice I’m clinging to the railing. 🙂

 

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Apr 26

Abridged

Random things that are happening lately:

  • I made a turkey all by myself. I’ve never done it before, and I must say, it turned out stellar. I did have to call my mom several times with panicked questions, and George had to help me unhook the legs from the leglocker thing, but otherwise, I did it all. It was the grossest thing I’ve done in a while. I don;t know what it is about raw meat, but it makes me ill. Ugggh. Anyway, it turned out perfect, so yay.
  • The Peaches to came to visit since they were in town for the Easter holiday, and it was so great to see them! I miss those kids. We got to stop at Gallagher’s for a few beers and then we hung out at our house for a little while. They seem to like Wisconsin, which is good for them, but bad for me. All my hopes of them moving back here have officially been dashed.
  • I got a mani/pedi over the weekend and it was soooo awesome. I got this new kind of polish on my fingernails called shellac, and it is guaranteed not to chip for at least 2 weeks! So far, it looks perfect. The nail guy warned me not to try to remove the polish myself though. I have to go back there to get it taken off. Since it was new I thought I’d try it, and I like it so far. Plus I tried a new salon that is actually walking distance from my house, super nice, and decently price. Score!
  • I’m all packed for my trip to New Jersey & my flight is in a few hours. I’m excited to get there and see all my work peeps, but not excited about getting there. Air travel is such a pain.
  • Mike is meeting me in New Jersey on Friday and we are spending the weekend in NEW YORK CITY! It’s my first time, so I am super excited.
  • I don’t have a lot of time right now since I have to fly, so this is all you get. Sorry. Toodles!

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