"We have to love until it hurts. It is not enough to say, I love." We must put that love into a living action, and how do we do that? By giving until it hurts." Mother Teresa

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Inevitably as we inch closer to 2013 everyone starts coming up with resolutions. I don't like the word resolution because I feel like it just dooms me for failure. So I'm going to call them goals-besides there is a certain amount of ego boost when one reaches a goal.

Goals for 2012 (6 days left)/2013

  • read 50 books. I know that I teach English, but that does not leave me a lot of time to read. I will track my reading on goodreads.com. I think I already have an account...
  • start "running" again. well what I like to call shlumping. "Races" for 2013: Race for a Cure, Color Run, Drumstick Dash. None of these are actually races...but in my mind they are. 
  • Take a photography class-well probably two, and actually go out and use those skills. I'm most excited about this one. 
  • Start a blog about said photography adventures. 
  • Look for a Master's program. I am very picky about this for some reason. I know there is no logical reason for being picky, but I can't help myself. 
  • Maybe apply for a Master's program. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Favorite Holiday!

So Thanksgiving and various other holiday/family get-togethers are right around the corner. I love this season. I love giving, and I love hostessing/help hostess things. I love hostessing things year-round. I know several people who constantly feel like this: 

And in previous years I guess I have felt that way during family events that involved a lot of prep. I know some people ask others to bring things, and for me I have the most fun actually making the food and setting things up. I have learned some "tricks" that I am going to share, because sometimes everyone needs tips. Most of these are stolen from my favorite cooking blog. 

1. Be Santa
Meaning, make lists-yes multiple lists for different things. I start with the menu because that was/is what come easiest to me, I also find the most joy in creating this list. I made lists last year for Thanksgiving, and it saved me a lot of stress, and sometimes money.  I prefer to hand write my lists because I like hand writing, and I feel like I remember things more when I write them. Here are the lists I made with a brief description if needed: 

  • Menu-I attach the recipes that I need to the menu to keep everything in one place. 
  • Grocery List-I go through each recipe and the cabinets to make my list. I find that when I go recipe by recipe those little (or sometimes major :/) things are not missed. 
  • Shopping List-these are nonfood related items that need to be purchased for the event. Again I check around my house before purchasing. 
  • Calendar week of-Last year I made several things for Thanksgiving before Thursday. It saved me time not only on Thanksgiving but stress. I include things like what to make, or what to start to assemble/chop, when to thaw things, and what to clean. 
  • Play Book for the Day of-plan times out with what time you want to eat. Then backwards plan. Seriously this was the best things I did last year. I posted the time schedule for foods/set up on the fridge so everyone knew :) I also enforce that time table, much to some people's irritation. 
2. Be In Control
So I go ahead and assume that all families are like mine-everyone crowds in the kitchen. Last year I "took control" of Thanksgiving. And if you have cooked that meal every thing finishes at the same time, and it can be hectic. I started to get frazzled-everyone was giving input. This is my family, and I love them. I then promptly kicked them out. I made a rule, no more than three in the kitchen until it's time to eat and then I enforced it. This may be the teacher in me or the control freak in me, but it worked. I am sure I pissed some of my relatives off, but oh well. I know that there are some loved ones who don't listen, and well I just figured out away to get them the hell out of my space. 

3. Something will go wrong...deal with it
Last year we forgot to turn the heat down on the turkey so it cooked in two hours less than I had scheduled. Oh well it was cooked, and things can be reheated. Learn for next year, and move on. Nothing was ruined, and everything was still delicious. I also claim that it isn't a family get together until the f bomb is dropped out of frustration. Laugh at the f'up and move on. 

4. Enjoy the day
Not everything will go as planned, but as long as family or friends are around everything is fine. Don't spend the whole day in the kitchen. Have a glass (or three) of wine and enjoy making the memories. Let your day be like this: 

Gobble Gobble 

Sunday, September 9, 2012


By now all 8 of my readers are on pinterest. I am like most people in that I pin things thinking "I can totally do that" but then never get to it. Well this year I have actually attempted several but ran into several hiccups along the way that made the project a no go.  Most of these were gardening ideas that would have worked if I had a way to constantly water them. My dad and I spent several hours at Lowes trying to make it work. 

I really enjoy spending time on projects with my dad trying to trouble shoot problems to make something work. Once he said that he could drill through my townhouses brick wall to make a power supply I had to say no. I am a renter after all. :)

So I have decided to make a resolution of sorts when it come to pinning.  I am going to try one craft project a month. I cannot commit to one a week-that would involve  more money than I am willing to spend.  I have no real crafting supplies, and I don't want to buy a lot of things for a one time craft. 

I have made recipe off of my Pinterest boards before.  I am making this one right now-literally right now it is in the oven: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2011/10/cheesy-enchilada-casserole.html It smells delish. I am sure it will be. I have made enough things to know when something sounds like it will work out, or will taste like crap.  

Here is my craft goal for this month: http://www.makeitandfakeit.com/2012/04/diy-wrap-bracelet.html

I think it looks pretty idiot proof. I will post pics if I remember to post ;) 

PS: this past week I have entered what I am calling the "twilight of my 20's". (I stole it from a friend). One of my goals is to blog more than once every nine months. *Fingers crossed* that it works. 

I leave my readers with an adorable pic of my baby-seriously look at those puppy eyes 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Cooking Essentials

Cooking Entry

I think there are essentials for anyone’s kitchen-well anyone who likes to cook. If you would rather eat out or have it delivered you will probably find this blog boring. By essentials I mean the tools. I don’t really have any brand recommendations, but I do believe that this is one room where I purchase the best because well I don’t want to replace it any time soon. I have found that this usually translates to buying name brand items and doing research. These are things that I currently own or one day hope to own.

So let’s begin…

  • An awesome knife set. I think if I were to ask my dad what essential kitchen items one needed this would be in his top two. My parents have had the same knife set for 30 years.
  • A cast iron skillet. I recently got one for Christmas from my cousin Ryan. And well I’m in love. Seriously what can’t this pan do? This is a relatively inexpensive purchase, and if cared for properly it will last FOREVER! If you have never owned one you need to research how to care for it.
  • Various measuring utensils. I have two sets of measuring cups, and a four cup liquid measuring cup please measuring spoons. These are all pretty much the same, but I like have variety.
  • Nonstick pots and pans. These just make life a lot easier. But they are a high care item. Don’t ever use metal inside of them-I did this with my dad’s pan a long time ago, and well let’s just say I still remember him yelling at me… also don’t use brillo any sort of abrasive scrubber on them. I started having kitchen rules meetings with my roommates in college and I felt myself using the same phrases my dad used that evening he caught me using a metal spoon on his pan.
  • Various size cutting boards. I have a small, medium, and large. All of them are plastic. I haven’t decided if wood is better or not. I am currently happy with my plastic ones.
  • Cookie sheets/muffin tins/cake pans/etc. I use these all of the time. Not always for sweets.
  • Parchment paper/silicone mats. I recently purchased the silicone mats and I will not use parchment paper unless I am making bacon in the oven. They are a little pricey, but well worth it. They can be used at higher temperature baking and they are reusable.
  • Cooking Utensils. I have so many spoons, spatulas, tongs in metal, plastic, rubber and wood. I learned what to use and when just by trial and error. My parents have been using the same wooden spoon for eons. Seriously eons.
  • Food Processor. I have a little one-it is green. I prefer the smaller one because it is easier to store, and I don’t ever need to chop up that much stuff at one time.
  • Standing Mixer. I got one from my mom three years ago for Christmas. She is green, and I named her Georgia. This year I also purchased the ice cream attachment. And yes, it is a KitchenAid, and as far as I am concerned there is no other standing mixer worth buying.

I think this sums up what I use most often in my kitchen, and things that I want most for my kitchen. I could probably write pages on just the tools for kitchen use, but I am a total kitchen geek.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I have started running. (cue gasps)

Like many people in my life I have started the couch to 5k. My first official 5k run will be Race for a Cure. I have participated in one way or another (some years I had to do sleep for a cure because of school stuff) in this for the past 13 years. This will be year 14.

My countdown to the race is 13 weeks and 3 days. Which is great because we (my sister and I) are currently training inside.

We go to the gym three times a week to run. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday or Saturday. I am also picking up a water aerobics class that meets Saturday mornings.

Today I started week 3 day 1. It kicked my ass.
5 minute warm-up
Two repetitions of the following: jog for 1.5 minutes walk for 1.5 minutes then jog for 3 minutes and walk for 3 minutes.

Weeks 1 and 2 were pretty easy minimal sweating but kept my heart rate up. Today was sweaty, and brutal.

I bought an app to help keep track and it will sync to my playlist. It is the active.com couch to 5k app. There are different "trainers" my sister consistently uses Sergeant Block, and I have been using him for the most part. Really I got it because I can use my own music. But there are plenty of podcasts to help keep you moving.

My goal to continue to hold myself accountable is to post after each run (within 24 hours), which is just for posterity. I also have a habit of photographing my distance on the treadmill. So here is my summary.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I have a nook now, and well I love it-for the most part. I do miss folding down corners of pages when I am leaving the book, and breaking the spine. I really abuse my books. I obviously can't do that with my nook. However some pros..

1. I can get books from the library on to my nook-granted it did take me two days to figure it out.
2. I can carry a lot more books on the nook than if they were real books
3. I can download free samples of books I am interested in.
4. I can organize them into shelves (I know this is possible with regular books, but with the nook the categories are endless!)

So here are the books I have read on my nook, that I would def recommend for others-It is only three books, but I am reading many right now.

1. "Cross Bones" Kathy Reichs.
The TV series "Bones" is based on these novels. I can tell you that the novels and the show are complete opposites. As far as I can tell the similarities consist of the main character's name, and her job-everything else is different.

2. "It Sucked and then I Cried. How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita" by Heather B. Armstrong
I am finally starting to venture into nonfiction. For the most part sticking to humor related items. This one is about a woman who had a baby and ended up checking into the mental ward (is there a better term? if so sorry for my lack of knowledge of what it would be) for postpartum depression. It was hilarious! I have no babies, so of course I know nothing of postpartum depression, but I could not stop reading it.

3. "Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?: And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Answer" by Jancee Dunn
This is another hilarious nonfiction selection. It is all about her family, and how involved they are in each others' lives.