Wednesday, January 30, 2013

This Week...

•I met a deadline for work that was having me work lots of extra time. Now that its done, I'm bored.
•I signed up for a class called Be Your Own Beloved with Vivienne McMasters. 28 days of self portraits...should be fun!
•I went to yoga for the first time in 6 weeks. I'm almost talked myself out of it...glad I went! Side note: I tend to not do poses I know will hurt my already messed up back. Tonight I tried some of the ones I normally don't do & did ok. There are some I will never do...cobra comes to mind...but it was good to try something new!
•I downloaded Camera+ on my phone to play with (thank you Kelly!) That's what I took this photo with. I look forward to playing & seeing what happens.
•We started the process for FAFSA for Kendall. It's the first step in getting ready for college.
•Walked with my two favorite people in the same day, albeit very different times.
•I signed up for a six week meditation class through work. Two hours, one day a week. Should be interesting!

There is surely more to's only Wednesday. Have a great rest of your week!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Project Life...The First Four Weeks

I am really happy to tell you that I've been working on my Project Life scrapbooking project.  Yes, it is a miracle!  I have modified a few pages because the first go around was not so great.  What I love about Project Life is that it can be as easy or as complicated as you want.  Right now, I'm into easy.  Here are my pages so far:

We had this really fun photo shoot right before Christmas & I decided to use those photos for a cover page.  Now I just need to print them to hang on my wall!  Problem is, I can't decide which ones.

Week 1:  I only did one page for the first week.  I was too busy watching The Walking Dead to take photos.  Ha!

Week 2 is a few pages, this one is small, which I love.  This is the front.

And the back.

This is part of Week 2.   I like how the little page fits in with the bigger one.

Week 3.  Starting to play with some of the supplies hiding in my desk.

Page 2 of Week 3.  I was playing with putting text on photos in pixlr (the photo of me).

Week 4.  Playing with some more text & adding dimension, which you can see in a flat photo.

The last page of Week 4.  Probably my favorite so far!  Now if I can only remember to take more photos during the week...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Menu Planning, Week 3

Let's recap last week first:

We will not  be having these again:  Hawaiian Meatballs & Buffalo Chicken Rolls.  Neither of them were very good.

Last week saw two days of unplanned eating out, so we didn't get to try the Penne Bake or the Yellow Curry (dang it!).  We'll try for them again in 8 weeks (working on an 8 week menu rotation, ala Audra).  I've been pinning recipes to Pinterest like mad (don't want to forget where they are!) and really working hard for menus that suit our family.  It's been pretty time consuming.  But I hope that when I'm done, the next 8 week go around will be much easier & quick.  I have tabs set up in excel with menus, recipes & shopping lists.  Once the template is done, it'll be a breeze!

 Here' are the recipes:

Baked Crunchy Taco Caserole

Shrimp & Avocado Rice Bowls

Turkey Meatballs in Red Sauce

Balsalmic Onion & Potato Frittata.

Maritime Clam Chowder

Chicken with Basil (Thai)

I was just pinning recipes that others had pinned to Pinterest.  But after two not favorable meals, I thought I'd go to an old standby, The Pioneer Woman.  So you'll find the coming weeks to have many Pioneer Woman recipes.  They are typically awesome!

Time to go grocery shopping!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


•was a little easier than yesterday (could have been the full night of uninterrupted sleep---the snoorer slept in the guest room)
•I figured out a difficult part of the financial report I've been working on for two weeks (with some help from the former me at work & the transportation dude)
•I had dinner with my friends from my life as a medical biller (we meet once a month & I adore them!)
•the kid & I are getting along...for weeks now! Love the relationship that we have right now...SO much better than what it had become!
•pettiness, jealousy & meanness stayed out of my day.

All coffee should be drank out of pretty cups. And served with baby biscotti. This made me very happy today!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I'd like to be...

•that person who could go with the flow
•that person who just knew everything would be ok
•that person who didn't sweat the small stuff
•that person who didn't let a house full of sick people annoy the crap out of her
•that person who didn't freak out over every little thing
•that person who could keep her opinions to herself
•that person who didn't over share
•that person who saw the positive in everything
•that person who didn't let a little snoring ruin a good nights sleep

That person isn't me. Sometimes it is. But not today. I am uptight. Emotional. Opinionated. A freak about money. Kinda mean. I am an open book. I am tired. I am grumpy. I feel petty & jealous.

I am just trying to "be". Sometimes it's exhausting. I suspect tomorrow the trials of today will seem insignificant. But today they are not.

Just keeping it real people.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


My house has been full of sickness for a week now.  Kendall came down with a fever of 102 for four days, body aches, sore throat & exhausted.  When the fever finally broke, she lost her voice.  That was Thursday.  Today is the first day since then she hasn't sounded like Minnie Mouse.  Don came down with it Saturday.  Luckily, no fever, just the sore throat.  Me?  I'm hanging in there.  I had the same thing right after Thanksgiving, so I'm crossing my fingers that was it for me. 

We are all off tomorrow, hanging out & just trying to get well.  Life can start again on Tuesday.

Menu Planning, Week 2

Last weeks menu was pretty darn good!  The roasted tomato & bacon soup was my favorite...but I'd recommend not blending the bacon into the soup.  It was too much.  A little smidge on top would be perfect!

Here's this weeks menu:

Red Chilie-Cheese Enchiladas:  A favorite recipe from Cooking Light that we've been making for years.  Kendall doesn't particularly like enchiladas, so we don't have them as often as I'd like.  They make awesome leftovers, too!

Hawaiian Meatballs: Can't wait to try these!

Chile Rubbed Pollo Soup:  It's been so cold lately, all I seem to want is soup.

Penne Bake:  It's always good to have pasta on a night I'm not home.  Not my favorite.

Buffalo Chicken Rolls:  These look tasty!

Yellow Curry with Rice: I am addicted to yellow curry from Pato Thai.  Hoping this lives up to my expectations!

I kinda biffed the whole menu thing last night (red chilie-cheese enchiladas).   Both Don & Kendall were home sick & I went for a walk with my friend Kim because I had to get out of the house & all these sick cooties.  Football games drive me out, too.  When we were done walking Kim & I went to Bookman's & had coffee.  It was getting late so I texted Don & told him I'd pick up Tacos los Altos on my way home because I was so he wouldn't have to cook.  I didn't get the message back that he had already made dinner.  So we'll be having the enchiladas scheduled for tonight, tomorrow.  I'm not sure what we're going to give up this all looks so good!

Monday, January 14, 2013

One Of Those Days

Today was just one of those days that flew by, but didn't. Good in so many ways...dreadful in others. I had senseless, time sucking reports to finish at work...three days spent & they're still not done. A bootie that did not leave her desk for five hours straight except to pee. A lunch time walk to try to get the kink out of my back...only made worse by the students whose lack of ambition had them strolling along at a sloth like pace & hogging the sidewalk. More frustrated than when I left....easier to ignore the freezing cold that way. Home to a quiet house...two hours late. Dinner cooked by my fabulous hubby. A glass of Mad Housewife wine...just one glass, but two was tempting. A fixed hope chest...and a mom who laughed like a kid. A couple peppermint patties...just because they're my favorite. Snuggling with my sick kid who is so warm she's making me sweat. A little Once Upon A Time catch up & poof! It's time for bed.

Here's hoping tomorrow brings sunshine & laughter, warmth & insight, finished projects & a healthier kid. And if my back doesn't hurt, well that will be icing on the cake!

Menu Planning

I am a lucky, lucky girl.  I have a husband who doesn't mind cooking for us.  So I let him.  Occasionally I'll do the cooking, but hey, if he's on board with it, then so am I!  Cooking is not one of my favorite activities.  I have A D D when it comes to recipes...I start reading them & then think this is so easy & then skip the rest of the recipe, creating a less than spectacular meal.  The last couple of years at the PD, Don would get off way before me & as long as I had a menu posted, he'd make what was on the menu & dinner would be waiting for me when I got home.  No questions asked.  It was (is) awesome!  As long as that menu is there, that's what we eat.  Forget to make a menu?  Then I was stopping somewhere on the way home to get dinner.  While eating out every night sound lovely, it is not healthy for our waistlines or our wallet.  

Usually, I just write out a menu on a scap piece of paper or the back on an envelope 5 minutes before I head to the grocery store.  This means that we eat the same things over & over…just in a different order.  Boring.   Audra started using eight different menus that she rotates.  In an eight week period, they don’t eat the same thing twice.  I’ve been mulling over doing this myself…even created a template in excel forever ago…but just never got around to it.  Until Friday night.

I had this bright idea that if I were going to collect recipes on Pinterest, I should actually try those recipes.  So I created three weeks worth of menus, recipes & shopping lists for us to rotate.  A far cry from eight weeks, but it’s a place to start.  Here’s my menu for this week:

Tacos los Altos is one of our favorite spots for lunch & dinner.  It's cheap & it's fantastic!  I've tried to make their tacos before, but it just did not work out for me.  Bland & blah.  In my Pinterest perusing I found a link for cooking better chicken.  One of the reasons I don’t enjoy chicken is because it’s bland & gross.  This was something i needed to try...and it was wonderful!  It made all the difference!  And my tacos?  Tasted just like Tacos los Altos! 

Sunday:  For my mom's birthday party, I was told what to bring:  Coconut Shrimp & Chocolate Cake.  Yum!

Monday:  OMG Ribs

Tuesday:  Ravioli & Salad, only because I have two bags of ravioli in the freezer

Wednesday:  Roasted Tomato & Bacon Soup & Parmesan Garlic Toast

Thursday:  Leftover night or figure it out yourself.  Don & I take leftovers to work for lunch, so likely this will mean a trip to Subway.  Just keeping it real.

Friday:  Don's birthday & he picked pizza.  Having a little party at NiMarco's Pizza (best pizza ever!)

I have two more weeks of menus to try out.  I'll post them each week, as well as what worked & what didn't work.  These are all untested recipes...should be interesting!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom!

My mom sent me this photo is so her!  Happy Birthday to my favorite person in the world!  I love you!  We're having a party for her this afternoon & Annalea (she's 9) & I worked on a project using photos of my mom through the years.  I saw so many great photos of my mom...ones I had never seen before!  And when you see some of the photos, you will wonder if it's my mom or if it's me.  We look quite a bit alike when we were younger.  Here are some of my favorites:

I have often looked at photos of my mom, grandmother & me at this age & I can't tell them apart.

A dog lover from the start!

This is an AJ face.

This could be me...but it's not.

So could this one.  My mom & her dad in Karachi.

I love how carefree & fancy she looks!  And check out the heels!  Have you ever seen her wear heels?

The year before I was born.  She was in Germany, where she met my dad.    I love this's so very 60's!

She's not serious all the time...haha!  Love this!


I am working on creating a simpler life for myself.  For my family.  I am tired of running through my life without stopping to smell the roses.  Tired of coming to Monday morning feeling like I hadn't had a moments rest. I decided last weekend that it would be my last Sunday spent running errands & shopping.  Saturdays are always hectic, so why not add those errands to Saturday?  What's one more thing?  Then I can spend all day Sunday in my pj's.  Blogging.  Creating.  Reading. Watching movies.  Hanging out.  Doing nothing. 

Today is that Sunday.  I slept until 9.  I'm still in my pj's. Blogging.  Surfing Pinterest.  Getting ready to make cupcakes for my mom's birthday party.  Just hanging out.  Might color my hair...might not.  No laundry.  No bathroom cleaning.  Just enjoying the moment.  Just "be"ing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

10:00 pm

Hot pink ear plugs! When I opened this I laughed so hard I couldn't talk! Don did not see the humor in it though :). Hahaha!

9:00 pm

Artful Blogging...a publication I truly love.

8:00 pm

Salted caramel chocolate? Oh man do you know me well, Kelly!

5:00 pm

It's 5:00 & a martini glass...ahhhh :)

3:00 pm

The best, most perfect magnets ever!

12:00 noon

Totally appropriate!

10 am

A little iTunes love.

7 am

A little something to keep my coffee warm.

5 am

A little something to keep me warm.

Monday, January 7, 2013


I was completely surprised when Kelly dropped by with a pretty box wrapped up just for me.  Imagine my surprise when I opened that box & it was filled with all of this!  Each package has a tag with a time on it:  5:00 am, 7:00 am, 10:00 am, 12:00 noon, 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 10:00 pm.  I cannot wait to open them tomorrow!  What a fun idea!  Thank you, Kelly!