Thursday, October 8, 2015

As most of you know I tasked myself with trying new recipes. They might not be exciting or fancy but they have really come in handy as of late.

First up. The Soft Boiled Egg.

Heard of it? Seems to be all the Pinterest rage. I love eggs over easy but hate that plasticy (for lack of a better word) film they can get sometimes. Poached eggs are great (still give you a runny yolk) but they can be kind of a pain to make. Since I have a thing for runny yolks I tried a soft boiled egg.

You can find time tables like this all over pinterest

Four minutes is supposed to be the magic number but for me its been rather hit or miss. Here are a few tips I have acquired trying to master the soft boiled egg:
- Vinegar & Salt in the water is a must for easy peel
- Boil for 4 minutes exactly. Not 4 minutes and 3 seconds
- Put the eggs immediately into cold water to stop the cooking process

My first round turned out better than my second - you can see more of a hard boiled yolk texture in the second. This is my favorite go to - along with skillet green beans (pictured with both meals) - when I am in a time crunch for dinner or want something tasty but light.

Next up - what to do with all these garden veggies!?!

If you follow me on instagram you've seen more than your fair share of pictures like this

There is only so much you can do with unlimited amount of cherry tomatoes/basil/jalapenos. This week I decided to take a stab at canning. To be honest it always seemed a bit over my skill level but I am happy to report its rather easy.

Pickled Jalapenos = piece of cake. I cut them in slices (rings) while I sanitized the jars and then boiled some "brine". The brine is simply equal parts water and vinegar and a touch of canning salt. Seriously, that's it. Once the brine boiled for about 5 minutes and the jars were sanitized I added the sliced jalapenos to the jars with a clove of fresh garlic in each and poured the hot brine over the top until it was almost full, leaving a small space at the top for air. As a part of canning you have to then submerge your jars in hot boiling water for 10 minutes to get a good seal (this is why they stay good for so long). That's it. All done.

I also canned salsa but more on that later :)

So tell me, any good recipes lately that I should try?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Thred Up

Have you heard of Thred Up? This is no stitch fix... you make some moola this way rather than blow it on a box of clothes you may or may not keep.

I have a few items (ended up being fourteen total) that were too nice to hand over to Goodwill but not worthy of the time and effort of a garage sale. Nicer brand stuff - think Loft/Steve Madden/Gap. Don't be fooled this girl has no high end clothing; the priciest you get in my closet is Banana Republic full price which is one in a million.

Enter in Thred Up.

Consignment for the lazy... or greedy... you decide.

Its so simple - request a donation bag online - receive said donation bag in the mail - fill up the bag and send it off.

In a moment of full disclosure, I've had this bag sitting on my dining room table waiting to be filled for two and a half weeks. Procrastinator much?

The criteria for clothes to make it to consignment are pretty steep - specific brands and items cant be more than a few years old in mint condition.

See those strappy Steve Madden heals in nude? Loudest, squeakiest, uncomfortable shoe known to (wo)Man.
In this donation bag I handed over a sleeveless Loft blouse (too tight on my shoulders now), three cardigans, four shirts, two pairs of nude heels, two rain coats, and two pairs of jeans. If you're counting that's 14 items on their way to hopefully be consigned and bring in the big bucks... I'd take $20. Oh and it counts towards my Thirty before Thirty donation items! Only 86 more items to go.
For the items that didn't make the cool kids cut, Thred Up will either send them back to you or donate them on your behalf. I chose to donate them because lets be honest, if this stuff comes back it may never leave again.

The best part about this whole thing - you can shop the consignment clothes too! Men, Women, Kids, Baby - all of it at great prices.

Use this link to get $20 off your first order!


Friday, August 28, 2015

Girl on the train

As a part of my Thirty before Thirty I promised to read 15 new books. What I was thinking when I decided that, I'm not sure.  To be honest, I would much rather watch Real Housewives or Big Brother in the evenings instead of reading a book. Simple minded? Maybe. Up to date on reality tv? Always!

So, due to my inability to put down the remote I have turned to audio books to meet my book quota. Side note - audio books are the jam especially if you have a fancy car like me that doesn't have Sirius or an aux port to plug your phone into and your other choice for entertainment is zee radio.

In full disclosure I did try to read this one via hard copy and got 8 pages in and never picked it back up. Then I decided to try my luck listening to it instead - BINGO. The narrator(s) are British - DOUBLE BINGO!
It took me some time to get into this one - slow moving at first and a little sporadic - almost a bit depressing. Then out of no where it starts to really pick up and by the end I was making laps around the neighborhood just to hear what happens next! I wouldn't call this a "beach read", which is my typical go to, but instead a good weekend thriller.
The main character Rachel is a tad nosey and very much an alcoholic and gets herself into a predicament when a girl she doesn't know from Adam goes missing. There were a few times I couldn't believe she was making the choices she was and thought she had lost her ever loving mind. By the end though I love her and feel so sorry for her - like can I please just cook you dinner and hug you. There are a few guys in the book that you will want to kick in their man junk and another girl (Anna) that is like the meanest of mean girls. Overall it kept me very engaged and made me ask a few fellow reader friends if they have picked it up yet. If you have an aversion to reading about alcoholics/adultery/murder I would point you in a different direction than this one. However, if you want to feel like at least my problems aren't THAT bad then grab this one stat.
On a scale of 1 - 10 // one being that I didn't even get half way through and 10 being Hunger Games // I give this one an 8.
Now go read it and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

16 months

I'm not sure how it happens but time can seem so short and so far away all at once. I cant remember what I had for dinner three nights ago but thinking back on fond childhood memories seems like just yesterday.

16 months from today I will turn 30. For starters I don't feel adult enough to be thirty - I would say at best guess I'm still 24. How was time gone so fast? It is so true when they tell you it only moves faster the older you get. For this milestone birthday I wanted to be intentional so I jumped on the bandwagon per say and created a "30 things to do before I turn 30" list. A little kick in the rear to get out there and do things that are out of my everyday norm. I plan on documenting the process so get ready for posts of random things Im purging and book reviews

1. Eat at a nice restaurant alone
2. Purge 100 items
3. Host a dinner
4. Try 10 new recipes
5. Visit a new beach
6. Learn to play tennis... again
7. Read 15 new books (audio books count!)
8. Visit Chicago
9. Pay off all debt
10. Send snail mail
11. Read the entire bible
12. Feel comfortable in my own skin
13. Take a fabulous 30th birthday trip
14. Go to Vegas
15. Play hookie
16. Reconnect with an old friend
17. Go to a Mass service
18. Skinny Dip
19. Hit my goal savings amount
20. Organize the shed
21. Print my favorite photos
22. Pay for a strangers coffee
23. Learn to shoot a gun
24. Have a huge garage sale
25. Capture more every day life
26. Get Murphy out more
27. Establish a safe place for important documents
28. Learn to change a tire
29. Participate in Lent
30. Set three fitness goals and achieve them
And because no one likes posts with out pictures here are some images that are totally unrelated!

Friday, August 14, 2015

From the cutting room floor

... also known as I take way too many pictures that reside on my phone to never be seen again.

Or a bunch of pictures of flowers and alcohol. Lets get started shall we?

In the spring time I get a bit "clepto" persay  - also when I'm drinking but that is neither here nor there. My neighborhood is Peony heaven during that time of year. Every yard has peonies in bloom but mine. So there might have been a time or two I "took murphy on a walk" a few houses down and snipped some of their blooms. Best decision I have ever made - those blooms lasted forever and never failed to leave me without a smile on my face.

Ed Sheeran concert with this hot babe. Hanson might have been the opening act - hands down more excited moms than children. I feel old. 

My bestie #forlife decided to up and move an hour and a half away. She also gave me this bottle of champs 6 months earlier. We celebrated her move in style with re-gifted champs and a few tears.

I should do a whole post just on my Mexico trip with my family this past May. A few highlights: I had fish give me a pedi and made my family take dinner selfies every night with my beloved #selfiestick

My favorite meal... Chicken Pho from a mixing bowl. Sodium filled carbs? Count me in.
When I took this picture I remember thinking "what an inspirational little pansy" and then never looked at the picture again. This is a true "bloom where you are planted" moment. I pulled pansies out of my flower bed a few weeks before and tossed them into the yard to get mowed. This little guy survived. Good story.

These next few pictures I would like to title "day drinking" - uber original

And then it rained on the way to the car...

First mater of the season. Obviously needs to be captured.

My best friend had the tiniest baby ever who made me an aunt for the 7th time.
 (insert heart eye emoji)
$4.50 Bluemoon pitchers and karaoke. Why not?

Average Friday at work taking a helicopter ride downtown.

Celebration lunch that turned into happy hour that turned into a few hours at the lake. What?

I've watched this gentle soul grow up over the past four years - last weekend she was baptized.

New Rustic Cuffs. A party on your wrist


Dinner for one. I might have gotten a little ahead of myself

I feel as though I deserve a pat on the back... only 9 pictures that contained adult beverages. Its like I'm growing up or something... okay not so fast. Maybe I should start doing these weekly - only next time Ill show you all the "look at me sitting on my arse" pictures and bachelor in paradise screenshots or weird text conversations. Oh just get ready.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The other 2%

Exactly one week ago I put out a plea on facebook about my precious kitty child who had run off to explore and had yet to return home. I drove the neighborhood, calling for her out the window like the crazy cat lady I have become to no avail. There is a good chance I checked the front and backdoor no less than 265 million times thinking she might, just might, have come back during that walk from the couch to the backdoor and then to the front door. Nope.

Wouldn't you know the next morning when I pulled my tired arse out of bed and let Murphy out - little miss street hussy decided to show her face. Truth be told I was 98% relieved to have her back and know she was okay. That other 2%.... well that is what I need to talk about.

You see, over the fourth of July I was in and out for a few days. Gone Friday and Saturday back Sunday (for all of 15 min) and then out again until Tuesday. My coming and going did nothing but "piss" miss thang off... literally.

She decided to hit me in the jugular. Take me to the cleaners. Give it her best shot. You get the point.

And her best shot... well it hurt...

Two pairs of tennis shoes - peed in

My PRECIOUS cast iron skillet that was sitting out stove top - peed in

Dishtowel draped nicely over the sink - peed on

Veggie bowl full of nuts/seeds/veggies/non refrigerated foods - PEED IN

I'm not quite sure I remember the last time someone was that mad at me. Maybe 9th grade when Alicia had to wake up early - on a Saturday morning post sleep over - to go to tennis practice and couldn't get back into her own house afterwards. Thus leading her to throw rocks at the bedroom window, which woke me up enough for me to get out of bed and see her standing in the driveway and turn around and go back to bed. She ended up sleeping in the back of her car until someone woke up (2 hours later) and let her in.

Even this episode of excessive urination tops that. Maggie girl was mad. So when the thought of her not coming home crossed my mind my heart ALMOST broke in half. I would be a liar if I didn't confess there was a tiny part of me that relished in the idea of being able to leave bath towels out and folded without the possibility of retaliation.

Since her stint on the street, my sweet precious kitty cat has gotten mad that I wouldn't let her back out to go whoop it up with her friends and has taken it out on a poor packing envelope sitting on dining room table. Soaked to the bone. Looks like that's a $1.37 down the drain.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Matthew 5:10

 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

I sit here drinking my coffee after reading day 7 of an incredible Lent study. Comfortable. Content. Free to worship to maker of the heavens and earth. My bible is currently in the front seat of my car - sitting there for all the world to see. I drive around town not even thinking twice about "putting it away" or scared that the "wrong" person might see it sitting out in the open. On Sunday I sat in the same spot I sit every Sunday listening to the word of God preached aloud. Not once did I check over my shoulder or worry about having to barricade myself inside from the terrors of the world outside. 

Here I am safe. Here I am free to worship.

As we all go about our daily routines and bicker about what Patricia Arquette's speech  really meant, we so often forget the privileges we have and the freedom we do not deserve. 

Twenty One men had their throats cut because they believed in the same creator I do. 

Twenty One families are grieving the loss of dads, brothers, husbands, sons, uncles, friends.

Twenty One faces so steadfast, brave, and dignified as they kneeled on a beach knowing they were about to take their last breath.

Twenty One men looking for work only to be lead to a beach and killed for their religious views.

Twenty One men who deserve to be remembered for their bravery and conviction.

Today I ask for Twenty One people to join me in honoring these men and professing your faith in a bold way. These men were Coptic Christians (Egyptian Christians) and thus I have pledged to get the Coptic Cross tattooed on my wrist and ask that you do the same. This tattoo is nothing new and worn by Coptic Christians around the world as a symbol of their faith.

"Therefore, the cross symbolizes not only membership in the Christian faith, but a remembrance of early Christian martyrs who died because they wore the cross and refused to renounce their faith" 

I have to be completely honest with you. Tattoos have never been high on my list of "things to do" but it was the first thing that came to mind when wrestling with the idea of honoring those lives lost. 

God calls us to do big things. Take bold steps. 

If you would like to join me in this way honoring the Twenty One lives lost please post a picture to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #21crossesfor21martyrs 

I leave you with this