Thursday, December 29, 2011

Drumroll please....

 I've been thinking a whole lot lately about being better with my spending habits.
Much better.
All of the sudden the brilliant and challenging idea of a 100 day stretch of retail detox (as I've been following on Unpretentious Teacher) came into mind.
I had an Aha! moment. 
In fact the opening statement of her blog post declaring her retail detox idea and the reason behind it really hit home.  She said "I have a lot of clothes.  I don't have a lot of money. I have some debt.  I would probably have a lot of money and zero debt  if I didn't spend it on clothes." 
Talk about hitting the nail on the head!
So starting today, I've decided to embark upon this journey myself.
My last day of the challenge will be April 9, 2012.
I will not shop for clothes or accessories from anywhere. period.
(unless I need nylons, socks or undies....some things take priority here...)
I simply do not need the rest of them.
Want is a different matter and that is what I'm trying to teach myself: the difference between true need and want, especially in the area of clothing.
 Every once in a while I hope to keep you posted about this ongoing challenge and how I'm really doing.
Talk about a shock to my system!
But like they say, go big or go home.
Either way, I guess I'll be doing both.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oatmeal is the name...

...and breakfast for dinner is the game.
Breakfast for dinner seems to be a common theme lately in these here parts.
And why not?
For a person who pretty much loves every breakfast food, I can not argue.
This time around I wanted pancakes.
But these are not your ordinary pancakes.
These?  These were meant to be "Oaty pancakes (oaty = oatmeal)
But there was a catch.  You see Aaron is not a fan of pancakes so instead they were made into waffles.
Whatevs...still good in my book.
Then I figured since this was breakfast for dinner and not the breakfast I would bring some beer to the table.
But this was not your ordinary beer....this was oatmeal stout.  So it was obviously meant to be.
All they way around.

Here's the recipe if you want to try these waf-cakes
Got it?
Good.  Now go make this and eat....but only if you want to.

Oaty (and quite tasty) Pancakes
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c quick oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  1. Mix all ingredients together.  Let the mix sit for a few minutes to allow oats to soften.
By the way... way less oil can be used

Monday, December 19, 2011

My highly exciting day

Today I agreed to run to the post office to pick up a package for A-dog.
I told him I was dreading it because the local post office is always uber busy this time of year.
He said I didn't have to worry about standing in line because there is a "pick up" line at the post office.
I said "perfect."
Nope.  Not so perfect after all.
This is what I felt like when I rounded the corner and the post office came in sight.


 I couldn't find a parking spot to save my life so I drove around the block again and found an opening in the '15 minute parking' area.
I took it and went inside.
Surely this wouldn't take over 15 minutes, right?
I looked for the pick up line and discovered it was closed.
Do you get tickets for going over 15 minutes?
I figured I would find out.


So....I stood there for a minute just hoping the line would open.
It did not.
So.....I went to the very back of the very stoic and very unhappy looking line wrapped around the post office.
Trust me, I wasn't smiling either.
I stood there for a couple of minutes and then heard a voice behind me say "anyone here for pick ups?"

My little ears perked up and I screamed (okay so I didn't really scream but I was way more excited than I should've been) "I AM!!"
I only waited a couple more minutes, got my mail, high-tailed it out of there and sped off.
And that?
That was my highly exciting day.
I know! I know...Crazy!!
Don't worry, I'll be more careful next time.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


It's not always a bad thing to have a quiet day at home when the rest of the world is running around like crazy and being awesome.
Awesome can wait for another day.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Music to my ears...literally

So this bad boy (aka song) came into my music scene just last week while I was at work.
( Apparently it is not new at all.  I found out its almost a year old?)
All of the sudden I heard this song and I thought "I've gotta find out who this is."
Word on the street is that "this is" Taylor Swift.  While not usually a Swift fan, something about this song pulled me in.
WARNING: If you click on the "video" please feel free to do anything else.  It will just flash pictures of her and then the lyrics.  Not the greatest.
Unless of course this "video" is exactly what you want to do right this moment.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Little Lovelies turned new favorites

So....I'm home sick today and kinda' bored out of my mind.  Don't worry, don't worry...nothing serious, just the common flu.  But since I've had some time to hang out at my house, I've also had time to enjoy some of my newest material possessions (along with some ol' reliables).

I recently became reacquainted with the store 'Red Envelope' and their unique gifts.
On black Friday they were having some pretty good deals, so I chose to gift this jewelry display to myself and couldn't be more pleased with it.  Did I mention the flowers can be removed and rearranged for a new look?

 This adorable Scentsy burner (in the shape of a cupcake no less...) is also a new addition to my home AND a gift from my mom- too cute.  It makes me smile every time I walk by it.

On our recent trip to Portland, I was able to find a beautifully illustrated version of 'Peter Pan and Wendy.'
(by the way I finished the book on our trip and decided I wanted to own a special copy of it)
I got my wish.

Also since I'm sick and maybe feeling a little sorry for myself, I decided to lay on the couch and watch my favorite Disney movie: Beauty and the Beast

 then fixed myself my favorite version of hot chocolate:
Hot cocoa with Peppermint Schnapps AND mini marshmallows.
All of this made me a happier girl.

Monday, December 12, 2011

On the road again- part two

     I should've crawled out of bed early and worked out.  Didn't.
I should be working out now.  Won't.  Instead I'll tell you about day two of our weekend trip. Yesterday was all about the coast and today will be all about what we did in Portland.

     I SUPER LOVE PORTLAND.  It's a city (and what a city it is) but it's just unique enough in it's architecture and surroundings to make you forget you are in the city.  There is such a great energy and mix of people that you never really stand out as a tourist, maybe because everyone is involved in doing their own thing to even notice you.  Nevertheless, I don't think I would ever be bored in Portland....I just don't think it's possible.

     One reason is because of all the McMenamins scattered around Portland like little gems.  For those not acquainted yet with what McMenamins is here is a very brief rundown: two brothers started buying up run down and/or historic buildings with the idea to keep the history of the building (and all the people who made the buildings what they were/are) alive but also to re-introduce it in new venues- such as hotels, restaurants/pubs, movie houses and places to simply hang out.  They are amazing and fun and I always feel like Alice in Wonderland trying to figure out what pictures and sculptures around me means and eating and drinking all the delightful goods (plus they make a delicious hard cider that I can't get enough of!)
     This time around we stopped by the Kennedy School, Baghdad theatre and Edgefield. 

Inside an old classroom (now a room to stay) at Kennedy

In one of the many hallways of Kennedy
     If interested, just visit the McMenamin's website for more info and pictures of any one of their places.  I don't think you will be sorry!

     Another thing that makes me love Portland is the amazing Powell's books.  It too is amazing!  It is a four story, full city-block-wide book store with countless books on every topic you can think of.  I could spend hours there perusing all the floor and topics that interest me.  Sadly I only spent an hour there this time. There's always next time!
You actually need a map to get around Powell's at first!

Those are just a few of the MANY things we enjoy going to do in Portland.....hope you can check it out for yourself sometime!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

On the road again

One of the many pleasures of our little lives is the last minute trips we are able to take.  This weekend was one of those trips and it was just what we needed (as we haven't taken any trips lately and were feeling stir crazy).

Just last week Aaron received a call from a friend he hasn't seen in 14 years.  He said he and his wife would be visiting Oregon (from Montana) and wondered if we would like to meet up with them.  Our answer? Of course!  So we planned to drive up to part of the Oregon coast (his wife had never even seen the ocean!) and then further up to Portland.  So..that's what we did.

Any day at the ocean is perfect but in all honesty, we couldn't have asked for a better day.
As for our friend who hadn't seen the ocean before? She loved it and can't wait to come back again.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Just another reason to shop

Some girls dress up all sexy to "go out" for the night.  Other girls come home after work and instantly change into their sweat pants and random T-shirt.

I have something in common with other girls and that something is the sweatpants.  Guilty as charged.

But I'm not rolling over and giving up just yet (although I plan to crawl into bed and do just that in a few minutes here...) I'm trying to be more put together in all walks of my hum-drum life and that even includes my lounge-wear.

Please do not be alarmed....some people think I'm referring to lingerie when I say lounge wear.  I am not.  I don't even know what lingerie really is....a doily?  Sheer curtain? What?! No I'm talking about comfy clothes that you wouldn't be humiliated to be caught in if someone came a knockin' on your door...or you had to evacuate your home- that kind of thing.

So I've been on the look out for some cute (to me) lounge wear that doesn't look like I've completely given up all the way 100% ....yet.

Following is what I'm on the look-out for.  If you see anything comparable (especially these cute sweater leggings) at a reasonable price please let me know.  You could be saving my lounge-fashion life!


J Crew

J Crew (currently sold out online...)

Okay I know this ensemble from Eddie Bauer is more PJ like
but still cute and comfy AND not sweatpants


Anthropologie.  Would be cute with leggings, no?

So there are some of my ideas of what I could do to improve upon operation lounge wear.  Any other (helpful and modest) ideas would be much appreciated!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Short and sweet?

Ever since I had my hair cut short in April of this year I've toyed with the idea of going shorter.   But I always managed to talk myself out of it and stayed "content" with a trim.

But this past weekend I decided to just go for it and cut it a bit shorter. 

Snip by snip my hair did get shorter.  And I thought I was prepared but I, I was wrong.

Here's kinda' what I was going for:

Jenna Elfman via
 And here's what I got:

I like the Elf's better.  However what I ended up with is not terribly different from what I already had so I'm kind of used to it.  But I think to go even shorter before I decide to grow it out could be fun too.

It may get to the point where I have no hair left at all.

But don't get too worked up.  It may never happen. 

If it does?  It will be a while and you'll be the first to know...........

Monday, December 5, 2011

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

...try on another outfit.  Then take a picture.

Many an outfit has escaped the camera (and my memory) due to lack of planning, shortage of time and/or lack of inspiration and therefore, creativity in my outfits (read: sweat pants.)

I did manage to get a couple pictures of a couple outfits...nothing too spectacular though.

P.S.  I cut my hair shorter over the weekend...maybe I'll show ya'...maybe I won't.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ah glorious nature!

My mother sent me the link to this video and I just had to share can I keep something like this to myself?  I was in awe as I watched it and only wish I could see things with this detail with my puny eyes.
Take a look!
As I watched this it brought to my mind this beautiful verse from Romans 18:20 where it says " For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world's creation onward because they are perceived by things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Time flies when....'re crazy anyway and have little to no concept of time.
That fits me to a T.
Crazy and timeless....
kind of like the white rabbit from Alice and Wonderland (which by the way I have yet to read!)

Case in point: a year has already passed since my first entry and I completely didn't even realize it until 4 days later.
Who dat? What?
Since then I have accrued a small but very faithful (or awesome depending on how you want to see it) group of readers and followers made up of family and friends, new and old alike.
I wasn't so sure where this blog would go or what this blog would become and to tell you the truth I'm still not sure what to make of it myself.  Maybe a scientific study of documented time loss?
But so far it has been fun and I can't wait to have you all continue to join me in my crazy and let's be honest,  mostly boring pursuits!
Thanks again to everyone who has joined me and I hope to see more of you around this little cranny of the blog-o-sphere.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The end of the Secret Garden

I finished the Secret Garden early last week and never told you, did I?
Well, I did and feel the need to tell you that I loved it!  What a great book.....  If you haven't read it, by all means pick it up and start reading, please.  If you are not much of a reader, that is A-Okay too.  The book is nothing like the movie, but a movie I saw was just as good in its' own way. 

From this book I learned several things ( new beginnings, positive attitudes, English slang...) but I've mostly learned to be obsessed with walled gardens.
The book brought to mind several gardens we saw in Ireland and even some right in our own town.
I want one.  I need one.
I also decided that if I ever had a child and that child decided to be a girl, the Secret Garden is a book that I would A) read to her or B) buy for her personal library because she would of course read....she would really have no choice.
(Can you tell no children are in our story?)

As soon as I finished that book I moved right on to Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie.


So far I'm liking it even more than the Secret Garden.
It's funnier and a little more endearing than I expected it to be.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mad Beer Scientist

You may (or may not) know that my hubby enjoys the art of home-brewing.  Home-wha?
Home-brewing: Making one's own brew at home...usually beer, but not always.

Simple enough, right?  Well not only is it "simple enough" but it is also highly enjoyable to taste after all is said and done.  By next weekend, we should all be doing it.  ( I used to hate beer, but I've been encouraged to sample a taste of every beer Aaron has made and as a result I've really started to enjoy it...some more than others.)

Aaron's latest creation was a stout beer.  Just a basic, delicious and creamy stout.  But he wanted to experiment with the addition of flavors to enhance the stout experience, e.g. coconut stout, vanilla, etc.

So that was the plan- to set up lab in my kitchen to experiment with 6 different additive/extract flavors.  Oh! Here's Mr. Aaron now in the laboratory.

    The Flavors were as follows:
    1. Almond
    2. Coconut
    3. Vanilla
    4. Anise
    5. Rum, and
    6. Jalapeno

Using a (brand-new AND sterilized) syringe, the method was to add drop after drop until an obvious but not overpowering taste was noted.  Each flavor was noted and numbered as was a "test sheet" to record the results of the testing.
Afterwards, we dove into the tiny samplers and found what pleased our humble palates.  We found an obvious NO! (helloooo Anise- you is nasty...) some so-so and "meh's" and one definite YES!
Surprisingly, the YES! was the addition of some jalapenos and their juice, with several shakes of salt.
Sound weird, gross and unlike anything you would be willing to taste? 
Mmhhmm.....I hear ya....I see where you are coming from because I came from there too.  But trust me on is unexpectedly tasty!
And a surprisingly fun thing to do on a lazy day- in the comfort of your own home...

Go ahead.  Try it!  You may be surprised!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I have a few days off from work this week and decided to travel nowhere.  Instead I chose a stay-cation (I kinda hate that word but love what it means: taking pleasure from my everyday life in a super everyday home, my town.)

This time though, I wrote out a list of things to do while at home so that I did something other than blog-hop and shop.  Not that I do that with every time off....nope.  Not me.
Anyhoo, I chose to write, then complete such things as:
  • cut out pajama pants
  • manicure/pedicure
  • clean out closet/donate
  • work out on Monday, Tuesday, Wed (you get the idea and so far it has worked to keep me motivated)
  • thrift
There is a much bigger list, but I thought I'd give you a little idea how lazy I am and how much I need a check off list to do anything.  As you can see I've completed some of them and am sure I will not complete others as they've been on previous lists over and over again.

But guess what happened as a result of completing my closet clean-out-and-donate project?   I came to the shocking realization that I DO NOT need any more clothes.  In fact, I like every single piece of clothing left in my closet and have enough to re-create several thousand different outfits.  I would like to wear more of my clothing more often instead of buying something new on a whim.

Just to check that I really got it though, I went to several stores with that knowledge in the back of my mind and came home......wait for it..... empty handed.  I know! I was just as shocked as you are.

So I'm going to clean out what I affectionately refer to as my "crap-room" (scrap and craft room hybrid for those not sure what I'm talking about.) I'm going to get rid of the things I've either never used or realistically won't use again.  Then I will use up and enjoy what I already own before I purchase anything else.

My new motto- via pinterest
 Shocking, isn't it?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Don't tread on me....please

Sometimes I feel like that may be what the treadmill I've been pounding would say (if it was ALIVE and it is not!)

This picture is completely the way I feel when on the treadmill.........
 Funny, sad and oh-so-true.

It is true.  I have been using a treadmill.  Sometimes an elliptical machine and today even a bike.

Do you know what that means?  I finally joined a gym.

I was able to try out a 14 day membership and found that I actually liked it.  This gym is a very small one and more my speed.  And hey, nothing else has worked for me so I figured this may help me out.

But so far things have not gone well.  You see, I don't have cute workout clothes.  I ran my headphones through the washing machine. I suffer from tomato face (bright red face as a result of any physical activity).  Oh and I've gained two pounds. What?!


I guess I need to start doing more than just working out (goodbye candy and schnapps laced hot cocoa...I'll be thinking of you......)

The saga continues.

Friday, November 18, 2011

When all else fails (and it will)

I kinda' feel like this should be a quote for a literacy poster.

Kind of.

But I really do feel this way.  Sometimes nothing else sounds better than sitting inside on a cold and blustery day with a good book and something hot to drink (tea, hot cocoa, hot buttered get the little idea, right?)

So today, in honor of my goal to push my literacy awareness poster that will never be, we visited the one and only book store left in our sad and depressed town.  Oh and we actually bought some books too.

There is a reason I'm telling you this.  I had an AHA! moment at said bookstore.  Since I'm currently in the process of reading 'The Secret Garden' and enjoying the simplicity of a well written and wholesome book, I decided right then and there that once I'm finished with it, I would move on to some other classic "children's literature."  

No this does not mean I will be brushing up on the Berenstain Bears (although classic AND not a bad idea) but instead titles that I remember from having seen the movie based on the book or simply ones that catch my eye as an adult.

So I decided to stock up on a few.  Case in point and on my "to read" shelf: Peter Pan, Anne of Green Gables, Alice In Wonderland, and Caddie Woodlawn to name a few.

 I've also decided if any of these books really strike a chord with me and I'll want to read them again, then I just may have to find some with beautiful illustrations so I may have them as keepsakes that I will always enjoy holding. (Anne of Green Gables is one of those books, however it is not mine and I will have to return it to my sister when I'm done.  Or will I?)

 P.S. I already read 'The Little Prince' and have to say that I did not love it.  Didn't really even like it.  However it was a quick read and I can now say I read it.  Done.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A little secret

I woke up early this morning to the sound of rain and cars driving loudly through the puddles. It was still dark, the house was still chilly and just like that, I wanted to stay home, in my jammies and read as I sipped my coffee and snuggled in a big, warm blanket.

 What can I say? The inner book loving agoraphobic was dying to do just that!

You see, I'm currently  reading 'The Secret Garden' by Mrs Frances Hodgson Burnett.  That lady really knew how to write a story because I'm loving it.

 Apparently, I thought I already read it but I was wrong.  It was the movie I've seen and one I remember liking. 

Anyway, it's the reason I contemplated calling in sick ( I honestly didn't feel well this morning) and really. REALLY wanted to stay home.  But I didn't.  I did the adult thing.  I went to work like a good girl.

I'll let you know what I think of it after I finish it -after I do the adult thing and go to work, come home and pick up the book as soon as I can.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Maple-roasted sweet potatoes

I love sweet potatoes, or yams.....I always get the two confused.
Anyway, I'm always on the lookout for ways to make, then eat them.
I found one!
Here is the recipe
(again...a photo of the recipe card because I am so lazy.)
 and here is what the lil guys look like as they are getting ready to go into the oven for their transformation:

Hope you love this dish as much as I do if you decide to try it!