Thursday, September 16, 2010
I think most of my friends know that I am an avid reader. I haven't always been, but now... Well, let's just say I love me some books :-) I often get asked what I've read recently or what authors/books I would recommend. So, I figured I would let you all know what I've been reading and what I thought. Hope you don't mind.
Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado
I have long been a Max Lucado fan (His book On The Anvil was amazing), and really enjoyed this book . I found it to be a quick, but very impactful read. It had a profound impact on how I think about others, what they are going through, and how I can help them even if I feel limited in what I can do. I was excited to see that Mr. Lucado is leading by example in giving his royalties from this book and its products to benefit others.
If you have ever wanted to get involved or change something in your community, but don’t know where to start or fear you can’t make a difference, this is a great book to read. This book offers practical things that can truly change your life and your outlook if you let them. By walking us through the book of Acts and thinking about how it applies to us today, Lucado really challenges readers to change how they view their potential impact in this world.
Each chapter has a verse at the end of the chapter along with a prayer for you to pray so that God can change your heart in regards to that area. The book also contains a discussion and action guide that is really helpful for putting the principles into practice.
This book really challenged me and I have already recommended it to many of my friends.
If I told you about all the different things I underlined, we might be here a while, but here are a few of my favorite verses or points from the book:
Chapter 3 – Let God Unshell You – “[God] comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Cor. 1:4 NLT)
Chapter 9 – Do Good Quietly – “To do a good thing is a good thing. To do good to be seen is not… When people enter a church to see God yet can’t see God because of the church, don’t think for a second that God doesn’t react.”
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com (www.booksneeze.com) book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
If you've never participated in a book club, I highly recommend it. I hope to feature a few more "reviews" of books that I read on this blog since it's one of my favorite topics and I rarely discuss it on here.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I refuse to let it get to me because I'm so emotional that the minute I think about it and dwell on it I get upset and then I get emotional and then I want a Hershey's bar... self-fulfilling prophesy I guess.
So, I'm putting it out there that I am back on a plan. My plan consists of the following:
- Talking to God consistently - I know this will be vital because I just can't do this on my own. I have tried. It (clearly) doesn't work.
- (re) Joining Weight Watchers - I'm going to do this at work because I think it will be nice to have coworker support and I think it will help the schedule too.
- Exercising - a little bit every day so that I can regain my strength and stamina. My husband and I went on a short walk last night in the neighborhood and it was good. I have an appt with our gym here at work on Friday to talk about a "plan".
I know that every day won't be perfect, and I certainly know I'm not perfect, but it feels good to have some control back. I will continue posting my journey and hope that you'll follow along.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
In the meantime I'm so super thankful for my husband who is now taking care of me... I can be rather demanding, but he puts up with me and loves me just the same! He's been really amazing!!!!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Here's how the process will go:
- Surgery (outpatient) on 3/16 in the wee hours of the morning... and I mean wee hours... it's early folks, but that is ok
- Working from home till 3/30 - since I'll be in either a cast or splint and on pain meds that won't allow me to drive, I'll have to work from home.
- On crutches till April 27... oh how I hope I heal faster than that...
What they will be doing:
Basically repairing my ligaments and tendons so that they'll actually do their job correctly and hold my ankle bones in place because right now my ankle is too unstable! They are very hopeful that this will fix everything!
I sure hope so...
In the meantime, I likely won't be doing much cooking, and if I do it will be in the form of a large casserole that will be eaten on for days at a time... and I'm not sure how taking pictures while on crutches will work.
I'll try to update the blog occasionally if there is something meaningful to say... or if I just get an itch to update it while on pain pills to amuse you all, I might do that too...
Then the plan is to get off the crutches and into/out of physical therapy as quickly as they'll allow it... and then to get back to doing things I love like walking the neighborhood with hubby, dog, and friends... and Zumba!
Psalm 6:2 says "Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony." I pray that the Lord will be merciful to me and will heal my bones because they are in agony!!! I know that through Him my healing will be made perfect :-)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Well, much to my dismay, the ankle felt worse than it had in months after a few weeks of regular shoes and moderate exercise... so I was told to go get a MRI.
I went for the MRI (during snowpocalypse 2010) and then went to the Dr for my results...
The damage to my ankle was worse than I had thought originally. I definitely had a bad sprain, and additionally I had some tearing in a tendon... UGH! Not only that, but I have an extra bone in my foot--I always knew I was unique-- and the tendon has attached itself to the extra bone rather than the normal bone which is why my ankle is so unstable. (I've sprained it 4 times)
So, the Dr. put me into an air cast to try and immobilize my ankle, and I'm back in physical therapy 3 times a week. If this doesn't work, I get to have surgery in order to remove the extra bone and also repair the damage...
It's been 3.5 wks since the Doc put me in the air cast... my ankle is still swollen (despite the cast AND a compression sock) and it is often still really painful. I wasn't supposed to go back to the Dr. for 6 weeks, but I'm going back early because if I have to have surgery - I need to get this show on the road!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, please pray for prompt healing... and please forgive me for not posting recipes or anything lately. I've been trying to stay off the ankle as much as possible and haven't been experimenting, just been cooking things like Tamale Pie and Garlicky Butternut Squash because they are comforting, easy, and I could do those in my sleep.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
So, we are holed up in our house with movies, basketball games, and an entire season of LOST to watch before the season premiere this week. Since we aren't going outside much and we certainly aren't driving to the grocery store we decided to make soup to warm ourselves up. It was basically a "whatcha got stew" or "hodge podge soup".
Here's what we had:
Hodge Podge Beef Soup
1 lb beef stew meat
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can (14 oz) fire roasted tomatoes
1 can (14 oz) corn1 small can mushrooms
1/2 cup barley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp italian seasoning
Beef Broth - 2 cups
Water - 4 cups
Brown the beef over med-high heat with a little olive oil. Once brown on all sides, add the veggies and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Drop to a simmer and cook for 40-45 mins with lid slightly cracked on the pot. Scoop into bowls and serve.
It was really good if I do say so myself!!!! And later, we'll have some hot chocolate or apple cider... yum!
Finn (our beloved dog) didn't get to taste the soup, but he has gotten to experiment with the snow, and he definitely seems to like it!
Harley (our beloved cat) isn't allowed outside--not that she cares. She just wishes we would leave her alone and stop taking her picture while she's trying to sleep!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
It has been a tad warmer this week, but supposedly we are headed for Snowpocalyps 2010 this weekend. At least I hope so!!!!! (I want snow really bad!!!)
About the only thing that can warm the body when it's so cold out is soup, and lots of it! A few weeks ago I got a link to a free E-Book by Betty Crocker that was filled with soups, stews, and chili. And everything has calorie information so you can see whether or not it's a good fit for your daily needs :-)
I decided to make the Slow Cooker Beefy Vegetable-Barley Soup - though of course I made some changed. The original is on page 19 of the book if you are interested.
But, here's what I did....
Beef and Barley Stew - Slow Cooker Style
2 lbs beef stew meat (because the package came that big and I wasn't messin' with it)
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup pearled barley, uncooked
2 cans beef broth
Water to cover
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram (I would use less than that next time)
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed (I would use fresh next time - I wasn't that crunched for time)
If beef is not in bite sized pieces, you may want to chop it up. I left mine as is - because I was tired and don't mind chewing since I think it might burn more calories :-)
Place all ingredients except mixed vegetables into a slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4-5 (I cooked on high because I was limited on time). Add mixed vegetables, increase setting to high (if not already on high) and cook for another 20-30 minutes or until veggies are tender and crisp.
I got about 8 servings out of this soup, and it was relatively cheap too!
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
10 years can change a woman!
Today I am 30. It’s a big milestone, though I am not sure why. There are lots of people telling me that 30 is the new 20 or something like that, but most of my friends, myself included—if I’m honest, are a little freaked out by turning 30. That's a personal thing that I'm going to have to work through :-)
Since it’s a milestone year for me and a new decade as well, I thought I’d do a little recap of what has changed or what I’ve done in the last 10 years. I got the idea from another friend's blog and thought it was great!
- Attended 2 Universities (Arizona State University, and Belmont University) there was a 3rd, and my personal favorite—the University of Kansas—if we go back to the 90s.
- Visited another country – actually 2 I think… Ireland and then we also went to St. Maarten for our honeymoon
- Met my hubby while visiting Ireland
- Graduated from college
- Got married
- Went on my first cruise
- Cooked live on the Today Show with my momma!
- Watched my cousin play in a Major League Baseball game
- Got a real job
- Had 6 different positions within the same company
- Lived in 5 different states (TN, NC, CA, FL, GA… and now TN again – full circle I guess)
- Bought and sold our first house
- Got my first cat
- Got my first dog (that I had to pay for)
- Went to Vegas for the first, and second time
- Helped my hubby get through law school
- Helped my hubby pay off some of the law school loan debt
- Watched my brother get married
- Got another niece and nephew (that brings the total to 5)
- Had one of my nephews AND one of my nieces get married – oh my!
- Went to my first NCAA Basketball tournament game
- Went to my first SEC Championship game (football and basketball)
- Was in a wedding, and sang in two other ones... well, 3 if you count my own
- Joined Facebook (nope, this wasn't around 10 years ago!)
- Started my blog
- Worked my last summer at camp
I’m sure there’s plenty more that I’ve done in the last 10 years(some I wouldn’t want to mention on my blog!), and I’m sure there’s plenty more I’ll do in the next 10 years. I'll likely make a list of what I want to accomplish, but I'm not sure yet what all it will include!
Thanks to everyone who has made the last 10 years so special!!!! After seeing this list, it makes me realize that there are tons of great things that can happen in a 10 year time span! Here’s to a great next decade… Somehow, I think that my 30s will be just as great, if not better than my 20s!
Saturday, January 2, 2010
So, here's my plan for the week. Now, mind you, I turn 30 on Tuesday, but I'm not going to indulge in any crazy way... I'm sticking to my plan. We'll go to Outback next Friday and I'll celebrate with a great steak and a sweet potato :-)
Breakfast: Oatmeal, Fat free Milk (10 oz), Coffee with Milk (3 oz)
Snack: ½ cup grapes, ½ oz almonds, 2 egg whites
Lunch: Tamale Pie, ½ cup olives, 1 cup okra and tomatoes, ½ cup grapes
Snack: 2 cheese sticks, edamame
Dinner: Roast Chicken – 4 oz, 1 cup green beans
It's been a while since I've been able to work out due to my ankle injury. I'm excited to get back to it!!!
M/W/F: 20 min on the elliptical in the morning, and then circuit training at the gym at lunch
T/R: 20 mins on the elliptical in the morning, and then Zumba at lunch!
Sat: 20+ mins on the elliptical in the morning
Sunday: Off (Maybe a light walk with the dog)
I've rarely ever used (if ever) boxed pancake mix. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's just that these are my favorite. They have the perfect texture and taste in my opinion, and are so easy!!! We've recently figured out that they are actually very good as waffles! (That we found out on a lazy morning where it just seemed easier to make waffles instead of pancakes since it seems I gave away our flat griddle to the movers over a year ago... OOPS!)
At any rate, here's the recipe. Do let me know if you try it!
Sour Cream Pancakes
1 cup flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup sour cream
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
½ cup milk
Mix all ingredients together. Preheat electric frying pan or flat griddle(or just a pan) to medium high. Pour into pan and cook until bubbles form. Turn and cook on the other side.
**Add chocolate chips if you want to... it's a yummy treat when you do :-)
Here's how we do it:
3-5 lb Standing Rib Roast
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic Cloves, pressed/minced/crushed - one per pound of roast
Italian Seasoning (I use about 1/2 TBL per pound maybe more)
Season Roast with salt and pepper. Combine garlic, italian seasoning, a little more salt and pepper, and some of the olive oil until it looks like a paste. Rub over the roast generously... and I do mean generously.
Heat oven to 450!
Place on a roasting pan with the fat side up. Cook at 450 for 20 mins and then drop the oven to 350(you don't have to take the roast out), and cook for about 18 mins per pound for medium rare.
You should *absolutely* use a meat thermometer for this because it can get too done sometimes even at the 18 mins per pound. If you do use a meat thermometer, take the meat out when it hits 127! Trust me on this. Every cookbook I've seen always says 145 or something crazy like that. If you let it go till then, you'll feel bad that you've just wasted your money. Unless of course you like your meat to taste like a leather boot...
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 mins. Carve and serve.
I serve with both gravy and horseradish sauce. To make my horseradish sauce I use horseradish (a good 1-2 TBL), sour cream - double what I used of the horseradish, some dill(fresh or dried), salt, pepper, and lemon juice... Oh, so good!!!!
This is a wonderful wonderful glorious dish... trust me! (Even if I forgot to take pictures!)
It was a wonderful holiday season! Here are some pictures to prove it!
My niece dancing in the same spot where hubby and I said our vows :-)
The view from our room!
Watching my niece and nephew open and play with their Christmas gifts!
Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from the back of the Craisins Sweetened Dried Cranberries package
Makes approx. 2-1/2 dozen cookies
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar2 large eggs
½ tsp Vanilla
1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 6-ounce package sweetened dried cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips (I used 1/2 whole bag of white chocolate chips because I like chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 375°F.*
Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in sweetened dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
Here are some of the things I made:
From the Pioneer Woman
- Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos
- White Chicken Enchiladas (Oh my are these good... and I used a rotisserie chicken from Costco rather than making my own)
- Enchiladas with Red Sauce
- Mexican Rice
- Buttered Rosemary Rolls (I added chopped garlic to the butter)
- Cheese Muffins
From Our Own Kitchen:
- Standing Rib Roast (Oh so yummy, and it smelled and looked divine, but I forgot to take a picture... I'm sorry! I'll post a recipe though in a little while)
- Corn Pudding
- Toffee Tiramisu Torte
- Banana Pudding (My mother-in-law's secret family recipe that is wonderful)
- Sour Cream Pancakes (Recipe to be posted later)
It was a wonderful couple of weeks, but my pants are feeling tighter and therefore it is back to eating lite we go!!!!