Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm Waiting

I am ready for the cooler weather to arrive. I want to eat chili, drink hot cocoa, and to buy some new sweaters. I just got my new LL Bean catalog, and I keep opening it to the page that has this sweater. Why on earth do I have the desire to buy a sweater when it is still 90 degrees outside?

Hurry up fall...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Bachelor - Jason Mesnick!

I am not sure how many of you watch The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, but I have seen a few seasons. I haven't watched every season b/c sometimes I just don't want to add and extra show to my already full line up of fall TV shows. However, I am really excited about the next Bachelor.

You may remember him from last season with DeAnna. From day one, I had him picked as my favorite and thought he would go far.

It is Jason Mesnick! Come January 2009, he will get his turn to choose from 25 ladies. Also, he will be the first Bachelor to have a son, so I am interested to see what part ABC has Ty play in this process.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cake Wrecks

Found a new blog today. Gave me a good laugh.

I actually laughed so hard I cried at a couple of the picture listed back in May. Especially the fireman cake. Make sure to read the comments from the person that writes the blog. It makes most of the disasters even funnier.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The big 18!

Happy birthday to my brother, Will!

Friday, August 15, 2008


I have a few projects running through my head. I usually start and then get distracted and end up finishing a lot later. For instance, I have get to get those cafe chalk boards done in my kitchen. I need help with that so my estimated finish time will probably depend on when I can get the assistance. So this week I moved on to something else!

I need to scrapbook - I have two cruises I haven't finished scrapbooking for. Yeah, I am kind of behind, but I do better in the winter. It makes sense to stay inside during that time of the year.

Back to my new project - I have been thinking all week about how to organize my favorite recipes. I hate when things don't match so I can't display them (like my nice cookbooks). I have many recipes I have printed online and gotten from others. Today I found my solution. I stumbled on a website called TasteBook. You actually make your own cookbook. They look nice on the website. Maybe I am behind and you have already heard of this. If you haven't check it out when you need to organize your recipes. They are reasonably priced and you can add recipes in the future if you want to expand that cookbook.

It will take me a while to get all my recipes typed in but when I am done I think I will be very happy with the results.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

While watching the Olympic swimming trials yesterday:
"Do they call it freestyle because you can pick any stroke? Like breaststroke if you are really good at that?"
This individual shall remain nameless, but I assume they thought freestyle swimming was the same thing as freestyle dancing. I guess they also didn't notice that all 8 swimmers in the pool were choosing the exact same stroke during the 100 Freestyle. What are the odds of that every heat.

Gave me a good laugh.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

YUM! I found a really good vegetarian chili recipe and wanted to share it. I added some chili powder to the recipe but I still think it needs to be spicier. Next time I will try and kick it up a little. Oh, and I would cut the sweet potatoes smaller. That is just my preference though!

6 servings

2 medium-large sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons light or extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 to 3 garlic cloves
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
One 32-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 or 2 small fresh hot chilies, minced,
or one 4-ounce can chopped mild green chilies
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt to taste

1) Bake or microwave the sweet potatoes on high until just firm, about 3 to 4 minutes per potato. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 3/4-inch dice. Set aside.

2) Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until golden. Add the bell pepper, beans, tomatoes, chilies, cumin, and oregano. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

3) Season lightly with salt. If time allows, let stand off the heat for 1 or 2 hours, then heat through as needed.

Embellish it: Pass a bowl of chopped fresh cilantro for sprinkling over the top of individual portions.

Calories: 202
Total Fat: 5 g
Protein: 8 g
Fiber: 8.5 g
Carbohydrates: 33 g
Cholesterol: 0 g
Sodium: 222 mg

Found the recipe here. I will probably be buying this cookbook.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wedding Cake

Every so often I like to go check out the website for the guy that made my wedding cake. When we found him, I believe he had just opened his shop that year (2005). It was small and served lunch as well as designed cakes for weddings, showers, and birthdays. I loved my cake (strawberry) and found Jay to be so easy to work with! He has since moved to a bigger location and stopped doing anything but designing cakes since his business took off. I have run into him at a bridal show and other weddings since my own and he always has greeted me with a hug and smile!

Today I wanted to check out how he was doing and if his website had been updated. I looked at new pictures of his cake designs (and wished I have picked one of those for mine - they are amazing!) and then noticed a link to read his blog. There wasn't much on the blog; maybe 5 or 6 entries so I assume he is pretty busy. But, boy, was I surprised to read in his second to last post that he designed the wedding cake for Sara Evans! I couldn't find any pictures and was disappointed but it sounded so cute!

If you get a chance, take a look at his website. I love that the cakes both look and taste amazing. He is a wonderful artist!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Painted Clay Studio

This afternoon, Lashlee and I went to Painted Clay Studio and painted some clay! She made a piggy bank and I made two new coffee mugs. In a few days, we can pick them up and they will be glossy and ready to use! This is what they looked like before we attacked them with our paint brushes.

And this is what they looked like after. They haven't been heated yet so they aren't glossy or as dark as they will be. I can't wait to see them on Tuesday!
I had so much fun and I am already thinking about what I want to make next and who might want to go with me next!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I just wanna be a sheep...

bah, bah, bah, bah.
Ok, so I think only Cassie will get that, but I was looking through old photos from our South Dakota mission trips and came across that one.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What a "ruff" life

This is my Molly girl...

Being uncommonly lazy today...

We also like to call her Wild Thang and Pig Pen. If you ever see us at the Bark Park, you will know why. We will be the owners of the only dog chillin' ever so happily in the mud puddle.

Remember, always wear your old clothes to the Bark dog isn't the only wild one that will greet you with dirty paws. =)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Two years ago today...

...this is what I was doing:

August 5, 2006

Monday, August 4, 2008


Andrew has been tossing this idea around for a while and I think we might actually try it. This will be a gradual switch, but I frankly don't know enough about the health benefits to change my entire diet today (especially since I went grocery shopping yesterday and already purchased a pound of chicken breasts and a pork tenderloin). What I have found so far is that vegetarians are naturally slimmer than those who eat meat, obviously b/c the fat is cut out of the diet. That fat would be replaced with other fats (from nuts) but from what I understand, that is replacing a bad fat with a good fat. I am not really clear on what are good and bad fats, so I want to be educated on that also.

NOTE: If I do this, it is not because I have become a hippie. I love animals, but I also believe God put them on this earth and put us above them and made them a source of food for us. I have never been much of a meat eater
  • I pick the chicken out of my Lean Cuisine lunches
  • If I am the one preparing meat for dinner, I usually don't eat it. I can't stand to see raw meat or to touch it. For this reason, I am not allowed in the kitchen on Thanksgiving b/c when/if I see the raw bird, I don't eat it. My mom knows that and says I have always been that way.
  • If I do eat a chicken breast, I usually only eat a little less than half of one.
  • I eat beef only about 4 times a year. That would be when Andrew is out of town and I go to Red Robin. And even then I have been ordering the "petite sized" burger. So I really am not eating much of that.

Andrew and I both agree the hardest thing to give up would be turkey sandwiches. I like it because it is easy - someone else cooks and slices it fresh. No work for me. Oh, and BBQ...but we no longer have a BBQ place near us, so that problem is fixed.

Anyone out there have information on eating vegetarian?

OH! Just a thought! I might actually learn to enjoy cooking if I never have to touch dead animal!

Anyway, off to do some research on this. Again, I would be doing this for health reasons...not because I would be joining forces with PETA.