Friday, October 30, 2009


I believe cheesecake is sort of like pie. There's a certain amount of skill that not everyone is willing to undertake. But like pie, shortcuts do not pay off. You can't buy a pie from Hy-Vee on Thanksgiving and try and pass it off as homemade. In a similar way, you can not make instant cheesecake from a jello mix. It's just not the same and people will know. This cheesecake is absolutely worth the effort. Last year I made it for the Knaack Thanksgiving and I got the ultimate compliment from my cousin Kyle: "Screw pies (his mom and sister make the best pies in the world) you can make cheesecake for every family event!"

Graham Cracker Crust
1 pkg graham crackers
1/3 c. butter
1/4 c. sugar
Crumble graham crackers, melt butter, add sugar and mix all together.

Cheese Cake Filling
4 8 oz packages cream cheese (very, very soft)
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 T cornstarch
1 T vanilla
Juice of one lemon (minus seeds, I have problems with this, more than once someone has accidentally gotten a seed)
1 c. sour cream
Line bottom of a 10" spring form pan with parchment paper circle
Pat graham cracker mixture to form the crust

Mix eggs, sugar+cornstarch, and cream cheese
Mix vanilla and lemon juice into cream cheese mixture
Add sour cream
Pour mixture into the prepared spring form pan
Place a 9x13 pan with 1" of water in the bottom rack of the oven
Place cheesecake on the upper rack and bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees.
Turn off oven and prop open oven door for an additional hour for the cheesecake to cool.

Raspberry Sauce (annoying, but necessary because it's the finishing touch)
2 12 oz pkg frozen raspberries, thawed
2/3 c sugar

Puree raspberries. Pour mixture through a wire mesh strainer into a small saucepan. Discard seeds. Cook sauce until the consistency of egg white. Cool and serve over cheesecake!

The final result ... delightful.

I made this cheesecake last week for a dinner we were having with my cousin Eric and his girlfriend Ashley. I hope none of them got a lemon seed ...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Enchilada Pasta

Everything looks so very ... orange. My high school home economics teacher would not be proud. She always told us that we need lots of color on our plates ... not just orange. Or beige. Opps. It was a good meal though!

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed or shredded

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 medium onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

4-ounce can diced green chilies

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

2 (10-oz) cans green chili enchilada sauce

2/3 cup red enchilada sauce

1 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

16-20 oz. penne pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta until tender. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet and add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes, until pepper is barely tender. Add the cooked chicken, green chilies, spices, enchilada sauces. Let the sauce simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Add the sour cream and cheese and heat through, until the cheese is melted (but don't boil!). Pour the sauce over the hot pasta. Garnish with extra sour cream, cheese, diced tomatoes, green onions or crushed tortilla chips.

Recipe Source: My Kitchen Cafe

Giveaway: Beautiful Silver Handmade Mementos and Earrings

Don't you want to win these earrings? Go to bylynnkrestel's etsy shop to see some great things or you can try and win them in this Keeper of the Home giveaway. I love dark pearls. They are pretty, pretty!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Taylor Swift

Am I too old to want to go to a Taylor Swift concert? Probably. Am I too old to be ridiculously excited about her Des Moines concert in May? Probably. Am I going anyways? Most definitely. I so hopped up about Taylor Swift that I can't remember the last concert I was this giddy about.
Yeah ... I'm lame and I'm totally okay with that. This realization doesn't stop me from trying to win tickets off the radio everyday. :) Back to doing "homework"

Olive Garden Copy Cat Minestrone Soup

This minestrone is so stinkin good. And it only gets better with time because it really gives the flavors the chance to sink in and become even better. I love this soup because it's hearty, tasty, good for you and filling. It makes a huge batch, but it's perfect for leftovers. Trust me, you'll love this soup. Even for picky meat-a-tarians ...
Look at all those chunks of wholesome goodness!
Don't let the laundry list of ingredients scare you. This soup is worth it.
3 T olive oil
1 c minced onion
1/2 c chopped zucchini
1/2 c frozen green beans
1/4 c minced celery
4 t minced garlic
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can white northern beans, drained
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with juices
1/2 c carrots, julienned or chopped
2 T parsley (fresh if you have it spreading like wildfire in your garden and even frost doesn't kill it)
1 1/2 t dried oregano
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/2 t dried basil
1/4 t dried thyme
3 c hot water
1 large handful of fresh spinach
1/2 c shell pasta
1. Heat oil over medium heat in a dutch oven
2. Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions translucent
3. Add vegetable broth to pot, plus tomatoes, beans, carrots, hot water, and spices
4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes
5. Add pasta and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until pasta is done
6. Add spinach and cook for a couple of minutes
7. Serve!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Favorite Things ... Honeycrisp Apples

Somebody save me from myself ...

I can't stop myself from buying 3 or 4 honeycrisp apples everytime I go to a grocery store.

Hy-Vee had them on sale last week for $1.38/lb

Fareway has had them on sale for $1.49/lb

Target has had them on sale for $1.49/lb

Basically, any grocery store within striking distance has had them on sale this past month and I just can stop picking up 3 or 4 at a time ... this means that I probably have about a dozen in that very large bowl you are seeing. I love Honeycrisp Apples, they are my favorite variety. But I must stop buying them!
And that my friends, is this week's edition of My Favorite Things.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Race for a Cure

Saturday morning Lance and I did the Susan B Komen Race for a Cure walk. It's the third year we've done the walk, each year we've been blessed with fantastic weather. This was no exception. My only suggestion for next year is this: have more buses running back and forth between the parking garages and the state capitol. We waited 35 minutes for a bus to come and pick us up. Yikes - we almost missed out on the free food! We still managed to grab some treats like Pink Ribbon Panera bagels (my favorite, every Oct I but a bakers dozen and freeze them) and Yoplait yogurt. I was really bummed that I didn't get a pink Hy-Vee bag, but Lance brazenly walked up to a woman who had like 10 Iowa Heart bags and asked her for one - and readily gave it up! (She must have felt guilty, I would have felt guilty for being that greedy)

Here's a picture of our capitol. Lance thinks it's a travesty that I've never been inside ... He also suggested that we should take the gold plating off the dome and replate it with something cheaper and then use the money saved on cutting the budget deficit. Somehow I don't think anyone in politics will think that's a good idea.

Oh my goodness. There were tons of people. I would have gone crazy for this kind of walk crowds when I was in fundraising. I heard that there were record numbers, you couldn't prove it by me. I just knew that it was hard to walk at any sort of brisk pace without weaving in and out of groups.

I asked Lance to show me his shirt. Please note that I did not ask him to pretend to be Superman ripping off his clothes to reveal his superhero costume.

I was thinking of a more casual picture ... something like mine. :)

I love this walk. My aunt Claudia was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in 5th grade. She'a 16 year survivor, back when breast cancer didn't have a whole month dedicated to it. Her cancer was pretty advanced, but she made it. Walking in this walk makes me realize every year that life is fragile and a gift. Life here is temporary, eternity is forever.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


As some of you may know, I would like a dog. At least in my mind I think that I would like a dog. I've never had a dog, I grew up with cats. Lance, on the other hand, has had a dog his whole life. And he's the one that doesn't want to get a dog! He says that I have to wait until I'm 32 until we can get a dog. That's a solid 6 years away ... But I have my heart set on getting a French Bulldog.

Aren't they adorable?

Sometimes when I need a cute fix, I read Martha Stewart's blog that is written from the perspective of her two French Bulldogs. It's called The Daily Wag. It's silly and more than ridiculous, but sometimes a girl needs a little silly in her life.

Somebody in Des Moines has a French Bulldog and brings it to some of the local farmer's markets. I've seen the cutie puppy a couple of times downtown and in Valley Junction. And I think that I talk to the owner every time too ... I must stop my somewhat crazy obsessiveness with French Bulldogs or I'm going to just start being creepy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oct 19 - Oct 25 Menus

Monday: Chicken pot pie and cinnamon sugar apples

Tuesday: Supper at my cousin, Eric's. I'm bringing homemade cheesecake and raspberry sauce (trust me, it's fabulous)

Wednesday: Meatloaf with butternut squash

Thursday: Turkey wraps

Friday: Campfire

Saturday: Lunch out

Saturday: Enchilada pasta

Sunday: Roasted chicken

Sunday: Leftovers!

Favorite Things: Facial Brush

Here's the second edition of Favorite Things.
I've read several very favorable reviews of the Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System. It's a cleansing brush that really unclogs pores and exfoliates the skin. I wouldn't mind giving one of these a whirl, my chin has a tendency to break out and I could see this helping. But not for $149. Holy crap.

So instead I shop at the Body Shop. And bought their $3 Rounded Handle Facial Brush. Because I don't have to explain a $3 purchase to Lance like I would have had to do with the Clarisonic. I am perfectly capable of exfoliating my face manually. And I'm experiencing similar results. I think for 2% of the price of the Clarisonic, it's a clear trade.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekend Recap

I had fun weekend ... minimal pictures were taken, but fun weekend all in all.

Friday night: laundry and The Proposal. I love this movie. This is the first time Lance saw this, I saw it in the theaters with my friend Erika. There are so many funny moments, my sides hurt by the movie's end. Lance thought that it was funny too - even if it was a chick flick!

Saturday AM: Farmer's Market with Shannon. Currently there is an abundance of pumpkins, squash, apples, and potatoes. Neither of us purchased produce - I got some honey-roasted peanut butter and some pumpkin apple butter. Shannon and I had to flip to see who got the last container of pumpkin apple butter. Luckily for me, I never lose at paper/rock/scissors. Maybe I should have told Shannon that :) We also had breakfast burritos as there was no line and we were astounded. There is always a line for breakfast burritos!

Saturday PM: Lance and I traveled north to Ames. We had lunch at Battles Barbecue (one of our favs - but they changed their garlic toast and it's not as good) and it was cheap, fast, and tasty. Gotta love local favs. After a late lunch we parked over by sorority circle, looked at the destroyed lawn displays before wandering over to the tailgating area. Lance and I did a promo event this weekend for Chevy (the official sponsors of the ISU vs Baylor game). We handed out rally towels before the game and that was it. One of the easiest promos ever and afterwards we went to the game! It was a good game and ISU won! It's always great to win homecoming! We also got to say hello to Lance's brother Andrew, who turned 25 yesterday. I won suite tickets to the Nov 7 ISU vs Oklahoma State game. I'm not as optimistic about that game.

Sunday: Church, Sunday school, lunch (minestrone soup - picture and recipe to come!), nap, ethics review of my research project, grocery list, and bathroom cleanup. Perfect Sunday!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Crazy Love

Our Sunday school class is reading Francis Chan's Crazy Love and discussion this week was about Chapter 4: Lukewarm Christians. The book has been challenging and this chapter was no different. It addressed the idea that lukewarm Christians are the downfall of the American church. Many non-Christians are turned off by Christianity because they see so many Christians failing to love others, failing to give their time, failing to give their money, failing to be what God expects out of Christians. The problem with today's Christians is they only give what is convenient, they only give what is comfortable - they give within their budget. Our friend Jake said this: "What if all the extreme Christians, the ones who give everything they have and never have two pennies to rub together, the ones we think are a little bit crazy, what if they are the only real Christians? They prefaced the chapter by saying the content was "heavy" and a little bit of a downer ... yep, the chapter was a downer, but it is the truth of the matter.


I have mediocre sewing skills. Really, I should be better at sewing, my mom taught me to sew and I majored in apparel merchandising & design for a year (which really means, I had at least two sewing classes per semester). Needless to say, I should be able to sew. And I can do basic things that don't require following patterns like curtains, pillows, etc. I can also hem my pants (an asset to a short girl!) but I can't really do complicated things. I came across this website Sew Mama Sew! and it's very cute. And inspirational, especially to a girl like me who has a really nice sewing machine that she got for her 19th birthday (by request!). I have projects started ... I just seem to have a problem finishing them. I'll add them to my list of things I'm going to do once I'm out of school :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Comfort Food - Tator Tot Casserole

Tator tot casserole just oozes of fall comfort food. And even though sometimes I might be a food snob, I love this. Lance has problems making this because I don't really work off of a recipe - the ingredient list just resides in my head.

1 lb. hamburger, browned with onions
Frozen green beans
Frozen mixed vegetables
1 can cream of mushroom soup + 1/2 can of milk
Tator tots
Season salt
Shredded cheese

I start by mixing the hamburger, vegetables, mushroom soup + milk together in a Pyrex dish. Then I layer on tator tots, sprinkle with season salt for a little kick and pop it into the oven for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Then I sprinkle with cheese and bake for another 10 minutes. Volia! Comfort food.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Apple Oat Muffins

I made these for Sunday school last week. I'm responsible, Patty didn't even have to remind me that I was up. We had most everything on hand, with the exception of applesauce. We only had homemade and there was no way I was sharing that. Lance's aunt Ann had a bumper crop of apples, so we chopped those up and used those instead of my $1.49/lb honeycrisps. Lance was my sous chef and we got these done relatively easy.

1 and 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 and a 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 and 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
3/4 c. quick oats
1 c. finely chopped apples
1/2 c. nuts (didn't tell Ryan Boone these were in there otherwise he wouldn't have eaten them!)

1/3 c. brown sugar
2 T flour
1/3 c. oats
2 T cold butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tins with liners.

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat egg, stir in milk, oil and applesauce. Add oats and mix well.

Add flour mixture, apples, and nuts, stir just to combine. Don't over stir, lumps are good.

Spoon evenly into the prepared muffin pan.

Combine all topping ingredients and spoon into each muffin liner.

Bake 20 min. Cool on a wire rack after just cooling in the pan. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


It really does hurt!!

Mexi FlatOut Wrap

These were perfection.

1 c. cooked rice, warm
1 c. cooked, shredding chicken (I used leftover rotisserie chicken)
1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 c. onion, minced
1/2 c green pepper, diced
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 T chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. garlic salt
2 c. shredded cheese
sour cream
Flat out wraps

Saute green pepper and onion with spices. Add to rice and remaining ingredients, except for cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle cheese over wrap, arrange chicken and rice mixture over wrap. Dot sour cream down the middle of the wrap. Fold wrap, grill in panini pan until golden and toasty - flipping halfway through. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Favorite Things

I'm going to do a little bloggy series once a week in honor of The Sound of Music :) No, not really, but a little. I'm going to post once a week about something in my life that I use that is something that I love. To start things off, my Braun Immersion Blender.

It's fantastic. It makes smoothies, purees potato leek soup, blends frozen bananas into banana bread batter, and chops nuts. Best money spent of my life. I will buy another one, if and when mine ever dies. I got it at Bed Bath and Beyond and used a 20% off coupon, making the price around ... well, I don't remember. I've had the thing at least 2.5 years. But I'm sure I wouldn't have spent over $40. You don't need a big ole bulky blender if you have one of these. So go out and spend your hard earned cash on an immersion blender. It'll be worth it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Menu Planning

Lance and I menu plan. We've done this for about two years, pretty consistently. As our schedules have changed, so have our menus (Lance used to work early on Mon/Tues and then for awhile worked from home. Now I get home before Lance - usually almost an hour and a half before him, so I will put everything together and do the actual cooking. Lance is a huge help by prepping any vegetables or meat the night before.) Lance and I try and do our menus on Sat. and do our grocery lists and shopping on Sat. too. If we're gone over the weekend then we'll try and do menus Sun. night and go shopping on Mon. after work. We try and keep in mind evening activities and plans that way we don't plan an elaborate meal on a night that we have to run to our small group Bible study. We write all of our menus, with main dishes and sides, on a simple tablet of paper and stick it on the fridge. Sometimes it can be stressful and annoying to try and plan out all of our menus, but it's something really good for our marriage. We spend less time thinking about what we're hungry for and more time cooking to fill that hunger. We stick to our menus pretty well, but often times we'll make adjustments for last minute changes - like a meal that suddenly sounds good on Saturday afternoon or the desire to go out to eat. Nothing is ever set in stone, we'll simply just move that meal to the next week.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Monday: Chicken kabobs (Asian marinated chicken, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, onions, green peppers) and garlic bread

Tuesday: Tator tot casserole & salads

Wednesday: T-bone steaks, tomato & mozzarella salad

Thursday: Tuna melts & (well a side is TBD)

Friday: Vegetable beef stew in the crockpot

Saturday lunch: Minestrone soup & honey wheat bread

Saturday supper: Night out

Sunday lunch: Meatloaf & roasted butternut squash

Sunday supper: Popcorn, apples, cheese

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Good Lord, I just about took off my thumb slicing an onion. Let this be a lesson to all of you, don't use small knives to try and cut large vegetables. It will result in a deep knife wound and a hysterical woman emitting loud shrieks that only bats and dogs can hear. I had to flip the lights on and off to get Lance's attention, who was vacuuming downstairs He very calmly got me some clean rags and had me apply even pressure to stop the gushing. I will say though, he's no EMT in the making. In a later conversation he thought you elevate a person's head after they've passed out. NO- elevate their feet! This will be very important for him to know as I get queasy at blood and have passed out cold the last two times someone has attempted to take blood from me.

Again the take away lesson is this: use a big sharp knife when cutting large things.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chicky Soup

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
(serves 6)

1/2 Tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 carrots thinly sliced
2 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or cubed (I used shredded rotisserie chicken)
42 oz chicken broth* (if eating the same day, you will only need 28 oz)
8 oz frozen egg noodles

1. Sauté onions in butter and olive oil on medium low heat until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and stir constantly for another minute.
2. Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until you think you need to add more oil. Instead, add a splash of chicken broth into the pot, cover and let vegetables soften for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Add chicken and 28 oz of chicken broth, turn heat up to high and bring soup to a boil. Add egg noodles and cook for 15-20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
*If making ahead of time, let cool then refrigerate. When you’re ready to eat, add in an additional can of chicken broth (14 oz) as the egg noodles will have soaked up the majority of the broth, heat and serve!

This recipe & photo is taken from Iowa Girl Eats. I made it for Friday night game night at the Boones and it was enjoyed by all - minus Ryan and Lance who thought that chicken noodle soup is for sick people. Everyone else gobbled it up and rightfully so, it was very good. We played Bananagrams and one other game that I have forgotten the name of ...

Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market

I love the downtown Des Moines Farmers Market. I love it in the spring, I love it in the summer, but I think I love it best in the fall. I'm not sure that it's any less busy, but I like the types of produce and the weather. I mean look at those pumpkins - they're great!

Yum ... the pork fiesta bowls from Dos Rios are so delish. I replicate at home, but they aren't nearly as good. They have rice, black beans, cilantro, tomatoes, sour cream, pork, chips. I'm making myself hungry.

But one of the things I always get are an Indian potato cutlet and a samosa from Saloos. They are good - I don't care if it's 9 AM!

I thought about getting raspberries and making homemade cheesecake with raspberry sauce ...

But I got hedgeballs instead :) They are featured on the cover this month of Better Homes & Gardens as a part of a decorative centerpiece. They supposedly ward of spiders. I'm not sure if I believe it, but I'm game!

Lance thought it was too early for an egg roll or other ethnic cuisine. So he got a blueberry tart.

Dig in!

I like fall mums. But inevitably, I would kill them. I also don't see the point of planting something that has a 4 week life span.

I love our Farmers Market!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mini Pumpkin

Some friends from church, Joel and Noelle, gave us this mini pumpkin. I love him. He's my friend. He'll probably be one of the few fall decorations in my house.
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Three Question Thursday

1. Do you prefer pie filling or the crust?
2. What’s the last thing you bought?
3. What’s your personal style?

1. Oh pie, isn't it a package deal? I love the whole thing ... The filling perfectly compliments the crust and the crust is the perfect carrier for the filling. I love them equally :)
2. The last thing I bought was postage to mail my interlibrary loans back to Spokane, WA!
3. I'm trendy classic. I wear a lot of skirts and jewel tones. In fact, I'm a big fan of jewel tones, meaning amethyst, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, etc. Washed out colors=washed out me. Stick with something solid, but with color.
The main places I shop are at Ann Taylor Loft, Gap, Target, and Banana Republic. I like trends, but I don't like craziness. If it doesn't work for my body, then I don't attempt it. Just because it's fashionable, doesn't mean it will look good. And I dress my age, meaning no shopping in the juniors department.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kitten Mittens

Kitten Mittens from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

I've watched it way too many times but I still think it's HILARIOUS.


My friend Sarah, of Franczyk Photography, is a talented photographer. She helped us out with this photo of Lance and I. We got to know the Franczyk family through Johnston E-Free and through our small group. They are a lovely family and a lot of fun. Sarah is expecting child three in December - and they are adding their very first daughter. Congrats guys!
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Minne Shopping

This past weekend Lance and I went to the Twin Cities with my parents. My dad grew up in MN so he's a Twins fan and Lance breathes and dies by the Twins - super fan! They like to try and catch one game a year and my mom and I go shopping. :) The Twins are currently in a run for division title, so Saturday and Sunday's game were huge. That combined with actually being in the TWIN Cities, I was inundated with Twins baseball. It was on at every restaurant we ate at and everyone was clad in blue and red. In general I don't hate baseball, but I've hit my capacity as to the amount of I can endure. I will be happy when the season has ended.

Moving on, my my and spent 3 hours on the first floor of the Mall of America. The other two levels went much quicker :) Here are the cute shoes I bought at DSW and the fun headband I got. My mom asked me if I had any fancy events coming up soon ... no, but who needs a reason to wear a bejeweled headband?

Sunday morning we went to IKEA to peruse the aisles. Sadly, no major purchases this year. My decorating style is more comfy casual and IKEA is more urban-mod. We bought some wooden hangers and a cutting board. Exciting ...

But I did get to go to Trader Joes on Sunday morning. My mom had made fun of me because I had wanted to go and she ended up buying more stuff than I did! I haven't had a chance to use my almond butter or my bruschetta spread yet, but I did try the chocolate & pb pretzels and the Aussie licorice. OMG, they are so good. Where have these products been all my life?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Great Balls of Fire!

This is my kitty Fire. I am a crazy cat woman. I own it. I have pictures of Fie Fie in my cube. Lance and I have imaginary conversations with Fire or being the voice of Fire. Lance has actually left me voicemail pretending to be Fire. And I've kept that message. For over a year. Yep, I'm a crazy cat lady. This is stoned Fire after giving him fresh catnip. He later ate it.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Christmas Music

My old co-workers at RMI knew this about me, if I'm listening to Christmas music, watch out, because I'm uber cranky.
Today I am listening to Christmas music, my favorite Christmas cd - MercyMe. Christmas music makes me happy and I find it soothing. Christmas music is my last ditch effort to self-medicate into a better mood.
So watch out, if I'm listening to Christmas music and it's no where near Christmas, I may just bite your head off.

How is this choice going to get me closer to my goal?

Here are some motivational questions straight from The Biggest Loser - choices that I need to really think about when I'm making decisions.

How is this choice going to get me closer to my goal?

What are your goals?
Run a marathon?
Lose weight?
Save more money?
Exercise more in the morning?
Be a better spouse/partner?
Go back to school?
Eat less at night?
Be a better friend?
Get a promotion at work?
Worry less?

How are your choices getting you closer to reaching them?
Are you sticking to your training program when it’d be easier to skip a couple of days?
Are you saying no to eating that Snickers bar when you know it’s sabotaging your weight loss efforts?
Are you putting an extra $100 into savings instead of buying that outfit you don’t really need?
Are you getting out of bed instead of hitting the snooze button every morning?
Are you compromising more and being stubborn less?
Are you willing to give up your free time to learn a new skill/trade/profession that you love and will make you happier in the long run?
Are you “closing” the kitchen after dinner and/or having one planned nightly snack?
Are you listening more and talking less?
Are you staying late to help get a big project done?
Are you giving your life to God knowing that He will provide?
We are solely responsible and reap the consequences, both good and bad, for each and every decision we make.
Are your choices helping or hindering you from achieving your goals?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Three Question Thursday

Three questions that my brain can hardly handle ...
1. Where did you go on your last vacation?
2. What’s your favorite Fall/Winter holiday?
3. What was your first job?

1. Major vacation: Kauai, Hawaii in April. Just after I got laid off ... not the best timing.
Minor vacation: Holland, MI the end of July to visit fun friends Mandy & Aaron

2. Hands down, Christmas. But I love celebrating harvest with pie, squash, turkey ... So maybe this is an indication that I just love to cook and I love fall comfort foods.

3. First job was at a t-shirt, skateboard shop called The Mark-It. I made a whopping $5.25/hour. But I do know how to adhere grip paper on a skateboard and rotate wheels. Something most people would not guess about one of the world's preppiest people! :)

Oh Butternut

Two things I love: butternut squash and Pure+Clear Palmolive dish soap. I love the taste of butternut squash and I love the smell of this soap.

This is the first butternut squash out of our garden. Isn't it beautiful? It's also huge, most never get this long (hence the picture by the dish soap to demonstrate the height). I love the lovely mild taste of butternut squash. I think part of this guy may get pureed into a bisque. The other part may get baked with brown sugar and butter. There's nothing more comforting than baked squash ...

I also got a couple of acorn squashes from a co-worker. We grew acorn squashes last year, I really prefer the texture of butternut squashes to acorn. But they are still tasty!