"pets" --of all kinds

i didn't have a photo that i took today-
 i had just started writing 
when i noticed little miss lulu
this is a pretty standard position for her at night
she goes into what we like to call "angel mode"
she just snuggles up right next to you --or on you--and goes to sleep
she likes to sleep in
some mornings she doesn't even get out of bed until after we've already been up for awhile
i think she just likes the fact that she has all of the pillows and blankets to herself
she keeps me company, and when jon is gone, she really gets to rule over the bed - who knew a 50 lb dog could take up so much room on a king size bed?

this afternoon the class i was working with was all sitting down and listening to the story when my 
co-worker brought her 1 year old little girl into the room
quote of the day -- spoken by a 4 year old girl
"can we pet her"


chocolate mint cookies required

money money money-- saving for a rainy day -- enter my new years resolution -- not to be the little old lady with the cute boots but no place to live... can we say "retirement" ... for those of us who are self employed or have jobs that don't come with benefits and retirement plans saving for the future is a little more complicated... this year, the plan is to get it all figured out and going the right direction. also. future business plans are dictating the need to learn financial software -- hello quickbooks, let's be friends.

p.s. kim made these amazing chocolate mint cookies tonight using the nestle dark chocolate mint chips we had bought during the holidays -- you should make them -- right now -- really


yet to be read + treats

but soon
i know
they will be enjoyed
and hopefully before the next issue arrives

each month the center that i work at chooses a community service project
for all the children to participate in
this month we are collecting blankets to donate to a local group
also, this week we are having a bake sale to raise money to buy blankets
the preschool kids baked all their treats yesterday and we are baking ours tomorrow
today was the first day --we sold out!!
so exciting for our kids
i might have helped out a little -- the rice krispy treats couldn't be beat -- except maybe by the chocolate cupcake with pink frosting and sprinkles...
i had to have both


it's 9pm -- are you in bed yet?

i am...
we had staff meeting tonight and i arrived home at 8:30
i am drinking my tea and going to sleep
it feels like it has been a long day, a good one, but a long one.
the sick germs are starting to circulate again
"wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home if you're sick"...
does everyone have that imprinted in their minds yet??
our kids at work do, and most of them do it too
 in other news...
the boys have been busy with the new bee boxes
this morning they left to go put the bees in the almond orchards for pollination
my room is clean, my office desk is not
the box that i have had out to take to goodwill (for the past 2 months) has been sitting in my car for the last week --  a step in the right direction?? -- at this rate it should get there by the end of the month


it's sunday morning

the sun was shining so brightly when i woke up
i had to go out and enjoy it
now i am working on lesson plans, jon is working on bee boxes, the pooches are lazing around
i am watching p.s. i love you and crying my eyes out
eating left over browned butter blueberry muffins and blackberry cobbler
nutritious?  delicious!
maybe i should do some laundry?  eat some ice cream?  watch another movie?  take the dog for a walk?
i love the endless possibilities of sunday
hope yours is going great too

p.s. i'll post another menu next week
in case you are looking for some new recipes, try these:
italian wedding soup - i made it for a dinner party last winter and it was a hit
spicy asian stir-fry - makes a great lunch


right now

saturday night
csi season 9

we'll keep our day jobs

this is my bff + roomie and i after church today
we tried to change up our normal pose
we're not very good at it
apparently we don't practice modeling enough in our spare time

p.s.  contrary to possible thought -- we did not plan our outfits
yesterday her coworker thought we were sisters
evidently these things start to happen when you've been
best friends for 20 years
and roommates for almost two...


scrapbooking + pickles

i wish it was daylight when i took this picture.
the lighting would have been so much better--oh well
3 things i love about this layout
*zig zag stitch around the patterned paper
*pleated ribbon at the top -- i'd never sewn them before...
*alliteration in the journaling -- i can't help it, it's an addiction
"1. dandy dashing date"
"2. disney devoted"
"3. dole whip dedicated"

i could use some dole whip right now... too bad for me that i'm going to have to settle with going to sleep instead.

quote of the day
spoken by 4 10-year-old boys
"i'll tickle your pickle for a nickel"

i chastised them quite well and held my laughter until i walked out the door...


orlando trip pictures

happy happy joy joy

we came home from florida to our new heating system
kim has it all scheduled and everything -- lovely
my bedroom stays warm now -- more lovely

some have asked about a resource for finding out what produce is in season when...
i used the list from "cooking outside the box" and from "the family kitchen garden"

 i found this book this fall at our local library and fell in love with it -- it has tons of pictures and is very user friendly.  to my christmas list it went, and a christmas present it was.  super great resource if your new to gardening.
another resource is: field to plate
i found it by googling "seasonal product chart"  - there are a few others, however, i like this one because it tells you by state.
also, check your local farmer's market -- ours publishes a map and list of local farms, along with a calendar showing what produce is available when and by whom.

i am off to bed.
so glad it is almost the weekend!


i might feel bad about posting food pictures two days in a row
however, roasted vegetables are in my top ten favorite meals and it was
what we had for dinner tonight.
RoOt VeGetaBles
here are some, in all their glory---right before they went into the oven
sweet potatoes, yams, and parsnips

pre heat the oven to 425
cut some veggies
drizzle with olive oil
sprinkle with garlic salt or another seasoning of your choice
roast for 10 minutes
flip & rotate if you desire
roast for another 8-10 minutes
i usually put the potatoes & carrots on the bottom oven rack
broccoli, cauliflower, beans, brussel sprouts, etc. on the top rack
if you use regular potatoes - red, yukon, baker 
you need to either par boil them or put them in the oven for 10 or so minutes ahead of time
they take longer to bake -- 
also, they will stick to the pan--make sure they are well coated if you aren't using a non-stick pan

what's in season right now?
Brussel Sprouts
Winter Cabbages
Jerusalem Artichokes

you can still find 

2 perks of eating seasonally
adds variety to your diet -- you aren't eating the same foods over and over
taste - there is a reason 
why i don't eat many tomatoes and cucumbers right now..



two for tuesday - part II

tonight i left work late and
had to stop by the grocery store on the way home.
tonight jon wanted to cook dinner
and create his own scratch sauce recipe to go on top of spinach ravioli
(tonight the boys had a boys-night-out so no time for baked taters --lucky he wanted to cook)
tonight i dined in food heaven while eating my husbands' scratch sauce -- home canned, diced local tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, cream, butter, and whatever else.
tonight jon also made bruschetta + roasted garlic + only dirtied 4 pans while cooking.
tonight i was reminded of yet another reason why i am truely, madly, deeply in love with my husband.
--tomato sauce will do that to a girl ya know--

two for tuesday - part I -- organics + menu recipes

apple tree at the parents -- they are sprayed once to keep the worms away

today i watched the sun come up -- it was lovely.  i am sitting here, typing up recipes and drinking tea while the pooches have their morning play time and jon tries to figure out a wooden puzzle.

this year, one of our goals is to eat mostly organic and local whenever possible.  for the past two years we have been buying organic milk and eggs, meat, carrots, and other  produce and pantry staples.  now we are kicking it up a few notches --
oh -- i should note -- there is a debate as to which is better, organic or local... personally, and also as a farmers wife (and especially after listening at the beekeeping conference this last week--more on that later), most of the time, i will choose knowing the local farmer and know where my food comes from versus organic produce that has traveled a long distance -- we are oh so lucky in our town to have access to great local farmers ....also -- it takes a lot to be able to legally say your product is "certified organic" --many farmers use little or no pesticides -- at our farmers market, several farms sell produce that hasn't been treated with pesticides, however it is not labeled as "organic" -- ask your farmer!...  it is a personal choice how much you choose to buy organic -- it may just be your carton of milk or it might be your whole cart.  choose what is right for you and your family

our choices:
* all organic dairy and animal products -- or local if available -- right now we have access to local milk, eggs, and goat cheese
*organic soy and corn products, which are typically GMO crops (genetically modified)
*buy organic or local -- "the dirty dozen"  -- this is posted by the environmental working group  - you can download the list, see a full produce list, and also get an iphone app.
3.bell pepper
10.grapes (imported)

here are a few articles on organics:
*Top Ten Reasons to go Organic -- Renee Loux
*The Cost and Benefits of Buying Organic Food - Oprah.com
*Organic Food: Is it worth the extra money? - Today - msnbc.com

ok.  hopefully that might be helpful to some of you!

here are the recipes for this weeks menu --- enjoy!

project 365 coming tonight -- off i go, i am late late late for a very important date at the allergists office...


menu monday

oh my-- so much this last week -- and today...i am exhausted! - i can hardly keep my eyes open...

3 things

1. we had a great trip to florida -- not quite "florida" weather, but a fabulous time nonetheless -- more to come this week

2. after various conversations with various people -- i have decided to post my weekly menu. some never have a bit of trouble deciding what to eat during the week. you would be surprised at how many don't or may not have the time to think about it until it's already past time to eat. 2 1/2 years ago, i started making a weekly menu. since a fair amount of the time i was cooking only for myself -- eating out was taking over and i wasn't happy with the health or pocket book results -- not to mention there are only so many options for vegetarian t.v.dinners, etc.... at first, it was difficult to remember to take the time to plan out the week and it didn't always stick, but gradually it became easier -- then came the summer and cooking for three hungry men, plus myself, in a 5th wheel trailer -- not a lot of space for ingredient storage -- after that -- living with our roommates and deciding a menu worked like magic ...these days, planning is a habit and also a way to make conscious food choices -- are we eating healthy? balanced? seasonal? -- what can i buy locally? what can i use out of my pantry? will i need to go to the grocery store more than once this week? --- best of all, most days i know what i am going to eat for each meal, so there is not much temptation to hit up a fast food place or get take out -- unless i really want to. good for health. good for the bank account.

so... here is our menu for the week-- with a little elaboration/explanation --
note: at our house, we eat a mix of vegan/vegetarian --use our juicer and our blender often--try lots of new recipes-- have two "party" or "junk food" days a week -- thursday night pizza/take out and saturday... but the rest of the week our goal is to eat a variety of un-processed whole foods...and ones that are fairly easy to prepare. as food is a very personal preference--- you can modify/omit to fit your kitchen-- feel free to pass the website link or menu along -- cheers to a new year and better health!! ---p.s. i am not a dietitian and do not make any claims that this is a perfectly balanced menu -- just an idea generator... and also what i am going to eat this week

jan 18-24 menu -- featuring recipes from:

**this is a great cookbook. if you would like the featured recipes, please leave a comment telling me which ones you are interested in and your email...i will be in touch...

3. project 365 -- i will post the pics from last week this week, but for now, here is today -- we had stir-fry for dinner -- it was delicious-- and we watched "Julie&Julia" -- also delicious ...


while in the shower

something went missing...and it may be the dried duck treats that used to be in this container.
last night kim and i discussed the attributes of the container and whether or not it would make a good front door treat holder--the consensus was that it had a 50/50 chance depending on how interested lulu was in it -- apparently, curiosity killed the container. hopefully the darling pooches shared the spoils and don't end up sick all day.

--in other news--
we leave in the morning. i probably won't be blogging til the 18th -- but we'll see -- i may change my mind...


what to wear...

that is the question of the night...

i am packing for our trip. the weatherman says it is going to be between 32 and 70 degrees while we are there-- kim says 2 suitcases -- winter & summer

in other news--
-mr. jon is on his way home this very minute
-the current heating system will move into retirement tomorrow and be replaced by mr. modern & energy saving --- we'll throw him a welcome party to the tune of $????? -- let's not talk about it
-current favorites occupying the bedroom dresser:
back to packing---


it might have been at 5:30...

tonight i felt how ms. lulu looked after i came home from work to find this...

yes, isn't it lovely? that's what i thought too...


some days...

you just want to click the button on the camera as many times as you can and see what you come up with...

in other random news:
-i just learned that for every 5 dove peppermint bark chocolates i eat, i am consuming 210 calories
-however, i won't be eating anymore anytime soon...not because of the calories--but because i have begun a sinus infection -- lovely.
-lovely because in 3 days i leave for vacation and my to-do list is a mile long.
-"maverick" is one of my all time favorite movies -- reinforced again after tonight's viewing
-ford changed their online account system this weekend. this morning i waited 5 minutes to talk with a representative. i am guessing others are as in love with the new system as i am...
-tonight i drank "cold war" in an effort to make my sinuses love me again -- it is freshly juiced carrots, orange, ginger and garlic. i made the garlic extra strong. don't let me breathe on you.


my word for the year ---- "intent" ---- this last year i really tried to absorb and appreciate life and the world around me...to not take it for granted and live in the "moment" --maybe that was my word of 2009 -- this year i want to be more focused and act with greater intention... cheers to tWenty TeN! may it be the best year yet!

project 365

this year, i have decided to add yet one more project to the list and participate in project 365.
project 365 is documenting your daily moments by taking a photograph per day and writing a short journal entry about it. the goal is to get all of these printed and placed in a scrapbook -- in the meantime-- the idea is to share with those of you who will never see my scrapbook, by blogging...so, we'll see how it goes -- you can do anything for 30 days...wait...make that 365 --yep, right on schedule and going strong already....(gulp) -- considering that i have yet to finish one of the 3 scrapbooking classes that i started in october, my fall book, or my december daily...i'd say we're off to a great and strong start...but hey...it's the new year, 2010, a FreSh start and aLL things are possible, right?!?

we managed to stay awake on new years eve -- so proud--
after a fantastic dinner at tmac's and picking up some loot
from hastings, we headed home and watched movies til midnight

sophia, one of my friends from college, was in town during
the holiday. we were able to meet for church and a
viewing of "avatar" which was quite enjoyable,
other than my bum falling asleep

sunday morning, sophia came over for homemade gingerbread waffles
and blueberry pinapple smoothies. we watched a chick flick
and ate dove peppermint bark chocolates --
didn't you know you should always eat a sweet at breakfast time?

--it was a good holiday...only it was missing two things--or people rather-- nari and jon... so it just wasn't quite the same. maybe next year.

i've made my resolutions
i've chosen my "one word" for the year
the laundry is all done
the dead christmas tree has left the building
i've made lots of new plans

more to share later, but for now, it's off to sleep with me -- my eyelids are too heavy to stay open anymore...

but i'll leave you with one of my most most favorite songs:
ordinary day by emilie mover
(don't forget to press the "play" button at the top of the page to hear the song)