just one pretty thing

now taking donations for this lovely:

it will find it's way into my closet.  i have faith
 - maybe not money right now - 
but it's good to have goals :)


Dear Teacher | One Little Word

the power of a word

-found on ali edwards this morning-

click here: Dear Teacher | One Little Word

-- while i haven't been taking the class i have participated in "one little word" during previous years and plan on taking next years class


grocery store secrets...

sometimes you just have days when you want to eat everything in the house.  then you go to the grocery store.  hungry.  looking for dinner.

you walk out of the store with...

  1. fresh salsa
  2. lime tortilla chips
  3. asian salad mix
  4. spaghetti o's 
  5. asparagus
  6. cocoa krispies
  7. mini rice cakes (cheddar + kettle corn)
  8. pringles
  9. apples
  10. martinelli's lemonade
  11. peach frozen fruit bars
it could have been worse. (we passed up the blueberry cheesecake goop from the deli case, the instant mashed potatoes, the ice cream, the...

i blame it all on roommate ryan.  he moved in with us about two weeks ago (after the teenagers went home).  he eats spaghetti o's - and chips - and chips ahoy cookies, and ben and jerry's ...and...and... he starts most his meals with ice cream - tonight he bought a box of doughnuts.  my summer activity level cannot sustain these treats... all this processed goodness (tongue in cheek) that hasn't seen the inside of my shopping cart since college (if that as i grocery shopped so often) -- except for an occasion here and there...jon and i couldn't take it any longer.  between ryan and watching "arthur" the other night -- we had-to-have our own can of spaghetti o's (sorry no saucy o's jon...) -- so we did.  tonight. for dinner.  along with our chips+salsa, salad, and lemonade - with an occasional pringle + rice cake...and jon might have finished off the pint of ben and jerry's cake batter, with a little help from me of course.

it's on now.  

might as well go all out -- mom - we'll be over tomorrow night for velveeta shells and cheese...

disclaimer -   ryan does eat vegetables too.  and fruit.  and i might have fed him a few home cooked meals in the last week that included many vegetables - particularly zucchini...


packin' it up -it's not just a brown bag anymore

as much as i love the nostalgia of a "brown bag lunch" - which i will never fully give up - 
the rise of the reusable container - in the form of something cute, chic, functional, and bpa free - makes me oh so very happy...

for the past year or two i have packed my lunch in various bpa free, reusable plastic containers or empty pint and cup sized canning jars.  the jars are generally my preference for any item that needs to be reheated as i try my best to avoid microwaving most plastic.  my lunch bag is a cute little reusable bag i bought at whole foods for $2 this fall or something similar.


we have now moved to a new favorite:

it all started when we made a stop at the leaf and bean, in bozeman.  we saw these and just had to buy for friend+roommate, kim - so we did.  she loves them!

lucky me - my mom stopped by and bought me my own lunch pot (in orange) on her way to visit me...

they make a few other items we might have to have - if it's love at first sight for you too, click on over to their site or you can also find them at amazon.com

looking for a new eco lunch bag for school year -- or just because--
support handmade and shop etsy 

want to enter a giveaway?


packin' it up - brown bag lunches

once upon a time (this spring) i went to the hospital cafeteria for a take-out sabbath lunch
it was delicious.  i loved it.  i eventually ate every bite.  i was by myself.  i didn't have to do the dishes.


taking my own lunch

--a short(ish) history--
  • i think my mom packed my lunches up until 4th grade - it was then that i discovered i only wanted to eat hot lunch - specifically haystack, burger, and pizza days - or any other day that involved ranch dressing (my love affair began young)
  • i ate lunch at home (homeschool perk) until high school.  after some quality time eating at the boarding school cafeteria (mostly buttered toast with brewer's yeast + pb, jelly, and applesauce on toast -- the bread was homemade) i was back at day school where the next two years consisted of -- not packing a lunch (i just realized that not once did i eat in that high school's cafe) and a lot of taco bell runs...though there was those two short months my junior year when i was obsessed with jack-in-the-box (oh. my. word. help.)
  • college - lunch?  what's that -- between a full load and two-four jobs -- lunch?
  • 6 months of teaching school - hello t.v. dinners - i had a serious stash in my fridge - i tried all the vegetarian ones ever made at that time - school cafeteria - sometimes - on desperate days.
  • 2 years ago. began consistently packing a lunch on a daily basis.  the kind with salad and vegetables.
  • this last year - i can't live without my packed lunch.  i bring my own dinner to staff meeting.  i have created a brown bag monster (joking joking -- i still order out sometimes --) 
  • summer - i make jon a lunch most mornings - as it has to withstand the heat - we are still working on adding creativity--- it usually consists of : pb+j, granola and protein bars, apple, carrots, any other random fruit we have around, juice boxes (he. is. obsessed. no joke.) - extra shake bottles of lemonade or gatorade mix and sometimes chips... 
  • p.s. - every morning when i make jon's sandwich, i instantly want to eat one too -- i heart pb+j
now that your head is filled with our lunch history...
what's yours?
let's brown bag it and you can tell me...
there has been a lot of chatter about lunches lately
(back to school will do it every time)

here are some lunch box links
(click em!)

aren't you excited now


summer sunshine + sunflowers

a little bit down the road from us...

summer is quickly ending

where did august go?

isn't it funny how things always seem to be twice the speed after the half-way point

i am determined to love every last drop of the next month

then- i will embrace fall with open arms and a warm heart 
-- it's my favorite season, but shhh.. don't tell summer--

last week i ran across this great little list for 
"squeezing the last drops out of summer"

i thought how nice it would be to share that link
--and then forgot--
until now

don't you hate it when you can't remember what you want to remember?
then you spend a ridiculous amount of time and energy trying to remember (or find)
lucky for me - i spent some time looking and then -- i turned to the one that has all the answers --

i googled it

guess what 
first one on the list
--then i found a few more --

here's my short list 
(click them and let your end of summer adventure begin)

how to squeeze the last drops out of summer


two (of us) for tuesday

this is lulu

 this is me

 this is lulu+me playing chase - on the bed of course


there she goes...

this is my friend, kim -- oh, and me too

she is also my roommate

except in the summer while i am in montana
(then my roommates are teenagers, husband, and dog)

she is traveling for three weeks 

three weeks

this means there will be 
online chatting
talking on the phone
calendar updates

my life just got that much less interesting

because there will be no stories like this...


when she gets back

she should have three weeks worth of stories

that should keep me entertained for awhile

i should have no excuses for non-productivity for the next three weeks
except for the small fact that she did not take 
the internet

with her

i might not be so bored after all


i will still miss you



some mornings you just spend too much time on the computer - hopefully not most mornings.  one of these too-much-time mornings, i renewed my intense love of a site that i haven't been on in awhile...

have you discovered: emersonmade

oh i just love love love them!

-- they live on a farm
-- they renovated their farmhouse into a lovely home that i would like to live in too
-- emerson designs, styles, models -- everything -- the clothing line and her husband, ryan, does all the photography
-- they are funny
-- they include their animals in many of their pictures - which i love to see - especially the chickens
-- they sell beautiful clothes (made in the USA - which is quite important to me) that i would love to own -- this skirt is on my wish list:

design sponge posted a tour of their home : emerson farm

my favorite (i am very jealous and hope to have in my future perfect home):

can we all say  ahhhh......


summer squash

did i tell you the story of how many squash plants i planted this year?  

ready for it?


yes, you saw that correctly.

however, i incorrectly assumed that some (a lot) of them would die 

but they didn't.

this picture was taken a few weeks ago:
the plants are  now much larger - but i don't want to go out and take a picture right now - use your imagination...

then they started to get a lot of these:

now i have a lot of zucchini - and soon a lot of yellow squash too - probably about 8 tomorrow when i go out and pick them...and more zucchini too.

we have been eating a lot of zucchini.  i love it.  i've grilled it, roasted it, sautéed it, put it on salad and ate it plain.  it's good.  it means summer.  i like it.  

but -- i have a lot of it -- so i took some to the librarians -- and tomorrow i'm going to take some more --

and i'm going to make some zucchini bread - but i have to find the right recipe...soon

which brings me to the question of -- do you zucchini too?

this summer i have made a lot of recipes from the Martha Stewart website (seriously has been my go-to site this season) - i love their little collections - especially the ones that are vegetarian, or like the one i am sharing - produce specific.

here is one for: zucchini  - click it, explore it, and go try something new to eat!


back to business

well, i looked at the calendar this morning and it told me two things:

1. i have taken 18 days of "blogging vacation"
2. i have exactly 3 weeks until i pack up the car and head back home

usually, i would be packing up tonight and heading back tomorrow - but this year i'm staying with the husband, in montana, for longer...

the past few weeks we haven't been up to much - i made a dent in the projects that i need to get done and this next week am hoping to get most of them accomplished...trying to get things done ahead of time rather than procrastinating... i don't really know if it's as much fun and old habits die hard.

where we left off:
we try to celebrate everyone's birthday -- our worker, travis, had a birthday and we were more than happy to put together an impromptu bbq and a quick batch of cupcakes ---  anyone else having a birthday?


taking a break

we're going to be taking a vacation (or mostly) a vacation from the computer
for the next week or two.

projects to do
can't get sucked in....

see you in a bit