Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Whip it Up Wednesday

I have to go to a potluck Friday, so I'm cruising my healthy meal planning sites and was reminded of this delicious salad I made for Easter. It's Cucumber Pineapple light and refreshing. You can cut down on the sugar even more, I think. Like half of that would work. Now to find the strawberry poppyseed one.

Serves 4

1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 cup fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and julienne
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion (I'd also cut this in half...they all got picked out anyway)
4 cups torn salad greens
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

In a heavy saucepan, bring the sugar, vinegar and water to a boil. Stir constantly until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and place in the refrigerator until cool. Add the pineapple. Cover and return to the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Add the cucumbers, carrots and red onions to the pineapple mixture. Toss well.
To serve, divide the salad greens among the plates. Top with the pineapple mixture and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

And here are a couple of cards I'm VERY proud of!! I learned how to make shape cards on my Design Studio. These are both from Create a Critter and done completely from scraps.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

13 Thursday

I'm going to be chilling at my desk today, so I thought I'd do a desk themed blog. I'm cutting out 250 lightbulb doorhangers for our church...needed this Sunday!! Crazy...

13 things that are around my desk:

1. Bears notepad

2. Pier One coffee cup with tea and peppermint creamer

3. Jacked up blackberry still waiting for my trackball

4. light blue CM pen

5. labelmaker

6. insurance forms waiting to be submitted (forgot the website to download them from!)

7. Quote rolodex with tons of quotes to be put in there

8. cricut

9. camera

10. timer to keep me on task for computer (read: Facebook) time

11. gratitude journal

12. Project Life 2010 Scrapbook

13. bowl with yummy waffles

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Whip it up Wednesday

So this is usually a recipe but today, I whipped up some cards. I used Give a Hoot for the Owl one and Create a Critter cricut cartridges for the prince charming one. Embossed the crown and stickled the heart.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Marriage Monday

Paul and I seem to be at a place we can both live with. We are enjoying each other's company alot more than in the past 5 years; we forgive and move on quickly (good thing after that Mother's Day thing!! LOL) and we can talk about things without having fights.
Case in point...he's being very, cards, dates. I love every minute of them. And yet, little intimacy. Lots of I like you moments but nothing of what is going on in his life or his heart. So I talked to him about it again, for about the 10th time this month, and asked him what's going on. He listened. He responded. Now to see if he acts.
We went to see Robin Hood last night. GREAT movie!! It's worth full price, especially if you're a history lover like me. Two and a half hours of history. I'll definitely see it again. It was great to just be walking in the mall and decide to see what time movies were and be able to go...
He kissed me in church yesterday. And I let him. Maybe we are finding our way back. I pray we are, and honestly, fear that we aren't. That this is just a blip and things will go back. For today, I choose to reject fear and go with faith. Healing is happening. And healing takes time.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Finish It Friday

Today is SUCH a finishing day!! Got my explosion box figured out; it looks like this... This isn't the one I did but I'm on a finishing roll and don't want to stop for pix...I like that I can make them now. Something that's been on my list for a few years to learn. So easy!!
Finished loading up and organizing pix too. 248 off to CVS for the 12 cent sale.
Finished my laminating project for Brian.
Finished our small group study too.

Now off to finish laundry and dusting and call it a very successful finish it Friday!!
Had an epiphany today...I stay up late and when I go to bed, Paul almost always wakes up and we have a conversation. He's already going to bed late to spend more time with me. I think it's selfish of me to stay up late and make him even more sleep deprived. It was different when he'd sleep through me coming to bed. Different when we weren't talking at all. Different when we were living separate lives under the same roof. But i want to do my part. And my part for this area is to go to bed earlier. I hope I remember come bed time!! LOL

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

Today is Thursday, right? I've been thinking alot...about relationships.
I've been watching, kinda from a distance emotionally, as my marriage seems to be becoming something other than what it used to be. Getting notes from my husband saying he appreciates me, but then being treated pretty crappy on Mother's Day. Having a meltdown about it.  Then, acting as if none of that happened, yesterday he comes home with a movie and was going to make me dinner (but I'd already eaten). Left me a note today saying he appreciates me more and more each day. So why do I have such a hard time believing it? How long will it be before I do?
People change; I know that. I know I have. And I know there are those in my life who don't see it. But I know I have. My heart is different. I'm at peace, most of the time. I'm more compassionate than I used to be; more patient with others not changing than I used to be. I think somewhere along the line I realized whether others do what they need to do, or choose health or kindness, that doesn't change the mandate on my life. Or free me from the choice of kindness or harshness, acceptance or rejection.
And at the same time, there are people in my life who AREN'T in my life. For good reason. Toxic doesn't begin to describe it. Chris said yesterday, when he was here picking up boxes, that his friend was a really toxic relationship for him. I thought it interesting that he saw that. I think it will be interesting to see what happens with that in the long run...without a doubt, Chris is right. But will he follow through by limiting this guys presence in his life? Time will tell.
Seems like there's been alot of clarity lately in that area; toxic relationships. Sad to see in in the next generation (sounding like a geezer to myself!!) and I wish I had seen it earlier in my life, but I guess I had to get whooped by life a bit to recognize and own that I can walk away.
My two biggest walk-aways have been my mom and sister. They are eerily similar in how they relate to others and the world and it does the same damage with both generations. Why they think attacking/retreating thinking things are better because they aren't screeching/attacking/self-pity because there isn't a relationship/apology/attacking will work, is beyond me. It used to exhaust me; frustrate me; make me a little crazy trying to get them to see.
Then the watershed moments happened and I got it that things were never going to change; and as much as I chose to protect my kids from abuse by not allowing them near my abuser, I choose to protect myself now. I don't know if I'll regret it later, but I know I'm a much more peaceful person without their chaos in my life. I feel sorry for my mom; she really doesn't see what her emotional and verbal abuses do to those around her. She is truly oblivious to the damage that she has done and continues to do to those in her life...all while saying how much she misses us.
My sister, is a different story. She gets vicious. Cruel almost beyond being able to heal from it. Then tells us all how wonderful she is and how the people in her life would tell us how proud they are of her; what a good person she is. All within a verbal attack that sends me reeling. No longer directed at me because I don't give her access to my life; but it's awful to watch. And getting the veiled, smackdown comments that are clearly directed at me but said to others. It's heartbreaking...somewhere along the line I quit being furiously angry about it and now I'm just sad.
What would I do if I had the relationship with my kids they have with theirs? My siblings talk to my mom (those that do) with dread and out of obligation. That is not how God intended it. I don't think either of my nieces talk to my sister. What if my kids cut me out of their life? Would I stubbornly insist I was a good mom? Or would I live in the denial and refusal to even ask the questions necessary to get to the truth?
And on days like this, I see the scar within myself that my family of origin has left...insecurity, wondering if I'm as crazy as they are, as detached from reality as they are. Maybe I'm NOT the person I think I am. Maybe I am toxic too. Maybe. Maybe.
So that's what I've been thinking today...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Whip it up Wednesday

So I was trying to whip up an explosion box and am totally confused...which led me to think about dinner...which led me to this yummo recipe I was going to make for the youth group girls on Monday, which led to THAT being postponed till Monday of this coming up week...but here's the recipe!!

Healthy Chow Mein
1 pound lean pork sliced into thin strips or 1 lb ground turkey

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 bunch washed green onion, sliced including tops
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 package frozen oriental style vegetables, defrosted
1 can of bean sprouts
anything else you want to throw in

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 cups cooked hot brown rice
2 tablespoons flax seed, optional

In large skillet heat canola oil, add meat (brown turkey first if you're using turkey), celery, green onion, and red bell pepper. Cook and stir until onion is soft. Add soy sauce, chicken broth, mushrooms, oriental vegetables and ground ginger. Cover and simmer five minutes. In small bowl mix 1/4 cup chicken broth with cornstarch and add to skillet. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Allow to boil one minute or until mixture begins to thicken.
Serve over hot brown rice. for chow mein or whole wheat spaghetti noodles for lomein. Sprinkle each serving with a pinch of flax seed, if desired.
Serve with a side of spring rolls for healthy yummy or egg rolls for the less healthy crowd!!
Number of Servings: 4-6

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Fives

I think I"m going to alternate between Finish it Fridays and Friday Fives. Since I'm not in the middle of anything except the need to buy a cell phone, I'll do FF

1.What are the titles of the last three books you read all of?
Honeymoon, Cross, Living on Less

2.What are the titles of between three and five magazines you subscribe to or used to subscribe to?
Simple Scrapbooks, Creative Keepsakes, Scrapbooks, etc., (there's a theme I am about to leave behind), More and Oprah

3.What’s on your night table?
A tray I made at a mosaic place; earplugs, a lamp, some peppermints (top)
phone, alarm clock (middle)
wayyyyy too many books to mention (bottom)
a basket with notecards and a pen (hanging off one side) and a plaque from my girlfriend (hanging off other side)
4.What are the three best things that happened to you in the past seven days?
Paul brought me flowers; talked to Judy and got all caught up; and my phone contract came up for renewal

5.What was your senior yearbook quote, and what would your yearbook quote be this year if there were such a thing?
No quote. This year:  Teach me to feel another's woe. To hide the fault I see: That the mercy I show to others; that mercy also show to me. (Alexander Pope)
See ya Monday!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

I've been thinking alot lately....about alot of things. Here they are in no particular order.
  1. It breaks my heart to see my kids struggling. Joseph with the stuff with Lauren, seeing him cry for the first time in years. Seeing him try to balance what he needs to do for himself and what he wants to do for her, trying to navigate fights and confrontations about values not details, and finally realizing it wasn't working. Cassie with the apartment situation and having to carry the lion's share because Chris procrastinates even making a phone call, balancing being a good mom and trying to pack stuff up all while Chris is telling her she's an idiot for doing it. Thinking that he can bully someone, yet again, and get what he wants.
  2. I really don't know what's changed between Paul and I but something has happened and I'm really glad. The walls seem to be coming down by him and I just LIKE him again. I've missed that and am so grateful!!
  3. I miss my nieces. I know they are growing/grown up. But I miss seeing their faces, knowing what's going on in their lives, summers, winters, all of it. Paul keeps saying that's life, but for me that's loss.
  4. I feel like I have too many relationships to maintain. Like I never do a good enough job with anyone, and I don't know how to fix that.
  5. My phone is dying. I don't want to get a phone that is going to cost $30 more a month, but I don't know how I'd do it without the calendar. Honestly.
  6. I'm loving making cards right now; and sending them right away. Not hoarding them.
  7. I think I'm going into menopause!! WHAT???
  8. I think I've found a way to blog that works for me and doesn't make me feel like a failure!! Yep!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This just in!!

The Svelte Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese

Serves 8

7 oz elbow or shell pasta (NOT whole wheat)
4 cups cauliflower florets, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups lowfat (2%) shredded cheddar or cheese blend (I used lowfat 4-cheese Mexican blend and it was fabulous!)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
2/3 cup 2% milk (skim would make the fat and calories even lower!)
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp butter, melted
2 tbsp panko bread crumbs
butter spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain well. Steam cauliflower florets until very soft, drain. Let pasta and cauliflower cool a bit while you prepare the other ingredients. Shred the cheese if it's not pre-shredded. Beat the milk, egg and salt together in a small bowl. Mix the melted butter with the panko in another bowl.

Mash the cauliflower with a potato masher, a whisk, or whatever you have handy. Mix it with the pasta until well combined, being careful not to break up the noodles. Take a pinch of each of the cheeses and toss them with the panko/butter. Set aside. Combine the rest of the cheese with the pasta and cauliflower. Spray the bottom and sides of your casserole dish lightly with spray butter, then spread the mixture evenly in your casserole dish. Pour the milk/egg/salt mixture over the top. With your mixing spoon, carefully stir and fold until the milk mixture is combined with the pasta/cauliflower. Sprinkle with the panko/butter/cheese mixture and bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes or until the top just starts to brown. Voila!

For more "magic" recipes, try The Svelte Gourmet: A Month of Main Coursescookbook, available at

Whip it Up Wednesday

This was dinner last night. Soooo easy and yummmmmmm!!

Pork tenderloin (1 lb)
1/2 cup Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle marinade
1/2 cup water
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 bag corn, steamed
1/2 cup or so Sam's fresh salsa (found in the fresh pizza/refrigerator section)

Throw first set of ingredients in crock pot until meat falls apart. I cooked mine on low for 4 hours (I have a FAST crock pot!!) and another 3 hours on warm.

I served this with couscous last night, but make it with brown rice alot.  You can shred this and make it with tortillas too.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuneful Tuesdays

Bon Jovi's Hallelujah is my first song choice. Not sure why. I love the song, whether it's Shrek, Jason Castro or Tim Urban singing it. But this is my favorite version, on Lost Highway.

Monday, May 3, 2010

5 Things I love

So I was challenged to come up with five things I love, other than the obvious.

1) I love this picture. I scrapped it today. I got it repritned at Snapfish in 8x10 and the entire page is "the three girls". I was an overlapping member of the three girls and "the three little ones". The ultimate middle child, I guess.
2) I love the smell of lilacs. I literally stop in my tracks when I smell them, trying to find hte source if I can't see it immediately.
3) I love diet Cherry pepsi. It's my current favorite pop.
4) I love uplifting messages.
Heard one at this morning. The May 2nd one. It made me glad I've stuck out the last five years.
5) I love my hair straightener. LOL. But really I do. It's 2", it gets super hot and doesn't damage my hair. It's a purple bedhead brand.