Monday, June 30, 2008

Favorite Things Addendeum

On last week's "My Favorite Things" list I had Jodi Picoult as a favorite author. While I still like her books and highly recommend reading "My Sister's Keeper", I would like to remove the book "Change of Heart" from my list of suggested reads. I finished it last night and was not impressed. It was too long, predictable, and had an Are-you-kidding-me-with-this? kind of ending. But most importantly I am getting a little tired of the alternative religions in her books. While I try to be an open-minded person and would absolutely hate to be labeled as a Bible-Thumping-Christian, I do get a little of tired of people ragging on my Savior. In previous books, Picoult would merely explore other religious beliefs, but in this book I felt she was attacking Christianity, mainly the Catholic Church. She has every right to believe what she wants, and even write a novel about it. But she has officially gone down a couple of notches on my list due to it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Grizzle Chicken Salad

This recipe is actually my husband's. He is a huge fan of chicken in a can (I am not!). However, it does really well in this recipe....

Grizzle Chicken Salad
2 cans of chicken in a can
Red Seedless grapes, halved
1 Apple, diced
approx. 2 Tb mayo
approx. 1 Tb honey
S&P to taste

Mix together all ingredients and serve on bread or with crackers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Merry Life

Whitney's mom asked me to "pimp her blog". I was so excited that she knew that lingo! Please check out her posts on real estate, family and how to live a "Merry Life".

My Favorite Things

  1. Mario Kart. Ben was able to talk me into getting a Wii with the fact that I could have the option of downloading classic Mario games straight to our console. I love old school Mario and was even still holding onto my original Nintendo so I can play it. Now, Mario Kart can be purchased, but it is even better than the original - because you play with a wheel! Takes me back to the good old days.

  2. The New Coldplay album. Although I am really missing the piano, I am still excited to hear something new from them.

  3. Lipton White Tea Raspberry. Very refreshing with 5 calories and 0 sugar per serving.

  4. Riesling. It is actually a dessert wine, but I drink it with dinner. It has a sweet and fruity taste and you can find version of it that are very good and very reasonably priced.

  5. Cucina Soap. - Lime Verbena scented. Amanda Brooke got me this set for Christmas last year. I am nearing the bottom of the bottle and will need to replenish soon. Smells fresh and citrus-y.

  6. Edamame. I tried it for the first time a couple of weeks ago and now I am hooked. I actually crave it. It is very good for you and very filling. You can find easy to make steam packs in the frozen section of your local grocery store.
  7. Carpet Deodorizer. You know what I am talking about? Those canisters of scented powder you sprinkle on your carpet and vacuum up? It probably isn't good for your carpet, but it makes the house smell like summer time!

  8. Red Curry Paste. Just a tablespoon from this little jar will add a lot of flavor to any homemade Thai dish. We have been using it a lot lately to pacify my Surin cravings until date night allows me an actual meal there.

  9. Jodi Picoult. I stumbled upon this author while in Mexico on my honeymoon. Our hotel had a reading niche by the pool with a plethora of books for guests to read. There were only a few books in English to choose from so I grabbed one that caught my interest and really liked it. When I got back to the states I decided to try another book by Ms. Picoult and ended up finding my favorite book of all time! Has anyone read "My Sister's Keeper"? I cannot recommend it enough! They are making it into a movie next summer. It will star Cameron Diaz (not sure that she would have been my pick for the role she will be playing) but the movie should be good. I would suggest almost any of Picoult's books. I have read a couple I wasn't crazy about, but "My Sister's Keeper", "Picture Perfect", "Change of Heart", and "Second Glance" are all good reads. She does a lot of research for every book and touches on controversial topics that will really make you rethink what you thought you believed.

  10. Dove Energy Shampoo and Conditioner. Many of you may remember Dove Energy soap making my top 10 list a few weeks back. Imagine my excitement, when I found they make a shampoo and conditioner in the same refreshing scent! It smells great and leaves my hair feeling extra silky.
    *Side note: If you read the comments of my previous soap blog, you would have read that Martina uses this soap but claims it is leaving a film in her shower. I would just like to say that after a month of using it, my shower has shown absolutely no signs of said "scum". I fully believe this is because 1) I clean my shower on a regular basis and 2) I take showers on a regular basis. Something I am afraid Martina is not accustomed to. If you will simply follow my example of proper shower hygiene and not fall into Martina's dangerous habits your shower will be safe of any nasty build-up.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cranberry & Turkey Meatballs

Martina Penter was nice enough to give me this recipe. I love the sweetness of the cranberry sauce with the savoriness of the meatballs. It pairs well with hash brown casserole. They cook up in the same amount of time at the same temp. Easy as pie - or meatballs and casserole?

Turkey Cranberry Meatballs

1 lb ground turkey
1 c cornflakes
2 Tb diced onions
1 Tb soy sauce
Pepper to taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 egg
1/4 c ketchup
1 can Cranberry Sauce

1. Mix all ingredients together and roll into golf ball size balls.
2. Place balls into a casserole dish.
3. Pour one can of cranberries on top.
4. Cook 400° for 25 minutes.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Favorite Things

  1. Jon & Kate plus 8. I can't even begin to describe how much I love this show. ADORABLE kids with real parents who try their hardest to teach their children to be followers of Jesus.

  2. The Elliptical Machine. Okay, so maybe calling this one of my favorite things is a bit of a stretch. By no means, would I choose this over - well basically anything that has ever appeared on one of these lists. But, as far as exercising goes, this thing rocks! I jump on it and go. It is so smooth, is easy on my knees and helps me burns calories...not nearly as many calories as I feel like I should have burned while sweating up there on that thing, but it burns calories nonetheless.

  3. Green onions, a.k.a. spring onions or scallions. Flavor packed goodness. Sprinkle some on a baked potato, quesadilla, salad, or just mix it up in some cream cheese and you are good to go.

  4. The Sex and the City movie. I will not go into detail, as not to destroy for the few girls left that haven't seen it yet, but let's just say it was totally worth the wait!

  5. Sunday Afternoon Naps...isn't that what Sundays were made for?

  6. Aldi Grocery Store. Prepare yourself for a different kind of shopping experience when you visit this store. You bag your own groceries (with your own bags from home - which is actually very good for the environment when you think about it), there are very few name brand items to choose from, and you have to deposit a quarter to use a cart (you get it back when you return the cart to the corral). But the prices are great! A gallon of milk is only $1.99! That is half as much as Wal-Mart charges. For someone who goes through 2 gallons of milk a week, it is worth bagging my own groceries to save that kind of hard-earned cash. For all you B'ham gals, Aldi's is located across the street from Publix on Greensprings Hwy in Homewood. Click on the link above for more information on this grocery chain. You will need to know what to expect, i.e. they do not accept credit cards or checks. Only cash and debit cards.
  7. Kirkland's new weekend sales. Go to their website to receive weekly emails about their upcoming specials. They are Friday and Saturday only, but you can get some great stuff for super cheap! I got an awesome, big clock for my office for only $12.99!

  8. The Bucket List. It's a new release on DVD starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman about 2 cancer patients who are given a year to live and decide to make a list of things to do before guessed it - kick the bucket. Pretty good flick. Ben was reluctant to watch it, but ended up pleased that he did. I think you will be too.

  9. Fudgesicles. 60 calories a bar, girls. You should get some!

  10. Paisley. Any color, any kind, any where...I love it!

Gone Fishin' - the blog

This blog was a special one for me to design. Daniel is a really cool kid and deserves a blog that reflects it! Please visit "Gone Fishin'" and make sure to leave a little "hello" for Daniel while you are there!

*For all my CORE Group gals, Daniel is Lanie's friend. She started this blog to help keep people up to date on him. Check it out!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Quick Quesdillas

This summer Ben is taking it "easy" by only taking one class. It is nice for him to have a little extra time this summer, but I think I am enjoying it just as much as he is. It is so nice to have him home in the evenings. I only have to eat by myself one night a week now!

On this one night a week, I struggle to come up with something to make for just one person. To help me resist the I'll-just-run-through-a-drive-through urge I have started compiling a list of single serving meals that are easy to make without sacrificing taste value or piling up on senseless calories. My latest concoction is easy as PB&J and and tastier than the dreaded fast food restaurant! Not rocket science by any means, but definitely worth noting:

Black Bean Quesadillas:
Simply slather a tortilla shell with black beans, cheese and green onions. Grill and serve with tomatoes and sour cream. Mm, mm good!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Baby Boy Blog

Check out Martina's new blog!

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Favorite Things

It is hard to believe that Ben and I have been married for almost a year now! My, how time flies when you are having fun. We are still enjoying life as newlyweds and all the many blessings that have come with our new marriage. A major part of those blessings is our A-mazing Young Marrieds group at church. This ain't your average group y'all, this is the best group of couples in Birmingham! We love each and everyone of them! So...without further's my top ten favorite things (or people) this week:

1)Shaun & Ashley Cosby
2) Hal & Maghan Craig
3) Lee & Laura Davis
4) Ben & Bethany Faucett
5) Justin & Whitney Hardy

6) Michael & Martha Hovater
7) Mike & Jessa Mullen
8) Camron & Martina Penter
9) Bret & Lanie Walters
10) Jared & Rachel Woodward
*Couples are listed in alphabetical order
not from greatest to least.
I couldn't choose a #1 if I had to, so don't even ask!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Handy Dandy Menus

I have been accused of being OCD for planning my meals the way I do (and for many other things, as a matter of fact). But I have to say that meal planning is therapy for me. I don't do it because I am a super-wife by any means, I do it because if I didn't I would go to the grocery store and come home with half the ingredients I need, none of which would add up to make anything worth eating. I must say that my method works great for my family. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is having the after-work-cooking-blahs.

I have shared this process with my CORE Group gals and am now bravely opening it up to the blogging world with the knowledge that I will catch some slack for it. But if one family's dinner time is saved by reading this, my purpose has been served! (insert sarcasm here)

1) I usually choose 10 meals to cover a 2 week period. As many of you may know, there are actually 14 nights in 2 weeks. But we have date nights on Friday nights and eat with our CORE Group on Sunday nights. Hence, the 10 meals. I make a menu to help me see what I have chosen (I am a very visual person) that looks something like this:2) I pull out recipe cards for each and every dish on my list from my master recipe book (blog on this at another time) and write down all the ingredients.
3) I go through my cabinets and cross off everything that is on the list and already stocked in my kitchen.
4) I make a new list from the remaining items according the aisles they are in the grocery store. I keep a count of how many sticks of butter I will need, how many, bananas, etc. Trust me when I say that this comes in handy when you get to the store and think, I know I needed onions, but how many will I need?
5) I head to the the local food provider with my handy list and husband in tow. We work our way through the list from top to bottom and head home knowing we will have everything I need for all our meals in the next 2 weeks. No more midweek grocery store runs for the banana I forgot to pick up!

Wives note: your husband's will enjoy this method because he can look at the menu and say, tonights I think I shall like Enchiladas for dinner. Makes him feel special...

Girls' Night

Okay, so I admit I am a little behind on posting this. But seriously, with all the other blogs on this event, was anyone really missing anything? Didn't think so.

Last month the girls from our CORE Group decided to go to Sumo for dinner. We had a great time eating, laughing, getting food thrown at us and just hanging out. Here are a few photos for your viewing pleasure.

The gang's all here (except Martha...we missed you, Marfa!)

Our chef/entertainer for the evening.

Martina pretending to be a Japanese Chef.

Maghan, Me & Lanie

Lanie, Ashley and Heather.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

SawGrass 2008

This year was the Third Annual Young Marrieds retreat at Rachel's family's hunting lodge in Gainesville, Alabama. It was, as always, a blast! Fourwheeling, fishing, games, movies, horseback riding, grilling out, worship (aka sangin')...just a laid back, fun filled weekend! Here are a few pics for your viewing pleasure!

Sylvia's Graces

Please check out her page. She is a great myspacer and I just know she will be an even better blogger!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tune in to The Cosby Show

Ashley's got her own blog! Check it out...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My Favorite Things

  1. Martha Stewart's Cookie's Cookbook. I haven't even bought it yet, nor have I made anything from it...but it doesn't take much for Martha to make the top of my list. Look how yummy the Ginger Chocolate Molasses Cookies on the cover look!

  2. Turquoise Perfume by Ralph Lauren. It is discontinued now and I dread the day when I cannot replenish my supply. It is the perfect mix of clean and exotic - which ain't too easy to accomplish!

  3. Oversize Bulletin Boards. I plan to try to reproduce this in my new office at work (blog on this subject coming soon). I want to put it right behind my desk for all my "important" papers.

  4. Small White plates. For three reasons: a.) they make the food look yummy b.) they help keep your portions small. c.)you can mix and match them for variations in texture and shapes.

  5. Barley Twist Wood. I have always absolutely loved this look. Jessa has a bedroom suit that looks like this and I have to admit I want to break into her house and steal it...just kidding, Jessa (kinda).

  6. Everyday Food. Another great resource for fast, easy to make dinners. You can subscribe to their magazine, check them out online and could used to be able to watch them on PBS, however I haven't been able to find the show for the past few weeks. Thank goodness for the magazine and website!

  7. Dove Energize Soap. Fabulous scent! It also has little beads in the bar to help exfoliate your skin!

  8. Strawberry Twizzlers. So, apparently I have an addictive personality disorder because every week I have a new favorite addiction for my blog. This week's addiction is not new but is just as habit forming as the rest. I LOVE these things! Good thing they are a lo-cal snack. Perfect for the office, the movies or in your car!

  9. Fireflies. Who doesn't get nostalgic when they see little floating sparkles in the summer evening air?

  10. Peonies. If our wedding would have been in the spring, my bouquet would have been full of these beautifully luscious flowers!