Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Let me tell you about the other name first. I picked out the Painting Love one because I loved that song and the words really spoke to me (see my sidebar for the chorus.) I felt that I was a Masterpiece in Progress and I was struggling with big issues at the time. Well, I am still struggling, but my blog has become so much more than an outlet for all my fears and insecurities. It has become a place for fun, fellowship and Friend-ship =). I love how all you readers have become my confidants and women who can raise me up when times are tough. I love that you make me laugh, make me cry and give me inspiration. I like sharing my life with all of you and I hope you've enjoyed the open door I have here.
Anyway, to make a long post even longer, I would like to say all that...in my blog title. I would like it to encompass a little more about what we do here. How we are fun, how we pray for each other, how we share life. So... I need ideas. I am good with the cooking, but notsomuch with cool names for stuff. Except my appliances; I name them easily.
So, please comment and make a suggestion or seven. Even if you think it is silly, or too serious, put it down. It might speak to me, or someone else might be able to tweak it. Get out those thinking caps and give me some of your thoughts. You all will be able to provide me with some perspective...how you see me, instead of how I see myself.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
You will need some shredded cheese, half an onion, some fresh mushrooms, a taco packet, some chicken and 10 inch tortillas. Sometimes I use fresh chicken breasts that I cook in advance, and other times I use chicken in a can, but today I used pre-cooked sliced chicken. It all depends on what I can find at the store that is on sale.
Dice your onions and mushrooms. Don't worry about them being perfectly chopped. Just get them bite size.
Get them in your frying pan and let the onions sweat out a little bit, and your mushrooms brown up a little bit.
While the onions are cooking, go ahead and butter your tortillas. I used my low fat Brummel and Brown spread, but use whatever works for you. The only thing I don't like is cooking spray. It doesn't crisp as well.
Add your chicken to the mix and then sprinkle on some of the taco packet. It will NOT take the entire packet. I keep one in my cupboard especially for quesadillas. You might use about half.
Add a little water like you would if you were making tacos. It lets the sauce get thick and yummy.
On another burner, get your big skillet ready and hot. Place your tortilla in the pan, butter side down. Sprinkle a little cheese down first and then transfer some of the chicken mixture from pan to tortilla, but place only on half. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top (the cheese is like the glue that holds it all together.)Fold over. and smush down. A spatula works perfectly for these quesadillas. At this point I usually flip it over, as the side you have been working on gets pressed to the pan harder and is already starting to brown.
See? Let the other side cook to let the cheese melt and then get it on a plate. Place your next tortilla in the pan and repeat. This recipe should make four large quesadillas, with cheese leftover.
I cut the quesadillas with a pizza cutter into four sections. Add a dollop of sour cream and some salsa and you are good to go. The variations are endless: add whatever veggies you like to the onions and mushrooms. Just make sure they are cooked before adding them to the tortilla.
Friday, April 25, 2008
We had a fundraiser at school and the classes put together baskets to raffle off. I bought some raffle tickets, some for this spa basket pictured above. And I WON. I can't tell you how excited I was to bring it home! The picture doens't even do it justice, because there were three other packages that went with it.
I will never need to buy lotion again.
There were so many different kinds of lotions, shower gels, body scrubs and creams. One whole basket is full of PartyLite candles and lotions. There were two pairs of slippers, a set of towels, a bathrobe and that ceramic duck. I have a loofa, a sponge, several foot pumice thingys, and two sets of toe separaters. I have cucumber eye coolers (which I will send to whomever wants them- I hate cucumber!) chocolate soaps and chocolate chapstick. There was a gift card to Starbucks and one for a Pedicure and Manicure. The robe is so soft and cuddly and it came with a matching throw.
I was jumping up and down the whole day! The Boosters sold almost 4000 tickets. I cannot believe I came home with that basket!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Anyway, after writing the post about 6 unimportant things about myself, I thought about other weird things I do. I sleep with a teddy bear, I blow bubbles in my soda (yes, I know, I'm 31) and I like fun socks. I hate toothpaste with baking soda, cucumber anything, including lotions that smell like cucumber, and crooked teeth. I am messily organized, I hate overhead lights, and I have separate hand and dish towels. I jump at pictures of snakes (did that today), have a dry wit, and cry at Pedigree commercials. I am silly, nerdy, overly critical, and searching for contentment. I like travel, but hate to fly. I hate messy cars, but mine collects tons of stuff that I'm sure I'll need someday. I want everyone to speak English...all over the world. I think that wearing an evening gown once a week would be fun. I still pinch my husband's butt. I am totally a weepy woman; a stereotype I'm sure many of you are fighting. I have many friends, but only a few that know my complete story.
I name my appliances.
Not all of them. Just the pretty ones. My silver iPod is Sophie. I named her that because I liked the name and it didn't sound good with my last name. I wanted to use it somehow. My fridge is black, shiny, sleek and curved. His name is Neo (matrix-y) and he is cool. Ha. But I want you to meet someone really special. This is Miley.
Isn't she pretty? She is lovely and special and works really well. She has been a lifesaver in my house that is full of hardwoods and husky doghair. My husband picked Miley out because our other vacuum was just spitting the hair all over the place. We couldn't figure out how to sweep without just moving the hair all around, but Miley has a special attachment for hardwoods (in the picture.) It sucks all the hair right up and doesn't send it flying.
I called her Miley because she is a Miele (mee-lay) vacuum. I kept mispronouncing it and it just stuck. I also really like the name, but the husband hates it and would never go for it for a baby. So my pretty vacumm was given a name. The funny thing is that my husband ALSO calls her Miley! Don't you feel bad that I have sucked him into my world? Or do you congratulate me for finding a man that could deal with my eccentricities. And there are many.
Welcome to my weirdness. It might be a strange place, but it's a happy one.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
For this meme, I am supposed to share 6 unimportant things about myself, and then tag 6 of you to do the same. I admit that I am horrible at chain letters, and things like this. I always break the chain, because I never want to pass it along. So I apologize right now, Debbie, for ignoring that part of the rule. But, if any of you want to participate, do so and I will claim that I tagged ya.
Ok, here goes. Six unimportant things about me, in no random order...
1. I failed my driver's test the first time. Hit a cone when I was parking. I was sooo embarassed because I was almost 17 anyway and had aced driver's ed. My older brother was with me and it was so uncool to fail. I did go back three weeks later and I passed the test and hugged the tester lady.
2. I lived in Alaska for eight years. My parents moved up there when I was 6 months old and we lived there until I was 8. I loved the snow, the atmosphere, the pine trees, and all the fun outdoor stuff to do. When we moved to Florida I became an indoor girl, and I think it was due to the temperature change.
3. I have a crazy good memory. Seriously. It's not quite photographic, but it is pretty close. In school I could normally picture where certain things would be on my textbook pages. I never had trouble with memorizing anything. It just comes naturally. Emily can vouch for this, and so can my husband(he hates it). For this reason, I love quiz shows and games. I like Jeopardy and Trivial Persuit and all of that. My husband hates to play anything where you have to remember names and dates, so I have to twist his arm to get him to play.
4. I choose salty over sweet. Always have. Give me French fries (see, blame the French!) over a candy bar any day of the week. If it can be fried, I like it. Consequently, I am now dieting. My love of salty has gone too far. Sigh.
5. I didn't have cereal with marshmallows until college. My parents were health nuts and always fed us good nutritious healthy stuff, which was good, I guess. In college I fell in love with lucky charms and white bread. We didn't drink Kool-aid until I was 13 or so, and my mom made pizza from scratch each week. There were vegetables with every meal, and carob coated rice cakes. Carob=fake chocolate. Yuck.
6. I have a weakness for 300 thread count sheets. I save up to buy them. If I can find higher thread count, I will get those. I love to slip into soft sheets that smell like fabric softener and close my eyes. Soft sheets are especially important in the summer, when you wear less to bed, or for those times when you wear nothing to bed. Uh-huh...know what I mean? I love me some soft sheets and a down comforter.
Hope you enjoyed all that info about yours truly. I think I have to post some rules now...
1. Link back to the person who tagged you (see above)
2. Post these rules (see these rules)
3. Share 6 unimportant things (could these be any more dull?)
4. Tag 6 more people (flagrant violation of the rules here)
Um, low battery on the laptop, so I gotta post and get on with my evening. This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, so I have some presents to sort through. I recieved about 25 candy bars, which really isn't the best for my diet, so I'm trying to figure out what to do with them. Oh, well. Remember, if you decide to play, I am claiming you as my tag. Enjoy.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Why is it we get so emotionally involved with people on tv that we don't know and who aren't really those people. They are actors saying lines and kissing people who aren't their significant others? In real life we might think it adulterous, but hey, if kissing Brad Pitt were my job... Oh, back to the point. We get so wrapped up in the stories of Jim and Pam, Ross and Rachel, McDreamy and Meredith and it's like we know them.
I think many of you already know about my obsession with Friends. I have all 10 seasons on DVD and watch them regularly. I felt like I knew them, and when they left it was a loss I really felt. Pathetic, I know, but they really are 6 people I would have wanted to hang out with. But for most of the country, the topsy-turvy romance of Ross and Rachel was a big deal, and that was not the case for me. I watched for Monica and Chandler. They really were the heart of the show and it was their relationship that provided for the most maturity in the group. It was stable, based on friendship and full of compromise. We recently watched season 10 and the episodes where they are dealing with infertility are especially poignant for me.
Hmmm, other tv couples that bring back memories....
Luke and Lorelai on Gilmore Girls... why couldn't she see he was meant for her?
Dawson and Joey on Dawson's Creek...come on, Joey with Pacey? That didn't really seem right.
George Clooney and Julianna Margulies on ER (can't remember the character names)...they brought him back for the right episodes to wrap that one up.
The couple on JAG. Did they ever get together in the end? I gave up watching.
Josh and Donna on the West Wing...they drew that out over 7 seasons.
The Scarecrow and Mrs. King...one of my favs as a kid...I think they got together, then someone got shot.
I'm sure there are others that I missed. Tons in fact. I like a good romance and the suspense in a good tv show allows the chemistry to build. I think we like to live vicarously through those moments on tv where the man is dashing and charming and sweeps the girl off her feet. Or does something so amazing it takes your breath away. I always wonder if those writers go home and do the things they wrote about for their wives....I wonder?
Ok, I'm tired. Send me the names of tv couples you love. I gotta go watch the DVR from the Office again and then watch Chandler propose. Sweet dreams.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
It is a great story of Caroline and her family. Caroline inherits a run-down diner from her boss and is faced with many choices in her life. Should she keep the diner or take a job in Barcelona? Should she continue dating the town sheriff or get back with her old boyfriend who comes back to town? OOOOhhh, the plot thickens! Along the way, Caroline has an encounter with God that is profound and special. I highly recommend it as a fun read. I only wish Rachel had included the recipes for all the wonderful lowcountry food that she included. Especially Bubba's Buttery Biscuits..don't those sound yummy?
Here is a sweet little shot of my furbaby, Phoebe. She is taking a little nap on the couch in our den. Come on, isn't she cute? You may get sick of pics of my dogs, but until I have kids, this is it, folks! Phoebe is a Husky-Lab mix with blond hair and blue eyes that are incredibly hard to photograph. With her eyes closed she looks sweet. When we take pictures of her with her eyes open, she has major demonic red-eye that can't be corrected with the red-eye setting on my camera. Something about the shape of dog's eyes or some other reason.
On another note, things at work are going well this week. I am running a book fair and today was Librarian's Day. While all I got was a smoothie from a parent, it was a great day.
On yet another note, Charlie and I are currently taking a break from fertility drugs for a couple months. With all the chaos at work, I just couldn't take the emotional upheaval that the drugs were causing. I needed to be focused and calm for the kids and the hormones were just making life too hard. Plus, since my job is on the line, I'm not sure whether or not I'll have health insurance after the summer. So we're taking a little break. It has been nice to breath and not stress about it these past couple weeks.
Isn't it funny how we never really know where life will take us? I had this whole plan about my life, what age I would get married, have babies, build a house, etc. I had a plan for everything else and those seemed to work out, but my personal life has always taken longer to put together. Charlie didn't come along until way after I wanted and this baby thing has been a really hard experience. I guess in the scheme of things, I really am lucky. Charlie is wonderful and God brought me Pottery Barn, so I need to be content with His blessings. But each time I have to pee on a stick, the tears flow.
Lord, help me to find contentment in the blessings You bring me everyday. Wipe away my tears and bring me the peace only You can bring.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Anyway, I had these two urns at our other house, but the plants died. On Friday I bought purple salvia flowers and some little yellow ones (don't know the name) to put in them. I planted them Saturday morning before the rain came.
Here are my two helpers taking a look at my planter. Phoebe is on the left, and Lucy is on the right. I planted two planters, but I didn't take a picture with both of them in it. Don't ask why, who knows?
Here is a closeup. I think the purple and yellow look really nice together. They are complimentary colors, you know!
And, here is some moss to show you. This is growing in between the bricks on our steps and looks so cottage-y. I like the way it looks, but it makes the steps hard to sweep since I don't want the moss to come up with the dirt I sweep off.
I really liked the way my planters turned out. I will show you the rest of the yard another time. There is more work to be done than we can manage at one time. If we could afford a landscaper, I would have a beautiful yard with lovely green grass...but that is not what God gave me. He gave me tall trees and lovely shade, but no real grass to speak of...and bamboo growing in the back.
Hope you enjoyed my little project. I am sure that there are better planters out there, but these flowers made me happy!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I love Rebekah at Diagonally Parked. She makes me laugh every time I read her blog. Well, when she isn't being super informative about things. Her post about dialing 911 on your cellphone will really open your eyes about public safety. She is a 911 dispatcher and her sister is a novelist, and I won her book in a contest. I am currently enjoyed said book and will post about it later.
Debbie, at this is the life, is a great read, too! She reviews tv shows, comments on fun things, but is also a big encouragement to me right now. I think she is a one woman prayer team, and I know I have been included in her prayers lately.
Brin, who writes at Messy, Thrilling Life, is a treat. She takes the most amazing photos and is constantly posting recipes that make my diet harder. She posted one about a chocolate sauce that was so sinful...and one about bacon wrapped chicken bites with avocado ranch sauce that was a big hit at the super bowl. She usually posts a Monday Moment that is a mini-devotional.
And if you haven't read Emily, Heather, Jennifer P. or Miss Sniz yet, you are missing out! Emily just got herself a new blog design. Heather has the best music to make you get up and dance, and Miss Sniz tells some great stories. Jennifer P. cracks me up, but has also been praying for me lately.
Well, check them all out if you get a chance. I have other blogs that I also like to read, but haven't posted yet. And if you read this, and you don't want your blog linked to mine, just comment and say so! I can happily remove it, although we all must confess that we like comments and the more the merrier.
Have a happy sunday. Today I am taking a rest, playing with the dogs and reading a book. May you enjoy some peace and quiet today, too.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I found these shoes at Payless right after Thanksgiving. My mom gave me a gift card and I was able to get several new pairs of shoes. These made me so excited. The work with socks and bare feet, and are pretty comfortable.
It's nice how a $17 pair of shoes can lift your mood. I know we often talk about the things I want and how I feel so inadequate in life, but I love it that something that is less than $20 brings me so much joy. The little things, I guess. There are other cheap things I love, and here they are, in no particular order.
- Rice and Shea Flower Bubble Bath from Bath and Body Works...love that smell.
- my dogs
- my clearance down throw...so cuddly
- a good alfredo sauce
- paper clips
- ziploc sandwich bags...for, oh so many reasons
- chai tea
- a great pen...do you write your name over and over with a really good one like I do?
- Friends, The Office, Gilmore Girls
- real life friends
- butterfinger candy bars
- Barnes and Nobles...I can spend HOURS in BN!! The soft music, smell of paper, coffee bar, and bargain books.
- TJ Maxx
- space heaters (the husband likes it COLD)
- fun socks
Is there anything out there that you love that costs less than $20? Include whatever comes to mind that makes you happy and makes you feel good inside because you didn't spend a lot? My friends Emily (Chatting at the Sky) and Alison are expert thrift shoppers. Emily and her sister are the queens of Goodwill. My friend Megan is the queen of yard sales. I am the queen of the clearance rack. I claim the title with honor. I start at the back of the store and work my way forward. Why pay full price when they will mark it down in three weeks? Charlie laughed at me when I said I wanted to get up at 4am the day after Thanksgiving for a pair of shoes (another pair, not the red ones.) But they were gonna be 50% off and I would have to pay more at 10am. I was up at 3:45, at the store at 3:57, and out by 4:45. Back in bed by 5:00. Deal done... I proudly wear those shoes with the knowledge that I paid less. And I have a great, ok, not so great story to tell about it.
Share with me your finds! I can't wait to hear about them.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
On a side note, about my trip to Florida. I hate Skybus. Charlie and I bought our tickets to Florida, and then Skybus went bankrupt. Nice. We are out $200 and had to buy new tickets to fly down. Lovely. I mean, seriously, do you think they could have shut their website down or something if they knew the company was in trouble. I guess I am only out the money. I really feel bad for the people that flew out somewhere, the airline shut down, and they couldn't get home.
Enough crabbing about that, time for bed. To sleep, perchance to dream. Of Pottery Barn.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Every time I walk into one of your stores, I feel like I am at home. The gentle aromas of your candles beckon me. The soft lighting and soothing music call my name. I want to relax in your puffy couches and sink deep into the throw pillows. Each time I get a catalog, I envision myself living among the pages. I study the arrangement of furniture, the contrast of colors, and the use of accessories. I collect your paint samples and use them in my home.
This year my mother-in-law blessed me with a gift certificate to your store. I was so excited. I studied each new catalog. I devoured the website. I watched. And waited. And then I went to a store.
And I came out with this bag. A very full bag. A bag filled with treasures that I debated over for about 30 minutes.
You had to use the large bag. My purchase had to be wrapped in paper to keep it safe.
I had a great visit with you, PB. Please write back and say you enjoyed it too. Please forgive the fact that my husband fell asleep in one of your chairs while I was shopping. Ignore the fact that I only bought sale items, but droooooled over the full price ones. I had a wonderful time. I love you, PB, and I wish I could be with you every day. I wish I could afford all that you have to offer. If you ever open an outlet, I will be there, first in line. See ya soon.
Your fervent admirer,
Ok, on to more pressing matters. I took all your suggestions and looked at some swatches. Here are some that I thought went well. I think the gold swatches on the left look the best, but we'll see. I need to look at them in some daylight!! If you see anything here that you are in love with, just let me know. For example, third stick from the left, second square from the bottom, etc.
Oh, I haven't forgotten that I did not share what's in the bag. My little treasure for just awhile longer. Maybe when I get the room put together, I will debut my PB items. Seriously, I love that store and wish I could afford everything in it. I have lovely leather furniture that is a knock-off from PB, and I bought it for that reason. Ahhh, to dream.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Here are some closer pics of the chairs in the dining room. The colors are a little washed out, but they are a beige/green/gold background with the pink and blue flowers with green leaves.
In this shot you can see the pattern really well. I am actually not in love with the pattern so much, but I needed 8 chairs and these were the ones I could afford AND live with. If anyone has a great pattern for parson's slip covers, I might get out the ol' sewing machine. Then I could paint any color I wanted.
Our front room is connected to the dining room and is painted a warm yellow. It is called "cowslip," which I don't really why it was called that. A cow's lip? Um, I don't think a cow has yellow lips. Anyway, the front room is yellow, but we haven't painted the dining room yet. We have brown leather furniture in the front room and a glass dining room table with parson's chairs.
The dining room has a chair rail and one window. This looooong wall with the painting is very big and dull. The opposite wall from the window has a swinging butler's door to the kitchen.
My question is this...do I paint it the same color as the front room? Can I do something different? Do you think that yellow will go with the chairs ok? If you have any other ideas, I would love to know.
ps. Thursday and Friday were really good days at school! I am in the mood to decorate again!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Yesterday I was back at work and it was a stressful day. Today was better. If you have figured out anything about me at all, it's that I'm someone who likes approval. From anyone. From everyone. I like to know that what I am doing works is making someone happy. I guess I need to learn more balance in this area, but I think everyone is burdened with trying to make their boss happy. Otherwise, they ain't chor boss no mo!
But yesterday I could do nothing right, it seemed to me. I have asked for some supplies and I still don't have them. And I need them. I need them Thursday. Morning. At 8:15. And it has to be ordered from Pennsylvania. Overnight. Uh-huh. And I had to go ask AGAIN about them. Now, let's see what you think. If you felt like your head was on the chopping block, would you want to be pestering anybody? Nope. But in this situation, I have to get these supplies through the office, because they are expensive. I can't buy them myself, or I so would have. So I had to email someone again about it.
Like I said, though, today was better. I did a really cool lesson with 1st grade and they really loved it. At a meeting after school I got an award from a colleague (the Book Queen Award). That made me feel appreciated. I even ordered some books and resources online ( I can do that myself, thankyouverymuch!)
So, I say all this to say that I think some of your prayers may be getting through. Keep it up. You don't know how much I appreciate all of you that I don't even know including me in your prayers. Keep em comin'.
Oh, someone asked in the last post...I am a librarian at a K-8 school.