Friday, November 16, 2012

A domestic day

I can't even remember the last time I had a day that I was able to spend entirely at home but I'm having that kind of day today and I absolutely LOVE IT. Earlier in the week I realized that today was free of commitments and I contemplated my favorite hike but ultimately decided that what I needed more than anything was a domestic day. I chose well. I am deeply domestic at heart and needed this day.  Laundry. Cooking. Cleaning. Organizing. Baking. I'm a happy girl.

It's been a busy, busy fall and I'm feeling pretty run-down. It's not just me; my entire family is exhausted and running on fumes. In light of that reality, John and I made the difficult decision to stay home instead of traveling to Arkansas next week. Each of our family members was incredibly gracious about it which made it a little easier but it's still just really hard to be away from family on holidays. John and I both feel at peace about our decision though and are looking forward to having a restful and low-key break next week.

So now I get to plan a Thanksgiving menu. It's a good thing I love to cook Thanksgiving dinner! Of course, we'll have turkey, mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce (both homemade AND from a can because I have some picky palates around here), peas, another veggie (possibly asparagus or brussel sprouts or sweet potatoes?) and rolls. Oh, and dessert of course. Last year I made a pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust that was delicious. I suppose I need to ask my peeps what they want! Wonder how many desserts are appropriate for a family of five? 

Moving on to other random stuff--

Yesterday, I saw an owl! It's been years and years since I've seen one but there is an elusive one in our neighborhood that I hear often. I think they're fascinating creatures. I was picking Abbey up from an after-school activity and driving down a busy street and noticed it perched on a branch, silhouetted against the dusky sky. I slowed down but was unable to get a great view (or a photo!) because there was a line of cars behind me but Abbey and I watched it turn it's head. It was beautiful and I was mesmerized by it. There is also a pair of foxes that I've been seeing on my morning walk for a couple of weeks now. They're getting more and more relaxed about sharing their territory with my group of walkers and maybe the slightest bit more brazen. I LOVE seeing wildlife like foxes and owls and deer and coyotes all around us. So, so cool! I love where we live.

As usual, I am DOWN on homework. Boo-hiss. My kids have had tons of homework this week and I really might lose it if they come home with any assignments over Thanksgiving Break. I'll either be doing a happy dance or quietly cursing when they unload their backpacks this afternoon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all of their teachers will be merciful and kind.

Will is going to Winter Park this weekend for YL Winter Camp. He leaves shortly after school today and returns home Sunday afternoon so it looks like it will be a girly weekend around here. Fun!

I made the Pioneer Woman's Potato-Leek Pizza for dinner last night. It is my very favorite PW recipe and possibly my most favorite meal ever. It is crazy delicious. (The link above is her recipe, it's just that she doesn't have the potato-leek pizza recipe posted on her site. It IS in her first cookbook--The Pioneer Woman Cooks--which by the way is completely worth owning.)

And that delicious pizza was likely my last gluten-laden meal for awhile now. I feel ten-million times better when I don't eat gluten and I've been careless about my consumption lately. I need to find a good cookie recipe that uses almond or rice or coconut flour otherwise I might go into into Christmas cookie withdrawal. Anyone have a good recipe to share?

I think that's all I've got today. Who else is glad it's Friday?!?!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Titleless Tuesday Post

I've got seven minutes this morning so you know what that means, right? Wink wink.

The kids and I ended up going to see Wreck-It Ralph yesterday afternoon. It was surprisingly good. I wasn't prepared to like it as much as I did. There's one "vurp" (vomit + burp) reference in the movie which was even more comical to the four of us since the little girl seated next to Will threw up mid-way through the movie. Gross, gross, gross. Wasn't prepared for that visual image yesterday. Gross.

I made Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake last night. I'm sure it tastes as delicious as it looks but I haven't tried it. It's for a teacher appreciate luncheon at school today. I think I'm going to have to buy the ingredients to make another one for us because John and the kids were drooling and asking me why I never bake stuff like that for us. It's true, I don't do a lot of baking. Mostly because they don't eat tons of sweets and I end up throwing stuff out. Or eating it. I'm good at that part, unless it's chocolate of course. I don't like chocolate and yes, I know that makes me odd.

Running out of time but have one auto-correct story to share. I've shared before that I have a love-hate relationship with autocorrect. Mostly it just makes me laugh. I was texting my boss last week asking if I needed to send an email with the 'corrected' information and autocorrect changed my misspelling to 'colorectal'. Yep, glad I actually caught that one before it sent. Colorectal? Seriously? Makes me laugh.

Happy Tuesday, folks.

Monday, November 12, 2012

November Currents

Current read: I'm sad to say that I haven't read much lately. I borrowed Room from a friend and I have a manuscript that some friends asked me to read as well. We're driving to Arkansas next week for Thanksgiving so I'm hoping to get some reading done in the car. 

Current playlist: I've been listening to a worship mix lately. Not too long ago, I downloaded 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman and have had that on repeat pretty frequently. I love these lines: The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning, it's time to sing Your song again, whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes. What a prayerful thought for each day.

Current food: I'm so addicted to jalapenos lately. I love them on chili, nachos, and almost anything! I'm planning to make this broccoli cheese soup for dinner tonight, sans jalapenos.

Current wish list: New slippers for Christmas!

Current need: More hours in a day. I was adding some November/December stuff to my calendar this morning and immediately began to feel the stress of the holidays. YUCK!

Current triumph: Surviving October? That is the first thing that comes to mind. It was such a crazy-busy month.

Current annoyance: I completely respect Nordstrom for taking a rare stand against Christmas decorations until AFTER Thanksgiving. It annoys me to see people begin decorating in October. I think Thanksgiving is often downplayed because it's not a huge gold mine for retailers.

Current indulgence: Shellac manicures! I'm hooked.

Current blessing: Love. Laughter. Provision. Health. 

Current outfit: Jeans and a sweater.

Current excitement: I'm looking forward to next weekend--have some FUN things planned!

Current project: Need to cut some "turkey feathers" for our thankful turkey. I bought the stuff to do this weeks ago. I need to get on the ball! In my defense, it's not for lack of tradition or desire but lack of time. I hate being busy.

Current plans: The kids are out of school today (two are still asleep!) so I thought I might take them to see Wreck-It Ralph. We shall see. They're such homebodies. The one who is awake told me he would be fine to stay home and "be lazy" all day.

Current favorite stuff: Ziploc VersaGlass containers (I won mine from a blog giveaway in September), scarves, this candle, Burt's Bees lip balm, and these flannel sheets (we bought a set last year with a gift card and they are pricey, but oh-so wonderful!)

Happy Monday, y'all!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Day, Carnitas, and a NAP!

I hate politics but I really like Election Day. Voting is a right and a privilege and few things inspire me to patriotism more than exercising that right. Today was no exception.

I was a little worried about the lines at my polling place because there was a line outside the doors this morning at 6:30AM (I passed my polling place on my early morning walk) but John and I were in and out in less than 10 minutes. That might be a new record!
I deliberately wore patriotic colors today. John didn't intend to but laughed when I pointed out his blue and white checked shirt and his red cap. 

He worked from home today so we got to enjoy lunch together. We chose mexican which was not really the most fitting choice for Election Day, but I had some really delicious carnitas!

After lunch I came home and took a nap. I really didn't have time to do that but you know what? I needed it. It just means I'll need to get some work done tonight while watching television. I have absolutely zero desire to watch election returns tonight so I'll be working while watching re-runs of Friday Night Lights or Mad Men or something. All the while rejoicing that the political ads will cease! 

Monday, November 05, 2012

A Monday full of random

Happy Monday, peeps!

Evidently today is “found it” day at my house. A few weeks ago I noticed that I couldn’t find one of my sweaters. Seriously, how does one lose a sweater? Then I noticed I couldn’t find my perfume. Last week Sarah lost her earbuds and I was beginning to think someone was sneaking in my house and hiding things just to make me crazy. But today, Sarah found her earbuds right before she left for school and shortly thereafter I found my sweater (hiding in the same place in my closet I’ve looked at least two dozen times) and if my perfume just happened to magically appear in the medicine cabinet this evening then it would be a perfect trifecta kind of day!

Do y’all watch Duck Dynasty? Oh my gosh, I LOVE that show. I did a double take on the way to pick kids up from school this afternoon because I thought Sy was filling in for our regular mailman. I slowed down and stared but I think it was just some bearded, Colorado dude who just happens to look a lot like him. 

My house is a disaster these days. You might think I’m kidding but I’m so not. It is gross. My housekeeping standards border on OCD, therefore I’m not handling the “gross” so well. But I’m also not finding much time to tackle it. I had quite a bit of work to do this morning but before I could get started I "needed" to clean my kitchen sink. I scour that baby out almost daily because there’s something about a shiny kitchen sink (shout out to The FlyLady!) that makes all things right in my world. Is the FlyLady still around?

Here’s a couple of new recipes I’ve tried and loved lately. Both are easy and delicious!
Spinach Tortellini Soup
Slow-Cooker Pork and Green Chile Stew (I could eat green chiles every single day of my life)(Seriously)

I know lots of people hate it but I really like the time change. I like that it gets dark early—especially if I can come home from afternoon carpool duty and put on my jammies while I cook dinner. I like going to bed early and I especially love it when it’s light for my early morning walks (thought that will likely be short-lived).

Know what has amazed me as of late? A shellac manicure. I treated myself to one a couple of weeks ago. I'm 42 years old and it was my very first professional manicure. I went for the shellac in hopes of keeping my nails looking nice for more than a day or two and I am SO impressed. My nails look great (my cuticles are another story) and the polish still looks as perfect as it did the day I got it. I wish I could figure out how to work this into my budget every few weeks! I think it's going to be my new splurge. :)

My eyes are starting to hurt after staring at a computer screen all day so I'm signing off and wishing you all a very happy Monday evening. Hope you make it to the polls tomorrow...I'm planning to go bright and early. 

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Good news--I scored four things out of my girls' Halloween baskets last night. They gave me all of my favorites--one package of sour patch kids, one piece of Bit-O-Honey, and two packages of candy corn. I'm pretty happy with that. I think they have enough candy to last until next Halloween. Too bad I don't like chocolate. Otherwise, I'm sure it would only be enough to last until next week. Smile.

Here's my little Minnie Mouse.
I mentioned last week that I bought her costume (smartest move EVER considering my inability to keep my head above water the last few weeks) and it's pretty simple but I thought she looked VERY CUTE. Best of all, she loved it and was h-a-p-p-y.
The two of us trick-or-treated with one of her favorite friends and her mom. Her friend was a cute little nerd (who took off her sweater and glasses and set down the dictionary she was carrying around for this picture). They were adorable. And they raked in a ton of candy. The weather was really pretty nice this year. Abbey still needed her coat (as did her mother) but I'm not complaining.

Sarah trick-or-treated with friends and ditched the cute bumble bee costume we bought in favor of 80s workout attire. I guess that's that's the prerogative of a fourteen-year-old girl. And I'll be returning that unworn costume today, thankyouverymuch.
Will opted out of the festive fun and stayed home and played XBox while John and the Beagle passed out candy to droves of trick-or-treaters.

A fun night was had by all but after two big nights in a row I am beyond exhausted! I so wish today was Friday but at least we have no place we have to be tonight. I am very much in need of a nice quiet evening at home!

Happy NOVEMBER y'all!