I must make these

Over at How about Orange I saw this picture today….


…aren’t they absolutely darling? (By the way, I’m fairly certain I’ve never used the word ‘darling’ before, but I feel that it’s entirely fitting for these flowers). I’ve been crocheting lately and when I read what type of material/yarn and hooks were needed to make these – it made me smile. My great Aunt Sylvia (my grandma’s sister) passed down tons of the thin yarn needed to make these – along with a big book of crochet hooks….I’ve never known what to use that really thin yarn for – but now I do. And I can’t wait to make some.

I’m not sure how I was lucky enough to score getting these passed along to me. While I always thought it was awesome that I ended up with them….I’ve recently become even more grateful as I’ve started crocheting a lot again.

The tutorial is found here – by the adventures of bluegirl xo (oh and you have to check out this post too – how CUTE…actually, I’d consider that little bird darling also). I need more time in the day. There’s not nearly enough time for me to try all the things I want to do. Sigh.

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Goals for 2010 – Update #3

So, I wanted to update my 2010 [and beyond] goals…this will be the last update for this list. I wasn’t successfully in everything, but did accomplish a lot. Here is my list again with my comments in red (or where I’ve blogged about it the link is blue):

  • Read through the whole Bible
  • Get certified to foster again – we are working on this now, but it is on the back burner again while we are trying to sell our house
  • Begin the adoption process
  • Print black and white photos and get them framed for my b&w project – this is on hold until we sell our house (it’s not wise to put more holes in the wall to hang pictures when we’ll just have to take them down before we put the house on the market).
  • Eat something I’ve never tried before – COMPLETED – Quinoa
  • Build a snowman – COMPLETED on 2/12 [my birthday] when it snowed about an inch at our house
  • Go visit Angie in Denver – this is scheduled for the end of January 2011!
  • Go out west with David and Brad – COMPLETED – May/June 2010
  • Learn how to oil paint
  • See the Grand Canyon – COMPLETED – May/June 2010!
  • Volunteer somewhere
  • Go to Disney – COMPLETED – December 2010
  • Christmas carol at nursing homes on Christmas Eve – COMPLETED – December 2010
  • Get better at photography
  • Work on our photography website
  • Buy an antique
  • Paint our whole house (inside) – COMPLETED – Fall 2010
  • Go see Samford (basketball) play an away game – COMPLETED 2/27/10 we played Appalachian State in Boone, NC…and saw TONS of snow at the same time
  • Plant a garden – COMPLETED – Summer 2010
  • Do some canning with the vegetables grown in my garden
  • Be successful with a compost pile
  • Send thank you notes for things I wouldn’t normally send them for – worked on this in 2010
  • Get better at sewing – I sewed more in 2010, not sure I’m actually better
  • Keep my car clean – so maybe this isn’t possible, I might just remove this from the list
  • Make my own laundry detergentCOMPLETED 1/9/2010
  • Make my own dish washing detergent – COMPLETED 1/4/2010
  • Make a piece of jewelry
  • Lose 25 pounds
  • Spend Thanksgiving camping somewhere – COMPLETEDNovember 2010, Pine Mntn, GA
  • Drive to NC to cut down our Christmas tree – COMPLETED – December 2010
  • Camp at Oak Mountain – COMPLETED 2/19 to 2/21, and July 2010
  • Learn to speak Spanish
  • Buy an old/ugly piece of furniture and refinish it
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables
  • Cook at home 5 nights a week
  • Go see Samford’s football team play FSU at FSU (fall 2010) – COMPLETED – Fall 2010
  • Get our house ready to sell – it’s on the market as of October 2010
  • Move out into the country
  • Write a letter to our 3 Compassion kids quarterly – only did this once in 2010 😦
  • Get some chickens (once we move to the country) for fresh eggs
  • Create a blog to sell the things I make
  • Knit a scarf (and actually finish it)
  • Give handmade Christmas presents – I did this (crayon rolls and dish mats)
  • Make some more bird houses

Banana Truffles

I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs – Healthy Tipping Point for Banana truffles.
Sounds odd. Tastes delicious. They are kind of (well actually a lot) messy to make, but well worth it.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat pancake mix
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (I used regular milk)
  • 4.5 inches of banana (cut into three 1.5 inch pieces)
  • 1/4 cup whole pecans, crushed
  • Maple syrup to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine first five ingredients in small bowl.
  • On a plate, spread out crushed pecan.
  • Grease cookie sheet.
  • Separate mix into three piles.
  • Take one segment of banana and coat in the pancake mix. It will be kind of sticky and wet, but that’s fine.
  • Form ball around the banana segment, and then roll in the crushed pecans.
  • Place on greased cookie sheet.
  • Repeat with other banana segments.
  • Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
  • Remove, plate, and drizzle in maple syrup.
  • Enjoy!

Carrot Tomato Spinach Quinoa Pilaf

I’ve recently learned about quinoa (it’s pronounced keen-wa) and its health benefits. So I picked some up at Whole Foods last week and cooked this dish below tonight. It’s fresh, colorful and super healthy. I’m happy to report that David liked it….Brad did not, but that’s no surprise.

The recipe is here.

Here are some quinoa facts:

  1. Price – Quinoa is inexpensive.
  2. Quinoa is gluten free
  3. Quinoa is a good source of protein.
    A ½ cup serving of dry quinoa has approximately 11 grams of protein. When cooked, one cup of quinoa is about 254 calories and has almost 9 grams of protein.
  4. Quinoa is loaded with minerals
    Quinoa contains potassium, magnesium and manganese. Of these three minerals, magnesium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies in the body. Magnesium helps regulate the absorption of calcium, energy production and aids with muscle contraction.
  5. Quinoa is easy to cook.
    One of the easiest ways to make quinoa is to take 1 cup of quinoa and boil it with 2 cups of organic chicken broth. This normally takes about 15 minutes. As the quinoa is finished, add 1 Tbsp of curry powder. Now you can sprinkle in anything you want from raisins to sautéed mushrooms and enjoy.

My favorites

I’ve posted below some of my very favorite pictures from our trip out west…..

I’m not sure what this tree/plant is, but it’s beautiful. I’m pretty sure I took this in Aspen, CO. Anyone know what it’s called?
On the train ride from Silverton, CO to Durango, CO.
This is one of the faces that David makes when putting on chapstick. He would do it and exaggerate his facial expressions to get us to laugh. It’s funny stuff.
Ready to go down the Alpine Slide. I love this picture of my two boys.
Just after we soared above the Grand Canyon in that helicopter.
At the Grand Canyon.


We took this out of the side of the train. I’m not exactly sure what it is about this picture that I love, maybe the blue sky and the rocks.

Colorado Rockies.

On our Lime Creek forest road detour (4×4 required) we came across this amazing lake in the middle of a mountain. There were lily pads everywhere. It was beautiful.

And this is my VERY FAVORITE picture. Precious, huh?

Let’s make some soap

I had some girlfriends over a few weeks ago to teach them all how to make laundry detergent. This was one of my Goals for 2010 and I’m happy to report that we’ve used my homemade detergent almost exclusively since January 1st. I have a container of commercial detergent in the laundry room for the times that I run out of the homemade stuff and don’t have time to make it, but still have laundry to do.

The recipe makes a large portion, so since January I’ve only had to make it three times.
I’ve posted to recipe before (click here), so this post will just document it in pictures.
Cast of characters – Fels Naptha, Borax and Washing Soda
Cut up the Fels Naptha

Once the Fels Naptha melts, then you stir in the washing soda and borax. Stir until it’s melted (this part only takes about a minute). Then pour into a plastic storage container (it must have a lid). Then add additional water.

David helped stir.

My batch needed some more water. If you can’t tell, the wooden spoon is sticking straight up in the soap. It gels pretty hard, but you can add however much water you want to make it to the consistency you like.


Overall, I’m very happy with this detergent. It saves a ton of money and cleans very well. I do use Oxy Clean in addition to the detergent but only when washing David’s baseball uniforms and practice clothes. I just think it helps get the extra dirty stains out.

Goals for 2010 – Update #2

I listed an update to my 2010 goals here. Well, I’ve started working on another one of them recently:

Send thank you notes for things I wouldn’t normally send them for

I (almost always try to) send (handwritten) thank you notes for normal stuff (gifts, meals provided when I had my surgeries, favors people do for me, etc). If you are reading this and I haven’t formally sent you a hand written notice consider this my apology because I forgot (or thought I had already done so).

Anyhow…..sending other random thank you notes is what I really wanted to do this year. And I sent one today.
Here’s the story: I was super sick last week and went to the doctor. In this doctor’s office is a pharmacy. I went to the pharmacist before I was even seen by the doctor and explained that I didn’t have my insurance (Rx) card and couldn’t even remember who my prescription insurance was through. I know, awesome, right. Talk about being prepared. I was feeling awful and I wondered if she could figure out who my insurance was with by the time I was finished seeing the doctor. The sweet lady took my information and I told her I previously have had Rx’s filled at Walmart and CVS.
In the exam room I saw a great young doctor (intern possibly). I got stuck 3 times by a nurse (who sucked) that couldn’t find any veins in my body. Got my head x-ray’d. Had a q-tip jammed so far up my nose I thought it was touching my brain. Had another q-tip pushed to the back of my throat it almost made me vomit. And fell asleep on the exam table (I was in there for about 90 minutes all together). After all the lab stuff was done they determined I had a pretty serious sinus infection. Another nurse came in and gave me two shots and told me to go to the pharmacy to have my Rx’s filled.
By the time I walked from the exam room to the pharmacy (a whole 30 seconds) the sweet pharmacist already had all 4 of my Rx’s filled and just told me what I owed. I paid my bill and left.
I seriously think this was the best customer service I’ve had. Ever. I was feeling terrible and feeling like my head was going to explode….so to be able to walk up and pay for my Rx’s was just the best thing ever.
So, my first random (handwritten) thank you note when to that pharmacist. She went above and beyond what I would ever expect to provide excellent customer service. I don’t have any monthly Rx’s, but I will get all my new Rx’s filled at this pharmacy going forward. It’s a small place and I liked the service and the home town feel.
If you live in my area….it’s the U-Save Pharmacy next to the YMCA across from Greystone.