31 December 2011

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

Believe  in  yourself.         Dream.         Try.        Do good.
- Mr. Feeny



Here's to 2012 and another year. I'm excited to see what this year will bring! I'll be another year older and another year smarter (at least that's what I'd like to think). But here I am, with 2011 behind and 2012 ahead, ready to start a new year with new goals and new adventures!

More to come later...

28 December 2011

Gluten-Free Spinach and Alfredo Lasagna

Lately I've been really wanting pasta and so I've added a lasagna to the weekly menu. Being that I have to eat gluten-free, doing a pasta dish can be really difficult. Luckily, there are a lot of options out there for people who have to eat gluten-free, including gluten-free pasta. I personally like Quinoa (key-nwah) the best. It tastes most like "real pasta" to me and the hubby.

R         E           C             I             P           E

1 Box Quinoa noodles - because Quinoa doesn't make lasagna noodles I have to improvise and just whatever noodles I can find.
1 jar of Classico Gluten-Free Alfredo Sauce - I like using their 4-cheese
1 jar of Classico Gluten-Free Marinara Sauce - I also use their 4-cheese (Just a little side note, most Classico sauces are gluten-free, there really isn't anything special about it)
Mozzarella
Spinach
1 lb meat

Cook noodles as directed. Brown meat. Add garlic salt and 1/3 of marinara sauce to browned meat. Cook spinach. Add Alfredo sauce to spinach. Layer baking pan with 1/3 marinara sauce. Layer noodles, Alfredo and spinach, mozzarella, and meat. Repeat until desired amount. Top with Alfredo and spinach mixture and mozzarella. Bake at 450* for 25 minutes. ENJOY!



What's your favorite lasagna recipe?

26 December 2011

By The Fire

My favorite thing about our house is the fireplace. This season we have taken full advantage of having one. It's become my dog's favorite thing too. He enjoys laying in front of it at all times, especially when we have to stoke it and add more. He's even tried to lie on the hearth instead of in front of it.

Today he succeed...

Contemplating getting up there.


He seems rather pleased with himself.


He didn't last long up there, but it was fun while it lasted.

Do your pets do anything silly like this?

Merry Christmas

This Christmas season has been, for lack of a better word, crazy. For the first time ever, I worked until the 22nd of December. This being said, there was no time off to get things that needed to be done actually accomplished. Instead, I had to do things after work, leaving things at the house left to fend for itself. Luckily, the hubby had the whole week off prior to Christmas so he was able to get at least the dishes done. But that's about it. He had other things to do as well.


So here it is, the week before Christmas, I'm working, shopping, wrapping presents, and getting things ready for family. No time for cleaning for me. So this week is devoted to cleaning and getting ready to go back to work. I luckily have two weeks off and plan to do a lot of deep cleaning and organizing that time. Like most of my plans, I don't know how well this will actually go. I'm just taking it one breath at a time. 


Christmas was different this year. We spend Christmas Eve with the hubby's family and Christmas day with mine. This year, his mom and sister were in Texas for Christmas Eve and so they weren't able to join us for the holiday. It was rather loud with four little girls running around the house, but that's what family is about. Right? The girls tore into their presents and thoroughly enjoyed the day. We then head home for the night and we got to spend the night in our own house. Our very first Christmas at our own home. It was nice. I woke up to coffee and a nice roaring fire. Then we were whisked away to spend Christmas with my family. We were originally going to head to South Carolina to spend it with my extended family, but my dad hasn't been feeling well so we decided not to make the trip. So we spent the whole day at my parent's house just relaxing. 


It's a time for new traditions, and who knows what traditions next year might hold.


19 December 2011

Projects

This weekend my lovely hubby took me thrifting. I have a serious weakness for thrift stores. I wasn't planning on buying anything big (our budget is pretty tight due to Christmas/birthdays), maybe just a couple of sweaters I could revamp or maybe even a couple of gag gifts for Christmas. Then the hubby spotted a lovely, huge rocking chair. The best part of it is that my feet touch the floor! I'm really short, so finding a chair that my feet can comfortably touch the floor is tough. But we found one. The wood and little details are lovely. I'm quite excited about it. However, the cushions can use some work. The fabric is circa 1960 and is a hideous orange. Plus the bottom cushion no longer has any fluff to it, so when you sit down you hit solid wood instead of cushion. So those things I am going to have to replace. As of right now this rocking chair will go in our nursery *squeals with excitement*. No I'm not pregnant, but just the fact that we're putting furniture in there for it to one day soon be a nursery just makes me over-the-top ecstatic. Not to mention it was less than $40.



So I officially have a new project to conquer. I have to get all the j u n k out of the room so that I can get the fun, nursery stuff in. But to get the chair into the nursery, I also have to recover it. That means looking at awesome fabric! I don't know what I exactly want, but I have an idea. I want something that can handle baby messes (puke, pee, etc), something that has a vintage-y look to it, and something that will last through time. The room is a bright yellow with dark wood accents, and once I get my hubby motivated it'll have a wood wall.

Here are some that I have found that I really like:

via Joann's



via Warm Biscuit Bedding (this is probably too busy, I just think it's super adorable)










Is it obvious that I have babies on the brain? Once again, we're not pregnant. I just like to dream for when we do have a little one with us.

Which fabric do you like the most?

14 December 2011

Happy Holidays - Cards

So every year I have this dilemma of whether or not the hubby and I should send out Christmas cards. And every year I always plan to, but end up not sending them out. First off cards are e x p e n s i v e. I would love to do a postcard style one with a fun Christmas picture on the front because it's more cost effective, but who honestly just wants a picture of the two of us (I figure that once we have kids this dilemma will get easier). Then there is the time and energy put into it. I know there is something joyous about getting mail delivered to you, and I have always wanted to be the one to send you that joy, but in the end I just don't have the time nor the energy to really put myself into doing it (once again, I'm hoping this may change when I have kids, but who am I kidding? I'll probably have a lot less time and a lot less energy then). Then there are e-cards. I like them, but they just seem a little, I don't know, cold. So typically I just opt out of the whole sending Christmas cards thing. But that doesn't stop me from looking at cute card ideas for the future.





Here are just some ideas for future Christmas cards that I may (or may not) send out.

13 December 2011

Bucket List

Life can be made up of one list after another. There's the traditional "honey-do" list or the "to-do" list filled with cleaning and organizing. Or you have your shopper's list filled with groceries or things you need to buy for crafts. Basically, life can be filled up with lists. 

There's one list that I feel the need to create. A Bucket List. A list of things that I would like to accomplish during my life. Some things are little and some things are big. But they're all things that I want to do and things that I want to get out of this life. I want to live life to the fullest that I possibly could. 

So here is my B  u  c  k  e  t L  i  s  t, and we'll see how much I can actually get accomplished:

Ride in a hot air balloon
See the northern lights
Be called "Mommy"
See the grand canyon
Stand on top of a mountain Twin Sisters Peak in Estes Park, CO 2008
Find beauty in the little things (something that should be done daily)
Walk on the Great Wall of China
Go skinny dipping
Have a baby
Have my own personal library in my house
Be a good parent
Make a wish in the Trevi Fountain in Rome
Go to Disney World with my best friend
Spend Christmas at Disney World
Send a message in a bottle
Have a healthy pregnancy
Live to meet my grandchildren
See Stonehenge
Visit the Taj Mahal
Visit the Louvre
Visit Abbey Road and recreate the Beatles album cover
Visit Buckingham Palace
Build my dream home
Ride an elephant
Step foot in Antarctica
Go to Bora Bora
Go to Fiji
Visit all 50 states
Visit all 7 continents
Go to Barcelona, Spain
Travel the world
Become an inspiration
Adopt a child
Ride a camel
Visit the Holy Land
Go zip-lining  Costa Rica 2009
Milk a cow Costa Rica 2009
Write a book (I'm in the process!)
Own a horse ranch
Have a pet pig
Visit the Wonderful World of Harry Potter
Find the Doctor's Police Box
Go to Australia
Take the Lord of the Rings tour in New Zealand

I'm sure there are plenty more I could add and I might do so as I get older. With not only the new year looming but also me getting another year older, I start to look at all the things I want to accomplish by this time next year. Whether or not that will happen, I do not know. But I look forward to where life's journeys will take me and the plan that God has laid out for me to follow. 2012 should be a very interesting year.

12 December 2011

Just for me

This past weekend I got to do something that was just for me. I took a trip up to Rome (by myself) and went and spent the day with my b  e  s  t f  r  i  e  n  d. She helped me do some Christmas shopping, where we saw the latest style of men's fashion. We enjoyed our traditional sushi meal. Then we hung out at her house, drinking tea, watching Doctor Who, and making t-shirts. I had a blast and I personally think it was just what the doctor ordered.


The shirt I made.


This was the first time, in a loooooooong time, that I had actually just spent the day away from the house and hubby and chose to do something else all on my own. Normally it's both of us going out somewhere, like to Rome, and he'll visit his friend while I stay with mine. But this time it was all me. I pushed my "to do" list aside and went because nothing was stopping me. So instead of cleaning on Saturday and doing laundry, I took some time to have fun. Which is OK. Repeat after me. It is OK to leave things until later to work on yourself. This is still something that is hard for me to deal with. I am very much a person who stresses about things not getting done. There have been projects on top of projects just piling up at the house, so to take a day and just leave those projects tend to really stress me out. But I got over my anxiety and went. And I don't regret it in the latest. I came home to the hubby done with his yard work and a lovely fire going. 

It was just what I needed. 

It also allowed me to take a break, so I was able to fold all the laundry (we had recently washed 10 loads of laundry in order to really clean our house) and get started on everything else. Now here is my new "cleaning to-do list" the weekly version (we'll see if I actually keep to the schedule):

Sunday: Laundry
Monday: Vacuuming and Bathrooms
Tuesday: Kitchen Clean-Up
Wednesday: Living Room Clean-Up
Thursday: Bedrooms Clean-Up
Friday: Vacuuming and Touch-Ups
Saturday: Little Fun Projects

We'll see if I can stick to the schedule. So far (I know, it's only Monday) I have (pats myself on the back). The laundry was taken care of yesterday. Now for vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms today. I'm hoping to also keep up with the "nursery" and clean that out more. I call the room the nursery because one day it will be used as one. But for now it's really just my craft room/junk room. I'm ready for all the junk to be out of there though. We'll see how long it'll take for that to happen. But I'm anxious to see the transformation (don't worry, I'll document as I go). 

I do love nesting!

09 December 2011

Day by Day

My job is a kind of ho-hum job. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but some days are just kind of blah and boring days with nothing much to do. Well, I came into today thinking that today was most likely going to be one of those blah and boring days. I guess God was just trying to prove me wrong.


First, I see a beautiful sunrise on the way to work. I mean really, it was b e a utiful.

Then I get to school and find out my friend is pregnant (I'm so excited for her!).

Next is the best surprise for the day. I'm running errands around the building like a typical morning and I hear a "m e o w" coming from a cluster of teachers and a parent. Turns out the parent was going to take it to the Humane Society because they weren't able to keep it anymore. One of the teachers she was talking with does pet adoption and fostering, so she said that she would take the cat and foster it until she could find a permanent home for it. I happen to walk by as all of this is going on and overhear the conversation. Unfortunately the teacher couldn't keep the cat with her all day because she had students, so, naturally, I offer my small office to keep the c a t in. Thus turning my "blah and boring day" into a not so "blah and boring day."


08 December 2011

Seasons

"everything    has    a     season"

At least that was what I was told. I, however, am impatient and want things now. I don't want to wait for the "season" that it should fall under. As a person filled with many passions, I tend to follow the passions whether or not it is the right time for them.

The hubby and I have been happily married for two years now. In the two years we have two lovely babies (our puppies Hank and Liberty) and a house. We've been through two moves, and for the first time in two years we've been able to open up all of our wedding gifts. In those two years we've learned and loved. We've fought, argued, gotten mad, made up, loved, held hands and taken adventures. It's amazing to see how far we've come from our one bedroom 500sqft rental house and now to a house of our very own. We've grown to know each other more and more, and also we've grown to love each other more and more. 

There have been some rough patches, but through it all we've fallen more in love and closer together. Looking back now I can see how things fell into place. Everything had its season, its perfect season. It didn't matter if I had another idea in mind, everything laid out exactly how it was supposed to. And it turned out wonderfully and I couldn't be more grateful for the life I have. 

So now I realize that even though I have a different plan in my mind, it might not yet be the season for the plan to unfold. Rather, there might be a better season out there waiting for me. No matter what it will be I know it'll be an adventure and I look forward to it. Rather than sitting here wishing to change the season and make it what I want, I open my waiting arms for whatever the seasons bring me. I look forward to the adventures that will come my way and I can't wait to record them and share them here.

So here is to the season that life brings me. Here is to the adventures that will come my way.



a.w.