Friday, February 26, 2010

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. finding - I know it will come in handy
2. it being Jelly Bean season - I can't wait to have them
3. Michael's other website being done - the one that will cater to attorneys (we want to change out the picture but we need to get permission from the artist for the image)
4. my fun purple and black stripped socks that my friend gave me keeping my feet warm
5. my family - I know I said that before but there is reasons now I am really thinking of them. I am sending my Uncle positive thoughts and love.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Going Green

Last year I checked out several books on natural cleaning and just getting back to basics that eliminate toxins in our home. A couple of the books scared me at times and made me realize all the things in our home that have toxins.

You know how all the organic and fresh foods in the grocery store is more expensive than the processed and pre-packaged foods? Well the same goes with the house. Anything that is less toxic costs more. Which both of those just sound amazingly stupid as you would think there would be less cost to the fresh foods then all the making and packaging of the processed. And less-chemicals in paints and floorings - should be less expensive to me. But it isn't. It is hard when we are thinking of (future) remodeling - and we look at the costs of the less-toxic flooring, paints and so on.

But one way that I can help not have as many toxins in our life is by using more natural cleaners. I know that some have toxins but not like the harsh chemicals used in store-bought pre-packaged cleaners. So for over a year I have been going green in my cleaning products. I just have gradually eliminated one after another. I have mostly cleaned with combinations of - vinegar, baking soda, dish soap and tea tree oil.

I have 2 spray bottles in the kitchen one with just vinegar and water and then another with vinegar and tea tree oil. I have a spray bottle in each bathroom with the the tea tree oil mixture. And then one spray bottle with just straight vinegar and shaker bottle with baking soda that I have around to use in the kitchen and bathroom.

I want to make my own dishwasher detergent and also laundry detergent but in our smallish town they don't carry washing soda. I have called everywhere here and was going to start calling places in Denver to possibly pick up next trip over the mountains. In the past when I have search for it online - I knew that the shipping costs would be horrible so put that out of my mind but recently I did another search for it and I discovered*. They have washing soda for less then I have seen anywhere and they have FREE SHIPPING.

So when we get back from Keystone I will make an order. And I can't wait to start making some new cleaners. I know it will save money using natural and homemade cleaners plus it will be less-toxic to us.

(*I will have a new post on

Monday, February 22, 2010

45 life lessons and 5 to grow on

by Regina Bretts

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. my family - to many things to list but I am just thankful that I am in my family. I miss them very much.
2. Michael being the best! He gave me the Time Traveler's Wife movie as it is one of my favorite books so I was anxious to see the movie. I have watched it about a million times this week.
3. really getting a good start on my art jar. I am going to create jar that I can pull out prompts to help me create art. I have went through books and inspiration so that it can say use the technique on page so and so from such and such book. And then I also just listed words and phrases and such too. I will post pictures when I finally get it done.
4. getting started on plans to see a friend in April
5. a cup of tea with cream and sugar
6. bread bowls - I made steak soup tonight and we had it in bread bowls and it was heaven

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it.” -William James

Monday, February 15, 2010


Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special: More Than 275 Recipes for Soups, Stews, Salads and Extras Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special: More Than 275 Recipes for Soups, Stews, Salads and Extras by Moosewood Collective

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am not vegetarian like most readers of this book seem to be so the seafood sections didn't bother me at all but I haven't actually even been interested in those sections as much as the others. (Those seafood sections aren't very long out of the 400 page book.) This book is soups, salads and then some extras to go with them such as dressings, croutons, breads and such.

I have only made a couple recipes from this book so far each were amazing. I see so many recipes I would love to try when looking through it. I think even with the seafood sections if you vegetarian or just like a diet with a lot of veggies this cookbook will add new elements to your meals. These soups and salads are meant to be starters to a meal but I really feel these are so good they are meals in themselves. Also these are great to make and have for lunches during the week.

The fall backs of this book are that the recipes are time intensive as they have a very long list of ingredients and not all the ingredients are just things I have on hand normally. But I would still urge people to check the book out and at least cook one or 2 of the recipes so that you can see how amazing they put flavors together.

Also one of my other favorite things about this book is that at the bottom of each recipe it lists other recipes that would go good with the recipe - including the page number which is very helpful.

Overall this book seems to be a good one as it has many recipes that look so good and I can't wait to try. And the few I did try were so good.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. chinese take out - it is my favorite
2. a night off from cooking
3. the medicine I am on finally working
4. keeping me organized
5. finding a gift certificate to Amazon that I forgot I had

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


* We took 6 large trash bags, one large box and one small box to Good Will yesterday. Most of it was clothing. When I moved from Ohio to Colorado I remember getting rid of something like 9 large trash bags of clothing so please tell me how I can still be getting rid of more things? I haven't bought a lot of clothing since being here. Going through the clothing though I did have a flood of memories come up. All good but it made me miss my friends in Ohio and the wonderful times I had with them.

* I had a dentist appointment yesterday. It looks like I will have 2 follow up. No cavities but some tarter issues and a chip in a cavity that needs repair.

* I woke up with a bad cold this morning. Sore throat, stuffy, body aches...just the works. Drinking OJ and taking airborne.

* I think the newest med I am on for sciatica and neuralgia is working. We have been working the dose and finally found the one that seems to be doing the job.

* It looks like I might be going to visit a friend in April. I get so excited thinking about the possibility. Thinking of the things I should bring and things I want to do while there. I know it will be amazing.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. 7 incredible years with Michael
2. being able to see the magic he creates. To see him working in his zone...where the magic happening.
3. his sexy lips and beautiful eyes
4. his kindness and generosity
5. the days to come with Michael as I love him very much

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Cake or Death

Michael and I love Eddie Izzard. He is a comedian that does a whole bit on being offered cake or death. So when Michael and I have cake we always say Cake or Death. Michael would club people down I think to have this cake. It is his favorite and I made it for his birthday in December.

It is kind of my creation because Michael enjoys maple flavoring so I modified a basic cake recipe to make into a Maple Butterscotch Cake. The frosting on this probably makes the cake. Sorry the picture is so bad - all of them that I took of it were fuzzy. But trust me the cake is amazingly wonderful!

Maple Butterscotch Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or cake flour*)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon maple extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan.

For the cake cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl at least once. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add the extracts and mix to combine.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. And then add to the butter mixture alternately with the milk.

Pour the batter into the pan, spread it out evenly and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is springy to the touch and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

For the frosting put the butterscotch chips and half of the butter in a heatproof bowl, and melt together over low heat or at low power in the microwave. Stir until smooth; if it looks a little broken, that's okay.

Put the other half of the butter in a mixing bowl with half of the confectioners' sugar. Mix until smooth and then add the melted chip mixture. Add the rest of the sugar and beat again until you have a smooth frosting. Mix in the extract. Add the milk if necessary to make the frosting a spreadable consistency - I find I always need to add it. Spread the frosting evenly over cake. Serve.

* Cake Flour gives it just a little bit different texture to me - probably better but I usually don't have cake flour around. Though you can google on how to "make" your own cake flour with cornstarch and all-purpose flour.