Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Eating Out

Michael and I really don't eat out much. It is just not something we feel is often worth it in our budget.  When we go out to eat, it is because we are traveling or we do our cheap take out Chinese food.  If we go out to eat elsewhere, it is probably because we are doing a date and have a deal/coupon.

One deal we try to take advantage of every so often is our town does what is called Dinner and a Movie. On Tuesday evenings the Avalon downtown will let 2 people in free with each dinner receipt from a restaurant downtown.  Michael and I went to see Inception and have dinner at Pablo's Pizza one night in January. I did have a coupon from for Pablo's that night even though they aren't on there anymore.

table at Pablo's

Pizza from Pablo's
Michael and I have been taking advantage of coupons for restaurants - if we are going to spend the money going out we want to make sure it is a deal. So I have signed up for reward programs and emails.  Red Robin and Johnny Carino's are two of those restaurants that I get coupons from via email. Fast food often is thought to be a cheap meal out as well as quick, but really we can spend less, sit down and have better food using the coupons and deals they send us via email.  It has been nice dates out that we have really enjoyed.

When we went to Carino's recently, I had a coupon for a free appetizer so we got a full size Italian Nachos and then split an entree.  It ended up costing us about $12.  We have been traveling recently so stopped for McDonald's and each got a meal and it cost us $17.  Much better food, atmosphere and service at Carino's - and less expensive than fast food.

Like I said we don't eat out often, but when we want to have a treat, do a date night or celebrate something special than taking advantage of deals is always the way for us to do it and not feel so guilty for spending money.

Mini Italian Nachos @ Carino's 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

52 Week Photo Project: Week 8

I can't believe it, but I didn't take hardly any photos this past week. My goal this year is to take photos during my week - of even little things that give me moments of joy.  I know I had moments of joy even though it has been a hard busy week, but I just didn't get my camera out to take that many photos.

This is the photo I posted on the 52 Week Photo group as it is one of the few photos I took....we came home from Denver and hit a bad snow storm....

Friday, February 22, 2013

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. cereal and milk - sometimes it just tastes so good!
2. being able to spend some time with Michael's parents, sister and nephew last weekend
3. being able to stay awake today while helping Michael out
4. getting to see Michael's parents puppy! It has grown so much even in just a week since seeing it.
5. Anne Lamott and Pema Chodron - reading books by both of them right now and enjoying them so much
6. figuring out something significant in my past - having it make more sense and helping me forgive.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

52 Lists: Week 7

Week 7: List Things that Make You Feel Healthy
* create art
* journal
* make healthy meal and snack choices
* remember what has been working in losing weight and keep up with those things
* find ways that work with my pain to exercise
* keep the house tidy & organized
* share and connect with friends & family
* explore creative outlets - such as poetry & photography
* unplug & spend quality time with Michael
* be kind and loving towards myself as well as others
* believe in myself, trusting myself - my feelings
* wash my face every evening before bed, lotion my dry skin more often
* drink less soda
* send friends &  family snail mail
* express gratitude
* be present in the moment - find joy in ordinary moments
* read, sing, dance, laugh
* therapy
* ask for help when needed
* accept that I live in pain and keep living life the best I can - each moment
* keep learning & growing into who I am
* get enough sleep

Join in doing 52 Lists hosted by Moorea Seal.  I love them and it has been not only fun, but really interesting exploring some areas I buried or never really noticed about myself.  #52lists2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


This is something I found on Facebook and love the analogy.....

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything."

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

52 Lists: Week 6

Week 6: List Ways in Which You Can Love Others
* send out more snail mail to family &  friends
* Make art and little handmade gifts to send to family & friends
* Leave comments on FB, text or email to those I am thinking about
* give hugs to family & friends more often
* smile at strangers
* hold open doors
* do random acts of kindness
* send prayers, positive thoughts & energy
* bake & cook for friends just because & for those in need of help
* listen
* apologize
* forgive
* saying thank you - expressing appreciation and gratitude
* be thoughtful of my words
* be of comfort - by being a shoulder to cry on. giving advice or just listening
* being kind to those who are being mean or rude as they are fighting a battle & need kindness
* accept others decisions even if I don’t understand or agree with them
* be present in the moment
* things that for myself - that will in the long run help me with in loving  others - such as giving me - me time, expressing feelings, being vulnerable and open with my thoughts and feelings
* saying no when I need too - because it will only make me resent the person instead of giving them kindness and love
* helping Michael be less stressed through helping him relax, helping in his work, keeping things organized around the house
* leaving Michael love notes, cards, texts
* thanking Michael
* hugs, kisses & cuddles for Michael

Join in doing 52 Lists hosted by Moorea Seal.  I love them and it has been not only fun, but really interesting exploring some areas I buried or never really noticed about myself.  #52lists2013

52 Week Photo Project: Week 7

I used a photo from outing spreading a little love around Grand Junction, Colorado....

We had so much fun doing this - it made us feel good. But I really hope it made others who came upon them smile.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Baked Southwest Egg Rolls

I made these for dinner last night. I was going to serve with a salad, but as soon as they came out of the oven we dove into eating them and forgot about the salad. They were really good. I have been meaning to try to make them for a long time, but for some reason I have always been a little intimated by egg roll wrappers. I make things with wonton wrappers - crab rangoon and potstickers, but not egg rolls. Recently I made regular Chinese egg rolls with broccoli slaw instead of cabbage as Michael doesn't like cabbage and realized that the wrappers were easy to roll.  So it was time to try the Southwest Egg Rolls. So glad I made them...they were a hit here and plan to make them again. I might even try to freeze them then pull from the freezer and heat for a quick dinner with a salad. Or to have as appetizer to bring to a party. 

2 cups cubed boneless skinless chicken  (I used one LARGE chicken breast and it was a little under 2 cups and still worked well)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup of finely chopped red bell pepper (optional - I just wanted a little more color)
1 can (7 oz) green chilies
1/4 cup of finely chopped green onions
1 cup frozen corn
1 can (14.5-15 oz) black beans - drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 cups cheese ( I used half pepper jack and half cheddar - I think next time I will use 1 cup pepper jack and 1/2 cup cheddar)
1 package egg roll wrappers - 20 wrappers

Toss the chicken with seasonings. Make sure they are coated with the mixture. If  it isn't - add a little more cumin and chili powder.  In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil or olive oil on medium. Add in the chicken and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the red pepper and cook until the chicken is cooked through.  Stir in green chilies, green onion, corn and black beans.  Add the spinach.  Cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and add cheese..

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

Using a spoon or scoop place a heaping tablespoon of filling onto the wrapper. Follow the directions on the back of the egg roll package for folding. Position an egg roll wrapper out like a diamond with one tip pointing towards you. Scoop the filling near the center of the egg roll wrapper. Pick up a corner on your left pull it over the filling. Pick up the corner opposite and bring it over the filling.  Take a corner pointing down towards you and start rolling it up around the egg filling.  Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Place on baking sheet seam side down, not allowing egg rolls to touch.  If you are having problems with them staying shut - slightly wet the edges with your fingers as you roll them.

Brush the egg rolls with olive oil or coat with cooking spray so that they crisp up in the oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy.

Serve with or without a dipping sauce.  I used 2 different dipping sauces - Guacamole mixed with some sour cream and salsa mixed with sour cream. About a 1 to 1 ratio.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Gratitude Friday

One of the notes we left around town
I am thankful for...
1. a great Valentine's day spent placing little notes around town with Michael
2. cards and gifts from friends and loved ones
3. a friend being for me when I am at my worst
4. a yummy dinner - made Southwest egg rolls tonight so so good! (recipe coming tomorrow morning)
5. Sprouts! We had a Sprouts open in GJ recently and it has changed our eating in really positive ways. Plus when out and about and hungry stopping at Sprouts and getting a scoop of trail mix is much better than stopping at McD's and getting fries and a shake. Which is what we did today when out and about.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day celebrating Love

Today is about spreading love and kindness to others so when we thought about what we could do - we thought of something we did a couple years ago with Operation Nice and that was to leave random notes saying nice things all around town. But this time I wanted to promote So I made up some little notes that had Spread Love & Kindness on the top with the Spread Generosity web address on the bottom and then Michael and I hand wrote out little messages on them.  We then took and left Love &  Kindness Notes all around Grand Junction.

We saw one person read a note I left on a table outside a coffee house.  He smiled when he read it so I guess that counts as spreading love and kindness as we gave some a good enough feeling that he smiled. I hope people that encounter them get a little joy from our notes. We hope it helps their day be bit better - maybe enough that they will  pass on some love and kindness to others so that it spreads.

As my beloved said today, over the years we have come to realize that love comes in so many forms and Valentine's isn't really about celebrating only the love of lovers, but celebrating the love in the world and around us in just so many little moments throughout our day.

Here are a few photos from our day....


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

52 Week Photo Project: Week 6

Michael recently needed to go to Fort Collins, Colorado for business.  I decided to go with him.  I really liked Fort Collins. It was a very cute town. Bigger than Grand Junction of course, but they had a similar element - art on the corner.  So while Michael went into his meeting, I went around and snapped some photos.

I used this top one for my 52 Week Photo Project....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Generosity Day

Such an amazing idea for Valentine's Day....sharing and spreading love in random acts of kindness. Michael and I have discussed what we want to do....recently we discussed that we should do Nice Notes again. So we are going to go leave Nice Notes around town. We have a few other things we want to do too.  I also have some personal things I want to do such as sending thank you notes people in my life that really have supported my dreams and inspire me. I have no doubt we will document our day as that is something I have really been into this year is making sure I remember the joy in my life by documenting there will be a post on Thursday about Generosity Day.


Monday, February 11, 2013


I will make a confession, but I think I heard this song on Glee with the mash up of Walking on Sunshine and liked it, but never really sought it out to listen to again. I then heard Beyonce sing it on the super bowl and I liked it.  I haven't been able to get it out of my head so posting here.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saturday, February 09, 2013

100 Things | Sandwiches

30. I love sandwiches.

I probably could eat a sandwich everyday. The photo is of an ordinary ham and cheese sandwich, but I like turkey with pesto and roasted red peppers on ciabatta roll, thai chicken wrap, white bean patties with sage topped with roasted tomatoes stuffed in a pita, a club sandwich,  a roast beef topped spinach leaves and horseradish on a hoagie, and there is always my childhood favorite which tastes good anytime - peanut butter and jelly. Really the combinations are endless for sandwiches and start out with a bready goodness so I can't go wrong with a sandwich.

Okay now I am hungry!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. our trip to Ft. Collins....beautiful and fun
2. an upcoming trip where I will get to see a friend - chatting, sharing tea and giving each other big hugs
3. seeing a good friend while in Denver
4. being able to stand in a special spot for Michael and I while in Denver
5. seeing goats on our way to Denver - lucky we were able to see them as they blend into the landscape really well. (see above photo)

Thursday, February 07, 2013

52 Lists: Week 5

Week 5: List Things You are Grateful for
* Michael
* my parents
* my sisters
* family & friends
* life
* living in beautiful Colorado
* Michael working from home
* having time & ability to do my art
* having a therapist who is supportive & understanding
* having medical help even without insurance
* having gone through some hard things in my life & getting through each situation - learning & growing
* having a roof over our heads and food on the table
* technology - allows me creativity outlets as well as keeping touch with family and friends who live so far away
* colors - being able to see them
* holding hands with the man I love - being able to touch/feel his warm hand in mine
* hearing Michael singing - hearing all the sounds that happen daily
* being able to express myself through words, writing, feelings, laughing, crying,  creating, making a happy home, whispering to Michael, dancing, singing, smiling
* friends who inspire me and support my dreams
* joy in the everyday ordinary moments
* the library - always having a stack of books to read
* the chance to learn and grow daily
* day trips and traveling
* having many things in my life that comfort me - such as tea, baking, creating art, hugs from Michael, kitty cats purring

Join in doing 52 Lists hosted by Moorea Seal.  I love them and it has been not only fun, but really interesting exploring some areas I buried or never really noticed about myself.  #52lists2013

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

52 Week Photo Project: Week 5

Sprouts opened up here in Grand Junction. Sprouts has natural, organic - more green and sustainable groceries.  Every time we have drove past since it opened on January 16th - the store has been really busy. Parking lot full. But finally Michael and I decided to brave the crowds and so glad we did visit.  Thankful to have it added to our town. It had wonderful looking produce and the prices on many of our staples were pretty good. So I do believe we will be some of our shopping there.

We picked up several organic apples.
I have been having them as snacks - yummy!

as I said to Michael when we passed these bins
 my 2 favorite veggies right next to each other

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Downton Abbey

I have been drinking more tea this winter. Last winter, I might have had a cup or two a week. Now I have one almost everyday.  Even having a second cup sometimes. 

I told Michael this morning that either it is just because it has been so cold this winter or maybe watching so much of Downton Abbey is inspiring me to drink more tea. 

It took about 3 episodes of the first season before getting Michael hooked on Downton Abbey. We watched season 1 on Netflix and 2 on Hulu.  Right now 3 is being shown on until March 3rd. But luckily for me, Michael bought me Downton Abbey UK edition Season 3 on DVD so we had a season 3 marathon recently. I was thrilled to see moments I had been waiting for since season 1. But I was also shocked by some things and think Mr. Julian Fellowes writer/creator of Downton Abbey has a little Joss Whedon in him. Joss fans might understand when they watch season 3. 

Now I am waiting for season 4! And rewatching all seasons OVER and OVER. 

Monday, February 04, 2013


One of my favorite songs.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

52 Lists: Week 4

This is week's 4 list - List Your Current & Future Goals & Dreams....This one was almost as hard as last weeks. And then when things started flowing...I realized I have a lot of dreams. Although that makes me happy, because I do feel like for a while I didn't dream anymore, I do realize I don't want to overwhelm myself with too many things on my list.

Get my art website up and going again - Get Etsy shop going - Continue on with poetry & photography - Continue with Inner Excavation - Work on Art weekly - Do Project Life - Take a couple of e-courses such as Ali Edward’s One Word -  Continue losing weight - To continue with therapy learning & growing into myself - To continue learning to love myself and know I am enough and worthy - Go back to Santa Fe - Travel - Accept compliments more easily &  help re-write the negative talk that goes on inside my head - Find a way to live with my pain that doesn't shut life down. Instead offers a a way to live my life with pain more fully. - Keep working towards a more green lifestyle - get one or more tattoos - contribute to the household financially - learn & practice yoga - work on meditation more - always be kind, compassionate, generous and grateful  - To continue to live in the present moment and live with intention - To continue on building my relationship with Michael as relationships require work and care to grow. - Go on an art retreat

Join in doing 52 Lists hosted by Moorea Seal.  I love them and it has been not only fun, but really interesting exploring some areas I buried or never really noticed about myself.  #52lists2013

Saturday, February 02, 2013


When Michael and I were in Denver a few weeks ago, we discussed on the way home what we should do for our anniversary. We really want to get away for the weekend so started to think of places that wouldn't cost too much and we could get to and enjoy in just a short weekend.

Well you think anniversary - so cozy cabins in the woods, nice hotel with room service in the city or some other romantic getaway - right? We wanted it a little more low key then that so we really toss around several being Salt Lake City as I have never been and it is just the same distance basically as Denver. We could also have some of our favorite pizza while there as they have a Godfathers.

We couldn't decide plus we had another thing to factor As much as we like getting away Michael has his own business and sometimes work comes before going away and taking vacations. I totally understand and we do other things to create downtime and celebrate special moments. We don't need to get away to celebrate 10 years anything we do - will capture the relationship and the love we have for each other.

So that night in bed Michael was almost asleep while I was reading and he woke up with a start and said CHEYENNE  While most people would look at this man and give him an odd look, I shouted - YES! Cheyenne doesn't exactly bring up romantic getaway thoughts for anyone....but us I am sure.

See after we decided I was moving here, I was scared to cross the passes on my own. He suggested we meet in Cheyenne so he could guide me into Colorado so I wouldn't have to go over the major passes. We stayed in Cheyenne for a couple nights as I arrived there with a flat tire. It was a really good weekend - seeing each other after being away from each other for several months. Knowing our life together was taking a new turn to being together full time and not having to suffer through the distance from Ohio to Colorado and not seeing each other daily.

For us Cheyenne would be the perfect place to celebrate 10 years. As it turns out we weren't be able to go, but we are marking it on our calendars and hoping we can go in May which will celebrate that weekend's anniversary.

As I said above we have captured our relationship and love we have for each other in other ways. Just being together and being able to celebrate 10 years together makes me feel incredibly blessed.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. 10 years with an amazing man
2. a beautiful day shared with him
3. another wonderful poetry date
4. evening spent watching Downton Abbey with my love
5. Starting the day and ending the day with my love -
6. being able to wake up each morning and say I love you to a man I walk an incredible path with daily

* photo from a little book I made for Michael for our anniversary. I will do a post later about the book with more photos and what I did.

10 Years Together

Most couples have a song that means something to them...that is their song.  I think we also have a movie. I am going to suggest that tonight we watch our movie...Serendipity.

I think it really fits us too. Michael and my life touched in places even before we knew each other. When I was a teenager, I would do Bible Camp in Woodland Park, Colorado. It was one of the reasons I wanted to move to Colorado - because I fell in love with the awesome beauty of the mountains. Michael's family visited Woodland Park often when he was young as his Grandfather had a cabin up in the mountains there. So we were near to each other - but not know each other yet. 

Another moment happened almost a year before he and I started talking to each other.  I lived in Cleveland, Ohio at the time, but had a group of friends from the Kansas City, MO area from when I lived in Topeka, KS.  One of the people in that group of friends was dating Michael in a long distant relationship. When I would visit, she talked about him, but I never knew him.  At one time when he was dating her, that group of friends went to Denver for a weekend getaway. One of the friends in the group was man I was interested in. He and I were talking about me visiting - doing the long distant thing and then maybe eventually moving to KC.  During that weekend away, I called him while he there and was talking him when Michael arrived to his room. He had taken another friend to hair salon.  We were just a few steps away from knowing each other. 

The woman Michael was dating is a friend of mine as I said. After they stopped dating, she suggested that he contact me as she felt we would be a good fit.  So he waited almost 6 months before he ended up emailing me. I was captivated from that first email - I knew there was something special with him. Might be silly sounding to some people that an email would spark enough connection that made me write him back and pursue getting to know this man better, but  I am so thankful I 10 years today we are still going strong. 

Michael is smart, funny, kind, compassionate, hard-working, creative, talented and has endless qualities that I  cherish daily as well as new ones I discover even now.  We have made some priceless memories over the years. I feel extremely thankful to spend every day with him - even when it is just daily life we are moving through  It is each moment that counts and each moment with him counts more then I could have ever imagined. I feel extremely blessed to have taken each step of this journey with him and love him deeply and passionately as I did way back then. I look forward to celebrating 10 years with him and look forward to spending the coming years together too. 

Michael, your love has brought new colors to my world! Thank you! I love you! Happy Anniversary!