31 January 2009

Frugal Luxuries #5

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So, what meal did you plan ahead for yourself? And how did you spend the wee bit of time you saved?

Stress is the number one contributor to the diseases that often kill women. Reducing our stress helps us live longer, and thereby, gaining more productive and useful lives! I am going to help you reduce your stress, gaining you extra minutes on your life, which I consider to be a luxury these days!

On page 100 of Frugal Luxuries, Tracey McBride reminds us that wasting time creates stress in our live. Take a look at the items we typically run to the store for... those single item errands that take time, money and gas. Here is a list that you can use the next time you are running one of those errands. Take the time to go through your items and see if you are about out of...

light bulbs
aspirin, Tylenol, Pepto Bismol
Shampoo
Bath/hand soap
Dishwasher detergent
Dishwashing soap
Shaving cream
toothpaste
bathroom tissue
paper napkins
facial tissue
tape
batteries (especially AAs)
needles/thread
working ink pens
bonding glue
stamps
laundry detergent
coffee

What else would you add to this list? What will you do with your extra time and gas? I am going to suggest that you enjoy a trip to the park to enjoy the winter scenery. Enjoy it from the car or get out and walk through it. Take your camera and capture the sparkling beauty of winter!

30 January 2009

Grocery Cart Recipe Swap-Hummus

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(picture shown is of homemade black bean hummus)
Bob and I have been making our own hummus for quite awhile. Here is the recipe we use. I want to add that we are very creative with this recipe as it is very forgiving!

1 can of garbanzo beans (strained and rinsed)
2 cloves of garlic, minced (you can always use more)
2 tbsp tahini (look for it in the peanut butter aisle)
Juice from a lemon, a T or so
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

optional: add in 1 full roasted red pepper, or, 1 c black beans, or 1 whole artichoke from a can.

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor for a few minutes, or until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
Serve in a bowl with fresh veggies. This is a snack Bob will eat as he has gone all HEALTHY on me.

Hooked on Fridays: My STARR friends!

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I am participating in Hooked on Houses' Hooked On Fridays series. I am Hooked on this set of friends whom I share a common experience with. We were all STARR teachers, Karlene, Wendy and I together from 1996-1998 and then Barb became a STARR teacher in 2000. She was with a different group but we "allow" her to join our group for dinner and drinks once a month. Wendy is an administrator in another school district and is finishing her doctorate this year. Karlene has been retired from education for a few years and Barb just retired last year. Karlene and Barb are busier than they ever were as teachers! We planned a trip to Branson in June to celebrate our friendship (over 10 years strong!) where we plan to eat, drink, shop, craft and tour all over town.

We are at Prison Brews, which I discussed in another post, enjoying handcrafted Honey Wheat beer and onion rings!

There is nothing like great girlfriends and I have been very blessed in that department.

29 January 2009

Valentine's Decor

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I am participating in Trim the Tree Thursday, which I think is going to have a name change to reflect the various holidays, but more on that later. Here are some Valentine's Day things...





Snow Day Aftermath

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Got into school this morning and discovered that our school building did not want a snow day. The fire alarm was going off, the intercom was beeping,the phone was ringing off the hook, the circle drive was striped with ice. So, I got the alarms off, answered the answering machine (35 messages) and silenced the intercom and got our lovely custodian to throw salt on the ice stripes.

These photos were taken on my way to work. The ice in Missouri can be beautiful as well as deadly. Hope all of your are safe and warm this morning!

28 January 2009

Snow Day Pasta

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Since I had a snow day and Bob had to work, I decided to cook dinner for him like a good housewife would. I decided to make pasta, because for one, I think I make better pasta than he does. Here is what I came up with:

12 oz uncooked penne pasta
6 cloves of garlic, minced
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
2 T of EVOO
1 can of drained garbanzo beans
1 can of diced Italian tomatoes
salt and pepper
1/4 c goat cheese, crumbled

Cook the pasta according to package directions. In the meanwhile, saute the garlic and red pepper flakes in the olive oil. Add in the beans and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reserving 1/4 c of the pasta water, drain and add pasta to the veggies. Add pasta water if needed to help create the sauce. Sprinkle goat cheese on the top. Serve!

I am confident Bob will like it because it is low fat, high protein!

Introducing a new blogger friend!

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I have the most wonderful opportunity to introduce to you a friend of mine who has recently joined the blogging community. Barb and I met through the old Gooseberry Patch chat line years ago. She started a chat site herself called Girlfriends Forever where I still visit to this day. Barb is from Florida and is an interior decorator. She has been married to a wonderful man for 29 years. Barb is a superb crafter and I know you will be seeing a lot of her work. Please go visit her at her blog and tell her I sent you! I know you will want to add her to your favorites list!

You can visit Barb here.

27 January 2009

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This article was written about the school where my husband is principal. I thought you would enjoy the human interest of it!

JEFFERSON CITY -- Students at Lewis and Clark Middle School in Jefferson City need your help. For 12 years they have been collected soda can tabs and they need just a few more to reach their goal. Well, not just a few, one million more. On National Holocaust Remembrance Day, KRCG's Mallory McGowin has the story of over a decade of young people working to honor the men, women and children killed during that tragic time in history.

"It's a positive in that it helps us understand the inhumanity of man," says Lewis and Clark sixth grade teacher Beth Ayres. "But it also, because of the children wanting to attain this goal, the humanity."

The project started at Lewis and Clark 12 years ago. Middle school students in 1997 wanted to collect six million soda can tabs to represent the six million people who were killed in the Holocaust. And while the school is still short of its six million tab goal by about a million, students here say the symbolism is really setting in.

"I think its amazing. I never knew what five million tabs looked like before," says Lewis and Clark eighth grader Katelyn Rush. "I know I see them whenever I drink a soda, but seeing that many shows me that that many people that died...that's sad."

And for the students who were in that original middle school class in 1997, like Chris Schmitz who is now a teacher in the Jeferson City school district, inching closer to the goal is breathtaking.

"Six million when I was in middle school is unbelievable," says Schmitz. "I never imagined they'd collect that many tabs. I can't quite remember how many we collected the first year, but we thought we collected quite a bit. But 12 years later, to have close to that many tabs is unbelievable."

Mrs. Ayres says Chris and his classmates collected about 350,000 that first year. And that number has stayed fairly steady since then.

After the Holocaust Museum in St. Louis said they did not have the space to display such an enormous number of tabs, students decided to recycle the tabs once they reach the goal and give the money to the museum.

"Its really inspired me that young people have generousity of spirit and it has continued for 12 years," says Ayres.

These students are now just one million tabs short of their goal. Thats after a generous donation of over 150,000 from the Eldon Middle School this winter.

To donate tabs, you can drop them off at Lewis and Clark Middle School during normal school hours or mail them to the school. The address is 325 Lewis and Clark Drive, Jefferson City, Mo. 65101. You can also call the school with any questions. Their number is 573-659-3200.

Students and teachers have talked to recycling officials who say recycling six million tabs, which are stored in nearly23 55-gallon drums, will net about $2,000 for the Holocaust Museum in St. Louis.

Chicken Roll Ups with Goat Cheese and Spinach!

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Bob and I love this dish. It is a two person dish for us, so we both get to help in the kitchen! Bob pounds, I stuff and seal.

chicken breast cutlets (enough for 1 breast per serving)
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 large bunch spinach, stems trimmed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 ounces soft goat cheese, broken into small pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Saute spinach in olive olive with garlic. Set aside. Pound breasts to a uniform thickness. Season chicken with salt and pepper. On a clean work surface, lay cutlets flat (smooth sides down). Fill with spinach and then goat cheese. Starting with the narrow end, roll up chicken tightly; seal with a toothpick.
In a large nonstick ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; swirl to coat bottom of pan. Cook, seam side down, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn chicken. Transfer skillet to oven. Cook until chicken is opaque throughout, 10 minutes. Remove toothpicks, and slice chicken crosswise before serving.

26 January 2009

Kitchen Scrubbing

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Manuela's posts about cleaning her kitchen motivated me to do the same. I have a lot of guests coming through the house in February and I knew I needed to get to some deep cleaning.



I love my kitchen sink! It is a extra wide sink with no center bar which means a full sized cookie sheet will fit into it. I love that! I kept my old faucet when I replaced the sink but after seeing Manuela's I have added a new faucet to my list of needs and wants!



I love my red countertops! With my oak cabinets and wood floors, they are really very cool looking in my kitchen. I have mismatched appliances which doesn't bother me, but I eventually want to replace the microwave above the stove to a white one and the dishwasher is going to get a cover of tin ceiling tile soon!



Does this happen to you? As you are trying to clean, SOMEONE decides to make a pot of Pasta Figoli soup?? and gets in your way?? and messes up your kitchen??



How many coffee pots does one guy need?? I put away the grinder. I love my Longaberger basket. Thanks for the inspiration, Manuela!

25 January 2009

Book Review Sunday-Fireproof (novelization) by Eric Wilson

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Pam at sidewalk shoes reviews a book on Sundays that she has read. I would love to copy her idea. I read a lot and would love a way to keep track of the books I have read during 2009.

Back Cover: Growing up his wife Catherine always dreamed of marrying a loving, brave firefighter...just like her father. Now, after seven years of marriage, she wonders when she stopped being "good enough." Countless arguments and anger have them wanting to move on to something with more sparks.

As they prepare for divorce, Caleb's father challenges him to commit to a 40-day experiment: "The Love Dare." Wondering if it is even worth the effort, Caleb agrees, for his father's sake for than for his marriage.

Surprised by what he discovers about the meaning of love, Caleb realizes that his wife and marriage are worth fighting for. His job is to rescue others. Now Captain Holt is ready to face his toughest job ever, rescuing his wife's heart.

This book is the next selection for the Pickwick Society Book Club (West School). We began meeting in 1996, I believe. I think our group will like this book as a whole because it deals with real life issues and because it was a movie. In fact, the book was written after the success of the movie and screenplay.

I enjoyed reading this book (I read it in one sitting) but if you are looking for a book that is deep in regards to literary devices and creativity, I think you will be disappointed. The writing is straight forward and doesn't require you to be in total connection with the prose.

I'd give it a 3 out of 5 star ranking if asked!

24 January 2009

Frugal Luxuries #4

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Did you get a green plant in your life last week?

This week, focus on the luxury of planning. Join Gayle at Grocery Cart Challenge and learn how she feeds her family of 6 on $60 a week. How is that a luxury for you? Let me tell you!

Imagine planning ahead each day what you will have for dinner. Imagine shopping once at Walmart and not having to face those crowds on a daily basis. Imagine coming in from work, with the crockpot of whole roasted chicken stuffed with herbs, baked potatoes in the microwave ready to cook, steamed broccoli cut and ready to cook with fresh orange slices (remember, they are in season now!) to nibble on at the end. All because you prepared a bit ahead, you can take off your shoes, watch a little Oprah and still feed your family a high quality meal!

Even if you do not want to plan an entire week of menus, plan one night where you can come home to the dinner already cooking away for you. It is better than eating out, and if you use a crock pot liner, the clean up is a breeze!

We have a Winner!

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#29 belongs to....


Manuela at The Pleasures of Homemaking. If you haven't visited her blog, please take a moment to visit her and congratulate her! You won't be sorry!

Congratulations, Manuela!

23 January 2009

Just a few more hours!

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Just a few more hours to enter my drawing!

Grocery Swap Recipe Friday!

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Gayle from the Grocery Shop Challenge hosts a Recipe Friday each week. Here is my week's contribution, which I got from Pam at sidewalk shoes. I changed up the recipe a bit, adding potatoes and garlic because I love them roasted!

Roasted Root Vegetables

4 new potatoes
2 parsnips
2 turnips
8 carrots
5 cloves garlic
1 small red onion
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
4 oz chilled goat cheese
Olive oil
1/2 c balsalmic vinegar
1/2 c honey

Scrub vegetables and chop coarsley. Toss veggies with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Whisk together the honey and balsalmic vinegar. Pour over veggies and roast another 20 minutes. Remove from oven, crumble over goat cheese on hot veggies. Serve with crusty bread!

I had this for dinner last night! It was so satisfying and very rustic.

21 January 2009

This is it! My 400th post Giveaway! CLOSED!

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When I started blogging in 2005, I never thought I would encourage others to blog, read regularly over 40 blogs and make hundreds of new friends all over the world. I never knew I could love a photo of a cow or find such love of God in such a young woman.

My first blog I ever visited was EE and there I learned about showing creativity and a love of writing and a sense of writing style on my blog. I learned about cooking and the love for a daughter and all things Cherry here and how to incorporate a theme into your blog!

Now I have family, Ashley, Susan, and Jeanne blogging and letting me follow their lives more closely since they have married and started families of their own.

Blogging has done so much for me over these posts!

Now for the giveaway!





The gifts are a Hugs and Kisses sign, Live Well plaque, Love Letter bath soak, a Valentine stretch bracelet, Valentine socks, a tiny puffy heart, Valentine gel window clings.

Here are the rules (there are always rules, aren't there!) 1. Read this post! 2. Let others know that they can get in on the fun! Leave a link at your blog to my blog and let me know, I will give you an extra entry. 3. I will also give you an extra entry if you refer someone to my blog and they mention your name. 4. Check back here to see who the lucky winner is on Friday! I will "redraw" if the winner does not notify me in 24 hours with their mailing address.

It's that easy!

This sweet little box of Valentine goodies could be on its way to you soon!

Thanks for helping me celebrate!

Thank you, Kim!

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Kim from Home is Where the Heart Is showed me where to make cool banners for my blog. Thank you so much!

Terri

19 January 2009

My husband the Chef!

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I often call Bob "Chef Bob" because he loves to cook so much and because he is so good. Recently he made this steak recipe(thank you Pam!) and it was fabulous.

Here is Bob organizing the recipes in our pantry. The two of us often collect recipes hoping that we will try them out. We throw them in our pantry and they grow and grow. Bob found a way to organize them for us so that we can see at a glance which ones we have tried and ones we want to try.

Isn't he an amazing guy?

18 January 2009

Nearing 400....

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posts! I began this blog in December, 2006 to have a journal that I could write and share with my family my journey through this incredible opportunity called life. Who knew I would find so many friends here!

In celebration of friendship and blogging... I would like to have my first giveaway ever! I have chosen a few sweet Valentine momentos for your pleasure!

Here are the rules (there are always rules, aren't there!) 1. Keep watching my blog... and when I post that it is my 400th post, leave a comment here. 2. Let others know that they can get in on the fun! Leave a link at your blog to my blog and let me know. I will give you an extra entry. 3. I will also give you an extra entry if you refer someone to my blog and they mention your name. 4. Check back here to see if you have won 4 days after the event. I will "redraw" if the winner does not notify me in 24 hours with their mailing address. It's that easy!

17 January 2009

Newsflash!

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I found some lamps! For those of you who have been following my bedroom redo, come and see if you aggree that these lamps are what is needed to make a difference in my master bedroom!

Frugal Luxuries #3

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Did you try a special dish just for yourself last week?

There is a magic in growing something, isn't there? Having something alive to care for especially in the winter months, creates an experience and connection to the earth.

This week at Walmart there were a number of small $1 plants available. Find a few of these plants, and use your china teacups to plant these small wonders in. Line your kitchen window and you will have a little haven of peace and a reminder that spring is just around the corner!

16 January 2009

A Beautiful Life!

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Melissa is having a special event today on her blog The Inspired Room. If you don't know her blog, you should definitely check her out. She is one of my daily "must reads!"

I chose this photo from my archives. Sometimes all you have to do is point and click. Thank you dear Lord!

14 January 2009

Once in a while....

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peace reigns at our house! Here are our three furbabies enjoying our newly decorated bedroom!

(photo courtesy of my cell phone!)