31 January 2011

One World One Heart

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Blogging, Facebook, Chatting, Twitter are all about connecting with the world.  When I saw this Blogland event, I knew I wanted to take part.  Lisa at A Whimsical Bohemian has organized the event.




You, too, can join, by heading over to her blog to see what the rules are and how to join!

My name is Terri and I have been blogging since 2005. I live in the great state of Missouri, USA.  My blog centers around my family, photography, food, travel and work (I am a school principal!).  My main reason for blogging was to create something lasting that my grandchildren could see (when I eventually do have grandchildren!) to learn about me and other relatives.  I have often wondered what it was like for my grandparents when they were adults.  I love to socialize with friends and family.  I am a breast cancer survivor (one year!) and I have a major interest in seeing the end of breast cancer in my lifetime!

My door prize is an eight ounce container of bath salts from my business called Bath Cocktails.
We are featuring Pink Champagne for this Valentine season and you will receive this newest scent in your prize package!

Bath Salts


A. It's open to all active bloggers worldwide!
B.  Leave a comment, making sure there is a way to contact you if you win my prize and so I can visit your blog 
C. The Winner will be announced Feb. 17th and that I will email the winner as well as post it.


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30 January 2011

Chocolate Meringue Cookies

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 cookies

I am a follower of the Weight Watcher program and am learning to cook in a more healthy way.  I made these Chocolate Meringue Cookies today as they are a low point food, high in protein and low in sugar.  This batch made 30+ cookies with only 1/2 cup of sugar!

The cookies turn out with a melt in your mouth texture.  I tried one after it cooled from baking and it was chocolatey good.  I hear they become more chewy after a day or two and some prefer that taste.

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Chocolate Chip Clouds
This recipe was adapted from Hershey's Kitchens
and
Gina's Skinny Recipes
Servings: 30 • Serving Size: 1 cookie Old Points: 1 pt Points+: 1 pt
Calories: 53.7 • Fat: 2.2 g Carb: 8.4 g Fiber: 1.7 g Protein: 1.1 g 
 


  • 6 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Godiva dark chocolate chips, chopped.
Heat oven to 300°F. Cover cookie sheet with parchment.

Using a mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together in large bowl at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar a little at a time, then vanilla, beating well after each addition until you get stiff peaks, the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is glossy.

Sift cocoa onto egg white mixture; gently fold until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop mixture by tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Makes 30 + cookies.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or just until dry. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely on wire rack. Store covered, at room temperature.

28 January 2011

I won a Give Away!

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I recently won a giveaway sponsored by Cyndi Spivey.  If you haven't been to her blog, you should go check it out, especially if you are reaching out to God more and more in your life.  She has a beautiful relationship with God and she shares it with the world through her blog.

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Cyndi gave away these delightful "Hot Chocolate" notebooks and a calendar.  What a perfect place to put notes as I begin my adventure with the Bible.  I remember reading my bible with my Grandpa Oliver when I was little.  I wish I had his notes now!

23 January 2011

Sunday Morning

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Trees across the street on a beautiful, peaceful Sunday. 

21 January 2011

Kitchen Organization

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We are all becoming more organized at Beneath My Heart!  This week we are focusing on the kitchen.  I am sorry, though, in this case you won't see any "before" photos because I am just tooooooo embarrassed.  However, let me tell you that this is a big improvement!

We really made a mess of the pantry right around Christmas.  With all the extra baking ingredients, we weren't as neat as we usually try to be.  So this pantry is showing as it usually is.  Truly.


We have now labeled the jars with cute chalkboard paper labels and that is really nice.  I use chalkboard markers as they make a neater, more permanent line, even though it can be washed off with plain water.

All the kitchen cabinets are cleaned and organized on top, the bottom ones still need some work.  We took everything off the top of the cabinets and redecorated (with Ashley's help!) and we installed a new white microwave (now three of the four appliances are white!).

I love the feeling of a newly organized kitchen.  Bob does too!  He's made me promise not to get any more gadgets.  Oh, dear.

20 January 2011

The 2011 Version of Snow Ice Cream

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Sure enough, my pot was full of snow this morning when I got up!



Bob ventured out and gathered up the snow.  He then unceremoniously dumped it on the kitchen counter for me!  That's all right, I wanted the glory all to myself.

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So, in order to keep true to the diets we are on, we needed to adjust the ingredients to the original snow ice cream.  I replaced the milk/cream with Almond Breeze, the sugar with Aguave, and still used regular vanilla.  I poured a cup of Almond Breeze, added in the aguave and vanilla and stirred them together.  Then I poured the mixture over the snow.

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You gotta work it in.  Work it, girl!

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I served it with a little apple and fig jam.  It was yummy.

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I had left over snow.  Hmmm.  Did I dare?

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I dared.

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Hehehehe.

19 January 2011

Another Snow Day!

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As a school principal one of the most exciting things that happens is when school is called off for snow.  Yeah, I am perfectly aware that I am going to have to be in school when the weather is warm and nice but I will deal with that later.

Tomorrow is going to be the perfect day for Snow Ice Cream!

Photo Credit: http://www.larksongknits.com

My mom made Snow Ice Cream for my sister and me when we were little.  If you know you are going to get a heavy snow, put a bowl out on your deck to catch clean snow.  When it is time to make your ice cream, you won't have to go out into the yard and maybe pick up dirt or twigs in your snow.

My mom would stir in white sugar and vanilla and then add enough milk or half and half (slowly) to make it the perfect consistency.  She'd scoop it out and then pour Hershey's on the top for us.

Paula Deen likes to use sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and snow.  I haven't tried it this way but it might be great!

Hope your snow day is a Snow Ice Cream kinda day!
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15 January 2011

Living Well

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I challenged myself this year to a new word(s) Living Well.  Last year I just wanted to Live (2010 word of the year) but this year I wanted to make sure how I was living was up to the mark.  I decided to make this year special by Living Well.  That doesn't mean over and above my means, but to take advantage of opportunities that might come my way.

Last night one (opportunity) did.

1995 Dom Perignon

 On my Bucket List I have written that I want to taste Dom Perignon champagne. at $200+ a bottle, that just wasn't going to be on my To Buy list any time soon!  Bob noticed that Grand Cru in Columbia was having a champagne tasting at their restaurant and as an added bonus, they would be serving Dom Perignon champagne at $10 a glass.  An opportunity to both Live Well and check something off the Bucket List!

Ashley, Bob, David (a friend and colleague of Bob's) and I met and tried the various sparkling wines.  They were all from New Mexico and were delicious.  We bought a couple of bottles for Ashley's graduation.  We had dinner (Grand Cru makes a wonderful lobster mac and cheese) and then we got to try the Dom Perignon.

Dom Perignon is a vintage champagne, meaning it is only made in the best years.  The bottle we had was produced in 1995.  Let me describe it as a very rich drink, full bodied and when it hits your mouth, you know you are drinking something special.  It is spicy with a deep toasty taste.  I actually had tears in my eyes.  It was that good.  My Dom Perignon experience was beautiful and to be shared with family and friends made it even more special.  

At the end of dinner, I convinced Ashley that she needed to ask the waiter for the bottle.  The waiter said he'd try and then came back with the bottle, cork, and box!   A nice keepsake for a Living Well moment!

Ashley and Dom

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13 January 2011

Closet Make Over

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Tracey at Beneath My Heart has reached out to blogdom to help us to help us organize our homes and hearts.  Each Monday she will focus on a variety of topics.  I was intrigued because I have a lot to organize!


This Monday we were treated to seeing Tracey redo her craft closet.  My craft closet was a complete mess and seeing her work motivated me to get mine done and I had a snow day to do it!   Here are my before and afters...


As you can see, there are good basic bones.  It is just a mess.  However, the mess is so large that it needed the dedication of one Miss Terri to get it done.  So the snow day was perfect.  First I emptied the room of trash, organized what was left and then cleaned up.  The whole job was just over 90 minutes.


 Just a little time and elbow grease got this closet back to looking good.  Now I can have a good place to craft and scrapbook and generally create.  It has been over a year since this room has been available to me and now here it is again!  Life continues to get back to normal!
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12 January 2011

It's in the Bag!

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Ashley at A Hasty Life is hosting a blog crawl about our purses!  She has had a blog since she became engaged in 2008 to track her wedding progress and now has a full time blog about all kinds of fun things.  Be sure to check her out if you haven't before.  If I sound a bit proud, that's because Ashley is my daughter!

I love purses but I hate to shop for them!  I tend to buy high quality bags, mostly Coach, that I carry for several years.  I usually buy a black leather bag that goes with everything but there are times, like when I wear brown, when I don't love the look.  I was recently introduced to Miche, a purse that is designed to have removable covers so that you can change the look of your bag without changing out purses!


So what is in my purse:


From left to right, top to bottom:  my Vera Bradley sunglasses, Chico cheaters, Coach wallet, Vera Bradley change purse, my business wallet, a business card holder that I received from my friends when I first got a principal's job, various lip balms, and a pocket size Poo-pouri (for covering up smells in public bathrooms!).

And that's it.

Not really.  My purse couldn't be that neat.  Here's the rest:

 cash, bills, stamps, gift certificates, receipts, etc....

Sigh.

Go and visit these other gals to see their posts on their purses: Krysten at After I Do and on Thursday check out Meggie at Chasing Davies.
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10 January 2011

First DIY Project of 2011

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When we moved into the house in 2002, the door that lead to the basement family room had been removed and stored in the lower garage.  We made a decision not to put the door on because our dog (Dakota) loved to run up and down the steps with our cat (Bustopher).  Both Dakota and Bustopher are gone now and we now have two dogs (Truman and Wilson) who like to run the steps, too but also like to leave "surprises" on the carpet.  We put a gate up to keep them from using the steps (and the carpet).  I have hated that gate since the day we put it up but it did the job and that was what mattered.

Then one day as I was exploring blogland I found a much prettier solution to our problem, which was a screen door.  Bob was skeptical, even when I showed him the cute photos.  Alas, Bob just didn't think it was a good idea so we decided not to do it.  Of course, once the decision was made to NOT do the door, I wanted it even more!

I thought I would put it on my Christmas list and see what might happen... and wala!  I got a screen door!  Bob bought a plain door and added the gingerbread trimming to it.  It had to be painted and so he did that, too.  He figured out how to hang it using the existing door plates and when he got the handle on, it was complete!

Here's a glance at our new screen door:

Screen door added 2010 by Bob Steffes as a Christmas gift to Terri



Bob loves the door, now and thinks it is a much nicer solution than the doggie gate!!

09 January 2011

The Wise Men Made It!

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2010 Nativity painted by Irene Steffes, stable made by Giles Steffes
 The Wise Men have seen the Baby Jesus and now all the Christmas stuff has been packed away.  This is the time of year when Bob and I like to deep clean the house since all the trinkets have been moved anyway.  I am going to do some shopping in my own home to find some new things for the main level of my house.  I am tired of the things I usually use.  I have asked my friend Lynne to come over and do this for me so that I am confident that I will like how everything looks!

Tonight I am making chicken pot pies with Bob's leftover chicken and veggies from Friday.  I have the cutest pie maker (it makes 4 individual pies) and I love using it!

06 January 2011

Glorious Pizza (Recipe Added)

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I am learning how to eat in a more healthy manner and Bob is learning to cook in a more healthy manner!  We go together so well!
Tonight Bob made this awesome pizza.  It was so loaded with veggies that I couldn't eat my entire portion so I get to have it for lunch tomorrow!


 If you cut this pizza into sixths, it is worth five points a slice on Weight Watchers!

Boboli Veggie Pizza
1 c sliced onion
1 c sliced red, green and yellow peppers
1 c sliced mushrooms
1 c canned diced tomatoes
1 c fresh spinach leaves
3/4 c spaghetti sauce
1 c fat free ricotta cheese
1 Boboli thin crust pizza crust

Saute the veggies in bit of  Pam spray until slightly softened.  Coat the pizza crust with sauce, layer on veggies and dab on ricotta cheese.  Bake in 450 oven until cheese and sauce are hot and bubbling.

05 January 2011

Winter 2011

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After all the fuss, hustle and bustle of the holidays, I am ready to settle down into the peace and solitude of winter.

Backyard garden

Susan's trees across the street

Trees at the Post Office

Trees in the neighborhood

01 January 2011

1-1-11

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I wanted to have a post on this momentous occasion of 1-1-11.  It is so cool.

Ashley, Susan, Karen, David


Last year my word was LIVE.  I believe I managed to do that.  I continued with my doctoral studies, I bought a convertible, got a tattoo and participated in my first Relay for Life and Susan G Korman Walk for a Cure.  These are things I have talked about before, but not really pursued with the passion I have for life.  Having had breast cancer, I now look at things a bit differently.  I am not waiting to LIVE because I need to do it NOW while I am still here!



This year my word(s) are LIVE WELL.  I don't just want to live, now I w
 ant to do it with courage, wisdom, love and compassion.  I want to live my dreams and to do it well.



Peace and Joy to all of you during 2011.