Tuesday, January 31, 2012

February Freeze

Guess what my house didn't have until today?  (And don't say curtains, that's (a) a sore spot, and (b) still not finished).

I'll give you a hint:

And by "hint", I meant I'd totally give it away and thus end the guessing game.
SIDENOTE: My niece seriously wants you to guess when she says "Guess what?!" or "Guess who I saw?!"  It's adorable.
Yes, that's right.  Handsome and I have survived almost 4 years without owning an ice cube tray.  Talk about First World problems, here, people, things were starting to get a little dicey.  I mean, we had ice, but no trays.  How?  Ice machine in the freezer.  Bazinga.

But with our latest move and our craigslist-freezer, we found ourselves without any means of making ice.  Which wasn't really a problem, until I decided that I must make smoothies or die trying.  You'll notice that I even grabbed a specialty tray, for this exact expressed purpose.

Ideal for blenders, AND made in the U.S. of A.  It's like winning the lottery, for American smoothie makers.

So now that I've got the trappings (Magic Bullet is already in the cupboards, just waiting for it's first job!), I need some smoothie recipes.  Anyone try the green smoothies yet?  Any good ideas for me?  

Monday, January 30, 2012


... I've been happy.

Lately, I've been content.  Excited.  In love.  Passionate.  Dedicated.  Anticipating.

It's been really nice.

Lately, I've been exercising some.  Feeling muscles I had forgotten about.  Feeling alive, and like I almost deserve to have a fully functioning body.

It's taken extra effort, but it's been worth it.

Lately, I've felt inspired.  Inspired to cook new food, to find new music, to design and make things.  Even in math-land, to program and problem solve and apply my mind to things.

It doesn't always come right away, but it has been showing up, as long as I show up first.

Lately, I've been in search of a chocolate fix.  Had to be chocolate.  The sweet, the salty, the wonderful chocolatey goodness that only comes from chocolate.

Chewy Chocolate Meringues.
Do it.
Don't be scared.

Lately, I've been finding my chocolate fix a little too easily... :)

This container may-or-may-not have been two layers deep this morning.
What have you been lately?

Polly Come Lately, AKA,

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Back Home to my Crock Pot

In a glorious turn of events, coming home yesterday was everything I had hoped it would be.  Not in a "things are just perfect like I wanted them and the world revolves around me" sort of way.  But in a "I have my own towels and look at my backyard and this place smells right" sort of way.  Glory be, I love it here.

Plus, we have humidity here in SC, which is something UT obviously hasn't heard of.

I love my backyard.
And, speaking of, anyone need a Magnolia tree?
Seriously, we're transplanting those babies here before long.
Get your orders in.
Also, I would like to add "coming home" to the list of things that make dog ownership more rewarding than cat slavery ownership.  Seriously, I'm pretty sure there's not much better than being greeted by your dog.  With Duke, I can be gone for 5 minutes and get generally the same level of enthusiasm that I got yesterday after being gone for 4 days.  But still.

It just does something for the soul to be loved and missed and celebrated so thoroughly.
Doesn't hurt the ego any, either.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Head in the Clouds

This morning, when the alarm rang, it was difficult to think there could be anything redeeming about a 4:30 pick-up to the airport.

Later this morning, when the baby on the plane was crying, and there was a weird perfume smell in the air, it was still difficult to imagine there was anything redeeming about a 6:05 take-off.

Lucky for me, there is redemption even in difficult, uncomfortable things.

Can't wait to get home,

Because I Promised

I don't much feel like writing right now.  Especially considering (a) it's after midnight, Eastern time (which I'm still technically on) and (b) my hotel room must be vacated by 4:30 in the AM in order to catch my ride to the airport tomorrow.  Add in the fact that my belly is full of fan-flippin'-tastic mexican, and there should only be one thing on your to-do list: S-L-E-E-P.

But I promised.  Or at least said I'd try.  And so I'm giving you a try, here.  I've tried to get pictures of the beautiful mountains that I've been looking at for the past two days.

And, to mirror my own pathetic "try", the mountains seem to have decided to only give it a mediocre effort to look good. [sort of like me, in the post below, ha!]

It started out much like the day before, cloudy up top, not a whole lot of light.  No biggie, yesterday turned out beautiful.  I had faith, I believed that it would clear up.  That, now that I had my camera with me, heck, it might be even more lovely than the day before!

And then it did this.

And then it looked like this.

And that's the end of the story.  My best pictures are trapped in my head.  Feel free to insert some moral of the story here.  Perhaps something about "misplaced faith" or "being prepared to seize an opportunity".  Whatever floats your boat.  I've got nothing tonight.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIWW: A Vision In Monochrome


Let's start this out with some disclaimers:

  • I got 3 1/2 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night.  
  • I was on an airplane, not moving, for over 4 hours yesterday.
  • I was doing airplane/airport - y things yesterday for over 11 hours total.

And then this morning, I had an extra 15 minutes, so I thought I'd link up at the Pleated Poppy for a What I Wore Wednesday.  With an outfit that I am actually wearing on Wednesday.  As the title says, I am currently a vision in monochrome.

Button-up: Express, years ago.  Slacks: Express, this summer.  Shoes: Nine West, outlet.  Cardi: Old Navy, to match my Mom.
Black, white, and in-between.

Sassy shoes?  Check.  Classic hip check pose?  Check.  Cardigan that makes weird bulges appear in my midsection area, as well as split ends out the wazoo?  Check and check.  Business professional at it's best.

You might say that accessories could make this outfit.  That I could really snazz it up with some brights, or even pastels.  And I would agree, yes, I could.  With could being the optimal word.

Light gray, dark gray, and cream.
Don't want to get too far away from my color scheme here.
Also, I designed & made that purse.
It'll be in the shop soon, I'm changing some things.

Apparently, I didn't feel very adventurous after my uber-turbulence airplane rides yesterday.  Tomorrow, I promise, I'll mix it up a little bit.  I think I have some beige, some blue, some violet.  Really, the people we're meeting might not even recognize me!

So that's my WIWW.  Because it's all I had in me this morning.  And then I was late for my meeting, and then I had my ALL DAY MEETING, and then I came back, and it's still all I've got.  Hopefully, I'll have some pictures for you tomorrow of the mountains here.  Really, while they are also a vision in monochrome, they are much, much more appealing.  Mountains don't have split ends.

I don't dream in color, 

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Goals

I have goals.  Often they change with the moment.  Sometimes they are stated, and sometimes they are obvious only in reflection.  Like tonight, apparently, my goal was to consume waaaay too many not-even-my-best-ever no-bake cookies.  Apparently, my goal was to consume so many that I had to resort to desperate measures to undo all that snacking.

(a) I hate that guy's commentary.
(b) sometimes I think I don't like him as a person very much, either.
(c) I only made it through 25 minutes.
(d) that 25 minutes "undid" 2 cookies
But let's talk about intentional goals.  Measurable, observable, and with a deadline.  The good type.

Last week my goal was shoppe-related: 3 new purses made by end of business on Sunday.  And I reached that goal.  I had a few spare hours, thought, "gee, what ever will I do?" and my goals directed me; laundry?  No way!  I've got purses to sew!  New shoppe goal?  3 "small" sewn things by next Sunday.  Ima gonna knock it out!

This Sunday I made a new goal: 4+ days this week with bible & prayer time.  I need this.  My soul needs this.  The big changes God is about to wrought (I don't even know what that means) in my life need this goal to be achieved.  So this morning, instead of 16 more minutes of sleeping, I did it.  Because my goal gave me direction.

And now, after an abominable showing this afternoon, I have a new goal.  Not to supersede the others, but alongside them.  This new goal can be summed up in one word: Punctuality.  I am a firm believer, especially in the business world, but in a person's personal life, as well, that punctuality shows respect.  It suggests an understanding that the other person has value and their time is important.  And me?  Well, I seem to be forever running behind.  

And that's going to get my behind in deep trouble if I don't shape up.

Brain Dump to Lighten the Load

Tomorrow, I get on a plane.

Tomorrow, I fly far far away, to a land where there is snow and cold and F-22's.  

Tomorrow I'm going to Utah (but "I'm Going to California in my Mind", please put me out of my misery and tell me what song that comes from!)  I've got 4+ hours of plane time to log.  I should be packing.  I should be getting the meals ready for Handsome to eat while I'm away.  I should be doing pretty much everything but updating my etsy shoppe, typing away on here, and drawing purse pictures.

SOOC (straight out of camera), no lie.
This place where I live, this little hidden gem?
It's completely beautiful any time of year.
I hope Utah is beautiful.

Why am I so taken with purses?  I have no idea.  I just can't stop sewing them.  I can't keep sewing the same ones over and over, either.  It's an adventure, I believe.  Exploration, discovery, creating and all that.

Remember when I said I wanted to be a baker?  And now I'm a candlestick maker doing this purse thing?  I still love baking.  I still might be a baker.  Just a baker with a really nice purse, maybe?  

Meh.  The future.  Who needs (to know about) it?  I've got no idea what's coming down this pipeline called life (terrible metaphor, sorry!).  

I do know that Jj Heller is pretty awesome.  Sometimes I need music that really gets me pumped and ready to fight or run or just... calls to action.  Jj doesn't do that.  She sings prettily, and makes me want to be her friend and eat scones and sip tea at her house.  

I've got a $5 amazon mp3 gift card as a small consolation prize for buying a way-too-expensive textbook.  Perhaps I'll download some of her songs to keep me company on the plane tomorrow.  Got any other suggestions for my plane trip, music related or not?

Thank you for stopping by here.  I'm sorry I'm so scattered and have so little of substance to offer you.  You're a peach for reading this entire thing.  You're a peach for just existing, as far as I'm concerned.  I'm also unsure why anyone would ever want to be an actual peach, but that is neither here nor there.

Randomly Unorganized,

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pest Control

I don't blog for the money, or the fame.  I don't blog for the notoriety, or the whispered, "Hey, that's TheeFireWife!".  Which is good, because there's pretty much none of that.  I blog to share.  My stories, my adventures, my crafty things, my baking success and failures.  

And in that vein, I am here to share with you a most disturbing story, an adventure of as-yet-unseen proportions.  At least, for the Magagnotti household.

It all started with this text from Handsome.  I got it while I was out tutoring.  It's the text that most girls don't want to get.  The one that strikes fear into their hearts and makes them reconsider going home at all, ever again.

"Please pick up rat traps please"

My reaction: Really?  Can't I just pick up some "For Sale" flyers of other homes?

Nothing but the best for our pests.
Straight from Litz, PA.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Birthday Monies, True Love, and Personal Loans ** UPDATE **

** Itidal's loan has been completely bought up!  But don't worry, there's still ton's of people who could use your help to build a better life for them & their families!  AND I have confirmation that it's 100% legit.  WOOT! **

Handsome and I went out on the town today.  Lunch date (my favorite kind, more on that later), thrift stores, riding around in the car; it was beautiful.  Other than the fact that Handsome's back is rebelling after the 3+ hour wood chopping spree he went on last weekend, so I was basically on a date with crippled, 30-years-from-now-Handsome.  But hey, that's all part of the vows, right?

Dude has mad skillz when it comes to this stuff.
Took me 26 swings (I counted).  Took him 4.
Now if only it didn't leave him stooped and shuffling.

Anyhow, we had a fan-flippin-tastic lunch at Larkin's on the River.  All fans of the Monte Cristo with parmesan crust on both sides (!!) raise your hand.  [20 second pause while I raise my hands (yes, both) enthusiastically]  But we only hit two of the shops that (prepare for a shock to your system) Handsome had planned out ahead of time.  Yes, that's right.  Mr. Spontaneous himself, Mr. What do you mean by "reservation", Mr. ... something else that implies procrastination as a life choice.  He picked out, beforehand, and without needing me there, 6 thrift stores, a quilt shop (!), and a consignment shop, plus where we were having lunch.  It was amazing.  

Seriously, I'm still reeling.  I don't know if I've been on a pre-planned date that I didn't plan since... Senior year of undergrad??  And maybe I said "We should go to the drive-in next weekend" anyhow...  Plus, he picked out a quilt/fabric store.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  The only reason H. ever has anything to do with my sewing is because he likes the little yelps I make when I prick my finger with the pins.  That's it.  So to purposely plan to go look at quilts and fabric and odds and ends, well, let me tell you.  It doesn't get much more romantic than that.  That's true love, people, you heard it right here.  Young/Unmarried girls, look for someone who would do that.  That's how you know he's a real keeper.

My "keeper"
Also, picture-taking capabilities are a bonus.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Birthday Means You Do What You Want

And apparently, I want to post 3 times today.  Before 5:30 PM.  Some might say that's excessive.  Know what I say?  Suck it, Trebec, it's my birthday, and I do what I want.

I guess what I wanted was to get lost in episodes of SNL Celebrity Jeopardy for umpteen minutes.  If you can get past the first few minutes of jostling, it's a great bootlegged copy.  Also, language is not G-rated, just so you know.

In other news, I made my birthday cake from this recipe from Foodess.  And then I had a small slice, because, although I do what I want, something else that I wanted was to not spoil my dinner.  A sweet friend is taking me out, since (1) Handsome is working & classing it up, and (2) I have a coupon so I'm a cheap date.  That there small slice, it was lovely.  I'm telling, were I to have an evening that did not involve my sweet friend taking me to dinner, I would totally eat at least 1/4 of that cake.

If she cancels on me for dinner, I'm eating this whole thing.
I won't even be mad.

If I may have a Word with you

There's this whole "One Word" thing.  Maybe you don't know about it.  Before I cannonballed into bloggy land, I didn't know about it either.  From what I gather, you choose one word to be your focus for the year.  Honestly, that seems like a pretty big commitment.  I mean, one word for the entire year?

So I avoided it.  Because I can commit to very few things in life.  Handsome?  Fo-eva.  Deli-style ham?  Most of my formative years, and long into the future.  But a word?  For an entire year?  One word, 366 (!! because it's leap year!!) days... I mean, maybe if it was 365.  I just don't know about that last day.

But then my pastor spoke one Sunday.  He said "Ask God to give you a burden for others."  And I wanted a burden.  But I wanted more than that, too.  Pastor G. said that a burden would move you to action, but I need more action, I need explosive action.  So I did ask God to give me a burden for others, but also for him to give me Passion.  This morning, I prayed, "God, let this year be full of passion."  And then I thought, (yes, in the middle of praying) - that's my word.

Passion for people.  A life's passion to work towards.  Passion in the morning, passion in the evening, passion at supper time.

Definition: A strong and barely controlable emotion.  Any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling.

So that's my word, that's my (stolen & cropped) picture of my word, and that's my focus.  To be passionate.  To be barely controlled, but in a good and directed way.  To be compelled to action.

Linked up here

Passion all around,

Birthday Q & A

Q: Who's Got 2 Thumbs and a Birthday?

A: This girl.

But that question was easy.  Now for a harder one.

Q: Who's got 2 thumbs and a Colt Leg Knife?

A: Once again, this girl.

Fooled ya, didn't I?

Okay, final question.

Q: Who's got 2 thumbs and the best husband around?

A:  (in chorus now!) This girl!

I am treasured by my husband.  I'm also given a large amount of respect.  He'll take me to dinner, hold my hand when it's cold, and still expect me to split wood with a mall while he carries it.  He respects me as a partner, trusts me enough to depend on me, and still humors my rare-but-present girly side.  He's kind and funny, inappropriate and practical.  He's wonderful.

Okay, and now a final final question.

Q: Who has 2 thumbs and thinks being in love with her husband is the best birthday present ever?

A: This girl.

Being "this girl",

Monday, January 16, 2012

NY Resolution Fail

The only one I really meant, the one that I worked really really hard at, is busted.  Failed.  Kaput.

I've lost the cord to my camera.  I swear, I've been putting things back where they go, not just setting them down, I know I have.  I even took a little box and labeled it "electronics" and kept it in the room so I can put my camera cord and zune charger and whatever else, in it.

And now it's gone.

I have pictures on my camera, but I can't share them with you, because I'm about as responsible as a springer spaniel.  Just in case you feel like humoring/betting against me, any guesses for where it may have run off to?  And don't assume that because you've never been to my house, that you don't know where it could be.  Because really, any place you can think of is fair game.  Let me tell you, however, that I do not have a pantry, nor a garage, so those two are impossible.  Inside my chest freezer in my carport?  Totally a possibility.

I'm putting this on my wishlist, along with a cable for my kindle.
Because, you know, that's the misplaced item that started it all.
So, in case you want to enable my disregard for taking care of things buy me a birthday present...

Irresponsible to a fault,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On Creating

I wanted to start this post by saying, "Now, I'm no artist, but..."  But I've been reading over at Chatting At The Sky for a while.  Am I really not an artist?  Is "an artist" such a big and far away thing, that I couldn't be one, just because I've never hung my work in a gallery?  I mean, I create things.  Make cool things, even if they're not beautiful things, out of parts and pieces.  So am I an artist?  I don't know.  Maybe.  Do I create things?  Yeah, yeah, I do.  Do you make things?  Do you make art out of life?  Maybe you can schedule so many things into a day, and carry them off with such flair, that that's your art.  Maybe you're an artist.

And I have something to say about that.  Something to say to you, and something to say to the naysayer inside of me that thinks, "You're probably all out of ideas by now."  No I'm not.  I also read ... somewhere (sorry blog person who wrote this!) that creating is a discipline, it is not luck or happenstance.  You have to work at creating.  Which sounds funny, until you ask that sculptor how many hours they spent in the studio, or the singer how many years of voice lessons they took, or how many takes they made.

Yes, luck does find us once in a while.  As I am fond of saying, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. But one nut will not feed a squirrel for long, and you cannot rely solely on luck to gift wrap and deliver your next great creation to you all of the time.

For those of you who think you are not an artist, for those of you who finally gathered all of your courage together to try and make something, only to have it fail, fall apart and burn to embers, I want you to know that it happens.  (I'm chuckling at myself right now, thinking that I sound all grandfatherly and experienced, when I feel pretty much the opposite of both of those terms.)  I have for you an example of how a first try often fails, but a second can get you back in the game.  Maybe you planned out and cooked a big ole dinner to impress someone, only to have it taste... well, gross.  Maybe you took some pictures you thought were great, and upon closer inspection, the focus was off, or they felt... flat.

Or maybe, you saw a cute checkbook cover, and thought, hey, maybe I could make that!  (please excuse the bad lighting from here to eternity.  Thank you.)

The one on the left is the first try, the right is the second try.


I was fired up yesterday.  My tutoring bro (I'm not sure what to call him.  Suggestions are being accepted) couldn't understand (a) why I was so excited about graphing compound inequalities and (b) how I could be in such a good mood when it's been such a mess outside lately.  By the end of the hour, however, he may or may not have (and it's definitely a "may" ) fist-pumped.  It was half-hearted, but it felt like a victory.

I was so fired up.  SO much.  I couldn't answer Tbro's (that one won't work, sounds like Tebow) question, either; the "why?"  If you had asked me yesterday, I might have blamed it on the exercising I've started doing.

Watch out, I'm taming this beast!

However, since I slept for a good 9 1/2 hours last night out of sheer exhaustion, I'm thinking that may not be the source of my newfound energy.

I'm sure it is in no small part due to my best. purchase. oftheyear.  I got it in the mail yesterday about 52 minutes before I had to go tutor.  Since it takes me 9 minutes to drive there, I spent approximately 43 minutes falling in love.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In the Pictures

I've got some words to share, but they're scattered and fast and fleeting.  So I thought I might ground them, keep them from running away with me, by using some pictures.  Also, I totally <3 my new camera, and I wanted to show it off.  Because it's awesome.

First, not from my sweet camera, but rather from my second home: Pinterest.  Apparently I've been pinning for longer than I thought.  Man, where did those years go??

My life lately has been laundry, laundry, and more laundry.  By lately, I mean the past 3 days.  But with 8+ loads of laundry under my belt (WHOOPS! Just realized I had to do another one tonight for Hubs to have the clothes he needs for tomorrow.  Make that 9.) it has seemed like an eternity.  On the plus side, it sure does make me feel productive, and is an easy boost to my ego.  Throw some dirty laundry in, add some soap, maybe switch between the two... it's pretty much magic.  I'm the magic man.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Is This Offensive? You Vote!

I just have to know.

So y'all know I've started up an Etsy shop.  And I might be addicted.  I've been making purses pretty much non-stop, and I love it!  They're quick to whip up (relative to, say, a quilt!) and extremely satisfying!  And I've had this one shirt I wanted to make a tote out of for a while...

And so I did...

And I put it up for sale...


Is it offensive?  I don't want to be offensive!  I found it at Sally Anne's (which I'm thinking of changing my shop name to, FYI), and just couldn't not buy it.

The front
The back.
I'm fairly certain it was made by one Chinese person for another, as a joke.  At least, that's my guess.  Help me here, I'm conflicted.

Please weigh in!

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/fun/is-this-offensive/question-2386239/" title="Is this offensive?">Is this offensive?</a>

Insulting peoples everywhere,

Saturday, January 7, 2012

When I Grow Up

I said recently that I didn't know why I was doing that thing I do.  You know, school, school, and more school.  Something else I know, is that the easy part of decision making is deciding what's wrong, or what isn't a good idea.  The hard part comes in when we try and come up with alternatives.
TCoTFW: I actually proposed a research project focusing on the different types of cognitive reasoning and how to produce the most understanding in students with all the different types of questions.  It was all good until I decided that teaching high school is not for me.  In no small part due to the fact that high school should be a compound word, in my opinion.
So, since I'm slightly less than thrilled about this current course of action (no doubt brought to the limelight by the fact that I'm entering yet another semester, and people keep asking, "How many years left?" and "What are you going to do when you're done?" and I don't have answers to either question.  "Quite a few." and "Who knows" are my answers right now.) I decided to entertain some alternatives.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Year Of Photos

In other news (and while I'm pretty sure that posting one post on top of another post is bad form, I'm doing it anyhow) I'm linking up with I should be folding laundry for a year's review of our favorite photos. Mine are posted below the break, so you don't have to look if you don't want to.  I'd hate to force someone to look at pictures.  That's so rude.

Apparently, however, I'm not above a teaser...

By This Point

Prepare yourself.  Ready yourself.  I'm waxing contemplative.  

I'm also wearing 5 shirts right now.  Just so you know.

I saw a some-e-cards today that paralleled what I was already thinking on.  Something to the effect of "When I was younger, I thought I'd have it all together by now."  I so don't have it all together right now.  Do you?  I'll be 26 this month, and while I know that's not old, I'm nowhere near where my 16-year-old self thought I'd be.

Ah... 16... I'm sure I remember it more fondly than I lived it, but that's the luxury of memories.  I'm sure 16-year-old me thought that by 26 (26!) I would definitely not still be doing homework on a Thursday night.  I wasn't going to still be in school.  I wasn't going to be concerned about money, not even a little bit.  I'm pretty sure I thought I'd have a nice steady job, probably teaching.  My husband would have a nice, well-paying job that allowed us to vacation twice a year.  We'd have kids by now.  I mean, c'mon, 26?! (I'm saying this to myself, mostly sarcastically).  Yeah, 16-year-old me would definitely think that 26-year-old me was messing things up.

I can hear 16-year-old me asking 26-year-old me, what about the good things in life?  Why are you pushing yourself so much, when you don't even know if you love where it'll get you?  And honestly, 26-year-old me is asking, "Yeah, why am I doing that?"

And tonight, I've got no idea.

Happy Un-birthday to me (and you!),

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Why SC is awesome in January

I love it down here.  It was 52*F today, on the 4th of January, in the year 2012.  For those of you keeping records, that's approximately 27*F warmer than it was in PA.  And I enjoyed every degree of it, as did Duke-a-loop.

The lakes around here are not quite full, as can be seen by the rim of orange clay around the shores of the lakes.  But they're lovely all the same.

Clemson U. may be currently losing the Orange Bowl, as I type (by about 29 points, so a comeback would be amazing and unlikely), but Clemson the city is all gloriousness and sunshine.

Handsome put both of us back on WeightWatchers.  That is, Handsome and I, not Duke and I.  Duke has no weight issues or problems getting enough exercise.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup Yum.

Yum.  Yum yum yum.  I could tell you all about how this Chicken Noodle Soup is the bestest, how it actually can help fight off a cold (I have nothing to back that up with.), and how it will be the basis of many a warm winter memory for years to come.

Or you could just make it.

The recipe is long, there are extra steps, and it's not the most easy-peazy-lemon-squeazy thing you've ever done.

Doesn't matter.  It's amazing.

Do it!

Secret Ingredient Number One!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
3 pounds skin-on bone-in chicken parts (I used leg quarters, breasts work fine too)
8 C water
4 C chicken stock
4 C carrots, chopped
2 C celery, chopped
1 C onions, sliced thinly
3 T butter
1 T parsley
2 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t pepper
1 t oregano
1/2 t each of basil, ground thyme
1/4 t each of dried thyme, turmeric, celery seed

1 C flour
2 eggs

Boil the chicken parts in the water until internal temp of the chicken reaches 170*.  While chicken is boiling, caramelize the onions in the butter (melt butter in frying pan over medium-low heat.  Throw in onions, cook until browned.) Remove chicken from water, and add in stock, vegetables, all contents of onion pan and all spices. Turn heat to low and let simmer.  While chicken cools, make the noodles.  In a bowl, combine flour and eggs.  Mash together with your hands until it turns into a dough of sorts.  Knead on a floured surface (I ended up working about 1/2 C more of flour into the dough) until smooth and velvety (that's how my book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, put it), between 5 and 10 minutes.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit.  While dough sits, shred the chicken and put it in the pot.  Separate your dough into 2 balls, and roll each out as thin as you can.  Slice into strips, noodle length, and add to soup pot.  Boil for 5 minutes, and serve.

Secret Ingredient Number Two!
The noodles are really that much better, I promise.  Handsome requests them now that he's had them.  And speaking of Handsome, he would like to give a testimonial for this soup recipe.

"yeah, it's good." ~ Handsome

And me, well, I'm just trying to decide between a 2nd bowl of soup, or cake for dessert.

Warm and cozy,

Don't Be Hangry!

I just saw the word "Hangry" and I love it.

pillow available here.
And while I'm not quite hangry, I am hungry, and unable to get me some food before my meeting at 1:30.  So, I went with the best form of torture substitute, pictures of food!  The pictures quickly led to a menu that I truly believe I will make next to nothing from, but it's a place for ideas to be born.  So here's my pretend, let's-not-get-hangry-menu.  I'm trying to pick health y -ier options, in honor of the new year and the already taxed waistband.  Enjoy!

  • This hungry girl loves her some salsa.  And when I can control the amount of cilantro, all the better.  I'm a cilantro-sprinkler, not over-loader, just in case you were wondering.
  • I'm determined to use our awesome, got-it-on-super-sale grill more, and in it's honor (with a nod to the chicken breast sale this week), I'm thinking about Beer Lime Chicken, Honey Mustard Chicken, and Orange Rosemary Chicken.
  • After receiving a super cool and SA-WEET! slow cooker for Christmas, I can't not use it!  So it's going to whip up some Chicken BBQ, once it gets done with the chicken stock it's currently making.
  • Also on the brain, breakfast goodies (1) (2) (3) (4) (5), pasta options (1) (2), and homemade crackers, for something new.
Do you have food on the brain?


New Years List

  1. I should have resolved to go to bed earlier.  
  2. I want to have one of these  ------->
  3. Listening to this song makes me want to grab a cardboard Jesus and smack people with it, in a loving way.
  4. I'm not even sure what #3 means/says about me.  Please don't read too much into it.  Maybe you could try listening to it, loudly, and tell me what it does to you.
  5. I just finished a quilt for my smallest (though not for long) niece.  She's only 18 mo., so it's not realy late, but she's nearly the size of a 3-year-old, so I guess it depends on how you measure it.
  6. I made half-hearted resolutions yesterday.  Tomorrow I might write down some real ones, measurable, observable, and with a deadline, like I had to do for teacher-school.
  7. I am still calling today a win because I resisted eating chocolate cake for dinner.
  8. I'm making homemade chicken noodle soup tomorrow.  Pretty pumped.  Perhaps I'll share it with you, it's be a while since my last recipe.  Be warned, I go ALL OUT.
  9. I think I have to get back into the working groove tomorrow.  So I would like to state, FTR, I have made an awesome housewife.  All I needed to complete my transformation was some bonbons.
  10. I'm hoping with you all, and myself, for a great first Monday of the year.  I mean, yes, it's Monday, but it's the only "first" Monday we get this year.  
  11. I've misspelled roughly 37 words writing this short list.  Perhaps I should start back to work with some reading or spelling lessons...
  12. I'm really glad you read this list, even if it was just for the zebra picture.  Pretty sweet, huh?  
  13. Finally, I need to know, did you make resolutions?  Did you break them already?  
The New Year is Happenin',
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