So below are some of the recipes that I have tried and a comment or two.
|So recipe is tasty and quick, however leftovers are not nearly as good.|
Stuffed Pepper Soup from Cooking Classy
|This was a huge hit, so delicious! She recommends not adding the rice directly to the soup if you want to eat leftovers, however I did add it, and didn't find there to be an issue with sogginess. |
Ranch Cheddar Chicken by Damn Delicious
|Another delicious one with little prep and bakes quickly.|
So with out further ado, here is my first capture of the ordinary, candles. I am known for lighting candles, I do it often. I love candles, they transform an atmosphere, they create mood, scent, warmth, and coziness. It doesn't matter the time of day, I light a candle. At night, I light several candles. It's a beautiful thing. My husband and I joke because it seems that every house we have lived in has found itself with wax in the carpet. A few days ago, there was an incident, a near miss.
There is a lady that when I run into her while out and about always refers to me as the one who turned her on to candles. We were working on a homeschool project years ago, and she came to my house several times. I had candles lit. To me it is everyday, ordinary. Apparently that is not the case for everyone. She just loved that there were candles lit, and told me when she left she was going to the store to buy some for her house. Of course running through my head was "what, you don't own any candles, how can that be".
Last year when I went on my first trip away from home to meet up with my photography friends, I brought gifts.....all natural candles. surprise. I recently visited my daughter in her new home, and what did I find? Several lit candles, and a candle mishap, so proud. In her words, "I am my mother's daughter".
It is National Blog Posting Month, which is a challenge to post once every day for the month of November. There is only one rule, that you post every day. So as you can see I have already broken the one and only rule. Seriously, I only learned about this last night. I could have said, "meh, too late, maybe next year", but I didn't. I am terrible at consistency, and this will be good for me. I was going to do a big post, but I didn't around to it until now, and I have to be to work soon. Again, I could have said, "nope, not happening", but I didn't. I am going to let this little tidbit be my post for today, and I am going to be ok with it. Every day is a new day, tomorrow will be better.
For my photography this week, I worked on my polaroids. I thought I might do a series called a girl and her hat. I have this straw hat, and it is quickly becoming my favorite. Ok, well it is also my only straw hat because it would seem I have a very large head by industry standards, and hats that fit are hard to come by. The other 3 are some flower photos that I actually purchased this round film specifically for, and I am really glad I did. I love it!
These photos of my projects are just two photos I snapped quickly with my iPod, not intending to use them for this purpose. But as I was sitting here, I knew that if I didn't write this post now, I wouldn't end up doing it at all. So I decided for the sake of accomplishment, I would post regardless. If I am successful in the two art days, maybe I will add a blog day. Maybe then I would post more that once every couple of months. A girl can dream......
I am currently reading a book called Creative Thursdays. It is a quick read that talks about the creative process and that which can hold us back. It really has been a freeing book for me to read. I love creating, designing, making, but I just don't make enough time for it. I get everything ready for a project and then I procrastinate ever starting it. I have to clean my house first or do some other chore first, or check my fb, or catch up on emails, or.........or..........or.........you get the picture. I have never understood why I am this way considering how excited I am to do the project to begin with. I just figured it was a me thing, but according to this book it is actually a very common trait with us creatives. What, there are others like me out there? Honestly, that felt very freeing to know. One of the things that she suggests in the book is making art a habit. She suggests picking one day a week, a month, or whatever works and just creating something. It doesn't have to be a "project", in fact it is better, if you have issues with starting and or finishing to pick something that can be done in one setting. Just create, just paint, just draw, just do and then share as a form of accountability. Start with small little canvases, and paint anything that comes to mind. These are not master pieces, they may not even be your style, or taste, this is just about forming a habit of creating. So I have decided to make Monday's and Wednesday's my creative days. Monday will be my photography day as I am still trying to get my mojo back, and Wednesday will be my art day. I am really good at starting things but not necessarily sticking to them. I always try to do everything, get overwhelmed and over scheduled and in the end I finish nothing. So just a warning this could end this way as well. I beat myself up about this always, but I am learning more and more to just say it is what it is. I can't be afraid to stop doing something that isn't working for me because I will see it as a failure. This is an experiment, I will see how it goes.
Well I have not done much on my blog this whole summer except update my summer manifesto occasionally. Trying to get back into a groove, so I thought I would review a book I just finished. It is called Seven by Jen Hatmaker, and I really enjoyed it. I love her sense of humor, it reminded a lot of my own, and of my best friend. Actually I thought if you combined myself and Tanya, you would get Jen Hatmaker. And it must be mentioned, Jen claims to have a big head, like literally. I confess, I do too. Of course I wouldn't know this if it weren't for the hat making industry who makes hats that say one size fits all, and I can't even get it around the very top portion of my head. Even when hats say M/L rarely do they fit my head. It makes for lots of laughing when hat shopping with Tanya, by that I mean she really splits a gut at how ridiculous I look. She can put on any hat, and it looks fabulous, me, nada. First world problem, right...... So when I read that about Jen, I immediately bonded, us big headed ladies have to stick together! I loved the premise of the book, and closed the last page not only inspired, but also feeling consoled. I have survivors guilt, why not me guilt, guilt period, some of which is good common sense, but not all. She gave me a little perspective for seeing it biblically. Jen says : Hear this: I don't think God wants you at war with yourself. He sent the Prince of peace to soothe those tumultuous waters already. Self-deprecation is a cruel response to Jesus. Guilt is not Jesus' medium. He is battling for global redemption right now; His objective hardly includes huddling in the corner with us, rehashing our shame again. He finished that discussion on the cross. Plus, there's no time for that. Did you hear that, Jesus is not in the medium of guilt. That is the truth. I should make a sign to hang in my house that says that.
I loved hearing about their church and their world view concerning it. That is so where I am, but not necessarily my church. I am trying to figure out what I need to do about it, what God would have me do. More guilt. Right now there are Christian refugees that are fighting for their life, and I am glittering stuff for an upcoming wedding, trying to carve out time for art, and happy to get to enjoy more warm weather before the cool weather moves in. It rolls through my head constantly, especially any time I am enjoying myself or feel excited about something. I have heard stories of retired military people going over there to fight along side others, and well as help the refugees, praise God.
It was entertaining to read Jen's experience going through the different months. I related to several of those occasions as well. The one thing I wasn't in agreement about was her view of environmentalism, had to part ways a little bit there. I plan to explore her resources for companies with a conscience. I recently found out about the documentary on Netflix called The True Cost that is about the unconscionable things that are happening all for fashion.
In month seven that covered fasting from stress. I loved the idea of honoring the hours through prayer pauses, seven to be exact, every day. This is a practice that goes way back. I love how it makes stop, and be mindful . I usually pray through out my day, but I like the fact that there are specific times, with specific purposes based on the hour. I am going to work on incorporating that to some extent.
So if any of this appeals to you, or you want to join the mutiny against excess, then this book may be for you. It will open your eyes, and support you through the journey. I don't think you will be disappointed. Here is a link the Jen Hatmaker's website.
I will leave you with a photo of myself taken by Tanya who could barely contain herself long enough to take this picture. This is a beanie, it's supposed to have stretch, and yet it was so tight around my head that is was distorting my eyes and forehead which is not evident in the photo, but you can see how tight that thing is. It should have a nice slouchy fit.
June :: 2015
Made: a stamped t-shirt with the NowYOU logo thanks to some amazing ladies who made it all possible!
Cooked: many things for Yusei to try
Drank: some green tea
Read: 7 or seven, I am loving it!
Wanted: to be able to enjoy the outdoors
Played: monopoly and won!
Decided: I haven't decided yet....irony
Enjoyed: the massive amounts of thunderstorms, lightening, and rain showers, I mean floods we have had
Liked: that the heat finally arrived
Wondered: if it was a good idea to hang a hammock chair from my rental balcony....oh snap
Loved: my hammock chair
Pondered: the law of unintended consequences of the Supreme Court decision and what it means to REALLY give ones life away
Started: learning more about stamping
Watched: many lightening storms light up the sky
Hoped: I would hear some words of wisdom that would shift my perspective
Needed: to play catch up with everything
Smelled: Paddywax natural candles
Wore: a dress with my jeans
Noticed: the intolerant tone against those with differing opinions on fb after Supreme Court decision
Knew: how this story ends
Admired: Rand Paul
Sorted: my thoughts
Bought: my husband some shirts
Got: to spend time in nature enjoying the many wild flowers with Tanya, and my family
Finally: started taking stock again
Disliked: that an apartment building not far from here was hit by lightening, what the heck?
Felt: excited to take Yusei to Devils Bathtub
Following: Jen Hatmaker
Snacked: on too much cheese
Wished: for a better routine
Helped: Yusei understand more english
Discovered: we now have neighbors below us
Scripture Reading: Galations 5 :22-23
But the fruit of the spirit is love, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control, against such things there is no law.
I love the idea of a summer manifesto. I have done them before, but never posted it on my blog, usually I just write it on our chalkboard wall. It is a great way of not letting the summer slip away! So here we go.
1. go camping
2. make 4 different new to us pies
3. drink homemade lemonade often
4. get through my summer reading list
5. spend mornings with tea and reading on
6. try juicing
7. go to a drive-in movie
8. make video recording one second a day
9. take evening walks
10. take art class
11. print out my 40 + rolls of film
12. practice doodling and drawing
13. visit Tanya in Wyoming
14. watch the sunrise with my family
15. visit the ocean ~ we live in the mid-west
but I had to add it in hopes of....
16. visit junk store in Belle Fourche
17. just be
18. try something new
19. eat at the local lunch truck
20. visit the farmers market often
21. sit under a tree and read
22. go paddle boarding
23. make homemade pizza
24. wear skirts and dresses often
25. find / enjoy silence
26. revisit my memorization of the beatitudes
27. empty the garage of stuff
29. get my photo mojo back
30. use my polaroid
31. maybe, just maybe jump from the rock
that is much higher than my comfort
32. visit hippie hole
33. go to devils bathtub
34. try to not add anything else to this list
after I post it
Well, we are finally done moving. Thank you Jesus! I really felt like it would never end. We are still in the process of purging and downsizing. We have moved a 4 bedroom house, with a 2 car garage into a 3 bedroom apartment with a single garage. The garage is busting at the seams to say the least, so the battle continues. I have sold several pieces of furniture, as well as this and that. We sold our living room furniture and kept the family room sectional for now, until I find a replacement. We are not only downsizing, but I really only want to surround myself with things I love. If I love something, but can't afford it, then I should wait or live without it, not compromise and buy something I can afford for now. I want things that have value, not because they were purchased at a high end store, but because they were made by someone who was doing something they loved, who cared about the details, who made it with passion, which means more often than not, not store bought. I live on a very tight budget, so this should be interesting, but maybe that is where more of the minimalist part comes in. Having one thing you absolutely love, versus having ten things you like. In the instances of the past when I was able to buy the exact thing that I loved, I can say, I still love it today. Of the things that I bought because of need, or affordability, I am only so happy to let them go. It is a process, and a matter of changing your thinking, as my husband has already had to remind me not to compromise.
So one of the purchases I want to make is a new couch. It will be the only couch we have, so I want it to be something I really like, as well as comfortable for the guys in my life. This should be interesting. Where I live, the furniture stores SUCK! This means I will not be purchasing locally, and can not try out how comfortable they are which worries me a bit. I once found a couch at Ikea online that I thought would be great. We traveled to purchase couch and other items, only to find that the couch was very stiff and uncomfortable. Oh snap. Anyways this couch will be lounged on, read on, knitted on, and napped on. I am really loving the vintage look, but several of the couches I have really liked, don't exactly look like they would be comfortable for anything other than upright sitting. Below are seven couches that I do really love, but all may not be as practical as I would like. I guess I will have to rely heavily on reviews. The other decision I have to make is the color. I would love a turquoise couch, but then I thought maybe I should go with grey and accent with my favorite color. Thoughts?
These couches that I choose are not necessarily ones I can afford, but you have to start somewhere. Once I narrow it down to a specific style, then I can figure out the affordable option. So without further ado, here are my choices.
I really like this one because it is handmade in the USA, and stuffed with down. The designer said she set out to create the most comfortable sofa she could, one that everyone would want to sit on. I do wish you could choose the stain for the feet, but you can't. The description sounds wonderful, the only things is it lacks some of the vintage detail I am loving in the other couches. This is the grey color in linen, or I would one of these colors both in velvet.
Dot & Bo
I really love this one, the color is perfect, the style is perfect, though it does lack the built in chaise (for the guys), and I am not sure how great it would be for lounging. There are no reviews to read.
Dot & Bo
This one only comes in this color, which is still a perfect compliment to my home. Again another great style, but would it work for a family room setting? I can hear those men in my life complaining about its lack of functionality.
This one is ok. It does have a vintage feel to it, and the built in chaise, however this is the only color option for me, and the fabric is a nubby one. It is among the most expensive.
Joss and Main
This one only comes in this color, which I do like, but it might be a little too light for something that would get a lot of use. The style is there as well as the possible lounge factor.
This is another one from West Elm, which has the style I like, and it looks really comfy. Also handcrafted, and assembled in the USA. The same colors are available as with the first couch from West Elm.
March was a very busy month for us. We were busy purging, and preparing to move. So my list is short and sweet.
Making : wooden industrial shelf unit
Cooking : corndogs
Drinking : too many mt dews, arrrggghh!
Reading: Bella Grace
Wanting: to purge stuff
Playing: words with friends again
Deciding: what to get rid of
Wishing: for spring something fierce
Enjoying: the unusually beautiful weather
Liking: selling stuff on fb, it's fast and way better than a garage sell
Hoping: the early lilac buds don't freeze
Needing: signs of spring
Smelling: paint, since we have to repaint our house back to white
Wearing: light bulb shirt
Noticing: signs of spring are showing up a tad early
Sorting: through all our stuff, and purging, feels good
Buying: new polaroid circle film
Snacking: on dried strawberries and pineapple chips which are crunchier than dried pineapple
Wishing: I could wear dresses
I can say that it never actually occurred to me that people did not know what they looked like as a child until the camera was born. I know they would commission paintings, but that is not quite the same. The one about the food, might actually prevent me from eating ever again.......
Much like the quote, i am in need of feeling lighter, unburdened, more free. i need to purge. i am at that place in my life where it is time. i am in the process of doing what i was not able to do in the past seasons of my life. i can't help but feel regret for having not done it sooner, or kept myself from having to do it at all. The fact is, it wasn't who i was then, but it is who i am now. My kids have grown, and my life is changing. i need simplicity. i don't know what the future holds, or what God has planned for me, though i see snippets. i am excited. i am ready.
i am not a minimalist purist. i just want to live more simpler. Actually, i have always wanted that, but life has provided many conflicts. i have been told i am living in the wrong era, i need to go back to the days of Little House on the Prairie. The problem with that is i do love technology. It is a love hate relationship, i love technology, but i hate what it does to people. Anyways, all this to say that i will be sharing or attempting to share this adventure i am on.
This video, while sad, is also such a blessing. What a wonderful testimony of a man, a husband, a father, a caregiver, a mother, a wife, a son, a family. The tears will flow. I love that their son recorded this, even in its sadness, there is blessing. What a reminder of how important it is to record moments, whether it is photography, or videos, whether the moment is monumental or just ordinary. It matters. I am taking a video course on making time capsules, and sometimes it is difficult to capture the everyday, the ordinary, like it matters. Looking at this film, you see her when she was a toddler, fiddling with her brother, you see her walking through a gathering of people eating, and playing with her new son. We get to see glimpses of her through out her life, and that has always been such a fascinating thing to me, an important thing. When I feel silly, or ridiculous doing things like taking pictures of feet, or something mundane, I will remember this, and remember how one day, it will not be seen as mundane, it will matter.
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13
I recently heard "Down to the River to Pray" while listening to Pandora at home. I immediately ran downstairs to see who was singing this song. I was instantly smitten with it. I love blue grass! There isn't a theme here, you will find I am very eclectic. I am really all over the place. So instead of going with a title that was cohesive, I just titled it March, all encompassing.
"Forever Young" is on my radar recently because it is the theme song for Parenthood. Bob Dylan is the one concert I regret not going to. I had the chance, and I didn't take it, hopefully there will be another. I think my favorite Bob Dylan song, or at least one of them is "Oxford Town". And his Christmas album is the bomb, at least I think so......
My son introduced me to "The Hanging Tree", as I have not been able to see Hunger Games 3 yet (maybe tonight). He thought I would like it, and he was correct. I did google it to see what it was about, as the title bothered me.
I love the instrumental version of "My Song 5" by Haim, and hope to use it in one of my video's soon!
My daughter came home one day and said there was this song/video that I had to see. She said it reminded her of me and she thought I would like it, again correct. I love it! I am including the video to that song, "Mississippi Isabel".
Rend Collective will be here this summer!
If you have never heard of Flatfoot 56, they are an American Celtic punk band, and they are awesome! I have had the privilege of seeing them live a few times. I love praise and worship as it is, but I also love it when it's done differently such as blue grass, or punk etc.
And of course, who doesn't love the Lumineers?
Well here is my playlist for March, click listen to enjoy, or make your own and share.
1. Down to the River to Pray - Alison Krauss & Union Station
2. Forever Young - Bob Dylan
3. The Hanging Tree - featuring Jennifer Lawrence
4. My Song 5 instrumental - Haim
5. Mississippi Isabel - King Charles
6. Build Your Kingdom - Rend Collective
7. I'll Fly Away - Flatfoot 56
8. Ho Hey - Lumineers
February :: 2015
Made: progress with my past video projects
Cooked: Goat Cheese biscuits and Maple Balsamic Pork Tenderloin ~ Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist
Drank: a specific number of glasses of water, daily, no exceptions, still
Read: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
Wanted: to be mindful of my Savior and the greatest gift ever
Played: Nascar video games with my son
Decided: to participate in Lent
Wished: i was already moved
Enjoyed: watching a program with my husband, it is such a rarity.
Waited: to find out if we got the place we wanted
Wondered: what i am going to do when i grow up
Pondered: what direction do i want my creativity to take?
Started: making time to read every day, most days
Watched: Parenthood for the first time
Hoped: i would lose the weight, but i didn't, even after cutting out 6000 calories per week......:(
Needed: to be inspired to keep up the hard work
Wore: my new cactus green converse
Noticed: how much winter affects my inspiration for photography
Knew: i needed to keep up the hard work even if the scale doesn't show it
Thought: how amazing it would be to live near the ocean
Admired: my daughter and the person she is becoming
Sorted: through videos from 2012
Bought: cactus green converse
Finally: finished 3 video projects
Disliked: the cold
Felt: frustrated for not losing weight
Following: Ann Voscamps Lent
Snacked: on dried pineapple rings
Wished: i would sew some new scrub tops already...
Listened: to Alison Krauss - went down to the river to pray
Discovered: fresh pineapple can make your tongue bleed
Scripture Reading: reading along with She Reads Truth and Shaun Groves