Thursday, June 30, 2011


I have a new love in my life, and it is dehydrated vegetables. As I posted recently in a post about Summertime Snacks, I discovered these in the organic aisle of my local Kroger. They're healthy, locally grown and delicious! I'm choosing not to do any research on whether veggies lose their nutrients in the dehydration process. Ignorance is bliss...

So I went out of my way this afternoon to swing by Kroger and pick up a tub or two of veggie chips. Much to my dismay, they were out of the usual selection and only had dehydrated okra, and green beans.

Heaven help me, I am head over heels for them! FINALLY a vegetable I can adore wholeheartedly! Maybe it's the crunch, maybe it's the light dusting of salt that covers them, or maybe it's the delicious, earthy taste that makes my heart skip a beat. I'm not sure, but I do know this: I will never be the same.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Me and my crafty ways...

I started a major project the other day. It won't be done until we've moved to FL and I have access to a sewing maching - but here's the beginning:

As we were packing, we discovered a whole lot of tee shirts that we've been holding on to for years for sentimental reasons. We haven't worn some of them in over a decade but the memories they ignite are worth saving. So - I'm making a quilt out of them! I cut up 36 squares, and plan to sew them together. I made a quilt for Andrew when we were in college, and I'm pretty sure I'm up for the task.

I started with a 12x12" template for the squares and tried to cut out the most interesting part of the shirt:

This was my senior class t-shirt. Go Bulldogs, class of '99!

This is the finished stack:

And here are the disembowled remains:

The oldest shirt award goes to Andrew's middle school track team shirt. It is 17 years old.

Stay tuned for updates - this is gonna be a good one!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thank You Notes...

I saw the hilarious and sarcastic Jimmy Fallon do this on his late night show and think it's hilarious, so I'm totally mimicking him. It's the greatest form of flattery...right?

Thank you automatic paper towel dispenser in public restrooms. That 5 inches of transparent, seethrough towel that you give me to dry my soaking wet hands is clearly sufficient. Thanks.

Thank you chick behind me in line at the store talking on your cell phone for the whole world to hear. I love hearing about what a jerk your boyfriend is and no, I can't believe he did that.

Thank you family of 5 who are walking at a snail's pace in front of me, spread out side by side and taking up the entire aisle at Target, making it impossible for me to pass you and walk like a normal human being.

Thank you driver who doesn't know that you can turn right on red. I appreciate how attentive you were when you learned the rules of the road to get your driver's license, and the 5 minutes I wasted waiting to turn right at a red light while the entire road is clear.

Thank you cashier who hands me my receipt, cash and change in one stack. That's going to fit so neatly into my wallet, because all 3 of those things go together. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to stand there and separate them, putting the coins in the zippered compartment, and the cash in it's little section while everyone behind me has to wait. I'm sure they appreciate it, too.

Thank you shopping cart with the one wonky wheel. I like the whole store to know where I am at all times, so it's convenient that and you announce my arrival so loudly. Thanks.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Veggie Bundles

Last night I grilled out. I'm pretty sure the entire neighborhood was jealous of the smells eminating from my deck. BBQ chicken and marinated veggie bundles!

It was delish. I chopped up some zucchini, squash, small white potatoes and mushrooms and threw them into a piece of aluminum foil along with a dash of olive oil and spices.

They cooked on one side for 10 minues, and then I flipped them over for another 10. I wish I took picture of the finished product, but they went quickly. I think they would also work served on top of rice or whole wheat noodles. Maybe next time...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summertime Snacks

Well, I'm back on the healthy kick again. When I'm home for the summer, I try to fill my house with healthy snacks because those will become my only options.

Last week we stocked up on fruits.

Today I got these veggie chips from the grocery store - they're dehydrated (I think?) and are from a local farm. They are delish! This was after I'd eaten most of the zucchini and green bean pieces.


Tonight we had baked salmon, rice and green beans with a fresh summer salad. Here's to eating right!

There's nothing like being in a bathing suit to make you want to get your body in shape. Maybe I'll hang one on my fridge to keep me accountable!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

They say it's your birthday...

Well, this is it. I turned the big 3-0 on Friday.

For those of you who know me, you understand that birthdays are a major ordeal to me, and should be treated as such. I was a middle child and growing up, this was the one, single day a year where I got to choose things. Where we went out to eat, what kind of cake we had (always marble with chocolate icing, always) and what kind of things we did. It was great. The 364 other days of the year, I had to simply go with the flow.

When Andrew and I first got married, he had no idea what he was getting into when it came to b-days. My mom always had a themed party that she threw, it was a big ordeal and I loved it. One year it was circus themed and we made hot air balloon cupcakes. Another year, our back porch was transformed into Candy Land. We're talkin' some serious stuff here. So Andrew's really had to step up his game over the years and I've been impressed with what he's come up with. It's one day a year that's all about me and I take it pretty seriously.

That being said, this year I have been absolutely, positively dreading my birthday. Highly unlike me. Last year when I turned 29, I thought "Well, I have a whole year until I have to really freak out."

Time's up!

So here's where I am with this: I don't feel 30. I don't feel the least bit 30 years old. I don't look it, that's for sure (although I feel like that has something to do with my being 5'2") and I just don't feel like it's real - at all.

It's not that 30 seems super old to me or anything, it's just that I feel like I should have accomplished more by now, or that I should have more to show for 30 years. This is me being completely honest.

For starters, my biological clock is screaming at me. My brain and my heart are doing a pretty good job of not paying any attention to it. Translation: I'm not ready for kids. I do not posess an internal, maternal instinct. Shouldn't I, by age 30? Most of my friends have kids, or are currently prego. Why not me? I just don't have any desire yet. I love kids, I enjoy my friends' kids - but I'm not in a place yet where I have any stirring or remotely any desire for one of my own. Maybe something's wrong with me, I don't know.

Then there's my career. I earned my M.Ed in School Counseling in 2009. Two years later, I've had a hodge podge of jobs semi-related to counseling but haven't even really started my career. Loooo-ser. That's what it feels like. I get it - the economy is in the crapper and there are budget cuts all across the nation in the realm of education, but doesn't do much for the ol' self-esteem that I'll turned 30 on Friday, and then file for unemployment the following week when I'm officially laid off. Awesome...

I'm not going to apologize if this is super depressing, it's just where I am at this station in life.

Then I talked to my mom. She had some great words of wisdom for me, and in a very mom-like fashion, she made me feel a little better about myself. She reminded me of how much I accomplished during my 20's (graduated from college, got married, bought a house, figured out what I want to do with my life and pursued my M.Ed for 3 years, and graduated with the aforementioned M.Ed) and then said that that was a very productive decade - now, I get to enjoy those accomplishments. A strong, firm and blessed marriage, and two degrees.

I'd like to believe her that the hardest years are over. I guess we'll see...!

So as I was gloomily dreading this monumental and depressing day - my husband took it upon himself to plan a surprise weekend for me to ring in the new decade.

I had no clue what was going on.

He didn't budge, either. I had absolutely no idea if we were staying here, travelling some place, or what. He kept telling me that I would find out the day before my actual birthday, but I went absolutely insane trying to figure this out!

I realized that even if it turned out to just be pizza in the basement with a movie, I couldn't care less. He'd done the impossible - he made me excited about this birthday that I've been fearing for a while now. God bless him.

Thursday night, Andrew revealed the big surprise to me and it far exceeded my expectations. He and my dear friend Kelli had been plotting for a couple of weeks to have him fly her and her darling little miss ZJ down to VA to visit for a long weekend.

Joy of all joys!

Kelli and I lived together for 2 years in college, worked together for 2 years in Columbus and talk/email all the time about how we miss those days. The idea of sipping coffee with her, going to Panera for lunch like we used to (on a very consistent basis when we were co-workers) and simply sitting together once more in the same room was absolutely perfect.

So we spent the weekend eating great food, sipping coffee, getting pedicures, strolling around downtown, shopping, having lunch at good ol' Panera, and just enjoying one another's company. It was wonderful and enriching to be with Kelli, one of the most sincere and genuine people I've ever met.

And so now I am 30.

Having a great friend and a wonderful husband by my side made the transition from one decade to the next much smoother and more enjoyable.

Thank you, Kelli and Andrew for making my weekend splendid!