Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wearing Sandals on Leap Day

This was taken at 7:45 p.m. on Feb. 28.

Are you thinking I'm in Florida? Nope, I'm not.

I'm at home...in Indiana and it was 51 degrees at 7:45 p.m. at the end of February - how crazy is that?

That's it. That's all I have.

Good night all. I'm going to pick out my sundress and sandals for tomorrow!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Goodbye Old Friend

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday.

A day when some of us go to church in the middle of the day (thanks Hannah).

 A day when some of us walk around with black marks on our heads.

A day when some of us start a 40-day journey that often includes giving up something we really enjoy.

A day when we go to bed STARVED because we tried to fast and succeeded except for the bag of chips and candy bar...

Back to the "giving up" part...

I had to think long and hard about what to do this year. I haven't been very successful in my efforts in the last couple of years. So I really wanted to do something that is indeed hard to do without but not something that I know I would fail at (looking at Facebook, eating candy...others have given these up and succeeded but I'm a weak person).

So this is what I decided on...

That's right, my morning Starbucks.

My reason for getting out of bed some mornings.

My reason for going to work some days. (I get one at the end of my long commute.)

My reason for leaving the house on weekends.

My reason for finishing a workout. (I look at calories burned and can't stop until I've burned enough to offset the calories in my drink.)

Basically, my reason for living.

And since I'll be saving money by giving this up, I've decided to donate what I would have spent on 40 days of Starbucks to my nephew's school. Maybe my caffeine addiction can buy them some new books or something!

I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Duck Fried Rice

I was really bummed when I missed the first Iron Chef Challenge featuring Maple Leaf Farms duck so I knew I had to participate when Ott, A brought it back this month.

I was craving some fried rice so I decided to see if I could create some Duck Fried Rice.

It turned out quite well, if I do say so myself.

Here's what I started with...

I used a Maple Leaf Farms Rotisserie Roast Half Duck, though you could use the regular Roast Half Duck or even their Ready to Cook Duck Breasts.

I defrosted the duck and divided it in half. I set aside one part to enjoy later and cubed the other half. It's already seasoned but I put a few dashes of Soy Sauce on it and set it aside.

I fixed the package of SteamFresh rice and veggies as directed and put it in a skillet with a little bit of oil. I cooked it for 3-4 minutes.

As the rice was cooking, I steamed the snow peas. They came in a great package that I just had to pierce and throw in the microwave for 2 minutes.

When the rice was cooked, I separated it in the middle and added an egg. I cooked the egg with the rice.

Once the egg was cooked, I added in the duck and snow peas.

While that started to warm, I melted a 1/4 cup of butter and a teaspoon of minced garlic. Once melted, I added it to the duck fried rice mixture and stirred.

Then serve it up with some soy sauce and enjoy! This made two large servings or three smaller ones.

It was good take on traditional Chicken Fried Rice and the duck added a lot of flavor. If you don't care for garlic, you could use stir-fry sauce or soy sauce or teriyaki sauce instead of the butter/garlic mix.

Here's the recipe...

Duck Fried Rice

Half of a Maple Leaf Farms Rotisserie Roast Half Duck (or their Roast Half Duck or a Duck Breast), cubed or shredded
Package of SteamFresh rice with vegetable (cooked as directed on package)
1 egg
Package of snow peas  (cooked as directed on package) or other vegetables of your choice
Soy Sauce
1/4 cup butter
1 t. minced garlic

Add 3-4 dashes of soy sauce to the shredded or cubed duck and set aside.

Heat a skillet with some oil and add the rice with vegetables. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Make room in the middle of the skillet and add the egg. Stir until the egg is cooked. Add snow peas and duck.

While egg is cooking, melt the butter and minced garlic. Add to the rice mixture and stir until heated through.

Serve with soy sauce and enjoy.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Acting My Age

I often forget that I am within spitting distance of 35.

Like I can flip the calendar ahead a few months and see it staring at me.

I don't feel my age when I...

...pin things like this on my "Things that Make Me Laugh" board...

...see an ad in my local newspaper congratulating someone I went to high school with for a great professional honor and I immediately want to post something like this on his Facebook page:

"Congratulations Bob* on being named one of the top young gravediggers* in the state. Just wondering why they used your senior picture in the paper...ha ha."

Probably a good thing that I'm not friends with him on Facebook.

...send things like this to my co-workers.

Then I'm quickly reminded of my age when I can barely walk when I get up in the morning because my knees are stiff and when I hear a dirt bike on the walking trail outside my house and I think "those darn kids are at it again."

*Name and occupation changed to protect the innocent.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday Loves

This is my second attempt at this blog post (let's just say that my iPad app is now in the doghouse) so I want to say that it will be better than the first attempt...but I'm pretty sure it won't be!

I have struggled of late to write posts with real content and just don't know what's wrong with me (don't worry "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested." Name that show.).

So I am once again resorting to my iPhone photos and Instagram to create some content, instead of writing an inspiring, uplifting or motivational post...wait a minute, that doesn't happen even when I do a written post!

Oh well, enjoy some snippets of my life of late and if you find my inspiration, please tell it I miss it!

My cards for Blissdom arrived yesterday! So exciting. I can't believe it's a week away. Just found out Rascal Flatts is performing - wow.

I'm in LOVE with tights. My sisters and I actually spent 30 minutes in the hosiery section of Filene's Basement while we were in NYC this fall. (Quick fact...the store is NOT in an actual basement, see photo below.) I loved the above tights so much, I bought them in brown too.

This is the view from the Filene's Basement in NYC...as you can see NO ONE was out that day...maybe because it was cold and raining. Didn't have to fight crowds but made it hard to enjoy our walks through the city.

This is my adorable niece whose parents left her in my care for several days while they went on a cruise. I returned her to them with a double ear infection and hair that hadn't been washed in days. I told them the only guarantees I would make was that I would feed her and she'd be alive when they returned. Both happened.

This is my favorite photo of late...my two youngest nephews dumped a gallon bag of "army men" on the rug (which hasn't been swept in weeks) at my front door. It looks to be a scene out of Home Alone when Kevin set the traps for the pair of bungling burglars. Luckily, I remembered they were there as I came down the steps or I may have taught them some new words after stepping on them in bare feet!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Moment

A coworker sent me this in an email this morning.

It screamed Monday to me. Thought I would share...

Subject: Ugh...

Just looked down at the cup I have been drinking from and notice lipstick. And I'm not wearing any.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Confessions

Sitting here watching House Hunters International (love that by admitting that you have no idea if I'm writing this in the morning, afternoon or night since this show is ALWAYS on), I feel the need to get a few things out in the open...

1.  I may have freaked out just a bit (frantic phone call as soon as I saw the post) when I read that The Pioneer Woman is coming to Indianapolis in March. My friend Cris - over at Goodeness Gracious - checked it out and shared the Goode news with me. I am just glad that my bladder was empty, just sayin!

2.  I went to dinner with my oldest sister and all four of my nephews...dinner out with 4 boys ages 10 and under is the best birth control a girl can have...sorry sis.

3.  I bought these because I saw a girl carrying around a package while in Target earlier today...

Hot Chocolate mini cupcakes! I had to leave half the package with my sister so I wouldn't eat them all at once. They are soooo good.

4.  Yes, I still have my snowman decorations up. It's still winter and I like them. So there.

5.  I just bought the Someecards iPhone App even though I can probably see most of them on Pinterest, like this one...

6. I'm going to Blissdom next week and I am soooo nervous. What should I wear? Will anyone talk to me? It's like summer camp all over again!!!

I'm Going to Blissdom!

Linking up to Friday Confessional over at A Blonde Ambition.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

This or That: The Flu or a Cold

I've been thinking about a new feature here on my blog and decided today was the day to kick it off.

It's called "This or That."

I'll tackle age-old questions like "heels or flats" and "body wash or bar soap" - it'll be great. Trust me!

I'm starting with one that isn't very cool but it's appropriate this time of year...

Stomach Flu or Head Cold

Source: google.com via Leigh on Pinterest

I know this might seem odd but I would totally take a bout of the stomach flu over a head cold any day.

Honestly, I'm in the first stages of a head cold right now and I am miserable. (Maybe I should re-consider this post until I feel better...the Nyquil and Blogger might not mix.)

Here's why I'd choose being nauseous over blowing my nose:

1.  The stomach flu usually lasts 24 hours. A head cold can linger for days, if not longer.

2.  I don't go to work when I have the stomach flu...I don't even THINK about leaving the house. With a head cold, I drag myself out of bed in the morning and sniffle, sneeze and cough my way through the day. By the end of the work day, I feel terrible but the next morning I do it all over again because who stays home with a cold?

3.  With the stomach flu, at least I usually lose a pound or two. Enough said.

4.  The stomach flu seems to only hit once a season. A head cold can hit again and again - or at least it does with me.

5.  There are not a lot of lingering signs of the stomach flu - at least not visible ones - except the weight loss. Two days into this cold and my nose is bright red and I swear that I am more prone to drooling - what's up with that?

I did think of one upside of a head cold over the stomach flu.

I like my "sexy cold voice."

You know what I'm talking about, don't you? Just think about the Friends episode when Pheobe has a cold and her singing voice rocks.

If you want to hear me sing Smelly Cat, I'm available!

So if you have to be sick, which would you choose...Stomach Flu or Head Cold?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Musings: Charleston

"Charleston, oh Charleston, I still hear your sea winds a blowin'..."

Wait a minute...that's not quite right, is it? Glen Campbell was singing about another city by another sea.

I headed to Charleston last week for a conference. It's the first time I visited the city and I was excited to fly in early enough to see some sights...but you know what they say about best-laid plans.

This little guy went missing within the first 20 minutes I was in town.

Now, I don't know about you but I'm just not me without my iPhone. Sad, but very, very true.

I figured out right away where I must have left it...in the airport shuttle van.

But what if it fell out of the van while I was exiting. Or what if the driver found it and immediately started calling China or sold it to a stranger down at the port?

Once I stopped panicking I realized that while I didn't have my iPhone with me, I did have my iPad and I had connected all of my Apple products via the iCloud. This meant I could download the very cool (and free) Find My iPhone app.

I spent the next 5 hours watching my iPhone cruise around Charleston until the nice driver dropped it off at my hotel for me. Did I tell you that the app has Google maps on it so you can actually see images of where your device is, not just a map?

Of course, this little mishap caused me to stay in my room staring at my iPad instead of sight-seeing. I did make myself go to the restaurant in the hotel for a meal and enjoyed some Indiana-raised roasted duck from Maple Leaf Farms...yummy!

After I was reunited with my long lost phone, I snapped this photo from my hotel room window. My room overlooked Marion Square. It was in the 70s most of the time I was down in Charleston so by Noon each day the square filled up with college students and young families enjoying the gorgeous weather.

The conference I attended was quite good (more insights later) and among many other things, I learned a little bit about South Carolina's history and its rich farming background.

Did you know that South Carolina farmers used to raise lots of rice, indigo, tobacco and peaches?

In fact, today in just a couple of counties (it might be four) South Carolina raises more peaches than that other state that claims to be the "Peach State."

That's your history lesson for the day, boys and girls!

Another cool fact I learned is that the trees in the photo below are NOT palm trees. These beautiful plants that grace the South Carolina flag, as well as line the streets of Charleston, are Palmetto trees.

I loved all the big homes across Charleston with the wide sweeping porches, Palmetto lined walks and hidden gardens.

I decided that if I owned a home with porches like the ones above in a southern city like Charleston, I would invest in a gorgeous Southern Belle dress and wear it at least once a week. While standing on my porch waving to tourists, I would call out, "Y'all enjoy y'ahselves now."

Boy, now I really want to go download a couple of Glen Campbell songs..."Like a Rhinestone Cowboy..."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bacon and Other Random Pins

Some people use Google.

Others Yahoo or even Bing.

I know some folks who use YouTube.

But there's this place on the Internet where you can find recipes, the latest crafting ideas, cute outfits and even humorous quotes and cartoons.

What is this place you ask? Pinterest, of course!

As my first attempt at completing a writing prompt over at Mama's Losin' It, here are my last five Pins...

5.  I use Pinterest as a keeper of all things. 
Source: amazon.com via Megan on Pinterest

I write a weekend post over at Real Farmwives of America and I featured a book review last weekend that included this book.

4.  I use Pinterest to make me laugh.

True statement. Sad, but treatment.

3.  I use Pinterest to improve my skills.

Or at least that's the plan. I did read through this post on photography tips for food shots.

2.  I use Pinterest to document some of my favorite memories.

There are many photos (better photos) out there of this exact same image, but this is my perspective and I love it.

1.  I use Pinterest to proclaim my love of bacon (and also S'mores but that's another post).

Source: mcphee.com via Megan on Pinterest

I think bacon represents more to me than just the world's most perfect food (it is though).

I grew up on a farm in Indiana and we raised pigs (and corn and soybeans). My dad and grandpa spent their days in the barn while we played in the toolshed or out in the yard.

When we piled into my dad's truck (or in the back - those were the days before seat belt laws), the signs were many that he raised pigs.

From the rubber boots in the back of the truck to the grease crayon (used to mark the back of a pig when sorting them) on the seat to the mounds of paper on the dash, dad's truck was his office. Looking back, I now know where I get my organization skills...dad's truck cab looked very similar to my desk in my office!

Bacon might be something that most people buy in the store (I do too) but it's something more to me. It's a reminder that there are people, like my dad, who spend their lives raising food so that I can enjoy bacon at breakfast...and lunch...and supper.

Or, maybe it's just bacon...who knows!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Like Wrangling Cats

I was viewing some photos I took at a work function last week and went too far and found these photos.

Late on Christmas Day, we decided to gather the nephews and nieces (6 total) for a group shot.

Now, getting children from ages 10 months to 10 years to all sit and smile is what I can only imagine it would be like to wrangle a herd of cats on the prairie (like that old Super Bowl commercial...what was that ad for?).

I had to share all of these because I think they tell a story...

 "That's my tractor...don't let her get it!"

"Hey, where did my pants go?" 

"My eyes, my eyes!" 


"Maybe they won't notice me making this funny face." 
(We did and were NOT amused.)

"Hey, she's looking at me...help." 

 "Are we done yet?"

 I think this is as good a shot as we got!

"I want that hat!" 

"No more photos! I want my mommy!" 

"I'm outta here."


Related Posts with Thumbnails