New Year

2 Jan

I know, I know. It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted. My bad. Things got rather busy this fall and I keep breaking my laptop, but really, that’s no excuse. Lucky for you, however, one of my resolutions is to blog every Monday through Friday. The other one is to work out each week day as well. I’m big time crossing my fingers on that one.

For new years, we drove up to Crown Point, IN, which is just east of Chicago, and spent time with several good friends. It was quite fun and a good way to start the year off. Today we got to stop by the Albanese Candy Factory, which specializes in the world’s best gummy bears. I got a 5 lb bag of them shipped to me to give to my sister’s boyfriend for Christmas. It was awesome to finally get to visit the place in person. We bought 2 lbs of gummy bears and some chocolates and vintage candies as well.

Now we are in the car, making our way back to Indy. I think we are both rather excited about seeing our doggies again (they were staying at a puppy hotel for the holiday). It’ll also be nice to have a day of downtime before work starts again. My parents were here for Christmas and then his family stayed with us the week after, so it’s been awhile since we’ve been alone.

Before you ask, no, we still haven’t made a job decision. It’s proving to be tougher than we had thought it would be. We’re feeling rather torn between doing what we really want and doing what seems to be more of the fiscally responsible thing to do. We hope to have made a decision by the end of the week.

Finally

4 Nov

I’ve managed to locate the USB cord for my camera, so here are the long-awaited photos from Sonoma County, California and San Francisco!

 

I’m having quite a few difficulties with wordpress today, so this will be a pretty short post. I did want to say that we really enjoyed Sonoma, though. I wasn’t quite as into San Francisco, which is odd because I thought I would really like it. I found it to be too touristy for my tastes.

I’ve decided to make an effort to try new things everyday, so my next post will involve the first new thing I have tried. I would love suggestions, so comment or email me with any!

Homemade Bread

17 Oct

I know I promised an update about my trip to California and to post pictures, but we flew a red-eye last night home from San Francisco and I just don’t feel like bothering with it today. So, you’ll have to wait till tmrw.

Instead, here is the secret to easy homemade bread:

(Yes, of course I stole this. Here’s a link to the blog I found it on: Cheap Healthy Good)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • 1 little packet of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

Instructions:

-Mix your dry ingredients together in a bowl (Make sure it’s big enough for the water to fit AND for the bread to double in size)

-Add water and stir until it’s a doughy mass (doesn’t need to be perfect so don’t go crazy!)

-Cover the bowl with plastic wrap held on by a rubber band OR just buy some of those plastic wrap bowl covers with the built-in elastic, like I did.

-Leave it out on the counter (but out of reach of curious pets!) for 4 hours, moving it to the fridge if you want it to sit longer (apparently it’s better if you let it sit a day or two)

Baking Instructions:

-Clean your counter off & coat it in a thin sheen of olive oil

-Flip your dough onto the counter and fold it over a couple of times.

-If it’s been refrigerated, let your dough sit for at least 30 min, covered in plastic wrap, till it drops to room temperature (keep an eye on pets!)

-Meanwhile, move your oven rack to the lower 1/3 of your oven and preheat it to 450*

-Place a big (Oven safe!) pot or dutch oven with lid in the oven to preheat as well. For flatter bread, use a wider pot and vice versa.

-Carefully remove the pot from the oven and put your dough inside. Put the lid back on and place it in the oven again.

-Bake for 30 min, covered. Then, remove the lid and bake up to an additional 15 min. Keep an eye on the uncovered bread so it doesn’t burn!

-Flip your bread onto a wire cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing! Unless, of course, you like smushed bread.

Ta-Dah! Super easy!

California

13 Oct

I’m currently sitting on an airplane, on my way to San Francisco. It seems the seats have gotten narrower. I’m a fairly small framed girl and I’m constantly bumping elbows with those seated on either side of me. Luckily, the guy on my right is my husband. But it seems that no matter how scrunched up I sit, the guy on my left is constantly hitting his arm against mine. At this moment, he is leaning over the arm rest between us and watching south park on his laptop. I’m starting to think he is actively trying to make me uncomfortable.

The reason we are flying to San Francisco is because J has a job interview in Healdsburg, which is an hour north of there. It’s in the Sonoma area, which is known for it’s vineyards and wineries. This will be our first time in northern California and I’m pretty excited. I’ve wanted to visit wine country since I saw the Lindsay Lohan remake of The Parent Trap. One of the Lindsay’s lives with her dad in that area of California and I thought it looked beautiful. I’ll be sure to post pictures when we get back from our trip.

This will be the 4th interview we’ve done, or rather that J has done. We’re hoping to make a decision by the beginning of December. I can’t wait until we know where we’ll be living next year. I hate the in between part where I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I’m pretty much ok with whatever happens or wherever we end up. I know everything will work out fine no matter what.

I just finished a really good book called Swan House. It was fascinating because it was set in Atlanta in the 60’s and made a lot of references to events and locations throughout the city that I was familiar with. I’m planning on talking to my mom about some of the events in the book. She would have been a baby at the time, but my grandmother was a journalist at the time for the Atlanta Journal Constitution them and may have written about some of it or known some of the people involved. In particular, there was a plane crash in 1962 in France which killed over 100 notable Atlantans. I had never known about this tragedy previously and did a bit of research on it, but was unable to learn very much about the crash online. I’m sure my mother doesn’t remember the event happening, but it’s possible that she did hear about it much later.

The more I read, the more I thought about how journalism runs in my family. You see, my grandma was the first female sportswriter in the country and before her, her father was in the newspaper business as well as his father before him. My grandma always encouraged me to write and I believe had some dreams of me being a writer one day. I’m not so good with the follow through of that, as I have a rather short attention span and have yet to finish a single novel I’ve started. I think this blog is probably a lot more my writing speed. I’d really like to start discipling myself to write on here every week day. I’m not sure that’s always gonna happen, but I’d still like to try. Obviously, I won’t be writing much while I’m on vacation (I don’t always have Internet access), but I’ll be back home Monday and I plan to update at that point and post some photos.

Hopefully we’ll be landing soon and I can get this posted. For now, I’m gonna get back to watching the in-flight entertainment.

The Ideal Life

22 Aug

Sorry this is such a late post. My Day 3 activities took me much longer than I thought they would. Day 2 was all about envisioning your ideal life. I had trouble with this one. I kept catching myself thinking of things that would look ideal to other people. I even wrote out two pages in my journal about my “perfect life”, only to discover it was all about how it looked from the outside. It took quite awhile to get myself to think of what would be perfect for ME, even if no one else thought so. I started with the easy, obvious stuff, like “never worrying about money” and “clean, beautifully decorated house”. Before I knew it, I was writing about working on my blog, helping women and spending time in nature. I ended up realizing that I really wanted to start my own business that focused on helping women and teenage girls. I wanted to make a difference in their lives and help them to build confidence. I’m still working through the details of want this business to encompass, but it was a huge revelation for me and I was thrilled to have it.

Day 3 was making a Vision Board. It took me a few hours to find all of the pictures I wanted to represent my ideal life. Once I finally had them all gathered, I had to resize, print, cut out and arrange my board. I ended up putting my collage together on the bottom of my monthly dry erase calendar that hangs in my kitchen. This way, I know I’ll see it every day and hopefully be inspired. Here’s what my board looks like:

I can’t wait for Day 4!

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