Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DIY--Menu Board

Today, I had the day off of work, and I decided to tackle a project that I had been contemplating for a while. That project being putting together a new menu board for our kitchen. So, I swung by Michael's to peruse craft supplies and pick out what I wanted to use. When I got home, I set up shop in the living to piece together my board. And I'm very happy and proud of the results.

To make your own:

Gather your supplies. Cork board, patterned paper, letters, "decor", double stick tape, glue, push pins, paper cutter/scissors. Cut your paper and arrange in a pattern that suits you leaving a space in the middle for the menu. Tape the paper pieces together and use the push pins to secure to the cork board. Add the letters and "decor". Hang and attach menu. Enjoy your menu board!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Little Anecdote and A Recipe

After telling this little anecdote to my husband last night, and he told me I should share it on my blog. So here we are. :) When I run in the mornings, I listen to Pandora, and the latter half of this week, there was an ad for a free tall House Blend coffee at participating Starbucks on Friday before noon. So, I decided that I could treat myself to a free coffee yesterday, and because I felt bad about not spending any money (and because I've been craving chocolate haha), I'd also buy a brownie. 

I proceeded to carry out my morning routine as per usual, leaving for work a little bit earlier than normal for my Starbucks stop. As I stood by the bakery case looking for the brownies, I glanced at the cold case with sandwiches, parfaits, etc., wondering to myself if I wanted to buy anything else while I was there. Just as I was deciding not to buy anything else, I realized that I had made one big misstep in my morning. While I managed to grab the fixings for my lunch, I hadn't remembered to grab my apple for breakfast. No breakfast=bad plan, especially when drinking coffee. And so, I ended up not only buying my brownie but also buying a protein breakfast pack, therefore spending far more money than I'd planned to. At least the coffee was free!

Moral of the story: don't forget your breakfast when stopping for free coffee!

Earlier this week, I made Baked Oatmeal Squares from this recipe here. I really like them, although don't make them expecting something supper sweet, because while they do have some sugar in them, they don't taste like dessert. The dried cherries really are the best part. The next time I make these, I'll probably put more in than the recipe calls for.

We've lots to do today. Buying plants for my balcony garden, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning around the house, buying a grill.....oh, yes, we're buying a grill. I'm so excited!! Hamburgers on the grill tomorrow for supper! :)

Have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Morning Thoughts #2

In the past month and a half, I've been running rather sporadically. A day or two here, another one there, skip a week, run a couple more days, etc. Clearly inconsistent, and of course I wasn't seeing any results that I wanted to. I wasn't motivated. I don't like running. I didn't want to get out of bed in the morning. You get the picture.

Last weekend, I was thinking about a concept that the Christian ministry my husband and I are a part of talks about,  and I realized that I was thinking about my running all wrong. The concept is:

I had never thought to apply this concept to something so basic as running; it was only for more spiritual, enlightened things haha. But of course that isn't true. I realized that I needed to make the decision that I was going to run consistently first. Then I would begin to have the desire. The details would come in my increase of capability during my running: stamina, muscle strength, lung capacity. And eventually I would see the deliverance: distance running, toning of body, more energy.

So I made the decision. I ran Monday through Saturday of this past week. Friday, I hit my first stride where I felt that I could run forever. And every day I've had the desire to run. Mind=blown. I was beginning to think that I'd never be able to develop a desire for running. I'm so thankful for this past week of learning. I will continue to run. I will continue to have more energy. I will continue to have the desire. I will see the deliverance. 

Friday, April 12, 2013


It's rainy. And cold. But it's Friday, and I'm happy happy happy. Today was my 5th day of running (in a row), and I feel energized-accomplished-motivated-proud. Today is going to be a good day. :)

We design out own lives every day. We decide what we are and aren't going to do. We motivate ourselves or we don't. I'm not gonna be a wannabe runner much longer; I'll be one for real. 'Cause that's how I'm designing it. Happy happy happy! :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Evenings

Monday was the perfect spring evening. D. and I took an hour long walk down by the river, and then I cooked up a new recipe for dinner while listening to a French Cafe radio station on Pandora. We had some wine with our food and enjoyed having the balcony door and bedroom windows open. All in all, a great end to a beautiful day.

Normally, this quote I found on this blog here fits my perspective on Spring perfectly:

"I do not love spring. I love what it represents, to be sure. I love the new buds forming, the light scented air, the possibility of warmer days and nights, daylight savings time...But generally spring is windy and tricks you into thinking it's warm because the sun is out, but really it's cold. And I find the whole season just slightly irritating."

When I read this yesterday, I had to laugh out loud because finally someone has expressed exactly how I feel about Spring. Except yesterday didn't really fit into Spring. It was definitely a Summer day. 80 degrees. Sunny. HOT. But I got to wear a dress to work and not freeze, so not complaining. Even if it was much to hot to sleep last night. Ah, well.... :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Crocheting: Project in Progress

I'm an occasional, mostly a wannabe, crochet-er. Meaning, every few years, I get the urge to dabble in crocheting (my Mom taught me the basics when I was a kid), and so I pull out some yarn and a crochet hook, brush up my skills, crochet a few lines, and ultimately lose interest in whatever it is that I'm "making." It's very uninspiring, really. But a few months ago, I was inspired to start and really make the effort to finish something. What is that something you ask? Why, a blanket! I've wanted to crochet a blanket for years but have never taken the time to really put in the work and effort to achieve that dream.

Now, I'm not writing here tonight to declare to the world that I've finally managed to finish a crocheting project (soon, soon!). However, I've made awesome progress, more progress than I've every made before, so I decided to offer a sneak peak of my blanket.

My target finish timeline (that I'm making up even as I type haha) is around the end of April, which should be very doable even with only working on it a few nights a week. And I can already say that it makes a great nap blanket, because I've unintentionally tested it out :)

Everyday, it seems recently, I'm inspired by a blog that I read or something that I find on Pinterest; whether it's a new project or a recipe to try or a quote, I feel like I'm brimming with potential and excitement. And love. Can't leave that out! I'm brimming and overflowing with love for my husband; he makes me so happy. Yes, I'm one happy, joyful girl!

I can't wait to share some of the projects I'm looking forward to getting into in the coming months. Stay tuned to the Chronicles!

Friday, March 22, 2013

English Muffin Bread

On Wednesday, while I was at work, I randomly got a craving for homemade bread. I'm not really sure why haha although it may have had something to do with the blogs I was reading during the day. But I really wanted some homemade bread. So, that night, I pulled out my recipe for English Muffin Bread, and after making sure that I had all the ingredients (thankfully I had a bit of milk left), I whipped up the simple but yummy savory bread. It was actually even easy to make than I had remembered; that was nice to discover lol. As soon as it came out of the oven, D. asked for a slice. I made him wait a few minutes for it to cool first :) 

Now in the plans for the weekend: make more English Muffin Bread. The loaf I baked on Wednesday is almost gone already!

Gather the ingredients:

3 Cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup milk
1/4 Cup water
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Grease a 8x4x2-inch loaf pan. Lightly sprinkle pans with enough cornmeal to coat bottom and sides; set pans aside.

In a medium mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the yeast, and baking soda; set aside. In a saucepan heat and stir milk, water, sugar, and salt until just warm. Using a wooden spoon, stir milk mixture into flour mixture. Stir in remaining flour.

Place dough in prepared pan. Sprinkle top with cornmeal.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 45 minutes. I heated up my oven to 225 degrees and placed the covered pan on top of the stove with the range light on; it doubled perfectly.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove bread from pan. Cool on a wire rack.

This is actually half of the original recipe as I only wanted to make one loaf rather than two. But I mention this as it would be very easy to make more than one loaf at a time. Enjoy!