Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Salad Dressing

He loves his little monkey suit from his Aunt Hope. :) It has been so useful on these cold days. 

I don't like most salads. I don't really like lettuce. I hate kale. I don't like tomatoes plain (give them to me in salsa any day). I don't like carrots or cucumbers or radishes or any of those salad vegetables raw. I also don't like salad dressings. I don't get them; they are greasy and oily and taste processed. 

However, there is one salad that I do love, spinach salad with nuts, gorganzola, and fruit. I discovered this salad thanks to the GrandiHowards, whom I lived with during college. Strawberries and mandarin oranges are my favorite fruit combination, but pears, cranberries, and apples are also good. I buy spinach from SAMs because it is cheapest and it forces me to eat more salads. 

Mostly, I eat it plain, but sometimes I add a bit of this dressing. It is a recipe from my best friend from college, Michelle's roommate. She added candied pecans to her salad...amazing. Can it be called a salad still with fruit and candied nuts? :)

Salad Dressing for Sweet Salads
1/2 c. Canola oil
1/2 c. Honey
1/2 c. Soy sauce
1/4 c. Red wine vinagar
1/4 c. Sesame oil

1. Mix. Pour on salad. 
This keeps for months in the frig. 

Note: I used vegetable oil and olive oil the first time I made this because I had neither canola or sesame. 

Note 2: I have recently discovered, thanks to Dasha, that I like spinach salads with red onions and sweet peppers. Sometimes I add pecans and almonds. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Random Monday

1. It is supposed to maybe snow tonight. Unfortunately, Mondays or Tuesdays are grocery day. I decided to brave the busy store today instead of going out in snow tomorrow. Way too many people were out shopping for water and bread. 

2. I am trying to read three or four books a month this year. I am almost finished my fourth this month. I have started a list on a separate page of the blog. I will publish it later. I wanted to read Shepherding a Child's Heart, but my parents couldn't find their copy. So, they brought me a bunch of other child-rearing books. I placed the other three books I was in the middle of in top of the picture. I am also reading the Great Divorce by CS Lewis again. 

Does anyone own the rest of the CS Lewis space trilogy? My parents only own the first one and I want to finish it. I also still want  Shepherding a Child's Heart if anyone wants to lend me that too. :)

Also, I will take other suggestions of books to read for the year. I like non-fiction. 

3. Today we are making or have made:
Calzones (three batches)
White bean chili
Tomato Sauce

4. But after all that cooking, we went to CFA for lunch to use up our calendar cards for January. Thanks mom and dad for treating us to lunches and dinners throughout the year. We love our CFA calendar. 

5. Speaking calendars... I bought this amazing calendar off etsy. Each month is has a hymn listed on it. I love it. I will have to post a picture of how pretty it looks in my kitchen. I think that was my first etsy purchase... I am a little behind the times. The seller is little things studio. 

I have had the igrace version of Abide With Me stuck in my head all week. That is not a bad thing. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Free Stuff

If you don't want to read product reviews, skip this post. :)

I signed up to test a few products and was sent free coupons to buy some organic lunchy foods for my kids (and husband). Unfortunately, my little town doesn't carry two of the products, but I was able to find three of them. 

1. Rudi's multigrain bread
2. Annie's cookies
3. Honest Kids

So let's start with the bread... I make my own bread, so honestly anything else is not going to be as good. Sorry, store bought bread. Also, anything that costs $4-$5 a loaf is also not going to be high on my list of favorite products. Don't get me wrong, this bread is delicious. If you don't have time to make your own bread and have the extra money, go for it. If it were ever half off I might consider buying it. We made great grilled cheeses on this bread. 

Moving on to the cookies... My son loves anything that is sugary because he rarely gets these things. I keep them for special trips to the doctor office or play dates. He and his friends love these. The cheese crackers are also great. I almost bought the individually sealed packages because they would be more convient for lunches, but they were more expensive and less product. I will pack my own in reusable bags. :) I will pay the money to buy these and the cheese crackers again as treats for special days. 

Lastly, I love the Honest Kids drinks. I saved the best for last. Have you read the ingredients on the side?!? It is all juice and two other things. I love that. No dyes. No sugars. Perfect.  I will also consider buying these as special treats for my kids. Honestly, ha ha, we drink water most of the time, but if I were to get a coupon for these, I would work them into fun outings and lunches. 

Thanks for reading. I will be back Monday with a regular post. 

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. But the opinions are all my own. :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pea Coat

My pea coat, which my dad and I bought at least 8 or 9 years ago, while shopping at the outlets, a 2 or 3 time a year fun outing, is finally showing a bunch of stains. So I am attempting to dye it purple.  It is drying now. It turned out all different shades of purple since it didn't have enough room in the pot to absorb the dye evenly.  I guess I will see what it looks like in the morning. If it turns out poorly, I can always dye it black in the washer. 

One thing is for sure, my hands are a nice purple color. 

Before - I am sorry to see this light blue go, it has been a good friend, but the stains were getting out of hand. I thought about having it dry cleaned, but I figured 3 and 4 year old stains don't come out that easily. I should have had it dry cleaned every year. 

P.s. I am so thankful for my Dad. I don't think he had a lot of fun shopping, but it was always great to spend time with him. We would grab lunch at Grottos pizza and go to all our favorite outlet stores. I will always remember those trips fondly. They were wonderful. I hope I can make such sweet memories with my children. :)  I love my dad. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Psalm 75:1
We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds. 

Another mother at church told me that I looked skinny on Sunday. She asked if I had lost weight. I had had a rough week and that made my day. It also reminded me how easy it is to encourage people. It is equally easy to tear them down with our words.

I encourage you to encourage someone else today. You never know when they might especially need to hear an encouraging word. We all love compliments and need to hear we are doing a good job (being a mother, being a wife, serving in the church, etc.). Be grateful. Thank some one for something. Write an encouraging note. Say something sweet. God will bless it. What an example to the world of the members of the church loving each other. 

1 Thes. 3:11-18
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. 

Be at peace among yourselves. 

And we urge you, brothers, 
admonish the idle, 
encourage the fainthearted, 
help the weak, 
be patient with them all. 

See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Wow. Encourage. Respect. Esteem. Help. Be patient with. Seek to do good. Rejoice. Pray. Give thanks. Often those are not my first reaction to people or situations at church (or anywhere...but especially at church). But I want them to be. Will you pray with me for patience and love for the people around you? 

As a note, I actually haven't lost much of my Warren baby weight. Which made the compliment even sweeter to my ears. Being a mom is beautiful. A mom with her child or children is one of the most beautiful scenes. A shirt covered with drool, snot, or spit up is a badge of honor. Wear it proudly. I do miss dressing up in work clothes some days, but those thoughts are few. They come after I have been snotted and spit on several times in a row. :) But being my kids mom is the best job in the world.  
And honestly, for the first few months the baby is born, I don't worry about losing weight. My body needs time to heal. It took 9 months to lose all the weight I gained with Martin. That is my goal again. Nine months on, nine months off. 16 pounds to go, in six months, averages out to about 3 pounds a month. That seems doable. :) 

Here is a quote from an article on desiring God, that I really appreciate:
"Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.

Stop clinging to yourself and cling to the cross. There is more joy and more life and more laughter on the other side of death than you can possibly carry alone."

They also have a book called Mom Enough that I want to read. Has another read this yet? It came out late last year. I keep forgetting to download it. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

I Changed the Locks

Ask me how many times I have fixed or replaced things around our house. I will tell you that I can count on one hand the times.  Now for being an engineer and someone go loves to take things apart and solve puzzles, I think this is a shame. 

So when our door locks stopped working  on Friday and Jared didn't have time to replace them because he had way too many other things on his plate this weekend, I replaced them. 

Honestly, because I haven't done a lot of fiddling with things recently, I was a bit scared that I might mess something up at first. It took me a while to start, but somehow the second door took longer than the first door... Maybe because I kept leaving to go check on dinner and lost my place. 

Anyhow, I am glad I was able to replace them and that they work now. I am also inspired to tinker with my windshield wipers that stopped working during yesterday's giant rainstorm. 

I'll keep you posted. Have you fixed, repaired, replaced, or saved anything recently? What was the hardest part? 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Boppy Cover

I realized while organizing my sewing links for this year that I had never posted pictures of the boppy cover I made Warren. 

Cindy's shop was having a sale on stripes and dots. I thought both of these would be visually stimulating to a small baby. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Projects Page

I updated the sewing page by turning it into a projects page. I posted links to the kitchen renovations and details of the kid's play closet. 

I also posted a list of sewing projects that I did in 2014. I would eventually like to add thumbnail pictures. But first, when I have time I will go back through and add the other 8 years. It is crazy that I have been blogging for almost ten years. I might have to do something to celebrate.  I started blogging on June 1, 2005. 

Happy Friday. We have company coming so I need to go tidy up the guest/sewing/tv room.