Monday, January 28, 2013

200 years ago...

today. (January 28, 2013) Jane Austen's 2nd novel was published. Pride and Prejudice. I was kind of surprised there wasn't something clever on Google. There is not much to say about P&P that hasn't already been said. It's an all-time favorite. It's a classic. It's familiar. It's like coming home. It's witty. It makes me happy....

It is also a bit of a soap opera...

We love it anyway.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

project product clean out

Let me tell you about my latest project. It is one I like to affectionately refer to as Project Product Clean Out. Throughout my life I have been known to be somewhat of a borderline product junkie. You know those people that need to try out the latest fab product. Someone who buys a new and different shampoo even though there are four bottles of unfinished shampoo sitting in the shower. This may also include purchasing new makeup, facial products, soaps, lotions, hair products, lotions, nail polish, health supplements, etc.  Sometimes even appliances. This condition may sometimes be confused with compulsive shopper disorder. But it is completely different. Product junkies don't buy the products because of the need to shop. They buy products because of the need to try something different. A change to mix it up. Something that will maybe bring about different results and change the redundant life. Anyway, I am in the middle of Project Product Clean Out. This endeavor means I am grounded from buying any new products until I have used up the products that are in the drawer or on the shelf. Like a diet, this project has its positive side effects. Clutter is being eliminated. Space is increasing. Money is staying in the bank. Don't worry the withdrawal symptoms are slowly lessening and I can almost walk into a store and walk down a product isle without getting the jitters.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mexican Haystacks

This is really yummy comfort food with a little kick.

8 oz cream cheese
2 C milk
1 C sour cream
2 tsp cumin
1 med sweet onion diced
1 Tbl chicken bouillon 
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dip
2 Can diced green chilies
1 bag frozen corn
3-4 frozen chicken breasts
2 cans black beans
2 cans Rotel (I used WF Brand, tomatoes and lime.)
Garnish: Fresh cilantro, cheese, lime juice, avocado…
(This makes a large serving, 1/2 the recipe if needed)


  • Combine all ingredients but chicken, beans, corn and Rotel in a medium sized pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour into slower cook and Add remaining ingredients and let cook all day, stirring occasionally. 
  • Once chicken is cooked it can either be removed from crock pot to be diced up or the longer is simmers, the closer you'll get to it shredding on it's own :)
    Serve over a bed of tortilla chips, rice, lettuce. Garnish with cheese, fresh cilantro, lime juice, avocado, fresh tomatoes and whatever else strikes your fancy.

Original recipe is found here, but I made some alterations.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

new boots

I love how they look. But I really, really love that my feet are warm as I am running to church cold Sunday mornings. Good investment.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Butter Chicken

So I decided to try my hand at Indian food. Something I have been wanting to do for a while but there often many spices that don’t usually exist in the everyday spice cabinet. However, I did find one recipe that I had all the ingredients except one. Butter chicken. The meal pick for the individual who is adventurous enough to try Indian food but doesn’t like too spicy. I have never actually tried this at a restaurant except for a bite of my dad’s when I dragged him to an Indian restaurant for my birthday (If it weren’t for me he wouldn’t naturally be this adventurous.) So I don’t really know how it compares to one you may order, but the fam liked it. I had to fight my 13 yo sister for the left-overs.


  • 1 ounce butter
  • 1 onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 large boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (didn’t double)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh cream
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (This is the one spice we didn’t have. And I had a little trouble finding it. Fortunately I had a neighbor with some and now I know where to find it. I would recommend getting it if you want to experiment with Indian. Watkins was the brand my neighbor had.)


  1. Sauté onion and garlic in butter.
  2. Slice chicken breasts into bite sized pieces.
  3. Combine spices and salt and toss chicken pieces until well coated.
  4. Sauté the chicken each side until golden brown.
  5. Stir in the cream and tomato paste.
  6. Cover pan and simmer for about 10 minutes until cooked through.
  7. Sprinkle with garam masala.
  8. Serve over rice. Good with a fresh salad and naan.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Game Plan

I love the beginning of the New Year. I love the excitement and wonderment of all the things that could change and happen this year. In spite of what did or didn’t happen the pass year. It’s something I love every year, but I seem to be more aware of it this year. It is also fun to set new goals and checklists of all the things I want to accomplish this year. And I do love my checklists.

2013’s resolutions have been inspired by this article in the Happy Living section (a favorite viral read) of I have adopted the five resolutions mentioned and added a few of my own. I have also added action items that I want to complete. Not all of them are mentioned here. (I might change my mind. I reserve the right to do that.)

From Five New Year’s Resolutions you’ll want to keep

Number 1: Read. Always a good idea. I like 30 books in a year. It was a good number for me. Challenging, not overwhelming. But since it is 2013 I will set the goal at 31 books. 13 of which will be nonfiction. 

Number 2: Write. I always want to  improve my writing and write more. Conveniently, I just filled a journal and have a new one with crisp white pages ready for 2013. Maybe I’ll have a goal of filling one entire journal in 2013. That didn’t sound very resolute. The only other time I filled a journal in one year was on my mission….Ok I’m determined I will do this one.

Number  3: Laugh. Always a good idea. I am going to continue thinking about this one and what I can do with it.

Number 4: Travel. No duh, this is going to be included. I don’t know how, where, or when. But I accept the challenge of finding 13 new places to travel to with my limited funds.

Bonus goal: Travel the state and visit all national and state parks this year.

Number 5: Love. Every year I have a goal of sending birthday and thank you cards in the mail. So this year I going to fit this in here. As well as service.

My own additions:

Number 6: Learn. Learn something new each day record it. Read at least 4 books specifically about different things I want to learn.

Number 7: Create. I am still thinking about how to quantify this. I just know I need to have it for my sanity sake. Maybe I’ll finish some projects.

Number 8: Cook. 13 new recipes. I know easy peasy. But I needed to have one easily attainable goal. My challenge will be to give baking a try. I am not a fan of baking unless it smells like meat or cookies. Breads and cakes, ugh.

Number 9: Get my body back. I usually don’t have many goals that are associated with the words exercise and diet. But I am tired of feeling limited because my back is in pain. So I am determined to do what it takes, within my financial restraints, to get over it. I am working on a action plan and my goal is to get back to running and run a half marathon this year. 13.1 miles for 2013. Sounds appropriate. Heaven help me.

Number 10: Get out of Debt. This will be a goal until it happens. Of course I have other goals to accomplish to make this one happen.

Number 11: Do something crazy. Still thinking about what this could be. If you have an idea send it my way.

Number 12: 13 new experiences. I’ll let you know when I have them.

Number 13: Progress. My life goal is to continually progress. Progress spiritually, intellectually, socially, physically. etc.

I think I am going to like 2013. Maybe it will even be a lucky year for me with lots of things happening and going my way. Who knows. We’ll see. Either way I’ll make it fun.