Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Foodie Books

Without subscription TV, there is plenty of time for other worthwhile pursuits, such as: reading! I have been devouring {pun intended} foodie books lately. First there was French Women Don't Get Fat. I will probably have to devote an entire post to this book, why I love it so much & why I think every woman should read it. It has changed the way I think about food & eating. This is not a diet book or diet plan, but rather a "food relationship" guide/memoire. I would share with hubster some of her food/eating philosophies, at which he would poke fun at me a little for wanting to follow them. Rest assured, I am the one getting the last laugh.

Next came Garlic & Sapphires, the chronicles of Ruth Reichl, the renowned food critic for the New York Times. She used to have to don various disguises to visit restaurants incognito providing for lots of introspection and laughs a plenty. Funny stuff. Restaurant reviews included!

Then there was The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. Being a self-proclaimed Francophile, I looked forward each night to getting lost in the streets of Paris or the antics of students and Chefs at the Cordon Bleu. Great inspiring personal memoire/cooking school story, reminding me that it's never too late to be what you might have been. I will, no doubt, read this one more than once.

Currently on the nightstand is The Reach of a Chef. It only made sense that I would read it, having already read two of Ruhlman's other books: The Making of a Chef & The Soul of a Chef. I am finding this one to be the hardest to "get into". I don't know if it's foodie book burn-out {as if!} or just that it's a different kind of book. It chronicles his research to find out how Chefs have revolutionized the food industry & how we think about food. I guess I enjoy the more "story"-type of books, so this one may take some getting used to.

I think next on the list is going to be The Man Who Ate Everything. I'll let ya know how it turns out :>)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Frugal Love

Hubby and I have, as of late, been returning to the "first things" in our relationship. You know. All the little acts of love and kindness that you express to show you are head-over-heels for another person, which, somehow frequently get lost along the road called marriage. I have received several cards in the mail from my Beloved over the past few weeks, complete with little romantic sketches inside {something Hubster would frequently do while we were dating}. So in an attempt to keep things frugal on my part, here is the little card set I created for him:

I made the envelope as well, using a template I found online. I reduced the size by 50% so that it would fit into his wallet & used a sticker to close the envelope. {You could also probably use a tiny bit of double-stick tape as well}. The card was made from leftover scrapbooking supplies. Perfect for all those really small scraps! I think I'm gonna make about 10 or so at once to use whenever the mood strikes! I scheduled a text message to be sent to him while he was out, including the location of my little surprise.

Total cost: $.10 for the text message {free if your plan includes them}

Friday, September 26, 2008

Something I've Never Heard

Somehow the "sickies" decided to pay a visit to my home. You know the ones: runny nose, body chills, head-feels-like-its-in-a-fog-and-gonna-explode. Of course, my body is the place where the sickies decided to throw their party. Hubby keeps sayin' that he is starting to feel run down too, to which I respond that that just isn't allowed. Only one of us is permitted to be sick at one time. Period. What's worse is that my weekend is chock full of plans, with very little wiggle room to allow for sickness. I'm still not sure what/if I will cancel anything. We did have plans with another dear family for this morning for friendship & fun. When I spoke with the wife the other day to give her a heads up that I wasn't feeling well and would feel terrible getting her family ill {especially her 6 week old baby}, she said something I've never heard before.

Don't let that stop you from fellowshipping with us.

HUH?! EXCUSE ME?! Don't you mean, "Thanks for letting me know because I wouldn't want to come within 20 feet of a sick person lest they spread their germs to my kids," ?? She continued to say that as long as I was feeling up to the activities we had planned {I wasn't} that I wasn't to worry about such things. Even as I type this, I am still left feeling deeply loved and humbled by the kind of perspective that she would have to have to make such a statement. I know many friends whose children are perhaps more susceptible to illness, so please don't feel as if I'm passing judgment on that. I simply thought it remarkable {albeit unusual} to hear such a response. I. felt. blessed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

PF Blogs

photo by dawn armfield

Many of us read, and love, Money Saving Mom and for good reason. What's not to love about getting stellar deals & even better than that, things for free
{my favorite four letter word by the way}?! But recently I've been trying to broaden my horizons to include Personal Finance blogs {PF}. For me, my finances are, in one word, unhealthy, an area that is not in dire straights, but rather something that needs more control & a plan. I think, and talk, about where I want to be in 5 years or 10 years or that I really want to get out of debt, but without a concrete plan, it's nothing but that: talk. So here are some of my newly found sources of information & inspiration, in no particular order:

The Simple Dollar ~ As a start, be sure not to miss the Most Popular Articles & Recommended Reading located in the sidebar.

Frugal Dad

Get Rich Slowly ~ I particularly enjoyed this last post about finding time to pursue your dreams with one simple change.

Any other good ones I should check out?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

:: Project Love ::

Let the creative juices flow! I love the internet as an endless source of inspiration! I usually like to make one mini-scrapbook for summer {remember this one??} & Christmas since these each produce a lot of pictures, so when I came across this tutorial in an email newsletter & knew I had to run out and make one.

:: exploding box w/lid ::

:: box opened ::

It's hard to tell, but the lid has an uber cute print on it with the words play, sing, laugh woven throughout. The box is far from complete without any embellishments or photos. I'm not sure what kind of pictures to use. Summer '08? Tatiana's 7th birthday? Sisters? I was thinking of doing all black & white pictures.....

I also bought the plastic name badge holders to make
this. Isn't it just the cutest? Perfect to keep in your purse or in your desk or give to grandma as a brag book! I think I might just do a Baby's First Year-type theme. Office Depot had the name badge holders on sale, 12 for $2.99 so I bought 2 packs. Maybe one will end up as a Christmas or baby gift.

And for the Project Love finale....

I just came across this idea. I think this would rock as an easy homemade gift for a teacher/friend/mom/mailman. You could personalize it in about a thousand different ways. Maybe add a set of handmade cards & tie it up in a pretty bow. I wonder if the $13 is worth it for the gluing compound.....

Can you tell I have gifts on the brain??

After all, it is only
99 days until Christmas!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

For Thought

I started reading A Woman's High Calling by Elizabeth George in the mornings to give me food for thought for the day. I read this poem today and although it's a bit old-fashioned, I think its insight still holds true for the modern woman {and man for that matter}.

You Tell on Yourself

You tell on yourself by the friends you seek,
By the very manner in which you speak,
By the way you employ your leisure time,
By the way the use you make of dollar and dime.

You tell what you are by the things you wear,
By the spirit in which you burdens bear,
By the kind of things at which you laugh,
By the records you play on the phonograph,

You tell what you are by the way you walk,
By the things of which you delight to talk,
By the manner in which you bear defeat,
By so simple a thing as how you eat.

By the books you choose from the well-filled shelf:
In these ways and more, you tell on yourself.

Everything I do, tells the world about who I am and what I believe. Am I a good steward with my money? What things do I *enjoy* talking about? When faced with adversity, do I lean on God or worry with fear? Do my words uplift or drip with sarcasm? Do I use food for energy or to fill a void? These verses were both highly convicting and utterly inspiring for me. Funny how a few words of a simple poem can pierce to my core!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Feeling Pruned

Not like this: Like this: I'm sure when a bush sees her gardener approaching with a pair of long, sharp, shears, she isn't thinking, "Oh. Good. I can't wait to lose some of my precious branches that I've worked so hard to grow. Looks like fun. Snippety-snip."

On the contrary.

"Excuse me? What do you think you're gonna do with those things??!!!! Please don't come a step further. Ok. Let's make a deal. Uh, I promise not to grow so unruly anymore. I'll grow in whatever shape you want me to. My branches will behave. I promise. Please! Don't cut me!! AAAACCCCKKK! *shrieks in pain*"

I am that bush.

As my Gardener approaches, I make deals. I make promises. I swear I'll change. But the fact is, pain is a good, no, a
great teacher. It's not too often that I can look at other people's mistakes and think, "Oh. Good. Now I know *not* to do that." Usually, I have to learn those lessons for myself. And once those branches start growing in the wrong direction, it is unlikely that they will be able to change course.
For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Romans 7:19
The Gardener loves me so much, that even though He knows it will hurt, He wants me to produce more and better fruit. He wants me to be healthy. He needs to cut away those dead or diseased branches that I no longer need or are a danger to me. {Why do I cling to them so tightly?} The Gardener only wants what is best for the bush, sometimes snipping a little here and there, sometimes making large cuts in lots of areas. This pain teaches. This pain conforms me to the Gardener's design.

I. Am. Pruned.

I believe I am drawing nearer to the day when I will be able to embrace those pruning shears. And I pray the same for you.

Do you embrace the shears?

For more deep thoughts, see a previous post
Sometimes I Pickle Him :>)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Night-Owl To-Do List

Just for fun I thought I'd post my Friday Night-Owl To-Do List:
  • Finish "On a Roll" scrapbook page
  • Download & organize all pictures from digital camera
  • Download & assemble September desktop background
  • Fold one load of laundry {preferably while watching TidalTV}
  • Work on American Girl doll clothes
All things not accomplished will be rolled over into the Saturday Night-Owl To-Do List :>)

Any big plans for tonight? Sleeping mostly?

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Other Kind of Labor

Since Stephanie is playing along {meme provided by Rocks in My Dryer}, I thought I would play toobiggrin

How long were your labors?

Kid #1: 14 hours
Kid #2: 14 hours
Kid #3: 14 hours

Aren't they supposed to get shorter the more kids you have? At least I'm consistent wink

How did you know you were in labor?

Kid #1: woke up at 2:30 am with back pain & contractions, unlike the Braxton-Hicks I had been having.
Kid #2, water breaking.
Kid #3, mild-contractions when I woke up for the day that were semi-regular. My doctor's appointment that same day confirmed that I was in labor, and, um, 6-8 cm dilated.

Where did you deliver?

With all of them, at a hospital. Homebirths are not for me.


#1: IV drugs. Requested epidural. Anesthesiologist was "busy". By the time he was "unbusy", I was already too far along.

#2: Epidural. Successful this time.

#3: No drugs until 9.5 cm. Requested epidural. Waited for 20 minutes. Still no anesthesiologist. Feel need to push. First push & baby was nearly out. As baby was crowning, anesthesiologist was knocking on door.

Note to self: If future pregnancies should occur, request epidural before arriving at hospital.


Nope. Thankful for that too. Really would rather not have one unless medical emergency necessitates it.

Who delivered?

Doctors, thankfully. If I wouldn't have had a doctor's appointment the same day with #3, I think hubster might've had to wear his catcher's mitt.

Hope you enjoy yourself a great day with family!